Mixed Cut Diamonds: 5 Facts You Should Know

Radiant cut engagement ring

I’ve given you overviews of step cuts and brilliant cuts, and now it’s time to take a closer look at the mixed cut diamonds. Like their name states, mixed cut diamonds contain a mixture of step cut and brilliant cut features. The perfect mixed cut diamond will include the sparkle of a brilliant cut and the interesting shape of a step cut.

Which diamond shapes count as mixed cuts?

The most popular mixed cut diamond is the princess cut, which is the second-most popular diamond shape behind round cuts. Two other fancy cuts – cushion and radiant cut diamonds – fall under the category of mixed cut diamonds.

Ritani princess cut engagement ring in yellow gold

What are the requirements for mixed cut diamonds?

As I mentioned earlier, mixed cut diamonds feature a combination of step cut and brilliant cut facets. Mixed cuts mimic a brilliant cut with their table faceting, and a step cut with their pavilion faceting.

Now, on to the facts

1. Most fancy colored diamonds are mixed cuts.

 

Diamond cutters quickly realized that they could improve the appearance of color in certain fancy colored diamonds with a mixed cut. For example, yellow diamonds look more vibrant with a radiant cut. Cutters also love mixed cuts for fancy colored diamonds because these diamond shapes waste less rough than a traditional round shape.

2. Mixed cut diamonds are young.

The first mixed cut diamonds were not invented until the 1960s. Mixed cut diamonds have always had commercial success, which is understandable because of that irresistible combination of sparkle and shape. However, being relatively young compared to other diamond cuts means that the grading criteria for mixed cut stones is not as formalized as it is for round brilliant cuts. There are more checks and balances and nuances from all of the 4Cs to keep in mind when you are researching mixed cut diamonds.

3. Mixed cuts have been steadily gaining in popularity.

After round brilliant cuts, princess and cushion cut diamonds are second and third in terms of diamond shape popularity. Recently, cushion cuts have been rising in popularity so much that they may overtake princess cuts as the #2 most popular diamond cut. The popularity of mixed cut diamonds makes it easy for some diamond sellers to unnecessarily inflate prices on these diamond shapes. So, make sure you do your research and some comparison shopping to make sure you’re getting a fair deal.

4. Princess cuts are the least wasteful diamond shape.

Princess cut diamond with VS1 clarity grade
A princess cut diamond with a VS1 clarity grade.

Due to their shape and faceting, princess cut diamonds waste less rough than any other diamond cut. This is especially important for a princess cut’s carat weight and price. A princess cut diamond with the same carat weight as a round cut (with similar cut, clarity, and color grades) should cost about 20-30% less. So, if you’re shopping for a diamond and you are more concerned with size than shape, a princess cut is an excellent choice.

5. Know the differences between mixed cut stones.

Princess cuts stand apart from cushion and radiant in terms of shape. Unlike cushion and radiant cuts, princess cut diamonds have to stay within a length-width ratio of 1 – 1.05 so that they maintain a square shape. On the other hand, radiant and cushion cuts can be more rectangular and even take on the appearance of step cut shapes such as emerald. Technically they are “cut-cornered rectangular modified brilliants”, but for simplicity’s sake they are categorized as mixed-cut.

You should always check the length-width ratio of cushion and radiant cut diamonds, especially when shopping online, to make sure you know whether it will be shaped like a square, rectangle, or something in between!

Do you have an engagement ring or other piece of jewelry that features mixed cut diamonds? What’s your favorite diamond shape? Feel free to share photos, comments, and any additional questions in the comments below!