Fantasy Cut Gemstones

Fantasy Cut Gemstones

Are you prepared to explore the enchanting realm of fantasy cut gemstones?

Fantasy Cut Gemstones

As these mesmerizing gems gain increasing popularity, our Twirl Weddings Guide is an ideal starting point for your expedition. Learn about the fundamentals of gemstone artistry and stay updated on the newest trends in cutting methods. Prepare to be captivated by the splendid universe of fantasy cut gemstones and find answers to questions such as:

  • Are all gemstones with fancy cuts authentic?
  • Why can’t I buy fantasy gems in stores?
  • How long-lasting are fantasy cut gemstones?

What Are Fantasy Cut Gemstones?

A Fantasy Cut Gemstone can be described as a gems that deviates from traditional symmetrical faceting techniques and instead incorporates concave facets to enhance its brilliance. The creation of a fantasy cut gemstone involves the lapidary (gem cutter) relying on their own creativity rather than adhering to a set guide.

Fantasy Cut Garnet

Gem faceting is a highly skilled craft that requires years of training and experience. Many professional lapidaries have a family background in diamond or gem cutting, and it is usually a trade that is passed down through generations. However, this does not mean that becoming a lapidary is impossible if it does not run in the family. It is simply a challenging craft that requires dedication and talent.

To gem cutters, fantasy cuts are a form of artwork, akin to freeform art. Traditionally, the aim of gemstone cutting is to maximize a gemstone’s brilliance for its given shape, following specific guidelines and proportions to ensure a saleable product.

In contrast, fantasy cutting allows lapidaries to unleash their creativity without any restrictions. They can fashion gems in a variety of shapes and use concave cuts to create intricate patterns or images that tend to play off the light reflected by the gem.

Fantasy Cut Gemstones History

Fantasy cut gemstones have become a more prominent topic in the jewelry industry, but their history stretches back further than many realize.

The credit for the first ever fantasy gemstone in history goes to Bernd Munsteiner, who established Munsteiner Atelier in 1973. Though the exact date is unknown, it is estimated to be around that time.

Bernd’s story follows a familiar hero’s journey, as he defied convention and overcame the odds. He began working in his family’s trade in 1953, having learned from his father who started in 1935. Bernd also pursued traditional lapidary courses, as well as training in jewelry design, painting, and sculpting. After completing his studies, he explored new techniques for carving and cutting gemstones that differed from what he had been taught.

Rather than focusing on top faceting, Munsteiner utilized cuts on the back of the gems or the pavilion. Most traditional cutters in the industry were taken aback by this approach, as he made no attempt to reduce the loss of carat weight.

Prior to his work on fantasy cut gemstones, Munsteiner gained recognition for his unconventional techniques in creating cameos. Cameos were a popular form of jewelry during the Renaissance Era.

Bernd Munsteiner (centered) 2018

Despite objections from traditional cutters, Munsteiner continued to experiment with concave and negative facets at the back of the gemstones. As word of his unique lapidary art spread, interest in his work grew. He would eventually earn the title of the Father of Fantasy Cuts.

In the years that followed, Munsteiner’s exquisite fantasy cut gemstones garnered numerous medals and awards. Most of his pieces were featured in gem shows and jewelry magazines, cementing his legacy as a master lapidary artist.

Munsteiner’s most renowned creation is the Dom Pedro, a breathtaking tower of blue aquamarine weighing 54.4 carats. It is currently on display at the famous Smithsonian Museum, a mere foot away from the world-famous Hope Diamond.

Dom Pedro

The Dom Pedro served as a powerful testament to Munsteiner’s lapidary art as a true form of gemstone art, solidifying his reputation as a master cutter. Following the creation of the Dom Pedro, there were no more doubts about the validity of his unorthodox techniques. Currently, there are major competitions around the world for lapidaries especially those who specialize in creating fantasy cut gemstones.

Fantasy Cuts vs. Fancy Cuts

If you have some knowledge of diamonds and gemstones, you may have noticed the frequent use of the term “cut” in various forms – as a noun or a verb. However, despite the prevalence of cuts, cutters, and cutting, fantasy cuts are quite unpopular to average jewelry customers, and it may require some research to discover these types of gemstones.

The term “fancy cut” usually refers to gemstone shapes save for round, with round gemstone shapes referred to as round brilliants. While this term is commonly used to describe diamond shapes that are not round, it is not often used to refer to colored gemstones, with people usually referring to them by their specific names instead.

Ultimately, the crux of the matter lies in the indisputable reality that circular diamonds are the sole variant among diamond shapes that can be meticulously fashioned into impeccable proportions and flawless symmetry. In essence, they stand in stark contrast to the concept of a fantasy cut.

Additionally, these are the only gemstones that have official cut grades (aside from on AGS certifications) and are more expensive. They therefore created the phrase “fancy cuts” to categorize the other forms and distinguish round diamonds from the rest of the pack.

Fantasy Cuts vs. Custom Cuts

One encounters the phrase “custom-cut gemstones” in discussions, which can lead to confusion since a fantasy gem can also fall under the category of a customized cut gem. Nonetheless, customized cuts transcend any specific shape or cutting methodology.

A gemstone that undergoes custom cutting is characterized by its facets, which are dictated solely by the cutter’s discretion. These facets diverge from conventional shape conventions, offering a unique design. Custom cuts primarily serve the purpose of enhancing sizeable minerals of exceptional quality, often found in prestigious museum collections. Such cutting techniques are most suitable for accentuating the vivid hues of colored gemstone materials, as opposed to diamonds.

There are people who choose to have a jeweler custom cut their diamonds, or may request a specific custom cut they’ve seen elsewhere. One popular custom cut technique is the Sakura cut, which features a round diamond with 87 facets rather than the traditional 58. This cutting process creates the illusion of a cherry blossom at the center of the diamond, and the cut is named after the Japanese word for cherry blossom.

What is the Price of a Fantasy Cut Gemstone?

A fantasy cut gemstone will range in price, similar to the remainder of the jewelry and gemstone realm. The largest determining criteria are often the gem’s size, the complexity of the stone’s intricacies, and the type of gem material used. That is, the gemstone.

If you’re looking for one of the most precious gemstones, namely diamond, ruby, emerald, and sapphire, it’s likely to be more expensive unless it’s lab-grown. Opaque gemstones may be less expensive, but they lack the impressive light effects that can be seen in faceted gemstones.

It’s important to remember that every artist usually sets their own prices for their work. When looking to buy a fantasy cut gemstone, prepare to pay a premium price, especially if you choose a renowned fantasy gem cutter.

If you’re not seeking an exceptionally high-grade natural gemstone, numerous laboratory-created stones with fantasy cuts are readily available. This approach significantly reduces the cost, attributing the primary value to the precision of the cut rather than the inherent characteristics or dimensions of the stone. Lab-grown gems lack inherent value beyond the policies set by retailers.

To economize on purchasing jewelry adorned with fantasy-cut gemstones, you have an alternative route available by opting for gems crafted from commonly found materials. Quartz serves as an excellent example in this regard, with amethyst being a prevalent mineral, giving rise to numerous fantasy-cut amethyst gems.

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Where to Purchase Fantasy Cut Gems

Fantasy cut gemstones are not typically available at jewelry stores. Finding the artists is the only proper approach to purchase a fantasy gem because they are works of art.

Fantasy cut gems feature a number of well-known artists. John Dyer is most likely the most well-known contemporary fantasy cutter. John Dyer invented the first machine that can produce concave facets, and also won awards for his work cutting fantastical gems.

John Dyer fantasy gems on his website

You’ll need to do a bit of investigating, but fantasy cut stones are widely available on websites like Etsy, and in lapidaries and rock communities on Facebook.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Fantasy Cut Gemstones

Are fantasy gems authentic stones?

Any gemstone material that can survive the faceting tools can be transformed into fantasy cut stones. Some gemstones lack the hardness and crystal structure necessary to support intricate detailing.

While cheaper ones may be made from a lab-created stone, the majority of fantasy cut gemstones are actual stones. Keep in mind that lab-grown gemstones and diamonds have the same qualities as their natural counterparts. They are far less valuable and expensive.

How do gem cutters make gemstones with fantasy cuts?

Gem cutting requires a unique set of talents for fantasy cutting. For someone who has spent their entire life learning the exact standards of gem cutting and diamond, it can be challenging to understand the concept of fantasy cut jewels. Some people view it as an abomination, while others view it as a magnificent masterpiece.

What is their process then?

Even if fantasy cutting doesn’t use the conventional gem-cutting methods, it’s nevertheless important to be familiar with them.

When cutting fantasy gemstones, the primary objectives are to enhance the gemstone’s size and color while also etching a stunning image.

From the beginning to the end, gem cutters must be visionaries. They must examine a stone and predict its future. To achieve this, they must examine and quantify each of the stone’s facets and angles.

Making a fantasy cut stone requires finding the ideal angles to optimize light refraction in the gemstone. In addition, the potential dream cut gem is evaluated for inclusions while being seen. Every gemstone contains inclusions. Natural imperfections called inclusions can appear when gemstones are created, whether they are mined or created in a laboratory.

Inclusions are rather typical when a diamond is being cut for brilliance. They give way to grades for clarity. Some stones in colored gems are more prone than not to contain inclusions.

In general, additions are frowned upon in fantasy cuts. Large ones are difficult to miss. However, this is also the reason that a lot of fantasy cut gems are faceted from gemstone materials that are often eye-clean, and devoid of visible natural imperfections.

There are many various kinds of inclusions in gemstones, and not each one of them is advantageous. A gem cutter must not only pay attention to the inclusions, but also identify them, determine how to get rid of them, and mark them. Keep in mind that we’re also working to maintain the carat weight that are as low as feasible.

The gem cutter should choose how to shape the piece that remains after the inclusions have been removed in order to maximize carats and colors. He then gives it life.

All fantasy gem cutters have a different set of procedures, methods, and instruments. When it comes right down to it, talent and taste are the deciding factors.

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What types of gems make the greatest fantasy cut stones?

Most people request fantasy cut precious stones, but if they are natural and translucent, they can be very expensive. It would be challenging to find one of those gemstones in larger sizes, and the cost would skyrocket.

The most stunning pieces of jewelry with fantasy cuts are made using gemstones that are quite affordable per carat. The quartz family is the most prevalent of them. This comprises:

In addition to emerald, various beryl gems can be cut imaginatively. Some of these are more expensive per carat as compared to other beryl color variants. This comprises:

  • Aquamarine
  • Morganite
  • Heliodor  also known as yellow beryl
  • Green Beryl (An alternative to emerald)
  • Goshenite, an amorphous beryl

Almost any gem material can be fantasy cut as long as it can withstand faceting, even if some materials are usually more expensive especially for larger fantasy cut gemstones. Fantasy cuts are possible for stones including garnet, tourmaline, topaz, and spinel.

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Fantasy cuts cannot be used on organic gems and materials, such as pearls or amber. Opals and other gemstones that contain water cannot be cut. Fantasy cutting is also not permitted for non-faceting microcrystalline minerals such as agate, jade, and jasper among others. Typically, these materials are sculpted into sculptures, ornaments, and cabochon gems.


Fantasy cut stones offer a distinct type of lapidary art that breaks away from traditional gem cutting standards. These gems feature concave cuts underneath, resulting in a unique and beautiful appearance.

For those seeking something beyond the brilliance of traditional diamonds, fantasy gems provide an excellent choice. Whether for collectors or as a fashion statement, these gems offer a standout option.

In summary, fantasy cut gemstones are an exceptional lapidary art form that provides a unique appearance through unconventional concave cuts on the underside. They make for an excellent choice for those looking to add something distinct to their collection or wardrobe.

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