Most people have heard of the "four C's" relating to gemstones: color, cut, clarity and carat (size).
Color, clarity and carat mostly relate to the original, or rough, gemstone, while cut is where the artistry comes in. That's where we excel. In fact,
we believe a good faceter (gem cutter) makes all the difference, assuming they start with a quality rough stone.
The cut determines the design, shape, size and brilliance of the finished stone. See Gemstone Shapes. By applying an understanding of how light refracts through the gem,
the cutter can make the difference between an ordinary, dull stone or a stunningly brilliant work of art.
The Differences Explained
So, what difference does the cut mean to you? While it often takes a trained eye to really tell the difference, the following comparison will help you
understand more about cuts and cutting.
||Poorly Trained Cutter
||Highly Skilled Cutter
|Repertoire of Cuts
||Limited range of cuts results in the same look as the vast majority of gems on the market.
||Can produce new, unique and unusual designs, including Fantasy and Concave cuts.
|Knowledge of Refraction
||May not take refractive index into account, which can result in "fish eye," or black hole effect.
||Understands refraction and gemstone orientation to make cuts that bring more light into the gem.
||Some faceters work on cheap, poorly made or
poorly calibrated machines, which often result in uneven sides and facets that don't match.
||Using the highest-quality machines, such as Ultra Tec, improves the cutter's ability to make uniform, precision cuts.
||A factory production approach means fewer cuts and less precision, which often means a lifeless, dull or ordinary finish.
||A quality gem cutter will take the extra time to cut and polish each facet in keeping with a higher standard.
|Finishing / Polishing
||Faceters who don't know which polish to use may not get the highest quality finish.
||A good cutter knows the correct
polish to use based on the gem material. By removing all the fine grinding scratches, the stone's natural beauty will be as stunning as possible.
|Fantasy / Concave
|Ordinary faceters are not trained to do these unique new designs and typically don't have the proper equipment.
||Only a few top cutters have the special knowledge and equipment to produce these unique, state-of-the-art concave cut pieces.
||Most large chain jewelry stores carry the same 6-8 standardized cuts churned out by overseas cutters.
||Jewelry designers and smaller, boutique jewelers are more likely to carry the higher quality and one-of-a-kind pieces.
For more information on cuts and our cutting services, read:
Looking for a pre-cut gemstone? See our Gemstone Gallery
Questions about gemstones or faceting? Call Ashton Gems at (707) 769-1706.
Professional faceter Larry Mattos uses two Ultra Tec machines in his cutting business and can cut a gemstone to any custom specifications.