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|Emerald Cut Diamonds|
Trap or Step Cut
Octagonal stones are usually cut in steps, and are known as step or trap cut. The emerald cut is an octagonal step or trap cut. This was a simple cut used by the earliest jewellers for many gemstones including emeralds and diamonds, because it is relatively easy to cut, especially with the limited tools and technology available until recently. Better, more brilliant cuts were only discovered in the second quarter of the twentieth century.
It is our strongly held opinion that more modern cuts such as princess, and more particularly radiant cuts produce far more attractive diamonds than older cuts such as the step cut, and therefore the emerald cut.
You can see from our second photograph that the emerald cut diamond looks quite yellow, and also looks rather glassy and dull, with many dark patches, which is where there is little light being reflected or refracted through the stone. Although we cannot now remember the exact grade of the diamond shown, it was quite a good quality one, so it should help to persuade lovers of emerald cuts that there are better choices.
Diamonds, as other jewellery, remain a matter of personal taste and preference, so we are never surprised that people ask us for emerald cut diamonds. Whenever this happens, we always try to point our that other cuts will have a brighter, more brilliant, appearance. Most of the time, our customers decide against emerald cuts once they have seen the difference for themselves. A few people prefer their jewellery to be quieter and more understated, in which case, they may prefer an emerald cut.
The only reason a modern day diamond cutter would choose to cut an emerald cut instead of a brilliant cut, would be to retain more weight, and moreover, sufficient extra weight to counterbalance the lower per carat price commanded by emerald cuts.
Because they don't look as good as brilliant cuts, emerald cuts normally sell for less than a brilliant cut of the same quality. Some people wrongly believe that emerald cuts are more expensive than round brilliants, and there are some jewellers who will allow them to continue thinking this, especially if they are selling the person an emerald cut diamond! The reason that low priced emerald cuts are only infrequently seen, is that "off" colours and inclusions show up more noticeably in emerald cuts than in brilliant cuts. Another way of explaining this is to consider that a perfect D flawless emerald cut might only look 20 to 30% less attractive than a similar quality brilliant cut, but a J colour, P2 (I2) emerald cut might look 70 to 80% worse than a similar brilliant cut.
Modified Brilliant Cuts
Most oval, pear, marquise, and heart shaped diamonds are variations on the modern round brilliant cut, and the princess cut and radiant cut are also rectangular or octagonal shapes cut with a modification of the principles used for brilliant cuts.
Unless you strongly prefer the glassy look of an emerald cut, we would always suggest you consider a radiant cut instead of an emerald cut.
You cannot help but notice that our first photograph is of a fancy brown diamond. Because the primary attraction is its rich coffee colour, rather than its brilliance, the fact that it is emerald cut may have enhanced rather than detracted from its beauty. Similar considerations would apply to most fancy coloured diamonds.
More About Cut & Shape of Diamonds
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