Lion’s Share to be Decided

Rosy Blue, the Antwerp diamond cutting firm and manufacturer of the “Lion cut,” a new diamond facet design, has brought suit against Diamwag, an Antwerp diamond manufacturer and creator of the “Spirit of Flanders” cut, for patent infringement, according to Pascal Eggermont, representing Rosy Blue. (See “Chase to the Cut,”JCK, May 2000, p. 126.) A decision from the court is expected this month.

On March 25, 1999, Paul De Maere, the Belgian master jewel designer and HRD gemologist, registered the Lion cut, a new design that produces a small Maltese cross or an eight-pointed star pattern visible in the pavilion.

According to Eggermont, on September 26, 1999, De Maere was told that Ronny Wagemans of Diamwag, a subcontractor of De Maere, was cutting an imitation of the Lion cut, called the “Spirit of Flanders.” The Spirit of Flanders has the same basic concept as the 56-facet Lion cut but divides the eight upper culet facets and adds 16 smaller halves to the pavilion, for a total of 80 facets.

“The difference between the Lion cut and the Spirit of Flanders is absolutely invisible,” says Eggermont. “The 24 supplementary facets added to the Spirit of Flanders are totally irrelevant and have an insufficient effect on the brilliance. They don’t alter the stone visually, and their cutting angle doesn’t clearly deviate from the dimensions of the Lion cut.”

The Spirit of Flanders is produced exclusively for Independent Jewelers Organization (IJO) members, and sales have been strong. IJO president Jeffrey Roberts has been in close contact with Wagemans, who apparently has won a first round in the Belgian courts. Wagemans is confident that he also will win the final decision, slated for October 9. Roberts is keeping a close eye on the verdict, since it ultimately could affect IJO’s members.