Don’t you just love gemstones? They’re like the jellybeans of adults. You just want a big collection of them in different colors, shapes, and sizes! But before collecting them, how much do you actually know about them and how they differ among each other?
The gemstone, in its natural and raw form, is often rough and unattractive. In fact, even the prettiest of the natural uncut gem stones will not appear beautiful to you if you happen to see them. So how does it turn into the gemstones that we see in jewelry stores? This is where gemstone cuts come in. The cutting of gem stones is required because many gem stones have a strong and rigid crystalline structure and are too hard and brittle to be shaped any other way. In addition to that, a well-defined shape does indeed look more appealing to the eye, right?
There are four basic styles of gem cutting: tumbling, cabbing, faceting and carving. There are also a number of ways to assemble stones into mosaic like patterns, called intarsia, pietra dura, pietre dure, or parchin kari. We will focus more on the the types of gemstone cuts here.
The reason for gem stone cuts, in addition to looking elegant, varies from stone to stone. For the diamond, cutting the gem stone is needed to get the brilliance the diamond is famous for. Other reasons for cutting a gem stone is to achieve a particular shape or style for a specific piece of jewelry.
There are many types of gem stone cuts today and they vary from checkerboard cut, brilliant cut, emerald cut, round cut, square cut, triangle cut, rose cut, baguette cut, trilliant cut, marquise cut, heart cut, gem stone cut cabochon, and octagon cut, to name a few. But the list does go on and on.
The standard and most recognized shapes, however, are the rounds, squares and rectangles. A rectangle with the corners trimmed off is called an emerald cut. Ovals require more effort to cut than a round and it is this reason why they are fancy. Heart and pear shaped gems require more work though.
The gemstone cut called cushion, on the other hand, are almost square or rectangular but the side sides are gently curved. A shield is symmetrical from side to side, but not top to bottom. They come in a variety of proportions, with different numbers of sides too. Other elegant gemstone cuts include rhomboids and parallelograms, as well as triangles and hexagons.