What Is A Brilliant Cut Diamond

A brilliant-cut diamond is designed to maximise the diamond's brilliance or the amount of light reflected in the viewer's eye. When choosing a diamond, the brilliant cut is a popular and timeless option.

It is known for its sparkling and fiery appearance, versatility, and durability. However, many may not realise that the number of facets on a diamond plays a crucial role in determining how much light is reflected and how much sparkle is produced

We will delve deeper into the science behind the sparkle and explore how the number of facets affects the brilliance of a brilliant-cut diamond.

The History Of A Brilliant-Cut Diamond

The history of the brilliant-cut diamond can be traced back to the 17th century when a Belgian mathematician and diamond cutter named Marcel Tolkowsky began studying the way light interacts with diamonds. 

Tolkowsky was determined to create a diamond cut that would maximise the diamond's brilliance or the amount of light reflected by the viewer's eye.

Tolkowsky's research led him to develop the modern brilliant-cut diamond, which has 57 or 58 facets or small, flat surfaces that are cut into the diamond to reflect light. This cut is known for its sparkling, fiery appearance, which is why it is so popular among diamond buyers.

The brilliant-cut diamond quickly gained popularity in Europe and soon spread to other parts of the world, becoming a standard for diamond cutting. Many famous diamonds, such as the Hope Diamond and the Koh-i-Noor, were cut in a brilliant style.

Over the centuries, the technology for cutting and polishing diamonds has improved, allowing diamond cutters to create brilliant cut diamonds that are even more sparkling and fiery than ever. 

Today, the brilliant-cut diamond remains the most popular and traditional cut for diamonds, used in engagement rings and other fine jewellery.

The history of the brilliant cut diamond is a testament to the enduring beauty and value of this timeless diamond cut. As Tolkowsky's research shows, the brilliant-cut results from a scientific approach to cutting diamonds continue to be refined today.

How The Brilliant-Cut Diamond Is Made

Creating a brilliant-cut diamond involves several steps, starting with selecting a rough diamond and ending with a polished and sparkling gemstone.

First, the rough diamond is selected and marked with lines indicating where it should be cut. The diamond cutter then uses a saw to create the rough shape and a grinding wheel to shape the pavilion, the lower part of the diamond.

Next, the crown, the upper part of the diamond, is created by cutting and polishing the top of the diamond. This creates the 57 or 58 facets that give the brilliant-cut its sparkling and fiery appearance.

Finally, the diamond is examined under a microscope to ensure it meets standards for quality and brilliance before being graded and certified by a reputable gemological laboratory.

Creating a brilliant-cut diamond requires a skilled and experienced diamond cutter, using the right tools and techniques to create a visually stunning and structurally sound diamond.

The Number Of Facets Affects The Sparkle Of A Brilliant Cut Diamond

What Is A Brilliant Cut Diamond

The number of facets on a diamond plays a crucial role in determining how much light is reflected and how much sparkle is produced.

In the case of the brilliant-cut diamond, the standard number of facets is 57 or 58. But how does this number affect the diamond's sparkle?

Light enters a diamond and is reflected and dispersed through the facets, creating a sparkling and fiery appearance. The more facets a diamond has, the more opportunities for light to be reflected, creating more sparkle.

The number of facets can also affect the perceived size of the diamond. A diamond with a higher number of facets may appear larger and more brilliant, while a diamond with fewer facets may appear smaller and less brilliant.

The brilliant-cut diamond is considered the most versatile and timeless option among all the diamond cuts, so you’ll never go wrong with this choice!

Why Choose A Brilliant-Cut Diamond

A brilliant-cut diamond is a beautiful and timeless choice for an engagement ring or other special piece of jewellery. The high brilliance and sparkle provided by the cut make the diamond stand out and be noticed. 

 This cut can be used in various settings and styles, from simple solitaires to more elaborate designs. It also works well with various other gemstones, making it a great option for creating a unique and personalised piece of jewellery.

Additionally, brilliant-cut diamonds are available in various sizes and shapes. This allows for greater flexibility when it comes to budget and personal preference.


The brilliant-cut diamond is known for its exceptional sparkle. However, it's important to note that the number of facets is not the only factor that affects a diamond's sparkle. 

The quality of the cut, the angles of the facets, and the symmetry of the diamond are also important factors that contribute to a diamond's overall sparkle. 


What is the difference between a brilliant-cut diamond and other diamond cuts?

A brilliant-cut diamond has 57 or 58 facets specifically designed to maximise its appearance.  

Other diamond cuts, such as the princess cut or the emerald cut, have a different number and arrangement of facets that will affect the diamond's appearance differently.

How can I tell if a diamond is a brilliant cut?

A brilliant-cut diamond has 57 or 58 facets and typically has a round shape. A diamond cut to ideal proportions and angles will have the most sparkle and brilliance.

Are brilliant-cut diamonds more expensive than other diamond cuts?

Not necessarily. Various factors, including the carat weight, colour, and clarity, determine a diamond's price. A well cut diamond will be more expensive than a poorly cut diamond of the same quality.