There are many things to consider when investing in jewels. While there’s the obvious cut, clarity, and color for diamonds, most people don’t know where to start looking when it comes to other types of stones. In fact, we’d bet money that most people couldn’t name five stones other than a diamond. We thought we’d take it upon ourselves to educate the masses, that way you know exactly what you’re looking for the next time you’re considering a jewel encrusted tattoo. When we say cabochon, you say? When we say grey diamonds, you say? When we say heart cut pink sapphires, you say? Tacky, y’all. The correct answer is tacky. That’s alright, we’ll work on it.
We’ll start with everyone’s go to: diamonds. While there are many different types, cuts, and colors of diamonds, most people fail to realize that the diamond industry has been lying to you the vast majority of your life. A “perfect” white diamond isn’t necessarily the most covetable, or the most interesting for that matter. There are all colors of diamonds that are infinitely more interesting, black, grey, and even salt and pepper (diamonds that have inclusions that are visible to the naked eye). Just as with any organic matter, there are no two diamonds (or stones for that matter) that are exactly the same. Their flaws are what make them all the more interesting and diverse. Bet you’ve never thought of incorporating a salt and pepper diamond into a piece of body art, now have you?
The second, and arguably most important attribute is cut. Did you know that there are countless ways to cut most stones? In tattoos, round and pear cuts tend to be the most popular, but there are all kinds of cuts that could add a substantial amount of depth to a piece. Some of the most under-appreciated being marquise which takes on a unique parenthetical shape, and trilliant cut which takes on a rounded, triangular shape that’s most notable for its exquisite faceting — the way the light catches and reflects the stone. If you’re trying to create rich color and a prism effect, playing with different faceting can definitely be the way to go, but if more inclined to opt for a stone that can’t necessarily be cut into different shapes, like opals or amber, cabochons are another option.
Characterized by their domed and smooth top, cabochons are primarily used for opaque gems that light doesn’t pass through quite as easily, instead playing with their inner beauty. If you’re using the gems as more of an accent than a centerpiece, this is probably the cut for you.
That about wraps up our crash course in anything and everything gem inspired, so the next time you visit your artist about adding a lovely stone to your collection, you’ll know exactly what it is you’re looking for, well at least when it comes to tattoos.