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The History

Traditional step cut diamonds such as the Asscher or Emerald cut are designed to have longer facets that look like a hall of mirrors. This creates a very mesmerizing and captivating brilliance that is not seen in typical Hearts & Arrows diamonds.


The Emerald and Asscher cut diamonds can be traced back to the 1920s and had a long history of popularity with Royalty. They were immediately recognized for its personality and individual style. It began to make a comeback in the 2000s and is rapidly gaining popularity as a sophisticated alternative to more traditional cuts. Many fell in love with its vintage yet contemporary design. The Emerald cut has a variation, the Asscher, which is a square shape with equal sides. 




Step cut diamonds are one of the extreme cuts that emphasize the quality of the diamond. A step cut will intensify the supreme whiteness of a colorless diamond and startling clarity of an eye-clean diamond. However, it will also magnify any tinge in the Color and blemishes in the Clarity, such as diamonds with off colors or visible inclusions. Even the slightest inclusion or blemish will stand out. In addition, the light performance is even more important for step cut diamonds, as light leakages are magnified as well.



The light performance of traditional step cut diamonds are known to be lower compared to other cuts such as the Hearts & Arrows diamond. This is because, step cut diamonds often suffer from severe light leakages on the table and weaker light return on the crown facets.


Under the ASET Scope



The ASET scope is used to analyze the light performance of a diamond by breaking down a diamond’s light return into 4 different categories; contrast, full light return, weak light return and light leakages. Thanks to this, we can use it to analyze a diamond’s

From the ASET scope images, we can conclude that traditional Asscher and Emerald cut diamonds lacks brightness due to its severe light leakages (white and green area). Furthermore, it shows some over-contrasting (blue area) near the middle of the diamond. This combination of light leakages and over-contrasting effect creates a perpetual darkness in the middle of the diamond. This is one of the most common characteristics that step cut diamonds suffer from, which is also known as the obstruction of light.Fire and Scintillation are average. Most of the fire is concentrated at the contrast (blue area) of the diamond, which hinders the scintillation within that same area. This affects the patterned scintillation of the diamond as the movement of the fire is limited to that area as well.


Nevertheless, step cut diamonds are still highly sought after as they have a very unique personality. No other diamond cuts have the same dimensional and captivating facet patterning as the Asscher.

The Evolution

Now this is where the Ocatvia comes in..


The Octavia was founded and exclusively cut by Yoram Finkelstein, Gem Concept. It was created as a solution to what step cut diamonds lacked. Brilliance. It is the same as the original Asscher where it has the same number of facets (58), 3 crowns steps and 3 pavillion steps. The main difference is that the Ocatvia has a smaller table and super high crowns with highly optimized angles. This gives the diamond greater fire, when viewed in different angles. Even when viewing the Ocatvia at acute angles, it will still sparkly intensely. 

Besides the higher crown facets, the Octavia have a unique sloping bottom pavilion compared to the traditional straight pavilion angles. This extraordinary combination produces incredible brightness that were never seen before in step cut diamonds. The result is evident in the ASET Scope analysis of the Octavia.



The first thing you’ll notice is how much red (light return) the diamond has. This translates to the brightness of the diamond, where its light reflection is stronger and able to reach a further distance. It has a good balance of blue (contrast) that is evenly spread throughout the diamond, resulting in chunkier facets of fire that glides all over the diamond. These “bars of light” creates a very unique patterned scintillation which is never seen before in any other diamond cuts. 


This is a comparison video of the Octavia against a traditional Asscher cut, 

As simple as it sounds to cut the Octavia, this type of cut is extremely precise and complicated. Only the best of the best diamond cutters would attempt to cut such a stone. A super high crown angle requires exacting angles. Any slight deviation will distort the light path’s reflection and result in a loss of brilliance. The unique sloping pavilion of the Octavia demands absolute concentration when polishing. It gets more difficult as the cutter polishes the pavilion nearer towards its culet. This is one of the most crucial area with the biggest impact, affecting the light performance on the diamond’s table. In addition, a wider culet is much harder to polish. A diamond cutter with a heavy hand can accidentally polish off a diamond’s culet, ruining the stone.



Not only is the Octavia one of the most challenging diamonds to cut, it involves greater risks. To cut an Octavia, a bigger rough diamond is needed due to its facet structure. Furthermore, it incurs higher carat wastage because of its smaller table, which most profit maximizing diamond cutters are unwilling to do. As the Octavia cutting process is very demanding and risky, it is only worthwhile for diamond cutters to cut them in 1ct or above.

As a result, these extraordinary Octavia diamonds are very limited and special. It is a one of a kind step cut diamond that only a handful of diamond cutters would attempt to cut. However, if it is done well, the result is very rewarding. The Octavia perfected the brilliance of step cut diamonds while managing to retain its captivating patterning, achieving the best of both worlds.



If you are looking for a diamond ring with extraordinary brilliance but in a very classic and elegant design, the Octavia engagement ring may be your perfect style.


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JANNPAUL © by Casey Lai

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