Choosing the right diamond cut is hard at the best of times, which is why so many people spend ages building up the preference for a particular shape before venturing into a jewelry store for the first time. The challenge here is not made any easier by the sheer variety of cuts you see displayed in store cases and back shelves. In this regard, plenty of shoppers realize early on that a unique style is probably what will work best for them. This has been the case for ages, and for a long time, diamond cutters have used this as motivation to create some of the most beautiful mixed cut styles ever seen. One great example of such cuts is the radiant diamond cut.
That said, a radiant cut is not just for anybody. It works wonderfully for a ring shopper who appreciates the classic emerald cut but still prefers a brilliant cut’s superior sparkle. The radiant mixes these two things into a beautiful composite that makes your piece draw all the right kinds of attention.
The Basics on the Radiant Cut
This cut is famous for its eight-sided outline, which is shaped either as a rectangle or as a square, with cut corners. It is presently called “The Original Radiant Cut”, and was patented as far back as the 1970’s. That patent has since lapsed, and other cutters have replicated this style in their own ways. For a basic understanding, you just need to know that the radiant cut mixes step cut facets placed on the crown, with brilliant facets placed on the pavilion. The angular shape of the stone, along with the brilliant-cut facets, renders this style a perfect alternative to the emerald cut or the round brilliant cut. Where the former favors superior clarity, a diamond cut in the radiant style can afford certain inclusions.
Effect on Color
Like most modified brilliant cuts, the radiant cut too has is able to showcase a different color appearance when you observe the stone. Specifically, the color looks wither darker or lighter when you take a look from above. Some colored diamonds are re-cut in the radiant shape simply to improve this aspect. Consider, for example, a yellow diamond which is originally shaped as a round brilliant, graded somewhere between W and X by the GIA. Re-cutting this into a radiant shape would no doubt take away nearly a fourth of the diamond’s weight, but the stone might then stand a chance of being graded somewhere higher on the color scale. There have been instances where a W color graded diamond was transformed into a fancy colored one.
What to Insist on
When shopping for a radiant cut stone, you should primarily ask to see just the ones with centered culets and parallel sides. You do not want to be considering diamonds with uneven corners, which is to say they are either too narrow or too wide. For radiant cuts, the proportions can range widely, just like you have it with other fancy shapes. The GIA explores all sides of such matters, and they have found a number of different proportion combinations capable of giving you a brilliant cut stone, and that this applies to fancy shapes as well. Whichever way you go, make sure you actually get to see and examine the diamond you are about to buy, even if it is not fashioned in the radiant cut.
Popular Settings for Radiant Cuts
Side stones are capable of serving as a stylish complement when it comes to radiant cut diamonds, which means the halo and three-stone settings are not to be dismissed out of hand. Typically though, radiant cut stones get mounted inside prongs, and make for superb solitaires which clearly exhibit their distinct cut. Some people find that they like the look even better when there are side stones added, with rectangular or trilliant shapes.
Famous tennis player Anna Kournikova has a yellow diamond engagement ring with a radiant cut center stone, with two trilliant cut ones acting as accents. Among other celebrities with radiant cut halo engagement rings, you have Megan Fox, who has been seen sporting a ring with a radiant cut center stone surrounded by a halo of smaller diamonds. Down at the brass tacks through, your decision of whether to prefer radiant cut engagement rings should rest on what looks good on you, and what makes you feel beautiful.
When buying, it also makes sense if you ask to see the grading report that comes with the diamond. Stones graded by the GIA can be trusted to have the exact qualities seen on the report, which means you do not have to worry about being swindled. Tell the jeweler or salesperson right off that you are not interested in the other stones, because only GIA-graded ones will do. This would save the both of you a lot of time.