How does shape affect engagement ring cost? This is an interesting question, and one we’re more than happy to answer. Specifically, how does diamond shape affect an engagement ring’s cost? Because in reality, your engagement ring setting could be virtually any shape with minimal difference in cost, as long as the other materials (metals and accent stones) are the same.
The total cost of an engagement ring is largely determined by your center stone. That’s why it’s so important to shop smart and to shop with a jeweler you trust. While engagement ring settings are what will determine your ring’s overall style, they’re still delicate works of art – meaning they use a small amount of platinum, gold and or diamond and precious stones. So whether you’re looking for a plain gold setting or one of our intricate Tacori RoyalT settings, the cost of your setting will likely be only a fraction of your total. The only exception that comes to mind, of course, is opting to keep a display cubic zirconia as your center stone (which you can read more about here.)
Otherwise, you’re going to focus your budget on the center diamond. Last week, we talked about ways you can save thousands of dollars on any shape of diamond – click here for a refresher. But today, we want to get specific. Just how much more will that round brilliant cost versus the cushion cut diamond you’ve been eyeing lately? Well, let’s find out.
The shape of a diamond affects its price in two ways.
- How well does the shape maximize the rough diamond? When a cutter slices into a rough diamond, he or she needs to carve those facets in a way that provides the best return on investment. Some shapes utilize the rough diamond better than others.
- How in-demand is that particular shape? The higher the demand, the higher the price, with only one exception you’ll see below.
In descending order, the price of diamond shapes is typically:
- Round Brilliant (high demand, but low return on rough)
- Heart (low return on rough)
- Asscher (low demand, but very rare)
- Pear (lower demand)
- Marquise and oval (lower demand AND better return on rough)
- Emerald (lower demand AND better return on rough)
- Radiant (lower demand AND better return on rough)
- Cushion (high demand, BUT high return)
- Princess (high demand, BUT high return)
Of course, different shapes also come with different demands (like the particular, on-display unforgiving beauty of emerald cuts) and some come with caveats – like the princess.
- True Royal Asscher diamonds, a proprietary cut, are rare and pricey. Some cutters will get around this by making a modified square step cut.
- Well-cut emeralds carry a higher price point, especially when increasing the Clarity and Cut grades to avoid dullness.
- Round brilliants tend to come with a higher price tag as well. Partly due to high demand, but also because more of the rough stone is lost in the cutting process.
- Due to less waste in the cutting process, princess cuts have a lower price-per-carat than rounds, however you may need to splurge for a higher carat weight to achieve the same aerial surface area – princess cuts can be bottom heavy.
- Cushions and ovals are generally even less expensive than round due to lower demand and better yield.
- Less popular shapes like marquise, trillion, and pear are typically affordable due to lower demand.
We think you should always shop for the shape you love, and work with a trusted jeweler to maximize your budget.