At Gems Are Forever, our Beverly Hills staff are Graduate Gemologists (G.G.) from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) who believe the cut of a gemstone is a clear reflection of the wearer’s style.
Whether it is an engagement ring, birthstone ring, or statement ring, the multifaceted brilliant cut maximizes light, while the rectangular facets of the step cut show off color, or a combination of the two really set a piece apart, there are over a dozen popular gemstone cuts that will allow your personality to shine.
The Round Cut
The round cut — called as such due to its circular shape — is the most classic of all stone cuts and includes 58 facets to maximize its brilliance. This wildly popular cut provides enormous sparkle while remaining a true classic that works well on its own, or with two or more stones.
The Old European Cut
The old European cut — popular in the 19th century, which lent its name — appears circular from the top. Instead of pointed, the tip of the stone is flat. Its round shape features a small table and a large culet, which is a small circle in the middle. Since old European cut diamonds were hand cut using antiquated cutting techniques, they do not have the symmetry of modern diamonds, which is part of their allure.
The Emerald Cut
The emerald cut — initially a popular cut for emeralds only — is a rectangular step cut stone that comprises 58 facets and is now used on all types of precious gemstones. Perfect for showing off a diamond’s clarity, the emerald cut dramatically captures light and helps elongate the finger when set vertically.
The Baguette Cut
The baguette cut is long and slender — like the French bread it is named after — rectangular, step cut stones. A 1920s Art Deco-style cut, it can be used in a variety of ways, either as a modest setting inside or between wedding bands or as accent diamonds on multi-stone engagement rings. Keep in mind, clarity and precision are important due to its few facets.
The Cushion Cut
The cushion cut — also called the pillow cut — is square or rectangular, with rounded edges, and has been around since the 18th century. Called the “mine cut” during its surge in popularity in the 19th century, this beautiful stone may not emanate the same sparkle as its brilliant-cut counterparts, but it is great for both modern and vintage settings.
The Rose Cut
The rose cut is circular — like the flower it is named after — with a flat top and a domed crown with either 12 or 24 facets. The striking characteristics of a rose cut diamond’s flat base provides a larger surface area for the stone's brilliance.
The Marquise Cut
The marquise cut — also called the navette cut, meaning sailboat in French — has an elliptical shape that is tapered on both ends. Its brilliant sparkle and long, narrow shape creates an illusion of a larger stone, and helps elongate the finger when set vertically. However, the cut’s pointed edges may leave room for snagging, chipping, or other damage if it not set properly — or when worn by busy hands. The proper marquise cut is important to its brilliance, as it lends itself to a “bowtie” appearance in the middle, which can be noticeably undesirable.
The Princess Cut
The princess cut — an updated variation of the round cut — is square with pointed corners, complete with maximum brilliance making it one of the most popular cuts for engagement rings. The princess cut perfectly embodies the Cinderella story that most women dream of when their partner proposes. Its versatile face-up shape makes it a prime choice for nearly any ring style.
The Oval Cut
The oval cut — called such because of its shape — shares the same number of facets, 58, as the brilliant round cut, which means it sparkles just as bright. The cut is elegant and unique, but when it is not cut properly, can have a similar "bowtie" effect as a marquise-cut stone. This could end in a stone that appears flawed, unless it is a salt-and-pepper oval-cut diamond, then it appears as part of the ring’s character and design.
The Radiant Cut
The radiant cut has trimmed corners and a square or rectangular shape, which results in greater brilliance and radiance due to its unusually high number of facets — typically between 60-70. Like an emerald cut, but the unique, deep-cut facets allow for extra sparkle in this timeless and hard to find stone.
The French Cut
The French cut is either square or rectangular and is distinguished by the cross the facets on the crown make. Both beautiful and sophisticated, the cut can be used for a center stone or is perfect for an elegant eternity or band ring.
The Asscher Cut
The Asscher cut — invented in 1902 by the Royal Asscher Diamond Company — is a square step cut stone that appears octagonal when viewed from above. Popular during the Art Deco period, its uniquely symmetrical geometric design maintains radiance and sparkle. Without any sharp edges, the cut is perfect in a variety of settings, but requires a high-quality diamond, as it tends to show blemishes.
The Trillion Cut
The Trillion-cut stone is triangular, has straight or curved sides, and usually flanks the center stone. Although not as brilliant as other cuts, they are elegant, unique, and present well as a middle-ground sparkler. Because of the cut, the setting is important to ensure the stone isn’t damaged during everyday wear.
The Pear Cut
The pear cut — called so because of its teardrop shape — is a modified brilliant cut with 58 facets that dates back to the 1400s. This unique shape is perfect for vintage-inspired brides who also appreciate the size of the diamond. The pear-shaped allows the diamond to appear larger than it is, but if not set properly may be prone to chipping because of its pointed edge.
The Old Mine Cut
The old mine–cut stone predates the old European cut, and is slightly curved and square shaped, and is closely associated with antique jewelry. Before diamonds were machine-cut in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the old mine-cut stone was cut and polished to best use its diamond rough, making it much less precise and boasting with personality.
The Non-Faceted Cut
Although faceted gemstones shine beautifully in rings, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets alike, non-faceted gems are gaining popularity for their smooth, simple, elegant, and polished appearance.