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These are the 11 diamond shapes to choose from when buying (or subtly suggesting!) an engagement ring

Getting engaged can be one of the most exciting days of a person's life, but while planning the perfect proposal may feel tricky, buying the ring can be just as much of a minefield.

You can 'like' thousands of pictures of diamond rings on Instagram and swoon over your friends' sparklers, but deciding what you actually want to buy consists of a lot of decision making - whether you're picking out your own or secretly shopping for your significant other.

Just a quick glance at any diamond jeweller's website will confirm that things may not be as simple as you initially thought, with seemingly endless letters and numbers accompanying each individual diamond that impact hugely on the price.

Here's everything you need to consider when buying your engagement ring, from diamond shape to the crucial '4Cs' (Cut, Colour, Clarity & Carat).

1. Round

The round brilliant is the most popular shape of diamond. Timeless, traditional and universally loved, it offers maximum fire and offers great flexibility within the 4Cs.

Image: @diamondsdirect/Instagram

2. Asscher

Often referred to as 'square-emerald' diamonds, the asscher-cut is super chic and art-deco in style thanks to its unique step-cut facets. It suits statement-making people with a romantic fondness for nostalgia.

8. Emerald

Super unique due to its step-cut facets, much like the asscher the emerald doesn't hide its imperfections (such as poor colour or clarity) due to the large open table which isn't disguised by the sparkles of a round.

4. Pear

A beautiful teardrop shape, the pear-cut diamond gives the finger a slender appearance due to the stone's point while retaining a soft look thanks to the rounded edge.

Image: @weddingchicks/Instagram

5. Heart

Combining the brilliance of a round-cut diamond with the elegance of a marquise-cut, the heart is a perfectly romantic and super contemporary stone to opt for.

6. Marquise

The marquise is one for lovers of size, as it often appears far larger than its carat weight suggests. Similarly to the pear-cut, it elongates the finger and makes for a super feminine look.

7. Oval

Ovals provide the fire of a round with a more streamlined shape that accentuates long and slender fingers. It's a super popular stone right now, and gives a more modern spin on the classic round.

3. Radiant

Radiant-cuts combine the rectangular shape of an emerald-cut and the brilliance of a round. Full of fire, this is the sparkliest stone with straight edges.

Image: @michael.alan.jewelers/Instagram

9. Trillion

A triangle-shaped stone with slightly rounded sides, the trillion has all the fire of a round in a more unusual shape. Often used as side stones, it's fast becoming a popular choice of its own.

10. Cushion

Unsurprisingly pillow-like in shape, the cushion is available as a square or rectangle and has slightly rounded edges. It has large facets and a lot of fire thanks to its impressive brilliance.

11. Princess

Also available in square or rectangular cuts, the princess has almost unbeatable fire due to the way light is emitted. With strong, angular lines, it has a pyramidal shape that works particularly well in a solitaire setting.

This originally appeared on Glamour UK

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