Emerald vs. Diamond: What’s the Difference?

For starters, let’s differentiate between emerald-cut diamonds and emeralds. The two are usually confused for the other.

While an emerald is a gemstone, an emerald-cut diamond is actually a diamond but cut in the shape known as emerald, which is kind of rectangular in shape.

The emerald shape of a diamond is a type of cut that was initially meant for emeralds (the gemstone), but then gained popularity amongst diamond designers in the 1920s – hence emerald-cut diamonds.

Emerald vs. Diamond – Difference in Color

Emerald vs. Diamond - Difference in Color
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The obvious distinction between emeralds vs. diamonds is their color. While diamonds come in clear and yellowish color shades, emeralds are mainly green or bluish-green in color.

The reason for the emerald green color is due to chromium or vanadium chemicals.

But don’t get it wrong, some diamonds are greenish in color, while some are red. This somehow confuses people, especially between green diamonds and emeralds.

Since green diamonds are not that common, most folks may not tell the difference by simply looking at the gemstones. It’s even worse if the green diamond is an emerald-cut shape.

Without a doubt, color is a very important aspect when it comes to valuing either diamonds or emeralds. Every gemstone has a specific color, or a small range of colors people prefer.

With diamonds, it’s the sparkly clear color while emeralds are preferred green.

If you’re a novice looking to buy an emerald, it’s recommendable to go with deeper color shades. The green needs to be vivid and somewhat shiny.

As for diamonds, it goes without saying that the clearer it is the better. Always opt for the highly GIA graded diamond stones.

Emerald vs. Diamond – Difference in Composition

Emerald vs. Diamond - Difference in Composition
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Emeralds are gemstones that come from the mineral beryl (Beryllium Aluminum Silicate). On the other hand, diamonds are also gemstones but made of carbon.

Gauging their hardness, the two gemstones aren’t far off from each other in terms of the Mohs scale. That is, while emeralds are ranked at 7.5 on the scale of hardness, diamonds are ranked 10.

This means diamonds are harder than emeralds. However, emeralds aren’t as fragile or less hard. As a matter of fact, emeralds are quite durable and can last many decades without any fissures.

Still, when you put the two gemstones (emeralds vs. diamonds) together, without a doubt, diamonds are harder.

Due to emeralds’ brittle nature, designers restrain themselves from making lots of cuts on the gemstone. And that’s why most emeralds are known for their “emerald” shape – a rectangular-like shape.

Even skilled gem cutters find it challenging to cut emeralds into specific shapes and designs. The fear and restraint is also due to emerald’s rarity compared to diamonds.

Emeralds are very rare and the last thing a designer wants is losing an emerald stone by risking to make specific shapes.

Emerald vs. Diamond – Difference in Inclusions

Emerald vs. Diamond - Difference in Inclusions
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It is impossible comparing two gemstones such as diamonds and emeralds without touching on inclusions.

Basically, inclusions in gemstones are defects and imperfections. And they include cloudiness, chippings, dark shades due to poor cutting technique, etc.

Such imperfections are common in emeralds compared to diamonds, most of which are noticeable to the naked eye.

However, the inclusions and imperfections are not of priority as with diamonds. That is, emeralds can get away with being imperfect. This is because of emerald green color, which hides the inclusions, unlike diamonds.

Since diamonds are more valuable with enhanced clarity, the last thing you want in such a stone is visible inclusions.

Therefore, diamond designers try everything possible to make sure the diamond is eye-clean. Better clarity grading for diamonds is from SI1 going upwards to VVS1 and IF which are the purest forms of diamonds.

Despite emerald’s imperfections and inclusions, some folks prefer such. This is because the inclusions act like the stone’s uniqueness.

With a specific inclusion (a curved defection within the emerald stone), you’re guaranteed of certain uniqueness and identity of the stone.

Hence, an emerald stone with less clarity isn’t all lost. This actually increases the stone’s value.

Emerald vs. Diamond – Difference in Pricing  

Emerald vs. Diamond - Difference in Pricing  
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Is a diamond more expensive than an emerald? Well, it depends on the grading of either stone.

While diamonds are expected to be more expensive, which they do most times, an emerald stone can cost more than a diamond.

For instance, if a diamond gemstone is of a lower grade such as SI2 clarity and M color grade, then it might cost less than a pure emerald stone of the same carats.

But then again, it depends on the clarity of the emerald. If the stone has lots of inclusions, then the pricing may take a deep.

It depends on the quality of either the emerald or diamond stone.

Even though emeralds are more brittle than diamonds, their pricing is somewhat on par with diamonds because emeralds are rare gemstones.

Emeralds are actually the rarest gemstones. Which upgrades its cost pricing. Emerald is mined in very few places in the world, with Colombia being the major supplier of this lovely gemstone.

Still, when you compare emerald and diamonds on a larger scale and in general, then the latter is always more expensive. Perhaps that’s because diamonds have higher demands than emeralds.

When to Prioritize either Diamond or Emerald  

When to Prioritize either Diamond or Emerald  
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So why (and when) do we need either an emerald or a diamond. These two gemstones come head to head when looking for the right occasion to wear the stone alongside the right attire.

Also, when choosing either diamonds or emeralds, either comes in handy when looking to propose, or celebrating an anniversary.

You need to get it right.

For the right attire, emeralds are perfect for night or evening events. As jewelry, emeralds are great for daylight. That’s coz its vivid coloration depicts gaudiness, which will make you feel out of place.

Instead, daytime events are great with diamonds. Their lack of coloration makes it perfect for the day’s light, which sparkles the diamond.

The trick is to make sure the diamond is not too showy but rather subtle; otherwise, people may take you for a flamboyant person. Unless that’s your intention.

If it’s an office event, I recommend using the most subtle diamond stone possible. You don’t want your boss noticing a huge, sparkly diamond, don’t you?

However, if you’re stuck and can’t seem to choose between a diamond and an emerald, I highly recommend going with a diamond. Because of its versatility.

Diamonds are so versatile and can be worn on any occasion, thanks to their clear and no-color features. The gemstone complements whichever clothing color you’ve picked.

On the other hand, emeralds are stuck with the green color, which limits the stone from being worn alongside many other clothing.

Nonetheless, for a wedding ring, and if you’ve got the monetary power, it’s best to go with both emerald and diamond. Combine them.

This means you’re trying to say that your love is not only rare (emerald), but also very special and pure (diamond).

FAQs on Emerald vs. Diamonds

FAQs on Emerald vs. Diamonds
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Let’s have a look at a few questions regarding diamonds versus emeralds.

a) Where are Emeralds Mined?

Emeralds are very rare and aren’t mined in many locations as would diamonds. Its main source is in Colombia whereby the country supplies more than 50 percent of the world’s emerald gemstones.

The next country is Zambia while other countries where emerald is mined include the likes of Canada, Egypt, China, Australia, Switzerland, Norway, and even United States.

b) Is Emerald More Precious than Diamond?

It’s impossible to pinpoint what’s more precious than the other. Both diamonds and emeralds are precious enough and are used luxuriously in similar contexts.

Nonetheless, the general consensus is that diamonds are more precious than emeralds. But I wouldn’t impose that to be true.

If preciousness is equated to price and cost, then I’d say diamonds are more precious. But, truthfully, both gemstones are equally precious.

c) Why Do Emeralds Have More Inclusions Compared to Diamonds?  

Diamonds have fewer or less inclusions and defects than emeralds due to diamond’s hardness.

Since emeralds are more brittle, it makes sense for designers to restrain themselves from making lots of cuts to remove the inclusions, such as they do with diamonds.

It’s easier removing inclusions in diamonds because the gemstone is so tough and is easy to design compared to emeralds.

d) Which Costs More between Emeralds and Diamonds?

It depends on the quality of either gemstone. Which is determined by looking at the cut, clarity and color shades of the gemstone.

For example, if an emerald has fewer inclusions and is graded high quality, then compared with an SI1 graded diamond, it is most likely the emerald may be costlier than the diamond.

On the other hand, if both stones are of similar grades but with similar carats, then diamonds are costlier than emerald. But on a general consensus, diamonds tend to be costlier than emerald.

A pricing example in carats is as follows:

Final Thoughts

While both emeralds and diamonds are rare, special gemstones, they differ in various aspects. Diamonds are made of carbon and emeralds are made of the mineral beryl.

In terms of hardness, diamonds are rated higher than emeralds.

While diamonds are mainly colorless and in yellowish shades, emeralds mainly come in green and bluish-green.

Due to their brittle nature, emeralds have more inclusions and defects in them. While diamonds are manly pure and have less inclusions and imperfections.

When it comes to the applicability, in terms of finding the right occasion for either emeralds or diamonds, the latter is versatile and is always a preferred choice.

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