Beloved for its contemporary style and sparkle, the princess cut is the most popular fancy shape of a diamond. Princess-cut diamonds are square modified brilliant cuts with pointed corners. Boasting over 50 chevron-shaped facets, this cut is defined by exceptional fire and scintillation.
Depending on the length-to-width ratio, princess-cut diamonds can appear square or rectangular.
Princess cut diamonds also tend to have a slightly lower price-per-carat than round cut diamonds. This is because the four sided pyramid shape of the princess cut diamond is similar to one half of the octahedron rough stone from which a princess diamond is cut.
This similarity allows two equally sized princess cut diamonds to be cut from the same rough stone with relatively little waste (roughly 60% of the weight of the original rough stone is retained after cutting).
The greater efficiency, or yield, translates to a lower price.
Carat for carat, the crown surface area of a princess cut is about 10% less than a same-weight round diamond. However, the corner to corner measure of a princess cut is typically 15% greater than the diameter of a same-weight round diamond, creating the illusion of greater size.
The princess is traditionally a square cut (four sides of equal length). However, many princess cut diamonds are slightly rectangular, though this is often hard to detect.
All other things being equal, the more rectangular a princess cut diamond, the lower the price. Some buyers actually prefer a slightly rectangular princess cut; it’s all about finding what is most pleasing to you.
Any length to width ratio of 1.05 or less will appear square to the naked eye. If the princess will be set with side diamonds, a length to width of 1.05 – 1.08 may still look square, as the side diamonds will create the illusion of greater width in the centre stone.
Evaluating clarity in princess cut diamonds is subjective. It is important to understand that each customer will have a unique standard for clarity. Some may be perfectly comfortable with an inclusion as long as they cannot easily see it.
Others may insist on a more technically flawless appearance.