Classifying Cutting Styles




To classify the style of cutting displayed by a given stone, it is necessary to consider its girdle outline (top view), its cross-section out-line (side view), and its principal parts.

Girdle Outline

The first consideration is the shape or pattern of the girdle out-line. Basically, girdle outlines are classified under the following descriptive terms, which are illustrated in Figures 2, 3 and 4. The numbers 1 to 35 refer to the corresponding sketches in CHART 1.

  1. Round
  2. Oval
  3. Navette (pronounced nav-ETT), boat shape or marquise (pronounced mar-KEEZ)
  4. Emerald cut
  5. Pear, tear drop, or pendeloque (pronounced PAHN-dah-loke)
  6. Rectangle
  7. Square emerald cut
  8. Antique cushion
  9. Square antique cushion
  10. Heart
  11. Square
  12. Baguette (pronounced bag-ETT)
  13. Tapered baguette
  14. Triangle
  15. Half moon
  16. Cut-corner triangle
  17. Barrel
  18. Kite
  19. Keystone
  20. Semi-navette
  21. Octagon
  22. Whistle
  23. Shield
  24. Trapeze
  25. Tapered pentagon
  26. Calf's head
  27. Epaulette (pronounced EP-ah-let)
  28. Hexagon
  29. Diamond or lozenge (pronounced LOZ-enj)
  30. Pentagon
  31. Bullet
  32. Fan
  33. Rhomboid
  34. Star
  35. Window

All of the shapes shown in Figure B are called OVALS. Even though the narrower ones are similar in appearance to the navette, they DO NOT have pointed ends. In order to describe such narrow ovals, perhaps they could be called NAVETTE-SHAPED OVALS.

A few other shapes include the BOW TIE, FOUR-LEAF CLOVER, FLOWER SHAPE and SPHERE 1,2,3,4 of Fig. C. Other naturalistic forms not illustrated include representations of leaves, fish, insects, etc. FREE FORM (Figure 5 and 6 is a name applied to a faceted stone with an unsymmetrical outline. BAROQUES (pronounced bath-ROEKS) are irregular, rough stones polished without further shaping (Figure C7); they are also called TUMBLED STONES.

Cross-Section Outline

The cross-section outlines of the majority of faceted stones are not classified by descriptive terms. They resemble a cut-corner triangle; i.e. with a flat top facet and a pointed base (similar to the left-hand sketch in Figure 1). The exceptions are stones cut with a faceted top and a flat base (such as the rose cut) and those having faceted sides in conjunction with flat tops and bases (such as the plaque).

Stones with curved may have only the top surface curved, with either a flat base or a hollowed-out back; or they may have both surface curved and the curves may vary to give very high, high, medium or flat domes.

The Principal Parts of a Gemstone.

Gemstones cut with flat facets usually consist of the following principal parts: the GIRDLE (the production that circles the stone at the boundary between the crown and pavilion facets; i.e., the girdle), the TABLE (the large flat facet on top of the crown), the BEZEL (the inclined area of the crown between the table and the girdle), the PAVILION (the inclined area between the girdle and the culet), the CULET (pronounced KEW-let); the small flat facet at the point where the pavilion facets meet, the purpose of which is to reduce the possibility of damage). Stones cut with curved surfaces have only a girdle, crown
and pavilion.