There are jewelers that are interesting, but few take time to really communicate how they actually make their jewelry and even fewer take the time to educate customers.
I happened onto the page of Brian Gavin Diamonds and the blog, "The Diamond Cutter's Blog" and found that the company does actually show their CAD renderings, as well as answer questions about the 3 C's of diamonds (Cut, clarity and color) as well as hints for buying diamonds and custom made jewelry.
I wrote to the company, on the off chance they might actually read questions from their blog... and they do! I had a timely answer, and a followup letter, then... they allowed me to send my questionnaire.
Brian Gavin is a master Diamond Cutter that grew up in South Africa, his father was a master Diamond Cutter, living in South Africa, His Grandfather was a master Diamond Cutter, and lived in Amsterdam, his great grandfather, and great great grandfather were also Diamond Cutters...
Mr Gavin says that when he was a child, he played marbles with rough diamonds... he was surrounded by art, design, music and that this is what shaped his interest and passion for design.
Being a fifth generation diamond cutter, he started out at around five years old, when he would go to the factory with his father, when he had his first real exposure with gemstones. He says he was always intrigued by the ability to take a rock and after time, shape it into a magnificent diamond masterpiece. Before he went to university, he started spending time at a different factory, where he started his apprentiseship, marking and handling rough diamonds. He was in charge of deciding what was going to be cut out of the rock and how it should be cut. This was of course before there were the sophisticated machines to help in that determination.
Like so many other artists I have spoken with, the one thing that resonates with all of them, Mr Gavin says, is that practice makes perfect. But practice in the diamond business can become very expensive!
Becoming an expert takes time, and that it comes with learning and failing in real world situations. Having a degree in something doesn't necessarily make you an expert. The term "journeyman" is used to describe an apprentice because an apprentice is one that must go on a traveler's journey to feel the highs and lows.Because it is not just about theory, it is about experience. What you 'know' might not be the correct answer, it is the experience that shows you the way. Mr Gavin says that it wasn't until he was in his late 30s that he truly understood not only what he was taught, but how to apply that knowledge to real world situations.
Mr Gavin also stated that he doesn't thing that he has reached the pinnacle, yet. That there is still a lot more for the brand to offer. They have has some great milestones, and have built a successful business that is well known in the jewelry industry, but that there is more in the future.
Recently, the business brought in Jeff Cooper into their 'family' along with his hand made pieces. He is a jewelry legend in his own right. Offering wedding and engagement rings, each handmade....each one is hand made... one at a time (that is significant!) and has the same care given on inspection as the other Brian Gavin diamonds. Cooper's branding gives 40 years of history that brings with it his timeless style and elegance.
The details and the very high quality and craftsmanship are a very fitting match with the Brian Gavin Diamonds' family. They look for the higher standard, and found it with Mr Cooper. His ornate details and old world craftsmanship brings together the style that they describe as "post vintage".
One line of Jeff Cooper rings is the "Lilly" which is designed for the woman with an 'admiration for all things vintage". The band is a teardrop design that articulates each segment with attention to detail, the round diamond as the focal is the trademark hearts and arrows cut diamond, it is an exquisite look. Very vintage, very lovely.
One of the main goals in diamond cutting is the perfect proportions, or the "ideal" mathematical proportions that make the diamond sparkle and shine at it's most brilliant. The balance between the optimum brilliance or the"return of light" and the scattering of light, or the "fire" which is the prism effect that separates the spectrum of color.
Each facet must be placed in the perfect place, the exact angle, to create the sparkle you see, and the refraction of the light that is pleasing to the eye.
Each cut that creates this brilliance, also loses carat weight and will yield a smaller stone.
The "Hearts & Arrows" cut was developed by Japanese cutters back in the 80s, when they cut exactly the facet to create overlapping kaleidoscope patterns. The diamonds created a pattern of 8 hearts and 8 arrows, when viewed through the pavilion and the table -up position. This effect was also called the "Cupid Effect" and the diamonds became known in the trade by the name Hearts and Arrows.
Benjamin Gavin, the father of Brian Gavin, and Brian began to research and refine the Hearts and Arrows design in 1997. They combined their knowledge in the field of cutting and light performance and they improved on the design, improved he reflective qualities to be viewed under all lighting conditions, which set a new quality benchmark and also a new grading system for the worldwide standard of that particular pattern cut.These improvements earned Brian Gavin the reputation as "The Cutter". Also, this cut is the standard that other companies try to imitate. However this is the signature cut of Brian Gavin Diamonds. He launched it in March 2009, with diamonds that are cut to even more exacting standards for quality and brilliance. Each has earned the AGS 0 grade, for light performance and comes accompanied by the AGS Platinum Diamond Quality document, that was introduced in January of 2009.
As David says, "to be able to capture all of that in a very refined, simply, and clean piece of jewelry – it's a passion and a pursuit."
Please visit the website, BrianGavinDiamonds.com
to see the collections of different designers, and see the "Hearts & Arrows" for yourself. Each diamond is spectacular, and the designs are magnificent.