Talking about trillion cut diamonds...
Always the bridesmaid, never the bride: that’s how trillion cut diamonds spent their days until recently!😽 These uniquely shaped stones are often a top pick for side or accent stones, offering a futuristic appeal that highlights any diamond shape. However, as unusual silhouettes take center stage in engagement jewelry, trillion cut gems are experiencing an increase in popularity, getting their chance in the spotlight as more couples choose them as a center stone. But are they a good choice as the main event in your engagement ring? Let’s look at the details of trillion-shaped diamonds, including basics, what to look for, pricing, and more.
Basics: What is a trillion cut?
So what exactly is a trillion cut? And how did it come to be? Let’s start our journey with the ins and outs of trillion cut diamonds:
Very little is known about the history of trillion cut diamonds. Most experts associate them with the 1960s, as that’s when the Henry Meyer Diamond Company of New York trademarked the shape. However, the cut is actually much older, appearing in Amsterdam around the 18th century. The shape became popular as a side stone in the 1970s thanks to its contemporary appeal and provocative design: no one gemstone shape looks quite like the trillion!
You may also see the terms “trilliant” and “trillian” used to describe this cut, and we promise they’re all the same beautiful silhouette. 👉🏻“Triliant” is actually the name trademarked by the Henry Meyer Diamond Company, as it’s a play on how the design combines a triangular silhouette with a brilliant cut. So, if you see these names mentioned when shopping for stones, rest assured you’re looking at trillion cut gems!🤘🏻
Like we mentioned before, a trillion cut is a triangle, and it features three equal sides. It has a flat table and typically 50 brilliant-cut facets for enhanced fire and brilliance, but those cut as side stones will have roughly 31-37 facets since they’re often much smaller. The long sides of the trillion cut diamond make it appear visually larger, and it also has a rather impressive surface area that makes it look bigger than other diamonds of equal carat weight. You may also find some trillion cuts with flat sides while others may appear convex, but we’ll go over that in detail when we discuss shape appeal!
Trillion and pear cut: What’s the difference?
The cut that’s the closest to the trillion in design is most likely the pear cut. With its pointed tip and rounded wings, this shape has much of the same appeal, but it’s still rather different than a trillion diamond.
For starters, the pear cut features one point and two wings, whereas a trillion cut stone always has three points. Additionally, pear cuts have a slightly elongated silhouette, so what they may lack in surface area they make up for in extra length that can make your finger appear longer and thinner. Pear cuts can also suffer from the bow-tie effect—or a darkened bow-tie shape at their core—while trillions do not have this issue. Overall, both shapes are lovely additions to any engagement ring, but the pear cut has found much more popularity in the last decade than the trillion cut.
We’ll be honest: there are no specific measurements for an “ideal” trillion cut diamond. The cut can vary enough that there are no exact measurements or characteristics to look out for. That being said, there are some suggested parameters trillion-lovers prefer given the shape and personality of the cut, and these measurements can offer excellent fire, brilliance, and scintillation. Here’s what we recommend:✍🏻
Cut is always the most important factor when choosing a diamond, and trillion cuts are notoriously shallow. So what does that mean? Well, if a cut is too shallow, it can impact brilliance and fire, which puts a major damper on overall sparkle. However, their shallow cut is also what gives trillion diamonds their extra surface area, making them look larger than other shapes of the same carat weight. To combat any issues with shallowness, we recommend staying within these parameters for a nicely cut trillion stone:
- Depth: 32% – 48%
- Table: 50% – 70%
- Length to width ratio (L/W): 1.00 – 1.10
⚠️Additionally, polish and symmetry are a big part of the equation, and we suggest at least “Good” or “Better” grades for both. When shapes have points, it’s important that they are uniform and equidistant, so just make sure your trillion cut diamond has three equally cut corners as well as three equally long sides. Think about an equilateral triangle from your grade school math books: that’s what we want to see in a trillion cut stone!
Color is a secondary concern when it comes to choosing a trillion cut diamond, but for any couple that absolutely requires a white diamond it can seem incredibly important. Luckily, trillion cuts are pretty neutral with the potential for some minor color pooling near their points. As such, an H color or better diamond will look white even in a platinum or white gold setting. If you’re looking at rose or yellow gold for your setting instead, you can even opt for a J color diamond and it will still look white against these yellow-based metals. 🎃Choosing a color grade closer to H also saves you money so you can spend it later on a better cut, a more elaborate engagement ring setting, the wedding itself, etc.
Like color, clarity is another concern when looking at trillion cut stones, but you still want to make sure your diamond is eye clean for unmarred sparkle. For the best value and brilliance, try to stick to trillion diamonds with an SI grade or better. We mentioned that trillion cuts are part of the brilliant cut family, and these stones with fractal sparkle are much better at hiding minor inclusions than their step-cut cousins. So, as long as you look for stones with a grade of SI or above, you should be able to find an eye clean stone perfect for your ring.
In addition to symmetry, there are a few other shape characteristics you’ll want to look out for. Remember when we said we’re looking for an equilateral triangle? That’s still the goal, but the appearance of your triangle’s sides and corners can vary depending on what you like best.
The sides of your trillion cut diamond may be flat or rounded depending on your personal taste.😊 Flat sides are ideal for an edgy, geometric look, offering a modern take on this classic shape. Or, maybe you’d prefer rounded sides that give the traditionally rigid trillion shape a softer silhouette perfect for vintage or feminine settings, much like the cushion cut’s pillowy edges.
Do you like sharp or rounded corners? This is just another question you’ll have to ask yourself as you search for your ideal trillion cut diamond. Sharp corners are the norm for trillion cut stones, but they’re more susceptible to breakage and require extra protection and routine checkups from your trusted jeweler to ensure they stay strong. On the other hand, rounded corners give trillion cut diamonds a different look, taking on that softer, less edgy silhouette that may not be perfect for everyone. Do your research and see which corner style best fits your lifestyle: active lifestyles may do better with rounded corners or a protected setting on sharp corners for a trillion cut engagement ring that will withstand the tests of time.
There’s really no set price for a trillion cut diamond, as it can vary widely based on their color, clarity, cut quality, and carat weight. Since trillion cuts are often used as side stones, it can be more difficult to source larger diamonds to use at the center of an engagement ring, meaning you may have to budget accordingly. Our own research shows that you can expect to pay around $1,100 to $1,700 for a 1-carat trillion cut stone of good quality, but your mileage may vary.
That being said, you can always rely on the basic rule that diamond prices increase with size. So, if you’re looking to size up from a standard 1-carat trillion cut diamond to 2, 3, or even 4 carats, just keep in mind you’ll be paying a pretty penny for that extra carat weight! And remember that the higher the clarity and color and the better the cut, the more expensive a stone will be.
If you’re looking at a trillion cut diamond, you’ve probably asked yourself, “What’s the best setting for showing off this cut’s finest features?”. Most settings work well with trillion cuts, but some do shine above the rest. Here are our top picks when it comes to setting your trillion cut stone:
Nothing quite beats a sparkling diamond set on a simple band with little to distract from its natural beauty. That’s why we love solitaire settings for trillion cut gems, because they give each stone a chance to shine. Trillion cuts have a unique shape, so setting them alone on a metal band can give onlookers a chance to take in those angles and brilliance without detracting from the stone’s appeal.😘
However, a simple metal band may not be your thing, and that’s alright too! You may like pavé and channel settings as well, which include tons of little accent diamonds that amp up that white sparkle. Or, you could always opt for a band with colored gemstones to bring a hint of personality to your trillion cut diamond.
Remember when we mentioned that the corners of a trillion cut diamond are susceptible to chipping? Well, a bezel setting can mitigate any concerns you have! A bezel setting encases the diamond in a band of metal, protecting those vulnerable corners or sides from damage. What’s more, they offer a very modern take on the trillion cut’s one-of-a-kind shape, giving it a refined yet subtle sparkle. We say subtle because bezels do technically allow less light to enter the stone, but it’s often not very noticeable, so you should absolutely choose a bezel if you want a setting that provides top-tier protection.
If you don’t want to completely surround your diamond with a bezel, v-prongs can also provide additional protection while allowing plenty of light to reach your trillion cut stone. These prongs sit on both sides of each corner of your diamond, forming a V where they meet at each point. V-prongs cover more surface area than bead or claw prongs, so they offer enhanced security with plenty of room for optimal sparkle. It helps that they’re actually rather stylish looking themselves, too!
If you’re still not sold on a trillion cut center stone, consider using this unique shape for side or accent stones instead! Trillion cut diamonds look amazing as the side stones in a three stone ring, creating a beautiful silhouette that flatters most other diamond shapes.✨ Or, you could add them to a cluster setting or as tiny accents in small clusters on either side of your center stone. The trillion cut doesn’t have to take center stage in your engagement ring, so get creative with how you use this shape!
We’ve talked at length about the finer points of trillion cut stones, but we just wanted to sum everything up so you can see all the details in one place. Here are the pros and cons of choosing a trillion cut stone:
- They offer a unique, futuristic shape that you most likely won’t see in other rings.✅
- They have a greater surface area, which helps them appear larger than other silhouettes of the same size and offer broader finger coverage.
- Trillion cuts can be fairly affordable when compared to other shapes, especially expensive cuts like the round brilliant.
- 👉🏻They provide excellent brilliance and fire compared to other shallow cuts for more sparkle.
- Trillion cuts are somewhat rare and, therefore, hard to find. If you’re looking for a specific size or characteristics, you may just have to search for a while.🙂
- Their corners are fragile and require a protective setting, such as a bezel or v-prongs, which can inhibit light from entering the stone and impact sparkle.
- They can be trickier to set—especially in more intricate settings—due to their awkward shape, so you may limit yourself when it comes to setting design or may have to find a jeweler to create a custom piece for you.
- A shallower cut means trillion cuts require more frequent cleaning, so you’ll need to provide more TLC in the long run.
So where can you buy these titillating, triangular stones? We recommend sticking with reputable online retailers and in-person jewelers who can show you multiple options to help you find the right trillion cut gem for your ring. We’ve compiled a list of online sellers that offer trillion cuts, and we’ve broken them down by whether they focus on center stones or accent stones.
So are you sold on a trillion cut diamond ring or are you still looking for the right stone shape for you? While they’re lovely and unique, a trillion cut may not be your thing, or maybe you’d prefer to have them as side stones rather than at the center of your ring. Either way, they’re an affordable stone shape with one-of-a-kind appeal that’s sure to turn heads!😃 If you’re still on the hunt for the right shape for you, consider a pear or marquise-shaped diamond instead—they’re easier to find and offer a very modern take on the trillion design.