Grading System of Zales Emerald-Cut Diamonds
There is currently no industry-wide consensus for what exact cut parameters create the perfect emerald-cut diamond. Because preferences are very subjective when analyzing emerald-cut diamonds, we generally recommend visually inspecting an emerald-cut diamond prior to purchase.
At Zales, we recommend making the following general considerations when shopping for emerald-cut diamonds:
Every diamond is measured using the carat weight system. GSL uses specially calibrated scales to ensure an accurate measurement with weights measured to the hundred-thousandths of a carat. In the carat system, one metric carat is equal to 0.2 gram.
Similar to the oval shape, emerald-cuts tend to have a larger physical appearance for their carat weight when compared to other diamond shapes.
The industry standard diamond color grading system ranges from D grades (colorless), continuing alphabetically with increasing levels of color to Z grades.
The diamond industry uses master stones in order to grade diamond color. GSL holds the rigorous test standards, using master stone sets that pass these tests prior to use.
With emerald-cut diamonds, you can often more easily see diamond body color due to large, open facets in the diamond shape. With that in mind, we strongly recommend that you pay special attention to the color of the diamond when shopping for emerald-cuts.
Diamond clarity refers to the appearance of the stone – including any blemishes or inclusions. The GSL grades square diamond clarity as one of six grades: Flawless, Internally Flawless, Very Very Small Inclusions, Very Small Inclusions, Small Inclusions, or Imperfect.
Evaluating an emerald-cut diamond clarity is subjective (just like evaluating color). Because of the nature of the wide, flat table of an emerald-diamond, clarity tends to be especially important with this diamond shape. Often, inclusions are easier to see with emerald-cut diamonds. As such, we recommend selecting a higher clarity when shopping for this diamond shape.
Emerald-Cut Length-to-Width Ratio
The large majority of emerald-cut diamonds have a length-to-width ratio between 1.30 to 1.50. If you prefer a more square shape, select a diamond with a lower ratio. If you want something more rectangular, choose a diamond with a higher ratio. We recommend analyzing a variety of emerald diamonds to determine your preferred ratio.
History of the Emerald-Cut Diamond
The emerald-cut shape dates back to the 1500’s as one of the first cuts used in fine jewelry pieces. Originally, stonecutters used the shape for cutting true emeralds (hence the name of the diamond cut). Experts at the time found that true emeralds were soft and prone to breaking, but the stepped facets of the emerald-cut helped to give them increased stability.
Though the exact origin of the emerald-cut remains uncertain, the term “emerald-cut” first became popular in the Art Deco period of the 1920’s. The shape’s unclear origins are partially due to the fact that the emerald-cut was seen more as a tool known by a variety of names in the context of cutting emerald gems. Art Deco diamond cutters soon realized that the shape also lent itself well to diamonds.
Though rare, celebrities like Beyoncé, Amal Clooney, and Angelina Jolie have helped bring this bold-yet-elegant shape back into the public eye in recent years. If you or your partner demands a distinct diamond shape with vintage charm, the emerald-cut may be the ideal diamond choice.
Emerald-Cut Diamonds: Conclusion
For centuries, diamond cutters and wearers alike have celebrated the rectangular “stepped” shape of the emerald-cut diamond for it’s mesmerizing “Hall of Mirrors” effect and larger appearance. Only accounting for 3 percent of diamonds worldwide, the emerald-cut is a rare shape popular in one-of-a-kind fine jewelry pieces.
The wide, flat plane of the emerald-cut’s shape highlights the clarity and natural beauty of a rectangular diamond. With unmatched versatility, the emerald-cut suits an array of settings, making it a highly customizable and as unique as your taste.
For a unique diamond shape with the Old-World charm of the Art Deco period, explore the Zales selection of exquisite emerald-cut diamonds.