Princess Cut, Round Cut, or Radiant Cut: What’s the Difference?

image of Ten of the most popular diamond cut styles in line on white background

You’ve got your diamond and you’ve identified what type of metal you want to set it in. That’s great! Now it’s time to think about what kind of shape you want to cut your diamond to get the best out of it: Do you want a princess cut, round cut, or radiant cut?

When it comes to the types of cuts, there are a few shapes that stand out from the rest. Princess cut, round cut, and radiant cut are three of the most popular diamond shapes on the market today. Each one comes with its own advantages, so how do you decide which one is right for you? Let’s break down the advantages of princess cut, round cut, and radiant cut shapes and help you to choose the best cut for your needs!

Princess cut

The princess cut is known for its unique square or rectangular shape with an inverted pyramid style. It’s the second most popular type of cut after the round cut and is fashionable for engagement rings. Princess cut stones will have 58 facets, which is ideal for diamonds that are luminous and will sparkle. It’s also more affordable than the other type of cuts.

Image of Princess Cut Diamond

Round cut

The round cut is a classic. It’s the most popular cut you can get for your diamond and has been around since the 17th century. Like the princess cut, the round cut boasts 58 facets, 33 on the crown and 25 on the pavilion. It’s perfect for diamonds that will deliver the most sparkle and brilliance. However, the round cut is the most expensive type of cut available.

Image of Round Cut Diamond

Radiant cut

Compared to the others, the radiant cut is a recent development. It has 70 facets, cutting the diamond in a unique pattern that combines square or rectangular shape with rounded corners. That gives it both a distinct look and delivers exceptional light return. It’s a great choice if you want to hide the inclusions in your stone and you are conscious of your budget. It also keeps most of its rough in the cutting. As a result, you’ll get to keep a larger stone for a lower price.

Image of Radiant Cut Diamond

Princess cut vs. round cut vs. radiant cut: Price

As mentioned above, round cuts are the most expensive type of cut. That’s because at least 60% of the stone will be lost in the cutting process. Princess cuts are less expensive than the round cut as only about 20% of the stone will go to waste when it is cut. In comparison, the radiant cut is the most affordable of the trio as little is lost in the cutting process.

All three shapes are beautiful, but the price difference is something to consider when making your decision. The radiant cut offers the best value, while the round cut is the most popular choice and the princess cut sits halfway. Let’s look at what else you should know about these cuts.

Princess cut vs. round cut vs. radiant cut: Color

When we talk about the color of diamonds, we refer to how much color is not in the stone. The clearer it is, the more it allows to reflect its inner flame. However, clear diamonds are rare and expensive. Meanwhile, lower-grade diamonds will have traces of brown or yellow in the stone.

Thus, if you want to hide the color of your stone, it’s best to go with a round cut shape. It will help to reflect the light better and obscure the hints of color in the diamond. But if you have a clearer stone but want to stay within budget, a princess cut would be ideal. The same goes for a radiant cut.

You also want to think about the type of metal you are setting your diamond in. Against yellow or rose gold metals, the color traces in the stone will be less noticeable. So, you can pick a stone that is near colorless or with faint color hints in it. However, if you prefer to go with silver, white gold or platinum metal for your jewelry, you should aim to get a colorless stone since they will otherwise show the colors in the diamond.

Princess cut vs. round cut vs. radiant cut: Clarity

Clarity means whether or not the stone contains any imperfections. Internal imperfections are known as inclusions and external imperfections are called blemishes.

As a result, you want to pick your type of cut based on your diamond’s clarity. If you have a flawed diamond, round cut and princess diamonds would do a fantastic job at concealing imperfections. A radiant cut will do, too.

Princess cut vs. round cut vs. radiant cut: Durability

Although diamonds are among the hardiest of materials found on Earth, it’s important to factor in the lifestyle of the wearer when picking the cut for your jewelry piece. If you or the person you are buying a diamond for leads an active lifestyle, you’re better off picking a round cut diamond. The radiant cut is also durable and its unique cut prevents it from chipping easily. However, if your heart is set on a princess cut diamond shape, then be sure to add an extra layer of protection with a protective bezel setting that envelopes the stone safely.

Princess cut vs. round cut vs. radiant cut: Brilliance

In terms of brilliance, the rule of thumb is that the more facets a diamond has, the more brilliantly it will reflect light.

Both princess cut and round cut diamonds have 58 facets. Their respective cuts reflect light with similar brilliance although round cuts tend to emit more sparkle than a princess cut. Meanwhile, a radiant cut diamond will also bring out a stone’s brilliance and sparkle.

Princess cut vs. round cut vs. radiant cut: Settings

The most popular settings for princess cut, round cut, and radiant cut diamonds are prongs. The diamond is held in a four- or six-prong setting and is the best for allowing the stone to catch the light to see its brilliance. However, it can snag on clothing or material, so it isn’t recommended for wearers who lead active lifestyles.

If you are looking for a setting that offers the best protection, then you want to go with a bezel setting. It protects the diamond all the way around, though it comes at the cost of reducing the amount of light that can pass through the stone.

Other popular settings are halo and solitaire settings. If you opt for a radiant cut diamond, its versatility makes it ideal for these two settings.

Princess cut vs. round cut vs. radiant cut: Which is best?

So, what is the best diamond shape for you? It depends on your preferences! If you want a square or rectangular shaped diamond with a modern feel, go with a princess cut. If you want something more classic, then a round cut is your choice. If you want something that delivers sparkle and brilliance at an affordable price, then you want a radiant cut diamond. No matter which shape you decide on, if you remember these points, it will be easy to find the perfect diamond shape for your lifestyle and budget.

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