There's a dance that only diamonds do under the intense spot lights of a jewelry store. Call it tripping the light fantastic. Call it sparkle a-plenty. However you describe it, cutters have learned to unleash a new kind of fire power from the round brilliant diamond. And it keeps getting top scores on light-measurement machines like GemEx's BrillianceScope and OGI's FireTrace. But it isn't just the light metering devices that go crazy. It is shopper retinas.
Among the new breed of fire-breathing diamonds, the ten-mains round brilliant has got to be the most eye-catching. Last year, the newly-introduced ten-mains, 91 facet Solasfera (meaning sun-fire) stunned jewelers and their customers alike. Web jeweler Jonathan Weingarten sang its praises on his site, www.goodoldgold.com. And he showed BrillianceScope ratings for brilliance, fire, and scintillation that were the highest this instrument gives. Not surprisingly, the newcomer exhibited superb optical symmetry when looked at under light-reflection readers like the SymmetriScope and IdealScope.
Now the "Forever Ten," a ten-mains round brilliant from New York-based Louis Newman available exclusively to members of the Independent Jewelers Organization, is stealing some of Solasfera's fire. It, too, consistently racks up-to and through-the-roof scores on light measurement devices.
IJO jeweler David Fikse of Gerald's Jewelers in Oak Harbor, Washington, says it has done wonders for his diamond business. To engage customers, he routinely asks them to take comparison tests between his finest-make eight-mains and the new ten-mains hearts and arrows diamonds. "Nine out of ten customers choose the Forever Ten as the more brilliant stone," he says. When customers want some sort of scientific backing for their preference, he runs OGI FireTrace tests on the stones and the machine, like some sort of applause meter, shows them runaway light readings that support their senses.
What's more, five out of ten diamond shoppers who are in the market for a hearts and arrows diamond now chose the Forever Ten. Since it is the most steeply priced diamond in Fikse's store (ah, the joys of brand margins!), that tells him consumers will up their spending limits for provably superior stones. And if ever there was a diamond with demonstrable beauty, the Forever Ten is it. Indeed, it is designed to take the fullest advantage possible of the typical jewelry store lighting environment.
ADVENTURES IN OPTICAL SYMMETRY
Within the last decade, diamond aesthetics have undergone the most sweeping and dramatic changes in history. The famous 4C'sócolor, clarity, carat weight, and cutóhave taken a back seat to light performance. Diamond beauty is now largely defined as a trinity of three factors: brilliance, fire, and sparkle.
As these three factors have become critical criteria in picking diamonds, the trade has grappled with the meanings of these terms. So far, no hard and fast definitions have emerged.