A Step Cut categorizes any gemstone with a square or rectangle outline whose facets are rectilinear and arranged parallel to its girdle. In the place of a culet, Step Cut gemstones have a keel running the length of its pavilion. A Step Cut’s facets tend to be larger than its counterpart, the Round Brilliant. The facets also form a stair-like pattern, ergo its appropriate title. Diamonds cut in this fashion are among the first fashioned diamonds in history.
Common Step Cut Shapes
An Emerald Cut is a rectangle shaped Step Cut with truncated or angled corners, which gives it an octagonal outline. Like all Step Cuts it holds rows of pavilion and crown facets that are parallel to its girdle. It is available in many length to width ratios, but the most sought after is the 1:1.5. The Emerald Cut has portrayed glamour and sophistication for decades, explaining its popularity with the royal and famed populations. An Emerald Cut diamond takes center stage in out Barcelona Engagement Ring below.
The Asscher Cut is essentially a square variation of the Emerald Cut. It features similar truncated corners, octagonal shape and parallel running facets. Asscher Cuts tend to hold a greater depth compared to an Emerald Cut. Their unique octagon shape is famed for its connection to the daring Art Deco Jewelry of the 1920s and 1930s. An Asscher Cut diamond completes our Siempre Engagement Ring below.
The Baguette Cut, which derives its name from the French loaf of bread, is the most common form of Step Cut seen today, though it is often used as an accent side stone not a center gemstone. This cut does not feature the angled corners common to other Step-Cuts. Usually taking the supporting role in a piece of jewelry, the Baguette Cut does not emit a large amount of scintillation but its form adds a stylish and sleek accent. Tapered Baguette Cut diamonds compliment the center Emerald Cut in our Lucille Engagement Ring.
A Carré Cut is a square shaped Step Cut without truncated corners. This cut was very popular in antique jewelry before the arrival of the modern square Princess Cut. An example of this cut can be seen featured in our Passion Engagement Ring as channel set side diamonds.
Considering a Step Cut
Step Cut gemstones are admired for their traditional outlines and understated elegance.
With a Step-Cut’s long facets and large table imperfections are not hidden well. Inclusions may be seen with the naked eye in lower clarity grade diamonds. To ensure your center stone is clear, we recommend looking for Step Cut diamonds with a clarity grade of VS2 and higher.
Step Cut style faceting does create a less scintillating stone compared to a round Brilliant Cut diamond. Scintillation in a diamond often masks small amounts of body color. This means Step Cut diamonds will need a higher color grade to be bright white. We recommend looking for a Step Cut diamond with a color grade of G and higher.
In colored gemstones, Step Cuts are employed to enhance richness and saturation. Their large tables and deep pavilions draw in light creating intensified colors and mesmerizing your eye.
Knox Jewelers is here to help you create the engagement ring of your dreams. If you are considering a Step Cut center stone, our design consultants can walk you through all of your options and help you choose your perfect diamond. Contact us today to get started on your custom design.