Princess Cut Diamond

Description of Princess Cut Diamonds

The princess cut—also called a square or rectangular modified brilliant—provides facets to bring out the sparkle in a square or rectangular diamond. Depending on how the pavilion is designed, the diamond can have more facets than the standard round brilliant. Some have just 50 facets, while others range to 144 facets. The amount of sparkle can hide flaws in clarity and cut, to some degree. However, it will not hide color—in fact, the corners are more likely to display the diamond’s true colors.

In essence, the princess cut is an upside-down pyramid, with much of its weight in the pavilion, so the finished diamond is visually smaller than a differently cut stone of similar carat weight. However, the princess cut wastes less of the rough diamond than a brilliant cut, so it tends to cost less.

The princess cut employees four sharp corners, which can become damaged—or damage other items—if not properly restrained by a setting, usually some variation of a four-prong ring.

History of Princess Cut Diamonds

Basil Watermeyer of Johannesburg developed the princess cut. Other artisans incorporated grooves in flat diamonds to add brilliance, but in 1971 Watermeyer crafted a square or octagon cut with an internal cross. Before he created the princess cut, square shaped diamonds tended to appear dull. To add brilliance, Watermeyer set a standard for 76 facets, though the actual number on a princess cut has ranged from 50 to 144.

Celebrities Wearing Princess Cut Diamond Rings

Lara Spencer (bracelet), Penny Lancaster (engaged to Rod Stewart), and Star Jones (engagement ring).

Trivia for Princess Cut Diamonds

  • Laboratories did not provide a cut grade for princess cut diamonds until 2005, when the American Gem Society introduced the industry’s first-ever scientific cut grade based on light performance.