Gemstones can be described as a precious/semi-precious stone of any kind. Most gemstones are naturally occurring minerals that formed in the Earth's crust, there are also many beautiful synthetic (man made) gemstones which have greatly improved in quality over the years. Gemstones come in a wide variety of different materials, with each gem is unique having its own individual properties, inclusions and colours.
Most of the faceted gemstones we see everyday are standard cuts - round, oval, pear, square, etc. There are in fact over 4000 different gemstone designs, covering a much broader range of shapes and styles so there should be something for everyone's taste. They also range from simple to complex designs allowing faceters to push their skills as they learn and improve.
Faceting designs are the diagrams used to cut gemstones, sort of like instructions. They include a picture of the design as well as information on the angles that are used to create each facet or face on a gemstone. Designs range in style and complexity from beginner to very advanced and can vary for the material being cut to best suit the properties of that material.