Long known as the most popular cut of diamonds, the round cut gem has been dazzling wearers for centuries. With origins dating back to the 1600s, professional gem cutters, or lapidaries, have been perfecting the sheer brilliance of the round cut longer than any other cut of precious stones in history.
A Brief History of the Round Cut Diamond
The earliest round cut diamonds didn’t have the same recognizable facet designs we see today. Generally, the round cuts of the 17th and 18th centuries tended to have much smaller faces, or “tables” as they are referred to.
According to The Gemological Institute of America (GIA), round cut diamonds have undergone a series of style and size changes over the centuries. The definitive changes allow skilled gemologists to date each specimen based on the cuts and facet proportions. As skills progressed, lapidaries perfected the gem cutting process to create the 57-58 facet brilliant round cuts we see today.
In 1919, mathematician and gem cutter Marcel Tolkowsky set out to create the Ideal Cut as his thesis work. Using specific equations to predict the highest level of brilliancy optimization, Tolkowsky discovered what is today known as “The Tolkowsky Brilliant” – or the most ideal and fiery round cut diamond. His equation gave birth to the standard 57-58 facet diamond we see in round cuts today.
Why Choose a Round Cut?
Since the overall brilliance (amount of light reflected back) and fire (the range of colors you see when light reaches the facets) are determined by the cut, it makes sense that the perfected round cut would be ideal. Based on mathematical equations to maximize the scintillation of each piece, the round cut is the top of its class for reflection.
The cut of a diamond will affect the gemstone’s brilliance above all other factors (color or clarity). Because of this, the round cut diamond’s proportional facets lend to some of the highest brilliance and cut ratings of any other cut. It’s no surprise then that round cut diamonds make up the largest portion of diamond sales by well over half of all sales.
What to Consider
If you’re considering the various diamond cuts, it’s important to look at the overall grading of each stone. The most widely used grading system is given by the GIA and will include five different grades of cut.
The highest grade possible, “Excellent,” is given to those with superior cuts and will give way to the fieriest gems. Always ask to see the grading report for any piece before purchasing, to ensure you’re getting the highest quality piece for your budget.
Since round cut gems are by far the most popular cut, they offer the widest variety of choices for quality and size. You will be certain to find the perfect piece with exceptional brilliance in a round cut diamond.
Overall, when it comes to choosing the right diamond cut, it’s difficult to go wrong with the round cut. With centuries of perfecting the craft of diamond brilliance, round cut diamonds are unparalleled in their aesthetic beauty and quality.