Princess Cut Diamonds
Princess cuts are square or rectangular brilliant cuts that display exceptional brilliance when cut to certain proportions. Princess cuts are a great choice for individuals who appreciate the qualities of round brilliants, but prefer a square or rectangular shape.
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Special Characteristics of Princess Cut Diamonds
The princess cut mimics the shape of the octahedron, a common form of rough diamond crystal. As such, cutting a princess can produce excellent yield of finish carat weight thereby resulting in lower cost-per-carat for the manufacturer and lower prices for the consumer. However, many princess cuts on the market are cut primarily for yield without enough emphasis on beauty. Typical princess cuts feature very shallow crowns and large tables, resulting in deficits in light performance. GIA does not grade overall cut quality of princess cuts, so it is difficult for consumers to know if those deficits exist or how impactful they may be. AGSL is the only lab performing light performance based cut quality analysis on princess cuts. An AGS Ideal princess is the best assurance that the diamond has been cut primarily for beauty. To learn more, see this article about Princess Cut Grading at AGSL.
Durability is a concern with princess cuts since most have pointed corners. Typically they are set with prongs covering and protecting them. Sometimes cutters will put small flat facets on the corners called “chamfers” providing additional protection against chipping. Once properly set, a princess cut is quite durable for daily wear.
Note: The AGS permits greater depths in their Ideal grade when angles are optimized for light return.
“Chevrons” Make a Difference
The number of facets on the bottom of a princess cut influences the character of its performance. Between 24 and 48 facets (sometimes more) may be present depending on the number of “chevrons.” This influences the character of performance in the same way a traditional 57-facet round performs differently than a 66 or 88 facet round of the same size.
Princess cuts generally look smaller from the “face up” position than round diamonds of the same weight. This is a result of their different designs and the need for ample depth to produce attractive light performance. Dimensions can be a little deceiving since princess cuts are measured side to side rather than point to point. Generally, a well cut 1ct Princess will measure approximately 5.5 mm side to side vs. a well cut 1ct Round Brilliant, which will typically measure approximately 6.5mm in diameter. In terms of footprint (square mm) the difference in face up appearance equates to about 10%. Another way to look at it is that in order for a princess to have a similar visual size to a 6.5mm round, it needs to be about 5.75mm square.
Basic Princess Cut Guidelines courtesy of http://datlas.com/AGA_NAJA_Cut_Class_grader/index.php
Pricescope Journal Articles about Princess CutsAGS’ new cut-grading of princesses: A first experience
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