What's the Difference Between Emerald and Radiant Cut Diamonds?

woman holding coffee cup wearing either emerald or radiant

Although the two rings appear similar, emerald and radiant cut diamonds have a few key differences setting them apart from one another. Here's what you need to know if you're debating emerald vs radiant.

Only 3% of the world’s natural diamonds are emerald cut, making them one of the most unique diamond cuts offered. One of the biggest perks of emerald cut diamonds is the size. Although a 5-carat emerald cut diamond is technically the same size as, say, a 5-carat round cut diamond, the emerald cut diamond will appear larger due to its larger surface area. This idea is especially appealing to buyers on a budget; they can purchase a seemingly larger diamond for a much lower price. Additionally, emerald cut diamonds are elongated which gives the wearer’s fingers the appearance of being much longer and slenderer.

Emerald cut diamonds

One of the drawbacks of an emerald cut diamond is the fact that it shows imperfections much more than other cuts of diamonds, therefore, buyers should be wary of this before purchasing. Additionally, buyers should also be aware of color. Emerald cuts, due to their large surface area, show yellowish tints in their make-up much more than other diamond cuts. Emerald cuts have a subtler shine than most other cuts of diamonds due to their being a step cut. The diamond is more similar to mirrors than it is to a brilliant and sparkly diamond.

Radiant cut diamonds

Known as one of the newest cuts of diamonds, the radiant cut diamond was designed in 1977 and gained popularity in the 1980’s. As a combination of the round brilliant cut and the emerald cut, the square radiant cut diamond engagement rings offer 70 facets within the stone, leaving them only slightly less radiant than the round brilliant cut. Radiant cut diamond engagement rings are phenomenal choices for buyers leading active lifestyles because the beveled corners make chipping highly unlikely.

Although the bow tie effect, the dark spot found in the middle of the stone, is less likely to occur in radiant engagement rings than in those of oval or marquise, buyers should still be aware of the risk when purchasing longer and more rectangular radiant cut diamond engagement rings. Radiant cut diamonds vary from being perfectly square (similar to a princess cut) to being much more rectangular in shape (similar to the emerald cut). The benefit of choosing a radiant cut diamond is, of course, the brilliance, the diamond’s most popular feature.

Diamond comparisons: Emerald vs radiant

In comparison, radiant cut diamonds are usually rectangular, but some can be square. On the other hand, emerald cut diamonds are rectangular with truncated corners. While this difference will seem minimal when the diamond is actually set within the ring, there is still a key difference within the diamond itself. Regardless of the shape, both diamonds have cut corners, and therefore, they are both prone to less chipping than other diamond shapes. By being less likely to chip, these two diamond cuts are perfect for women with a more active daily lifestyle.

Emerald vs radiant faceting

The facets of emerald and radiant cut diamonds differ. For example, the facets of an emerald cut diamond are parallel, while a radiant cut diamond has triangular facets. What do differing facets mean? The simple answer is that while the shapes may appear similar, the shines they produce will differ immensely. The amount of shine may not change, but they type of shine could either be sparkly or more of a soft glow. Emerald cut diamonds typically take the soft glow, and radiant cut diamonds are usually the more sparkly of the two. Because of the brilliance of radiant cut diamonds, this shape is a popular choice for colored diamonds. By enhancing the brilliance of the diamonds, the colors pop even more to create a more stunning overall effect versus a muted color.

Emerald vs radiant clarity and inclusions

In terms of imperfections, 3 carat radiant cut diamonds are much less likely to show flaws than 3 carat emerald cut diamonds are; this is due to the brilliant cut of the stone which hides many imperfections to the naked eye.

But it all comes down to personal preference

While it is truly up to the buyer because of preference, emerald cut and radiant cut diamonds are typically found in different settings. Radiant cut diamonds may be found in almost all different types of engagement ring settings, but emerald cut diamonds are most popularly found in traditional and classic settings. However, if an emerald cut is what the buyer desires, they can surely switch up these notions. Ultimately, an emerald cut diamond merges traditional and modern while a radiant cut diamond gives a ring more of a modern effect from the start.

Although there are a few differences between emerald and radiant cut diamonds that affect their value or popularity, the ultimate decision is dependent on the buyer. The most important aspect of choosing an engagement ring is preference. Whatever fits the wearer’s style the most is the perfect ring for her!