The traditional brilliant cut diamond, often referred to as the “round brilliant,” is known for its spectacular facets. They are often referred to as 58 facets. But that’s not entirely true. You see, some diamonds have 57 facets… But first, let’s look at the norm…
The reason for the 58 facet design is primarily based on achieving an optimal balance of brilliance, fire, and scintillation in a round diamond. The facets are carefully arranged to maximize the diamond’s ability to reflect and refract light, resulting in its characteristic sparkle and brilliance.
The 58 facets consist of the following:
- Table Facet: The large, flat facet on the top of the diamond.
- Crown Facets: A series of triangular-shaped facets that surround the table facet.
- Pavilion Facets: A series of triangular or kite-shaped facets that are located below the girdle, which is the widest part of the diamond.
- Culet: A small facet at the bottom of the diamond.
As seen in the diagram below:
This is the common diagram that everyone understands
The angles and proportions of these facets are crucial in determining how light interacts with the diamond. They are carefully calculated to ensure that light entering the stone is reflected internally and then refracted back out through the top, creating brilliance and dispersion of spectral colors.
While there are other diamond cuts and variations with more or fewer facets, the 58 facet round brilliant cut has been widely adopted due to its ability to maximize a diamond’s beauty and optical properties. It has become the standard for round diamonds and is highly sought after for its classic and timeless appeal.
But what are 57 facet diamonds?
The missing facet is the culet. Some diamonds do not have a culet cut off the bottom of the stone. When the culet is uncut, and remains a sharp point, then the diamond only has 57 facets.
See the image below…
Whether a diamond has a culet, or not, does not affect the price or value of the diamond in the least (unless it has an extremely large culet which is noticeable to the eye through the table of the stone). The only reason the culet is even done on a diamond, is just to prevent it from chipping, because the pointy bottom of the stone gets very vulnerable to chipping or breaking off. But that’s the only reason why.
So 57 facets, versus 58 facets, doesn’t matter (as long as the jeweler sets the stone so it’s protected in the mounting).
If you want to know if your diamond has 57 facets or 58 facets, just look at the diamond certificate, and view the diamond’s diagram (the profile). It will list the culet grade and tell you what the size is. If it says ‘none‘, then you have 57 facets. But if it has any of these listed: very small, small, medium, slightly large, or large, then you know it has 58 facets.
Do you have a culet, or not?
Let me know in the comments below.