Princess Cut Diamond Buying Guide

Princess cuts have shown remarkeable consistency when it comes to popularity. While nowhere near as popular as round cuts, they have always been a solid second. Princess cut diamonds are a bit cheaper than round cuts.

What to Look for

Be sure your princess cut diamond has a GIA or AGS certificate

A princess cut diamond needs to be square. Make sure the length to width ratio is below 1.05

Focus on I+ for color. You can usually find an eye-clean VS2 or SI1 clarity diamond for great value

What to Avoid

Avoid settings that don't protect the sharp corners of a princess cut.

We recommend sticking below 75% for the depth and table to ensure maximum brilliance.

Avoid lower color grades. Princess cuts do not hide the yellow tint as well as round diamonds do.

What is a Princess Cut Diamond?

A Princess Cut diamond is traditionally a square diamond that offers excellent fire and brilliance. This fancy shape diamond is designed from the inverted pyramid of the rough diamond stone. Princess Cuts, like this gorgeous 0.81ct I color, are among the most brilliant of all diamond shapes and are a popular choice for engagement rings.

The highest quality Princess Cuts are those with a distinct square shape with a length to width ratio of 1.0-1.05 (here is an example of a 1.03 ratio princess cut diamond). While you can find rectangle Princess Cuts, they aren’t desirable because they can lack brilliance. Princess Cuts with an Excellent or Ideal cut quality make for truly stunning engagement rings.

If you come across the term “princess shape”, understand this means the same thing as Princess Cut. There’s no difference – but Princess Cut is the term used in the diamond industry.

Key Features of a Princess Cut Diamond:

  • The square shaped diamond with the most brilliance
  • Contains two to four chevron patterns
  • Costs less per carat than Round Cuts, because more of the rough stone is maintained during in the cutting process
  • A popular choice for engagement rings and earrings
  • Also referred to as Square Modified Brilliant and Rectangular Modified Brilliant, though rectangle Princess Cuts are not desirable

Princess Diamonds Cut Quality

With Princess Cuts, though, you’re pretty much on your own. GIA will only grade Polish and Symmetry on a Princess Cut diamond. Unlike Rounds, there’s really no industry-wide consensus on what parameters make up the perfect Princess Cut.

Diamond Rough

So if a piece of diamond rough happens to be shaped like a well proportioned Princess Cut diamond, then it will, by chance, end up as one. But if a piece of diamond rough happens to be shaped like a very deep and not well proportioned Princess Cut,

Total Depth Recommendation

Look for a Total Depth between 65% and 75%. Generally, lower is better. We prefer stones in the 68% to 73% range. They seem to give the best balance of brilliance to size.

Tables and Depth Size Schools of Thought

One camp swears by small tables (68% and below) while others claim it really doesn’t matter, so they just go with what the rough naturally produces – slightly larger tables in the 73%-78% range to go along with depths creeping into the 76/77% range.

Princess Diamonds Clarity

Regarding Clarity, a Princess Cut is likewise similar to the Round Brilliant in that it’s a decent hider of inclusions. One thing you need to remember with Princess Cuts, though, is that there are serious issues of durability.

Recommended Clarity for Princess Cuts

With Round Brilliant Cuts, we recommend buying SI2s or even I1s that are confirmed to be eye-clean. With Princess Cuts, though, it’s a bit harder to do since they are so few and far between.

Princess Diamonds Color

When it comes to Color, you need to be a little more careful with a Princess Cut diamond than you would with a Round Brilliant. Since both are brilliant cuts, they both succeed in chopping up the light so the true color of the rough material is harder to perceive.