The Princess Cut Diamond is for the unique, the risk-taker, and the leader honoring tradition. It matches the tastes of unconventional women as its geometric style defines the rebel within.
Shaking the world of diamonds since the 1970s, the princess cut is therefore considered as part of the new wave of diamond shapes.
Its four corners add a certain edginess that makes it a good fit for individuals who would like to stand out.
Because of its bold form – a form that can set anyone into the spotlight, but is also reminiscent of the classic diamond brilliance – it’s deemed as the second most popular shape, next to the round cut.
If this description rings a bell, then the princess cut is the perfect diamond for her!
In this post, I will outline the most important things you need to know about the famed shape. And along the way, you will learn how to choose one that will eventually save you money.
So, treat this article as your ultimate guide in the spectacular depth of the princess cut gem!
Let’s start with how much it’s worth in the diamond industry:
How Valuable Are Princess Cut Diamonds Compared to Round Cuts?
The princess cut diamond is the cheapest of all diamond shapes. In fact, with the same carat weight as a round cut diamond, it will usually cost around 30% – 40% less!
I had a look around James Allen and thought this price range between princess and round cuts will give you a better depiction:
The image above shows the price range of the lowest priced round cuts in these specs: 1 carat I color VS2 Excellent Cut. With the same 4Cs, the princess cuts are indeed cheaper:
The cheapest round cut diamonds begin at $3,330 whereas the cheapest Princess Cut Diamonds begin at $2,630. Quite a difference!
The reason for this phenomenon is that princess cut diamonds have the best yield (80%-90%) from the rough. And to make a princess cut, you would simply have to slice the rough into two pieces.
So, imagine that you were to cut two round diamonds. You would actually lose way more rough because they will only yield around 40%-50%.
Finding the Perfect Princess Cut
Now, in princess cut diamonds, the consensus for the perfect cut is much smaller than in round cuts. In fact, only AGS offers a cut grade for princess cut diamonds. This is because they haven’t been around for a very long time.
Most grading labs are not yet quite sure as to what the perfect parameters for superior light performance are. AGS uses the following parameters for grading a princess cut diamond. I recommend this system when searching for your gem:
|Table %||63% – 69%||57% – 75%||53% – 82%||Outside Ranges|
|Depth %||69% – 76%||60% – 78%||58% – 80%||Outside Ranges|
|Polish/Symmetry||Excellent – Very Good||Good||Outside Ranges|
|Length to Width (Square)||1.00 – 1.02||1.00 – 1.04||1.00 – 1.05||Outside Ranges|
|Length to Width (Rectangle)||1.5 – 1.75||1.76 – 1.85||1.86 – 1.99||Outside Ranges|
|Girdle Thickness||Thin – Slightly Thick||V. Thin – Thick||Outside Ranges|
|Culet Size||None||Very Small||Small||Outside Ranges|
Being within these excellent proportions will guarantee that your diamond will have a decent light performance! There are however other parameters that impact a princess cut diamond’s appearance and light return.
I will now be zooming in on these and get down to the nitty-gritty with you!
Ideal Length to Width Ratio of a Princess Cut Diamond
To look appealing and soothing to the eye, your princess cut diamond should clearly stay within a certain length to width ratio:
Any ratio up to 1: 1.05 will definitely appear square to the naked eye. From there onwards, a princess cut diamond might begin appearing rectangular. This is something to avoid! Typically, the less square a princess cut is, the cheaper its price as well.
Types of Crown Side of Princess Cut Diamonds
The crown side is what faces up and what you would see when the gem is set on a ring. In this picture below, the typical designs of the crown side of a princess cut diamond is neatly illustrated.
The first one represents the so-called “French corner crown”. As you can see, the edges are very slim and this kind of princess cut is the most prone to chipping especially if there are inclusions near the corner. And yes, even diamonds can chip if there’s an inclusion beside the pointed end.
The second one is what we call the “Bezel corner crown”. It is designed in such a way that the corners are less prone to chipping. There are also other crown sides that are basically variations of the “French Cut” and the “Bezel Cut”.
Pro Tip: The crown side has very small influence on the light performance of a princess cut diamond. Thus, the appearance of the crown side should not be taken into consideration when estimating the light performance. But, if you don’t have any preference, just go for the “Bezel cut” as it’s less likely to chip.
Types of Pavilion Side of Princess Cut Diamonds
The pavilion side is the lower part of the gem that does have an impact on the princess cut’s sparkling style. Then, there’s the “chevrons.” These are the facets at the pavilion side of a princess cut diamond that surround the main pavilion. Most princess cuts have either two, three, or four chevrons.
Looking at the number of chevrons is important to determine the visual performance of the diamond. The more chevrons a diamond has, the more facets the light can be reflected upon. However, this does not necessarily mean that more chevrons equals a better sparkle. Here’s why!
Picking the Amount of Chevrons
It’s all about a matter of taste! More chevrons mean more sparkling facets, but it also means that the facets become smaller.
Thus, it comes down to whether you would prefer to have chunkier facets radiating before you or have more smaller facets delighting you with their light return.
In general the princess cut diamond with 2 chevrons returns larger flashes of light which gives it a somewhat bolder appearance. At the same time, the princess cut diamond with 4 chevrons has a glittery look to it.
I personally think that the 3-chevron princess cut diamond has the best compromise to offer. But ultimately, that will be for you to decide!
Princess Cut Diamond Ring Settings
To make it short: Princess cut diamonds are always set into a 4-prong ring setting to protect the corners of the gem in the best way possible! And honestly, you won’t even be able to get a princess cut diamond in a 6-prong ring setting or more, so you don’t have to worry about that.
Now, How Do I Choose a Princess Cut Diamond – The Easy Way?
Filter your search to AGS Graded Princess Cut Diamonds under “Advanced Options”
You could choose your diamond according to the exact proportions, but I find it easier to simply go for an AGS Ideal Cut grade in princess cut diamonds.
By doing this, you won’t have to concern yourself too much with the detailed parameters of your gem. You can be pretty sure that an AGS graded diamond will have an excellent light performance including symmetry and polish as well!
Look for Eye Clean Princess Cut Diamonds
Next, narrow down your search to three choices and pick the one that is eye-clean or without visible inclusions to the naked eye. From there, contact the customer service via the chat tool. Ask for an in-house gemologist’s review and ASET analyses for your diamonds. In my opinion the best website to do this is currently James Allen.
Why James Allen?
It is the only store where you can review each diamond in 360° high definition videos and make out any inclusion even better than you would in a brick and mortar jewelry store.
James Allen is also the only company that will do this service for up to three diamonds for free. This is simply because all of James Allen’s suppliers are in direct proximity to the James Allen headquarters in New York.
Untill the in-house review and the ASET analyses are sent to you, the three stones will be reserved for you. And after assuring superb quality and affordability, all you have to do is pick THE diamond, the ring setting – and oh, perhaps the proposal date? 🙂
If you should have any questions or if you need help picking the best princess cut diamonds, just write me a mail. Best of luck to your search!