Gemstones Shape and Cut

Gemstones Shape and Cut

Gemstones Shape and Cut

As a jewelry design student, I was always confused between two terms: Gemstones Shape and Cut. I never really understood the difference as sometimes same word was used in textbooks and websites to describe the shape and cut of the stone. For e.g: Trillion can be a shape, but it is also a cut in gemology.
But after researching on the internet and asking my tutors, here is what I concluded:
While the ‘Shape‘ may refer to the face-up outline form of a gemstone, ‘Cut‘ on the other hand, refers to the style in which facets are cut, shaped and arranged while cutting a gemstone.

Types of Cuts
There are five major cuts a faceter gives to a gemstone. They are:

  • Brilliant Cut:

In a brilliant cut, triangular and kite-shaped facets are being cut in the stone. These facets spread outward from the center of the stone. As the name suggests, a brilliant cut provides maximum brilliance to a gemstone, as it has the maximum number of facets.

  • Step Cut:

In a step cut, rectangular facets are being cut in the stone. These facets ascend the crown and descend the pavillion in steps. Step cut looks great as it enhances the stone’s color, clarity and gives it as subtle shine.

  • Rose Cut:

In a rose cut, triangular facets rise to form a faceted mound or dome. While the top is always faceted, the bottom might either have a faceted pavilion or a cabochon flat base.

  • Checkerboard Cut:

In a checkerboard cut, square or kite-shaped facets rise to form a faceted mound or dome. Checkerboard and rose cut, both look similar, and just like rose cut, checkerboard might either have a faceted pavilion or a cabochon flat base. Both seem to have a dome shaped crown like a cabochon, however, unlike cabochon, they are faceted.

  • Cabochon Cut:

In a cabochon cut, The top is polished and rounded into dome shapes. Cabs are generally cut in circles or oval shapes, but gem cutters also give them fancy shapes, such as rectangle and square. These stones however get creases, but these creases are softer and rounder as compared to the edges of a faceted stone. A cabochon with a domed top and flat base is called a single cabochon, and a cabochon with both top and bottom are rounded is called a double cabochon.

  • Mixed Cut:

In a mixed cut, a stone is cut with a combination of step cut and brilliant cut, Facets are cut on the crown, and step facets are cut on the pavillion, or vice versa. Mixed cut can also combine cabochon cut and facets. 
While facets work best with transparent stones as they have more brilliance, cabochons are usually preferred in opaque stones

These days lapidaries are experimenting with new cuts everyday. Customized stones are being cut, therefore a lot of shapes and cuts are available in the market. 

Therefore, I am introducing you to 16 different major stone cuts that are available in the market and are widely used in the jewelry industry.

Cut: Brilliant

Shape: Round

Cut: Brilliant

Shape: Oval

Cut: Brilliant

Shape: Pear

Cut: Brilliant

Shape: Marquise

Cut: Heart modified brilliant

Shape: Heart

Cut: Trillion (Triangle modified brilliant)

Shape: Triangle

Cut: Princess (Square modified brilliant)

Shape: Square

Cut: Radiant (Square modified Brilliant)

Shape: Octagon/Square with beveled corners

Cut: Cushion (Rectangle modified Brilliant)

Shape: Octagon/Rectangle with beveled corners

Cut: Baguette/Step Cut

Shape: Rectangle

Cut: Emerald (Rectangle modified step cut)

Shape: Octagon/Rectangle with beveled corners

Cut:  Octagon (Rectangle modified step cut)

Shape: Octagon/Rectangle with beveled corners

Cut: Asscher (Square modified step cut)

Shape: Octagon/Square with beveled corners

Cut: Rose Cut

Shape: Round

Cut: Briolette (Drop modified Rose cut)

Shape: Drop

Cut: Cabochon

Shape: Round

I hope you find these illustrations accurate and helpful.

If my guide helped you to learn about different stones shapes and cuts, please follow Gemeena Blogs for our weekly blogs. Also follow us on our social media handles @gemeenajewelcraftz and @swastikagarg. To refer to more such blogs, visit Blogs by Gemeena Jewelcraftz.

18 thoughts on “Gemstones Shape and Cut

  1. rozza says:

    What’s best about this post is the illustrations you have drawn to show the top, bottom and side views of a specific cut. Thanks!

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