Emerald Cut Diamond Buying Guide

Emerald Cut Diamond Buying Guide


While round diamonds are constantly in demand, different fancy shaped diamonds rise and fall in popularity from year to year. Recently we have witnessed an increased interest in pear and oval shape diamonds and, from November 2020, emerald cut diamonds also.

Invented in the 1500s, the emerald cut was originally designed for use with emeralds. It remains the most popular shape for this green gem because the straight facets are easier to trim without damaging this relatively soft stone. The cut quickly became popular and today you can see a wide variety of gems shaped this way.

Versa Blue Halo Ring
Versa Blue features Emerald Cut Blue Sapphire

With its bold, linear, geometric shape, the emerald cut diamond was the height of fashion in the 1920s Art Deco era, and it remains one of the famous shapes in the diamond world to this day.

Below you will find some pros and cons of emerald cut diamonds, which we have learned through the years, alongside a few tips to help you navigate your way through the dazzling expanse of the diamond world!

Cut

Emerald cut diamonds are different from brilliant cut stones, which are sold with certificates listing exact criteria and specifications of calculated angles that are highly standardized for optimum sparkle. The emerald cut just doesn't have the equivalent. Instead, it is designed via a combination of step cuts, reflecting light broadly through a carefully chosen number of different angles by a skilled diamond polisher, creating a beautiful and tranquil pattern of luminescence.

However, the beauty of an emerald cut diamond is completely reliant on the skill of the polisher who cuts the stone, with the smallest of deviations creating large, dark areas in the center of the stone that are a sign the light isn’t reflecting through it correctly.

This is why we strongly recommend viewing an emerald cut diamond in person and paying attention to this small but very important detail, which may be almost indiscernible in an image and won’t be mentioned in a diamond report.

Clarity & Colour

Reflecting light off its large facets, inclusions are more noticeable in an emerald cut than they would be in a brilliant cut, which is shaped to scatter the light. This can sometimes be mitigated, for example by using a claw to cover an inclusion in the corner of a stone, thereby hiding it from sight. For this reason, in general we recommend looking for an emerald cut diamond that is VS2 clarity or above.

The true colour of the stone can also be seen more clearly because an emerald cut diamond doesn’t produce as much fire as a brilliant cut which better masks lower colours. We recommend looking for a G colour or above to ensure your stone looks relatively white.

These are the two main cons of an emerald cut diamond because it is more expensive to get a clean-looking stone with no distracting flaws.

Polish & Symmetry

Emerald cut diamonds don’t sparkle as much as round brilliants so it's especially important that they are polished well. We recommend looking for a diamond with excellent polishing and symmetry grades because well polished stones with more symmetrical facets better reflect the light.

Proportions

The ideal proportions for an emerald cut diamond are subject to personal taste and vary depending on the look you want to achieve. The most popular ratio varies between 1.3 - 1.6.

A ratio over 1.7 makes a stone appear elongated - a great option for the minimalist design lover, set in a solitaire ring paired with a slim shank, with the claws covering the corner cuts so that it doesn't catch on clothes. The elongated stone also gives the illusion of longer fingers.

A ratio between 1.4 and 1.5 is the most recognisable proportion for the emerald cut and a great option for a halo style engagement ring, with the pavé set diamonds encircling the centre stone highlighting the beauty of its geometry. This proportion could also be the perfect option for a trilogy ring, paired with smaller emerald cut, trapezoid, tapered baguette or trillion cut diamonds on either side of the central diamond.

Emerald cut diamonds with a ratio under 1.3 aren't very popular. However, they can be a good option for a solitaire ring over 3 carats or for a tennis bracelet featuring a row of emerald cut diamonds.

Emerald Cut Ratio Guide

It is also important to put attention to the corner cuts on an emerald cut diamond. We recommend corners that are either too small or too large. Keep it balanced!