Gino Giragosian uses a lot of car analogies when he talks about diamonds.
If you want to buy a high-end vehicle like a Lexus or a BMW, you can go to the Northshore Auto Mall, or any number of other dealerships in the Lower Mainland. But if you want a luxury ride that makes heads turn, like a Ferrari, there’s only one official dealership in all of B.C. where you can buy one.
“That’s me,” says Giragosian, owner of Absolute Design in West Vancouver. Giragosian doesn’t sell Ferraris at his Dundarave jewelry shop, but he does sell Crisscut diamonds, and he says he’s the only retailer in the province to carry the specially cut stones.
Created by New York-based jeweller Christopher Slowinski, patented Crisscut diamonds have a different facet arrangement than traditionally cut diamonds, resulting in a gem that appears extra sparkly and is extra popular among celebrities like Paula Abdul, Hayden Panettiere and Felicity Huffman. For example, a round Crisscut diamond has 121 facets, whereas a conventional round diamond would have 58.
“It’s revolutionary,” Giragosian says of the technology. “The cut, it makes it brighter.”
In addition to the classic round shape, Crisscut stones also come in emerald, cushion, and asscher cuts. Slowinski’s latest design, L’Amour, has 50 facets and is comparable to the emerald shape, but larger in size.
The stones are available in pre-set jewelry pieces, which tend to be very ornate, or the loose stones can be incorporated into one of Giragosian’s custom designs.
“If somebody comes in and says, ‘Hey, that’s too much bling, I just want you to do a simple design, or I want you to do this with this diamond,’ that’s my job,” he says. “I’m working on a three-carat-plus L’Amour diamond for a client of mine.”
Due to the facet arrangement, Giragosian says any imperfections that may be present in a Crisscut stone are much more difficult to detect than they would be in a traditionally cut stone.
“You won’t be able to see it because it’s so bright,” he says.
Like a supercar, a Crisscut stone comes with a premium price tag – about 10 to 15 per cent more than a regular diamond of comparable size because “they’re a lot more work,” Giragosian explains.
And like a brand new luxury vehicle, customers shouldn’t hold their breath for Crisscut jewelry to go on sale.
“It’s like a Ferrari. You don’t get a discounted Ferrari – unless it’s used.”