Congratulations to Drew Barrymore and her fiance Drew Kopelman who were just engaged during a 10-day stay in Sun Valley, Idaho. I’m happy for them, but I’m actually congratulating them on their ring choice! It is a unique, lovely setting and a simply perfect diamond color and cut. Drew’s engagement ring features a colorless (D color) radiant-cut diamond that is just under 4 carats on a diamond-covered band. Want to learn about the look and the diamond?
The Radiant Diamond and why the cut is critical
Radiant shape is a bit more rare than some others and recently, at Roman Jewelers, we’ve been getting more and more requests for them because couples like the more “antique” look but also the uniqueness and brilliance of the stone.
For maximum brilliance and a optimum diamond fire, a precise cut is crucial for a radiant diamond shape. The perfection of the cut, and the talent of the diamond cutter creates the heavy reflection and refraction within the stone. An improperly cut diamond will have a lower value and less brilliant appearance that dampens the effect of its unusual shape. Most consumers assume that a proper radiant cut must be square with an equal length-to-width ratio, but in fact many stunning radiant cuts are rectangular; the exact proportions are a matter of personal preference which is why working with a knowledgeable jeweler is key and viewing many similar stones is an important part of the process when selecting this stone. Please do not buy a radiant cut on the internet, it would be doing a huge disservice to the diamond and to the buyer.
The modern radiant shape was perfected by Henry Grossbard in 1977 when he successfully blended the geometry of emerald cut with the brilliance of the classic round diamond. A radiant cut is, basically, a hybrid stone that is generally square or rectangular but with slightly cropped corners that contribute to its eye-catching sparkle. Cut is everything in this stone and working with a jeweler that understands Fancy cuts is important to get the best value and diamond that is out there. Radiant cut diamonds are similar to three other familiar diamond shapes: but at the same time, the radiant cut is substantially different from each one and brings its own uniqueness to extraordinary pieces of jewelry.
The cropped corners of the radiant cut immediately distinguish it from the sharp princess cut. A closer look, however, reveals that the radiant cut has a more uniform series of facets lending it a smooth sparkle, while princess cut diamonds have a starburst or X-shaped facet pattern.
In comparison to the emerald cut, the radiant cut also has a more uniform sparkle. The key to a pristine emerald shape is in the series of diamond cuts that give it a very clear center, while the radiant has reflecting facets throughout the gem.
The differences between radiant cut diamonds and Asscher cut diamonds are similar to those between radiant cuts and emerald cuts. The Asscher, too, uses a series of long step cuts to create a uniform series of reflections, while the radiant’s sparkle and fire is closer to the brilliance of a round gem with its greater number of smaller facets. Radiant cut gems also have smaller trims on the corners, whereas Asscher cut diamonds have strong trims that give them an almost octagonal shape.
Drew’s diamond is also set in a lovely ring. At Roman Jewelers, custom-making a ring like this would be the way to go. An extra special touch, even, would be to take some of the diamonds in the band from an old ring of Mom’s or Grandma’s to combine all that is special about this special time in life.