Probably one of the most storied and celeb-worthy diamond cuts available on the market is the emerald cut diamond, long cherished for it's timeless beauty and sophistication. Among the various diamond shapes that enhance a diamond's appeal, the emerald cut stands out as a classic and elegant choice. It has a more subtle shine than a brilliant cut (we'll get the differences in a bit), but lights up a room nonetheless. In this comprehensive guide, we'll dive deep into the rich history and popularity of emerald cut diamonds, explore the defining characteristics that make them unique, and offer valuable insights into what to consider when purchasing these exquisite gems. And for good measure, we'll talk emerald cut engagement rings: What does (and doesn't) work with this stunning diamond style.
A 10 carat, perfectly cut emerald cut diamond
Where do Emerald Cut Diamonds Come From?
The emerald cut's origins date back to the 16th century. And yes, the cutting style is in fact named after the gemstone it was designed for: the emerald. See, emeralds have a long, hexagonal crystal structure and many inclusions. The simplicity of an emerald cut's facets ensure less breakage of the stone and show off the internal clarity of the most clear gems. The cutting style was adapted by diamond cutters to showcase a stone's clarity and color. The emerald cut's clean lines and understated elegance soon made it a popular choice for those seeking a sophisticated, timeless diamond engagement ring.
While the emerald cut gained popularity in the 20th century, it reached new heights during the Art Deco era of the 1920s and 1930s. The clean lines and geometric shapes of the emerald cut resonated with the bold and glamorous aesthetic of the time. Very Great Gatsby love story if you will. Celebrities and socialites adorned themselves with emerald cut diamonds, solidifying its status as a symbol of luxury and refinement.
Upgrade your Emerald cut diamond with sometrapezoid side diamonds
Celebrities with Emerald Cut Engagement Rings
Of note, many figures in the entertainment industry have chosen emerald cut diamonds to symbolize their engagements including Beyoncé, who rocks an 18-carat emerald cut diamond engagement ring from husband Jay-Z (and yes, it's a flawless one at that). Amal Clooney received a stunning seven-carat emerald cut ring from actor George Clooney. And Paris Hilton is weighed down by a massive 20-carat emerald cut rock herself. This shape is nothing new though, also having graced the fingers of figures from Grace Kelly to Elizabeth Taylor. Not bad company to be in, certainly.
Characteristics of an Emerald Cut
What all of these stones have in common, despite differences in size and price tag, is the distinctive shape and step cut facets of an emerald cut. Let's get into it. The emerald cut is characterized by its rectangular shape with cut corners, creating a silhouette reminiscent of an elongated octagon. The square emerald cut, or Asscher cut as its known, is the shorter, squared version of this marvelous step cut diamond shape.
The elongated form of the emerald cut gives it the illusion of being a larger diamond, making it an excellent choice for those who desire a striking yet understated look. While a typical emerald cut engagement ring setting is one that runs parallel to the finger, modern settings are switching things up with an east-west orientation. Essentially, the emerald cut diamond is set perpendicular, facing across the finger instead of up and down. This can also help emphasize the size of the stone, as it creates more visual spread on your hand.
Unique Faceting and Fire
What sets the emerald cut apart from brilliant cut diamonds is its distinctive faceting pattern. Unlike brilliant cuts that feature numerous facets arranged like the spokes of a wheel to maximize sparkle, the emerald cut employs fewer, larger facets. The step-like arrangement of these facets creates a mesmerizing play of light and dark areas within the diamond, resulting in a more subdued yet elegant brilliance. Its flat, broad planes showcase a diamond's clarity and color in a unique way, and emphasize that rainbow fire and flash you get over brilliant white sparkle.
What to Look for When Buying an Emerald Cut Diamond
If emerald cut engagement rings are on your wish list, you're probably already pretty sure that this shape is for you. But that doesn't mean you know exactly what to look for when choosing from the millions of diamonds on the market. To make your ring dreams come true with a diamond that really suits you (and your budget), here's some things to keep in mind while you shop.
The highest priority of the 4Cs, no matter what diamond shapes you're shopping, should always be "cut" and that's because the quality of a diamond's cut has the most impact on its visual appearance. But the only diamond shape that has an industry-standard cut grade is a round brilliant. So here's what to look for: While the emerald cut's allure lies in its clean lines and unique faceting, the quality of the cut remains paramount. Look for a well-proportioned emerald cut that balances the length and width, ensuring a harmonious appearance. And the symmetry of the cut is crucial, as any deviations can impact the diamond's overall visual appeal. Check for an stone with excellent polish and symmetry to achieve this.
Emerald cut diamonds aren't just for engagement rings, but make for jaw dropping eternity bands too
Length to Width Ratio
While Asscher cuts are square, emerald cuts can be any rectangular shape from "just barely" to super elongated. And everyone has different preferences. A majority of emerald cut diamonds on the market will fall in the 1:3-1:5 ratio, with the smaller number being closer to square. The larger the ratio difference, the more elongated the shape will be.
The timeless GOODSTONEEast West Half Bezel Engagement ring with an Emerald cut diamond
Due to the open nature of the emerald cut's step cut facets, inclusions may be more visible compared to other cuts. If you don't want to see anything inside, it's advisable to choose a diamond with a higher clarity grade to minimize the impact of any imperfections. You don't have to only look for flawless stones, however. Eye-clean to the naked eye will do the trick. Sticking to the VS1 range or above is usually safe, but it is still possible to find lower clarity grade emerald cut diamonds that are eye clean. Just check for photos and videos of the diamonds before you buy.
The emerald cut's broad facets showcase this diamond's color in a distinctive way. While some prefer a colorless diamond, others appreciate a faint hue, as it can lend warmth and character to the stone. It's usually a bit lower priority, however if you want your diamond to have a super-white look, you'll probably want to stick with a G-H color grade or higher. Consider your personal preference and choose a color grade that complements your style and budget. And remember that if you're setting your diamond in yellow gold, it will reflect through the stone anyway, so you can go a bit lower on color, save a little money, and still have a majorly brilliant engagement ring on your hands.
Carat weight is simply a measurement of a diamond's physical weight, not its size or appearance. And diamond's are priced by weight, so the more carats, the more cash you're going to spend. But an emerald cut's elongated shape can make the diamond appear larger than its carat weight suggests. Carefully consider the balance between size and quality to find a diamond that makes all your dreams come true. One great way to save cash and get a larger diamond, if that's your thing, is to shop for a lab grown diamond. A lab created diamond can cost almost 50% less than a natural, mined diamond of the same quality.
A side-by-side comparison of a 3 carat emerald cut diamond & a 4 carat emerald cut diamond
Choosing Emerald Cut Engagement Rings
So, you know an emerald cut ring is for you, but you're stuck on the many styles available and just don't know what will be the best representation of your love story. Remember, the emerald cut diamond is all about clean lines and timeless elegance. So keep that in mind to find a ring that echoes that for a harmonious look. Here are some popular styles for emerald cut engagement rings:
1. Solitaire Settings:
The simplicity of a solitaire setting allows the emerald cut to take center stage, showcasing its clean lines and subtle brilliance. The easiest-wearing solitaire we've ever made, this prong-set North South Emerald Cut is the ideal silhouette to showcase a jaw-dropping solitaire, yet fixed to a barely-there band. This makes the stone appear to float on the hand, while the prong setting allows light to flow through the diamond from all angles. It's a kind of magic.
Our hyper delicateBezel Set Engagement ring with an Emerald cut diamond
More minimalism with our Thin & Simple solitiare engagement ring with an Emerald cut diamond
2. Halo Settings:
A halo of smaller diamonds surrounding the emerald cut can add extra sparkle and create a more substantial visual impact. The contrast between the angular lines of the emerald cut and the round brilliance of the halo can be striking. In our Aurora Pavé Halo Ring, a luminous halo of pavé-set diamonds encircle the center stone to bring extra dimensions to this cathedral ring's sparkle.
3. Three-Stone Settings:
One of the most popular engagement ring styles for an emerald cut diamond is a three-stone setting. But there are a few different ways you can wear this look.
An emerald cut paired with two perpendicular baguette side diamonds in a classic engagement ring emphasizes the emerald cut's elongated shape, and can give you the look of a solitaire with just a hint of something extra. But you can also find a ring with parallel baguette side stones that mirror the elongated shape and step cut facets of the emerald cut for a cohesive look that offers a seamless transition between center stone and sides. If you really want a showstopper, trapezoid cut side stones that are slightly larger will give your emerald cut engagement ring a major look that's all sparkle.
In any of these, just make sure that your side stones are well-matched and harmonious in color and clarity with your center stone.
Emerald cuts stun in blue too - a rare Emerald cut sapphire engagement ring
4. Colorful Emerald Cut Engagement Rings
Given their start as a cut designed specifically for a colored gem, it's no surprise that emerald cut engagement rings can be found in some pretty stunning colors to this day. We love an emerald cut colored gemstone as the center stone, rocking its step cut facets and accented by some white diamond sides for extra brilliance. And staying true to its heritage, emeralds are also having a moment showcasing their namesake cut in this emerald cut emerald eternity band. Because who doesn't want a full ring of both color and sparkle around their finger?
For the girls that love green - a lab grown green Emerald Cut diamond in a custom Half Bezel engagement ring
Shopping for Matching Emerald Cut Diamond Bands
When selecting a matching band for your emerald cut diamond engagement ring, consider wedding bands that complement the clean lines of the stone. Matching metals and stone shapes can emphasize the beauty of an emerald cut ring and create a cohesive, timeless look. If you are into a bezel-set emerald cut solitaire ring, for instance, perhaps a bezel set diamond eternity band will do the trick? Want less metal? Go with our Constellation Eternity Band, which features flashing emerald cut diamonds in a shared prong ring, all lined up to sparkle in unison. They can be ordered in the size and carat weight of your preference. If you want to keep things a bit more interesting, or at least give yourself some shape options, thisReversible Diamond Eternity Band features emerald cuts on one side and round on the other. We consider that a win-win.
Baguette diamonds are an easy compliment for Emerald cut engagement rings
Finding Your Emerald Cut Dream Ring
Whether you're shopping for a solitaire or an over-the-top emerald cut engagement ring that knocks off all the socks, the emerald cut diamond will always hold its own. It's perhaps the sophisticated of diamond cuts with a rich history, unique character, and enduring style suited for refined taste. To find your ring, explore our full collection of emerald cut engagement rings and while you're at it, scoop up an emerald cut tennis bracelet to boot. It also makes the ideal gift for your special someone.
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