Two of the diamond cuts that are most in demand are the princess cut and the round brilliant. But what exactly are the similarities and differences between these cuts? Let’s take a closer look.
Characteristics of the Round Brilliant Cut
The classic round brilliant is the most popular diamond cut among people who buy jewelry.
The contemporary version of the round cut was created in 1919 and was specifically designed to maximize brilliance.
This cut has 58 facets (57 if the bottom is not faceted).
Characteristics of the Princess Cut
The princess cut has a rectangular or square shape, with sharp corners. Although not as sought after as the round cut, it is perhaps second to it in terms of popularity.
The princess cut was created in the 1960s as a rectangular alternative to the round cut and is also designed to enhance the brilliance of the stone.
Differences Between the Princess Cut and the Round Cut
In general, the round cut is more expensive per carat than the princess cut.
This is not the only characteristic in which these two cuts are different, though.
The princess cut and the round cut differ in how their facets are arranged and shaped, how they reflect light, and how they retain color.
Cut, Facets, and Size
The princess cut and the round cut are similar in that they are both brilliant cuts; that is, they have been designed for maximum brilliance and sparkle.
Where these two cuts differ, however, is in the shape and arrangement of their facets.
Whereas the round cut has either 57 or 58 facets, the number for a princess cut diamond can be much more variable (although the original princess cut was designed with 58 facets).
Typically, a round brilliant will look bigger when looked at from the top compared with a princess-cut stone of the same carat weight.
In terms of the level of brilliance they display, the two cuts are similar – after all, they were both created to maximize this characteristic.
Here, the round cut has a slight edge, however. Many people find that it looks more brilliant and has more fire compared with the princess cut.
Princess cuts show color (yellow tints) more easily than round cuts.
It is recommended that you stay within the G-H-I color range if you are buying a princess-cut stone that will be set in platinum or white gold.
For yellow gold settings, you can pick a diamond in the J-K color range.
Owing to their cut, round diamonds display less color compared with princess-cut ones.
The recommended minimum color grade for round-cut stones is in the H-I-J range for white gold or platinum settings and no lower than the K-L-M grading range for yellow gold pieces.
Since the princess cut has sharp corners, it requires special attention when it comes to selecting a setting.
If you are going to put a princess-cut diamond in a prong setting, it is recommended that you opt for V-prongs, which will wrap the edges of the stone with metal and protect them from damage.
Bezel settings are another good choice for this type of cut.