4 Best Places to Buy Emerald Cut Diamonds Online in 2023

Last Updated on June 22, 2023 by Juli "Jewels" Church

Looking for the perfect place to buy emerald diamonds online?

You're in the right place! In this Learning Jewelry guide, I'll answer common questions like:

top 4 places to buy emerald diamonds
  • What should you look for when buying emerald cut diamonds online?
  • Are emerald cut diamonds good for an engagement ring?
  • How do you know you’re getting a good deal?
  • What are the red flags to watch out for when buying?

Top 4 Best Places to Buy Emerald Diamonds Online

If you need the list quick, here are my top picks for finding emerald shape diamonds from reputable online dealers. Keep reading for more information about each of these shops. 

  1. James Allen
  2. Blue Nile
  3. Clean Origin
  4. Ritani

#1 Buying Emerald Diamonds at James Allen

james allen emerald diamond

James Allen is one of the top online retailers in the diamond industry. They are frequently our number one choice for many of guides simply because they have the most benefits we believe customers need when buying affordable and high quality diamonds. 

One of these big benefits is their wide selection of loose diamonds. They carry hundreds of thousands of different natural diamonds, lab diamonds, colored gemstones, and even fancy color diamonds. 

They currently carry over 3,000 emerald cut diamonds at minimum 1ct, H color, and SI clarity. Below these diamond grades, there are more. Many online stores won't have too many of this diamond shape since it's not as popular as the round brilliant or princess cut. 

Personally, I think their 360˚ viewer and additional imaging is essential to what all online diamond buyers need. Once you've narrowed down your diamond grades, you can easily skim through their emerald cut diamonds without clicking into them. This will allow you to quickly eliminate the ones with any obvious inclusions.

Just make sure that when you're searching through diamond filters that you choose your Lab. We only recommend buying certified loose diamonds, and only from either the GIA or the AGS. James Allen carries GIA, AGS, and IGI certified diamonds. They don't have many AGS stones, so just stick to GIA. 

James Allen has around 150 types of ring settings you can place your emerald cut stone into, and that's even excluding their newest feature, The Ring Studio. You can go to The Ring Studio first and then choose your diamond, or you choose your diamond and peruse the ring settings. Ring settings that can be modified will have a little rainbow emblem in the corner. 

The Ring Studio allows you to modify the style of the setting. For example, you can choose the type of prong basket for your solitaire. Maybe you want a rose gold basket with a white gold shank.

Want a peekaboo diamond in your solitaire setting? You can have that too. How about a peekaboo blue sapphire instead? There are lots of ways to customize your ring with this new feature. 

james allen diamond prices

As for pricing, James Allen is going to have some of the best diamond prices available. Compared to brick and mortar stores like Zales or Kay Jewelers, James Allen will give you better diamond grades for cheaper prices. And you actually can pick your diamond with no sales pressure. 

The other thing James Allen has that most diamond retailers don't—online and physical—is a free lifetime warranty. This warranty covered wear and tear, like rhodium plating white gold, retipping prongs, or tightening melee diamonds


  • Lifetime warranty
  • Free sizing for a year
  • Lifetime upgrade
  • Clear 360 view
  • Cons

    • Not many choices in diamond fine jewelry 
    • Does not cover loss of stones in settings

    #2 Buying Round Diamonds at Blue Nile

    Blue Nile is another top online diamond retailer. They hold a glowing reputation by the industry as the first seller of loose diamonds online and by the customers they have served since 1997. They are frequently in combat in our guides with James Allen, fighting for our number one spot. 

    Like James Allen, they carry a ton of loose diamonds. Using the same specs for emerald cut diamonds, they have about 2,600 of them. One of the biggest things that puts Blue Nile in second is that they don't have 360˚ viewing on all their diamonds. Fortunately, you can narrow it down to 360˚ view only. This leaves us with around 2150, which isn't a huge loss. You can also scroll easily and identify obvious inclusions without clicking into it. 

    The emerald cut diamonds are separated into two categories under the Cut Grade filter. Keep in mind that shapes other than round diamonds don't have official cut grades. Retailers may have categories they separate better cut shapes. For emeralds at Blue Nile, the better cut stones will be filed under Very Good. 

    One thing that Blue Nile holds above James Allen is the fact that they only sell GIA certified diamonds. For a customer who knows nothing about why diamond certifications are so important, Blue Nile is a great choice because they can't go wrong. But James Allen sells IGI-certified diamonds, and that customer might not know the difference. Selling reliable certified diamonds definitely gives Blue Nile a leg up. 

    The viewer takes a second to get smooth, but the picture is clear enough to see inclusions and blemishes. I just wish the zoom was higher. But you can control it and they have a step forward and back feature which is cool, though I don't ever use it. 

    What I can't excuse Blue Nile for is their lack of a great warranty. Or a warranty at all, really. They have a manufacturer's warranty, which is what I like to call a copout. If you ever see the words "free manufacturer's warranty", it doesn't mean it covers wear and tear. What it means is that if there's something defected in the design of the ring that keeps causing problems, they'll fix it at any time. Any rhodium, tightening, and fixing prongs will have to be done out of pocket.

    Blue Nile emerald cut diamonds


  • Lifetime warranty
  • Free sizing for a year
  • Lifetime upgrade
  • Clear 360 view
  • Cons

    • Not many choices in diamond fine jewelry 
    • Does not cover loss of stones in settings

    #3 Buying Round Diamonds at Clean Origin

    clean origin emerald diamond

    Clean Origin is probably a less familiar name because they exclusively sell lab grown diamonds. For years lab diamonds have had a stigma as a fake diamond, but they are real diamonds. The origin is just in a lab instead of the earth. 

    Using our same diamond grades, they carry less than 500 emerald diamonds and they don't go below 1 carat. Which, I guess makes sense since lab diamonds can be over up to an over 40% cheaper than a natural diamond with the same grades. Anything under 1 carat would be hard to price. But they also have well past that, up to a 5 carat emerald cut diamond! Can you imagine? 

    Like our other picks, Clean Origin has a 360˚ viewer. They have two. One is really nice and has a lot of cool, yet unnecessary features. The other is a Diamond Scan, which is really awful when trying to make sure it's an eye-clean diamond. It doesn't run smoothly and goes way too fast. 

    Clean Origin's diamonds all have different certifications which can be a little confusing. For lab grown diamonds, we recommend GIA, IGI, and GCAL certifications. 

    Other than the advantages of buying lab diamonds, Clean Origin has a return policy unlike any other. Most places allow 30 day returns, or even 60 day returns. Clean Origin gives all their customers 100 days to return. 

    This can be especially helpful for those who maybe wanted to try and see what an emerald cut diamond engagement ring might look like. It's not a hugely common shape and people with particular tastes usually like it. Having that long of a period to make sure you love it definitely adds security. 

    Lastly, Clean Origin has the same copout warranty as Blue Nile. They will cover design flaws but that's it. Any routine maintenance and you're on your own. 


    • All lab diamonds
    • 360˚ view
    • carries GIA certified lab diamonds
    • 100 day return policy


    • No natural diamonds
    • No warranty

    #4 Buying Round Diamonds at Ritani

    When you buy emerald cut diamonds at Ritani, you automatically know they're high quality because they don't sell loose diamonds below SI clarity. Yet, walk into any Zales or Kay store and there are I clarity diamonds galore. 

    They first started off in the industry as a competing brand with mega famous retailer, Tiffany's. They have patented, unique ring settings that you won't find anywhere else, except partner retailers like Whiteflash. In 2014, the old CEO of Blue Nile joined forces with Ritani, so you can get a good idea of where their quality comes from. 

    Using the same filters, Ritani has a smaller selection of emerald cut diamonds than Blue Nile or James Allen, but more than Clean Origin. They have around 950 with those filters and all of them are AGS or GIA certified. 

    diamond 360˚ viewing

    Not all of their diamonds have 360˚ viewing, some have HD photos and others only have stock photos. The preview when filtering diamonds is a stock photo, then a delayed 360 video (if it has one). Fortunately, it seems that a large amount of emerald shaped diamonds have the video. 

    Aside from the inconsistency in viewing, I really don't like the viewer. Instead of a controllable view you can drag, Ritani plays a loop of a video. It lets you get a decent look at it, especially from the back. But if you need to run it back and forth to catch light or an inclusion, it gets difficult to control a looped video.

    Ritani provides a market analysis with each and every diamond they sell, showing their customers exactly how the price is broken down. With so many people turning away from diamonds calling them overpriced scams, Ritani fights to bring transparency to the scene. The market analysis shows you how much diamond costs from the vendor, how much shipping and customs are, and how much the mark-up costs. There are no hidden fees or middlemen to deal with. 

    diamond marketing analysis

    The other thing that sets Ritani with the likes of James Allen is that they are the only other online jewelry store that gives you a free lifetime warranty that covers wear and tear. You have to sign up online to initiate that warranty, but that's a small price to pay considering how many great online retailers don't offer any service warranty. 

    Ritani emerald cut diamonds


  • Lifetime warranty
  • Free sizing for a year
  • Lifetime upgrade
  • Clear 360 view
  • Cons

    • Not many choices in diamond fine jewelry 
    • Does not cover loss of stones in settings

    Emerald Diamonds FAQ

    Here's a list of some of the most popular questions asked about emerald cut diamonds. For a more in-depth guide to emerald shaped diamonds, you can check out our Emerald Cut Diamond Overview

    Is It Cheaper to Buy Emerald Cut Diamonds Online?

    Generally, it is much cheaper to buy an emerald cut diamond online than at a physical retailer, especially mega retailers we're all familiar with. 

    The business model of an online diamond retailer is cheaper because of the way diamond wholesalers and vendors conduct their business. It makes it less expensive for online retailers. On average, buying diamonds online could save your around 30%-40% and you get no sales pressure.

    Are Emerald Cut Diamonds More Expensive?

    If you look this question up online, you might find conflicting answers. In comparison to round cut diamonds, emerald cut shapes are not as expensive. Step cut diamonds are less expensive than brilliant cut diamonds usually due to the fact that inclusions are more obvious and color looks more yellow. That's where a 360˚ viewer comes in handy. 

    Here's where the price of a 1 carat emerald cut stone fits in with other shapes:

    Emerald Diamond Cost

    chart from the International Gem Society

    Price Per Carat Increases

    The price per carat of an emerald is usually lower than most fancy shapes, but can skyrocket in larger carat weights. The reason why the price increases is because all the other diamond grades have to rise with it. And with it being a step cut diamond, emerald shapes need even higher clarity and color grades.

    What Should You Look for When Buying Emerald Cut Diamonds?

    When searching for any diamond, you have to understand the 4Cs of diamond quality: Cut, Clarity, Color, and Carat. We've got plenty of diamonds guides that go over each of these in-depth. Here are some tips when picking out round diamonds.


    Since emerald cut diamonds have no official cut grade, you're going to want to pay attention to the proportions of the diamond. Emerald cut diamonds may be described as rectangular or square. Square cut emeralds are known as Asscher cut, but it's also a branded name. 


    The best cut emerald diamonds have a length to width ratio of 1.40. However, most people choose one between 1.30 and 1.50. Since a lot of diamond shapes are up to your personal preference, any ratio between these guides will be a great diamond. 

    If you look for shallower emerald diamonds, they'll appear larger when face-up. Angles are less important when it comes to emerald diamonds. 

    Plus, you'll want to compare different length to width ratios and think about how they'll look in case you have a particular setting in mind. You might need to adjust based on design. 

    Clarity and Color

    I mentioned earlier in the guide about how Kay and Zales have a majority of I clarity diamonds. Stay away from I Clarity grade diamonds with emerald cut diamonds. It will be near impossible to find an eye clean one, even with a viewer.

    Remember, emerald cut diamonds show clarity and color more, so stay away from I clarity and JKL color grades unless you're going the yellow gold route. 

    I1 Clarity Emerald Cut Diamond

    I1 Clarity Emerald Cut Diamond from James Allen.

    Red Flags When Buying Real Gold Jewelry Online?

    There isn't a lot of red flags with diamond shapes, but there are some things to be aware of. 

    Windowing and Extinction

    Certain diamond shapes may have less desirable features than others, but shouldn't deter you from the shape altogether. Emerald cut diamonds may be susceptible to something known as windowing. 

    If you're buying an emerald cut diamond according to our proportions mentioned above, you won't have this problem. In poorly cut emerald shapes, the facets don't look so much like steps but rather a big empty window. 

    windowing extinction

    It will appear like glass rather than dramatic flashes because the diamond is not retaining light, It just goes right through it. When an emerald cut diamond is windowing, you'll be able to see your finger behind the stone. 

    Extinction is when you look at an emerald cut shape face-up and notice a lot of dark shadows in the steps. This is usually due to the depth of the diamond. It doesn't compromise the integrity, but just the overall look of the diamond. 

    Emerald Extinction

    Grading Report

    We've touched on it a little, but let's explain why we only recommend buying certified diamonds. Certified diamonds are more expensive than uncertified diamonds, but diamond certification ensures that you've received the diamond quality you've paid for.

    The last thing you want to watch out for is buying non-certified diamonds or diamonds from labs other than the Gemological Institute of America or the American Gem Society. Most diamond resale places only accept certifications from these labs. 

    gia report

    Other labs have looser guidelines than these ones. For example, your GSI grading report might say SI1, but is really an I1 when sent to be graded by the GIA. It could and has happened to people. GSI certs make diamonds much cheaper and they are a favorite by mega retailers because it's cheap for them. Then they sell you them for 3x what the cert is worth. I know, I have one. 

    GSI Grading Report

    So just stick to GIA and AGS center stones. Make sure you're getting what you're paying for.

    How to Get the Best Deal When Buying Emerald Cut Diamonds Online?

    I've touched on a number of different ways and benefits that will help you when buying emerald cut diamonds online. Here's a quick recap of Emerald Cut Diamonds 101. 

    • Choose a retailer with a clear 360˚ viewer
    • Choose a retailer with a large selection
    • Only buy GIA or AGS certified natural diamonds. For lab diamonds, buy GIA, IGI, or GCAL 
    • Choose a retailer with a warranty that covers routine maintenance like rhodium 
    • Choose a retailer with a good return policy and easy process
    • Choose an emerald cut diamond with a length to width ratio between 1.4 and 1.5
    • Remember that emerald cut diamonds show more yellow tint and inclusions, so they need higher clarity and color grades. 
    • Watch out for windowing and extinction

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