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I love standard round brilliants and as you can tell from the collection, I have cut a few. When the gemstone is small enough there are some adequate simplified cuts that are effective, but I have never felt that any gemstone is too “stuffed” with facets when I cut a standard round brilliant. On the larger side of average, I have looked at deeper and more involved cuts. Commercially, many rounds and other shapes are “wall papered” with facets and little concern is put into meets and balancing the size of facets. After some discussion and searching I decided on “split horizontal mains” as the cut I would use on my deeper rounds. There are a couple of drawbacks to using this cut:
1, It is difficult to photograph and looks much better to the eye as you move the stone. Jeff Smith, my friend and photographer has even come to call stones cut with horizontal split mains as having the “evil eye”. But he has gotten better at getting the picture slightly off axis and without the sharp contrast between the facets on the culet and the facets next to the girdle.
2, It can not be set in most commercial settings. This can be a problem with even standard round brilliants, if the depth of the setting is closely matched to the requirements of diamond. (Well cut diamonds are thinner because of their higher index of refraction) But in settings designed for colored stones and a lot of diamond jewelery that is not a problem.
Still, I think that the split horizontal cut is worth the effort, despite it limitations and can enhance a gemstones beauty more than just retaining weight.
The gemstone I am posting about is a prime example of a very nice middle of the road pink that was enhanced by cutting its pavilion with a split horizontal main cut. The gemstone has an ideal tone level for all around use. It is not too dark for evening and can still stand the sun. When the stone is moved it gives a very bright, but different flash pattern than a standard round brilliant. The flash does not “spin” as much, but when the mains, next to the culet, light up you get a blast of flash. This pink is eye clean with great crystal. It weighs 4,34 carats, which is of course heavy for its girth. It is a find gemstone.