Last updated on February 3, 2021
Being admired for their long lines and dramatic half-of-mirrors effect, emerald diamonds are cut in a unique manner known as step cut featuring long narrow facets and a large table. If you are interested in buying a diamond with a clean and sleek design, our emerald cut diamond guide is a must-read.
History of Emerald Cut Diamonds
Although the emerald cut is thought to be modern, it is one of the oldest diamond shapes with origins tracing back to the 1500s.
As the name suggests, the emerald cut was created for emerald gemstones. Due to the step-cut facets, the emerald cut reduced the pressure during the cutting process hence prevented chips in the gems. Diamond cutters took notice of this new cutting technique and applied it to diamonds as well.
While less fiery than the brilliant cut, the emerald cut highlights the clarity through its long step facets and make the stone sparkle and shine. Typically featuring 57 facets, emerald cut diamonds are prominent in a rectangular shape with cropped corners but they are available in a square shape as well.
Interestingly, the term “emerald cut” was not used until the 1920s when the cut increased in popularity. During the Art Deco period, where clean lines and symmetry were admired, the emerald cut became a huge trend. Since then, emerald diamonds are one of the most popular choices for engagement rings and other jewellery pieces.
Emerald Cut Diamond Cut Quality Guide
While the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) provides cut grading for some cuts, such as the round brilliant, it doesn’t provide cut grading for emerald cut diamonds. However, it grades polish and symmetry. These are some of the key features to be considered to have a brilliant and sparkly stone.
Since there is no industry-wide consent on what cut parameters make an ideal emerald cut diamond, we recommend using the table below as a general guideline for evaluating the cut quality of emerald diamonds.
|TABLE %||61 - 69||57 - 60 or 70 - 72||54 - 56 or 73 - 74||51 - 53 or 75 - 79||< 51 or > 79|
|DEPTH %||61 - 67||59 - 60.9 or 67.1 - 70||57 - 58.9 or 70.1 - 74||54 - 56.9 or 74.1 - 79||< 54 or > 79|
|GIRDLE||Very Thin to Slightly Thick||Very Thin to Slightly Thick||Very Thin to Thick||Very Thin to Very Thick||Extremely Thin to Extremely Thick|
|CULET||None||Very Small||Small||Medium||> Medium|
Emerald Cut Diamond Colour Guide
Colour of emerald cut diamonds is graded on a scale from D to Z, where D signifies a completely colourless stone and Z means an easily noticeable yellow or brown tint.
Due to open step facets and a large table, emerald cut diamonds retain more colour than other diamond shapes, meaning it’s easy to see the natural colour of the stone. This is especially true for diamonds weighing 1.50 carats and over.
Smaller emerald cut diamonds hide colour better, but you may still need to choose a stone in the colourless range (D-E-F) if you want your diamond to appear white.
The chart below provides a general guideline for evaluating colour in emerald cut diamonds.
|< .50 ct.||D - G||H - I||J - K||L - M||> M|
|.51-1.0 ct.||D - F||G||H - I||J - K||> K|
|1.0-2.0 ct.||D - F||D - F||G||H - I||> I|
|> 2.0 ct.||D - F||D - F||G||H - I||> I|
Emerald Cut Diamond Clarity Guide
The GIA grades clarity of emerald cut diamonds on a scale from FL to I3, where FL means a flawless stone and I3 indicates a heavily included diamond.
As mentioned above, emerald cut diamonds are not as fiery as brilliant-cut stones. Since they are designed to accentuate a diamond’s clarity, it is easier to see any flaws in them, especially if the inclusions are found in the middle of the stone.
While SI1 clarity might be a great balance of price and appearance for other diamond shapes, in emerald cut diamonds the perfect choice will be VS2 clarity grade and above.
The chart below provides general information for evaluating clarity in emerald cut diamonds.
|< .50 ct.||FL - VS2||SI1||SI2||I1||> I1|
|.51-1.0 ct.||FL - VS1||VS2||SI1||SI2||> SI2|
|1.0-2.0 ct.||FL - VVS2||VS1 - VS2||SI1||SI2||> SI2|
|> 2.0 ct.||FL - VVS2||VS1||VS2||SI1||> SI1|
Emerald Cut Diamond Ratio Guide
The length to width ratio expresses how relatively long or wide a diamond appears. It is calculated by dividing the length of the diamond by its width.
Each fancy diamond shape has a certain length to width ratio that is considered most appealing for that shape. Length to width ratio of emerald diamonds varies from nearly square to narrow rectangular. The classic ratio for emerald cut diamonds is between 1.30- 1.60. However, most people choose a ratio close to 1.50.
The chart below serves as a guideline for evaluating the ratio of emerald cut diamonds.
|SQUARE||1.00 - 1.03||1.00 - 1.03||1.04 - 1.05||1.06 - 1.08||> 1.08|
|RECTANGLE||1.40 - 1.50||1.30 - 1.39 or 1.51 - 1.60||1.20 - 1.29 or 1.61 - 1.80||1.15 - 1.19 or 1.81 - 1.90||< 1.15 or > 1.90|