Emerald Cut Diamonds - A Guide to Emerald Cut Diamonds - Do Amore

Emerald Cut Diamonds

At the time of writing this article, less than 3.5% of diamonds for sale globally were emerald cut (40,481 emerald cut diamonds out of 1,178,007 total diamonds). They are also cut in a unique manner known as step cut. While most diamond shapes have small brilliant facets, emerald cut diamonds have long and narrow facets. This faceting pattern creates flashes of light (also known as the hall of mirrors effect) which creates flashes of white light and dark planes within each facet or step.

Table, Depth & Other Specifications for Ideal Emerald Cut Diamonds

The GIA does not grade emerald cut diamonds, or other fancy shaped diamonds, for cut grade. If you see a cut grade associated with an emerald cut diamond, it is a cut grade that the jeweler is assigning to the diamond themselves (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.

For these reasons, and because how well a diamond is cut is the most crucial factor in maximizing the beauty, you want to make sure you understand the ideal cut specifications. The table below serves as a general guideline for evaluating the cut of an emerald cut diamond.

emerald

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Ideal Cut (Most Sparkle)

Excellent Cut

Very Good

Table %

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

53 - 58

Sl1 - Sl2

l1

Depth %

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

59 - 62.3

Sl1 - Sl2

l1

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

Sl2

Culet

The small area at the very bottom of a diamond that looks like a point.

None

None

Very Small

Length to Width Ratio

The length of a diamond divided by its width. When comparing diamonds, those with larger ratios appear longer and skinnier.

1 - 1.01

VS2 - Sl1

Sl2

Color Recommendations for Emerald Cut Diamonds

The color grade of an emerald cut diamond refers to how much color (or lack of a color) the diamond shows. In general, emerald cut diamonds reveal color easier compared to other diamond shapes because step cut diamonds do not hide color as much as brilliant cut diamonds. This isn’t anything to worry about, but you may want to get consider getting one color grade higher than you would plan to get if you were buying a different diamond shape, like a round diamond.

The good news is smaller emerald cut diamonds hide color better than larger emeralds do, so depending on the size of diamond you purchase, you may not need to buy a colorless (D-F) diamond even if you want your diamond to appear colorless. The chart below will help you decide on what color emerald cut diamond to purchase based on if you want a colorless diamond, a diamond with limited color, or a warmer diamond.

emerald

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Carat Weight

No Visible Color

Limited Color Okay

Prefer a Warmer Color

< 0.5

D - I

J - K

L +

0.75

D - H

I - K

L +

1

D - G

H - I

J +

1.5

D - F

G - I

J +

2.0 +

D - F

G- I

J +

Clarity Recommendations for Emerald Cut Diamonds

The clarity grade of emerald cut diamond discloses how many and how severe the imperfections are on the diamond. It’s harder to see flaws on smaller emerald cut diamonds than larger ones, so if you are buying a smaller stone you can get away with purchasing one with a lower clarity rating while keeping an eye-clean appearance. However, you can see imperfections in an emerald cut diamond more easily than you can in other diamonds because the step cuts make them very easy to spot and while in many shapes you can find “eye clean” SI2 diamonds, this is very rare in emerald cut diamonds unless it is a very small diamond.

Evaluating clarity in emerald cut diamonds is subjective because each consumer has their own standard for clarity. Some may be perfectly comfortable with inclusions as long as they cannot easily see it, but other may insist on a more technically flawless appearance. The clarity chart below provides general guidelines for picking a clarity rating for your emerald cut diamond, based on your inclusion tolerance. Please note that the ratings in the Clean to the Naked Eye column assume that your jeweler will check to ensure it is actually eye-clean. For example, every time a customer purchases an emerald cut engagement ring from us, we send a gemologist to check and make sure the diamond is “eye-clean” and inform the customer if it isn’t. If you want an eye clean stone, make sure you ask your jeweler to do the same because basing it off the GIA-certificate is not enough.

emerald
emerald

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Carat Weight

Clean Under Light Magnification

Clean to the Naked Eye ("Eye-Clean")

Visible Blemish Okay As Long As Not Very Obvious

< 0.5

FL-VS2

SI1

SI2-I1

0.75

FL-VS1

VS2-SI1

SI2

1

FL-VVS2

VS1-VS2

SI1-SI2

1.5

FL-VVS1

VVS2-VS2

SI1

2.0 +

FL-VVS1

VVS1-VS1

VS2-Sl1

Length to Width Ratio for Emerald Cut Diamonds

All emerald cut diamonds in our diamond 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 radiant diamond is. The larger the length to width ratio means the diamond is much longer than it is wide (a more rectangular emerald cut diamond). The smaller the length to width ratio means the length isn’t that much greater than it’s width (a more square emerald cut diamond). Our personal favorite range for emerald cut diamonds is 1.30-1.40.

1.20

1.35

1.50

Our Hand Selected Emerald Cut Diamonds

Below are emerald cut diamonds that were handpicked by our gemologist after meeting the following criteria:

  1. Stunning overall beauty and quality
  2. 100% eye clean
  3. The stone offers great value and bang for the buck
  4. An ideally cut stone with great dimensions for the carat weight.

Settings that Pair Well with Emerald Cut Diamonds

All round diamonds in our diamond search engine have the length and width listed. The ratio is simply the length divided by the width. This number will help you see how symmetrical the diamond is. See, the larger the length to width ratio is, the less symmetrical your round diamond. I think a round diamond should have a length to width ratio between 1.00 and 1.02!

Money Tips

When looking for an emerald cut diamond, make sure to always try to maximize measurements while maintaining an ideal cut. For example, you can have a 1.0 carat emerald cut diamond with the measurements 6.4 x 4.7 mm that is ideally cut. But there could be another 1.0 carat emerald cut diamond with the measurements 6.5 x 4.8 mm that is ideally cut and will look a tad larger. There could even be a 0.97 carat emerald cut diamond with measurements 6.5 x 4.8 mm that is just as ideally cut and is probably cheaper. If all else were equal, the third options would be the best, followed by the second option, followed by the first. All diamonds in our “hand selected” stone section above have had their dimensions reviewed to make sure they were being maximized within the ideal cut parameters.

3 Things to Ask Your Jeweler

  • 01.

    Photo & Video

    Always ask the jeweler you are buying from for a detailed picture or video like this one.

  • 02.

    Inspect It

    Ask the jeweler to pull the diamond and actually visually inspect your emerald cut diamond.

  • 03.

    Measure It

    Make sure your emerald diamond’s measurements are maximized within your carat size.

Other Ring Resources

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

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