There is something more than mesmerizing in the Snowflake Cut. There is an extraordinary harmony between beauty and technical prowess that truly captivates. When you spend a few minutes looking into the heart of one of these hypnotic cuts, you slowly become aware that your eyes are being tricked, but you are too awed to care. The extra side facets create the ‘trick’, which is the illusion of depth. But it is the exceptional beauty of the cut which you will always remember.
When the first photos of the Snowflake Cut started making their rounds in the late 1990s, it caused a huge stir in the gem industry. People thought that the pictures must have been manipulated, that such an intricate and extraordinary cut couldn’t possibly have been made. But the Snowflake Cut was real and it was an astonishing work of art.
The Wobito brothers are third generation Master Cutters from Idar-Oberstein, Germany, a town known since the 1400s for its exceptional gem cutting. The Wobito family moved to Canada when the boys were young, but they both chose to follow in their father and grandfather’s footsteps and learn to cut gemstones. Idar-Oberstein is highly regarded for the precision and skill of its Master Lapidarists and the Wobito brothers are no exception.
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Rudi is the elder brother, the more technical and methodical of the two. Ralph is four years younger and is the more creative and artistic one.
Meticulous cutting creates a perfect snowflake pattern in every gem, catching the light and inspiring the imagination. But the beauty of the gem is created through a very technical approach. Eighteen extra facets around the girdle are added to the hexagon shape, using instruments the brothers built themselves. In fact, around a quarter of the Wobitos’ studio in Stouffville, Ontario, is filled with equipment to make gem cutting instruments!
Late one evening in 1996, Ralph Wobito was hoping to create a new cut. He had fashioned a hexagon shape and was looking out of the window for inspiration. A few flakes of snow sailed by in the dark night and the Snowflake Cut was born.
Since it was designed, the Snowflake Cut has been featured in a number of lines of high end jewelry and has gone on to win a host of gemstone cutting and design industry awards around the world.
One of the most wonderful things of all about the Snowflake Cut, aside from its unparalleled beauty, is the inspiration it takes from Mother Nature. You might not think of ice as a mineral, but it actually is, its crystals naturally form in the hexagonal crystal system, (just like the gemstones Emerald and Citrine). But every snowflake is unique. Every single one has a distinctive fractal pattern, a fingerprint from Mother Nature herself. In a similar way, every gem is one of a kind, with characteristics and inclusions that are unique to every single gemstone. Whereas a snowflake is a fleeting moment of beauty, melting away in a moment, a gemstone should last a lifetime or more. The Snowflake Cut is the perfect way to capture the unique ephemeral beauty of this wonder of nature.
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