You’ve started shopping for the perfect ring and there are so many new terms that in all your life you’ve never heard of. It’s overwhelming and frankly makes buying jewelry a lot scarier than it needs to be. So, if you’re interested you can read on over the next few days and learn about all of the different ways jewelers cut gemstones as well as the different ways they set them. There’s a lot of information to go over but I’ll try to keep it short. Below are the many cuts and shapes that a cutter would be considering from in order to pass on the best value to his customer.
Gemstones may come in a variety of shapes, such as round, pear, square, octagon, oval, heart, and triangular, among many others. Each of these shapes may be fashioned into many different cuts, depending on the jeweler’s choice of exposing the gemstone’s many facets. For example, the square shape may be fashioned into a Princess cut, Radiant cut, Asscher cut and Cushion cut. Gemstone cuts differ in the amount and size of facets carved into the gem’s surface within each category of shapes.
Trillion / Trilliant
Trilliant cut gemstones are triangular. The edges may be slightly rounded or cropped straight in triangular step cuts along its 3 sides. The curved variation of it is usually used for single, solitaire stones, and is also known as trillion or trillion, while the uncurved variation, or Trilliant, is better suited for side stones. This cut is originally thought to be designed in Amsterdam and was later trademarked by the Henry Meyer Diamond Company of New York in 1962. The Trilliant is a type of a round brilliant, and its equilateral form with 31 to 43 sparkly facets is known to maximize brilliance and gemstone color. Symmetry, angles and proportions remain critical to the proper dispersion of light. If set as a solitaire, the Trilliant cut gemstone will require a specialized setting designed to protect its delicate corners. Furthermore, due to the shallow nature of this cut, it will generally show more dust and dirt on its surface than any other cut and any jewelry set with Trilliants will require extra cleaning. Because Trilliant cut gemstones are cut shallow, they tend to create the illusion of appearing larger than their given weight. In addition, Trilliant cut is known to minimize waste of the rough gemstone during the cutting process. These features, along with a truly sophisticated and unique shape, make Trilliants an excellent value, whether set as a solitaire or used as side stones.
Alternatively called "Square Emerald cut", it is a hybrid of a princess and an emerald cut. It has a distinct X in the top or “table” of the gemstone and features cropped corners along its four sides. The "step-cut" facets in this cut maximize the gem’s clarity. This cut was developed by the Asscher brothers in 1902 of Holland and remained popular through the 1920’s. In 2001, the Asscher cut underwent some modifications by Edward and Joop Asscher, resulting in the Modern Asscher or Royal Asscher cut. The newer version increased the number of facets from 58 to 74 and introduced wider corners. The Asscher Cut resurfaced in popularity after appearing on Sex and the City. Since then, many celebrities began wearing Asscher cut engagement ring
The Briolette cut is a pear or drop-shaped stone with 84 triangular shaped facets covering its entire surface. There is no table, crown, or pavilion. Because of this, the Briolette is the most difficult shape to cut. In fact, a cutter can only cut about 5 to 10 briolettes per day. Although this cut does not burst with fire and brilliance like a modern Round Brilliant cut, but it does reflect light from all its triangular facets. Its many angles, like tiny chandeliers, contribute to a wonderful display of color and radiance. Briolettes are a popular choice for dangling earrings, because as they dangle and move, they capture the most light. Briolettes usually are not mounted into heavy settings, and because of that, more of the gemstone is exposed to be visible. Most loose briolettes are drilled with a hole through the top, allowing jewelers to insert a hanging wire for earrings so the gem can dangle freely. Other times, a precious metal cap is secured onto the tip of the gemstone allowing the briolette to work as a pendant. The Briolette is believed to have originated in India as early as the 12th century.
Long and rectangular in shape, baguette cut gemstones are a popular choice for accent stones in jewelry. The term Baguette originated from the Italian word "bacchetta", meaning little stick; bacchio, meaning rod, or from the French word baguette, which is an oblong loaf a bread. The cut was created in the 1920-1930’s during the Art Deco and Art Nouveau movements. Because of its clean lines and a modern, geometric look, which deviated sharply from the traditional Round cut, it became instantly popular. Crafted in a "step cut" fashion, its 14 facets have been cut in steps along the edges, resembling a pyramid without its top. Although not as fiery and brilliant as a round cut, these stones are cut to maximize clarity. Since crafting Baguettes requires fewer cuts than other gemstone shapes, it is extremely important to cut them properly, since there are much fewer facets to hide any imperfections. Baguette cut stones can be regular or "tapered", meaning two sides are tapered inward, resembling a trapezoid. The tapered variation works particularly well as side stones to a round centerpiece. Baguette cut stones usually run small, often less than one carat. Therefore, they are measured according to their dimensions, and not by carat weight. Their unique shape allows Baguette stones to be set side by side without gaps, unlike round stones, making them indispensable in today’s jewelry industry.
(Antique) Cushion or cushion
Once referred to as "Old Mine Cut" or "Old European Cut", this cut presents with approximately 64 facets and offers a basic square shape with gently rounded corners, making it look like a couch cushion. It may also be referred as a "Pillow Cut". Just like a Princess cut, this cut maximizes utilizing the raw gem in the best way possible to avoid waste while simultaneously maintaining fabulous gem luster and brilliance. This traditional cut has been around for 200 years and has been the industry standard before the start of 20th century. Some cushion cuts may appear slightly oval in their shape. In recent years, cushion cut has renewed its popularity.
The Emerald Cut is shaped like a rectangle from the top, with trimmed corners. With approximately 50 facets, this cut presents with fewer facets than Round or Square cuts. The emphasis here is not so much on the sparkle, but on the gem’s clarity and color. Color tends to show very vividly in Emerald cut gemstones. In lighter colored gemstones, this cut can be quite dazzling. This cut was originally designed for cutting emeralds. Since emeralds occur in nature with numerous inclusions, cutting them is especially difficult due to potential chipping. The Emerald cut addressed those issues by decreasing the amount of force applied during cutting and protecting the stone from breakage. Eventually, this cut was used for diamonds and other gemstones as well. Customers were particularly drawn to this unique and stylish newer style, as its elongated shape looks particularly flattering on a finger
The heart shaped cut is basically a pear-shaped cut with a cleft at the top. With 59 standard facets, this cut can be very fiery and offer superb sparkle. Symmetry plays a vital role in selecting a good Heart Shaped cut gemstone. The two halves must be perfectly equal, and the cleft should be sharp and distinct, and the sides should be slightly rounded. Rarely used as engagement rings, Heart Shaped gemstones remain a popular choice for earrings, pendants, and gemstone solitaire rings.
This football shaped cut is also known as Navette Cut and is crafted with 57 facets. It is a type of a modified brilliant cut, meaning it was cut to reflect the most light and offer maximum sparkle and color. It’s important to note that if a gem is cut too shallow, the light will pass through the back of the gem thereby reducing its color and sparkle. Striving for perfect symmetry is another important factor in crafting Marquise cut gemstones. The Marquise cut diamond was commissioned by King Louis XIV of France to present to his love, Marquise de Pompadour. With its long lines and elongated silhouette, it was supposed to resemble her perfectly shaped smile. Furthermore, its elongated shape flatters the finger, making it appear longer and slimmer. In recent years, the Marquise cut has even been set vertically. Either way, due to its substantial surface area, this cut offers more weight per carat than any other cut and creates the illusion of a larger gemstone