Princess cut: How to choose the best one?

The long era of Art Deco was coming to an end. People were searching for something new. The emergence of disco life-style was in the air. “Big is beautiful’ was the new normal and becoming order of the day. From music to lights to jewelry-design the change was evident everywhere. It was during this period in 1981 that Princess cut came to existence after years of modification and research.

Princess cut as we know today was made popular by Betzalel Ambar, Israel Itzkowits, and Ygal Perlman.

Princess cut:  Most Popular Shape after Round brilliant cut:

Princess cut diamond is the most popular Fancy shape after round brilliant cut because of its brilliance and sparkle. It is also called Square brilliant cut or Rectangular brilliant cut.

It gives the impression of being bigger in size than its carat weight due to its larger table. It has 10% more table areas than Round brilliant cut.

What to look for in a Princess Cut diamond that makes it pretty.

Length to Width Ratio: This is the outer shape of the Princess cut that makes the diamond look pleasing to eyes. There are two types of Princess cut i.e. Square & Rectangle.

The broad consensus for Square shape is the L/W ratio of 1:1.03 to 1:1.05. If it crosses the ratio of 1.05 then it is considered as Rectangular. Many people like it to be slight rectangular. So anything between 1.05 and 1.10 looks good. Let’s see what experts have to say about length to width ratio of a better performing Princess cut diamond.

Length to Width Ratio
GIA1.05:1
AGSL1.05:1
Brian Gavin1.10:1
77 diamonds London1.05:1
Ritani1.05:1
Lumera Diamonds1.03:1

You can choose between these ranges to get the best looking Princess cut diamond.

princess LW ratio ready.png

Cut Proportions: This is the single most important factor that contributes to diamond’s beauty and sparkle. Except AGSL (American Gem Society Laboratories) no other labs perform the cut-grading of Princess cut. AGSL’s follows very stringent method to pass a cut that gets AGS Ideal cut grade.

I would suggest you to go for a certified AGSL Princess cut for the best result in terms of sparkle and brilliance. Then you need not have to worry about technical things like proportions, symmetry, and L/W ratio. Because it takes care of all your concerns and will present you a beautiful looking Princess cut diamond.

However, for any reason if you do not get it then you can follow certain guidelines that will help you to narrow down your search for the best. Here are the cut guidelines of industry’s renowned experts.

Lumera

Diamonds

RitaniAGSLAGA*
Table %Ex. 67-72

VG. 59-66 or

73-75

< 75<69Ideal.-62-68
Depth %64-7565-7574-77Ideal.-64-75

*AGA-Accredited Gem Appraisers- one of the most reputed appraiser of loose diamond and diamond jewelry

Note: table percentage should not exceed total depth percentage in any case.

Symmetry: Symmetry is one component of cut grade that complements a diamond’s over all beauty. An excellent symmetry grade means identical facet sizes, perfect meeting of its edges, centered culet, even girdle, and parallel sides.

Any deviations like missing or mismatching facet sizes, edges not meeting properly, off centered culet will make a diamond undesirable in its look.

It is the best practice to go for either Excellent or Very Good symmetry grade in Princess cut for best result.

Certification Guide: Labs grading Princess cut without cut-grade means leaving space for speculation about a pretty diamond. As cut plays a major role in making a diamond beautiful and sparkling, it is the best option to go for a diamond having certified cut-grade. For that AGSL’s certified Princess cut diamond is the best option.

Polish and Symmetry complement cut proportions but these are not enough. So if you are relying only on polish and Symmetry to judge a diamond’s beauty then you are misled.

People often think that an excellent polish and symmetry means a beautiful diamond. Unfortunately that is not the case. As per AGSL’s research findings it is the cut proportion that contributes immensely to the light dispersion and light return of a diamond and not the faceting pattern.

As GIA and other labs are silent about Princess cut grade, cutters are taking advantage of it. Markets are flooded with excellent polish and symmetry grade diamonds. But if you test their light performance then more than half of these Princess cut diamonds will fail the test.

So be careful about it. Remember polish and symmetry grade should not be the only criteria to judge a Princess cut diamond’s beauty. Here advanced technological assistance like ASET-report is the best way to judge and find the finest Princess cut diamond.

In ASET image report Red represents excellent light return areas, Green defines reflected light returns, Blue is contrast, desirable for more brilliance, and White areas say about light leakages that makes a Princess cut look less brilliant and less sparkle.

See the following ASET image; you should be looking for these types of Princess Cut diamonds.

aset princess cut ready.jpg

(Image source:whiteflash)

Importance of Chevrons in Princess Cut Diamond:

What are Chevrons?

Chevrons are “V” shaped pavilion facets extended from the edge of the diamond towards pavilion main. These Chevrons play an important role in enhancing the brilliance of Princess cut.

See the image below to understand Chevrons:

color chevrons1.jpg

These colored “V” shaped Pavilion facets are called Chevrons.

chevron explained ready.jpg

Note: “X” shaped orange color facet is “Pavilion Main”, “V” shaped facets in different colors are Chevrons

(Image source: briangavindiamonds.com)

More Chevrons- more brightness:

Conventional Princess cut is made of 2 chevrons. Because of its broad facets, its flashes of lights are big. But it lacks in sparkle which gives the shape a chunky appearance. Due to this reason many people don’t like it.

However, the cutters have found that adding more chevrons make the diamond look brighter. More chevrons mean more facets. Facets act like many mirrors. When light enters into it and bounce back through many facets it illuminates the diamond giving it the “Crushed Ice look”.

The flip side of more chevrons is that it reduces the facet size of Pavilion Main which means reduction of contrast. And this leads to less fire or less-rainbow light in Princess cut diamond. Due to this many people don’t prefer “Crushed Ice look” Princess cut. (See images below)

Types of Chevron in Princess Cut Diamond

chevron 3 ready.jpg

Note: More chevrons  mean less Pavilion Main facet size

Hence, choose 3 chevron Princess cut diamond which is the perfect mixture of sparkle and brilliance.

It is totally up to you what to choose depending on which one appeals you the most. Like symmetry chevrons are just another tiny factor that contributes to Princess Cut diamond’s beauty.

See the following images to know the difference of looks in different chevrons.

Color Tips: Choose a color grade between D to G as per your budget and preference. You may go down to H if you find a diamond is visually appealing.

Clarity Tips: Due to its many facets (57 or 76) it has the ability to minimize the bad effect of inclusions and blemishes. You can go down to SI1 clarity, which is ‘eye-clean’, and still you will get absolutely fine quality diamond.

Remember, your minimum choice of clarity should be “eye-clean” that means you cannot see the inclusions in the diamond in unaided eyes.

Another important thing is that you should never choose a clarity grade having cloud in it, especially if VS2 or SI1 clarity is based on clouds. Make it a rule not to buy cloudy diamond in any shape.

Fluorescence Tips: As I am suggesting you to go for D to G color grade. Fluorescence has no positive role to play in these color grades. So choose a Princess cut/shape that has no fluorescence in it.

Jewelry & Ring Settings Tips: Princess cut is a perfect match for engagement ring, wedding band and ear rings. Its beveled sides and pyramid type pavilion makes good light dispersion. The larger square table further complements it by making it flashy and more attractive.

princess jewelry briangavin.png

(Visit site to see beautiful jewelry)

Classic prong setting is best suited for Princess Cut diamond to protect its point. This setting holds the diamond securely and allows maximum light to enter into the diamond to make it more brilliant.

Three stone setting with Princess cut as centre stone adds beauty and elegance to the ring. Channel setting is a feather on the cap; it works well with small Princess cut diamonds.

Stunning images of Princess Cut rings, wedding band, and jewelry.

princess ring ready.jpg

Platinum, Palladium or white gold is the best metal for Princess cut diamonds.

Long finger or petite finger, Princess cut diamond goes well for both. Large diamond for long finger and small Princess cut for petite finger with simple ring setting is just fine for them. That’s why Princess cut diamond is the darling of all diamond lovers and is the second most popular shape.

Certified Princess Cut Diamond: Choose Industry’s best Lab

AGS is the only lab you should be relying upon. It has been doing the job very well and its report is based on cut quality and light performance. If your Princess cut diamond is certified by AGS then you know what you are getting. You need not to worry about the quality.

Conclusion: If you are looking for a diamond that is very close to Round brilliant cut in terms of brilliance and sparkle then Princess cut is the answer for you. You should choose a Princess cut diamond for the following reasons:

  • It has 10% more face up areas which gives the impression of larger size than its carat weight
  • Cheaper than Round brilliant cut
  • Perfect for engagement ring, wedding band and ear ring
  • Hides inclusions well which means you can go down to SI1 clarity and still get a quality diamond

Princess Cut: Things to Remember

  • AGSL (American Gem Society Laboratories) is doing its cut grade- that means you need not have to worry about its quality if you go for an AGSL certified Princess cut.
  • Remember GIA does not perform cut-grading of Princess cut
  • Do not go for VS2 or SI1 clarity based on clouds
  • Length to width ratio and cut proportions are very important in Princess cut
  • Avoid strong to very strong Fluorescence if you are not sure about its effect on the Princess cut

Follow the above tips and you are good to go. James Allen and Brian Gavin are two places where you can get best quality Princess cut diamonds.

Hope, I have made it abundantly clear about how to choose a Princess Cut diamond. Let me know your views. Thank you.

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