How to Choose the Right Diamond Depth and Table for Your Cut

By Michael Fried

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The depth and table of a diamond have a huge impact on its appearance and value. There’s no “best” depth and table for every diamond — instead, the ideal depth and table depend on the cut you’re considering.

We’ve listed the best depth and table ranges for round cut diamonds, princess cuts and several other popular diamond cuts below, along with tips to help you get the best diamond within your budget.

Looking for a reliable place to compare diamonds on depth and table size? Retailers like James Allen and Blue Nile list depth % and table % along with other important carat, color, clarity and cut information for all of their loose diamonds.

Why Diamond Depth and Table Are Important

When you’re comparing diamonds, whether for buying an engagement ring or other jewelry, it’s easy to get distracted by a diamond’s size, color and clarity.

These factors make up three of the four Cs — in this case, color, clarity and carat. The fourth C is cut, a factor that’s every bit as important as a diamond’s size, color and clarity in determining its value.

Two of the most important factors in determining the quality of a diamond’s cut are its depth and table. Below, we’ve explained exactly what these are, as well as what you should look for when you’re comparing diamonds.

diamond-depth-and-table
Diagram of Diamond Depth and Table

What is the Table of a Diamond?

Look at several diamonds side by side and you’ll notice that they usually have one major feature in common: a flat, table-like surface.

This part of the diamond is referred to as the table. On a modern round brilliant, the table is one of 58 facets on the surface of the diamond. As the top facet, the table lets light into the diamond and refracts it towards the facets on the top and sides, creating its unique, sparkly appearance.

The size of the table is one of the most important factors in the appearance of any diamond. Not only does it let light into the diamond — it also disperses light throughout the diamond.

What is the Ideal Table Size for a Diamond?

While it’s important for a diamond’s table to be large enough to allow light in, a bigger table isn’t necessarily better. A good table needs to be balanced — it needs to be large enough to let lots of light into the stone, but not so big that it doesn’t refract light onto the crown of the diamond.

The table of a diamond isn’t measured by its physical dimensions — instead, it’s measured as a percentage of the width of the diamond. Like other aspects of a diamond’s quality, the table of a diamond is graded from poor to excellent, depending on its quality.

Outside these ranges, the table can negatively affect the look of a diamond. A table that’s overly wide can reduce the dispersion of light throughout the diamond, giving even a gorgeous stone a lack of fire.

In short, a bigger table doesn’t mean better looks. Search for the 54 to 60% range for round cuts and 66 to 72% for emerald cuts and you’ll get the best balance of a classic appearance and fire from your diamond.

What is the Depth of a Diamond?

Great diamonds are all about proportion, with the depth of a diamond one of the most important factors in achieving optimal sparkle and visual balance.

The depth of a diamond refers to its measurement from top to bottom, from the table on the top of the diamond to the culet at its base. A diamond’s depth is expressed as a percentage, based on the total height of the diamond divided by its total width.

As well as the depth as a percentage, most grading reports also include the depth of a diamond in millimeters.

Like the table, a diamond’s depth has a huge impact on its appearance. A short diamond with a shallow depth will allow most light to pass through from top to bottom, reducing the sparkle and fire that’s visible when it’s exposed to light.

This can also happen when a diamond is too deep. Because the different weight distribution, a diamond that’s too deep can look thinner and smaller than a shallower diamond of equal carat weight.

What is the Ideal Diamond Depth?

Just like with a diamond’s table, there’s no “best” depth for every type of diamond. Instead, the ideal depth range depends on the cut you choose. Also like the table, each diamond’s depth is graded from poor to excellent:

How to Choose the Right Diamond

Because depth and table play a huge role in determining a diamond’s appearance, brilliance, fire and value, they’re two of the most important factors to keep in mind when you’re shopping for diamond jewelry.

Using the recommended depth and table percentages above, you can easily rule out diamonds that aren’t cut well, helping you avoid low-quality stones during your search.

It’s important to remember that while ideal depth and table are important things to look for in a diamond, they’re not the only things that you should pay attention to. Pay attention to the three other Cs — color, clarity and carat — and you’ll find it easier to pick the right diamond for you.

Need help choosing the right diamond? Reach out to our experts and we’ll help you find the highest quality diamonds for your preferences and budget.

About the author
Mike learned the diamond business from the ground-up at Leo Schachter Diamonds - one of the world's top diamond manufacturers. He has been recognized as a diamond industry expert by Time, PeopleMoney, The Daily Mirror, NerdWallet, The Times Herald, Yahoo Finance Australia, The Art of Charm, The Washington Diplomat, The Next Web, and more. See more
Top Recommended Vendors
James Allen James Allen is the leader in online diamond sales. Their imaging technology is at the point where it's almost the same as inspecting a diamond with a jeweler's loupe. Their customer experience is best in class, and they have recently upgraded their non-engagement jewelry inventory as well. For a limited time, take advantage of their 25% OFF Mother's Day sale!
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Blue Nile Blue Nile is the largest and most well known internet jewelry seller. They have the industry-leading largest available exclusive online inventory. Their high quality images are catching up to James Allens' and their prices are amazing. 
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. Blue Nile will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisal
  • One free resizing within the first year of purchase
  • High quality images of about half of their diamonds
  • 24/7 Customer Service
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