There are several different cuts that gem cutters, also known as lapidaries, use when creating new pieces. Rough gems are assessed for quality, size and shape before being cut, refined and placed in a setting.
Gems can be cut in two general categories: faceted and non-faceted. Faceted gems have geometric shapes with flat polished faces. This is the more popular of the two styles. Non-faceted gems lack flat surfaces, usually seen in the cabochon style. These different shapes lend themselves to a wide variety of gems, settings and personal styles. Below are some of the most commonly seen cuts.
Not every gemstone can be cut in each of the above styles. Professional lapidaries know which cut will best bring out the brilliance, shine and color of that particular type of stone. A gem's shape effects the overall appearance of the piece. Most rough stones are spherical in nature, lending themselves to oval cuts. The most common shape for colored gemstones, the oval is faceted, reflecting light easily so your gem sparkles.
When choosing a ring, ask the sales associate about the cut of the stone. They'll be able to guide you to the piece which best fits your style and personal preference, without compromising on the brilliance of the stone.