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Monday, August 23, 2010

Princess Cut Diamonds – Royal Diamonds?

Such diamond shape like the Princess cut in many cases brings up an association with the gem shape so loved by princesses in ancient times. Actually, the Princess cut diamonds have nothing to do with real princesses as this shape of diamond was created in 1960 – not so long ago to gain the status of favorite gem of the royal person.

Though being rather new the Princess cut is the second popular cut after brilliant (round) but it's number one choice in engagement rings. The Princess cut diamond is of the square shape with the inverted pyramid on the underside. The corners of the Princess Cuts are not chamfered, they are sharp and you may feel them when the stone is loose, when it is set the corners are covered by the setting. As it was mentioned already, solitaire engagement rings with the Princess cut gems are rather popular these days, however the Princess cut diamonds are also set in pendants, studs and stud earrings. Very often if there are several diamonds in the jewelry the diamond of this shape is the central one.

The main reason why the Princess cut is so loved by women is that is displays high degree of brilliance. The Princess Cuts got their sparkle thanks to extra faceting: a“cross cut” crown and a number of unique facets in the pavilion. If you view the stone directly from the table, you can see unbelievable cross-shape reflection so characteristic for this type of cut. The Princess cut diamond usually has 58 facets (21 crown, 4 girdle and 33 pavilion) or 50 facets (only 25 pavilion). To achieve higher degree of brilliance a gemcutter tries to enlarge depth of the stone, as a result stone mass increases respectively. But you needn't think the Princess cuts are the largest cut diamonds, in fact they are the smallest of all shapes as the most of the weight is in the bottom of the pyramid.

The pleasant thing about the Princess Cuts is that they are cheaper than round diamonds. The thing is that a round diamond of the same diameter as the width of a princess cut diamond is smaller, it's like its corners have been cut. The round diamond retains about 40% of the rough diamond, while the Princess cut diamond retains about 80%! Most likely this shape was designed to get the diamond with extremely high brilliance but for lower price. It sounds as if the Princess cut is an 'affordable' shape.
The Princess cut is also a disputable cut. Only few gemological laboratories such as Accredited Gem Appraisers (AGA), European Gem Laboratories-USA (EGL-USA), and American Gem Society Laboratory (AGSL) grade this cut for cut. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in its turn considers there are no strict fixed parameters for ideal Princess cut so it can't be graded for cut. But nothing can darken great luster of the Princess cuts and they really deserve to be worn by royalty.

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