Shapes - Radiant

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Education Center

Everything You Need to Know About Radiant Cut Diamonds

Does it come as a surprise to anyone that the disco ball of diamonds was invented in the late 70s? The radiant has all the facets, all the glamour, and all the sparkle. It’s a perfect marriage of the round-brilliant and emerald cut diamonds…

And it’s a shape that’s stunning right out-of-the-box. Did I mention it’s sparkly? (I know I did, but it really is that shiny.) But - cue some dramatic music - the radiant cut does also have some drawbacks. So let's get into the yes's, no's, and say-it-ain't-so's of it all.

What is a Radiant Cut Diamond?

Radiant cut diamonds are super brilliant–we're talkin' sparkle city–and that's thanks to their 70 facets. There is only one diamond that can surpass the radiant’s brilliance, and that is the round brilliant.

The radiant's hybrid shape combines the faceted style of a round brilliant cut and the step cut of emerald-shaped stones. The cut’s beveled corners make the radiant less likely to chip and break. It’s a perfect choice if you have an active lifestyle and often work with your hands. The beveled corners and brilliant faceting gives this cut crazy good fire and - we can’t emphasize it enough - incredible sparkle.

Perfectly Proportional

Radiant cut diamonds are usually rectangular, but there is no perfect length to width ratio. Some radiants are almost completely square, with a length-to-width ratio of 1.05. Others are rectangular, with an LTW ratio in the 1.15-1.30 range.

A Little Off the Top

Radiant cuts will give you the best bang for your buck. The cutting process leaves most of the raw diamond intact. Since there’s very little waste, you get a lot of diamond for your dollar.

This saves a nice chunk of change, which is important… Because radiant diamonds also happen to look smaller per carat. So basically, you pay less for more carats - but you want your radiant to be 10-20% bigger than any other shape.

Bowties and Clean Eyes

A radiant cut’s brilliance will hide inclusions and some tint. For a radiant diamond, what matters most is the cut quality. A poorly cut radiant will look dull and show its two black triangles in the middle, ruining its look.

Clearly Radiant

A radiant-cut diamond’s many facets and crazy brilliance means that it can hide a fair amount of inclusions, which saves you money.

Finding an eye-clean diamond with an Sl1 or Sl2 clarity grade is totally possible. Keep a close eye on the cut, however. The small facets of a radiant cut tend to have a shattered glass look. That's why they hide so many inclusions. If these shard-like facets don't line up down the middle of the pavilion (the kneel line) and cozy up to the corners, you might be left with a diamond that looks… a bit off.

Bogus Bowties

Radiant ratios tend to vary, but if you're looking for a rectangular radiant rock, watch out for bowties.

Though they are more common in pears, ovals, and marquises, bowties sometimes appear in longer radiant cuts–an unwanted invite to the black-tie ball. Across the center of a poorly cut diamond, you'll see two dark triangles (otherwise known as a bowtie). These bowties are a total bummer, but a well-cut radiant will shine bright all the way through. That’s why cut is the one thing you shouldn’t skimp on with this shape.

Cutting Corners

3 carat Radiant Cut Diamond

Radiant diamonds are often compared to emerald-cut diamonds, so let's clear a few things up. While radiant cut diamonds have straight sides and chopped corners like an emerald, that's where their similarities end. When you compare facets in emeralds and radiants, radiants are full of tiny sharp facets which give off tons of sparkle and have a crushed-ice look.

Emeralds, on the other hand, have smooth glassy lines. Their long linear facets give off flashes of light or a "hall of mirrors" effect, instead of the traditional sparkle and brilliance you might expect from a round brilliant diamond. It’s a matter of personal preference regarding what look you want for your diamond.


Radiant diamonds are some of the shiniest diamonds out there, second only to the round brilliant they're inspired by. However, they’re certainly unique in their own right, giving a fresh spin on the brilliant cut of the round cut. The nature of its cut and the flexibility of its shape means you can avoid inclusions and maximize on sparkle without breaking the bank. Be sure to view our stunning collection of radiant engagement rings.

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