Brilliant and diamonds. Did you know that they are not the same?

You too may have once made that very common mistake when it comes to naming diamonds ‘brilliant’. But this is a confusion that jewelry designers are used to and it is very easy to clear up: brilliant are only diamonds whose cut or shape is circular.

The rest, no.

It is true that among all the types of diamonds on the market, these are the most beautiful, because when cutting them, they look for such perfection in their angles that they shine like no other shape.

The size, in fact, is the factor that determines the brilliance of the diamond and takes into account both the shape and its quality and proportions.

white diamond

However, if we carefully read this article from the Institute of Gemology, “A brilliant is the round cut of the diamond, with a total of 57 facets (faces), 33 in the crown (the upper part) and 24 in the butt (the lower part)”.

The correct way to name them would be brilliant-cut diamonds. And that’s how the rest of the round cut gems should also be named: for example, brilliant cut ruby.

Different diamonds according to size

Therefore, not all diamonds are brilliant, but we find them of different types depending on their size:

  • Brilliant diamond: round cut
  • Oval diamond: elliptical cut
  • Princess diamond: square cut
  • Pear diamond: cut in the shape of a teardrop
  • Heart diamond: cut in the shape of a heart
  • Emerald diamond: rectangular cut
  • Marquise diamond: similar to the pear but with both ends pointed at a point

Other important ones such as the color, purity and weight of the diamonds will determine their higher quality, but it happens with round cut (or brilliant cut) that in particular the angles of the facets of the crown and the butt, with respect to the plane of the girdle, they make that size or shape present.

The faces at the bottom are the ones that get all the light “going the right way so that as much brightness as possible is produced”. Such is its importance that if the angles are not correct, “most of it will refract outwards, coming out the wrong place”, something that will influence the final appearance of the diamond and determine its beauty.


On the website of the Institute of Gemology we even find the right proportions that make a brilliant cut diamond reach perfection:

  • Table diameter 53 to 64%
  • Crown height 12 to 15%
  • Head depth 42 to 44%

The author of sparkling diamonds

Therefore, if you have doubts about the type of diamond you want, it is best to consult an expert jeweler who will advise you. With this post, at least, we hope to have clarified your doubts about what to call them and know how to differentiate when you find yourself in front of a brilliant cut diamond.

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