A Brilliant Emerald Cut – The Birth of the Radiant Cut Diamond

The 20th century is undoubtedly the most innovative time in the history of lapidary arts. Advancements in technology combined with Marcel Tolkowsky unlocking the secrets of maximum sparkle in a round brilliant cut diamond led to lapidarists all over the world exploring new, creative outlets to give diamonds a unique look.

Henry Grossbard was one of the many lapidary artists with a goal of establishing a new shape of diamond that could capture the attention of the world. Grossbard had been working as a master diamond cutter for 30 years in 1977 when his dreams finally came out in physical form. His goal was to give a stone the traditional shape of an emerald cut, while giving it the sparkle of a round brilliant. The result was the radiant cut.

What Makes a Radiant Cut Unique?

A radiant cut diamond can be elongated or more square, with cut corners and 66-70 facets to produce maximum sparkle. They can sometimes resemble a cushion cut, but stand apart with sharper corner edges and more flash from the top. A length to width ratio of 1.20-1.30 is considered “ideal”, but everyone has their own preferences and ratios can range from 1.00-1.70. When being graded by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), radiant cut diamonds are classified as “Cut-Cornered Square” or “Rectangular Brilliant”, depending on the length to width ratio.

The intense shine of a radiant cut diamond makes them better at hiding inclusions than most other diamond cuts. Radiant cut diamonds are also typically not as deep as a princess cut, which makes then appear larger when comparing two stones of the same carat weight.

Famous Radiant Cut Diamonds

Although it is a relatively new style of cutting, the unique look of a radiant cut has enticed many diamond cutters to shape important stones into a radiant cut. This includes the 79.12ct Fancy Yellow, Flawless “Cross of Asia Diamond” (recut for the 3rd time to become a radiant cut in 1993) and the 100.36ct D color, Internally Flawless “Star of Happiness Diamond”.

There have also been several celebrities in recent memory who have chosen a radiant cut diamond for their engagement ring. These include Drew Barrymore’s most recent ring from Will Kopelman, Jennifer Lopez’s 6.1ct fancy pink diamond ring from Ben Affleck, Khloe Kardashian’s 12.5ct diamond ring from Lamar Odom, “Basketball Wives” star Draya Michele, and Brittany Matthews’ 10ct engagement ring from Kansas City Chief’s quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

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