Navneet Gems Introduces Portrait-Cut Rubies
The geometric collection is on view now at the Jewellery & Gem World Hong Kong Show.
The gemstones, which the Thailand-based manufacturer unveiled at the Jewellery & Gem World Hong Kong show happening now, are fashioned into portrait cuts weighing between 0.5 carats and 2 carats.
The portrait cut, seen most commonly in diamonds, is also called a lasque. It’s a thin, flat cut with a large table and slight facets on the side. In rubies, the red hue is seen through the table.
“Just as red diamonds are exceptionally rare, high-quality rubies with intense red color are also relatively scarce. Opting for an unheated ruby portrait-cut can be an excellent choice for those who appreciate something rare and distinctive,” said Navneet Agarwal, marketing manager of Navneet Gems & Minerals.
The rough rubies are hand-selected from Mozambique ruby mining company Fura Gems. The gemstones are later cut and polished in Thailand.
Agarwal said the cutting process, which requires specialized skills and high levels of precision, has taken years to master. It’s part of why portrait cuts in rubies and other gem categories are still relatively niche, he said.
“Gem cutters must meticulously plan and execute each cut, while minimizing wastage of the valuable material. Unheated rubies can have inclusions and imperfections within them [which] can make the cutting process highly challenging. Gem cutters must carefully work around them to avoid damaging the stone or compromising its structural integrity,” Agarwal said.
“The process of preforming, cutting and polishing a portrait cut involves removing significant portions of the gem's material, which can increase the risk of fractures or breakage, especially if there are internal stress points within the stone.”
Portrait-cut diamonds boast a long history rooted in ancient Indian jewelry making. They were sometimes used to enhance and protect miniature paintings.
“There’s an old-world feel which takes us back to the native cutting style from the Maharajas era, when they used to use a lot of portrait cuts,” said Agarwal.
He cites rising demand for “individualistic jewelry and more economical choices” as part of his motivation for developing the new collection.
“One has to adapt to changing consumer preferences by offering fresh options that go beyond traditional cuts. Portrait cuts are a creative and artistic way of shaping gemstones, including rubies, to create unique and intricate designs,” said Agarwal.
Part of the cut’s appeal is also that its large surface area gives the illusion of a bigger gem, Agarwal said.
“Portrait cuts give the impression of a bigger gemstone and promise a great value for money in terms of visual impact.”
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