Among the different diamond cuts available today, the emerald is one that never fails to fascinate the observer. Although offering considerably less shine that its counterparts, this cut has stuck on in the diamond industry ever since its inception. Thanks to the unrivalled clarity it brings to stone, this cut is also getting a much-deserved modern-day revival. The history of the evolution of the emerald diamond cut is very interesting, and below are a few key points any gem aficionado would do well to know.
Diamonds are the hardest substance known to man, and at a point, this made them impossible to cut and polish, until the requisite tools were devised for the job. A hundred years after gem cutters discovered that diamonds could be cut and polished using their own dust, the point cut was discovered. Then came the table cut, which was achieved by slicing the round surface off a diamond, in order to flatten it like a table. Over the following centuries, newer cuts such as the rose, transition, and old mine, were developed by cutters in Europe.
With the advent of the 20th Century, engagement rings studded with diamonds exploded in popularity, becoming a tradition that initially coincided with the Art Deco period. Cutters were forced to tinker with different cuts to step up the brilliance of the diamonds they worked on, which led the way to several modifications being developed, including facet additions. These were classified under the trap or step cut.
Adopting the Emerald Cut for Diamonds
The emerald cut had already been discovered, and widely used to shape emeralds, but not diamonds. Gem cutters eventually realized the error in that – this cut was capable of maximizing a stone’s brilliance by a lot. They started applying the style to diamonds as well, but lacking any set pattern to follow, began cutting many different stones in the same shape, and calling the cuts by different names.
Around the year 1940, the emerald cut was standardized. The accepted version had 58 facets in total, with 25 of these on each pavilion, and eight on the diamond’s girdle. It soon replaced the step and table diamond cuts when it came to engagement ring stones. Even after that, the emerald cut has kept evolving, thanks to the advanced technology available to gem cutters of this age.