The first recorded use of the emerald cut diamond was in the engagement ring given by Archduke Maximilian of Austria to Mary of Burgundy in 1477. Since then, emerald cut diamonds have been traditionally associated with the wealth, power and glamour symbolised by both large and small stones which the cut is effective in. The high number of complex facets created by the cut is suited to both large and small stone regardless of its actual worth.
Also known as the 'octagon cut', the emerald cut is so called because it is often associated with emeralds. Octagonal in shape, the cut is similar to Asscher cut but is more rectangular, creating a 'keel' ridge between the two sides at the base of the diamond rather than the conventional culet more frequently seen in diamond cuts. A diamond emerald cut typically comprises of 58 facets and three rows of 'steps'. This style has made the cut popular in loose diamonds intended to be kept as such as well as in diamonds intended to be set in a ring or pendant.
During the era of 'art deco' in the early 20th century, the cut became extremely popular due to its association with the clean lines and geometric patterns which quickly became synonymous with the era. In recent years, the emerald cut has re-emerged as a popular choice for more classic, traditional pieces, worn in the elegant engagement rings of several notable celebrities including Lady Camilla Parker-Bowles. The emerald cut has proven itself to be timeless and tasteful in any style and any context.