The 332.24 carat, Imperial Flame Topaz

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It's not very often that designer-cut gems obtain an international recognition from the entire gem trade, unless of course they're cut from rough of matchless quality and extreme rarity.

Gem cutters like to dabble with freeform and flowing shapes, creating things that are out of the ordinary. Facets, domes, and girdles are all standard elements of many commercial quality gems, so artists have to do something grand to truly stand out.

This is the Imperial Flame Topaz, a 332.24 ct. freeform marvel cut by Alexander Kreis. It's rough material was reported to have originated from Ouro Preto, Brazil, whose mines are famous for producing some of the most beautiful topaz specimens on the planet.

This piece was revealed during the Tucson show in Arizona, not so long ago, and set a new stage for gem cutters to conquer. The Kreis family reported that the original rough was mined from Brazil over two decades ago. Despite its history, there is no large-scale mining activity ongoing at the original site.

Topaz is quite a difficult stone to cut, as it possesses basal cleavage, which means that it's atomic bonds are actually weaker (or fewer) in certain crystallographic directions. The master cutters had to be very careful so as not to damage the crystal, or waste too much of its precious weight.

Imperial topaz, the finest of all the topaz varieties, usually ranges from intense reds and pinks to sun-drenched oranges and yellows. The gradient-like display of color in this very large piece puts it at a tier above 98% of similar specimens.

The "Imperial Flame" is an example of the wondrous possibility involved when gemstones meet the craftsmanship of innovative artists who seek to move past tradition and classicism.

Image credits to Kreis Jewellery, for sharing this masterpiece of gem carving with the rest of the jewelry collecting community.

Gemcamp Laboratories

A Discovery Institute for Gemstones and Gemology

Our resident gemologists believe in encouraging public trust within the jewellery industry through shared education, value transparency and professionalism.


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