Like flowers, snowflakes, and stars in sky, diamonds and gems come in various shapes and sizes, and provided with just as much beauty. Anyone who has an beloved jewelry piece can usually recount the story of where and how they came to acquire it.

Round cut or round brilliant cut is by far the most popular cut for diamonds and gems, with good reason. It’s versatile, classic, and can be tailored to fit almost any piece. It contains a total of 57 facets, which gives it that brilliant shine. It was the vision of Polish engineer, who Marcel Tolkowsky in 1914, who created the design using mathematical proportions to establish angels and cuts to maximize the shine, minimize the loss of precious stone, and create a visually appealing silhouette. The round cut was the centerpiece in Kate Middelton, Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding tiara, The Halo Tiara, which contains over 700 round brilliants topped by a large round brilliant.

The cushion cut or miners cut has a square shape but with soft rounded corners that give it the appearance of a soft down pillow. The shape is actually considered a vintage cut, and was highly popular in edwardian era choker necklaces. The style has recently come back in vogue, and is the featured cut of Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle’s engagement ring. The rounded edges put it halfway between a princess and round brilliant cut. It has broad facets and an open breach, allowing a great deal of light to penetrate the stone and “dazzle” any piece. The Regent Diamond or Millionaire Diamond, one of the largest and most famous crown jewels, and a favorite of Queen Marie Antoinette of France.

The princess cut features straight lines and sharp corners, and is a great modern cut. The exact history of this cut is unknown, but expert theorize it most likely came from Basil Watermeyer’s 1971 patented design for a square shaped diamond, which he named the Barion cut. The sharp, symmetrical lines were quite difficult for early gem cutters to create, but modern technology has made it more attainable. The modern princess features 58 facets, slightly more than the round brilliant and offers a similar shine.The modernity of this cut has lead to it’s popularity amongst modern royalty (AKA celebrities). Both Kate Bosworth and Hillary Duff have princess cut engagement rings.

The emerald cut has similar sleek, clean lines as princess cut, but it’s history goes back nearly 600 years. Originally known as the “table cut”, it was used on emeralds to prevent cracks and chipping in the stone. It was the most popular cut during the 1920’s art deco movement, when straight, clean lines were highly favored. it’s unique elongated shape, and graduated lines, create an in interesting optical illusion that draws in the light, creating a “descending stair” effect. The shape has been featured the royal jewelry collection of almost every royal family. American Royalty, Jacqueline “Jackie” Kennedy, made the cut iconic in the States with her dazzling 2.88 carat engagement ring from former president John F. Kennedy.

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