Fancy Cut Diamonds

Diamond cuts have come a long way since the introduction of the first round brilliant. Today, thanks to advances in cutting technologies and the unlimited imaginations of cutters, diamonds can be cut in an incredible variety of ways. 

Any gemstone shape other than a standard round brilliant is called a fancy cut. Fancy cuts come in a variety of shapes and cutting styles. Shape is the face-up outline of a gem and cutting style is the arrangement of a gem’s facets. There are three major diamond cutting styles;

Brilliant cut—A cutting style in which triangular and kite-shaped facets radiate from a gem’s center toward its girdle. 
Step cut—A cutting style with long, narrow, four-sided facets in rows parallel to the girdle on both the crown and pavilion. 
Mixed cut—A cutting style that combines step-cut and brilliant cut facets.

The face-up shape of a fashioned diamond is usually the first thing you notice about it. A triangular, square, or pear-shaped outline stands out immediately in a crowd of rounds. Because shape is so noticeable, it’s often the major selling point of a fancy-cut diamond. 

Princess cut is a trade term used to describe a square or rectangular modified brilliant, a cut that was developed in the late 1970s. Princess cuts surpass round brilliants in yield, retaining about 80 percent of the rough from which they’re cut. (Round brilliants typically only retain about 50 percent.) Their angular shape and considerable brilliance have made them popular alternatives to rounds. 

The Radiant cut, patented in the late 1970s by Henry Grossbard, is a square or rectangular modified brilliant with beveled corners. The Radiant’s angular shape and brilliant-cut facets make it a scintillating alternative to the emerald cut. Radiants retain about 60 percent of the rough from which they’re cut.

Pear-shaped brilliant's face-up outline is rounded at one end and tapered to a point at the other. Pears can be almost as brilliant as rounds, yet provide a pleasing departure from the round in a shape that’s traditional and timeless. In addition, for large diamonds, the pear tends to look more graceful on the finger than a round of the same weight.

The oval is a classic brilliant cut with an elliptical girdle outline. Its outline closely resembles the round, making it a good choice for customers who appreciate something that’s just a little bit different.

The marquise (mar-KEEZ) is an elongated, elliptical brilliant cut with curved sides and pointed ends. It’s also called a navette, from the Latin for ship, because its face-up outline resembles a little boat. The marquise gained popularity in the 1970s, especially in bridal jewelry.

The triangular brilliant’s facets add sparkle to its angular shape. It’s a shallow cut that’s designed to make efficient use of flat rough, and it’s a practical cutting option for a macle. It has a contemporary look that’s popular as matched side stones. Triangular brilliant cuts are also known as trillions. 

The heart is a brilliant cut with a heart-shaped face-up outline. The heart is a symbol of romance for many customers. 

The cushion cut is a classic brilliant cut. It’s generally either rectangular or square, with slightly curved sides and rounded corners. An antique version of the cushion-cut brilliant is called an Old Mine Brilliant.

Step cut shapes

Step cuts have long, sleek lines and a subtle gleam. They came along in the early 1400s, long before brilliant cuts. Many consumers admire the traditional outlines and understated elegance of a step cut. Also, most step cuts have a large table facet, which calls for a high standard of clarity for rough. In a brilliant cut, the flash from the facets can hide some imperfections. A step cut might be a rewarding choice for a customer who appreciates a fine diamond’s transparency.

The emerald cut is the most popular step cut. The emerald cut’s four sides have beveled corners. There are two, three, or four concentric rows of facets, parallel to the girdle, on the crown and pavilion.

The baguette is a small, four-sided, step-cut diamond. The sides of baguettes can be parallel or tapered toward each other to form a wedge shape. For decades, baguettes were used mainly as accent stones, such as side diamonds for a round brilliant. 


Source: Gemological Institute of America 


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