For many decades the round-cut diamond has proven to be the most popular choice of cut. So much so that it makes up over two-thirds of the diamonds thus far sold. Its main appeal lies in its brilliance which is unparalleled. The round cut features 58 facets that all allow for maximum reflection of light. More than any other shape, the round cut is the perfect cut for bringing out the exceptional sparkle and beauty of a diamond.
Also often referred to as the round shape or round brilliant, its perfectly symmetrical nature delivers a timeless look whose elegance and beauty have long been appreciated and will likely continue to be treasured for generations to come. Ideal for those that hope to pass down their jewellery to their younger kin.
What is a round-cut diamond?
The round cut is made up of 58 facets, including the culet, with a cone-like shape. It has a round and symmetrical shape with a slender girdle. The many facets are carefully constructed to ensure the beautiful reflection of light.
It is the best cut for reflecting white light which is what makes it so brilliant. Before the round cut, many other cuts were developed in an attempt to show off the radiance and beauty of gemstones.
The round brilliant cut become more mainstream after the invention of the bruting machine in the late 1800s. Its popularity spiked in 1919 after Marcel Tolkowsky published a study that touted the ideal cut aspects of the Round Brilliant title. From this time onward, the round shape became the most popular choice of cut.
It took over from the Old European cut that did more to show the colour of precious stones than their brilliance. It featured smaller tables and heavier crowns than the round cut. Another key difference was that the Old European maintained facets with triangular blocks whereas the Round Brilliant utilised thinner facets with no culets. You can still see Old European cuts where vintage jewellery is sold.
Why round shape diamond is preferred choice for engagement rings?
If you have been shopping around for an engagement ring, you may have found that most available choices come in a round shape. This design makes up 60% of all engagement rings and 75% of all diamonds sold. So, why are round-cut diamonds so popular?
No other diamond cut allows for the same level of sparkle as a diamond cut. Its 58 facets do an admirable job of allowing for maximum reflection of white light that gives the round cut its brilliance. The ideal cut aspects that make this the most brilliant shape is also why it is popular for other jewellery including necklaces, bracelets, brooches, and other fine jewellery pieces.
The round-cut diamond is considered to be the most beautiful diamond. It has a classic appearance that works well in showing off the beauty of fine gemstones. The diamond cutters that created this cut worked for over a century to find that ideal shape that worked perfectly in revealing the brilliance of the diamond by enabling perfect refraction of light.
When a diamond is exposed to light, there are colourful flashes of light diffused. This is what is referred to as the fire of the diamond and there is no other cut that puts on such a magnificent display as the round cut. The fire gives the diamond more depth of character and beauty. It is part of what makes the round shape to be considered the most beautiful cut.
The round design is a highly versatile one that not only works well in displaying the brilliance and beauty of the gemstone but also makes it ideal for solitaire settings. A single stone can be beautifully set and displayed on its own. Even where you might opt to dress it up in other styles such as with a halo, side stones, or three-stone setting, the results remain stunning. It also works well whether you opt for a modern cut or a more vintage look. This cut also superbly complements the use of coloured gemstones.
The round brilliant retains the value of the diamond very well. Even as style trends change with time. The cut stone can still be adapted without having to change the centre diamond. This means you can modify the engagement ring design or take the ring apart to use the stone in other fine jewellery without issue. Fortunately, a round cut can go well with all types of setting styles and mounting including solitaire, pave, wrap and halos. They also complement side stones of varied colours, cuts, and sizes.
6. Ease of wearing
Since the round cut has no sharp corners, it is easy and safe to wear. You do not have to worry about it getting caught or snagged on fabric. Some cuts like the princess and marquise are known for having sharp corners that can rip fabric easily and can even be used as a weapon. Round cuts are smooth, elegant, and sophisticated.
7. Easy upgrading
Since the round cut continues to be the most popular shape, it is also the easiest to upgrade, sell or pawn. Any good jeweller can do something to improve on such a stone of reasonable quality. This is part of what also makes it a good choice if hoping to pass it on to future generations.
The 58 facets of a round cut allow it to easily disguise internal flaws. The fire and brilliance of the stone distract from the tiny inclusions, allowing a buyer to only see perfect clarity. Other cuts like the emerald tend to magnify flaws, causing buyers to look for stones with better clarity and thus more expensive stones. Colour grade is an important consideration under the 4Cs of diamond grading. With a round cut nearly colourless stones manage to look brighter and whiter than with other cuts. This allows buyers to enjoy better value for their money when opting for round cuts.
9. Timeless look
As said, the round cut has been around for centuries but was perfected in the more recent centuries. Through all that time, this design has been greatly prized for its beauty and elegance. Its classic appearance continues to very much be in vogue despite the passage of time and will likely enjoy popularity for generations to come.
Because of how brilliant round cut stones appear, this feature makes them better able to disguise flaws. Tiny inclusions are less visible thanks to the brilliance that distracts the eye. This means that buyers do not have to be as worried about the perfect clarity of the stone which can drive up the cost of the engagement ring.
Cut Quality of Round Cut Diamonds
When considering the 4Cs of diamond quality, cut is the most important. More so if you choose to go for a diamond that is of lower grade in terms of clarity and colour or if you have a diamond that you desire but is of low-carat weight. With the right cut, even such diamonds can end up able to wonderfully reflect light and provide brilliance.
According to GIA, round brilliant cuts range on a scale of excellent to poor. Here is how this grading applies:
- Excellent – a cut that provides the highest level of fire and brilliance with almost all incoming light being reflected through the table.
- Very good – a cut that delivers immense fire and brilliance with the majority of incoming light being reflected through the table.
- Good – a cut that provides much but not overwhelming brilliance with most of the incoming light being reflected through the table.
- Fair – a cut that delivers minimal brilliance with most of the light exiting through the sides and bottom of the diamond.
- Poor – a cut that provides nearly no brilliance with light escaping through the bottom and sides of the diamond.
It is also important to gauge the quality of the cut by its depth. If the round cut is too shallow, it causes the incoming light to hit the pavilion at a low angle. This makes the light exit through the sides, without adequately reflecting through the table and into the eyes, hence limited brilliance and fire.
If the cut is too deep, the light will hit the pavilion at too sharp an angle, causing it to reflect on another pavilion and exit through the bottom of the diamond. Again, without the light going through the table and into the eye the diamond will appear dull with no brilliance.
To achieve maximum brilliance and fire, the diamond must be precisely and proportionally cut so that light strikes each pavilion at optimal facet angles and reflects it back into the eye through the table and crown.
Are round-cut diamonds more expensive?
They can be, for two main reasons. The first is demand. When a commodity is highly sought after, it naturally drives up the price. With 60% of engagement rings and 75% of all diamonds being round cut, it makes diamonds of this shape have a higher price. The other reason round-cut diamonds can be expensive is the loss of rough. To cut a diamond into its desired shape, diamond cutters need to cut down a rough stone to create the desired facets. To create the round cut, a lot of the rough diamond has to be cut off, causing the price per carat of the round diamond to increase further.
However, as said, a round cut can help to disguise flaws better than other cuts. This ability to camouflage tiny inclusions means that buyers can opt for diamond stones of lower quality and price that will still appear brilliant and white. This is more easily achieved than with other cuts like emerald and oval that tend to magnify flaws.
So, while you can expect the price of round-cut diamonds to be high due to popularity and losing rough, compromises on stone clarity and colour may help lessen the hit to your wallet.
Choosing the setting for a round-cut diamond
The round brilliant is a classic design that comes with an elegant silhouette. It can be beautifully displayed all on its own or complement the use of other stones. This allows for its suitability in matching a wide variety of settings.
The solitaire setting is highly popular for showcasing the beauty of a single stone. However, even halo settings that allow accent stones to surround the centre stone are also popular. They are a beautiful and cost-effective way to add size to the centre stone, often making it seem half a carat larger. You can create an even more dramatic effect by opting for double or even triple halo styles. Three-stone or trinity settings are also quite popular.
Note that even with halo or three-stone settings, the additional stones do not also have to be round cut. A round-cut centre stone is highly versatile and will often complement the use of other cut styles, colours, and sizes. You may also want to preserve the centre stone as a centrepiece and enhance the ring with side stones along the band.
You can also get different looks to your diamond ring through your choice of the metal band. Even if you stick to the classic yellow gold, the hues will differ between 14k and 18k gold. 14k metal will make a round-cut diamond appear pinker while an 18k band gives off a more champagne colour.
Caring for a round-cut diamond
Given the high value of such diamonds, you will want to ensure that you give it due care so it retains its good looks and value for the longest possible time. Try to preserve your diamond’s shine by limiting its exposure to rough treatment. Take it off before working out, washing dishes, showering and even sleeping. Form a habit of placing your ring in the same place whenever you take it off to avoid losing it.
You can keep it clean at home by washing it using warm water and a soft-bristled toothbrush. You can also use dish soap or try to find a jewellery cleanser. This will help get rid of any grime that has built up from daily activities.