Round vs Princess Cut Diamonds
Many jewelers regard cut to be one of the most important factors in selecting a diamond. The diamond’s cut--or the angles, locations, and sizes and shapes of the diamond’s facets--is responsible for and is a measure of the diamond’s ability to refract light in order to create the diamond’s signature sparkle.
When selecting a diamond cut, the most popular choice is that of a round vs princess cut diamond. While round diamond engagement rings have been a favorite for nearly a century, princess diamond engagement rings are rising in popularity with its edgier and more modern style.
Round Cut Diamond
First created in 1919 by Marcel Tolkowsky, round diamonds are still the standard in engagement rings. Round diamonds tend to have fewer flaws, more clarity, and are more forgiving, as its multi-faceted cut and brilliant sparkle can easily hide minor flaws.
For round diamonds, the Gemological Institute of America’s diamond cut scale allows for easy comparison between the diamond cuts of round diamonds. However, there is no official GIA scale for other diamond cuts because they can maximize refractive quality through a variety of shapes, lengths, and widths.
Outside of refractive quality, round diamond engagement rings are also an extremely practical choice in terms of price and durability. Round diamonds can accommodate most diamond price needs as they are readily available as loose diamonds. And unlike the princess diamond, the clean cuts of a round diamond leave no sharp edges to be chipped, broken, or snagged on fabric.
Round diamonds are also extremely versatile in terms of style, popularly seen in solitaire or in two or three stone rings. They can also be paired with other bands or beautifully displayed in halo arrangements.
Princess Cut Diamond
The princess diamond cut is the second most popular, and definitively more modern, diamond cut. Created by Arpad Nagy in 1961 and popularized by Betazel Ambar and Israel Itzkowitz in 1980, princess diamonds are typically cut into a square shape with square shapes being more expensive than more rectangular shapes.
Princess diamonds are typically more affordable than round diamonds because they more closely mimic the natural shape of a rough diamond, allowing the polished diamond to retain more of its original weight. For example, one carat of rough diamond will typically retain 40% of its original carat while a princess diamond cut will typically retain 80% - 90% of its original weight.
Although more affordable, princess diamonds refract less light than round diamonds. Although no diamond cut can refract all of the light it captures, the optimal round brilliant cut is the industry standard definition of 100%, while the princess diamond has a refractive quality of 70%.
Princess diamonds are perfect for more complex ring designs such as channel, floral filigree, cushion princess settings, and elaborate vintage designs. Princess diamond engagement rings are also popularly seen in three stone arrangements.
Diamond Ring Styles
In addition to the ring itself, consider the wearer’s hand. Those with smaller hands may prefer the smaller look of round diamonds engagement rings while the contemporary princess diamond engagement ring may be better for those with larger hands.
While personal taste should always be the ultimate guide in selecting an engagement ring, diamond experts often advise prioritizing diamond cut above diamond color or diamond clarity. A poorly cut diamond negatively impacts the signature sparkling brilliance of a diamond, generally resulting in a less beautiful diamond. Whether you’re choosing a princess or a round diamond, be sure to factor in cut above all else.
Below are some of our most popular round and princess cut diamond engagement rings: