Princess, round brilliant, oval, pear… gemstones come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The process a gemstone endures before it reaches a jeweler’s glossy shelves is fascinating. First, miners excavate rough specimens from natural gem deposits around the globe. Then, the prime sections of the rough cut are chosen for faceting. Before the gem is cut, the lapidary (gem cutter) must decide which shape will best highlight its sparkle, brilliance, color, and quality. Ready to learn all about gemstone shapes, cuts, and sizes?
In this gemstone cuts guide, we’ll cover each of the most popular gem shapes and sizes. Ready for a dash of sparkle? Let’s dive right in.
There are over many different gemstone shapes and cuts, each offering its own merit. While a round brilliant might beautifully highlight a diamond’s clarity and sparkle, it might not have the same charm on an opal or garnet.
Each of the most popular gemstone shapes falls into three categories:Classic gemstone cuts, including round, oval, pear, and princessNatural gemstone shapes such as cabochon and rough crystalsUnusual gemstone shapes like briolette, heart-shaped, and marquise
Ready to learn about the different cuts of gemstones? Let’s discover the exciting world of gemstone shapes and cuts.
By a landslide, the round brilliant cut is the most popular of all gemstone shapes. As an industry staple, roughly ¾ of all gemstones in the market are cut in this shape. Why is it so famous? A round brilliant gem exhibits the most sparkle, especially with diamonds. Lapidaries cut 57 strategically placed facets into the gem to yield optimal brilliance.
Elongating the more traditional round brilliant, oval cut gemstones marry classic with modern. With its longer dimensions, oval gems are incredibly elegant on women with smaller hands as they add depth. A popular engagement ring style is the trinity, featuring an oval cut center stone flanked by two smaller round brilliant gems.
Topping jewelry trends right now is the classic but modern pear shape. With a rounded lower half and a sharp top point, a pear cut adds an illusion of length and delicacy to the finger. Translucent gems like diamonds, emeralds, and sapphires look most stunning in this regal shape.
Runner up for the most popular diamond shape is the square-shaped Princess cut.What makes it an optimal choice is its combination of a rectangle and square that beautifully adorns engagement ring settings. It’s classic and timeless but adds a unique flair for modern brides.
Let’s kick off this list of unusual gem styles with one of the most unique cutting styles: rose cut gemstones.
The exciting feature of this style is that it’s not confined to one shape. See, the rose cut method is a style of cutting that suits round, pear, and oval shapes beautifully. It features a flat base and a faceted top that looks like a series of triangles.
The marquise shape is similar in shape to the pear cut, but both ends of the gem are pointed. This shape looks most beautiful in a solitaire, minimal setting to best highlight the drama of the center stone.
Like the name insinuates, heart-shaped gems are cut into a heart by placing a cleft cut at the top of a pear gemstone. The overall aesthetic is romantic and feminine, but it’s not suitable for all gemstones.
Leave it to style icons like Grace Kelly and Amal Clooney to incorporate baguette gemstones into their engagement rings. It’s classic and elegant, which is why this rectangle-shaped gemstone with 20 facets sparkles beautifully alongside a center stone.
Close in shape to the baguette, the emerald shape’s only departure is its cropped corners. Naturally, this gemstone shape most beautifully flatters an emerald gemstone. That said, many choose colored gems for this cut, thanks to its 50 facets that make the color dazzle strikingly.
With 53 skillfully cut facets, the octagon shape has eight sides. Want to know another gemstone shape with eight sides? The emerald cut is also octagonal, however, it’s rectangular body misleads the eye into thinking there are four sides. It’s the presence of those tiny corner cuts that round it out to eight. In other words: an octagonal gemstone shape can look round, square, or rectangular.
The design of a cushion cut gemstone serves to highlight its luster and sheen. Like the soft corners and lines of a cushion or pillow, this cut features 64 striking facets that evoke allure, romanticism, and whimsy.
Leaning into the organic intrigue of nature’s beauty, the briolette cut glimmers like a raindrop. Naturally, this drop shape best suits gemstone earrings, but it’s a complicated shape to master with 84 facets. As you might imagine, all those cuts in the gem make the briolette shape sparkle stunningly.
If you fancy geometric shapes, you’ll love the trillion cut gemstone in the shape of a triangle. With soft, rounded lines and three points, this gemstone shape beautifully brings out the sparkle and brilliance. Some of the most popular styles are trillion diamonds and sapphires.
Another unique gemstone shape is the concave, shaped like a cone to draw the eye inward. A concave cut gemstone is a 3D style of cutting used on round, trillion, oval, and emerald-cut gemstones, among others. The most suitable gems for this faceting technique are light-colored, as the facets bring out the stone’s brilliance.
As you might deduce from the name, fancy cut gemstones come in a variety of unique shapes and styles. Flowers, stars, and diamond shapes are among the most popular fancy shapes.
Last on our list is natural gemstone shapes like the cabochon cut. Unlike the previous mentions on this gemstone cuts guide, cabochon shapes aren’t cut or faceted. A cabochon gemstone is shaped and polished with no defining lines or cuts. The top of the stone is dome-shaped, while the bottom is rounded. With a perfectly smooth shape, the cabochon style works best with softer, vitreous, opaque gemstones like opals, turquoise, and jasper.
Rounding out our list of gemstone shapes are uncut rough specimens. In recent years, rough cuts have boomed in popularity with raw crystals like rose quartz and aquamarine. Raw gems are earthy, organic, and untouched, letting the specimen captivate its natural, unvarnished glory. Uncut gems make beautiful pendants, rings, and earrings.
And that wraps up our guide to gemstone shapes! Do you have a favorite on this list? With so many beautifully cut gemstones, it’s hard to choose a favorite. Why choose just one when there are so many shapes, sizes, and cuts available.
Was this article helpful?3 people found this article helpful