If your eye is drawing you to the elongated elegance of an emerald cut diamond, you have good taste! Many celebrities have also fallen for the classy timeless cut stone. While most of theirs are a giant and glamorous 10 or 15 or more carats, if you’re looking in the 2 carat range, that is still an above average winner. You’ll turn heads with your modest art deco reminiscent cut. This cut has a long and interesting history of how they came about and where they ended up as the beautiful emerald cut we know and love today.
The emerald cut is one of the oldest known cutting styles. Originating back in the day in the 1500s, this was originally made for as the name implies, emeralds! They are a softer stone, (on the Moh’s hardness scale they come in at 7.5-8 while diamonds top it out at 10) they are sometimes brittle and can fracture easily during the cutting process. So the OG gem cutters developed a cutting style with long, vertical facets that put less pressure on the stone to achieve a nice look and also retain the emerald's integrity. Who cares if you have a fancier more complex cut if it means your stone is broken in half? Not us!
So between the 1500s and the 1920s, lots of other cuts and styles were developed and created, and finally the emerald cut on diamonds started to take hold in the 20th century. The cut started to rise in popularity and become an image we now regard as being reminiscent of the art deco era. When you see it you think of flapper dresses, long cigarettes and a color scheme of black and gold. Emerald cut diamonds have held onto their popularity, dipping a little from the 80’s to the 2000s, but as all fads fade in and out, they are bright and back again in favor.
Now we know where they came from, let's take a deeper dive into what you should look for in your 2 carat emerald cut diamond ring! If you’ve settled on two carats, it's a pretty large stone. So there are things to think about and keep in mind in your search. The average engagement ring size is around 1-1.5 carats. While 2 carats might not sound that big, comparing an emerald cut to a round brilliant you will notice the size difference. A round brilliant may look larger, but the emerald cut is going to be a little more narrow but more elongated. Here’s an example to show you the differences.
2 Carats Focus
A 2 carat emerald cut diamond ring is going to focus on clarity, since this is a decent size for the diamond. Emerald cuts are based on a rectangular shape, with the corners cropped, and have long, chiseled facets that if you look from the top almost look like steps, referred to as step cuts. Asscher cuts also have this style of facets, but are more square than rectangle shaped. With this style of cut, it doesn’t focus on the small kite or triangle shaped facets that round brilliance rely on to create the fascinating array of glittering scintillation, you don’t have any distractions, you pretty much can just see straight through the stone. The edges will have some refraction of the white light to show off the step cuts, but the center of the stone is really the main attraction here- which means you need to get a good, eye clean stone. This means no obvious eye-sore inclusions taking your focus away.
In an emerald cut diamond you need to watch for two things - inclusions and color in the stone. There are grades set for the amount of inclusions in any given diamond, and this will help you understand what is a good clarity diamond, and which you can pass over. Here’s another article that will help you understand it better! But the clarity grade you want to try and stick in is VS (very slight) to FL (flawless), there's a huge difference in price here so keep in mind what you can afford. Even with a lower clarity grade than flawless, it doesn’t mean you have a bad diamond, there may still be inclusions but they are less noticeable and you may not even notice them unless you have a jewelers loupe (the little magnifying tube jewelers use to find those spots in the stone).
On the other hand, you have to watch for the color of the diamond. Most diamonds are actually a yellow to brown hue, the more clear the diamond, the more valuable. However, the slight bit of yellow may make it place lower on the color grading scale, but usually it's not too noticeable in many stones, but emeralds may be the exception - since there's less brilliance and scintillation in the cut you may see it a little easier. For a 2 carat emerald cut diamond, try to stay above the G color range, because anything below I will be more noticeable.
Now we know what to look for in the diamonds, here are some pro’s and con’s of an emerald cut.
- An emerald cut is going to make a thicker finger look thinner, due to the elongated shape of the cut. It’s almost like a natural contour for your fingers!
- The emerald is a timeless, classy cut that will always look great, it’s not going out of style anytime soon.
- You can place this cut in any color gold, any style of setting, whether it's a classic solitaire, or a three-stone setting, the emerald fits in anywhere.
- You can’t skimp on clarity here - it's very easy to see inclusions due to the lack of brilliance in a 2 carat emerald. The emphasis in this cut is clarity, not sparkle.
- Since it is so clear to see through, it's also easy to see smudges, so you need to make sure to keep it clean. We’ll go over this in the last paragraph in the article.
- Due to their shape, sometimes it's hard to find a wedding band that will fit or match the rectangular shape on an emerald. It’s not impossible, but it may be easier to find a band for a round brilliant for example.
Keep it clean
Diamonds rely on the refraction of light internally to really shine - this means they need to have clean surfaces and crevasses to make sure they are as bright as they can be. This is an easy task though, just use a child’s soft-bristled toothbrush and soap and water to keep it clean. This doesn’t mean you don’t need to take it into a jeweler for checkups though, you need to make sure those prongs are tight and in place so you don’t lose your beloved diamond.