Radiant Cut Diamond Guide: Ask a Diamond Expert

Alicia Briggs | July 14, 2023

A Radiant cut diamond is one of the newest and rarest diamond cuts. Radiant cut diamond engagement rings have steadily gained popularity, thanks to their captivating brilliance and elongated square shape.

Read on to discover what Radiant cuts are, what makes them special, and why Radiant cut VRAI created diamonds may be right for you.

We’ve included expert advice from VRAI’s Sr. Director of Sales & CX, Grace Taylor, and Lead Diamond Expert, Queena Chang, to break down everything you need to know before buying.

What Is the Radiant Cut?

A Radiant cut diamond is a rectangular-shaped diamond that has a modified brilliant cut with 70 facets. Due to its faceting structure, this diamond shape has dazzling scintillation and fire.

Its unique appearance and stunning brilliance make Radiants one of the most popular and sought-after diamond shapes available today for engagement rings and fine jewelry designs.

History of the Radiant Cut Diamond

The original design of the Radiant cut diamond was created in 1977 by Henry Grossbard. He wanted to apply the brilliance of a Round Brilliant cut diamond to a rectangular diamond shape that rivaled an Emerald cut diamond.

Radiant cuts took a few years to gain recognition, but by the 1980s, they became one of the most desirable diamond shapes. While still relatively rare, Radiant cut diamonds have remained in demand since - commonly chosen for engagement rings and favored by many major celebrities.

Pros and Cons of the Radiant Cut

If you’re considering choosing a Radiant cut diamond, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons before buying. Radiant cut diamonds are a relatively modern cut that many people haven’t heard about or tried.

“I would highly recommend trying them if you’re interested in the Emerald cut but would like the brilliance of a Round or Oval cut,” explains Queena Chang. “I find them to be contemporary, eye-catching, and glamorous. They are a great match for a client who wants something unique with classic inspirations.”

While the decision on your VRAI created diamond is entirely up to you, our diamond experts have some thoughts to help guide you.


  • Scintillating brilliance. “Radiants glitter like crazy because of their faceting pattern,” explains Grace Taylor.

  • Unique Appearance. “My favorite thing about Radiants is that more than any other shape when someone sees a Radiant in the wild for the first time, they always excitedly ask, ‘What IS that?” says Taylor. “They're a perfect bridge of the geometry of the Emerald shape with the pizzazz of a brilliant cut.”

  • Durability. Thanks to their beveled corners, Radiants are less prone to chipping than other square-shaped diamonds (like the Princess cut).

  • Maximizes carat weight. Due to their elongated form and optimal brilliance, Radiant cut diamonds often appear larger than their carat weight.


  • Larger table. “The biggest con for a radiant is that the table is quite large. It can collect oils from hands, lotions, makeup, etc, so you have to keep them clean to ensure they’re sparkly,” Taylor advises.

  • Enhances color. Radiants will show color variations more than other shapes. Opt for a higher color grade to ensure a beautiful overall appearance.

  • Rarity. Radiant cut diamonds are a relatively rare diamond shape. This can make it harder to find a Radiant diamond that suits your preferences.

Evaluating the Radiant Cut: The Diamond 4Cs

Understanding the diamond 4Cs will help verify that you’re buying a high-quality Radiant cut diamond. For Radiant cut diamonds, prioritize quality cut and color.

“Due to their brilliance, I would recommend focusing on the color grade of the diamond, and would sacrifice on clarity, as it is extremely difficult to see any inclusions in this cut,” Chang advises.


With 70 brilliant cut facets, a quality diamond cut will ensure that a Radiant cut diamond has peak brilliance. This hides inclusions and reflects light beautifully. All VRAI created Radiant cut diamonds have an Excellent cut grade.


Color differences are more noticeable in Radiant cuts due to their larger table, so it's important to prioritize diamond color. A Radiant cut diamond with an H color grade or above will appear clear and with no visible color variations.

However, if you’re choosing a white gold or platinum setting, prioritize a colorless Radiant diamond to ensure that there is no subtle yellow tint against the white band.


Clarity does not need to be prioritized as much as the other 4Cs for Radiants. Radiants are more forgiving of inclusions, which makes it easier to find a diamond with fewer inclusions and more brilliance.

An S1 or S2 Radiant cut diamond will still look beautiful and brilliant while allowing you to save, as clarity affects diamond pricing.


Thanks to its elongated form, Radiant cut diamonds maximize their carat weight. You can save on carat weight and still have a larger diamond.

However, Radiants do tend to carry most of their weight on the pavilion, which can slightly hide their size from face up. If you choose a 1-carat or smaller Radiant cut diamond, consider settings that will amplify its size, like a Halo setting.

What Are the Best Settings for Radiant Cut Diamonds?

Radiant cut diamonds will look stunning in any engagement ring setting, but Solitaire settings are the most popular choice for Radiant cuts. Halo and Three Stone settings are also consistently sought after for Radiant cut diamonds.

“I like settings that show off the clipped corner of the Radiant, which isn’t something you normally see as they’re usually covered by prongs,” explains Taylor. The Curator or The Signature 6 Prong will do this beautifully.

Famous Radiant Cut Diamond Rings

Favored by celebrities, there are numerous famous Radiant cut diamonds. Most notable is Jennifer Lopez’s 6.1-carat pink Radiant diamond in a three stone setting, estimated at $2.5 million.

A few other famous Radiant cut diamonds include Khloe Kardashians’s 12.5-carat Radiant cut engagement ring, Megan Fox’s Halo set Radiant ring, Hillary Duff’s 14-carat Three stone Radiant cut ring, and Drew Barrymore’s 4-carat Radiant cut diamond ring.

Radiant Cut Diamond FAQs: Ask a Diamond Expert

Below you’ll find commonly asked questions for Radiant cut diamonds with answers from our VRAI diamond experts.

Which Carat Weight Is Best for Radiant Cut Diamonds?

Radiant cut diamonds look beautiful at any carat weight. There is no best carat weight for this shape as it comes down to personal preference and budget. Diamond carat price greatly determines the overall price of a Radiant cut diamond, so consider that when choosing your carat weight.

A 1-carat Radiant cut diamond will look eye-catching and stunning due to its elongated form. But if you have a maximalist style or a higher budget, consider 2 carats and up.

Radiant Cut Diamonds Vs. Emerald Cut Diamonds

The main difference between a Radiant cut diamond and an Emerald cut diamond is their facets. Radiant cut diamonds have modified brilliant facets, while Emerald cut diamonds have step-cut facets that ascend and descend.

“While Radiants and Emeralds share the same outline, they are night and day in comparison,” says Chang. “Emerald cuts have a very classic step cut faceting to them, which provides more of a ‘hall of mirrors’ look. If you prefer a more subtle diamond, I would recommend trying an Emerald cut. The Radiant, on the other hand, has a mixed cut. This creates a ‘crushed ice’ look, and draws the eye in with its light performance.”

Are All Radiant Cut Diamonds Square?

Not all Radiants are square. “Radiants can range quite a bit in their length to width, from a true square (1.0-1.05) to much more rectangular,” explains Taylor.

What Is the Ideal Length to Width Ratio for Radiant Cut Diamonds?

“Our Radiants generally have a 1.1-1.15 length-to-width ratio. This gives them a slightly fatter shape than an Emerald, but still a visual elongation,” says Taylor. “We find that the ratio we cut is a great combination of width and length, and allows the diamond ideal finger coverage.”

Are Radiant Diamonds More Expensive?

Radiant cut diamonds are considerably less expensive than Round Brilliant cut diamonds. They are a great choice for budget-conscious shoppers who love a brilliant cut. Plus, their larger size can give the appearance of a more expensive diamond.

The total cost of a Radiant cut diamond will depend on the diamond grade, carat weight, and setting (if you’re buying a Radiant diamond ring).

At the time of publication, a loose 1-carat Radiant cut VRAI created diamond with I color, SII clarity, and an Excellent cut starts at $834.

How Popular Is a Radiant Cut Diamond?

Radiant cut diamonds are consistently chosen by those who love their unique shape, but they are still quite rare. Only 2% of diamonds sold are Radiant cut diamonds.

Shop Radiant Cut Diamonds With Our Diamond Experts

Explore Radiant cut VRAI created diamonds online or in one of our showrooms to find the lab-grown diamond that’s perfect for you.

virtual appointment with diamond expert meeting with potential customers over a call on a computer
virtual appointment with diamond expert meeting with potential customers over a call on a computer

Consult with a diamond expert

Speak with our diamond experts and enjoy:

  • Personalized guidance to select your ring
  • In-depth diamond 4C education
  • Exclusive in-store fittings or virtual try-ons
  • Custom design options

Speak with our diamond experts and enjoy:

  • Personalized guidance to select your ring
  • In-depth diamond 4C education
  • Exclusive in-store fittings or virtual try-ons
  • Custom design options