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Radiant vs. Emerald Cut Diamonds

by Molly Jones
Last updated on June 16, 2023
Radiant vs Emerald

There is no denying that emerald and radiant cut diamonds are some of the most beautiful diamond shapes available now, but how exactly do they stack up against each other? Below, we break down the emerald vs. radiant diamond debate and discuss how you can find the perfect diamond shape for you. Read on to learn more!

What Is an Emerald Cut Diamond?

Emerald Cut Lab Created Diamond
Emerald Cut Lab Created Diamond

One of the oldest diamond shapes available, emerald cut diamonds manage to meld timeless elegance with modern style and create an engagement ring that is as unique as the woman wearing it.

An emerald cut diamond is a square or rectangular diamond that usually has a larger length to width ratio, which emphasizes the elongated shape. Cut corners effectively create a svelte octahedron shape, and the diamond is cut with 57 brilliant step cut facets. This faceting style results in the signature parallel cuts in the diamond that give it a step like appearance (hence the name step cut facets) as well as the much-desired hall-of-mirrors-like effect where the light enters the diamond and flashes within it.

Emerald cuts employ this faceting style to create an elegant and bright appearance that makes them perfect for both everyday wear and special occasions like weddings!

What Are the Pros of an Emerald Cut Diamond?

Radiant vs Emerald: Oceana Ring + Emerald Cut Diamond
Oceana Ring + Emerald Cut Diamond

There are a whole host of reasons to love emerald cut diamonds. Thanks to their length to width ratio, emerald diamonds enjoy a bigger table surface area. This creates the illusion that they are actually larger than other diamond cuts of the same size.

Additionally, because emerald faceted diamonds use more of the original rough diamond, they tend to be more affordable than other diamond shapes. At Clean Origin, because all of our stunning diamonds are lab created, you can expect to save 20-40% on your diamond. And when these savings are coupled with the affordable emerald cut, you can get more sparkle for less!

Finally, thanks to the step cut facets, emerald cut diamonds provide all of the glamour with dramatic flashes of light that are emitted as a result of their multi faceted table cut. This creates a dazzling engagement ring that manages to completely steal the show!

What Are the Cons of Emerald Cut Diamonds?

Radiant vs Emerald: Waverly Ring + Emerald Cut
Waverly Ring + Emerald Cut

Of course, there are some cons to owning or shopping for an emerald cut diamond. With research, you can understand aspects of a diamond that can hurt the beauty of your ring.

Interestingly, what makes emerald cut diamonds so swoon worthy can also hurt their beauty. We’re talking about their facets. Step cuts create an unobstructed view into the center of the diamond, making inclusions and yellow tints more likely to be seen. Consequently, it doesn’t make sense to go for a lower clarity grade or color grade. So, be sure to prioritize those diamond characteristics when shopping.

What Is a Radiant Cut Diamond?

Radiant vs Emerald: Radiant Lab Created Diamond
Radiant Lab Created Diamond

Compared to the emerald cut, the radiant cut diamond is more modern. It was developed in 1977 to create a rectangular shape that would maximize brilliance. Radiant cut diamonds have beveled corners and 70 breathtaking facets. Combined with a higher crown and lower table, elements of the diamond create a circular pattern that results in unmitigated brilliance.

Radiant cut diamonds utilize a brilliant faceting pattern that creates triangular facets. These kite shaped facets create a crushed ice-like effect of twinkling and bright flashes of light.

What Are the Pros of a Radiant Cut Diamond?

Radiant vs Emerald: Mayfair Ring
Mayfair Ring + Radiant Lab Created Diamond

A radiant cut diamond is a sturdy one thanks to its square or rectangle design. Because of this, radiant cut diamonds can withstand the normal bumps and scratches that come with wearing an engagement ring.

Additionally, radiant cut diamonds usually have a larger length to width ratio. So they, like the emerald cut, will appear larger than diamonds of other shapes (like round cut diamonds).

What Are the Cons of a Radiant Cut Diamond?

Radiant vs Emerald: Yellow Gold Juliet Ring with Radiant Diamond
Juliet Ring + Radiant Lab Created Diamond

Most radiant cut diamonds carry the majority of their carat weight underneath the table. This means that while they do offer incredible shine, they can sometimes be stopped short. Choosing the correct radiant cut diamond engagement ring with the proper distribution of weight and reflection can help overcome this.

The standard for a radiant cut diamond is to have at least 50% of its weight below the table. This ensures that it will have a strong presence both when placed on your hand and when viewed from above.

Radiant vs. Emerald Cut Diamonds: Their Similarities and Differences

Radiant vs Emerald: Deco Ring
Deco Ring + Emerald Lab Created Diamond

Now that we’ve discussed what makes radiant cut diamonds and emerald cut diamonds what they are, let’s break down where they are similar and different from the other.

Emerald Cut vs. Radiant Cut Diamonds: The Similarities

Radiant vs Emerald: Classic 3 Stone Ring
Classic 3 Stone Ring + Radiant Lab Created Diamond

Both emerald and radiant cuts are extremely popular diamond shapes. They offer beautiful ways to showcase the natural beauty of the diamond. Commonalities include high length to width ratios and rectangular or square shapes.

Radiant cuts and emerald cuts both have cut corners, too, and the linear octagon design is a beloved shape all over the world. Both radiant diamonds and emerald diamonds will also create the illusion of being larger than other diamonds that have the same carat weight but a different shape. Additionally, wearing a radiant or emerald cut engagement ring will appear to elongate your ring finger as well.

Emerald Cut vs. Radiant Cut Diamonds: The Differences

Radiant vs Emerald: Quiet Beauty Ring + Emerald Ring
Quiet Beauty Ring

The primary difference between emerald cuts and radiant diamonds lies in their faceting pattern. Emerald cut diamonds possess 57 step cut linear facets to create the hall-of-mirrors-like effect. Radiant diamonds employ 70 brilliant facets to produce elongated radiant cuts that provide more sparkle than the emerald cut.

Additionally, an emerald cut will provide an unobstructed view into the center of the diamond, thereby revealing any visible inclusions or unwanted color. In contrast, a radiant cut has an easier time hiding inclusions and color.

The Popularity of Emerald Cut vs. Radiant Cut Diamonds

Regale Emerald Halo Ring
Regale Emerald Halo Ring + Emerald Lab Created Diamond

Both radiant cut diamonds and emerald cut diamonds have enjoyed a huge boon in popularity in recent years thanks to multiple celebrities choosing both as their diamond shape of choice. However, according to the 2021 The Knot Jewelry and Engagement Study, the emerald cut ekes slightly ahead of the radiant cut, with 5% of the overall popularity.

Which is Better for Me, Radiant Diamonds or Emerald Diamonds?

5 Stone Emerald Band
5 Stone Emerald Band

Diamond cut isn’t just a popularity game, particularly when you are considering your own preferences for your engagement ring. If you’re stuck between emerald and radiant shaped diamonds, it may be helpful to ask yourself the following questions to determine which shape is best for you.

How Sparkly Do I Want My Ring to Be?

Milano Ring + Radiant Diamond
Milano Ring + Radiant Lab Created Diamond

If you love the glitz, glam, and sparkles of diamonds, then go for a brilliant cut radiant diamond over the step cut emerald. The brilliant cuts will result in an undeniable sparkle that is sure to amaze and impress.

More into understated elegance? The emerald cut is the perfect diamond for you! This classic beauty will emit brilliant flashes of light to create a center diamond that isn’t afraid to dive into drama.

How Much Do I Want to Prioritize Clarity and Color?

Leslie Ring + Emerald Diamond
Leslie Ring+ Emerald Diamond

An emerald cut diamond will offer a clear view into the center of the stone. This means that when browsing engagement rings, you may find that you have to prioritize the clarity grade and color grade of your diamond. Ultimately, this could mean that you may have to compromise on size if you don’t want to see visible inclusions or color in your stone.

Alternatively, thanks to their brilliant cut, radiant diamonds can more easily cover up small inclusions and color tints. And while it is a good idea to consider color and clarity no matter what diamond cut you purchase, with the radiant cut, you should be able to get away with a lower grade.

What Is My Overall Style?

The Noemie Ring + Radiant Diamond
The Noemie + Radiant Diamond

Finally, consider your own preferences! As we’ve discussed, there are pros and cons to both cuts. So at the end of the day, it comes down to what you prefer.

Radiant and emerald cut diamonds can be paired with all types of settings, so figuring out what types of styles you like most can be incredibly helpful. Maybe you like your engagement rings big and bold, like a three stone ring that has a radiant cut diamond as its center stone. Maybe you are a minimalist and prefer a solitaire setting with old world charm.

Regardless of your preference, Clean Origin has the ring for you. We offer a variety of stunning settings that will highlight your center diamond and create the perfect ring that you can’t help but love. From classic bands to vintage styles, yellow gold to platinum, and emerald cut to radiant cut, we have a ring for you.