Lesson 6: Gemstone Facets: Terminology and Functions

Step 1: Introduction to Gemology

Lesson 22

If you’re new to the art of gem cutting, you’ll become quite familiar with these terms as you learn to facet gems. However, all gem enthusiasts, especially gem buyers, can benefit from learning about the types and functions of different gemstone facets.

gemstone facets - names and illustration

The Three Principal Areas of a Faceted Gem


The widest part of the gem, the girdle defines its outline. When viewed from the side, however, the girdle is usually fairly thin. Faceters cut girdles to help set the stone in jewelry.


For both cabochons and faceted gems, the top is called the crown. For faceted gems, this means the area above the girdle. Usually, you’ll see this area when viewing the “face” of a gem set in jewelry.


The bottom of a faceted gem, the area below the girdle, is called the pavilion.…

Unearth The Secrets Behind The Beauty

Introducing "Discover Gemology" by IGS, the premiere introductory training for those fascinated by the magnificent world of gemology.

  • How to spot the most unique & valuable characteristics of different gemstones
  • And another bullet point goes here
  • And another bullet point goes here
Course: Discover Gemology: Fundamentals, Tools & Meanings
Purchase Course: $49
Skill Level: beginnner
Lessons: 48
Time: 480 min