A gemstone becomes a gem only after going through cutting and carvings done by a professional gem-cutter. Main idea behind cutting a gemstone is to enhance the amount of light that reflects out of it so that it can look shinier and more sparkling. Of the famous 4Cs prevalent in gems and jewellery industry, cut is a major contributory factor that determines the price of said gemstone or jewellery piece. Let’s find out what are the popular and also not so popular cuts that are used by gemstone developers for shaping up the gems in very appealing styles.
Princess Cut: Talking about the unusual cuts available, this cut is quite famous in diamond. It is normally a square diamond whose edges form the angle of 90 degrees to each other at joining points. Because of the beautiful shape, this cut is mostly employed in making of eternity rings like engagement rings, anniversary rings and in developing keepsakes. It makes enthralling diamond pieces that have 56-facets for better reflection of light.
Marquise Cut: It is an improvement of oval shaped cut where the ends of oval are sharpened to create a tie-bow like effect. Quite similar to a smile, this cut came into being when Sun King of France wanted to have a diamond carved in the shape of mouth of Marquise of Pompadour.
Round Brilliant Cut: This cut can rightly be described as ‘handle with care’ cut. If this cut is carried out in an inaccurate manner, it can spoil the show without dropping a bomb. Yes, as a matter of fact, this cut is chosen to enhance brilliance of the gem. Maximum possible light can be made to reflect from the gem cut in this shape and so the gems with unprecedented sparkle are cut in this shape for justifying the price tag. Characterised by 58 facets, this cut causes lot of waste as edges are completely smoothened off for the perfect shape.
Heart Shape: This is a variant of oval shape with a cleft at one end. Quite fit to be studded into heart-shaped pendants, the cleft is the characteristic feature of this cut and helps the seller to offer it at higher price to gemstone aficionados. Capable of producing a bow-tie effect, the gemstone cut in this shape are very beautiful to look at.
Emerald: A variety of rectangular cut having oblique edges. This cut makes the gemstone appear like a stair case where the edges are finished in a stair pattern. Thus, cut requires very high quality stones as it can expose the flaws quite clearly. Impurities are also very easily visible.
Baguette: Another interesting cut based on rectangular pattern used in making high priced gemstones, this is what Baguette is! Actually, the less common the cut is, more expert craftsmanship is required, which ultimately adds to the cost of the gemstone. These can be kept edge-to-edge for achieving a uniform look. A flat top and very much smoothened off sides characterise the shape of this cut. It may not sparkle much because of the less number of facets.
Buff Cut: This cut is quite common in men's gemstone jewellery. It is meant to provide more depth to shallow-looking cabochon cut. The top of the stone is made smoother by cutting en cabochon and the facets are made more prominent helping eye travel deeply towards the centre of stone. It is very much in use in making of diamond jewellery and in carving diamonds solitarily too.
Asscher Cut: It can simply be called square emerald cut. The facets are made step like and corners are cropped nicely for an even shape. Stepped facets run parallel to the length of the girdle and makes way for enhanced brightness in a diamond stone. It is named by famous Asscher Brothers who are known for cutting the Cullinan Diamond for King Edward VII.
Barion Cut: This cut is not an individual cut but a conglomerate of cuts that are grouped under the category named as Barion cut. The name is coined by famous lapidary Basil Watermeyer who took the first letter of his name and replaced it with the first letter of her wife's name Marion. The cut is identified with the help of quarter moon shaped facets and is believed to be one of the most used mixed variety of cuts. It is an advancement over the step cut.
Briolette Cut: This cut finds its use mostly in making of earrings and pendants. The gemstone is supposed to stay hung in the jewellery item and is desired to sparkle brilliantly in this position. Therefore, the facets are kept triangular, large in number so that the sparkle can be maximized. This cut is applied mostly in beaded gemstones where the metal pin is made to stick to the interior of the stone with the help of glue, an arrangement that is considered useful in making of necklaces and beaded strands.
Cabochon Cut: It is a single flat bottom facet cut with all other facets dissolved to achieve a smooth, round dome shaped top. The dome is normally polished to achieve extra shine that fetches it more value. Bottom is supposed to be kept unpolished so that the gem is able to intake more light and shine brighter. One of the oldest cut in gems and jewellery industry, this is found to be of great use in jewellery items where smooth no-faceted look is desired.
Cushion Cut: Comforts of a cushion translated into a gemstone! This cut imparts cushion like appearance to the gemstone and is therefore, not a cutting style. A lapidary can incorporate variety of cuts in single stone to achieve the cushion-like appearance. This look is quite sought-after as it makes the gemstone appear fluffy as well as stuffed. A checkerboard table and a crown characterizes the look of this cut making it very stylish appearance wise.
Flower Cut: This cut was introduced to impart some creativity to colourless diamonds. As the colour is evidently absent from diamond and diamond like gemstones, hence this cut is used to add to the aesthetic value of these. This cut was mastered by ace lapidary Tolkowsky who was entrusted the responsibility of developing a stylish cut for diamonds by its ace dealers De Beers.
The cuts are actually nothing but the creative input of a lapidary to increase the desirability of a gemstone. List can never be exhausted; in fact, there will always be newer and better additions to it. This write-up is just an attempt to throw light on some of the popular cuts that got attention of collectors and made memorable landmarks in the history of gemstones sector.