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The John Atencio Jewelry Glossary The John Atencio Jewelry Glossary
Glossary › Emerald Cut

Glossary: Emerald Cut

An emerald cut is a type of diamond or gemstone shape made to emphasize long parallel step cuts along with clipped corners to fashion a sort of octagon-like shape.

Although most emerald cuts are rectangular; square variations exist, and these are called square emerald cuts. The typical emerald cut will have rows of elongated facets on the pavilion and crown, running parallel to the gem’s girdle, with sets at the corners and on each of the stone’s four sides. While the number of steps or rows may vary, the standard number is three on the pavilion and three on the crown.

Seldom used for diamonds in the low or intermediate color grades, the emerald cut tends to emphasize color, making it an excellent choice for colorless stones. It is also a fine option in instances where it is desirable to emphasize the color of fancy stones.

Emerald cut stones usually flaunt elongated, rectangular shapes with chiseled step cuts and straight linear facets, typically arranged in parallel fashion down the stone. To prevent fractures and add stability, the corners of the stone are usually cropped. Emerald cut diamonds have a large surface table and deep clarity. Through their long step cuts, emerald cut diamonds offer abundant reflections both of colored and white light.

an emerald cut diamond

Do Emerald Cut Diamonds Look Bigger?

A popular option for larger gemstones with higher price points, an emerald cut diamond will typically appear larger than other shaped diamonds of the same quality in similar carat weights.

Emerald cuts fit quite well in a variety of different styles but are generally preferred with understated settings. Emerald cuts work very well with simple pave and solitaire settings, and are an ideal choice for three-stone settings.

Are Emerald Cut Diamonds More Expensive?

An emerald cut diamond ring will usually be cheaper than an engagement ring with a round diamond and most other shapes. This is due to the lower demand for emerald cut diamond engagement rings and higher yield on cutting.

How the Cut Affects Color

Similar to clarity, diamond color is another key attribute that is more pronounced in an emerald cut. Its step cuts and large table retain more color than most other common diamond shapes, allowing the eye to see much more of the natural color of the gemstone.

When you assess an emerald cut diamond of a J color grade or higher, you will easily be able to notice a slightly yellow tint. Since the naked eye is unable to spot any tint at an I color grade or lower, it’s generally best to select a stone in this range to maximize beauty and value.

When choosing a diamond for an emerald cut, it’s also important to make sure your stone looks white in relation to the ring setting. For instance, a well-cut emerald diamond bursts with radiant, white color in a white gold pave setting. Whatever the case. it’s best to review the diamond’s color and the ring setting before making a purchase.

Pros and Cons of Emerald Cut Diamonds

As with every kind of gemstone shape, emerald cuts have their advantages and disadvantages, including:


  • They have a lower price per carat compared to most shapes.
  • They provide an elegant, understated appearance.
  • They are relatively easy to find.


  • They aren’t as brilliant as some other diamond shapes.
  • They require a higher clarity grade, since their glassy nature can make inclusions appear more noticeable.


When it comes to assessing the pros and cons of a diamond cut, it all comes down to individual preferences. What might seem like a drawback to some can seem like an advantage to someone else. This is why it's important to talk to an expert to get sound guidance that will help you decide whether a specific cut is right for your situation.

Everyone’s diamond search is unique. At John Atencio, our experienced experts can help you find the perfect diamond cut and style. Paired with a lovely John Atencio setting, our beautiful diamonds result in a breathtaking artistic expression of beauty and luxury unlike anything else. Explore our diamond search or schedule an appointment at one of our many locations, where our expert team will provide a personalized approach to help you find the best diamond option for your jewelry.