A Princess cut diamond is the closest you can get to matching the brilliance and sparkle put out by round diamonds, without actually paying as much for a stone. This cut is featured among the most popular diamonds, and in fact seconds only the round brilliant when it comes to popularity. There are many other diamond cuts as well, known as fancy cuts, which fall decidedly outside the brilliant umbrella. Those, however, cost lesser than round brilliant diamonds because they are less “sparkly”. If you do want to cut cost while still retaining significant sparkle, then princess diamonds are best choice you have in today’s diamond market. Below is a look at how it fares next to the round brilliant.
There is a solid reason for the lower cost of the princess cut (compared to the round brilliant) despite its excellent quality. The cutting process and efficiency make up the bulk of this. Where the majority of the rough diamonds are found in a vaguely square structure, the four-sided princess cut diamond maintains that shape. At least two gem grade stones can be cut out of such rough diamonds. This involves very less wastage, meaning that the process fully utilizes at least 80-90% of the rough diamonds. On the other hand, fashioning a round diamond lets you use only around 40% of the rough stone, and the rest goes to waste. This is reflected in the typical pricing of princess diamonds – they are much cheaper.
Another factor behind the lower price of the princess cut stone is the 10% reduced surface area of the crown, when compared to a round brilliant stone of the same weight. Note that when you compare diamonds with similar carat count, a princess diamond almost always looks larger. This is because of the 15% longer corner-to-corner stretch that it is effectively able to exhibit.
One more factor causes the lower price. Color and clarity are important factors in diamonds of all shapes, but for a princess diamond, it comes down to the degree of squarishness of the stone. A 1-to-1 ratio of length to width is the costliest of all. Stones with that are perfect squares. Although the princess cut is traditionally a square diamond, it is made slightly rectangular. This might be hard to sense using the naked eye when the stone has already been fitted in its setting. The degree of rectangular shape also reduces the stone’s cost. When you get diamond online or buy diamonds for a brick-and-mortar jewelry store, you get to choose a slightly rectangular piece, which will lower the stone’s price. At the end of the day though, your purchase decision should come down to the appearance which you prefer.
Other Diamond Cuts and Pricing
Princess cut stones are indeed cheaper than round cut diamonds. However, there are other diamond cuts, which are even cheaper, while those like the heart and pear-shape are seen to be pricier than. Emerald and Asscher cuts are the most elegant among diamond cuts costing less than the princess.
This price variance is caused by certain factors that remain consistent throughout the production stage. The yield from a diamond is different for every diamond cut. Since shapes such as the pear or heart are more intricate, they are carved out by consuming a large part of the rough stone. This means higher wastage, and hence, higher costs.
Furthermore, some cuts are excellent at concealing their inclusions and defects. This gives the cutter the liberty to operate on diamonds with lower quality, which are essentially cheaper rough diamonds. It is also said that the cut is ideal when achieved at maximum clarity, and without causing huge wastage.
Apart from these factors, some outside players such as the metal used to set the stone, and the other factors from the 4Cs including clarity, color, and cut, are also important in calculating the price of a diamond.
Other Distinctions between the Round and Princess Cuts
Round cut stones are brilliant stones which reflect back the majority of the light that falls on them. Therefore, they block the color from appearing clear when exposed to light. This is not the case with princess diamonds. Although these are very similar to round brilliant stones in terms of sparkle, they are not as reflective as round brilliant diamonds. They make color more obvious, which means you would need to select a higher color grade (something more colorless) while purchasing one.
Further, while both round brilliant and princess diamonds are good compared to other cuts at hiding imperfections, the princess cut is also more prone to chipping over time. The four corners are exposed, and could get damaged more upon exposure. Therefore, it is advisable to use a safe setting such as the V-tip prong when you have a brilliant stone to mount on a ring band.
In summary, the princess cut is a great choice if you want a gorgeous stone, with a high degree of brilliance. Apart from this, it is also more affordable than round cut diamonds. Finally, it boils down to the choice you make regarding the shape of the diamond you would like to wear.