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How to know if a gemstone is well cut?


The shape of the stone may affect the personality it displays, but it is overall cutting that releases its full beauty. A term used by professional to describe the overall quality of the cutting is making. Having a good make is especially important in diamonds. A diamond with an excellent make will sell for much more than one with a fair make. The difference in price between a well cut and poorly cut diamond can be as much as 50 percent, or more. Even more important, careless cutting, or cutting to get the largest possible stone from the rough, can sometimes result in faults that may make a stone more fragile and vulnerable to breakage.

The precision of the cutting dramatically affects the beauty and value of any stone. This is especially true in faceted stones, those on which a series of tiny flat planes have been cut and polished. The first thing to keep mind is that in any stone, if the basic material is of good quality, the way it is cut will make the difference between a dull, lifeless stone and a beautiful, brilliant one. In diamonds, the cutting and proportioning are the greatest influence on the stone’s brilliance and fire. In colored gems, the perfection of the cut is not as important as it is with diamonds, but proportioning remains critical because it will be significantly affect the depth of color as well as the stone brilliance and liveliness.

Look at the stone face up through the top. This is the most critical area to view, since this is the one most often noticed. If looking at the diamond, does it seems to sparkle and dance across the whole stone, or are there dead spots? In a colored gem, does the color look good from this direction? Is the table centered and symmetrical?

A quick way to check the symmetry of a round diamond is to look at the table edges. The line should be straight, regular, and parallel to one another. The table edges should form a regular octagon with the edges meeting in sharp points. If the lines of the table are wavy, the overall symmetry is not good, and the symmetry of the adjoining facets will also be affected.

Next, look at the stone’s proportion-whether it is too thin or too thick will have a marked affect on its overall beauty. With colored stones, the relative’s terms of thickness and thinness vary greatly due to the inherent optical properties of different gems. As a general guide when considering colored stones, keep in mind these three points.

1.    If the stone appears lively and exhibits an appealing color when viewed through the table, no matter how the proportion appears, it is usually correct and acceptable proportioning for that particular stone.
2.    The depth of color will become darker as the stone cut thicker, particularly if the bottom portion is deep and broad.
3.    A stone’s depth of color will become lighter as the stone is cut thinner. This is especially important when considering a pastel colored stone. A pastel stone should always have fairly deep proportioning.

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