October 22, 2021

Round Cut Diamond

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Round diamonds have unmatched brilliance, but it's important to know how to choose. Read on to learn how to buy the perfect round diamond for the best value.

Round diamonds are the classic beauties of the diamond world. They are timeless and look good with everything.

However, round diamonds are the most expensive. If you don't know what you're doing, you could be making a costly mistake.

This guide will show you how to shop for a round diamond so you get the biggest, best-looking stone for your budget.

What is a Round Cut Diamond

Round diamonds are the most popular diamond shape. 47% of brides choose a round center stone. The shape is timeless and looks great in just about every style ring.

Round diamonds are the most brilliant of all diamond shapes. A typical round cut diamond today has 58 facets. It's been perfectly engineered to reflect the maximum amount of light.

Because they're so sparkly, round diamonds can hide flaws and mask colored tints better than other shapes. This means you can get away with lower color and clarity grades.

Pros and Cons

Is a round diamond for you? Here are some pros and cons to consider.

Pros:

  • Timeless and classic; will never go out of style
  • Most brilliant of all diamonds
  • Universally flattering for all hand types
  • Looks good with all engagement ring styles
  • Hides flaws and masks color
  • No corners; good for active lifestyles

Cons:

  • Most expensive of all diamond shapes
  • Looks a bit smaller compared to other diamond shapes
  • Most common shape; not unique

Recommendations for Buying a Round Diamond

Before you get into the detailed buying guide, here are our bottom-line recommendations to find a round diamond for the best value.

  • Color: H for a diamond that appears white (J for yellow or rose gold rings)
  • Clarity: VS2 will give you an eye-clean stone (SI1 is even okay for diamonds less than 1 carat)
  • Cut: Excellent / Ideal
  • Fluorescence: None to medium
  • Certification: GIA or AGS

Pricing for Round Cut Diamonds

Diamond Price vs Carat
Diamond Price vs Carat © CreditDonkey

Round diamonds are the most expensive, costing 20% - 40% more than other diamond shapes. This is mostly because of two reasons:

  1. Round diamonds have the highest demand
  2. Round diamonds require more skillful cutting

Here are the current 2021 diamond prices for round diamonds.

Carat WeightDiamond Price per CaratTotal PriceRecommended Price (Best Value)
0.25 carat$800 - $4,000$200 - $1,000$500
0.50 carat$1,000 - $8,000$500 - $4,000$1,300
0.75 carat$1,300 - $9,000$1,000 - $6,800$2,800
1.0 carat$2,000 - $16,000$2,000 - $16,000$5,500
1.25 carat$2,400 - $19,000$3,000 - $24,000$7,500
1.5 carat$2,670 - $20,000$4,000 - $30,000$11,000
2.0 carat$4,000 - $35,000$8,000 - $70,000$19,000
2.5 carat$4,800 - $36,000$12,000 - $90,000$30,000
3.0 carat$7,000 - $66,700$20,000 - $200,000$45,000

As you can see, there is a huge price range. Our recommended price is where you can get the best balance of price, quality, and beauty. The price is much lower, but the diamond will still look as good as a high-end stone.

What's the cheapest diamond cut?
In general, emerald and cushion cut diamonds are the cheapest diamonds cuts. Princess and radiant cuts are also on the low end. These rectangular and square-shaped diamonds don't waste as much of the rough stone during cutting.

Round Diamond Price Calculator

Use this calculator to search for current prices of round diamonds on the market today. You can also compare round diamond prices against other diamond shapes.

Don't Get Ripped Off. Compare Diamond Prices

Other people are searching:
Here are popular searches by other diamond shoppers. Click to run.

0.9 carat H VS2 1 carat H VS2 1.5 carat G VS1

Read on to learn how to choose the best value diamond.

Size Chart for Round Cut Diamonds

© CreditDonkey

Here are the dimensions and surface areas of round diamonds of different carat weights.

Diamond SizeDimensions (mm)Face-up area (mm2)
0.5 Carat5.1 x 5.120.43
0.75 Carat5.8 x 5.826.42
1 Carat6.4 x 6.432.17
1.5 Carat7.3 x 7.341.85
2 Carat8 x 850.27
3 Carat9.3 x 9.367.93
4 Carat10.2 x 10.281.71
5 Carat11 x 1195.03

Compared to some other diamond shapes, round diamonds appear smaller. Elongated shapes like oval, pear, and emerald look bigger. This is something to consider if you want to get the largest diamond for your buck.

Here's how round diamonds compare against other shapes. This scale is for 1-carat diamonds.

But round diamonds aren't the smallest shape either! Asscher and cushion cuts look smaller than round.

How to Choose a Round Cut Diamond

Below, get an in-depth guide on how to choose the best round cut diamond for your budget.

1. Choose Ideal or Excellent Cut

A round diamond is all about brilliance. So you absolutely want to get one that sparkles.

Diamond cut is the most important of the 4Cs. This refers to the proportions and angles that affect how light is reflected back. It's what makes a diamond brilliant and beautiful. It's important to go for an Excellent/Ideal cut.

Diamond Cut Scale
Diamond Cut Scale © CreditDonkey

A well-cut diamond reflects almost all the light back. The diamond will be sparkly and bright, making it appear larger. On the other hand, a poorly cut diamond will "leak" light and appear dull.

The cut directly impacts the visual beauty of the diamond. Here are diamonds of different cut qualities. You can easily see that the better the cut, the more beautiful the diamond.

Screenshot from James Allen Website

Here are the recommended cut specifications for maximum bling:

Table Percentage53% - 58%
Depth Percentage59% - 62%
Crown Angle34 - 35.5 degrees
Pavilion Angle40.6 - 41 degrees
Pavilion Depth42.5 - 43.5%
Girdle ThicknessThin - Slightly Thick
CuletNone
SymmetryVery Good - Excellent
PolishVery Good - Excellent

Diamond Cut is one area that you don't want to compromise on. If your budget is tight, it's better to downgrade color and clarity, rather than choose a lesser cut.

2. Look for VS2 Clarity for Best Value

Diamond Clarity Scale
Diamond Clarity Scale © CreditDonkey

Clarity refers to how many flaws are in the diamond. But the human eye can't see tiny flaws. As long as the diamond is eye-clean, it will look the same as a perfectly flawless stone. So don't pay for invisible features.

Plus, the extreme brilliance of round diamonds can hide flaws behind the sparkle.

VS2 clarity will give you best value. At this clarity grade, the flaws are usually small enough that they can't be seen with the naked eye. If you can find eye-clean SI1 diamonds, that can help you save even more.

Here are the recommended clarity grades that will give you best value.

Carat weightEye-clean clarity gradeMay have micro flaws visible
0.5 caratSI2I1
1 caratSI1-VS2I1
1.5 caratVS2SI1-SI2
2 caratVS2SI1
3 caratVS1-VS2SI1
4+ caratVS1VS2

Check out James Allen's 360 HD diamond preview technology. The magnified videos allow you to clearly see any flaws. But remember that even if you can see some flaws at such magnification, the real diamond itself is much smaller. You probably can't see them with the naked eye.

3. Look for H or I Color

Color refers to how much of a yellow tint there is in a diamond. Just like with clarity, the human eye can't differentiate color that well. You don't need a premium colorless diamond.

H color offers best value. H is in the near-colorless range so it's priced lower, but it'll still give you the icy-white look. If you're not very sensitive to color, I color diamonds offer even better value.

If you're setting the diamond in a yellow or rose gold band, you can downgrade to J or K color. These diamonds have a slightly warmer tone, which complements the color of the ring well.

Here are the recommended color grades that will give you best value.

Carat weightPlatinum or white gold ringYellow or rose gold ring
0.5 caratJK-L
1 caratIJ-K
1.5 caratH-IJ-K
2 caratHJ
3 caratH-GJ
4+ caratGJ-I

Best Settings for a Round Cut Diamond

Round diamonds look great in just about every style ring - from simple to vintage to modern designs.

Here are some settings that look especially great with round diamonds.

Solitaire
The solitaire is a timeless design. It looks especially good with a larger carat stone. This simple style will really let the diamond be the center of attention.

1.5 mm Comfort Fit Solitaire
1.5 mm Comfort Fit Solitaire via James Allen

Pave
This style has small diamonds on the band, giving the ring some extra sparkle and a touch of elegance.

via James Allen

Halo
Only got the budget for a smaller diamond? The halo ring is our favorite setting to get the most bling for your buck. The ring of diamonds can make a smaller center stone appear huge. This setting is bold and glamorous.

Vintage
Vintage-inspired rings are unique and show off personality. Round diamonds look great with geometric designs too, like in the example below.

via James Allen

Bottom Line

Round diamonds are a timeless choice. They're so brilliant that you don't need to worry about choosing a high clarity or color. Instead, it's super-important to focus on getting the best cut. You'll have a diamond that sparkles beautifully and stands out on the finger.

Anna G is a contributing writer at CreditDonkey, a diamond jeweler comparison and reviews website. Write to Anna G at feedback@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

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