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Written by Nicole Harper
When it comes to diamonds, the preference differs for everyone. In contemporary times, fancy cut diamonds are loved by many people because it is easier to express individuality through them. The rectangular-shaped diamond cuts like emerald and radiant have found a much-deserved space in the hearts of diamond lovers.
Many times, when you look at an emerald cut diamond and a radiant cut diamond, they look similar because they are long rectangular shapes with parallel sides. Their similarity also lies in their beveled or cut corners, making them durable and less susceptible to chipping. Except for these two major features, they have some significant differences. So, let’s learn about them, as we will help you buy the best diamond that resonates with you for a lifetime.
To understand both cuts in detail, let’s delve into the brief history of emerald cut and radiant cut diamonds! Also, if you read until the end, you will take a fun quiz to find out which cut of diamond is the best for you and your partner!
The emerald cut is often associated with the Art Deco era, when admiration for parallel lines and symmetry was extremely popular. However, this diamond shape is one of the oldest, tracing its origin to the “Table Cut” of the 1500s. This type of diamond cut was first used on emerald, the popular gemstone, but was then called a “multi-faceted table cut” and was later renamed the “emerald cut” in the roaring ‘20s.
Then, in the 1940s, the emerald cut was further polished and standardized because of the development of more refined diamond-cutting tools.
While the emerald cut enjoys the reputation of being one of the vintage cuts, the radiant cut is a much more modern style of cutting diamonds. Henry Grossbard, in 1977, intended to invent a diamond cut that was a hybrid of a classic round brilliant cut diamond and the elongated emerald cut diamond. The radiant cut is one of the most faceted diamond styles and was also designed to maximize the gem’s natural beauty. Grossbard was successful at creating one of the most sparkling cuts by applying a brilliant faceting pattern to the crown and pavilion of the stone.
Since Grossbard patented the Radiant Cut diamond, it is also referred to as a “Rectangular Brilliant” or “Cut-Cornered Square” (if the shape is square) on a laboratory certificate such as of GIA or IGI.
Emerald cuts are popularly shaped as rectangles with trimmed or cut corners and have 49 to 58-step cut facets, which depend on the dimensions of the stone. A dynamic effect of “hall of mirrors” appears when dramatic flashes of light fall on the diamond. The sparkle of an emerald cut diamond is much more subdued compared to a radiant cut.
Similar to emerald cut, radiant cut diamonds have a cut-corner rectangular or square silhouette. However, instead of step-cut facets, they have 70 triangle or kite-shaped facets, maximizing the fiery brilliance of the stone.
Both cuts of diamonds tend to look larger when compared to round cut diamonds of equal weight. The table surface of an emerald cut diamond is bigger compared to a similar-weight round brilliant diamond. Radiant cut, on the other hand, has a smaller face-up measurement in comparison to round brilliant cut diamonds but will still appear larger.
Apart from appearing much larger than their actual carat weight, the elongated shapes of these two stones have the quality of making the wearer’s fingers appear longer and slender.
There are certain diamond shapes that are more or less forgiving when it comes to the 4 C’s (cut, carat, clarity, and color). Emerald cuts and radiant cuts are dissimilar in showing their flaws.
When you choose an emerald cut diamond, it is advised that you choose a diamond that is of a higher clarity grade because the larger table area tends to emphasize the visible inclusions in the stone. As the cut minimizes color concentration, you can opt for a lower color grade, allowing you to allocate your investment toward achieving higher clarity.
Radiant cuts, on the other hand, are much more forgiving when it comes to internal flaws. The intense cuts mask the appearance of inclusions with brilliance. Thus, even if you choose a radiant cut diamond with SI1 or SI2 clarity, you will have the option to upgrade to a higher color, as this cut tends to reveal more color concentration.
No matter what diamond cut or shape you choose, while shopping from Friendly Diamonds, you can select it from our vast inventory of 100,000+ diamonds. Our premium quality lab diamonds are bound to become your forever friend and make your love story sparkle more than ever.
If you want to determine which rectangular diamond shape suits you or your partner's personality, let’s solve a quick quiz!
A1: If your partner prefers a vintage charm, then an emerald cut diamond brings out the elegance of the Roaring ‘20s and Art Deco.
A2: If your partner loves the contemporary flair, then the radiant cut will offer maximum sparkle.
A1: Emerald cut diamonds have a larger surface area and subtle sparkle.
A2: Radiant cut diamonds exude a high amount of sparkle and appear larger than their actual size.
A1: Emerald cut, with its step-cut facet, gives subdued flashes of light.
A2: The super-faceted radiant cut diamond draws all the attention when light hits it perfectly.