A tapered baguette is a relatively small, elongated diamond that is primarily rectangular in shape; however one end is wider, making it a long trapezoid.
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS AND CUTTING ISSUES
The cut has square corners with rows of step-cut or step-like facets parallel to the table. Tapered baguettes do not conform to the Federal Trade Commission’s” 17 -facet” requirement for diamonds. The name of the cut must precede the word diamond. Tapered baguettes, like their straight baguette counterparts, often serve as side stones, although they can also be the main shape in full-band rings or fashion rings. They are often set end to end to build a full look. Tapered baguettes are usually channel set, but sometimes prongs are used. The yield for a tapered baguette is from 38 to 42 percent.
MARKETS AND MARKETING
Each manufacturer of tapered baguettes has a specialty. Larger sizes are used for high-end designer rings and other categories. For example, tapered baguettes can be used on a floral-motif brooch to create a continuous stem of diamonds. Indian manufacturers often use tiny tapered and straight baguettes in intricate designs.
PRICING AND SUPPLY
Small tapered baguettes tend to cost more per carat than small rounds. Commercial-quality tapered baguettes in smaller sizes, 3 mm and less in length can sell for $600 per carat. Sizes between 3 and 4 mm in length will sell for about $750, while sizes over 4 mm in length can go for $900 and more.
Larger or better-tapered baguette makes are more expensive, especially when used in semimounts. Prices per carat can easily reach above $1,000. The side stones need to be of nearly or exactly the same quality as the center stone. A center G- VS 1, i-carat center stone would need G- VS side stones. Retailers tend to buy single stones or matched baguettes of a .50-carat and up and in qualities of H-I and above, from VS to SI goods. There is no supply problem for baguette rough or smaller polished tapered baguettes up to 11 points. They are scarcer in larger weights.
WHAT BUYERS SHOULD LOOK FOR
Tapered baguettes – like straight baguettes – are clear, simply cut stones. If they are to be used as side stones or other matched pairs, they must be of similar quality, color and clarity to one another and to the stone they are enhancing. The step-cut appearance is unforgiving and allows for little imperfections to be seen in the diamonds. A small chip is much more obvious on a tapered baguette than on a heavily faceted diamond.