Different Types of Gemstone Cuts – A Comprehensive Guide

Gemstones, prized for their beauty and rarity, undergo various cuts to enhance their brilliance and allure. The art of gemstone cutting, also known as lapidary, encompasses a wide array of techniques aimed at maximizing a gem’s inherent qualities. Different types of gemstone cuts not only showcase the stone’s natural color and clarity but also play a pivotal role in determining its overall aesthetic appeal. From traditional cuts like the round brilliant to more intricate designs such as the emerald cut, each style offers a unique character and charm, catering to diverse tastes and preferences.

The round brilliant cut, with its symmetrical facets and unparalleled sparkle, remains a timeless favorite, particularly for diamonds. On the other hand, the princess cut, characterized by its square shape and sharp corners, exudes modern elegance and sophistication. Meanwhile, the emerald cut, featuring elongated step-cut facets, emphasizes a gem’s clarity and luster, making it a popular choice for emeralds and other transparent stones.

Beyond these well-known cuts, there exists a myriad of other styles, each with its own distinctive features and allure. From the vintage appeal of the cushion cut to the geometric precision of the asscher cut, the world of types of gemstone cuts offers endless possibilities for creating exquisite jewelry pieces that capture the imagination and leave a lasting impression.

Different Types of Gemstone Cuts

Trillion Cut

The trillion cut, also known as the trilliant or triangular cut, is a popular gemstone cut characterized by its triangular shape with pointed corners. This cut is often used for various gemstones including diamonds, sapphires, and other colored gemstones. The trillion cut is designed to maximize brilliance and fire, similar to round brilliant cuts, while offering a unique and distinctive appearance. It’s a versatile cut that can be used in various types of jewelry including rings, earrings, and pendants. The precise proportions and angles of the trillion cut can vary, affecting the overall brilliance and sparkle of the gemstone.

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Round Cut

A round cut, also known as a round brilliant cut, is one of the most popular and classic cuts for gemstones, especially diamonds. It is designed to maximize the brilliance, fire, and scintillation of the gemstone by precisely arranging the facets on the crown (top) and pavilion (bottom) of the stone. Here are some key points about the round cut:

Shape: The round cut is circular in its outline when viewed from the top or bottom.

Facet Arrangement: A standard round brilliant cut diamond features 57 or 58 facets arranged in a specific pattern. This includes:

33 facets on the crown (top)

25 facets on the pavilion (bottom)

Proportions: The proportions of the cut, such as the table size, crown angle, pavilion angle, and girdle thickness, are carefully calculated to optimize light reflection and refraction within the gemstone.

Symmetry: Precise symmetry in the facet arrangement and proportions is crucial for maximizing the optical performance and beauty of the round cut.

Brilliance: The round cut is designed to reflect light from the pavilion facets to the crown facets, creating a brilliant and sparkling effect.

Pear Cut

The pear cut, also known as the teardrop or pear-shaped cut, is a popular gemstone cut characterized by its rounded bottom end and a single pointed top end, resembling a teardrop. This cut is often used for diamonds, as well as other gemstones such as sapphires, emeralds, and tourmalines.

The pear cut is versatile and can be used in various types of jewelry, including rings, earrings, pendants, and necklaces. It’s known for its elegance and unique shape, offering a combination of brilliance and sophistication. The proportions of a pear-cut gemstone can vary, affecting its overall appearance and sparkle.

When selecting a pear-cut gemstone, it’s essential to consider the symmetry of the shape, ensuring that both sides are balanced and the point is centered. This cut is also popular for engagement rings and can be set in various styles, including solitaire settings, halo settings, and three-stone settings.

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Emerald Cut

The emerald cut is a specific cut for a gemstone, characterized by its rectangular or square shape with cropped corners. It is a type of step cut, meaning the facets (flat surfaces) of the gem are arranged in a series of parallel steps that go down from the crown (top) to the pavilion (bottom) of the stone. 

The emerald cut was originally developed in the 1500s specifically for panna stones, as it helped to preserve the stone’s inherent brittleness and highlight its color. Today, the emerald cut is used for a wide variety of gemstones, including diamonds, aquamarine, rubies, and sapphires.

Here are some of the key characteristics of the emerald cut:

Shape: Rectangular or square with cropped corners

Facets: Parallel steps

Brilliance: Subdued compared to brilliant cuts, but can showcase the stone’s clarity and color

Durability: Good, but the corners are still susceptible to chipping.

The emerald cut is a popular choice for those who appreciate a classic and elegant look. It can also be a good option for stones that are included, as the step cuts can help to hide these imperfections.

Cushion Cut

The cushion cut is another popular and distinctive cut for gemstones, particularly diamonds. It combines a square or rectangular outline with curved sides and rounded corners, giving it a soft, pillow-like appearance. Here are the key characteristics of a cushion cut:

Shape: The cushion cut can have a square or rectangular outline, with curved sides and rounded corners. This shape resembles a cushion or pillow, hence the name.

Facet Arrangement: Cushion cuts typically have a brilliant-cut facet pattern, with 58 facets arranged in a specific configuration. This includes:

33 facets on the crown (top)

25 facets on the pavilion (bottom)

Proportions: The proportions of a cushion cut, such as the table size, crown angle, pavilion angle, and girdle thickness, can vary depending on the desired balance between brilliance and dispersion.

Brilliance and Fire: Cushion cuts can exhibit excellent brilliance and fire, with the curved surfaces and facet arrangement allowing for optimal light reflection and dispersion.

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Baguette Cut

The baguette cut is a long, rectangular gemstone cut with 14 facets, resembling the shape of a French baguette bread. It is a step cut, meaning its facets are arranged in parallel lines that create a hall of mirrors effect, showcasing the stone’s clarity and depth of color. 

While the baguette cut can be used for any gemstone, it is most commonly seen in diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, and rubies. It is a popular choice for side stones in rings and bracelets, as well as for creating geometric patterns in jewelry.

Here are some things to keep in mind when considering a baguette cut gemstone:

Clarity: Because of the baguette cut’s minimal facets, it is important to choose a stone with high clarity, as any flaws will be more visible.

Color: Baguette cuts are a great way to showcase the color of a gemstone, so consider choosing a stone with a vibrant or deep color.

Durability: The baguette cut’s sharp corners can be more prone to chipping than other cuts, so it is important to be careful when wearing jewelry with baguette cut stones.

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Asscher Cut 

The Asscher cut is a vintage diamond cut that was first introduced in 1902 by the Asscher Brothers of Holland. It’s a step cut, meaning it has facets that resemble steps, and it’s typically square in shape with deeply trimmed corners. The Asscher cut is similar to the emerald cut, but it’s more square rather than rectangular.

In recent years, the Asscher cut has experienced a resurgence in popularity, especially in engagement rings and other fine jewelry pieces. While it was initially designed for diamonds, it can also be applied to other gemstones such as sapphires, emeralds, and more. The cut is known for its elegance, clarity, and ability to showcase the gemstone’s natural beauty.

Marquise Cut

The marquise cut is an elliptical shape with pointed ends, resembling a historical marquise ring or a boat’s hull. It is an elongated, navette (little boat) shaped cut that is intended to maximize the carat weight of the gemstone while creating a slender, elegant look.

Here are some key points about the marquise cut in gemstones:

Origins: The marquise cut dates back to the 18th century and is said to have been commissioned by King Louis XV of France for the Marquise de Pompadour.

Shape: It has an elongated, eye-shaped or boat-shaped outline with pointed ends. The length-to-width ratio is usually between 1.8 and 2.2.

Faceting: A well-cut marquise has 56 facets or flat surfaces that allow light to enter and reflect back out of the stone, creating brilliance and fire.

Optical Effects: The elongated shape creates an illusion of larger size compared to other cuts of the same carat weight. It also has a larger crown area that can enhance the stone’s brilliance.

Popular Gems: The marquise cut is suitable for diamonds as well as colored gemstones like rubies, sapphires, and emeralds. It is particularly flattering for gems with intense color saturation.

Setting: Marquise stones are commonly set with V-shaped prongs or bezel settings that protect the delicate pointed ends.

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Oval Cut

The oval cut is a popular gemstone cut that combines the brilliance of the round cut with the elegance of the elongated shape. It is known for its flattering appearance, as it can elongate the fingers and make them appear slimmer. Oval cut gemstones are also versatile and can be set in a variety of jewelry styles, from classic to modern. 

Diamonds: Oval cut diamonds are a popular choice for engagement rings and other jewelry pieces. They offer the same sparkle and fire as round cut diamonds, but with a more unique and elegant look.

Sapphires: Oval cut blue sapphires come in a variety of colors, including blue, pink, yellow, and green. They are a beautiful and durable gemstone that can be used in a variety of jewelry pieces.

Emeralds: Oval cut emeralds are a classic and elegant choice for jewelry. They have a rich green color and a unique brilliance that is sure to turn heads.

Rubies: Oval cut manik stones are a symbol of love and passion. They have a fiery red color that is both eye-catching and timeless.

Moissanite: Moissanite is a gemstone that is often used as a diamond simulant. It is more affordable than diamonds and has a similar sparkle and fire. Oval cut moissanite is a popular choice for those who want the look of a diamond without the high price tag.

Princess Cut

The Princess cut is a popular diamond cut that was developed in the 1960s. It’s known for its square or rectangular shape with pointed corners and a faceted pavilion, which gives it a brilliant sparkle. The Princess cut is characterized by its clean, modern lines and versatility, making it a popular choice for engagement rings and other fine jewelry pieces.

While the Princess cut was originally designed for diamonds, it can also be applied to various gemstones, including sapphires, rubies, emeralds, and more. Gemstones cut in the Princess style offer a contemporary and elegant look, with the facets enhancing their natural color and sparkle.

When selecting a Princess cut gemstone, it’s essential to consider factors such as clarity, color, and proportions to ensure the stone’s beauty is maximized. Gemstones with higher clarity grades tend to showcase the cut’s facets and brilliance more effectively. Additionally, the color of the gemstone can significantly impact its overall appearance, with vibrant and saturated colors often being preferred for the Princess cut to enhance its sparkle.

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Written By pmkkgems

Muskan Sain is a well-versed gemstone expert with over 8 years of experience in the field. She has received extensive training from a renowned gemological institute, which has equipped her with comprehensive knowledge and expertise in the identification, grading, and valuation of gemstones.


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