Q&A: Looking for a 1.5 carat Emerald Cut and Concerned about Clarity

Question & Answer


Hi Randy,

Your website is amazing! I have searched all over the web and have never seen as clear an explanation form the consumer standpoint as I have found on your site.

I am looking for a 1.5 carat Emerald cut diamond. I saw on your diamond clarity page that for Emerald cuts you recommend higher clarity grades than on other shapes.  Can you please explain why is that and give me an idea of what I should be looking for?

What about color and cut- do the same guidelines apply?

Thanks again,




I am so happy you like the site and that it’s been helpful to you!

As to your question….

In most diamond shapes the facets are positioned in a way as to best reflect the light that comes into the diamond.  The idea is to create as much brilliance as possible. This is what gives the diamond its sparkle (and this is why cut is so important – you want to make sure the facets are positioned correctly to give the best sparkle).  One of the side benefits of the facet layout on most cuts is that it hides most of the minor imperfections – this is why you can most often get away with an SI1 (or even SI2) clarity and still have it be “eye clean”.

An Emerald (and Asscher) cut diamond does not give off the same sparkle. These 2 cuts are known as “Stepped Cuts” and are designed to show the beauty of the diamond itself- not the sparkle. The downside of this cut is that it doesn’t have the same facet design as say a round diamond and the imperfections (even as high as a VS2) can many times be easily seen as you can see in this image, if there is any thing wrong with the cut itself or the clarity, it’s easily identifiable:

Step cut diamonds

My recommendation for buying an Emerald cut is to start with a VS2 clarity as the bottom line.  Here is a recommendation that fits into your 1.50 carat request:


I tend to go with a slightly higher color grade in stepped cut diamonds as well so here is a 2nd choice going with a higher G color: 


Let me know if you have any other questions on this.



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