A guide to different cuts of diamond for engagement rings from James Sanders (London Diamonds)

James Sanders London
4 min readOct 27, 2022
James Sanders London Diamonds round diamond ring

James Sanders knows a thing or two about diamonds and engagement rings. In fact, it was when he and his wife were shopping for a replacement engagement ring that he came up with the idea for London Diamonds.

Entrepreneur James is used to being a disruptive innovator when it comes to investments and start-ups, and it’s no different with London Diamonds. James says: “When we wanted to replace my wife’s diamond ring, it very quickly became apparent that the prices quoted were hugely marked up.

“I realised that folded into the price of a diamond ring from a traditional brand is all of the extras that go with it — the expensive property cost for the showroom, the champagne and sales staff, etc. I wanted to create a bespoke jewellery designer and retail outlet that always gives a fair price. And that’s what we’ve created with London Diamonds.”

London Diamonds is the disruptive innovator of the UK market

While it’s still a relative newcomer to the crowded engagement ring market in the UK, London Diamonds has quickly grown. James says: “Right now, we account for a full 1% of all of the diamond engagement ring sales in the UK. That’s a great start, and we are very much interested in coming for the remaining 99%.”

One of the tenets of London Diamonds’ approach is to provide direct, expert advice on different cuts and to make the whole process as two-way as possible. Adds James: “Our main store front is on Instagram and our own website — we’ve slashed all of those kinds of costs. But, crucially, what’s really resonating with customers, is the advice we can give on design trends and what they can get for their money.”

James is the managing director of London Diamonds and has collected a team of talented experts in all things diamond to ensure that customers come away happy.

One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to diamond engagement rings

James believes that there’s no one choice for an engagement ring. He says: “It’s all about individuality. Everyone wants something different and, with all of the cuts, colours, and types of stones available, that’s very possible.

“After all, buying an engagement ring is one of the key purchases of most people’s lives and it’s important it’s right. Starting with the basics for this guide, I’ll list the different shapes available and go into a bit more detail on each.”

Different diamond shapes and cuts

There are 9 main diamond shapes available, as follows:

  • Heart
  • Radiant
  • Cushion
  • Round
  • Princess
  • Emerald
  • Oval
  • Pear
  • Marquise

Then you have different cuts, styles, bands and colours. That’s how London Diamonds can create bespoke designs for each customer.

James says: “We tend to advise based on what the customer tells us not only about the look of the piece, but also the practicality of it. For example, if you intend to wear your engagement ring every single day, this should be accommodated within the design.”

James Sanders guide to the 9 diamond cuts

Round brilliant — this is one of the most traditional and iconic cuts of diamond thanks to its extremely sparkly look. A standard brilliant cut diamond has 58 facets, each of which catches the light, hence the extreme sparkle.

Princess — this is another traditional cut that’s ideal for those looking for a classic engagement ring. Also very sparkly, it’s a square cut with pointed corners and works particularly well against the backdrop of a jewelled band.

Emerald — this is extremely glamorous and the one you often see adorning the finger of celebrities. It’s rectangular and works particularly well with high clarity stones.

Oval — ideal if you want to elongate your fingers, the oval is very symmetrical in shape. It looks great the larger it is, but there are more budget-friendly options too, such as including a halo of smaller stones.

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Pear — this is that beautiful teardrop-shaped diamond with a single point. The pear cut can make smaller stones appear larger than they are so it’s another good budget-friendly choice.

Marquise — did you know this was originally designed based on the smile of a woman? It’s something a bit different and works well for people looking for something non-traditional but beautiful. It’s a long stone shape with sharp ends and suits just about everybody’s hands.

Heart — this is definitely a statement choice and people tend to love it or hate it. If you want to wear your love proudly on your finger then it may be for you! It looks lovely in a coloured stone too.

Radiant — this is a combination of the round brilliant and a squared shape, giving 70 facets for ultimate bling.

Cushion — larger facets and rounded edges mean yet more sparkle. This can work with both modern or vintage designs and is big right now.

To find out more about James Sanders head to his website here.

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James Sanders London

Artist. Father. Son. Founder of London Diamonds Official