The emerald cut and the radiant cut are seemingly shaped in a similar fashion, but what are the differences between them? Let’s take a closer look at the most important aspects in which these two diamond cuts differ.
What Is an Emerald Cut?
The emerald diamond cut looks like a rectangle with truncated corners. It is shaped with linear facets that are parallel to the stone’s edge (girdle).
Emerald-cut diamonds are shallower compared to the more popular round brilliants.
What Is a Radiant Cut?
Radiant-cut diamonds have a rectangular shape, and some of them are square.
Like the emerald cut, this diamond shape has cut corners, and this feature adds to the durability of radiants (sharp-cornered stones are easier to chip at their edges when hit).
Differences Between Emerald Cut and Radiant Cut
Although their profiles look ostensibly similar, the emerald cut and the radiant cut differ in how they are shaped as well as how they look when worn.
Here are some of the major differences:
The emerald cut belongs to the group of the so-called “step cuts.”
They have parallel walls, and it is easier to see through them than through brilliant-cut stones.
The radiant cut is classified as a “mixed cut,” which means that it combines some of the features of both the step cut and the brilliant cut.
Although the outline of radiant diamonds resembles that of step cuts, the table (the top) and the pavilion (the bottom) of these stones are cut the way brilliant cuts are shaped.
Most facets of the emerald cut are shaped so as to be parallel to each other and to the girdle of the stone.
Radiant cuts, on the other hand, have facets with triangular or other non-rectangular shapes, and for the most part, they are not arranged in a parallel fashion.
If you look at a radiant closely, you will notice that its cut doesn’t look as “linear” as the emerald cut.
Brilliance and Sparkle
The facets of radiant cuts are shaped and positioned so as to enhance the stone’s brilliance.
Emerald cuts, on the other hand, are not cut with this goal in mind, and their facets are not shaped and arranged in a way that maximizes sparkle.
That’s why if you compare a radiant with an emerald-cut stone, you will notice that the former has more brilliance and sparkle than the latter.
Since the emerald cut does not maximize brilliance as much as the radiant cut does, these two shapes differ in how visible their flaws are.
A radiant cut of a certain clarity grade is less likely to have noticeable imperfections, as such flaws would be masked by the stone’s sparkle.
In contrast, inclusions in an emerald cut of the same clarity are likely to be more visible due to the stone’s relatively lower brilliance.
Choosing Between Radiant Cut and Emerald Cut
The emerald cut is a good choice if you want a diamond that has a rectangular shape and is not too sparkly.
Just make sure that the emerald-cut diamond you choose has a high enough clarity grade (VS1-VS2 or higher) as well as a good color grade (at least H or G) so that the stone doesn’t have visible flaws or yellow tints.
Choose a radiant cut if you like the shape of the emerald cut but you also want your diamond to have the brilliance and sparkle of the classic round-cut diamond.
Where to Buy Diamonds and Diamond Jewelry?
For diamond jewelry, we highly recommend James Allen because it shows real photos and videos for each diamond so you can take a 360-degree look at any stone before buying it.
For colored diamonds, we recommend Leibish & Co., which specializes in fancy color diamonds (use code JewelryNotes200 at checkout to get a 5% discount).