Brilliant: The most common style of cutting both diamonds
and colored stones. The standard round brilliant consists of
57 facets; 1 table, 8 bezel facets, 8 star facets 16 upper-girdle
facets on the crown; 8 pavilion facets, 16 lower girdle facets;
and usually a culet on the pavilion. Modifications of the round
brilliant include such fancy shapes as the marquise, half moon,
pear shape and many others.
A variation of the Brilliant cut, combining the Round and
Marquise cuts, with 58 facets to only 56 facets (when the pavilion
facets at the head and tail are eliminated). Shoulders should
have a gently but distinctly rounded arch. Common length-to-width
ratio: 1 to 1.50-1.75.
A brilliant style of cutting very similar to a Round except
it is elliptical. It was invented by Lazare Kaplan in the early
1960s. Oval brilliant usually has 56 or 57 facets.
Beware of uneven or high shoulders (they should have a gently
but distinctly rounded arch).
length-to-width ratio: 1 to 1.30-1.65.
This shape has a boat shaped girdle with 57 facets. The shape
and placement of the facets is of the brilliant type.
The name "Marquise" came from a legend of the Marquise
of Pompadour that the Sun King wanted a Diamond to be polished
into the shape of the mouth of the Marquise. Look for
uneven "wings" or undefined points. Typical length-to-width
ratio: 1 to 1.75-2.25.
A form of step cutting. It is usually rectangular but sometimes
may be square, in which case it is known as a square emerald
cut. It has rows (steps) of elongated facets on the crown and
pavilion, parallel to the girdle, and with corner facets. The
number of rows of elongated facets may vary, although the usual
number is three on the crown and three on the pavilion. Inclusions
are slightly more visible in "step-cut" shapes relative
to "brilliant styles. Look for too narrow or missing
corners. The beveled corners protect the stone and make
it easier to set. Typical length-to-width
ratio: 1 to 1.30-1.70.
Princess (also the patented
Quadrillion): Is a relatively new shape with at least 45 facets
(no culet) normally close to a square shape (+ or - 10%), but
may come in elongated versions. Watch out for girdles
which are extremely thin and thus prone to chipping. Typical length-to-width
ratio: 1 to 1.00-1.15.
Patented cut with 70 facets (often confused with "cut corners
Princess/Quadrillions"). Typical length-to-width
ratio: 1 to 1.20-1.50.
Look for uneven or flat "wings" or too shallow cleft.
ratio: 1 to 0.90-1.10.