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What Is an Emerald Cut Diamond?

An emerald cut stone One of the most sophisticated of diamond cuts is the emerald. It’s elongated, rectangle shape is loved by many and flattering on most and make it a popular choice for a diamond engagement ring. In fact, some of the most famous leading ladies throughout history have boasted emerald-cut diamond rings including Grace Kelly, Jackie Kennedy, Angelina Jolie, and Beyonce Knowles. Now, that’s pretty good company. .

So, what is it about this fancy shape that has everyone starry-eyed? If you’re considering a simulated emerald cut diamond ring for your engagement ring, you’ll be delighted to learn all about this glamorous stone.

The Shape

Emerald cut diamonds are most commonly rectangular in shape, with an elegant long body that is striking and sophisticated. While other diamond types have many star-shaped facets, emerald diamonds have around 57 facets that are rectangular in shape. Emeralds are part of the “step cut” group of diamonds, which also includes Asscher cut diamonds. They were given this name because their rectangular facets appear like steps when viewed from above. These “steps”, combined with the flat surface of the diamond, can give emerald cut diamonds an eye-catching hall of mirrors effect, especially when the clarity grade is high.

The History

The emerald cut is actually one of the oldest diamond shapes, which may be part of the reason why it is held in such high regard. Originally, it was only used for emerald gemstones, but when diamond cutters realized the art of the emerald cut created less pressure on the stone, resulting in fewer chips, they began using it for diamonds as well. The cut gained extreme popularity back in the 1920s when clean lines and symmetry were favored as a result of the art deco movement. Since then, the emerald cut diamond has been a staple diamond shape, as well as a coveted one.

The Setting

An emerald cut diamond is quite versatile so a diamond ring featuring it can come in a variety of settings. The right emerald cut diamond setting is one that lets the stone truly shine. While solitaire settings are an emerald diamond’s best friend, this stone also shines with tapered baguette diamonds or clusters of three diamond stones on each side.

The elongated shape of the stone is traditionally set so that the longest sides run along the length of the finger, in which case settings with side stones are beautiful. However, the stone can also be set “East-West”, which has become a popular choice among modern brides. If you opt for an East-West set stone, consider a solitaire setting with a pave diamond wedding band, or opt for something even more unique, setting the stone with diamonds on the top and bottom. Given its striking appearance, no matter what setting you choose, an emerald diamond engagement ring is sure to stun.

Common Questions About Emerald Cut Diamonds

Whenever you are selecting a stone for your engagement ring, it’s important to consider its cost, style, and sparkle, and compare it to other stones to ensure you are selecting the right cut for you. Here, we answer a few of the common questions about emerald cut diamonds:

Do Emerald Cut Diamonds Sparkle?
Emerald cut diamonds certainly sparkle, but their sparkle is softer and less flashy than brilliant cut diamonds such as a round cut diamond or cushion cut diamond. Their sparkle is also highly influenced by their clarity grade; the clearer the diamond, the more it will shine and reflect the light. You can always enhance an emerald cut diamond ring’s sparkle by pairing it with a pave diamond band or placing it in a halo setting.

Are Emerald Cut Diamonds More Expensive?
Emerald diamonds are actually less expensive than some of the other diamond cuts including princess and oval. When compared to the more popular and more resource-consuming round brilliant cut diamond, emeralds of the same carat weight, color, and clarity are significantly less expensive. Additionally, because of their shape, emeralds appear larger than they are, so it’s possible to get more for your money. All that to say, given their popularity and rarity, emerald cut diamonds are still expensive, and more so than many of the other fancy shapes including Asscher and cushion cut diamonds.

What Is the Difference Between Emerald Cut and Asscher Cut Diamonds?
Like emerald cut diamonds, Asscher cut diamonds are part of the step-cut diamond family and feature rectangular facets. The difference, however, is that Asscher cut diamonds are always square, unlike emerald cut diamonds, and don’t feature the same corners that emerald cuts do. Instead, the corners of Asscher cut diamonds are flat, giving them a slightly octagonal appearance.

How to Know if an Emerald Cut Diamond Is Right for You

An emerald cut diamond is a timeless and beautiful choice, but whatever stone you choose has to feel right for you. With emerald cut diamonds, in particular, the quality of the stone is extremely important, as is the style of the shape and the setting. If you love the style and can prioritize the quality of the stone, then an emerald cut diamond may just be the perfect fit.

With any diamond shape, it’s important to pay attention to the 4Cs of diamonds: color, clarity, carat weight, and cut. The 4Cs will be highly determinate in the price and brilliance of the diamond so when shopping these attributes should be highly considered. Here are the most important aspects to pay attention to when purchasing an emerald cut diamond:

We have already mentioned that emerald cut diamonds have a flat surface (also called a “window” into the diamond), rectangular-shaped step-like facets, and give off less brilliance than other diamond cuts. These characteristics can highlight the beautiful clarity of a diamond, but can also make inclusions and flaws on stones with lesser clarity more obvious. Thus, it’s important to prioritize emerald stones with high clarity grades when shopping for an emerald cut diamond for an engagement ring. If you can choose an emerald diamond with VS1 or VS2 Clarity, the stone will sparkle and shine beautifully.

Emerald cut stones compared by carat size Carat
Carat weight also plays a role in quality. The greater the carats, the more important the clarity, because as the size of the face of an emerald stone increases, so does the visibility of any inclusions. The good news, though, is that emerald stones appear larger than they are due to their elongated shape and flat surface. So, it’s possible to get the same great look of a larger diamond at a smaller carat size when purchasing an emerald cut stone. This is helpful for couples looking to cut corners (figuratively) on cost but who want the look of a big beautiful stone.

In addition to showing imperfections, step cuts such as emerald cut diamonds, also show more color. When shopping for an emerald cut diamond, look for a color grade that is H or higher to ensure your diamond looks a bright white. If you already know you want a platinum or white gold setting, a color grade of H or higher is more critical to achieving a bright white appearance, however, if you want a gold or rose gold setting, an emerald cut stone with an I color grade will still appear white.

Cut will also play an important role in how an emerald cut diamond appears. For instance, the step cuts should always be symmetrical for the most pleasing appearance. Additionally, the stone should have a length-to-width ratio that appeals to you. Typically, shoppers prefer emerald cut diamonds with a length-to-width ratio ranging from 1.3 to 1.6, but it’s really up to your personal preference. The larger the ratio, the longer and thinner the stone will be, the smaller the ratio, the more square the stone will be.

An engagement ring featuring an emerald cut center stone


While quality is important, it isn’t everything. Your engagement ring has to suit your personal style. After all, you should always be excited to wear it. Thankfully, there are so many beautiful emerald cut diamond rings to choose from. Depending on the length-to-width ratio of the stone, the color of the metal, and the design of the setting, you can create an emerald cut diamond ring that is uniquely yours.

Browse our selection of emerald cut engagement rings to be inspired, and maybe even find the ring of your dreams.


1 Guide to Emerald Cut & Asscher Cut Diamonds

2 History of the Emerald Cut Diamond

*Here at Diamond Nexus, we strive to provide valuable information while being clear and honest about our products. The Nexus Diamond™ alternative is a patented lab created diamond simulate that, among all simulants, most closely imitates the look, weight and wear of a diamond, with two exceptions – it is absolutely perfect in every way, and it costs significantly less. Price points and environmental facts expressed in this blog were taken from popular online retailers and may vary. Learn more about the environmental impact of mining by visiting our blog.

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