For Immediate Release
August 1, 2004
L. Allen Brown
Gemologist - GIA
All That Glitters
Methuen, MA - After six months of studying and working with a computer program that allows gemstone cutting designs and ray tracing to be determined, L. Allen Brown, the Owner of All That Glitters in Methuen, has created a new design that returns over 90% brightness. The uniquely shaped 59-facet "Elegante" cut, a real sparkler under all lighting conditions, was born into the world of gemstones.
Brown did not know what the future held when he began mineral collecting in New Hampshire with his high school friend 20 years ago. Now Brown has turned his interests into an international business. Starting off purchasing gemstones, he has had the opportunity to travel abroad to the mining areas of different countries to purchase not only mineral specimens and faceted gemstones but also rough. The rough has been typically faceted by Brown's cutters in the United States to release the inner beauty, brilliance and color of the hidden jewel within.
All That Glitters has been known for unusual, unique, exclusive and fine-faceted gemstones. However, the standard cuts available in the existing literature did not satisfy Brown. The desire for a special cut that displays greater brilliance, sparkle and return of light, drove Brown to explore new cutting designs.
Being an expert at choosing rough to produce exquisite gems for the trade, Brown had never actually faceted a gemstone himself. Through a web-based, faceting-related email list, he met Richard Winnick of Kingfield, Maine - another person of all trades within the gemstone business. Brown headed north in late 2002 to facet his first gemstone with the help of Winnick. Working with a piece of rare, naturally colored citrine (most citrines are heated amethyst, but this citrine was identified as having natural color by John Koivula, a well-known and published member of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA)), Brown began to facet a small section of this piece of rough that had been in his family for decades. After about 15 hours of work over two days, Brown and Winnick finished at about midnight and saw the results of their efforts, a brandy-colored citrine cut corner square with an optical dish in the center. After succeeding in this endeavor, Brown was convinced that he could make a contribution to the profession of faceting.
In early 2004, after months of research, preparation and experimentation, the time had finally come to test the studies and to facet a gemstone using this newly created design. A beautiful, unique blue-green tourmaline crystal segment was selected. This rough came from the Nuristan area of Afghanistan, a harsh mountainous area where the air is thin and many pack animals die due to exhaustion in the rugged terrain.
Brown chose to work with an existing pavilion (bottom) facet design that was previously proven successful. The crown (top) not only required proper angles and facet arrangements to create the desired light return but also had to work properly with the pavilion's facets and angles. Before the actual faceting process, this new design had only been created within a computer, which showed that this cutting design would return an unbelievable 90+% brightness. How would this new cut actually look when a gemstone was actually faceted? Would the numbers and ray tracings that were seen on a computer screen be realistic? There had been many doubts and risks.
Through many hours of tweaking and working around unforeseen problems, the first gemstone with a never-before-seen facet design was soon taking shape in the late hours of the second day. The proof of concept was now visible, and the finished gemstone was sparkling brilliantly in the dim lights of the lapidary room. The new cutting style was a success.
To describe the cut in simple terms would be a fancy emerald cut with curved ends. Rather than coming to what a lapidary would describe as a keel line (typical for an emerald cut), it is a round brilliant cut. The sides utilize half moon shaped facets characteristic of what is known as a Barion Cut, allowing lighter colored gemstones to "close" up the color. The design has also been modified to give similar brilliance/brightness to rough, which would produce a squarish gemstone and will be called the Elegante Square.
Brown and his business, All That Glitters, had entered a new realm of the gemstone/jewelry world. From mineral collector, gemstone wholesaler, jewelry designer, TV host of The World of Gemstones, lecturer at a local college and purveyor of rough, Brown can now add Creator of Facet Designs to his list of accomplishments.
Brown has appeared in the news and business sections of the local newspapers. Many might recall the TV Show, The World of Gemstones, which he produced and hosted in 1996/1997. Others might have attended classes on gemstones that he taught at local colleges. Similar classes may be offered in the evenings at Northern Essex Community College.