Square cut diamond engagement rings feature a center stone in a fancy-shape square silhouette. A perpetual favorite after round and oval cut diamonds, square cuts are a unique and sparkly choice for an engagement ring. If the perfect symmetry and geometric look are appealing to you, read on to see how to design a square cut diamond engagement ring that you’ll love for a lifetime.
Square Cut Diamond Rings
Types of Square Cut Style Engagement Rings
The square-shape silhouette is found in several diamond cuts: princess, cushion, radiant and Asscher cut. While each of these has the square shape, or at least can be formed in the square shape, they all have slight differences.
The princess cut is the most well-known, traditional square-shaped cut and one of the most popular diamond shapes on the market. Its trademark shape is a completely symmetrical square with pointed corners. The geometric appearance is modern and classic all at once and looks fantastic on most people.
The cushion cut is very similar to the princess cut in that it can be cut to a specific square shape and has a brilliant faceting style. However, this cut differs in that the corners are softer and slightly rounded and the sides create more of a convex shape. Because of these features, the cushion cut is often referred to as the ‘pillow’ cut.
The radiant cut is more brilliant than any of the other angular cut diamonds, coming extremely close to the optimum sparkle of the round brilliant cut. And while it’s best known for a more rectangular shape, it can still be found as a beautiful square cut as well. It looks more like a princess cut than the cushion does, but it has beveled corners instead of points.
The Asscher cut is the only non-brilliant faceted diamond in the square-shape group. It has a step cut faceting style, the same as the emerald cut. The Asscher cut is known for the unique windmill look that the faceting style achieves. This cut is also traditionally known for its preference as a square cut ratio instead of rectangular.
Asscher cut diamond
Radiant cut diamond
Cushion cut diamond
Princess cut diamond
Characteristics of a Square Cut Diamond
A true square shape has a length-to-width ratio of 1:1. However, when it comes to cutting diamonds, it can be quite difficult to reach these exact proportions every single time. More often than not, you’ll be seeing ratios that are slightly outside of this exact 1:1. In most cases, keeping the ratio from 1.0 to 1.05 will provide a noticeably square shape.
All of the square-shape cuts are considered fancy shapes so while you should always seek out diamonds that have been certified, certification agencies like GIA do not give cut gradings for fancy-shape diamonds. This is because their faceting patterns are not uniform from stone to stone, so it’s important to view stones in person whenever possible.
When considering diamonds of a similar carat weight, color and clarity rating, square shaped diamonds typically cost 20-35% less than a traditional round brilliant cut diamond. This comes as a result of the cutting and polishing process that helps square shapes produce a much better yield of diamond than the round brilliant cut. The only outlier here is the Asscher cut, which while still less than the round brilliant cut, will be about 10% more expensive than its counterparts due to its rarity and wasteful cutting process.
Comparing Four Types of Square & Rectangular Rings
Comparing the Four Square Shaped Diamond Cuts
Each square-shape cut will have certain characteristics to be aware of and consider before choosing.
The Princess Cut
Starting with the princess cut, higher depth percentages – between 69-76% – are preferred for excellent light return. This is due to how much of the diamond rough is retained; a common theme for square shape cuts. On top of that, the table size should stay around 63-69% so light dispersion and fire are ideal. Also, princess cut diamonds hide imperfections well due to their brilliant faceting style, but avoid inclusions near any of the four corners since those are more vulnerable parts of the stone.
The Cushion Cut
For the cushion cut, a distinctly square ratio is the most popular shape for the cut, but these square cushions can be harder to find than rectangular ones. The cushion cut provides a perfect mix of a princess cut and round brilliant cut appearance. With no real vulnerabilities to the cut, the most important choice is between the two common faceting styles: antique standard cushion and modern modified cushion.
The standard cushion faceting pattern produces big flashes of sparkle that seem to look chunky. The modern modified cushion is often described as looking like crushed ice. It seems to lack a distinct faceting pattern and instead consists of a random spattering of sparkle resembling broken glass or crushed ice. In some ways, this second style is similar to the look of the next square shape, the radiant cut.
The Radiant Cut
With a total of 70 cuts making up its faceting pattern, the placement of facets for a radiant cut is meant to resemble tiny shards of sharp glass producing an array of light flashes. However, the glass-shard look of these facets makes it very easy for the stone to appear asymmetrical. And while similar in look to the princess cut, the difference lies in the corners; a radiant cut has slightly truncated corners making them far less likely to chip than if they were pointed.
The Asscher Cut
The Asscher cut is the final square-shaped cut and the most different in the group due to its faceting style. Instead of being cut for the sparkle and fire made by the brilliant faceting style, the Asscher cut is designed with step cuts showcasing a clear “hall of mirrors” look. For the most appealing proportions, keep depth between 60-65% and the table between 60-67% and ensure the windmills created by the facets extend into the middle of the stone and converge in a single point.
Square asscher cut diamond
Princess cut diamond cluster ring
Designing a Square Cut Diamond Engagement Ring
Square-shaped diamond cuts are really versatile and look great in all types of settings and styles. It is beneficial to choose more protective settings like prongs or a bezel for the princess cut’s vulnerable corners. Other than that, a halo setting can be an excellent way to not only add sparkle but help accentuate the square shaped appearance as well. And opting for an unexpected orientation by flipping the stone on its side for a compass setting is a fantastic way to add eye-catching appeal.
For a princess cut, we love Katie with a gorgeous bezel-set princess cut diamond as the star of the show on a polished, shining band and set in a compass orientation. And for Prin, we turned protective prongs into a pronounced flower-petal shape for a unique take on a solitaire setting.
A cushion cut, with its slightly rounded sides and corners, is perfectly suited for vintage-inspired pieces that exude a romantic feel. Our BrieBella features a soft, feminine, and organic design with nature-inspired flair in the sculpted band and leaf prongs centering a lovely cushion cut diamond. For a sleek and modern look, Shana features a classic cushion cut three-stone engagement ring with pear-cut accent stones.
Radiant cut diamonds feature incredible sparkle and stand out all on their own. For them, we love a timeless solitaire setting like in Florina – yellow gold metal and double prongs for an unexpected touch. And for our Beatrice-Ann, we feature a classic halo ring setting with a lovely radiant cut diamond at its center.
The Asscher cut is a sophisticated and chic take on a square-shaped cut, so featuring unique settings is a perfect fit. With Nadia, we flipped the center Asscher cut diamond on its side for a compass orientation and added baguette side stones. In Jennie, a vintage-inspired setting has plenty of unexpected details and milgrain handiwork to accentuate a stunning Asscher cut diamond.
Square shaped diamond cuts hold a sense of the traditional alongside the modern – a great mix for anyone seeking an unexpected yet timeless look. If your heart is set on a square cut diamond engagement ring, you have a lot of options to design the ring you can’t wait to wear every single day!
Emerald cut ring vs. a square asscher cut ring
Elongated radiant vs. cushion cut diamond