The Spirit Sun is a registered trademark of a patent by Dr. Ulrich Freiesleben, Munster, Germany.
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS AND CUTTING ISSUES
The Spirit Sun was researched and developed in the early 1980s by Dr. Ulrich Freiesleben, based on a patented design from the early 1960s of master gem cutter Bernd Munsteiner. The Spirit Sun and its sister cut, the Context Cut, are the first two diamond cuts to the designed by a colored stone lapidary. Spirit Sun is a round cut with only a pavilion and a crown. It is somewhat like a shallow pyramid on top of a pyramid. It has a rounded girdle and 16 equal upper facets and 16 equal lower facets that radiate in a sun-ray fashion .from the center of the stone, alternating against one another, to create a unique sparkle. With its large facets and unique design, the cut is 15 to 17 percent more reflective than the traditional round brilliant cut. Because of its different faceting, this minimalist design can be mounted as a round, although a slightly different mounting is needed. The Spirit Sun can only be fashioned from one perfect octahedron rough. Therefore, there is higher waste than when two diamonds are cut from one piece of rough. If you start with a 2-carat rough octahedron, for example, the yield will be approximately .65 Spirit Sun but with the same diameter as a .75-carat round.
MARKETS AND MARKETING
The Spirit Sun is being marketed to high-end designers and upper-tier retail stores in the United States, Canada and in Europe, where it has been known for about nine years. The U.S. distributor is marketing it to designers, primarily, and it is finding a niche among smaller, more experimental artisans. Its U.S. distributor calls it a “designer gem.” Artisans using Spirit Sun include Michael Good, Rockport, Maine; George Sawyer, Minneapolis, Minnesota; William Richey, Camden, Maine; and Steven Kretchmer, Palenville, New York. The international ASPECTS design group created a design project around Spirit Sun. Spirit Sun is being used primarily as a center stone in rings, but is also in pendants, bracelets, pins and earrings. It is also cut in colored stones.
PRICING AND SUPPLY
It is difficult to find rough in the quality and sizes needed for Spirit Sun, so production is limited. Because of the nature of the rough used, the Spirit Sun is more expensive (about 30 percent) than traditional cuts of the same size and weight. It is not sold by the carat, but by the individual stone.
WHAT BUYERS SHOULD LOOK FOR
Spirit Sun is patented, so buyers can be assured of what they are getting. If the diamond you are buying resembles the Spirit Sun but is not called the Spirit Sun, the company you are buying it from is infringing on the patent. Due to its unique faceting, a Spirit Sun will appear as white as a slightly higher-graded traditional cut.