When a diamond takes on a princess cut, it becomes something spectacularly beautiful, but does it also become more fragile?
Owing to the nature of the style, a princess cut diamond certainly does chip much easier than many other cuts. It has especially sharp corners that are prone to snagging, which can lead to chips or fractures, and it’s advised that these corners are capped with prongs.
Read on to learn more about princess cut diamonds, why they’re so coveted, and how best to take care of them.
Protect The Princess!
Where diamond rings are concerned, particularly engagement rings, there are no styles quite as popular as a princess cut. It’s a modern and striking cut that uses a high percentage of a rough diamond to be as large as possible.
It’s thought that this cut originated in the 1980s but its existence can be traced back as far as the 1960s, to a jeweler based in London. Since it was created, it has been a massive hit within the jewelry industry, boasting intense brilliance, remarkable angles, and stunning sizes.
However, the princess cut diamond style is actually cheaper than many other ‘fancy’ cuts, meaning it’s a great option for an entry-level purchase. Although, like many other gemstones, there’s no real top end where a princess cut diamond is concerned.
Naturally, there’s a great subject for debate here, with jewelers the world over arguing for the princess cut against a traditional round cut. Both have their positive and negative aspects, but one of the standout drawbacks to a princess cut diamond is that it’s inherently more fragile.
When a diamond is cut into a princess style, it takes the form of a pyramid of sorts, with four sharp corners at the base. These corners are notoriously fragile and can easily be chipped or fractured, should the diamond be snagged or dinged against a hard surface.
There’s a misconception that diamonds cannot be broken – they’re the toughest material in the world, but that is only where scratch resistance is concerned. If they’re subject to a sudden blow, they can fracture or chip in a similar fashion to tempered glass.
To that end, jewelers will almost always guard the corners of a princess cut diamond with ‘prongs’. These are essentially shaped metal nubs that cover the corners and help to secure the diamond to the ring itself.
Without these prongs, the diamond’s corners are left open to the elements and will almost certainly receive some form of damage. However, it’s extremely rare to find a princess cut diamond without these prongs, as there’s not much else to hold the diamond to the ring.
You Have The Diamond, Now Take Care Of It
As we’ve explained, diamonds are far from impervious to all forms of damage. With that in mind, how do you go about avoiding chips or gouges from being inflicted upon that diamond you’ve just paid hundreds or thousands of dollars for?
Unfortunately, one of the leading pieces of advice for avoiding damage to a diamond is to simply not buy a shape that is susceptible to damage. This includes emerald, triangular, radiant, and of course, princess cut diamonds.
However, if you’re dead set on purchasing a diamond cut into one of these styles, you should take special care to avoid chipping it. To that end, take it off when you’re cleaning or working with your hands, and try to avoid wearing heavy jewelry (such as other rings) close to the diamond.
It’s ideal to regularly check the ring for any damage, particularly the prongs that hold the diamond in place. If they’re weakened or damaged, then the structural integrity of the ring or the diamond could fail further.
If you notice that the diamond is chipped, you should avoid wearing the ring entirely until you can have it repaired. It’s an unfortunate fact, but an already-damaged diamond has an increased risk of being damaged further.
Thankfully, a diamond can be repaired, even if it has been chipped. You’ll need an expert diamond cutter to repair the stone, and the easiest method they can adopt to do so is to simply repolish it – but this will shave off a little weight.
If the chip is a shallow one, you won’t lose too much from the diamond, as the cutter will be careful to avoid polishing it too far. As a rule of thumb, it’s advised that your diamond will lose anything from 0.02 to 0.10 carats during the repolishing process.