The Story Behind the Stone: Sliced, Asymmetrical and Adored

Riding the wave of fervent obsession with diamond slices, colorful gemstone slices and asymmetrical shapes have now found their way into pricey couture goods. There is no doubt that the interest stirred by skillful mountings set with unique sliced stones as a central focus is captivating. No two stones are alike, and their irregularities are further heightened when paired with classic diamonds in designer settings.

Jarrett-JulyRecently, San Francisco based designer Yael unveiled the Serendipity Collection at the JCK Vegas Show. In this bold and magnetic collection were some serious earrings. The opulent pendant earrings featured irregularly shaped emerald slices supported by brilliant white diamond halos. The artful juxtaposition of diamonds in a highly stylized flower-bud motif reminiscent of artichokes anchored the irregularly shaped emerald slices. Same stone we’ve known for eons - but a new way to ‘see’ these treasures. 

We asked Yehouda Saketkhou, CEO of Yael Designs for his personal take on incorporating the iconoclastic slices into important jewelry pieces.

SJN: Do your customers respond quickly to the appeal of sliced gems or do they need some tutorial to really understand these jewels?

Yael: “They respond well to the look of the Serendipity Collection - the deep green, rose cut stones in floral, vintage-style settings. But when it comes to the stone, they need some education because emerald is such a different animal than other gemstones since it often undergoes different levels of treatment. For this collection, we found stones of really fine quality and good depth property and then used only oil, no dying or searing, to preserve the organic color and luster of the stone.”

SJN: What is your opinion on the driving force of gemstone slices?

Yael: “In trade, there have been a lot of low quality sapphires and rubies that have been sitting around, so creating sliced (gemstone) jewelry was one way for the trade to get rid of the stock during the recession. Instead of creating a slice collection for the low end market, we decided to use fine quality stones, create a slice at the bottom and rose cut on top, and bring it to a mixed level consumer. While that is a little riskier because you never know how the consumer will respond; we’re confident that the couture look of the collection will be very appealing.”

SJN: Who is the woman who wears gemstone slices?

Yael: “A sophisticated woman who is up to date on fashion trends, but wants something different than what’s on everyone else. She wants a more organic, natural look that’s more about a statement than bling.”

Retailers rely on the story-telling aspect of an item to keep their customer engaged while they allow that customer to familiarize themselves with an item. Gemstone slices provide that unexpected element of surprise and a twist on more traditional pieces. Look for this trending pattern to develop legs as the distinct stones create a signature one-off vibe to which women are drawn. Think of the clients in your store who will respond to the new twist-on-classic appeal that these slices provide.

Award winning trade journalist and gemologist Diana Jarrett is a Registered Master Valuer Appraiser and a member of the Association of Independent Jewellery Valuers (AIJV). She’s a popular speaker at conferences and trade shows. Jarrett writes for trade and consumer publications, online outlets, her blog: Color-n-Ice, and Contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., visit her website at, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter (Loupey).