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The Radiant Cut Diamond

By Frank

Highly experienced diamond polisher who loves to share his knowledge with you. Continues to stun his colleagues with interesting - or simply bizarre - facts about diamonds and gems.

October 17, 2019

Known for its unexpected sparkle, the radiant cut diamond is quite the popular cut these days. The radiant cut is a square or rectangular-shaped diamond. It is a relatively new shape among the long-established traditional cuts. However, that does not make it less popular. Au contraire: the radiant cut is the star in many important diamond jewelry pieces. Celebrities such as Megan Fox and Jennifer Lopez proudly presented their diamond engagement rings with a radiant cut to the paparazzi.

History of the radiant cut

We consider the radiant cut, still a “newbie” in the diamond scene. In 1977, Mr. Henry Grossbard cut the first radiant. There were other square and rectangular cut diamonds. But they were not nearly as sparkling as the radiant cut.

A radiant cut diamond almost sparkles as bright as a brilliant cut one

Mr. Grossbard’s hybrid cut

Grossbard labored in the RCDC (the Radiant Cut Diamond Company). His goal: perfect a hybrid style of diamond cutting that changes industry standard on cutting rectangular and square diamonds. In 1981, he perfected his creation. The radiant cut diamond was more brilliant than any other angular cut diamonds. It did not exceed the brilliant cut’s sparkle, but it does come quite close.

Characteristics of the radiant cut

A radiant cut diamond has 70 facets. The edges are trimmed carefully and distinctive. In contrast to most diamond cuts, radiants can be square and rectangular. Ratios between 1:1.05 and 1:1.50 are common. Because of this variety in shapes and sizes, people often confuse the radiant cut with a cushion cut.

Radiant cuts vs cushion cut diamonds

Cushion cut diamonds date back to the early 1800s, so they are much older than radiant cut diamonds. Cushion cuts have a more traditional, vintage flair, while radiant cuts have a modern edge. Both are stunning and valuable, it is just a matter of taste. Cushion cut diamonds look a lot like radiant cut diamonds. But there are certain important differences. The corners of a cushion are less angular than those of a radiant cut. This makes the cushion cut diamond look more oval. The vintage cushion cut has larger facets compared to the radiant, making the cushion to be less sparkling.

radiant and cushion cut
The cushion cut and radiant cut look very much alike, but they have different corners

Radiant cuts vs round-cut diamonds

Radiant cut diamonds appear larger than round ones, like the brilliant cut, when it comes to diagonal measurement. So when it comes to carat, a radiant cut of 1.00 carat looks bigger than a 1.00-carat brilliant cut. In terms of brilliance, it is hard to outshine a brilliant-cut diamond. But a radiant cut diamond gives the brilliant a run for its money. A radiant cut is probably the most sparkling angular cut.

radiant cut diamond next to brilliant cut diamond
A radiant next to a brilliant cut diamond

Radiant cuts vs princess cut diamonds

Radiant cuts are very often mistaken for princess cut diamonds. The shapes and cutting-techniques are very much alike. They are polished in the same way. But whereas the radiant cut has 70 facets, the princess only has 58. This is why radiants sparkle more. Another noticeable difference is that the princess cut has sharper corners than the radiant cut. Radiants have beveled corners while those of princess cuts are square. The sharp corners of the princess cut are a little more likely to chip or snag.

radiant and princess cut on loupe sleeve
Radiant cut (left) next to a princess cut (right). Both are angular cuts, but they have different edges

Why people love radiants

Here are some other pros of Radiant Cut Diamonds:

  • The extra facets on a radiant cut conceal any flaws and inclusions better, therefore, giving it a higher level of clarity.
  • The brilliance of a radiant cut diamond ond gives it a superior diamond color compared to other diamonds.
  • Radiants maximize the carat weight of the diamond. It visually highlights the gem as opposed to hiding the bulk of its weight under the stone’s surface 

How to wear radiant cut diamonds

Just like any other diamond, you can wear radiant cuts any way you like. But if you’re looking for recommendations, I can give you a few, based on the diamond’s characteristics.

Rectangular Radiant Cut Diamonds

Due to their size, particularly their length, Radiant Cut Diamonds are especially stunning in a solitaire pendant. Regardless of whether you wear them on a short or long chain, they surely captivate your audience’s attention with their brilliance.

engagement ring with radiant cut diamondRadiants do very well in engagement rings

Square Radiant

Radiant cuts with a square shape are perfect for diamond solitaire ring for an elegant and sophisticated look.

Radiants in engagement rings

The square or rectangular shape of the radiant cut makes it the ideal accent for a diamond engagement ring. But it also makes an exceptional wedding ring. From Drew Barrymore to Khloe Kardashian, radiant shaped diamond engagement rings caught the eye of many celebrities. If you want to go for a sparkling diamond with a rather uncommon shape, the radiant may be your cut.

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