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Leo Diamond - New or old thing?

I turn to the collected wisdom of the list for advice; Big ad
campaign in my area (Dallas/North Texas) about "Leo Schachter"
diamonds; available locally from Kay’s and Jared’s Jewelers. The LS

touts “patented cut” and “scientifically proven to be more

I have read many entries on the 4 C’s of Diamonds and their grading,
though I have not studied them in a formal setting, but this whole
ad campaign is setting off my BS meter in a big way. So please help
me out here- is it a new and improved diamond processing technique,
or is it ad hype?

(In passing I note I got much the same feeling from the whole
"Hearts and Arrows" promotion as well.)

Many thanks in advance for any and all Advice from the Masters.
Humble student,

Betsy Marshall

        The LS website touts "patented cut" and "scientifically
proven to be more beautiful" is it a new and improved diamond
processing technique, or is it ad hype? 

Hi Betsy. The “processing technique” isn’t new, I think they’re
talking about a new “branded” cut that uses scientific information
regarding diamond’s properties to design a cut that supposedly takes
best advantage of said properties to produce more light return and
thus, a more brilliant-looking diamond. And yes, they do patent
these cuts.

This is a sore subject with many. The proponents of diamond cut
"branding" (Hearts and Arrows, Leo Diamond, even De Beers is
lasering their own branded cuts) all claim to have designed, through
scientific means, the ultimate diamond cut that will yield the most
brilliant stone.

GIA recently completed a long study of tens of thousands of
diamonds, all subjected to human and electronic scrutiny to decide
which combination of angles yields the best cut. Their finding was
that there is no one combination, but many variations can cause
pleasing results. This study also resulted in a new cut grade system
that GIA has announced and will integrate into their system when
finalized. These new cut grades will be added to their reports which
will allegedly add to their value and simplify the consumer’s
understanding of a diamond’s cut. Basically, it’ll reduce the
components of diamond cut grading into layman’s language. Something
tells me that the proponents of “branded cuts” aren’t on board with

Personally, I believe it to be a lot more along the lines of ad
hype. Most of the Old Mine Cut diamonds I have are, to my eye, as
brilliant and fiery as any machine-cut diamond I come across. But,
while I am a G.G., I’m not a diamontaire and I’ve not made an
extensive study of it.

All of the major Big Box stores will be advertising branded cuts, if
they’re not already. You’ll be seeing the ads next to the De Beers
Forevermark posters that tell customers that they can’t print the
sexual benefit they’ll receive for buying their wife that diamond
jewelry. Manufacturers are being encouraged to develop branded cuts
in the same vein as the Forevermark ads - to create desire for
something that is “special” “one-of-a-kind” or "the very finest."
The average customer has no idea of the ad campaigning behind the
scenes in the diamond industry and will believe pretty much whatever
the salesperson at Kay, Jared, Zales or wherever, tells them. And if
their company sells branded cuts, well that’s what they’re going to
tell them is the best.

Then again, I’m not a diamontaire. I could be way off.

James in SoFl

While these companies may be able to design a cut that will yield
the most brilliant diamond, I fail to see how that translates to the
most beautiful diamond. To my eye, the new cuts have a very sharp,
splintery brilliance which reminds me more and more of well-cut CZ.
Personally, I like the blocky brilliance of the European and Old
Mine Cut diamonds. If I was buying a diamond of significant size,
I’d go looking for an old cut.

Karen Hemmerle

(still writing for a living, in hopes that the high end, one-off,
fabricated platinum art jewelry market will come back.)

Hi, James; Thank you for the explanation! In passing, I stopped by a
local Jarad’s store- casual questioning of the sales lady revealed
that the cut contains an extra 8 facets beyond the standard 57. Where
and what remains to be determined, but she mentioned it was to
enhance the sparkle.


PS I thought Patents were for machines/processes, while Copyrights
were for designs or individual created items. (not wanting to start
the whole copyright thing again, just confused by the
differentiation) (Viz- the “hearts and arrows” style / design /
designation is copyrighted, but a new type of precision
faceting machine is patented…)

What is happening here is more a form of “branding” than anything
else. Under the new DeBeers requirements, site holders are being
asked to get behind their product via advertising to the public.
“Leo” and “Hearts on Fire” are just two of the brands that have
evolved as a result. As an industry, we need to expose our products
via mass media, and this certainly will help. There will be many more
brands, which in my opinion, will be very positive for all of us in
the industry.

As far as their cut, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. These
companies are devising new diamond designs to enhance their product
to the buying public.

scientifically proven to be more beautiful 

I don’t think I’ve ever heard of “Leo diamonds,” but this is one of
the loveliest oxymorons I’ve ever seen - scientifically proven to
conform to completely arbitrary and subjective concepts of aesthetic
appeal, eh? What a laugh - I’d run away screaming if I were you 8-0

Intrigued to see where this goes,

Jessee Smith

Hmm, I wonder if the thing that makes you (Karen) like the old style
diamond cuts is maybe the same reason I tend to gravitate toward
square cuts?! Never really thought about it until now, since I’ve
only actually seen 1 old mine cut in person before.

PS I thought Patents were for machines/processes, while Copyrights
were for designs or individual created items. (not wanting to start
the whole copyright thing again, just confused by the
differentiation) (Viz- the "hearts and arrows" style / design /
designation is copyrighted, but a new type of precision
faceting machine is patented...)


Patent, as defined by

b (1) : secured by letters patent or by a patent to the exclusive
control and possession of a particular individual or party (2) :
protected by a patent : made under a patent c :
protected by a trademark or a trade name so as to establish
proprietary rights analogous to those conveyed by letters patent or
a patent

Basically, they’re saying that their cut design is protected and
made under a patent in their possession. I also belive they have a
trademark registered for this cut.

James in SoFl

    PS I thought Patents were for machines/processes, while
Copyrights were for designs or individual created items. (not
wanting to start 

There are 3 types of patents, utility, design, and plant. Plant
patents are for asexually reproduced plants, utility patents are the
most common type of patent and what most people mean when they talk
about patents, and design patents are for ONLY the “ornamental
design” of something—hence the design patents on many different
cuts of diamonds and other jewels. In fact there are so many design
patents with only very small differences on diamonds that for all
practical purposes they are worthless even though design patents have
a 14 year enforceability period from date of issue.

The advantage of a design patent over copyright is that, for 14
years, the holder of the design patent can stop anyone else in the
territory covered by the patent from using the same design whereas
with a copyright you can only stop people in most of the world who
essentially copy anytime in your life-plus-70-years copyright
timeframebut you can’t stop people who create the same design

There is another huge gotcha with the Leo design patent and that is
that if there is anything of a utility nature about their “design”
(read cut) then the design patent is invalid. Since they advertise
specifically that THERE IS EXTRA UTILITY in more brilliant
"scintillation" they’ve in essence shot themselves in the
footbut I doubt that they care, they only want the advertising
benefit of the word “patented.” Don’t take this as legal advice but,
should you copy their exact cut AND should they take you to court
for patent infringement I suspect you could have their design patent
declared invalid based on their own advertising claims (I don’t
believe they have a utility patent on their cut though there are many
diamond and other jewel cuts that do).

It is also interesting to note that they use “The Leo
Diamond(r-i-in-a-circle)” when their actual trademark is for those
words WITH a design (the lion). That is a somewhat gray use of the
r-in-a-circle since the registered symbol is only legal with the mark
"as registered," and not inclusive of variants. Unfortunately there
is no bright line court test to see how far one can deviate from what
they register and still use the r-in-a-circle.

My bottom line? It looks to me like the 4th generation wants to milk
great granddad’s name for the maximum money they can and to heck with
his reputation.

James E. White
Inventor, Marketer, and Author of “Will It Sell? How to Determine If
Your Invention Is Profitably Marketable (Before Wasting Money on a
Patent)” Info Sites:,