A Guide to Buying Emerald Cut Diamonds
If you’re after a unique and timeless piece of jewelry, emerald cut diamonds serve as an alternative to a traditional round cut diamond – all while offering elegance and sophistication to your jewelry collection. Emerald cut diamonds are instantly recognizable by their elongated, rectangular shape and ‘step cut’ facets that offer a ‘hall of mirrors’ effect.
Loose emerald cut diamonds are the perfect centerpiece for most types of jewelry – from earrings or necklaces to captivating emerald cut engagement rings.
Our guide covers the ins and outs of emerald cut diamonds and what makes them a stunning addition to your jewelry collection, to help you decide if buying this cut of diamond is the right choice for you.
What is an emerald cut diamond?
Emerald cut diamonds have a long rectangular shape and parallel facets, offering a more distinctive appearance than other types of diamond. They display flashes of light due to their linear, straight facets and are known for their vintage style.
Due to their large, open facets, emerald cuts reveal their color more clearly – so they’re often used to showcase value. For this reason, emerald cut diamonds are a popular choice among celebrities looking to show their wealth.
Unlike the sparkle you would expect from rounder diamonds, an emerald cut offers reflections of white and colored light for a more subtle shimmer. While they’re often rectangular, they are also available in a square if you prefer.
What makes the shape unique?
Emerald cut diamonds are naturally sophisticated and have a unique shape that stands out against other rounder diamonds. The unique look of the emerald cut is due to its rectangular shape with cut corners, offering a vintage, elegant appearance – making it a popular choice for engagement rings during the Art Deco period.
The cutting technique used for emerald cut diamonds creates stacked terraces and parallel facets. This cutting technique was originally used for cutting emeralds – which is where the name emerald cut originates from. The lines within the stone resemble stairs, which is why they’re often referred to as a ‘step cut’. Unlike the sparkle of a brilliant cut, emerald cut diamonds offer a hall-of-mirrors effect with a combination of light and dark planes.
The table (the facet that can be seen when the stone is viewed face up) of emerald cut diamonds is wide and open, so the clarity and color of the diamond are much more visible than other diamond cuts. This allows you to see the natural color of the stone more visibly – so it’s important to consider this when choosing your diamond.
What is the typical length/width ratio?
As mentioned, while emerald cut diamonds are known for their rectangular shape, you can get them in a square shape too if you prefer. Most have a length-to-width ratio ranging from 1.25 to 1.55, with most buyers choosing a ratio in the 1.35 to 1.45 range – but of course, the ideal ratio for your diamond will depend on your personal preference.
If you’re after a squarer shaped diamond, you should aim for a lower length-to-width ratio, whereas if you prefer an elongated, more rectangular diamond, a higher ratio would suit you best.
What about clarity?
The clarity of a diamond refers to the lack of inclusions and blemishes. Diamonds are formed by tremendous heat and pressure in the earth, which can result in these internal imperfections.
To help you understand a diamond’s clarity level and choose a diamond you’ll love, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) uses a diamond clarity charts to assess a diamond’s clarity grade based on its appearance. These scales range from I (‘included) to FL (‘flawless’) and each grade has subgrades that offer more information about the inclusions that are visible within the diamond.
Due to an emerald cut’s longer and wider facets being step cuts, they tend to expose the smallest imperfections, meaning inclusions in an emerald cut diamond are more visible than those in rounder cuts. This means that one small flaw can look like multiple imperfections to the eye, because of the way the facets of the diamond reflect light.
At diamond mansion the minimum diamond clarity recommendation we make for emerald cut diamonds is “VS2”
To learn more about Diamond Clarity, Checkout our Complete Guide to Diamond Clarity where we compare and show you examples and of different diamond clarities.
What about the cost?
The cost of an emerald cut varies depending on the diamond’s carat, color & clarity. Although emerald cut diamonds tend to be cheaper than round cut diamonds, it’s likely that you’ll need to be stricter with your choice of diamond. As we’ve mentioned, due to its glassy appearance and facets, emerald cut diamonds struggle to hide inclusions unlike other cuts of diamond. If you’re after an emerald cut ring, the price can vary vastly from between $1,000 to $100,000 and up, depending on the carat of the diamond and the metals used to create the ring.
Overall, emerald cuts are often less expensive per carat than diamond cuts because of lower demand (making them more unique!) and a higher yield of cutting as you tend to lose the least amount of weight when cutting a rough diamond into an emerald cut.
It is worth noting that emerald cut diamonds have gained popularity among brides in 2021 and 2022. Approximately 7% of couples in the United States
got engaged with an emerald cut diamond in 2021.
Is an emerald cut diamond ring right for you?
Whether you’re looking for the perfect diamond ring to propose with or as a sentimental gift, an emerald cut diamond ring can be a great choice.
While an emerald cut won’t offer the sparkle you’d find with a round brilliant cut stone, emerald cuts are just as beautiful. It’s known that emerald cuts create a flattering and slenderizing effect to the finger with their larger surface area – which makes the diamond look bigger than other shapes with the same carat weight.
If you’ve decided that an emerald cut diamond is the right choice for your ring, here are some factors to consider:
Choosing the setting
The setting of a ring refers to how the gemstone or diamond is set or mounted into a metal band. When it comes to your emerald cut diamond ring, there’s a variety of settings you can choose from, including:
- Solitaire setting: A classic choice for an emerald cut ring, a solitaire setting means that the center of the diamond is held in place by small prongs that extend out from the ring band
- Three stone setting: A three stone setting involves two diamonds or gems either side and the emerald cut stone in the center, as the name suggests. Due to the extra sparkle either side of the diamond, a three stone setting is a way to add more carat weight and value to the ring
- Halo setting: If you want to add more sparkle to the ring, you could choose a halo setting, which offers small accent stones around the diamond cut center stone – perfect for those looking for extra glamor
- East west setting: If you’re looking to go against tradition, an east west setting is a great way to go for the unexpected! This setting means the diamond sits horizontally on the band, which alters the look of the diamond
- Bezel Setting Bezel style emerald cut engagement ring is resurfacing as a desirable ring characteristic for modern brides.
Choosing the type of metal
One of the biggest questions to ask yourself when choosing your ring type is whether you or your partner prefers platinum or gold. When deciding on the metal you prefer for your ring, you’ll need to weigh up the advantages and limitations of each type, including the color, brilliance and durability.
Platinum is a very popular metal for rings, known for its silver-colored appearance which won’t fade and won’t need refinishing or repolishing.
Platinum rings are made up of 90-95% platinum, which is a very dense metal that is resistant to tarnishing. While it’s more likely to scratch than 14K gold, it’s still known to be stronger and more durable than gold, as well as being the most hypoallergenic metal of choice. Platinum is a lot more expensive than gold, selling for up to three times the cost of 14K gold jewelry.
While platinum usually requires less upkeep than gold, gold is still a classic investment piece that is a timeless choice for a diamond ring.
Gold is naturally more affordable than platinum, as well as being scratch-resistant. It’s also a versatile metal that will look stunning paired with most colors of diamond. There’s different types of gold available to suit your taste, from traditional yellow gold to rose gold or white gold. However, it’s important to look out for signs of deterioration when it comes to gold jewelry – with pitting and thinning being a sign that the gold is breaking down and losing its durability.
Bringing it all together
Once you’ve decided that an emerald cut diamond is right for you, the next step is to bring your vision to life with our help. Here at Diamond Mansion, we offer designer, high quality diamond jewelry at a revolutionary price.
Ready to invest in a beautiful emerald cut ring today? You deserve it.