Princess Cut vs. Round Cut: Which Diamond Shape Reigns Supreme?

June 06, 2024 12 min read

Princess Cut vs. Round Cut: Which Diamond Shape Reigns Supreme?


Choosing the right diamond shape for an engagement ring is a decision that holds significant importance. Two of the most popular options, princess cut and round cut diamonds, each offer unique characteristics that can influence your final choice.

Brief Explanation of Princess Cut and Round Cut Diamonds

  • Princess Cut Diamonds: Typically square or slightly rectangular, princess cut diamonds boast 58 facets that contribute to their brilliance. Created in 1961 by Arpad Nagy, they are often more affordable due to the efficient use of rough diamond.
  • Round Cut Diamonds: Known for their timeless appeal, round cut diamonds were perfected in 1919 by Marcel Tolkowsky. They are celebrated for their incredible sparkle and ability to reflect light in a way that enhances clarity and hides imperfections.

Significance of Choosing the Right Diamond Shape for an Engagement Ring

Choosing between a princess cut and a round cut diamond isn't just about aesthetics. The shape affects how the diamond catches light, its perceived size, and even its cost. For instance, round cuts are known for their superior brilliance, while princess cuts offer a modern look at a more budget-friendly price point.

Purpose of This Buyer's Guide

This buyer's guide aims to provide you with detailed insights into these two diamond shapes. By understanding their differences, advantages, and potential drawbacks, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your personal preferences and lifestyle. Whether you're considering around cut diamond as a symbol of lasting love or a stunningprincess cut diamond to elevate your everyday style, this guide will equip you with the knowledge needed to choose wisely.

Princess Cut Diamond vs. Round Cut Diamond: A Visual and Structural Comparison

Examining the Elegance of Princess Cut Diamonds

Princess cut diamonds are known for their modern yet sophisticated look, making them a popular choice for those who want something different from traditional diamond shapes. Here are some key features:

1. Shape: Square or slightly rectangular with sharp corners.

2. Facets: Typically 58 facets, similar to round cut diamonds, enhancing their brilliance.

3. Cut: The step-cut crown and brilliant-cut pavilion combine to create a unique sparkle.

Advantages of Choosing Princess Cut Diamonds

  • Affordability: Princess cut diamonds generally cost less per carat than round cut diamonds due to higher yield from the rough diamond.
  • Versatility: Their geometric shape complements various ring settings and styles.
  • Unique Appearance: Ideal for those looking for a distinctive yet elegant look.

Explore unique diamond wedding bands that pair beautifully with princess cut diamonds.

Disadvantages of Choosing Princess Cut Diamonds

  • Durability Concerns: The sharp corners can be more prone to chipping, requiring protective settings.
  • Color Visibility: Tends to show more color compared to round cuts, which may affect the overall appearance.

Princess cut diamonds offer a blend of modernity and tradition, making them an attractive choice for many. However, consider potential drawbacks like durability and color visibility when making your decision.

The Timeless Allure of Round Cut Diamonds

Round cut diamonds represent timeless beauty and unmatched brilliance. They have been the most popular choice for engagement rings for decades. Let's dive into their features:

Unique Features of Round Cut Diamonds

  • Shape: Perfectly symmetrical circle.
  • Facets: Typically 57 or 58 facets designed to maximize light reflection.
  • Cut Proportions: Meticulously calculated angles enhance sparkle and fire.

Advantages of Choosing Round Cut Diamonds

  • Brilliance and Sparkle: Superior light performance due to ideal facet arrangement.
  • Versatility: Harmonizes well with any ring setting or style.
  • Popularity and Resale Value: High demand ensures better resale value.

Discover elegant round-cut engagement rings that showcases these features beautifully.

Disadvantages of Choosing Round Cut Diamonds

  • Cost: Higher price per carat compared to other shapes due to lower yield from rough stones.
  • Commonality: Less unique than fancy cuts like princess, as they are widely chosen.

While round cut diamonds boast unparalleled sparkle and timeless appeal, they come at a higher cost. Consider if their advantages align with your personal preferences and budget.

Choosing between princess cut and round cut diamonds hinges on individual taste. Each shape has its own set of benefits and considerations. Understanding these can guide you toward the perfect diamond for your engagement ring.

The Timeless Allure of Round Cut Diamonds

The round cut diamond, a creation of Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919, is an embodiment of classic beauty and unmatched brilliance. Designed with the intention of maximizing light reflection, this diamond shape sparkles like no other, thanks to its 58 precisely placed facets.

Advantages of Round Cut Diamonds:

  • Brilliance and Sparkle: Round cut diamonds are renowned for their exceptional ability to reflect light, making them the most brilliant among all diamond shapes.
  • Versatility: This shape complements a variety of settings and styles, ranging from vintage to modern designs.
  • Symmetry: The round shape offers perfect symmetry, contributing to a balanced and harmonious appearance.
  • Color Masking: Their superior faceting can effectively hide subtle color imperfections more effectively than other shapes.

Disadvantages of Round Cut Diamonds:

  • Cost: Due to their popularity and the precision required in cutting, round cut diamonds often come with a higher price tag compared to other shapes such as the princess cut diamond.
  • Carat Perception: Round cuts can sometimes appear smaller than other shapes of the same carat weight due to their depth.

Ultimately, choosing between a princess cut diamond and a round cut diamond boils down to personal preference and priorities. While round cut diamonds offer unmatched brilliance and versatility, they may require a larger budget. However, for those who seek timeless elegance and exceptional sparkle in their choice of diamond, the round cut remains an adored option.

If you're interested in exploring exquisite examples of round cut diamonds set in stunning designs, consider these options:

  • Cindy 2.0ct Round Lab Diamond: This elegant engagement ring shows off the beauty of a traditional diamond pave setting, but with a twist. Unique details are hidden under the center stone. This adds individuality without compromising the beauty of the classic diamond pave.
  • Nature-Inspired Floral Twist 1.80ct Round Lab Diamond: Decorated with dazzling bezel-set round brilliant diamonds and vintage-inspired milgrain detail, this charming wedding band adds a touch of nostalgia to any engagement ring.

Considering Key Factors for Your Diamond Shape Decision

When choosing between princess cut and round cut diamonds for your engagement ring, there are several important factors to consider:

Carat for Carat Comparison: Evaluating Size Differences Between Princess Cut and Round Cut Diamonds

Considering the carat weight is crucial as both shapes have unique characteristics that affect their size appearance even if they share the same carat weight.

Princess Cut Diamonds

  • Shape Efficiency: Princess cut diamonds are square or slightly rectangular, allowing cutters to use approximately 80% of the rough diamond. This efficiency often translates into a more affordable option per carat.
  • Visual Size: Due to their shape, princess cut diamonds tend to appear smaller face-up compared to round cuts of the same carat weight. This is because more of the diamond's weight is distributed in its depth rather than its width.
  • Setting Compatibility: The sharp corners of princess cut diamonds can be vulnerable to chipping but can be protected with prong settings that secure each corner.

Round Cut Diamonds

  • Brilliance Maximization: Round cut diamonds are renowned for their optimal light reflection, resulting in exceptional brilliance and sparkle.
  • Face-Up Appearance: These diamonds tend to look larger than princess cuts of the same carat weight because more of the diamond’s weight is visible from the top view.
  • Versatile Settings: Round cuts are highly versatile and can be securely set in various styles, enhancing their visual size and appeal.

For instance, when comparing a 1-carat princess cut diamond to a 1-carat round cut diamond, the round cut will typically appear larger due to its wider surface area. This difference in visual size should be considered based on personal preference and budget constraints.

The Impact of Clarity Grade on the Brilliance of Different Diamond Shapes

Clarity grade significantly impacts how a diamond sparkles. Inclusions and blemishes affect each shape differently due to their facet structures.

Princess Cut Diamonds

  • Clarity Considerations: The intricate facet pattern of princess cuts can hide minor inclusions better than some other shapes. However, larger inclusions near the corners may be more visible.
  • Clarity Grades: Generally, opting for a clarity grade of VS2 or higher ensures minimal noticeable imperfections when viewed without magnification.

Round Cut Diamonds

  • Superior Sparkle: Round cut diamonds reflect light exceptionally well, thanks to their brilliant-cut facets, masking small inclusions more effectively.
  • Optimal Clarity Grades: For round cuts, a clarity grade of SI1 or higher often provides an excellent balance between appearance and value.

Considering Color: How Diamond Shape Choice Can Be Influenced by the Color Scale

The color scale ranges from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow or brown). The shape of your diamond influences how visible this color is.

Princess Cut Diamonds

  • Color Visibility: Due to their depth and shape, princess cuts may show color more prominently than round cuts.
  • Optimal Color Grades: To ensure a bright appearance without noticeable color tinting, choose a color grade between G and H for princess cuts.

Round Cut Diamonds

  • Color Masking Ability: The brilliant facets of round diamonds excel at dispersing light, which helps mask any slight coloration.
  • Suitable Color Grades: A color grade from I to J often appears white in round cuts due to their superior

The Impact of Clarity Grade on the Brilliance of Different Diamond Shapes

The clarity grade of a diamond has a strong impact on its brilliance and sparkle, especially when comparing princess cut and round cut shapes. Clarity refers to any internal or external flaws in the diamond, which are called inclusions and blemishes.

Princess Cut Diamonds:

  • Princess cut diamonds have a specific way of being cut that can hide some inclusions. This makes them a more affordable option for those who want a larger diamond without sacrificing too much on clarity.
  • However, because of their sharp corners, princess cut diamonds are more prone to chipping, which could expose inclusions that were previously hidden.

Round Cut Diamonds:

  • Round cut diamonds are known for their excellent ability to reflect light. This quality often helps to hide small inclusions, making higher clarity grades less important for achieving maximum brilliance.
  • Round cuts have fewer facets compared to other shapes, which means that if the inclusions are not positioned well, they will be more visible. It's important to choose a clarity grade that balances visibility and cost.

Key Considerations:

  • Carat Weight: Both princess cut and round cut diamonds with larger carat weights may show more inclusions, so a higher clarity grade might be necessary.
  • Impact of Clarity Grade: While a higher clarity grade can enhance the overall sparkle of a diamond, it also comes with a higher price tag. It's important to find the right balance between your budget and the desired level of clarity when choosing an engagement ring.

Understanding how clarity grades affect these two popular diamond shapes can help you make a more informed decision. For example, taking a look at theCarli 2.50ct Princess Lab Diamond from North & South Jewelry showcases how princess cut diamonds can offer a larger size without compromising too much on clarity.

Similarly, considering theChristi 4.50ct Round Lab Diamond can give you an idea of how round cut diamonds add the most sparkle to the ring. This ring features sparkling round brilliant diamonds set in a shared prong setting, which enhances their reflectivity and minimizes the visibility of inclusions.

This emphasis on clarity showcases its significant role alongside other factors like carat weight and color when selecting the perfect diamond shape for an engagement ring.

Considering Color: How Diamond Shape Choice Can be Influenced by the Color Scale

When choosing a diamond shape for an engagement ring, the color of the diamond can significantly impact its overall look and appeal. This is especially true for princess cut and round cut diamonds, as they interact with the color scale in different ways, which can affect your shape preference.

Understanding the Role of Color in Princess Cut Diamonds

Princess cut diamonds tend to show more color than round cut diamonds. Their unique arrangement of facets can sometimes make subtle tints more visible within the stone. As a result, if you prefer a princess cut diamond, you might need to select a higher color grade to ensure it appears whiter.

Advantages of Princess Cut Diamonds:
  • Typically more budget-friendly.
  • Retains more of the rough diamond during the cutting process, resulting in less waste.
Disadvantages of Princess Cut Diamonds:
  • May require a higher color grade to achieve a clear, white look.

Examining Color in Round Cut Diamonds

Round cut diamonds are known for their ability to reflect light well, which helps to hide any traces of color. As a result, even if they have a slightly lower color grade, round cut diamonds often appear whiter compared to other shapes. This quality makes them a popular choice for those seeking maximum brilliance and sparkle in their diamond.

Advantages of Round Cut Diamonds:
  • Better at concealing color imperfections.
  • Higher brilliance due to superior light reflection.
Disadvantages of Round Cut Diamonds:
  • Generally more expensive per carat compared to princess cuts.

Importance of Considering Carat Weight, Clarity Grade, and Color Scale

When deciding on an engagement ring, it's important to think about how carat weight, clarity grade, and the color scale work together with your chosen diamond shape. Each aspect has its own influence:

  • Carat Weight: Determines the size of the diamond but also affects its cost.
  • Clarity Grade: Impacts the amount of sparkle and visibility of any flaws or inclusions.
  • Color Scale: Influences the overall appearance and perceived quality of the diamond.

By understanding these factors, you can choose a diamond that strikes the right balance between beauty and budget.

To explore more options and see examples of different diamond settings that enhance both princess cut and round cut diamonds, you can check out thisClassic Diamond Pave 2.20ct Princess Cut Lab Diamond, which has a gorgeous lab created princess diamond on a classic diamond pave setting that complements any wedding ring, or consider custom orders like thisModern Floating U-Prong 2.50ct Princess Cut Lab Diamond, which showcases a unique and modern floating style with gorgeous lab diamonds that have unmatched sparkle.

Finding the Perfect Setting: Enhancing Your Princess Cut or Round Cut Diamond

Choosing the right setting can significantly enhance the beauty of your diamond, whether it's princess cut or round cut. Here are some recommended settings that complement each shape:

Princess Cut Diamonds

  • Channel Setting:
  • Ideal for princess cut diamonds due to their square shape.
  • Diamonds are set between two strips of metal, providing a sleek and modern look.
  • Bezel Setting:
  • Offers excellent protection for the edges of the diamond.
  • A rim surrounds the diamond, making it ideal for active lifestyles.
  • Cathedral Setting:
  • Elevates the diamond, giving it prominence.
  • The arches mimic a cathedral's design, adding elegance and height.

Round Cut Diamonds

  • Prong Setting:
  • Maximizes light exposure, enhancing brilliance.
  • Typically uses four or six prongs to secure the diamond.
  • Tiffany Setting:
  • A variation of the prong setting, specifically designed to highlight the diamond's sparkle.
  • Named after Tiffany & Co., it's a popular choice for engagement rings.
  • Halo Setting:
  • Surrounds the center diamond with smaller diamonds.
  • Creates an illusion of a larger central diamond and adds extra sparkle.

For instance, aMilgrain Beaded 1.50ct Round Cut Lab Diamond beautifully complements round brilliant diamonds with its vintage look. The beaded design of the milgrain serves as an excellent companion to the round brilliant diamond that it encompasses. 

Additionally, if you prefer a more intricate design, consider a diamond twist band like the Stephanie Band. This band features two intertwined rows of sparkling round brilliant diamonds, symbolizing perfect harmony. It can be worn alone as a stunning piece or paired with your wedding ring to enhance its sparkle.

Selecting the right setting not only secures your precious stone but also accentuates its unique characteristics, ensuring your engagement ring stands out.

Unveiling the Origins: A Brief History of Princess Cut and Round Cut Diamonds

Tracing the Origins and Evolution of These Popular Diamond Shapes

Round Cut Diamonds

The round cut diamond, also known as the round brilliant cut, has been a staple in the world of fine jewelry. Created in 1919 by Marcel Tolkowsky, this cut was designed to maximize brilliance and fire. Tolkowsky, a mathematician and gemologist, used precise mathematical calculations to determine the ideal proportions for a diamond that would reflect the most light. This innovation set the standard for modern diamond cutting, making round cut diamonds renowned for their unparalleled sparkle and symmetry.

Princess Cut Diamonds

The princess cut diamond offers a more modern aesthetic. It was introduced in 1961 by Arpad Nagy, initially under the name "profile cut." Unlike its round counterpart, the princess cut is characterized by its square or slightly rectangular shape with pointed corners. This design typically features 58 facets, similar to those found in round cut diamonds but arranged differently to create a unique sparkle. The princess cut gained popularity quickly due to its contemporary look and efficient use of rough diamond material.

Diamond cutters play a crucial role in shaping these exquisite gems. Their craftsmanship ensures that each diamond is meticulously fashioned to enhance its natural beauty. The evolution of these cuts reflects advances in both technology and artistic vision within the jewelry industry.

To further explore various diamond shapes and their settings, you can refer to reputable sources like North & South Jewelry which provides quality information about diamonds. They also offer unique designs such as the Bella Oval Green Tourmaline Ring, showcasing how different gemstones can be elegantly incorporated into jewelry.

Making Your Decision: Princess Cut vs. Round Cut for Your Dream Engagement Ring

When deciding between a princess cut and a round cut diamond for your engagement ring, it's crucial to prioritize personal preference. Each diamond shape has distinct characteristics that cater to different tastes and styles.

Princess Cut Diamonds:

Known for their modern, geometric appeal, princess cut diamonds offer a stylish alternative with excellent brilliance. They are usually more affordable than round cut diamonds, making them an attractive option if budget is a concern.

Round Cut Diamonds:

The classic choice, round cut diamonds are celebrated for their unmatched sparkle and timeless elegance. They tend to hide imperfections well and exhibit superior brilliance due to their ability to reflect light effectively.

When making your decision, consider factors such as your lifestyle, budget, and the overall appearance you desire on your hand.

Seeking expert advice from jewelers can be invaluable in this process. Professional guidance ensures you understand the nuances of each diamond shape, enabling you to make a well-informed decision tailored to your needs.

To explore further options that suit your preferences, you may want to explore our collection of diamond anniversary bands or even ourlab grown diamond engagement rings.

Remember, each diamond shape offers distinct advantages. So let your preferences guide you in selecting the one that truly speaks to your heart.