Stone shapes, cuts and settings
Discover our most popular shapes
Stones come in a variety of shapes, such as round, pear and square among many others. The same shape can be fashioned into a multitude of cuts, each of which has unique attributes. Explore some of our most popular shapes.
The square cut was created during the 1960s as an alternative to the round brilliant cut, this geometric shape is characterised by its pointed corners, inverted pyramid shape and four bevelled sides. The sophisticated shape offers maximum brilliance, making it an enduring classic.
Shaped with 58 facets to create exceptional sparkle, oval shaped stones offer timeless beauty and brilliance that brings a twist on the classic round shape. The elliptical shape, invented in 1957, combines the sparkle of the round brilliant cut with a flattering elongated outline.
Created in the early 1900s, the round shape brings intense sparkle to stones. Working for every jewellery style, particularly solitaire rings and halo-embellished designs, it's one of the most popular shapes.
A perfectly symmetrical hybrid of an oval and marquise shape, the teardrop shape tapers to a point in perfect alignment with the peak of its rounded end. Teardrop-shaped stones require a 6-prong setting to support the point. Also known as a pear shape, the light-reflecting shape dramatically reflects light.
A classic shape that combines a perfectly proportioned square with gently rounded corners, its name refers to its similarity to a plush and petite pillow.
The baguette cut was created in the 1920s and remains a popular shape in modern jewellery. Crafted in a “step cut” (14 facets are cut along the edges to maximise clarity) the unique shape allows stones to be set side by side without gaps. It has a straight (rectangular) or tapered shape (tapered baguette).
An unusual yet elegant shape, originally created for King Louis XV in the mid 1700s to evoke the shape of his mistress’ lips, the marquise shape is characterised by its slender silhouette that elongates the finger when used on rings.
In 1562, Mary Queen of Scots sent a ring set with a heartshaped stone to Queen Elizabeth I as a symbol of friendship and goodwill. An enduring symbol of love, romance and unbreakable bonds, the heart shape is a timeless addition to jewellery.
This cut is similar to a cushion shape, albeit its four corners are cropped in a straight line instead of rounded. The stone is crafted with rows of wide, flat, concentric facets that resemble steps along the gemstone’s circumference. The shape is noted for its modern look without sacrificing the brilliance and fire of a round stone.
Discover our most popular cuts
Some cut names describe the upper shape of the finished gem, while others refer to the shape and arrangement of the stone’s facets and are also referred to as gem cutting styles.
The round brilliant cut is the most popular stone cut – also in Pandora jewellery designs. It maximises light return and sparkle and is the most brilliant, hence often used for diamonds. Some come with flat back instead of the characteristic pavilion, enabling it to sit flush on flat designs.
Featuring parallel ‘step-like’ facets that run down the sides of a stone to draw the eye to the centre, the step cut features graduated rows that run along the length and width of a stone. The stone’s four corners are bevelled. Creating an effect known as ‘hall of mirrors,’ it is often used on square and baguette shapes, bringing transparency to stones. Emerald, Asscher and Baguette are all classified as step cuts.
The popular princess cut, also known as a square modified brilliant, was created during the 1960s as an alternative to the round brilliant cut. It's characterised by its inverted pyramid shape and four bevelled sides. The princess cut is an enduring classic thanks to its sophisticated square shape.
Rose cut with flat back
Dating back to the 1500s, the rose cut was common during the Georgian and Victorian eras. It features a dome shaped crown with triangular facets that meet at a point in the centre and a flat bottom. Resembling a rose bud in bloom, it has between four and 24 facets. Crafted in many shapes, the beauty of the classic rose cut is reimagined in an oval shape.
The innovative puresse cut is a cabochon variant that mixes a faceted cut with a non-faceted cut. A domed top and a faceted pavilion underneath give the illusion of depth by drawing the eye into the stone’s centre. The name of the Puresse cut – a unique cut invented by Swarovski – refers to its pure look and glittering water droplet effect.
Round cabochon cut
Taking its name from the French word for head or dome, this ancient shaping technique is smooth and round with a domed top and no facets. It is often used for translucent and opaque stones, as well as for many stones that display some form of optical phenomenon. This cut displays stones to their best advantage.
Explore our stone setting
Stone setting involves a metal base that holds a stone securely in place in a piece of jewellery. Enhancing its brilliance and beauty, the right setting ensures the overall visual appeal of a particular design.
Here, a stone is placed in a concave depression of equal size using a clamp and a pin. Small, rounded pieces of polished metal known as beads surround the stone to keep it in place. The number of stones and beads can vary depending on the specific jewellery piece.
In a flush setting – also called a ‘burnish’ or ‘gypsy’ setting – each stone is set in a tapered hole on the surface of a jewellery piece. To secure the stone, the surrounding metal is hammered around it to hold it in place, leaving it ‘flush’ with the surface. Exposing only the crown of a stone, the smooth, protective setting won’t snag on clothing.
The bezel setting is one of the oldest stone setting techniques. A band of metal encircles the stone entirely or partially, its rim extending slightly above its circumference to help hold it in place. Bezels can be plain or decorative, and the low, protective profile makes it an excellent setting for jewellery worn on a daily basis. It's traditionally used for cabochons and round-shaped stones.
This setting style features narrow metal supports called prongs or claws which hold the stone in place. The raised setting accentuates the stone, allowing the maximum amount of light to enter it. However, it also leaves the stone exposed with little support of its edges. This setting requires regular check-ups to ensure the stone remains secure.
The peg setting, also known as the ‘half-drill’ setting, is traditionally used for pearls. A pearl or other spherically cut stone is drilled halfway through and attached to a mounting with a peg. The peg is coated with a small amount of adhesive to prevent the stone from moving. The mounting may have additional metal surrounding the stone, but is largely an ornamental feature. Since there are no claws or prongs, the stone appears to float, giving the jewellery piece a light and graceful appearance.