Over a profession spanning greater than six a long time, Sir Gabriel ‘Gabi’ Tolkowsky’s identify has develop into synonymous with the artwork of diamond chopping. Right here is Jeweller’s unique second with the daddy of contemporary brilliance.
Born in Tel Aviv in 1939 to a household of diamond cutters – together with his uncle Marcel, credited because the inventor of the spherical sensible reduce – Sir Gabi was skilled by his father Jean and on the age of 16, was tasked with sprucing a 100-carat emerald-cut diamond.
In 1975, he started working with De Beers for whom he developed the Flower Cuts assortment.
Within the Eighties, Sir Gabi and his son Jean Paul – additionally a grasp cutter – have been secretly commissioned to chop the Unnamed Brown, a 755.5-carat brown stone unearthed on the Premier Mine in South Africa.
An underground workshop, freed from vibration, was constructed to make sure no injury got here to the stone because it was meticulously whittled right into a 545.65-carat Golden Jubilee Diamond, which stays the biggest reduce and faceted diamond on the earth – outweighing even the Cullinan I, which had held the title since 1908.
The stone was accomplished in 1990 and later grew to become a part of the Thai Crown Jewels.
When De Beers unearthed a 599-carat tough in South Africa in 1986, Sir Gabi was additionally chosen to steer an skilled staff to remodel it into what would develop into the world’s largest D Flawless stone, The Centenary Diamond.
The tough was so fragile and so precious, that no warmth or laser could possibly be used within the preliminary chopping course of.
Years later, Sir Gabi recalled, “I’ll always remember how I labored on the Centenary for 154 working days – a whole working 12 months – carving and carving away with my naked palms. I eliminated greater than 50 carats earlier than we began sprucing.”
The completed diamond – weighing 273.85 carats with a modified coronary heart form – was accomplished in February 1991 and unveiled in Could that 12 months, insured for greater than $US100 million.
Drawing from methods developed through the sprucing of the Centenary and the Golden Jubilee Diamonds and from the De Beers Flower Cuts, Sir Gabi created the Gabrielle reduce, often known as the primary ‘triple sensible’ and which was later offered all through Europe, Asia, and the US.
Founding his namesake firm Gabi S Tolkowksy & Sons in Antwerp, Belgium, in 1995, he later created the Sea Shells Cuts assortment.
In 2003, he was introduced with the title Chevalier de L’Ordre du Roi Leopold II (Knight of the Order of King Leopold II) for his providers to the diamond business.
Right here, Sir Gabi discusses his experiences and legacy because the world’s foremost grasp diamond cutter.
What was it prefer to develop up in a household with such a robust connection to diamonds and diamond chopping?
GT: I used to be the sixth technology, studying chopping and sprucing from my father Jean Tolkowsky, who reduce and polished as a younger boy of 10 years outdated collectively along with his cousin Marcel Tolkowsky, studying from their fathers and uncles. So it was pure to draw my very own want to develop into a diamond cleaver, cutter and polisher.
What are your fondest reminiscences of your profession within the diamond business?
GT: Having participated within the planning and creations of the Flower Cuts, the Sea Shells Cuts, and others, and the Centenary Diamond and Golden Jubilee.
You have been chargeable for chopping the biggest faceted diamond in historical past, the Golden Jubilee. How did this come about and what did this course of contain?
GT: With out having a staff of 15 skilled scientists, technicians, safety guards and grasp diamond cutters that communicated day by day with me throughout three lengthy years, I’d have by no means been capable of obtain the distinctiveness of such a creation.
Collectively we realized that each single diamond is successfully a person that can entice each human’s senses; every one among them is a novel magnificence.
As it’s mentioned, “Magnificence is altogether within the eye of the beholder.” This, with none doubt, was and nonetheless is the essential purpose for people to proceed to fabricate and cope with diamonds.
How has diamond chopping developed over time, each as an artwork and commercially?
GT: It doesn’t matter what the place is of people which might be concerned in remodeling
a tough diamond into a sophisticated one, they’re marking artwork that permits them additionally to be commercially busy if they want.
They’re all a part of a novel creative motion.
The place is the centre of innovation, immediately, by way of diamond chopping?
GT: With none doubt, because of the evolutionary interval that we’re witnessing, centres of innovation do exist and can proceed to develop in numerous components of the world.
It is because approaching magnificence is a traditional human evolution; it permits folks – women and men – to specific themselves in keeping with their cultural setting.
As a matter of reality, magnificence will not be solely an inventive response, but additionally a option to want, hope and dream – magnificence is a haven of peace!
With none doubt, it’s my want to proceed the legacy of the significance of magnificence by my youngsters and grandchildren
|Left to Proper: A number of diamond cuts developed by Sir Gabriel Tolkowsky from the Flower Cuts and Sea Shell Cuts collections; Centenary Diamond, 273.85 carats; Golden Jubilee Diamond, 545.65 carats|