What is a Barion?
The Barion concept was first invented (at least recognized and publicized) by a well noted author and diamond cutter named Basil Watermeyer.
The name “Barion” is a combination of his first name and his wife’s’ (Marion) as a tribute to her.
The first Barion’s were diamond cuts, but it did not take long for colored stone cutters to realize the advantages.
A Barion is a type of design that has moon shaped facets (at the girdle) with the central part of the design being a brilliant (all the mains meet at the same point and the break facets meet a different point) and there is (usually) a set of fan facets which connect to the half moon facets.
If you see moon shaped facets at the girdle around the design it is a good bet you are looking at a Barion design.
The main reason for a Barion is that it allows the designer to work with longer length to widths and/or deeper designs, while keeping a Brilliant design and letting the moon facets act as a buffer absorbing the different facet sizes (which creates the moon shaped facets).
Barions are generally (if they are designed correctly) brighter than traditional designs as the L/W ration of the design increases.
Barions work best in materials that are lighter colored and larger sized. Because of their depth Barions tend to darken the finished color of a stone. They usually have a higher number of facets than a regular design of the same shape would and require more work to cut as well as larger stones.
What to watch for… When picking a Barion design to cut, be careful of the designs that require a very high angle for the moon facets. Anything over 68 degrees (as a general rule, there are some exceptions) will make the finished stone very difficult to set.
Be sure and cut your stone (a pre-form is almost always a good idea) to the proper L/W (What is L/W?).
A common problem in cutting Barions is that the moon facets do not line up, they look like the Rocky Mountains, this is usually caused by the L/W being off one way or the other. Barions will usually have a higher yield than traditional brilliant cuts.