Emerald Cut Diamonds Shape: An Expert Review

Emerald Cut Diamonds Shape: An Expert Review

Do you wish to buy an emerald cut diamond but don’t know where to start?

We are here for you!

This is our expert guide to give you all the information you need, including:

  • What is an emerald cut?
  • Advantages and disadvantages of emerald-cut diamonds
  • Emerald cut vs. other diamond cuts
  • The best place to buy an emerald cut diamond
  • And a lot more1

The best diamond cut to pick for your engagement ring which never goes out of fashion is an emerald cut. This diamond cut is unique and known to have gorgeous light flashes that attract celebrity purchases.

Since you are going to wear your ring every day, you need something durable. An emerald cut is most times set in lower set vintage settings and they last long, you can get through the activities of the day without worrying about wear and tear.

If you want a diamond that looks big but are limited by budget, go for an emerald cut. This cut has a big crown than a round cut and is almost 35% cheaper.

An emerald cut does not sparkle as the round cut does but it has a hall of mirrors effect that make it attractive. This is the best option for a bride in waiting who wants to be unique with a romantic and dramatic diamond engagement ring.

Let’s get started.

What is an Emerald Cut Diamond?

An emerald cut diamond has a rectangular shape. An Asscher cut diamond is also categorized as emerald since it is an elongated version of a square cut, so whenever you hear about emeralds, you are also likely to hear Asscher being mentioned here and there.

In the past when experiments were still being done on diamonds, they were not attractive at all, they were ugly and no one knew how best to cut them.

Once people discovered that diamonds can be sanded to get defined edges using dust generated from diamondss, different but simple diamond shapes started to emerge, although they were not as good as the brilliant cuts found in the stores today.

The father of all emerald-cut diamonds is known as table cut. This was followed by diamonds which were cut to four corner facets known as old single cut or old eight cuts. The table cut diamonds was very dark during that time and would normally be set in gemstones and not diamonds.

When brilliant-cut diamonds were introduced, experiments intensified. A new cutting technique called the “step-cut” was introduced. The emerald cut diamonds started to gain popularity in the 1940s.

Pros and Cons of Emerald Cut Diamonds

There are several reasons for picking an emerald cut diamond for your engagement. Also, there are multiple reasons why you may really rush into buying it.

Do not worry; we are here to assist you with making that decision.

14K White Gold Pav? Halo Cabled Diamond Engagement Ring
14K White Gold Pav? Halo Cabled Diamond Engagement Ring


  • They have a one of a kind setting
  • Appear bigger
  • Makes short fingers look really long
  • Enhances the appearance of vintage ring styles


  • Causes long fingers to look weird
  • Requires high clarity
  • Do not have much brilliance

Choosing an Emerald Cut Diamond Ring

When deciding on any shape of a diamond ring, you should consider the grades of the diamond, especially the centerpiece.

GIA is the most recognized diamond grading institute and has a standard way of measuring diamonds referred to as the 4Cs. All diamonds are gauged for quality depending on their cut, clarity, carat, and color.


The cut is the basis of how a diamond looks and glitters. Round cut diamonds have been cut with exact proportions through the ideal cut. Princess and cushion cuts too have the same.

Many other diamond shapes are either collectively put under Very Good cut or their cut grades not mentioned at all. In short, emerald cut diamonds have no cut at all. If you want a fancy-shaped diamond, it is good to concentrate on the cut specs.

You can trust the cut specifics that come from an AGS grading report or a grading report from GIA.

All emerald cut diamonds are not similar because there are no industry set standards. Other diamonds may have corners that are more rounded than others.

The cut of an emerald diamond is normally left to personal liking, but it is good to consider some quality factors to ensure that the diamond is good despite the shape. One of these factors is the length to width ratio: this has to be from 1.3 to 1.6 for emerald-cut diamonds. Most emerald cut enthusiasts buy an L/W ratio of 1.45.

When you choose a ratio that is above or below this, the appeal of the diamond will be affected. Also, you should look at the depth even if people do not talk about it so much.

While brilliant-cut diamonds need to have much depth percentage, step cut diamonds such as Asscher and Emerald do not need a high depth percentage. Diamonds that have a deep pavilion have more brilliance as well.

When you are shopping for an emerald cut, pick the one with depth falling within 61% and 67%. Any depth that goes above 70% will mean you are incurring the cost of a higher carat weight that you will not see and also makes the diamond appear small.

Something else you should avoid is looking at the table of the diamond or looking at it from the top. You should avoid black sections as these will affect the broad light flashes that are the pride of step cuts.

You should look at the diamond under a light if you are buying from a brick and mortar store. If you prefer buying the emerald stone online, you need to view it in 360 HD image like James Allen offers or a 360-degree video as Whiteflash does.


Clarity comes in a second close on the list of important diamond grades to be considered for cuts. With an emerald stone, you get more visibility since it has more surface area than a princess and round cuts. Step cut diamond designs usually create a hall of mirrors effect, this makes it easy to notice any inclusions or blemishes on the diamond.

The best clarity grade for an emerald stone would be VS2. You must check for any inclusions in the diamond you pick as not all VS2 clarity diamonds are clean to the eyes.

You should not try to exaggerate by going up the clarity grade too. No need to go for VVS2 or VVS1 with an emerald diamond, you will only be spending more money for no value.

With such flawless clarities, you only end up paying so much for the same visibility that you get from VS1. In short, I would not go for any clarity grade higher than VS1 for an emerald cut diamond engagement ring.


Emerald cut diamonds have a wide surface area and therefore are going to show as much of their color as possible. If you go for a lower color grade, the ring may appear a little yellow.

This is not something you want to happen when picking a ring for your fiancé. It is because of this that a color grade below H would not be the best option, although you can still find a grade J that appears white.

Going up the color scale, G should be your stop point, anything higher than that will only attract more expenditure without showing a significant difference in color appearance.


When it comes to carat weight for emerald cut diamonds, it is what individuals prefer. Most people think that the bigger the carat weight the better the diamonds, as such they will go shopping with a carat weight already in mind.

If you like big center stones, you should also look at the clarity, cut, and color. If these are not enhanced, the ring will only look ugly.

When the carat weight goes up, it also means that the color grade and clarity grade will also go up. This only means that a 2-carat emerald cut diamond ring does not bear the same price as two pieces of 1-carat weight each.

A 2-carat diamond will not also carry a price tag that is twice that of a 1-carat diamond. So you need to remember all these things as you decide on the carat weight of your preferred emerald cut diamond engagement ring.

Emerald-Cut vs Other Diamond Cut Shapes

Emerald cut diamonds are not among the popular diamond cuts but are more popular than all the other fancy shapes of diamonds. Several stores stock a few emerald cut diamonds that you are free to see before you buy.

Most of the cut you will see in these fine jewelry shops are round cut, cushion, and princess. Let us look at how the emerald cut compares to other popular cuts.

Emerald-Cut vs Round Cut

14K Yellow Gold Laurel Leaves Diamond Engagement Ring
14K Yellow Gold Laurel Leaves Diamond Engagement Ring

14K Yellow Gold Laurel Leaves Diamond Engagement Ring
14K Yellow Gold Laurel Leaves Diamond Engagement Ring

Which one sparkles more?

The most attractive feature of round brilliant cut diamonds is their brilliance. Diamond cutters have ensured that round cuts are precisely cut to bring out the best light return. While brilliant cuts have a light return, emerald Asscher, radiant, baguettes, and other step cut shapes have a different light effect.

Emerald cuts are the best if your fiancĂ© does not like flashy jewelry since it is faint. These cuts have the “hall of mirrors” effect. This is brought about when the lights reflect against each other on the diamond’s pavilion. They almost look like glass.

Which costs more?

Apart from being the most popular, round cut is also the most expensive diamond shape. The cost of buying an emerald cut diamond does not go as high as that of a round brilliant cut. You can save more than 35% if you decide to buy a 1-carat emerald cut diamond engagement ring than a 1 carat round cut diamond ring.

Emerald vs Cushion Cut

Emerald Cut Diamond
Emerald Cut Diamond
cushion cut diamond

Which one lasts long?

Because the edges of the square shape diamonds like emerald cut are sharp, they are prone to chipping. This means emerald cut diamonds do not last as long as rounded stones. Diamonds are known to be the hardest minerals on earth, but even then nothing is meant to last forever.

Diamonds do not easily shatter, but chipping is still possible, especially if they have edges that are exposed.

You also need to know that not all square-shaped diamonds will easily chip. It does not mean that the only choice you have when it comes to durability is round cut diamonds. To increase durability, you need to put your ring in a setting such as a bezel or tension.

Which one appears bigger?

Cushion cut diamonds are among the popular cut diamonds, they also have aspects that are not so appealing. For example, if a 1-carat cushion cut diamond is put in a solitaire setting, it will appear much smaller than a 1-carat emerald-cut set in solitaire. The cushion-cut diamonds also lose their table size since the edges are cut off.

Furthermore, if your fingers are large, an emerald cut diamond will look much better on you than a cushion cut. Emerald cut diamonds make your finger look longer than normal which is a good aspect particularly if you want a solitaire setting. Also, if you like wearing a wide ring, you will find more emeralds in this style than a cushion.

Emerald Cut vs Princess Cut

Emerald Cut Diamond
Princess Cut Diamond

Which is more popular?

Princess cut diamonds are more popular than emerald-cut diamonds. Emerald cut diamonds are perfect for those people who want a unique piece that still looks great.

The renowned all-time rap king Jay-Z bought his wife Beyonce an 18carat emerald cut ring on their engagement: this is one of the biggest emerald diamonds to ever been cut. Another pop singer, Jennifer Lopez boasts of a 16-carat diamond ring, emerald cut too.

Kate Hudson, Mariah Carey, and Angelina Jolie are other celebrities who also own fine emerald-cut diamonds.

Just like all these popular people, when you own an emerald cut diamond, you have a unique jewelry piece that stands out among many others when you wear it.

Which is more practical?

It is difficult to get a lower ring setting for princess cut diamonds, especially if you are looking for solitaire. Most of the princess cuts in the market today are set in cathedral settings and usually have high profiles.

Since emeralds have an antique style, you are most likely to find them in low profile settings like flush and bezel. Most high profile ring settings are susceptible to wear and tear by them being worn every day.

Additionally, princess cut diamonds have sharp corners that are likely to make the ring snag, unless it is in a protective setting. This situation limits the styles you can use. Emerald cut diamonds have corners that are cut and will not easily get caught by fabric or bend the prong.

Best Place to Buy Emerald Cut Diamonds

Emerald cut diamond engagement rings may not be very common, but you can still find them if the jewelry collection in corporate stores like Kay and Jared. However, if you buy these diamonds online, you will spend much less. Also, most of the physical stores have their rings already set.

Online shops like James Allen offer you utmost transparency when buying emerald-cut diamonds. When buying from James Allen, you get to select the emerald diamond of your choice using their slider system; you get to filter through several diamond grades. You also get to see the diamond you have chosen put in a setting that you will also choose. Furthermore, you can also view all these in several colors like platinum, yellow gold, rose gold, and white gold.

James Allen has a 360-degree diamond view technology that allows you to look at their diamonds from all angles so that you can identify and inclusions or blemishes. If you wish to see the grading report, the customer service team is available round the clock.

Best Setting Styles for Emerald Cut Diamonds

Most emerald rings you will come across are more likely set in antique or vintage settings. Some of them will have a milgrain or filigree designs that have side stones.

Other than these, you will also find other ring settings that feature an emerald cut diamond as the center stone. Here are some of the best engagement rings that have emerald-cut diamonds.

  1. 14K Falling Edge Pave Diamond Engagement Ring
  2. Platinum Vintage Infinity Engagement Ring
  3. 14K Tapered Baguette Diamond Engagement Ring
  4. 14K Petite Solitaire Engagement Ring
  5. 14K Milgrain Marquise and Dot Diamond Engagement Ring
  6. 14K Tapered Baguette Diamond Engagement Ring

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