Emerald Cut Diamonds: Your In-Depth Guide - Do Amore

Emerald Cut Diamonds

Emerald cut diamonds are rectangular stones with long, elegant facets. They are one of the most unique, yet recognizable diamond cuts in the world! At the time of writing, less than 3.5% of diamonds for sale globally were Emerald cut (40,481 out of 1,178,007 total diamonds). Emeralds are unique in that they are “step cut. Step cut stones create flashes of light that look like a hall of mirrors. This faceting creates light and dark planes within each facet or “step.” Because they do not sparkle like traditional “brilliant” cut stones, couples need to consider color, clarity, and cut very differently than in other diamond shapes.

Table, Depth & Other Specifications for Ideal Emerald Cut Diamonds

The quality of an Emerald diamond’s cut effects how beautiful it is. It determines whether the stone has a lovely hall of mirrors effect or whether it looks haphazard or lifeless. Like all fancy cut stones, the GIA does not grade Emerald cut diamonds for cut quality. If you see a cut grade listed on an Emerald cut diamond, it has been assigned by the jeweler, not GIA. So, the accompanying GIA certificate will not have a cut grade. While there is no problem with this, we strongly recommend you verify the cut grade yourself.

In order to do this, it is crucial to understand cut specifications. Unfortunately, there is no industry standard for what makes an “Ideal Emerald Cut Diamond.” However, there are certain tips to finding a great stone. The table below serves as a general guideline for evaluating the cut of an Emerald cut stone.

emerald

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"Ideal" Cut (Most Sparkle)

Premium Cut

Average Cut

Table %

A percentage measuring the width of the top facet of the diamond, divided by the overall width of the diamond

61-69

57.5-60.9 or 69.1-72

Below 57.4 or Above 72.1

Depth %

A percentage measuring the height (depth) of the diamond divided by the overall width of the diamond.

60-67

58.5-59.9 or 67.1-69.5

Below 58.4 or Over

Girdle

The outmost edge of the diamond where the top (crown) of the diamond intersects with the bottom (pavillion) of the diamond.

Thin to Slightly Thick

Thin to Slightly Thick

Below Thin or Above Thick

Step Symmetry

The distance between each of the diamond's facets (or "steps").

Evenly Spaced

Slightly Uneven

Large Gaps

Hall of Mirrors/Black Box

The shimmering dark/light effect when the diamond is rocked back and forth. Look for a vertical, even display of light and dark. If your stone produces a black box in the center, it's distracting, reject it.

Vertical, Even Display of Light and Dark

Too Light or Too Dark

Black Box

Color Recommendations for Emerald Cut Diamonds

The “color” of a diamond refers to how much yellow tint (or lack of a yellow tint) the stone shows. “Colorless” diamonds fall into the color range of D, E, and F. These gems show no color at all, like water. G through Z color stones show increasing amounts of yellow tint.

Emeralds show color more readily than other diamond shapes. This is because their mirror-like sheen does not mask color like brilliant cut sparkle does. This is also the reason you’ll often see colored gems, like Sapphire, cut in an Emerald shape – it shows off the gem’s deeper tone. Smaller Emeralds may hide color better than larger Emeralds. In larger Emeralds, you will want to consider only G color and up for a colorless appearance. The chart below will help you decide on what color to choose.

emerald

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Carat Weight

No Visible Color

Slight Tint

Warmer Color

< 0.5

D - I

J - K

L - Z

0.5-1.0

D - H

I - J

K - Z

1.0-1.5

D - G

H - I

J - Z

1.5 +

D - F

G - I

J - Z

Clarity Recommendations for Emerald Cut Diamonds

The clarity grade of a diamond reflects the extent of the natural markings inside the stone, which gemologists call its “inclusions.” These inclusions are your diamond’s fingerprint – no two are alike. How extensive a diamond’s inclusions are inform what clarity grade it receives. The lesser the amount of inclusions, the more “flawless” the gem is.

Due to their unique window-like faceting, Emerald shaped diamonds show inclusions much more easily than any other cut. As a result, couples will need to select higher clarity grades in order to obtain an “eye clean” appearance. As it is harder to see flaws on smaller Emerald cut diamonds than larger ones, couples may find a smaller stones with lower clarity grades still look “eye clean.” Larger gems, however, tend to show inclusions more readily. The clarity chart below provides general guidelines for picking a clarity rating for your Emerald, based on your inclusion tolerance.

Important Note: Our clarity table gives guidance, but it is imperative in Emerald cuts to actually view the diamond to confirm eye clean appearance. The GIA Certificate is not enough. Every time a customer purchases an engagement ring from us, our gemologist checks to ensure the diamond is “eye-clean” and informs the customer if it isn’t.

emerald
emerald

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Carat Weight

Clean Under Light Magnification

Eye Clean

Visible Blemish Okay As Long As Not Very Obvious

< 0.5

FL-VS2

SI1

SI2

0.5-1.0

FL-VS1

VS2

SI1

1.0-1.5

FL-VVS2

VS1

VS2-SI1

1.5 - 2.0

FL-VVS1

VVS2-VS1

VS2-SI1

2.0 +

FL-VVS1

VVS1-VVS2

VS1

Length to Width Ratio for Emerald Cut Diamonds

All diamonds in our search engine have the length to width listed. This ratio, which is simply the length divided by the width, determines how skinny or wide the diamond is. The larger the length to width ratio, the more rectangular the diamond. The smaller the length to width ratio, the more square the stone. Our favorite range for Emerald cut diamonds is 1.30-1.40.

1.20

1.35

1.50

Settings that Pair Well with Emerald Cut Diamonds

Emeralds are elegant and classic. But, not all ring settings show off their mirror sheen and clean, straight edges. Below are some of our favorite Emerald cut engagement rings. All Do Amore’s Emerald cut engagement rings are available in platinum, palladium, white gold, yellow gold, and rose gold.

Money Tips

When looking for an Emerald cut diamond, make sure to avoid dark boxes, and to maximize measurements. Emeralds are often cut quite deeply. This means that much of your carat weight is carried in the bottom of your stone – where you can’t even see it! So, when looking, pay attention to depth percentage. You want to pay for carat weight you see! A diamond with a depth percentage of lower than 67% will help you make sure you’re paying for carat weight you see, not weight carried in its belly.

3 Things to Ask Your Jeweler

  • 01.

    Photo & Video

    Always ask the jeweler you are buying from for a detailed picture or video like these stones. Look for appealing length-to-width ratio.

  • 02.

    Inspect It

    Ask the jeweler to pull the stone and actually visually inspect your diamond. Tilt the stone back and forth – make sure it doesn’t have a black box and does even steps.

  • 03.

    Measure It

    Make sure your emerald diamond’s measurements are maximized within your carat size. Look for depth percentages lower than 67%!

Other Ring Resources

See our in-depth educational guides, which were made to give practical advice with every aspect of your ring.

Diamonds

diamond

Moissanite

moissinite

Sapphires

sapphire

Gold Palladium & Platinum

gold-pallidium-platinum