Sparkle or Flash? - Emerald vs. Radiant Diamonds

Sparkle or Flash? - Emerald vs. Radiant Diamonds

Who doesn’t love a gorge little rectangular chonk of icy goodness? Emerald and radiant cut diamonds both very much deliver on the gotta love it front, but for oh-so different reasons. In fact, outside of their glittery geometry, the two couldn't be more different.

Whether you’re looking for that old Hollywood eleganza or more into the high-key sparkle realness, there is a rectangular rock with your name on it. So just what is the difference? Let’s get into it.


Same Difference

Emeralds and radiants always get compared, and it’s easy to see why. On the surface, they’re both gorge elongated little rectangles, unless, of course, they’re square. That’s right, both of these rocks come in varying length-to-width ratios, but the similarities don’t stop there.

Both of these shapes are beveled lil beauties and are easily recognizable by these cut corners. They also just so happen to carry more weight below the girdle. Meaning they both have a slightly smaller top-down appearance compared to a round brilliant.

That, however, is about where the similarities end.

An Emerald and a Radiant Stone image

An Emerald and a Radiant Stone


Sisters Not Twins

With all that in common, it’s easy to see why the two get compared so often. But their differences set them apart in a big way.

While they may look similar on the outside (with your eyes closed, maybe), the differences shine big in the cut department. While both are gorge with that high key finger appeal, their majorly different facets create two separate styles of sparkle.



Emeralds bring it with the old-world glamour that was just made for a vintage aesthetic. It screams old Hollywood. That kind of elegance doesn't go out of style. It’s called a classic for a reason, and we live for a modern set Emerald. They simply do no wrong.

Emeralds are a step-cut stone, meaning they have long rectangular facts that meet at the pavilion–i.e., they go straight down that center line. These facets give off bright flashes of light rather than sparkly fire.

Emeralds in all their glory have a clear glass-like appearance that is largely responsible for their boujee elegance. These glassy vibes, combined with their larger table, act as a window into the center of the stone.

Gorge? Yes. It also means you can see right through, so you never want to skimp on clarity when it comes to Emerald diamonds. Always go VS2 or higher since (unline brilliants) Emeralds aren’t hiding anything behind sparkle.

While not being able to hide inclusions might seem like a scrilla-saving bummer, fear not, finesse fans. You can find a gorge Emerald with a J, or I color diamond that will appear colorless since the color isn’t retained by the sparkle.



Radiants are sparkly. Like super sparkly. With 70 brilliant style triangular facets, they’re just about as shiny as they come. These tiny shiny facets produce a shattered glass effect that's wonderful for hiding inclusions but not so much for color.

Because of their deep cut combined with all those facets, the light return on a radiant is out of this world. It’s also going to return all that color. While you can probably find an eye-clean diamond with a lower clarity grade, you’re going to go with G, H, or higher when it comes to color.

What about crushed ice radiants, you say? Some radiants give flashes of sparkle similar to a round brilliant. Others have tons of tiny sparkles, aka pinfire sparkles. These ones have the look of, you guessed it, crushed ice sparkling in the sunshine.

Which you choose has more to do with personal preference than anything else. If you’re into contrast, brilliants might be more your bag, but look out for bowties. Crushed ice, on the other hand, has that dripping in glitter vibe that some people absolutely love.

Just get a look at these rocks on the move (aka a 360 preview) to catch a vibe check and find your perfect radiant.


Low Key Glamour

Emerald diamonds are super versatile. Because of their clean lines and flashy sparkle, they look straight elevated and snatched in both modern and vintage settings.

While that hall of mirrors needs no help drawing people in, many enjoy the combo that comes with setting that step-cut eleganza with a sparkly pavé. That or drenching it in tiny diamonds and going all the way with a halo.

If you’re more into the classic, The Baguettes Liv is giving everything we love about Emeralds with some shoulders for the assist.


High Key Sparkle

You gotta love brilliant rock like the radiant for all its versatility. Whether you're going clean and simple or want to be high-key dripping in diamonds, a radiant can handle whatever you throw at it.

All that sparkle hardly needs any help, and you can hardly go wrong setting on in a clean, classic solitaire… On the other hand, if you want to size up your sparkle–radiants do have a smaller top-down appearance after all–you can’t go wrong with a halo.

Seriously, can we talk about the next level gorgosity that is The Sofia set with a stunning 2ct radiant? We’re beyond gooped.


Ready To Cut Some Corners?

We love a rectangular moment. Whether you go for the sparkle city magic of a radiant or the clean sophistication of an Emerald, we totally stan. What can we say? They’re both gorge.

When it comes to Emerald and radiant, nothing really compares to the clarity and step-cut realness of an Emerald or that kitchen sink crushed ice sparkle that is absolutely radiant.

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