A well-made diamond is symmetrical, has balanced proportions and a strong polish. The round brilliant has more exacting cut guidelines than others. Some manufacturers may promote their round brilliants as “ideal cuts,” with tweaks that make them exceptionally bright. A person looking for round brilliant cut engagement rings may be confused why different cut variants are called “ideal.” In truth, there are many ways to make a beautiful round brilliant.

The standards for the round brilliant were first outlined in the 1919 dissertation “Diamond Design,” by Marcel Tolkowsky. He named the amount, type, and placement of facets that should go on the stone. His recommended total depth, crown angle and other proportions would add more light to jewels.

Updated versions of the round brilliant may add more facets to enhance brightness. One patent experimented with minute etches to increase prismatic light. Others may turn to still stricter standards hoping to maximize light return. Depending on their measurements, there may be additional brilliance, fire, or other qualities.

While there are many ways to create a brilliant jewel, what qualifies as “ideal” is difficult to pinpoint. A person may prefer the simplicity of a classic round brilliant over an elaborate newer type. Another may find one jewel’s scintillation pattern more attractive than another’s brilliance. What makes a perfect diamond is in the eye of the wearer.

When looking for your dream diamond engagement ring, try examining it under different types of light. This will help reveal its brilliance, fire and other qualities. Rocking the jewel also shows off its light patterns. If possible, make sure it’s certified from a reliable third-party laboratory. Their cut grades can give an indicator of quality, though the final answer is yours.