Long and slender, the modest Baguette Cut diamond generally is overlooked, because of its frequent role as the supporting act. Often used as side stones to the centerpiece diamond in an item of jewelry, they are nonetheless the most widely available step-cut diamonds in the marketplace.

Baguettes most frequently are rectangular with length-to-width ratios of 5:1, and sometimes are even longer, although square baguettes are also available. A variation is the Tapered Baguette, which has long sides that angle inwards, and a less frequently seen alternative is the Brilliant Baguette, which includes triangular and kite shaped facets on the pavilion and step-cut facets on the crown.

According to GIA research, the rectangular step-cut is believed to have evolved from the hogback, which was an elongated table cut that dates back at least as far the mid-1700s, and was often used to make monograms and jeweled letters. The French jewelry house Cartier reintroduced the style in 1912, and it was widely used by jewelry designers of the Art Deco period, who liked its clean lines and geometric shape.

The term “baguette” in reference to diamonds is most probably less 100 years old. It is the diminutive of the French “bague,” which once meant “jewel” but today is more commonly used to denote a ring. Some claim the name was inspired by long loaf of bread popular in France.

A Baguette-Cut diamond is almost never featured on its own. Often used to highlight center stones in a ring or necklace, such stones can be channel set, one alongside the other, creating seemingly solid rows of diamond, around the circumference of ring for example. The ballerina setting involves multiple Baguettes radiating from the girdle of the center stone, providing the appearance of a ballerina’s tutu.

Because multiple Baguette-Cut diamonds are generally used, they most often are purchased in sets. This means that they need to be matched in length and width. With tapered stones, it will necessary to specify the width of both the wide and the narrow ends. Furthermore, it is important to ensure that all the Baguettes in a set are similar in color and clarity, and they should also match the center diamond.

With the exception of Brilliant Baguettes, the facet pattern of these diamonds tends to extenuate all inclusions and flaws. It is thus advised to use stones with higher clarity grades.