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Rings & rocks: Choosing the cut of your engagement ring (Photos)

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Engagement rings are constantly a hot topic in the bridal world, the majority of brides announce their engagement by flashing a dazzling ring on their left hand. Much like bridal gowns, engagement rings have evolved over the years, and different styles have rotated in and out of fashion. Today there are so many different styles and cuts available on the market. There are so many factors involved in choosing the perfect ring; such as the cut, color, size, and style. The important thing is to get the balance right of all the features just right. An engagement ring is intended to be worn for a lifetime so a classic timeless style is the best look to aim for. The rings & rocks series will serve as a helpful guideline to picking out the perfect engagement ring.

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The cut of the center stone is probably one of the biggest decisions involved in picking out a ring. The cut loosely refers to the shape of the stone and this really affects how the stone will reflect the light and sparkle. Below are the main cuts available:

ROUND (Brilliant): Like the name suggests, this refers to a stone that appears to be round from the top, although in reality the entire diamond is cut in the shape of a cone. This cut reflects the light better than any other shape and thus sparkles the most. It is no surprise that this is the most popular choice for engagement and wedding rings.

PRINCESS: This refers to a square cut stone, not as sparkling as the round but still quite stunning and the second most popular choice for engagement rings.

EMERALD: A rectangular shaped stone, with staircase style facets or "steps" all round a flat center. Because of the flat and clear center of this cut, it is more obvious if there are flaws in the stone.

ASSCHER: is pretty similar to an emerald cute except that this is more square instead of rectangular. It also has the clear flat center with the staircase style steps. The corners of this cut are slightly rounded.

PEAR : It is shaped almost like a tear drop with one pointed end on one side and rounded end on the other side. It looks like a cross between a round cut diamond on the top and a

MARQUISE: This is almost an oval shaped stone but with pointy tips on both ends like the bottom of a heart shape.
Cushion: This is a hybrid of the round and princess cut and is sometimes called a pillow cut. It literally resembles a padded cushion. It has rounded corners but more facets to make it reflect the light better and sparkle more than a regular princess cut

HEART: A stone cut in the literal shape of a heart.

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