When grading and appraising gem stone, cut may not be as influential as the other C's like color, clarity, and carat weight, but it is definitely an influencing factor when it comes to the gem stones overall beauty. To properly evaluate the gem stone cut, you must not only study its face-up view or the surface or top view but study it from all other angles as well. An excellent gem stone cut can reduce loss on carat weight but enhance its looks to breathtaking proportions at the same time.
Common Cuts Used for Gem Stones Cut
A brilliant-cut gem stone usually has three flat polished surfaces per facet. They are positioned in such a way to radiate the best light from the gem stone. Gem stone cutters also make sure that the angles will enhance the brilliance of the gem stone. Brilliant cut is mostly used for diamonds and transparent gem stone cut.
Some facets will have one or more shapes like stars, hearts, kites, and lozenges. Variations of the brilliant cut include the naiveté or boat-shaped marquise, per-shaped pendeloque, and oval shape. Oval shapes are suitable for gem stones with lower carat weight because they can make them appear bigger.
The most popular variation of all is the full-cut round brilliant. It has fifty-eight facets, presently the greatest count for brilliant cut gem stones. The single brilliant cut, on the other hand, has seventeen to eighteen facets. For gem stones used in earrings and pendants, the briolette variation is mostly used to provide it with circular cross-section teardrop shapes. Brilliant cut with triangular dimensions are called trilliants while square brilliant cut are also known as princess cut.
Another popular gem stone cut is the step cut or trap cut. Step cut is best used for colored gem stones because they possess four-sided table facets and girdles as well as parallel quadrilateral facets. The term step cut was used because this gem stone cut bears similarities with a staircase. Step cut has fewer facets than brilliant cut.
One well-known variation of a step cut is the baguette. It is rectangular in shape but with square corners. Emerald cuts are also quite popular. Its name was derived from its consistent use with emeralds. Emerald cuts remove the corners and form an octagonal shape. Clipping off the corners protect delicate gem stones like emeralds and facilitate setting of gem stones at the same time. Other popular variations for step cuts are window, table, radiant, and oval.
The best advantage of step cut is its ability to enhance a gem stones color, making the color richer and appearing to have originated straight from the belly of the gemstone.
Mixed cut for gem stones are mostly combinations of brilliant and step cut. The crown or top portion of a gem stone will resemble a brilliant cut while the pavilion or bottom portion of a gem stone will receive a step cut. At times, the two cuts will appear side by side. Mixed cuts are also characterized by their rounded outlines. Many transparent gem stones like rubies and sapphires are often cut this way. Gem stones with mixed cuts are also commonly set in prongs.
Variations for mixed cuts include but are not limited to cushion, zircut, pear or teardrop, and oval.
A gem stone with a cabochon cut will appear rounded on top and flat on the bottom. At times, gem stones will only appear in this cut. Height of a gem stones dome with a cabochon cut varies. The name is derived from the French term used for bald heads. Cabochon cuts are simplest to make, and that's why you'll often see them used on affordable gem stones and those that will not benefit from faceting.
Any other gem stone cut besides those mentioned above is usually referred to as fancy cut. A checkerboard cut, for instance, will have a combination of a large table facet on top and a mixed cut. A rose cut will have a round girdle outline, flat base, dome-shaped crown, and facets of a brilliant cut.
When judging the gem stone cut, start by evaluating it face up. See if the gem stone shows uniform color distribution and radiates light in the best possible way. Gem stones cut with large windows are unappealing. Lastly, recheck all other angles and determine if the cut took both carat weight and looks into consideration.