Professional Jeweler Archive: Brilliant Briolettes

February 2000

Gemstones & Pearls/New Products

Brilliant Briolettes

An old cut enjoys a comeback

An elongated modification of the double rose cut, the briolette is a teardrop or pear-shaped gemstone covered on all sides by small triangular facets. The style calls more attention to a gem’s three-dimensionality than faceting on only one side.

Used most often in earrings or pendants, this old cut captures the spirit of antiquity. “It’s been around since Roman times,” says Christie Frantz, owner/designer of Christie Frantz, Berkeley, CA. The cut has experienced a rebirth in recent years thanks to improved faceting techniques and equipment. “Fifteen years ago you couldn’t give it away,” says Frantz. “Now the play of light is magnificent.”

Amethyst is particularly suited to the briolette cut because it’s available in larger rough. Lapidaries also work their briolette magic with clear quartz, peridot, blue topaz, aquamarine, citrine and diamonds.

This jewelry should be displayed so each gemstone hangs freely. For drama, light the gem from below so it glows from the multitude of facets. Show briolettes on a white or cream background to enhance reflection and the gem’s color.

– by Lorraine M. Suermann

Faceted aquamarine necklace from the Tebe collection has white gold stations with diamond pavé. Suggested retail, $7,990.

IJG for Antonini, Beverly Hills, CA; (800) 443-1479 or (323) 653-4705, fax (323) 653-1768,

The Batu Mas collection features pear-shaped briolette azure topaz earrings and enhancer. The chain is 18k woven gold.

The John Hardy Collection, New York City; (800) 2J-HARDY or (212) 696-1870.

Necklace from the Dewdrop collection features colored sapphire and a citrine dangling from an 18k gold star centered with a diamond. All gemstones are faceted. Suggested retail, $7,120. The 18k lily heart earrings from the Flora collection feature yellow diamond centers and dangling citrine briolettes. Suggested retail, $2,080.

Hiroko Sato-Pijanowski, Ann Arbor, MI; (734) 668-6670, fax (734) 663-6632.

The 15.5-in. faceted peridot bead necklace has 18k white gold rondelles with bead work. The 16-in. faceted peridot bead necklace has rondelles and briolette dangles. Suggested retail, $380 and $460.

Rina Limor for J.R. Gold Designs, New York City; (800) 999-0583 or (212) 922-9292, fax (212) 922-2992.

18k gold pendant from the Cathedrals collection features a briolette amethyst. Suggested retail, $700.

Christie Frantz, Berkeley, CA; (800) 468-8900, fax (510) 525-7782,

14k gold dolphin pendant features a garnet briolette hanging on an 18-in. rope chain. Keystone, $120 (chain not included). 14k gold briolette amethyst drop earrings with diamond accents are $75 keystone.

Skalet Fine Jewelry, Chicago, IL; (800) 621-6017, fax (800) 345-8058.

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