Emerald cut diamonds are one of the several diamond shapes that you’ll likely come across if you’re shopping for diamonds. The emerald cut is one of the most distinctive and popular diamond shapes; as with other shapes, the unique features of emerald cuts mean that certain aspects of the diamond’s appearance will be emphasized and others will be obscured, and therefore it will be important to pay special attention to certain factors when buying an emerald cut diamond.
What are emerald cut diamonds?
Emerald cut diamonds takes its name from the cut typically used for emeralds. Emeralds were originally cut in this way in order to hide their natural inclusions (flaws on the interior of the stone that can in some cases be seen with the naked eye).
These inclusions can also make emeralds more susceptible to breakage, so emeralds need to be cut in such a way that vulnerable points are not exposed.
Emerald cut diamonds are part of the step cut family of diamond cuts, which have in common such features as long, rectangular facets, and square or rectangular outlines. The emerald cut is always rectangular, although the exact length to width ratio can vary from around 1.25 to 1.75. The corners of emerald cuts are cropped in order to eliminate the structural weakness that comes from having sharp corners. Emerald cut diamonds tend to have relatively long facets, which makes the diamond’s clarity, rather than its sparkle or brilliance, a focal point.
It’s important to note that the term “cut” in this sense is different from the “cut” grade that appears on the diamond’s certificate. The cut grade is an expression of the quality of the diamond’s cut, while the term “emerald cut” simply refers to the diamond’s shape.
What makes emerald cut diamonds special?
The emerald cut is one of the most uniquely beautiful diamond cuts. Emerald cuts have a more defined rectangular shape than even other step cuts like the Asscher cut. High-quality emerald cuts tend to have the longest facets of any common diamond shape, and thus their clarity is highlighted more than that of other types of diamonds. In other words, emerald cuts have the potential to be the clearest of all diamonds.
Despite their specialized features, emerald cuts are well suited to many different types of settings. The emerald cut is also one of the most popular and widely available non-round cuts, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a decent variety of emerald cut diamonds from which to choose. Furthermore, in part because the emerald cut generally isn’t considered an “ideal” cut in the same way that the round brilliant is, emerald cut diamonds can be markedly more affordable than otherwise comparable round diamonds.
What should I look for in emerald cut diamonds?
For buyers who are looking for that classic emerald cut shape, you’ll probably want to limit your search to diamonds with a length to width ratio between 1.4 and 1.6. Also, since the long facets of the emerald cut will highlight the diamond’s clarity, it’s recommended that you stay away from diamonds with a clarity grade below VS2. The inclusions in emerald cut diamonds with a clarity grade lower than this may be visible to the naked eye and thus detract from the overall appearance of the diamond as well as its value.