Generally rectangular in shape, although squares are also sometimes available, the Emerald Cut is typified by step cuts on its pavillion and a large, open table that provide an effect akin to a hall of mirrors. A variation of the Table Cut, which was predominant until the beginning of the 17th century, it is generally associated with emeralds, rather than diamonds, hence the name.
The Emerald Cut’s sides feature beveled corners with two, three, or four concentric rows of facets. These are located parallel to the girdle, both on the crown and on the pavilion. The stone is relatively shallow, meaning that it often appears larger than one would expect from a polished diamond with its carat weight.
The open table is a dominant feature of the cut. While it offers abundant reflections both of white and colored light, it also provides an unobstructed view into the center of the stone, meaning that any inclusion is considerably more apparent than it might be in a Round Brilliant or Cushion Cut stone. Consequently, Emerald Cuts are best suited for stones with better clarity grades, ideally VS2 and higher. If the stone is included, they should be located toward the sides and not the center.
With their large facets, Emerald Cuts tend not to display much fire, meaning that they are more likely to retain and even exaggerate their color. Stones with a lower than I color grade have a noticeable yellow tint. If a white color is preferred, buyers should stick with diamonds in the D to G color range.
The classic emerald cut diamond has a length to width ratio of around 1.50, but it can range from 1.3 to 1.6. The larger the ratio between the length and width, the thinner and longer the diamond will appear.
The depth percentage of the Emerald Cut stone, relating to depth relative to the diameter of the stone, will ideally be between 60 and 69, helping maximize its brilliance. If the stone’s depth percentage runs over 70, it will likely appear smaller than it actually is when viewed through the table.