Coloured gemstones are generally cut to maximise the beauty of their colour. To recognise quality in the
cut of a gemstone, there are several points to consider.
What to Look For
A good cut showcases the gemstone's colour, diminishes its inclusions, and exhibits good overall
symmetry and proportion. Because gemstone colour can vary, there are no hard geometrical standards when
it comes to maximizing brilliance or colour. Gemstones, especially rarer ones, are sometimes cut for
size without regard for their colour. For example, when corundum varieties such as sapphire and ruby are
cut for maximum weight rather than beauty, they may display banded colours or streaks. Blue Nile
sells only the finest quality, hand-selected coloured gemstones.
In a gemstone with more saturated colour, the best cut may be more shallow than average,
permitting more light to penetrate the gemstone, while in a less saturated gem, the colour
may benefit from a deeper cut.
Look at the gemstone in the setting and ensure that all the facets are symmetrical. An
asymmetrically-cut crown indicates a gemstone of low-quality. In all cases, a well-cut gemstone is
symmetrical and reflects light evenly across the surface, and the polish is smooth, without any nicks
or scratches. These are the characteristics that Blue Nile jewellers look for when selecting our
Like diamonds, fine quality colour gems usually have a table, crown, girdle, pavilion, and
culet. Irridescent opals are one exception, and most often have a rounded cabochon cut.