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 Home / Gem Library / Resources / Fashioning a Gemstone November 21, 2017  

Fashioning a Gemstone

The most usual method of fashioning a gem is to cut the surface into a number of flat faces, known as facets. This gives the stone its final shape and "cut". Polishing is the oldest form of fashioning. Carving produces three-dimensional objects by cutting them from a larger mass of material and engraved images are made by scratching out lines or holes to leave a raises image.


Gemstone cut has the greatest impact on the beauty of the stone. The cut impacts how the stone refracts light, how it reflects light and its depth of colour. The most popular fashioning methods of colour gemstones may be divided in six main categories:
  • Brilliant–Cuts
  • Step–Cuts
  • Mixed–Cuts
  • Fancy–Cuts
  • Polishing
Brilliant–Cuts

The brilliant–cut is the most popular diamonds, and for many colourless gemstones. It ensures that maximum light is reflected out through the front giving brightness and fire.

Round Brilliant Cut Round Brilliant Cut Round Brilliant Cut Round Brilliant Cut Pear Brilliant Cut Pear Brilliant Cut

The brilliant–cuts is the most popular diamonds, and for many colourless gemstones. It ensures that maximum light is reflected out through the front giving brightness and fire.

Variations in the outline give a oval, the per-shaped pendeloque, and boat-shaped marquise or navette.
The round brilliant cut maximizes light refraction. The brilliant cut may have as many as 58 facets and may have one or more shapes, such as a heart or a star, cut into the bottom. Oval produces a larger appearance for a smaller carat weight.


Step–Cuts

The step–cut (or trap cut) shows colour gemstones to advantage, having a rectangular or square table facet and gridle, with parallel rectangular facets.

Square Step cut Emerald Step cut Square Step cut Octagonal Step cut Square Step cut Window Step cut

The corners of fragile gems may be removed making octagonal stones –as, for example, in most emeralds.

Variations in the outline give a emerald, square, radiant, octagon, some ovals, baguette and many other table cuts.
Very popular emerald cut was perfected on the emerald and is intended to intensify a stone’s colour. The deeper the stone’s "belly", the richer the perceived colour.


Mixed–Cuts

Mixed–Cut stones are usually rounded in outline, with the crowns (above the gridle) cut as brilliants, and the pavilions step-cut.

Pear Mixed Cut Cushion Mixed Cut Cushion Mixed Cut Mixed Cut Zircon Mixed Cut

Sapphires and Rubies, and most transparent colour gemstones are cut in this style.

Variations in the outline give a cushion, pear or teardrop, and some ovals.
The pear very popular cut for colour stones and diamonds though it is typically prong-set.


Fancy–Cuts

These have several possible outlines, such as a triangular, kite-shaped, lozenge-shaped, pentagonal or hexagonal.

Trilliant Fancy Cut Marquise Fancy Cut Heart Fancy Cut Heart Fancy Cut Pentagon Fancy Cut Hexagon Fancy Cut

The marquise is a derivative of the pear or teardrop shape. It is common in solitaire rings. It also provides a larger look, with less weight than the pear or teardrop shape. The heart shape is a favourite of lovers and gift-givers everywhere.

Variations in the outline give a hexagon, pentagon, trilliant, marquise, heart,stepped crown, step cut briolette, rondelle, star, scissors, twisted triangle and some pears.
Trilliant features a deep belly and typically has bowed-out sides. The marquise is a derivative of the pear or teardrop shape and it is common in solitaire rings providing a larger look, with less weight than the pear or teardrop shape. The heart shape is a favourite of lovers and gift-givers everywhere.


Polishing

Dark-coloured stones gemstones and those that are translucent or opaque, for instance opal and jade, are often polished rather than faceted, as are organic gems.

Cabochon Cabochon Cabochon

Gemstones may be polished as beads or as flat pieces to be used in inlay work, or cut en cabochon.

Spherical gems such as pearls usually pierced and threaded as beads on necklaces. Gem fragments of similar hardness may be turned into attractive pebbles.
A cabochon features a smooth, rounded, polished surface with no facets. The bottom of a cabochon-cut stone is usually flat or nearly flat.




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