Emerald Cut Diamond Buying Guide

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The traditional Emerald Cut Diamond has an elongated, rectangular shape, with step-cut facets that are polished straight and linear in parallel lines. The outline of modified emerald-cut diamonds might also be square.

This Blue Nile 3-stone ring features a rectangular emerald cut diamond, but some are square-shaped. Under those circumstances, the main difference between the two options is the length to width ratio.

In that case, you'll need to decide which classification of emerald diamonds you prefer. Consequently, both the rectangular and square versions fall into the general category of step-cut diamonds.

As such, emerald-cut diamonds tend to be very brilliant; however, they lack dispersion. In other words, you may see a lot of white sparkles but not much fire.

Emerald Cut Diamond 3-stone Ring by Blue Nile.

Emerald Cut Diamond 3-Stone Ring by Blue Nile.

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Every Emerald Cut Diamond Is Unique:

Custom Engagement Rings by Brian Gavin Designs.

Custom Engagement Ring by Brian Gavin.

Emerald cut diamonds are more brilliant than fiery because the step-cut design reflects light differently than smaller geometric shapes. In addition, the broader facets also produce larger flashes of light.

Notice how the light reflects through this Black by Brian Gavin Emerald cut diamond in this ring. You see long patterns of contrast reflecting in different ways, but not a lot of sparkles.

In other words, the sparkle of an emerald diamond might be more significant, but it also exhibits a flatter intensity. In comparison, the sparkle factor of a brilliant-cut diamond is smaller but more vivid and intense.

Where to Buy Emerald Cut Diamond Engagement Rings:

Helix Tension Setting by Stephen Kretchmer

Tension Set Emerald Cut Diamond Brian Gavin.

The light performance of a square or rectangular step-cut diamond depends on several factors. First, the length to width ratio and the proportions affect how light reflects throughout the diamond.

Second, the degree of optical precision or consistency of the facet structure dictates the brightness. In that case, fifth-generation diamond cutter Brian Gavin produces the most spectacular emerald cuts that I've ever seen.

The design and light performance of his rectangular emerald shape diamonds is unique enough to warrant a patent.

Speaking of impressive designs, this Helix Pavé Tension Setting by Stephen Kretchmer is breathtaking. This ring is unique because an immense amount of pressure holds the center stone in place.

The Best Places to Buy Emerald Cut Diamonds:

In the event that you're looking for a lab-grown diamond, then James Allen and Ritani are your best bet. However, you might want to read about the differences between natural and lab-grown diamonds.

How to Choose an Emerald Cut Diamond:

Brilyens Brian Gavin Signature Diamonds

Brian Gavin Signature Emerald Cut Diamonds.

Our primary goal is to help you find the most spectacular-looking emerald cut diamonds. So with that in mind, we're going to focus mainly on light performance.

After all, things like carat weight, clarity grades, and the color grade aren't readily visible from across the dinner table. In contrast, the sparkle factor of your engagement ring should be apparent from across the room.

In that case, we recommend starting with a loose diamond so that you can judge the light performance. The sparkle factor and Brilyens® of Brian Gavin Signature Emerald cut diamonds are spectacular.

Although that may be true, you don't have to take our word for it because we're going to prove it using ASET and Ideal Scope images. In that case, you'll know with 100% certainty that Brian Gavin Signature emerald cuts are the brightest.

Emerald Cut Diamonds Sparkle Factor:

Brian Gavin Signature Emerald Review Clarity

Brian Gavin Signature Emerald Cut.

People often ask whether emerald cut diamonds are less sparkly than other diamond shapes. Consequently, emerald shape diamonds do sparkle less than their brilliant counterparts.

However, it might be more accurate to say that the long rectangular step facets create a different type of sparkle. Suffice to say that every kind of fancy shape diamond uniquely reflects light.

In that case, the decision to buy one shape over another is primarily a matter of preference. For that reason, I wasn't a fan of emerald cuts before seeing the Brian Gavin Signature collection.

In my experience, most emerald cut diamonds sit around on the finger, looking dull and lifeless. Conversely, many people consider the emerald-shaped diamond a timeless classic, but I never saw the appeal until recently.

ASET for Light Performance:

ASET Brian Gavin Signature Emerald Cut Diamond

ASET Scope for BGD Emerald Cut.

If you're shopping for an emerald cut diamond engagement ring, then you want it to look amazing. In that case, you can use an ASET Scope to verify the degree of optical precision.

In other words, the image on the left enables us to see how evenly the diamond is reflecting light. We explain what the different colors mean in this ASET Scope tutorial.

However, the essential takeaway is that the high concentration of red indicates primary brightness. Under those circumstances, you can be confident that this Brian Gavin Signature diamond will be bright and lively.

There is also even distribution of blue (contrast) and green (secondary brightness). In that case, it's easy to see that this emerald cut diamond is reflecting light evenly.

Ideal Scope for Light Leakage:

Ideal Scope Brian Gavin Signature Emerald Cut Diamond

Ideal Scope for BGD Emerald Cut.

First, it is essential to recognize that the ASET and Ideal Scope images serve different purposes. Second, it is worth mentioning that most fancy shape diamonds will not look good through those devices.

Only a few cutters know how to optimize fancy shape diamonds for light performance. In that case, the majority of emerald cut diamonds leak light extensively.

Consequently, it's easier to optimize a round brilliant because of the symmetrical facet structure. Although that may be true, the Ideal Scope image on the left indicates a high volume of light return.

In other words, this emerald cut diamond is leaking very little light compared to most. That's because Brian Gavin intends to cut diamonds for performance rather than the retention of carat weight.

With that in mind, he went back to the drawing board and redesigned the rectangular emerald shape from the ground up. As a result, the Ideal Scope image above shows minimal light leakage compared with most.

Conversely, the difference between Brian Gavin and other rectangular emerald-cut diamonds is like night and day. That is why it's so challenging to find AGS Ideal Emerald Cut Diamonds.

ASET Image for Step Cut Diamonds:

Keep the preceding images of the Brian Gavin Signature Emerald cut diamonds in mind as you look at the ones below from Blue Nile.

Blue Nile Diamond Reviews

Emerald Cut Diamond from Blue Nile.

ASET Scope Image for Blue Nile Diamond.

ASET for Blue Nile Emerald Cut Diamond.

First, you can see that light is reflecting pretty evenly throughout the body of this stone. In that case, it's fair to say that this emerald cut diamond looks better than most.

Although that may be true, the ASET Scope image reveals extensive light leakage throughout the fan sections. In other words, all of those light, white, transparent sections indicate light leakage.

Now that you know what to look for, you'll also see how that leakage corresponds with the dark regions in the clarity photograph. Consequently, this is the only option I could find with an ASET Scope image that we can use for comparison.

That is not surprising since most fancy shape diamonds do not fare well under these devices. After all, the majority of emerald cut diamonds don't reflect outstanding optical precision.

In other words, the consistency of facet shape, size, and alignment are not on par with Brian Gavin. Suffice to say, that is the reason why I recommend Brian Gavin Signature diamonds so highly.

Blue Nile Studio Engagement Rings.

Blue Nile Studio Engagement Rings.

Characteristics of Emerald Cut Diamonds:

AGS Lab Report for Emerald Cut Diamond

Black by Brian Gavin Emerald Cut Diamond.

First, the overall look and shape of every emerald cut diamond are uniquely individual. That is partially due to the shape of the rough diamond crystal that dictates the polished gem's shape.

The diamond cutter might also adjust the size, shape, and number of facets to maximize the yield. In that case, the step-facet pattern of an emerald diamond is more of a general guideline than a rule.

At the same time, there are some essential characteristics of the emerald cut diamond that are consistent. To begin with, the hall of mirrors effect that emerald diamonds exhibit is the result of the step-facet pattern.

The kaleidoscope effect of light interplaying within the facets is unique to emerald cut diamonds. An ASET map on the lab report for this Brian Gavin Signature diamond shows how rectangular step-cut diamonds reflect light.

The step facets along the pavilion section reflect light in long stretches throughout the stone. Whereas the beveled corners step down and reflect light at different intensities that create contrast brilliance.

Simultaneously, the offset of light reflecting through the step-facets on top creates additional contrast and definition. In that case, an interplay of light and dark contrasting sections combine to produce dramatically bold sparkle.

Step-Cut Facet Patterns:

Step-cut diamonds facet patterns.

Emerald Cut Facet Diagram.

As shown below, square and rectangular diamonds like the emerald feature a step-cut facet structure. In that case, light reflecting off the facets tends to be larger in size and bolder in appearance.

Under those circumstances, the sparkle tends to be brilliant, but there is not much dispersion. In other words, the flash effect is whiter, but there is not a lot of fire (color).

The plotting diagram shown here shows the step-facet pattern of a Black by Brian Gavin Emerald cut diamond.

AGS vs. GIA Grading Standards:

Proportions Diagram for Step-cut diamonds

Emerald Cut Diamond Proportions Chart.

Here is the proportions diagram from the AGS diamond grading report. One of the benefits of the AGS grading system is that it provides the crown and pavilion measurements.

Conversely, the GIA provides the total depth and table measurements but does not acknowledge the crown and pavilion sections. Nor does the GIA provide an overall cut grade for fancy shape diamonds.

Best Proportions for Emerald Cut Diamonds:

Double French-set Diamond V ring by Ritani.

French-set Diamond 'V' Setting by Ritani.

Until recently, it was practically impossible to find an AGS Ideal Emerald cut diamond. That's because the majority of diamond cutters that cut emerald diamonds are primarily thinking about carat weight.

In other words, they are trying to maximize the yield from each piece of rough diamond material. After all, most people know about diamond carat weight and expect to pay more for a larger diamond.

However, few people realize the impact that diamond cut quality has on diamond prices. Although that may be true, the overall cut quality can affect diamond prices by sixty percent.

AGA Proportions Chart for Step Cut Diamonds:

First, it's a well-known fact that diamond proportions can influence the light return and sparkle factor. With that in mind, you might be wondering about the ideal proportions for emerald cut diamonds.

We're going to share this legacy proportions chart from David Atlas of Accredited Gemological Appraisers for that reason. However, it's not possible to accurately predict light performance by the numbers.

Emerald and Radiant Cut Proportions Chart by David Atlas AGA.

Radiant Cut Diamond Proportions Chart (used for all rectangular shaped diamonds).

Fancy Shape Diamond Proportions Limitations:

James Allen Petite Pave Crown Setting for Emerald.

Petite Pavé Crown Setting by James Allen.

The variety of facet patterns and length-to-width ratios make it challenging to predict light performance accurately. Under those circumstances, the potential model is constantly changing.

In that case, we use this chart as a guideline when searching for step-cut diamonds. And then, we try to obtain the ASET and Ideal Scope images necessary to verify the light performance.

Consequently, the proportions of Brian Gavin Signature Emerald cut diamonds have measurements outside this range. However, that is not surprising since David Atlas introduced that chart in the 1980s.

There have been significant advances in diamond cutting since that time. The Brian Gavin Signature Emerald cut diamond is the result of modern-day research and state-of-the-art cutting processes.

Under those circumstances, what the ASET/Ideal Scope images reveal is more important than the proportions. But, most suppliers do not provide those reflector scope images for fancy shape diamonds.

Square Asscher Cut Diamonds:

Asscher Cut Diamond Buying Guide

Asscher Cut Diamond Buying Guide.

As mentioned previously, an emerald is a step-cut diamond that can be square in shape or rectangular. From my perspective, it looks a little bit like the beveled glass top of a coffee table.

The Asscher cut diamond on the left is a hybrid step-cut that offers a distinctly different look. In other words, an Asscher cut diamond is similar to an emerald cut diamond.

However, the facet pattern creates a pattern of concentric squares that is visible under the table facet. Most people think it looks like a square spiral staircase as seen from the top down.

However, some people see the pattern as being more of a hall of mirrors effect. But, regardless of how you see things, they make pretty unique engagement rings.

Length to Width Ratio:

The length to width ratio of an emerald cut diamond is simply the ratio of the length and width. Consequently, there isn't an ideal length to width ratio for fancy shape diamonds.

After all, it's primarily a matter of personal preference since beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If you want to determine the length to width ratio, divide the length by the width and express it as it relates to one.

1.36:1.00 Length to Width Ratio:

Brian Gavin Signature Emerald Cut Diamond

Brian Gavin Signature Emerald Cut Diamond.

This 2.01 carat, Brian Gavin Signature Emerald cut diamond measures 8.58 x 6.33 x 4.24 mm. In that case, divide 8.58 by 6.33, and it has a 1.36:1.00 length to width ratio.

As you can see, the diamond has a traditional rectangular outline that is quite pleasing. However, the diamond also looks bright and white and is full of life due to a higher degree of optical precision.

This diamond is graded AGS Ideal-0 by the American Gem Society Laboratory on their Light Performance grading platform. Very few fancy shape diamonds receive this rating because they can't pass the ASET evaluation.

Consequently, these are the brightest-looking emerald cut diamonds that I've ever seen. In that case, it's easy to see why I recommend Brian Gavin Diamonds so highly.

1.45:1.00 Length to Width Ratio:

James Allen Diamond Reviews

1.45:1.00 Length to Width Ratio.

This 2.01 carat, emerald cut diamond from James Allen measures 8.75 x 6.03 x 3.92 millimeters. In that case, the length to width ratio is 1.45:1.00.

This diamond has a nice-looking rectangular outline as a result. As you might expect, the proportions of this diamond are within the range specified above.

Specifically, the total depth is 65%, and it has a 63% table diameter. Unfortunately, the GIA does not provide crown or pavilion measurements for fancy shape diamonds.

Under those circumstances, GIA diamond grading reports for fancy shape diamonds are incomplete. After all, the essential crown and pavilion angle measurements are missing.

1.65:1.00 Length to Width Ratio:

Rectangular Diamond Length to Width Ratio

1.65:1.00 Length to Width Ratio.

This emerald cut from Blue Nile has a length-to-width ratio of 1.65:1.00. That's a bit long in the tooth for my taste, but many people like the more extended look.

Once again, it's all a matter of personal taste and whether you find the outline attractive or not. Regardless, it's essential to see how each of these diamonds reflects light differently.

That is one of the challenges you'll face when buying fancy shape diamonds because of the differences in facet structure. In other words, every emerald cut diamond has a slightly different outline depending on the rough crystal shape.

Emerald Cut Engagement Rings:

Now that you know what to look for in an emerald cut diamond, it's time to think about the ring. Emerald cut engagement rings are available in a variety of popular styles.

That means that you'll have a lot of ring styles to choose from, but, of course, it's a matter of personal preference. In that case, you should consider all the different kinds of emerald diamond engagement rings:

Classic Solitaire Engagement Rings Blue Nile.

Blue Nile Studio Solitaire Engagement Rings.

Split shank halo setting from James Allen.

Split Shank Halo Setting by James Allen.

French set Pavé setting by Ritani.

French Set Pavé Setting by Ritani.

Shopping for Emerald Cut Diamond Rings:

There is a lot to consider when you're shopping for emerald cut diamond rings. First, there are the obvious factors, such as:

Black by Brian Gavin Solitaire Diamond Engagement Ring

Black by Brian Gavin Emerald Cut Solitaire.

Then there are the less obvious factors, such as the facet structure and the length to width ratio. Plus, there's all that stuff about the proportions and light performance.

That's quite a lot to think about, especially when all you want to do is plan a marriage proposal and tie the knot. But, in that case, all you need to know is her ring size and favorite diamond shape.

Well, it's also a good idea to know whether she prefers rose gold, yellow gold, white gold, or platinum. But, of course, it's even easier to think in terms of pink, yellow, or white.

Although that may be true, it's probably better if you leave those details to us. That's right, we said it. After all, we've got 35+ years of experience buying diamonds.

Finding The One Isn't Easy:

But we can help you find the right ring quickly enough. So with that in mind, we want to invite you to take advantage of our free Diamond Concierge Service.

Just click on that link to begin and tell us what you seek. For example, I'm looking for a 2-carat emerald cut diamond ring for $30K.

You can also tell us about any preferences you have for clarity, color, and blue fluorescence. Then, we'll do all the searching for you and find the best options available.

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Super Charge Your Diamond Buying Skills:

Follow the Steps in The Nice Ice® Diamond Buying Blueprint™ and Unlock the Secret for Maximizing Sparkle Factor and Light Performance. These are the Tips & Tricks from the back office of Nice Ice Diamonds.