Whether your shopping for an engagement ring or a well-deserved present to yourself, we’re here with everything you need to know about radiant cut diamonds! Keep reading for:
What is a radiant diamond
Why we love them
How to choose a radiant diamond
Radiant cut Q & A
Radiant cut versus other diamond shapes
WHAT IS A RADIANT CUT DIAMOND?
One of the most under-hyped yet seriously stunning diamond cuts around, radiant cut diamonds are a #justright blend between the best parts of a round brilliant cut diamond and an emerald cut diamond – think glimmering sparkle + angular drama. One of the newer diamond cut invented, radiant cuts were designed in the 1970s to maximize both fire (colored light reflections) and brilliance (white flashes of light).
Sometimes square and sometimes rectangular, you can spot a radiant cut by its beveled corners and large table (the facet on top of the stone).
WHY WE LOVE RADIANT CUT DIAMONDS
THE SPARKLE FACTOR
Second only to the round brilliant cut, radiant diamonds have next-level sparkle. Cut with 70 precisely placed facets, it's a diamond disco ball that shimmers in every light.
MORE DIAMOND FOR YOUR DOLLAR
As if there wasn't enough reasons to love a radiant cut, on a per carat basis radiant cut are generally less expensive than say a round cut diamond of the same quality.
WHY ARE RADIANT CUT DIAMONDS CHEAPER?
Because the radiant cut uses so much of the rough diamond when cutting, there's less waste (hello, more sustainable) and therefore a lower price per carat for you. If you're on a tight budget and want the most sparkling (and sizeable) diamond for your money, consider a radiant cut.
Brownish-pink radiant cut diamond from the famed Argyle Diamond Mine
RADIANT CUT DIAMONDS ARE ULTRA-DURABLE
The beveled corners on a radiant diamond are much than just aesthetics, they protect against damage that can happen with pointed corners on other square or rectangular shapes like a princess cut diamond or emerald cut diamond. So, if you're super active or prone to bumping into things (we're with you), a radiant diamond is a stunning yet ultra-safe diamond choice.
RADIANT CUT DIAMONDS LOOK BIGGER
We can't help but love the optical illusion of a radiant cut diamond - it looks larger than almost every other diamond shape of the same carat weight. Why? Radiant cuts have a shallower bottom than most shapes, leaving more of the diamond weight on the top - so from the top, it looks bigger. You get the best of both worlds - serious sparkle plus the most finger coverage possible #yesplease.
A RADIANT CUT DIAMOND IS A UNIQUE CHOICE
If you're like us and you love the unique and unexpected, you'll love a radiant diamond. Despite it's obvious glimmering (and timeless) magic, a radiant cut is a rare and uncommon choice for an engagement ring, which we love.
HOW TO CHOOSE A RADIANT CUT DIAMOND - THE 4CS
RADIANT CUT DIAMOND - CLARITY
Clarity is a measure of inclusions or blemishes in a diamond. Unless you're shopping for a salt & pepper diamond, you want a diamond that looks free of obvious imperfections.
Because of their unique facet pattern and carefully plotted angles, radiant diamonds hide inclusions very well. That means you can opt for a lower clarity grade and still get an eye clean diamond. This leaves you free to spend your money on other more important factors, like diamond cut.
Pro-tip: the highest clarity grades are significantly more expensive because they're more rare, however you often can't distinguish between diamonds of multiple different clarity grades. If you can't tell the difference (without extreme magnification) between that VVS1 and a VS2 diamond, is it worth paying extra? Something to think about - especially with a radiant cut diamond which camouflages blemishes more than other diamond shapes.
The GIA clarity scale
Flawless (FL) - No inclusions or blemishes can be seen with 10× magnification
Internally Flawless (IF) - No inclusions (but some blemishes) can be seen with 10x magnification
Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) - Inclusions are difficult to see under 10× magnification
Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) - Minor inclusions can be seen under 10x magnification
Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) - Noticeable inclusions under 10x magnification
Included (I1, I2, and I3) - Obvious inclusions under 10× magnification
RADIANT CUT DIAMOND - COLOR
Diamonds are graded by the GIA for color from D (colorless) to Z (champagne tones).
Diamond color is subjective and varies greatly between every stone, so our advice: whether you love white diamonds or champagne diamonds, pick the diamond you love best and worry less about the stats (as they often don't tell the full story of a stone's beauty).
RADIANT CUT DIAMOND - CUT
The most important C of all, 'cut' is what really predicts a diamond's beauty. A well cut diamond will sparkle and shine in every light with a mesmerizing blend of white and colored light.
The challenge with radiant cut diamonds: the GIA does not give them an overall cut grade like they do with round brilliant diamonds. They are graded for polish and symmetry, however, which are two key parts of diamond cut. Working with an expert jeweler will ensure you get the highest cut quality.
If you want to vet stones on your own, check out the chart below to see the cut quality standards for radiant cut diamonds.
Recommended proportions for a radiant cut diamond
57-60 or 70-72
54-56 or 73-74
51-53 or 75-79
<51 or >79
59-58.9 or 70.1-74
54-56.9 or 74.1-79
54-56.9 or 74.1-79
<54 or >79
Very Thin to Slighty Thick
Very Thin to Thick
Very Thin to Very Thick
Extremely Thin to Extremely Thick
Extremely Thin to Extremely Thick
THE BOW TIE EFFECT IN RADIANT DIAMONDS
Well-cut diamonds will reflect light throughout the stone without any obvious disruptions. A poorly cut radiant diamond can have a dark band across the centre of the stone (it looks like a black bow tie) which stops light from reflecting through that area.
IDEAL RADIANT CUT LENGTH TO WIDTH RATIO
With so many proportions to choose from, picking your favorite radiant cut shape can be overwhelming. Of course, pick what you love, but if you aren't sure where to start, begin with the most favored proportions:
RECTANGULAR RADIANT DIAMOND
The most aesthetic range is usually around to 1.15 to 1.35 length to width ratio.
SQUARE RADIANT CUT DIAMOND
A length to width ratio from 1 to 1.05 will appear square to the eye.
HOW TO CHOOSE A RADIANT CUT DIAMOND: SUMMARY
Start with cut - choose the highest quality cut your budget can afford. Work with an expert jeweler or refer to our chart above to start.
For a colorless diamond, start at H on the GIA color scale. If you're choosing a yellow gold, rose gold, or peach gold setting, you can probably get away with a lower color grade if you love warmer colored diamonds.
Choose the clarity grade that corresponds with an eye-clean diamond. Radiant cut diamonds hide blemishes well so you can likely get away with a lower grade and spend your money on more important factors, like cut.
Consider the length to width ratio: for the most aesthetic diamond, stay in the range to 1.15 to 1.35 length to width ratio for rectangular diamonds and 1 to 1.05 for more square shaped radiant cuts.
CUSHION CUT DIAMONDS VS RADIANT CUT DIAMONDS
These two diamond shapes look very similar but have a few key differences. First is the corners: cushion cut diamonds have rounded corners while radiant cut diamonds have straight cut corners cut at about a 45 degree angle. The result: cushion cuts look more soft and pillowy whereas radiant cuts look more angular and modern.
The other difference is the sparkle factor: radiant cut diamonds have better brilliance (reflect white light more) than cushion cuts which are better known for their fire (colored light reflection).
Champagne cushion cut diamond
Champagne radiant cut diamond
PRINCESS CUT DIAMONDS VS RADIANT CUT DIAMONDS
Square radiant cut diamonds are sometimes mistaken for princess cut diamonds because of the shape and brilliant cut. The main difference: Radiant diamonds have beveled corners whereas the princess cut has pointed corners. That distinction makes a radiant cut more durable, as the corners can't chip as easily.
The other difference: a radiant cut diamond hides inclusions better than a princess cut, so you can opt for a lower clarity grade and still get an eye-clean diamond.
HOW TO CHOOSE BETWEEN PRINCESS CUT AND RADIANT CUT DIAMONDS
If you love a princess cut diamond, but could use some extra durability, a radiant diamond is your answer.
Champagne princess cut diamond
Champagne radiant cut diamond
EMERALD CUT DIAMONDS VS RADIANT CUT DIAMONDS
The only real similarity between emerald cut diamonds and radiant cuts is the rectangular shape and beveled corners. Beyond that, they're very different. Emerald cut diamonds are 'step cut diamonds', meaning they're cut with parallel facets, giving the diamond a see-through, hall of mirrors vibe. Radiant cuts on the other hand, are brilliant cut diamonds, meaning they reflect light outwards, and you can't see through them like a step cut diamond.
Because you can see through an emerald cut shape, inclusions are very easy to see. You need a much higher clarity grade than you would with a radiant cut for an eye-clean diamond.
HOW TO CHOOSE BETWEEN AN EMERALD CUT AND RADIANT CUT DIAMOND
If you love more elongated shapes like emerald cut, a radiant cut will match your fave shape with added brilliance and sparkle. Bonus: an elongated stone will lengthen and slim the look of your finger, so if you're in the short finger family, you'll love a rectangular shape.
Is emerald or radiant cut more expensive?
Radiant cuts tend to be slightly more expensive than emerald cut, however a lot of factors can impact the price of each diamond shape.
Fancy white emerald cut diamond
Champagne grey radiant cut diamond
YOUR RADIANT CUT DIAMOND QUESTIONS ANSWERED
ARE RADIANT CUT DIAMONDS RARE?
Yes! Radiant diamonds make up only about 2% of diamonds sold worldwide (which tbh is a big reason why we love them).
If you love to stand out from the crown, a radiant diamond is a perfect engagement ring choice for you!
ARE RADIANT DIAMONDS MORE EXPENSIVE?
Radiant cuts are much less expensive than round cut diamonds of the same quality and carat weight.
DOES A RADIANT CUT DIAMOND SPARKLE?
Radiant cut diamonds are incredibly sparkly, with fire and brilliance only usually surpassed by the round brilliant cut.
is radiant a good diamond cut?
Radiant cuts are spectular stones with sparkle and brilliance only beat by a round brilliant diamond. They're less commonly chosen, which makes them a unique and distinctive choice, and they look larger than many other diamond shapes, which we love.
OUR FAVORITE SETTING FOR A RADIANT DIAMOND
Whether it's for an engagement ring or a treat-yourself ring, we love a double claw prong setting to showcase a radiant diamond! The double claws add interest, align perfectly with the beveled corners, and allow the stone to shine its brightest by showing more of the diamond than other setting styles would.
RADIANT CUT DIAMOND MEANING
The highest-vibe stone of all, radiant cut diamonds (and all white diamonds) help connect us with our intuition and tune into the truth and wisdom within us. Diamonds help balance our energy and align us with the abundance we are meant for.
THE MOST FAMOUS RADIANT CUT ENGAGEMENT RINGS
Remember the unbelievable 6-carat pink diamond engagement ring Ben Affleck proposed to J.Lo with the first time around? One of the most photographed rings ever, it was a $2.5 million radiant cut!
And what about Jennifer Aniston's engagement to Justin Theroux? He proposed with a show-stopping 8-carat radiant cut engagement ring.
our favorite radiant cut engagement rings
Thinking of creating your own radiant cut engagement ring or treat-yourself radiant cut diamond ring? Book a free consult with us to talk diamonds and designs!