Question: How Can I Find the Best 1 Carat Emerald Cut Diamond?

Most online jewelers allow you to search for all of the parameters I list below in this article. I have created a direct link to emerald diamond search pages at James Allen, Brian Gavin Diamonds, Blue Nile, and Leibish here for your convenience:

This year has seen an increase in the demand for emerald cut diamonds. As such I decided to write a little bit about how to go about finding the best emerald cut diamond.

Definition of emerald cut diamond:

Emerald Cut diamonds are oblong step cut diamonds with a large, open table. The corners are truncated to avoid points of weakness.

Image: Brian Gavin Diamonds

Categorized as a fancy cut, the emerald cut was originally developed for the cutting of emeralds, and came into vogue as a popular fancy cut diamonds during the Art Deco period.

This shape, which is usually known as emerald cut diamond, step cut, or trap-cut accentuates a diamond’s clarity. The large table makes it easy to see right into the diamond.

Like other fancy shaped diamonds, emerald cut diamonds can come in a variety of length to width ratios. The classic outline of emerald cut diamonds usually have a ratio of 1.00:1.50 though ratios of up to 1.00:1.75 are also found to be pleasing to the eye. If the diamond has a 1.00:1.00 ratio it is usually called an Asscher shape as I outline in this article here:

What is the difference between Asscher and Emerald Cut Diamonds?

Ideal proportion is not as clearly defined for emerald cut diamonds as it has been for round cut diamonds. Emerald Cut diamonds, as is the case with many other types of fancy cut diamonds, will be cut to a wide variety of shapes, each with a slightly differing proportion. These variations, particularly in the pavilion, makes the science of light performance extremely complex for fancy shapes. As a result you will not find any cut grades noted on gemological reports issued for fancy cuts. This means you will rely more on the jeweler to help you with choosing your fancy cut stone. For this reason it is quite important to choose the jeweler carefully before getting too caught up in the details of diamond geometry.

There are some guidelines to follow when choosing an emerald cut diamond which can help but the truth is that without extensive diamond experience this will only get you so far. A trained gemologist is much more likely be able to help you find what you are looking for as they will know a lot more about the subtle differences between different emerald cut diamonds.

My choice would be to ask Brian Gavin Diamonds for advice when choosing an emerald cut diamond if your choice is to buy your diamond from an online jewelry retailer.

If you prefer to locate a jeweler within driving distance so you can go in person and speak to the jeweler face to face you may enjoy the service provided by FindMyJewlerTM. (USA only)

Secret Shopper Tests Of Jewelers in the USA

Read here to find out more about the excellent Find My JewelerTM service.

Emerald Cut Diamond Buying Tips

Following are a few points to help get you started on your search

Best options for Emerald Cut Diamonds
Best options for Emerald Cut Diamonds

Clarity

The shape of Emerald cut diamonds, with its large open table, makes it well suited to show off higher clarity grades.

Clarity grades for emerald cut diamonds are shown on the diamond lab grading report (unlike cut grade, for which, as far as fancy cut diamonds go, there is no established science).

Since the clarity of emerald cut diamonds or other step cut diamonds is going to be much more obvious it’s advisable to select from the following range:

  • VS2
  • VS1
  • VVS2
  • VVS1
  • IF

Color

A slightly warmer color range is often considered to be as nice or even nicer than cooler color grades. This is due, in part, to the large open table on emerald cut diamonds. Another reason is that the light play is considerably different in an emerald cut diamond when compared to a round brilliant. The choice of color grade is therefore up to your personal preference.

Warmer colors are found among the following colors on the GIA color scale:

  • L
  • K
  • J
  • I
  • H
  • G

Cooler tones will be found among the color grades that are near colorless on the GIA color scale:

  • F
  • E
  • D

The following video is of an emerald diamond that has a slightly warmer color (the L color on the GIA scale) and you can see that it looks gorgeous. Also note how the large table allows the viewer to peer into the diamond and appreciate its clarity.

 

Cut Grade

While the actual cut grade for fancy cut diamonds like the emerald cut is not something that has been firmly established in the diamond industry* there are certain ratios which seem to work better than others and which would place a diamond in a better cut grade if this were something that laboratories were prepared to include on the diamond grading report. Some of the grades listed below are subjective and it’s an area where opinions do vary even between specialists.

*Even round brilliant cuts, which have been the subject of a great deal of study, can still have variability even among diamonds that have all received a top grade. Finding a good jeweler to deal with is always more important than just looking at a grading report. Check out the list of recommended diamond jewelers on our home page.

Having said that, there are some numbers which can serve as a rough guide which I list here:

Emerald Cut Brilliance Guide

Recommended Table Depth %
NOT recommended
Excellent Cut Very Good Cut Good Cut Fair Cut Average Cut
60% to 65% 58% to 69% 57% to 74% 56% to 78% 53% to 80%
Recommended Table %
NOT recommended
Excellent Cut Very Good Cut Good Cut Fair Cut Average Cut
58% to 69.5% 57% to 72% 57% to 74% 56% to 74% 53% to 76%
Recommended Length to Width Ratio
Excellent Cut Very Good Cut Good Cut
1.00:1.50 to 1.00:1.75

1.00:1.26 to 1.00:1.49
&
1.00:1.76 to 1.00:1.99

1.00:1.26 to 1.00:1.49
&
1.00:1.76 to 1.00:1.99

Additional Factors for best results

Fluorescence None or Faint
Polish Excellent to Good
Symmetry Excellent to Good

This handy tool brings you to the Emerald Diamond Search box on four separate websites.

Argyle Diamonds – Rarest of jewels

argyle pink diamonds
Argyle Pink Diamonds

Pink diamonds are some of the most beautiful and rare stones on earth.

Pink stones sized at one carat or more are so rare that a whole year’s worth would fit in the palm of your hand.

As an example of how highly prized these stones are an extremely rare 15.38 carat pear-shaped pink diamond sold for $31.6 million at Sotheby’s in Geneva on May 17, 2016. This was the most expensive fancy vivid pink diamond ever to sell at auction.

The Argyle mine is the the source of not only 90 % of all the world’s pink diamonds but also the amazing champagne coloured diamonds. If you think it’s just a marketing ploy to cleverly name the brown diamonds “champagne color” you haven’t seen these beautiful and very rare stones.

Pink and Blue Argyle Tender Diamonds
Pink and Blue Argyle Tender Diamonds

The Argyle mine has been a very productive resource since its opening in 1983, but the streak can’t last forever and the end is already looming way too close for comfort. The mine is estimated to maintain productivity only to around 2020. When this happens it will undoubtedly give pink diamond owners a warm cosy feeling since they were lucky enough to buy their pink diamonds before the days of scarcity.

There are no likely contenders as an alternative source of the type of colored diamonds we have seen from the Argyle mine.

The Argyle mine yields exceptional blue, violet, and red diamonds, though these are rarer finds and accounts for only 1 percent of the diamonds the mine yields.

See also Where to Buy Pink Diamonds For Less Than USD15,000

Where to buy pink diamonds for less than USD15000

The specialists in colored diamonds featured on my list are among some of the best places to buy diamonds. Yes it is true that any jeweler worth his salt will be able to get you a colored stone, but there are several reasons I recommend this particular jeweler for all your fancy colors.

Note: Just to review a couple of terms. (Please skip on ahead if you already know about diamond terminology.) The word "fancy" when used in regard to diamond color means intensely or vividly colored. When used in regard to shape "fancy cut" means any shape other than the standard classic usually referred to as a round brilliant.

The diamond we have for you today actually falls in both categories:

Fancy color and fancy cut.

Pink diamonds are rare therefore they command a respectable price. But that’s not to say we can’t find you a beautiful one at a fair price.

pink-heart-diamond-leibishThis little beauty is a gorgeous fancy intense pink cut into a heart shape and not only does it have good symmetry, but good polish and has Argyle laser inscription and certification.

This one gets my “No Regrets” stamp of approval.No Regrets stamp of approval for this round diamond

Heart Brilliant

Measurements
3.54 x 3.58 x 2.17 mm
Carat Weight
0.16 carat
Clarity Grade
SI2

color

Origin
Natural
Grade
Fancy Intense Pink
Distribution
Even

proportions

Depth
60.6 %
Table
59 %
Girdle
Slightly Thick to Very Thick, Faceted
Culet
None

finish

Polish
Very Good
Symmetry
Very Good

Fluorescence

Fluorescence
Medium Blue

clarity characteristics

Clarity Characteristics
Feather, Needle, Pinpoint, Natural

The reasons I recommend Leibish for colored stones is because first of all this is their speciality. If you want good service and good quality go to the specialist. And like most of the jewelers on our list Liebish is a well established entity. Leibish and Co participates in the annual invitation only Argyle Pink Diamond Tender. Enough said.

Leibish is also a proponent of diamonds as investments so they are keen to give purchasers a chance to get in at a good price.

All in all Leibish are great to deal with and provide a wonderful service.

I asked them to send me a list of a few more pink diamonds under $15000 and they responded within the hour with the following list (which includes the stone reviewed above).

  1. www.leibish.com/pink-diamonds/fancy-intense-pink-heart-23805
  2. www.leibish.com/pink-diamonds/fancy-intense-pink-pear-23345
  3. www.leibish.com/pink-diamonds/fancy-intense-purplish-pink-emerald-26495
  4. www.leibish.com/pink-diamonds/fancy-vivid-purplish-pink-radiant-18858