A brilliant cut diamond is a result of the collaboration between man and nature, and the contrast between a rough diamond and a cut diamond is remarkable. While diamond cutting technology slowly progressed at first, the pasy two decades have seen great innovations allowing cutters to produce more brilliant stones.
Marcel Tolkowsky produced what is known as the ideal cut, bringing math and science to a higher level of diamond cutting. No one has yet to come up with a more precise formula. Although Tolkowsky conquered the task of reflectivity and refraction, there was still a matter of taste. Scientists have tried to improve the outcome of the cut in many ways, without great success.
The Europeans developed a different cut than that preferred by Americans. Tolkowsky’s table percentage is 53% – 58%, as where Europeans prefer 57% – 58%. The European cut made the stone look bigger, although it was actually the same weight.
Diamantaire and mathematician, Marcel Tolkowsky, was born December 5, 1898. The Belgian-born Tolkowsky came from Antwerp’s preeminent diamond-cutting family of the early 20th century. He was the nephew of both Sam Tolkowsky, the first chairman of the Antwerp Diamond Exchange, and famed diamond cutter Lazare Kaplan. While studying at the University of London, he used geometric optics to calculate a set of proportions for the recently developed round brilliant-cut diamond that would achieve maximum brilliance and fire. Tolkowsky’s recommendation soon became known as the “Ideal” cut. Tolkowsky later immigrated to the United States in 1940 and spent the remainder of his life in New York. An active designer and dealer until his retirement in 1975, Tolkowsky died in February 1991.
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