November 12, 2021

Do Round or Princess Cut Diamonds Look Bigger

Read more about Diamonds
Ad Disclosure: This article contains references to products from our partners. We may receive compensation if you apply or shop through links in our content. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site. You help support CreditDonkey by using our links. (read more)

When comparing the size of round and princess cut diamonds, the math says round is larger, but visual optics are another thing. So which one looks bigger?

Round and princess cut diamonds are the two most popular shapes. While round diamonds are classic, the square-cut princess gives a modern flair.

But which shape gives you the biggest bang for your buck?

Find out which shape looks bigger and how to choose the best look for your lifestyle. Compare the cost, brilliance, size, of princess and round-cut diamonds below.

What is a Round Cut Diamond?

Round diamonds are the most popular choice, with 47% of brides rocking a round center stone. The shape is timeless and looks great in just about every style ring.

Round diamonds are the most brilliant of all diamond shapes. The modern round diamond we have today has 58 facets. It's perfectly designed to reflect the maximum light.

Because it's so sparkly, round diamonds can hide flaws and mask colored tints better than other shapes. You can save some money by opting for lower grade color and clarity.

Round Cut Diamonds Pros & Cons

  • Timeless and classic
  • Looks good on all finger types
  • Very brilliant
  • No corners
  • Most expensive diamond cut

What is a Princess Cut Diamond?

Created in 1980, the square princess cut is one of the newest diamond shapes. It's the second-most popular shape, with 14% of brides choosing this cut.

Most princess cuts have 55-58 facets and have an X pattern when viewed from the top. Just like the name, they're stylish and trendy, yet feminine and delicate.

When it comes to brilliance, the princess cut is second only to round diamond. It can also hide some flaws and color tints.

Princess Cut Diamonds Pros & Cons

  • Unique and feminine
  • Cheaper than round diamonds
  • Also very brilliant
  • Has sharp corners that can snag or get knocked on things

Is Round or Princess Cut Bigger?

Now let's talk math.

  • A 1 carat round diamond has a diameter of 6.4 mm. This is a surface area of 32.17 mm2.

  • A 1 carat princess diamond is 5.5 mm x 5.5 mm. This is a surface area of 30.25 mm2.

Based on the math, round diamonds have a larger face-up area. It's about 8% bigger in surface area.

Princess diamonds are cut deeper than round diamonds. More of the weight is in the bottom part under the surface, where you can't see.

But which one looks bigger? Read on.

Do Round or Princess Cut Diamonds Look Bigger?

Even though the surface area of round diamonds is larger, the corner-to-corner length of princess diamonds is longer.

For a 1-carat princess cut diamond, the diagonal length is 7.78 mm, while the largest cross measurement is only 6.4 mm for a round diamond. This can make the princess cut diamond appear larger than a round diamond.

The prongs placement can also help a diamond look larger. Take the classic 4 prong round solitaire setting vs princess solitaire (below). The claws help add to illusion of more diagonal length, which makes the princess seem larger.

If you really want the biggest-looking diamond, consider shapes like oval, pear, and marquise. For the same carat weight, these diamonds have larger surface areas, and the elongated shape makes them look big.

Which is More Brilliant?

If you're looking for the sparkliest stone possible, a round diamond is the undisputed winner. Round diamonds are unmatched when it comes to brilliance and sparkle.

But princess cuts are no dud either. It's the most brilliant cut of the fancy shapes. However, a well-cut round diamond will still exhibit more brilliance and fire.

The brilliance of a well-cut diamond can also make it appear larger, since so much light is reflected back.

To get the maximize sparkle, it's best to choose an Ideal cut diamond. Diamond cut is the single most important factor that impacts the light performance. It refers to the proportions and angles that affect how light is reflected back. This is one area that you don't want to compromise on.

Which One is Better Value?

If we're talking budget, a princess cut diamond will give you more bang for your buck. Round diamonds are the most expensive of the diamond shapes because they're the most popular.

On top of that, round diamonds also require a more intensive cutting process. This is factored into the higher price.

Princess diamonds don't cut away as much of the diamond, which makes it more affordable

If all factors are equal (carat, color, clarity, cut, certification), a round diamond will cost about 30% more than a princess diamond.

For the same budget, you can get a larger princess cut diamond. For the cost of a 1 carat round, you can get a 1.2 carat princess cut - which will look significantly larger.

To browse round and princess cut engagement rings, be sure to check out our top online diamond retailers: James Allen, Blue Nile, and Brilliant Earth.

Princess vs Round Cut: Which is Better?

Still not sure whether to choose round or princess diamond? Here are some things to consider.

  • Lifestyle: If you are very active and do a lot with your hands, round may fit your lifestyle more. Princess cut diamonds have sharp corners, which can snag on things. Or worse, the diamond can even chip if you knock it just right.

  • Budget: If you're looking to maximize budget and size, a princess cut diamond offers the best value.

  • Personal taste: Ultimately it comes down to preference. If you love the trendy square princess cut now, think about whether you may still like it in 10 years. Or if the ever-timeless round is a better choice?

Struggling to figure out your ring budget? Use our engagement ring calculator to find the perfect ring budget for your finances and lifestyle.

Bottom Line

Both round and princess diamonds are beautiful. They both look lovely in a variety of engagement ring settings.

If your biggest priority is maximizing budget, then a princess cut diamond is the more affordable option. But if sparkle is the most important, nothing can match the brilliance of a round diamond.

Ultimately, the choice will come down to what you like. Don't worry too much about which one looks bigger. Make the choice that you will love 10, 20, or even 50 years from now.

Anna G is a research director at CreditDonkey, a diamond jeweler comparison and reviews website. Write to Anna G at Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

Get Diamond Shopping Tricks That Jewelers Don't Want You to Know
Best Places to Buy Lab Created Diamonds

Best Places to Buy Lab Created Diamonds

Here are the best places to buy high-quality lab diamonds. See how popular diamond retailers like James Allen, Brilliant Earth, and more compare.

Next Page:

About CreditDonkey
CreditDonkey is a diamond jeweler comparison website. We publish data-driven analysis to help you save money & make savvy decisions.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

†Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the offers that appear on this site are from companies from which CreditDonkey receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CreditDonkey does not include all companies or all offers that may be available in the marketplace.

*See the card issuer's online application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However, all information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button you can review the terms and conditions on the card issuer's website.

CreditDonkey does not know your individual circumstances and provides information for general educational purposes only. CreditDonkey is not a substitute for, and should not be used as, professional legal, credit or financial advice. You should consult your own professional advisors for such advice.

About Us | Reviews | Deals | Tips | Privacy | Do Not Sell My Info | Terms | Contact Us
(888) 483-4925 | 680 East Colorado Blvd, 2nd Floor | Pasadena, CA 91101
© 2024 CreditDonkey Inc. All Rights Reserved.