A Simple Guide to Emerald Cut Diamonds

March 25, 2020 By swj-eric

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Regardless of their knowledge of jewelry and gemstones, most people can tell you what an emerald cut stone is. Among the oldest and most recognizable styles, its elegant rectangular—and, in some cases, square—shape is uniquely captivating, especially when placed in a simple solitaire setting.

How did the term “emerald cut” come to be?

Though the name didn’t appear until the early 20th century, the cutting style dates back centuries. Early lapidaries would use it on emeralds to reduce pressure during the cutting process and lessen the risk of chipping or fracturing, as emeralds are particularly brittle. This is how the style got its name.

In the 1920s, with the rise of the Art Deco movement, the emerald cut became popular for its long lines and clean geometric shape, and soon the technique was used on other stones, including diamonds. Since then, the emerald cut diamond has become a favorite among jewelers and jewelry wearers alike and is a popular style for modern engagement rings.

What are some unique characteristics of emerald cut diamonds?

Unlike brilliant cut stones, which hold the majority of their carat weight below the table (the centermost facet at the top of the diamond) to enhance their sparkle, emerald cut stones put their weight front and center. That means you get to see more of the actual stone, which can make it appear larger.

Though its sparkle is slightly more subdued than, say, a brilliant round or a marquise cut, the emerald cut diamond is anything but dull. Its long, rectangular facets run parallel to one another and look like steps (hence the term step cut) to create what’s often described as a ‘hall of mirrors’ effect. This refers to the hypnotizing flashes of light given off by emerald cut diamonds.

Still, only a small percentage of the world’s diamonds are emerald cut.

Which means they can sometimes be hard to find. Which also means they make an eye-catching statement in the right setting. Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking for the perfect emerald cut diamond.

Because of their large table and fewer facets up top, emerald cut diamonds tend to show their flaws (known as inclusions) more than brilliant cut stones. For this reason, choosing a diamond with a higher clarity is often recommended.

On the flip side, you can sometimes offset the price of a higher-clarity emerald cut diamond with one that has a slightly lower color grade, since they tend to hold color quite nicely.

Another characteristic to consider with an emerald cut is the length-to-width ratio; the higher that ratio, the more elongated the stone will be. Ideally, this ratio should be between 1.30 and 1.60 for a rectangular stone and between 1.00 and 1.05 for a square stone, but often the shaping and faceting of an emerald cut diamond simply depends on personal preference.

Bring your emerald cut diamond to Southwest Jewelry Buyers.

The popularity of emerald cut diamonds shows no sign of diminishing, which means they will continue to hold value. If you have an emerald cut diamond to sell, our qualified jewelry appraisers can help you determine its quality so that we can provide top dollar for your diamond ring, necklace, or other piece of jewelry.

It costs nothing to schedule an appointment for an evaluation, and all of our appraisers have received a Graduate Diamond Degree from the GIA, so you know they will provide a thorough, unbiased inspection of your diamond.

After that, if you decide to move forward, Southwest Jewelry Buyers will purchase your diamond through an honest and stress-free transaction. Call us today at 480.773.8004.