Unfortunately gems, if found in their raw state, are usually quite unappealing – dull, grayish, just unspectacular.
They can become a masterpiece as they are cut and worked by talented hands. Although can is the operative word, rough gemstones have great potential to become masterpieces but it requires a high skill and years of experience. Only a truly trained eye can see the possibilities of a faceted jewel from a rough gemstone, and even then a lot can still go wrong!
Every gem is unique
Each gemstone differs from the next, several considerations must be observed during the cut. First of all is size, the possibilities of future cuts are often determined by the size of the rough gemstone. Throughout the cutting process, the expert must have a vision for the end result in order to highlight features such as colour, effects, brilliance and any pleochroism.
The raw crystals often show different colours or colour throughout the sample, the gemstone cutter needs to find the perfect cut to accentuate each gem to their best potential. The best colour in a gemstone isn’t always the most intense, even if the cut is perfect. Because of their different optical properties, coloured gems do not have an ideal cut like diamonds. The cut of a gem directly affects its overall value, gemstone cutters look for the best compromise between appearance and size: a big gemstone will be more valuable but a smaller one could be purer. The cut depends on the type, shape and quality of the rough gemstone.
The best cut
While coloured gems do not have an ideal cut, there are cuts that are more suited to some gemstones than others, something that has been studied for centuries.
One of the best known examples of this is the emerald cut, an octagonal step cut, which can bring out the colour and characteristics of an emerald to their best advantage and also meets the growth of emerald crystal.
The brilliant cut, was originally developed for the diamond in order to maximize its brilliance and fire, but is now found in many other gemstones.
Ultimately it is up to the experience of gemstone cutter to find the perfect finish for each gem. Visit out website for more information if you are curious and want to learn more about specific gemstone cuts.