Emerald vs Round Cut: Which is Better?

Emerald cuts and round cuts are two of the most striking diamond cuts, and they are also the most strikingly opposite. Emerald cut diamonds are long, sharp, and radiant, while round cut diamonds are round, soft, and sparkling. Despite their differences, both of these cuts are incredibly classic, elegant, and versatile. These shared qualities can make deciding between the two for your engagement ring somewhat difficult.

In the battle of emerald vs round cut diamonds, there isn’t a clear winner. Both of these diamond cuts are stunning options for the center stone for an engagement ring. 

While one isn’t necessarily better than the other, one is probably the better choice for you. Because these two diamond cuts are so very different, there will be a clear answer as to which one you should choose. To help you reach that decision, we compared the two classic cuts. Keep reading to discover which style will shine on your ring finger.  

Emerald v Round

What Is Diamond Cut?

Before we jump in to choosing the best diamond cut, it’s important to clarify what we’re comparing here. The cut of a diamond is how the raw diamond is crafted by diamond cutters into a particular shape to maximize its beauty. Depending on the characteristics of the raw diamond, the skilled artisan will make very small cuts to shape it into an ideal stone for diamond jewelry. Ideally, this means the diamond will have excellent clarity, symmetry, and brilliance (or sparkle), and as little as possible of the diamond will be wasted. 

If the raw diamond is naturally elongated in shape, the artisan may choose to craft it into an emerald diamond or oval diamond, whereas if the diamond is naturally round in shape, the artisan may choose to craft it into a round diamond or Asscher cut diamond. 

Diamond cut is not just the resulting shape of the diamond, but also how well the cut showcases the beauty of the stone. In fact, it’s the number one factor in the overall appearance of the diamond. The better the cut, the more beautiful the diamond engagement ring. Different diamond cuts have different pros and cons, which is what we’re here to discuss. To learn more about how diamond cut is graded and why it matters, see our diamond shape and cut chart

Emerald vs Round Cut

Both emerald and round diamonds are cut in a way that is optimal for the center stone of an engagement ring. However, there are key differences between these two cuts that will influence if one is more suitable for your ring over the other. 

Shape

The most noticeable difference between an emerald cut diamond and a round cut diamond is the shape; one is rectangular and one is round. They also have differently shaped facets; emerald cut diamonds have rectangular step-cut facets, while round cut diamonds have triangular-shaped facets. Now, the shape doesn’t impact the quality of a diamond, but it is a matter of personal preference. These cuts appear very different and suit different styles.   

Emerald diamonds can appear more sleek and modern while round diamonds can appear more feminine and classic. Of course, the setting and metal you choose will play a big role in the overall appearance of your diamond ring. For instance, you can choose to enhance the sleek look of an emerald cut diamond with baguette diamond side stones, or make it feel more vintage and feminine with a halo setting. 

Sparkle

The round brilliant cut diamond is, notably, the diamond cut with the most fire and brilliance. This means that it catches the light and returns a sparkling rainbow of colors (fire) and flashes of bright white light (brilliance) more than any other diamond cut. 

Emerald cut diamonds emit much less sparkle than round cut diamonds, but they do offer their own kind of shine, albeit in a more subdued way. This shape features step cuts, which create glimmering flashes of light that give emerald diamonds a polished and sophisticated appearance.  

Size 

Optical illusions abound where diamonds are concerned. Sparkle, setting, and shape can all enhance how large a diamond appears, so carat weight is not the only factor to consider when looking for a sizable stone. As we mentioned above, a round brilliant cut diamond is the sparkliest of them all. This sparkle can make a round brilliant cut diamond appear larger than a princess cut diamond or cushion cut diamond of the same carat weight. 

Certain cuts also appear larger than their carat weight would suggest because of their shape. Elongated shapes, emerald included, appear larger. When comparing round and emerald diamonds, emerald diamonds have a larger face-up size. With ideal-cut stones, though, the difference is minimal as the round diamond will sparkle more, creating the illusion of a larger-than-actual size.   

Price

There are many factors that go into a diamond’s price. However, round tends to be the most expensive diamond cut across the board. This is likely due to a couple of key reasons. One, round diamonds are the most popular for engagement rings, and where demand is high, so is price. Two, much more waste is created when cutting a round diamond compared to other diamond cuts such as princess cut or radiant cut. 

That being said, if you are looking at a round diamond and an emerald diamond with identical cut, clarity, color, and carat weight, the round diamond will be more expensive. So, it’s possible to save money by selecting an emerald cut diamond. 

If you are set on a round diamond, there are tips you can follow to make an affordable choice. For instance, consider lab grown diamonds or diamond alternatives. This is a helpful tip if you are looking to drastically reduce the cost of your engagement ring, regardless of which diamond cut you choose.

Shopping Tips for an Emerald Cut Diamond

Emerald cut diamonds give off a beautiful subdued sparkle, appear larger in size than many other shapes, are relatively affordable, and are timeless, yet modern, at the same time. The emerald cut diamond meaning illustrates elegance and class, making it a top choice among celebrities and royalty throughout history. If this is the diamond cut for you, follow these shopping tips to secure the perfect stone.

Prioritize Clarity

Clarity is the most important of the 4Cs when it comes to emerald cut diamonds. This is because the step-cuts of an emerald provide a window into the center of the diamond where its flaws, or lack thereof, are on display. If you look for a stone that is “eye clean” and has a clarity of VS2, or better, you won’t have to worry about any visible inclusions and your stone will shine beautifully. 

Explore Emerald Engagement Rings

One of the best ways to determine whether an emerald cut engagement ring is right for you is to shop around. By exploring emerald engagement rings, you will know, and quickly, whether this diamond cut and the settings that suit it best speak to you.  

Shopping Tips for a Round Cut Diamond

Round cut diamonds have a classic shape that goes well in any setting. Plus, they sparkle unlike any other diamond cut and tend to look bigger than they are. While they can be pricey, if you prioritize the right attributes and shop lab grown stones, you can easily find a round cut diamond engagement ring within your budget. 

Prioritize Cut

The round brilliant cut diamond is the marker by which all other diamond cuts are measured. For this reason, a well-cut round diamond is unmatched in brilliance. The key word? Well-cut. A round diamond with a poor cut isn’t worth its salt; it will appear dull and askew, rather than sparkling and symmetrical. 

If you prioritize diamond cut, the sparkle of the stone will outshine any small imperfections or slight coloration. This makes it possible to purchase a stone with a lower clarity grade and/or a lower color grade, and thus expand the options that are within your budget.  

Explore Round Engagement Rings

To determine if a round cut diamond is the way to go, browse round engagement rings. You will quickly discover if this shape of stone and style of engagement ring is right for you. 

Which Cut is Right for You: Emerald or Round?

At the end of the day, only you can decide what diamond cut is right for your engagement ring. Both emerald cut diamonds and round cut diamonds have pros and cons, but if you follow our shopping tips and stick to your style, you can easily outweigh the negative aspects of either cut and find the ideal one.  

At 12FIFTEEN Diamonds, we want to make it easy for you to find a ring you’ll love, forever. This is why we offer hundreds of styles of lab grown diamond engagement rings, round, emerald, and more. Don’t see something you love? We can also craft a custom ring from a loose, ethically sourced stone to your exact specifications.

Whether you choose emerald or round, learn why a lab grown diamond is the way to go. 

Sources: 
Gem Society
Diamond Nexus
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