It’s hard to distinguish between an emerald and radiant cut diamond from afar. They share similar shapes, beveled edges, and larger surface areas. But look a little closer, and you’ll see they’re quite different.

J. Lo, Jennifer Lawrence, and Amal Clooney all wear emerald cut engagement rings, which is one reason they’ve majorly risen in popularity over the past few years.

Let’s look at the key difference between the emerald and radiant cut diamonds.


The emerald cut is one of the oldest diamond shapes in history. It was initially only used on actual emeralds to increase the gemstone strength, prevent chipping, and reduce cracking.

Today, only a small percentage of diamonds are fashioned into the emerald cut, therefore making it a unique ring choice. Emerald cuts are making a comeback, but were originally on trend during the 1920’s Art Deco movement. That’s exactly why more vintage jewelry pieces feature this diamond cut.

Emerald cuts sometimes show a yellow-ish tint due to their large surface area and more subtle shine. Inclusions are more visible due to the unique step cut as well.

Shape: rectangular with trimmed, beveled edges

Characteristics: vintage feel, hall of mirror effect, clean lines, less brilliance

Facets: 57, featuring a ‘step’ cut/linear design


The Radiant Cut diamond was introduced to the diamond industry just over 20 years ago.  Master diamond cutter Henry Grossbard created the variety in 1977 with a desire to combine the finest elements of the emerald cut and the round brilliant cut.

Shaped like a square or rectangle with beveled edges, the radiant cut pairs well with either square or rounded diamonds.

Radiant indeed- the brilliance of this cut, due to its 70 facets, is surpassed by only that of the brilliant cut. This also helps to hide inclusions.

Shape:  Square or rectangle with trimmed, beveled corners.

Characteristics: modern, updated feel

Facets: 70, triangular shape

How to choose between an Emerald and Radiant Cut Diamond

Both cuts make for wonderful engagement rings, and the elongated shapes make the fingers look slender and elegant when worn.

Like a more brilliant shine? The radiant cut is a better option. Since this cut hides inclusions, you can get away with a slightly lower quality diamond.

If you (or your future bride to be) prefer clean lines and a sleeker look, then the emerald diamond is the better choice. Make sure you opt for a higher color and clarity grade diamond to ensure a more beautiful ring.

Looking for a unique, colored diamond in either an emerald or radiant cut? Go for the radiant cut in this instance. The sparkly effect will help bring out the color, whereas the emerald cut could mute it out.

In the market for a unique engagement ring? Contact to schedule an appointment and find the perfect diamond today!

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