Emerald cut is actually a step cut where the facets look like steps, carved into the gem. Contrary to the popular brilliant cut, the facets are cut broad in this cut. The planes are rather flat, thus it looks like a staircase. That is the reason behind the nomenclature. Unlike many other cuts, there is no bow-tie effect visible in the emerald cut.
Emerald cut diamonds are rectangular in shape with slightly rounded corners. The name originated because this cut was actually devised to be applied on emeralds. The popularity of this cut quickly made jewelers apply the cut on diamonds as well. Due to the long rectangular facets, the overall brilliance of a diamond decreases in this cut. But as the flashes of colors are more obvious, when placed on a ring, this cut is rather popular for engagement rings.
Some people are always confused among emerald cut, princess cut and Asscher cut. While all these cuts look similar, with little experience one can easily spot the differences. Emerald cuts are rectangular with slightly rounded corners, Asschers are square in shape with heavily rounded corners and princess cut looks like an inverted pyramid.
There are several designs available if you want to buy an emerald cut engagement ring. Due to the longish shape of the diamond, they are often used along with smaller accentuating stones. Although an emerald cut solitaire can look good enough, they look better on long and slender fingers. Women with short and thick fingers might not prefer an emerald cut engagement ring.
Emerald cut is as flexible as round cuts and they are used in many different types of jewelry including bridal sets, contemporary rings and pendants. A four prong setting is the most common ring arrangement for emerald cut diamonds. This setting protects the edges of the diamond. However, other different types of settings can be found as well. One can even find a ring where the stone is set along the length of the band than perpendicular to it.
Most jewelers will show you ready made emerald cut rings the moment you enter their showrooms. However, you can ask for bespoke design and they should be able to provide you with that. Because this is a very simple cut, emerald cut diamonds are commonly found. Ready availability keeps the price down, making it popular among people with a budget constraint. As always, insist for a GIA certificate diamonds while purchasing the ring.