The glittering stars of rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and other pieces of fine jewelry are gemstones, from diamonds, rubies, and emeralds to amethyst, sapphires, and topaz. These natural mineral formations are often cut and polished before being handed off to a jeweler. The earliest and simplest cut gem was the cabochon, or a jewel with a rounded top. By the 16th century, gems were being cut with increasing numbers of facets, which...Continue Reading