Princess-cut and radiant-cut diamonds are often compared, as the shapes of these two cuts look similar, but they actually differ in some important aspects. Let’s take a closer look at the similarities and differences between the radiant and the princess cut.
What Is a Radiant Cut?
Radiant-cut diamonds have a square or rectangular shape with truncated corners.
The radiant cut belongs to the category of brilliant cuts, which are designed to maximize the brilliance of a diamond.
Some classify the radiant cut as a mixed cut because it has features of both brilliant cuts and step cuts such as the emerald cut.
What Is a Princess Cut?
The princess cut has a rectangular outline and is very popular among people looking for a square or rectangular diamond.
This is a brilliant cut that was created in the 1960s, and it has become second to only the round cut in terms of popularity.
How Are the Princess Cut and the Radiant Cut Different?
One of the most obvious differences between the princess and radiant cut is in their shape.
Although both are rectangular, the corners of the princess cut are not truncated, unlike those of the radiant cut.
The princess cut tends to be deeper, while the bottom of the radiant cut tends to be shallower. These two cuts differ also in the number and shape of their facets, as well as the way they are arranged.
Princess vs. Radiant Cut: How They Differ in Brilliance and Sparkle
The radiant and the princess cut differ in terms of their brilliance and sparkle, and these differences result from the different ways in which the two types of cut are shaped.
It is hard to say which cut has more brilliance, as both are created to maximize this characteristic, so you should make this comparison on a case-by-case basis.
It is more appropriate to say that the brilliance and sparkle of these two cuts are just different.
Princess cuts reflect light in a more neat and orderly fashion because of the regular and linear way their facets are arranged.
Radiant cuts, in contrast, have a more fiery brilliance and can seem more sparkly.
So, when comparing a princess-cut stone with a radiant-cut diamond, the former will reflect light in a more regular pattern, while the latter will exhibit a more haphazard reflection.
How Princess Cut and Radiant Cut Differ in Diamond Color
Princess cuts have excellent brilliance, which helps to conceal to a certain extent any yellowish tints the stone might have.
If you are buying a princess-cut diamond with the intention of setting it in white gold or platinum, it is recommended that you stick to color grades in the G-H-I range.
For yellow gold settings, you can go as low as J or K color before the yellow tints in the stone start to spoil its appearance.
Because of the way the facets of radiant cuts reflect light, yellow tints in them tend to be more visible than in princess cuts.
Depending on how well the stone is cut and masks color, it is recommended that you select a radiant cut whose color grade is in the F-G-H range, for white gold or platinum settings.
For yellow gold settings, it is usually safe to go a little lower and select I or J color.
In general, pay more attention to color when you are selecting radiants.
Choosing a Setting for Radiant and Princess Cut Diamonds
When deciding between a radiant cut and a princess cut, don’t forget to think about the setting for the diamond. Because of its sharp corners, a princess-cut stone should be put in a mounting that protects its vulnerable ends.
A setting with V-shaped prongs to hold the diamond’s corners securely is a good choice for this cut.
Another good option is a bezel setting. Radiant cuts can be set with regular prongs or bezels, which are the two most popular types of settings.