Top Tips For Buying An Emerald Cut Diamond

Classic Emerald Engagement Ring with Diamond Band | Ritani.com

An emerald cut diamond evokes elegance, strength and modern traditions. The shape is loved by sophisticated and badass brides like Amal Clooney and Beyonce, with many brides admiring its ability to show quality more than other fancy shape diamonds. Rare, dramatic and distinctive, an emerald cut engagement ring is for a woman with confidence.


Origins Of The Emerald Cut

The “emerald cut diamond” or “emerald shaped diamond” dates back to the 1500s when stonecutters first started cutting true emeralds into a rectangular shape. Emerald gems (unlike diamonds) are soft and prone to breaking, but a stonecutter discovered that “stepped” facets gave them more stability. Stepped facets run along the length of a gem in parallel lines, reminiscent of the steps of an Aztec temple. The term “step cut” refers to any gem with these parallel, receding lines, and diamonds following the same pattern as the original rectangular emeralds are now known as “emerald cut diamonds”.

Emerald loose diamond | Ritani.com

What Is An Emerald Cut Diamond?

The rectangular emerald cut diamond has several rows of stepped facets on its crown and pavilion, which run parallel to the girdle. Like most other diamond shapes, it has 57 or 58 facets. The concentric alignment of its facets creates the sparkling “hall of mirrors” effect the emerald diamond is prized for.

Emerald vs. Asscher vs. Radiant Diamonds

There are two other popular diamond shapes that might be confused for an emerald cut: radiant and Asscher.

Radiant shape diamond vs Emerald shape diamonds vs Asscher shape diamond |Ritani.com

Radiant cut diamonds
Radiant cut diamonds have a similar silhouette to emerald cuts — rectangular with cropped corners — but that’s where their similarities end. Radiant cut diamonds have smaller facets aligned to maximize scintillation; Emerald cut diamonds have larger facets with less scintillation but more depth. Imagine the difference between droplets of water and the clear surface of a lake, and you’ll start to get the picture.

Asscher cut diamonds
Emerald cuts and Asscher cuts are both step cut diamonds, but they are two very different stones. The Asscher cut diamond is square with cropped corners, and has a distinctive X pattern on the top facet. The alignment of the Asscher’s facets make it the more brilliant of the two.

Are Emerald Cut Diamonds Popular?

Emerald cut diamonds have gained popularity in recent years as more buyers look beyond the classic round diamond shape. That said, they remain a rare and distinctive choice: only 5% of Ritani customers choose the emerald cut, which means you’ll definitely stand out from the crowd with this diamond. The emerald cut is also popular among celebrities: Amal Clooney, Angelina Jolie, and Beyonce all wear emerald cut diamonds.

Beautiful Emerald diamond engagement ring  | Ritani.com

Do Emerald Cut Diamonds Look Bigger?

Elongated stones like emerald cut diamonds look larger because the top surface (table) is bigger than a round cut diamond of the same carat weight. When comparing a 1 carat round cut diamond and 1 carat emerald cut diamond, the emerald cut looks larger. Emerald cut engagement rings often make your fingers look longer and more slender as well.


What To Look For When Buying An Emerald Cut Diamond

The standards for an emerald cut diamond vary — and as with all diamonds, your own personal taste should be your deciding factor above all else. That said, here are some tips for finding the best emerald cut diamond.

Length, Width & Depth
Decide on your ideal length-to-width ratio. Intuitively, this ratio is found by dividing the diamond’s length by its width. Depending on the LxW ratio, an emerald diamond can be a long, thin rectangle or an almost-square shape.

Ritani’s gemologists recommend that the best ratio for emerald cut diamonds is 1.45 to 1.55, although some people prefer longer, thinner cuts (around 1.6), and some prefer the shorter, squarer cuts (around 1.3).

The diamond’s total depth percentage will also affect how much light it reflects. Go for a depth percentage of 60% to 70% of the stone’s width for the most brilliance.

Clarity Grade: Emerald cut diamonds don’t conceal imperfections well due to their long, open facets, so clarity (or lack of inclusions) is important. We recommend an eye-clean VVS1 clarity grade or higher.

Cut Grade: The term “diamond cut grade” refers to the quality of a diamond’s proportions and symmetry. While the GIA and the AGS don’t assign cut grades to emerald shaped diamonds, they do assign polish and symmetry grades. Many diamond retailers use polish, symmetry and proportions to approximate an emerald shaped diamond’s cut grade, since these factors are good indicators of sparkle in the absence of a true cut grade. Go for an emerald cut diamond with Excellent polish and Excellent symmetry grades for the most sparkle.

Color Grade: There is no “best” color grade for emerald cut diamonds (or any diamond). While diamond grading labs (and retailers) tend to value colorless diamonds at a premium, the color grade you choose should really be based on what you find most attractive. Since Ritani started selling diamonds in 1999, many customers have come to prefer the slightly warmer colors (and lower pricing) of a G or H diamond over the colorlessness of a D, E or F diamond.

Carat Weight: The cost of an emerald shaped diamond can vary quite a bit from one carat weight to the next. Focus on finding a diamond with the right proportions, symmetry and polish within the carat weight range you desire.

What Is The Best Setting For An Emerald Cut Diamond?

Simple, elegant solitaires and glittering halos tend to be the most popular settings for emerald shaped diamonds. An emerald cut halo engagement ring creates a really breathtaking vintage-inspired engagement ring, with the added benefit that the diamonds in the halo bring extra sparkle to the center diamond.

Are Emerald Cut Diamonds More Expensive?

Only 3% of the world’s diamonds are emerald cut, which means they are rare and harder to find — which increases their price. That said, due to their elongated shape and large table, you can get a diamond that looks a little larger than other shapes for a lower price per carat.

How Much Is An Emerald Cut Engagement Ring?

The price of your emerald cut engagement ring depends on the price of the diamond you pick and the ring setting you select. Our virtual gemologists are the best resource to help you to select a diamond. We’re always here for you—both online and in person—to make sure you find the perfect ring at the perfect price.

How Much Is An Emerald Cut Diamond?

A 1 carat emerald cut diamond costs between $1,400 and $6,000, depending on cut, color and clarity. Explore our inventory of 1 carat emerald cut diamonds.


The bottom line is that an emerald cut is a beautiful, sophisticated diamond. If you’re ready to buy an emerald cut diamond engagement ring, let’s get started! For real–time, expert guidance and high-resolution diamond images, our non-commissioned virtual gemologists can help you decide which diamond to buy—all free of charge.