The tanzanite cut
Have you ever looked at your tanzanite jewellery creation and noticed a beautiful sparkle as you view it from different angles? This sparkle exists because of the way in which the stone has been cut. Cutting is one of the 5Cs of value, and is the only C that is determined by man, and not by nature.
A tanzanite’s cut refers to the proportion and brilliance of its facets. Cutting requires years of experience and a wealth of knowledge to master. An excellent cut can improve the appearance of a stone with low colour and clarity grading, while a poor cut has the ability to impair a beautiful gemstone.
There are a few things to be aware of when looking at a tanzanite’s cut, the first of which, is windows. A window is a “dead” area in the middle of the gemstone which resembles a hole or empty space, as it has no light reflection. Windows come about when the stone is cut too shallow, or when it is cut too heavy in the back. Some tanzanite gemstones are cut with bulges in their pavilions to maximise the stone’s weight retention. This weight-saving technique ensures a larger carat weight, but has a negative impact on the cut grading, as a tanzanite cut for weight has to sacrifice some of its beauty. Even a tanzanite of beautiful colour can appear lifeless if it has been cut for weight preservation, making this a cutting technique best avoided.
Tanzanite stones cut for weight maximisation are typically more difficult to set in a jewellery creation because they are more likely to have a thicker girdle and a bulky pavilion. Cutting for weight also increases the risk of breakage during the setting process. Shimansky Ayanda Queen of Tanzanite gemstones are cut for maximum brilliance, and to enhance their beauty, not to maximise their weight. When buying tanzanite in South Africa, be sure to purchase from a reputable jeweller that values a gemstone’s brilliance more than its weight preservation. Ask to see the gemstone’s certification, and be sure to ask if you are uncertain about any of the information pertaining to its cut.
The true value of a Shimansky jewellery creation is only realised when it is worn by the person it is meant for.