Princess cut and radiant cut diamonds share some similarities. Both are square cuts and both have a complete brilliant-cut pattern. When set on a ring, these two cuts can easily be interchanged at first glance.
Choosing between the two can be a difficult task, especially since both are superior when it comes to brilliance. You might want to compare two stones of the same carat, clarity, and color grade to determine which shape is more to your liking.
To determine the differences, let’s compare the two cuts based on the following factors:
Princess cut is the second most popular cut next to the round brilliant. It is notable for its square shape and sharp corners. It is the first square cut to achieve the same brilliance as a round brilliant cut diamond.
While princess cut diamonds are traditionally square, there are some stones that are more rectangular than they are square. This depends on the length to width ratio of the diamond.
The radiant cut diamond is the second square cut to carry the same brilliant-cut pattern seen on round brilliant diamonds. Whereas the princess cut has sharp corners, radiant cut diamonds are square in shape with cropped corners. Its cropped corners may offer some practical advantages when it comes to stone setting.
Princess cut diamonds are always set on a prong stone setting to protect its corners from damage and chipping, an issue that is not present with the cropped corners of a radiant cut.
Princess cut diamonds also often have a larger table and more depth compared to radiant cuts.
Price and Demand
When it comes to pricing, princess cut diamonds are typically priced lower than radiant cut diamonds because there is very little waste when cutting a princess cut from the rough stone. This means that a diamond cutter can easily yield two princess cut diamonds from one rough stone with very little waste and as such, the market price is lower.
There is also a higher demand for princess cut diamonds compared to radiant cut diamonds so there is a bigger selection for the average consumer. Jewelers don’t stock up as much on radiant cuts as they do on princess cuts because of consumer demand so if you want more options, princess cut might be a more suitable choice for you.
A radiant cut diamond generally reflects more light than a princess cut diamond when viewed from the top. This is because when light enters a radiant cut diamond, it creates a circular pattern giving it more sparkle when it reflects light. Due to its cutting style, radiant cut diamonds also have more angles to let light in, allowing for more light to be reflected back to the surface.
Princess cut diamonds, on the other hand, are notable for its linear life. When light enters a princess cut diamond, the facets create an X in the center as a result of the contrast between light and dark facets. Due to the number of dark facets, princess cut diamonds don’t appear as sparkly as radiant cut diamonds when viewed from the top.
Radiant cut diamonds sometimes create a bow-tie effect as a result of the misalignment of facets in the diamond when light enters its surface.
Princess cut diamonds are more abundant because manufacturers are able to maximize more of the rough stone during the diamond cutting process. As a result, there are more poor quality princess cut diamonds available in the market compared to radiant cut diamonds that focus more on preserving the aesthetic appeal of the stone over quantity.
Both cut styles have their own appeal and aesthetic value. In the end, it all boils down to personal preference. If price is the primary determining factor, however, princess cut diamonds are a better option because they have a cheaper per-carat price compared to radiant cut diamonds.