Japanese Beginnings


The story of the EightStar™ Diamond Company begins in Japan, with a visionary businessman named Mr. Takanori Tamura.  For two decades until the early 1980s, Mr. Tamura owned the largest distributorship of Sony products in Japan. He had a small army of sales people and did hundreds of millions in business. He was a gentleman in Japanese business society, a university graduate who propelled himself to the top.


On his 43rd birthday in 1984, Mr. Tamura sent a shock wave through his company when he announced he was retiring and turning the operation over to his employees. For this, he was headline news all over Asia.


A prophetic meeting several years earlier, however, would bring Mr. Tamura to his next career. A diamond dealer, Mr. Yasuhito Shigetomi, had visited Mr. Tamura to interest him in buying a diamond.


Mr. Shigetomi was known for his beautifully cut stones. He introduced Mr. Tamura to the more scientific aspects of diamond cutting, explaining Tolkowsky and the concept of Ideal proportions.


When Mr. Tamura asked the gentleman what type of instrument, or scope, he used to demonstrate Tolkowsky's theories of light entering and exiting the crown of the diamond, Mr. Shigetomi was dumbfounded. He had never been asked such a question.


Seven years later, just after Mr. Tamura had changed his life, Mr. Shigetomi returned with the result of his back-to-the-drawing-board" endeavor. He had created the Firescope™.  Mr. Tamura looked into this device and agreed that it was amazingly easy to detect the quality of the cutting:  "With a shock, it suddenly occurred to me that what we had here was a device which could clearly and unmistakably show how good or bad a diamond was. All that was needed was the human eye. All that you had to do was look for yourself..."


Mr. Tamura and Mr. Shigetomi went into partnership to market the scope. Because he was so well known in Japan, Mr. Tamura was able to develop associations with important people in the diamond industry. He and his partner were invited to demonstrate the SymmetriScope™ at important jewelry and gemstone trade shows in New York, Dallas, and Los Angeles.


But for most people in the diamond trade at the time, the invention of the scope was not a significant event. Whenever Mr. Tamura demonstrated it, many jewelers invariably saw things in their stones they might not have noticed otherwise - things they perhaps did not want to see. The device did not find the hoped-for receptive market.

Instead of marketing the SymmetriScope™, the partners decided to use their device to market diamonds that were proportioned according to Tolkowsky.


Creation of the EightStar™


To market perfectly cut diamonds would mean first finding them. This became a new - and ultimately difficult - project for Mr. Tamura.


His search was a series of constant disappointments: each day diamond after diamond did not exhibit the hoped-for qualities when placed in the SymmetriScope™.  Instead, the scope mercilessly showed every detour from the correct path of light.


This search eventually led Mr. Tamura through the diamond centers in America and Europe. He still did not discover great quantities of diamonds without light leakage, but he did find a few small stones that performed perfectly under the SymmetriScope™.  These stones all showed a unique eight-rayed pattern.


During this time, many extremely well-qualified cutting professionals tried to produce what Mr. Tamura wanted - but to no avail. The partners changed the business plan once again. This time they decided to begin their own diamond polishing endeavor, to try to cut diamonds that would appear perfect in the punishing SymmetriScope™.


Mr. Tamura employed Mr. Kioyishi Higuchi, an experienced cutter of colored gems and diamonds. Higuchi will be remembered forever in the history of diamond cutting as the name of the first cutter to actually realized Tolkowsky's dreams.


Mr. Higuchi was given what appeared to be an impossible task for the diamond industry - to make each diamond not vary from the extremely precise symmetry required to make the pattern of the eight-rayed star.


In the mid 1980s, Mr. Higuchi achieved his breakthrough after an entire year of constant setbacks and defeats - including a huge investment in wasted diamonds. Mr. Higuchi announced during the early months of his research that only one of Tolkowsky's calculations seemed to apply.


He found that using the exact application of Tolkowsky's recommended angles and proportions in every way except this one seemed to prohibit, rather than allow, him to make the diamond that Mr. Tamura wanted.

It then took him the better part of a year following this discovery to finally learn what he needed to know about diamonds to make them do what Mr. Tamura wanted each one to do. When Mr. Higuchi was able to create them at will, then, and only then, did Mr. Tamura name the cut he created the EightStar™.

EightStar™ Diamond Company  •  453 S. 4th Street  •  Louisville, KY 40202  •  888-573-5598  •  Email: eightstar@me.com

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