Emerald Cut Diamonds vs. Radiant Cut Diamonds: What’s the Difference?

Emerald cut and radiant cut diamonds both have a rectangular shape and are loved by celebrities – but that’s really all they have in common. To the untrained eye, they look quite similar. Let’s take a look at the differences between these two beautiful diamond shapes.

Emerald Cut Diamonds

The emerald cut is actually very old, dating back to the 1500s. It’s one of the oldest gemstone shapes – but this also makes it timeless. This sophisticated cut is reminiscent of the Art Deco period when it came back into style. The Art Deco period is known for its love of clean lines and symmetry, which can be seen in the emerald cut diamond. This diamond shape features stepped facets (facets that resemble steps) running along the length of the gem in parallel lines. The stepped facets draw attention to the center of the stone. Emerald cut diamonds generally have a rectangular shape, but sometimes have a more square shape depending on the length to width ratio of the stone.  

Emerald cut diamonds are rare and harder to find – only 3% of the world’s diamonds are emerald shaped. This can also make them more pricey.

Even though this shape usually features 58 facets, emerald cut diamonds are less sparkly due to its step cuts. The emerald cut puts more emphasis on the clarity of the diamond than its sparkle. Get a diamond with excellent polish and excellent symmetry grades to maximize its sparkle.

The emerald cut has a long table and long, open facets. Because of this, inclusions (imperfections) are very obvious. If you’re having trouble understanding what this means, think of a very still pond – it’s clear and because of that, you can see everything at the bottom. If you want to purchase an emerald cut diamond, clarity grade is very important. You should opt for VVS1 or higher. The long table of emerald cut diamonds also means that any color will be obvious. Unless you would like a warm or yellow tinted diamond, don’t go below an H color.

The beveled corners of this diamond make it very durable. It’s less prone to chipping than a princess cut diamond, which has sharp corners.

Because they are rectangular, an emerald cut diamond is a great option for someone who is looking for a ring that will elongate their finger.

Radiant Cut Diamonds


The radiant cut is a modern and more sparkly version of an emerald cut. The radiant cut was created in 1977. Like emerald cut diamonds, radiant cut diamonds have beveled corners that are less prone to chipping. However, this is a more sparkly version – the radiant cut diamond combines aspects of emerald cut and round brilliant diamonds. Radiant cut diamonds have smaller facets – 70, to be exact – which maximizes scintillation (or sparkle). Radiant cut diamonds can also look more square depending on its length to width ratio. They’re a great option for someone that is looking to elongate their finger.

The brilliance of a radiant cut diamond helps distract from color, meaning you can go down to about an H depending on the carat size of the diamond. (A larger diamond will show more color while a smaller diamond will conceal color.) You can also go down to a lower clarity grade of Sl1 or Sl2 because of how sparkly the radiant cut is.


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