Emerald Cut Diamonds

Emerald cut diamonds are a unique and elegant class of diamond cuts. Unlike most other shapes that are brilliant cuts, an Emerald cut diamond is actually a step cut. It's faceting is not the traditional kite and star shaped facets; rather, Emerald cuts have small rectangular facets that resemble stairs or steps. These facets most certainly emit sparkle and brilliance, but in a more subdued fashion. Emerald cuts have very high appeal because they exude elegance and tend to look larger than other shapes. Their long body and octagonal shape is unlike any other shape. Emerald cuts, are most commonly rectangular, can also be square. Emerald cut diamonds look best in higher clarities because their large table and lack of brillianteering makes it difficult to mask inclusions. They do, however, handle color better than other fancy shapes. So selecting a lower color emerald diamond is not necessarily a problem.

Emerald cut diamonds are a popular diamond engagement ring choice that women all over the world admire. They have a very sleek and clean look. Emerald cut diamond engagement rings are very sophisticated, and this diamond cut is actually commonly thought to be quite modern. However, emerald cut diamonds have origins that can be traced back to hundreds of years ago. As a matter of fact, this diamond cut is actually one of the oldest diamond shapes.

The emerald cut has stylistic origins that trace back to the 1500s, to the popular table cut. As time went on, the emerald diamond cut increased in popularity because it reduced the pressure during the cutting process. In turn, this prevented chips in the gems. The official term “emerald cut” was first used in the 1920’s. At this point in time, the emerald cut was extremely popular. With the rise of art deco, this cut got even more attention. This is because clean lines and symmetry were deeply admired, so many people got emerald cut diamond jewelry to go with the trend. Ever since then, emerald cut diamond engagement rings have remained a popular choice for women all over the world.

There are many famous figures who are a fan of emerald cut diamonds. Amal Clooney is one of them, she has a 7 carat emerald cut diamond! Her stone is set in platinum, and it has two tapered baguettes on each side of the center stone. Another popular person who has an emerald cut ring is Angelina Jolie. Her diamond is approximately 16 carats! One remarkable moment for the emerald cut diamond is when Jay-Z proposed to Beyonce with a stunning 18 carat emerald diamond engagement ring. Overall, emerald cut diamonds are very prevalent in celebrity culture, and they show no signs of losing popularity.

History of Emerald Cut Diamonds

Emerald cut diamonds have been around since the late Middle Ages. This was before diamonds were even used in jewelry. People began to make “improvements” to nature’s design of the diamonds, which involved a simple polishing process. The octahedral crystal faces were polished to create a more even facet with fewer blemishes. This process was called the point cut, and it lasted until the middle of the 14th century.

By the time the 15th century came around, the point cut improved immensely. Less than half of the octahedron was sawn off, which created the popular table cut. This was the point when people also began to realize the importance of a culet, which some table-cut diamond stones have.

Shortly after that, four corner facets were created. This process was known as the old eight cut or old single cut. These diamond cuts lacked any brilliance or fire, they were just wanted for their hardness. A table cut diamond would appear black to people, just like they would have been in paintings during this area. That’s why colored gemstones (sapphire, ruby, etc), were much more popular during the earlier centuries.

The first brilliant cuts came around during the mid 1700’s. They were known as Mazarin's. Cushion cuts became common in the 18th century. Finally, the Emerald cut became well known and standardized in the 1940’s, with the developments of diamond saws and more tools which enabled more cuts. The emerald cut replaced the step cut which was very popular back then. Jewelers and people who cut diamonds realized that they had the potential to bring “more fire” to diamonds when they used an Emerald cut, so they continued to do so.

Asscher versus Emerald Cut Diamonds

Asscher cut and Emerald cut diamonds are both well known for having a vintage sparkle, and also for their step-cut faceting. For people who are new to the world of diamonds (or even those we know lots about diamond cuts), it can sometimes be difficult to tell the two shapes apart.

The easiest way to tell the difference between the two is by the shape of the loose diamond. Emerald cut diamonds have a long and rectangular shape. Asscher cut diamonds, on the other hand, have more of a square shape. If an Asscher cut has a length to width ratio of 1.00 or even 1.06, it will be perfectly square, or look very close to a square. Emerald cut diamonds have a length to width ratio that is between 1.50 and 1.75, which gives them a thinner and elongated appearance.

These diamonds are also cut differently. Asscher cuts do not have as wide or open of a table as Emerald cuts do. This wide and open table is what gives emerald cuts their classic and elegant look. On an emerald cut, it will be very easy to see any blemishes and inclusions. Therefore, you are always better off going with a higher clarity grade for emerald cuts. Asscher cuts are known for having more faceting, and they have an “X” pattern that becomes apparent when you look at them from the top down.

Best Settings For Emerald Cut Diamonds

Emerald cut diamonds look great in a variety of settings. However, two of the most popular setting options are simple solitaire settings and glistening halo settings. Emerald cut diamonds look great in a variety of settings. However, two of the most popular setting options are simple solitaire settings and glistening halo settings.

Emerald Measurements Buying Guide

The length, width, and depth are all important when it comes to emerald cut diamonds. The ideal length to width ratio can be found by dividing the length of the diamond by its width. This will determine whether your diamond will be more square shaped, or more rectangular. The ratio that you end up going with is, of course, personal preference, but many gemologists will recommend that the best ratio for these diamonds is 1.45 to 1.55. If you want a longer and thinner cut, 1.6 would be better. If you prefer the square cut look, 1.3 is recommended.

The depth percentage refers to how much light the diamond will reflect. If you aim for a diamond that has a depth percentage of anywhere from 60% to 70% of the stone’s width, you will get the most brilliance possible. In terms of color grade, there isn't one color grade that is best for emerald cut diamonds. Most people prefer the colors of a G or H diamond because it has a slightly warmer effect/feel to it, compared to the D, E, or F diamonds, which are colorless. When it comes down to it though, it’s just personal preference.

Emerald Diamond Guide

Emerald cuts, like other fancy shapes, do not have a cut grade assigned by GIA. With fancy shapes people have different preference on the shaping and faceting so GIA will only grade their Polish and Symmetry. Below are recommended ranges for table and depth for the respective cut grades.

Depth % for Emerald Diamonds

side view of an emerald cut diamond showing its depth

Excellent: 72%-58%

Very Good: 74%-52%

Good: 78%-49%

Table % of Emerald Diamonds

top view of an emerald diamond showing its table facet

Excellent: 72%-62%

Very Good: 77%-55%

Good: 80%-50%

Length to width Ratio for Emerald Diamonds

emerald cut diamond with a shorter 1.25 length to width ratio


emerald cut diamond with an ideal 1.50 length to width ratio


emerald cut diamond with a longer 1.75 length to width ratio


Emerald Diamond Size Chart

Emerald cut diamonds have approximate millimeter sizes that correspond to certain carat weights. Please see a chart of the popular emerald diamond sizes and their carat weights. For all sizes and shapes, please visit our diamond size chart page.

carat weight and millimeter chart for emerald cut diamonds
carat weight and millimeter chart for emerald cut diamonds carat weight and millimeter chart for emerald cut diamonds carat weight and millimeter chart for emerald cut diamonds

Emerald Cut Pricing

Like other fancy shapes, Emerald cuts are fantastic at consuming much of a rough diamond’s carat weight. They yield low wastage and require somewhat less manufacturing when being cut. The trade off though, is that they can hide carat weight in their depth. Therefore, they are always at a discount to round cut diamonds. In terms of pricing and comparison, they are more premium than other fancy shapes and in line with cushion cut diamond pricing. When selecting an emerald cut diamond, you must consider the diamond’s ratio (length to width) and clarity. As mentioned, inclusions have a tendency to show more under the large table of the diamond. With other diamonds, light can often bounce around facets and mask the inclusion. Because emerald cuts have limited facets, they will show the inclusions. Consider emerald cuts with high clarity or inclusions that are off center and closer to the diamond’s girdle. The length to width ratio is particularly important in emerald cut diamonds. Emerald cuts can be square or rectangular and even then, they can be long or short. The optimal emerald cut ratio for a square is 1.00 to 1.05. There is no optimal rectangular ratio as it is purely preference. The typical ratios though, are approximately 1.35, 1.50 and 1.75. The ratio is determined by dividing length by width.

The price of diamonds in one carat size category may even vary depending on whether you buy your jewelry online or in-store. Each establishment or company likely has pricing guidelines based on average prices, ranging from the lowest price paid to the highest. One of the easiest ways to estimate the price of the diamond for which you are shopping is the price of that particular diamond cut per carat.

For example, ¾ carat diamonds rated by the GIA as clarity level VS2 (which is about mid or average clarity classification) could typically range in price anywhere between $2,000-$3,000. The pricing places them at the lower-mid range of the price scale.

Two carat diamonds on the same level might cost between $15,000-$22,000. While they are a great deal more expensive than the ¾ carat diamonds, on the overall price scale, they’re still closer to the lower side of the mid-priced gemstones.

Emerald Cut Diamond Rings

For every diamond cut, there’s a jewelry category for which it is best suited. Square cut diamonds make remarkable tennis bracelets. Round brilliant cut gems create lovely solitaire necklaces and diamond studded chains. As for the emerald cut diamonds, they look especially beautiful in rings.

Popular Emearld Cut Diamond Settings

Popular Settings for Emerald Cut Diamonds - Because of the unique shape of the elongated rectangle shape of the emerald cut diamond, it can be difficult to find a ring setting befitting its elegance and qualities. It takes a little trial and error to find the best setting and stone combinations for this specific diamond cut. One popular choice is the solitaire setting, with a plain metal band. With setting, there’s no need to worry about which stone cuts pair well with the emerald cut diamond, or what type of metal work or accents bring out the diamond cut’s characteristics. The only decision you have to make with this setting is what size diamond you would like. However, some people want accent diamonds in the band, so they may choose a solitaire setting with small square cut diamonds encrusting the band.

As a rule, halo type settings are hard to match well with emerald cut diamonds. However, with a little beaded metalwork, also known as filigree, outlining the halo that surrounds the center emerald cut diamond, and very small accent diamonds filling in the blanks between the filigree beads in the halo and along the ring’s band, an emerald cut diamond ring takes on a lovely, vintage appearance. This specific design and style for this setting is among the most popular choices because of antique touches it presents. Perhaps the most popular setting for emerald cut diamond rings, which is described below, is the tri-stone ring setting.

3-Stone Emerald Cut Diamond Rings

Three-stone emerald cut rings are basically what their name advertises: an emerald cut diamond nested between two gems bearing a cut that compliments the emerald cut. While not every diamond cut pairs well with the emerald cut, there are a couple that make fantastic engagement rings.

Tapered baguette diamonds are another type of diamond that is difficult to pair with other diamond cuts and shapes in jewelry. However, when paired with emerald cut diamonds, they give rings a classic, vintage style look.

Some people prefer to stick to what they know, which is that stones of the same cut will always match well with each other. That means that the three-stone settings with three emerald cut diamonds is an exceptionally popular style for emerald cut engagement rings. Your personal preference determines the size of the two additional emerald cut stones, but just about any size makes for a simple yet stunning ring design.

Because of their similarities, rectangle cut diamonds also team up well with emerald cuts in the three-stone setting. However, in this case, size does matter, so choose the size of your rectangular diamonds wisely!

How to Purchase an Emerald Cut Diamond

Quality is extremely important when shopping for an emerald cut diamond engagement ring. One downside to this diamond cut is that emerald diamonds reveal clarity inclusions more than other cuts do. Therefore, imperfections are easier to see. This is due to the long step cuts that an emerald diamond consists of. In order to purchase a quality diamond, aim for a clarity grade of anything above VS2. By doing so, you will ensure that there are no visible imperfections on the diamond.

When you make the decision to purchase an emerald cut diamond engagement ring, it comes with many benefits. One appealing aspect of these rings is that an emerald cut makes the engagement ring look larger. For example, the average 1 carat emerald cut diamond has a 5% greater surface area than the same weight round cut diamond. Even though both diamond cuts are 1 carat, the top surface of an emerald cut diamond will look larger. Therefore, you are getting a diamond that looks larger for a lower price.

Another benefit of emerald cut diamond engagement rings is that they make fingers appear more slender. Since the emerald cut is elongated, they give off the appearance of longer and slender fingers. Of course, this isn't appealing to everyone, but some people love this aspect. Finally, another benefit is that emerald cut diamonds are generally less expensive. Despite their rarity, you can still expect to spend anywhere from 15-25% less on an emerald cut diamond engagement ring than you would on a round one.

Furthermore, emerald cut diamonds are quite rare, so very few people will have rings even remotely similar to yours. Conversely, because of its rarity, an emerald cut diamond tends to be a little more expensive than other diamond shapes.

For some people, the fact that emerald cut diamond rings aren’t readily available in every possible setting is a plus because it reduces shopping and researching time. However, it may still take longer to find the perfect ring if you don’t find exactly what you’re looking for within the selections offered.

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