Diamond Shapes: Emerald Cut

Emerald cut diamonds are an elegant unique class of diamond cuts and unlike other shapes such as the brilliant cuts, an emerald cut diamond is essentially a step cut. The facets in the emerald cuts do not feature the traditional star and kite-shaped facets compared to other loose diamonds. Emerald cut diamonds have small rectangular facets that look like steps or stairs. And these step-cut faces emit a subdued sparkle that makes the emerald cut diamond stand out. 

Emerald cut diamonds are attractive and appealing because of their long and elegant body. Almost anyone can clearly see that the emerald cut diamond tends to look larger than others which means that it is a perfect choice if you want a show-stopping engagement ring. In this article, we are going to know more about this exceptional diamond cut and we’re going to give you some tips on what to look for when purchasing an emerald cut diamond.


Even if most people associate this diamond cut with the 1920s, the emerald diamond cut has been around since the late Middle Ages where people rarely used diamonds in jewelry. However, this was also during this time when people began to make improvements to nature’s design of the diamonds, they started to perform a simple polishing process to the diamonds. The octahedral faces of the diamonds were polished so that it would create a more even facet that has fewer blemishes. They called this process the point cut and the practice lasted until the middle of the 14th century. 

When the 15th century came around, the point cut process improved immensely. They sawn-off less than half of the octahedron which resulted in the popular table cut diamond. And this was also the time when people began to realize the importance of a culet that some table cut diamond possesses. This was also the time when the emerald cut got its stylistic origins. 

As time passed by, the emerald cut slowly became popular because it reduced the pressure during the cutting process which prevented chips in the gems. The name “emerald cut” was first used in the 1920s when the cut became extremely popular. And together with the rise of Art Deco, the emerald cut gained more attention. The symmetry and clean lines are just some of the characteristic of the emerald cut which people admired. Since then, the emerald cut became popular for women all over the world when it comes to engagement rings.


The emerald cut has an extended and rectangular shape with carved step cuts and straight lined facets which are typically arranged parallelly down the stone. The corners of an emerald cut diamond are usually cropped and this is because to add stability to the diamond and prevent chips and fractures. This diamond cut delivers a large surface table and deep clarity. The long step cuts that the emerald cut possess offers an abundant reflection of white and colored lights. Emerald cut diamonds are often rectangular but they are also available in squares as well. This cut is a popular choice for people who are looking for a larger stone without a high price point because the emerald cut tends to appear larger than other fancy shaped diamonds in the same carat weight.

How Much Does It Cost?

Just like other fancy shaped diamonds, emerald cuts are great at consuming most of a rough diamond’s carat weight. Compared to round diamonds, the emerald cut requires less manufacturing when being cut and they do not waste most of the precious raw material. However, they can hide carat weight in their depth, that’s why they are always cheaper compared to round cut diamonds. 

But if you compare it to other fancy shapes, you won’t be saving with an emerald cut diamond. This is because they are more premium tan other fancy-shaped diamond and they are often in line with the cushion cut diamond’s pricing. 

Pricing Considerations

If you are going to select and emerald cut diamond, then we suggest that you consider investing in higher clarity. Because as we mentioned, they tend to show more inclusions under the large table of the diamond because they have limited facets. Settle on emerald cuts that have high clarity or inclusions that are off-center and closer to the diamond’s girdle. Higher clarity grades might cost you more but you can always offset this by selecting a slightly lower color grade in this shape. 

What To Look For When Purchasing an Emerald Cut Diamond

You need to decide on your ideal length-to-width ratio when looking for an emerald cut diamond. The optimal cut ratio for a square emerald cut is 1.00 to 1.05. The typical ratios for rectangular cuts are approximately 1.35, 1.50, and 1.75 where the ratio is determined by dividing the length by width.

Most gemologists recommend that the best ratio for an emerald cut diamond is 1.45 to 1.55. But if you want thinner and longer cuts, opt for cuts that have 1.6 ratios and if you want shorter and squarer cuts, you should select an emerald cut with 1.3 ratios. 

An emerald cut’s total depth percentage can also affect how much light it reflects that’s why we suggest that you should go for an emerald cut that has a depth percentage of 60 to 70 percent of the stone’s width for the most brilliance.

4Cs of an Emerald Cut Diamond

Clarity Grade – Because of their long and open facets, emerald cut diamonds do not conceal imperfections that’s why their clarity or lack of inclusions is important. We suggest that you settle with an eye-clean VS1 clarity grade or higher. 

Color Grade– Honestly, there is no best color grade for emerald-cut diamonds. Even if diamond retailers and diamond grading labs often value colorless diamonds, the color grade that you should choose should be based on your preference. 

Cut Grade – The grade refers to the quality of the diamond’s proportions and symmetry. However, the AGS and GIA don’t assign cut grades to emerald cut diamonds but they do assign symmetry and polish grades to them. We suggest that you should go for an emerald cut diamond that has Excellent polish and symmetry grades for you to get the most sparkle.

Carat Grade – As we mentioned, the cost of an emerald cut diamond varies from one-carat weight to the next. That’s why should settle on finding an emerald cut diamond that has the right symmetry and proportions within the carat range you like.