What’s in a name? Gemstone Shapes and Cuts

Did you know?  Gemstone’s shape isn’t the same as a gemstone’s cut.  Really? Really.


These are gemstone shapes. 1.  round, 2. oval, 3. marquise,or navett , 4.  emerald  and  5.  pear, tear drop or pendeloque.

Let’s name a gemstone.  Most gemstones have two names, a first name which is the shape and the last name which reflects the cut.  The shape of the gem reflects the shadow it leaves.  A round gems casts a round shadow and an oval gem an oval shadow. The second name reflects the cut.  The cut of a gem is the pattern surface facets or the lack of facets altogether.

 This is drawing of a round, brilliant cut gemstone.  The brilliant cut is a round cut of 58 facets, mathematically devised to produce the greatest brilliance.  Other round gems could have rose, old European, mine or cabochon cuts.  So these gems would be called round rose cut or round cabochon.


This picture depicts an oval shaped gemstone with a brilliant oval cut. Because the same term describes both the cut and the shape, we would not call it an oval oval, we just call this an oval.  There are other cuts and treatments for ovals such as oval cabochons or oval checkerboard cuts.

 Just as the oval drawing above, this drawing pictures a marquise shaped gem with a brilliant marquise cut. A marquise is an oval shape gemstone cut with pointed ends.  And just as the oval above, wouldn’t call this a marquise, marquise but just a marquise.

 The pear shape is most often cut with the brilliant pear cut.  This drawing depicts an pear shape and a pear cut, so we call it a pear. 

 This drawing’s title is a bit confusing.  This is a emerald shaped gem with mixed cut.  Most emerald shaped gemstones have an emerald step cut.  There are 58 facets in a typical emerald-step-cut gem. The drawing to the left depicts an emerald stone with a cut that is a mix between a traditional step cut and a brilliant cut, hence the name mixed cut,  The name of this gem: emerald, mixed cut.


If you’re finding these terms, shapes, cuts and details fascinating, drop by the Sturm Brothers youtube page or follow us on instagram @sturmbrothers or on facebook @sturmbros.,  What would you like to learn about next?  The jewelry world is full of unique terms and topics.  It is our favorite subject, so we’re happy to oblige.