Diamonds come in all kinds of shapes, colors, cuts, clarities and sizes, so how do you even start choosing the perfect stone for you or a loved one?!
There’s so much to think about, but selecting the right gemstone cut for you is a great place to start.
Square cut diamonds are one of the most popular options out there. They’re commonly known as princess cut diamonds, with a bunch of similar variants. So look out for that on the label when you’re browsing.
In the Post
Square Cut Diamonds At a Glance
This romantic name actually started out back in the swinging 1960s, when a jeweler named Arpad Nagy invented a new diamond shape that he christened the profile cut. The modern-day princess cut that we know and love only came about a couple decades later.
The square cut (princess cut) is an incredibly popular choice for diamond rings, as this shape can make the gemstone look larger than it actually is. Useful, right?
Square cut diamonds were first designed just before the 1980s began. Although this particular shape hasn’t been around for very long, it’s now one of the top choices for diamond buyers.
The square shape makes these stones super versatile: they’ll work in pretty much any type of setting. It’s easy to see why they’re a top choice for engagement rings, but they’re also gorgeous in bracelets, necklaces and earrings.
Want to know more? Let’s start right from the basics…
What are the Different Kinds of Cuts Out There?
Most diamonds are cut in one of about ten different shapes:
- Round (also called brilliant cut, this is the most popular diamond shape out there)
- Princess (square cut; our main focus and the second most popular diamond cut)
- Cushion (ranked at number 3 in the popularity chart)
- Emerald (this is just the name of the shape and not anything to with the actual gemstone – this can get a little confusing)
Emerald, asscher and radiant cuts are also square or rectangular in shape, but they have one key difference if you compare them to square cut (princess cut) diamonds.
When jewelers shape these cuts, they take a little section off each corner to make the overall shape of the gemstone more stable. Square cut diamonds keep all their four corners intact – but more on that a little later.‘
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Round cut and fancy cut: what’s the difference?
You may have heard of some of the types of cut we’ve listed above before. Often, experts will refer to them as either round cuts or fancy cuts.
So, what’s the difference?
It’s very simple: fancy cut diamonds is the name given to all diamonds that aren’t cut in a round shape.
Now we’ve sorted that one out, let’s get back to the topic at hand: the gorgeous square cut.
Why are Square Cut Diamonds So Popular?
If you’re looking to buy a square cut diamond, there are a couple of things you should know that will help you select the perfect stone for you.
Square cut diamonds have a whole range of benefits. They’ve sure got way more to them than just the sparkling brilliance that meets the eye.
Square cut diamonds often look slightly larger than they truly are. This is probably the most useful fact to know before you go making that all-important ring decision.
Let’s say you’ve got a round cut diamond and a square cut diamond that both weigh the same amount. On average, the corner-to-corner measurement of the square cut diamond will be 15% greater than the diameter of the round cut stone.
This little factoid makes these square cut stones look larger than life, which is never a bad thing when it comes to some serious bling.
Princess cut diamonds tend to cost slightly less per carat, when you compare them to the round (brilliant) cut diamonds that are so popular for engagement rings.
Why, you ask? The answer’s pretty simple, really. It’s actually got to do with our next fact…
The four equal sides of a perfect square are easier to cut from a natural, rough gemstone than, say, cutting a perfectly circular diamond.
This is because the shape of a square cut diamond actually looks like a pyramid.
So, the square part is what you see when the finished pyramid gets flipped on its head and set in the ring, pointed-side down. As it turns out, this pyramid shape is simpler to cut from the form that natural diamonds actually start in.
Plus, when jewelers cut square diamonds, they actually waste less of the original stone. In fact, about 60% of the original diamond gets turned into the square cut stone. Handy, huh?
To give you a better idea of how these different diamond cuts compare, let’s compare that figure to cutting a round cut diamond.
When experts cut these round (brilliant) diamonds, they actually lose 60% of the original, rough gemstone. The stats are totally flipped around.
So, it’s slightly easier for experts to cut these square shaped diamonds. Plus, they lose less of the original diamond.
Combine those two factors, and it means that finished square cut diamonds are a little cheaper when you compare them to other diamond cuts.
Some square cut diamonds aren’t actually totally perfect squares. Sometimes, they turn out a little bit rectangular, but in most cases you can barely see that.
Providing the other 3 Cs of diamond quality are equal (that’s carat, clarity and color), the cut will usually be what affects the price of a square cut diamond.
The closer to a perfect square it is, the more valuable it will be. The more rectangular it is, the more the price tag will decrease.
But, that’s not to say that the more rectangular princess cut diamonds aren’t a popular choice. Many buyers love them for their chic, geometric and unusual look.
Who knows, a full-on rectangular stone might be the perfect choice for you.
So, you’ve chosen the type of gemstone you want, you’ve checked the carat value, the clarity, the color and the cut, you’ve got the base material for your ring and the perfect design…
As if all that wasn’t enough, now you’ve also got to decide on the right setting to tie it all together.
Luckily, square cut diamond settings are super straightforward. These little beauties should always sit in a 4-prong setting, with a solid prong placed at each corner.
These little metal prongs extend up from the piece of jewelry itself to hold the diamond safely in place.
As for the positioning, the prongs are located at the corners of square cut diamonds as these are actually their most vulnerable areas.
When your diamond was sat in its natural, rough stone, its corners were close to the rough gem’s edges. So, its corners are more likely to have weaknesses (flaws).
A prong setting protects the diamond’s more delicate corners, preventing them from chipping away.
These types of prong settings can also be called V-prong settings, so keep an eye out for that term.
Because of the way they’re cut, these square shaped diamonds have impressive brilliance.
Brilliance is the technical term used to describe that unique way that diamonds catch the light.
Round cuts are the most brilliant, which is why they’re far and away the most popular style for engagement rings.
Still, princess cut diamonds come in at second place – that says a lot about the quality of this clever, attractive cut.
What’s more, higher brilliance helps to disguise any slight discoloration or minor flaws that your square cut stone might have. What’s not to like?
Sure, the name itself is a bit of a give away. But, did you know that Disney actually collaborated with the fine jeweler Zales to create a whole range of princess themed rings?
The Aurora, Snow White and Tinker Bell rings all have central princess cut diamonds.
For the sports fans out there, you might like to know that princess cut stones are a popular choice for sports trophies, too.
The Chicago Cubs and the Washington Capitals have previously popped some of these dazzling diamonds on their cups. Well, why not? It’s casual.
Who Invented This Famous Square Shaped Cut?
Back in the decade of the 70s, three jewelers joined forces in Israel to create the princess cut style we know and love today.
Betzalel Ambar, Ygal Perlman and Israel Itzkowitz collaborated for years and finally perfected their design in 1979. They actually called their new square cut the quadrillion cut diamond.
Some experts still use that name when they’re talking about princess cuts, but you won’t hear it too often now. Still, it’s always good to know!