Colored gemstones are generally cut to maximize the beauty of their color. To recognize quality in the
cut of a gemstone, there are several points to consider.
What to Look For
A good cut showcases the gemstone's color, diminishes its inclusions, and exhibits good overall
symmetry and proportion. Because gemstone color can vary, there are no hard geometrical standards when
it comes to maximizing brilliance or color. Gemstones, especially rarer ones, are sometimes cut for
size without regard for their color. For example, when corundum varieties such as sapphire and ruby are
cut for maximum weight rather than beauty, they may display banded colors or streaks. Blue Nile
sells only the finest quality, hand-selected colored gemstones.
In a gemstone with more saturated color, the best cut may be more shallow than average,
permitting more light to penetrate the gemstone, while in a less saturated gem, the color
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 jewelers look for when selecting our
Like diamonds, fine quality color gems usually have a table, crown, girdle, pavilion, and
culet. Iridescent opals are one exception, and most often have a rounded cabochon cut.