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While I’ve found that a lot of brides either love or hate princess cut engagement rings, they’re actually still one of the most popular engagement ring styles in the world. But before you consider buying one, you’ll want to make sure it’s the right cut for your budget and design preferences.
Are Princess Cut Diamonds Still Popular?
The princess cut diamond is a square shape diamond (or less commonly, rectangular) with 50 to 58 facets and an ideal length to width ratio of 1.00-1.05. Originally thought to have been introduced in 1960 by London jeweler Arpad Nagy, (even though he named it the “profile cut”, some say he lovingly referred to as the “princess cut”) it wasn’t until the 1980s that jewelers Ygal Perlman, Betzalel Ambar and Israel Itzkowitz officially coined the term.
While it is considered the second most popular diamond cut after the round brilliant, it reached its peak popularity in the 1980s and 90s. But that doesn’t mean it’s not still in style! The square shape has gotten a bit of a makeover from companies (we love the low-profile settings for this stone from Frank Darling), and many brides choose to keep it simple in a solitaire setting.
Is Princess Cut More Expensive?
The best thing about princess cuts is that they can cost around 10% less than other cuts with a similar carat (but not always, more on that below). That’s because this particular cut uses about 70%-80% of the rough stone, compared to 40%-50% for other cuts. That means less waste and more savings.
We recently compared the price of princess cut diamonds to other cuts such as round brilliant, emerald, cushion, and radiant on Blue Nile, below. We found that while the cut was less expensive than some, it wasn’t always the most budget-friendly option.
For comparison purposes, we searched for 1 carat diamonds with a ‘Very Good’ cut, ‘D’ color, and VS1 clarity. (Read more about why these characteristics—the 4 C’s of diamond engagement rings— are important.) The price differences are below:
- Princess-cut Diamond: $5,031
- Round Diamond: $7,716
- Emerald-cut Diamond: $4,252
- Cushion-cut Diamond: $3,487
- Radiant-cut Diamond: $5,000
- Oval-cut Diamond: $6,561
How to Pick a Princess Cut Engagement Ring
While you might save money on this cut compared to a round brilliant, you do have to be careful when it comes to color, according to The Diamond Pro expert Michael Fried.
Fried recommends going with an “H” color (and doesn’t think it’s worth the incremental increase in value to go higher). In terms of clarity, another factor you’ll want to keep in mind with this cut is that due to its four sharp corners, it might be more prone to chipping. (Yes, diamonds CAN chip, so be careful!). While a princess cut can hide what’s called an “inclusion” (which is what clarity is based on), a poorly placed one near one of the corners can make your diamond even MORE prone to damage. That means you’ll want to look for a clarity score of at least an SI1.
The Best Princess Cut Engagement Rings for 2023
Princess cut engagement rings come in a variety of settings. From three-stones to solitaire, halo, and everything in between, these are the designs that caught our eye for this year.