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What is the Ideal Depth of a Diamond?

by Elise Jewelry 20 Mar 2024

You might be familiar with the significance of considering the four 'C's (carat, cut, clarity, and color) when searching for a diamond. However, numerous factors contribute to determining these qualities of a diamond, which warrant your attention, such as the stone's depth. The depth refers to the diamond's height, measured from its table to its culet, the pointed region at the diamond's base.

Why is Diamond Depth Important?

A component of the cut, the depth of a diamond, plays a crucial role in determining the amount of light reflected to an observer. A diamond with an optimal depth will efficiently reflect a significant portion of the incoming light.

When the diamond's depth is excessive, incoming light will interact with the facets at incorrect angles, leading to light leakage through the diamond's sides. Conversely, if the diamond is too shallow, the majority of incoming light will escape through its bottom. Thus, achieving the perfect depth is essential for maximizing the diamond's brilliance.

What is the Ideal Depth of a Diamond?

When examining diamond depths, it's crucial to consider the depth percentage alongside the depth measurement. The depth percentage is determined by dividing the depth by the width of the diamond. For instance, if a diamond has a depth of 4 mm and a width of 5 mm, the depth percentage would be 80%.

The optimal depth varies depending on the diamond's shape. Here are the recommended depth ranges for some popular diamond shapes:

  • Round diamonds: 59.5-61.9%
  • Marquise-cut diamonds: 59-63%
  • Emerald-cut diamonds: 61-67.5%
  • Asscher-cut diamonds: 59-67%
  • Oval-cut diamonds: 59-62%
  • Pear-cut diamonds: 59-63%
  • Princess-cut diamonds: 65-70%
  • Heart-cut diamonds: 57-59%

📚 Also Read: What Does CTW Mean?

What to Look For When Shopping For A Diamond

If you aim to make your diamond appear larger, opt for a stone with a depth percentage towards the lower end of the ideal range. For example, for a Round diamond, consider a depth percentage of 59.5%, which sits at the lower end of the 59.5-61.9% ideal cut range. Why? Diamonds with lower depth percentages concentrate more weight towards the top, creating the illusion of a larger size when viewed from above. However, be cautious not to select a diamond with an excessively low depth percentage, as it may sacrifice brilliance. It's best to stay within the recommended depth percentage range for the particular diamond shape.

With this understanding of the ideal diamond depth, remember to inquire about this aspect from the retailer when you next shop for diamond jewelry!


Why is the depth of a diamond important?

The depth of a diamond significantly influences how much light it reflects to an observer. Optimal depth ensures efficient light reflection, enhancing the diamond's brilliance.

How does diamond depth affect light reflection?

Excessive depth leads to light leakage through the sides, while shallow depth results in light escaping through the bottom. Achieving the perfect depth is crucial for maximizing brilliance.

How is the ideal depth of a diamond determined?

The ideal depth is determined by considering both the depth measurement and the depth percentage, calculated by dividing the depth by the width of the diamond.

What should I consider when shopping for a diamond?

Look for a depth percentage towards the lower end of the ideal range if you want the diamond to appear larger. However, ensure it's not excessively low to maintain brilliance. Always stay within the recommended depth percentage range for the diamond's shape.


Understanding the significance of diamond depth is crucial when selecting the perfect gemstone. It directly impacts the brilliance and overall appearance of the diamond. By considering both the depth measurement and percentage, along with the recommended ranges for various diamond shapes, you can make an informed decision. Whether you prioritize maximizing size or maintaining brilliance, finding the ideal depth is key.

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