This earliest of diamond “cuts” simply involved polishing away any blemishes on the faces of a diamond octahedron. Legend has it that the association of diamond with love came from the practice of French courtiers to use a point diamond to write messages on inconspicuous palace windows arranging assignments, hence engagement rings.
The table was a very early and practical diamond cut. It merely amounted to grind-ing and polishing away a heavily included or damaged point of a diamond octahedron.
The rose cut was developed in the fifteenth century and many famous historic stones were cut in this fashion notably the Great Mogul and the Koh-i-noor which was subsequently re-cut in Victorian times.
The old mine cut was relatively conservative of the rough since it virtually followed the outline of the diamond.
The first major cutting style to involve rounding-up of the rough was the old European cut.
The invention of the diamond saw shortly after WWI ushered in modern brilliant cutting. The new proportions could produce two stones with a lower crown and more open table from a single octahedral crystal.
The calibre or French cut
The mixed cut which has a brilliant cut crown and step cut pavilion is widely used. It is certainly by far the preferred cut for ruby and sapphire ovals and cushions.
The Scissors cut
The Barion cut
The Barion cut developed by South African diamanteer, Basil Watermeyer was a major break-through in diamond cutting. Basil was determined to create a diamond cut that would not only rival the brilliancy and scintillation of the brilliant cuts but would also achieve a much greater recovery from the rough. A Barion cut pavilion is usually combined with either a cardinal or a scissors cut crown. Basil celebrated his success by combining his name with that of his wife Marion to name his new cut the Barion.
Carbuncles are a modified type of cabochon usually cut from somewhat dark garnet material. The deep polished depression cut into the reverse side of the stone helps to lighten and brighten its hue. Cabochette (buff-top) cuts where the crown is cabochon cut and the pavilion facetted generally yield lively stones with an interesting play of light. Facetchons are cut in the opposite way with a facetted crown and a cabochon cut pavilion.