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April is Diamond Month - Up To 15%-33% Off Lab Diamonds
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Tara 3 Rowe Pave Set Diamond Engagement Ring

Round Brilliant vs Princess Cut Diamonds

“I’m searching for the best one carat diamond engagement ring that I can get in the range of $11-12k. I know that my girlfriend likes both round and princess cut diamonds and wants a ring with a band that is covered with diamonds, something like the Tara would do nicely! I’d like the diamond to be around one carat in size, F-G color, and eye clean. I’ve noticed that princess cut diamonds seem to be less expensive than rounds, why is that? Which diamond shape is going to be the brightest and most beautiful? And which shape is going to deliver the best value for my money? Is there anything else that I should be taking into consideration? Which shape would you choose for an engagement ring?”

Okay, you’ve asked a lot of questions and I’ll try to answer every one of them… Obviously the shape of a round brilliant and princess cut diamond are completely different, a round brilliant is “round” and a princess cut diamond is essentially “square” and as such they provide completely different looks.

The symmetrical shape and facet structure of a round brilliant ideal cut diamond provide a volume of light return and sparkle pattern which is distributed evenly throughout the diamond, while the facet structure of a princess cut creates a pattern of light which draws our focus from the center of the diamond out towards the four corners of the stone.

While some people prefer the evenly dispersed pattern of contrast and light return created by the symmetry of a round brilliant cut diamond, other people like the ‘X’ pattern created by the facet structure of a princess cut, it truly is a matter of personal preference and I tend to lean towards round brilliant cut diamonds because I like the way light is evenly dispersed throughout the diamond and it sparkles from all around, so I’m more inclined to purchase a round brilliant or possibly one of the new Brian Gavin Signature Cushion cut diamonds, which I’ll get to momentarily.

Why are Princess Cut Diamonds Less Expensive than Rounds?

3 row domes pave solitiare engagement ring

The reason why princess cut diamonds cost less than round brilliant cut diamonds of comparable carat weight, color, clarity, and cut quality, is because they are cut from a different category of diamond rough, which is less expensive than the diamond rough used to cut rounds, because it is not symmetrical in shape.

The obvious benefit to cutting diamonds from irregular shaped diamond rough is that costs less than the symmetrical diamond rough used to cut rounds, the downside is that there tends to be no consistency in the shape of princess cut diamonds because the shape of each stone is dictated by the shape of the rough. This is why you see such a wide variance in the facet structure of princess cut diamonds from manufacturer to manufacturer and why the pattern of brightness provided on the ASET image of princess cut diamonds varies so dramatically.

There is also less production time involved in cutting princess cut diamonds, thus they cost less per carat than round brilliant cut diamonds. However princess cut diamonds face-up smaller in diameter than round brilliant cut diamonds as far as the edge-to-edge measurements go, for instance the outside diameter of this 1.042 carat, F-color, VS-2 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature Princess cut diamond is 5.35 x 5.47 mm as measured from edge-to-edge, however the outside diameter of this 1.007 carat, F-color, SI-1 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature round cut diamond is 6.44 – 6.47 millimeters.

So while the princess cut diamond costs less, the fact of the matter is that you’d need to purchase a princess cut diamond weighing around 1.50 carats to get the same edge-to-edge measurement as the round brilliant cut diamond referenced above. By the way, I think that both of those diamonds are excellent options for you to consider, and that you might like look of our 3 row domed pave solitaire if you decide to go with the round, it costs a little bit less than the Tara because of the slightly lower diamond weight and will help to offset the higher price of the round brilliant cut diamond.

Brian Gavin Signature Cushion cut diamond:


Now I certainly don’t want to confuse the issue, but I think that this 1.002 carat, F-color, SI-1 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature Cushion cut diamond might appeal to you because it delivers the best of both worlds… It is cut from the same diamond rough used to produce round brilliant cut diamonds, and is designed with a symmetrical facet structure that delivers a high volume of light return and sparkle which is evenly dispersed throughout the stone. In terms of cost, it rests pretty much in the middle of pricing for round ideal cut diamonds and princess cut diamonds which are cut to ideal standards. I really think that this diamond provides the overall look that you are hoping for!

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