The Emerald cut diamond is a very old, traditional cut. Its design was originally as the name suggests, a cut that was given to emeralds. In fact the emerald cut diamond was the diamond of choice in the first known case of an engagement ring being given, way back in 1477. This was an engagement ring given by Archduke Maximilian to his bride to be, Mary Of Burgundy. The tradition of giving your intended an engagement ring seems to have survived, and emerald cut engagement rings are still in demand as a classic engagement ring.
With less faceting than some of the more intricate cuts, emerald cut diamonds have a more glassy appearance with geometric angles and lines. In their longer form, they can seem to have a striped appearance. In the squarer emerald cuts, often called the “Asscher cut”, the corner bevels meeting in the centre on the back of the diamond give the appearance of the sails of a windmill when viewed from above. The geometric cut style is often associated with Art Deco design engagement rings. The simplicity and form of the emerald cut diamond lends itself perfectly to the deco style.
As a centre diamond in an engagement ring, the emerald cut can often benefit from additional diamonds around its outer edge. This helps to define the emerald cut shape and also provides a contrasting cut pattern, although it most be said that some diamond cut types do not always work well with emerald cuts as they can tend to compete with the central diamond, looking odd rather than complementing it.
The emerald cut diamond can be used in halo clusters , solitaires and various combinations of fancy shape diamonds. Straight or tapering diamond baguettes can work really well to add some diamond content to the shoulder of the engagement ring. You can also use two smaller emerald cut diamonds, one on each side of the main diamond to make a three stone diamond engagement ring. This is often tricky, as all emerald cuts tend to differ. Finding a matched pair can be challenging. It is not so much that the two smaller diamonds can’t be found, but to make the engagement ring look right, they need to not only match each other, but also the main central diamond. When it is done correctly the finished engagement ring looks stunning. However, if a random set of diamonds were to be used with only the matching colour, clarity and weight being taken into account with no regard for the cut parameters and the diamond’s ratio, the resulting ring could look really odd and miss-shaped, crooked, with claws out of alignment – definitely not what you would want for your engagement ring!
Emerald cut diamonds can be set with claws which can be double or triple claws. The most popular setting is simply single claws in the corners of the diamond. The claws can have a square or more rounded look to them depending on the design requirement. It is also possible to have smoother settings in the form of a bezel setting which can fully enclose the diamond’s rim. It is possible to have the central longer edge of the diamond exposed to create a rim just on the 3 sided end of the diamond. This is called a semi bezel. Claw setting generally gives a more traditional look to the engagement ring where as the bezel or semi bezel can have a more contemporary look to the design. The bezel setting becomes a main feature of the engagement ring rather that the more minimal look of the claw setting.
Whatever engagement ring design you consider with an emerald cut, the primary focus once the clarity and colour is considered and decided, should be all about the cut and the diamond’s ratio – its length and width, this is because with no official cut grade given by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), an emerald cut can be square ( Asscher ), or very long and thin, or anywhere in-between the two.
Emerald cut diamonds can be deep or shallow, the corners can be wide or almost pointed to the eye, making them look very like a baguette diamond once set with claws. The beveled rear and top of the diamond, its crown height and pavilion, can differ greatly from diamond to diamond. Poorly cut emerald cuts can be rhombic, extra thick in the girdle, running out at one end, making one end wider than the other. With a whole host of issues to consider, it is very important that the person selecting the diamond for the engagement ring is a professional and understands all of these issues. At Ellissi jewellery, this is something that we do every day – selecting only the very best cut diamonds available.