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If we were to compare the popularity of all types and cuts of diamond, the round cut brilliant diamond far eclipses the others as the most popular kind. It’s the cut you think of when you think of diamonds, with that classic circular table and girdle that tapers into a fine point. In movies, TV series, in advertisements and other pieces of popular culture, these diamonds are the quintessential look.
So how do you find the perfect one? Why are they so popular? How much do they cost? We’ll answer all these questions and more.
What Is a Round Cut Brilliant Diamond?
58 facets. A symmetrical shape. A table ranging from 55-59%, and a depth of 60.1-62.6%. These are the features that make a Round Cut Brilliant diamond. But they’re so much more than that.
In 1919, a groundbreaking piece of jewelry history was published. Marcel Tolkowsky’s Diamond Design: A Study of the Reflection and Refraction of Light in Diamond expertly analyzed the Round Brilliant diamond, and noted the aspects that created the ideal structure for light refraction. His work spawned a huge interest in the Round Cut, after people realized how and why Round Cuts were so brilliant. Tolkowsky’s study showed how the Round Brilliant Cut utilizes its 58 facets to create the optimal reflection. In comparison to all other diamond cuts, the Round Cut is synonymous with brilliance.
The Round Cut is a more modern ancestor of the Old European cut. This older cut has facets that contain triangular blocks, which does provide a notably vintage style—a quality enjoyed by fans of older styles. However, with the thinner facets of the Round Brilliant help it to shine remarkably.
How Good Are Round Cut Brilliant Diamond?
As we stated, Round Cut diamonds are the most popular by far. They actually make up more than two-thirds of all diamonds sold globally. So what makes them so popular? There are a number of reasons.
The Brilliance of Round Cut Diamonds
Brilliance is another term for sparkle. The white light you can see reflecting off the different parts of a diamond as it moves within a light source? That’s brilliance. When a Round Cut is done to high quality (such as an Ideal Cut), it gives off more brilliance than any other type of diamond.
This is the ‘brilliance’ image from a 1.021 ct D IF A CUT ABOVE® Hearts and Arrows Diamond offered by Whiteflash. As you can see, multiple packets of white light are being reflected by the superior cut of this diamond. Image credit: Whiteflash
If you find a superior quality Round Cut diamond, you’ve got something truly beautiful on your hands. For many years, diamond cutters and sellers have realised that they are the very best of the best when it comes to visual opulence, and so there is over 100 years of knowledge and experience that goes into creating them today. There’s not much else that can boast such a fulfilled history.
A Versatile Diamond
The most classic design for a diamond, Round Cut Brilliants suit being set into literally any setting. From engagement rings to necklaces, earrings to bracelets and more. With such versatility in terms of design, there’s not much stopping you from creating something timeless and elegant.
A Diamond Filled with Fire
Fire is the word given to colored light that is refracted by a diamond, alongside the brilliance of white light. White light contains all colors, and so it can be ‘split’ when refracted, resulting in diamonds that gleam with a rainbow of color. Due to their facets, Round Cut diamonds display fantastic levels of fire.
This image of Whiteflash’s 1.027 ct D VVS1 A CUT ABOVE® Hearts and Arrows Diamond shows how fire is produced. Note the variety of colors that is given off by the diamond. Image credit: Whiteflash
How Much Do Round Cut Brilliant Diamonds Cost?
Due to their popularity, and the high level of quality you’re likely to find, Round Cut Brilliant diamonds have some of the largest pricetags on the market today. However, they will all cost different amounts based on a variety of characteristics, such as clarity and carat weight.
An interesting feature of the creation of Round Cut diamonds is that, upon completion, they probably only make up 40% of the original uncut stone. This huge drop in the original stone size naturally leads to a much higher price than, say, a princess cut, which uses around 80% of the original stone to be completed.
Also, the Four Cs (four very important features of any diamond that any buyer should become familiar with), will greatly affect the price. For example, the size of a diamond is, of course, a huge price setter. But the cost of a Round Cut Brilliant Diamond is more complex than that.
Compare these two diamonds, both offered by James Allen.
Image credit: James Allen
Image credit: James Allen
|Carat: 1.03||Carat: 1.03|
|Cut: Ideal||Cut: Good|
|Color: E||Color: H|
|Clarity grade: IF||Clarity: VS1|
These two diamonds are both 1.03 carats and so are the same weight, but there is around a $4,000 difference in price. This is due to the other factors—Cut, Color, and Clarity (click the links to learn more about these). If you’re looking to purchase a diamond, read up on these characteristics and investigate which gradings the diamond you’re interested in has. They can be a good sign that you’re getting a good deal, or even a bad one. For example, if you see a diamond that has 1.01 ctw, SI1 clarity, F color, and a fair-quality cut for $20,000, it’s safe to say this deal will definitely rip off anyone who goes for it.
Another factor that affects the price of Round Cut Brilliant diamonds is the popularity of them. As with the laws of economics, if something is in demand it is, more often than not, more expensive.
This all being said, it’s perfectly possible to find a good quality Round Cut Brilliant diamond for a very fair price. You just need to know what to look for.
What To Look For in a Round Cut Brilliant Diamond
The first thing you need to know is that not all diamonds are created equal, and neither are the deals that they’re included in. Take your time, do your research, and you’ll find that buying something as expensive as a diamond can be a lot easier than expected. But here’s some key starting points to help you:
Always Look for an Eye-Clean Diamond
Eye-clean is a term used in reference to the clarity of a diamond, which is its internal purity. Now, most high-quality diamonds will be eye-clean, which means any impurity that they may have (most diamonds have these ‘inclusions’ due to their natural formation over countless years) are invisible to the naked eye. If a diamond isn’t eye-clean, it means those impurities can be seen by wearers and viewers, which is not a desirable trait in a diamond at all.
Choose a High-Graded Color
The differences in diamond color can be harder to see in a Round Cut Brilliant because of the diamond’s ability to reflect it. This can be a benefit, as it can make lower graded diamond colors (where diamonds begin to have a yellow tinge) less noticeable. Because of this concealment factor, color is still important, but it’s not crucial to get right.
However, we will always recommend a higher color grade. The D grading refers to a colorless diamond, which is the highest grading. Z is the lowest grading, which can mean either a brown or yellow hue.
Choose a Clarity Grade of VS2 or Above
VS2 is the beginning of the higher levels of clarity grading. VS1 is an incredibly popular grading, as it supplies the beauty of higher-graded diamonds (such as VVS1 and IF) but has a much lower cost.
Diamonds with clarity levels at these gradings will naturally be eye-clean, meaning you don’t have to worry about your diamond having any noticeable inclusions.
Where To Find the Best Round Brilliant Diamonds
Finding diamonds is actually easy. The market is absolutely full of retailers telling you they’re giving you the best deals, which means there is a wide margin of deals you should make an effort to avoid. So how can you guarantee finding a good quality diamond from a reputable retailer?
Fortunately, we’ve already analyzed a wide variety of the best-known sellers out there (which you can read through in our diamond reviews section). Through our years of research, we’ve come to some very positive conclusions—there is not just one company you should buy from, there are three: Whiteflash, James Allen, and Blue Nile.
These companies all have a long history of offering fantastic quality diamonds, and each have their own strengths that make them stand out amongst the rest. You can read about these for yourself:
- Read our review of Blue Nile - large selection of diamonds
- Read our review of James Allen - great for fancy color diamonds
- Read our review of Whiteflash - best of the best diamond cut quality
- Read our review of Brilliant Earth - best for lab diamonds
These three companies also offer you the ability to buy diamonds from the comfort of your own home. If you’d like to find out more information on whether you should buy a diamond online, you should read our blog on the subject.