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The Fascinating History of Emerald Cut Diamond Rings



Who doesn’t like diamonds? They are everyone’s favorite for many good reasons (besides the obvious fact that they’re gorgeous and glittering). And while there are tons of diamond shapes available, there’s one that continues to be an eternal classic – the emerald cut diamond. This step-cut diamond dazzles with 57 linear facets and parallel lines that offers beautiful elegance and draws the eye into the heart of the gemstone.

Keep reading to take a trip back in time to discover the origin and history of emerald-cut diamonds, and explore why this popular cut will always be sought-after.

Origin and Early Use

The emerald cut diamond first appeared during the 1500s. Gem cutters invented the emerald cut initially for emerald gemstones, and they called it a “table cut.” They wanted a way to reduce pressure during the cutting process and prevent chips in the gemstones. Emeralds were brittle because of all the inclusions, so they invented a new way to cut them that protected the stone. Soon diamond cutters noticed the new gem shape and started using it on diamonds to create a shape that focused on clarity rather than brilliance. The term “emerald cut” didn’t emerge until the 1920s.

The Influence of Art Deco Era

Emerald cut diamonds saw a rise in popularity during the Art Deco era of the 1920s and 1930s when clean lines, geometric shapes, and symmetrical designs were popular. This time period favored straight, clean lines, so it’s not shocking that the step-cuts in emerald diamonds made them a popular jewelry trend. It’s a step-cut diamond with straight, parallel, and linear cuts that add depth and dimension to the stone. This new cut at the time aligned with the aesthetics of the Art Deco period. Geometric shapes, intricate details, and bold colors are all characteristics of the style. You’ll see emerald cuts as the center stones in many vintage rings.

Celebrity and Royal Influence

The popularity of emerald cut diamonds had some help from royalty and celebrities who debuted this unique cut on their fingers. Some noteworthy celebrities with emerald cut engagement rings include Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, and Beyoncé. Grace Kelly’s spectacular ring from Prince Rainier III of Monaco features an emerald-cut diamond flanked by two baguette-cut side stones that’s set in platinum. The Cartier ring’s center diamond is said to be 10.48-carats. Elizabeth Taylor called her 29.4 carat emerald cut engagement ring her “ice skating rink.” The ring was from film producer Mike Todd. Beyoncé’s engagement ring from Jay-Z is a 24-carat emerald cut diamond set in a pavé split shank setting, and it’s likely platinum. The center stone is said to be a rare flawless diamond free of all blemishes and inclusions.

Revival and Modern Resurgence

These days emerald cut diamond rings are sought-after styles for modern brides. The popularity of vintage and antique-inspired jewelry brought renewed interest in these step-cut gemstones. The clean-cut lines, understated elegance, and versatile shape of the emerald cut allures those with modern tastes. This cut’s parallel, step cuts instead of facets like other diamonds provide unique brilliance and a timeless look.

The Takeaway

Emerald cut diamonds have a long history dating all the way back to the 1500s. Thankfully, the gem cutters discovered a way to safely cut emeralds, and this process trickled down to diamond cutters to lead to emerald-cut diamonds. The unique shape, interesting brilliance, and elegant parallel lines make this diamond cut eye-catching and timeless. Celebrities from the past and present have helped make this cut more popular.

In the recent times, the popularity of vintage and antique rings have sparked interest in emerald cut diamonds and this modern cut is not going anywhere. So if you or someone you love is looking for a ring that stands out from the rest, while still being an evergreen classic, then an emerald-cut diamond sparkler may just be what you need.


I'm Nikos Alepidis, blogger at motivirus. I'm passioned for all things related to motivation & personal development. My goal is to help and inspire people to become better.

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