What is an Emerald Cut?

An emerald cut gemstone is rectangular with cut corners. This style is referred to as step cuts, with facets that run parallel to one another creating a “hall of mirrors-like” effect that is more flashy, and less brilliant than other diamond cuts. The emerald is a sophisticated cut, and one that will never go out of style.

What is an Emerald Cut?

The Emerald cut is derived from the first true diamond cut, the table from the 1400’s. As stonecutters began to add more facets to their cuts, they realized the reflected light caused more brightness in the stone and cutting the edges increased durability, which led to the creation of the step cut. This was important for softer stones like emeralds which is where the cut got its name. This shape peaked in popularity in the 1920’s during the Art Deco era and continues to be an elegant and timeless shape. 

When viewed from above the layers of facets in this cut look like steps and give the stone a “hall of mirrors” effect. An emerald cut typically has 57 facets on its elongated rectangular shape with cut-off corners. Instead of the brilliance and sparkle associated with brilliant cuts and their star shaped facets, which emerged in the 1700’s, the emerald’s linear, straight facets create flashes of light. Emerald cut diamonds are known for their clarity and luster, not necessarily their brilliance.

Most emerald cut gemstones have length to width ratios from 1.30-1.50. A ratio of 1.40 is considered “ideal”, but ratios are really dependent on personal preference. A lower ratio should be chosen for a more square shape, and a higher ratio for an elongated, more rectangular shape. Emerald cut diamonds cannot hide color because of their large facets, so you’ll need to be mindful of color and clarity when considering stones for this cut. 

Why Choose an Emerald Cut Engagement Ring?

Emerald cut diamonds look great in a variety of settings, some of the most popular styles being simple solitaires, three stone and halo settings. An emerald cut solitaire engagement ring shows off the elegance of the center stone, while three stone rings  particularly with baguette side stones which mimic the step cuts are a lovely pairing. Although emerald cuts have a strong vintage feel, they can also be paired with sleek and modern ring designs.

The step-cut faceting in this shape creates elongated lines within the diamond that can help make your fingers appear slimmer, and an emerald cut will also appear larger than other gemstones of the same carat weight. The emerald cut is a classic and timeless shape that lends itself to both vintage and modern settings. 

Since they aren’t as brilliant as some other diamond shapes, emerald cuts require a higher clarity grade, since their glassy nature can make inclusions appear more noticeable. Because emerald cuts have such an open appearance, any color within the diamond will be shown. If you’re looking for a diamond with less warmth or yellow tone (and more of an ice-like appearance), you’ll want to look within the D-G color range for emerald cuts. 

If you have questions about choosing a diamond shape or designing a custom ring give us a call at 303-385-8449 or click here to schedule an appointment.