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Glam Rock

By The Watches of Switzerland Group 4 Minute Read

Do you know your pear from your princess? We leave no stone unturned in our guide to the most popular diamond cuts for an engagement ring.

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Throughout history, humans have been cutting precious stones to their preferred size and shape, then using them to decorate everything from spears to amulets. The act of shaping a gemstone and honing it to perfection is a hugely prized skill that takes many years to master. And like any complicated technique, it’s accompanied by a wealth of jargon, such as ‘faceting’ (where a transparent stone is shaped into multiple flat surfaces to increase its brilliance) and ‘cabochon’ (a smoother, rounder cut, usually applied to opaque gems).

For this guide to diamond shapes, we’ve tried to keep things as simple as possible. The quality of a diamond’s cut is crucial: it’s one of the four ‘C’s that determine its value (the others being colour, clarity and carat). But we must also remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and when it comes to the shape of the stones that adorn our jewellery, it’s all down to personal preference. Rest assured, we choose only the finest cuts to embellish our designs.

To illustrate some of our favourite cuts, we’ve hand-picked a selection of beautiful engagement rings – including examples from the Goldsmiths Brightest Diamond collection, featuring our exclusive 88-facet pattern which adds additional facets to the bottom of the diamond to produce an even more irresistible sparkle.

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Many consider this to be the ideal shape to maximise the brilliance and ‘fire’ of the gemstone, as the cut naturally follows the rough diamond crystal. The light is reflected through the ‘cone’ shape of the diamond setting, resulting in an eye-catching radiance. It is also the cut most commonly used in jewellery – a truly timeless classic.

Although the brilliant-cut diamond for many years has been accepted as the ideal round, we believe that by taking the top section of the brilliant-cut diamond, and adding more facets into the bottom of this, increases the way in which light interacts within the diamond, creating more sparkle. Therefore, the majority of our engagement ring range that features a central round diamond is part of our Goldsmiths Brightest Diamond range as we believe that this allows our customers to choose an exceptional diamond that is unique to us.


The pear is sometimes referred to as the teardrop – and perfect symmetry is required in its cutting to achieve that curvaceous shape. The elongation of the stone is very flattering on the finger while the rounded end echoes the brilliant cut in its light-reflecting advantages.


Also known as a square cut, the princess-cut diamond resembles an inverted pyramid in shape, with the point in the setting and a flat square on the top. The clean lines result in a contemporary aesthetic, so it’s the perfect choice for a wearer who likes a sleek and polished look. A princess-cut ring maintains a high level of brilliance, with the ‘window’ of the square giving an extensive depth to the stone, showing off the facets to the highest extent.


As well as creating the illusion of a slimmer finger, the oval cut optimises carat weight, as the stone appears bigger than similar weights cut into other shapes. This cut is also very versatile, suiting a solitaire setting or a halo of surrounding stones.

Whatever shape you prefer, our experts are ready to help you find the perfect piece. To see all of these rings, as well as further examples of our gemologist’s exemplary work, head to Goldsmiths online or visit one of our showrooms.

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