If you’re shopping for the perfect engagement ring, you’ve likely come across the highly popular and unique princess cut. While round diamonds continuously rank at the top for most popular engagement ring styles, the modern princess cut is a close competitor.
And it’s easy to see why the princess cut has risen to new heights of popularity. Few cuts yield the stunning brilliance and eye-catching drama as a princess cut does. Still, the question remains: is a princess cut engagement ring the right choice for you or your betrothed?
In order to help you answer that, let’s have a closer look at everything you need to know about the princess cut, including pros and cons to determine if it’s the ideal choice to symbolize your eternal love. Get ready to add a dose of royalty to your life!
The Appeal of The Princess Cut
There are several qualities that make them incredibly attractive. With their glamorous name and unique geometric shape, princess cuts evoke a special glitz that’s both sleek and modern. It’s easy to see why style icons and celebrities including Kate Bosworth and Hilary Duff flaunt the chic princess cut. Unlike the rich and famous, you don’t need massive carats to turn heads with a princess cut engagement ring, because they stand out in any size.
From a bird’s eye view, princess cut diamonds are square with either 57 or 76 facets, or cuts. These cuts are what enables the diamond to distribute light so gloriously. While they don’t sparkle as bright as a traditional round brilliant diamond, they have an appeal all their own due to their unique shape. Plus, this is a diamond cut you can wear and feel like a princess!
Princess Cut Diamond Ring Price
Think princess cuts are out of your budget? Think again, because buying one provides excellent value for your money. The leading reason why these diamonds are more affordable than round cut diamonds is attributed to the process involved with cutting the rough diamond.
When cutting a princess diamond, the rough shape of the gemstone is a cube, and manufacturers are able to obtain two individual princess cut diamonds from the original rough diamond. Because this process minimizes waste of precious materials, they are significantly less expensive than round diamonds.
Conversely, round diamonds only obtain about 40% of the original rough diamond. Yikes, that’s a large amount of waste. In fact, rough diamonds waste double the amount of princess cut diamonds, which retain between 80-90% of the original rough diamond.
You’ll take note of the broad price margin when shopping for round diamonds vs. princess cut diamonds.
Bottom line: They are excellent value for money, making it an accessible diamond for many budgets to work with.
Princess Cut Diamonds Look Bigger
When it comes to diamond size, buyers are most often limited to choosing a gemstone that fits within their budget. While some shoppers might initially be discouraged if they’re unable to afford the large rock they desire, a smart idea is to opt for a princess cut diamond.
Ultimately, the princess cut provides a handy illusion of seeming larger than a round diamond that has the same carat weight. Why? It all comes down to shape. Our eyes associate squares as a larger shape than spheres. In the case of engagement rings, the princess cut appears to have a sizeable diameter when held next to a round cut.
Fortunately, it actually is larger, despite the carat weight being equal. In fact, a princess cut is a generous 15% larger in diameter than a round brilliant cut diamond. How is that possible if they weigh the same in carats?
Well, it all comes down to cutting the princess cut. A high quality princess diamond that is meticulously faceted will garner exceptional brilliance when illuminated by the diagonal length of the diamond.
Bottom line: The difference between a 1 Carat princess cut diamond vs. a 1 Carat round with equatable 4C qualities is around $500-$600.
Princess Cuts Hide Flaws and Inclusions
While princess cut diamonds might not sparkle as brightly as round brilliant diamonds, they do have an edge over their competition: they hide flaws better. Because they have many facets, flaws tend to get lost in the cut which enables the light to pass through the diamond in a beautiful and vivid display.
Even if you buy a princess cut diamond that has a lower grade and clarity than a round brilliant, it’ll still be gorgeous and appear to be free of flaws. Which leads us to our next point:
Princess Cut Clarity Gradings
When diamonds are evaluated for price and value, clarity plays an important role. Few gemstones are without flaws, and diamonds are no different. Despite their seemingly perfect sparkle, the imperfections of each diamond will influence its clarity grade.
Within the range of Slightly Included (SI1) and Very Slightly Included (VS2), you’ll have great options for high quality princess cut diamonds.
Both of these margins will result in a seemingly flawless diamond on a visual level. Often, only a closer inspection will reveal a diamond’s flaws. The great news is that you often won’t be able to notice these inclusions because they are virtually microscopic. Of course, visible inclusions vary depending on the size of the diamond you want to purchase.
Ultimately, if you’re buying a smaller diamond in the half carat range, you can choose VS2 because the very slight inclusions will be untraceable to the eye. However, if you go up in caratage you might consider choosing VS1, which will still provide excellent clarity, as both classes contain only minor inclusions.
While clarity grade is an important aspect of choosing a diamond, you also want to take into consideration where the inclusions are located. For example, if you find an SI1 diamond with no visible inclusions on the crown (the top of the diamond), then you can choose to buy a lower clarity grade that looks visibly flawless for a fraction of the price of a flawless diamond. In this case, no one will ever know that the diamond has inclusions because they’re mostly hidden. If you are considering buying a VVS Diamond it is important to understand the pros and cons of doing so.
A strong appeal of the princess cut is that it can be set in a solitaire ring and look stunning all on its own. Additionally, they can adorn an elaborate setting and have a completely different aesthetic. When shopping for diamonds, it’s important to think about what type of setting you desire, as this will influence the durability and protection of the stone.
Due to its cubic shape, the corners of a princess cut diamond are prone to snagging, which makes the edges vulnerable. To combat chipping or damaging, ensure that the setting includes prongs or a protective barrier around the edges of the diamond.
Princess cut solitaire engagement rings are generally held in place by a V-Shaped setting, which features four corner prongs. If you’re interested in a more elaborate look, a bezel is a solid choice. For a unique vintage look, a halo setting beautifully outlines the shape.
There are a variety of styles of engagement rings to choose from. Whichever setting you land on, be sure the edges of the stone are protected to keep your forever diamond in showroom condition long term.
Deciding on A Princess Cut Ratio – Square or Rectangle?
At first glance, princess cut diamonds appear to be square. Further investigation will reveal that there are actually two shapes: square and rectangle.
A rectangle cut is only slightly longer than the width of the diamond, so it still appears to have the signature square shape.
To help guide you, here are the length to width ratios of princess cut diamonds:
- Square: 1.05 and below
- Rectangle: 1.2 and above
It’s important to keep to these ratios, because if a rectangle princess cut is on your radar, anything below a 1.2 will appear to be a square princess cut that is off-shape.
Additional Features of Princess Cut Diamonds
In addition to the information above, you’ll also want to consider the following factors to help choose the best princess cut diamond:
- Depth Percentage – the depth of the cut influences how much light reflects from the diamond. A diamond that is either cut too shallow or too deep will not sufficiently reflect light. Ultimately, this minimizes the diamond’s brilliance. It’s best to choose a diamond with a depth percentage falling within the 65-75% range.
- Table Percentage – The table of a diamond refers to the large facet on the top of the diamond. The table serves as a horizontal viewpoint into the depth of the diamond. Table percentage is a figure that denotes the size of the top facet in comparison to the entire width of the diamond. Ideal table percentage of a princess cut diamond is 75% and under.
- Polish and Symmetry – Diamonds should always have a “good” or “excellent” rating for polish and symmetry. That said, you really can’t visibly notice a difference between good and excellent, so opting for a “good” grading is a smart choice.
Engagement Ring Styles
Even if you take into consideration all the technicalities, perhaps the top priority when choosing a princess cut is picking the right style.
Engagement rings are accessories worn daily and over a lifetime, so picking one that matches your personal style is paramount. Choosing among engagement ring styles ultimately comes down to that gut feeling you get when you know you love something. But with so many style variations, it can be hard to narrow down your decision to just one.
You’re not alone if you love princess cut diamonds, as they are the second most popular choice. They were first popularized in the 1960s when they were initially called a “profile” cut.
With its lackluster name, this new geometric diamond did not become the iconic gemstone we know and love until the late 70s. With a regal name attached, they blossomed into the leading fancy diamond option for those seeking a departure from the traditional round cut.
Princess cut diamonds are known for their versatility, and as a buyer this might be the most attractive quality because there are no shortage of options.
- Solitaire Engagement Rings are a great option for those who value simplicity, but still want an edgier center stone than a traditional round.
- Pavé Engagement Rings are ideal if you love the aesthetic of solitaire princess cut, but want a little more bling on your ring, as they feature a string of complementary diamonds inlaid into the band.
- Three Stone Engagement Rings feature a trio of princess cut diamonds, with the larger diamond in the center and two smaller accompanying princess cut stones. This is a great option for buyers who can’t get enough of the geometry of the cubic princess cut.
- Halo Settings have an ethereal and majestic style, as the center stone is enveloped in a halo of small accent stones.
Buying a Princess Cut Engagement Ring
Are you ready to take the leap and buy a princess cut engagement ring? You’ve made an excellent choice! If you want a unique engagement ring that combines effortless style with a sleek and modern design, this cut is the one for you. Now that you know exactly what to consider when buying princess cut diamonds, you can make an informed decision that best suits your preferences.
Weren’t born into royalty? No worries! Even if you don’t marry into a royal family, a princess cut engagement ring adds a timeless touch of regality to your life.