The hexagonal shape for diamonds is a non-traditional choice that creates eye-catching engagement rings with a beautiful look. If a unique yet stunning diamond shape is right up your alley, you’re going to want to consider a hexagonal diamond.
The Guide to Hexagonal Diamonds
What Is a Hexagonal Diamond?
The hexagonal diamond, also known as lonsdaleite, is a rare and unique form of diamond that differs from the more common cubic diamond structure. It is named after Kathleen Lonsdale, a pioneering Irish crystallographer. Lonsdaleite is composed of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice, whereas the diamonds we’re most familiar with have a face-centered, cubic lattice structure.
Its hexagonal structure provides it with different mechanical properties, such as a lower toughness and increased brittleness compared to cubic diamonds. But lonsdaleite is also exceptionally hard. It is believed to form under extreme conditions of high pressure and temperature during meteorite impacts on earth or in the graphite-rich regions of the mantle. The intense shock waves generated by these impacts cause the conversion of graphite to lonsdaleite, resulting in its hexagonal crystal structure.
Lonsdaleite is incredibly rare in nature, and its occurrence is usually in very small quantities within meteorites or diamond-bearing volcanic rock formations. Due to its scarcity and unique properties, lonsdaleite is highly sought after by researchers and collectors alike. In recent years, the hexagonal diamond cut has experienced a resurgence in popularity due to its unique and unconventional appeal. With its vintage charm and ability to stand out, hexagonal diamond engagement rings have become sought-after by those seeking something different and distinctive.
As a cut shape, the history of the hexagonal cut can be traced back to ancient times. The use of hexagon-shaped gemstones and diamonds can be found in various jewelry pieces from different cultures throughout history. However, it was during the Art Deco period of the 1920s and 1930s that the hexagonal cut gained significant popularity. The geometric and angular design aesthetic of the Art Deco movement perfectly complemented the hexagonal shape, making it a popular choice for engagement rings and other jewelry during that era.
What are the Types of Hexagonal Diamonds?
A hexagonal diamond is a 6-sided geometric cut that offers several variations, including brilliant, step, and rose cuts. Each variation has unique characteristics and visual appeal.
This cut features many facets structured similarly to brilliant cut diamonds, providing exceptional light performance and brilliance. The numerous facets allow for maximum light reflection and refraction, resulting in a dazzling display of sparkle and fire. However, due to the complexity of the hexagonal shape, finding hexagonal diamonds with brilliant cuts can be more challenging compared to other cuts.
Step Cut Hexagon
This is the most common cut for hexagonal diamonds and shares similarities with the Asscher cut. The step cut features long, wider, and open facets arranged in a parallel design. The larger facets create a unique play of light and dark areas, producing a captivating hall-of-mirrors effect. While step cut diamonds have less sparkle compared to brilliant cuts, their beauty lies in their elegant and sophisticated appearance.
Rose Cut Hexagon
Popular among vintage-inspired designs, rose cut hexagons feature a flat base and a domed top. The rose cut is an antique type of cut that showcases a unique arrangement of triangular facets, creating a subtle, understated sparkle. The diamond's overall shape is enhanced by the domed top, making it appear larger than its actual size. The rose cut hexagon exudes a sense of romanticism and vintage charm.
Hexagon Shaped Rough Diamond Ring
What to Consider When Choosing a Hexagonal Diamond
The appearance of hexagonal diamonds can vary from elongated to more square depending on the length-to-width ratio of the stone. The choice of ratio depends on personal preferences and desired aesthetics. The square shaped hexagonal diamond has a ratio of 1:1. This ratio creates a symmetrical, stylish, and modern square shape. The equal length and width proportions result in a balanced and harmonious look that complements a variety of finger shapes and sizes.
The elongated hexagon has a ratio typically between 1.2:1 and 1.5:1 and offers an elegant and classic look. The elongation of the diamond creates a slenderizing effect on the finger, lengthening its appearance. This elongated hexagonal shape is often favored for its timeless appeal and ability to create a graceful silhouette. No matter the ratio you want, symmetry and cut quality will be paramount for the beauty of the stone.
The symmetry of a hexagonal diamond should showcase well-aligned facets, balanced proportions, and a symmetrical shape. Symmetry ensures that light is evenly dispersed throughout the diamond, enhancing its brilliance and sparkle. The symmetry plays a large role in the overall cut quality of the stone, particularly for this diamond shape.
Depending on the type of hexagonal diamond cut you choose, clarity grade will play a more or less important role. Step cut hexagons will need a higher clarity grade since the nature of the step cut makes imperfections more visible. Opting for a brilliant or rose cut hexagon lowers the importance of the clarity grade, and you can focus on an eye clean stone that is visually appealing.
Color of the hexagonal diamond will also be closely related to the cut type you desire. A step cut hexagonal diamond will emphasize the color present in the stone, so a higher color grade will be needed to ensure a white appearance. The brilliant faceting style does a lot to diminish the appearance of color in the stone. And the domed top and subtle shine of the rose cut perfectly complement warmer toned stones.
How to Design a Hexagonal Diamond Ring
Hexagon diamonds offer a distinctive and less common choice compared to traditional diamond cuts. Opting for a hexagonal diamond allows you to stand out and express your individuality through your engagement ring. They’re also a very versatile shape, perfectly suited to adapt to various styles and settings. If you lean towards a vintage aesthetic, the hexagonal diamond evokes a vintage and timeless appeal. The geometric and angular shape of hexagonal diamonds is reminiscent of the Art Deco era while also embodying an appeal that is distinctly timeless.
A truly versatile shape, so many settings will look great with a hexagonal diamond. A solitaire setting can showcase the unique shape as a standout centerpiece. A three-stone setting can add some visual interest to the center hexagonal diamond with some added sparkle on the sides. A halo setting will serve to accentuate the uncommon shape giving it a more pronounced look to its angles. And a bezel setting offers both protection and a modern aesthetic while emphasizing the angular edges.
Modern or vintage-inspired, you can’t go wrong with a hexagonal diamond. Sala centers a stunning gray 1.68 carat hexagonal cut diamond in a solitaire setting with a delicate pavé band for a sweet, classic look. Then Trixie takes the stage with utter coolness to showcase a 0.75 carat rough, hexagonal cut diamond set in a sparkling halo of round diamonds. And Kira offers a sweet and subtle look with a hexagonal diamond featured in a bezel setting with a crown of round diamonds.
For a nature-inspired look, Melinda and Maple both center rustic hexagonal cut diamonds in bands with wave-like and branch-like sculptural elements. And in two custom-designed pieces, Bianca features a gorgeous hexagonal cut diamond in a ring stack with Tempest and Laxmie, while Mable stuns with an elongated hexagonal cut diamond centered on an organically curving band appearing as multiple branches.
Hexagonal diamond rings offer a unique and uncommon option, ensuring that you will likely be the only one with this style ring. If you desire a ring that stands out on your finger and want something different, a hexagonal diamond is an ideal choice. Its distinct shape, vintage appeal, and versatility make it a captivating option for those seeking a non-traditional engagement ring.