Stone Cut Guide

Stone Cut Guide

  • Briolette

    The briolette is a popular cut of gemstone used when the gemstone is hanging (i.e. as a drop on an earring), rather than set into a piece of jewellery.

    The briolette is a pear shaped drop which has been faceted all over, meaning it is covered in a series of flat planes. There is no table/flat top to this style of gemstone. Due to this, the briolette is one of the most difficult cuts of gemstone to produce.

    It is believed that the briolette cut originated from India approximately 800 years ago, and was brought back from India to France, where it become a favourite cut amongst the nobility until the late 17th century, when gem cutting techniques advanced and new styles of gemstone cuts were introduced.

    Briolette can be costly to produce in more precious gemstones, due to the number of facets which need to be cut, and the large amount of rough material needed. However briolettes retain a certain charm due to their ability to reflect light in any direction.

  • Briolette
  • Cabochon

    A cabochon cut is a domed cut of gemstone that features no flat sides, other than the flat bottom of the stone. A cabochon cut is typically oval in shape and highly polished.

    Cabochon cuts are the more ancient form of gemstone cutting and cabochon gemstones have been used in jewellery for centuries before the introduction of faceted gemstones in the 13th century.

    The name ‘cabochon’ comes from the French word caboche, which means head.

  • Cabochon
  • Checkerboard

    This cut is popular on larger, coloured gemstones – and is often applied to cushion cut stones. The checkerboard cut involves the faceting of the table and crown of the gemstone only. This means the top of the gemstone only is cut into small flat planes.

    Checkerboard cut stones exhibit beautiful refractions of light.

  • Checkerboard
  • Cushion

    The cushion cut is a classic shape of stone. It is rectangular to square in shape, with rounded corners. The name originated from the stone’s resemblance in shape to a cushion or pillow.

    There are three different types of cushion cuts: the Antique Cushion cut which is more rectangular in shape; the Square Antique Cushion which is more square in shape; and the Antique Cushion Triangle which is triangular in shape.

    The top of most cushion cut gemstones often have a checkerboard cut.

    Whilst the cushion cut doesn’t shine as brilliantly as a round brilliant cut, the cushion cut shape is still popular today due its’ romantic appearance.

  • Cushion
  • Marquise

    The marquise cut gemstone is known for its’ elongated oval shape with pointed ends.

    This marquise cut originated in the 18th century, when King Louis of France commissioned the court jewellers to create a diamond that reflected the smile of his mistress. The name of the stone is derives from this association with royalty, as the name refers to the societal rank. A marquise stone may also be called the navette cut, which refers to the shape of the stone; navette is the French word for little ship.

    The cutting of a gemstone into a marquise shape means there is little wastage of the rough stone, making the most of the gemstone’s carat weight. The marquise cut gemstone provides a good colour.

    A marquise cut gemstone is a very flattering shape for a woman’s finger as it makes her fingers look very slender.

  • Marquise
  • Oval

    An oval cut gemstone is cut with 69 flat planes or surfaces. A good oval cut gemstone can shine as brightly as a round brilliant cut. Unlike the round brilliant cut though, due to the larger table, the oval cut gemstone will showcase any flaws, so usually only gemstones of a good quality are cut into this shape.

    On average, an oval cut gemstone should have a length that is twice the size of the width.

  • Oval
  • Pear Shape

    The pear shaped gemstone resembles a teardrop in shape. It is available in a wide variety of different proportions, although the ideal pear shape should be one and half times longer than its’ width.

    The pear shape cut works particularly well for coloured gemstones, as it shows the colour very dramatically.

  • Pear Shape
  • Round Brilliant

    The round brilliant cut was specifically designed for diamonds, but today many gemstones are cut into this style.

    The round brilliant cut style is designed to maximise the brilliance of the light, allowing the gemstone to sparkle.

    The round brilliant cut was developed by a Russian mathematician Tolkowsky, whom calculated the number of cuts needed to create the ideal diamond shape. In a round brilliant cut gemstone, there should be 57 flat planes or facets, and the height should be 58% of the diameter.

  • Round Brilliant