Princess Cut vs. Round Cut (& Common Questions Answered)

Princess Cut vs. Round Cut (& Common Questions Answered)

If you ask many people about an engagement ring, you will most likely hear a number of them mentioning a solitaire princess cut or solitaire round brilliant cut diamonds.

This can be attributed to the fact that square and round shaped diamonds are the commonest in the jewelry market currently.

While there are several other great diamond shapes, someone shopping for the first time may have to settle for a round or square diamond engagement ring.

People love the brilliance and fire of diamond rings. Both princess and round cut diamonds look brilliant. This means that the people who cut the diamonds have mastered how to shape the diamonds in a way that the shape gets a definitive light return of the diamond.

Although these two diamond cuts have several things that look alike, they also have some obvious differences. So, which cut scores above the other?

Below, we look at both the princess cut and round cut diamonds in detail while stating their pros and cons to know which one is the better diamond shape for you.

Princess Cut vs. Round Cut Diamonds

All the diamonds that are accompanied by a grading report at the time of sale usually undergo a grading process that determines the diamond grades.

Regardless of the kind of shape you prefer or the diamond retailer from whom you want to buy, make sure the diamond you choose has a grading report. The report can either be from AGS (America Gem Society) or GIA (Gemological Institute of America). Any other grading report from any other laboratory is considered less reliable as their guidelines are not strict. These two are the top most trusted laboratories for grading diamonds.

GIA uses the 4Cs to determine the quality of the diamonds brought to their laboratories. The 4Cs are Clarity, Cut, Carat, and Color.

With that said, let’s now go ahead and compare based on that.

Princess vs. Round Cut Diamonds: Which One Sparkles More?

How much a diamond sparkle is determined by its cut. Never should you go for a poorly cut diamond stone because you want to save some change? The quality of cut in diamonds dictates how beautiful it will look and how long it will last.

Poorly cut diamonds are susceptible to breaking and chipping. The grading report is important because it lets you know that the diamond being sold to you is exactly what it is.

Round Cut Diamond Engagement Rings

Marcel Tolkowsky invented the ideal cut for diamonds, which means the diamond is cut with 100% similar proportions.

In the place of “ideal cut”, GIA chooses to use the term “Excellent cut”, and this is the best cut grade for round diamonds. “Ideal cut” is the term of choice for AGS diamond grading. Both ideal cut and excellent cut are the best cut grades for each of these grading bodies.

RECOMMENDED: What to Know About Round Cut Diamonds

Princess Cut Diamond Engagement Rings

Unlike round cuts, princess cuts do not have specific grades for cuts. Of all diamond cuts, only round has exact symmetry. This is the reason how brilliant a round cut diamond is, is highly yearned for.

You may come across princess cut diamonds that also carry the suffix “ideal cut” but AGS does not officially recognize them. This, however, does not mean that guidelines for shaping princess cut do not exist.

For a princess cut diamond to look great, the proportions should stay within the following dimensions: under 75% for table size, 1-1.05 length to width ratio, 68%-75% depth, and either Very Good or Excellent symmetry.

RECOMMENDED: What to Consider When Buying Princess Cut Diamonds

Princess vs Round Cut Diamond: Which Has Better Clarity?

Diamond clarity refers to how clear or not clear (has natural inclusions) is your diamond when looked at by the naked eye. The scale used to check for diamond clarity is IF, VVS1, VVS2, VS1, VS2, SI1, SI2, I1, I3, and I3, ranging from a diamond piece with the least inclusions to the most inclusions. For all diamond shapes, clarity grades lower than VS1 are acceptable.

RECOMMENDED: What Are VVS Diamonds?

Round Cut Diamond Engagement Rings

A round cut diamond is the least kind of diamond shape that you will expect to have a high clarity grade. This is because it is cut with exact symmetry compared to other shapes. This and other brilliant cut diamonds have many small facets rendering the need for high clarity grade almost useless. For round cut diamonds, we suggest a minimum clarity grade of SI1.

1.00 Carat round diamond
1.00 Carat round diamond

1.00 Carat princess diamond
1.00 Carat princess diamond

Princess Cut Diamond Engagement Rings

Since princess cut diamonds are cut with a brilliant technique, they too do not necessarily need high clarity grades. The princess cut has a square shape which reflects broad and long light flashes; this means more dark blemishes are likely to be seen, unlike the round cut. SI2 eye clean is the minimum accepted clarity grade for princess cut diamond rings.

Tip: Emerald cut diamonds need high clarity grades.

Princess Cut vs Round Cut Diamonds: Which Has Better Color?

The color of a diamond ranges from colorless to pale yellow. These color grades are used to grade all diamonds. Colorless grades on the GIA scale are D, E, and F. Near colorless diamonds are graded G, H, and I while diamonds in J grade are pale yellow. Grade K is also common in the market. Grades Lto Z leans more towards fancier yellow.

Round Cut Diamond Engagement Rings

The arrangement of facets in an ideal cut round diamond makes the diamond shine a lot and more visible color than the actual color of the stone. The best color grade would be I, although J looks good too and is cheaper.

With color grades, it is very difficult to tell the difference between two adjacent grades like E & F. however, if you compare E against G, the difference is very obvious.

14K White Gold 1.5mm Comfort Fit Engagement Ring
14K White Gold 1.5mm Comfort Fit Engagement Ring

14K Yellow Gold 1.5mm Comfort Fit Engagement Ring
14K Yellow Gold 1.5mm Comfort Fit Engagement Ring

Princess Cut Diamond Engagement Rings

A princess cut diamond has a larger table than a round cut diamond. Because of this wide surface area, a princess cut diamond is likely to display more color. I would recommend color grade H on the minimum side for a princess cut diamond ring.

You don’t have to go higher than this; even an I color diamond still looks great. If a near colorless diamond ring still looks expensive for you, then you probably do not need a princess cut diamond ring for your engagement.

Tip: J or K color grade on a princess cut diamond ring would look very gorgeous in a yellow gold setting. The yellow color that is on the metal band will make the diamond look whiter.

RECOMMENDED: Importance of Diamond Cuts

Princess Cut vs. Round Cut Diamonds: Which is Bigger?

Most people confuse the carat weight of the diamond with its actual size. Carat weight means how heavy the diamond is, it is the same thing as weighing gold.

A heavy diamond is obviously big. You will notice that when it comes to pricing, a 2 carat diamond does not cost the same as two 1 carat diamonds. When the carat weight goes up, so does the clarity grade and color grade, this happens so that the diamond retains its beauty.

Round Cut Diamond Engagement Rings

Among the many diamond shapes, a round cut has the smallest table size. When you compare a round cut diamond with a radiant or emerald cut of the same carat weight, the round cut looks smaller.

In most cases, carat weight is more of personal taste, but personal taste or not, do not go for a solitaire engagement ring that has less than .5 carat centerpiece. A center stone with carat weight less than that will look awkward on your finger.

Tip: Center stones with lower than ½ carat are too small for solitaire settings but will look fabulous in other settings. A halo setting would be the best for a small center stone.

Princess Cut Diamond Engagement Rings

Princess cut diamonds that have large table sizes are an advantage when it comes to carat weight. In general, small carat weights are not so attractive on solitaire rings but would look almost as small as a round cut diamond would look.

It is important to know the size of your diamond’s table as this will give you an idea of the carat weight. Some princess cut diamonds have a 70% table size. However, these are very rare.

RECOMMENDED: The Best Setting for an Engagement Ring

Princess Cut vs Round Cut Diamond Ring: Which is More Expensive?

Price is among the major factors considered when buying a diamond engagement ring. Just as there are a variety of diamond shapes, there is also a corresponding range of prices for these shapes. Round cut diamond rings are the commonest and most expensive as well.

The difference in prices is brought about by the amount of work that diamond cutters have to do to get rid of the excess rough material that accumulates while the diamond is forming in the ground. Some of this rough material is used so the diamond cutter does not have to compensate for the work on the diamond price.

While a princess cut diamond can retain as much as70% of the rough diamond material, a round cut can only retain 40% of the same. This is the reason princess cut diamond engagement rings are cheaper than round cut diamond rings.

Another factor that contributes to round cut diamonds having a high price is that you can get an ideal or excellent cut. Both of these carry a premium. With a princess cut, the quality is dynamic and therefore their prices keep changing.

Best Place to Buy Princess Cut and Round Cut Diamond Engagement Rings

If you want a chance to fully compare a princess to a round cut diamond based on visual characteristics, is the best place to go. James Allen is a popular online diamond store with highly qualified staff that does not use sales language or pushy attitude to convince you to buy an engagement ring from them. You will get a hassle-free buying process with 24/7 customer service channels.

James Allen offers their customers 3D viewing technique that lets you view the diamond from all angles. By doing this, you will know exactly how the diamond looks and will notice any differences if any when it arrives. This online-only store has a full-time diamond expert ready to answer all you questions concerning grading reports, center stones, and any other details.

They also provide their customers with a lifetime warranty, 30 day return policy, and lifetime upgrade. The warranty takes care of all routine metalwork that your engagement ring may need. The routine maintenance includes re-tipping prongs, a free resizing, cleaning, and rhodium plating for white gold rings.

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