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What is a Step Cut Diamond?

by Lucy Coleman
Last updated on October 18, 2023
step cut diamond

You may have heard the term “step cut” thrown around when looking for a diamond engagement ring but don’t know exactly what it is.

A step cut diamond is a diamond that is part of the step cut family; it has a square shape and straight facets. Step cut diamonds are popular choices for engagement rings.

What Does Step Cut Mean?


Step cut refers to a diamond cut with square facets that appear like concentric squares or rectangles on the face of the diamond. This cut is popular for diamond engagement rings and other jewelry that shows off a center diamond.

Step cut diamonds differ from the typical round brilliant cut diamonds. They usually have a square shape as well as square shaped facets that draw the eye to the center of the stone.

Step cut diamonds create sophisticated and geometric looks. The top and bottom edges are generally wide, while the other sides are narrower. This characteristic allows the buyer to see inside the diamond, and it looks almost transparent.

Types of Step Cut Diamonds

There are different step cut diamond shapes that all emanate understated sparkle. Discover the exquisite details in each of these diamond cuts to see which one is perfect for you.

An emerald cut diamond is the most common type of step cut diamond. Others include Asscher cut diamonds, baguette cut diamonds, and the lesser-known Carré cut diamonds.

Each shape has its own unique characteristics while sharing the similarity of straight lines and facets mimicking steps.

Emerald Cut Diamonds

Clean Origin quiet Beauty Emerald Cut Ring. Step cut diamond.

Emerald cut diamonds have a rectangular shape and feature parallel lines that add elegance to the diamond. They are perfect for people who want something unique but also sophisticated.

Emerald cut diamonds have an elongated shape. This can make the fingers seem longer when worn as an engagement ring. Emerald diamonds also can appear larger than they actually are due to their rectangular shape.

Asscher Cut Diamonds

Clean Origin Madeline Ring. Step cut diamond.

An Asscher cut diamond is square shaped with blunted corners. These rounded edges give the diamond eight sides. Even though it is step cut, Asscher diamonds have exceptional sparkle. This is due to their 74 facets.

The Asscher diamond has a vintage feel which is perfect for someone who likes antique and vintage jewelry. This cut will also make a ring especially unique.

Baguette Cut Diamonds

Clean Origin Evelyn Ring. Step cut diamond.

Baguette diamonds are similar to emerald diamonds but they do not have rounded corners. They are rectangular and have sharp pointed edges.

Baguette diamonds only have 14 facets, which is very few compared to many other diamond cuts. They may have less brilliance because of this, but it also makes them a perfect subtle stone for accent diamonds or as a minimalistic centerpiece. They are common side stones that flank a center diamond in a ring.

Carré Cut Diamond 

Careé cut diamonds are square with pointed corners. At first glance, they can look like an Asscher. However, the difference between them is that a Careé has pointed corners and an Asscher has blunted corners.

Careé diamonds are rare, which may appeal to someone who enjoys unique jewelry pieces.

Step Cut Diamond Price

Since step cut diamonds waste less diamond during the cutting process, they cost less than round diamonds. You can buy a step cut diamond for less than a round diamond of the same carat weight.

All diamonds are going to vary in price based on their size and quality, but we’ll compare similar step cut and round diamonds so you can get a basic understanding of how they differ in price.

For example, let’s consider one carat mined diamonds with a G color grade and Vs2 clarity grade. An average one carat round diamond may cost you around $7,000. An emerald cut diamond would cost around $4,500. An Asscher cut diamond would be $4,100. That’s a huge difference between the round and step cuts.

Now let’s compare some lab grown diamonds from Clean Origin. Both of these diamonds have an H color grade and VVS2 clarity grade and are between 0.5 and 0.7 carats. The round diamond is $1,025 per carat. The emerald cut diamond is $836 per carat.

Step Cut Diamond Vs Brilliant Cut Diamond

Emerald and Round Brilliant Studs
Emerald and Round Brilliant Studs

A brilliant diamond’s cut maximizes the light it reflects so it will have more shine and sparkle. But that doesn’t mean that step cut diamonds aren’t stunning as the center stone in an engagement ring as well.

Round brilliant diamonds have 58 facets to maximize brilliance. Step cut diamonds generally do not have as much brilliance, but many are quite comparable.

Different types of step cut diamonds may have fewer facets than round diamonds. In addition, inclusions and blemishes are easier to detect on a step cut diamond, so it may be necessary to choose a step cut diamond of higher clarity for a ring.

Why Choose a Step Cut Diamond

Besides saving money on a step cut diamond versus a round brilliant diamond, there are plenty of advantages to choosing a step cut diamond.

Step cut diamonds are unique and can be set in a customized setting for an extra special engagement ring. Each step cut diamond has its own personality and feel which lets you choose the specific diamond that’s right for you.

Step cut diamonds are often used as side stones or accent diamonds which can add an extra flair to your ring. It is also up to your personal preference what diamond shape you choose. Step cut diamonds are just one of your many options to choose from to make your jewelry stunning.

Clean Origin’s Selection of Diamonds

Solitaire Engagement Rings
Solitaire Engagement Rings

You can shop for step cut diamonds on Clean Origin to find the perfect one. With our collection, there is sure to be one that’s calling your name.

If you need inspiration, check out our engagement rings with step cut diamonds to see how you can style an emerald or princess cut diamond.

When you’re ready to shop for your very own diamond, you can filter our selection by shape and find what you want easily. Happy shopping!