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It is probably every woman\'s dream to be given a beautiful diamond ring from the man she loves. However, since the ring is going to be worn for a very long time, it is wise for both the man and his lady to know all they can about the different cuts and shapes of diamonds before choosing that perfect symbol of their love and commitment.

There are seven basic shapes of diamonds that are most popular today. They are: round, pear, heart, oval, marquise, emerald, and princess. The trendiest shapes right now are those that look \"square\" such as the emerald and princess types, but it\'s hard to go wrong with any shape. It really is a matter of personal taste. One word of caution, however: if the lady has very small hands, a large stone will overwhelm it and become impractical to wear over the long term. Good judgement is always in style: bigger does not mean better.

The cut of a diamond refers not to its shape as described above, but rather to the way the diamond is cut across its surface to maximize its hidden brilliance and luster. How a diamond is cut will determine the amount of light it will reflect both from its external facets as well as its internal facets all the way at the bottom of the stone near the setting.

Most rings today are cut in the \"round brilliant\" style because it maximizes the amount of carat in a stone without sacrificing its brilliant fire from within and luster from without. Generally speaking, the more facets in the cut of the diamond, the more light it will be able to reflect. Consequently, square shaped diamonds that do not permit the extensive use of different facets are not as likely to have as much \"fire\" as the more intricately cut rounder ones. However, many modern brides are willing to sacrifice a little brilliance for the novelty of its shape.

One popular trend is to surround the princess- or emerald-cut center stone with a series of more brilliant rounder ones. The popular \"invisible setting\" method used for many designs makes it look as if the main stone is surrounded by a seamless band of fire.

Understanding the different shapes and cuts of diamonds will help to ensure that the bride will be receiving a ring she will wear and love for years, because she will know exactly what she is getting and choose accordingly