An emerald cut diamond engagement ring is the epitome of sophistication. The lustrous lines and satin steps of this diamond shape are much admired around the world and this cut is definitely one of the classiest alternatives to the classic round brilliant. Emerald cut diamonds are for individuals looking for understated elegance which impresses. The shape has depth and breadth; it’s an ultra-smart look with timeless appeal. What is an emerald cut diamond engagement ring? For those of you who may not be so familiar with this shape – let’s learn more about it…
The emerald cut diamond has been around for a long time. It dates back to the Middle Ages and no surprises for guessing that this cut is named after its distant cousin, the emerald! This is the shape into which those gorgeous green, slightly mysterious gemstones were typically cut. Emeralds themselves are much softer than diamonds, and with cutting methods being less advanced back then, the safest way to cut emeralds was to stick with various versions of this oblong form, which applied the least amount of pressure on the stone and minimised the risk of causing chips and cracks during the cutting process. Well, diamond cutters caught onto it and started producing those little carbon miracles with the same facets and lines. In the Roaring Twenties this shape was at its pinnacle in popularity, as its ‘architectural’ form perfectly suited the Art Deco style and tastes of that era. The emerald cut diamond has consistently featured on chic engagement rings and other fine jewellery since then, and in recent decades has been seen on the fingers of style icons such as Jackie Kennedy, Elizabeth Taylor (who sported an enormous 29.4 carat emerald cut diamond engagement ring, which she nick-named her ice-skating rink!) and in recent years Angelina Jolie, Amal Clooney and Beyoncé.
The emerald cut diamond has an elongated, rectangular form. It has chiselled cuts which resemble steps, with straight linear facets. These run parallel down the stone. The corners are cropped. Emerald cut diamonds can also come in a more or less square shape with the same elements. The nature of this cut means it is deep and is engineered for clarity. The extensive surface at the top, or ‘table’ absorbs and reflects lots of light, but not in the same way that cuts like the round brilliant sparkle profusely. The emerald cut tends to make a diamond in this shape appear larger than it really is.
THE 4Cs OF EMERALD CUT DIAMONDS
The design of the facets gives us something akin to a hall of mirrors effect. It’s not cut in order to produce fire and brilliance, like other shapes. Emerald cut is one of the ‘fancy’ shapes, and the GIA doesn’t grade these for cut. This cut does have a distinctive charm all its own, which comprises flashes of white and dark light, as opposed to glitter.
The emerald cut diamond will exhibit its intrinsic colour for all to behold, so colour is important. Ideally, you want a stone which is at least G, though you can get away with a stone which is H or I if you run with yellow or rose gold for your setting.
It’s all about clarity with this fancy fellow. Emerald cut diamonds have nothing to hide. We can see all the way into the heart of the stone, so any blemishes will be visible. We suggest that you aim for VS1 or above.
As mentioned above, this cut will typically appear bigger than other diamonds of the same carat weight. So in that way, you’re going get more for your money per carat with an emerald shape diamond. When they are cut and polished, emerald shape diamonds have what’s known as a higher yield, meaning that less of the stone is discarded during the cutting. This is a good thing for you, the consumer, and also as far as sustainability is concerned. Emerald cut diamonds are cost effective!
Emerald cut diamonds are most often seen as solitaires, but they do go wonderfully in a halo setting too. Emerald cut diamonds are often described as having a ‘sleek’ look, so they do look fabulous on sleek, slim profile settings and bands. Emerald cut diamonds with baguette accent stones to either side make marvellous engagement rings. The most popular precious metals which are paired with emerald cut diamonds are platinum and white gold.
The emerald cut is not only a sophisticated cut, it is also a very strong shape – physically, and figuratively speaking, too! The geometric form makes it one of the best shapes if you’re after that vintage or Art Deco look. It also features fantastically in a contemporary setting. Excellent quality emerald cut diamonds are not too difficult to find and are more affordable than round brilliants. Inclusions are easily spotted however, and this cut is not a super sparkler, so if it’s dazzle you desire, this one is probably not the one to choose. Industry expert, gemmologist Ryan Kelsie from US company Ritani, which specialises in engagement rings, recommends selecting an emerald cut diamond which is “minimum clarity grade of VS2 or higher and a colour grade of H or higher.”
How did the emerald cut get its name?
Because the shape is the same as the way in which the green gemstone emerald has been traditionally cut for many centuries.
What’s the main appeal of an emerald cut diamond?
The emerald cut diamond is renowned for its profound clarity.
Are emerald cut diamonds more affordable than round brilliant diamonds?
Generally speaking, they should be per carat, although when selecting an emerald cut, a larger carat weight is preferable. They do look larger than they really are though.