Macle Diamonds Gain a Wider Audience

Macle. Maccle. Maacle. Smudge. It’s no wonder that few people know what this particular type of diamond is; even the experts disagree on how to spell it. Over the centuries and the countries where twins have been used, the spellings differ, and this continues today, between companies and sometimes even within them.

But they do agree on one thing: a twin is a form of rough diamond used to produce unique, striking and sophisticated jewelry.

“They’re aimed at an inherently sophisticated customer,” Sally Morrison, public relations manager for natural diamonds at De Beers Group, said by phone from New York. “It’s understated, understated luxury. People may not know what they are, but you do.

And recently, more people are experiencing them too, she said.

“We are seeing more and more design using rough diamonds in their natural state,” Ms Morrison said. “And I’ve seen more use in the consumer market for natural rough diamonds. They have a gleam and shine, but they are not shiny like a cut and polished stone would be. They are part of a general tendency to celebrate things as the earth made them rather than after many human interventions.

Macles has been around forever. “They were probably first used in jewelry in India around 2,500 years ago, when diamonds were first discovered in Golconda,” said Andrew Coxon, president of the De Beers Institute of Diamonds in the St. James area of ​​London, in an email. Today, he said, twins “are found in every mining production around the world. They can be attractive to discover, especially if they have tumbled for millions of years along a river bed and acquired a natural shiny patina.

What else distinguishes twins? Greg Kwiat, the managing director of Kwiat, a 115-year-old family brand based in New York, knows all about them. “The term maccle describes a specific type of rough diamond. It has a flat, triangular shape,” he explained in an email. “They occur naturally in the earth and are different from the more classic octahedral shape of rough diamonds.”

A twin is also a “twinned diamond crystal,” according to Judy Colbert, research librarian at the Gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad, California. It is composed of “two opposing parts, each having the same crystal shape. The two sides are oriented 60 degrees or 180 degrees to each other, so the twin looks like a flattened triangle.

“Macles are a challenge for diamond cutters,” she said in an email. “Twins are typically so shallow that they cannot produce round brilliants without significant weight loss. For these reasons, twins are typically used for fancy shapes like pears, triangles, and hearts.

Macles are also a challenge for designers and jewelers. Often a bezel setting is used as opposed to prongs, which are more commonly used for cut diamonds,” GIA design and manufacturing specialist Elizabeth Gaines Zoutendyk said in an email. When pins are used, they must be bulkier and/or longer to ensure safety. Both of these can mean an increase in the amount of metal needed to create the decor.

“Instead of being able to use off-the-shelf components that are created to standard sizes and often available in a pre-polished state (thereby reducing labor time), a setting would be built by hand, to specification, for each individual stone (increasing working time).

It’s the process that was used to create the two wide cuffs that Nicole Kidman wore to the Oscars in 2007 to accessorize the long, skinny red column of a Balenciaga evening gown. On his wrists was what looked like a mosaic of misty triangular stones, or crystals, or sea glass perhaps; shiny rather than shimmering.

The bracelets were made by L’Wren Scott in collaboration with the jewelers of William Goldberg.

Eve Goldberg, co-owner and creative director of the company founded by her diamond father, William, who died in 2003, said he was known for his expertise in working with “uniquely shaped stones”.

“We were introduced to the large collection of maccles. We laid them all out on the table and started playing with them,” Ms Goldberg said in an email. “They were flat on both sides and we’re used to having a pointed culet on one side. It was fun moving them around in the diamond pavé and seeing what design ideas might work. We collaborated on those fabulous cuffs because the stones felt good that way My dad always said diamonds spoke to us and told us what they wanted to be, and those diamonds told us they had to be on an arm and c that’s what they were!

The custom work that is often required to work with twins affects the price of a finished piece. “In general, uncut diamonds cost less than cut diamonds of similar quality and size,” Ms. Colbert said. “There are costs involved in the cutting process. Conversely, as uncut stones require a custom setting, this can result in a high price tag for the jewelry.

As with all diamonds, the price of the gemstone also varies depending on its quality. “When a beautiful large maccle is discovered in a fancy color, it is kept by De Beers to become a beautiful piece of rough diamond jewelry in its own right, for example as part of a fine jewelry necklace,” Mr. Coxon. “Such a maccle is as precious as a polished diamond of the same size.”

In the end, Ms Zoutendyk said, Twin diamond jewelry can be “edgy, different, out of the ordinary, modern and sleek.”

And something that only connoisseurs know.

Sarah C. Figueiredo