Home Emerald What is an Emerald cut diamond: A Full Guide

What is an Emerald cut diamond: A Full Guide

by Madonna

The emerald cut diamond is a timeless and elegant choice for those seeking a sophisticated and refined engagement ring or a stunning piece of jewelry. Known for its unique step-cut facets, rectangular shape, and exceptional clarity, the emerald cut has a distinctive appeal that sets it apart from other diamond shapes. In this article, we will explore the characteristics, history, and popularity of the emerald cut diamond, as well as its notable features and how it compares to other diamond cuts.

The Distinctive Features of an Emerald Cut Diamond

The emerald cut diamond is characterized by its rectangular shape with cut corners. Its elongated silhouette and step-cut facets give it a sophisticated and classic appeal. The step-cut faceting style consists of long, narrow facets that resemble steps when viewed from above, creating a unique play of light and reflection. Unlike brilliant-cut diamonds, which emphasize brilliance and sparkle, the emerald cut highlights the diamond’s clarity and color while showcasing its understated elegance.


A Glimpse into History: Origins and Evolution of the Emerald Cut

The emerald cut diamond takes its name from the traditional shape used to cut emeralds. The origins of this diamond cut can be traced back to the 16th century when diamond cutters began experimenting with different faceting techniques to enhance the appearance of diamonds. Initially, the step-cut style was primarily used for cutting emeralds due to their relatively low hardness compared to diamonds. Over time, diamond cutters recognized the captivating beauty of the emerald cut and started applying it to diamonds.


The emerald cut gained popularity during the Art Deco period of the 1920s and 1930s. The clean lines and geometric shapes of the emerald cut diamond complemented the Art Deco aesthetic, making it a favored choice for engagement rings and fine jewelry during that era. Since then, the emerald cut has remained a classic and timeless choice that continues to attract those with a taste for elegance and sophistication.


The Appeal of the Emerald Cut Diamond

The emerald cut diamond offers several distinct advantages that contribute to its enduring popularity:

1. Elegance and Sophistication

The clean lines, elongated shape, and step-cut facets of the emerald cut diamond exude a refined and sophisticated allure. Its understated elegance makes it a popular choice for those seeking a timeless and classic design.

2. Clarity and Color Showcase

The emerald cut diamond’s large table and step-cut facets provide a clear view of the diamond’s clarity and color. This cut emphasizes the diamond’s transparency, making it an ideal choice for those who value clarity and color over brilliance and sparkle.

3. Versatility

The rectangular shape of the emerald cut diamond lends itself well to various settings and styles. It can be beautifully showcased as a solitaire engagement ring, adorned with side stones, or even set horizontally in a unique and modern design.

4. Illusion of Size

Due to its elongated shape and large table, an emerald cut diamond may appear larger than other diamond shapes of the same carat weight. This can be a desirable feature for those looking to maximize the perceived size of their diamond.

Evaluating the Quality of an Emerald Cut Diamond

When assessing the quality of an emerald cut diamond, several factors should be considered:

1. Clarity

Given the step-cut facets and open table, clarity is a crucial aspect of an emerald cut diamond. Inclusions or blemishes are often more visible in this cut compared to brilliant cuts. It is advisable to select a diamond with a clarity grade of at least VS2 (Very Slightly Included) to ensure that any imperfections are not easily noticeable to the naked eye.

2. Color

The emerald cut diamond’s step-cut facets allow the observer to see through the stone, making color more apparent. It is advisable to choose a diamond with a color grade within the near-colorless range (G to J) to achieve a pleasing balance between color and value.

3. Cut

While the cut grade is not as significant for emerald cut diamonds compared to brilliant cuts, it still plays a role in the overall appearance of the stone. A well-cut emerald cut diamond will display even facets, symmetrical proportions, and proper light reflection.

4. Length-to-Width Ratio

The length-to-width ratio refers to the proportion of the emerald cut diamond’s length compared to its width. This ratio can vary depending on personal preference, but a ratio between 1.30 and 1.40 is often considered ideal for achieving a balanced and visually pleasing shape.

Comparing Emerald Cut to Other Diamond Shapes

While the emerald cut diamond possesses its unique charm, it is essential to consider how it compares to other popular diamond shapes:

Emerald Cut vs. Round Brilliant Cut

The round brilliant cut is the most popular diamond shape due to its exceptional brilliance and sparkle. In contrast, the emerald cut offers a more subdued elegance and a focus on clarity and color rather than maximum light performance.

Emerald Cut vs. Princess Cut

The princess cut features a square or rectangular shape and brilliant-cut facets. It offers a similar elongated shape to the emerald cut but with more pronounced brilliance. The emerald cut has a more vintage and classic appeal compared to the modern and sparkling look of the princess cut.

Emerald Cut vs. Asscher Cut

The Asscher cut is often confused with the emerald cut due to its similar step-cut faceting style. However, the Asscher cut has a square shape with cropped corners, while the emerald cut has a rectangular shape with cut corners. The Asscher cut tends to have larger step facets and a higher crown, resulting in a different overall appearance.

Caring for an Emerald Cut Diamond

Proper care and maintenance are crucial to preserving the beauty and longevity of an emerald cut diamond. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

1. Protect the diamond from hard blows or impacts, as emerald cut diamonds can be more susceptible to chipping or damage compared to round brilliant cuts.

2. Avoid wearing an emerald cut diamond during activities that may expose it to potential damage, such as sports or heavy manual labor.

3. Clean the diamond regularly using mild soapy water and a soft brush, taking care to remove any dirt or debris from the step-cut facets.

4. Have the diamond professionally inspected and cleaned at least once a year to ensure its settings are secure and the stone is well-maintained.


The emerald cut diamond’s timeless elegance, step-cut facets, and elongated shape make it a sought-after choice for those desiring a sophisticated and refined diamond. Its unique beauty, which emphasizes clarity and color, sets it apart from other diamond shapes and allows it to exude a distinctive charm. Whether set in a classic solitaire engagement ring or incorporated into a modern and creative design, an emerald cut diamond makes a captivating statement of enduring elegance.


You May Also Like


Giacoloredstones is a colored gem portal. The main columns are Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, Tourmaline, Aquamarine, Tanzanite, Amethyst, Garnet, Turquoise, Knowledges, News, etc.【Contact us: [email protected]

© 2023 Copyright