Which Gem Cuts Are Right for You

People often look at gem cuts before anything else when buying diamonds. Unfortunately, they can confuse a gemstone's cut with its shape. With so many options available in sizes, colors and styles of gemstones it is easy to see why this happens. Many people are surprised to learn that what they think is a cut is really a stone's shape.

In the gemstone industry, there are two basic gem cuts:

Brilliant: In this cut, all of the polished plane surfaces of the stone (otherwise called a facet) are triangle-shaped and flow into each other to form bring out the brilliance and help create the gemstone's shape.

Step: This is a simpler cut where the facets are all parallel resemble a rectangular shape in the final outline of the gem. There are often less facets to this cut, so the brilliance or sparkle of the stone isn't as great.

From the two basic cuts come the mixed cut, which also is called an emerald cut, as the shape is similar to the step but more rounded like a brilliant cut may be. When you purchase a princess-cut gemstone you are actually buying a mixed-cut gemstone. It is given the name "princess" because of its final shape, the number of facets and its brilliance.

Deciding on which cut you prefer has much to do with personal style and taste. A step-cut gemstone carries the ideal of a sophisticated and stylish form, while a brilliant-cut gemstone is associated with a gemstone's sparkle appeal. If cut properly, the gemstone will have more shine to it. Choosing a gemstone shape that has a mix, can yield exceptional shine as well as class. Most shapes today are a blend of the two basic cuts.

A gemstone's cut is also directly related to the value of the stone. The more intricately cut or the more facets it has, the more likely it is to be of a higher worth. A poorly cut gemstone will not have the value or long-term worth as one that has been cut and shaped well. A reputable dealer will be able to help you choose the right gemstone that fits your budget but still appeals to your taste and personal style.

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