The crowd-pleasing, fanciest diamond shape – the Princess Cut diamond offers a stylish and edgy look to any diamond jewelry piece.
A royalty in the diamond world, it accounts for a whopping 30% of engagement rings. It doesn’t slow down and shows no sign of letting its rank go.
The princess cut diamond has a classic look that appeals to most diamond lovers. The way it resembles an upside-down pyramid and how its four sharp corners present a subtle edge to add sparkle all add to its ever-growing popularity.
Princess cut diamond is for the unusual and the adventurous. It is for the unconventional woman as its geometric style defines the rebel within. If that sounds like you and you are looking for a princess cut diamond for yourself, you’ve come to the right place.
Table of Contents
What Is A Princess Cut Diamond?
The princess cut diamond, or “Profile Cut,” is, by tradition, a square diamond that presents excellent fire and brilliance. First created in 1980 by Betzalel Ambar and Israel Itzkowitz, this popular fancy cut is designed from the inverted pyramid of the rough diamond stone.
They are among the most brilliant of all diamond shapes, and it is not surprising that they are a popular choice for engagement rings. Like round cut diamonds, they are ideal because of their flexibility in working with almost any ring style.
The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) grades princess cut diamonds as square-modified brilliants. They distinguish them from the step cut facet arrangements that you see on other square diamonds, precisely like the Asscher cut diamond.
The princess cut diamond may be rectangular or tapered. Since it is cut like an upturned pyramid, much of its weight is in the pavilion. This makes its face-up appearance appear smaller than another diamond of a different shape but similar carat weight.
The Princess cut’s number of facets and the faceting layout on its pavilion and crown may vary significantly. This variation may create different sorts of scintillation, combinations of how much it sparkles, and the sparkle’s pattern.
Princess Cut Diamond’s Key Features
- It is square-shaped but with the most brilliance
- It contains around two to four striped/chevron patterns
- Cheaper per carat than Round Cuts since more of the rough stone is upheld during the cutting process
- The ideal choice for engagement rings and earrings
- Also called Square Modified Brilliant and Rectangular Modified Brilliant, although rectangle princess cuts are not that sought-after
Princess Cut Diamond’s Anatomy
Most fancy cut diamonds have a lot of variations for standardized cut grades. Compared with Round Brilliant, there are no expectations set for how a princess cut should look like. Princess cut diamonds differ by their crown pattern and the number of cuts on the pavilion.
Neither bears an impact on value nor quality. You’ll just fancy one over the other.
The princess cut’s crown may either have French or bezel corners. Those that with bezel corners have diamond-shaped facet that extends from the table corners to the stone corners. On the other hand, French corners show star facets that point to the stone corners.
Bezel corners are more durable, so you may want to stick to this design except if you prefer French corners.
Its pavilion has chevron shapes that make out the diamond’s brilliance. Princess cut diamonds can have up to four chevrons. Those with two stripes create larger and bolder flashes of light and color. Three chevrons make a middle ground, while four scintillate more but with reduced facets.
Princess Cut Diamond – Cut Guide
|Very Good||Good||Fair|| |
|Table Percentage|| |
67 to 72
|59 to 66 |
73 to 75
|56 to 58 |
76 to 82
|53 to 55 |
83 to 85
< 53 or > 85
|Depth Percentage|| |
64 to 75
|58 to 63.9 |
75.1 to 80
|56 to 57.9 |
80.1 to 84
< 56 or > 84
Very Thin – Slightly Thick
|Very Thin |
|Very Thin |
|Very Small||Small||Medium|| |
|Length to Width Ratio|| |
1.00 to 1.03
|1.04 to 1.05||1.06 to 1.08|| |
The light that passes through the stone won’t correctly reflect to your eye if the diamond is cut too shallow or too deep. For princess cut diamonds, you may want to look for a total depth between 65% to 75%. The rule of thumb is, the lower, the better. The lower ones seem to offer the best balance of brilliance to size.
Table percentage refers to how extensive the top facet is compared to the width of the diamond. The ideal table percentage for princess cut is at 75% or below.
There are groups of diamond buyers who prefer small table at or under 68%. If you are looking that way, you would want to prepare with a bit of search since Princess cut diamonds with smaller tables are less common than larger tables.
Length to Width Ratio
The best princess cuts have a well-defined square shape with a length to width ratio of 1.0 to 1.05. Anything above this range may appear off-shape.
The fragile corners of princess cut diamonds require that its girdle is thick enough to support prongs. Although most princess cut girdles can, there are “extremely thin” ones that leave the diamond more susceptible to breaking.
Polish and Symmetry
Since there is no apparent difference between “Good” and “Excellent” grades in Polish and Symmetry, ratings you should consider for princess cut diamond should be “Good” or better.
Princess Cut Diamond – A Diamond Manufacturer’s Dream
Amongst all diamond shapes and cut, the princess cut is a diamond cutter’s favorite for one reason – its yield from rough.
This uncut diamond is a perfect example. Simply cut it in half, and you’ve got yourself two princess cut diamonds! There’s not much left to do but add some structure to the table and a few brilliant faceting.
You would not even want to imagine doing that with a Round Brilliant Cut because there will be too much diamond material to lose. The dissimilarity is quite apparent.
Princess Cut Diamonds are Cheaper
Other cuts like Round Brilliant will usually yield approximately 40% – meaning a cut 1-carat piece of rough will produce a 0.40 carat polished round diamond. Conversely, a princess cut will yield between 80% to 90% range.
That is why while all else is equal, the princess cut is cheaper than a round diamond.
Another effect of this rarity is that since Princess cuts are solely made from very high-quality and very well-formed rough diamond crystals, it usually correlates with cleaner rough.
Even in their beauty, diamonds have imperfections. Such imperfections are what clarity grade measures. They analyze whether these imperfections are noticeable or acceptable.
An eye-clean clarity for a princess cut diamond is at SI1 or VS2. Although SI1 and I1 diamonds can be eye-clean and can make a good alternative for those on a tight budget, there might not be many princess cut diamonds in these clarity grades.
Another thing to note is princess cut diamonds at these clarity grades must not have dark inclusions near the center of the stone. Also, be on the lookout for inclusions near or in the corners. Inclusions in these zones cause the corners weaker and more likely to break.
Remember that your goal should be to find the most affordable eye-clean princess cut diamond you can find. Eye-clean is when the diamonds may have inclusions when looking at them under a certain degree of magnification, but with a naked eye won’t.
|Princess Cut Diamond – Clarity Guide|
|< .50 carat||FL to VS2||SI1 to SI2||I1||I2||> I2|
|.51-1.0 carat||FL to VS1||VS2 to SI1||SI2||I1 to I2||> I2|
|1.0-2.0 carat||FL to VVS2||VS1 to VS2||SI1 to SI2||I1||> I1|
|> 2.0 carat||FL to VVS2||VS1 to VS2||SI1||SI2||> SI2|
It would help if you were slightly more careful with a princess cut diamond than you would with a Round Brilliant in terms of color. Considering that they are both brilliant cuts, they both flourish in chopping up the light, making the actual color of the rough material hard to recognize.
Round Brilliant is superior when it comes to light return. Thus it is better at keeping the true color of your diamond a secret.
Today’s diamond market has customers wanting to pay a price premium for D to F color grades. In reality, in a world without color grading, the price is considerably lower since the actual differences are hard to see.
This is why most jewelers recommend picking an H or I color grade for a princess cut diamond to get the best value. Check the guide below to get a better understanding of evaluating color grades in princess cut diamonds.
Princess Cut Diamond – Color Guide
|Very Good||Good||Fair|| |
|< .50 carat|| |
D to G
|H to I||J to K||L to M|| |
|.51-1.0 carat|| |
D to F
|G||H to I||J to K|| |
|1.0-2.0 carat|| |
D to F
|G to H||I to J|| |
|> 2.0 carat|| |
D to F
|G||H to I|| |
|Faint to Medium||Strong|| |
Princess Cut Diamond Size Chart
Princess cuts have rough millimeter sizes that match up to certain carat weights. Sizing them may be confusing since they have large diagonal measurements.
Best Settings For Princess Cut Diamond Ring
A lot of setting styles for Round Brilliant diamonds will work fine with princess cut. Although the best that can emphasize their beauty are channel and four-prong settings, like solitaire or three-stone ring. The Princess vut’s pointy edges should be considered in picking ring settings as you would want to protect the corners from getting chipped.
Since princess cut diamonds are adaptable, they can work with different setting options.
Solitaire ring styles stunningly highlight the modern appeal of the princess cut venter diamond. They are intended to maximize sparkle while maintaining their chic square shape. Check out this princess cut in solitaire ring setting from James Allen.
Channel Set in engagement rings is classic and easy to find. And, while they are almost anywhere, they are still considered unique and practical at the same time.
Why? Because they protect your accent diamonds way better than other ring settings. It features two parallel metal rails to mount accent diamonds down the side of the ring, providing many benefits to the diamond.
Princess cut diamonds may cost anywhere between 25% to 40% less than Round Brilliant Cut. But, they can still be expensive. Their popularity could be one factor why they are pricey. So, if you are looking to get a smaller princess cut diamond but want to make it look bigger, put that on a halo setting.
This setting can make the center stone look up to a half-carat bigger than its size, translating into hundreds of dollars in savings. Halo also adds sparkle to the ring as a whole. Check out Brilliant Earth’s princess cut in Halo Setting and how its scalloped pavé split-shank band adds a stylish, dazzling effect.