When consumers are buying their jewelry, they tend to point their attention to the shape of the gemstone, but an equally important factor to consider is the quality of its facet cuts. Shape cuts are the gemstones' forms while facet cuts are the flat surface of a gemstone that affect its refractive index, which is the way light travels through and bounces back on the gemstone's crown that produces its most sought after sparkle. The workmanship of how the facets of a Moissanite is formed is a determining factor of its price beside its color and clarity.
Facet cuts are the most difficult to analyze in a gemstone's grading process because it is not an exact science. The gemologist grading the stone has to make a personal judgement about the symmetry, proportion and distribution of all the facets and how it interacts with light.
If you are considering to get any kind of custom made jewelry, it is imperative that you only buy your loose Moissanite from reputable stores because a poorly cut stone will not look as beautiful once it is set on a jewelry as a skillfully cut one. Ask the jeweler if you could examine the stone under a loupe. An excellent cut will show very little to no dark areas within the stone and the facets are evenly spaced and well proportioned.
Types of Facet Cuts
Brilliant cut stones reflect the most amount of light and will appear to have a well defined facets. A round brilliant cut would be the most popular, most recognizable but also one of the most expensive because this cut requires the most amount of time to make and it sheds the most amount of weight out of the rough material. A round brilliant cut Moissanite will have about 57 to 58 facets and produces the most fire and brilliance out of all the other types of facet cuts. The shapes that commonly use brilliant cuts are round, oval, marquise, radiant and cushion.
A Vintage cut otherwise known as the "Old European" cut has a unique faceting structure that absorbs the light differently and gives out a warmer light dispersion. It releases a larger light and dark patterns similar to a checker board as compared to slivers of bright, fiery white light that a brilliant cut Moissanite would. Some prefer a less showy piece of jewelry and favors this type of cut over a brilliant cut.
Step cut has a sleek and elegant look with parallel rectangular facets graduating from the Moissanite's table. This type of cut is used for Emerald, Baguette and Asscher shapes that have open tables and allow for you to see clearly into the gemstone. Though this type of cut has less facets and will not give you as much fire as a brilliant cut or crushed ice cut would, it showcase for the gemstone's clarity. When choosing this type of cut, make sure that you get no lower than a VVS2 clarity, otherwise the stone's inclusions would be easily visible to the naked eye.
Crushed Ice Cut
Crushed ice cut may look similar to a brilliant cut and the same shapes of Moissanite could use either brilliant or crushed ice facet cuts. Crushed ice cut has short, broken up facets that looks very similar to a broken glass or crushed ice, hence the name, while brilliant cut has well defined and longer facets. Why you should choose one over the other is really a matter of personal preference. Some may view crushed ice as more brilliant because of its smaller, shorter light reflections but some prefer the broader and longer light dispersion. Price wise, crushed ice and vintage cuts are less expensive than brilliant cut because less of the rough material weight is shed when these types of facet cuts are used.
Hearts and Arrows Cut
Hearts and Arrows cut is a precise-cut version of a brilliant cut. Because of their exact angles and symmetry, they show perfect arrows visible from the top of the gemstone's table, and hearts visible when the gemstone is face-down displaying the skill of the lapidarist who shaped and polished the stone. Be prepared to pay premium price for this very exacting and detailed cut--yes, this is the most expensive type of facet cuts of all--significantly more expensive than a brilliant cut. Is it worth it, you may ask? Again, it's a matter of personal preference, but it may help you decide if you know that this very distinct pattern is only visible under a special gemologist's magnifying tool and not to your naked eye.