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Ask A Diamond Pro: $13K Budget on Emerald Cut

By Mike Fried,

In the world of diamond shopping, the emerald cut stands out as a symbol of elegance and sophistication, captivating the hearts of many. Its elongated shape forms a timeless charm, making it a popular choice among buyers worldwide. However, when it comes to selecting the perfect emerald cut diamond—one that appears as large as possible while maintaining eye-cleanliness—there are several key factors to keep in mind. If you find yourself on a quest for the ideal stone, like many of our readers do, remember that we’re here to guide you through the process.

We have received several emails asking about emelrald cut diamonds. For the purpose of this article, we chose one of them.

Here’s the reader’s original email:

Thanks for providing all this informative info on your site. I’m wondering if you could look for some possible options for me. I’m looking for an emerald cut diamond and I would like one that appears as large as possible (while still being eye-clean). I plan to set it in platinum. I prefer emerald cuts that have a clear long rectangular shape (versus short / fat).

My budget is about 13K for the stone. I can go as high as 14K but would prefer less than 13K if possible.

Thanks again for your help!

Let’s clarify one thing: even though emerald cut diamonds are absolutely gorgeous, they will never have as much brilliance round cut diamonds. Does this mean that you shouldn’t buy an emerald cut? No. What it means is that you should make sure what you want from the diamond before you settle on a particular shape.

Emerald cut diamond
An example of an emerald cut diamond ring from Abe Mor


Emerald Cut Diamond: Shape

First and foremost, let’s address the desire for size without compromising on diamond clarity. It’s essential to understand that the size of a diamond is primarily determined by its carat weight. The clarity, on the other hand, refers to the presence or absence of inclusions and blemishes within the stone. Achieving a balance between these two factors requires careful selection and evaluation.

When searching for an emerald cut diamond that appears large, focus on the diamond’s length-to-width ratio. As our reader rightly pointed out, a clear, long rectangular shape is preferred over a shorter, wider one. A length-to-width ratio between 1.30 and 1.60 usually creates the classic elongated look that enhances the visual appeal to the fullest.

emerald cut diamond length to width ratios


Emerald Cut Diamond: Clarity

Next, let’s explore the aspect of clarity. Unlike other diamond shapes, such as round brilliants, emerald cuts do not depend as much on facets to create brilliance. Instead, they display a distinctive hall-of-mirrors effect characterized by wide, flat planes called “step cuts.” However, the accuracy of these step cuts greatly affects the diamond’s brilliance and sparkle.

While emerald cuts are known for their elegance, their large open table and step-cut facets can also reveal inclusions more easily compared to other diamond shapes. The reader showed us an SI1 clarity emerald cut diamond similar to this 2.01ct one from James Allen which wasn’t eye-clean. The inclusions were too harsh for an emerald cut. If you desire an emerald diamond that appears clean to the naked eye, look for stones with a VS2 clarity grade or higher. Diamonds within this range typically offer exceptional clarity without the premium price tag of flawless or internally flawless grades.

It’s important to mention that the location and the type of inclusions play a vital role in defining a diamond’s clarity. Inclusions found near the edges or corners of the diamond are less likely to diminish its appearance compared to those situated in the center. Also, minor inclusions like pinpoint spots or small feathers may be acceptable as long as they do not impact the diamond’s overall beauty and structural integrity.


The diamond that was picked

As you begin your search for the ideal emerald cut diamond, it’s important to prioritize reputable sellers who provide certified stones from trusted gemological laboratories like the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). This certification offers assurance regarding the diamond’s quality and authenticity, ensuring your peace of mind throughout the buying process.

Our final recommendation was a G VS1 emerald cut similar to this 1.70ct one from James Allen. At the end, the reader’s partner decided to go with a round cut diamond instead which happens more often than you think.

G VS1 emerald cut diamond
1.70ct G VS1 emerald cut diamond


The Ring Setting

Now, let’s discuss the selection of the setting. Platinum proves to be an outstanding option for highlighting the beauty of an emerald cut diamond. Its natural white color complements the cool sparkle of the stone, resulting in a timeless and graceful appearance. When choosing a setting style, contemplate options that enhance the elongated shape of the emerald cut, like a straightforward solitaire setting or a refined three-stone design featuring tapered baguette side stones.


Final Thoughts

Picking up an emerald cut diamond isn’t an easy task. However, by focusing on factors such as the length-to-width ratio, cut grade, clarity, and choice of setting, you can confidently choose a magnificent stone that captures both elegance and brilliance. May your quest be successful, and may the diamond you select become a cherished symbol of love and beauty for many years to come.

And if you have any questions during your process, we’re here to help. Just message us, let us know what we can do for you and we’ll be in touch.

James Allen James Allen is the leader in online diamond sales. Their imaging technology is the same as inspecting a diamond with a jeweler's loupe. They have the largest exclusive loose diamond inventory online and fantastic prices. They also have the nicest collection of lab-created diamonds online.
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. James Allen will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free International Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisals
  • One free resizing within 60 days of purchase
  • Free ring inscriptions
  • Best-in-class high quality imagery of all diamonds in stock
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • Best-in-class packaging
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Blue Nile Blue Nile is the largest and most well-known internet jewelry seller. They have a very large exclusive online inventory. Their high-quality images are catching up to James Allens' and their prices are amazing. 
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. Blue Nile will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisal
  • One free resizing within the first year of purchase
  • High quality images of about half of their diamonds
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • 100% credit towards future upgrades (must be at least double in value)
  • Best in class fulfillment
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