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Round Cut Diamonds: Ask A Diamond Expert

Kimberly Zerkel | November 16, 2022

Kimberly Zerkel | November 16, 2022

Round cut diamonds are the most popular of all diamond shapes in the world. Beyond its timeless and versatile appeal, the Round Brilliant cut itself was created for ultimate brilliance. The unique arrangement of its facets is optimal for interacting with the light, which is why the Round Brilliant is also considered the most brilliant diamond of them all.

VRAI’s diamond experts are well-versed in the many details that set this classically elegant shape apart. Queen Chang and Snait Ohayon are important members of VRAI’s diamond expert team and are GIA Graduate Gemologists. Read on to discover their insights on Round cut diamonds — and discover why this beloved VRAI created diamond shape might be right for you.

What Is A Round Cut Diamond?

True to its name, a Round cut diamond appears round when looking at it from the top down. It’s known for its modified brilliant cut (as opposed to the step cup that appears in certain square or rectangular diamond shapes, like Emerald or Asscher cut diamonds. It is the most sought-after diamond shape for engagement rings and fine jewelry.

Gemologist and diamond expert Queena explains that part of its popularity is due to its historical relevance.

“One of the oldest cuts for diamonds is the Old Mine Cut, which was first popularized in the Georgian and Victorian Eras. This shape was achieved by taking a mined diamond’s octahedron shape, and rubbing two of them together to form the soft cushion/off round outline, and then faceting the 57 or 58 facets that we now see in modern Round Brilliants,” Queena says.

GIA Graduate Gemologist Snait believes that it’s also the Round’s renowned brilliance that makes it so coveted.

“A round cut diamond has been planned and engineered to produce the most sparkle,” Snait says. “With a well-cut round diamond, the brilliance, fire, and scintillation will impress in any jewelry. Another benefit of having Round brilliant diamond is that even with a smaller carat weight,and without the largest face-up table of the diamond, its greater sparkle will make it appear bigger. That's why this is also the most popular shape used for earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and engagement rings, of course.”

What Is A Round Diamond Called?

In the diamond industry, a round diamond is almost always called a Round Brilliant. The “brilliant” refers to its cut and facets.

“Modified brilliant cut diamond is a variation of a brilliant cut diamond,” Snait explains. “Modified brilliant cuttings on the pavilion have become very popular and we can see it in other shapes: Marquise, Heart, Princess, Cushion, Oval, Radiant, and even our Trillions. Still, the Round Brilliant with 57 or 58 facets will sparkle and shine more with a quality cut.”

How Many Facets Are In A Round Cut Diamond?

“The Round Brilliant usually will have 58 or 57 facets, depending on whether or not there is a culet,” gemologist Queena says, emphasizing that VRAI created Round Brilliant cut diamonds have 57. “There are various different kinds of facets in a Round Brilliant that contribute to the brilliance of the diamond as they all come together to either let in light or reflect the light back to the eye.”

How Many Millimeters Is A 1 Carat Round Diamond?

“A typical 1.00 ct Round Brilliant tends to be about 6.5mm in diameter. Round brilliants are unique in the fact that they tend to be much more calibrated in the size compared to other shapes. Please note that other shapes can vary in dimension depending on the length to width ratios or the depth of the diamond,” says diamond expert Queena.

How Large Does A Round Cut Diamond Appear?

A diamond’s carat weight shows differently, depending on the diamond shape. A Round Brilliant is often considered truest to its carat weight. Moving up in carat weight does impact its appearance, but going from 1 to 2 carats does not automatically double its perceived size.

On average, a 2 carat Round Brilliant cut diamond will appear around 50% larger than a 1 carat diamond of the same shape. And a 3 carat Round Brilliant cut diamond will appear around 15% larger than a 2 carat diamond of the same shape (so roughly 65% larger than a 1 carat Round).

How Does A Round Diamond Compare To Other Shapes?

Each diamond shape displays their carat weight differently. A Round cut is truest to its carat weight, Princess, Asscher, and Cushions can appear smaller, and elongated fancy shapes like Ovals, Pears, and especially Marquise can appear larger.

One of the main points of comparison between a Round and other shapes is price.

GIA Graduate Gemologist Snait explains that, “...round diamonds require that more rough be removed during cutting and polishing than with other shapes. The significant weight loss during cutting is the main contributing factor to the relatively higher price of the Round Brilliant shape.”

Oval Vs. Round Diamonds

Ovals and Rounds are both highly sought after. But what’s the difference between the two?

“These two shapes are the most popular shapes, with Round being the most popular, closely followed by the Oval,” diamond expert Queena states. “Some may say that the Oval appears larger for its size due to the length of the diamond, but both would be fantastic options to consider due to their popularity!”

Do Cushion Cut Diamonds Look Larger Than Round Cut Diamonds?

Cushion cuts will look similar but slightly smaller than the Round Brilliant!” Queena explains. “This is due to the depth of Cushion cuts. They tend to be deeper cut than the Round Brilliant, hence the weight tends to be carried more to the bottom of the diamond.”

Cushions, although a modern shape, are a wonderful choice for those looking for vintage-inspired engagement rings.

Do Princess Cut Diamonds Look Larger Than Round Cut Diamonds?

The perfectly square Princess cut is a popular choice and is beloved for its contemporary, clean look. But size-wise, how does it compare?

“The Round will look bigger than the Princess cut!” Queena continues. “The Princess cut also tends to be a deeper cut than the Round, meaning that more of the weight will be towards the bottom of the diamond.”

What Are The Best Round Diamond Settings?

Not only is a Round Brilliant lab-grown diamond timelessly elegant, but it’s versatile enough to work with a multitude of engagement ring settings. You should always choose your setting based on personal preference. But here are just some of the styles to consider to display its beauty to perfection.

Classic Solitaire Round Settings

Simple engagement rings, like a Classic, Signature Solitaire, or Knife-Edge engagement ring setting, are a perfect match for the Round Brilliant. The minimal and delicate details paired with traditional elegance of a Round is what makes these styles the top-three best-sellers.

The Classic
The Signature
The Knife-Edge

Multi-Stone Round Settings

What’s better than a Round Brilliant diamond? Several Round Brilliants all in one! For those looking for even more brilliance, multi-stone settings are best. A Toi et Moi setting highlighting a Round and Oval side-by-side is a perfect way of comparing and contrasting these two most popular shapes. A Three Stone engagement ring with a trio of Round Brilliants or a Round surrounded by other shapes is sure to stand out. And a Graduated Band engagement ring with a Round at its center is the ultimate expression of this shape’s beauty.

The Graduated Band
The Three Stone
The Toi et Moi

Unique Round Settings

For a Round Brilliant engagement ring that is a twist on traditional, consider some of today’s most modern-yet-timeless styles. For those looking for a little extra gold, a Curator, Double Band, or Duet engagement ring are ideal. The Floating Solitaire, Floating Split Band, and Classic Hidden Halo feature hidden diamond details. And the Hover or Signature V display your Round in a thoroughly contemporary way.

The Double Band
The Floating Split Band
The Hover

Speak A Diamond Expert About Round Cut Diamonds

The best way to get all your questions about Round cut diamonds answered is through a complimentary appointment with our diamond experts. Whether speaking with Snait, Queena, or one of our many other talented team members, you’ll receive personalized guidance and in-depth diamond education to help you buy the diamond engagement ring of your dreams. Get one step closer to finding the Round cut diamond engagement ring meant for you by booking now.

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