Report: Why Did I Cut That Stone That Way?

Cutting and polishing a stone is often a matter of the stone’s pattern and coloration. The larger the pattern of the stone to be cut, the larger the finished stone will need to be. A very petite pattern will physically fit into a small cut stone, but will be so small in a piece of jewelry when set that you can’t see the pattern from the distance it is viewed. So, the pattern of the feature you want to highlight must be large enough to be seen by someone standing next to you.

The shape of the cab being cut, e.g., oval, round, triangle, rectangle, square, or free form, will limit what part of the pattern can be captured in the finished cut stone. Accordingly, I do many designer free form shapes and sizes and I also cut a great many large cabs in order to capture the maximum part of a good pattern or coloration.



The two featured stones above, #4807 and #4808, show how the same pattern from the same cut stone will appear differently when cut into different shapes. Had I decided to shorten the length of either of these stones, I would have lost the red/orange color on either or both ends, or I would lose the red color on one end, and lost the symmetry and balance of the stone. The oval cut seen in photo #4807 shows less red on each end as compared to the fancy cut shown in photo #4808 which appears to be a more rectangular fancy cut stone. Looking at both stones, which do you find more appealing? I would be interested in your opinion. Personally, I like #4808 better probably because I prefer free forms to more regular shapes.


#4818 above was cut of a shape and size in order to frame in white the floral bouquet seen in the center of the stone. Had I made the stone smaller or a different shape, I would have lost the white frame.



Likewise, #4773 above was cut as a large oval to frame the beautiful blue fortification agate in the center with red and yellow jasper. #4792 was an irregular jasp-agate shard which had euhedral quartz crystals on the left side (as viewed). The shard’s long narrow shape excluded a round, oval or rectangular cab, hence, a free form designer gemstone was called for to capture an interesting pattern, unusual shape, vibrant color and save the euhedral quartz crystals running up the left side. This shape and size dictated a pendant rather than a ring, bracelet, or earrings, etc. The simple gold wire wrap was utilized to accent the stone’s shape and color, and not detract from the pattern or the quartz crystals. Hence, after a stone is cut, I design the setting to fit the stone’s size, shape and coloration.


Some stone colorations look better in sterling silver, some in gold. #4793 above is a Maine green plasma jasper set in gold which almost always looks better than sterling silver with the green jasper. The gold accents the green; the silver, not so much.

Finally, #3903 below is a geode pendant set with sterling silver rather than gold. I think the sterling silver looks better than gold because the stone’s color is very close to a gold/yellow.