Gemstone cuts improve the overall appearance and brilliance of a gemstone. Well-cut gemstones are symmetrical, smooth, and well-polished. These stones reflect light evenly across the surface of the stone. A well-cut gemstone is always appealing and a delight to own. Furthermore, a good cut could increase the value of the stone. Sometimes, the cut of a stone and its shape are mistaken to mean the same thing, but they are different.
Table of Contents
A gemstone cut is anything but the same as a gemstone shape. A gemstone shape refers to the outline and look of the stone. The shape of a gemstone is a naturally occurring phenomenon in gemstones. However, the cut of a stone is a description of the arrangement of the facets of the stone. The cut of a stone is a function of processing the stone by lapidaries. Some gemstone suppliers like BIRON®, can provide full lapidary service from cutting gems from roughs to gemstone drilling. During the cutting process, lapidaries consider the colour of the gemstone to choose a cut that will enhance the brilliance of the stone. Furthermore, the cutting process could be used to hide incisions so that the stone looks more appealing to behold.
Types of Gemstone Shapes
Some types of gemstone shapes you may come across include:
- Round Shape: Round gemstones possess timeless appeal, perfect for various jewellery designs, capturing hearts with their enchanting brilliance.
- Pear Shape: Some people address pear-shaped gemstones as teardrop-shaped gemstones. This shape works well for pendants and earrings.
- Trillion Shape: A trillion gemstone is a triangular-shaped gemstone. It is sometimes called trilliant, trillion, or trielle. A trillion has several variations. Some have curved sides while others have uncurved sides.
- Heart Shape: A heart-shaped gemstone is a variation of a pear-shaped gemstone. In layman’s terms, a heart-shaped gemstone is a pear-shaped gemstone having two scallops on top of it. The heart shape symbolizes romance and it is a popular choice for rings and pendants.
- Oval Shape: An oval gemstone shape is similar to a round-shaped gemstone. However, it contains a bow tie reflection at the center. The oval shape can create the illusion of length in the finger or hand.
- Octagon Shape: An octagon gemstone is a square or rectangular gem having round edges. The octagon shape provides brilliance while the rounded edges soften the look.
- Marquise Shape: A marquise is a large surface area symmetrical diamond-shaped gemstone. The marquise shape elongates the look of the stone, similar to the oval shape. It maximizes carat weight.
Types of Gemstone Cuts
As much as there are varying shapes of gemstones, there are various types of cuts as well. Often types, gemstone cutters put the shapes of gemstones into consideration before choosing the best cut for such stones. Some of the most popular types of gemstone cuts include:
Brilliant cuts are the most sparkly kind of cut. Most cutters love to use this cut for diamonds to make them very catchy. There are various types of brilliant cuts. However, the round brilliant cut is the most captivating and popular as it features numerous precisely placed facets to maximize light return and brilliance.
The princess cut is a square having rounded corners. This cut has a striking resemblance to the cushion cut. However, the princess cut has a sharp and angular edge while the cushion cut is soft.
The cushion cut is a square having bevelled corners. The cut is often referred to as Old European. Cushion cut was made before the invention of faceting machines. Consequently, it is not as reflective as some modern cuts. However, it gives off a soft, vintage appearance.
The emerald cut is called emerald because of its ability to emphasize the colour of the stone. It is a rectangular step cut having few facets. When used for emeralds, fewer facets are usually used in the step cut. This is because emeralds have natural inclusions. Consequently, using many facets could cause the emerald to break.
The Briolette cut is a Victorian style gemstone cut with facets all over. These facets typically look like disco balls in a teardrop shape. The briolette cut has a stone drilled on top. Often times, this cut is employed in the production of earrings and pendants. That way, the facets can add more beauty to the jewellery. It provides a unique look with light cascading across the elongated facets.
Owning a gemstone often comes with some excitement. Amidst the joy and excitement, you should ensure to only choose a well-cut gemstone. How do you recognize a well-cut stone? What should you look out for? Let’s get right into it:
An asymmetrical cut gemstone is the first sign of a low-quality gemstone. Well-cut gemstones are radiant and reflect light evenly. An even light reflection is impossible for an asymmetrically cut gemstone. Rather than reflecting light evenly, the stone will bounce light from the edges.
It is normal for naturally occurring gemstones to have an uneven colour zoning. However, during a cut, the cutter is to consider uneven colour zones. Based on this consideration, the cut should be done in a way that evenly proportions the colour for a captivating look. Inspect the stone for an even distribution of colour. There should not be noticeable dark or light zones affecting the overall colour.
The proportions between the crown, girdle, and pavilion are key for maximizing brilliance. An ideal cut has precise mathematical proportions to allow light to enter, reflect internally, and return back out the top. The table size, depth percentage, girdle thickness, and other measurements should be carefully calculated.
Even though the shape and cut of gemstones are often mistaken to mean the same thing, the two terms are different. Interestingly, there are different shapes and types of cuts as well. In case you need how to recognize a well-cut gemstone, we’ve got you as well. In this piece, we covered the basics of all you need to know about gemstone cuts.
Related article: Crafting With Crystals: How to Make and Style Jewellery