Things to Know: Buying an Engagement Ring Part 2

So, last week, we kicked off this three part Engagement Ring omnibus with the four C's you should know about when buying a ring: cut, clarity, colour and carat. This week, we're looking at the fun part of choosing a ring - its shape! You may have an idea that you want a round ring or a tear drop shaped diamond - but its time to get to know their official names. So let's get stuck in!
Round cut diamonds are probably the most popular and traditional shape for engagement rings. For a round brilliant diamond, try and select the highest quality cut, not necessarily carat. This will mean the ring will be brilliant and sparkle a lot. Ideal or Signature Ideal would be the perfect choice in cut for this shape. 
Celebrity Favourites: Britney Spears and Nicole Richie 
The Oval Shaped diamond will have a similar and beautiful brilliance to the round shaped diamonds. This shape was created by Lazare Kaplan in the late 1950s. To make the most of this cut, buy it in the highest cut and colour combination that you can. 
Celebrity Favourites: Katie Holmes  and LeAnn Rimes
This is an elongated oval shape with tapered ends. This shape was inspired by the smile of Marquise de Pompadour and was commissioned by French King Louis XIV, who wanted to match the smile! Don't you love interesting history stories like that? 
Celebrity Favourites: Catherine Zeta Jones and Victoria Beckham
The pear shaped diamond is all known as the 'tear drop' diamond for obvious reasons. This shape is a combination of the round and marquise shape and it has a lot of sparkle and flash. This ring shape has risen in popularity lately with the likes of Katherine Heigel and Jessica Simpson rocking the pear bling. And who could forget Kate Middleton's pear shaped earring set on her big day?  
Celebrity Favourites: Jessica Simpson and Katherine Heighel (see above)  
Technically, a heart shaped diamond is pear-shaped diamond with a cleft in it and is a shape that has excellent sparkle. A heart shaped diamond is likely to be a hard purchase to make. Make sure it is evenly proportioned and make sure you buy the highest cut you can afford. The skill of cut is essential in a heart-shaped diamond to ensure quality sparkle. Another thing to remember is that heart shaped diamonds require a four-prong setting (we'll touch on settings in the next instalment). 
Celebrity Favourites: Joan Collins  (slim pickings, we know!)
Because of its long lines, the emerald cut tends to be less fiery than a more traditional round cut. But what it lacks in fire, it makes up for in timeless elegance and class. Recently seen resting pretty on Angelina Jolie's finger, we have no doubt that this shape will triple in popularity pretty soon. Because of the 'openess' of the stone (a large portion of it is exposed), it is important to focus on buying the highest grade of stone you can afford. Flaws, colour weakness and a poor cut are more evident in this shape, so purchase wisely. 
Celebrity Favourites: Eva Longoria  and Paris Hilton
For those that love the sparkle of a round cut diamond, but want something a bit different, then the Princess shape is the one for you. The princess cut is designed to get the maximum brilliance and shine from a square cut as possible. Always ensure that you have a four pointed corner setting for your princess cut, so that it will protect the vulnerable four corners of the diamond, where it is most likely to get chipped. The Princess shape is also the most forgiving shape for seeing flaws in the diamond, so its always a safe bet! 
Celebrity Favourites: Ali Larter and Kendra Wilkinson
This is truly a unique shape to choose as its exact design can vary depending on the diamond's natural characteristics, as well the cutter's personal style and taste. It usually will be a traditional triangular shape, with either pointed or rounded corners. 
Cushion cuts are enjoying a surge in popularity and not long ago, it was difficult to find them anywhere else outside of estate sales and auctions. The cushion cut is an antique cut that resembles a cross between the Old Mine Cut and a modern Oval cut - that is, it has a lot of large facets. This cut isn't the most brilliant or fiery of the all the shapes, but we think it is utterly romantic and classic looking. It's a sure favourite for the Ruby girls! 
Celebrity Favourites: Jennifer Garner, Mena Suvari and Giuliana Rancic
The Asscher Cut diamond was developed in 1902 by the Asscher Brother of Holland. It is basically a stepped square cut, and we think, in the right package, it can be stunning and something very different and unique. The Asscher cut has also gained a lot of popularity lately when it was featured in Sex and the City (Season 4) when Aiden proposed to Carrie. What do you think about this cut?  
Celebrity Favourites: Jessica Alba and Zooey Deschanel 

The Radiant shape was designed for those that love the flare and sparkle of the round cuts, but still want a square shape. This shape is designed for getting maximum brilliance and like the emerald cut it's often a rectangle with cropped corners. Where the Emerald cut has long trim lines, the radiant cut is faceted, to bring out that bling! 
Celebrity Favourites: Khloe Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez (the one from Mr Affleck)
That wraps up our second instalment of the the engagement ring debacle! We had so much fun putting this list of shapes together - we hope you enjoyed the read! Next week we'll be looking at different ring settings, so look out for that. If you missed the first part of this series, find it here

Picture Credits (In order of appearence): 
1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 // 12 

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