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Princess-Cut Diamond Engagement Rings – All You Need To Know
When you are shopping for an engagement ring, there are a lot of things to consider. But one of the most important decisions is what type of diamond to choose. There are many different shapes and sizes to choose from, but the princess cut diamond shape is the most popular diamond shape among the “fancy shaped” diamonds for engagement rings!
In this blog post, you’ll learn everything you need to know about this dazzling gemstone before buying one.
Jump to the section:
- What are princess diamonds and what do they look like?
- The difference between a princess and a cushion cut diamond
- The difference between round cut diamonds and princess diamond shapes
- Why is a princess cut diamond more affordable than round cut diamond?
- What is the optimal color grade for a princess cut diamond?
- Which clarity grade should I choose for a princess cut diamond?
- What is the best cut grade for a princess cut diamond?
- What is the optimal depth for a princess cut diamond?
- Where to find high quality princess cut diamonds for an engagement ring?
- Shopping tips and guidelines for a princess cut diamond engagement ring
What is a princess cut diamond and what does it look like?
The Princess cut diamond belongs to the fancy cut diamonds.
This type of cut combines a rectangular outline with brilliant-cut facets. This combination creates more sparkle than traditional brilliant cut diamonds or square diamond.
That is one of the reasons why it belongs to one of the most poplar diamond shapes.
Despite their rarity, Princess cuts are less expensive than classic round cut diamond rings. So, lucky for you if this is what you have your heart set on!
Princess Cut vs Cushion Cut Diamonds for an Engagement Ring
When it comes to a princess cut vs cushion cut diamond, there are several things to consider. Both diamond cuts are popular choices for engagement rings and other types of jewelry, but they have different characteristics that can make one better suited for your needs than the other.
The princess cut is a square shape or rectangular diamond that has been cut with sharp corners and crisp edges. It got its name because it resembles a princess’ tiara. The princess cut is very popular because it offers a lot of sparkle and fire, making it a good choice for those who want a showy diamond.
The cushion cut is a round diamond that has been cut with rounded corners and soft, curved edges. got its name because it resembles a cushion. The cushion cut is less popular than the princess cut, but it has a more vintage look that some people prefer. It also offers a lot of sparkle and fire.
So, which is better – princess cut vs cushion cut? That depends on your needs and preferences. If you want a diamond that will really stand out and show off its sparkle, the princess cut is a good choice.
If you prefer a more vintage look, the cushion cut may be better for you. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which diamond is right for you.
Princess Cut vs Round Diamonds for an Engagement Ring
Round cut diamonds are a classic shape for en engagement ring and the most popular type of diamond, but princess cut diamonds are becoming increasingly popular. So, which one is better?
There are a few things to consider when deciding which type of diamond is right for you. First, think about your budget. Round brilliant cut diamonds tend to be more expensive than princess cut diamonds.
Second, think about the setting you want to use. Round brilliant cut diamonds look good in solitaire settings, while princess cut diamonds look good in halo or side-stone settings.
Finally think about how you want your diamond to “look” with regards to how the light reflects off of it. Princess cut diamonds are popular because they are “step cuts” that allow for more brilliance than round brilliant cut diamonds.
However, princess cut diamonds can look smaller when compared to brilliant cut diamonds.
So which one is better, a round or princess cut diamond for an engagement ring? Both options are valid! Which one you choose depends on your personal preference.
Why are Princess Cut Diamonds More Affordable than Round Cuts?
There are several factors that influence the price of any diamond. In comparing square Princess cut diamonds with classic Round cuts of identical carat weights, you will see that the former cuts have a lower price per carat than their Round counterparts.
The reason for this is because diamond cutters are able to use about 80% of the original rough diamond when they’re creating a Princess cut. So, only 20% goes to waste. But, when cutting a natural diamond into a Round cut, cutters end up wasting a lot more of the original stone. You must take this into consideration when pricing the final cut.
It’s a simple fact that in creating Round cut diamonds, cutters lose more of the original stone than they lose when creating any other cut. This loss must be taken into consideration when pricing the final cut, which is why Round cut diamonds cost more than Princess cuts.
If you’re on a budget look for a diamond that’s a tiny bit rectangular, rather than square-shaped. Diamond cutters waste more of the original stone when creating square Princess cuts. That’s why they’re more expensive than Princess cut diamonds with more of a rectangular shape.
When considering the color of a Princess cut diamond, you need to be more careful than you need to be with a Round Brilliant cut. Because both the Princess and Round cuts are brilliant. They reflect the light in such a way that the exact color of the stone is more difficult to discern.
Because the diamond’s brilliance is better in round brilliant cuts, it’s better at masking the stone’s true color. This is why I recommend that when choosing a Princess cut diamond, you select a GIA color grade of either H or I.
As you can easily see in this spectacular diamond, an I color grade in a Princess cut can appear perfectly clear, as long as the lines are proportionate and the diamond is eye-clean.
Keep in mind, that you can choose a lower color grade if you opt for a yellow gold or rose gold ring setting. The darker the ring band, the more color it will swallow from the diamond. The lighter the ring setting color the higher the diamond’s color grade should be. That being said, my color recommendations above apply to a white gold or platinum ring setting.
Recommended Clarity Grades for Princess Cut Diamond
If you were buying a Round Brilliant cut diamond, I would recommend that you choose an SI2 or perhaps an I1 clarity grade. As long as it was eye-clean.
Because Princess cuts are a popular choice and relatively rare, eye clean diamonds in these grades are far more difficult to find.
Therefore, with Princess cuts, you would be far better off buying an eye-clean VS2 or SI1 clarity grade. You can verify that they’re indeed eye-clean by looking at them through James Allen’s Virtual Loupe.
The Princess cut is fairly good at concealing inclusions, just like the Round Brilliant. However, you do need to keep in mind that with a Princess cut diamond there is the potential for durability issues.
The problem is that Princess cuts have four sharply pointed corners that could potentially chip. If one or more of the corners is included, that weakens the diamond and greatly raises the odds of chipping.
If the diamond you’re buying is already set in a ring setting, this may not be as much of a problem, unless you’re planning on resetting the stone in the future.
As always, when buying a diamond make sure that it comes with a proper grading report, such as from GIA.
The Optimal Cut Quality
In selecting a Princess cut diamond you need to be doubly careful when it comes to cut quality compared to Round cuts. When the GIA gives a Round cut diamond a clarity grade, you can be sure it’s accurate.
The GIA doesn’t even give Princess cuts a clarity grade. They will only grade them on Polish and Symmetry. So, this means it’s up to you to determine the clarity of the Princess cut diamonds you’re considering. Unlike Rounds, the diamond industry has never come to an agreement on the elements that make for the ideal Princess cut.
The reason for this comes down to the fact that this cut originated out of a desire to stop wasting so much of the diamond during polishing. Princess cut diamonds are specifically cut to accommodate the shape and size of the rough diamond, which is the reverse of Round cuts.
Recommended Total Depth for Princess Cuts
The total depth that I would recommend for this type of cut is anywhere from 65% to 75%, although lower is better. The best balance between brilliance and size comes with a depth of 68% to 73%.
In terms of table percentage, I would recommend below 75%. However, there are two opposing opinions regarding the table size of Princess cut diamonds.
If the cutter is focusing on giving a Princess cut a small table, then the resulting diamond will look better if the depth percentage were somewhere in the 74% to 77% range.
Two Schools of Thought on Tables & Depth Size
One school of thought is that small tables of 68% and under are better, while the opposing view is that it makes no difference. This is why cutters just follow the shape of the rough diamond. They create slightly larger tables ranging from 73% to 78% when the depths approach 76% to 77%.
Very few Princess cut diamonds end up having a small table, so if this is what you’re looking for it might be more difficult to find.
Where to find high quality princess cut diamonds for an engagement ring?
When you go online to shop for a diamond, it is imperative that you find a reputable dealer. Make sure you understand their policies on resizing, exchanges and returns. James Allen and Blue Nile both have plenty of Princess cut diamonds to choose from that would look beautiful in an engagement ring.
They also have a large selection of matching sets if you’re interested in buying earrings. Both companies have 360° videos that allow you to see their diamonds under magnification. This way you can closely inspect for color, clarity, and sparkle before buying.
But if you’re specifically looking at engagement rings, James Allen has the largest selection. This makes it much easier to find the right ring for the style of the recipient. They also have an in-house staff of diamond experts who are more than happy to help. This way you can find an eye-clean diamond that sparkles beautifully in the setting you choose.
If you’ve got your heart set on a rectangular Princess cut, you may be better off relying on Blue Nile. They have a search function that allows you to narrow your search according to length and width ratios.
Shopping tips and guidelines for a princess cut diamond engagement ring
An engagement ring with a Princess cut center diamond can look quite elegant. You can choose from several setting styles at James Allen.
And Princess cuts make absolutely gorgeous earrings, pendants, and bracelets. So, no matter which type of setting your diamond(s) will ultimately go in, you can’t go wrong with this type of cut. It’s uniquely beautiful and quite rare so you won’t run across many others proudly showing off a Princess cut diamond.
Some additional tips to help you find the right Princess cut diamond:
- Shape – If you want a square Princess cut, make sure the ratio of length to width is no more than 1.05:1. Princess cut diamonds that are disproportionate or have uneven sides are not as pretty.
- Symmetry – Princess cuts are their most beautiful when the facets are symmetrical. You can see this for yourself by imagining a line down the middle vertically and then see if the facets on each side are the same in size and shape. See whether all the facet points meet and whether there are any extra or missing facets. Then imagine a line going horizontally across the diamond and whether the facets on top are symmetrical with the facets on the bottom half. The more symmetry between the facets, the more beautiful the diamond.
- Scintillation – The most beautiful diamonds have a balance of light and dark patterns that contrast in the table and among facets. A diamond that is too light overall or too dark is simply not as pretty as one with an even balance between the two.