The emerald cut is a “stepped” cut, usually rectangular and originally developed for cutting emeralds, but well-suited to other stones, such as diamonds. Emerald cut diamonds are elegant, but generally lower-priced than the traditional “round brilliant” or the currently popular “princess cut” diamonds.
As may be evident by the name, the “emerald cut” was originally developed for cutting emeralds, not diamonds. While the emerald gemstone is a relatively hard stone (7.5 – 8.0 on the MOHS scale), it is known for numerous inclusions (naturally occurring internal flaws). The inclusions make the stone vulnerable to breakage, making them difficult to cut. The stepped, normally rectangular cut with cropped corners (shown to the left), known as the “emerald cut” was developed to address these issues.
It was soon discovered that the emerald cut was also suitable for other stones, including diamonds.
The emerald cut diamond can be absolutely stunning. Because of it’s long lines, it tends to be less fiery than a “round brilliant” cut, but it also tends to have broader, more dramatic flashes of light. The trim lines of emerald cut diamonds lend an elegant, sophisticated air to both the simplest and most elaborate ring settings.
Choosing an Emerald Cut Diamond
When purchasing an emerald cut diamond, it’s extremely important to pay attention to quality and to select the highest grade stone you can afford. Because of the “openness” of the cut, flaws, color weakness, and a poor cut are more evident to the naked eye than a cut such as the round brilliant. The good news is, emerald cut diamonds are not as “traditional” as the round brilliant or as trendy as the princess cut — making their pricing extremely economical when compared to the more common cuts.
For example, compare the following two diamonds available from one store:
The diamonds carry the same grades and are the same weight, but the emerald cut diamond is $2,038 less than the round brilliant.
Our minimum recommendations for buying emerald cut diamonds are as follows (please remember these recommendations are opinion only, and your tastes may vary):
- Cut: Good
- Color: G
- Clarity: VS2
- Depth Percentage: 58-69%
- Table: 58-69%
Always be sure to check the length and width of the diamond prior to purchasing. The traditionally accepted ratio for emerald cut diamonds is 1.5:1 to 1.75:1, but some people prefer longer, thinner cuts, and some prefer the shorter, fatter cuts.
Emerald Cut Diamond Ring
While not the traditional selection, emerald cut diamonds make lovely engagement rings (either as a solitaire or with accent stones). And because they’re usually less costly than comparable round brilliants, buyers can generally afford a larger stone than if they selected a round brilliant.
Emerald cut diamonds do require four-pronged settings (as pictured). Make sure to keep that in mind when making your selection.
Hand-Selected Emerald Cut Diamonds
To give you some ideas of what’s available for an emerald cut diamond ring, we’ve preselected a range of certified emerald cut diamonds for you to examine (all from James Allen and Blue Nile, two premiere diamond stores). Except for the “Bargain Basement” selections, these diamonds are within our minimum requirements as listed above and are suitable for solitaire settings or settings with accent stones.