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The shape in which a diamond is cut can change the entire look and feel of a piece of jewelry. Even the slightest differences between cuts can make or break a style, which is why this is one area you should explore thoroughly and discuss with your jeweler.
With that in mind, when it comes to cuts with minute differences that add up, a common comparison is the emerald cut vs. baguette cut. Though they may appear very similar at first glance, there are many intricacies to these cuts that reveal themselves when examined further.
The primary differences boil down to two main factors: shape and facet count. These two factors alone can make the two diamonds vastly different in terms of brilliance, utility, availability, and price point. Of course, whichever cut in the emerald vs. baguette cut debate someone chooses is entirely up to personal preference. However, it’s best to learn your preferences before jumping into a new purchase.
Although some consumers aren’t as familiar with the baguette cut, they are more common than they may seem. A baguette diamond is a diamond that is cut to be thin, elongated, and rectangular. Some baguettes can be practically square in shape, although they’re most typically long and thin, with a length-to-width ratio of roughly 5:1.
This diamond cut can have tapering edges that bend in or straight edges that form a perfect rectangle—both of which are classified separately by jewelers. The corners are absolutely square, which is the most obvious distinction between baguette diamonds vs. emerald cut ones.
These diamonds often come in smaller sizes than their emerald counterparts and are usually used as accent stones in three-stone engagement rings. However, they do have a certain minimalistic appeal and have sometimes been included as center stones.
The emerald cut diamond is the very definition of a traditionally-cut stone. It is one of the oldest cuts known to exist, and for a good reason. Emerald cut diamonds have an elongated, rectangular shape with chiseled step cuts and straight linear facets that are normally positioned parallel to the stone’s length. The corners of an emerald cut diamond are typically trimmed to increase stability and prevent fractures.
This shape can make them appear larger than other cuts of the same weight. As they’re often cut with this enlarged appearance in mind, they’re usually found as center stones.
As stated, what truly matters when it comes to which cut you pick comes down to personal preference. No matter the price point or the perceived brilliance of each stone, if the stone looks perfect to you and fits well with your needs, it is a perfect stone.
With that said, there are reasons why the baguette cut is typically saved for an accent stone. In fact, it all comes down to how each cut shows imperfections, as well as the durability of each shape.
As previously mentioned, the main difference between an emerald cut vs. baguette cut is the shape.
Baguette cuts tend to be slim with sharp, squared edges. On the other hand, emeralds tend to be thicker and more rounded. The slim and trim shape of the baguette tends to make them more honest about their size than their emerald cut counterparts, meaning the baguette often looks better in smaller sizes.
Durability is also something to take into account when considering sizes. Diamonds may be the hardest minerals to scratch, but they can still chip and break. Think of it as a tree—when a log is quartered, it tends to split naturally into a wedge shape. In much the same way, a diamond can naturally chip off a wedge if struck along one of its natural cleavages.
When it comes to baguette vs. emerald cut diamonds, the rounded shape of the emerald makes it less prone to catching on any cleavage points, thus making it less likely to chip. Hence, another reason emerald cuts are more commonly utilized as center stones.
Facet count is another important difference between the emerald and baguette cuts. Namely, emerald cuts tend to have almost four times the facets of their baguette counterparts, giving them more brilliance.
A typical emerald cut has 57 facets, while a baguette cut typically has 14. Though they are both step cuts, the number and layout of the facets in an emerald cut vs. baguette cut can make them appear very different in different lights.
Famously, the emerald cut has a “hall of mirrors” appearance, where it can seem like the diamond reflects forever as the middle of the diamond is approached. This tends to hide imperfections in emerald cuts far better than in baguette cuts, giving them a more flawless appearance, even at larger sizes.
The number of facets also determines how much each diamond sparkles. Despite using a similar process in their creation, emerald cut diamonds have more brilliance and glitter than baguette cut diamonds. The number of facets governs how light enters and exits the diamond, resulting in a difference in brightness. The greater the number of facets, the more brilliant the result. This means that the same diamond could be cut into an emerald and a baguette, but the emerald would still have a more brilliant appearance.
It should also be noted that the amount of brilliance may also affect the color. Diamonds with a lower brilliance tend to show yellowish tints, and if the stone happens to have inclusions, those will also be far more visible on a baguette cut than on an emerald cut. This might mean that you will have to spend more on a higher-grade baguette cut to get the same amount of perceived clarity as a lower-grade emerald cut.
Given how different these two cuts really are, it isn’t much of a surprise that they’re utilized in completely different manners when it comes to their optimal styles of jewelry. This is important to note, as buying the right style for the cut can prevent dissatisfaction and modifications later down the line.
The baguette cuts tend to be more available in small sizes. This makes them perfect accents for three-stone rings, especially in their tapered varieties. They can also be set around the band in a channel, completely encircling the ring. In more vintage styles, they can “frame” the center stone by surrounding it at each prong. Outside of the world of rings, their small size and thin profile also make baguette cuts great for tennis-style bracelets and necklaces, as they can fit into a very thin profile, appearing to make a continuous band from a distance. This doesn’t mean that they’re completely off-limits in larger sizes, though. Tapered baguettes, in particular, fetch a high price and are often cut into pairs and sold under their total weight.
Emerald cuts, on the other hand, aren’t always available in smaller sizes. They are cut with the primary intent of being center stage, so you can expect to find them in the centers of engagement rings and pendants. Unfortunately, this also means that their use in most types of jewelry is limited. For instance, it can be difficult to make an eternity ring with emerald cut diamonds as they are often unavailable in small enough sizes to fit the eternity style. Of course, they can still be made, but the diamonds will be bulkier and not as flush with the ring. In contrast to baguette cut eternity rings, they will be flashier and less understated.
So, what is the difference between baguette and emerald cut diamonds? Far more than meets the eye. Baguette cuts will be more honest about their imperfections and are often only available in small sizes, but their clarity and minimalistic appearance can make them highly appealing to those looking to break away from tradition. In contrast, emerald cuts provide a timeless centerpiece to any piece of jewelry they’re set into.