There's a reason it's the most popular shape. A well-cut round stone generally sparkles the most. Diamond cutters have been refining the proportions for more than 100 years. Classic and timeless, this can definitely accentuate your personal style.
Square or 'princess' shapes have a modern, tailored look and are the second most popular style after round. ‘The Dream’ cut, with 70 facets, was created by retailer Hearts on Fire and combines the square silhouette with nearly as much brilliance as a traditional round diamond.
Cushion is the third most popular shape. "They do not give off as much sparkle as a round," says diamond expert Adelaide Polk-Bauman of Forevermark, which specialises in rare, but responsibly sourced stones. "People love the vintage style."
This shape is similar to an emerald but less rectangular and with larger facets, which means the clarity of the diamond is especially important. "It's great for women who like an Art Deco look," says diamond expert Josh Holland of online retailer Blue Nile.
COST PER WEAR
These sparklers will last forever, so spend as much as you can afford. Your investment is bound to become a family heirloom.
How to find the right pair for you
First, choose a reputable jeweller who accepts returns within 30 days. Then it's all about the four C's.
This is not about shape; it's about how a diamond interacts with light. Get the highest grade your budget allows (there are five, from poor to excellent).
You have more leeway than with a ring, since no one is scrutinising your earlobes. Just do not go below a colour grade of H (on a scale of D to Z).
One carat or smaller is good for everyday, and works with jeans or a cocktail dress. Two to four carats are more of a statement.
The bigger the stone, the more clarity matters. For one carat or less, choose a grade of at least SI2 (slightly 'included,' or flawed); for larger stones, at least VS2.
Get studs professionally leaned and tightened once a year. Between cleanings, you can wash them with water, a liquid nonchlorine detergent, and a soft-bristled brush. Store separately from other jewellery to prevent scratches.