Chances are at least one person you know has an engagement ring featuring a round-cut diamond. As the most popular diamond cut out there (the majority of diamonds sold are round), it’s everywhere—and for very good reason. This classic shape makes for a sparkly diamond that truly outshines all others. If you want something elegant and classy but also blindingly brilliant, you can’t go wrong with a round stone.
What Is a Round-Cut Diamond?
The round-cut diamond is exactly what it sounds like: a round diamond. Each one is cut to have 58 facets, which makes it very sparkly and hard to miss. It’s a classic shape that will always catch the light.
We spoke with jewelers Olivia Landau and George Khalife to learn more about the pros and cons of round-cut diamonds, as well as what to look for when shopping for a round-cut diamond.
Meet the Expert
Pros and Cons of Round-Cut Diamonds
Aside from the fact that their popularity makes them easy to find, round-cut diamonds have a lot of other benefits. “Round diamonds are one of the most brilliant shapes and have great sparkle,” says Landau. When you get a round diamond, you know it’s going to be glittering all the time.
That’s not all, though: “They tend to mask color better than other shapes,” says Landau. “You can have more flexibility than other shapes.” With the right clarity levels, round diamonds will look bright and white. “They are great at camouflaging inclusions as well because of how sparkly they are,” adds Landau. They’re also super versatile: Round-cut diamonds look good in any setting and in any style ring.
It’s hard to find anything negative about a round-cut diamond, but there is one big downside: they’re pricey. “They are the most expensive diamond,” says Khalife. Between the demand for round diamonds and the way they never go out of style, this cut will cost you. Khalife also points out that round diamonds can sometimes look smaller than other cuts. If you’re on any sort of budget, this means you need to decide what’s more important to you: the carat size or the clarity and color.
What to Look for in a Round-Cut Diamond
Landau says to pay close attention to carat sizes when picking out a round diamond. “For most fancy cuts, their carat weight doesn’t necessarily directly correlate to how large the diamond will be,” she explains. “But for round brilliants (within the same cut grade), a larger carat weight generally means that it will be bigger.”
The cut is an extremely important thing to pay attention to here. “The cut determines how well proportioned and sparkly your stone will be,” Landau says. “Fun fact: Round brilliants have a cut grade because they have ideal proportions (a perfect circle). You want to make sure you have an excellent cut to get the most sparkle. The lowest I would recommend going is very good. Excellent to very good is the safe range!”
Again, decide what is more important to you: the carat size or the clarity and color. “I look at it like a big balancing scale with the carat, color, and clarity,” Khalife says. “Those who want to see that bigger sized diamond may have to sacrifice the color and clarity. Those who want to see a bright white diamond may need to balance with a smaller carat size.”
Ahead, discover 10 round-cut engagement rings we love.
Anna Sheffield Round Hazeline Ring
A thin gold band with a small line of delicate pavé diamonds is perfect for showing off a round center diamond sitting in a six-prong basket. Fun fact: this ring was based on the designer’s grandmother’s engagement ring.
SHOP NOW: No. 3, $12,100
Bario Neal Avens Diamond Ring
A perfect example of a classic and timeless ring, this Bario Neal option is incredibly simple. That doesn’t make it any less beautiful, though---the round diamond is really able to shine on a very thin gold band.
SHOP NOW: Bario Neal, $3,079
Natalie Marie Diamond Cluster Ring
If you prefer something more unique and modern to something classic and simple, opt for this cluster ring. It features a mix of round and marquise cut diamonds in an interesting cluster shape.
SHOP NOW: Natalie Marie, $2,003
Capucinne Eva Diamond Ring
This ring has a bit of a vintage feel to it. A round center cut diamond is nestled in the middle of a halo of smaller diamonds on a very thin band. The details here are gorgeous.
SHOP NOW: Capucinne, $3,550
DY Crossover Engagement Ring
A solitaire round diamond on an interesting band is a fun option for a more unique engagement ring. This one features David Yurman’s signature crossover cable band with a beautiful center stone.
SHOP NOW: David Yurman, price upon request
Attraction by Harry Winston Round Brilliant Engagement Ring
A round diamond sits in Harry Winston’s signature split claws to really maximize its brilliance. The band features an additional 20 small round brilliant diamonds for added sparkle.
SHOP NOW: Harry Winston, $10,200
Nicole Rose Round Cut Diamond Ring With Tapered Baguettes
A center round diamond is flanked by tapered baguettes for an interesting contrast in shapes. The center diamond also sits in a hidden basket that lifts it up to make it look larger and more prominent.
SHOP NOW: Nicole Rose Jewelry, price upon request
Grace Lee Round Diamond Bezel Ring
If you’re not into the solitaire or halo look, you might prefer a bezel. This ring features a round diamond encased in a gold bezel that is simple and clean.
SHOP NOW: Grace Lee, $3,180
Diamond Dolce Ring
Delicate and intricate, this ring is gorgeous and very unique. A round diamond in a gold setting with smaller diamonds on the side for a romantic look.
SHOP NOW: Jennie Kwon Designs, $4,150
The Ophelia Ring
This one features a more modern shape with the setting mixed with a classic shape with the diamond. A round center stone sits in a sparkling hexagon-shaped halo with a thin, pavé band.
SHOP NOW: Après Jewelry, $2,190 setting only