For those of you who love a clean and modern shape, you will love a princess cut. Looking down on the crown (face) of a princess cut, it looks square, but then if you flip it over to the bottom (pavilion), it looks like the shape of a pyramid, with the beveled sides. Again, referencing the marquise, the pear, and the oval shape, the face-up value is bigger than other shape cuts. To be technical, princess cuts can also be referred to as a square modified brilliant cut. This shape is the second most popular shape of diamond cuts with round brilliant being the first. Remember the cut rating of any stone is important. Excellent to very good is what you want to go for in any shape you choose.
The name “princess cut” was originally associated with another cut, known as the “profile cut”. It was created by Arpad Nagy, a London stone cutter, in 1961. After some more optical research, some other cutters made it more popular in the 1980s. The cutting on a princess cut is unique and different from that of a round brilliant. It generally has 58 facets like a round brilliant but, that is where the similarity ends. The pavilion of the stone is cut so that the facets are wider toward the culet (point on the pavilion) and narrower toward the girdle (separation between the crown and the pavilion) just the opposite of a round brilliant.
It got its start or origins in an early “French” cut having a step-modified cut crown and a series of unique, chevron-shaped facets in the pavilion which when combined, give a distinct cross-shaped reflection when you look down through the table facet of the crown. This can have a significant meaning to some, when purchasing an engagement ring for celebrating life together! The number of chevrons will affect the overall look of a princess cut diamond. The more chevrons on the pavilion, it breaks down the individual facets into a “crushed ice” look. This sea of sparkling-facets-look along with the name…princess cut makes it a draw for a lot of women. Who would turn down being a princess?!
As with the marquise and pear cuts, with sharp pointed corners, they must be protected from damage by utilizing V-shaped tips or prongs that will protect those corners, possibly even channel setting. Some ring designs, when using princess cuts can be protected by channel setting or invisibly set stones. Princess cuts make wonderful earrings or anniversary eternity bands. Think about that significant year anniversary gift!
There are no rules to mixing shapes! Going for scintillation and fire but love, love, love the idea of the ‘secret’ cross for your engagement ring? Pick a round brilliant with channel set princess stones down the shank of the ring. You could make your wedding band channel set/invisibly set princess cuts. Or vice versa! A princess cut as your center stone and round brilliants down the shank. Make your ring unique! Make it YOURS, not the same design you see everywhere.