The SymmetriScope™


DIAMOND BEAUTY, with all of its poetry and emotion, could not be realized without science.  The quest to create a diamond with perfect light return has involved many technical theories over the years, including the "Ideal" cut.  The Ideal set a new standard for beauty, but it took the invention of the Symmetriscope™ (originally called the FireScope™) to create a diamond fully lit with brilliance and fire: The EightStar™.


The Tolkowsky Ideal


The name Tolkowsky has been identified with the "Ideal" diamond since the early 20th century. In 1919, Belgian cutter Marcel Tolkowsky published a thesis, called Diamond Design, in which he described what he considered to be an diamond cut to ideal - or perfect - proportions.


Tolkowsky was concerned with beauty - with "the constant search for greater brilliancy, a more vivid fire in the diamond, regardless of the loss of weight."


Tolkowsky then offered a set of mathematical proportions - or external measurements - for cutting a perfect round brilliant based on the best work of the best cutters of his day. It was long believed that, by following these proportions exactly, a diamond of perfect beauty would result.


Within five years of its publication, jewelers in the United States were advertising diamonds cut to "Tolkowsky's Ideal Proportions." Eight decades later, jewelers still refer to Tolkowsky and advertise their cuts as "Ideal."


























The Look of Perfection


Still, the question has always remained: do the Tolkowsky Ideal proportions actually produce a diamond with maximum brilliance and fire?  There has been no way to prove it, other than a visual test: Ideal diamonds almost always were chosen as the brightest and most beautiful in comparison with a conventionally cut stone.


But did this mean they were as beautiful as they could be? Creating a diamond so beautiful that it inspires devotion begins as a practical problem: how to make the facets work together to create the greatest light return.


A diamond capable of maximum light return would be a precise little masterwork. It would be perfectly round. Its culet would be perfectly centered. The facets would be of equal length. The facets would make sharply aligned patterns - with no fuzzy edges or bleeding lines. Every facet would be exact:  maximum light reflection would be possible.


To achieve this, you would need to see how the angles interact as they are being cut. You would need to verify the 100% of the light is being returned to the eye.   You would need to use a SymmetriScope™.


How the SymmetriScope™ works


The SymmetriScope™ is a light-mapping instrument invented by a Tokyo diamond dealer in 1984. It uses simple colorcoding to show whether - or how - a diamond is reflecting light.


The SymmetriScope™ looks unassuming: a small metal box with an eyepiece. But the mechanism is extraordinary. A diamond is slid between a light source, below, and the eyepiece, above. There are red reflectors in the eyepiece. Any light reflecting through the crown and table is reflected back - but in red.


Red light means light reflection, but white light - which can't have reached the reflector - means light is not being reflected back to the eye.  The amount of red and white light indicate a diamond's potential brilliance and the quality of its cut.  A diamond with maximum reflection will present an image without any white.


The SymmetriScope™ was first introduced as an observation tool to help jewelers buy the most beautiful diamonds.  What the instrument showed repeatedly however, was that almost all diamonds had areas that the light was not being reflected, often to excess.  Even the Ideals.


















The SymmetriScope™ As Cutting Tool


The Symmetriscope™ became a cutting tool because no diamond could measure up to its scrutiny.  The instrument was developed for Takanori Tamura, a Japanese businessman turned diamond dealer.  Convinced of the possibility of 100 percent light reflection, Tamura went on a buying trip using the SymmetriScope™ to find perfect diamonds.


His days were constant disappointment - until he found three tiny stones that showed no white areas.  They also exhibited a distinctive eight-rayed pattern - though no one could explain why.


Tamura returned to Japan and hired a master cutter, Kioyishi Higuchi, to unlock the secret of this pattern. It took Higuchi more than a year, and countless diamonds, but he used the SymmetriScope™ to analyze the symmetry of every facet - creating what is now the EightStar™ Diamond.


Many scopes have been developed over the years to show off a particular diamond pattern.  But in this case, the SymmetriScope™ came first.  The EightStar™ cut was created to answer the instrument's exacting objective standards.


The EightStar Pattern


The EightStar™ pattern proves the exquisite craftsmanship of the diamond.  The pattern appears because the faceting is so precise. The rays of the star reflect the eight "main" facets on both the crown and the pavilion.  These facets form the star because they are proportioned in exact relation to one another.


Seen in the SymmetriScope™, the star is black because it is reflected from the eyepiece over the diamond. The rest of the field is red because it is reflecting light from the filters of the eyepiece - and shows maximum reflection.


Look more closely at the red field and you'll see symmetrical light-pink motifs shaped like flower petals and teardrops. Just as the star indicates that the main facets are performing in balance, these motifs indicate that the diamond's other facet groups are in balance, too.

These patterns also reveal another quality of superior light return: contrast brilliance. The surface of the diamond would look like a headlight if it were to only return an even glare of light. But the EightStar™ "pops" and "snaps" because there is such sharp contrast between the facets. They keep the light separate, so can you see the brilliance distinctly.


Beautiful Inside and Out


There are two ways cutters achieve diamond beauty.  The standard way is to cut for external symmetry using fixed formulas for outer dimensions and workmanship. It is assumed that if a diamond meets specifications for proportions and faceting, full beauty will result.  However, that is not so.


Remember that diamond beauty depends on light return (brilliance, fire and sparkle).  So cutters must address this factor directly.  Just because a diamond is well contoured and crafted doesn't guarantee it is reflecting light to the fullest degree.


To ensure maximum light reflection, EightStar™ Diamond Company. cuts for optical, rather than external, symmetry.  This means that diamonds display perfect light-reflection patterns in a special instrument called the SymmetriScope™.  This eight-rayed pattern is proof of maximum light reflection.


By continually checking diamonds in a SymmetriScope™, EightStar™ cutters make sure their labors lead to maximum brilliance, fire and sparkle.  At the same time, they produce superbly crafted diamonds.  So you get the best of both worlds:  external and optical symmetry.




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

Copyright 2018