(Updated May 2022)
I’ve been told that ‘being square’ hasn’t been in fashion for a while now. But my defense is - I tried keeping up with internet speak, but I was exposed mostly to Peppa Pig, Barbapapa and other kids shows, and they don’t exactly use the same slang.
It got me rummaging through my designs and on the hunt for baguette cut gems as good as a freshly baked one. Fragrant and warm, coming out of an oven in an artisanal little bakery in Paris. Or the miso baguette from Bali’s Starter Lab bakery in Canggu. I’ll let you off for 5 minutes or so to grab some food. Because there are some delicious cuts coming your way!
Did baguette cut stones originate in France?
First stop: the Art Deco era of the 1920s and 1930s. Art Deco began in Paris, and baguette cut stones emerged as trends from this movement (can’t separate baguette and France too much, apparently!).
Back in the Art Deco’s heyday of chic, baguette cut stones were small, and used to complement a diamond centerpiece or to create architectural jewelry pieces with clean lines of towering stacks and sleek geometric designs. It was the gleaming era of fashion and architecture, and rectangular stones were the mainstay in jewelry designs.
Square and rectangular cuts, like the Asscher cut and emerald cut, were the hot item of the day, eclipsing traditional round cut diamonds. For many women, four sided stones were the symbol of modernity, glamor and class.
The difference between baguette cut stones and other rectangular stones is its facets and weight. Baguette cut stones have pointy, square corners and 14 facets. On the other hand, the emerald cut has diagonal corners and 58 facets. The Asscher cut is the square sister of the rectangular emerald cut. All of them are part of the step cut family, which has larger facets, right angles, and the stair-like illusion it’s so famous for.
Why baguette cut stone is a must have item
Like a canvas, baguette cut stones are great to show off colorful stones (like tourmaline or moonstone)
How to design a ring with baguette cut stone
Baguette cut stones are usually thin and have a low depth, that’s why they tend to have lower carat weight than other stones of the same length. As a result, they’re the most budget friendly option than most cuts.
Cut and clarity matter even more for baguette cut stones, since they have fewer facets, which means they don’t sparkle like brilliant round cuts. Compared to emerald cut, baguette cut gemstones appear more subdued. Inclusions and flaws might be more visible in baguette cuts.
Choose a baguette cut gemstone with a bright or deep color to compensate for the lower brilliance.
Choose the ring setting wisely since square corners are more prone to chipping than a round gemstone without edges. Even though there’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to ring setting, if you’d like to wear a softer gemstone daily, you’d want to go for a bezel setting rather than a prong setting, or choose for prongs that cover the corners rather than the sides.
Since baguette cut stones are elongated, bigger doesn’t mean more dominating. A long baguette cut stone set vertically can look sleek and slimming, rather than overpowering.
Our favorite baguette stones to start with
If you’re not sure where to start, here are three of my three baguette stones, which always make me hungry for more:
The sapphire is such a cool gemstone. I used to believe they only came in one shade of rich, deep blue. I remember seeing Queen Elizabeth’s sapphire crown when I visited the Tower of London and not being particularly impressed. That moment only came when I visited Sri Lanka and saw sapphires in more colors than I’d ever imagined. Since then I’ve fallen in love with the sapphire, and in particular, this mint green sapphire. I still think the stone has a regal quality to it, and the baguette cut makes up for its small size.
Did you know the name sapphire has two possible origins? One is from the Hebrew סַפִּיר (sappir). But, it might also have come from the Sanskrit shanipriya (शनिप्रिय). The word is split to"shani" (शनि) meaning "Saturn" and "priya" (प्रिय) meaning “dear”. So you can say it means "dear to Saturn". What a turn of phrase!
Bicolor gemstones are miracles of nature. A set of events and processes mixing, heating and cooling. These types of bicolor tourmalines look especially cool, because the green and reddish-pink colors remind you of fresh slices of juicy watermelons. And a baguette cut sure frames them spectacularly!
Another reason why tourmalines are cool are their pyroelectric and piezoelectric properties. Under pressure or temperature changes, this gemstone generates an electrical charge. That’s why tourmalines are in my eco-friendly laundry eggs. For you, this means you can pick up your favorite ring and start singing “I'm pickin' up good vibrations” along with the Beach Boys, because technically, you’re vibing with your ring!
The Romans and the Greeks associated moonstones with lunar deities. The Romans even went as far as believing moonstones were solid moonbeams. After having meditated with one (a moonstone, not a Roman), I don’t blame them. They have a natural decalescence, a lovely subtle shift of colors within its milky depths. Magic blues, bright greens, the slightest hint of peach. It’s everything you would think a chunk of the moon would be.
One of the things I love most about the baguette cut is its slim look that’s super versatile. Worn horizontally, it creates this sleek silhouette. Tilt it vertical and it changes the game again. It’s also the cut you want to show off colors, inclusions and sheen.
… and no, I didn’t mean Kate Winslet’s necklace! For a stone which resembles many moods of the ocean, aquamarine deserves the title the Heart of the Ocean. It’s said that aquamarine slipped out of a mermaid’s treasure box, and became the sacred jewel of Neptune. In the Roman world, you won’t go out sailing without holding onto an aquamarine as your totem. These days I use aquamarine whenever I’m navigating through rough transitions and keeping my head clear on my destination (with my work and life).
Aquamarine often comes in brilliant cut because the combination of its fire and subtle shade of blue is just *chefskiss*. But the beauty of baguette cut aquamarine is how translucent it can be, you can see your skin peeking through. It’s like dipping your feet on the river and feeling the cold trick which is oh so refreshing!
Ain’t got time (or budget) for real gold jewelry? These baguette cut gemstones are paired with recycled sterling silver.