Anatomy of a Gem

Everyone knows what a gem stone looks like, but there are words to describe their characteristics that will help you when buying them. 


Here’s the rundown on traditional faceted gems:  


Table: the top of the gem, the flat bit that you see from the top (you see all the pretty facets and colours through here) 

Crown: the slanty bit that comes down from the crown


Girdle: the “rim” of the stone (this is the point where stones are set, the metal gets pushed over the girdle, onto the crown to keep it secure in your jewellery)


Pavilion: the other slanty (love this descriptor) bit below the girdle. This can also be known as the belly of the gem, and it determines the main height of the stone. An important section, as you don’t want the pavilion to be too deep (or your setting will have to be high). Each gem is cut differently in order to bring out the gem’s best qualities. 


Culet: the point of the gem.


Then there’s the Cabochon! Here’s the deets:


Base: the bottom of the gem, which is flat


Dome: the rounded bit on top. This section can also be faceted, this is then known as a Rose cut gem. 

That’s the basic rundown. You don’t want a gem to be too deep or too shallow. You want the stone to be cut as symmetric as possible. And finally, when choosing a gem, go with your gut. The gem you are drawn to might not be the perfect specimen, but it’s what speaks to you that’s important. 


Any questions? Pop me an email and we can chat!