In my previous post I discussed how the pavilion of a diamond can affect its beauty. Today I want to talk about how pavilion can affect the beauty of a colored stone.
As I mentioned, fire and brilliance are the most important factors in a diamond. But a colored stone is purchased primarily for its color. To achieve the best color, stone cutters must take into consideration the depth of color, color zoning, refractive properties etc.
The image above shows two stones with the same face-up size, 6.5mm round, but you can see the difference in the pavilion shape and size of the Chatham-created padparadscha compared to the colorless stone. The padparadscha, while cut nicely symmetrical, has a larger pavilion with a slight bulge. This cutting style is common among colored stones because it can add depth of color to otherwise lighter colored rough material. Likewise, if the rough material is darker than desired, a colored stone may be cut with a shorter pavilion to lighten the color of the stone.
I remember when I was studying for my Graduate Gemologist degree, I was learning about colored stones and there was a particular blue sapphire that was highlighted as being top color and very valuable. The pavilion of the stone was very lopsided making it not-so-attractive from the bottom. But from the top-down view, the stone was amazing…beautiful blue with no indication of its strange pavilion shape. It was a perfect example of how a cutter can maximize the stone’s color and beauty by avoiding standard diamond cutting styles. Despite it’s oddly shaped bottom, the stone was extremely beautiful and valuable…something that would not have been achieved had it been cut with a round brilliant cut designed for a diamond.
Author: Michelle M. Rahm is a GIA-trained Graduate Gemologist and is President of Colorado’s Mile High Chapter of the GIA Alumni Association. She has been selling gemstones and jewelry online since 1997. Visit her websites JewelryImpressions.com and OurCustomWeddingRings.com