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Garnet stone is often a romantic choice for jewelry with its rosy hues ranging from pink to deep red. If you've ever thought about purchasing a piece of garnet jewelry, you've likely wondered what cut is best for this stone. Which cut will enhance the garnet color and make your garnet necklace or garnet ring genuinely vibrant? Whether you're looking for a garnet stone for yourself or someone you love, we hope this guide will help you choose the perfect garnet cut and provide insight into how budget, design, and occasion all can factor into your consideration.
When cutting gems for jewelry, there are multiple factors that cutters consider. Preserving the stone's carat weight is not chief among them. Instead, cutters aim to enhance the stone's color and increase its radiance. This is true whether it is a natural garnet or a lab-created stone.
Most garnets have excellent clarity and are hardy stones. A gem cutter will look at the raw garnet to determine if it's suitable for jewelry in the form of a statement gem or will work better as a bead, cabochon, or specimen. Clear and vibrant stones are great for things like garnet rings, while more opaque garnets are usually turned into cabochons. For garnet to be showcased in jewelry, it will commonly need a high rating, such as an AAA from the GIA.
A cabochon is easy to tell apart from a faceted gem as it has a domed, smooth surface with no faceting. Their rounded and polished forms are pretty beautiful, though not refractive. Cabochon cuts are well suited to opaque garnets because the cut doesn't let light in. Instead, the cut highlights patterns and markings within the stone. Similarly, beads with holes drilled into them for stringing are another opaque garnet option.
Alternatively, if a rough garnet has excellent clarity and color, it's a strong contender for faceted gem jewelry. Before a lapidary, or cutter, begins, they'll select the best garnet and remove flaws. A gem saw removes blemishes from the rough stone and reveals which shape the garnet is best suited to. They'll try to maintain as much carat weight as possible while getting the best cut quality.
Once the shape is chosen, they'll begin cutting the stone until it begins to resemble the final product. Once enough of the rough stone is cut away, the garnet will be affixed to a stick with a particular type of wax. This makes it easier for the cutter to achieve the shape and facets and smooth out the gem. They'll work through the process on the bottom of the stone first before completing the top.
A final polish after the garnet has been removed from the stick and it is ready to be set. A setting can turn a garnet into any type of gem jewelry, from garnet rings to garnet pendants.
Though the process of cutting natural garnets and lab-created garnets is quite similar, a lapidary often has a more straightforward job with lab-created gems. This is because they are largely free from flaws and inclusions. Their clarity means they don't have to try to cut away as much of the rough stone or try to hide things, like dark shadows or feathers, within the facets.
Garnets can be cut into nearly any shape, keeping in mind that lower-quality stones are cut into cabochons. In contrast, finer quality garnets are used as gems for jewelry.
We're talking about faceted gem cuts for this article. Though shape factors into garnet cuts, a cutter can use the same cut on various shapes.
As you may have guessed, step cuts refer to cutting the stone in layers. The result is straight, parallel lines across from each other on the face of the stone. If you like these square, ninety-degree angles, here are a few cuts you may like.
This square-shaped cut looks like a cushion with its cut-off corners, but the step cut sets it apart from a true cushion brilliant cut. It's excellent for bouncing light around its parallel facet lines. If the corners are not beveled, it is known as a Carre. When the light comes up through the bottom, you can see why this cut is sometimes called the "hall of mirrors."
If you elongate the Asscher, you get an emerald cut. It looks like a rectangle with two sides more extended than the others and still features the cut-off corners. A baguette cut is another popular garnet step cut that looks like an elongated emerald but has angular, not beveled corners.
Each of these cuts helps to elongate the finger if fashioned into a ring. They also work well for pendants or drop-style earrings.
This is the most popular cut. Its 57 facets form a plethora of angles that maximize the use of light for the ultimate sparkle. The round shape is also conducive to so many forms of jewelry, making it a favorite!
Oval is very similar to a round, only with an elongated shape. They help to make the finger look slender and sleek and are considered a modern cut.
A cushion has the outside shape of an Asscher, the same square design with the cut-off corners. However, in a brilliant cut, the corners are more rounded instead of mitered. Additionally, the numerous facets of the brilliant cut give it a slightly different look and lots of sparkles. The cushion is most famous for garnet rings and garnet studs.
Consider the cushion if you're looking for a square shape that's a marriage of step and brilliance. It has facet patterns that maximize sparkle with just a hint of the geometric parallel lines of a step cut. The princess is also set apart by its sharp angular corners. For someone born in January with the garnet birthstone, a princess cut ring would be fabulous!
The round brilliant cut is the most popular for nearly any gem. However, garnet is also well suited to a heart shape or a step cut in an Asscher.
Garnet isn't the hardest gemstone, rating up to 7.5 on the Mohs scale.
Garnet makes excellent jewelry and can be worn as everyday jewelry. However, as they're not as strong as a diamond, they may not be ideal for an engagement ring.
Garnet symbolizes love, friendship, and light. Spiritually, garnets' meaning is tied to passion and energy.