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Uncut ‘Macle’ Diamonds Attract an Inherently Sophisticated Customer

‘It’s a quiet, understated luxury. People may not know what they are, but you know it.’

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Credit: Image by Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com – CC-BY-SA-3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.
Credit: Image by Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com – CC-BY-SA-3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

ON THE FOURTH OF July, the venerable New York Times dedicated more than 1,000 words to a unique rough diamond crystal that’s making its mark as a fashion-forward favorite of the tony elite.

A “macle” is a twinned diamond crystal that presents as a flat triangle instead of the more dimensional octahedron. The crystal looks like it’s been naturally cut so designers will often set the diamond macle in its raw state.

“They are for an inherently sophisticated customer,” Sally Morrison, director of public relations for natural diamonds in the De Beers Group, told freelance journalist Kathleen Beckett, writing for The Times. “It’s a quiet, understated luxury. People may not know what they are, but you know it.”

Although the use of macles is a relatively new phenomenon in today’s fashion circles, these twinned diamond crystals have been part of the jewelry landscape for thousands of years.

“They were probably first used in jewelry in India about 2,500 years ago when diamonds were first discovered in Golconda,” Andrew Coxon, president of the London-based De Beers Institute of Diamonds, told Beckett.

Morrison said that she is seeing more designs using rough diamonds in their natural state — a trend identified in a recent article at brides.com.

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“Raw diamond rings are a stunning option, especially if you’re completely uninterested in a blingy, cookie-cutter ring,” noted fashion writer Laura Lajiness Kaupke. “While raw diamonds don’t twinkle in the traditional sense, many have a more subdued shimmer that catches the light at various angles of the stone’s uneven surface — the ultimate effect for low-key brides craving a one-of-a-kind diamond.”

Gemologists explain that “macle twinning” is more common in spinels, but very rarely seen in other gem species. That’s why diamond macles, especially in large sizes are very rare. The specimen shown, above, was sourced in South Africa and weighs 9.94 carats.

Because they lack depth, macles present an ongoing challenge to diamond cutters. So when they are not left in their natural state, macles will generally end up as a pear, triangle or heart-shaped finished stone.

Howard Cohen is the Shoreham, NY-based editor of The Jeweler Blog, a daily blog ghost-written for retail jewelers. Cohen, a long-time industry veteran, is dedicated to making social media tasks simple and affordable for every jeweler. For more information, visit thejewelerblog.com or contact Cohen at 631-821- 8867, hscohen60@gmail.com. Websites: thejewelerblog.com, thejewelerblog.wordpress.com.

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Trish Parks has always wanted to be in the jewelry business and that passion has fueled her success. The original Corinth Jewelers opened in the Mississippi town of the same name in 2007. This year, Parks moved her business from its original strip mall location to a 10,000-square foot standalone store. To make room for fresh, new merchandise, she asked Wilkerson to organize a moving sale. “What I remember most about the sale is the outpouring excitement and appreciation from our customers,” says Parks. Would she recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers? “I would recommend Wilkerson because they came in, did what they were supposed to and made us all comfortable. And we met our goals.”

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