Everything You Need to Know About Princess Cut Engagement Rings

Princess Cut Diamond

Getty Images/JB Lacroix 

What do Emily Ratajkowski and Kate Bosworth have in common? Besides being famous actresses and fashion darlings, they both have princess cut engagement rings. While Bosworth went romantic with a vintage-inspired setting, Ratajkowski paired hers with a pear-cut diamond for a modern look. Whichever you prefer, the versatility of this diamond shape is just one of many reasons to love it.

What Is the Princess Cut?

A princess-cut diamond is a square-cut stone with pointed corners and an inverted pyramid base. “It is either perfectly square or has a 1.05 - 1.10:1 length to width ratio to make the whole stone look larger,” says Lauren Priori of L. Priori Jewelry.

While the round brilliant cut may be the most popular diamond shape of the bunch, the princess cut maintains the fire that makes round brilliants desirable while boasting a timeless and modern geometric silhouette. “The top facet on a princess-cut diamond is a lot bigger than what you’d see on a round-cut diamond,” Priori says. “That makes the stone look brighter and whiter because it lets more light in.”

Meet the Expert

Lauren Priori is the owner of L. Priori Jewelry, a by-appointment custom jeweler in Philadelphia. Priori is a Gemological Institute of America (GIA) trained Graduate Gemologist and a graduate of the Wharton School of Business. 

History of the Princess Cut

Per Priori, square diamonds have been cut since the 1700s, but the princess cut as we know it today is actually one of the newest shapes on the market.

The shape saw a resurgence in the 1960s when London jeweler Arpad Nagy began offering a “profile” cut that allowed for less of the rough stone to be shed in the cutting process. After that, South African designer Basil Watermeyer introduced the beautiful but difficult-to-replicate family of Barion cuts in the 1970s. The height of popularity for princess-cut stones began in 1979 when Israeli diamond duo Betazel Ambar and Israel Itzkowitz perfected the “quadrillion” cut, a precursor to the princess cut most similar to the shape we currently know it as.

There’s not much documented about why “princess” was chosen for the name, but many suspect it’s because the combination of brilliant sparkle and classic clean lines makes the cut feel fit for royalty.

What to Look for in Princess-Cut Diamonds

Princess-cut stones are beloved because they combine the best aspects of several cuts into one style. Princess cuts are typically priced lower per carat than other brilliant cuts because the design allows for more of the rough stone to be saved in the cutting process. “They also hide inclusions, or natural imperfections, really well, because they’re so faceted and deep,” Priori adds.

“Because princess cuts carry most of their weight in the pavilion (the underside of the diamond), they may appear smaller than another diamond shape with the same carat weight,” Shane Co. President and CEO Rordane Shane tells Brides. “While one person may say their con is the cut appearing smaller than other shapes, another might find this inconsequential, favoring sparkle more than size.” Because of these fluctuations, the best way to decipher which diamond is right for you is by looking at it up close.

Meet the Expert

Rordane Shane is the President and CEO of Shane Co., the largest privately-held retail jewelry chain in the United States. He is the fourth generation in a family of jewelers.

When shopping for a princess-cut stone, you’ll want to avoid stones with inclusions in the corners, a weaker spot for the cut. You’ll also want to choose a prong style that provides extra protection for the corners. Per Priori, the best option for protecting a princess-cut stone is a V-prong setting, but if you’re not a fan of the look, there are other options.

How to Care for Your Princess-Cut Diamond

Shane suggests caring for your diamond by avoiding harsh chemicals in cleaning supplies as well as using light dish soap, warm water, and a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean it at home. “It’s also important to check your princess-cut diamond every now and then to ensure it hasn’t become loose in the setting,” he adds. “The sharper corners of the stone can make it more likely to snag than other shapes.”

Ahead, scroll through stunning and unique princess cut engagement rings.

01 of 20

Porter Gulch Sophia Ring

Porter Gulch Sophia Ring

Courtesy of Porter Gulch

This beautiful sunburst style features a dazzling 0.5ct princess-cut diamond tilted at 45 degrees. Marquise diamonds radiate from each corner, and natural round diamonds complete the design for a vintage look.

SHOP NOW: Porter Gulch, $5,155

02 of 20

Tiffany Soleste Princess Cut Halo Engagement Ring

Tiffany Soleste Princess Cut Halo Engagement Ring

 Courtesy of Tiffany & Co.

Does it get any more glam than this? A bead-set diamond halo blends seamlessly with a bead-set diamond band for all-over sparkle, but all eyes will be on the light that clusters in the center of the beautifully-cut center stone.

SHOP NOW: Tiffany & Co., from $5,350 ($52,500 as shown)

03 of 20

Bario Neal Custom Heirloom Princess Cut Diamond Cluster Ring

Bario Neal Custom Heirloom Princess Cut Diamond Cluster Ring

Courtesy of Bario Neal 

The star of this unique heirloom-style engagement ring is the responsibly mined princess-cut diamond. It’s flanked by free-flowing, organic arrangements of morganite, apricot sapphire, and champagne diamonds on either side.

SHOP NOW: Bario Neal, $22,340

04 of 20

DB Classic Pave Princess Cut Solitaire Ring

DB Classic Pave Princess Cut Solitaire Ring

Courtesy of De Beers

An elegant classic from each and every angle. The 2 millimeter-wide platinum round brilliant pavé band is crafted with a perfectly proportioned corner-prong princess-cut stone for a truly timeless style.  

SHOP NOW: De Beers, from $4,500

05 of 20

Blue Nile Princess 3-Stone Engagement Ring

2ct Princess 3-Stone Engagement Ring

Courtesy of Blue Nile 

Sometimes the simplest designs make the biggest impact. Buttressed by two pear-shaped diamonds, this classically-set 2.19ct princess-cut diamond is for the posh bride who loves an extravagant (but still classic) look.  

SHOP NOW: Blue Nile, $18,311

06 of 20

Tacori RoyalT Collection Princess Cut Ring

Tacori Princess Cut Ring

 Courtesy of Tacori

This Tacori RoyalT collection ring stays true to name by surrounding a center princess-cut stone with marquise-shaped designs and 0.98 additional carats of diamonds. Forget princess—the intricate detailing on this ring is fit for a queen.  

SHOP NOW: Tacori, from $9,290

07 of 20

Brilliant Earth Nouveau Diamond Ring

Brilliant Earth Nouveau Diamond Ring

Courtesy of Brilliant Earth 

This chevron-shaped pavé band dips to accent a princess-cut center stone supported by substantial claw prongs. It’s a unique style available in four metals (shown in rose gold).

SHOP NOW: Brilliant Earth, $1,390 for setting

08 of 20

Sofia Kaman Stiletto Princess Diamond Engagement Ring

Sofia Kaman Stiletto Princess Diamond Engagement Ring

Courtesy of Sofia Kaman Fine Jewels 

Turn tradition on its head with a princess-cut diamond set upside down (or “stiletto” style) in a micro-pavé diamond halo on double 18-karat gold bands. It’s modern and old-world, perfect for the bride whose style draws from all eras. 

SHOP NOW: Sofia Kaman Fine Jewels, $6,160

09 of 20

Princess Cut Bezel-Set Engagement Ring

Princess-Cut Diamond Bezel Set Engagement Ring

Courtesy of 1stdibs

This thoroughly modern bezel-set, open basket princess-cut ring is set in 18-karat white gold for a sleek monochrome look. The diamond is 1.01ct, allowing for a sizable sparkle. 

SHOP NOW: 1stdibs, $4,985

10 of 20

Melanie Casey Unveiled Ring

Melanie Casey Unveiled Ring

Courtesy of Melanie Casey 

Dainty and delicate is the name of the game here. Four double prongs hold the 1.3ct E-color princess-cut diamond at a tilt, giving a subtle celestial vibe to the ring. The slim yet solid 14-karat gold round band brings warmth to the style. 

SHOP NOW: Melanie Casey Fine Jewelry, $15,800

11 of 20

Enchanted Disney Vault Mulan Diamond Double Frame Engagement Ring

Enchanted Disney Vault Mulan Diamond Double Frame Engagement Ring

Courtesy of Reeds Jewelers 

From the world of Disney’s first foray into engagement rings comes this intricate style inspired by Mulan. The center princess-cut diamond is wrapped in two square frames of round diamonds, and the split-style shank is enhanced with a single baguette on each side.

SHOP NOW: Reeds Jewelers, $3,195

12 of 20

Ila Trilogy Diamond Ring

Ila Trilogy Diamond Ring

Courtesy of Catbird NYC

Give a nod to your past, present, and future together with Ila’s pretty three-stone ring.

SHOP NOW: Catbird NYC, $4,378

13 of 20

Cathy Waterman Platinum and Diamond Wheat Ring

Cathy Waterman Platinum and Diamond Wheat Ring

Courtesy of Peridot Fine Jewelry 

The vine motif on this Cathy Waterman platinum and diamond ring offers a lovely, nature-inspired look that works for both boho brides and Game of Thrones superfans.

SHOP NOW: Peridot Fine Jewelry, $5,590

14 of 20

Shane Co. Vintage Cathedral Princess Cut Diamond Engagement Ring with Channel-Setting

Shane Co. Vintage Cathedral Princess Cut Diamond Engagement Ring with Channel-Setting

Courtesy of Shane Co.

The cathedral setting on this engagement ring gives the vibe a regal, old-world finish that’s perfect for the lover of antiques.

SHOP NOW: Shane Co., starting at $1,887

15 of 20

Anna Sheffield Astarte Ring

Anna Sheffield Astarte Ring

Courtesy of Anna Sheffield 

This one-of-a-kind ring features three striking diamonds and is handset with white diamond micro pavé halos.

SHOP NOW: Anna Sheffield, $32,800

16 of 20

Zales Princess-Cut Diamond Frame Engagement Ring

Zales Princess-Cut Diamond Frame Engagement Ring

Courtesy of Zales 

If you love the look of a vintage ring, go for this ring crafted from 14k rose gold princess cut ring. The halo of accent diamonds and the ring’s shank all come together for a truly unique finish.

SHOP NOW: Zales, $3,299

17 of 20

Gabriel & Co. Princess Halo Diamond Engagement Ring

Gabriel & Co. 18K White Gold Princess Halo Diamond Engagement Ring

Courtesy of Gabriel & Co.

Try a halo setting with your princess cut diamond for the ultimate sparkling effect.

SHOP NOW: Gabriel & Co., starting at $2,895

18 of 20

Kay Diamond Solitaire Princess Cut Engagement Ring

Kay Diamond Solitaire Engagement Ring

Courtesy of Kay Jewelers 

This classic engagement ring will play nicely with the other rings on your hand thanks to its simplicity and elegance.

SHOP NOW: Kay Jewelers, $3,599

19 of 20

Edward Avedis Sienna Ring

Edward Avedis Sienna Ring

Courtesy of Edward Avedis

Not feeling prong settings? Go for this bezel set ring featuring a princess-cut diamond and 14k yellow gold band.

SHOP NOW: Edward Avedis, $990

20 of 20

KatKim Open Anerise Ring

KatKim Open Anerise Ring

Courtesy of KatKim Fine Jewelry

Another unexpected option for the non-traditional bride-to-be, this ring gives the illusion of floating princess-cut diamonds and is available in yellow gold, white gold, and rose gold.

SHOP NOW: KatKim Fine Jewelry, $4,280

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