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June 28th 2022

The Emerald Cut Diamond Guide

By Devin Jones

Emerald Cut Diamonds

Emerald cut diamonds are one of the most popular and elegant of all the diamond shapes. With clean, symmetrical lines and beveled corners that accentuate the large step-like cuts of the diamond, emerald cut diamonds are a statement piece that turn heads no matter the size.

Emerald cut diamonds are the fourth most popular shape for diamond shoppers with 4.5% of searches in our diamond search engine, behind only round cut (47%), oval cut (14%), and cushion cut (7%) diamonds.

Emerald vs. Radiant Cut Diamonds

Sometimes confused with radiant cut diamonds due to their similar profile, the emerald cut differs from radiant cut most notably because of its long step cuts which appear very different from the radiant cut diamond's brilliant cut pattern. Radiant cut diamonds offer more sparkle and brilliance than emerald cut diamonds, but don't offer the same unique aesthetic created by the bold step cuts in an emerald cut diamond.

A major consideration if you're considering an emerald cut diamond versus a radiant cut is that a radiant cut diamond will hide inclusions much better than an emerald cut diamond will. This is due to the brilliant cut nature of radiant cut diamonds which help to distract from any visible inclusions with flashes of light. The step cut of the emerald cut diamond does not offer this same camouflage, so buyers are better off paying up for a better clarity grade (VS1 or higher), especially for larger emerald cut diamonds where inclusions become even more obvious.

2 carat emerald cut diamond2 carat radiant cut diamond

Click on the above emerald or radiant cut diamond for more details

Pros & Cons of Emerald Cut Diamonds

Emerald cut diamonds require extra effort to ensure you avoid some common mistakes that plague the worst (and often cheapest) emerald cut diamonds. For one, you should absolutely avoid emerald cut diamonds with obvious inclusions on the diamond's massive center table. Even inclusions off to the side of the stone can reflect easily off of the large step cuts and appear more visible than they would in brilliant cut shapes like a radiant cut.

Secondly, avoid diamonds with a visible dark box pattern around the center of the diamond. Below are examples of an emerald cut diamond with the dreaded "black box" (second image) and a nicely cut emerald diamond with the desired "hall of mirrors" aesthetic (first image).

hall of mirrors emerald cut diamondblack box emerald cut diamond

Click the images for more details

Finally, make sure that you don't skimp on the color grade as well. Color will be more obvious in an emerald cut diamond than it would be in an equivalent radiant cut diamond. The brilliance created by the facet patterning in a radiant cut give it a crushed ice look that creates additional sparkle and helps to hide some of the natural color in the diamond. Emerald cuts do not sparkle in this same way and will be more obviously saturated with color as we explain below.

Pros of Emerald Cut

Cons of Emerald Cut

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Ideal Proportions for Emerald Cut Diamonds

Emerald Cut Length to Width Ratio

The most popular length to width ratio for emerald cut diamonds is 1.35 and the vast majority of emerald cut diamond shoppers select a diamond with a length to width between 1.28 and 1.45.

emerald cut diamond ideal length to width ratio

Emerald Cut Depth Percentage

The most popular depth percentage for emerald cut diamonds is a tie between 68.4 and 68.5. As you can see from the chart below, there is a significant drop in popularity for diamonds with depth percentages over 68.8 percent. This is likely due to the fact that the deeper a diamond is cut, the smaller the diamond will appear to the naked eye. The deeper the cut, the more carat weight must be distributed across the depth of the diamond and the less its distributed horizontally to the length and width of the stone. StoneAlgo created our "visual carat weight" metric to describe how large a diamond looks to the human eye. You can see this metric on any diamond in our database using our diamond search engine.

emerald cut diamond ideal depth percentage

Emerald Cut Table Percentage

The most popular table percentage for emerald cut diamonds is a tie between 64 and 65. The majority of diamond shoppers tend to look for tables between 61 and 68 percent.

emerald cut ideal table percentage

Emerald Cut Diamond Prices

Emerald cut diamonds are one of the least expensive diamond shapes and cost about 33% less than equivalent round cut diamonds, though this difference varies by carat weight, color, and clarity. Since 2020 all diamond prices have trended higher as you can see in our diamond price charts. Here are the prices for emerald cut diamonds as of June 2022. All prices are for G color, VS2 clarity emerald cut diamonds.

Carat Weight Price Price Per Carat
0.5 $1,127 $2,254
1 $4,627 $4,627
2 $22,038 $11,019
3 $45,039 $15,013

Follow the below links for live diamond prices, historical price charts, and available inventory.

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