August 2020 Newsletter: Trillion Gems


The term trillion or trilliant is used to describe a gemstone cut that is triangular in shape. Originally, trilliant referred to a diamond cut developed by the Asscher brothers in Amsterdam. The trilliant cut was essentially an adaptation of the brilliant cut for triangular diamonds, with straight sides and usually 43 to 50 facets.

Today the names trillion or trilliant are used for all triangular gems, regardless of the faceting pattern. Even triangular cabochons are now referred to as trillions. Though the term trilliant is used to refer to triangular diamonds, trillion has become the standard term for colored gemstones.

The trillion cut can show impressive brilliance and sparkle and works very well for lighter colored gems such as aquamarine. Generally trillions are cut as equilaterals, with a 1:1 length to width ratio, but there are many variations.

Trillion with Diamond Halo Trillion east-west setting Trillion bezel set pendant
Trillion with diamond halo Trilliion set east-west Trillion bezel set pendant

The trillions with straight sides are typically used as side stones or accents in jewelry designs. The curved trillions are more commonly used as center stones or solitaires. The curved trillion has a different look from the straight version. The straight trillion is all sharp points and edges while the curved version presents a softer look with curved sides and slightly rounded points.

Trillions present many interesting design possibilities for jewelry. They can be prong set or bezel set, set north-south or east-west, and set as solitaires or surrounded by a halo of diamonds. The result is almost always unusual and unique.

See our collection of Fine Trillion Gems


Notable Gems from the AJS Collection

This month we feature some special Trillions gems from our collection. Click on any gem for details.

3.01 ct Burma Ruby Ring
A vivid pigeon's blood red Burma Ruby over 3 carats set in an elegant 18k white gold ring with diamonds. The Ruby is quite clean and brilliantly fashioned, truly a unique treasure. This magnificent gem has been cut into a fine trillion shape, a lovely and unusual design for a Ruby this large. Certified as "pigeon's blood red" by GemResearch Swisslab (GRS).

4.84 ct Tanzanite from Tanzania

A deep violet-blue trillion Tanzanite with outstanding fire. This is a dazzling gem that will sparkle in your jewelry design. Guaranteed natural, guaranteed AJS Gem quality.
1.46 ct Mint Garnet From Kenya

A lovely Mint Tsavorite Garnet in a 7.30 mm trillion, perfect for a special ring design. This is beautifully clean material, bright and sparkly. Guaranteed natural and untreated.

See the video

2.60 ct Spessartite Garnet Matched Pair from Nigeria

A uniqe matched pair of Spessartite Garnet trillions in a bright mandarin orange! These have wonderful brilliance and are perfectly sized for stud or drop earrings. Guaranteed natural and untreated.

See the video

7.55 ct Gem Silica from Peru

A fine example of the high quality translucent Gem Silica from Peru. Lovely blue-green color with a warm glow. Fashioned as a tall trillion, perfect for an elegant pendant. Guaranteed natural and untreated.

See the video

9.97 ct Color Change Fluorite from Brazil

9.97 ct Color Change Fluorite from Brazil  [SOLD]

A rare Color Change Fluorite in a well-executed trillion cut! This unusual gem displays a strong color from a sapphire-like blue under daylight to a rich purple under incandescent light. Though Fluorite is a softer material, this 14 mm trillion will make a splendid pendant. Guaranteed natural and untreated.


News from AJS and the Gems World


20% Discount on All our Gems for the month of August!

As the world continues to emerge from the persistent Covid-19 pandemic and international airmail service is still disrupted, we are offering a 20% discount on all the gems in our collection.

Take advantage of this terrific offer to buy the gem you've always wanted!

Use this discount code at checkout:  AUG-20


Imperial Jadeite Necklace sells for $10.4 million at Sotheby's

Imperial Jadeite Necklace

An extraordinary Imperial Jade necklace sold for $10.4 million at Sotheby's Magnificient Jewels auction in Hong Kong on July 10.
The remarkable necklace is comprised of 37 Burmese Jadeite beads of notable size, graduated from about 12.5 to 13.7 mm. Imperial Jade refers to the finest-quality Jadeite that is almost transparent with a vibrant emerald green colour. The Jadeite beads exhibit perfectly matching color, combined with outstanding translucency and excellent luster. The necklace features a ruby and diamond clasp.


Landslide at Jade Mine in Myanmar kills 170+

Just a few days before the sale of the Imperial Jadeite necklace, we had another tragic reminder of the dangers of Jade mining in Burma.

Weeks of heavy rains, carried by the seasonal monsoon, had filled the Wai Khar jade mine in northern Myanmar and turned it into a lake. Towering over the pit was a 1,000-foot hillside topped with a mound of mining waste, its foundations weakened by the rain.

Just after sunrise on July 2nd the earth began to shift and a wall of mud cascaded down the mound’s steep slope, slamming into the flooded mine and sending a huge wave of water along its walls as rushing green water swept from one end of the lake to the other.

Hundreds of miners who were scavenging for jade illegally near the water's edge were quickly overwhelmed by the muddy green wave. Some managed to run to higher ground. But many were not so lucky. At the lastest count at least 170 miners have lost their lives.


Ask the Gem Experts

Each month we answer questions from our customers. We welcome your questions and you can submit a question from our contact page.


I am looking for a red gem, the same color as a ruby, but not expensive. What do you recommend? MG, USA

A pure red is probably the rarest color in the gems world and it is why the famed pigeon's blood Ruby is so valuable. There are indeed other red gems, but they tend to be orangey-red (Spinel, Mexican Opal), pink-red (Spinel, Rhodolite Garnet), purplish-red (Rubellite Tourmaline, Rhodolite Garnet) or brownish-red (Red Zircon). Your best bet in a relatively inexpensive red gem would probably be Rhodolite Garnet.


I have just started subscribing to your excellent newsletter and look forward to it every month. But how do I find the back issues of the newsletter? CD, Australia

We've been publishing our monthly newsletter for nearly 10 years now, so there's a long list of back issues. You'll find links to all our newsletter issues as well as our original gemstone articles in our article index.


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All the best in gems,

Ron, May & and Rung