Princess Cut Diamond Shape: Comprehensive Buying Guide

Princess Cut Diamond Shape: Comprehensive Buying Guide

Are you looking for a detailed explanation about a princess cut diamond?

You have landed on the right page!

Here, we are going to give you information on:

  • What is a princess cut diamond?
  • Pros and cons of purchasing a princess cut diamond
  • How to save a few bucks when buying this diamond cut?
  • The best place to buy the perfect princess cut diamond
  • And a lot more!


If you love diamonds that go well with different styles, then a princess cut is what you are looking for. You may want a square inside many circles or round brilliant cuts.

Brides in waiting like the edges in princess diamonds and the way this look softens diamonds especially vintage styles. They also look striking in a solitaire ring.

There is no official cutting guideline for princess cuts, but you still need to be keen on looking at the diamond’s grading report. This makes it easier to know if you are getting a high-quality diamond. By good luck, we have already researched for you.

RECOMMENDED: Where to Buy Princess Cut Diamond Rings

What is a Princess Cut Diamond?

After round cut diamonds, the princess cut is the next most common diamond cuts today. Princess cut is a brilliant-cut diamond, meaning it is cut to bring out the most return of light and brilliance. It is the best angular substitute for round diamonds.

There is no clear information about who invented and when the princess cut diamond was innovated. Some people think that Basil Watermeyer created the “Barion cut” in the 1970s.

Most people agree that Arpad Nagy invented the princess cut in the 1960s and was referred to as profile cut during that time. But, some people believe that princess cut is a mix of marquise and emerald cuts.

After a couple of years, the profile cut was renamed to princess cut by Ygal Perlman, Israel Itzkowitz, and Betzalel Ambar. From that time the princess cut diamonds became the major rivals of round cut diamonds.

Lab-Created 0.81 Carat E-VS2 Princess Cut Diamond 2mm Knife Edge Solitaire Engagement Ring
Lab-Created 0.81 Carat E-VS2 Princess Cut Diamond 2mm Knife Edge Solitaire Engagement Ring

Pros and Cons of Princess Cut Diamond Rings

Like most other diamond shapes, the princess cut has the good and bad sides of it.

But is the bad side the deal breaker? Let’s see.


  • Look beautiful in any setting
  • Is a brilliant cut
  • Cheaper
  • Looks big
  • Modern or classic design


  • No set criteria for cut grades
  • Can easily chip if put in an exposed setting

Choosing a Princess Cut Diamond

Choosing a diamond is not easy as there are set standards that dictate the quality of diamonds. The Gemological Institute of America developed the standards that are used to measure the quality of diamonds. This is normally referred to as the 4Cs which stand for cut, carat, color, and clarity.


Like any other brilliant-cut, princess cuts are designed in such a way that the shape gives utmost sparkle and brilliance. Since they are fancy cuts, there is no set criterion of how princess cuts should be cut.

Jewelry shops like James Allen sell standard cut ideal cut princess diamond rings, but GIA does not officially recognize them and neither does AGS.

When choosing fancy shape diamonds like a princess, you have to closely look at the depth and angles of the diamond. You must also pay attention to the length to width (L/W) ratio. To understand this, you need to know the anatomy of a diamond stone.

There are different sizes of princess shaped diamonds but all of them have the main square shape, and this makes it a bit hard to analyze the ideal cut grade. While other princess cut crowns have bezel corners, some have French corners.

Bezel corners have facets that lean to the edges of the diamond. French corners on the other hand have facets that resemble a pointed star on top of the table. We recommend that you stick to bezel corners-they are more durable, unless you really, really, really love French corners.

For princess cuts, the facet variation at the pavilion can be very few. The facets have chevron shapes which ultimately affect how brilliant the stone is.

Most princess cut diamond rings have up to 4 chevrons. A diamond with 2 chevrons will have bold light flashes. When the chevron shape increases, the light is spread resulting in glitter.

As you are looking around for the best princess cut diamond, consider one with a depth of between 65-75%. Any cut outside these dimensions will mean that the in-flowing light will not go through properly making the diamond look less attractive.

As for the table size, keep it below 75%. The L/W ratio should be maintained at less than 1.05. When you go beyond this, the shape of your diamond begins to look wonky.

To increase the lifespan of your princess cut diamond ring, stay away thin girdles that make the diamond break easily. Do not go for one that is too thick too, stay within the medium thickness range.

The girdle should have enough thickness that can support the prongs. Finally, consider “Good” symmetry and polish.

All this information is clearly stated in the GIA and AGS grading reports. You must buy loose diamond stones that have grading reports from AGS or GIA since other labs do not have strict grading guidelines. GIA is the overall best for grading diamonds.


Brilliant cut diamonds normally have minute facets and as such, they do not require high clarity grades. When more light is reflected by the diamond, the inclusions cannot be seen easily.

SI1 is the minimum recommended clarity grade for princess cut diamonds you can still find an SI2 but you need to look at it closely for any visible inclusions and make sure they do not hamper the table view of the diamond.

If you choose to go higher the clarity grade, do not go past VS2. If you will do, you will be forced to pay more only to get less. In fact, you should look for diamonds that have inclusions on the edges,

If you go to a physical store to buy the princess cut diamond, ask the staff to let you view the diamond under a magnifier. If you are ordering from an online jewelry shop like Whiteflash or James Allen, you should be able to see the diamonds using their 360-degree viewing technique.


When shopping, aim at buying at least a color grade I for your princess cut diamond ring. Princess cut diamonds display more color just as other fancy cut diamonds would. If you must go higher on the grade, do not go past grade H. it is good to have a colorless diamond but it will only mean you dent your wallet some more only to get very little difference. The diamonds below are color grade E and color grade H, check out the difference in the colors.

Princess Cut (E Color)
Princess Cut (E Color)
Princess Cut (H Color)

Do you really think the difference in color warrants the extra $400? Keep in mind that these are just pictures.

Some diamond retailers may tell you that to get the best grades, you need a lot of money or that if you are searching for a cheap diamond then the grades are not important.

Both of these sales strategies are very wrong.


When it comes to diamond shapes, carat is not as important as the other 3Cs. Most people mistake the carat weight of a diamond to be the same thing as its size. There are several 1-carat fancy shaped diamonds that will have different sizes but all having the same carat weight.

While carat weight is a purely individual preference, it is important to know that the diamond grades we have discussed above will not be enough if you want a larger carat diamond like 2 carats. The diamond’s price will also increase tremendously because it is very rare to find large carat diamonds that are clear.

Princess Cut Diamond vs Other Diamond Cuts

Given the fact that it is the most popular fancy colored diamond cut and the second most popular cut, the princess has been put against several other diamond shapes. Let’s see how the princess rates against other common shapes.

Princess-Cut Vs Round Cut

We just had to start with the second-best against the best cut. The round cut diamond is not to have the most brilliance; the princess cut is an equal competitor.

Lab-Created 1.68 Carat E-VS1 Princess Cut Diamond Petite Pavé Engagement Ring
Lab-Created 1.68 Carat E-VS1 Princess Cut Diamond Petite Pavé Engagement Ring

14K White Gold Vintage Round Diamond and Marquise Sapphire Engagement Ring
14K White Gold Vintage Round Diamond and Marquise Sapphire Engagement Ring

Which costs more?

There is no doubt that the round brilliant cut diamond is the highest priced diamond cut in the market, it is also the commonest. Diamond cutters scrape away most of the rough material to give the round cut its shape and that is why their prices are up the ceiling.

While the round brilliant cut retains only 40$ of the rough material, the princess cut retains between 70% and 90%. This means that the princess cut is more abundant and hence their low prices.

Which sparkles more?

Both princess and round cuts are brilliant cuts, but the round brilliant sparkles more. The great sparkle comes from the exact symmetry and proportions of round cut diamonds.

GIA does not have a set ideal cut for princess shape diamonds, but that does not mean you cannot get a princess cut diamond that is just as good as the ideal round cut.

James Allen has a True Hearts diamond collection that features princess cut diamonds that have been shaped to their preset proportions, which they call perfect symmetry. These diamonds have the best measurements like depth percentage and L/W ratio.

Princess Cut vs. Cushion Cut

A cushion cut diamond is half round and half princess. Cushion cut stands at #3 on the list of the commonest diamond cuts.

14K Yellow Gold Etched Profile Solitaire Engagement Ring
14K Yellow Gold Etched Profile Solitaire Engagement Ring

Which is bigger?

These two cuts have the same shape but the princess cut obviously has a larger table size. The princess cut has a square shape which makes it look big when you view it from above unlike when you view a cushion cut the same way. However, the cushion cut looks smaller than a princess cut but is larger than a round cut.

Which lasts longer?

The cushion-cut can withstand breakage more than the princess cut. Just like other fancy shaped cuts, the princess cut has sharp edges that make it break or chip easily. This greatly reduces its durability.

Many people assume that since diamond is the hardest mineral on earth, it cannot break, but this is not true. The truth is any diamond can chip or break, not just the ones with pointed corners. Anything can crush if enormous pressure is put on it.

That the princess cut has pointed edges does not mean they will easily break compared to the cushion cut. If you are worried about the diamond chipping you can put the princess cut diamond in a protective setting like tension or halo.

If you want a solitaire setting, then ensure the prongs are large enough so that they can protect the corners.

Best Place to Buy Princess Cut Diamonds

If you are looking to buy a princess cut diamond ring, maybe you have thought of stopping by your local jewelers like Kay or Heizberg to buy the ring. That is a good way to start, but what about you try online jewelry retailers? Here is why you should.

Brick and mortar jewelry stores have staff that does not know anything about gemstones or diamonds or has any real qualifications aside from the management staff. With online diamond vendors like Blue Nile and James Allen, there are diamond specialists always ready to give you information and answer all your questions.

To make things even better, they do not work on commission so you will not be misinformed or given inflated prices for the diamonds.

When you purchase a princess cut diamond on the internet, you will get the chance to choose a loose diamond from their extensive library, and survey for any inclusions as well as the color. In physical stores, the collection of loose diamonds is limited. A physical shop like Kay may allow you to custom design your princess cut ring but the labor cost will be included in your order.

At James Allen, you will get a wide collection of loose diamonds each having different diamond grades as well as ring settings, all for free. So, why should you buy a ring that is on every other finger in town when you can build your own from scratch?

Best Settings for Princess Cut Diamond Rings

The biggest advantage with a princess cut diamond is its ability to fit perfectly in several settings. It gives off a beautiful modern look or a classic vintage style as if from Cinderella.

Princess is the cut for your ring if you like a vintage look, modern look, or any look of your choice. You can also put this cut on any type of metal. Here is my list of the best settings for princess cut diamond engagement rings:

  1. 14K White Gold Criss Cross Diamond Solitaire
  2. 14K Yellow Gold 0.25ct Channel Set Princess Shaped Diamond Engagement Ring
  3. 14K Rose Gold Art Deco Inspired Fleur-De-Lis Pave Engagement Ring
  4. Classic Pear Shaped Princess Cut Sapphire Engagement Ring
  5. Princess-Cut Floating Halo Engagement Ring

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