Why Choose a Barion Cut?

Gem faceters must consider factors like brilliance, color, and faceting yield before choosing a cut style. Learn what a Barion cut can bring to a gemstone.

Question:I'm probably missing something. I've gone through your book, Faceting the Easy Way. Preforming a Barion cut to a 42° angle to start seems to me to waste a lot of material. Sounds fine if you're working with quartz, but I'm not sure I'd want to use this cut for tanzanite or tsavorite pieces. I'm kind of new to this and, as I said, I'm probably missing something. Comments please.
Fancy, elongated Barion triangle-cut tanzanite. © Dan Stairs Custom Gemstones. Used with permission.

Answer: What you're missing is the fact that a Barion pavilion will give you much greater brilliance than any other style. When you choose this cut, you're choosing to emphasize brilliance and sparkle over weight retention. But you should consider other factors too.

The Barion Cut and Color Enhancement

Another compromise a faceter has to make involves color enhancement. The deeper the cut, the stronger the color will be.

A Barion is one of the deepest cuts there is, so it will give you maximum depth of color. This is an excellent technique for some gems, as the richer color will add to the value of the stone. However, this style can be too much for other gems. Most varieties of garnet would suffer from a Barion pavilion and end up too dark to appreciate their color.

Donald Clark, CSM IMG

Barion cut garnet
Although not recommended for a garnet with a dark tone, a Barion cut brings out the brilliance in this light-green garnet gem. Elongated, cut-cornered, Barion triangle-cut tsavorite. © Dan Stairs Custom Gemstones. Used with permission.

International Gem Society

Never Stop Learning

When you join the IGS community, you get trusted diamond & gemstone information when you need it.

Become a Member

Get Gemology Insights

Get started with the International Gem Society’s free guide to gemstone identification. Join our weekly newsletter & get a free copy of the Gem ID Checklist!