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The Complete Guide to Jewelry Stone Shapes

The Complete Guide to Jewelry Stone Shapes

Key Insights
  • Should You Wear Jewelry With Stones? 
  • The Art and Science of Stone Cutting
  • Types of Stone Cuts and Stone Shapes
  • A Timeless Classic: The Round Brilliant Cut
  • Other Styles of Stone Cuts
  • Cutting Diamonds vs Other Stones 
  • The Finisher: The Setting Process 
  • Get Jewelry with the Finest Stone Settings in the Game 

The allure of quality jewelry lies not only in the precious metals and the craftsmanship that binds them but also in the brilliance and clarity of the stones each piece contains. 

From the translucent, clear elegance of a diamond to cool blues, fiery reds, and chill greens, each stone tells a story all its own. However, their elegant appearance largely depends on how the stones are cut.

Each cut reveals a new angle for light to reflect off of and another layer of visual interest to draw attention to your fit. These shapes are carefully chosen for each piece to complement the chain, bracelet, ring, watch, earring, or any other type of piece to maximize its appeal and complete the overall look. 

Should You Wear Jewelry With Stones? 

Choosing a piece with one stone, a few stones, or completely iced out on each surface is completely up to you and your individual tastes. If you’re new to the jewelry game, though, you may have not decided whether you prefer a look that includes stones or plain metals. 

If you want to draw more eyes to your person when you’re going about your business, stones go a long way. They’ll capture the light in the room and draw others’ attention to you. They’ll also add an extra touch of class if you’re looking to make an impression. 

However, you might decide you prefer a more understated look with your fit. If that sounds more appealing to you, you’d probably want a piece with a plain metal surface, such as a classic Cuban Link chain for a timeless and iconic look. 

The Art and Science of Stone Cutting

The practice of stone cutting stands at the intersection of science and art. It requires a keen understanding of the physical properties of each stone and the technical skills to shape them without damaging them. Add in a touch of creativity and you can envision the final piece that will do justice to the stone's inherent beauty.

Choosing a particular cut for a stone is influenced by two primary factors. The first is to maximize the aesthetic appeal of the stone, which involves enhancing its color, clarity, and the way it interacts with light. 

The second is the physical attributes of the stone, such as its hardness, cleavage properties, and original shape. A cut must work with these features rather than against them, ensuring the stone's integrity while bringing out its best qualities so that it can keep shining for the long run. 

Types of Stone Cuts and Stone Shapes

Before we get into specific stone shapes and cuts, a few terms are essential to understand. These words describe the parts of a cut stone, each playing a role in the stone's overall appearance. These include: 

  • Table: The flat top surface of the stone.
  • Crown: The upper part of the stone, located below the table.
  • Girdle: The widest part of the stone, serving as a border between the crown and the pavilion.
  • Pavilion: The lower part of the stone, located below the girdle.
  • Culet: The small flat facet at the bottom of the pavilion.

When it comes to the specifics of the cut, the symmetry, depth, and size of the table are everything. The facets, the flat polished surfaces cut into the stone, play a vital role in a stone’s ability to reflect and refract light, contributing to its shine level.

A Timeless Classic: The Round Brilliant Cut

When you think of the typical depiction of a “diamond shape,” you’re thinking of the round brilliant cut, or round cut for short.  Developed through centuries of refinement, this cut maximizes a stone's interaction with light. It consists of 58 facets divided into a specific pattern across the crown, girdle, and pavilion, each facet calculated to capture and reflect as much light as possible.

The result is a stone of unmatched brilliance and shine, full of life. This makes the round brilliant cut the go-to of the diamond industry and a popular choice for other stones that are compatible. 

Other Styles of Stone Cuts

Beyond the well-loved round brilliant cut, a wide range of other cuts are also available to choose from, each offering unique attributes and a distinctive aesthetic. These cuts broaden the range of possibilities, allowing designers to play with different stone shapes and light effects to create truly unique pieces.

The princess cut, known for its square shape and sharp lines, is the second most popular cut after the round brilliant. The combination of the princess’s hard-angled shape and the arrangement of its facets creates a high level of brilliance.

The emerald cut is defined by its rectangular shape with truncated corners. This cut is distinctive for its step-cut facets and large table, which produce a hall-of-mirrors effect. It brings an air of sophistication and understated elegance to any piece of jewelry.

The baguette cut is a classic choice known for its simplicity and elegance. It derives its name from the French word for 'long rod', perfectly describing its elongated rectangular shape. As a type of step cut, the baguette features facets running parallel to the length of the stone, resembling a staircase. This style is renowned for highlighting the stone's clarity

The oval cut provides a modern twist on the round brilliant cut, maintaining similar brilliance but with an elongated shape. This cut can create the illusion of greater size, and when used in a ring, it can elongate and slim the wearer's finger.

The marquise cut is another variation on the round brilliant cut, featuring a boat-like shape that further maximizes the perceived size of the stone. With its pointed ends and curved sides, the marquise cut is a striking and regal choice for any piece of jewelry.

The pear cut is a hybrid of the round and marquise cuts, offering a unique teardrop shape. The versatility of the pear cut makes it a popular choice for various types of jewelry, from rings and chains to earrings and bracelets.

The cushion cut, with its square shape and rounded corners, carries a timeless appeal. Its larger facets highlight the stone's clarity, and it's often associated with an elegant aesthetic and a perfect option for formal occasions to class-up an everyday fit. 

Finally, the heart cut is the perfect choice for those looking to symbolize love and affection. As the name suggests, the cut crafts the stone into the shape of a heart, providing a clear and romantic message.

Cutting Diamonds vs Other Stones 

Diamonds are some of the most versatile stones for cutting. Due to their hardness, they are extremely durable and able to withstand the pressures of cutting tools. However, they’re not the only ones that can be shaped in more way than one. 

Modern cubic zirconia (CZ) stones have also come a long way in their ability to mimic the coveted aesthetic of a diamond without the heavy price point. With their high refractive index and strong dispersion, they can produce a degree of brilliance and fire that rivals that of natural diamonds. 

Because CZ is a hard and dense material, it can be shaped into a wide variety of cuts, from classic round brilliants to sophisticated emerald cuts and beyond. They can also be colored to replicate the appearance of other natural gemstones like rubies, sapphires, and emeralds. 

In terms of durability, CZ ranks an impressive 8.5 on the Mohs hardness scale, making it a perfect option for everyday wear without worrying about damaging it. Whether you want to go for natural diamonds or rock a piece flooded in CZ stones, the choice is up to you, and you’ll look fresh with whatever choice you make. 

The Finisher: The Setting Process 

When we’re talking about jewelry, the way a stone is set matters as much as its cut when positioning it to reflect as much light as possible. Some cheaper pieces on the market might be hastily set with machines, use weak prongs, or even glue the stones to the surface of plain metal - only for them to inevitably fall off eventually. 

No matter the jewelry cut, the size of the stones, or the type of stone, look for a brand that uses a proven setting process that keeps them securely in place. For example, at GLD, we use a patented process that involves hand-setting each stone so that it stays put and delivers the most intense shine possible. 

Get Jewelry with the Finest Stone Settings in the Game 

At GLD, it goes without saying we’re all about stones. From curating quality materials to patenting our hand-setting process and introducing new cuts for our pieces regularly, you’re always going to find something new to upgrade your fit. It’s the perfect drip. 

To find your favorite new piece, shop the full collection today or hit us up anytime for more info.