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The John Atencio Jewelry Glossary The John Atencio Jewelry Glossary
Glossary › Brilliant Cut

Glossary: Brilliant Cut

The standard cut style for diamonds, a brilliant cut consists of 58 total facets. This includes 1 table, 8 star facets, 8 bezel facets, 8 pavilion facets, 16 upper-girdle facets at the crown, 16 lower-girdle facets and, in most cases, a culet on the base or pavilion.

The brilliant-cut is a very popular round cut for diamond gems, especially for pieces with bigger stones. With this kind of round diamond cut, the gem has numerous facets which increase its all-important brilliance refractive impact (BRI). For this reason, if you covet a jewelry piece with a diamond that shines and sparkles, you should consider a piece with a brilliant-cut stone.


Relatively new to the jewelry market, the brilliant cut was first created by Belgian jeweler Marcel Tolkowsky back in 1919. These days, a diamond with a round brilliant cut will contain just under five dozen facets, which combine to give the gemstone its impressive fire and rainbow effect when it catches the light. Because they attract the eye, brilliant cut diamonds are a very popular choice among modern brides who want dazzling engagement rings that truly stand out.

With all that said, although the brilliant cut was devised to create maximum fire and brilliance, many modern gemstones cut in this fashion don’t have the traditional Tolkowsky angles or proportions for that purpose. Modifications of the modern round brilliant include popular fancy shapes such as the pear shape, half-moon, marquise and many others.

Benefits of a Round Brilliant Cut Diamond

The most popular cut ever, the round brilliant cut diamond is the go-to shape for almost every engagement ring. There’s an incredible abundance of them, which means the prices are generally competitive. Unlike princess and marquise cuts, the round diamond also has no sharp corners, so there’s nothing to get snagged or caught.

Endlessly compatible, round brilliant cut diamonds can fit into virtually any type of ring, whether it’s a tension setting, simple solitaire setting, pave, 2 stone, 3 stone, wrap or jacket, and more. The round brilliant cut always looks great, complements any mounting, and works with all engagement rings, classic, traditional or modern.

Most importantly, brilliant cut diamonds are the most brilliant diamonds available because they are perfectly symmetrical and have an even distribution of light. The cut maximizes light exchange, bouncing light all around the diamond to produce the best possible return of brilliance, fire, sparkle and scintillation.

The exceptional brilliance also helps hide subtle flaws, diminishing the appearance of inclusions while brightening the diamond and making the stone look larger and whiter.

Most flaws in a round brilliant cut diamond are hidden beneath the crown facets or covered up by the prongs or mounting. Unless the flaws are substantial or sit dead center, you’re not likely to notice them. Other diamond cuts, on the other hand, have larger table areas that show flaws easier.

The John Atencio Difference

Unlike most other jewelers, John Atencio takes a unique approach to engagement rings, designing each breathtaking piece around the center stone. Whether you want a brilliant cut diamond or some other shape, John can help you choose a ring that’s a beautiful reflection of your one-of-a-kind love story.

With decades of experience, John is renowned for creating exceptional jewelry pieces that reflect the unmistakable artistry of a master craftsman. In addition to his existing collection of striking pieces, he works with customers to design custom creations that provide a personalized expression of their unique style and enduring commitment and love.

At John Atencio, our talented team has 47 years of experience in jewelry design. This unrivaled expertise extends to working in concert with customers to design uniquely compelling wearable art that meets John’s strictest standards for durability, quality and unmistakable beauty. Through every step of the process, our consultants work collaboratively with customers to refine every custom jewelry piece until it is nothing short of perfect.

Whether you want a ring with a round brilliant cut diamond, a fancy-shaped stone, a nontraditional setting, or a contemporary creation that blends several different styles, John Atencio can create a distinctively striking custom jewelry piece that’s as unique as you.

Bold lines. Fluid form. Balanced dimensions. At John Atencio, we craft stunning statement pieces and breathtaking wearable art, using the finest materials — all with unwavering attention to detail. Whether it’s one of John Atencio’s distinctive designs or a personalized ring created with you in mind, every single piece embraces the flawless craftsmanship and organic design that is signature John Atencio artistry.