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The Emerald Cut Diamond

By Frank

Highly experienced diamond polisher who loves to share his knowledge with you. Continues to stun his colleagues with interesting - or simply bizarre - facts about diamonds and gems.

January 31, 2017

The Emerald cut diamond is one of the first and oldest cuts of diamonds and other precious stones. The name of this cutting comes from the gemstone Emerald. To maintain as much of the gem as possible, they cut the stone in a rectangular shape. The history of this shape is more than 500 years old. Emeralds were very vulnerable and therefore difficult to cut. Therefore, people looked for a way to polish the stone without it getting damaged. Then they didn’t have today's knowledge and tools.

Development of the cut

The Emerald Cut was quite popular in the Art Deco period, from 1920 to 1939. They started to add more and more facets. In 1940 the modern emerald cut received its present form. Today, this diamond cut is mainly to show how clean the stone is and what a beautiful color it has. The cut leaves no room for imperfections. Because imperfections are highly visible in the reflection inside the stone.

emerald ring on dark background

The facets in an emerald cut diamond

Emerald cut diamonds have step facets. This means it belongs to the ‘step cut’ diamonds, just like the Asscher cut. This name comes from the stepwise positioning of the facets, three rows of steps above and 3 below the stone. The Emerald has 57 facets. They are subdivided into 25 on the top, 24, at the bottom and 8 facets on the girdle. The table width is very large and bright. Therefore, the inclusions are very clear. A high-quality stone in color and purity is a must.

emerald ring at royal coster

The proportions of the emerald

The most common ratio of an emerald shape is 1:5 which makes the stone rectangular. This ratio is very common in rings with green emerald stones. Women’s fingers look longer and more elegant with this shape. The shape of the cut is close to the natural shape of the diamond. There is therefore relatively little loss of the stone. This makes the emerald also very popular price-wise.


As with many diamond cuts the “Bow Tie” effect happens in Emerald cuts. If a polisher places the facets incorrectly, the light doesn’t reflect in the proper way. You’ll end up with dark spots in your diamond. Though a bow tie is actually a mistake in an emerald, some people like it anyway. Therefore, these effects are not included in the quality requirements.

bow tie effect explained for emerald cut

The value of an Emerald

The value of every diamond is determined by the four C’s:

  • – Carat: This is the weight of the stone, 0.02 grams per carat –
  • – Color: From white to a yellowish hue, the color of champagne
  • – Clarity: This is determined by the number of imperfections or inclusions in the diamond
  • – Cut: The quality of the cut: Proportions, finish, and symmetry of the polishing.

Famous Emeralds

Emeralds make the most beautiful and elegant engagement and wedding rings. It is no wonder diamond emerald rings are very much beloved by celebrities such as Angelina Jolie and Kim Kardashian.

7 famous diamond emerald rings you need to see

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