Waste Not Fair Princess… Princess cuts are a good use of rough crystal. You don’t lose as much diamond when you cut this shape. So that’s good. They also tend to be a little less expensive than round diamonds of the same carat weight (although they will look a bit smaller than a round diamond of the same carat weight). AND there are a lot of them out there, so you’re bound to have enough inventory to sort through. It’s a fairly easy task to find a great princess cut diamond option within a specific budget range, with fairly strict color and clarity allowances.
On the Next Episode of Basketball Wives… Princess cuts can suffer from the nouveau riche syndrome. Yikes, we said it. Developed in the 60’s and 70's and then made popular in the 80’s and 90’s, humankind just hasn’t had enough time to create princess cut rings that are truly timeless. You won’t see a princess cut in an actual antique ring.
A big ole princess cut diamond set in a high profile setting with v-tip prongs is basically a small weapon. Those corners are sharp and they will catch on your cashmere sweater, your hair and your boyfriend’s fly (I mean your jean pocket). If you get it caught well enough, you’re going to risk damaging your setting. Also because of those sharp points, princess cuts are one of the more fragile diamond shapes. Yes, you can crack or chip a diamond with regular wear and princess cuts are one of the more susceptible cuts to this type of damage (hint: a good alternative is a square radiant cut).
or “How the Good Designer Rescued the Princess”
Let’s be real. Princess cut diamonds are diamonds. They are not ugly! However, the shape tends to dominate the design in a way that presents challenges for designers. Jewelers don’t always LOVE to use princess cut diamonds in their classic form. However, designers and artists pushing the envelope will use smaller princess cut diamonds as accents, sometimes orienting them in the 45 degree configuration. Every once in a while you get a real clever punk rocker type who will set a princess on her belly, pyramid style. Thank you, Digby & Iona #flippingtables. Consider getting a little freaky with princess cuts, and no matter what: set them low and cover those sharp edges with soft, round prongs or bezels ala Anna Sheffield or Polly Wales. In case you’re stuck, we made a whole gallery of great princess diamond ring designs for you to review.
If you’re shopping for a princess cut diamond engagement ring:
It can be awesome to pick a popular shape like a princess, but some straight talk: Little Bird recommends that you define your visual preferences before cruising the Pinterest highway of princess cut diamond engagement rings. Be careful with styling. Work with a talented jeweler who is going to make a ring for your specific princess cut diamond. This will ensure a wise design from a durability and from a fashion standpoint. When in doubt, let’s talk. #Don'tBeASquare
If you’re a jewelry designer:
It’s true there’s no accounting for taste, but it’s up to you to determine the options the shoppers get to choose from. Our experience with the folks that walk in our door is that they are frequently guessing what will be a “good” ring. They don’t always know enough about engagement ring design in order to recognize durability or style pitfalls. We can advise the ones that come to us, for the rest, expect that they will need some help. Let’s give them nothing but good options to choose from. That means: avoid v-tip prongs, set those stones low low low, and don’t make rings that look like postage stamps. It’s ok to tell your clients what is best from a design standpoint. It’s ok to have an opinion. You’re the designer!
The Little Birds
P.S. You can also head on over to the Little Bird TOOL BOX where you can peruse libraries of images curated by Little Bird engagement ring consultants in order to help bolster your visual vocabulary.