What makes a diamond truly spectacular? For some, it may be color, clarity, or size. For Ari Madilian, the owner and head designer of Single Stone, a diamond’s real beauty comes from its history and romance.
Ari began his diamond career 1988. As a purveyor of both modern and antique jewelry for many years, Madilian became acquainted with diamonds of all types, from all eras. Captivated by the unique, uncommon appearance of the diamonds in antique pieces, Madilian began Single Stone, a company devoted to handcrafting diamond rings and bands with authentic historic details. By using real antique center diamonds combined with intricate detailing, Single Stone’s rings present the perfect mix between old and new.
Since he is an expert in the field of estate jewelry and antique diamonds, we took some time to talk to Madilian about what makes these jewels and gems especially remarkable.
How did you become interested in antique diamonds? What is special about them to you?
Early in my diamond career, I sought out vintage diamonds for their singular and interesting structure. I’ve always loved the romance and history associated with these gems. I find it amazing that 100 years ago, someone adored these diamonds in their own jewelry.
What’s the difference between historic cuts and modern diamonds?
Modern diamonds are cut to exacting standards with proportions perfected in this century, and have a “crushed ice” type of brilliance. Vintage diamonds were cut by hand, giving them much larger facets and a more subtle appearance. The non-perfect cutting technique gives vintage gems a unique charm.
The round, brilliant diamond we see today is a modern take on the Old European cut diamond, which is one of our most popular styles. For me, the Old European cut has much more personality; its proportions are not as perfectly uniform as the round, brilliant diamond.
What are some of the key characteristics of vintage rings apparent in your modernly crafted designs?
Hundreds of years ago, engagement rings were made by hand which allowed them to be very light and delicate in feel. At Single Stone, we capture the essence of estate jewelry but handcraft our rings with modern metals to make more substantial rings for today’s woman. By using antique gems but newer materials, we are able to handcraft a jewel that will stand the test of time and eventually become a family heirloom.
With all the details such as milgrain and engraving apparent in vintage jewelry, handcrafting a ring in our studio can take 4-8 weeks, but the result is a one-of-a-kind jewel with historic significance.
We have a few of your wedding bands featuring French-cut diamonds. Can you tell us more about what gives these diamonds their sparkle?
French-cut diamonds became popular in the 1920’s, but are rarely seen in modern diamond jewelry. Their unique sparkle comes from faceting on the top half of the diamond, which allows light to reflect off of the surface. This type of brilliance is entirely different from modern baguettes. These diamonds are cut especially for us, for each piece that we create.
Shop our Single Stone collection online & see more of these antique beauties at our special in-store shopping event, May 13-15, 2016.