Quick and Easy Buying Guide

Carat weight: 1 carat = 200 milligrams = 6.5 mm diameter. Doubling weight doesn't double diameter.

Diamond clarity: FL/IF/VVS/VS = super expensive, near perfect. SI = best value if you can check a photo for obvious inclusions (defects).


Color: D-G = colorless, expensive, only if you have money to burn. H-J = best value. Can go lower in gold metal settings than white metal.

Cut: Better cut ratings let more light into a diamond, making it sparkle more. Very important property, don't skimp here.

Set a budget and minimum cut (Premium). Go J color for gold and I/H for white metals. Go searching for SI1/SI2 clarity diamonds at James Allen. Pick a diamond with small/no inclusions. Choose a ring setting and buy it risk-free (60-day returns).

The Round Cut Or Round Brilliant Diamond Shape

The round cut or round brilliant diamond is by a mile the most popular shape of diamond on the market today. Consequently, if you look on any online diamond search tool you're likely to find as many round diamonds available as all the other diamond shapes combined. It is the classical shape of diamond and makes for a fantastic centrepiece on a solitaire diamond engagement ring, as well as many other types of jewellery piece.

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The round name in the description of a round brilliant diamond refers to the shape of the diamond when viewed from the top, which is how the diamond is set in a ring to be viewed. However, the actual 3-D shape of a round brilliant diamond is similar to a cone, with the narrowest part at the bottom, and the thickest part near the top.

To produce a round cut diamond, an original piece of diamond crystal must be cut down and polished. This always involves a large loss of diamond material in the case of round diamonds. Usually more than half of the diamond material is lost during the cutting process. This has the consequence of making round diamonds fairly expensive due to the amount of raw diamond material that is lost during the production process. For example, Princess cut or Princess shape diamonds are often quite a bit cheaper for a given carat weight because nowhere near as much material is lost during the cutting and polishing process.

A typical round shape or round cut diamond has a total of 58 facets, broken down into 25 on the pavilion and 33 on the crown of the diamond. The pavilion is the part of the diamond below the girdle (the widest part of the diamond), while the crown is the part of the diamond above the girdle. Note that the 33 facets in the crown include the culet.