Princess cut diamond rings have increased in popularity over time.
This is partially because this cut of diamond has a modern appearance that appeals to women today.
It is a square brilliant cut with sharp corners without any cropping.
Princess cuts highlight the true brilliance of a diamond to a higher degree than certain other cuts that are commonly seen today.
While round brilliants still are sought out the most for online searchers, the princess cut comes in second place, which shows the increased interest in this type of diamond ring today.
Why do people desire to own a princess diamond ring?
This cut of diamond provides a high level of sparkle even compared to other square cuts of this gem thanks to it containing about 76 facets skillfully placed by the diamond cutter.
The sparkle gives any ring a luxurious appearance. As diamond cuts go, the princess cut is a fairly new cut only developed in 1979 in the form we know today.
Another reason that this cut of diamond is popular is that it costs less than round cuts or other cuts of diamonds.
There is a higher yield from rough diamonds with the princess cut when compared with other cuts of diamonds.
Round brilliant cuts only retain about 40% to 50% of the original rough diamond from which it came.
Whereas, the princess cut retains around 80% or higher of the rough diamond from which is was cut.
This type of yield allows the manufacturers to sell princess cut diamonds at a lower price than other cuts and the savings are passed on to the consumers.
When buying princess cut diamond rings, a consumer will need to analyze certain characteristics of the diamond before purchasing any ring.
This will ensure that he or she purchases a high quality ring.
Carat size is always a consideration as it influences the price of the ring.
However, that is not always the most important consideration.
Table percentage, culet, depth percentage, girdle, L/W ratio, color and clarity are also important consideration when choosing a diamond in a princess cut.
Table percentage is in reference to the size of the largest facet on the top of the diamond.
This percentage is figured by dividing the total width of the stone into the width of the table.
As an example, if the width of the diamond is 5mm and the table is 3.5mm then the table percentage winds up being 70 percent, which is rated as excellent.
Table percentages can range from poor at <53 to >85 percent to excellent at 62 to 70 percent.
The culet is the small point or facet on the bottom of the diamond.
It is parallel to the table.
The scale for culets runs from none to very large.
Culets with none to small ratings are preferred over larger culets as they will not negatively affect the appearance of the stone.
Depth percentage refers to the distance from the table to the culet.
The actual distance is in millimeters, but the depth percentage is figured by dividing the width of the diamond into the depth.
For example, if the width of the diamond is 5mm and the table is 3.5mm then the depth percentage winds up being 70 percent, which is in the excellent range for diamonds of princess cut.
Depth percentages range from poor at <56 to >84 percent to excellent at 64 to 75 percent.
Girdle is the term used for the outer edge of a diamond.
This is where the top area of the stone meets the bottom area.
The girdle size is determined by its width, which can vary around the diamond.
The rating for the girdle ranges from extremely thin to extremely thick.
It can affect how the diamond is cut as it determines the placement of the other facets.
A thick girdle adds weight to a diamond.
This could lead to the price being higher for the diamond.
Risk for the girdle chipping is greater when it is extremely thin.
L/W (length to width) ratio is figured by dividing the width into the length of the diamond.
For example, if the width is 3.3mm and the length is 5.00mm the L/W ratio is 1.50.
This ratio varies greatly depending on the cut of the diamond.
The square and round cuts will have L/W ratios of 1.00 or slightly above, since it is difficult to find a perfectly cut square or round.
L/W ratios ranges from poor at >1.08 to excellent at 1.00 to 1.03.
Color grades in diamonds range from D to Z. Grades D, E and F are given to colorless diamonds.
There are slight differences in color between these three grades, but only experts can distinguish the differences.
Grades G, H, I and J are almost colorless.
Consumers will have difficulty seeing the colors of these grades with the naked eye.
Grades K, L and M have color that consumers can easily detect.
Faint yellow is the typical color for these grades.
Grades O through Z have the most color that is visible with the naked eye ranging from pale yellow to even gray and brown tones.
Most of these diamonds are undesirable for jewelry unless a consumer just wants them for their color.
Most experts will recommend grades I or better for quality princess cut diamonds.
Clarity is an important consideration when selecting an ideal princess diamond ring.
GIA divides diamonds into 6 main categories for clarity including:
- FL for Flawless – This category involves no blemishes or inclusions visible at 10X magnification.
- IF for Internally Flawless – This category is when no inclusions are visible at 10X magnification.
- VVS1 or VVS2 for Very, Very Slightly Included – This is when inclusions are so minor that even an experience grader has trouble seeing them at magnification level 10X.
- VS1 or VS2 for Very Slightly Included – Minor inclusions are visible at magnification level 10X.
- SI1 or SI2 for Slightly Included – This category is when inclusions a bit more serious than VS1 or VS2 are visible at magnification level 10X.
- I1, I2, or I3 for Included – This category is when inclusions serious enough to affect the brilliance and transparency of the diamond are visible at magnification level 10X.
Consumers armed with the information in this guide will select a higher quality of princess cut diamond rings than those who do not perform any research ahead of time.
It pays to be an informed buyer.