Choosing Between Princess Cut And Cushion Cut Loose Diamonds

Comparing Princess Cut And Cushion Cut Loose Diamonds

In many respects princess and cushion shaped diamonds are very similar; they are both brilliant cuts and are square shaped, although they can occasionally be slightly rectangular. Further, they are both two of the more popular fancy diamond cuts, with the cushion cut being the most commonly used diamond cut until the early 1900s.

Now, around 30 years after the princess cut was introduced, the princess cut diamond shape is the most popular fancy diamond shape. This article will compare some of the main characteristics of princess cut and cushion cut diamonds and what to look out for when buying.

Princess Cut Diamonds

 Princess Cut Loose Diamond (1.02 Ct, G, VS1) GIA Certified

1.02 Ct. Princess Cut Loose Diamond (G Color, VS1 Clarity) GIA Certified. Price: $5,152.90

Nearly as popular as the traditional round cut diamond, the princess cut diamond has continued to rise in popularity, particularly as a center stone for diamond engagement rings. It has four pointed corners and is usually 100% symmetrical, although some princess diamonds have a ratio of up to 1.2, giving it a slightly rectangular look.

If you are looking for a fully square princess diamond, look for a princess shaped diamond with a ratio of between 1 and 1.05. While a squarer diamond will have a higher price, some people may prefer a more rectangular shaped princess diamond to fit particular diamond jewelry setting.

When it comes to loose diamonds and diamond jewelry, it’s all about personal taste. One of the great characteristics of the cut is that due to its facet arrangement, inclusions are often hidden, meaning that lower clarity diamonds, such as SI2 and I1 princess cut diamonds, will still look great.

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Cushion Cut Diamonds

Cushion Cut Loose Diamond (0.71 Ct, E, VS1) GIA Certified

0.71 Ct. Cushion Cut Loose Diamond (E Color, VS1 Clarity) GIA Certified. Price: $2,564.20

The cushion cut diamond, dating back almost two centuries, is often popular among those looking for a vintage-style diamond engagement ring or diamond pendant. A cushion cut diamond engagement ring set in a halo setting with surrounding round cut diamonds is also popular.

It has slightly rounded corners, with larger facets than the princess cut diamond. While this increases the diamond’s brilliance, it may also highlight imperfections more easily in a diamond, with imperfections in an SI2 clarity graded cushions cut diamonds being slightly more apparent than in a similar princess cut or round cut diamond.

Cushion cut diamonds are typically square, but some people may prefer a more rectangular cushion cut diamond. This may be to fit a certain ring setting or to set a pair of cushion cut diamonds as side stones in a diamond ring. If you are looking for a rectangular shaped cushion cut diamond, consider stones with a length to width ratio of 1.15 to 1.30.

Over the years, the cushion cut has been modified by diamond cutters, with more traditional cushion diamonds returning light in large chunks, rather than a smoother distribution of light that you see in modern cushion cut diamonds.

Brilliance And Shine

While both cushion cut and princess cut diamonds are brilliant cuts as opposed to step cuts such as emerald diamonds, the princess cut typically produces more of a sparkle. However, this also depends on the diamond itself. For example, lower clarity and color diamonds usually have less of a sparkle, regardless of the shape.

Further, depending on the pavilion facet pattern, cushion cut diamonds often give more fire than brilliant round diamonds. Because a princess cut diamond typically gives off more color, some customers may prefer slightly lower color grades such as G-H, rather than the higher D-E colors. This is also a great way to save money when purchasing a princess cut diamond.


As the most popular fancy shape, princess cut diamonds are the more expensive than cushion cut diamonds, but still slightly less expensive than round cut brilliant diamonds. This makes princess cut diamonds a great choice if you are still looking for a popular diamond cut but want to get a larger or higher quality stone for your budget. Cushion cut diamonds have become more popular over the years and are ever so slightly less expensive than princess cut diamonds.

Setting Your Diamond Into A Piece of Jewelry

If you are looking for a diamond to set into a piece of jewelry you already own, it is important to consider how the diamond will look in that jewelry piece. For example, if you are looking to set a princess cut diamond into a three-stone engagement ring setting, the side stones would usually be either emerald or princess cut diamonds.

The cushion cut is the most popular in either a solitaire diamond engagement ring setting or a halo setting, either in a multi-stone diamond engagement ring or a diamond pendant. A cushion cut diamond in such a setting will often be a fancy color cushion cut diamond with round white diamonds surrounding in a halo setting.

You will also need to ensure that the center stone of the diamond ring or pendant has a similar color and clarity grade to the side stones.

Choosing Between Princess Cut and Cushion Cut Diamonds

Because each diamond is unique, while there are many different options, you are always likely to be happy with your purchase. Here are some of the main differences between the two shapes:

Cushion Shapes VS Princess Shapes

Cushion Shaped Diamonds Princess Shaped Diamonds
Has rounded corners Has fully pointed corners
Traditional diamond cut, popular as a center stone in a halo setting in an engagement ring Modern diamond cut, popular in a solitaire setting, or with small side stones
Attracts light, meaning high color grades may be more desirable Dispels light, meaning some customers may prefer lower color grades
Inclusions may be more visible, so customers may favor stones with a SI2 GIA grade or higher The facet arrangement hides inclusions well so lower clarity grades will be forgiving
Usually have around 58 facets Will have either 50 or 144 facets

Continue your diamond education by learning about the difference between radiant and emerald cut diamonds.

Looking for further guidance on purchasing cushion or princess shaped diamonds? Contact one of our experts at 1-800-557-7095 or email us at [email protected] with any questions you may have.