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A well-cut swiss blue topaz gemstone pendant showcasing symmetrical facets

An Intro to Gemstone Cut

Precious and semi-precious gemstones such as emeralds, sapphires, opals, tanzanite and rubies aren’t ready to be set in jewelry right from the start. Gems are cut into jewelry-ready baubles through expert faceting and shaping. Gemstone cut refers to the unique faceting of a specific gemstone. Through well-designed cuts, a gemstone will be its most brilliant and most colorful. Cut is one of the factors to keep in mind when choosing jewelry featuring gemstones. Learn more about cut and how it can bring out the best in gems.

What is the Difference Between Cut and Shape?

Gemstone cut and gemstone shape are often confused, and these terms may be used interchangeably. A gemstone's cut refers to how a raw crystal is turned, faceted, and polished. For gemstone jewelry, the gem cutter maximizes color of the stone, enhances its brilliance, and, along with gemstone enhancements, it can help hide inclusions. Gemstone cuts are more variable than diamond cuts and may contain combinations of cuts to create an appealing stone. A gemstone’s shape on the other hand refers to its outline when you’re looking down at it. 
An Illustration of a well-cut gemstone from the side

About Gemstone Cut

 
Gemstone cut refers to the arrangement of a given gemstone’s facets. Rough gems are cut by experts to maximize their best qualities. A well-cut gemstone is symmetrical, well-polished and reflects light evenly across the surface and the polish is smooth. There are no nicks or scratches. Poorly cut gemstones may appear dull, and poor cuts decrease the overall value of the gemstone. Like diamonds, fine quality color gems usually have a table, crown, girdle, pavilion and culet.

Gemstone cut refers to the arrangement of a given gemstone’s facets. Rough gems are cut by experts to maximize their best qualities. A well-cut gemstone is symmetrical, well-polished and reflects light evenly across the surface and the polish is smooth. There are no nicks or scratches. Poorly cut gemstones may appear dull, and poor cuts decrease the overall value of the gemstone. Like diamonds, fine quality color gems usually have a table, crown, girdle, pavilion and culet.



Types of Gemstone Cuts


There are many types of gemstone cuts for all types and colors. Different gem cuts will work well with different gemstone types. For example, a highly-faceted cut works well for lighter colored gems such as amethysts or blue topaz. Gemstones with different color features, such as iridescent opals, will look their best with a rounded cabochon cut.

A brilliant cut is ideal for the most sparkle and intense brilliance, although this cut tends to be more expensive than other cuts. The step cut is popular for gemstones because of its subtle sparkle, but step-cut gemstones tend to have a smaller face-up size. The coveted princess cut allows for a gem to appear larger, but you’ll have to be mindful of its sharp corners, which are prone to snagging. We offer a wide selection of earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings with gemstones that have been expertly cut to highlight their best features. 

There are many types of gemstone cuts for all types and colors. Different gem cuts will work well with different gemstone types. For example, a highly-faceted cut works well for lighter colored gems such as amethysts or blue topaz. Gemstones with different color features, such as iridescent opals, will look their best with a rounded cabochon cut. A brilliant cut is ideal for the most sparkle and intense brilliance, although this cut tends to be more expensive than other cuts. The step cut is popular for gemstones because of its subtle sparkle, but step-cut gemstones tend to have a smaller face-up size. The coveted princess cut allows for a gem to appear larger, but you’ll have to be mindful of its sharp corners, which are prone to snagging.

We offer a wide selection of earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings with gemstones that have been expertly cut to highlight their best features.

What to Look for When Buying a Gemstone

 
While color may be what attracts you to certain gemstones, the cut is what showcases the gemstone’s unique hue. As you shop, there are three main qualities to keep in mind when looking at the cut of a gemstone when determining value.


      Symmetry 

      An asymmetrically cut crown indicates a low-quality gemstone, since the light won’t reflect evenly across the surface.

      Cut and Shape 

      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.

      Color Zoning 

      An uneven distribution of color is common in naturally occurring gemstones. An expert cutter will keep uneven color zones in       mind and cut to evenly portion the color for a striking look.

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