As is the case with other shapes, there are various factors that are specific to princess cuts that prospective buyers should always take into account.
By familiarizing yourself with the issues that pertain to princess cuts, you can equip yourself to make the most informed decision possible, and thus get the best value for your money when making a purchase.
What are princess cut diamonds?
Princess cut diamonds have been around since 1960, when they were first introduced by A. Nagy of London. The princess cut is a mixed cut, meaning that it has in common certain elements of step cuts (square or rectangular diamond shapes such as the emerald cut and the Asscher cut) as well as some of the characteristics of the standard round brilliant cut.
The princess cut has unique, rounded corners that protrude slightly from the body of the diamond. The facets, while also unique in alignment, are closer to those of round brilliant diamonds, and this means that princess cuts can often have the same sort of sparkle and brilliance that make round diamonds so popular.
Princess cut diamonds, like most other non-round diamonds, can vary in dimensions, although princess cuts tend to adhere to a relatively narrow range in this respect. Most princess cuts have a length to width ratio of 1.0, meaning that they are square in shape, but their length-width can go up to about 1.2, giving the diamond a slightly more rectangular shape.
What makes princess cut diamonds special?
The most unique thing about the princess cut is its overall shape. The corners, which jut out slightly from the rest of the diamond, allow for unique possibilities in terms of settings. Since the corners are rounded, they are not as easy to damage as the pointed ends or corners of some other diamond shapes, although damage is still a concern for princess cut diamonds with a relatively low cut quality.
Although the princess cut is essentially square in shape, it differs from other square or rectangular cuts like the emerald and Asscher cuts in that it mostly has smaller facets, which are more akin to those of round diamonds. This means that, unlike with the step cuts, the clarity of the princess cut isn’t really highlighted. Therefore, buyers don’t have to restrict themselves to diamonds with particularly high clarity grades. Also, while with some diamond shapes that vary in length-width ratio there can be issues with diamonds at the higher or lower extremes, princess cuts are generally attractive regardless of whether they are perfectly square or rectangular.
In short, princess cut diamonds combine the sparkle and brilliance of round cut diamonds with the style of step cuts. This explains why the princess cut is currently considered one of the most fashionable cuts, and is for most vendors the second highest seller after the round brilliant.
What should I look for in princess cut diamonds?
The recommended certification grades for princess cut diamonds are generally the same as those recommended for round diamonds. This means that you can often get a very good value with princess cut diamonds that have a cut rating of “Good,” a clarity grade of SI1 or SI2, a color grade of G, and a carat weight in the area of 1.