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Comparing Diamond Cuts: Brilliant vs. Step

January 10, 2014 2 min read

The photo on the left shows Style # HE72 with a round brilliant cut center diamond. The photo on the right shows Style # HE239, which features emerald cut diamonds (step cut).

Diamonds are faceted in two different ways… brilliant style and step cut.  A brilliant style faceting would include diamonds such as rounds, pears, cushions, radiants etc.  A step cut diamond would include emerald cuts and asschers.  Today, I want to discuss clarity and how it plays into both of these two styles of faceting.  When a diamond is brilliantly cut, the inclusions can hide a bit more in the diamond and therefore you can decrease the clarity grade to a certain degree.  With a step cut diamond, you should not go below VS2 as you can see so easily into the diamond and inclusions can be more visible to the naked eye.  If you are choosing a diamond in a higher carat weight, say 1.50ct plus, perhaps it’s best to stay VS1 or better.

Recently I was discussing this with one of my colleagues.  She was interested in knowing how having to go higher in the clarity for step cut diamonds effects the overall price when comparing to a brilliant cut diamond of similar size.    I decided to run a quick search and this is what I found.

  1. I found a 1.27ct G color, VS2 clarity GIA certified emerald cut diamond (step cut faceting) that we would currently sell for $7377.
  2. I found a 1.29ct G color, SI1 clarity GIA certified round diamond (brilliant style faceting) that we would currently sell for $8600.
  3. I found a 1.27ct G color, SI1 clarity GIA certified radiant diamond (brilliant style faceting) that we would currently sell for $6643.
  4. I found a 1.26ct G color, VS2 clarity GIA certified radiant diamond (brilliant style faceting) that we would currently sell for $7532.

Of course round diamonds command the highest price and even dropping to and SI1, the round brilliant is still considerably higher than the emerald cut with a higher clarity grade.  I guess this is an unfair comparison to a certain degree because rounds are the priciest.  You can see though that since we can drop to an SI1 in the radiant, the price is considerably less than the emerald cut for probably the sole reason that we have to go to a VS2 in the emerald cut.

Don’t get me wrong, I love emerald & asscher cut diamonds but having to go higher in the clarity can drive the price up.

If you need help with your loose diamond search, don’t hesitate to give us a call!  We are here to help you find that perfect diamond!


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