How to choose a round diamond for your engagement ring

Pros – Simple yet amazing. Reflects light brilliantly. Is very classical and popular.

Cons – Expensive than most other cuts.

The Round Diamond, also known as the Brilliant Cut Diamond, enjoys the prestigious position of being the most popular shape for diamond engagement rings. In fact, over 75% of all diamond engagement rings bought are of this particular cut. What makes the Round Diamond such a favorite? The answer lies in its ability to reflect light which creates the most brilliance.

The Round Diamond contains 58 facets, of which 33 can be found on the crown of the diamond while the other 25 are on the pavilion. The stone has a cone shape which funnels light through to the top. These technical aspects of the cut maximize the reflection of light from the diamond, which causes the diamond to sparkle brilliantly, thus making it a perfect option for a center stone and a better choice than most other fancy cuts. The round cut is the most popular for solitaire engagement rings. In fact, the simplicity of the shape complements the diamond, keeping the focus on the sparkle and quality of the stone itself.

How much will a round diamond cost me?

Round Diamonds are often the priciest of all diamond cuts. There are a number of factors that contribute to this being so. First of all, as we mentioned above, round diamonds is the popular choice for most buyers. Due to this high demand, and relatively low yield of round diamonds, it is natural that the stone would cost more on a per carat basis. Another factor is that more of the rough diamond is wasted when being cut into the round shape, resulting in the remaining stone being priced higher per carat. It is estimated that a round diamond can cost up to 35% more than a fancy shape. This may be a price worth paying considering the value of the stone that you will be getting. But if sticking to a particular budget is important to you, then it may be a good idea to consider a different shape.

Round cut engagement ring in a red box

Round cut engagement ring

Grading your diamond’s cut – what to look for

When grading the quality of a round diamond cut, what is taken into account is the interaction of the diamond’s facets with light. This relationship will determine whether your diamond has an Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair or Poor grading. The following is a list of aspects that will be considered when grading your diamond:

Grading round cut diamond

  Excellent Grading ( % )
Depth 50-63
Crown angel 34-34.9
Pavilion depth 42.8-43.2
Gridle Thin to SI. Thick
Culet None

Considering color for round diamonds

Choosing your diamond’s color is often based on personal preference. The D-F (colorless) diamonds are highly-sought after and are the most popular choice. Due to the laws of supply and demand, D-F color grades are the most expensive as buyers are willing to pay more for them.

It is not necessary to follow the pack on this. Paying a much higher price for something that is almost undetectable seems unnecessary. If you are looking for quality at a lower price, it would be wise to buy a diamond slightly lower on the color chart. If you are interested in a tinted diamond, then go for a diamond on the lower end of the scale – grade K onwards (from Faint Yellow, Very Light Yellow to Light Yellow).

Solitaire round cut engagement ring

For an Excellent grading for color, here are the specifications to look for:

  • If the diamond is less than 1.0 carat, a color grade of D-G is considered Excellent. Avoid grades L-M as this will give your diamond a Fair-Poor rating.

  • If the diamond is between 1.0 - 2.0 carats, choose grades D-F for an Excellent grading and avoid K-L which will give you a Fair-Poor grade.

  • If your diamond is over 2.0 carats, D-F will give you an Excellent rating while I-J will be Fair – Poor.

Considering clarity for round diamonds

Choosing the clarity grade of your round diamond depends on your preference. Some people will not mind there being an inclusion in their diamond, as long as it is invisible to the naked eye. However, others may insist on a perfectly flawless diamond regardless of whether they can see it or not. The clarity grade will affect your price. Bearing in mind that you will already be paying a premium for choosing a round diamond, you could compensate on this by choosing a lower clarity grade. Most inclusions cannot be seeing by the naked eye, except for the Slightly Included and Included grades.

For an Excellent grading for clarity, here is what you need to look for:

  • If the diamond is less than 1.0 carat, a clarity grade of FL – VS2 will give you an Excellent rating. Avoid a grade over I1 as this will give you a Fair to Poor rating.
  • If the diamond is between 1.0 - 2.0 carats, choose grades FL – VVS2 for an Excellent grading and avoid I1 and above.
  • If your diamond is over 2.0 carats, FL –VVS2 will give you an Excellent rating. Avoid grades past SI2. As the stone is bigger, the inclusions may be more visible.

As you can see, if you pay more for one category of the 4C’s (in this case, cut), you can compensate for this by playing around with the other C’s. Hopefully this guide will help you in your search for the perfect Brilliant Cut Diamond!