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What to Look For in an Emerald Cut Diamond

What to Look For in an Emerald Cut Diamond

So you want to buy an emerald-cut diamond? You clearly have exquisite taste. The emerald cut may not have the razzle-dazzle of some of the other diamond shapes but what it lacks in sparkle, it makes up for in cool demeanour and vintage sophistication. It’s also extremely good value compared to a round brilliant or princess cut.

Choosing a beautiful emerald cut diamond requires a little bit of knowledge so before you hit the virtual aisles, check out this handy guide to arm yourself with the essential info.

Loose emerald cut diamond top and side view

 

CUT

Cut is the most important factor in determining the beauty of an emerald-cut diamond. Your first choice should be Excellent cut - or Very Good, if you must. Once you’ve got that in the bag, take a closer look at the following areas to narrow the field and find the best of the best:

Symmetry

The emerald cut is made up of parallel lines so symmetry is very important. You don’t want a wonky looking stone. Like cut, symmetry is usually graded from Excellent to Poor so make sure you choose a diamond with a symmetry grade at the higher end of the scale.

Girdle Thickness

Thin girdles are usually very desirable but in an emerald cut there’s an increased risk of cracking and chipping with thin or very thin girdles. Your best bet is to look for a girdle width in the “safe zone” of medium to slightly thick.

Length to Width Ratio

The emerald-cut diamond may be rectangular in shape but rectangles vary. Some are long and thin, while others are short and wide. Many people favour the classic emerald cut look, which has a length to width ratio between 1:3 and 1:4. But if you prefer long and thin – or you want to make short fingers appear longer – look for a ratio between 1:5 and 1:75.

Emerald Cut Diamond Ratios

 

Table and Depth Percentage

Compared with brilliant cut diamonds, the emerald cut looks better with a large table – it opens up the stone and helps to create the famous “hall of mirrors” effect. Because of this, look for a diamond with a table percentage of 60-65%. The depth percentage should be similar – we recommend 58-65%.

COLOUR

Emerald cut diamonds have broad, open facets that should look as bright and clear as a Fox’s Glacier Mint. Any hint of colour will be magnified, especially in the corners. Because of this, the colour grade needs to be high - ideally D-F, although G will do in a pinch.

CLARITY

As with colour, the clarity grade of your emerald cut should be high. There’s just nowhere for inclusions to hide in those open facets so don’t consider anything lower than a VS2.

CARAT WEIGHT

Carat weight is not a reliable indicator of size, but it’s even less reliable when it comes to emerald cut diamonds. The emerald cut isn’t as deep as most brilliant cut styles which means, like for like, an emerald cut diamond will appear bigger than, say, a round brilliant that weighs the same. When shopping for emerald cut diamonds, compare sizes not carat weights.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Emerald cut stones need to be very high quality. As with any diamond, you should aim for the highest cut grade possible. But whereas brilliant cuts can hide lower colour and clarity grades, the emerald cut’s open, glassy form demands high clarity, colour AND cut.

Use this cheat sheet when shopping to help you find the perfect emerald cut:

Cut Excellent to Very Good
Colour D – F
Clarity VS2 or higher
Carat weight The dimensions are more important than the weight
Symmetry Excellent to Very Good
Girdle Thickness Medium to Slightly Thick
Length : Width 1:3 – 1:4 or 1:5 – 1:75
Table % 60 – 65%
Depth % 58 – 65%