Round Cut Diamonds

Round cut diamonds are the world’s most popular diamond shape. In fact, at the time of writing this article, more than 73% of diamonds for sale globally were Round (869,334 out of 1,178,007 total diamonds)! That means that the other nine diamond shapes combined make up only 27% of the diamonds available for sale. Why are Rounds so popular? Because a Round diamond’s ability to optimize light reflection makes it brighter and more brilliant than all other diamond shapes.

Table, Depth & Other Specifications for Ideal Round Cut Diamonds

Round diamonds are the only diamond shape that the GIA grades for cut. A diamond’s “cut” refers to how well the stone’s angles align, and how perfectly the stone was polished. Cut is the single most important factor when purchasing a Round. This is because how well your diamond is cut determines how sparkly and bright your stone is! The GIA assigns Rounds with the following cut grades: Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor. We personally only recommend purchasing Round cut diamonds with an Excellent cut rating, which is the highest cut grade the GIA assigns. We suggest this because minor mistakes in a diamond’s angles can have a major impact on its sparkle. You can find the below proportions on your GIA Diamond Certificate.

Note on “Ideal” cuts: Though some diamond search engines may be populated with the term “ideal cut,” GIA does not recognize this term. So, your GIA certificate will never define cut as “ideal.” We have populated our own “ideal cut” criteria in the table below to help you pick out the best of the best round cut diamonds.

Pro Tips for MAX SPARKLE:

Table: The “table” of your stone is the large flat facet on the top of your stone. Larger tables show more white sparkle (or “brilliance”), and smaller tables show more colored sparkle (or “fire”).

Pavilion angle v. Crown angle: The “pavilion angle” (the angle of the bottom part of your diamond) and the “crown angle” (the angle of the top) work together to return light as sparkle. The Tolkowsky ideal is a 34.5 degree crown and a 40.8 degree pavilion, but you don’t need these exactly. A good rule of thumb is for every 1.0 degrees steeper your crown, subtract 0.2 degrees from your pavilion (for example: 35.5 crown, 40.6 pavilion). Likewise, for every 1.0 degrees shallower your crown is, add 0.2 degrees to your pavilion (for example: 33.5 crown, 41.0 pavilion). Have questions? Email our gemologist here: [email protected]!


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"Ideal" Cut (Most Sparkle)

Premium Cut

Average Cut

Table %

A percentage measuring the width of the top facet of the diamond, divided by the overall width of the diamond. Smaller tables result in more colored sparkle, whereas larger tables give more white sparkle.

55 - 60

61 or 54 and below


Depth %

A percentage measuring the height (depth) of the diamond divided by the overall width of the diamond.

58 - 62

57 or 63

Under 56 or Over 64


The outmost edge of the diamond where the top (crown) of the diamond intersects with the bottom (pavillion) of the diamond.

Thin to Slightly Thick

Thin to Slightly Thick

Under Thin to Thick +

Crown Angle

The angle of the top part of your diamond. Diamonds with small tables should have high crown angles. Those with large tables should have low crown angles.

32.8 to 36.5

31.5 to 36.5

Under 31.4 or Over 36.5

Pavillion Angle

The angle of the bottom part of your diamond. Diamonds with small tables should have low pavilion angles. Those with large tables should have high pavilion angles.

40.6 to 41.2

40.6 to 41.8

Under 40.5 or Over 41.9


The small area at the very bottom of a diamond that looks like a point.



Very Small

Length to Width Ratio

The length of a diamond divided by its width. When comparing diamonds, those with larger ratios appear longer and skinnier.

1 - 1.03

1.04 - 1.05

1.06 +

Color Recommendations for Round Cut Diamonds

A Round diamond’s color is how white or slightly warm the gem looks. The color scale begins at D and ends at Z. Round diamonds with color grades D, E, and F are “colorless.” Grades G-Z show increasing amounts of warmth. However, many customers may actually prefer the ever so slightly warmer colors of a G-H diamond over the cool colorlessness of a D-F diamond. In fact, most of the price premium associated with Round diamonds at the higher end of the color scale is driven by supply and demand; the customers who want D-F color grades are willing to pay a premium to get them. In a world without diamond color grading, the price premium for higher grades would be much lower. This is because the actual difference in similar color grades is quite difficult to perceive.

One thing to keep in mind is that larger diamonds tend to show color more readily than smaller diamonds. So, the color chart below will help you evaluate color, depending upon size.


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Carat Weight

No Visible Color

Slight Tint

Warmer Color

< 0.5

D - J

K - L

M +


D - I


K +


D - H

I - J

K +

1.5 +

D - G

H - I

J +

Clarity Recommendations for Round Cut Diamonds

A diamond’s “clarity” is how crystal-clear the gem is, or how many internal marks (“inclusions”) it has. GIA provides excellent help with their clarity grades. Still, it is important to understand that each customer will have a unique standard for clarity. Some may be perfectly comfortable with an inclusion as long as they cannot easily see it. Others may insist on a more technically flawless appearance.

Most couples look for a stone that is “eye clean.” In other words, a diamond in which the inclusions are not visible to the naked eye. Eye clean clarity is the best value. However, the clarity grade you need to get an eye clean stone depends on its size. So, the clarity chart below can help you choose an eye clean clarity in your Round cut diamond.

Note! Your jeweler should always double check for eye clean appearance. We check every conflict free diamond ring we sell and inform our couples if it is not eye clean.


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Carat Weight

Clean Under 10X Magnification

"Eye Clean"

Visible Blemishes Okay As Long As Not Obvious

< 0.5












1.5 +




Round Diamond Alternatives

While diamonds are beautiful stones, there are other white stones cut in the same Round shape that are stunning as well. Our favorite alternatives to diamonds are Forever One Moissanite and White Sapphires. Not only are these alternatives much less expensive than diamonds, they are also very durable and gorgeous.

Diamond - $$$$

White Sapphire - $$$

Moissanite - $$

Settings that Pair Well with Round Cut Diamonds

Almost all engagement rings are originally designed for Round diamonds, so naturally, the majority of our ethical engagement rings look beautiful with Round diamonds. However, some designs showcase and balance a Round’s shape better than others. Here are a few of our favorite Round diamond engagement rings.

Money Tips

When looking for a Round cut diamond, make sure to maximize measurements within your ideally cut diamond. For example, you can have a 1.0 carat Round cut diamond with measurements 6.36 x 6.42 mm that is ideally cut. However, you could also have a 0.98 carat Round diamond with measurements 6.45 x 6.45 mm that is just as ideally cut, and probably less expensive. All of our Recommended conflict free diamonds have been maximized for size and beauty!

4 Things to Ask Your Jeweler

  • 01.

    Photo & Video

    Always ask your jeweler for a detailed picture or video like these stones. Look for lively sparkle!

  • 02.

    Review the Diamond Certificate

    Always review the Diamond Certificate to check for ideal proportions. Compare it against our chart above!

  • 03.

    Inspect It

    Ask the jeweler to pull the diamond and actually visually inspect it. Is it eye clean?

  • 04.

    Measure It

    Make sure your Round diamond’s measurements are maximized within your carat size. Don’t pay for weight that’s trapped in the bottom of the stone that you’ll never see!

See Our Talia

With a Round Cut Diamond

See Our Patronus

With a Round Cut Diamond

See Our Diana

With a Round Cut Diamond

Other Ring Resources

See our in-depth educational guides, which were made to give practical advice with every aspect of your ring.







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