A Princess Cut diamond is the second most popular diamond shape and is fast growing in popularity due to its clean lines and glamorous amount of sparkle. It combines a unique faceting style with sharp, uncut corners and an ice cool design.
|Outline||Square; sharp, unclipped corners|
|Description||Exquisite, sparkling diamond with a contemporary edge|
|No. of Facets||57|
|Ideal L/W Ratio||1.0|
Square is the new Round.
Though technically the Round Brilliant is better optimized to reflect the maximum amount of light, the Princess Cut comes very close and is an excellent choice if you’re looking for the ultimate sparkler. It’s perfect for those who want the fire of a Round Brilliant in a less traditional form.
Look for a stone with the optimal length to width ratio of between 0.98 and 1.02 for that crisp square profile.
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS AND GRADING
A Princess Cut diamond is also sometimes known as a Square Modified Brilliant Cut. It typically has 57 facets - 21 on the crown, 4 on the girdle, and 33 on the pavilion, although Princess Cut diamonds with only 25 facets on the pavilion are also common.
Due to its design, the Princess Cut requires more of the carat weight to be directed towards the base of the stone to maximize brilliance, which means a Princess Cut stone will appear smaller than a Round Brilliant of the same carat weight. Despite this, a Princess Cut diamond retains approximately 80% of the original rough diamond crystal compared to the Round Brilliant’s 50%, so Princess Cut diamonds are usually better value weight for weight.
Unlike other square styles (Emerald and Radiant) the Princess Cut does not have clipped corners. If choosing a Princess Cut, bear in mind the sharp corners are a point of weakness and can be easily chipped so ensure they’re protected by the setting.
Currently, there aren't any universally accepted standards for grading the cut of Princess Cut diamonds so certifying laboratories don’t do it. Instead, it’s down to individual retailers to evaluate the quality of the cut for this shapes.
We’ve developed our own criteria to provide consistent cut grading for all the Princess Cut diamonds we offer. These take into account factors such as table and depth percentage, polish and symmetry, and length to width ratio.
Refer to the table below to see how we grade Princess Cut diamonds.
|Table %||57%-72%||55%-75%||54%-80%||52%-85%||<52% or >85%|
|Depth %||62%-73%||60%-77%||57%-83%||55%-84%||<56% or >84%|
|Polish / Symmetry||Good to Excellent||Fair to Excellent||Poor to Excellent|
|Ratio (L/W)||1.00-1.02||1.00-1.04||1.00-1.05||1.00-1.07||<1.00 or >1.07|
BACKGROUND AND HISTORY
The Princess Cut is a generic cut, meaning it hasn't been patented by or attributed to one designer. It emerged in the 1960s and has its basis in the 15th Century French Cut, which was used to create typically square or rectangular stones with a ‘cross’ pattern clearly visible in the crown. Compared to the French Cut, the Princess Cut has more facets giving it much more sparkle.
Over the years, the term Princess Cut has been used in connection with other styles of cut, such as the Profile Cut designed by Arpad Nagy (London, 1961).
In 1971, Basil Watermeyer of Johannesburg introduced the ‘Barion’ Cut, a square cut diamond with 4-fold mirror image symmetry, clipped corners, and a total of 81 facets. The Barion Cut has since faded into obscurity but it is generally considered to be the forerunner of the Princess Cut we know today.
A contemporary classic, the Princess Cut is both fashionable and elegant, with a clean, sparkling style that’s designed to last. It’s the best of both worlds for those who want the fire, brilliance and scintillation of a Round Brilliant in a neat, modern package.
A Princess Cut looks good on almost all hand types but is ideal for long fingers as the horizontal lines balance the vertical.
Length to Width Ratio
The accepted norm for a Princess Cut is square rather than rectangle, so look for a length to width ratio as close to 1.0 as you can get. The price is slightly lower for a Princess Cut diamond with a length to width ratio greater than 1.05, but bear in mind at this ratio it will start to look more rectangular in shape.
As the second most popular shape, there are many styles of setting designed for the Princess Cut giving you much more choice than you might have for, say, a Marquise.
Because of its pointed corners, a Princess Cut diamond requires a four claw setting to prevent chipping.