Princess cut diamonds are the second most popular shape diamond for engagement rings. They are a wonderful option for people that like the brilliance of a round diamond but prefer a more square appearance. They will appear smaller than round diamonds, though, due to their shape and typically greater depth. The top of a Princess-cut diamond is either square or rectangular, while the bottom looks like an inverted pyramid. Princess cut diamonds are a relatively new diamond cut and were specifically designed to maximize brilliance. This is largely due to the fact that they are cut to follow the natural crystalline structure of the diamond. They also offer great value per carat, as more of the rough diamond is preserved in the cutting process. Princess diamonds are cut to achieve the highest degree of brilliance and offer maximum light return.
Cushion diamonds are an interesting combination of rounded corners on a square or rectangular frame. There are two cutting styles for this shape: Cushion Brilliant, which is a more vintage cut with chunkier facets and larger flashes of light return, and Cushion Modified Brilliant, which is more akin to a modern-day round diamond cut with smaller facets and more rapid light return. Cushion cut diamonds have been around for over two centuries and as a result, offer a very antique feel for an engagement ring.