Round diamonds are traditionally the first and most popular diamond that’s given as a symbol of commitment. They have a classic uniform and symmetrical shape that consists of 58 facets, which qualifies them a brilliant cut. The faceting on round cut diamonds also makes color and inclusions appear better than in other fancy shapes. In fact, these stones are so beloved that over 50% of all diamonds purchased are round cuts -- you probably can't look around without seeing a round diamond engagement ring. But what do you need to know if you're thinking of buying a loose diamond in this shape? We break it all down, from setting choices to ideal measurements, what you should expect to pay, and more.
We don't need to tell you that round diamonds are a hallmark of classic engagement rings. You can turn around without seeing the flash from a round cut engagement ring (with or without a diamond halo) these days. But just in case you wanted to verify this shape's perennial popularity with pop culture, we rounded up the celebrity engagement rings that feature this classic:
Round cut diamonds carry the largest premium for two reasons: demand and rough wastage. Round diamonds are the most popular and so manufacturers and suppliers tend to hold a premium on them because their demand can make them rarer. Because diamonds are a natural material, they cannot just be produced on a moment’s notice. Second, when a rough diamond is mined it comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. There is no predictability around what size or shape will be unearthed. More often than not, the shape of the rough isn’t perfect for cutting a round diamond. A diamond cutter’s top priority is to maximize carat weight. Round diamonds yield the highest rough wastage and top out between 28% - 38% rough usage, which means more of that precious raw material is going to waste.
For a 1 carat round diamond that's VS2 clarity, an Excellent cut, and a G color diamond, you can expect to pay somewhere around $5283. The price will go up from there as clarity and color grades increase. But don't expect to pay double this for a 2 carat round cut diamond. Diamond prices aren't linear because it becomes increasingly difficult to find rough material large enough to produce the bigger stones. That means the price for a 2 carat diamond of any shape can easily shoot up to between $8,000 and $20,000. Exact prices, of course, depend on how each individual diamond is rated according to the 4Cs of diamonds.
Although round diamonds are the most popular of the diamond shapes, cushion cuts and princess cut are nipping at their heels in the rankings. If you love one outline of a diamond over the others, your decision is simple. But if you're someone who appreciates the silhoutte of more than one, it can be difficult to pick a loose diamond. So beyond the outline, how does the round diamond differ from other favorites like the cushion and the princess? There's actually quite a lot to unpack. Check out our guides to round diamond vs cushion cut and round diamond vs princess cut for a breakdown of shape, brilliance, and even price. But always feel free to reach out and ask one of our on-staff gemologists. They guide couples through diamond purchases daily, and they know the stones and they're differences inside and out.
Below are the approximate diamond characteristics for round diamonds and their cut grading scales. A round diamond will typically be between 1.00 and 1.03 ratio. Above 1.05 length to width ratio, the diamond will not be quite round. For more information about round diamonds and their sizes, view our comprehensive round diamond size chart in millimeter and carat measurements.
You can get an idea of the different sizes for the round diamond in the chart below. We're included carat weight measurements as well as millimeter size measurements:
The beauty of the round cut diamond lies in the mathematical precision of the cuts, maximizing light and brilliance through the 58 facets. This is one of the factors that makes the round cut the most expensive diamond cut. We recommend choosing a round stone with the highest cut grades, that is ideal or very good. For symmetry and polish, look for grades ideal, excellent and very good. Then it is left up to your own budget and personal preference as to which style or setting you prefer or that your bride will love. There are a number of ways you can make a lower color grade diamond look amazing in a round cut diamond engagement ring, but if you sacrifice on cut, the ring will sparkle less.
Very Good: 68%-53%
Very Good: 69%-51%
Depending on the size of your round cut diamond, there are varying color and clarity grades that will have implications on diamond sparkle. We’ve made a chart to quality these ranges, which you can find below. You'll find that it's broken down by carat size. The 4Cs can affect different sized diamonds differently, so we wanted you to know how to get the most gorgeous 2 carat round diamond ring and where you could compromise on a 1 carat round diamond ring. But if any of this is confusing or it's unclear how these ranges will impact your round diamond cut ring, we have expert gemologists on staff who can help you out. (And if you're looking to go bigger than our chart with, say, a 3 carat round diamond ring, they can help you with that, too.)
Technological advances have improved the process of cutting diamonds, and today we can enjoy the 58 facet round diamond cut. Its circular shape showcases 58 different eye catching facets of the diamond. It maximizes and catches the light from all angles, which is why it is popularly referred to as round brilliant diamond. The round cut is the most popular shape, is easily identified, and lends itself to every occasion night or day and every wearer, young or old, contemporary or traditional.
The search for the cut to showcase the facets of the diamond gemstone’s radiance and brilliance has led the way to many new cuts throughout the years. For many years the technology or the machinery simply did not exist for the round cut diamond. The invention of the bruting machine towards the end of the 1800s made the round brilliant diamond cut possible. Before the circular cut was invented, diamonds sported a cushion cut popular in Europe. In 1919 the circular cut went through another transformation with Marcel Tolkowsky’s Diamond Design Thesis
Diamonds in this shape are classic, and their effortlessly elegant silhouette means they match a wide variety of settings. And that means that choosing a round diamond ring setting ultimately comes down to personal preference and style. A round diamond solitaire ring can be just as stunning as something more complex, like a round diamond with baguettes (like our Three Stone Baguette Diamond Engagement Ring). Your creativity and style is truly the limit when it comes to round engagement rings. So here are some ideas for getting started with finding your ideal round diamond setting, and how to make yours stand out.
A round diamond with halo setting has also become a classic, like it's more basic cousin the solitaire. That's probably because accent diamonds set in a halo are an elegant and cost-effective way to add size to your center stone. In fact, they can make it appear up to a half-carat larger. But not every diamond halo is the same. A round diamond in a square halo, like you'll find on our East West Halo Diamond Engagement Ring, is enticingly complex. Your eye dances over the different lines: some straight, some arched. This setting takes it one step further by rotating the halo, a contemporary and trendy spin on classic settings.
There's even a perfect solution for brides to be who were stuck in the round diamond vs cushion cut debate. A round diamond with a cushion halo can look like a cushion cut from afar, and a gorgeous round diamond up close. It lends visual appear to the entire ring and may help shoppers torn between the two ultra-popular diamond shapes. But even if you're set on your round engagement ring with a halo that mimics the shape of the diamond, you still have unique options. Double halos add a dramatic effect to your ring. And some settings, like our Star Halo Diamond Engagement Ring, play with accent diamond sizes to create a round diamond halo ring that's inspired by nature. (We think this one looks a little like a flower and a bit like a snowflake at the same time.)
Two round diamond rings with the same setting and the same size stone can look completely different in two different metals. So if you're worried about your round diamond ring with a halo looking like everyone else's, be sure to familiarize yourself with your metal options. Many people don't know that even within the same metal choice, like yellow gold, you'll get completely different hues in 14k and 18k. A round diamond rose gold engagement ring, for example, will look pinker if you opt for 14k, but more of a champagne hue if you go instead with 18k.