Ring – Princes-Cut Diamond ‘Solitaire’ With Diamond-Set Shoulders
A ‘solitaire’ principally featuring a tension-set fancy-cut¹ diamond with further similarly set complimentary diamonds in the shoulders. Entirely constructed from 18ct white gold. Circa 2011.
Assessment of the Diamonds.
Measuring: 3.48mm x 3.70mm (depth immeasurable).
Estimated weight: 0.26cts.
Complimentary diamonds (eight).
Averages stated where applicable.
Estimated total weight: 0.40cts.
Details of the Setting.
Hallmarked: 18ct gold, Birmingham.
Sponsor’s mark: ‘VJB’.
Finger size: L.
¹. In the modern era the majority of diamonds are fashioned into round brilliants. However, some rough stones have natural outlines which allow the possibility for the cutter, and ultimately the owner, some unique opportunities. “Fancy cuts have fired the imagination of designers in jewellery; particularly in Paris. Women have been quick to realise that one of these shapes on the finger will attract more attention than all the other round ones. Though the secrets of fancy cuts have always been jealously guarded by diamond cutters, in modern diamond cutting, there is a great awareness of fancy cuts by progressive manufacturers as the potential of these cuts is discovered. The outlines or shapes are difficult to standardise as individual tastes might differ, but here again the natural rough shape would dominate the proportions of the finished shape. However, certain angles and proportions of facets must be maintained to recover the full brilliance, scintillation, and beauty of all fancy cuts” (Basil Watermeyer, ‘Diamond Cutting. A Complete Guide to Diamond Processing’,1984). As described, unlike the round there is no standardised set of tolerances for fancy shapes, however there is still symmetry and balance which must be critically observed, for example a harmonious outline, a ratio of length to width, and proportion of shape. “There are no set rules for the measurements or angles of these facets. You are completely in the domain of the fancy cut. What was previously mechanical (in rounds) now becomes artistry. Your ability to make it look concentric and beautiful is the hallmark of the fine craftsman skill. This is why a fancy cutter is always in demand. He is generally a cutter’s cutter, for only 10% of the diamond cutters cut these exotic shapes. From the standpoint of employment, a proficient cutter is always in demand” (Leonard Ludel, ‘How to Cut a Diamond. A Diamond Cutter’s Handbook’, 1985). Technical expertise and passion go hand in hand in diamond cutting. These highly skilled workmen and women are required to blend a purely manual process with an artistic aesthetic consideration. “In a sense, each time and can be compared to a hugely valuable puzzle waiting to be solved – but of course there may be a great variety of possible solutions. Often a large diamond will have the initial cuts made by a highly precise computer guided laser. Coldly calculated algorithms may help eliminate unknown's, but it is the experience of seasoned gemmologists that will make the final decision-often after weeks or even months of careful consideration, and time spent contemplating a particular stone and its possibilities. For then it is up to a human hand to coax the best from each stone because polishing a diamond is a craft that requires the senses. Facet by facet, turn by turn, the cutter presses the stone against the spinning diamond coated disc, guided by his eye and years of practice. The slightest pressure from the fingertips on the diamond at the wheel guides the master polisher, who marries science and craft to coax out a gem’s ideal brilliance” (Maria Doulton, ‘Miracles’, in ‘Graff’, 2015).
². A princess-cut diamond is a mixed-cut facet design used for diamonds, typically square, or a slightly rectangular outline. Although not patented or standardised, they are several commonly encountered facet designs used for princess-cuts, all of which share the common features of a stepped scissor-cut crown, and a pointed culet. “Developed in the 1970s the princess-cut is relatively new among the fancy shapes. Its most distinction feature is that it preserves the natural square of the octahedral crystal. This natural shape would be lost if the rough were polished as a round” (Yasukazu Suwa and Andrew Coxon, ‘Diamonds, Rough to Romance’, 2009). “Like the radiant, it is a combination of a brilliant and step cut, so that it is cut as a square or truncated carré, depending on the basic shape of the rough material. If the cube surface of the octahedron is maintained, a square cut with sharp edges is formed. In general, the princess cut has a very good fire and a high degree of brilliance, which explains why it has gained wide acceptance on the diamond market” (Verena Pagel-Theisen, ‘Diamond Grading ABC The Manual’, ninth edition, 2001).