Over the years over 20,000 brides and grooms have asked me that question. Often they were told, by presumably well intentioned sales people that they should buy a round or brilliant cut, because it holds its value better or that it is a better investment.
I must respectfully disagree with this point of view.
It is true that the round reflects light somewhat better than most other shapes - the princess cut being the exception.
But is the real purpose of buying this stone to use it as an investment?
For me even bringing up that concept takes all the romance, all the loving symbolism that an engagement ring represents right out of the moment.
In questioning brides and grooms who start with requesting a round, I often find out that what the bride really want is another shape altogether.
The groom to be has not been interested or exposed to engagement rings the way his bride to be has. She has been looking at everyone's ring since probably childhood.
She often knows very definitely what she likes and what she doesn't. It is important and appropriate for a couple who have been dating a long time and have discussed the possibility of getting engaged to discuss what kind of ring and stone she likes.
If your boyfriend hasn't asked - tell him - this is what I like and this is what I don't. Eventually it is going to be on your finger every day. You are going to have to look at it every day.
This should not be a business decision, or a decision made by what the man likes. It is important for the woman to make her wants known - a good exercise for any future issues that require discussion and possible compromise.
Heart shaped, Oval, Princess Cut, Marquis, Pear shaped, Trillion, Emerald cut, all have their fascination and beauty - as with all things - beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Word of caution:
With what we call 'Fancy Shapes', making sure that the stone has proper cut becomes even more important. Stones that are too shallow or too deep, not symetric, etc. will not reflect the light properly
In terms of pricing -
1. rounds are the most expensive
2. princess cuts second
3. pears and marquises third
4. emerald cut forth
5. oval fifth
6. trillions sixth
There are some specialty cut stones that maybe copyrighted - most of this is for marketing purposes - with a heavy dollar premium - usually sold at upscale jewelers.
Although we don't recommend them, if you have the funds and you love the stone, go for it.