What is an Emerald cut diamond?

This emerald cut diamond engagement ring is from the Catherine Ryder Art Deco collection

This emerald cut diamond engagement ring is from the Catherine Ryder Art Deco collection.

One of the most classic diamond shapes is the emerald cut. Emerald cut diamonds are either rectangular or square cut stones with beveled corners and step-cut facets. The underside of an emerald cut diamond is called the pavilion and has layers, called steps. If an emerald cut diamond has few layers/steps, the Gemological Institute of American (GIA) will call it an emerald cut; however, if it has multiple layers/steps, the GIA will often refer to it strictly as a step-cut. Although this line can often be a bit blurred, once thing is for certain – the timeless beauty of an emerald cut diamond can be simply breathtaking.

When emerald cut stones are not rectangular, but square, they are often called Asscher cut diamonds. Asscher cut diamonds, named after a designer who first cut them in the early 1900s, have a similar, classic charm to emerald cut diamonds. But here, too, the GIA refers to them differently. They do not recognize the name “Asscher cut” and instead, refers to it as a “cut-cornered square emerald cut or step cut,” or “cut cornered rectangular emerald cut or step cut.” The GIA describes this stone as a “modified octagonal step cut.” Naming conventions aside, choosing between a square cut and a slightly rectangular one is purely a matter of taste – both stones are exquisite when cut properly.

This emerald cut diamond engagement ring is from the Catherine Ryder Modena collection sold at Ascot Diamonds New York, D.C., Dallas and Atlanta

This emerald cut diamond engagement ring is from the Catherine Ryder Modena collection.

Because the pavilion of emerald cut diamonds is shallow, they are not as fiery as brilliant cut stones and are not faceted in the style of a brilliant cut. At the same time, the elegant stepping draws attention to the stone’s clarity. Asscher cuts, on the other hand, tend to be a bit deeper in the pavilion and have slightly steeper crowns. Their face measurements, as a result, may be a little smaller but it gives a skilled cutter opportunity to build up many cuts/layers/steps and makes for a more beautiful diamond. Ascot Diamonds believes that this trade-off is worth it, provided this principle is not taken to the extreme and used as an excuse to make a heavier stone. As with all step cut diamond engagement rings, when “steps” and “corners” are cut properly, the result can be truly stunning.

This emerald cut diamond engagement ring is from the Catherine Ryder Vendome collection sold at Ascot Diamonds New York, D.C., Dallas and Atlanta

This emerald cut diamond engagement ring is from the Catherine Ryder Vendome collection.

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