January 11th 2022
The Princess Cut Diamond Guide
By Devin Jones
StoneAlgo's top tips for maximizing your budget and picking the perfect princess cut diamond.
What is a Princess Cut Diamond?
Princess cut diamonds are also known as square cut diamonds because of their beautiful square shape and pointed corners. They are considered to be one of the most elegant and unique diamond cuts as well as one of the most popular diamond shapes for engagement rings. In recent years the princess cut has become a trendy (and more affordable) alternative to round cut diamonds with many celebrities opting for the eye-catching square shape.
Princess cut diamonds are a great choice because they are one of the most brilliant diamond cuts (meaning they're very sparkly) and cost far less than a comparable round diamond.
Which Celebs Rock a Princess Cut Diamond?
Emily Ratajkowski Engagement Ring
Emily Ratajkowski rocks a massive Toi Et Moi style engagement ring that mixes a classic princess cut diamond with an exotic pear shape diamond. The two unique shapes make for stunning contrast and her engagement in 2018 led to a spike in searches for Toi Et Moi style rings (French for You And Me). Emily Ratajowski's engagement ring is estimated to have a combined carat weight of over 7 carats and cost over $400,000.
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Cameron Diaz Engagement Ring
Cameron Diaz engagement ring from Benji Madden is a massive pear shape engagement ring estimated to weight about 4 carats and cost over $125,000.
Kate Bosworth Engagement Ring
Kate Bosworth's engagement ring from director Michael Polish was a gorgeous princess cut diamond estimated to be at least 3 carats and cost over $70,000.
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Square Cut vs. Rectangular Cut Diamonds
A major consideration when choosing a princess cut diamond is whether to go for a more symmetrical square cut diamond or an elongated rectangular cut. How square or rectangular a princess cut diamond will appear is based on the diamond's length-to-width ratio (often called LTW). For a square cut diamond, the length-to-width ratio should be as close to 1 as possible and no more than 1.05. About 95% of princess cut diamonds are square cut, but some people favor the more unique rectangular cut diamond to stand out a bit from the crowd. If you're looking for a more elongated diamond cut we would also recommend considering emerald cut diamonds as well.
The Best Color Grades For Princess Cut Diamonds
The most popular color grades for princess cut diamonds are H color and G color which combined make up about 50% of all princess cut diamonds viewed on StoneAlgo. Color grade is a measurement of how white or yellow (or brown, green, etc.) a diamond appears to the naked eye. So you know, color is highly subjective and generally speaking most people cannot tell the difference between near colorless diamonds (those graded G - J) and colorless diamonds (D - E) unless they are being shown right next to one another (even then it can be difficult to tell the difference).
Check out the below diamonds, can you tell the difference in color between an H color diamond and a D color diamond?
Prices from top left to bottom right: $29,009 2.5 carat D color VS2 clarity, $33,950 2.5 carat E color VS2 clarity, $20,793 2.5 carat F color SI1 clarity, $25,463 2.5 carat G color VS1 clarity, $22,669 2.52 carat H color VS2 clarity, $16,359 2.51 carat I color VS1 clarity, $14,140 2.52 carat J color VS1 clarity, $10,590 2.35 carat K color SI1 clarity.
The Most Popular Clarity Grades For Princess Cut Diamonds
The most popular clarity grades for princess cut diamonds are VS clarity diamonds (VS1 clarity and VS2 clarity) which make up 48% of all princess cut diamonds viewed on StoneAlgo. Shoppers steer towards these two clarity grades to get the best balance of price and quality. The main goal for most shoppers is to find an eye clean diamond without overpaying for it.
For example, a flawless diamond (clarity grades FL and IF) won't look any different than a VS1 clarity diamond to the average observer. This is because the tiny imperfections in the VS1 diamond can only be seen under a microscope or other intense magnification. However the price difference between a VS1 and an IF clarity diamond is roughly 33% according to our diamond price calculator.
Princess Cut Diamond Prices
Princess cut diamonds are less expensive than comparable round cut diamonds and not by just a little bit. According to our diamond price calculator, princess cut diamonds cost about 36% less than round cut diamonds with the same size, color, and clarity.
For example, 2 carat princess cut diamond prices which are currently around $18,000 according to our 2 carat princess cut diamond prices page. Compare that to 2 carat round cut diamond prices which are a shocking $28,571 on average.
Ideal Dimensions, Proportions, and Angles for a Princess Cut Diamond
Most jewelers recommend that shoppers focus on finding a princess cut diamond with a table between 65% - 75%, depth between 66% - 75%, and very good polish and symmetry. The GIA does not currently grade the cut quality of fancy shapes like they do for round cut diamonds. You may see some jewelers listing princess cut diamond cut grades but these are purely a marketing gimmick.
Princess cut diamonds aren't graded on cut by the GIA like round diamonds are, but the AGS does score the light performance of princess cuts and we recommend you check out the A Cut Above Princess Cut Diamonds collection by Whiteflash for some amazing princess cuts. Below are some general ranges StoneAlgo recommends for Princess.
Ideal Table Percentage: 65% - 72%
Ideal Depth Percentage: 66% - 75%
Ideal Girdle Thickness: Very Thin - Slightly Thick
Crown Height: 10% - 16%
Princess Cut Diamond Fluorescence Recommendations
Diamond fluorescence produces a glowing property in some diamonds when they are exposed to ultraviolet light. To give an example of how prevalent fluorescence is in the diamond market, this affect is present in about 35% of the diamond inventory available at Blue Nile currently. Fluorescence is not necessarily a good thing or a bad thing, but like most things in life it’s good in moderation or in certain situations. For example, if you are buying a colorless diamond (D – E), then fluorescence may not be a good thing. But for diamonds grade I – K and lower, faint or even medium fluorescence can actually help the diamond appear whiter. Strong fluorescence is typically not recommended as it can make the diamond look hazy – so we’d recommend you stick with faint or none to be safe. You may have seen the designation negligible fluorescence which is the AGS grading equivalent to the GIA’s “none” qualification – representing diamonds that do not exhibit fluorescent properties.
Protect Your Princess Cut's Corners
One of the defining features of a princess cut diamond is its beautiful, square-cut corners. However, these delicate corners are both a blessing and a curse as they make the princess cut diamond more fragile than most other cuts. While you may be familiar with the diamond’s legendary status as “the hardest element on earth”, this is only true to a point. It really means that a diamond cannot be scratched by another element – it doesn’t mean that if you smash a diamond with a hammer it won’t shatter or break (it can and will). Placing protective prongs on each corner will help mitigate this risk and protect a princess cut diamond’s corners from harm.