The better the cut of gemstone the more sparkle and life it will exhibit. With skilled and careful cutting light will reflect within the stone to be returned to the eye and the best potential color hidden within the gemstone rough will be revealed. Most people confuse ‘cut’ with the shape of the gemstone. Cut is the overall quality of the cutting process: shape, symmetry, proportions, facets, finish and so on.
Gemstones are cut to a number of shapes, designed to exhibit the best characteristics of the initial rough gemstone. The six most popular shapes are oval, pear, emerald, heart, marquise and round. Everyone has their own favourite. Whatever the shape, a well cut gemstone is imperative and essential for a good purchase. Here at Gem Hunters, we strive for perfection in ‘cut’ to make your gemstone one of the best in its league.
Why the Cut is Important
When a gem is cut to the correct proportions, the stone is able to handle light much better, creating a more intense color and a brighter, better looking gemstone. Essentially the gem acts as a mirror for light entering the stone. The aim of faceting a gemstone is to reflect as much light back to the eyes as possible. If a gem has not been cut correctly, the result will be a dead or lifeless looking stone (see figs. 1, 2 and 3), because light will leak out of the pavilion (bottom of stone) instead of being reflected back up to the viewer through the crown ( top of stone).
Not only will a badly cut stone look unattractive but you may be getting a bad deal value-wise. If the pavilion of the gemstone is more than 3 times the width of the crown (looking at the stone side-on) then you will be paying for excess weight which will not be seen once the stone is mounted in a piece of jewellery. (see fig.4). Ensure that the pavilion does not bulge excessively either.
This does not mean that you should rush out and buy a flat gem! As in the case of deep pavilion gems, light will exit through the pavilion of a flat gem instead of being reflected upwards. However, a flat gem will give the impression of being larger and more substantial due to its larger circumference.
The ‘finish’ of a gemstone is also considered. The finish of a gemstone includes any surface blemishes, the symmetry of facets and the quality of polishing. When examining a gemstone through a 10x loupe, look for scratches, nicks, pits and abrasions on the surface. These are not desirable. Check also that the symmetry of the stone, vertically and side on is symmetrical and even.