Asymmetrical crystals such as macles are usually unsuitable for symmetrical cuts such as the Round Brilliant, and lend themselves to a "Fancy Cut" style. These fancy cuts can follow the best attributes of the rough stone while eliminating or avoiding cleavage planes, internal flaws, and inclusions. Popular fancy cuts include the "Baguette" (bread loaf), "Marquise" or "Navette" (little boat), "Princess Cut" aka Square Brilliant Cut, "Heart", "Briolette" (a form of Rose cut), Pear (teardrop), and the Trillion which is triangular in shape.
Concave faceting cuts are a relatively new trend on the gem-cutting scene (amethyst - above, left). Invented by Doug Hoffman in the early 1990s, the technique was perfected by American gem-cutter Richard Homer. The unique conical-shaped faceting creates a high amount of brilliance by refracting and dispersing more incident light than a conventional facet cut.
Cross Cuts, French Cuts, & Step Cuts
An emerald cut, as shown in the diagram at the top of the page (upper, left), is a modified step cut with the corners cut at a diagonal angle. With a step-cut, the crown, pavilion, and the table are all cut in rectangular facets. This type of step-cut does not produce much brilliance, but it is an effective cut for showcasing a stone's color attributes (as with emeralds).
Cross Cut, French Cut, & Step Cut Fancy Gem Cuts
Popular variations of the step-cut are the Scissor-Cut or Cross-Cut, Baguette Cut, and the French-Cut (above, center). These cuts add slightly more brilliance to the stone a dark stone, and are good for concealing internal flaws. The french cut is also used on very small stones where a brilliant cut would not be practical.
The "navette-cut" or marquise cut (shown in simplified form - above, center) is a popular choice for colored stones such as topaz, citrine, Amethyst, and Aquamarine. The navette cut may have been the creation of King Louis XV of France, who was so taken with the delicate shape of his courtesan's (Marchioness Madame de Pompadour, below, right) mouth that he commissioned his court jeweler to create a gem cut in its likeness.