For all you folks who say you want something “truly unique” we know a guy who is about to blow your mind: Jean-Noel Soni of Top Notch Faceting. This guy cuts gems to look like optical illusions. Seriously, they look like something from the bottom corner of a kaleidoscope viewer. Should he cut the center gem for your engagement ring? Are you cool enough?
Here are a few hints that he might be the magician for you:
Or maybe you are just a freak on the inside. Bottom line, this is for the person who says “you pick” and really means it. Is this for you? Yes? Then let's hold hands and dance.
note: these images do not feature the same exact gem, rather they help you understand the process.
Now how to make this happen for yourself? Jean-Noel Soni works with many designers and we would be happy to help put you in touch.
Jean-Noel Soni is based in San Francisco, where he lives with his family. He travels a lot. You can get to drooling here.
One of our favorite clients opted for this combination recently and the results were spectacular. More people should do this. We wanted to discuss the pros and cons for the rest of y'all out there.
Old Mine cuts and old European cuts are harder to find. They are not included in the inventories of major diamond retailers, so you have to have an insider hookup. That being said, they are not as expensive as you'd think - considering their rarity - and if you know the right people you can get your hands on some truly gorgeous diamonds. Luckily, we do. ;)
Old Mine cuts and European cuts were crafted long before the Modern Round Brilliant was invented. The cut is blockier, more fiery, and is not graded by the same standards that the industry uses to analyze modern brilliant cuts. Often these stones do not come with a certificate from GIA or another grading lab. This makes antique cuts a bit tricky to shop for, but on the plus side they are valuable because of their appeal, so you can feel free to trust your gut, follow your instincts, and choose a stone that you fall in love with. (If this sounds really scary to you, never fear, we are here to talk you through it.)
If you are looking for the classic Tiffany or Cartier engagement ring, this may not be the best route for you. These diamonds generally have a slightly warmer color and a faceting pattern that needs a jeweler who specializes in setting antique cuts to compliment their uniquely beautiful qualities. This is the best way to get the warm look of an antique without the years of wear and tear on the setting. You can work with your jeweler (such as the lovely and talented Linsday Chapman of Giador Fine Jewelry in Nashville, TN) to decide what antique elements you want to include, and what elements you want to update for your modern, glamorous lifestyle. Or your rustic, bohemian lifestyle. Or your drunk, yoga, camping lifestyle. Your call.