Professional Jeweler Archive: Fair and Square

October 2001


Fair and Square

In the revolution of the squares, meet this new trio of right angles

Square diamonds are hot-sellers, a trend that has spurred diamond manufacturers to come up with new brands.

In response, jewelers are celebrating the square. “Once a customer buys one piece, he or she is likely to come back to get a matching set,” says Mary Beth Kroh, G.G., appraiser and trainer for Hamilton Jewelers in Princeton, NJ. “We’ve done really well with the Elara brand: We put up a billboard featuring the diamond cut and got a terrific response.” She advises mounting square diamonds in jewelry that can compete with round diamond jewelry.

Squares also signal a certain hipness. “Even if the consumer doesn’t actually buy a square cut the first time around, just knowing the retailer is well-stocked and offers choices means a lot,” says Margaret De Young of Ernest Slotar Inc., Chicago, IL, which sells square Lucère diamonds. “Those jewelers stand out because they’ve got something the guy next door does not have.”

Square cuts also give jewelers an important edge over Web diamond sellers. Fancy-cut diamonds aren’t sold often online. That makes squares a great product for bricks-and-mortar jewelers eager to make a profit.

Initially, square diamonds sparked more interest among consumers on the East and West Coasts than in the Midwest. “But things are changing here,” says Theresa Garcea, staff gemologist at Décor Jewelers in Chesterfield, IL. “We find people are interested in the angular geometry of squarish cuts, but they want their diamonds to be as brilliant as round cuts.”

Following are looks at three manufacturers who introduced square cuts this summer.

– by Robert Weldon, G.G.

Elara™ Cut Diamond

The Elara Cut was developed in Antwerp, Belgium, in partnership with the Diamond High Council and Antwerp University. The cut is patented and the name is trademarked.

The cut used to be called the Flanders Cut, after the manufacturer’s name. But in June, the company changed its name and the diamond cut’s name to Elara.

While the Elara Cut Diamond has a square outline, its developers say it has the brilliance and scintillation of a round diamond. In a company survey, consumers were asked to choose their favorite diamonds by shape. The Elara cut scored 23%, second only to the round brilliant cut.

Elara has a collection of jewelry available through premiere jewelers across the United States.

Elara™ Diamonds, New York City; (888) 397-7627 or (212) 302-0099.

Photo by Elara Diamonds.

Lucère™ Diamond

There are two types of Lucère diamonds. The American Lucère features a step-cut crown and a brilliant-cut pavilion. These diamonds are always equilateral (or square).
The European Lucère, fashioned after a radiant-cut diamond, has 20 more facets than the American version to maximize brilliance and scintillation (16 of the additional facets are placed on the crown and four on the pavilion). The European Lucère can be cut as a square or a rectangle.

“The benefit of having two cut styles is choice,” says Margaret De Young, a jewelry designer with Ernest Slotar Inc., Chicago, IL, which developed the cuts. “The American Lucère is for adventuresome types, while our European Lucère appeals to the more traditional customer.” Both styles are cut in South Africa to exacting parameters. De Young says the diamonds are available individually, in matched pairs and in suites of three for three-stone diamond jewelry.

They are available certified by a major gem laboratory or without certification and in a wide range of colors and clarities. De Young says demand for Lucère diamonds has been so strong that plans to place the brand on the girdles have been put off because of time constraints. “We will do it as soon as we can factor in the lag time it takes to get the Lucère brand inscribed,” she says.

Ernest Slotar Inc., Cut by Gauge Diamonds, Chicago, IL; (800) 621-6537.

Photo by Robert Weldon.

Royal Asscher® Diamond

This square cut has a rich history. Belgian cutter Joseph Asscher designed its predecessor, the original Asscher Cut, in 1902. The Royal Asscher Co. of Amsterdam historically was entrusted with cutting the biggest and most exquisite diamonds, including the 3,105-ct. Cullinan Diamond, the largest ever found.
(It resides in the Tower of London with Great Britain’s other crown jewels.)

The Royal Asscher cut – a squarish step-cut style with 74 facets– is the result of computer technology and ancient cutting secrets. “It took two years to develop the software to design the cut,” says the company’s Edward Asscher. It takes up to three months to train technicians to perfect it. Royal Asscher cuts are branded with the company logo, certificate and guarantee plus a certificate from the Gemological Institute of America. GIA designed a special line diagram for the certificates.

M. Fabrikant & Sons is the exclusive distributor of the Royal Asscher Cut in the United States. “Because this is such a premium product, we work with a select number of guild retailers,” says Susan Fortgang of M. Fabrikant & Sons. “Those jewelers also are specially trained in selling the Asscher Cut.” Asscher says the company plans to expand production to eliminate the currently tight supply. For more on the Asscher cut, see p. 32.

M. Fabrikant & Sons, New York City; (212) 757-0790,

Photo by Robert Weldon.

Copyright © 2001 by Bond Communications