princess cut diamonds 3d rendering

Beauty In a Squarish Form

Most consumers love the standard hearts and arrows (round) diamond because of its unparalleled brilliance and sparkle. However, with growing consumer needs and diversifying tastes, variations to the round brilliant cut (each with their own unique properties) had seen a recent resurgence in demand.

The princess cut is currently the 2nd most popular shape after the round diamond. It was first introduced to the world in the 1960’s by a man from London named Arpad Nagy. Back then, the princess cut was derived as a variation of another cutting style called the “profile cut”.

A. Nagy wanted to create a cut that could make efficient use of rough stone with less wastage and one that could emulate the brilliance and fire of a brilliant cutting style. Over the course of a few years, leading cutters had poured in huge efforts in optical research to perfect the design and evolved it into what it is known as today as the square modified brilliant.

The Princess Cut’s Route to Popularity

With a market that is over-saturated with rounds, the princess cut offers a unique looking option to women looking for an alternative fashion statement. The princess diamond is technically a mixed cut whereby both step and brilliant cutting styles are incorporated.

While the princess cut has light performance that can be comparable to the round brilliant, it costs significantly less! Due to its better yield from the rough stone, it would please you to know that the price-per-carat weight of a princess cut is the lowest amongst all the shapes.

can you see the cross?

Can you see the “cross” smack right in the middle?

What makes a princess cut truly unique is that a reflection that looks like a cross is observed when light passes through the diamond. Coupled with 4 pointed corners, superior brilliance and scintillation patterns, these reasons contribute to the appeal that women have for the shape.

WhiteFlash has the biggest in-stock inventory of ideal cut princess diamonds of any retailer anywhere. Their princess cut diamonds are carefully vetted for clarity issues like dangerous feathers in corners and clarity characteristics that diminish light performance. If you are looking for the best of the best and want a peace of mind with your purchase, check them out today!

Getting Started in Selecting Your Stone


Being a relatively new cutting style, most labs (except AGS) do not issue a cut grade for the princess cut. At the point of writing this article in 2013, ongoing research studies and debate are still being carried out by labs about the introduction of a cut grading system for them.

Due to its four-sided shape and variances in facet layouts, diamonds with similar specifications on a grading report will still look different in appearance. With the absence of an objective cut grade, this adds an element of difficulty in choosing a well cut diamond.

When selecting a princess cut diamond for optimum brilliance, you generally want to avoid stones that have a table % larger than the depth %. The majority of nice performing stones tend to have smaller tables in the 64-69% range. Also, my personal preference and advice is to stick with a minimum of G color and SI1 clarity.

Recommended Proportions for Princess Cut Diamonds

Excellent Very Good Good Fair/Poor
Table % 63% – 69% 57% – 75% 53% – 82% Outside Ranges
Depth % 69% – 76% 60% – 78% 58% – 80% Outside Ranges
Polish/Symmetry Excellent – Very Good Good Outside Ranges
Length to Width (Square) 1.00 – 1.02 1.00 – 1.04 1.00 – 1.05 Outside Ranges
Length to Width (Rectangle) 1.5 – 1.75 1.76 – 1.85 1.86 – 1.99 Outside Ranges
Girdle Thickness Thin – Slightly Thick V. Thin – Thick Outside Ranges
Culet Size None Very Small Small Outside Ranges

* Note: The proportions table should be used as a reference only. You should incorporate light performance data like ASET images to help you make a final decision. Never go below very thin for girdle thickness or you run the risk of chipping the diamond easily. has an unmatched selection of more than 5,000+ princess cut diamonds with 360° videos. You can now explore and cherry pick the perfect diamond for your needs.

Length to Width Ratio – Keeping It Square

length to width ratio of princess cut diamonds

As much as possible, you should try to stay within the range of 1:1 or 1:1.05 for your length to width ratio. Anything that is higher than 1.05 will cause a diamond to look off-square to the eye. On the next page, we go deeper into details and show you more things that you need to take note of when buying a princess cut diamond engagement ring.

Next Page >>

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  1. Avatar
    Václav Svoboda-
    August 14, 2015 at 3:41 am

    I’m looking for a 1.5 carat sized princes cut diamond engagement ring for an upcoming proposal. Do you know of any diamond importers with great wholesale pricing in the Ohio region?

    Also, can’t you teach me how to choose a princess cut diamond that does not have certifications? I have a local dealer here that sells both certified loose diamonds and those without. They are having a sale on those stones that do not have certifications. The prices on those look really tempting and I’m not sure whether any of those are ideal choices.

    Sorry for any bad English. It is not my native language.

  2. Avatar
    Paul Gian-
    August 14, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    I think you are taking an extremely dangerous approach in your shopping process. First of all, “wholesale” pricing in the diamond industry don’t exist for consumers. It’s a marketing scam (just like the big banners that scream “princess cut rings sale”) used to draw in unsuspecting consumers with the false impression of preferential pricing.

    Read this:

    I would NEVER buy such a large sized diamond (1.5 carats) without proper grading reports to accompany them (i.e. GIA/AGS). Often times, they are misrepresented. I advice sticking with AGS ideal princess cut diamonds and you can find a couple of companies that deal with these beautiful stones here:

  3. Avatar
    Aya Du Trieux-
    August 20, 2015 at 4:07 am

    I’m torn between the choice of round vs princess cut diamonds. My fiancee had given me the option of choosing one for myself with a budget of $8,000. I had seen a number of engagement rings in a local Jared store and it seems like princess cuts are cheaper by their carat weight.

    I compared a 1 carat round vs a 1 carat princess cut diamond in a solitaire setting and noticed that the round looks slightly bigger. Is this due to the depth of the stone? Obviously, I want the largest looking stone for the least amount of money. I can’t make up my mind and would like your advice on which is better: the princess or the round?

  4. Avatar
    Paul Gian-
    August 20, 2015 at 9:24 am

    It’s true that princess cuts tend to have deep depths. This makes them face up slightly smaller. However, because of the cutting style, polishing princesses tend to have better yields from the rough stones. This is why they are priced lower than a round diamond with similar carat weight. Choosing between a round and a princess is really up to personal preferences. If you are unsure, try to look at more stones and engagement rings in person. This will help you decide which shape your tastes are geared towards.

  5. Avatar
    Alex Silver-
    November 12, 2015 at 12:52 am

    Hello! Thank you so much for all the helpful information you provided!
    Based on what you said, do you consider this diamond to be a good choice?

    Also, regarding princess cut diamonds from which size they start to look good?

    Thank you!

  6. Avatar
    Paul Gian-
    November 14, 2015 at 4:53 am

    I would say it’s a decent choice and better cut than the majority of junk out in the market.

  7. Avatar
    Alex Silver-
    November 16, 2015 at 10:00 am

    Thank you so much for the reply.

    As I want to buy diamonds from a retailer in Europe, it has come down to these three choices from blue I know it’s not an ideal site to order from, but at least these diamonds include actual photos in the so called gcal reports.


    Also, should i take seriously the optical brilliance analysis (white light return) included in these reports?

    Again, thank you so much for your help.

  8. Avatar
    Paul Gian-
    November 20, 2015 at 3:21 am

    I’m not a fan of the GCAL report.

    If you are looking for ideal cut princess diamonds, you probably want to start here:

  9. Avatar
    January 28, 2016 at 6:32 am

    Hi Paul, Im choosing diamond and I ran up to your site which was very helpful.
    So I’m looking at these two princess cut diamonds from James Allen.
    I do think the second one is better but more expensive.
    By looking at these two, is second diamond worth more paying for than first one by far?

  10. Avatar
    Paul Gian-
    January 28, 2016 at 12:54 pm
  11. Avatar
    April 19, 2016 at 6:31 pm

    hi Paul, can u give me ur expertise on this princess cut diamond based on the numbers and if it would be a good buy?
    Shape: Princess
    carat weight: 0.91
    color: I
    clarity: VVS2
    polish: Excellent
    symmetry: Very Good
    Fluorescence: Medium
    l/w/d (mm): 5.10*5.20*3.74
    l/w ratio: 1.02
    depth %: 73.40
    girdle: Thick – Very Thick
    table %: 69.00
    certificate: GIA

  12. Avatar
    Paul Gian-
    April 20, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    This is not the way to go about buying a princess shaped diamond. Read this:

  13. Avatar
    July 28, 2016 at 12:14 am

    Hello Paul. Thank you for providing great information on diamonds. My wife lost her engagement ring and I am looking to replace it. I am looking at the following 2 diamonds. Any thoughts on which one is the better cut?,3684602

  14. Avatar
    Paul Gian-
    July 28, 2016 at 2:10 am

    Both are extremely well cut options. I would recommend going for this stone because of its better edge to edge brightness.

  15. Avatar
    October 16, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    Hello Paul.

    Paul, I am interested in buying a engagement ring and diamond separate. Right now I am shopping for a diamond and came up to this one of off the whiteflash website that you reviewed.
    Here is also the item code AGS-104085296003.
    Could you please look at it and let me know what you think.
    I am have to say that your website is full of great information and I have learned a lot just browsing and reading through it. Thank you

  16. Avatar
    Paul Gian-
    October 17, 2016 at 6:42 am

    The diamond you shortlisted is a fantastic option and one that is extremely well cut for light performance. It is eyeclean too. Great find!

  17. Avatar
    July 18, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    Hi Paul,

    Great stuff, your website has been so helpful in my recent adventures of engagement ring shopping! I have a question regarding your recommended proportions under the “excellent” category. In your round brilliant section, you stressed to follow your recommended proportions exactly, without compromise. Do the same apply here for your princess cut recommendations? I am asking because you also had really positive things to say about WhiteFlash’s A Cut Above diamonds, and I noticed a decent amount of their ACA Princess Diamonds fall out of your “excellent” ranges. Thanks!

  18. Avatar
    Paul Gian-
    July 19, 2017 at 6:06 am

    For princess cut diamonds, the proportions are just a generic guideline. It is more important for you to obtain tangible cut data like ASET images for the diamond. In general, I want to see smaller table sizes (<70%) because it improves fire significantly. Now, White Flash is a vendor that specializes in ideal cut princess diamonds. They are one of the best vendors to start looking.

  19. Avatar
    December 12, 2017 at 11:07 pm

    Paul, I’ve been reading and referring to your sight as I shop so thank you for putting it together. You mentioned above you prefer a minimum sl1 and g ratings for a princess stone, I am looking at two very similar stones price wise however one is a vvs2/h 1.4 carat, and the other is an sl1/g 1.5 carat, the dimensions and proportions are comparable. Do you feel the increase in clarity of the vvs2 is worth it for the slightly yellower color, or would people not be able to notice?

  20. Avatar
    Paul Gian-
    December 13, 2017 at 3:30 am

    My take on clarity is that as long as it is eyeclean and doesn’t affect durability, it is good enough. This is because I’m a practical shopper. Now, the issue to focus on is not clarity or color. Cut quality should be your objective as it is what ultimately impacts the diamond’s sparkle and liveliness.

  21. Avatar
    January 9, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    Hi Paul,

    First of all, I would like to thank you for this terrific resource. Your content knowledge is impressive and I’ve learned a lot, but obviously I’m just scratching the surface.

    I’d love to get your opinion on a couple of things…

    I’m looking for a princess cut diamond ~ 0.75 up to 0.80 carats.

    1. Do you have preference between Brian Gavin’s “Signature” vs Jame Allen’s “True Hearts” Ideal vs White Flash’s “A Cut Above”? I’m assuming they’re all high quality and it boils down to personal preference on a diamond-by-diamond basis.

    2. While cut is most important, do you have any ideal preferences for clarity and color specifications for princess cut? Minimum preferences for clarity and color?

    3. And lastly, any opinions on these guys would be super helpful. What would be your pick if budget wasn’t an issue? What if you’re looking for best bang for your buck?

    Thank you very much for your time!

  22. Avatar
    Paul Gian-
    January 10, 2018 at 4:44 am

    1) Nope. I don’t have preference for vendors as long as the diamonds are well cut. You are right about the case by case basis when it comes to cherry picking diamonds. With princess cut diamonds, you will find the better quality ones at Brian Gavin and White Flash.

    2) My own preferences would be G color or better and SI1 clarity or better. The bottomline is, I expect a diamond to be eyeclean if I am making the purchase myself. The majority of readers like you expect eyecleanliness as well. As for color, I tend to value it a little more than the readers of the blog. Being Asian, I do want to see icy white diamonds on engagement rings and proposal rings.

    3) All the diamonds you picked are among the better ones in the world of princess shape diamonds. So, you are obviously on the right track and did your due diligence well. That said, I’m anal and picky when it comes to cut quality. Among all the options you shortlisted, the James Allen diamond is the worse of the lot. I have preferences for these diamonds:

  23. Avatar
    March 14, 2018 at 6:25 pm

    Is there a 6-prong option for a square 1-carat princess cut diamond? My daughter-in-law recently knocked the diamond out of her 4-prong setting and is now scared to replace it with another 4-prong fearing that it might happen again. (Thank goodness she found the stone!) Do you have any suggestions on the strongest setting for a 1-carat princess cut? Thanks so much!

  24. Avatar
    Paul Gian-
    March 15, 2018 at 2:38 am

    Nope. 6 prongs for princess cut rings are extremely unusual. And even if you do find one, it doesn’t solve the root problem. If you are not careful, no amount of prongs or protection will help prevent this from happening again. If you are going for the “best” protection, then get a bezel setting.

    Again, I will reiterate that you need to remind her to be careful of her ring while wearing it. That offers more protection than anything else.

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