## Australian Facetors' Guild Limited |

## What Does the L/W Ratio Mean in Gem Cutting?By the late
Summary
L/W stands for “length-to-width.” Gem cutters use this mathematical ratio for determining the proper patterns for cutting rough. They also use it when creating new gem designs. The L/W ratio is one of the most important things gem cutters must understand when buying and cutting rough.
Reading time: 2 min 11 sec
## Measuring Rough GemsFirst, measure the length, width, and depth of your rough, usually in millimeters. Of course, you don’t need the depth for the L/W ratio, but you’ll need it later in your design selection, so measure it now. Next, take the length of your stone and divide it by its width. You’ll get a figure something like this: 10 mm/8 mm = 1.25 Thus, your L/W ratio for this stone is 1.25. It’s that simple. ## Choosing a Gem Design Based on the L/W RatioGem designs should include L/W ratios. For example, the L/W ratio for this Brilliant Marquise design is 1.401. If your rough has a ratio smaller than this, you can’t use it for this design. This design is too big for your stone. You’ll need to find a design with a smaller L/W ratio. You can always cut rough off and make a stone smaller, but you can’t add mass to a stone to fit a design. Pick a design for your rough that has a L/W ratio equal to that of your rough. Or, if you don’t mind cutting off some weight from your gem, pick a design with a ratio slightly smaller than that of your stone. Use the following chart to help you choose a design for your rough. You’ll need to round down to the nearest ratio that fits your stone. ## Standard L/W Ratios
Keep these equivalencies in mind: - Ratio = length divided by width
- Length = ratio times width
- Width = length divided by ratio
## Non-Standard L/W RatiosYou can cut a non-standard L/W ratio if you have a design that calls for it. You can also create a design that uses one. However, most standard jewelry settings are calculated for standard gem sizes, so they won’t work with your design. You’ll have to create a custom setting for it. Posted by Ed Allison with approval from IGS 06/10/2018 |