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Gemstone cutting terminology


Brilliant cut, it has triangular, kite, or lozenge-shaped facets that radiate outward around the stone. The best-known example is the full-cut round brilliant, which has 58 facets. Another example is the single cut, which has 17 or 18 facets and is used on small stones that are often of low quality. On rubies and sapphires, however, the number of facets can vary, even on round stones. Square rubies and sapphires cut in the brilliant style are called princess cut. They may also have a trademarked name such as “Q-Brilliant.” The number of facets on these corundum stones varies, but usually it ranges from 35 to 45 facets. Triangular brilliant cuts are called trilliants. This princess and trilliant cuts were originally developed for diamonds because their brilliant-style facets create a greater amount of brilliance and sparkle than step facets do. Now the princess and trilliant cuts are becoming popular for small corundum stones. Even though most rubies and sapphires of a carat or more have some brilliant-type facets, these larger stones are not commonly cut in a full-brilliant style. Cuts as the step and mixed cut intensify their color more effectively.
Mixed cut, it has both step-and brilliant-cut facets. For corundum, this is the most common faceting style. Usually the crown is brilliant cut in order to maximize brilliance and sparkle. The pavilion on the other hand is either entirely step cut or else has a combination of both step-and brilliant-type facets. The step facets allow cutters to save weight and bring out the color of the stone. Occasionally, the mixed cut is referred to as the Ceylon cut.
Bead (faceted & un-faceted), it usually has a ball-shaped form with a hole through the center. Most faceted beads have either brilliant-or step-type facets. Corundum beads are generally made from nontransparent or heavily flawed materials.
Fancy cut, it has free form and is one-of-a-kind sculpture. The design may be geometric or abstract, or it can represent something concrete like a fish or flower. Gem-quality corundum is not often carved into fantasy cuts. Due to the high cost and hardness of corundum, gem materials such as topaz, tourmaline, amethyst, and citrine quartz are preferred for these cuts.
Color, clarity, and brilliance normally play a greater role in determining the price of a ruby or sapphire than shape and cutting style. Nevertheless, these two factors can affect the value of these stones. The way they affect will be described by next chapter.

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