Creating a replica of a famous diamond is no easy task. While anyone can fashion a pear-shaped stone and call it a Taylor Burton replica, without the exact dimensions, the imposter will lack the famous diamond’s characteristics such as internal reflections, fire, and dispersion. The Stonecutter takes painstaking care in the creation of each replica to ensure the piece has the precise dimensions and appearance as the famous diamond.
The process of creating a famous diamond replica begins with research. Stonecutter Scott Sucher gathers as much information as possible about the diamond, consulting the Internet, books and peer-reviewed journals documenting other experts’ research processes and findings. All photographs, line drawings and dimensions are carefully analyzed to ensure accuracy, which is a challenge as dimensions are commonly misreported, line drawings are inconsistent from one artist to the next, and photographs introduce parallax errors that can alter the appearance of symmetry or asymmetry of a stone. All factors are scrutinized to tease out the reality of stone size and shape as well as the size and shape of each facet and overall facet pattern. The utmost care must be taken during research as every factor can affect the final appearance.
Computer modeling a diamond starts once all the information has been analyzed. Modeling is performed at magnification and provides a real-time comparison between the computer model and the data as each facet is virtually cut. The real-time comparison serves both to determine the cutting parameters for each facet and fosters familiarity with the actual cutting process. It is during this process that interrelationships between facets, cutting sequence and similar issues are discovered.
Because famous diamond replicas require absolute precision, the computer modeling stage can be repetitive and tedious, particularly for historic diamonds that are asymmetrical—a slight variation on a single facet affects all its neighbors, which affects all their neighbors, so a change on one facet affects the entire stone. As a result, this phase of diamond replication can easily take 50 to 100 hours for a moderate to difficult facet pattern.
Once the computer model is created, it is converted into cutting instructions containing dimensions, cutting sequence and necessary details to ensure the final replica is accurate. There are nuances of the cutting process, such as stone-centering, over- and undercutting, and limitations of the faceting equipment that can alter the calculated values.
Actual cutting is the final stage of the process, and cutting must be exact. For a simple cut, such as the standard round brilliant with 57 facets, there are three variables for each facet, and each facet goes through successively finer and finer grits and then polished. There are hundreds of opportunities for making a mistake that necessitate that the rough be scrapped and the process start over. Even if cutting is successfully accomplished, a perfect polish is required on all facets, otherwise the replica appears cloudy and dull.
The Stonecutter has amassed the research and skill to create precise replicas of a number of famous diamonds, including:
All cubic zirconia replicas are available for order online. Many stones are ideal for custom jewelry, so please contact us if you would like recommendations for expert jewelers to set the replica.
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