Friday, November 28, 2008

In 1475 Lodewyk (Louis) van Berquem, a Flemish stone-polisher from Bruges, Belgium, introduced the concept of absolute symmetry in the placement of facets on the stone. His advancements produced the pear-shaped "Pendeloque" or "Briolette" cut (below, center). The 55k Sancy Diamond (Maharaja of Guttiola) and the 137k Florentine Diamond (Medici Family - Duke of Burgundy 1467), are both Briolette cuts, and it has been reported that van Berquem was their creator.
The pendeloque shape was not commercially viable due to its lack of fire, dispersion or brilliance (play of light). There was a large amount of waste in the cutting process, and the shape was only suitable for certain odd shapes of rough diamond.
16th century gem cutter Giacomo Tagliacarne and Renaissance gem-cutter Giovanni delle Corniole further perfected the art of facetted gem cutting. During this period a new type of cut known as the "Rose" or "Rosette" was introduced (above center). The Rosette was a popular cut for over a century due to the higher amount of brilliance it produced when compared with the Pendeloque cut and the reduction in the loss of weight in the cutting process. The drawback was that the stone needed to be cut thick in order to reduce light loss and this cut did not produce sufficient fire. These limitations eventually lead to the invention of the Brilliant cut.
17th century French jeweler, Jean-Baptiste Tavernier (1605 -1689), was one of the early pioneer's of Europe's diamond trade with India. Although he was born in Paris, his ancestors were from Antwerp, Belgium. In his book "The Six Voyages of Jean-Baptist Tavernier" he documented many historically significant diamond cuts from India's past (top and below).

No comments: