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.

Gemstone color saturation chart  

Buyer's Tip

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.



Gemstone 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 gemstone jewelry.

Elements of a step cut gemstone  

Buyer's Tip

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.