There are a million ways to cut a diamond into a shape that’s suitable for putting it into a piece of jewelry. But, like with all things, some cuts are just more popular than some others.
Today, we’re here to discuss the radiant cut vs. emerald cut. Both of these are relatively popular and have been sold for a very long time. So, the chances are you’ve seen them before – even if you didn’t know the name of the cut yet.
Well, that’s why we’re here today – to tell you more about these two diamond cuts and show you the differences between them, such as the price tags, the shape, the complexity of the cut, and more.
It’s a somewhat lengthy matter to cover, but we’re confident that we’ll be able to deliver all the answers – and help you decide between the two cuts of diamonds.
Now, taking into consideration the amount of information available on this topic, it might be best to jump straight in and get this show on the road!
Diamonds that have been cut into a square shape have been popular for many years now; that style and shape are nothing new. Moreover, there are a few cuts that leave a diamond with a square shape – but the radiant cut is arguably the most well-known and modern-looking one in the bunch.
Radiant cut diamonds, invented in 1977, are usually used for rings or earrings, so if you’ve seen them before, you can probably trace them back to these types of jewelry pieces.
Whether you go with a more elongated or square-shaped gem, a radiant-cut diamond will surely stand out from the crowd – and give your engagement ring a unique look.
Their appeal is in their shape – a combination of “step-cuts,” such as emerald, and round brilliant cut, designed with excellent symmetry of the diamond’s facets to maximize brilliance and fire.
But let’s look at this cut from a technical perspective: For the radiant cut, it’s recommended that you go with the color grade H or higher; that’s what most of the jewelry contains, anyway.
Also, this cut provides you with quite a durable diamond, which is vital – especially for a piece of jewelry meant to be worn every day.
Now, one could argue that diamonds are incredibly hard, and that would be true, but here’s the thing: Some diamond cuts leave you with a brittle stone that just needs a little bit of pressure applied at the right spot to crack.
Unlike those cuts, the radiant cut makes for a rather durable stone and is hard to damage in any way, shape, or form. That’s a big part of why the radiant cut diamonds enjoy such popularity, but don’t be mistaken – endurance isn’t the only advantage when it comes to the radiant cut.
Henry Grossbard developed this diamond cut in 1977 in New York. That makes the radiant cut a relative newcomer among diamond shapes and engagement ring design – especially compared to the emerald cut.
The cut features 70 facets and has either a squarish or rectangular shape, depending on the exact proportions, which are a matter of personal preference. The sides are straight, and the corners are slightly beveled to strengthen the stone and protect its integrity.
The large number of facets featured in this diamond cut creates a “crushed ice” or kaleidoscope effect – one that brings extra shimmer to the stone. That helps conceal slight inclusions and accentuates the color of the stone while also visually enlarging its carat weight. That makes radiant cut diamonds a fantastic value – perfect for any budget-conscious couple.
Related Read: Which Diamond Cut Holds Its Value?
This cut was particularly popular in the 1980s when its newness made it all the more striking. Today, many vintage engagement rings incorporate radiant cut stones, and it is possible to reset radiant cuts in even older antique ring designs.
Also, as we’ve mentioned earlier, these diamonds are worn on specific occasions in specific settings. For example, radiant cut diamonds look best on earrings and rings, so that’s where you’ll see them the most.
And although we believe you’re free to wear your diamonds any way you like, we couldn’t help but notice that earrings and rings with radiant-cut gemstones are primarily worn in semi-formal settings.
The price is always a big part of any discussion about diamonds, and that’s the part that many people are interested in the most. Given their cost, can you say you’re surprised?
Yead, we didn’t think so.
We’re not saying that price is all that matters, but it plays a prominent role in some people’s eyes. Either you can afford the gem, or you can’t – it’s that simple.
A loose radiant cut diamond that weighs 0.75 carats has a price tag that ranges from $1500 to $2300 depending on the clarity, color, part of the world you’re in, and the like.
Here’s something to keep in mind: This price is considered affordable for the most part since some diamond cuts can go for over $10,000.
Radiant cut diamonds are affordable, and that’s why most people opt for them in engagement rings.
Earrings are also quite popular since diamonds embedded into earrings can’t be large – which means that the price can’t skyrocket just because of the carat weight of the radiant cut diamond.
This cut was first introduced around 500 years ago, making it one of the oldest cuts out there. The radiant cut is pretty much a newborn diamond baby compared to it!
The emerald cut was trendy in the period from the beginning of the 1920s throughout the 1930s. Finally, in the 1940s, the modern emerald cut received the form it has today; it was redesigned to look the way it looks now.
The facets on the emerald cuts are called “step facets.” That means it belongs to the “step cut” family of diamonds. What do we mean when we say step facets?
Well, the name originates from the step-like positioning of the facets, three rows of steps above and three below the stone. On that note, the Emerald has a total of 57 facets.
Also, the most common ratio of an emerald shape is 1:5, which makes the stone rectangular – the recognizable shape it has always had. It’s worth noting that they don’t hide their imperfections well, though.
Most commonly, the emerald cut diamond weighs around 0.5 carats, making them exactly 50% smaller than the regular radiant cut diamonds.
Related Read: Is A .5 Carat (half-carat) Diamond Too Small?
Emerald cut diamonds are pretty casual-looking, despite them being embedded in some more expensive pieces of jewelry. Well, as “casual” as diamonds can be.
Here’s what we mean: These diamonds can be seen daily, either in jewelry stores or on people that own them and wear them regularly. If you see an engagement ring on someone, the chances are that the diamond on top of it will be an emerald-cut one.
People are drawn to emerald-cut diamonds for a few reasons – but the main one is that it looks elegant without being too much over the top.
Like with radiant cut diamonds, the emerald cut ones do have a square shape that makes them easily recognizable.
Most of the diamonds cut in a square shape are either of radiant cut or emerald cut. Still, when you take their price into consideration – which we’ll discuss shortly – there’s a bigger chance of you seeing an emerald-cut diamond.
In addition to that, this cut is straightforward to execute; diamond cutters do it often and without any difficulties, which makes them widely available for purchase.
Oh, and another thing: Buying an emerald-cut diamond is always a safe bet since most people adore this cut and think of it as both long-lasting and oh-so-pretty.
The price of emerald-cut diamonds might surprise you. You see, we all tend to think of precious stones as something that we’re going to overpay for – but that’s not the case.
For a diamond that weighs half a carat – or a 0.5-carat diamond, to be more specific – the price for the emerald cut is between $850 and $1300.
The price is lower than that for the radiant cut, but you have to take into consideration that we’re talking about a 0.5-carat diamond.
When we talked about the price for radiant cut diamonds, we discussed diamonds that weigh 0.75 carats, which is already a 50% bigger diamond.
Both of these cuts are similar in prices, but the difference is that emerald-cut diamonds are a bit smaller and are more common. So, in turn, the price is a bit lower when compared to the price of a radiant cut diamond.
That shouldn’t surprise you since the prices of diamonds vary from cut to cut. Plus, there are many more diamond-related factors to take into consideration when talking about prices.
But, the rough idea of how much money you’ll have to spend on a diamond that’s cut in this manner is a valuable piece of information, nonetheless.
Which One Should You Pick?
We don’t feel comfortable insisting that one cut is better than the other since the shape of a gem is the question of personal preferences and choices.
Some people might like radiant cut diamonds better, and some might like emerald cut diamonds more. But that doesn’t imply that one is better than the other.
In other words, beauty is in the eye of the observer. That said, some facts make a difference – such as a price tag and availability, which we’ll discuss.
First off, it’s evident that the radiant cut diamond is a bit more expensive, but you’ll probably get a slightly bigger diamond, too.
As far as some of the most critical factors go, let’s take a look at how these two cuts differ and if they’re similar at all:
- Facets: The radiant cut has 70 facets, whereas the emerald cut diamonds have 57 facets.
- Clarity: For the radiant cut, the clarity that’s most often recommended is an SI1 or an SI2. For emerald-cut diamonds, the recommended clarity is VS2.
- Color: For radiant cut diamonds, the recommendation for the color is H color or better, and for emerald cut diamonds, the color that’s most often recommended is the G color.
Learn More: Which Diamond Shape Is Best? Guide To Popular Diamond Shapes
Our Final Thoughts
There’s a lot to take in when talking about these two types of diamond cuts, huh?
Both are square-shaped, and both can be considered excellent budget options. Still, there are some differences between them. Let’s sum them up!
First of all, the price difference isn’t astonishing – but there is a difference, nonetheless.
Emerald cut diamonds are generally 50% smaller and cost less money, meaning you can find an emerald cut diamond for less than $1000 if you look in all the right places.
Second of all, we’ve noticed a difference in how people wear and treat their diamonds. Radiant cut diamonds are considered a bit more “formal,” while emerald-cut diamonds are much more casual.
Plus, you can’t ignore the fact that emerald-cut gems have a much longer history. That’s why you’ll probably see an emerald cut diamond more often than the radiant cut.
All in all, both of these are solid options, and we can’t tell you that one is better than the other in the radiant cut vs. emerald cut diamonds debate. But one thing that we can tell you is that you won’t make a mistake by going with either one of these.
Related Read: Which Diamond Cut Sparkles The Most?