In modern companies strategies are kept in motion to improve and perform better. Indian precious sector also follows the same protocol. Promotions, attractive offers, advertising, etc. do set the ball rolling, but that’s not where the efforts stop. All these will be futile if the actual product is not worthy. This fact holds even more significance for the diamond industry because of the expensive nature of products it deals in. Therefore, product differentiation becomes the key to unparalleled branding and uninterrupted success. But the question is how diamond manufacturers excel in this area? The product line they deal in is monotonous. Well, this section of manufacturers has tackled the dilemma with great expertise and developed an innovative medium of product differentiation and that is patented or proprietary cuts. In simple words patented cuts are diamond cuts developed by a specific company which therefore solely enjoys rights over that cut.
Cut is the most important C in the 4 Cs. Hence, it was the most obvious choice to develop this feature of diamond manufacturing. Patented cuts have been a prevailing trend in western countries while the concept is in its infant stage in India. Since, India leads the world in diamond manufacturing with more than 60% share in value, 85% in volume and 92% in terms of the pieces produced; it had to lead in the field of patented cuts too. Growing international demand also served as a compelling factor, “The inspiration for developing new cuts was to cater to the growing demand for diamonds having better brilliance and fire than a round or princess. Though fancy shapes do exist, more brilliance can be brought out through innovative shape plus increasing the number of facets,” tells Arvind Sanghvi of KP Sanghvi. Advanced technology and knowhow added to the developing urge, “These cuts were a result of fusion of old tools and techniques used in manufacturing processes with modern technology. Diamonds have always been the passionate possession for any woman. These cuts represent an extension of the brilliance of a diamond and are a perfect epitome of a woman’s fiery inner spirit,” explains Adrianus Voorn, Executive Director of Gitanjali Group.
Ultimately, the initiative of developing new cuts started picking momentum a few years back and soon several Indian companies like Suashish, Gitanjali Gems, KP Sanghvi, Mahendra Brothers, JB Brothers and Shree Ramakrishna Exports ventured on the journey of invention. Though, the total share of these cuts is estimated very small, yet the future is viewed with certainty as the driving urge to possess something different is endless.
After gaining experience for 25 years in the cutting industry JB Brothers developed their patented cut Aleya only a year back. According to the company sources innovation of Aleya needed year’s research and effort. These Square or rectangular cuts combine the elegant shapes of diamonds with brilliance of the rounds and Aleya’s 81 facets maximize the effect of its light refraction.
The new diamond cut launched by KP Sanghvi is the ‘Cupio’. Cupio is a brilliant hexagonal diamond with 73 facets. Cupio is cut for maximum brilliance and, under light performance test, Cupio scores higher than most princess cut diamonds in the light return index tests performed. With application of new-age technology, KP Sanghvi has been able to cut and polish rough diamonds and bring life to this most fascinating and scintillating diamond with 73 facets. After spending almost three years with an American consultancy about the demand of patented cuts, Cupio was created by Samir Sanghvi with the help of Belgian polishers.
Invented by Shri Ramakrishna Exports is the new 63-faceted cut. A combination of marquise and pear cuts; it has 26 facets on the pavilion and 37 on the crown, including the table. The cut is offered only in gemstones larger than 0.20cts and is available exclusively in jewellery retailed under the Divine Collection label.
129 & 145 Faceted Cuts:
Few years back Suashish launched its proprietary cuts 129 facets and 145 facets. The cuts remain in the round shape, but a complex geometrically aligned configuration of facets is what adds fire, brilliance and sparkle to the diamonds making them unique. The 145 cut diamond basically has 145 facets as compared to the conventional 57 facets of a round diamond. There are a total of 96 facets on the Pavilion and 49 facets on the crown including the table. The large number of facets and their positioning is a result of a high degree of research and development, that assists to maximize the light performance of the gems. As a result of the complex geometric configuration in the placement of the facets the white light, color light and the scintillation effect from the gems is maximized. The other cut has 129 facets and is similar to the 145 cut, the only difference being that in this cut only the Pavilion has been modified to have 96 facets and the crown remains unchanged as compared to the round brilliant with 33 facets including the table.
Created by Gitanjali Group, the ‘Flame Cut’ has 81 facets, which enables it to reflect maximum light. Brilliance and radiance are its key characteristics. Its elongated, slender sides, diagonal points and unparalleled curves give its beauty and brilliance, a new dimension.
Invented by Gitanjali Group, the Maharaja cut relates to the great rulers through its royal looks and sovereignty. Having a total of 89 facets, this is the most brilliant of all the cuts created by the company, symbolizing the luminous characteristics of a true ruler.
Fiancee Cut: This cut has been developed by Mahendra Brothers. Its shaping assures maximum light performance adding to the brilliance of the gems.
Wild Orchid Cut: Developed by Gitanjali Group, the Wild Orchid Cut is a modified square brilliant with unique multifaceted top crown. Its 73 facets are created perfectly to give a soft, but intensely bright look. Bottom facets make a four-point star. The facets on the pavilion of the Wild Orchid Cut can be compared to beautiful fields of multicolored Wild Orchids.
Faceting a gemstone is said to be a tricky task. So, just imagine how tough it would be to develop an altogether new cut. The shape and size of the crystal, prevailing competition, taste and preferences of buyers, time, cost and research involved, tentative returns, adequate availability of rough, appropriate tools and labor are various factors to be considered thoroughly before deciding on a new cut. Similarly, it is important to gauge how receptive the market is and what is the level of acceptability of such unique gemstones. A manufacturer has to put in efforts to evaluate various patented cuts already in the market, their success rate, reasons that made them popular and the ones which failed them as well. The entire exercise of research, evaluation and development has taken some manufacturers as long as four years to come up with an appropriate and unique cut.
According to Sanjay Shah
, Partner, JB Brothers,” While planning a particular cut certain things are very important. First whether the availability of raw material would be sufficient or not, whether its production would be possible, cost involved, diamond wastage involved and weight of the cut. Another extremely important factor is emphasis on its brilliance,” while Anil D Shah
of Venus Jewels states, “The most important aspect of patented cuts is the brilliance and light performance of the diamond. Although we have not come up with our patented cut yet we stress the light performance of the gemstones, which is why they automatically stand apart from other diamonds in the industry. People should take into account market response, time and resources involved and most importantly the sustainability of the new cuts prior to launching them. Not to mention that these cuts should be entirely different from they run of the mill goods and should be easily available in the market.”
Patented cut is a concept that has emanated from the west. Obviously then, these cuts would be more popular in western countries. People in western countries are more experimental in nature as compared to Indians; also the fact that diamonds are consumed more in the west confirms that buyers look for wider options whereas in India diamond was not a frequent buy till the recent past. Even now round brilliants remain the preference of a woman who dreams of owning her first diamond.
However, diamond manufacturers inform that people in India have started looking beyond the usual cuts, “After Cupio’s launch in the US, Europe and Japan markets it was launched in India at the IIJS 2006. We have had regular enquiries for Cupio. Since its creation, Cupio has claimed good response from American, European, Japanese and Indian markets,” tells Arvind Sanghvi
of KP Sanghvi
while Aleya of JB brothers is being exported to centres like Hong Kong, Canada and UK. They are planning to start their marketing operations locally also.
Ashish Goenka of Suashish Diamond Limited reflects, “These proprietary cuts are doing very well in the West. In the coming years probably this trend will also set in locally. We are marketing these diamonds by tying up with capable partners in different markets creating a win-win proposition.”
Adrianus Voorn reasons
- why patented cuts will never be a flop, “Patented cuts are more popular as they are protected by a patent and do not run the risk of getting duplicated by any other company. Also, India is moving towards the luxury segment and these cuts will surely find a place to cater to the rich and the super elite sections of society”. He further focuses on the different genre of population that adores innovation, “The round brilliant is the most popular and conventional diamond across the markets. This is used for generic diamond jewellery, for mass production and sales. The fancy shapes are a specialty and cater to the classes and up market buyers”.
Every new product needs positive reinforcement right from its inception for a successful niche in the market. Patented cuts are no exception. To develop these cuts is a master stroke that requires uninterrupted dedication and hard work. If these are not promoted well to claim people’s attention, the entire effort is futile. Therefore, our wise businessmen consider effective promotion and aggressive marketing strategies significant, “Since Cupio is a B2B program, its channel of communication is focused in trade publications while the channel partners plan their media activity and above the line activities most convenient to them in order to reach their target audience.
To further strengthen retailers pull within the store, we provide advertising templates. Also, as Cupio is an independent program, the retailer maximizes his business opportunity through advertising without co-branded activity i.e. KP Sanghvi logo does not appear in any advertising along with the channel partner,” explains Arvind Sanghvi.
Adrianus Voorn discloses their plans to launch a signature jewellery line flaunting the unique cuts, “These special cuts would be marketed in the form of a Signature collection in zirconia, symbolizing exclusivity and extravagance at its zenith, through customized branding concepts, training, packaging, catalogs and generic jewellery flyers”.
While others follow the conventional channels of promotion, Dhamani Jewels deals in an entire jewellery line of Dubai Cut with 99 facets inspired by the 99 holy names of Allah (God) in the shape of letter ‘D’ wgucg further distinguishes the brand image with its unique shape, “Recently we have launched an entire jewellery line in patented Dubai Cut. The USP of jewellery line in this patented cut would be that even from afar, people will know that this jewellery includes the unique Dubai Cut diamond. Normally when a woman wears jewellery, she has to say what brand it is. Our patented innovation to incorporate the shape of the letter “D” for Dubai into the design of jewellery itself makes the brand self evident,” explains Amit Dhamani, MD, Dhamani Jewels.
As stated earlier, proprietary cuts have made their way to India through western countries. Therefore, this feature cannot be complete without reference to some popular cuts developed in foreign lands.
Lily Cut® - The Shape of a Blossom:
The Lily Cut®, is a proprietary exquisite flower-shaped (4 rounded flower petals) diamond and has 65 facets - mixed facet arrangement of a brilliant (crown) and a princess (pavilion) - compared to the 43 facets of a princess diamond.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has included the shape in its courses on fancy diamond cuts. This brand (loose stones and set in jewellery) is marketed and distributed with a great success in Hong Kong, China, Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Japan, Europe, USA, Australia and South Africa.
Crisscut® - 77 Facets of Fire and Brilliance:
The Criss Cut® - diamond’s 77 (compared to the 44 facets of a standard emerald cut) facet configuration maximizes its characteristics. The Criss Cut’s long criss-crossed facets enhance the length, while the shorter criss-crosses give the feeling of depth. Together they bounce light off one another and give the Criss Cut diamond its patented electricity.
Caressa Cut®: The Caressa Cut® is an elegant modified hexagon shape with 59 facets. Like the Lily Cut, the Caressa cut is unique as it is a completely new shape and not a variation of an existing fancy cut diamond rendering it visually distinct.
The Caressa Cut® works well in men’s as well as women’s jewellery and is featured in a variety of jewellery pieces from bridal rings to necklaces and earrings. It also features in a right hand ring range.
Orchidea ™ Cut:
The Orchidea™Cut resembles in its beauty the orchid flower. Research and development department has designed unique working tools in order to create the special sharp corners of this gemstone. The 77 facets of the Orchidea™Cut grant the gem a new life through its four sharp corners, which maximize the uniqueness of the gemstone. This inimitable cut is manufactured from 20 points above.
It’s a Square emerald modified princess-cut. This octagon shape cut has 61 facets.
The Tycoon Diamond: This cut was invented in 1999 by Toros Kejejian. The Tycoon Cut, a rectangular mixed cut with nine crown facets and 20 step-cut pavilion facets, is patented in the U.S. and internationally. The faceting of the crown is what makes the Tycoon Cut unique, as the top centre facet is in the shape of a diamond, making it ‘the only diamond with a diamond on top.’ According to the manufacturers, the Tycoon Cut Diamond is a very difficult cut to polish and requires a high level of craftsmanship. Tycoon Cuts can only be manufactured from rectangular rough, called “crystal.”
The Prince Cut: Avi Paz Group: The Prince Cut is an improvement on the emerald cut, because it has more fire and brilliance. It has 111 facets, rather than the 57 facets in a conventional emerald.
The additional facets in the Prince Cut can hide most inclusions, which means that even gemstones of lesser clarity can be transformed in this shape. Traditionally, emerald diamonds have been marketable only if they are very clean. This modified emerald cut has opened up a new opportunity, enabling mass production of gemstones of lower clarity. This, combined with the fact that leading jewellery designers are featuring more and more straight-edge fancy diamonds in their designs, has raised demand for modified emerald cut and emerald cuts, making this category the third most popular diamond shape in the U.S., after the round and the princess. The Prince Cut is labeled “The Ideal Emerald Cut Diamond” by the Avi Paz Group.
Sunrise Diamond: Sunrise cut diamond is patented oval cut’s unique table that is divided into seven smaller tables over the width of the stone.
Yin Yang Diamond- for Harmony & Balance: Few diamond cuts like the ‘Yin Yang Diamond’ claim to generate positive vibes and are considered carriers of good luck!
The ancient Chinese symbol of yin and yang is the inspiration for a new diamond coming out of the Israeli diamond centre in Ramat Gan. Second generation Israeli diamantaire Rony Golomb, and Joey Peleg, have invented the Yin Yang Diamond – two half diamonds which together create the Chinese symbol. The Yin Yang Diamond brings these two opposing sides together, and by juxtaposing specially cut and processed diamonds of two colors creates the illusion of one whole that faithfully reproduces the ancient symbol.
The fact that these new cuts are thriving with the old ones reflect unlimited scope for innovation in the diamond industry. India is working towards volume but when it comes to research, development and originality the Indian industry is still taking baby steps. There are various reasons for it like lack of awareness, vision and resources. However, few companies enumerated above that have developed exclusive cuts are testimony of growing knowledge, zeal and ever developing diamond prowesses. Round brilliant, modified brilliant, step cuts, mixed cuts and rose cuts go on to flourish. Amongst the winning popularity of these, patented cuts continue to blossom too. Well, I can’t desist from exclaiming that “innovation is the name of this keenly contested global game!”