Flights of Fancy
The first time you look at either a Royalcrest or a Crisscut, you find yourself thinking that diamond cutters now work by a new set of rules, the first of which is: anything goes.
While the Royalcrest looks like a conventional step cut emerald from the bottom, its top is a whole new ball game. The stone has no crown but, instead, an arched multifaceted table lying like a roof over the pavilion. The overall cut is somewhat reminiscent of an opposed bar cut, and like it it gives a certain rolling effect to light reflections when the stone is tilted back and forth.
Whether intended or not, the 77-facet Crisscut seems like a hybrid of a step cut and the Brazilian cut, itself derived from old-mine cuts, the cushion-shaped forerunner of the brilliant cut. The Crisscut produces startling brilliance by adding opposed pairs of triangular facets to conventional step facets on top and a series of elongated diamond facets reminiscent of those seen on the Brazilian on the bottom. “They’re awfully bright,” says an admiring competitor. “What’s more they break up light but not to the point where the facet pattern becomes jumbled. As a result, stones have clean lines and a crisp appearance.”
Given their originality, the Royalcrest has been awarded a patent and the Crisscut has one pending. What’s more, typical of many newer cuts, both are offered mainly in lines of finished jewelry. Indeed, Christopher Slowinski, the inventor of the Crisscut (the name is a pun on his name and the stone’s crisscrossing facets), is a jewelry designer who made his reputation with invisibly-set jewelry so unique he has been granted a patent for his technique. As the market flooded with invisibly-set princess-cut jewelry, Slowinski had to find a new niche.
While in Israel two years ago, he hit upon the idea of designing a diamond cut to attain new distinction. Through what he calls a “cosmic accident,” Slowinski converted a series of bench blunders into an innovative new cut around which he has since built a sizeable jewelry collection. If the Crisscut is what Slowinski created in his first foray into diamond design, imagine what he’ll do in subsequent flights of fancy.
The same drive for jewelry originality drove Merit Diamond Corp. to develop a new cut to feature in its jewelry. That cut, trademarked in America as the Royalcrest, so struck the Goldsmith Group, England’s second largest chain of jewelry stores, that the company secured an exclusive for that country.
Meanwhile in this country, the Royalcrest is finding its way into hundreds of jewelry stores. What’s more, every couple of weeks Merit receives an old-fashioned emerald cut from a customer with the request to recut it into a Royalcrest. “As long as the old-fashioned glassy step cuts must share counter space with the new, very lively versions of them, they don’t stand much of a chance of being sold. So we recut them when asked by our customers,” says Eyal Adini of Merit Diamond. “Like they say, ‘If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.’”
Crisscut diamond ring, courtesy of Christopher Designs