Gemstone cuts are created to catch the light in specific ways and the briolette cut is no different. Typically, a briolette diamond is used as a type of bead, without the typical flat table, girdle and pointed culet of the sort commonly found in rings. Instead, the briolette begins as a rounded oval- or teardrop-shaped stone. It is then faceted across its entire surface with geometric triangular or rectangular facets that guarantee a three-dimensional sparkle that reflects light from every possible angle.
The briolette is an ancient gemstone cut. It predates modern cutting methods and requires a different technique from that employed in the creation of the round brilliant or other contemporary stone cuts. To begin with, the briolette can only be formed from a relatively sizable stone with sufficient surface area. As the gem is faceted along its entirety, it has no discernible front or back and thus becomes a most effective method of maximizing light reflections when used as a dangling element, as in earrings or a necklace.
Diamond Briolette Chandelier Earrings
The cut dates to at least the 17th century and has had periods of popularity off and on through the ages. The use of briolettes waned with the advent of the brilliant cut (later to become the round brilliant). As the brilliant cut is an exceptionally fiery style, it replaced the gentler shimmer of the briolette. The stone was subject to a resurgence in popularity in the early 20th century, particularly in the Art Deco period, which prized a streamlined and artistic aesthetic over the more excessive styles of the Victorian era.
Laura Munder Multi-Gemstone Briolette Necklace and Earrings
Today, as jewelry manufacturing technology continues to improve, the uses for briolette cut gemstones have increased exponentially. Where the ancients would have merely suspended the gems in pendant style, we now see the cut as a unique artistic element in contemporary and trendy styles — including rings and bracelets, as well as the more traditional necklaces and earrings.