Irving Meyer, Fancy Cut and Color Pioneer, Dies

Irving Meyer, a principal of the Henry Meyer Diamond Co. and inventor of the trilliant cut, died recently at age 90.

In 1962, Meyer invented the American Trilliant Cut, a triangle cut with the faceting of a round and a brilliant bottom (although its paternity later came under dispute). He was also one of the first dealers and cutters of fancy-colored stones.

“When I came into the business, there were maybe half a dozen cutters specializing in fancy colors,” says son Chuck Meyer, now with Gemesis Cultured Diamonds. But his father wanted to find a niche and relished the challenge of cutting unique stones. Among his regrets were selling some ultrarare bluish and red stones early in his career. “He sold them for what he says was a ‘stupid’ price,” Chuck Meyer says. “Now we know that those were stones I could have retired on.”

Henry Meyer Diamond Co. was founded in 1914 by Irving’s father, who set the Hope diamond for Harry Winston. Irving Meyer was active not only in the business but also in industry associations—he was one of the first members of the Diamond Dealers Club and the Diamond Manufacturers and Importers Association. But his son says one of the things he was proudest of was his high credit rating. “People would give him multiple millions of dollars in rough and not think twice about it,” Chuck Meyer says.