The romance of princess-cut engagement rings

Less pricey than a round brilliant diamond, find out what it is about princess-cut engagement rings that has seen their popularity soar.

Harry Kotlar Unity princess-cut engagement ring with 3.01ct diamond

If you're an incurable romantic like me, the name alone of this cut will have an undeniable fairytale appeal. But princess-cut engagement rings not only sound divine, they are also one of the most beautiful diamond cuts around. No surprises, then, that the princess cut is the second most popular cut, after the round brilliant solitaire engagement ring.

Created in the 1960s, the princess cut diamond has not been around as long as some of the other diamond cuts but has quickly risen up the popularity ranks. Also known as a square modified brilliant, it combines the brilliance of a round diamond with a square or rectangular shape.

Unity princess-cut engagement ring
Harry Kotlar's Unity 3.01ct princess-cut diamond engagement ring has a split-shank band set with two rows of pavé diamonds (£78,271).

A typical princess-cut diamond will have around 76 facets and, as the corners are left intact, will be bigger than a round brilliant of the same width. The pyramidal shape with four bevelled sides ensures that this cut has more light dispersion than other square diamonds thereby maximising its fire and brilliance. The optimum ratio for a square shape is between 1 and 1.05, and for a rectangular diamond it is advisable to look for a length to width ratio between 1.10 and 1.20.

For the budget-savvy out there it is also useful to know that with princess-cut diamond engagement rings you get more diamond for your money than with a round brilliant-cut ring of the same size. This is because less of the rough diamond has to be cut away to create a square shape.

Grace princess cut diamond engagement ring
The princess cut is the second most popular shape for an engagement ring. Suitable for almost any ring style, its pyramid shape with 58 facets and four bevelled sides increases light dispersion and helps hide inclusions. Tiffany Grace ring (from £9,200).

Princess-cut diamond rings look great on those blessed with long, slender fingers. For a classic solitaire that really allows the diamond to stand out, look no further than the Princess Cut ring from Tiffany. You would be hard pushed to find a girl who wouldn't swoon at the thought of opening the iconic little blue box to find this elegant and dramatic ring inside.

If one diamond is not enough, add extra sparkle with diamond pavé, as seen on the princess-cut engagement ring by US designer Harry Kotlar or the De Beers Promise Princess ring with its duo-shank platinum and diamond pavé band. The princess cut is also a popular shape for eternity bands as the stones can be set side by side without any gaps.

Solitaire 1895 princess-cut engagement ring
Cartier Solitaire 1895 princess-cut diamond engagement in platinum (from £3,300).

For those who are looking for a classic ring that shows off the geometric proportions of a princess-cut diamond to perfection, Cartier’s Solitaire 1895 is the ring for you. The French maison is justifiably famous for is engagement rings, and depending on your budget, you can choose to have your ring set with a diamond anywhere from 0.30 to a blinding 5.99 carats. 

Classic or modern, whichever style you choose, a princess-cut engagement ring will make you feel like royalty on your wedding day and beyond.

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