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In the vast and confusing world of cuts, round brilliant cut diamonds are unsurprisingly the most popular form. Brilliant Round cuts maximize the brilliance of every diamond and are versatile to fit any budget.
If you are considering a round brilliant cut diamond or stone, it is essential to be well informed of the pros and cons that come with the cut, the most suitable GIA grades for the cut, and the most sensical settings for the cut. This article will walk you through the in’s and outs, as well as the in between, of the Brilliant Round cut.
Round Brilliant Cut Diamond – History
The round cut itself has been around for centuries. It wasn’t until 1919 that Marcel Tolkowsky created what is now known as the Brilliant Round cut. Tolkowsky, knowing that a cut that is too deep or isn’t deep enough, would lose light as it traveled through the diamond. With this knowledge, he published a specific math equation to maximize the brilliance of a diamond and, in doing so, created the world’s most popular diamond cut – the brilliant round cut. When shopping for your engagement or wedding ring, keep in mind that there is a different between a round cut and a brilliant round cut.
While gorgeous, the brilliant round cut remained unpopular for a long time – the work wasn’t worth what people were willing to pay and very few diamond cutters put in the effort to produce it. Lucky for us, recent laser technology has allowed jewellers and diamonds cutters to even out the playing field and create these beautiful cuts at affordable prices.
Round Brilliant Cut Pros & Cons
What are the pros?
Brilliant round cuts are popular, in part, due to their versatility which is a huge plus for this cut. These round cuts can be utilized on large or small diamonds, look good in essentially every imaginable setting and can be cut out of any stone or gem. As a result, the brilliant round cut is a go-to cut for brides and grooms with budgets that vary from $500.00 to $500,000.00 respectively.
Durability and sustainability are two additional factors that make this cut extremely desirable. Brilliant round cuts lack the sharp edges of other popular cuts, and as such, don’t chip or break as easily as many others.
The mathematical equation of Brilliant Round cuts also calls for 58 facets on the stone – these facts create reflections that maximize a stones brilliance. They also add another wonderful aspect to our list of “pro’s” – they hide imperfections. This aspect allows a bride or groom on a budget to get a stone with a lower clarity rating, and thus at a cheaper price, without sacrificing style and brilliance in doing so.
And the cons?
In a few words, there really aren’t any. Any negative attribute that you might find in a brilliant round cut won’t cut from the ring itself but, rather, from the quality of the color or clarity of the diamond itself.
Although brilliant white cuts are affordable as a result of their versatility, there are also more affordable cuts available.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has created an international diamond rating system that allows for a universal standard for determining a diamonds quality. An aspect of this quality is the diamonds clarity. A diamonds clarity is determined by its number of inclusions and/blemishes. All diamond will have some inclusions and blemishes, but a flawless diamond will be one where they can’t be seen when magnified by ten.
This list contains the clarity ratings as they determine the value of a diamond from the most expensive to the least:
Flawless (Fl) – No Inclusions.
Internally Flawless – (IF) No inclusions, only blemishes.
Very Very Slightly Included – (VVS1 and VVS2) Contains inclusions but they are very difficult to see.
Slightly included (SI1 and SI2) – Noticeably included.
Included (I1, I2, I3) – Obviously included.
An ideal diamond for a brilliant round cut will be anything from SI2 and up. Avoid brilliant round cuts that fall into the categories of I1, I2 and I3.
The GIA also grades diamonds on their color – or rather, lack of. This rating system does not include colored diamonds. Essentially, the ideal diamond is colorless while the least desirable is light yellow or brown.
These changes in color are extremely subtle, and may not even be noticeable to the naked eye, but they make a colossal impact on the price of a diamond so they are important.
This list contains a list of the color ratings, D being completely colorless and most valuable and Z being of color and the least valuable.
D, E, F – colorless
G, H, I, J – near colorless
K, L, M – faint color
N, O, P, Q, R – very light color
S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z – light color
The ideal diamond for a brilliant round cut is colorless, so grades D, E, or F – however a nearly colorless grading that’s closer to the completely colorless spectrum, such as G, will also produce desirable results.
The ideal setting for a brilliant round cut is a 4 prong setting. A 4 prong setting will allow light to cut through the diamond and maximize the brilliance that the cut was made for. That said, for a larger diamond, a 6 prong setting might be necessary to avoid damage or looseness of the diamond itself.
While a 6 prong setting might be a necessity for a larger diamond, a bezel setting is a popular option for smaller brilliant round cut diamond. A bezel setting is one in which the material of the band is actually constructed to the shape of the stone, holding the stone in place. While popular, and undoubtably intricate and beautiful, this setting type takes away the light that gives this specific cut the wow factor it was created for.
Round Brilliant Cut Diamond – Final Thoughts
Ok, so, what did we learn? The brilliant round cut is meant to maximize a stones brilliance and in doing so can hide imperfections of a diamond, there is a difference between the brilliant round cut and just a round cut, the best diamond for a brilliant round cut will have an IGA clarity grade of SI2-FI and an IGA color rating of D-G, brilliant round cuts range in price and this price is dependent on the clarity, color and carat size of your stone and the best setting for a brilliant round cut is a 4 prong – 6 prong if you have a large diamond – but a bezel setting is okay too, though not our first choice. Phew.
But wait – don’t run to your nearest jeweler quite yet. Before you run out your door, here are a few additional tid bits to keep in mind:
1. If your brilliant round cut stone is a diamond, deal only with reputable jewelers that will provide IGA certification.
2. If you’re buying a used or antique diamond studded ring, don’t listen to number one. The IGA hasn’t been around forever and diamonds have. Instead, in the instances of antique or used diamonds, ask for a certificate of authenticity or professional appraisal of the diamond you’re buying.
3. If a colored, or colorless, gemstone is you’re thing, we’re into it. Check out our extensive gemstone directory for ways to ensure your are purchasing the best quality authentic gemstone for your ring.
4. It never hurts to get a second opinion – if you’re confident in your purchase, this isn’t necessary, but if you’re like us and like play it safe, take your purchase to a professional jeweler or gemologist for a second opinion as to the quality of your stone.
5. You’re getting married! This should be the most rewarding and enjoyable experience in your life to date – while we absolutely promote the idea that knowledge is important, and that you should be well informed, we also want you to remember not to lose sight of your excitement and joy, so go on, go shopping for your engagement or wedding ring and don’t forget to have fun with it!