The Shapes of Things to Come
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Don't tell that to Chicago-based image consultant Martha Weir. "If beauty boils down to personal taste," she asks, "why are America's sex symbols Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson, and who-knows-how-many-other look-alikes?"
According to Weir, beauty is far less subjective and far more standardized than most people think. And she uses diamonds to illustrate her point.
Weir, who is twice divorced and in her early 50s, recently bought what she calls a "survival diamond" to celebrate the success of her career counseling business and the self-sufficiency it has brought. Her choice of a stone was a 1 carat "hearts and arrows" round brilliant diamond featuring what she was told was "optical symmetry." That's a phrase for diamonds, which exhibit perfectly symmetrical eight- or ten-rayed light reflection patterns in special viewers (more on these in a moment).
For a growing number of consumers, these patterns are telltale signs of optimum diamond beauty. Weir says she won't ever again buy a diamond that doesn't have such a valid proof of perfection.
Such proof requires mathematical precision on the cutter's part and appears as what Weir calls "light signatures." Years ago, such signatures were rarely seen, more the result of chance than choice. Today they are deliberate, part of the diamond's design. As Weir puts it, "I always thought diamond cutting was an art, not a science. I was wrong. Beautiful diamonds are tiny feats of engineering."
Huh? Science? Engineering?
Here comes the revolution in diamond beauty—ready or not.
A Little HELP to Our Friends
To help you get ready for the revolution in diamond beauty, Modern Jeweler has prepared this guide, "Let There Be Light." It explains the momentous changes in technology and taste that are driving the revolution. As you will soon see, diamond cutting is undergoing a renaissance unlike any in history—a renaissance that affects every shape and style.
The revolution started with the most popular shape, the round brilliant. First, cutters began producing traditional rounds with craftsmanship so stringent you might have thought them cut by robots. Then they began to cut variations on the customary 57 facet style with extra facets that gave strobe-like sparkle.