The princess solitaire diamond is the second most popular shape right after the round brilliant cut. What is a princess cut and how is it graded by laboratories today? The answers to these questions and more can be found below.
- What is a princess cut?
- How is the princess cut graded by gemmological laboratories?
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What is a princess cut?
A princess solitaire diamond is a square-shaped diamond with very sharp corners. From the side it looks like an upside-down pyramid. The princess cut is a fairly recent cut as it was created in 1981 by Betzalel Ambar and Israel Itskowitz.
This shape is one of the most popular diamond shapes for solitaire rings, just after the classic round diamond. That is because it looks modern and its geometric style has proven to be continuously trendy over the years.
Which aspects are the most important to consider when looking for a princess solitaire diamond? These are the 3 most important aspects: the shape, meaning that the length-to-width ratio of the diamond may not exceed 1:1:05 so that it appears as a perfect square to the naked eye. Then comes the symmetry, which is related to the symmetry and placement of the facets of the stone. Last but not least, is the scintillation which is the balanced contrast of light and dark patterns in the facets and the table. The balance is crucial in order to avoid the stone being too dark or too light.
How is the princess cut graded by gemmological laboratories?
When the princess solitaire cut diamond was introduced on the market, the laboratories where not necessarily prepared to grade it. That is why initially the grading was limited to measurements of the diamond and its carat weight and simple details about the colour and clarity.
There was such little interest in light performance and in assessing the overall cut quality that cutters preferred to maximise weight rather than considering the fire and brilliance of a princess cut.
It wasn’t until 2005 that princess solitaire diamonds became part of an official cut grading system that was based on light performance. This system was researched and created by the American Gem Society Laboratories. The first diamond shapes to benefit from this system were round brilliant diamonds, but princess cuts were added very shortly after, followed by other fancy cuts. Today, AGSL remains the only laboratory to provide a cut grade for princess cuts.
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