Diamonds may be a girl's best friend, but it's how the stone is cut that reflects its brilliance. Classic cuts include round brilliant, oval, marquise, pear-shaped, emerald, princess and cushion.
Nevertheless, over the past few years, jewellery makers have created new inroads in the diamond industry by creating cuts of their own, and the results are even more sparkling because the cuts create more avenues for light to refract within the gemstone.
More than just exotic names, unconventional cuts help further unleash the brilliance of diamonds through unique facet alignments when compared with regular cuts, say two jewellery retail chains.
An 'Estrella' diamond may appear similar to a round brilliant at first glance, but this patented unique cut features 100 facets, compared with the 58 in a regular round diamond.
'The crown of an Estrella [meaning shining stars in Spanish] diamond has 37 facets and its pavilion has 63 facets. A fascinating pattern consisting of nine symmetrical 'hearts' and a solitary 'blossom' appears when the diamond is viewed from the crown,' explains Lambert Chan, chief operating officer of TSL. 'The result of this unique symmetry is a fiery luminescence with peerless scintillating beauty.
'In collaboration with renowned international diamond supplier Rosy Blue, TSL developed the Estrella cut after three years of engineering and experiments.'
The minimum weight of an Estrella diamond is 0.30ct. Chan says each comes with certificates from international gem-testing laboratories, such as International Gemological Institute and GemEx Systems, certifying its authenticity and exceptional performance in terms of light transmission. The retail price of a solitaire ring set with an Estrella diamond of 0.30ct starts from HK$17,680.
Meanwhile, the Leo Diamond also appears to have the same shape as the round brilliant diamond but, like the Estrella, is cut slightly differently. Designs featuring diamonds in the Leo Diamond cut are available at Ma Belle Jewellery. Ma Belle's senior manager for brand development, Eva Chan says the 82-facet Leo Diamond cut was developed by the century-old diamond cutter Leo Schachter in New York. She says: 'The brilliance of the Leo Diamond is appraised by the light performance test of GemEx. The brilliance, fire and scintillation of Leo Diamonds are much higher than those of regular round brilliant diamonds in comparable colours, clarity grades and sizes. All Leo Diamonds achieve a 'high' to 'very high' brilliance grade, and only a dazzling average of 80 per cent will pass.'
The Leo Diamond brand is well-known in the United States and Britain, Chan says. About 2,500 outlets in the two countries sell jewellery designs with Leo Diamonds. At Ma Belle, an 18ct gold ring with a 0.20ct Leo Diamond in the Infinite Collection is available from HK$8,000. Madia, a member of the Ma Belle group, sells pieces set with diamonds in the Ashoka cut.
Developed by world-acclaimed William Goldberg in New York, the shape of the Ashoka cut resembles that of an emerald-cut diamond.
'With its patented design of 62 facets, the Ashoka cut outshines diamonds in the 50-facet emerald cut,' Chan says. 'Another unique characteristic of the Ashoka cut is that a diamond appears 30 per cent bigger than an emerald-cut diamond of identical carat weight.
'Both Leo Diamond and Ashoka are well-known brands worldwide. Their exceptional brilliance and fire have been recognised and certified by international gem-testing institutions. We think our innovative and stylish designs can enhance diamonds' appeal aficionados.'