The princess cut is one of the most popular diamond cuts, second only to the round brilliant, and consists of straight edges and sharp, uncut corners. One of the more economical cuts in terms of minimised waste, two princess cut diamonds can be achieved from a single octahedron of a rough stone and this efficiency is often reflected in a more affordable price tag.
Designed to gain maximum brilliance from the stone, the princess cut is unrivalled among other square cuts in terms of sparkle and has achieved its popularity by combining the brilliance of a round cut with the clean angles of a square shape.
A relatively new cut comparative to the round brilliant or cushion cuts, the princess cut was first created in the 1980s but quickly gained popularity as an eye-catching alternative to traditional round diamonds, further bolstered by its suitability for almost any style of ring. Princess cut diamonds also give the always-pleasing illusion of being of greater size due to their diameter being 15% larger than round diamonds of the same weight.
The princess diamond cut features a flat square or rectangular face, with an inverted pyramid profile and approximately 76 facets which, despite some loss of brilliance when compared to the round, are excellent for showcasing a diamond’s natural fire. Clean lines and sharp angles make this a particularly flattering shape for long fingers, though ring settings should always be placed to protect the corners which might otherwise be prone to chipping.
Unique to the princess cut is the possibility of shape variations which other cuts do not accommodate. The princess cut can be given a square or rectangular crown, with length-to-width ratios between 1 and 1.05 appearing square to the human eye and ratios between 1.10 and 1.20 being more rectangular. The best princess cut shape is down to the preference of the wearer, some prefer the uniform shape of a square while others favour the uniqueness of rectangular shapes, it is worth noting that the former will often be the more expensive variant of this cut.
For the best princess cut diamond, it is recommended that you settle for no less than a clarity of VS2, colour of H, and very good cut. For more modest budgets, stones with a minimum colour of I, clarity of SI1 and very good cut are recommended.