“Variety is the spice of life,” as the saying goes. In the world of diamonds, this is certainly true. While the round brilliant is the most commonly associated shape with diamonds, these incredible rough crystals of pure carbon are cut into a variety of shapes and facet arrangements.
This results in a plethora of diamond “flavors,” some as disparate as chocolate and strawberry. In terms of shape and optics, the emerald cut diamond is one of the most distinctive of those flavors. Here we’ll take a look at the unique beauty of the venerable emerald cut diamond.
What is the difference between an Emerald Cut Diamond and a Round Cut Diamond?
Emerald cut diamonds stand out in terms of both their overall appearance and the type of optics they produce. Their step cut facet design creates a completely different visual experience than the common round brilliant and the many brilliant style shape variations available.
In contrast to the vertical facets of brilliant cuts, the emerald cut has a series of horizontal step-like facets. On the crown and pavilion, the four longer sides have beveled corners with two, three, or four concentric rows of facets parallel to the girdle.
Emerald Cut Shape Properties
An emerald cut’s overall shape can range from the square Asscher shape to a very elongated emerald cut. The shape’s outline is largely a matter of personal preference. Some people prefer a long, slim shape, while others prefer a wider rectangular shape.
The majority of people prefer something in the middle, such as a balanced rectangle with a length-to-width ratio of around 1.4.
An emerald cut is a four-sided, four-cornered octagon. The overall length-to-width ratio (length in millimeters divided by width in millimeters) is critical in determining the shape’s visual appeal, but the size of the corners also matters. They can be very small, lightly clipped corners or large, equal-sized corners on all sides.
Emerald Cuts and Clarity
The facet design of an emerald cut diamond is especially revealing of any inclusions that may be present. Facet arrangements in the brilliant style that promote fast scintillation tend to hide inclusions, especially around the crown. Inclusions are relatively easy to see in the emerald cut, which has a relatively large table facet that acts as a window and long step facets with slow scintillation.
This is why emerald cuts are more common in the higher clarity grades. Diamonds with lower clarity are usually cut into different shapes to hide inclusions better. Because of this, emerald cuts are more expensive than most other fancy shapes.
Emerald Cuts and Color
Because the emerald cut lacks the brightness of a well-cut round, the body color of the stone is more prominent. In a bright environment, the body color of the round is overwhelmed by the ambient light being returned to the eye, and the round returns almost all of the light entering the crown. An emerald cut tends to show true body color, similar to how it shows inclusions more readily. This can be especially beautiful when the diamond in question is a fancy-colored diamond.
Should I Choose an Emerald Cut Diamond?
Diamond cut choices are just one of the aspects of diamond buying that are purely a matter of personal choice. Emerald cut diamonds are elegant and stylish and showcase color beautifully, but they are far from your only choice. If you need expert help, ask your jeweler to help you better understand the difference between cuts before you make a final decision.