What bride doesn’t want to feel like a princess on her wedding day? In fact, many brides spend countless hours finding the perfect dress (for her and her bridesmaids), the perfect flowers, the perfect venue, etc.— they strive for perfection down to the very last minute detail. Of course, this all starts when their (hopefully!) perfect fiancées, proposed to them. So, if you have made the decision to propose to your girlfriend, why not get everything started off right with a princess cut engagement ring?

Princess Cut Cubic Zirconia CZ Wedding and Engagement Ring Set in Sterling SilverThere’s a lot riding on a single engagement ring these days. Not only is it a symbol of lasting love and commitment between two people, but the increasing variety of styles has also made it come to represent a woman’s personality and style preferences. For women that are elegant, have classic style preferences but like to look glamorous, princess cut engagement rings can be the perfect choice.

Of course, if you haven’t spent a lot of time around diamonds and jewelry, there is a good chance you are unfamiliar with this kind of ring. Princess cut engagement rings derive their name from their inclusion of a princess cut diamond. Looking at it head on, a princess cut diamond appears to be square. More specifically, however, the diamond is cut into an inverted pyramid with four beveled sides. A princess cut diamond is known not only for its unique shape, but also for having facets that reflect light like no other diamond shape.

1.30 Ct 3 Stone Princess Cut Diamond Engagement Ring 14K Pave Set VS2When selecting the right princess cut engagement ring, there are several things that must be taken into consideration. For starters, there’s the carat size of the diamond. Generally, you will find princess cut diamonds ranging from as small as 0.25 carat (3.4 X 3.4 mm) to as large as 5.00 carat (9.5 X 9.5). The larger ones will obviously cost more, but if money is not an issue then you should select the size of the diamond based on your future fiancée’s hand. For example, a person with a smaller, more petite palm and fingers is going to have their hand look a bit clunky and dwarfed by a larger ring and diamond. On the other hand, there are very few people for which a 0.25-carat princess diamond is not going to look too small. However, 2-carat princess engagement rings (7.5 X 7.5 mm) are very popular because they are considered suitable for most hands.

After the diamond, the next thing to be taken into consideration is its setting. The setting is particularly an important factor for princess cut engagement rings, on account of their pointed corners. These corners are likely to chip or get snagged on fabrics, which is why other rectangular or square diamond cuts have their corners cropped. Therefore, the setting for these stones should be formed so that it protects the four pointed corners. It also must be firmly attached to the band itself, as well as evenly balanced.

Princess Cut Diamond Engagement Ring and Wedding Band Set 1 Carat (ctw) in 10K White GoldOn that note, the metal used in the band is the next factor that needs to be thought about. This is actually almost as important as the diamond itself. The band can be sterling silver, gold, platinum or titanium, and fortunately a princess cut diamond goes well with just about any of these metals. If you are getting the diamond in a specific color, however, you will want to make it correspond with the color of the metal. Typically jewelers will have examples and color charts that you can compare in order to find what works best. It is best to make your decision by seeing it in person.

Now, princess cut engagement rings have been around for decades despite still being considered unique pieces of jewelry that have only gained popularity in recent years. Jewelry designer Arpad Nagy first introduced the princess cut diamond to the world in London in the early 1960s. By contrast, the most popular style at the time was a round cut. Today, princess cut engagement rings can be found at any Jared or Tiffany’s. They have what is widely considered one of, if not the most, desired “fancy” diamond cuts.

If your soon-to-be fiancée has a more classic taste, you may have already considered an antique or vintage engagement ring. Though the princess cut not introduced until the 1960s, many jewelers and antique shop owners advertise princess cut antique engagement rings available for purchase. But are these really antique? If the ring was truly made in the 60s (or even 70s or 80s), it could technically be considered antique. However, it is much more common to find vintage style rings, which follow older designs but are not always “old” themselves. If you are truly looking for something from the past, you may also want to consider radiant cut or cushion cut engagement rings. These types of cuts appear somewhat similar at a glance to princess cut engagement rings, but they are slightly rounded on the edges as opposed to maintaining the square corners of the princess cut.

If you cannot manage to find something suitable from the display cases in jewelry stores or catalog, you can always design your own engagement ring. But what does this entail? For one thing, it takes time. If you want to propose next week, you should know that a custom made engagement ring— even one with a typical princess cut— is most likely not going to be ready in time for you to pop the question. Although time frames vary depending on the complexity of the ring design and the place you are using to have it made, a general rule of thumb is to allow at least a month. That being said, custom-made engagement rings will allow you to design something truly unique. If you are interested in this, be sure to ask a jeweler if they have a designer on staff or if they can put you in touch with one. A jewelry designer will be able to help you bring your design ideas to life.