Princess cut vs. Round cut diamonds (Does it even matter?)

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend; although friends may come and go, diamonds last forever. 

Picking the right diamond involves several considerations based on your taste, budget, lifestyle, and the best cut for you. Every diamond is an investment, and choosing the best diamond cut may be difficult without considering its beauty and ability to increase in value over time.

Princess cut and round cut diamonds are two of the most popular diamond cuts. However, round cuts are more expensive and harder to make. At the same time, princess cuts are made into rectangular or square shapes. 

With princess cuts, you get a modern-looking bigger diamond with a comparable cost to a smaller classical round-cut diamond. While round cuts usually have more brilliance and sparkle. 

Every cut diamond is unique, varying in color, price, shape, and quality of the raw material. In this article, we will be covering information built around princess cut vs. round cut diamonds. This will help inform your decision on the perfect diamond for you.  

What is a Princess Cut Diamond?

The princess cut looks like an inverted pyramid sporting a square or rectangular base with sharp edges. These cuts give off a sharp, modern, and edgy look and make spectacular-looking earrings and engagement rings. 

A princess cut diamond can have 50 facets to as high as the standard 58 facets depending on how the diamond is cut. Facets are flat surfaces of a diamond that are polished and allow the refraction of light within the diamond. 

The princess cut diamond was developed initially as the ‘profile cut’ by Arpad Nagy in 1961. Over time the shape and style changed before arriving at the current shape we know and love around 1980. 

Princess cut diamonds of comparable carats are less expensive than round cut diamonds because more of the original diamond is retained during processing, with about 20% of the diamond being lost while cutting princess cut diamonds. 

Also, square princess cuts require more cutting than rectangular or irregularly shaped princess cuts and are relatively more expensive. So, if you are on a budget, you could opt for a rectangular princess cut instead. 

Although not as sparkly as round cut diamonds, princess cuts reflect flashes of white and colored light which is more easily observed when it moves. Princess cuts also have sharp edges, which may hold onto hair or articles of clothing and may not be ideal for people with an active lifestyle or who use their hands a lot. 

So how do they pair up against round cut diamonds?

What is a Round Cut Diamond?

The round cut diamond has a round and symmetrical shape with a standard 58 facets, which allow beautiful optical effects as the facets interact with light and one another from all angles. 

The round cut offers an exceptional white light reflection. It displays broad flashes of light with 33 facets on the crown and 25 facets on the pavilion (under the ring setting). They are a good choice for people who want as much sparkle as possible. 

Round cut diamonds were developed around the 17th century and improved with advancements in symmetrical diamond-cutting technology. 

To get a round diamond cut perfectly, up to 60% of the rough diamond is lost. However, its brilliance makes it appear larger than its actual size. The round cut diamond is the most expensive cut diamond per carat and pairs up immaculately with other stones. This higher cost is due to the greater amount of raw material required for production and higher demand.  

Round diamonds hide flaws and inclusions perfectly; they are timeless, elegant, and classic. Therefore, they are a perfect choice if you want a lower-quality diamond but still want it to look as brilliant as possible. Although, if you are looking for something unique, you might pass on a round cut diamond because it is a popular diamond cut pattern.

Now that we know what round cut and princess cut diamonds are, let’s see how they vary based on several factors. 

Princess Cut vs. Round Cut Diamonds 


A princess cut diamond is a geometric square-shaped cut with no trimmed edges. The princess cut diamond is primarily square in shape but can sometimes be rectangular.

The rectangle-shaped princess cuts are less popular because they have lesser sparkle and brilliance when compared to square-shaped diamonds. On the other hand, round cut diamonds are circular shaped and highly symmetrical. 

A lot of rough diamond is lost while cutting the perfectly symmetrical shape of a circular round cut diamond. It thus requires a lot more skill and attention to create its shape. The shape of a princess cut diamond could also represent an inverted pyramid with the bottom narrowing into a pointed tip.

The princess cut is the ideal choice if you want an edgy-looking diamond. But if you prefer a bolder symmetrical look, go for a round cut diamond. 

The difference in light reflection

Due to their shape, princess cut diamonds reflect about 70% of the light that passes through them; meanwhile, round cut diamonds reflect about 90% of light. So, ideally, a round cut diamond will definitely be more brilliant, sparkly, and eye-catching than a princess cut diamond.

A princess cut diamond can have between 50 to 58 facets, while an ideal round cut diamond should have 58 facets. These facets refer to the number of surfaces a diamond has and allows it to receive, reflect and refract light. Therefore, the more facets a particular diamond cut has, the more sparkle and brilliance it will emit.


Round cut diamonds are the most popular diamond cut patterns; intriguingly, 75% of diamonds sold are round cut diamonds. Round diamonds are undeniably one of the most gorgeous and exhibit a captivating sparkle. 

In addition, round cut diamonds are known for their timeless aura and versatility; the round cut diamond is a classic choice for any occasion. While the princess cut diamond is famous for its shape, brilliance, beauty, and ultra-feminine look. 

The princess cut diamond is also famous for being less expensive compared to the round cut variants. In terms of buyer popularity, the princess cut comes in second only to the round cut diamond. However, they are an all-time favorite for people who prefer unique-looking diamond cuts. 


Round cut diamonds are relatively more sustainable than princess cuts. You should get a round cut if your primary concern is sustainability. The sharp edges of the princess cut diamond are more likely to chip because they can easily come in contact with other surfaces. 

Also, round cut diamonds are better at hiding inclusions (internal imperfections) and blemishes (external imperfections). Round cut diamonds can still end up chipped. However, they do not have outward weak points prone to chipping, making them easier to sustain than princess cut diamonds.

Difference in price

Round cut diamonds are relatively more expensive than princess cut variants. Princess cut diamonds of similar raw material quality and weight have lower prices by carat than round cut diamonds. They are a better choice if you are on a budget or want a larger diamond for the same price. 

This is because more of the original diamond goes to waste to get a round cut shape than a princess cut. In addition, princess cut diamonds retain about 80% of the rough stone. In comparison, round cut diamonds keep about 50% or less of the starting diamond. 

So, you’re more likely to get a smaller diamond after a round cut is finished. Also, it takes greater skill and time to cut round diamonds properly. 

Round cut diamonds also tend to be pricier because they are in higher demand and more popular than any other diamond shape. 

Now it’s time to get a diamond cut; let’s see how the prices of round cuts and princess cut diamonds vary. 

How Much Do Princess Cut Diamonds Cost vs. Round Cut Diamonds?

You can acquire a 1-carat princess cut diamond within the price range of $3500 to $5500, depending on the diamond’s color, clarity, brilliance, and cut. At the same time, the price of 1 carat of a round cut diamond ranges between $1300 and $16500.

There is always a wide gap in the price range of diamonds per carat, the highest end of the spectrum is often for diamonds with exceptionally high clarity and color grades. 

The cost prices are majorly affected by the quality of the diamond cut and the different diamond proportions. However, if you have a large budget, a round cut may be ideal for you. 

In diamond pricing, there is a continuous change in amount depending on the flow of the diamond market and whether the diamond you’re getting is a good deal. Store prices also tend to be higher than those found online. 

After spending so much on a diamond ring, it is essential to how well they would retain value over time. 

How Do Princess Cut Diamonds Retain value compared to round cut diamonds?

Round cut diamonds of similar material to a princess cut diamond would cost more per carat and retain more value. This is because when cutting from a rough diamond, more of it is lost when trying to achieve a rounded shape with each facet. 

This is compared to princess cuts which lose less raw material overall when cut into a rectangular, square, or, in some instances, an irregular shape. Round cuts also have more demand and better resale value. So, if you want a diamond that retains more value go for a round cut. 

Still, an essential factor in determining how much value a diamond will retain over time is the quality of the raw material; its clarity, cut, and color. For example, a princess cut diamond made out of a higher quality diamond would retain more value over time than a lower quality round cut diamond. 

Diamonds retain their value for several reasons, majorly because of their durability and ability to maintain beauty for several years. The resale value of a diamond varies between 20-60% of the initial buying price. 

This variation would increase or reduce depending on where the owner bought the diamond, its quality, and where it is sold. Irrespective of the cut, diamonds purchased with exorbitant markups tend to retain less value. 

While reselling a diamond on eBay or a pawn shop would give it a lesser value than reselling to a high-end jeweler. To ensure the diamond you buy retains its value, get a princess cut or round cut diamond with the highest quality possible at a reasonable price. 

Which is a better purchase

At the end of the day, determining which is a better buy, between a princess cut and a round cut diamond, all boils down to your preference. 

A round cut diamond would be a better purchase for someone with an active lifestyle who wants a ring they can always wear. Princess cut diamonds usually have pointed edges that may hold onto hair or articles of clothing. Although you can use a four-prong setting to prevent snags, or you can go for the diamond cut instead.

Pricing is also a significant factor in every purchase, so if you want a bigger diamond that is easily noticeable but on a budget, you should get a princess cut diamond. On the other hand, round cut diamonds are better if you want the highest possible brilliance and sparkle. 

Still, round cuts are better at hiding minor imperfections; They are a better choice if you are getting a lower clarity or color grade. 

Princess cut, and round cut diamonds offer peculiar advantages that suit each individual perfectly. Therefore, you should consider the uniqueness and strong points of each diamond you are about to buy and how they align with your exact needs.

Irrespective of the cut, always opt for variants made out of the best quality diamonds when buying diamonds. These look better and make better long-term investments. 

Conclusion: Making the right choice 

In conclusion, round cut diamonds are the most popular diamonds. They are more expensive per carat when compared to princess cuts. Both princess cut and round cut diamonds are incredibly brilliant and sparkle brightly, reflecting more light than other cuts, making them more outstandingly beautiful and eye-catching. 

One of the major downsides or flaws of the princess cut diamonds is its pointed corners which are thinner and fragile. However, you can solve this issue by getting a prong-holding ring. A significant downside of round diamonds is the higher cost.

If you want a classical-looking diamond and pricing isn’t an issue, go for a round cut diamond. But if you want a diamond with a more modern, unique look or you are on a tight budget, then a square, rectangular shaped princess cut diamond may be the right choice for you.

Diamonds last forever, and making the right choice when getting one can ensure you have a good investment that lasts just as long.