Radiant Cut vs Emerald Cut: Which Is Better?

Table of Contents

  • What Is a Radiant Cut Diamond? 
  • What Is an Emerald Cut Diamond?
  • Radiant Cut vs Emerald Cut
  • Shape


Diamond cut is one of the most important factors of diamond quality. It denotes symmetry, beauty, and sparkle. Though they aren’t the same, diamond cut is often used interchangeably with diamond shape. When comparing radiant cut vs emerald cut, in particular, it’s important to know that cut and shape are different, because these two diamond cuts can be rather similar in terms of shape. 

Chic Accented Emerald & Radiant Cut Engagement Ring

There are more similarities and differences to learn if you are considering a radiant cut diamond or an emerald cut diamond for your engagement ring. We’ll first explore the defining characteristics of both a radiant diamond and an emerald diamond. Then, we’ll compare and contrast the two and share which one is better for your diamond ring. 

Spoiler alert: the trait that tips the scales in favor of one diamond cut over the other is style, and only you can decide what style is your style. 

What Is a Radiant Cut Diamond? 

The original radiant cut is a lesser-known diamond cut because it is relatively new, but it’s gaining popularity quickly. Why is this cut so popular for a diamond engagement ring? Because this cut is one of the most captivating in terms of sparkle. It has 70 facets, which is more than any other diamond cut, even the round brilliant cut

A radiant diamond can have a square or rectangular shape and has cut corners, which enhance its resistance to chipping. When the radiant shape is in square form, it is most similar to the cushion cut diamond, and when it is in rectangle form, it is most similar to the emerald cut, but its faceting pattern differs from both. 

What Is an Emerald Cut Diamond?

The emerald cut diamond is a classically elegant diamond cut. It has been around for centuries but is most closely associated with the Art Deco movement of the 1920s. Its step-cut facets are long and rectangular, just like its silhouette, which gives the emerald its enchanting geometric appearance. Other step-cut diamonds include the Asscher cut diamond and baguette cut diamond, but the emerald is by far the most popular. 

Radiant Cut vs Emerald Cut

One of these two diamond cuts may already be at the top of your list, but selecting the stone for the center of your diamond engagement ring is a big decision. Let’s compare the two to help you finalize your choice. 


Both radiant and emerald cut diamonds are fancy shaped diamonds. They are typically rectangle in shape but can also be square. Their silhouette is what causes many people to mistake one for the other, but when you understand their different faceting patterns, you will be able to spot each unique cut from a distance. 


The faceting pattern is what determines how much light a diamond will emit, and thus, how much sparkle it will produce. The faceting patterns on an original radiant cut and emerald cut diamond are very different. Henry Grossbard, who invented the radiant diamond cut in 1977, was the first to apply a brilliant faceting pattern to both the crown and pavilion of the stone, using 70 facets. This created unmatched sparkle. The emerald cut diamond features 50 to 58 step cut facets. These long and narrow facets create a stunning “hall of mirrors” effect that is much different than the fiery sparkle of a radiant cut diamond.  

Both diamond cuts sparkle, but they do so very differently. If you are looking for a level of sparkle similar to a round brilliant cut diamond, you will prefer a radiant cut, and if you are looking for a more subdued sparkle, you will prefer an emerald cut. 


For both emerald and radiant cut diamonds, it is important to select a stone with a high cut grade to ensure optimal symmetry and a flattering length-to-width ratio. After cut, it’s important to prioritize a high clarity grade for an emerald cut, in particular, as the long and open facets make internal flaws more visible. Radiant cuts, on the other hand, hide flaws extremely well, so a stone with a lower clarity grade may appear flawless.  

Quality standards can be quite confusing, but they are critical to ensuring your diamond’s beauty and invincibility. If you don’t want to worry about quality when selecting a diamond, we suggest opting for a diamond alternative. Selecting the Nexus Diamond™ alternative means securing a stone with an ideal cut that is internally flawless and colorless.  

Which Cut Is Better? 

If you are looking for a diamond with an elongated rectangle shape, you can achieve it with either a radiant diamond or an emerald diamond. So, the questions you should consider are: what kind of sparkle do you want? And what cut suits your style best? A great way to determine your answer to both of these is to explore both radiant cut engagement rings and emerald cut engagement rings

It’s also important to consider what type of diamond you are looking for. There are so many great benefits to choosing a lab grown diamond over a mined diamond. Understanding how they compare can help you reduce the impact of your purchase on the world and on your wallet. At 12FIFTEEN Diamonds, we carry both emerald and radiant lab diamonds so you can find the cut you’re looking for in the type of diamond you want.  



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