Round Cut Diamonds | What to Look For In Round Engagement Rings

Round Cut Diamonds: What to Look For

Round Cut Diamonds = Fire, Brilliance & Popularity

Round Cut diamonds have been the most popular diamond shape for years. They’ve set the standard for all other diamond shapes. Roughly 70 percent of all rough diamonds are round cut. This is because a round cut diamond always has excellent light performance (no matter what carat size). Also, it will look beautiful in all types of jewelry pieces. Since the demand for round cut diamonds is very high, and the yield is relatively low, round cut diamonds tend to cost more on a per carat basis than fancier shapes. Also, more of the rough stone is lost in the cutting process. As a result, the cost of each carat retained is higher.  

Examples of Round Cut Diamonds

Round Cut DiamondsRound Cut DiamondsRound Cut DiamondsRound Cut Diamonds


Characteristics To Look For


Round cut diamonds are the only shape to have perfectly defined proportions (stated in 1919 by Tolkowsky). Generally speaking, this cut should not have any sharp corners or edges. Because of this, the center stone will be less likely to catch on hair or clothes. It will also be less vulnerable to chipping or breaking. Typical settings for round cut diamonds are 4 prong, 6 prong (for larger diamonds), and bezel (for more contemporary diamonds). All three settings do a good job of securely holding the center stone in place while helping maximize the amount of light that can enter the stone. Generally, they should have a length-to-width ratio of 1.0.

Bezel SettingProng Setting


Virtually all round cut diamonds today contain 58 facets (also known as “brilliant-cut”). Table ratio (width of table facet divided by diamond width) for a beautiful round cut diamond is around 51 percent and above. Total depth ratio (depth divided by diamond width) of a round cut diamond should be around 57.5 percent and above. For the most part, you should look for a diamond with a small culet (small area at the bottom of a diamond’s pavilion) since a larger culet will impact light performance. Also, try to avoid stones that have extremely thin or extremely thick girdle thickness. Crown angle (number of degrees between table plane and bezel facets) should be 30% and above. Pavilion depth should be at least 41%. The certificate’s cut grade will help you with this so look for an “Excellent” or “Very Good” cut grade.

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Color & Clarity

Color and clarity evaluation for round cut diamonds can be subjective. For example, some people may be comfortable with an inclusion as long as they cannot easily see it. Others may want a more technically flawless appearance. For a beautiful, quality round cut diamond you should look for a stone with a color range between D and J and a clarity range between VS1 and SI2. Note, GIA grades diamonds on a color scale of D (colorless) through Z (light color) and a clarity scale of FL (flawless) through I3 (visible inclusions).  

One Final Note

Keep in mind that a round cut diamond is not necessarily the same as a brilliant round cut diamond. So make sure the certificate description states that the cut is brilliant round. Try to look for round cut rings through jewelers who can provide certificates from reputable laboratories like GIA, AGS, EGL-USA, and IGI. Don’t worry if this seems confusing. If you choose to get your ring with Vanessa Nicole, she will ensure that all of your diamond choices are in line with the ideal standards for a GORGEOUS round diamond.

Need Help?

Let Vanessa Nicole be your guide. Vanessa Nicole Jewels creates stunning, custom-made wedding bands and engagement rings for couples around the globe. Every ring we make is truly one of a kind, designed exclusively for each client. Contact Vanessa today to learn more about your options, or learn more by reading our diamond education article.

About Vanessa

Vanessa Nicole - Oval Cut DiamondsHi, I’m Vanessa Nicole – master diamond setter and author of the best-selling book, The Perfect Custom Engagement Ring. My educational engagement ring videos have amassed nearly half a million views on YouTube, so be sure to check those out if you need design inspiration for your ring. When I’m not playing with diamonds, you can find me tickling my twin boys, or kicking back watching a movie with my awesome husband (my teenage sweetheart).  

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