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Emerald Cut loose diamonds, are one may guess from the term, was not originally used for loose diamonds. It was used on emeralds, a stone that tends to have many internal flaws that make it prone to cracks and other breakage. Because of this, cutters devised a way to polish and protect the stone - through a series of cropped corners cut into parallel, but graduated, planes. This technique was called "stepped cutting" and led to a very beautiful, elegant, and yet practical design that helped preserve the integrity of the stone.
Jewelers realized that the emerald cut could be used on other kinds of stones as well, notably loose diamonds. It is true that the long surfaces of the emerald cut don't maximize the stone's brilliance the way a round brilliant cut or a princes cut loose diamond would, but it did have a way of creating a very broad, very dramatic flash of light. This appeared quite sophisticated and was one of the best ways to bring attention to large loose diamonds with a unique and eye-catching color especially if fashioned into a pendant or engagement ring. To compensate for the lack of brilliance, some jewelers encircle emerald cut loose diamonds with small accent stones.
There are several factors that one must consider before investing in loose diamond jewelry that have emerald cuts. Since the cut tends to reveal a stone's flaws, always get the highest quality loose diamond that you can afford. In fact, a near-flawless loose diamond with a high carat is probably best displayed in an emerald cut after all, it has nothing to hide, and doesn't need the fancy cuts to draw attention to itself.
Besides, you can afford to go for a higher carat if you choose emerald cut loose diamonds, since the cut itself tends to be less expensive than the more popular loose diamond shapes such as round brilliant or princess cut loose diamonds (the high demand for them drives up the price range, even for a stone of the same carat, color, cut and clarity). This makes it an ideal choice for couples on a budget. For the same amount of money, you can get bigger loose diamonds. Those who are concerned about how emerald loose diamonds reveal color flaws can help off-set this problem by choosing a platinum or white gold setting.
Here are some tips to help you select emerald cut loose diamonds. The clarity should at least be SI1, with a depth percentage of 58 % to 69%. You should at least have an "I" color ranking, and a "good" cut. Then, examine the proportions of the stone. Generally, the traditional ratio is 1.5:1 to 1.75:1, though there are many who will seek longer cuts (which help flatter short or stouter fingers).
Emerald cut loose diamonds are not typically used in engagement rings, but have enjoyed resurgence because of the renewed interest in vintage rings. The rectangular step cut was quite common during the Art Deco period, and with a geometric setting, the effect can be quite striking.