The confusion between the terms brilliant and diamond is very common. In our Roosik&Co store, we often meet people who use these words synonymously; but there's also the case in which they are used as if they were two different types of gems. Actually, these are different concepts.
In jewelry, the term brilliant refers to a certain way of cutting gems, which is technically known as brilliant-cut. The diamond, on the other hand, is the name given to the gem, the mineral. The brilliant-cut is one of the most popular in jewelry. Traditionally, this type of cut has been widely used in diamonds, since it enhances their natural beauty by especially favoring the reflection of light and, therefore, its brilliance.
The brilliant-cut has a total of 57 facets -or faces- and is the typical image that comes to mind when we think of a diamond: a gem with a round appearance if we look at it from above and with the lower part ending in an inverted heart. This carving has undergone changes over time, and for a fairly long period, certain carvers added one more facet -one more face-, trimming the tip of the inverted heart that we mentioned. This "extra" facet responded to a certain superstition towards the number 57, but it gradually disappeared as it negatively affected the optical characteristics of diamonds.
The popularity of this cut, and the fact that it has traditionally been one of the most used for diamonds, has led to the omission of the word diamond and the use of brilliant to refer to diamonds in this cut. But in fact, to be precise with the language and at the same time avoid misunderstandings, it's recomended to always talk about "brilliant cut diamonds".