Last updated on October 9, 2020
Princess is the most popular fancy diamond cut in the world. It is favoured for its flexibility in working and sophisticated appearance. If you are interested in buying a diamond that offers excellent fire and brilliance, our princess cut diamond guide is a must-read.
History of Princess Cut Diamonds
The history of the princess cut traces back to the early 1960s when Arpad Nagy, a diamond cutter based in London, created a “profile” cut, which was often referred to as the princess cut at the time.
However, many believe that the true princess cut traces its roots from 1971 when Basil Watermeyer patented a new diamond shape and called it Barion cut. Being a very complex cut, Barion proved to be extremely difficult to create. Incredibly symmetrical lines were challenging even for the expert diamond cutters.
Nearly 10 years later another cut similar to the Barion cut was patented and named Quadrillion. The Quadrillion cut gained some popularity as it was easier to create due to its use of 49 facets compared to the 80 facets of the Barion.
The modern princess cut is a relative newcomer to the diamond world. It was created in 1981 by Betzalel Ambar and Israel Itskowitz. A princess cut diamond can have as few as 50 facets, but the number of the facets is often modified (up to 144) to maximize brilliance and sparkle, the “gold standard” is 58 facets.
Although the princess cut is usually described as a square shape with sharp corners, the shape of the cut is closer to an inverted pyramid; however, it can also come in tapered and rectangular shapes.
Princess Cut Diamond Cut Quality Guide
The quality of the cut is the most important factor in maximizing the brilliance and fire, meaning it greatly affects the appearance of a diamond.
All of the square cuts, the princess cut along with the radiant cut, comes the closest to achieving the fire and brilliance of a round diamond, making it an ideal combination of unique shape and sparkling appearance.
Since the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) doesn’t provide any information other than polish and symmetry on a princess diamond cut quality, it is important to look for a diamond that has even sides and equal proportions.
The symmetry of the facets is the main factor to create the beauty of the cut. The facets on the right and left halves of the stone should have the same shape and size. All the points of the facets should meet, there should not be missing or extra ones. The more symmetrical the facets, the more beautiful the stone.
The chart below will help you in evaluating the cut of princess diamonds.
|TABLE %||67 - 72||59 - 66 or 73 - 75||56 - 58 or 76 - 82||53 - 55 or 83 - 85||< 53 or > 85|
|DEPTH %||64 - 75||64 - 75||58 - 63.9 or 75.1 - 80||56 - 57.9 or 80.1 - 84||< 56 or > 84|
|GIRDLE||Very Thin to Slightly Thick||Very Thin to Slightly Thick||Very Thin to Thick||Very Thin to Very Thick||Extremely Thin to Extremely Thick|
|CULET||None||Very Small||Small||Medium||> Medium|
|LENGTH TO WIDTH RATIO||1.00 - 1.03||1.00 - 1.03||1.04 - 1.05||1.06 - 1.08||> 1.08|
Princess Cut Diamond Colour Guide
Since the princess cut is close to the round brilliant cut in terms of brilliance and sparkle it tends to hide colour imperfections in the diamond rough, meaning it is harder to evaluate the true colour of the stone. This gives you the advantage to opt for a diamond in a near colourless range and still have a gemstone that looks colourless to an untrained eye.
Smaller princess cut diamonds hide colour better than the larger ones do. So depending on the size of a diamond you are going to buy, it’s safe to choose a G, H, I or even J colour stone to have a colourless appearance. However, those who prefer actual white diamonds need to choose stones in the D-E-F colour range.
The colour chart below provides a general guideline for evaluating colour in princess cut diamonds based on carat weight.
|< .50 ct.||D - G||H - I||J - K||L - M||> M|
|.51-1.0 ct.||D - F||G||H - I||J - K||> K|
|1.0-2.0 ct.||D - F||D - F||G - H||I - J||> J|
|> 2.0 ct.||D - F||D - F||G||H - I||> I|
Princess Cut Diamond Clarity Guide
In terms of clarity, the princess cut is likewise similar to the round brilliant cut, meaning due to the arrangement of its facets, the princess cut tends to hide inclusions fairly well.
As a general rule, it’s harder to see imperfections in smaller princess cut diamonds than in the larger ones. That’s why you may purchase a lower clarity grade stone if it’s small enough to maintain an eye-clean appearance.
The clarity chart below provides general guidelines for picking a clarity grade for your princess cut diamond.
|< .50 ct.||FL - VS2||SI1 - SI2||I1||I2||> I2|
|.51-1.0 ct.||FL - VS1||VS2 - SI1||SI2||I1 - I2||> I2|
|1.0-2.0 ct.||FL - VVS2||VS1 - VS2||SI1 - SI2||I1||> I1|
|> 2.0 ct.||FL - VVS2||VS1 - VS2||SI1||SI2||> SI2|