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Barion Cut

A cut developed in the 1970s that features unique facets shaped like a quarter moon.


First of all the Barion cut is really more of a family of cuts than an individual cut. It was one of the first ‘mixed cuts’, which shares aspects of a brilliant and step cut. Imagine a brilliant cut gemstone constructed with triangular and kite shaped facets then add facets directly below the crown that look like the shape of a quarter moon.The Barion cut can be applied to rounds, trilliants, ovals: almost any shape where you can create a brilliant cut. To-date over 90 Barion Cuts have been documented.

The Barion cut was invented in 1970 in Johannesburg, South Africa by a lapidarist named Basil Watermeyer. He named the cut by merging the start of his Christian name with the end of his wife’s, Marion. Luckily, ‘Barion’ was never registered as a trademark and lapidarists are encouraged to use the cut.

The cut is very difficult to perform. If you don’t get it absolutely symmetrical, the moon-shaped facets can end up looking like a choppy sea! Done properly, the perceived colour of the gem will often be increased and at the same time the yield will normally be higher than a gem of the same size cut more traditionally.

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A Barion Cut.