September 17, 2023
The round brilliant is the most classic diamond shape revered for its unmatched fire and brilliance. Its concentric circles of facets have been precision crafted for centuries to optimally interact with light. This guide will cover everything you need to know about round brilliant diamonds including cutting style, grading factors, settings, comparisons and FAQs.
Round diamonds have been fashioned since antiquity. But the modern round brilliant evolved slowly through centuries of experimentation with faceting arrangements.
In 1919, mathematician Marcel Tolkowsky published calculated proportions to optimize diamond brilliance and fire through precise faceting. His calculations formed the basis for ideal cut standards today.
Advancements in the 20th century enabled the crafting of round diamonds with excellent symmetry, polish and light performance. The traditional round brilliant has reigned supreme as “the classic” ever since.
The round brilliant is defined by 58 precisely aligned facets and careful attention to symmetry:
Maintaining proper crown and pavilion angles is key for maximizing brilliance and dispersion (rainbow sparkle). An ideal cut will have 41.5 degree crown angles and 40.75 pavilion angle.
Round brilliant diamonds are graded using the same 4Cs characteristics as all diamond shapes:
With rounds, always prioritize cut quality, symmetry and polish over carat weight to maximize beauty and light performance.
Round diamonds pair elegantly with both modern and traditional settings:
The round diamond works with virtually any ring style. Keep the setting streamlined to avoid distracting from the stone.
Price ranges for a 1 carat round diamond:
Rounds typically sell at a 10-20% premium over fancy shape diamonds of similar carat, clarity and color. Their craftsmanship warrants the pricing difference.
How does brilliance compare to other diamond shapes?
The ideal round brilliant reflects light back through the crown with the highest brilliance and fire of any shape when optimally cut.
Should I choose GIA Excellent or AGS 0 Ideal cut?
Both signify excellent light performance. AGS has stricter standards but also costs more. Optimal GIA Excellent rounds offer exceptional value.
Can a round diamond ever have a bow tie?
Rarely, poorly cut rounds may show an undesirable dark bow tie effect in the center. Avoid rounds with strong, dark bow ties.
Do rounds show more color than princess cuts?
No. Near colorless rounds and princess cuts face up similarly bright. Hues are more apparent in emerald cuts. Rounds hide color well.
Should I buy the largest possible round diamond?
No, prioritizing carat weight over cut can reduce beauty. Choose the optimal combination of cut, clarity and size based on your budget.
For over a century, the round brilliant has remained the most optically stunning and sought-after diamond shape. When expertly cut and proportioned, round diamonds deliver unmatched brilliance, life, and allure.
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