Round Cut vs Princess Cut (7 Questions Answered)

Julie Janecka
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Factors To Consider When Comparing Round vs Princess Cut Diamonds?

Round vs princess cut diamonds are two of the most popular diamond shapes available today. Just like a square diamond can be cut into a cushion diamond, or a heart-shaped diamond can be cut into a pendant-style diamond, princess and round diamonds can be converted into each other.

Most cutters can convert a princess diamond into a round one. Conversely, many round diamonds can be converted into a more oval diamond called an "emerald cut".

So how would you choose between a round cut diamond or a princess cut diamond?

Here are a few questions that you might have, and the answers that I would give.

Does a Round Cut diamond look better than a Princess Cut Diamond?

In my opinion, no, a stone cut to round does not look better than a diamond cut to a princess shape. When it comes to diamonds, each cut shape has its own unique look that I personally like the most.

When a princess-shaped diamond features a fiery crown and bright pavilion, it always creates a spectacular look, especially under the right lighting condition. A round diamond, on the other hand, looks the most brilliant under candlelight.

So what’s the right shape for you?

Do Princess Cuts Sparkle More Than Round (Cut)?

The term "princess" when used in association with diamonds refers to the diamond's cut. It's not to be confused with the shape of the diamond, which may be round (also called "brilliant" in some cases) or square.

Princess Cuts are a modified version of a classic round cut diamond. In fact, most princess cut diamonds are round cut diamonds that have had a small faceted "step" cut in their pavilion (the bottom part of the diamond, as seen from above), thus giving them a wider top.

The step is usually about a third of the diameter of the diamond, and it makes room for another minor facet to be added to the top of the pavilion. This extra step increases the amount of light that enters the diamond, making it sparkle even more.

Round cut diamonds are the most popular cuts when it comes down to it. Or, at least, they were. Round cut diamonds are said to be the most "classical" and "timeless" of all the cuts. However, you can only improve a classic… so when Princess Cuts were introduced quite a few decades ago the popularity of the shape grew. Today, many people consider the two cuts to be equal in terms of sparkle, but there are plenty who strongly believe in the warmth and brilliance of a single round cut diamond.

Round Cut Diamond Rings

Round cut diamonds are the most popular cut because of their versatility and use in many high-end designs. Round cut diamonds offer many design options, including the ability to have a halo, be the center of a ring with other diamonds surrounding it, or even be set in a seamless prong setting with smaller diamonds (micro-pavé setting).

The proportions of round cuts are guided by the "4C's" of diamond valuation: carat weight, clarity, color, and cut. It's important to note that carat weight is not a reliable predictor of a large diamond's size. For example, 1-carat, 1.5-carat, and 2-carat are all considered "round cuts," but vary in size greatly.

If you like the idea of a round cut diamond engagement ring but would like something with a bit of width and lot of sparkle, a round cut, princess-cut, or asscher cut might be more to your liking.

The Princess cut diamond is the most rectangular of the diamond shapes with the length of the long side of the square typically being nearly 70% longer than the width of the short side. The Princess cut gives a nice, modern look that is reminiscent of the modern designs of Elsa Peretti's time with Tiffany & Co.

Princess Cut Diamond Rings

Is The Name a Misnomer?

Many people believe that princess cut diamonds are an improvement on conventional round cut diamonds. Let’s take a look at this princess cut diamond myth and see whether a princess cut diamond is worth its name and its higher price.

Princess cut is not introduced by any particular designer. In fact, the concept of princess cuts has been around for a while. It was first devised by the Portuguese, who had long ago begun cutting diamonds into heart and shield shapes.

The name is based on the shape of the diamond – the inverted triangle. In America, when the princess cut diamond became popular in the 1940s, the shape was deliberately named to contradict its original identity as a cruel and violent cut.

Despite the lovely name, princess cuts are not pretty and they are not much more beautiful than a conventional round cut diamond. A princess cut diamond is a bit more square and angular than a perfectly cut round diamond, and even though it retains its brilliance, it becomes somewhat less exciting to behold because of the unique shape.

The common princess cut is 45 degree triangular with a pointed edge on the bottom and the back. The other common princess cut is 60 degree, which is a square with a pointed edge on the bottom.

Which Is More "Eye Clean", Round Cut or Princess Cut? (Clarity)

Jewelry terminology in the industry is more of a phonetic alphabet…with a new set of symbols to learn…than grammatically correct terms. It’s no different for the Round Cut and Princess Cut gemstones (precious diamonds).

First, the "Crystal System" of a gem is based on its chemical composition. So when we refer to diamonds as being one or another "Crystal System" we are talking about the crystal structure of the chemical composition of that rock. For example, diamonds are made of carbon.

Second, the "Cut" of any gemstone is based on its shape and how that shape was achieved. To achieve the perfect shape for your Round Cut diamond, significantly more rough diamond (rough has an oval shape) is used.

In contrast, a Princess Cut achieves shape from significantly less rough. This results in far less waste and more sparkle.

A Princess diamond is also referred to as a Square Cut, which is actually the most popular diamond cut.

Another variation of the Princess Cut is the Heart Cut (the same shape as the Princess but with the top/shadow section cut off and polished). The Heart diamond is cut so that it has an offset pointed top (like the heart shape) and a rounded bottom.

Round Cut Diamond Rings

Round cut diamonds are the most popular cut because of their versatility and use in many high-end designs. Round cut diamonds offer many design options, including the ability to have a halo, be the center of a ring with other diamonds surrounding it, or even be set in a seamless prong setting with smaller diamonds (micro-pavé setting).

The proportions of round cuts are guided by the "4C's" of diamond valuation: carat weight, clarity, color, and cut. It's important to note that carat weight is not a reliable predictor of a large diamond's size. For example, 1-carat, 1.5-carat, and 2-carat are all considered "round cuts," but vary in size greatly.

If you like the idea of a round cut diamond engagement ring but would like something with a bit of width and lot of sparkle, a round cut, princess-cut, or asscher cut might be more to your liking.

The Princess cut diamond is the most rectangular of the diamond shapes with the length of the long side of the square typically being nearly 70% longer than the width of the short side. The Princess cut gives a nice, modern look that is reminiscent of the modern designs of Elsa Peretti's time with Tiffany & Co.

Princess Cut Diamond Rings

Is The Name a Misnomer?

Many people believe that princess cut diamonds are an improvement on conventional round cut diamonds. Let’s take a look at this princess cut diamond myth and see whether a princess cut diamond is worth its name and its higher price.

Princess cut is not introduced by any particular designer. In fact, the concept of princess cuts has been around for a while. It was first devised by the Portuguese, who had long ago begun cutting diamonds into heart and shield shapes.

The name is based on the shape of the diamond – the inverted triangle. In America, when the princess cut diamond became popular in the 1940s, the shape was deliberately named to contradict its original identity as a cruel and violent cut.

Despite the lovely name, princess cuts are not pretty and they are not much more beautiful than a conventional round cut diamond. A princess cut diamond is a bit more square and angular than a perfectly cut round diamond, and even though it retains its brilliance, it becomes somewhat less exciting to behold because of the unique shape.

The common princess cut is 45 degree triangular with a pointed edge on the bottom and the back. The other common princess cut is 60 degree, which is a square with a pointed edge on the bottom.

Which Has Better Color, Round of Princess Cut? (Color)

Round Cut Diamond Engagement Rings

In this article I will focus on the difference between a round cut diamond engagement ring design VS a princess cut diamond engagement ring design. A round diamond VS a princess cut diamond engagement ring usually comes down to personal preference.

There are other factors that you should consider when contemplating round VS princess cut diamonds, such as the quantity/weight of the diamond, total carat weight/size, and the cut/cut grade.

Before I go into the difference between round VS princess cut, let’s first take a quick look at the three C”s of diamond grading:

Carat: Diamond weight, shown in carat weights, such as 1 carat, 2 carat, 3 carat etc. Cut: Refers to the proportions and symmetry of the diamond. Cut is further scrutinized using the 4C's, which are: color, clarity, cut and carat. Color: Color when referring to colorless or near-colorless diamonds. Color can have a very significant effect on the price of a diamond. Clarity: Refers to how much internal or external imperfections there are in a diamond. Cut: Refers to how well a diamond has been polished or cut.

Princess Cut Diamond Engagement Rings

What's the Difference?

While a round diamond has an equal amount of surface area all the way around, a princess cut diamond's surface area is longer than it is wide. This unique shape makes the princess cut have a different light reflection and refraction to that of a round diamond.

A princess cut diamond's 41 facets, compared to a round diamond's 58, give the diamond a smaller appearance.

Together with the round brilliant cut, the princess cut is one of the most popular diamond shapes. The popularity of the princess cut has spread because of its unique geometric designs and affordable price.

Since the princess cut diamond is less reflective, it's a good choice when there are logistical issues related to the light source.

The princess cut is a versatile diamond shape that blends well with other diamond shapes.

Do Princess Cut Diamonds Look Bigger Than Round? (Carat)

Most princess cut diamond shapes are smaller than traditional round brilliant cut diamonds with the same carat weight. For instance, a princess cut diamond of 1 carat will be smaller than a round brilliant cut diamond of 1 carat. The main reason for this (other than the fact that they are a lot more beautiful) is that the princess cut has more total facets than a round brilliant cut of the same carat weight. When viewed from above, the longer shape of the princess cut, allows more facets to come into play. Adding more facets, makes for a more beautiful diamond, in most cases. The beauty of the princess cut is further enhanced by it’s density. The princess cut has more visual weight due to a higher density which allows the diamonds optical/appearance qualities to shine through better than less dense stones. These two factors (shape and, density) are the main reason for the popularity of the princess cut. Regardless of carat weight, the princess cut is much more visually appealing than a round brilliant cut diamond.

Round Cut Diamond Engagement Rings

In this article I will focus on the difference between a round cut diamond engagement ring design VS a princess cut diamond engagement ring design. A round diamond VS a princess cut diamond engagement ring usually comes down to personal preference.

There are other factors that you should consider when contemplating round VS princess cut diamonds, such as the quantity/weight of the diamond, total carat weight/size, and the cut/cut grade.

Before I go into the difference between round VS princess cut, let’s first take a quick look at the three C”s of diamond grading:

Carat: Diamond weight, shown in carat weights, such as 1 carat, 2 carat, 3 carat etc. Cut: Refers to the proportions and symmetry of the diamond. Cut is further scrutinized using the 4C's, which are: color, clarity, cut and carat. Color: Color when referring to colorless or near-colorless diamonds. Color can have a very significant effect on the price of a diamond. Clarity: Refers to how much internal or external imperfections there are in a diamond. Cut: Refers to how well a diamond has been polished or cut.

Princess Cut Diamond Engagement Rings

What's the Difference?

While a round diamond has an equal amount of surface area all the way around, a princess cut diamond's surface area is longer than it is wide. This unique shape makes the princess cut have a different light reflection and refraction to that of a round diamond.

A princess cut diamond's 41 facets, compared to a round diamond's 58, give the diamond a smaller appearance.

Together with the round brilliant cut, the princess cut is one of the most popular diamond shapes. The popularity of the princess cut has spread because of its unique geometric designs and affordable price.

Since the princess cut diamond is less reflective, it's a good choice when there are logistical issues related to the light source.

The princess cut is a versatile diamond shape that blends well with other diamond shapes.

Is Princess Cut or Round Cut More Expensive?

Princess cut diamonds are usually more expensive than round cut diamonds because their rarity in comparison to a round cut diamond. Princess diamonds are also more difficult to cut than round diamonds, which is another factor that affects the price. The round shape makes cutting more efficient.

While you’ll likely find that the princess cut is a little pricier, how much more expensive depends on the round cut diamond and the type of princess cut you’re purchasing. Round cut diamonds often cost less than princess diamonds. However, some people prefer a round cut diamond for its lack of sharp edges on the bottom of the stone where it sits on the ring band.

Another thing to consider is the type of princess cut you’re purchasing. Depending on its design, a princess cut diamond might be at a disadvantage to the round cut stone. For example, a princess cut diamond with a lot of angles in its design might make it trickier to shift the light around the diamond to create sparkle. However, if you’re purchasing a princess cut diamond with a simple design, it could look just as gorgeous as a round cut diamond of the same size.

Where to Buy Round Cut and Princess Cut Diamond Engagement Rings?

Round-cut or Brilliant-cut diamonds are the classic diamond shapes to choose from for your engagement ring. The reason for this is quite simple. It is the most affordable and widely available shape among gemstones.

If you are set on choosing round-cut diamond or other cut diamonds, you will need to find out where to buy round cut diamond engagement rings.

In this post, we’ll be covering 7 questions that come to mind when you are deciding where to buy your diamond engagement rings.

The diamond shape of choice for engagement rings is round-cut. The round cut diamond is the most popular, hence its availability and affordability. However, there are a few other popular and generally available diamond cuts that are good alternatives to round-cut too. One of them is the princess cut diamond.

Whether you are shopping for a princess cut engagement ring, or are looking for an alternative shape to round-cut, you’ll find the information here to be helpful.

Generally, princess diamonds are popular choice for those who don’t like the look of a round-cut. They’re available in several lengths, shapes and a variety of carat sizes. Read on to understand the similarities and differences between princess and round-cut diamonds.

Learn More About Jewelry

Before you learn more about the difference between round cut vs princess cut diamonds, you first need to have a basic understanding of jewelry anatomy. Jewelry can be categorized into two different categories –– body jewelry and fine jewelry.

Body jewelry is the type of jewelry that has been specifically designed for use as an adornment of the human body. It is a catch-all term for body adornments like; earrings, bracelets, rings, etc. Body jewelry accounts for the majority of all jewelry sales.

Fine jewelry on the other hand, form only a small portion of jewelry sales. Fine jewelry accounts for the jewelry items which hold intrinsic value (such as family heirlooms) and/or have been produced by skilled craftsmen. Fine jewelry is crafted using precious metals, semi-precious stones, and is often fashioned into pieces of art. It’s also commonly referred to as luxury jewelry.

You need to deepen your understanding of jewelry anatomy, to understand the distinction between round cut and princess cut diamonds.

Let’s learn about the jewelry anatomy basics first.