Yellow Sapphire Cut
Yellow sapphire can look stunning in nearly any cut. Generally, it comes down to what kind of vibe you want your yellow sapphire jewelry to possess. But you may be curious whether a particular cut can enhance a yellow sapphire gemstone. Or is there a best cut for a yellow sapphire engagement ring? We hope that this guide on a yellow sapphire cut will answer those questions and more. Guiding you to what cut is best for your yellow sapphire in terms of style, budget, and occasion!
When you hear sapphire, you may think of the traditional blue sapphire. However, yellow sapphire has cheery lemon hues. A well-cut yellow sapphire is gorgeous, having vibrant colors that stand out. A poorly cut sapphire will look noticeably pale and less brilliant. This is one of the many technical considerations a gem cutter will consider.
First, they may look at the yellow sapphire's hue. This means whether the stone is light yellow, lemon (golden) yellow, or dark yellow, as sapphire can have hints of orange or brown. They will also consider the sapphire's saturation, meaning how intense it is, and its tone, be it light or dark.
Suppose the yellow sapphire isn't very brilliant but is more opaque or has impurities. In that case, it likely won't be used for fine jewelry. Instead, a cutter might turn the rough stone into a cabochon or beads. Fine-quality gems can be turned into jewelry. Their cut can maximize their hue and saturation. Sapphires that are graded AAAA or AAA are most commonly used for jewelry.
Cabochon Cutting Process
A cabochon is a domed stone with a round top and a flat back. They don't have facets but can beautifully display interesting patterns in stones caused by inclusions. Many opaque stones, like onyx, are almost exclusively made into cabochons. Yellow sapphire will only be crafted into a cabochon if it is not fine gem quality. You can see all of their interesting details and patterns when they are smooth and polished. Yellow sapphires can also be smoothed and polished into a sphere with a hole drilled through the center to make beads.
From Rough Yellow Sapphire to Yellow Sapphire Jewelry: Cutting Process
After a cutter determines that a yellow sapphire has good clarity and color, they will begin looking for flaws. Inclusions and blemishes will be cut off the rough stone with a gem saw. Taking what is left over, they'll decide on the best shape to maximize color and brilliance while not losing too much carat weight. They'll also consider the symmetry of the facets and how they can enhance how the yellow sapphire reflects and bounces light.
First, the rough stone will be cut into an approximation of the final shape. This rough outline will be attached to a stick using special wax. The post helps the cutter or lapidary hold the gem while cutting facets. After the stone is faceted, they'll smooth and polish it. They work from the bottom up, polishing it entirely before moving to the top.
Finally, the gem is ready to be set. The yellow sapphire may go into earrings, a pendant, or create a yellow sapphire engagement ring.
Natural versus Lab Created Yellow Sapphire
Yellow sapphires can be lab-created. They're almost always free from inclusions and blemishes. Therefore, cutters don't have to worry about cutting the stone to remove flaws or maximize beauty. Unlike natural stones, a lapidary won't be as concerned with trying to enhance the appearance and hide blemishes with a lab-created yellow sapphire.
Yellow Sapphire Cut, Described
Yellow sapphires can be cut into various shapes, just as diamonds can. However, only fine-quality gems will be cut and faceted for jewelry. Below, we're only discussing fine-quality gems and their cuts. Remember, the cut doesn't necessarily refer to the shape but the facets.
Step cuts have straight, parallel lines, and therefore the facets form a geometric-looking pattern. The gem looks as if it has been cut in layers, giving it excellent symmetry and structure.
An emerald cut is a great example and a popular step cut for yellow sapphire. It has an elongated form, like a rectangle, with mitered corners that are not pointy. It can help elongate the finger or make the gem appear larger.
Like an emerald cut, an Asscher cut has mitered or cut-off corners. However, it is squarer. Sometimes referred to as the "hall of mirrors," the cut can make a yellow sapphire positively radiant.
If you want a curved line that's gentler and less sharp along the outside of the gem, you may prefer a brilliant cut. They also have fewer geometric patterns to their facets and enhanced brilliance.
The princess cut is one of the most favored for yellow sapphire. It has a square shape with sharp corners but facet patterns more commonly seen with brilliants; a perfect combination of the step and brilliant cuts.
You're probably familiar with an oval shape. These sleek cuts are considered modern and trendy, a popular pick for a yellow sapphire engagement ring.
A cushion cut has the same square shape as an Asscher without parallel lines and mitered corners. Their rounded corners give them the form of a cushion while the facets enhance brilliance—an excellent choice for a halo ring.