The Baguette-Cut Diamond and the Creation of a Signature Style
The baguette-cut for a diamond is a unique and popular type of step cut. According to the Cape Town Diamond Museum, a step cut can be described as a diamond cut that features either a square or rectangular shape, where the facets are arranged parallel to one another. These parallel facets look like steps, hence the name. Of the various types of step cuts, the Baguette and the Emerald Cut are generally considered to be the most popular. The baguette cut is a particular favorite and has created a lasting impact on the design aesthetic of PICCHIOTTI high jewelry.
The Baguette-Cut Defined
The baguette is a step-cut diamond in a long, rectangular shape, featuring 14 facets. Baguettes can have straight edges or tapered edges that angle in. The corners are perfectly square, unlike emerald cuts that have diagonal corners. Another primary difference between the two is the number of facets, with baguettes featuring 14 facets and emerald cuts boasting 57.
Historically, the cut emerged in the late 1920s during the Art Deco era when, according to jewelry historian Vivienne Becker, the new diamond shape was made possible by improved cutting techniques in the fine jewelry industry and a better understanding of both optics and the way light plays within a diamond. The invention allowed jewelers to create streamlined linear outlines and new geometric designs. Baguettes became “a defining feature of 1920s jewelry and the perfect expression of cubist-inspired, machine-age modernism.”
Baguette-cut diamonds have pronounced, square corners to their distinctive, slender, rectangular shapes. These diamonds are not known for exceptional sparkle, but they do reflect light like a hologram. They are often used as accent stones. Baguettes, both diamonds and color gemstones, have always been the perfect complement of a PICCHIOTTI jewel.
The Art of the Baguette
“I was, and am still, in love with the baguette-cut stone!” says Giuseppe Picchiotti, illuminating what is perhaps one of the strongest of all PICCHIOTTI style signatures. The baguette appears, tailored to perfection, in either diamonds or color gemstones (or both), in almost every PICCHIOTTI design.
Through the five decades of the brand’s esteemed heritage, bounteous baguettes have been instrumental in forging that iconic and recognizable PICCHIOTTI style. According to Becker, “It is the baguette in particular that has always fired Giuseppe’s imagination.”
The famous PICCHIOTTI Rose Brooch, one of the designer’s first creations dating back to 1967, is a wonderful example. The stem of the rose is articulated entirely with baguette-cut diamonds. Using the bezel setting, Giuseppe used small specially-cut grooved baguette-cut diamonds for the stem, slotted into a gold grid framework. This achieved a beautiful mosaic effect which became a unique method for him to create many a masterpiece inspired by nature after his success with the rose. The majestic diamond tail of the Toucan brooch is another exceptional example.
Baguettes as Color Accent
Baguette-cut gemstones have been instrumental in creating the famous PICCHIOTTI color accent. The brand is known around the world for its superlative gems and its distinctive design with the precious gems of color – rubies, emeralds, and sapphires. The mosaics of baguettes are especially beautiful with these colorful gemstones. The invisible set baguette stones create a singular expanse flooded with intense color. This type of styling allows PICCHIOTTI to craft unique works of art inspired by Mother Nature, such as exotic flora and fauna. Take for example, the multi-color plumes of the parrot brooch.
To work with baguettes and to create these incredible layouts, PICCHIOTTI uses a special setting: the bezel set. This type of setting is much more demanding as it requires all the stones to be perfectly aligned and flat, so that they are uniformly framed underneath by the metal that supports them. The craftsmanship involves a lot of re-cutting of the gems to exactly follow the shape of the design. Only when these gems are perfect cut and perfectly aligned can precision results be achieved. Although the re-cutting is time-consuming and very expensive, it really allows the design to stand out. Take for example the stunning ruby and diamond statement necklace – the significant round diamonds and the pear diamond drop are each encircled by a row of flawlessly recut baguette rubies that perfectly form the geometric frames for each sparkling stone.
Using baguettes in color is also a unique way for PICCHIOTTI to enhance special architectural or thematic design. In 2002, the brand created cuff bracelets for the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, reproducing the famed Olympic logo with colorful baguette-cut gemstones.
In 2015, the Debut Watch was launched at the BaselWorld fair, the brand’s first foray into the world of luxury watches. The impressive dial features two tone mother-of-pearl on a single layer with 12 round diamonds signifying the hours. The face is encircled by a stunning seamless frame of 26 flawlessly recut baguettes and 12 emerald-cut diamonds on the side, along with 2 pear-shape diamonds that elegantly complete the center piece. The bracelet of this collectable luxury watch is made entirely of two external rows of emerald-cut diamonds, and a double line of impressive marquise diamonds that were personally selected by Giuseppe, ensuring that only the finest stones available were used. The déployante clasp is the finishing touch of this unique masterpiece.
Baguettes themselves are often used as a finishing touch. Rings with important center stones will be accented with baguettes on the shank or included into the design. The Pear Diamond & Emerald Masterpiece ring is a gorgeous example. The exemplary pear-shaped center diamond measures 7.09 carats and is flanked by square cut emeralds and a precise frame of seamless white baguette diamonds. The framing beautifully accents the shape and size of the center stone, drawing the eye deeper into the center of that remarkable diamond.
It is easy to see how and why Giuseppe Picchiotti fell in love with the baguette-cut diamond. His passion is contagious! Explore more PICCHIOTTI Masterpieces and Fine Jewelry Designs and their artful use of baguette cuts in diamonds and color gemstones on www.picchiotti.it or by following the PICCHIOTTI Instagram account. All things Art Deco are en vogue again for the new roaring 20’s, but PICCHIOTTI creations always manage to stand the test of time.