Quick and Easy Buying Guide

Carat weight: 1 carat = 200 milligrams = 6.5 mm diameter. Doubling weight doesn't double diameter.

Diamond clarity: FL/IF/VVS/VS = super expensive, near perfect. SI = best value if you can check a photo for obvious inclusions (defects).


Color: D-G = colorless, expensive, only if you have money to burn. H-J = best value. Can go lower in gold metal settings than white metal.

Cut: Better cut ratings let more light into a diamond, making it sparkle more. Very important property, don't skimp here.

Set a budget and minimum cut (Premium). Go J color for gold and I/H for white metals. Go searching for SI1/SI2 clarity diamonds at James Allen. Pick a diamond with small/no inclusions. Choose a ring setting and buy it risk-free (60-day returns).

Princess Cut Or Princess Diamond Shapes

The Princess cut or Princess diamond shape is the second most popular diamond shape on the market today. Most people know it as the square shaped diamond, although it is also known as the square modified brilliant diamond - not particularly original a name, I know, but descriptive.

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Like the round diamond, the Princess cut diamond is known by the shape the diamond appears to have when viewed from on top. However, a Princess cut diamond also has a distinctive shape when viewed from the side. Where the round shape diamond is a cone, a Princess cut diamond appears as an inverted pyramid with four sides.

This pyramid shape is key to one of the major differences between a Princess cut diamond and a round cut diamond. Because it looks like a pyramid, the process of making a Princess cut diamond through cutting and polishing wastes a lot less material, around 20% of the original material. This can be compared with the 50% or more material wastage involved with cutting a round diamond. A consequence of this reduced wastage is that a Princess cut diamond of a certain carat weight, all other things being equal, is usually a little bit cheaper than a round diamond of that carat weight.

Another point of contrast between Princess cut diamonds and round cut diamonds is that the most trustworthy certifiers, the GIA, do not provide gradings for the cut of a Princess diamond. Only a small number of graders provide a consistent Princess cut rating, which makes the job of shopping for one a little more challenging for the consumer.

Two extra considerations for buying a Princess cut diamond is diamond durability and the colour rating you will need to buy to get a good-looking gem.

Many people advise choosing a diamond at least one colour grade higher than you would buy in a round diamond when choosing a Princess cut diamond. This is because the yellowish colour of lower rated diamonds is more obvious in a Princess shape than a round shape. The other issue is durability of the diamond - the simple fact that the diamond has corners makes it more prone to damage than a smoothly rounded, round diamond.

The Princess cut diamond is clear and away the second most popular choice of diamond shape available today. If you want to try a diamond shape a little bit different from a round diamond, but one that isn't too out there, the Princess cut diamond shape is a good choice for you.