Whether you're treating yourself to some well-deserved diamond jewelry or shopping for a princess cut engagement ring for your partner, we're here to help you find your perfect princess cut! Keep reading for:
What is a princess cut diamond?
Why we love princess cuts
How to choose a princess cut diamond
Princess cut versus cushion cut, asscher cut, and radiant cut
Our favorite setting for a princess cut engagement ring
WHAT IS A PRINCESS CUT DIAMOND?
The high priestess of diamonds, princess cut diamonds are square shaped with the can't-stop sparkle worthy of the princess crown they're named for. These stones usually have between 50 to 58 facets, creating the incredible shine they're well known for.
Though they come in second behind round brilliant in the overall diamond popularity contest, they take the top throne among the fancy diamond shapes.
WHY WE LOVE PRINCESS CUT DIAMONDS
Princess cut diamonds are the nude pumps of the diamond world - timeless, incredibly versatile, and can suit any vibe or aesthetic. Why else we love them:
Princess cut diamonds sparkle shamelessly - they're second only to round brilliant diamonds - the sparkle bombs of the diamond world.
Princess cut diamonds are noticeably less expensive than a round diamond of the same quality and carat weight, which means more diamond for your budget!
WHY ARE PRINCESS CUT DIAMONDS LESS EXPENSIVE?
A princess cut diamond uses more of the diamond rough than other shapes, cutting down on waste and saving on cost. More affordable and more sustainable - wins all around.
If you compare a princess cut diamond and a round diamond of the same carat weight, the princess cut diamond will looks larger thanks to the optical illusion created by those sleek diagonal lines.
That aesthetic square shape gives you options when it comes to designing rings! Set it right side up as expected or twist it 45 degrees for a distinctive kite set vibe.
WHAT ARE THE CONS OF A PRINCESS SHAPED DIAMOND?
PRINCESS CUT DIAMONDS ARE MORE PRONE TO DAMAGE
Thanks to their sharply pointed corners, princess cut diamonds can get chipped much easier than diamonds with rounded or bezelled corners. A well-made prong or bezel setting will mostly eliminate this risk, however.
Princess cut diamond types
Princess cuts can have two, three, or four chevron patterns in the diamond. What's the difference? Two-chevron diamonds will create larger, more pronounced flashes of white and colored light, whereas a stone with four chevrons will create smaller, but more frequent light sparkles. Three-chevron diamonds are the middle-ground goldilocks of princess cut diamonds.
HOW TO CHOOSE A PRINCESS CUT DIAMOND - THE 4CS
PRINCESS CUT DIAMOND - CLARITY
As with all diamonds, the goal is to find an eye-clean diamond at the lowest possible clarity grade. You don't want to pay extra for clarity grades that you can't actually see! Thanks to their faceting, princess cut diamonds hide inclusions very well so you an opt for a lower clarity grade than with other fancy cut diamonds. You can easily find an eye-clean princess shaped diamond in the VS2, SI1 or even SI2 range.
Don't fall for the stats game and pay substantially more for an extremely high clarity grade that looks exactly the same as a lower grade to the naked eye. No one's examining your diamond through a loupe all day, so do yourself a favour and only pay for what you can see!
Pro-tip: the larger the diamond, the easier blemishes can be seen, so generally you want to move up the clarity scale when you're shopping larger diamonds. Also, inclusion placement matters - inclusions near the center of the stone will be easier to see than inclusions near the edges.
The GIA clarity scale
Flawless (FL) - No inclusions or blemishes can be seen with 10× magnification
Internally Flawless (IF) - No inclusions (but some blemishes) can be seen with 10x magnification
Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) - Inclusions are difficult to see under 10× magnification
Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) - Minor inclusions can be seen under 10x magnification
Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) - Noticeable inclusions under 10x magnification
Included (I1, I2, and I3) - Obvious inclusions under 10× magnification
PRINCESS CUT DIAMOND - COLOR
Diamonds are graded for color by the GIA from D (colorless) to Z (champagne diamonds). Just like with clarity, it's not worth paying the inflated prices for the highest color grades, as color differences can be very difficult to see. Often multiple color grades will look exactly the same side by side - again, let's not pay for things we can't even see!
Not to mention - diamonds are graded by people, and different graders could give the exact same stone completely different grades.
Also keep in mind, diamond color is subjective, so pick what you love. Some people adore the icy white tones of the higher color grades, whereas others love the slightly warmer energy of the lower color grades. Something else to keep in mind: warmer colored diamonds will show up more against the cool contrast of white gold or platinum, whereas yellow gold, rose gold, and peach gold will blend more with warmer diamonds, meaning a lower color grade will still look white against these gold tones.
Most people don't know this, but diamonds actually come in every color of the rainbow - these are called "fancy colored diamonds" - rare stones that we love. Take a peek at this fancy yellow kite set diamond ring - pure sunshine on your finger.
PRINCESS CUT DIAMOND - CUT
'Cut' is the C to splurge on - it's the true tell of a diamond's beauty. A well-cut diamond will sparkle and shine in every light
The GIA doesn't give an overarching cut grade for fancy shaped diamonds like they do for round brilliants, making it a bit more complicated to choose a well-cut princess diamond. The best place to start: look at measures like table percentage and depth percentage. Check out our table below for advice on vetting stones for cut quality.
If you'd rather leave it to the experts, book a free consult with us to talk diamonds! If you're creating custom with us, we'll source the most stunning stone in your budget and you won't have to lift a diamond-researching finger.
Recommended proportions for an ASSCHER cut diamond
67 - 72
59 - 66
56 - 58
53 - 55
64 - 75
64 - 75
58 - 63.9
56 - 57.9
Very Thin to Slightly Thick
Very Thin - Slightly Thick
Very Thin - Thick
Length to width ratio
1.00 - 1.03
1.00 - 1.03
1.04 - 1.05
1.06 - 1.08
LENGTH TO WIDTH RATIO
For the most aesthetic princess shaped diamond, try to stay at or below 1.05 to maintain that square look. Above 1.05, the diamond will start to look a little off - not yet rectangular but not quite square.
What these terms mean
Length-to-width ratio:an ideal princess cut looks square. To keep those proportions, choose a length to width ratio of 1.00 – 1.05.
Depth percentage and table percentage:these stats tell you how well a diamond reflects light - basically how sparkly the stone will be.
Girdle:the slim perimeter of a diamond that separates the top from the bottom.
Cutlet:the tiny point at the bottom of a diamond.
PRINCESS CUT DIAMOND - CARAT
Contrary to what most people believe, carat refers to the weight of a diamond and not its size - one diamond carat equals 0.2 grams. The shape and cut of a diamond will determine how big that one carat stone appears. A round brilliant diamond, for example, will appear smaller than a princess shaped diamond of the same carat weight, and a marquise diamond will look noticeably bigger than that same princess shape.
So, how to choose your carat weight: it all comes down to your budget! Here's where diamond expertise comes in: an expert jeweler knows where to save and splurge so you can get the largest, most beautiful diamond in your budget. If you're looking for a certain amount of finger coverage, shop according to millimetres rather than carat weight.
HOW TO CHOOSE A PRINCESS SHAPED DIAMOND: SUMMARY
Start with cut - choose the highest quality cut within your budget. Work with an expert jeweler or peruse our chart above to start.
Choose the lowest possible clarity grade that corresponds with an eye-clean diamond.
Choose the color you love from clear to champagne!
For the most aesthetic shape, stay at or under 1.05 length to width ratio.
Primary Differences Between PRINCESS Cut and Other Diamond Cuts
ASSCHER CUT VS PRINCESS CUT
The only common ground between two these cuts is their square shape. The differences: asscher cuts are 'step cut diamonds' whereas princess cuts are brilliant cut stones. The princess cut is incredibly sparkly and the asscher cut has a subtler shine. The princess shape also has sharp pointed edges where the asscher cut has beveled corners.
How to decide: choose the style you love - asschers have a more geometric art deco aesthetic, and princess cuts are a more classic, full bling moment. If you're extra-active or accident-prone, an asscher cut is the more durable style.
RADIANT CUT DIAMONDS VS PRINCESS CUT DIAMONDS
Both radiant and princess shaped diamonds are super sparkly square shaped diamonds. The main difference: radiant cut diamonds have bevelled corners whereas princess cuts have sharped, pointed corners.
HOW TO CHOOSE BETWEEN A PRINCESS DIAMOND AND RADIANT DIAMOND
If you love both these cuts, choose a radiant diamond which is a similar style but is more durable.
CUSHION CUT DIAMONDS VS PRINCESS CUT DIAMONDS
While both diamonds are roughly a square, cushion cut diamonds have rounded edges and princess cuts have sharp, pointed corners. Both bursting with fire and brilliance, the main difference is their durability - cushion cuts are more durable thanks to their rounded corners.
HOW TO CHOOSE BETWEEN A CUSHION DIAMOND AND A PRINCESS DIAMOND
If you love a clean, geometric look, a princess cut diamond may for you. If you love a softer, romantic vibe, you might match with a cushion diamond.
YOUR PRINCESS CUT DIAMONDS QUESTIONS ANSWERED
IS A PRINCESS CUT DIAMOND MORE EXPENSIVE?
Princess cut diamonds are less expensive than comparable round brilliant diamonds but are usually more expensive than other fancy shaped diamonds. Because a princess cut stone closely resembles the natural octahedral shape of a rough diamond, there's less diamond wasted when cutting, which means a lower price tag for you.
What are the pros of princess cut diamonds?
Princess cut diamonds are incredibly sparkly, less expensive than round brilliant diamonds, and they often look larger thanks to their square shape.
Which one is better: princess cut or round diamond?
The better diamond is the one you love more! If you're having trouble deciding: princess cut diamonds are less expensive but round diamond are slightly sparklier, round diamonds are more durable, but both diamonds are a timeless, stunning style.
What are the disadvantages of princess cut diamonds?
The only potential disadvantage of a princess cut are those fragile, pointed corners. Though diamonds are the hardest natural material there is, they can still break and those tiny corners have a high-risk of chipping. Having said that, once set into a well-made ring, that risk mostly goes away.
Is princess cut a good cut for a diamond?
A princess cut is a stunning and forever chic diamond choice - they're the second most popular diamond shape for a reason, after all! If you love sparkle, a lower price tag, and a diamond that looks larger than its carat weight, a princess cut may be for you.
Should I Buy a Princess Cut Lab Grown Diamond?
Personally, we're on team natural diamond simply because we love the history and magic of a natural diamond that was formed million of years ago deep below the earth's crust and somehow made it up to us - it's pretty unbelievable and more than a little magical when you think about it.
Why is princess cut not popular?
Princess cut is actually the second most popular diamond shape after round diamonds, and the most popular fancy shaped diamond.
PRINCESS CUT DIAMOND MEANING
As the name says, princess cut diamonds have a regal, effortlessly glamorous energy - if they were a person, they would be sophisticated yet down-to-earth, easy to get along with, and bursting with energy.
OUR FAVORITE SETTING FOR A PRINCESS CUT DIAMOND ENGAGEMENT RING
We love a rotated princess cut setting with sleek prongs - with the stone turned 45 degrees, it's a whole new vibe that's striking and unexpected, yet perfectly timeless.
If you love a modern moment, a bezel set princess cut engagement ring looks sleek, clean, and forever classic. Set it straight up or flip it to be different.