In 2005, the United States Faceters Guild (USFG) selected Jeff Graham’s Mistress gem design for their Novice Division Single Stone Competition. This fun and easy-to-cut design works well with most beryls.
By Jeff R. Graham 2 minute read
mistress gem design - diagram

Mistress gem design by Jeff Graham. © 2003.

You can find cutting instructions for the Mistress here.

An Aquamarine Princess

I wanted to create a design that would have the look and flash of a “Princess” cut, like my Gram Princess, for stones with low refractive indices (RI). Also, I wanted a design that would help improve light gem colors, like those typical of most readily available beryls.

Many people have asked me for a princess cut in aquamarine. In fact, it’s hard to believe how many of my customers have asked for my Gram Princess in aquamarine. That made another good reason for creating a design like the Mistress.

mistress gem design - Zambian aquamarine

Mistress, 3.75 cts, 9.2 x 6.7 mm, cut from a Zambian aquamarine by Jeff Graham.

Designing the Mistress

The multiple tiers on the pavilion of a traditional princess tend to make these designs not great for low RI material like beryl. Therefore, simplifying the pavilion was key to getting good performance from this new design.

Another important aspect for this design was ensuring the light return wasn’t overpowering, since a very high light return tends to wash out lightly saturated colors in stones like beryls. I’ve found that using light and dark reflections in lightly saturated stones helps them look darker. Note that the Mistress has a light return of 79.6%. I purposely set the crown deep. It helps with weight retention and improves color.

Last but not least, I wanted a design that would cut quickly and easily but still look like a Princess. I think the Mistress meet all my goals.

Cutting Remarks

A USFG member proof cut the Mistress in spinel. I’m told it came out quite nicely.

You can also cut the Mistress in quartz quite easily (angles — P1 43.51, P3 40.50). The light return is almost identical. Although this design was made specifically for beryl and works best in that material, you can cut it in just about any material.

On the pavilion of this design, the critical angle is very close to beryl, so make sure your faceting machine is accurate.

mistress gem design - array

Random – Cosine – ISO

Detailed faceting instructions by Jeff Graham available at The Rock Peddler