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Difference between 5D diamonds and 3D diamonds

Diamond painting is correlated with the brilliance and sparkle of the finished artwork. However, oftentimes we find that some of the diamond paintings have more glow, shine, and depth to them, whereas other diamond paintings have a lackluster feeling to them with a dull shine and less depth as compared to other sparkly diamonds.

So, what's the difference, and what's the reason behind it?

The main difference in the glow of diamond painting is due to the diamond drills used in it. Diamond drills are of various types based on cuts, shapes, and coatings. The most commonly used in diamond painting are 5D and 3D diamond drills. Other than 3D and 5D diamonds, you can also find Aurora Borealis or special diamonds.

The difference between 5D and 3D diamond drills is based on the cut and facets of the diamonds.

What is meant by Facets?

All diamond drills are multi-faced, and each angular flat surface of the diamond drill is known as facets. Facets give the diamonds their shape and dimension and act like a prism that reflects and refracts light through them. The bouncing light gives the diamonds sparkle and makes them appear shinier.

Facets in 3D Diamond Drills

All diamond drills are 2.5 x 2.5 millimeters. And in such a tiny size, many facets are cut to reflect light. 3D diamond drills have 3 facets on every three sides. So, it makes a total of 9 facets in each diamond drill.

3D Diamond Painting

Facets in 5D Diamond Drills

In 5D diamond drills, there are 5 facets on all three sides of the diamond drill which makes a total of 15 facets

Fun Fact: A real diamond has 58 facets. Each cut, depending on the number of facets, is given a different name.

5D Diamond Painting

Does that conclude more facets, more shine? 

It is considered that facets contribute to the shine and sparkle of the diamond. A diamond with more facets will have more reflection, which may not have a considerable effect on the sparkle of the diamond. The brilliance depends on how these facets are cut; their symmetry, proportion, and the polish of the cuts. 

It is the reason that kits with even 5D diamond drills may have differences in their shine. So, always buy a diamond painting kit from a manufacturer whose diamonds are cut to perfection with impeccable polish, symmetry, and shine. 

3D Diamond Painting VS 5D Diamond Painting

What to choose? - 3D Drills or 5D Drills

Facets affect the diamond's appearance and brilliance. 5D diamonds appear to be shinier and have more depth to them because of the reflection of light through the facets. But if 5D diamonds have all the gleam and shine so, why buy 3D kits and even make kits with 3D diamonds?

3D Diamonds

The reason is some of the diamond paintings capture the image better in 3D diamonds rather than 5D diamonds. The thing to remember is that not all diamond paintings require the depth. In that case, it's better to use 3D diamonds instead of 5D drills. 5D diamond drills give the diamond painting dimension and make it more sparkly, so to enhance the image's depth, shimmer, and vibrancy, you should use 5D diamond drills.

For example, scenery or a flower is better captured with 5D diamonds to have all the details and depth, and a simple diamond kit for kids may work better with 3D diamond resins

5D Diamonds


Both 5D and 3D diamonds can also be used in the same diamond painting with 5D diamonds to focus and enhance a particular object that needs more shine, detail, and depth. And the rest of the image can be completed in 3D diamonds. 

Is Shine of Aurora Borealis the Same as the Shine of 5D diamonds?

Just like 5D diamond dots, Aurora Borealis diamond drills also have glitter and sparkle to them. However, many diamond artists confuse them, thinking these two diamond drills may be the same. 

But the shine and glow of Aurora Borealis diamonds are different from the reflection and sparks of 5D diamonds.

5D diamonds have facets that bounce the light to create a shimmery effect. And Aurora Borealis has a special coating that has an iridescent effect. Aurora Borealis square and round diamonds mimic the colors of natural Northern Lights that are seen in polar regions in the sky.

AB Diamonds

Taking the cue from Northern Lights, Aurora Borealis diamonds give the celestial shimmer to the finished diamond painting. 

Another substantial difference is that 5D diamond may be used in the whole painting, whereas Aurora Borealis diamonds may only be used in specific areas where more sparkle can create the magical effect like the sky, flowing river, etc.

3D and 5D Diamonds vs Special Diamonds

In diamond painting, 3D and 5D diamonds differ significantly from special-shaped diamonds in several ways. 3D diamonds, with their 18 facets (9 on each side), offer a decent sparkle and a more traditional, mosaic-like appearance. 5D diamonds, on the other hand, have around 30 facets (15 on each side), providing greater brilliance and a more detailed, realistic effect in the finished artwork. These facets in both 3D and 5D diamonds are primarily responsible for how light is reflected and how the image comes to life with a luminous quality.

In contrast, special-shaped diamonds, which come in various forms like stars, hearts, or teardrops, are not defined by the number of facets but by their unique shapes. These diamonds are often used to accentuate specific parts of a painting, adding an element of texture and visual interest. While 3D and 5D diamonds create a uniform look across the canvas, special-shaped diamonds are used selectively, offering a creative way to highlight certain aspects of the design and introduce a whimsical or decorative element to the artwork.

Special Diamond Paintings

Round and Square 3D and 5D Diamond Drills

3D and 5D diamond drills in square and round also give a different touch to the final artwork. Even if we use round and square 5D drills for the same image in different paintings, the result will differ in resolution, depth, and detail due to the shape of the diamond. 

Round vs Square Diamonds

Read how the brilliance, glow, and resolution of a diamond painting differs in round drills and square drills. Round vs Square 

We hope that you have understood the difference between 3D and 5D diamond kits. So, the next time you want to start your diamond painting project, you select the kits based on an informed decision.

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