October 7, 2017

Emerald Cut: The Timeless Engagement Ring

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Classic and flattering, the emerald diamond offers more value than other cuts. But is it the right one for your loved one's finger? Here is what to know about emerald engagement rings.

What Is an Emerald Cut?

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Emerald Diamond Carat Size Chart
Emerald Diamond Carat Size Chart © CreditDonkey

Looking for some shiny glamour? The emerald diamond hearkens back to the past, with one of its most famous wearers being Jackie Kennedy, who received an emerald ring when John F. Kennedy proposed. You can spend a lot less than the $1 million-plus spent on that ring.

In fact, you could spend a lot less if you focus on the emerald cut when compared to other styles. It's not as popular today and the cut is less complex.

In the "fancy cut" family, the emerald cut is known for its:

  • Rectangle step cut. A step cut, also known as a table cut, creates the appearance of stairs. This cut removes the least amount of material necessary from the stone and then the rectangle form comes to life.

  • Symmetry. This cut looks evenly spaced from any angle.

  • Depth. As you look down into the face of the stone, it is like peering down a mirrored hallway. The depth makes each facet appear further away from the last.

Did you know:
Hailing from its green namesake, emerald cuts date back to the 1500s. Craftsman invented it to help mask inclusions and flaws often found in the softer, less durable emerald rock. The settings provided more stability and the wider cut allowed for less breakage.

But what you really want to know is how this diamond will look in the light. The many possibilities come from its facets, and emeralds have 58. They break down as follows:

  • 25 facets on the pavilion
  • 25 facets on the crown
  • 8 facets on the girdle

(This is ordinarily cut creating three rows of top and bottom steps).

Less Sparkle, Yet More Bang for Your Buck

The rumors are true: this cut does not boast the intense sparkle of say, a round brilliant or marquise cut. However, what the cut may lack flashiness-wise it makes up for in clarity.

The sparkle is still present and is thought to look more like intermittent flashes as opposed to a strobe. The emerald cut suits a larger stone beautifully without appearing overpowering.

Why Buy an Emerald Cut?

Screenshot from James Allen Website

Because the cuts are less sophisticated, the emerald cut engagement ring is less expensive than another cut of the same carat weight.

How much can you save in comparison?

  • When looking at the same carat weight, color and clarity, the average price difference of the emerald cut is $2,000 less.

  • Even at this price break, since the cut boasts one of the larger surface areas, if you purchase a smaller carat weight, the stone will appear larger.

  • The lower price allows you to put more money toward the carat size and clarity, offering a higher-grade diamond to your lucky partner!

    James Allen

    James Allen: Search for Diamonds

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Factors That Determine the Best Quality

So, how do you determine the best quality to ensure your emerald cut is worth every penny? Though the Gemological Institute of America does not grade the emerald cut in the same manner as most other styles, it does suggest the most important aspect is symmetry. Another factor: Consider the quality of the stone since the flat surface is more likely to highlight flaws.

Here are some guidelines to keep in mind when choosing your emerald cut diamond:

  • The length vs. width ratio falls in the 1.5:1 range
  • The depth should be 60%-70% of the width
  • Clarity should not fall below the VS1-VS2 range
  • Color should be H or higher

Following the specifications above are a good way to ensure you are choosing a stone that will be clear, have beautiful color, and make the most use of the diamond's stair cut and depth properties.

Fit for Any Finger

An impressively versatile design, the emerald cut looks good on any hand. With a flattering length and intriguing depth, the diamond catches the light at just the right time, creating an elegant and glamorous appeal.

Gorgeous as a solitaire, it is also an ideal cut to add side stones that would further enhance its simplistic beauty.

A stunning example of paired stones in an emerald cut is the Van Cleef & Arpels ring that President Kennedy presented to his wife, Jackie.

  • Not only is the diamond in the ring an emerald cut, but the company chose a green emerald stone to complement its counterpart.

How Do You Know Emerald Cut is the Right Choice?

A favorite among debutantes and celebrities, the emerald cut is the epitome of Old Hollywood Glam. Fortunately for the rest of us, due to its affordability and classic nature, any setting design will do!

  • The only hard and fast rule is that there must be a four-prong component to the ring's setting to ensure the stone stays anchored.

Did you know: If your about-to-be-betrothed is a fan of The Great Gatsby, you may have a winner with an emerald ring. The age of Art Deco carried over from France to the U.S. in the 1930s, with the style changing from flowing, natural Art Nouveau to a new look entirely. This new period of design valued symmetry, clean lines and geometric shapes in art, fashion, architecture, and jewelry. In a time when sophisticated "Gatsby-style" glamour was popping up on the silver screen and beyond, consumers took notice and jewelers followed suit.

After that, the design options are limitless. You will feel you created the ring yourself as you choose the setting, accent stones (or not), and what kind of band to best suit your love's lifestyle.

No matter what your fiancée's style, from antique to modern and everything in between, the emerald cut makes the best use of your resources.

From its more affordable price point to its complete versatility in style, the emerald cut is worth serious consideration when choosing the perfect engagement ring. A truly elegant and classy choice, this engagement ring is sure to steal the intended wearer's heart!

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the author's alone. Please support CreditDonkey on our mission to help you make savvy financial decisions. Our free online service is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content.

More from CreditDonkey:


How to Buy an Engagement Ring


Diamond Prices


Diamond Cuts

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