Diamond CutsSince the times of ancient Rome, it has been customary for a man to give a woman an engagement ring. It was put on the finger nearest the pinky of the left hand, for ancient scientists believed this finger held a vein that led to the heart. Indeed, a Roman fiancee was given two rings: she wore a gold ring in public and an iron ring inside the house. Historians believe that the first diamond engagement ring was given to Mary of Burgundy by Archduke Maximilian of Austria in 1477. People believed at the time that the sparkle of a diamond had its origins in the fires of love stoked by alchemists. Ever since then, the diamond has been the preferred gem for an engagement ring.

Since the times of ancient Rome, it has been customary for a man to give a woman an engagement ring. It was put on the finger nearest the pinky of the left hand, for ancient scientists believed this finger held a vein that led to the heart. Indeed, a Roman fiancee was given two rings: she wore a gold ring in public and an iron ring inside the house. Historians believe that the first diamond engagement ring was given to Mary of Burgundy by Archduke Maximilian of Austria in 1477. People believed at the time that the sparkle of a diamond had its origins in the fires of love stoked by alchemists. Ever since then, the diamond has been the preferred gem for an engagement ring.

Types of Diamond Cuts

Round Brilliant Cut

Technology has allowed diamonds to be cut and polished in ways that were unknown in the days of Mary of Burgundy. One of the most popular types of diamond cuts is the round cut, or brilliant cut. No matter how large the carat, the brilliant cut diamond always has 58 facets.

Princess Cut

Princess cut diamonds are very popular for engagement rings. They are square cut and are best placed in a pronged setting that protects the corners. Professionals believe that the way the princess cut diamond is fashioned makes it nearly as brilliant and fiery as a round cut diamond.

Marquise Cut

The marquise cut is nearly the shape of a football, and this elongated shape makes the diamond look bigger than it is. According to legend, Louis XIV of France had a diamond cut in the shape of the mouth of his mistress, the Marquise of Pompadour.

Cushion Cut

The cushion cut diamond is a square with round corners. Since the 1920s, there have been interesting and attractive modifications to the facets in the pavilion, which is the part of the diamond beneath the girdle, a sort of equator where the top meets the bottom. The pavilion makes up much of the diamond’s carat weight.

Asscher Cut

The fascinating Asscher cut diamond has been around since 1902. It faded out of popularity for a time then became popular again in the early 21st century. It is a square cut diamond with cropped corners and a modified step cut. Because of this, the gem looks like it is filled with sparkling, nested squares.

Emerald Cut

The emerald cut diamond is one of the oldest diamond shapes, with stylistic origins tracing back to the table cut of the 1500s. Stonecutters initially created this shape for emerald stones. The Emerald cut became popular as it reduced the pressure during the cutting process and therefore prevented chips in the gems. Diamond cutters took notice of this new shape and soon after began to incorporate it into diamonds as well.

The actual term “emerald cut” was not used until the 1920s when the cut saw an increase in popularity. The rise of art deco, where clean lines and symmetry were admired, inspired the emerald cut trend. Since then, emerald cuts have remained one of the most popular choices for engagement rings and other jewelry pieces.