Radiant Cut vs Emerald Cut Diamonds: What's the Difference?

by Ryan Hart | Updated on March 11, 2024 | Post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

When shopping for an engagement ring, you might wonder whether to choose an emerald-cut or a radiant-cut diamond. Both are beautiful choices, but there are some important differences to keep in mind.

Emerald cut diamonds tend to be less expensive than radiant cut diamonds, so if you’re working with a tight budget, an emerald-cut might be the way to go.

However, radiant-cut diamonds have a modern look and sparkle more than emerald-cut diamonds. So if you want your ring to stand out, a radiant-cut diamond might be the better choice.

Ready to discover which type of diamond is right for you and your fiance?

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What’s the Difference between Radiant and Emerald Cut Diamonds?

Radiant and emerald-cut diamonds are two of the most popular choices for engagement rings. But what’s the difference between them?


The emerald-cut diamond shape is one of the most unique and recognizable. When you see it, you know it. It’s a statement piece.

The sides of the diamond are cut into rectangular facets, creating a hall of mirrors effect when the diamond is viewed from the top.

This shape is often used for larger stones because it maximizes the surface area and the stone’s brilliance.

It’s a very popular choice for engagement rings because of its classic elegance. The emerald-cut diamond is worth considering if you’re looking for something different.

The radiant cut diamond is one of the most popular shapes for engagement rings. This diamond has a rectangular shape with cut corners, which gives it a unique sparkle.

The radiant cut is also a very versatile diamond shape, which can be paired with various ring styles.


When it comes to diamonds, cut is the most important factor. It determines how sparkly the diamond will be, and it also affects the diamond’s clarity and color.

The emerald cut is a type of step cut, which means that it has facets that are arranged in parallel rows. This cut was originally designed for emeralds but can also be used for other gemstones.

One of the defining features of an emerald cut is its long, rectangular table. This cut can make a diamond look larger, which is why it is sometimes referred to as the “king” of cuts.

Emerald cuts often have a somewhat boxy appearance, but this can vary depending on the specific proportions of the stone.

The radiant cut is a recent gem cutting development that combines the best features of round brilliant and emerald cuts.

It has a square or rectangular shape with cropped corners and 70 facets (compared to 57 for emerald cuts). This makes the stone appear more sparkly and vibrant.

They can be found in various shapes, from square to rectangular, making them incredibly versatile. And because of their unique shape, they look amazing when set in just about any type of jewelry, from solitaire pendants to statement rings.


The emerald-cut diamond is beloved for its brilliance and unique rectangular shape. This gives the stone a sleek, elegant look that has been likened to a mirror.

The emerald cut is also known for its “hall of mirrors” effect, in which light bounces off the facets and creates a glittering display.

While the emerald cut does not have the same fire as other diamond cuts, its sophisticated aesthetic has made it a popular choice for engagement rings and other fine jewelry.

The radiant cut diamond is characterized by its square or rectangular shape and its facets, which are cut in a way that maximizes the diamond’s fire and brilliance.


Regarding price, radiant-cut diamonds are on par with emerald-cut diamonds. Both offer a timeless look that is sure to impress, making them a great choice for those looking for a classic diamond with a modern twist.

However, the final cost will depend on factors like the diamond’s carat weight, clarity, and color. So, when choosing between these two types of diamonds, it’s important to consider your personal preferences and budget.

What is a Radiant Cut Diamond?

The radiant cut diamond was first created in 1977 by Henry Grossbard. It is a rectangular or square-shaped diamond that has been cut to have 70 facets.

The facets are arranged in a unique pattern that allows the stone to reflect light in a dazzling display.

The radiant cut diamond is one of the most popular choices for engagement rings. Its shape and brilliant cut make it a stunning center stone, and its unique facets create a distinctive sparkle.

But what sets the radiant cut apart is its ability to reflect light from all angles. This is due to its unique faceting pattern, which combines the best features of both the emerald and brilliant cut.

As a result, the radiant cut diamond is an excellent choice for those who want a ring that will truly dazzle.

What is an Emerald Cut Diamond?

The emerald cut diamond is one of the most iconic cuts for engagement rings. Its rectangular shape and stepped facets create a stunning brilliance that is perfect for showing off the diamond’s clarity and color.

In addition, the emerald cut can make a diamond appear larger than it is, making it a great choice for those who want a big statement piece without a big price tag.

However, because of its large surface area, an emerald-cut diamond can look less sparkly than other diamonds.

If you’re considering an emerald-cut diamond for your engagement ring, work with a reputable jeweler to find the perfect stone.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between radiant vs emerald cut diamonds?

Radiant and emerald cut diamonds are two popular choices for engagement rings, each with its own unique characteristics. The main difference lies in their shape and faceting patterns. Radiant diamonds have a rectangular or square shape with trimmed corners, giving them a brilliant sparkle. They are known for their faceted and reflective nature, creating a dazzling display of light. Emerald cut diamonds have a rectangular shape with stepped facets and cropped corners, resulting in a more understated elegance.

The emerald cut showcases the diamond’s clarity and natural color, with long, linear facets that produce a hall-of-mirrors effect. Ultimately, the choice between radiant and emerald cut diamonds depends on personal preference and desired aesthetic. Whether you prefer the radiant cuts or the emerald cut’s sophisticated allure, both cuts offer stunning options for an engagement ring that will beautifully symbolize your love and commitment.

Both radiant and emerald cut diamonds are popular choices for engagement rings, but their popularity may vary depending on personal preferences and current trends. The radiant cut, with its brilliant faceting pattern and trimmed corners, offers a more dazzling and fiery appearance, making it a popular choice for those seeking a radiant and glamorous look.

The emerald cut, with its elegant step-cut facets and rectangular shape, appeals to those who prefer a more sophisticated and vintage-inspired aesthetic. While radiant diamonds are known for their brilliance, emerald diamonds highlight the diamond’s clarity and natural color, making them desirable for those seeking a unique and distinctive look. Ultimately, the choice between the two cuts boils down to personal style and preference.

Which cut is more expensive?

The cost of a diamond is determined by various factors, including the cut, carat weight, color, and clarity. However, in general, emerald cut diamonds tend to be slightly less expensive than radiant cut diamonds. This is because emerald cuts typically have lower clarity grade compared to radiant cuts, as their step-cut faceting pattern may make it easier to notice any hiding inclusions within the diamond.

Additionally, the elongated shape of radiant cuts often requires a larger center diamond, which can increase the overall cost. It’s important to note that diamond prices can vary based on individual characteristics and market conditions, so it’s advisable to consult with a reputable jeweler for specific pricing information.

Which cut is better for an engagement ring?

Choosing the best cut for an engagement ring ultimately depends on personal preference and style. Both elongated radiant cuts and square-shaped cushion cuts can create stunning engagement rings. Also, elongated radiant cuts offer a brilliant faceting pattern with rectangular proportions, resulting in a dazzling sparkle.

While cushion cuts provide a classic and romantic look with their pillow-like shape and soft corners. The hybrid cut is a combination of the two, offering a unique blend of brilliance and vintage charm. It’s important to consider the 4Cs (cut, color, clarity, and carat weight) and to choose a diamond that matches your desired qualities, such as brilliance, fire, and overall appearance. Working with a knowledgeable jeweler can help you find the perfect diamond for your engagement ring.

Do radiant cut diamonds look bigger than emerald cut diamonds?

The emerald cut vs radiant cut both have their own distinct qualities. However, while the radiant cut is modern and brilliant, the emerald cut’s trademark cut corners boast a more timeless and classic charm. Both cuts can create beautiful and elegant engagement rings, radiant cut diamonds tend to appear larger than emerald cut diamonds due to their faceting pattern and overall brilliance. The radiant cut features numerous facets that reflect light, enhancing the diamond’s sparkle and giving it a larger appearance.

On the other hand, emerald cut diamonds have fewer facets and emphasize clean lines and step-cut faceting, which can make them appear slightly smaller. It’s important to consider other factors such as the diamond’s color grade, clarity grade, and the overall setting style when choosing the perfect diamond for a classic solitaire or any other engagement ring design. Working with a trusted jeweler can help you make an informed decision based on your personal preferences and budget.

Are radiant cut diamonds more brilliant than emerald cut diamonds?

Radiant cut diamonds and emerald cut diamonds are two popular diamond shapes that have their own unique qualities. While emerald cut diamonds have a more understated elegance, radiant cut diamonds offer more sparkle and brilliance due to their faceting pattern. Radiant diamonds have more facets and can create dramatic flashes of light, making them more eye-catching and dazzling.

However, if a higher clarity grade is more important than brilliance, an emerald or asscher cut diamond may be preferred. Ultimately, the choice between these diamond shapes depends on personal preference and the desired width ratio of the diamond.

Which cut is more suitable for a vintage-style ring?

When it comes to choosing a diamond cut for a vintage-style ring, the emerald cut is often the preferred choice. The emerald cut’s elongated shape and step-cut faceting style create a sophisticated and elegant look that is popular in vintage designs. The emerald cut also has a square shape with cut corners, similar to other popular shapes like radiant and cushion cut diamonds, making it versatile for different styles.

While radiant cut diamonds also offer a great deal of sparkle similar to emerald cut diamonds, their faceting pattern is more modern and may not be as suitable for a vintage-inspired ring. Therefore, emerald cut diamonds are typically the better choice for a vintage-style ring.

Do radiant and emerald cut diamonds have the same number of step facets?

Both emeralds cut, and radiant diamond can have step facets, but the cutting process for each diamond is unique. Emerald cut diamonds typically have fewer total facets than radiant cut diamonds, but the step facets are larger and more pronounced. In contrast, radiant cut diamonds have more facets overall, including smaller ones that create more sparkle and brilliance.

While it’s possible for radiant cut diamonds to have a similar number of step facets as emerald cut diamonds, the faceting pattern and overall appearance will still be different due to the unique cutting process for each shape of diamond. The radiant diamond’s faceting pattern creates more sparkle and a more modern look than the emerald diamond.

Bottom Line

When shopping for an engagement ring, you may wonder whether to choose an emerald-cut or a radiant-cut diamond. Both styles have their own unique benefits.

Emerald cut diamonds are more affordable, while radiant cut diamonds have a more unique shape that can help them stand out from the crowd. Ultimately, the best choice depends on your personal style and budget.

If you’re looking for a classic engagement ring with a touch of sparkle, an emerald-cut diamond is a great option. A radiant cut diamond may be the way to go if you want something more unique.

Whichever style you choose, you’re sure to end up with a beautiful ring that will symbolize your love for years to come.

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About the Author:
Ryan Hart

Ryan Hart is a certified relationship coach and writer. His mission is to help make connections between people better, stronger, more meaningful, and longer lasting using technology.

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