A Guide to Choosing Between Round Cut vs Emerald Cut Diamonds

Throughout history, diamonds have attracted people with their timeless beauty and rarity. The cut of the diamond is one of the most crucial decisions when purchasing a diamond for an engagement ring or any other special occasion. The term “cut” refers both to the shape and to the proportions and alignments of the facets.
There are two diamond cuts competing for the limelight right now: the long favorite round cut and the vintage-style emerald cut.
The round cut is known for its classic circular shape and exceptional brilliance due to its 58-facet cut pattern, maximizing light reflection when crafted with precision. In contrast, the emerald cut is rectangular with cropped corners and features a step-cut design that creates a hall-of-mirrors effect, emphasizing long slow sparkles over scintillation.
Not sure which one is right for you? Below we have explored their similarities, differences, and of course, sparkle potential to help you make an informed decision.

All About Round Cuts

Round cut diamonds have an impressive history and it is no secret that round cut diamonds remain the most popular choices for fine jewelry. As far as diamond cuts are concerned, round cut diamonds, and especially round cut engagement rings, rank among the most popular.
When it comes to pure optics and light performance, there is nothing like the round brilliant when it is faceted with precision. Whether it's a classic or contemporary engagement ring, the round cut is highly flattering and seamlessly complements either style.
Danhov LE104 Per Lei Single Shank Halo Solitaire Engagement Ring
Danhov LE104 Per Lei Single Shank Halo Solitaire Engagement Ring
As an evergreen classic, round cuts continue to be popular. When demand for ideal cut diamonds emerged, Japanese diamond cutters became obsessed with optimizing diamonds and achieving a symmetrical pattern of Hearts and Arrows facet reflections. For this purpose, they developed a tool to visualize these patterns called the Hearts & Arrows viewer; perfect hearts and arrows pattern is visual proof that all the diamond’s facets are in precise 3D alignment.
Eight arrows can be seen through the table, and eight hearts can be seen through the pavilion. Since diamond cutting takes so much time and skill, only specialized manufacturers can achieve this level of precision.
It is because of the symmetry of their geometry that round diamonds have the most remarkable ability to maximize light performance. In expert hands, there is no shape that can produce more fire and brilliance than a round cut crafted with precision. Find out more about this highly sought-after diamond shape in our buying guide to round cut diamonds.

An Introduction to Emerald Cuts

There is no doubt that emerald cut diamonds are among the most elegant diamond shapes. In terms of appearance and optics, they are very distinctive. In comparison to the ubiquitous round brilliant and the numerous brilliant-style shape variations available, their step cut facet design of the emerald cut creates a completely different visual sensation.
Emerald Cut Diamond Facet Diagram table
Emerald Cut Diamond
Emerald Cut Diamond Facet Diagram pavilion
The emerald cut – facet diagrams and actual photo
In contrast to the vertical facets of brilliant cuts, an emerald cut features horizontal step-like facets. Its four longer sides are beveled with two, three, or four concentric rows of facets parallel to the girdle on the crown and pavilion. As a result of this unique facet style, the light performance produced is very distinctive.
There are only 50 to 58 facets in this cut, giving it a more regal, vintage appearance. Emerald cut diamonds are known for their sleek lines and understated elegance, and they have been around for centuries. With yellow gold making a comeback, a love for old-world beauty makes this venerable diamond cut so desirable.
A. Jaffe ME2051Q Seasons of Love Halo Diamond Engagement Ring
A. Jaffe ME2051Q Seasons of Love Halo Diamond Engagement Ring
To make sure you choose the best quality emerald cut diamonds, we suggest reading our complete guide to emerald cuts, or contacting us directly. It would be our pleasure to assist you to achieve this old-world charm!

Round vs Emerald Diamond: Which Is Right For You?


Diamond Colors from D to K
Diamond Color as seen from the side (click image to enlarge)
Buying a diamond involves considering the 4Cs, including color. Elongated shapes tend to concentrate color at the ends of the stone depending on its facet arrangement and proportions.
By virtue of their shape, emerald cut diamonds exhibit more noticeable body color than well-cut round diamonds. Color is most easily seen in side view.
The longer ray paths passing through the diamond as a result of its facet arrangement tend to trap more of the body color in the diamond. Due to this, many fancy color diamonds are cut into elongated shapes like radiant, cushion and sometimes emerald cut. Consequently, you should aim for a slightly higher color range than you would otherwise target when shopping for a round brilliant.
The best way to find an emerald cut that looks icy white is to stay in the upper near colorless range of G-H or higher. Colors in the I-J or lower range will begin to show a bit of yellow.
Despite the higher cost of round brilliants, you may not need such a high color grade, because their exceptional facet arrangement and cutting style enhance their brilliance and fire, masking slight traces of color. The round brilliant cut's numerous facets and the way they are angled allow for maximum light reflection and dispersion tend to make body color less noticeable from the face up view.
Additionally, the choice of metal for the setting can influence the perceived color of the diamond. Setting a diamond in platinum or white gold, for instance, can accentuate a high color and make it appear even more spectacular.

Cut & Clarity:

The quality of the cut is one of the most critical factors to consider when buying any diamond. A diamond's cut determines how well it interacts with light, which affects its brilliance, fire, and overall sparkle. Regardless of the shape, a well-cut diamond will exhibit more radiance and visual appeal than a poorly cut diamond, even if the other 4Cs (color, clarity, and carat weight) are of high quality.
Round cut diamonds tend to hide inclusions better than emerald cut diamonds due to their high number of facets which provide camouflage. The large table and long step facets of the emerald cut acts allow you to see into the diamond more easily. However, it's still essential to examine the clarity of any diamond you're considering, regardless of the cut.
A round diamond has a brilliant appearance that makes them perfect for concealing inclusions and blemishes. Just be sure the inclusions aren't too close to the girdle, as this could increase the chances of the diamond chipping over time.
Emerald cut diamonds tend to have smaller beveled corners, which gives them a more vintage, classic look. The choice between the two cuts comes down to personal preference and the style you're going for.

Super Ideal Round Brilliant Cut Diamonds

A CUT ABOVE® Hearts and Arrows are round super ideal cut diamonds that are considered by experts worldwide to be among the finest cut diamonds ever brought to market.
They are the “best of the best” in terms of brilliance, fire and sparkle. A CUT ABOVE® diamonds shine from every angle, in the widest range of the lighting situations, constantly expressing their elite beauty. Creating an enchanting light show, they produce sparkles and flashes with every glance. Each moment is bursting with spectral sparks of color, capturing light from even the dimmest sources.
Diamonds in the upper reaches of the color and clarity scale (DEF IF-VVS) are known in the trade as “collection goods”. As a result of this rarity, many consumers wonder whether collection quality is really worth the price premium. Since diamonds with lower gemological grades can also be beautiful, the choice is very personal, based on individual preferences and budgets. Priority should always be given to the best quality of the cut.

Size Appearance:

In terms of overall shape, emerald cuts can range from very square Asscher shapes to very rectangular. An emerald cut diamond ring can give more finger coverage as the diamond extends further down the finger.
For some, a long, slender shape is preferred, while for others, a square or squarish shape is more appealing. Although most people prefer rectangles with a length/width ratio of about 1.4. As long as light performance is not compromised, it's mostly up to personal preference.
Round brilliants have almost perfectly symmetrical facet configurations. When they are ideally proportioned and cut with precision (such as the A CUT ABOVE®), they can reflect more bright light into the eye, thus making them appear larger compared to other shapes of the same carat weight.
While emerald cut diamonds may appear larger face-up due to their shape and facet arrangement, round cut diamonds compensate with superior brilliance and fire. Beyond shape, the more appropriate comparison between emerald diamonds and round diamonds may lie in the actual light performance of the diamonds.


One of the value factors that round cuts offer over emerald cuts is that they tend to conceal inclusions better. More than any other cut, the emerald cut tends to reveal clarity characteristics more readily.
In contrast to many shoppers looking for the best bang for their buck who focus on Si clarity when shopping for rounds, natural emerald cut shoppers are likely to need VS as a starting point for their search.
Emerald cuts have a relatively large table facet that acts like a window, as well as long steps and slow scintillation, making inclusions relatively noticeable. Consequently, emerald cuts are usually found within higher clarity grades. It is possible to purchase eye-catching, high color and clarity emerald cuts at significant savings if you opt for lab-grown diamonds.
Making sure the inclusions don't negatively affect transparency is also crucial, in either natural or lab grown diamonds. Detecting this subtle effect requires a trained eye, so working with an experienced vendor, such as Whiteflash, is your best bet for finding a truly brilliant diamond. Utilizing our high-resolution imaging and 360-degree videos is also invaluable - you can take a detailed look at your diamond to assess its clarity with ease.
When choosing a diamond, make sure that the stone is fully transparent and well cut so that light will reflect throughout it without any interference that will diminish its fire and brilliance.


Diamonds sparkle with an unmistakable light and brilliance that erupts from the stone with every movement. Among all diamond shapes and cuts, the round cut has the most sparkle due to its faceting structure and concentrated shape, assuming it is well cut.
However, emerald cut diamonds produce larger and slower sparkles, which make them perfect for those who prefer a more understated type of light performance.
Diamond cutters, jewelers, and experts have spent decades refining mathematical formulas to enhance diamond brilliance, scintillation, and fire. Let us help you find the perfect diamond that sparkles just the way you like it.


While both round cut and emerald diamonds have their rightful places in the wonderful assortment of fancy diamond shapes, they occupy different positions on the style spectrum. Both round cut and emerald cut diamonds can be set in a variety of both trendy and timeless settings, including two-stone, prong, bezel, flush and channel ring settings; not to mention earrings and pendants.
Amongst the most popular engagement ring styles; statement halo, a sparkling 3-stone, or a timeless solitaire can work beautifully with both diamond cuts. Prong settings are a popular choice for both round cut and emerald cut diamonds. They allow more light to pass through the diamond, which enhances its brilliance and sparkle.
While you can find round cut diamonds in just about any setting, emerald cut diamonds are often used in solitaire engagement rings and are a popular choice for vintage-inspired jewelry, reflecting art-deco style.
This makes them a great choice for any jewelry, although the round brilliant is a little more versatile due to its ability to be used as an accent stone.


Regardless of shape, fundamentally, the 4 C's are the basis for diamond pricing. Natural diamond prices increase geometrically as diamonds get larger, quality for quality. Cut quality plays an important role in the calculus; it is the greatest factor in light performance but also the most challenging one to grasp.
In spite of the fact that non-round shapes generally have lower prices per carat in natural diamonds, emerald cuts tend to be made from rough of higher color and clarity, making them more costly. The shape of the rough gem allows cutters to utilize more of the rough diamond, making fancy cuts generally more cost-effective to make. This is partly because the emerald cut retains more of the rough diamond during the cutting process, resulting in less waste. Additionally, while emerald cuts are elegant and sophisticated, they are less popular than round cuts, which influences their market price. It's important to remember, however, that excellent clarity and color emerald cut natural diamonds can still command premium prices.
While most shoppers looking for the best value focus on VS2 and Si1 clarity when shopping for rounds, it is likely that value shoppers shopping for an emerald cut should focus on VS1 and above as a baseline, or consider lab-grown diamonds. Natural emerald-cut diamonds are very difficult to find at a great price since the combination of high color, clarity, and cut quality is so crucial.
High quality lab-grown diamonds are becoming more accessible to everyone; allowing you to combine designer settings with larger precision-cut diamonds at a more affordable price point.
Our Precision Lab category offers the finest lab-created diamonds to customers looking for lab-grown diamonds. These are real diamonds with essentially the same chemical, physical and optical properties as natural diamonds. With our expertise in diamond cut quality and diamond light performance, we provide the best lab diamonds on the market.
Both natural and lab-grown diamonds are available at Whiteflash, catering to a wide range of budgets and tastes. Our focus at Whiteflash is on the finest natural diamonds, and we have a large inventory of fully vetted and in-stock diamonds on hand - both natural and lab-grown.
Diamonds in our in-house categories (A CUT ABOVE®, Expert Selection, and Premium Select) are exclusive to Whiteflash and will not be found anywhere else, alongside our Precision Lab brand of laboratory grown diamonds.
Diamonds will never go out of style, whether they are emerald, round or any other shape you may prefer. We are ready to help you on your diamond journey - reach out today by your choice of phone, email, or chat, and our friendly and experienced Whiteflash diamond consultants will be happy to help you find exactly what you're looking for.

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