Gemstones & Pearls: News
WEB CUT CAPTURES JUDGES
A new gemstone cut by innovator Arthur Anderson wins top prize, creates
new sales opportunity
Imagine a gem that captures your attention like a spider web captures
That's what Arthur Lee Anderson, a master cutter and gem carver in Ashland,
OR, saw as he started to cut a Brazilian citrine this past summer. When
he finished, he had a 21.70-ct. gem that won top honors and $5,700 at the
prestigious German Award for Jewellery and Precious Stones competition this
past fall in Idar-Oberstein, Germany. Says Anderson, only the second American
to win the coveted prize, "It's the highest honor of my career."
Left: Arthur Anderson on his
prize-winning 21.70-ct. Brazilian citrine: "My motivation is always
to cut something with intrinsic primal beauty that is timeless." How
long did it take to cut this timeless beauty? Anderson thinks about his
career and says with a chuckle, "About 15 years and a day." Photo
by Manfred Greber.
Right: No matter the cut, the
end result has to have intrinsic beauty, an essence that requires no explanation,
says Arthur Anderson. Here are two such gems: an 11.80-ct. webbed-halo-cut
Madeira citrine and a 12.20-ct. webbed scalloped iris cut citrine. Photo
by Robert Weldon.
Anderson never intended to cut the gem for competition. "But as
I started to cut it," he says, "the piece looked so dramatic that
I pushed a bit more, moving elements around within the design to create
The web effect is a new technique involving the use of freehand curved
surfaces and faceted planes with very fine etching along the facet junctions.
"It creates a deeper dimension within the stone," he says.
Cutting American Style
Anderson says his victory is just one example of the healthy state of
American gem cutting. "There's a well of creativity being tapped here,"
he says. "Given our geographic isolation from other cutters, we tend
to search for our own unique styles and vision. It's different from Germany,
where cutters daily see each other's work and have very regimented training."
Anderson, a seven-time American Gem Trade Association Spectrum-Award
winner, has pioneered many cutting techniques, most of which revolve around
his trademark style of opening up the table of the gem, exposing the interior
and creating design elements within. He originally described this open-table
style in the Winter 1991 issue of <i>Gems & Gemology</i>,
the Gemological Institute of America's quarterly journal. Many cutters around
the world have since emulated it.
How do these creative cuts translate into retail sales? "One jeweler's
customer bought several [of the "web" style] stones during the
summer," says Anderson. "When she heard of the award, she purchased
He suggests jewelers take advantage of award-winning designs by promoting
them to customers interested in artistry.
Arthur Anderson, Speira Gems, P.O. Box 849, Ashland OR 97520; (541) 482-9451.
- by Robert Weldon, G.G.
Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.