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Princess Shape Diamonds Explained

The Princess Cut is a name given to several styles of cut that all share the same, square, shape. It is the second most popular diamond cut and is often referred to as the most popular of the Fancy Shape diamonds.

Princess cut diamonds are especially popular as the centre stone in engagement rings because it has almost the same brilliance as a round cut stone (the brightest of all diamond cuts) at a lower cost.

The technical name for the princess cut is 'square modified brilliant'. The type was devised in the 1960s. The current version of the princess cut was developed in 1980 by Betazel Ambar and Israel Itzkowitz.

The Shape Of A Princess

The princess cut is a modified version of the popular round cut. Looking from the top down a princess cut diamond is square. From the side, the diamond will look similar to a round cut being like a pyramid. Looking into the gem from above an X-shape can be seen.

Princess cut diamonds have 58 facets, the same number of facets as a round cut diamond which gives the square princess cut almost the same degree of sparkle and brilliance as round cuts.

Many buyers of diamonds with the princess cut love the crushed ice effect that comes from the large number of facets on the pavilion (the lower part of the gem).

To maximise the brilliance of the diamond, there are recommended ratios for the table and depth of princess-cut stones.

A Princess Can Be Economical

Because the princess cut is square as seen in its setting, it looks more substantial than a round cut diamond. A ring with such a stone will tend to look more impressive than a round cut stone of the same weight. The high cost of a round cut stone comes mainly from the amount of waste that the cut demands. A square-cut princess is much more economical. The amount of waste from a round cut is over 50%, from a princess cut diamond less than 20% is lost, resulting in a significantly lower manufacturing cost and much better value for money for jewellery buyers.

Size Can Be An Illusion

Princess cut diamonds look larger than round cut diamonds of the same weight, especially when they are mounted into a ring. The looks are an optical illusion!

A princess cut’s crown, the area of the widest part of the gem, is approximately 10% smaller than is found on a round cut gem of the same weight. The diamond appears to be larger because of the square shape. The corners give the illusion that the diamond is bigger because the corner to corner measurement is around 15% larger than the diameter of the round cut gem.

Not all princess cut diamonds are square; they can be cut in a rectangle. A rectangular princess cut with a length to width ratio greater than 1.10 also tends to look more substantial than a square and is also slightly less expensive than a strict square diamond.

Points To Look Out For

  1. When you buy a ring that has a princess cut diamond, make sure that the setting has prongs to protect each of the four corners because this is the part of the diamond most at risk from chipping.
  2. The corners of the diamond are the closest to the outside of the rough gem. The exposed corners are the most likely place to see flaws such as inclusions or extra facets. The prongs of the setting will tend to conceal these from view. Most other square cuts, such as radiant or emerald cut have cropped corners which avoids the problem completely.
  3. If you are buying a diamond from one of the lower colour grades, check the corners to make sure that the visible colour is acceptable to you. The narrowness of the girdle around the diamond makes the off-white colour more noticeable here.
  4. The brilliance of the square princess cut can be more forgiving of diamonds of lower clarity than other, less brilliant, cuts.
  5. The princess cut is ideal for eternity rings because the square shape of the stones makes it possible to set the diamonds precisely adjacent to each other with no gaps. Be cautious of a ring with adjacent stones that have gaps; there might be issues with the consistency of the cutting between the diamonds.

The princess cut is an excellent choice for jewellery, particularly rings because it gives almost all the brilliance and sparkle of a round cut diamond. At the same time, it costs less to buy, looks larger, carat for carat, and can even make some quality issues less visible. When you look at princess cut diamonds, you will be looking at a wise choice for a beautiful diamond engagement ring, earrings and pendants that will impress all who own or see them.

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