3 Modern Fancy Cuts for Every Gemstone Collector

Facing and cutting results in sizeable loss of crystal material. However, without the faceting process, the raw gemstones will hold no commercial value whatsoever. A diamond with exquisite faceting has at least 400% more value than a raw, dark rock. However, more than anything else, it is the choice of cut that earns the gemstone its repute in the collection.

Here are 3 top-end fancy cuts that every buyer must explore.

Modified brilliants:

They modified brilliants are recent entrants in the collection of fancy-cut gemstones. They are direct descendants of the original brilliant-cut gemstone. They differ from their older sibling by virtue of having an extra row of facets. They look like a crushed ice crystal owing to the half-length pavilion that does not touch the girdle.

Cheaper than the original cushion cut brilliant gemstones, the modified gemstones is preferred only when there is a distinct flaw in the crystal at a particular angle. The modified brilliant cut hides the flaw by resembling a floral shape.

Regarded as the most commercially saleable cut in the industry, the modified brilliants can be further classified into Marquis, Hearts, Trillions and Briolette depending on the size of the raw gemstone. They have a length to width ratio ranging between 1.33 and 1.66, making them look heavier and bigger compared to other cuts. Moreover, the Modified Brilliants can be developed further into intricate shapes of stars, floral and butterflies, without affecting the brilliance and fire interplay.

Modified brilliants can have 56, 102 or 144 facets with 8-fold or 10-fold facets.

Step cuts:

Gemstones that resemble a cube or dice are very popular. The most alluring shape is the faceted cube that exhibits a square or a rectangular outline with facets running parallel to the girdle. Also called the Trap cut gemstones, these step cuts are produced by making flat stepped incisions on the stone. They could feature rows or series of steps in a narrow, long plane.

The popular gemstones that are often given a step-cut are topaz, emerald, amethyst, agate, and tourmaline gemstones.


How to identify a genuine step-cut gemstone? In step-cut gemstones, the corners are often truncated into an octagonal contour to avoid sharp edges from cutting skin. Moreover, the truncated outline prevents the gemstones from cracking up. In theory, sharp edges are point of weakness that can lead to cleave or a fracture. The length to width ratio is 1.50.

Step-cut gemstones are often re-cut into smaller brilliants and briolette shapes to bring in more revenue per-carat.

Mixed Cut:

Also called the hybrid cushion cuts, the mixed cut gemstones reveal fascinating features of both Brilliants and the Ste-cut gemstones.  The crown resembles a brilliant cut, with a pavilion that is cleaved in step-cut. The first mixed cut gemstone was produced in the middle of the Cold War when Brilliants were temporarily replaced by Fancy cuts in Step-cut and briolette designs.

The popular Mixed Cut is the Barion Cut, invented by a South African trader. With a total of 62 facets, it can be easily identified from the rest of the collection.