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Why are Round Brilliant Cut Diamonds So Expensive?

Round brilliant cut diamonds command the highest price per carat compared to all other diamond cuts because a diamond cutter loses more diamond rough in order to yield a 1.00ct stone. The natural shape of a round brilliant, often compared to that of an ice cream cone, requires a diamond cutter to waste more rough material than cutting a naturally deeper cut stone such as a princess or cushion. This is because round diamonds typically have a lower pavilion depth percentage of 42-44% while other fancy cuts can reach 50% or more. Fancy shapes, because they are typically elongated and/or have a bulkier shape, require a larger depth % in order to achieve good light return. Increased depth yields more weight retention and less rough wasted. The result is a premium attached to the price tag of round brilliants, especially those that are able to reach “magic weights” like the 1ct mark. A round brilliant sells for a higher price per carat to compensate for the serious financial loss associated with cutting these diamonds. Without this premium, there would be little incentive for diamond cutters to cut round brilliant cut diamonds.

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