Diamonds: Patented Signature Diamond Cuts
Notable Patented & Proprietary Diamond Cuts
Since the early 1900s there has been a proliferation of elaborate diamond cuts that have been developed by master gem cutters, mathematicians, scientists, and entrepreneurs - each trying to improve on the tried-and-true Old European cuts, and their modest brilliance and light return.
Every conceivable cutting theory is tried, (more facets, less facets, etc.) and when suitably scrutinized by the gem trade, it is put in front of the ultimate arbiter of quality - the consumer. Some have gone on to become household names such as the Asscher cut, or the widely marketed Leo cut which is a modified round-brilliant sold by Leo Schachter Diamonds; but some like the Barion Cut have disappeared into obscurity. Here is a collection of just a few of the many "signature" diamond cuts that have been produced over the last 100 years.
The Asscher Cut was developed by Abraham and Joseph Asscher of the Royal Asscher Diamond Company of Amsterdam in 1902. Popular in Art Deco jewelry of the period, the Asscher diamond cut has a squarish octagonal shape with a step cut, cut corners and a small table. The cut has a deep pavilion and a high crown, and the culet is square.
The Asscher brothers cut the famous 3,106 carat Cullinan Diamond into eleven gem stones, with the two largest stones, the Cullinan 1 and Cullinan 2 being set into the crown and sceptre of the British Crown Jewels.
The Barion square cut (aka Barion square cushion cut) was invented by Basil Watermeyer of South Africa in 1971, and was the forerunner to the princess cut. The name "Barion" or "Barion cut" was never trademarked, and its patent has expired.
The Barion square cut diamond has a 4-fold mirror-image symmetry, and a total of 81 facets, not including the 16 girdle facets.
The Barocut¨ diamond cut is a patented, modified rectangular (baguette) cut that was developed by Baroka Creations, Inc. of New York in 2000. The Barocut is also called a "two heart diamond" due to the illusion of two mirrored hearts meeting at the culet. A Barocut diamond has a total of 77 facets, or to increase light-dispersion, 81 facets on the cut corner (cushion) version. Barocut stones are also sold in tapered shapes.
Barocut diamonds are promoted and sold exclusively through the Baroka Creations catalog, or the company website. The Barocut is available in sizes from 20 points to 3 carats, and in all diamond colors and/or clarity grades.
The Context Cut is a square cut that was developed by Dr. Ulrich Freiesleben of Germany in the early 1980s then patented and trademarked in 1997. The Context Cut consists of two back-to-back pyramids (an octahedron), forming a square shape when viewed from the top. The Context Cut follows a rough diamond crystal's natural octahedral shape, with star-shaped cross facets cut diagonally into the pavilion. The cut has a total of 8 facets plus a girdle.
The Context Cut design was based on an earlier patented design by Bernd Munsteiner from the early 1960s. The cutting process requires a high-quality rough, and creates a high amount of waste, adding up to 50% to the cost when compared to a Round Brilliant cut diamond. The Context Cut is used to cut colored gemstones by Julius Petsch of Idar-Oberstein, Germany.
The Eternal Cut diamond was designed and patented by master Israeli diamond cutter, Gabi Tolkowsky, nephew to the inventor of the Modern Round Brilliant cut, Marce Tolkowsky. It is sold exclusively through the 270 year old firm of Garrard & Company in London. In 1998, Garrard & Co. merged with the jewelry firm Asprey, to become Asprey & Garrard, parting ways in 2002 to again become Garrard.
The Eternal Cut has a total of 81 facets, 23 more than a modern Round Brilliant cut, creating a unique 'flower petal' pattern surrounding the cutlet, and a 'softer' briliance than a traditional round brilliant cut. The Eternal Cut is being sold exclusively at Garrard's main London store and Harvey Nichols stores in Great Britain.
The Flanders Brilliant Cut (aka Fire Brilliant) is a modified Radiant or Princess cut with truncated corners that form an octagon with brilliant faceting. The Flanders Brilliant has 33 crown facets and 28 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets.
The Flanders Fire-Brilliant was developed by Flanders Cut International of Antwerp in 1983, and the cut was named after the Flanders region of Belgium (Antwerp) where the cut was first preformed in 1987. The cut is distributed by the National Diamond Syndicate (NDS) of Chicago.
The 'Flower Cut' series was created by Gabi Tolkowsky in 1986, who was commissioned by De Beers to create new cuts as a way of marketing unusual, off-color stones. The Flower Cut is actually a series of five fancy cut shapes: the Dahlia, Fire-Rose, Marigold, Sunflower and Zinnia cut. The Flower Cuts employ unconventional cutting angles and dimensions, designed to maximize the brilliance and color of diamonds while increasing their yield. The Flower Cuts were never patented or trademarked by De Beers in order to increase their popularity and use.
The Dahlia is a 12 sided oval shape with 63 facets. The Fire-Rose is a hexagonal shape designed to produce higher yields. The Marigold is an octagon shape with 73 facets, that is suited to a relatively flat rough. The Sunflower has 43 facets in unusual, angular shapes. The Zinnia is a round fancy shape with 73 facets, 48 of which are clustered around the culet to increase fire.
The Gabrielle¨ Cut is a modified brilliant cut (triple brilliant cut) that was created by DeBeers desinger/consultant Gabriel Tolkowsky in 2000. Unveiled at the Las Vegas Gem Show in 2001, the Gabrielle has a total of 105 facets, which is 47 more than a traditional 'Tolkowsky' round brilliant cut, adding greater brilliance and fire than standard brilliant cuts.
Other than the traditional round brilliant shape, the Gabrielle Cut is available in carre, emerald, heart, marquise, oval, and pear shapes.
The Leo¨ Diamond, (aka Leo Schachter Diamond), is a patented symmetrical round cut created by Leo Schachter Diamonds, LLC. The Leo diamond cut has a total of 66 facets, 8 more facets than the Round Brilliant cut's 58, maximizing the amount of light returned back as scintillation.
The Leo diamond cut is the first to be certified for fire and brilliance as measured by a 'BrillianceScope,' and each diamond comes with a "Return of Light Certificate." The Leo Diamond is marketed through the Kay Jeweler chain.
The Lucida (TM) Cut is a patented diamond cut that was created by Tiffany & Company in 1999. The Lucida diamond cut is a modified square or rectangular (Marquise) cut with truncated corners, a high-step crown (similar to the Asscher Cut), small table, brilliant-style faceted pavilion (similar to a Cushion Cut), and a total of has 50 facets.
The Lucida is sold exclusively through Tiffany's retail chain. The Lucida diamond cut is marketed as a wedding cut, sold in solitaire engagement/wedding bands, eternity bands, and three-stone rings.
The Quadrillion¨ Cut (aka Squarillion Cut) is a modified square princess cut that was developed by Israel Itzkowitz and Betzalel Ambar in the late 1970s, and was patented and trademarked by Bez Ambar Jewelers of Los Angeles in 1980. Prior to the Quadrillion, square shaped diamonds were step-cut limiting their brilliance. The Quadrillion was the result of three years of optical research to create a square diamond cut that can claim a similar brilliance to a round diamond. There are a total of 49 facets.
The Radiant Cut is a modified emerald cut shape that was developed, patented and trademarked by Henry Grossbard of the Radiant Cut Diamond Company (RCDC) in 1977. It was the first emerald shaped diamond cut to have brilliance and fire similar to that of a round brilliant diamond. Upon the expiration of the patent, the Radiant Cut became a fully accepted diamond shape in the jewelry business.
RCDC launched the 'Original Radiant Cut' diamond brand In 2002, and all Original Radiant Cut diamonds weigh at least 0.70 carats and come with a GIA Certificate and an "Original Radiant Cut Diamond Certificate" guarantying that the stone meets the ideal proportions as designed by Henry Grossbard. There are 25 crown facets and 36 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets (not including 8 girdle facets). The pavilion is similar to a Barion cut, and the table is a bowed out rectangle.
The Starburst Cut was patented and trademarked by the Louis Glick Diamond Corp. of New York in 1978. The Starburst cut was created to bring out the highest amount of color to fancy yellow diamonds. The crown of the Starburst Cut is similar to that of the radiant cut, but the pavilion is completely different. There are 49 crown facets and 40 pavilion facets, for a total of 89 kite and star shaped facets. The Starburst cut is especially suitable for a octahedral rough, with weight losses in the fifty percent range.
The starburst faceting pattern is designed to focus color near the top of a stone, making the hue of fancy yellow diamonds more intense. Starburst Cuts are mounted and sold directly through Cartier, Harry Winston, Nieman Marcus and Tiffany.
The Trilliant Cut (aka Trielle, Trillian, Trillion) is a triangular cut designed and trademarked by the Henry Meyer Diamond Company of New York in 1962. The Trilliant trademark has since lapsed, and the Trilliant is now a generic term for a triangular brilliant cut. The Trilliant has the Schoenflies point group symmetry of a round brilliant, reworked into the shape of a trillion (triangle).
The Trilliant Cut has a total of 31 facets. The pavilion has two differently sized sets triangular facets with a large triangular table. There are two variations of this cut: the Curved cut used for solitary stones, and Uncurved cut used for accent stones. The Trilliant cut gives a high brilliance, fire, and scintillation when cut to the correct proportions.
Old European Diamond Cuts
Tolkowsky's Modern Round Brilliant Cut
Fancy Diamond Cuts
Diamond Cutting Technology
Bibliography on Diamond Cuts
1. Marcel Tolkowsky, Diamond Design . www.folds.net
2. US Faceters Guild, Faceting Diagrams & Gemstone Designs www.usfacetersguild.org
3. Sarin, Diamond Grading . Sarin Gem Labs
4. HCA IdealScope, Hearts and Arrows . www.diamond-cut.com.au
5. GIA, Gemological Institute of America . www.gia.edu
6. AGS, American Gem Society - Diamond Grading . www.ags.org