February 1998

Gemstones & Pearls: News


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 its prey.

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 a web."

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 two more."

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.


HomeAsk the ExpertBrainstormStatsSite of the WeekConsumer Press Scan
Your Business On-LineCalendarMagazine & Site ArchivesStaffSite Map
Professional Jeweler EventsGuide to Electronic Services
Classified On-LineJA Certification Study Session

Home Ask the Expert Brainstorm Stats Site of the Week Consumer Press Scan Your Business On-Line Calendar Staff Site Map