Emerald cut diamonds have a distinguished look to them. They’re classic, elegant, and are not overly flashy. They’re also not for everyone, since diamonds are typically admired for their extravagant sparkle, and the emerald cut’s sparkle is up for debate.
This is what we’re discussing today: whether an emerald cut sparkles or not, how to make a ring with this stone sparkle more, and whether there are any alternative cuts that might substitute the emerald cut (if you’re looking for other options).
Do emerald cut diamonds sparkle ?
No, emerald cuts do not sparkle the same way a round brilliant does. Emerald cut diamonds are a step-cut style, so they do not have as many facets, so they don’t have a lot of fire and brilliance. They are not dull, but they pale in comparison to a round brilliant, an oval, or a radiant cut diamond.
Emerald cut diamonds have a much more subdued sparkle, more of a contrast between plain, clean facets and very sparkly spots. We’ll explain in a minute.
An emerald cut has wide flashes of light, and just a few sparkles
The emerald cut offers a surprising contrast between areas with sparkle, and areas with wide flashes of light. This is because the emerald cut’s facets are mirroring each other so they cannot sparkle. But, the emerald cut also have a few facets that are at a angle and on a diagonal as well, which is the perfect recipe for those sparkles everyone’s looking for.
An emerald cut’s sparkle is concentrated towards the tips, on the smaller facets leading from the shoulders to the diamond culet. You can also see a bit of sparkle on the wider facets on either tip, but not as much as you would in the corners and shoulders.
So if you’re looking for something with more sparkle, we have a couple of alternatives but we’ll discuss them a bit later. For now let’s look at…
How to make an emerald cut diamond ring sparkle
An emerald cut diamond is not meant to sparkle as much as other diamond cuts. It’s meant to emphasize a diamond’s clarity and simple beauty, a bit of poetry if you will. But if you want to jazz it up there are a few options and we’ll talk about them next. Just keep in mind that some of them may distract from the simplicity of the emerald cut.
Add a halo to your emerald cut diamond
A halo is always effective in making anything sparkle more, so if you’re looking for a way to make your emerald cut engagement ring sparkle more, then a halo will give you that. We recommend going for very small stones, so they don’t distract from the emerald as much. If you get the stones small enough it may even look a bit dainty, like fine lace surrounding the emerald cut.
Of course, this all depends on several factors such as how large the emerald cut is, what your budget is, and whether the one who will wear the ring likes a simple emerald or an embellished one. We’ve seen emerald cut diamond with halos so this is definitely not a new thing.
Use brilliant cut side stones for your emerald cut
Since the emerald cut is a very geometric looking stone, we recommend going for clean, straight lines in your side stones as well. This means anything like kites, trillions, baguettes (simple or tapered), or another pair of very small emerald cuts. Out of all these options, the trillion cut sparkles the most and it has a triangle shape so it would work best as a pair of side stones for an emerald cut.
If you’re looking for just a bit of sparkle, then any of the other options work because they are step cuts, and won’t bring as much extra sparkle as the trillion cuts would.
Set your emerald cut diamond on a pave band
Want to let the emerald be the star of the show but still want something extra ? A pave band might be a good compromise. The emerald cut diamond will sit high atop the ring, and a row of diamonds will go around the shank, either halfway or full. The halfway options seems to be the most comfortable one to wear, since it won’t hurt the skin on the neighboring fingers.
Tis is perhaps the classiest option out of all of them. This way the emerald is left to be simple, classic, elegant, inviting, while the band provides just a bit of sparkle to make your engagement ring stand out among the rest.
Bonus – try a full or half bezel setting for the emerald cut
This is a bonus from us, since we believe something you gotta have an extra option even if it’s not 100% what you’re looking for. Say your emerald cut ring is looking a bit plain, on a simple band with a prong setting, and you want to make it look better or more interesting. But it doesn’t necessarily have to extra sparkly.
Consider the bezel setting, either a full one or a half bezel. This setting type means a thin metal band goes all around the diamond’s girdle, holding it in place instead of a pair of prongs. You can request an open bezel, that allows light into the pavilion as well.
The upside to having a bezel setting is extra safety and the ring won’t have any prongs to snatch onto clothes or hair. The downside is it can look a bit bulky, which not everyone appreciates.
What is the best setting for an emerald cut diamond ring ?
The best setting for an emerald cut ring is the classic prong setting, since it allows the most light into the diamond and allows you to view the diamond from all angles. It offers adequate protection for the diamond is a setting that can easily accommodate later revisions like extra stones or resizing.
Read also: Best Ring Settings For Princess Cut Diamond
Alternatives to the emerald cut diamond
What if you’re not exactly sure you want an emerald cut ? There are a couple of options that are somewhat similar to the emerald cut, as in they offer a similar shape but look a bit different. Always be open minded about your diamond choice, because you’ll never know which diamond will speak to you the most. It’s a lot like choosing a wedding dress. You won’t know for sure until you try it on, and then you might just be surprised. Here are the options:
Radiant cut – same shape, much more sparkle
The radiant cut is a great option if you love the general shape of an emerald cut but want way more sparkle. A radiant cut diamond is there to impress and it’s definitely going to be immediately noticeable, compared to an emerald, because it’s a brilliant cut diamond.
You can get radiants in the exact same shape as your preferred emerald, such as length to width ratio. Generally it’s best to go with a 1.30:1 L/W, as a higher ratio can make the diamond look too skinny.
Asscher cut – same cut style, a bit more sparkle
The Asscher cut is also a step-cut diamond, so its key features are mirroring facets and less sparkle than a brilliant cut. But the Asscher has more facets than an emerald, and more of them are at an angle meaning you get more sparkle than you would from an emerald cut. It’s kind of like the Asscher has all 4 sides like the emerald’s tips.
If the Asscher cut sounds like a great option, keep in mind that it is usually a square 1:1 stone, but it can be elongated. Not by a lot, certainly not to 1.30:1 but you can fit it at a 1.15:1 at its maximum. So it will be more of a plump, slightly elongated stone.
I’m the main author for jewelrymaterialguide.com. I started this site after we did tons of research before our wedding and noticed that there is information about rings, jewelry, and so on that is really hard to find on the internet.