The closer you look at something, the more you notice. In our California Design Studios, our intensely specialized artisans can spot the most diminutive nuances; a full room of setters peer through 10x microscopes to ensure even spacing between prongs, down to the nanometer. Our quality control team casts a deliberate 42 point quality review on each piece. The entire TACORI team - from the designers to the artisans - knows the value of looking closely.
This is exceptionally true of Ketan, who as TACORI’s Diamond Room Manager, scrutinizes every single gemstone bound for a TACORI setting. From the two carat rocks to the diamond melee (diamonds which are scarcely larger than a grain of sand), no stone goes unobserved, unconsidered, or unturned.
It’s easy to under-appreciate the fact that every single one of these stones is sorted by Ketan and his team to meet TACORI’s exacting standards for cut, clarity, and color. But if you understand that there can be 500 diamond melee - aka tiny diamonds - in a single carat, and that many TACORI pieces are set with a full carat excluding a center stone, it makes perfect sense that through repetition, Ketan has learned to read diamonds like a book.
Ketan will tell you that every stone has a story to tell, regardless of the size. The inclusions tell him a story of the earth in which the stone was formed, and the angles and symmetry of edges tells him of the person who shaped it. Despite having read millions of these stories, Ketan adamantly denies that he ever gets tired of them - each one is varied, slightly imperfect, and always enchanting.
In fact, when pressed about the perceived monotony of his job, Ketan counters with a joyful description of the flow state he enters when sorting. There are 57 facets on every round-brilliant diamond, and when a packet of 500 round-brilliant melee lands on his desk, he gets into “the zone”. He’s endlessly mesmerized by the tiny stones which weave together stories of the earth and its people. To see them, he says, is a privilege.
Ketan fell into the gemstone business serendipitously. As a 19-year-old college graduate living in Mumbai, the gem-sorting capital of the world, it was the first job he was offered, and he took it. And for the first two admittedly tedious weeks of his career, he trained his fingers and his eye by holding sugar cubes between tweezers and inspecting them with a loupe.
But when he graduated to diamonds, his refined eye began to pick up the subtleties in each stone. He was delighted when he came across a diamond of a superior cut, but he could also deeply appreciate the stones with minor inclusions.
Ketan learned everything about the diamond industry - including the subjective ideas of a diamond’s beauty, which meant that different countries had different standards. The US, for example, prefers non-porous surfaces and crystal clarity, whereas Hong Kong would accept stones with porous surfaces and rougher cuts. In having to sort for the differing preferences, Ketan looked at stones from every angle and from many human perspectives.
Any expert will tell you that if you look at one thing long enough, it will teach you something about yourself. As a true expert, Ketan has learned that no diamond, and likewise no human, is unflawed. And while TACORI only accepts the best diamonds for its settings, the minor imperfections are just a part of the greater, beautiful reality.