The Artistry of the ASHOKA® Diamond: How William Goldberg's Master Cutters Create Exquisite Beauty
The ASHOKA® diamond, a symbol of exclusivity and beauty, is a testament to the artistry and dedication of the master cutters at William Goldberg. This trademarked diamond cut, introduced by the Goldberg family in 1999, is the result of years of meticulous work and refinement.
At the heart of this story is William “Willy” Lopez, a master cutter whose journey with the ASHOKA® diamond is as fascinating as the stone itself. Willy's association with the Goldberg family began in the early ‘90s when he cut emerald-cut diamonds for the factory as a contractor. Then, in 1992, he joined the company full-time, bringing his exceptional skills in-house.
Willy's talent and dedication soon led him to an extraordinary opportunity. He was chosen to work closely with the late Bill Goldberg in the development of the ASHOKA® diamond. This was a task that required not just technical skill, but also an artistic vision. As Willy recalls, the initial attempts at creating the ASHOKA® cut did not meet Bill's exacting standards. Bill wanted a diamond that would "speak to you", a diamond that would captivate anyone that saw it with its beauty.
The journey to perfection was marked by trial and error. While Bill and Willy were certain of the diamond’s dimensions, they were unsure of the angles they would make on the top and bottom of the diamond. This resulted in numerous renditions of the soon-to-be ASHOKA®, testing angles to find the perfect combination Bill was looking for.
It was Bill who finally gave the nod of approval, declaring that the ASHOKA® cut had achieved its desired form. The ASHOKA® cut, as Willy explains, differs from other diamond cuts in its unique length-to-width ratio. This gives the ASHOKA® diamond the appearance of a larger stone compared to an emerald cut of the same carat weight.
Creating an ASHOKA® diamond is a task of precision. The angles of the cut have to be exact to achieve the desired brilliance. Not all diamonds can be transformed into an ASHOKA®. Only long, high-quality rough can be cut into this trademarked shape, with its 62 facets.
For Willy, the ASHOKA® diamond holds a special place in his heart. He was intimately involved in its development and takes great pride in having contributed to the creation of this modern stone. His journey as a diamond cutter spans 52 years, 31 of which he has spent crafting some of the world's most exclusive stones alongside the Goldberg family.
Willy's passion for diamond cutting was inherited from his father, a Puerto Rican diamond cutter. He began his career at the tender age of 18, joining the company where his father worked. He honed his craft over two decades before joining the Goldberg family.
Reflecting on the current state of the diamond-cutting industry, Willy notes that it is a dwindling art. There are fewer new diamond cutters entering the New York area market. He believes it would take at least a year for someone to learn the process of cutting a diamond and to be able to work independently.
Looking back at his time with the Goldberg family, Willy cherishes the stones he has cut for them and the relationships he has built. He speaks fondly of the Goldberg family, describing them as wonderful people. His experience working with Bill was particularly memorable. Bill's unique approach to his workers and his craft left a lasting impression on Willy.
The story of the ASHOKA® diamond is not just about a unique cut or a beautiful stone. It is about the people behind it, their passion, their dedication, and their pursuit of perfection. It is about the artistry of master cutters like Willy Lopez, who continue to create exquisite beauty in the world of high diamond jewelry.