Bottom Line Recommendations…
- Princess cuts and radiant cuts offer the best in square diamonds. While they may not be as bright as the round cut, they still offer amazing light performance. Both may feature a square shape, but the faceting is different which causes them to behave differently in the light. A side by side comparison can help you make the best choice. View an example of a princess cut here and a radiant cut here.
- The radiant cut has more durable edges than the princess cut. This is because they are more truncated while the edges on the princess cut are sharp therefore making them more prone to chipping. When choosing the setting, a prong setting that offers protection to the edges of the princess cut is ideal.
- While both the princess cut and the radiant cut are brilliant cuts, it is not called the radiant cut for anything. The higher number of facets makes the radiant cut more brilliant than the princess cut. Take a look at an example here.
- Both the princess cut and the radiant cut are affordable diamond cuts. However, if you want to save even more and get a better deal, go for the princess cut. Less of the diamond rough is wasted when cutting and polishing compared to the radiant cut.
- The sparkle of the diamond is its scintillation. If you prefer more visible and broader flashes, the princess cut is a better choice due to its larger facets. View this here.
- Always make sure to view 360-degree videos of both the princess cut and radiant cut diamonds. You will be in a better position to judge the appearance of the diamonds than relying on just the diamond certificate.
Many people prefer the look of a square diamond. If you are one of these people, two of the main options that you have are the princess cut and the radiant cut. These are a popular choice for engagement rings.
The square shape of these two diamonds, however, is as far as similarities go.
It may seem difficult when trying to decide between the princess cut and the radiant cut. A little background information will help you choose wisely.
Princess cut vs radiant cut — A bit of history
The radiant cut is one of the most modern diamond cuts having first popped up only around 30 years ago. It was an invention by Henry Grossband in 1977. His main aim was to show that the square or rectangular shape could still offer plenty of fire and brilliance. He did this by taking the emerald cut’s basic shape and incorporating more facets.
This is a brilliant-cut diamond and with up to 70 faces, exudes a lot of fire and brilliance. You can think of a radiant cut as a cross between a round brilliant cut and an emerald cut.
If you are searching for a diamond that has plenty of brilliance but you don’t want to go for the round cut, the radiant cut is a great choice.
Second in popularity only to the round cut, the princess cut diamond is a much older diamond shape having first popped up in the 1960s. The modern princess cut as we know it, however, it came out after the radiant cut. The main aim was to create a diamond that would provide as much brilliance as possible while still maintaining the majority of the diamond rough.
The princess cut is considered a newer diamond shape and exudes a lot of fire and brilliance.
If you are in the market for a stone that provides a sense of modern, sophisticated elegance, the princess cut and the radiant cut are both excellent choices.
Princess cut vs Radiant cut — The cut
These two diamonds have a square shape. However, their overall appearance is quite different.
The princess cut features an X pattern in the center of the table. This is because of the chevron-shaped facets and shape of the pavilion which features a vertical cut.
The princess cut has outer lines that are cut in straight lines.
The princess cut diamond has sharp edges and is mostly square. Many buyers will prefer a Length to width ratio of 1.0 to 1.05 in the princess cut.
On the other hand, the radiant cut diamond can come in two main shapes, these are the square shape or the rectangular shape. It is much more common to find a rectangular radiant cut than the square radiant. The table of the radiant cut is much smaller. The crown is also set higher.
One way to tell the radiant cut apart from the princess is the edges are truncated which makes it appear octagonal.
There is also a difference in the total number of facets. The radiant cut has 70 faceted and the princess cut has 58 faces. Note however that modern princess cut may have as much as 76 faces.
Then there is the depth. The princess cut is deeper while the radiant cut is much shallower.
The princess cut vs radiant cut — Brilliance
Both the radiant cut and the princess cut are brilliant cuts. This means their cut is intended to give as much sparkle and light flashes as possible. They are therefore a popular diamond choice for people searching for a shape other than the round cut which still offers brilliance.
However, choosing between the two is a matter of personal preference as they interact with light quite differently. You can find out which has more brilliance by comparing them side by side.
The princess cut diamond has defined facets that are easy to make out. The light is reflected in a much more organized way.
On the other hand, since the radiant cut has more facets, the light reflection can appear haphazard. The higher number of facets may also cause the radiant cut to be more brilliant. The light entering the diamond moves in a circular pattern. Add this to a larger table and more of the light will enter which means more of it will be reflected.
Other factors influence the sparkle and brilliance of a diamond. Some of them include the quality of the cut as well as the diamond clarity.
Princess cut vs Radiant cut — Color
Princess cut diamonds are better at hiding color. This means that you can go down much further on the color scale than with the radiant cut and still get a great looking, eye clean diamond.
If you are planning on using platinum or white gold setting, you can go for a princess cut in the I color grade or higher.
On the other hand, if you prefer using yellow gold for your setting, you can go down the color scale much further and get a diamond in the K could grade. The yellow hue of gold setting will make the diamond appear whiter when it reflects through the stone.
Since the radiant cut reflects light differently than the princess cut, it tends to show color much more vividly. When using white gold or platinum for your setting, you will need to pick a radiant cut that is in the H color grade or higher. For a yellow gold setting, choose a diamond on the I or better color grade.
Keep in mind that it is much better to judge a diamond based on HD 360-degree videos than a GIA report. Pick a seller that can provide you with quality images such as James Allen or the Blue Nile.
Princess cut vs. Radiant cut — Price
Both the radiant cut and the princess cut are inexpensive, especially when compared to the round brilliant cut. The princess cut is even cheaper than the radiant cut. This is because up to 90% of the original rough diamond will be retained.
More of the radiant cut rough diamond will be wasted which therefore makes it a bit more expensive. Note, however, that there is far more to consider than just the price of the diamond when deciding on whether you will choose the radiant cut or the princess cut (check Petra Gems’ diamond price chart for accurate pricing information).
That said, it is the princess cut that is the more popular of the two.
Since there are fewer radiant cut diamonds than princess cut diamonds, the radiant cuts are a good choice for the buyer looking for something more unique.
Princess cut vs radiant cut — settings, and security
The princess cut has sharp corners. This makes it prone to chipping. The radiant cut has truncated corners that are less likely to snag and are not as prone to chipping.
Because of this, radiant cuts have more setting options than princess cuts since they require less protection.
Prong settings, as well as halo settings, are popular with the radiant cut. The bezel setting, on the other hand, is common with the princess cut as it offers protection to the diamond’s sharp edges.
For someone who leads an active lifestyle, they will be better off with the radiant cut.
Princess cut vs radiant cut — Buying tips
Whenever you are comparing the princess cut to the radiant cut and any other diamond cuts, you need to pay close attention to the cut quality.
You may have your preference but a quality cut diamond will enhance all the other features including the fire, brilliance, sparkle, and scintillation.
If you are looking to save a few bucks, but want a diamond with amazing sparkle, choose one that has the best cut. It will have the most brilliance. Then you can move down the clarity scale.
All other factors kept equal the princess cut is cheaper than the radiant cut as a single diamond rough can produce two Princess cut diamonds.
When buying online, ensure you pick the best vendor such as the Blue Nile and James Allen. These will provide quality 360-degree videos and images of the diamond and will help you perform a better evaluation.
The radiant cut is the better choice when searching for a shape other than the round cut but with plenty of sparkle and brilliance. The fire and brilliance from the radiant cut can only be outperformed by the round cut. This also means they hide imperfections better.
If you want a great deal while not compromising on looks, the princess cut is the better choice. Less of the rough is wasted which makes them cheaper than radiant cuts.