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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.
Porter Gulch Sophia Ring
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
Tiffany Soleste Princess Cut Halo Engagement Ring
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)
Bario Neal Custom Heirloom Princess Cut Diamond Cluster Ring
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
DB Classic Pave Princess Cut Solitaire Ring
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
Blue Nile Princess 3-Stone Engagement Ring
Sometimes the simplest designs make the biggest impact. Buttressed by two pear-shaped diamonds, this classically-set 1.01ct princess-cut diamond is for the posh bride who loves an extravagant (but still classic) look.
SHOP NOW: Blue Nile, $7,569
Tacori RoyalT Collection Princess Cut Ring
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
Brilliant Earth Nouveau Diamond Ring
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
Sofia Kaman Stiletto Princess Diamond Engagement Ring
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
Princess Cut Bezel-Set Engagement Ring
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
Melanie Casey Unveiled Ring
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
Enchanted Disney Vault Mulan Diamond Double Frame Engagement Ring
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
Ila Trilogy Diamond Ring
Give a nod to your past, present, and future together with Ila’s pretty three-stone ring.
SHOP NOW: Catbird NYC, $4,378
Cathy Waterman Platinum and Diamond Wheat Ring
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
Shane Co. Vintage Cathedral Princess Cut Diamond Engagement Ring with Channel-Setting
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
Anna Sheffield Astarte Ring
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
Zales Princess-Cut Diamond Frame Engagement Ring
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
Gabriel & Co. Princess Halo Diamond Engagement Ring
Try a halo setting with your princess cut diamond for the ultimate sparkling effect.
SHOP NOW: Gabriel & Co., starting at $2,895
Kay Diamond Solitaire Princess Cut Engagement Ring
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
Edward Avedis Sienna Ring
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
KatKim Open Anerise Ring
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