Russian gemstones attract buyers from all over the world not only because of the high quality of the diamonds, but also because of the magnificent Russian cut. The concept of Russian Cut is known all over the world and is regarded as a kind of "quality mark" due to the skills of our masters honed by centuries.
Diamonds extracted from the bowels of the earth have very little in common with sparkling, eye-attracting gemstones seen in jewelry. In order to become a center piece of a graceful ring, a necklace or a pendant, a diamond is to undergo a special treatment – the cut that will bring all its advantages to the foreground and disguise possible shortcomings. The cut allows uncovering the hidden beauty inherent in a diamond, revealing the maximum trick of light and brilliance of the crystal.
The Epoch of Peter the Great
Though the jeweler’s art is leastwise a thousand years old, nonetheless, diamonds began to be cut relatively late – in the 15th century in Europe. In Russia, this trend was adopted after a little while: polished diamonds began to top off the jewelry of the royal family in the 16th century. At first, only a few court craftsmen were able to work with diamonds, but in the early 18th century Peter the Great issued a decree on the establishment of the country's first lapidary factory.
Peterhof Lapidary Works
Archive of the Museum of the Peterhof Lapidary Works
The “Golden age” of the Russian lapidary and jewelry art is admittedly associated with two women – Elizabeth of Russia and Catherine the Great. Fascinated by the beauty of these stones, they looked for the best jewelers and encouraged the development of their talents. The best masters, from abroad in particular, were invited to share their experience, they stayed in Russia and developed their skills, and afterwards they founded entire dynasties. In the 18th and 19th century, many great names of art arise in Russia: Pozier, Eckart, Bolin, Faberge.
Ekaterinburg Lapidary Factory
Regional museum of Ekaterinburg
A while later, Marcel Tolkowsky, a Belgian of Russian origin, played a significant role in development of the Russian – and the world – cut. In 1919, an engineer by education, he invented the optimal combination of angles and proportions for a diamond so that light penetrating a stone would create maximum brilliance and fire. The Tolkowsky diamond must have a round brilliant cut with 57 facets – today it is a standard for the whole world industry. Tolkowsky's cut also assumes precisely observed proportions of height and diameter, and adjusted angles of the facets. The more deviation from these proportions is done, the less sparkle in the stone is produced. Russian lapidary factories established in the mid-20th century pursued to work close to these parameters from the ground up.
In 1977, the Russian industry got "Technical Conditions for diamonds”, which imposed stringent requirements for cutting and polishing gemstones. At that time, the build-up of the “Russian Cut” symbolizing high quality standards underwent the last stage. Unlike foreign diamond cutters, who often violated the proportions in favour of larger weight of a stone, Russian diamond cutters worked in strict accordance with the set standards and could not waive them. Thorough maintenance of high standards in everything was a distinctive feature of Russia at that time, in general.
Cutter Andrey Frolov
Diamonds ALROSA LLC
The Soviet diamond-cutting school demanded that all possible defects were corrected, even if it would require significant reduction of the stone weight. The cutter tried to put a diamond in a perfect shape, often disregarding possible losses, which seemed inconceivable to his colleagues from Israel or Belgium. In addition, only the largest and most expensive rough diamonds were sent to cut; factories were supplied with modern equipment. Each diamond-cutting plant possessed a quality control department, which returned diamonds for rework in the presence of the slightest flaws.
The task to make the best diamonds was fully implemented: Russian diamonds were in great demand, providing customers with a guarantee of the highest quality. Actually, the very concept of the Russian Cut was invented not by diamond cutters at all, but by foreign clients themselves.
Diamonds ALROSA division established on the basis of Soviet enterprises continues their tradition. Our current standards for cutting are even more rigorous than the quality requirements for diamonds in the 70s. Diamonds ALROSA employs about 500 highly skilled craftsmen who still remember what the real Russian Cut is or studied under such specialists. That is why we can guarantee the unparalleled quality of the diamonds manufactured by ALROSA.