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Gem Cuts and Information

Cuts | Color | Clarity

Types of Cuts for Gemstones

There is no general rule which can be applied to the various cuts. However, three groups, or types, of cut can be named: Faceted cut, plain cut, and mixed cut.
The faceted cut is practically applied only to transparent stones. The number of even facets gives the gem higher luster and often a better play of color. Most facet cuts are built on two basic types, the brilliant cut and the trap or emerald cut. The plain cut can be leveled en cabochon (domed). This is suitable for agates and other opaque stones. In mixed cuts, the upper part is level and the lower part is faceted, or vice versa.
  Brilliant-Full Cut / Round-Brilliant Cut
This cut has been specially developed for the diamond. The word "brilliant" alone refers to a diamond, whereas, in the case of other gems, the mineral name should be given (i.e. Round brilliant-cut sapphire). This cut has at least 32 facets, plus the table on the upper part, and 24 faces on the lower part. When there are less, it is called a "Round Cut."
  Eight Cut
This cut is also usually for the diamond, normally diamonds that are too small for a full cut. This cut has 8 facets on the upper and lower parts as well as the table on the upper.
  Rose Cut/Half Dutch Rose
The Rose Cut and Half Dutch Rose are Facet cuts without a table or pavilion that vary in the number and positioning of facets. These are old cuts not normally used today since thy do not produce much brilliance.
  Step Cut
A simple type of facet cut, specially used for colored stones, but also occasionally for diamonds. Several facets are cut parallel to the edges, the facets becoming steeper towards the girdle. The lower part usually has more facets than the upper part. A step cut can be used in combination with other cutes (i.e. Oval-Step cut or Square-Step cut, etc).
  Scissor Cut
A type of step cut. The facets are divided into four sub-facets by the "scissors", some have truncated corners while others are cut with square corners.
  Ceylon Cut / Old Mine Cut / Antique Cut / Cushion Cut
This cut is mostly referred to as the "Cushion Cut" and it can vary in shape from ovalish /squarish to ovalish / rectangularish. It is a primarily cut used on ruby and sapphire that is cut in Ceylon (Sri Lanka). This very popular cut has numerous facets in both upper and lower parts and is normally a very brilliant cut. This cut allows the cutter to obtain maximum weight so it is not always symmetrical.
  Emerald Cut
A step cut with an octagon shape, especially used for emerald, but also popular for longer-shaped diamonds and other colored stones. Most have truncated corners while others can have square corners.

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As part of the description, most of the gemstones listed have a description of it's color. Color is described in terms of tone, saturation, and one of 31 hue descriptions as used by the GIA.Tones are described as:
  • Colorless
  • Extremely Light
  • Very Light
  • Light
  • Medium Light
  • Medium
  • Medium Dark
  • Dark
  • Very Dark
  • Extremely Dark
  • Black
Saturation is an indication of how "strong" or "vivid" a color is. Saturation is listed as:
  • Grayish
  • Slightly Grayish
  • Very Slightly Grayish
  • Moderately Strong
  • Strong
  • Vivid
* The term "Brownish" can be substituted for "Grayish" with colors of a orangish hue.Hues are described as:
  • Red
  • Orangy Red
  • Red-Orange or Orange-Red
  • Reddish Orange
  • Orange
  • Yellowish Orange
  • Orangy Yellow
  • Yellow
  • Greenish Yellow
  • Yellow-Green or Green-Yellow
  • Slightly Yellowish Green
  • Green
  • Very Slightly Bluish Green
  • Blue
  • Violetish Blue
  • Violet
  • Bluish Purple
  • Purple
  • Reddish Purple
  • Purple-Red or Red-Purple
  • Strongly Purplish Red
  • Slightly Purplish Red
  • Red
Some exceptions to these hue descriptions are made with gemstones that are brownish, or pinkish. Orangy pinkish is sometimes described as "peachy".
Clarity is a subjective term, however the following is how we describe clarity:
  • Opaque: the stone will not transmit light through it.
  • Translucent, or cloudy: the stone transmits light, but you cannot see clearly through it.
  • Heavily Included: the stone is transparent, but the stone is littered with inclusions, which are very visible without magnification.
  • Moderately Included: the stone is transparent, but there are several inclusions, which are visible without magnification.
  • Slightly Included: the stone has some very minor inclusions which may be visible without magnification.
  • Very Slightly Included (Eye-Clean): the stone has some very minor inclusions that are not readily visible without magnification. Some Inclusions may be visible without magnification once you see them under magnification and know exactly where to look.
  • Very Very Slightly Included: the stone has some very very minor inclusions which are difficult to see under magnification.
  • Loupe Clean (Clean): no inclusions were seen using 10x magnification. However the stone was not examined microscopically. The stone may be internally flawless or flawless.
  • Internally Flawless: the stone was examined under a microscope of at least 40x magnification, and no inclusions were seen. The stone has some external blemishes.
  • Flawless: the stone was examined under a microscope of at least 40x magnification and no inclusions were seen and the stone has no external blemishes.

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