Princess Cut Diamonds Guide for Ideal Proportions, Color & Clarity

Sharif Khan
Sharif Khan
Last Updated    EST 

Betzalel Amber and Israel Itzkowitz popularized the fancy French-inspired cut diamond in the 1970s. The princess cut diamond is one of the most popular non-round diamonds because of its brilliance and unique cut, making it a favorite diamond shape for unique engagement rings.

Alongside offering comprehensive insights into the 4Cs that define princess cut diamonds, this article will discuss four distinct scenarios to aid in the decision-making process, particularly when determining which of the 4Cs to compromise on and to what extent. We will also share insights on diamond fluorescence and certification.

Princess cut diamonds have pointed corners and typically exhibit a square shape. The precision with which the diamond is cut into a square shape significantly influences its price point. Nevertheless, a preference for a rectangular cut also exists among many consumers. Ultimately, choosing between square and rectangular princess cut diamonds often boils down to personal preference.

Princess Cut Diamond Depth and Table

Search and watch princess cut diamonds in 40X 360° HD videos.

Key Insights

Princess cut diamonds continue to be one of the most popular diamond shapes. They are elegant and full of sparkle. You cannot go wrong with them, especially if they are well-cut and set in a beautiful halo setting.
Since the GIA does not assign a cut grade to princess cut diamonds, you must have a basic idea of their ideal proportions to make an informed decision. Ideally, a depth of 62-74% and a 58-70% table is preferred. Follow our chart below carefully for a thorough examination.
L/W RatioWhat is your preference in terms of length-to-width ratio in a princess cut diamond? Do you want a square or a rectangular princess cut diamond? Perfect ratios are 1-1.05 for square and 1.2-1.3 for rectangular shapes.
D-F Color are top color grades. G is also an exceptional grade. H/I offers great value. 
Avoid it in D-G color. H-J colors are not often affected by it negatively and might in fact benefit from it.
For up to 1 carat princess cut diamonds, SI1 and even at times SI2 is safe. For above 1.5 carat, a minimum SI1 or VS2 is recommended.
Buy a princess cut diamond graded by either GIA or AGS.
Princess cut diamonds have sharp corners and can be susceptible to chipping if unprotected. Please ensure they are set in secure prongs; we prefer the v-prongs, provided they are mounted correctly. Here is a list of our unique princess cut engagement Rings.
Best Places
Here is a list of our top-rated online retailers to consider while shopping for a princess cut diamond.
In terms of prioritizing the 4Cs, here are the four scenarios shoppers often consider.  When shopping for a high-quality stone, the D-F and VS1+ is good (option 1). When shopping for big stone without compromising the quality, the G+ and VS2+ is good (option 2). When shopping for a diamond with a slightly low grading on the other 3Cs to prioritize carat weight, the I+ and SI2 range is good (option 3). Due to budget constraints, compromise on color in the fourth scenario to maximize carat, clarity, and cut (option 4).

Ideal Princess Cut Proportions

Princess cut diamonds do not receive an official cut grade in GIA reports; however, AGS assign them a cut grade. This lack of a universally agreed-upon standard for the proportions of the princess cut presents a challenge for both diamond suppliers and consumers.

We recommend a diamond with a total depth ranging from 68% to 70%, with a permissible tolerance of 5%. Additionally, ensure that the diamond's polish and symmetry grade is graded as very good at a minimum.

The key to optimizing a princess cut diamond's brilliance lies in achieving a well-balanced cut that avoids excessive depth or shallowness. Please refer to the chart below while evaluating a princess cut diamond's cut quality.

James Allen's High Definition 3D Videos with 40X Magnification is a valuable resource worth considering. These videos offer a detailed visual representation of how the specified proportions impact the diamond's appearance. They also aid in identifying diamond inclusions, particularly black crystals. Experimenting with the available filters is also helpful in identifying the best options within your budget range.

Depth %

Excellent: 64-74.9

Very Good: 64-74.9

Good: 59-64/75.5-81

Fair: 56.5-84

Poor: <54 or >84

Table %

Excellent: 62-69

Very Good: 58-61/71.1-73.9

Good: 55-59/75-81

Fair: 55-81/52-85.3

Poor: <52 or >87

Crown Height %

Excellent: 10-16

Very Good: 9-15.5

Good: 6-17.9/8-17

Fair: 5.2-18/4.1-20

Poor: <3.2 or >21


Excellent: Very Thin-Slightly Thick/Thin-Thick

Very Good: Very Thin-Slightly Thick/Thin-Thick

Good: Very Thin-Thick

Fair: Very Thin-Very Thick

Poor: Extremely Thin-Extremely Thick


Excellent: None

Very Good: Slight

Good: Small

Fair: Average

Poor: >Average

L/W: Square

Excellent: 1.00-1.05

Very Good: 1.00-1.05

Good: 1.00-1.05

Fair: 1.059-1.079

Poor: >1.079


Excellent: 1.26 -1.45

Very Good: <1.20 - >1.50

Good: <1.18 - >1.55

Fair: <1.15 - >1.65

Poor: >1.70.00

The chart above represents a set of guidelines created for you to use as a rule of thumb when evaluating the cut of a princess cut diamond. We advise you to avoid a princess cut diamond whose depth percentage is smaller than its table percentage.

The image below shows a 1 carat square and rectangular princess cut diamonds for reference. A rectangular princess cut diamond might be the best choice for individuals with slender fingers.

princess diamond engagement rings

Color in Princess Cut Diamonds

H or I Color in a princess cut diamond will give you more value for your money, although the higher the color, the better the diamond. When evaluating the color of a princess cut diamond, it is crucial to look for a stone that does not have a visible yellow tint. Hence, you will be better off if you do not choose a color grade lower than G, H, and/or I.

It is not essential to spend additional money to buy a colorless princess cut diamond, i.e., those graded as D, E, and/or F. Any colorless grades will not have a noticeable color difference to the naked eye, unlike I or J colors. G and H color diamonds are also high-quality stones and should be a top choice for people with a limited budget.

Fluorescence can influence the quality of a diamond and is mainly related to the diamond's color. In short, it should be avoided in colorless diamonds, while it might be a positive factor in near colorless or faint diamonds. Because blue is a complementary color to yellow, blue fluorescence can make faint color diamonds whiter than their actual color. Learn more about diamond fluorescence.

complete diamond color chart

Clarity in Princess cut Diamonda

We like princess cut diamonds because of their proportions and ability to exhibit significant brilliance and sparkle, unlike other diamond shapes. In addition, it is a valuable aspect of princess cut diamonds because their brilliant proportions make their inclusions less visible.

Although princess cut diamonds with clarity lower than SI1 are rare, you may still find your dream princess cut diamond if you focus on buying one with VS1, VS2, SI1, and/or SI2 graded clarity.

When buying these sparkling diamonds, make sure that the one you choose does not possess visible inclusions in its corners. Large inclusions lead to weakened corners, making the diamond susceptible to chipping.

diamond clarity scale

How to Read a Princess Cut Grading Report

In addition to the well-known 4Cs, it is imperative for buyers to be familiar with the following key aspects of a princess cut diamond grading report or certificate, as highlighted in the image below:

princess cut GIA certificate

Watch HD Video of this Diamond.

Measurements: This holds significance as it provides the buyer with information about the surface size of the diamond, indicating how large the diamond will appear in millimeters. It will also provide you with the length-to-width ratio by dividing the length by the width (in the above case, it is 6.41/6.25=1.02).

Fluorescence: This should be regarded as the 5th C. Given that the color is G, avoiding fluorescence or selecting faint fluorescence is the optimal choice in this specific example. However, medium blue fluorescence is not as concerning as strong blue fluorescence.

Comments: This section will display factors related to clarity and will also highlight whether a diamond has undergone clarity enhancement, utilizing methods like laser drilling or color enhancement, among others. Additionally, be attentive to comments such as "clarity grade based on clouds," which is a worrisome indicator within clarity grades of VS2 and below. The laser inscription of the report number on the girdle is positioned above the comments section, offering an optional service for added verification.

Proportions: This chart is the most crucial for assessing the cut of a diamond. Specifically, pay attention to the table percentage (72% in the example - excellent), depth percentage (71.5% - excellent), girdle (medium to slightly thick - excellent), and culet (none - excellent).

Clarity Characteristics: This section will indicate the types of inclusions and their respective locations. It can help buyers avoid diamonds with visible inclusions at the center. These details are also useful for correlating the report with the diamond, as these inclusions serve as the diamond's unique birthmarks.

4Cs Balance in Princess Cut Diamonds

Consider these four scenarios while shopping for a princess cut diamond. Our experience tells us buyers will usually pick one of the following scenarios. Here is more on how to prioritize the 4Cs.

James Allen Diamonds

Scenario 1: A buyer's priority is getting the highest color, clarity, and cut grade for any carat weight. The perfect fit here would be investment-grade highest quality diamonds, Flawless to VVS, D-E color, GIA graded, and no fluorescence.

Scenario 2: In this category, the shopper is still interested in a high-quality diamond but wants to get a bigger stone (we call these "high circulation" and "high-value" stones because they are the most traded online). Thus, they may go as low as VS clarity and G/H color diamond, very good to excellent cut, medium blue fluorescence, and 1.5 carats instead of 1.

Scenario 3: In this scenario, the buyer is willing to go as low as possible to get an eye-clean stone with decent color and the largest possible size. Therefore, they choose a 2 carat, SI1/SI2, up to J color, and strong blue fluorescence and are willing to consider IGI/HRD certification. If you are in this category, ensure that you master diamond clarity because knowing which inclusions to avoid and which could work in your favor can make all the difference.

Scenario 4: The shopper knows that they must compromise heavily on 1C to maximize the other 3Cs. We usually recommend giving up color for maximum cut, carat weight, and clarity quality in this category. The stone will look slightly yellowish (a warm color might be your preference) but will still have optimal brilliance and fire because of the cut, high clarity, and big size.

Budget Scenarios for Princess Cuts

Princess Cut Diamond Options for Buyers with Budget Constraints:

Excellent Choice

  • Weight of at least 1.10 carat
  • Very good to excellent polish and symmetry
  • G or above in color
  • Clarity of SI1 or higher
  • No fluorescence
  • Length/width ratios: 1-1.05 for square or 1.2-1.3 for rectangular shape

Very Good Choice

  • At least 1.00 carats in weight
  • Good to excellent polish and symmetry
  • H or above in Color
  • Clarity of SI1 or higher
  • None, faint or medium blue fluorescence
  • Length/width ratios: 1-1.05 for square or 1.2-1.3 for rectangular shape

Good Choice

  • At least 0.90 carats in weight
  • Good to very good polish and symmetry
  • I or higher in color
  • Clarity of SI2 or higher
  • None, faint or medium blue fluorescence
  • Length/width ratios: 1-1.05 for square or 1.2-1.3 for rectangular shape

FAQ on Princess Cuts

Are princess-cut diamonds famous?

Yes, they are popular among shoppers looking for alternative round cut diamond options. Although oval and cushion cut diamonds have been trending higher than princess cut diamonds lately, the latter is still prevalent. 

Which one is better: a square or rectangular princess cut diamond?

It depends on your taste; we are equally divided when determining which is better. If you have thin fingers, rectangular might be the way to go. They will also look bigger than squares and might be slightly pricier. However, square shapes are generally more popular; you will see more square options on the market than rectangular ones.

What is the difference between princess cut and radiant cut diamonds?

Radiant cut diamonds generally have cut corners and slightly different faceting structures in terms of cut. Follow our guide on radiant cut diamonds for detailed information.

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