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Selecting the ideal gem for your jewelry can require a bit more thought than choosing your favorite stone color. Precious and semi-precious gemstones come in various shapes and sizes, which can alter the appearance of the stone and thus your jewelry. Some gems, such as emeralds, can have a bold and striking color, while others are available in different shades. Certain shapes look great set alone, need one gem for your ring, while other styles allow you to cluster multiple stones in your jewelry. 

Our comprehensive guide explains different gemstone cuts and gives common gem shapes so you can select the best option for your custom jewelry

Types of Gemstone Cuts

A gemstone is extracted in a raw, rough state and goes through a refining process to result in a stunning glimmering stone ready to use in jewelry. Part of this process includes cutting and shaping the gem. There are various cutting styles, but the three basic styles are brilliant cut, step cut, and mixed cuts. 

Brilliant cut gemstones produce the most sparkle and contain kite and triangular facets extending out from the stone’s center. Step cuts use rectangular facets to highlight the gem’s color and clarity while mixed cuts combine a brilliant cut for the crown and step cuts on the pavilion. Faceters can combine various cutting styles and include numerous facets to produce any shape gemstone. These small adjustments can change a gemstone’s appearance and brilliance. 

Popular Gem Cuts for Rings

There are numerous gem sizes and shapes due to the various cuts faceters can make in a stone. However, a few styles always seem to remain a popular choice for rings and other jewelry pieces.


This shape is popular for moss agate rings and features a six-sided hexagon shape with stark pointed corners. It is a more modern cut and a beautiful choice if you love a strong geometric style.

Brilliant Round

The brilliant cut is a flattering choice for a gemstone, as it has the highest number of facets and, therefore, more sparkle than other cuts. It is often the most expensive style due to the extensive time and expertise necessary to produce numerous cuts. The size of a brilliant round cut will depend on personal preference.


A pear-cut gemstone is also known as a teardrop. The cut boasts a rounded oval shape at one end and tapers to a point at the other, looking similar to a water droplet. It looks modern and elegant in a ring and can make your fingers appear elongated. This shape is also a popular choice in earrings and necklaces. 

pear cut necklace


The oval cut is a style that features an elongated stone with smooth rounded ends. It also has many facets, similar to the round brilliant, giving the gem a high-quality fire and excellent sparkle.   


This style gets its name from the emerald stone, as these gems were commonly cut into this rectangular shape. Whereas other cuts have facets that all point to its center, an emerald cut stone has vertical facets that run up and down giving the stone unique clarity. It is the most flattering style for the green gem and other related stones, as it allows a deep vibrant color to shine as the light bounces around the interior. Emerald cuts are a classic choice that will never go out of style.

Emerald Cut ring

Princess Cut

The princess cut’s square shape and pointed edges look elegant in a cocktail ring, and you can readily enhance the style with smaller gems on the band. This style is popular for rings, as it exudes beauty and brilliance.


This style is similar to an oval cut with an elongated shape but in this case it has two pointed ends. It is a modern take on a classic oval style and features 57 facets to maximize the amount of light reflecting from the gem. 

Marquis engagement ring


The rectangle cut is named after the French word baguette, a long loaf of bread. As the name indicates, this cut shapes the gem into an elongated style with beautiful symmetry and clean lines. It is an ideal shape when you want a unique alternative to the classic round or emerald styles.

baguette cut ring


A radiant or cushion cut gem is shaped similarly to a princess style — the only difference is that it has the option to be more varying. Some radiant cut stones have round edges and some stones are more rectangular than square. It is a flat style which is perfect if you want an engagement ring that sits closer to your finger rather than having a high-sitting stone.

Selecting the Ideal Gemstone Cut

A gemstone’s shape, number of facets, and light reflection will determine the brilliance and color of the stone. A faceted will cut the stone into the ideal shape to highlight the gem’s clarity so it will sparkle just the way you expect. The best style of cut to select comes down to personal preference and the type of jewelry you’re creating. Some cuts are better suited to rings, while others are ideal for necklaces or earrings. Our professional jewelers can provide you with knowledgeable advice about the best gemstone cuts for your jewelry design.

Custom Jewelry With JPratt Designs

We provide exceptional customer service and will guide you through the gemstone selection process. Our professional and knowledgeable design team and jeweler can help you answer questions such as whether to get a big or small gem, how many stones, and if you should go for a modern or classic look. Answering these questions can determine the best shape and size gemstone for your custom jewelry. 

Contact JPratt Designs for a comprehensive gemstone and jewelry consultation.

Stay tuned, more blog items coming soon!

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