Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt made headlines earlier this year when they finally announced their engagement. Soon thereafter, Jolie was spotted wearing an engagement ring that featured a large, Emerald cut diamond center stone. While an Emerald cut center stone is not the traditional look for an engagement ring, non-traditional engagement rings seem to be making news more frequently.

Many consumers admire the traditional outlines and understated elegance of an emerald cut diamond. The emerald cut is a type of step-cut diamond, and is the most popular in that category. The emerald cut’s four longer sides have beveled corners with two, three, or four concentric rows of facets, parallel to the girdle, on the crown and pavilion.

Emerald cuts do not hide imperfections well due to the long step cuts, so inclusions become more obvious in lower clarity diamonds. Emerald cuts can have 49 facets or more, yet are less scintillating due to the step cut style of faceting. Since lots of scintillation masks inferior color, this type of facet pattern with its lower scintillation seems to emphasize inferior color.

Remember, when shopping for an emerald cut diamond you need to choose the highest quality stone within your budget. Be sure to purchase from a jeweler that offers a GIA report with their diamond or request that a loose stone be submitted to GIA for grading.

Learn more about other diamond cuts and shapes with this great article, How Diamonds Shape Up.