When it comes to luxury, natural diamond jewellery then one diamond cut in particular stands out as the most popular and coveted choice - the Round Brilliant Cut Diamond (which is just as often referred to as the Brilliant Round Cut Diamond). This timeless and classic diamond shape has captured the hearts of millions around the world for decades so We Love Diamonds wanted to delve into all the reasons behind the enduring popularity of Round Brilliant Cut Diamonds, explore some of their unique characteristics, explain their historical significance, discuss their superior light performance and highlight some of the many reasons for their emotional appeal.
Classic Beauty & Timelessness
The Round Brilliant Cut diamond is renowned for its classic beauty, elegance, timeless appeal and versatility but, in terms of all the different diamond cuts you may already be familiar with; it’s actually a lot more of a contemporary cut than you may otherwise imagine. In fact, before the 20th century, the equipment didn’t even exist to cut diamonds into a fully circular shape and they more often resembled either what we call a cushion cut diamond today (a squarish shape with soft and curved edges) or Old Mine Cut Diamonds which were very popular during the 18th and 19th centuries. It was actually only in the early 1900’s that the first cuts we would now even consider to be a brilliant round diamond cut diamond began to appear (and they were usually referred to then as European Cut Diamonds). It then wasn’t until the 1940’s that technology had finally moved forward enough to create the version of the round brilliant cut diamond that we’re all now in love with. Exceptional Brilliance & Sparkle
One of the primary reasons for the round brilliant cut diamonds popularity is in its inherent ability to maximise brilliance and sparkle like no other diamond shape can.
The round cut brilliant diamonds we use today have 58 precise facets which are comprised of 33 on the crown of the diamond (upper part) and then a further 25 facets on the diamonds pavilion (lower part). The diamonds cone shape cut and symmetrical design helps supercharge the brilliance and sparkle of the diamond by funnelling light through the top to optimise light reflection and present to the naked eye as a brilliant, sparkling diamond. Thanks to all the numerous surfaces they reflect light and enhance the stones overall radiance.
It is the unique arrangement of facets which ensures that almost all incoming light is refracted and dispersed which results in a breath-taking display of fire and scintillation. This is precisely why round brilliant cut diamonds remain such a symbol of enduring love and sophistication.
Superior Light Performance
The round brilliant cut diamonds ability to maximize light performance can be attributed to its ideal proportions and symmetry. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has defined specific guidelines for the ideal cut which includes a table percentage, depth percentage and crown and pavilion angles that optimise light reflection and refraction. When a round diamond is cut to these precise proportions, it exhibits exceptional brilliance and fire and captivate anyone gazing upon it. All diamonds from We Love Diamonds are natural and fully GIA Graded. Widely Available & Versatile
As diamantaire's and luxury diamond jewellery designers, We Love Diamonds consider many other factors which contribute to the round brilliant cut diamond's popularity and one of those factors is their widespread availability. Due to their popularity and demand, all the major diamond manufacturers produce a significant number of round brilliant cut diamonds which makes them more easily accessible to us and, in turn, to consumers. Round brilliant cut diamonds in fact represent about 75% of all cut diamonds sold worldwide.
Balancing their relative dominance as a cut with our enormous experience in design, We Love Diamonds are of course well-versed in creating settings that compliment round brilliant cut diamonds and we offer a vast array of designs to suit individual preferences and styles. From classic solitaire settings to intricate vintage designs and beyond, the brilliant round cut diamond seamlessly fits into the wide range of jewellery styles, trends and options that we use in our luxury natural diamond jewellery collection.
We never underestimate the influence that celebrities can have on jewellery trends and this is something we touched on in our blog here which covers The Top 10 Diamond Engagement Ring Trends For 2023. The Round Brilliant Cut diamond certainly enjoys ample support from many personalities. Hollywood stars, singers, media personalities, royalty and more have all been flaunting round brilliant cut diamond engagement rings and other luxury diamond jewellery featuring them for decades now and this has certainly helped to enhance the shape's desirability and its absolutely iconic status. The glamorous appeal of these diamonds when relentlessly seen on the red carpet and practically all high-profile engagements has undoubtedly contributed to their enduring popularity.
We can’t help but also recognise how the popularity of the round brilliant cut diamond has also been significantly influenced by De Beers, the renowned diamond mining and trading company and one of our key partners (who we may add shun Russian Diamonds as we do - see here).
In the mid-20th century De Beers launched an iconic marketing campaign with the slogan "A Diamond is Forever" where they promoted the emotional and everlasting nature of diamonds. Their campaign helped cement this diamond cuts position as the ultimate choice for diamond engagement rings.
Diamonds have long been associated with love, commitment and eternal bonds. The round brilliant cut diamond, with its perfectly circular shape, symbolises endlessness and eternal love so they thus align perfectly with the emotional significance of engagement and wedding rings in particular. Couples often choose the round brilliant cut diamond as the centrepiece of their engagement rings so as to flex the timeless nature of their commitment and to represent the everlasting love that they hopefully share.
Strong Resale Value
Investing in a round brilliant cut diamond can also be seen as a sound financial decision. Round diamonds hold their value very, very well in the market due to their enduring popularity and the steady demand for them. This is is something we cover in our guide to loose cut investment diamonds here. Their timeless appeal means they're never going to go out of fashion and they're a reliable investment, especially as a long-term asset.
As an aside, we find that an excellent way to get the most of your budget and to acquire a really stunning diamond is to maybe think about staying away from 'whole carat' stones (which is why, entirely for the benefit of our customers, many of the luxury diamond jewellery pieces in our collection are not round numbered in terms of carats). We often recommend that if budget is a consideration then you should perhaps go for something just shy of a whole carat like a 0.97 carat or 1.89 carat diamond. Fact is that you and/or the recipient will never be able to tell that the diamond isn’t the full carat size anyway. Doing this can help you avoid the big price jumps which can often occur at the whole carat number (at least from high-street jewellers and other online diamond jewellery retailers - we always offer our luxury, natural diamond jewellery at wholesale prices). You can read our guide on diamonds in our diamond buying guide here.
We Love Diamonds Conclusion
The round brilliant cut diamonds popularity is a direct consequence of the perfect blend of their aesthetics, light performance, versatility and emotional significance. Their exceptional brilliance and sparkle, combined with their classic and timeless appeal, makes them the ideal choice not just for diamond rings but for all luxury diamond jewellery from earrings to bracelets. From Hollywood stars to everyday romantics, people around the world are simply captivated by the allure of the round brilliant cut diamond as they are such a true symbol of everlasting love and beauty.
As we always say though – without you, they’re just diamonds…