Variations on the Round Diamond - Same Shape, Different Sparkle

Round brilliant cut gems are everywhere in diamond engagement rings and wedding bands. Not all of them are the round brilliant cut diamond. From different facet patterns to proportion standards, there are ways round diamonds stand out from each other.

The original round brilliant cut premiered in 1919. According to Marcel Tolkowsky’s “Diamond Design,” adhering to careful measurements would create unprecedented brightness. This included fifty-eight facets, recommended depth and so on. Jewelry like the round brilliant cut diamond engagement ring are demand to this day.

Since the round brilliant cut’s premier, others have sought to improve upon the design. Typical variants include faceting the girdle rather than leaving it knife-edge thin. Removing the culet, or bottommost facet, is also common. Both are part of a greater trend, establishing stricter cut standards. The concept balances unlocking brightness with staying to the round brilliant’s ideals.

Other cuts are circular, but stand apart from Tolkowsky’s work. Modified round brilliants may use a different approach altogether, such as etch lines. Others may play with facets, adding more or changing their shape or placement. The cuts’ common goal is to increase brightness.

An unusual type of round diamond has a faceted lower half. The upper portion is a round dome. This style is known as a buff top. Due to their design, buff top diamonds produce less brilliance, but distinct shadow patterns.

A much more simplified cut predates the round brilliant by centuries. The earliest single cuts resembled an eight-sided die with a flattened top and beveled edges. Later versions took on a circular appearance, making them an ancestor of the round brilliant. These single cuts appear today on the tiniest diamonds. These decorate everything from a halo to pave wedding bands.

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