To give a geometric shape to a rough Colombian Emerald by grinding on a spinning disk is what we know as cutting or faceting. It is of extreme importance as it determines an emerald’s brilliance and purity of color. Visibility of the inevitable inclusions (tiny flaws in the crystalline structure), increase or decrease value. In the cutting process 70% of the expensive material is lost.

Emeralds are most often faceted in rectangular step cut otherwise known as an “Emerald Cut”. As a rule it is the most efficient use of rough material considering emeralds form naturally in hexagonal crystals. These are particularly well suited for the emerald cuts long facets. Other shapes are also faceted when the rough crystals lend themselves to those classic cuts.

Hexagonal Emerald Crystals

Color zoning in an
Emerald Crystal

Every stone is a new challenge even for the experienced cutter. He is a skillful technician judging depth, width and length to accommodate color zoning, diminish the prominence of flaws and retain color; all this with a minimum loss of material. The cutter is also an artist perceiving the most advantageous facet angles; thus allowing the stone to flourish, releasing its full potential of color and brilliance.

The ideal cut is an optimum relation between weight and face size with the precise lower facet angles assuring that all the white light entering the table or face is returned to the beholder as green fiery flashes and sparkle.

Dark green emeralds benefit from shallow cuts which maximize brilliance and prevent them from becoming over dark. Light color, high crystal emeralds are favored by deep cuts which concentrate color in the center of the stone. All shallow cut stones appear 10-20% larger than their weight would dictate.The perfect stone is virtually unattainable given the emerald’s peculiarities and approaching this ideal demands a serious premium.

The combination of hues, shades of hues, saturation of shades, degrees of brilliance, inclusions, enhancements, cuts, shapes, proportions, weight, finish and price creates 10´s of thousands of variations to choose from; some very desirable.Consequently Lee Wasson personally screens thousands of emeralds with the discerning eye that 4 decades of experience concedes before presenting a select group of gems for your viewing.