A Guide to Brilliant Cut Diamonds

A Guide to Brilliant Cut Diamonds

7th June 2022

Nothing sparkles quite like a Brilliant cut diamond. This cut is known for being the sparkliest cut around, hence its name, and is an extremely popular choice for engagement rings, bracelets, earrings and necklaces. The Brilliant cut diamond will instantly make someone feel glamorous and special, and we believe that everyone should experience the pure joy of owning a brilliant diamond.

If you want to learn more about Brilliant cut diamonds, you’re in the right place! Here, we’ll be diving into the long history of the Brilliant cut diamond and exploring which settings are best to really showcase the incredible gem.

What is a Brilliant Cut Diamond?

A Brilliant cut diamond is often cut into a cone-like shape with multiple facets. For a diamond to be classed as a Brilliant cut, it needs to have at least 57 facets. With this shape and amount of facets, it allows any light to easily enter and bounce around, resulting in the unrivalled sparkle that the Brilliant cut is known and loved for.

The most popular style of Brilliant cut diamonds is round Brilliants. In fact, almost 75% of all diamonds sold are round Brilliant cuts. This is because they offer a timeless appearance and exceptional light reflection that stands out in all setting styles. The perfect circular shape is also very appealing for engagement rings as the circle is a symbol of infinite love.

History of Brilliant Cut Diamonds

The Round Brilliant cut is one of the oldest cuts that are still popular today. However, it’s come a very long way since it was first created in the middle of the 17th century. At this time, as cutting technology was still relatively new and being developed, the cut only had 17 facets. Later, a Venetian polisher managed to increase the facets from 17 to 33, creating a slightly more brilliant stone. But, because the tools were unavailable, these early Brilliant cut diamonds were more rectangular in shape, rather than circular.


It wasn’t until the 1900s, when diamond saws and other tools were made, that the development of modern diamond cutting improved. In 1919, Marcel Tolkowsky, an engineer whose family were in the diamond cutting business, analysed the older Brilliant cut diamond and set out to maximise the brilliance of the stone.


His calculations and techniques took both the brilliance and the fire of the diamond to then create a delicate balance between the two, bringing us the modern Brilliant cut we see today. Although this cut has been perfected over time, many diamond industries still use Tolkowsky’s calculations as the basis for all ideal Brilliant cut diamonds.

The Best Settings for a Brilliant Cut Diamond

Aside from its dazzling sparkle, one of the biggest reasons why a Brilliant cut diamond is so popular is because of how versatile it is. It can be worn in almost any setting and in almost any form of jewellery. Brilliant diamond solitaire earrings offer a classic, everyday look, and a single solitaire Brilliant diamond necklace will give a subtle, elegant sparkle.

When it comes to an engagement ring, again, the solitaire setting works beautifully and makes the high-quality, Brilliant diamond the star of the show - this also works especially well if you have a larger stone. If the sparkle of a Brilliant cut diamond on its own just still isn’t quite enough for you, a halo setting will certainly make it even more lavish and eye-catching.

Why Choose a Brilliant Cut Diamond?

Many believe that the Brilliant cut diamond is the best of all the other cuts, thanks to its intense sparkle and iconic status. Both modern and classic looking, you can be positive that this style of diamond cut will always be in style. This, of course, also makes it much easier to get than other cuts as it is more readily available.

Because of its shape and many facets, this cut of diamond can hide any flaws well, meaning a lower quality diamond that may be within budget will still look bright and full of fire. However, we would recommend choosing a Brilliant cut diamond that’s at least an I in colour and SI and above in clarity.

A Brilliant cut diamond is extremely versatile, with a number of settings and styles suitable and with no sharp corners (if you choose the round Brilliant), it’s an easy cut to wear every day without working about knocking it and getting it chipped.

However, it should come as no surprise, with how popular and in-demand this cut is, that it’s one of the more expensive cuts. A larger carat Brilliant cut stone will cost far more than the same cut of an Emerald or Princess cut, for example. But, if it's the sparkle you want over the size, then you won’t be left disappointed!

Learn more about the different types of diamond cuts by reading our guides on Asscher cut diamonds, Princess cut diamonds and Radiant cut diamonds to find out which cut you prefer.

Also, browse our full collection of lab-grown diamond rings, which have been made with sustainability, welfare and ethics at the forefront of our minds.

View Our Instagram insta view