Emeralds
Gallery
Inclusions
Catalogue
Synthetic &
Imitations
Mining Faceting


The main consideration in cutting emeralds is to obtain the best exposure of their magical green color. Faceting adds brilliance and spark, enhancing the beauty of these stones. Though, emeralds have not always been cut in facets. In early civilizations emeralds were cut and polished cabochon style, hemispherical form in which the flat surface was attached to the ornament or jewel.
In spite of the fact that gem cutting is an art almost 5000 years old, it was not until the Middle Ages that cutters began to use facets or flat surfaces for transparent stones. They discovered that when cutting a series of flat surfaces on the underside and the top of a transparent gemstone, the bottom facets acted as mirrors reflecting light and thus giving the stone a superior brilliance.
The classical 'emerald cut' developed in the 17th century consists of sixteen facets in the upper surface of the stone, or crown, and twenty in the pavilion below. Modern jewelry uses round, pear and oval shapes in addition to other free forms of faceting.
For the experienced cutter, the inclusions present in most emeralds, which might disperse light and flatten color and brilliance, are opportunities to enhance the final cut gem. Just as fingerprints, these 'gardens' identify an emerald's origins and make it impossible to fake the gemstone. Only after the talented cutter has thoroughly studied the rough crystal against strong light from every angle, does he begin the cutting process, which exposes the gem's hidden luster, thus transforming it into a glittering jewel.