Adored for their linear beauty, clarity and precision, emerald cut engagement rings are considered show-stoppers. Their clean, sophisticated lines make them an obvious choice for sleek, modern engagement rings as well as the regal centerpiece of vintage settings.
The shape of an emerald engagement ring is one of the oldest diamond shapes and its origin can be traced back to the table cut of the 1500s. Stonecutters initially used this square or rectangular shape to cut precious emerald stones, not diamonds. Emeralds were known to have many inclusions, or imperfections, and were likely to chip or fracture. By “cutting the corners,” the beautiful stones had a more secure place for a setting.
Diamond cutters took notice. The mirrored, cropped corners give the emerald engagement rings their distinctive, rectangular shape and their graduated planes, created from the style’s step cutting technique, enhance a diamond’s natural shine.
The term “emerald cut diamond” didn’t become popular until the Art Deco period of the 1920s. During this time, the parallel facets and symmetric lines of an emerald engagement ring took off and have remained a popular choice for rings ever since.
Emerald cut diamonds are distinctively different from the dancing light that radiates from a brilliant-cut stone. With pure, glacier-like qualities, emerald engagement rings strike flashes of splendor. A less forgiving cut than the brilliant styles, it’s important to understand how the 4C’s impact an emerald cut engagement ring.
Clarity: Flaws, blemishes, and inclusions are much more noticeable in step-cut emerald diamonds. It’s essential that the diamond used in an emerald cut engagement ring be as close to flawless as possible. A diamond’s flaw is measured on a scale from S12 (visible amounts) to VVS1 (the least visibility). The large table facets can draw attention to visible flaws in the center of the stone. For emerald cut stones, it’s worth investing in higher clarity over carat size.
Cut: The shape of an emerald cut diamond is always rectangular. Shape, however, shouldn’t be confused with how the stone is cut. A diamond’s cut is how light interacts with the faceted stone and all emerald diamonds use a step cut that is rectilinear, meaning made of straight lines. This cut’s 58 long, narrow facets create a prism effect that evokes a house of mirrors or staircase look. Classic emerald cut diamonds have a length-width ratio of 1.3 – 1.6, with 1.5 being the most popular. How you want the stone to look in your engagement ring setting should guide your proportions. An emerald diamond’s smooth table surrounded by geometric facets and glamorous beveled angles makes it a jaw-dropping choice for an engagement ring’s centerpiece.
Color: Emerald cut diamonds are known for their spectacular, glassy and lustrous clarity. The color of brilliant-cut round or oval diamonds can be hidden by how their facets make light dance. Emerald diamonds reflect and can even highlight any color found inside the stone. A diamond’s color is rated on a scale from D (containing the least color) to Z (the most color). Carefully evaluate a diamond’s color when choosing an emerald cut engagement ring. Select a higher color grade to achieve the bold, icy opulence that’s desired from emerald-cut diamonds.
Carat: Size for size, weight for weight, emerald cut diamonds always appear larger than other diamond styles. The elongated, expansive table is larger, provides flashes of bright light and can make your fingers look longer and more slender. This means a smaller (less expensive) emerald cut diamond will present larger than a higher carat, brilliant-cut stones. And, there is an additional benefit when you consider a lab-grown diamond. This environmentally savvy option extends your budget (lab-grown diamonds can be 20-40% less) so you can maximize all of the important attributes, like color and clarity, that are essential when selecting a quality emerald cut engagement ring.
Both emerald and Asscher styles are step-cut diamonds. That may be where similarities end.
Asscher cut diamonds are square with cropped corners. This cut’s calling card is the “X” pattern that is found on the top facet making it appear almost octagonal. This cut has more facets and, when cut properly, create concentric squares that increase the scintillation or brilliance of the stone, but it still doesn’t sparkle like brilliant cut round, princess or oval diamonds. Asscher stones are a lovely choice when channeling a vintage, Art Deco feel.
The wide, clear and jaw-dropping elegance of an emerald engagement ring’s open table creates an elegant look. The cut is a great choice when seeking a diamond that makes a strong statement and looks larger than expected. It doesn’t hide flaws as well as Asscher cuts (which is why clarity and color is critical), but for what it lacks in illumination, it makes up in depth, sophistication and elegance.
Emerald cut engagement rings offer stunning versatility. A solitaire setting emphasizes the stone’s clean, expansive lines. A thin pave band, trapezoid side stones or even a fashion-forward split shank band adds sparkle and glitz.
Emerald cut diamonds are traditionally placed vertically. For a more original look, turn the stone on its side for an “east-west” setting. Or, if for a combination of old and new, keep the center emerald cut diamond in its classic position, then turn tapered baguettes on their side for more bling. Regardless of the setting you choose, the elegant, long lines of an emerald engagement ring offer subtle splendor and timeless glamour.
Emerald engagement rings are daring stones, desired for their classic beauty and stand-out statements. That’s why you’ll find them on the fingers of many A-list celebrities.
Jennifer Lopez: One of the most famous emerald engagement rings is on J.Lo’s finger. Alex Rodriguez gave Jenny from the Block a blinding emerald solitaire that is estimated to be between 12-15 carats and covers the entire upper region of her finger. That seriously bold stone has renewed the emerald engagement ring trend.
Jennifer Lawrence: Another fierce Jennifer is sporting an emerald engagement ring. Crooke Mulroney gave Jennifer Lawrence what she’s called “a giant rock” when the couple got engaged in 2019.
Kristen Bell: Dax Shepard gave Kristen Bell a three-carat, emerald cut engagement ring several years before the couple actually said “I do.” The stone is surrounded with white diamond accents and is set in a platinum band. They waited to tie the knot until gay marriage was legal in California.
Kate Hudson: Modern and stylish describes the nine-carat emerald cut engagement ring that Matt Bellamy gave Kate Hudson. Two tapered baguettes are delicately placed on either side of the center stone on a platinum band.
Lady Camilla Bowles: Prince Charles of Windsor presented Lady Camilla Bowles with one of the world’s most famous emerald engagement rings. The 1930s platinum Art Deco emerald cut diamond ring belonged to Charles’ grandmother, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and is currently valued at about $250,000.