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A Survivor's Guide to Jewelry Buying - Stone Cuts

The next step to jewelry is picking out stones and learning the different cuts. With each cut, light refracts through the stone differently and one stone can have multiple looks. Many cuts come down to a preference of style. First on the list is understanding the difference between Cabochon and Faceted stones.  

A Cabochon is one of the earliest stone cuts developed and dates back to the middle ages. It has a flat bottom and rises evenly on all sides. It also comes in a variety of shapes including oval, square, round, rectangular, and rose cut.

This specific Cabochon cut can be used with any stone, but it works best with opaque stones that have natural patterns like Jasper. The smooth shape of this cut wears well over long periods of time, and a bezel setting will provide an ample amount of security for it to stay in place. The Cabochons were traditionally used in men’s rings as they are valued by active people who like low fuss and minimal upkeep.

Black Star Diopside Men's Ring

Black Star Diopside Men's Ring

Rose Cut Green Onyx Stud Earrings

Rose Cut Green Onyx Stud Earrings

Red Creek Jasper Pendant

Red Creek Jasper Pendant

Switching gears, we now come to faceted stones! These were originally developed during the late Renaissance Period when geometry was being used to come up with ways to cut flats into stones that would reflect light the most. Ingenious, right?

Faceted cuts can be used with any stone, like Cabochons, but they look best with translucent stones with the least number of flaws. When it comes to this cut, there are absolutely thousands of different stone designs. Many of these are optimized for the highest possible reflection so the natural brilliance of the stone can be seen.

White Sapphire Scroll Engagement Ring

White Sapphire Scroll Engagement Ring - Front

White Sapphire Scroll Engagement Ring - Side

Typically, faceted stones have a flat, polished surface called a table at the top, a midpoint called the girdle, and bottom facet that comes to a fine point called a pavilion. These stones are usually held with a prong mounting which will need to be maintained about every 5-10 years. It’s a fantastically beautiful stone cut and the upkeep is minimal!

Many gemstones are machine-cut in quantity in either India or China, but there are also custom lapidarists that will take each stone and individually cut hand-selected stone slabs into gemstones!

White Sapphire Scroll Engagement Ring

Custom Hexagonal White Sapphire, courtesy of Doug Menadue, Bespoke Gems

Custom 14K White Gold Engagement Ring featuring Hexagonal White Sapphire

If you’re curious about specific cuts of stones, we’re all about showing, teaching, and empowering our clients in their choice. Let us walk you through the differences!




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