Round Brilliant vs. Princess Cut: Which Diamond Shape Has More Sparkle?

When it comes to diamond shapes, the two that stand out above the rest are the round brilliant cut and the square princess cut. Both are known for their eye-catching sparkle and brilliance.
The right one for you depends largely on personal taste and the different qualities of each that you find especially important.
Vatche U-113 6-Prong Solitaire Engagement Ring
Vatche U-113 6-Prong Solitaire Engagement Ring
Vatche 188 Caroline Solitaire Engagement Ring
Vatche 188 Caroline Solitaire Engagement Ring
Round is the most traditional diamond cut and continues to be the most prevalent in today’s market. One of the reasons for the overwhelming popularity of round diamonds is their potential for ultimate light performance, brilliance, fire and sparkle. But princess cuts share a similar facet pattern on their pavilions, giving them the potential for outstanding brilliance too.
The key to light performance is the quality of the cut.
Not sure which one is right for you? Below we have explored their similarities, differences, and of course, sparkle potential.

What Are Round Brilliant Diamonds?

Vatche 1020 6-Prong Channel Diamond Engagement Ring
Vatche 1020 6-Prong Channel Diamond Engagement Ring
The first round diamonds were seen around the 17th century. At the time, they had 17 facets on the top half of the stone. In the early 1900’s a Belgian mathematician named Marcel Tolkowsky was widely credited with determining the ideal cut proportions for the round brilliant.
Truth be told, several American cutting pioneers were already manufacturing high-quality diamonds to these parameters decades earlier. Diamonds of smaller sizes, however, are harder to cut by hand.
Today, modern tools and technologies give us the ability to cut round diamonds to a degree of perfection never known before. It is through the craftsmanship of man that the full potential of a diamond is revealed. The technique ensures that even small round brilliant diamonds offer excellent light dispersion, maximizing their brightness and beauty.
It is widely understood that the precision of the cut is the factor that has the greatest effect on diamond beauty. If we think of a diamond as a tiny system of mirrors, the positioning, alignment, and polish of those mirrors determine the reflection and refraction of light through that system and back to the eye of the beholder.
No diamond has been more revered throughout history than the venerable round cut diamond ring. Take a more detailed look into the beautiful round brilliant diamond shape here.

Super Ideal Round Brilliant Cut Diamonds

A CUT ABOVE® Hearts and Arrows are round super ideal cut diamonds that are considered by experts worldwide to be among the finest cut diamonds ever brought to market.
They are the “best of the best” in terms of brilliance, fire and sparkle. A CUT ABOVE® diamonds shine from every angle, no matter what the lighting situation, expressing their true beauty. They produce sparkles and flashes with every glance, creating an enchanting light show. A dynamic personality emerges in every new moment, gathering light from even the dimmest sources and bursting with color in spectral sparks.
Many consumers wonder whether “collection quality” is really worth it because of its rarity and price premium. As diamonds with lower gemological grades can also be beautiful, the decision is very personal one, determined by preferences and budget. But the best cut quality should always be given priority.

What Are Princess Cut Diamonds?

Valoria Petite Shared Prong Diamond Engagement Ring
Valoria Petite Shared Prong Diamond Engagement Ring
Princess diamonds have become enormously popular in recent years. This shape combines a square outline with a brilliant style facet arrangement. The result in gemological terms is a ‘square modified brilliant’, otherwise known as the princess cut.
It wasn't until 1961 that the princess cut diamond was created. Originally called the profile cut, it was created by diamond cutter Arpad Nagy living in London. This name, however, didn't stick, and the shape eventually became known as a princess cut instead.
With their straight sides and sharp corners, princess cuts are a good choice as centerpieces for contemporary or vintage ring designs alike.
In addition to style choices, a big advantage of the princess is that diamonds of the same weight, color and clarity will cost less in a princess than in a round. The main reason for this is that the shape retains more carat weight from the rough diamond, resulting in less waste during cutting and greater yield.
Take a look at a more in-depth dive into the magnificent princess diamond shape here to learn more.

Ideal Princess Cut Diamonds

Although princess diamonds are commonly cut to maximize yield and do not have great light performance, Ideal princess diamonds do exist in the market. The American Gem Society Laboratories (AGSL) is the only lab that grades the overall cut in a princess in a peer reviewed scientific way. Certified AGS Ideal diamonds provide assurance of far better light performance than ordinary princess cuts.
The A CUT ABOVE® Princess from Whiteflash is a true ‘super ideal’ and the extraordinary sister to the A CUT ABOVE® Round Hearts and Arrows diamond. The A CUT ABOVE® Princess goes through the same rigorous testing and reviews as its round counterpart, and represents the ultimate pedigree of performance.

Princess vs Round Cut Diamonds: A Comparison

There is no doubt that both of these diamond cuts enjoy well deserved popularity - but how do they compare?

Which Diamond Shape Has More Sparkle?

As mentioned above, the princess cut shares a similar facet pattern with the round brilliant. The all-important pavilion facets, which are the engine of light performance, are both cut in the brilliant style with vertical facets extending from girdle to culet.
This arrangement accounts for the high amount of sparkle and scintillation that characterizes well-cut specimens of both popular shapes. However, owing to the greater overall symmetry of its facet design, round brilliant cuts are capable of fully maximizing light return.
There is nothing quite like the sparkle and shine of a round cut diamond. Light is better handled by properly crafted round cuts, resulting in greater sparkle.
Choosing a round cut diamond is a great choice if you want a diamond with a blindingly bright sparkle. When it comes to this comparison, princess cut diamonds do exceptionally well, but round cut diamonds come out on top.

Which Diamond Shape is More Affordable?

A diamond's price can be affected by many factors. Generally, however, square princess cut diamonds are more affordable than round brilliant diamonds, carat for carat.
In addition to their extraordinary beauty, you will find that princess diamonds are considerably less expensive than their round counterparts when comparing comparable size and quality.
This is because a rough diamond crystal will yield a larger princess cut than it will a round cut diamond, thus making the princess an outstanding value due to a lower cost per carat. Getting more diamond for your dollar is a big advantage to most of us!

What Diamond Shape is More Versatile?

In addition to the cost savings mentioned earlier, stylistically the princess cut adds an angular outline with straight sides. The distinctive outline of the princess, therefore, lends itself to a range of different jewelry designs, including very modern architectural styles.
Diamonds with a round cut are extremely versatile. Considering the popularity of this shape, round cut diamonds can be found in a wide variety of settings. Solitaires, two- or three-stone rings, or bands paired with them are common settings. There are many options available for beautiful jewelry styles, including those offered by the top designer engagement ring brands.
Generally, princess cut diamonds are considered more contemporary than round cut diamonds. Diamonds are usually set in four prong settings, with one prong securing each corner. This also gives protection to the points on a princess cut.
If you can’t find the perfect setting, you can also choose a loose diamond, natural or lab-grown, and make your dreams come true by designing a custom setting.
Round and princess cut diamonds work well with a variety of settings, so when choosing your setting, consider as many options as possible. Every stone has something special to offer.

Which Diamond Shape is Right For Me?

Whether a round cut or princess diamond suits your fancy and meets your budget, the important thing is to get a diamond that handles light extremely well. Compromising too much in the area of diamond cut quality will result in diminished beauty, especially in low-light conditions.
To choose a diamond that works well with your lifestyle, you should consider how princess cut and round cut diamonds will impact your daily routine.
Despite some tradeoffs in color, either diamond shape will still appear nice and white and clean to the eye and have plenty of sparkle. But cut quality should be the last thing to compromise. A smaller diamond that really pops is far more attractive than a larger one that doesn’t.
You should consider your personal taste when evaluating princess cut and round cut diamond shapes. Regardless of your preference for shape, the ideal diamond for most people is usually one with an ideal cut! If you’re not sure on which diamond shape is best for you - don’t worry.
At Whiteflash we specialize in ideal and super ideal round and princess cut diamonds, and we carry a large in-house inventory of fully evaluated and imaged diamonds available for immediate delivery. Diamonds in our in-house categories (A CUT ABOVE®, Expert Selection, and Premium Select) are exclusive to Whiteflash and will not be found anywhere else, alongside our Precision Lab brand of laboratory grown diamonds.
Additionally, we provide customers with a full selection of shapes through our Other Diamonds category, which lets you take advantage of our expertise in light performance and a selection thousands of different diamonds.
Whether it is a round diamond or a princess cut diamond, one of the friendly and knowledgeable Whiteflash diamond consultants will help you find the perfect diamond for YOU.

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