Our guide to emerald cut diamonds; how they are cut, what to look out for and our favourite emerald cut diamond earrings and rings.
Emerald cut diamonds are rectangular in shape with truncated corners and a broad and flat plane that resembles steps when viewed from above, known as a step cut. Typically featuring anything between 50 and 58 facets, this cut has a unique look due to its distinctive large, open table and the step cuts of their pavilion. Instead of producing the sparkle of a brilliant cut, emerald cut diamonds create a much more unusual hall-of-mirrors effect, with the interplay of light and dark planes. These long lines and dramatic flashes of light give the emerald cut an elegant appeal. Emerald cut diamonds range from almost square to a narrow rectangle, but the classic emerald cut diamond has a length to width ratio of around 1:3 to 1:5.
History behind emerald cut diamonds
The emerald cut was one of the first cuts to be used in jewellery and is often found in historical pieces that feature precious gemstones. The shape was originally developed for the cutting of emeralds, hence its name, order to reduce the amount of pressure exerted during cutting and to protect the gemstone from chipping. However, diamond cutters soon realised the importance of this cut and applied it to diamonds as well.
While it typically has less fire and brilliance than brilliant cuts, the broad flat plane of emerald cuts highlights the clarity of the diamond, and its natural crystalline rectangular growth. Inside of producing the ever-present sparkle of modern, round shapes, the long lines of emerald cut diamonds display a much more unique and interesting sparkles that looks like flashes of light.
The flat planes of the edges also allow for a variety of side gemstones, such as the long thin rectangular diamonds that often flank this cut, known as baguettes. The long shape has a very classic and vintage feel to it, which is currently enjoying a revival in modern day, and is also very flattering on the finger.
Be aware of the diamond quality: Due to the open and glassy nature of the emerald cut, where the internal as well as the external quality of the stone is on display, emerald cut stones need to be very high quality. Whereas brilliant cuts can hide lower colour and clarity grades, the emerald cut demands high clarity, colour AND cut.
Any hint of colour will be magnified: Because of their broad, open facets, any hint of colour will be easily picked up and magnified in an emerald cut diamond, particularly in the corner. So colour grade needs to be high.