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Diamond & Gemstone Cut Shapes

A Full Guide on Defining Features and History Of Diamonds Cut Shapes

Asscher

Also known as the Square Emerald cut, it is a fusion of a princess and an emerald cut. The defining characteristic of Asscher cut shape is an equal length and width, as a square would, but has angled corners giving it an octagon shape. The Asscher cut has 58 facets, the same as a round brilliant. This arrangement of these facets gives it a unique hall of mirrors look. Its rectangular facets allow for a lot of light to enter giving off large flashes. The brilliance of its faceting can mask certain inclusions and lower color grades.

This cut was developed by the Asscher brothers of Holland in 1902 and remained prevalent through the 1920’s. In 2001, the Asscher cut underwent some modifications developing the Modern Asscher or Royal Asscher cut. This version increased the number of facets from 58 to 74 and introduced wider corners.  The Asscher Cut has a vintage charm as it was most popular during the Art Deco era of the 1920s. Buyers of Asscher’s have an attraction to that vintage aesthetic.

 

Baguette

The baguette cut has a slender elongated rectangular shape. Often baguette’s have a 5-to-1 ratio of length to width. This cut has 14 facets that are step cut. They have large straight facets arranged in parallel lines on all four sides. Many people often confuse baguette with emerald as they are also a step cut stone. This cut maximizes clarity since there are much fewer facets to hide any imperfections. They require fewer cuts than other gemstone shapes, making it very important to cut them properly. Baguette cut stones can be regular or tapered, meaning two sides are tapered inward, resembling a trapezoid. The tapered variation works particularly well as side stones to a round centerpiece. Baguette cut stones typically smaller in size, often less than one carat. Consequently, they are measured according to their dimensions, and not by carat weight. Baguette’s make a perfect accent stone; this cut is rarely used as central stones. Their unique shape allows Baguette stones to be set side by side without gaps, unlike round cut. This cut also makes it a great for an eternity ring.

The term Baguette originated from the Italian word “bacchetta”, meaning little stick; bacchio, meaning rod, or from the French word baguette, which is an oblong loaf a bread befitting this cuts shape. In the early 1900 Cartier made the cut exceptionally popular, during the Art Deco and Art Nouveau movements. Due to its clean lines and geometric appearance. Which was a drastic change from the traditional round cut. The baguette cut is the perfect cross between vintage and modern. With its classic appearance. It is evocative of the Art deco style, although its appearance poses to modern minimalism style.

 

Briolette

A Briolette style cut features an elongated, faceted pear shape. The briolette cut features 84 triangular shaped facets covering its entire surface.  It’s a distinctive cut that doesn’t have the usual Table, Crown, and Pavilion. It is one of the oldest gem cutting techniques. Often this cut has a hole drilled at the top to hang as a bead. Primarily found in earrings or pendants. Briolette’s reflect light from all its triangular facets, presenting with a chandelier appearance. That gives a wonderful display of color and radiance.  For that reason, the Briolette is a very difficult shape to cut.A gemstone cutter can only cut about 5 to 10 briolette’s a day.  This makes Briolette cut diamonds extremely rare and expensive.

The Briolette cut originated in India as early as the 12th century, and then was brought to Europe with the famous French trader Jean-Baptiste Tavernier. It became popular in the 17th century before the emergence of more modern cuts such as round brilliant. Briolette’s were often used in crowns worn by royals. Making it popular cut during the Victorian, and Edwardian periods. The Smithsonian Institution has a 275-carat (55.0 g) diamond briolette necklace presented by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1811 to his Empress consort Marie Louise.

Cabochon

A cabochon, otherwise known as cab, is a simple polished gemstone without any facets. It has a flat bottom and a rounded top. The traditional Cabochon cut is oval, but any shape can be cut in Cabochon style. This cut will minimize the appearance of scratches, many jewelers will opt to use for cutting softer gemstones. Certain gemstones are ideal to be cut as cabochon to reveal a gems’ special characteristics such as, the star effect found in sapphires, the cat’s eye effect found in tourmaline, tiger’s eye, and chrysoberyl, the iridescence flashes in opal, moonstone, and labradorite. Also ideal for a Cabochon cut include those that are opaque like turquoise, jade, and agate.  Cabochons date back to early Judaic, Greek and Roman time periods. Cabochons were widely popular during the late 13th century in Europe. Before the advent of modern cutting technology and knowledge of faceting.

 

Cushion

Also known as a pillow cut, has 64 facets featuring a square shape with gently rounded corners, giving it a cushion appearance. It was once referred to as the old mine cut, among other nicknames. This cut maximizes utilizing the raw gem, while maintaining magnificent gem luster and brilliance.  Being one of the deeper cuts, they have a smaller face-up size than most shapes. That means you might want to look for a stone with a slightly larger carat weight. This classic cut has been around for almost 200 years, it was the most popular diamond shape up until the 20th century. In the 1920’s Marcel Tolkowsky, made refinements to the cushion such as shrinking the culet, and enlarging the table, which improved cut angles to increased brilliance.

 

Emerald

An emerald cut emphasizes long parallel step cuts along with cropped corners to create an octagon-like shape. Although most emerald cuts are rectangular; square variations exist, called square emerald cuts. Featuring 50 facets, this cut presents with fewer facets than round or square cuts. The emphasis on this cut focuses on the gem’s clarity and color. Making Emerald cuts more expensive than others for diamonds of the same size because you need to choose a higher color and clarity. This cut was initially designed for cutting emeralds. Since they naturally present with multiple inclusions and are difficult to cut as they are prone to chip. The Emerald cut decreased the pressure during cutting protecting the stone from damage. Eventually, this cut was used for diamonds and other gemstones. The emerald cut origins date back to the 1500’s.

Heart Shaped

The heart cut features 59 facets, each reflecting the light in the diamond equally. A heart shaped is a kind of modified brilliant cut, as faceting pattern offers the same dazzling sparkle of a traditional round brilliant cut.  Importantly for the heart cut is the symmetry of the gemstone. The two halves must be perfectly equal, the cleft should be sharp, and the sides should be slightly rounded. Instantly recognizable, heart shaped cut as a diamond can look fantastic, while offering terrific value over a similarly sized round diamond.

Recorded as early as the 14th century the heart shape cut has royal roots. In 1463, the Duke of Milan, named Galeazzo Maria Sforza, has documented written correspondence for his request of a heart shaped diamond. In 1562. Mary Queen of Scots sent England’s Queen Elizabeth I a heart-shaped diamond ring. This gesture has gone down in history as a devoted symbol of friendship and kindness between royals. To this day heart shaped gemstones have remained a popular cut. Often popular in choice for earrings, pendants, and gemstone solitaire rings. The heart has been a symbol synonymous with love.

 

Marquise

The marquise cut also known as Navette Cut is an elongated oval with pointed ends. Marquises are usually cut with length to width proportions of 1.75 -2.25 to 1, with the ideal being 2 to 1, and crafted with 57 facets. Striving for perfect symmetry the two end points must line up with each other precisely and the two halves of the stone should be perfect copies of each other. It is a type of a modified brilliant cut, meaning it was cut to reflect light while offering maximum sparkle and color. Though it first appeared as a cut for diamonds, it has become popular for other gemstones. This cut is a very good option for rings, especially for people who have long fingers.

The History of the Marquise starts in the 1700’s with Louis XV known as an avid diamond lover who was inspired Jean Antoinette Poisson smile at a ball in Versailles. The King made her his chief mistress with place in his court as the Marquise de Pompadour, He than commissioned a royal jeweler to create a design and shape of diamond that looked most like her lips. The marquise cut is a chic silhouette that’s popularity trickled down to mainstream in the late 60s. Over time the cut had become popular in bridal jewelry, known as my mother’s diamond.

Octagon

The octagon cut has 53 facets running parallel to its girdle both above and below. Its culet does not arrive at a single point as in a round brilliant cut; instead, its facets on the pavilion join along a ridge. This cut is another variation of step-cut approach, where the stone is crafted with rows of wide, flat, concentric facets that resemble steps as if in a staircase along the gemstone’s circumference.  This cut best to showing off a gemstone’s deep color. When selecting a gemstone for an octagon cut, it is important to choose one with beautiful color and free from inclusions. As this cut will showcases any inclusions that a gem may have.

Oval

Oval cut presents with 58 facets. When viewed from the top and can be described as a hybrid between round and marquise shapes. Because they have more sparkle, ovals hide inclusions much better than cushions. The Oval cut was created by Lazare Kaplan in the late 1950’s a diamond cutter from Russia, who had a reputation for being able to turn the flawed diamonds into beautiful works of art. This cut is said represent the longevity of your relationship, making the oval cut a popular diamond ring. This cuts compliments appearance can make one’s fingers look thinner and longer.

Pear

The pear cut also known as teardrop, a Pear cut gemstone can be described as a hybrid between an oval cut and a Marquise cut with a tapered point on one end. It is a type of a modified Round Brilliant cut featuring 71 facets which reflect light stunningly. Like a round cut diamond, it is a brilliant cut known for high sparkle. When crafting a Pear cut gemstone, it is important to aim for perfect symmetry. The point should align with the peak of the rounded end. Pear cut gemstones require a special 6 prong setting, with a prong to maintain support for its fragile point.

The first Pear cut diamond was crafted in the mid 1400’s by a Flemish Diamond cutter named Lodewyk van Bercken had just invented a diamond-polishing wheel, known as a scaif. The invention pioneered enabling him to place facets onto a diamond rough with complete symmetry. After creating this wheel, he invented the pear cut diamond!

 

Princess

A Princess Cut is a step cut has a large flat table. The princess cut is a modified version of the brilliant cut with 76 facets. Although there are other versions with at least 45 facets. The technical description for the princess cut is “a square modified brilliant cut”. There many variations on the princess cut. Ideally a princess-cut stone should be fully square with a 1:1 length to width ratio. This step cut emphasizes color and luster.

The history of princess cut has its origins start in 1961, when Aprad Nagy of London developed what is now known as the profile cut characterized by flatter top. Following this style Basil Watermeyer, a diamond cutter of Johannesburg in 1971 developed the Barion cut. Although the Barion cut was patented. In 1979 the modified version known as the princess cut was created in the by Ygal Perlman, Betzalel Ambar and Israel Itzkowitz of Israel. The princess cut is a modern design, but one which has become astoundingly popular. As it has become the world’s second most popular shape, after the round brilliant cut. It is widely used for diamond and colored gemstones as.

Radiant

The radiant cut diamond is a stunningly symmetrical. similar to the emerald cut, the radiant cut is a rectangular cut with beveled corners. The beveled corners also protect the gemstone from damage. Radiant cut stones typically feature 70 facets, which enhance overall brilliance and fire. This cut makes it more brilliant than emerald cuts and better at hiding inclusions. Overall, the radiant cut showcases the intricacy and sparkle of a gemstone.  Making this shape a popular choice for colored diamonds, as they capture more rough diamond color than other cuts.

The radiant cut was created in 1977 by Henry Grossbard, focused on having an intricate facet pattern on the pavilion of the stone as well as the crown. Every other rectangular-shaped diamond before this release had fewer facets, and less attention to the fine details. In 2002, RCDC debuted its own original radiant cut.

Round Brilliant

The most popular style of faceting for diamonds. A brilliant-cut stone is round in plain view and has 58 facets, 33 of which are above the girdle and 25 of which are below. When the stone is cut so that the facets of the crown an angle of 35° to the plane of the girdle and those of the pavilion an angle of 41°. This allows the maximum amount of light entering the crown that will be reflected through the crown by the pavilion, and the diamond will have extravagant brilliance and a high degree of fire.

Introduced in the 17th century by the Venetian gem-cutter Vicenti Peruzzi. In 1919 Marcel Tolkowsky improved the Round Brilliant Cut. Then he was credited with coining the terms brilliance, fire, and sparkle when it comes to evaluating and grading diamonds. Originally developed exclusively for diamonds, the Round Brilliant cut is now widely used for gemstones as well such as, ruby, sapphire, emerald, and zircon.

 

Trilliant

Trilliant cut, sometimes called a Trillion, Trillian, or Trielle is a triangular cut. That is a facet style based on the brilliant cut. The basic trilliant design has 43 facets, but modern variations may have 50 or more factes. Trilliants are almost always cut with a 1:1 length to width ratio. The cuts variations may feature curved or uncurved sides. The shape of the top surface, or table, also may vary. Due to their equilateral form, trilliants return substantial light and color. An ideal cut for light-colored gems such as Diamonds, or Aquamarine.  Some cutters use trilliants to lighten and brighten the appearance of darker gemstones such as Amethyst, Garnet, and Tanzanite.

With a lively modern history, the Trillion cut was introduced by the Asscher brothers in Amsterdam During the 18th century. Later during the 1960s Leon Finker created his version on the triangular brilliant cut diamond which he called and patented as the Trillion Cut, this was used until 1986. Later  Mr. Finker gave the term “trillion” to the trade in a half-page advertisement in the New York Times and announced that their Patented Cut would now be known as Trielle®.At the same time In 1960’s Henry Meyer Diamond Company of New York. who was also cutting triangular brilliant diamonds, and used the same diamond cutters, though their stones were cut slightly differently. Henry Meyer referred to his diamond cut as Trilliant.  In 1986 when a federal court judge decided that the words “Trillion” and “Trilliant” were phonetically equivalent. {Leon Finker, Inc. v. Schlussel, 469 F. Supp. 674 (S.D.N.Y. 1979)}. Since trilliant was a concatenation of the generic term “triangular brilliant,” it could no longer be a registered trademark. Following the end of the trademark, the term “Trillion Cut” is used to refer to all triangular-shaped gems, even step cut, and cabochon stones.

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