written by Brooklyn
written by Brooklyn

Radiant Cut vs Emerald Cut Comparison

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Oh haii.

Calling all Radiant and Emerald lovers! We want to give you the intel of how you can choose the shape that is right for you. We’re going to dive right into it—we are going to compare Emerald vs Radiant cuts side by side.

emerald and radiant diamond

On Today’s Agenda with Emerald + Radiants we’re getting into:


emerald and radiant diamonds

The Similarities.

The Differences.

& The details that will help figure out which is right for you.


Okay, so let’s talk about what’s similar. Both Emerald and Radiant cuts are rectangular shaped diamonds. They also both have cut corners (keep in mind, you’re not going to really be able to see the cut corners once they are set, because they are going to be covered up by the prongs.) 

Both have square varieties.

If you’re looking for a rectangular shape stone, these two are your best bet- now, you just have to figure out which sparkle you favor.


The obvious difference you’re gonna see is that they shine and sparkle very differently. 

Radiants and Emeralds have two completely different facets of the way that they’re cut. With how a Radiant shines, you’re going to notice a mesmerizing glitter—almost a kaleidoscope look that draws you in. The radiant has a brilliant cut which sparkles similarly to a round brilliant except in a rectangular shape. With an Emerald, you get the exact opposite. An Emerald has a very bright mirror panel design — what we call a step cut. Because of this type of panel cut, you can see internally into the diamond.

The other subtle difference between Radiants and Emeralds is the degree to how rectangular you’ll find them. You can get them perfectly square to be somewhat rectangular, but not as rectangular as some people will think. With an Emerald, you can get them from square to being quite rectangular. If you’re looking for something that’s very rectangular and linear, you’ll most likely lean more toward Emeralds.

Why choose Radiant?

radiant diamond sparkle

You’ll want to choose a Radiant cut diamond if you’re someone who loves that glittering, maximum sparkle— something really blingy. Another reason Radiant may be the best diamond shape for you is if you love a rectangular shape but not wanting a shape that is super linear.

radiant diamond ring
radiant bezel set ring

Radiant tip: Radiants are a very common choice for fancy colored diamonds because they really show off the native color of the diamond well. Although we must hold the grading loosely, we recommend an H or higher. We also recommend taking a look at the variations of color to truly see what you favor in a Radiant. If you’re seeing yellow it means you need to go higher in color. When you work with us, we will show you the variations so you can decide for yourself. 

radiant engagement ring

Why choose Emerald?

If an Emerald is right for you, you will appreciate the subtle, elegant shine of this stone shape where the bright mirror panels are the focus. We always like to show our clients their diamond under a microscope where you can really appreciate the facets of the stone. If you are wanting unique, an Emerald really takes the cake and shines from afar.  In particular, an Emerald under the microscope is quite fascinating; the step cut and how it all comes together really stands out.


If you are drawn to a drastic rectangular shape, Emerald is your gal.

emerald diamond ring
emerald diamond ring

Emerald tip:

Because of the way an Emerald shines, it really has a tendency to show off the natural characteristics of the stone. Similar to a Radiant, we would say start with an H or higher depending on your own sensitivity. When it comes to seeing the imperfection in the stones, Emeralds are generally less forgiving because you can see internally into the stone (remember, the majority of diamonds have imperfections). When it comes to the clarity grade, we suggest VS2 or higher or a killer SI1– with an Emerald this is important.

emerald diamond ring

We understand all this grading mambo jumbo can be a bit much– feel free to reach out to get more deets. (Text Us: 416.491.6060) 



Is one shape more expensive than the other?

cost with radiants and emeralds

Quick Answer is no. 

But if we break it down, we would say you’re not going to spend more on one “Fancy shape” over the other. You would pay the biggest premium for round shaped diamonds only because they are the most popular.


Is one shape bigger than the other?

size comparison emeralds and radiants

This is a really good question. If bigger automatically makes you think about “carats” we have some intel for you here.

But going even further, let’s compare and think about this. If both are the same carat weight, they’re gonna be very similar. From experience at Engage Studio, emerald cuts come in a slightly larger dimension (they tend to be cut a little bit more shallow, whereas Radiants are a little bit deeper). This has to do with the difference between a step cut and a brilliant cut. A lot of brilliant cuts are a little bit deeper which basically means when you are looking at it from the top down you get a little bit less surface area for a Radiant compared to an emerald cut. This is a VERY small difference. To answer that question, yeah, there is a slight difference.


Is one shape brighter than the other?

brightness with emerald and radiants

Depends. The Radiant is known to have a more glittering sparkle which most people expect out of a diamond. With emeralds, the paneling effect causes the stone to shine more intensely from afar. If you want more of a  traditional sparkle, go for the Radiant but if you want more of a unique cut, go for Emerald.

We’d love to show you options! Come hang out with us at our Toronto Studio (virtually or in store) to see which shape shines the brightest to you.


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