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Welcome to our extensive antique jewelry glossary with around 1,500 jewelry related entries.If you feel you are missing an explanation, feel free to let us know and we will add it.
The process of cutting a diamond (or other transparent gemstone) so as to have its surface completely covered with facets. The facets, if properly shaped and placed, result in greater brilliance by reducing the amount of refracted light that escapes; but some stones are cut to emphasize the colour rather than the brilliance.
There are number of styles of faceting that are well established, some for many years, some recently developed. The earliest were the table cut and pyramid cut. The rose cut was introduced in the 15th century and was popular in the 16th/17th centuries until the invention of the brilliant cut. The rose cut has several modifications, e.g. the Dutch rose cut ('crowned rose'), the Brabant rose cut ('Antwerp cut'), the double rose cut, the cross rose cut, the rose recouppé cut, and the briolette. The brilliant cut also has many modifications. Other recent styles of faceting are the baguette, cut-corner, triangle cut, emerald cut, epaulet cut, hexagon cut, keystone cut, kite cut, lozenge cut, mixed cut, pentagon cut, square cut, and trapeze cut.
The lapidary, when faceting a stone, must avoid over-heating from friction (doing so by means of a stream of water) as excess heat might lead to 'thermal expansion' of the stone, resulting in defective facets or a split stone.
From: An Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry, autor: Harold Newman, publishers: Thames and Hudson