Like so many designers who migrate from Eastern Europe to America, Christopher Slowinski came from his homeland of Poland in pursuit of a dream to establish hid on mark on the jewelry industry. And, that he has certainly done. Having learned his trade from the master craftsmen of the "Old World," this innovative young jeweler wanted to do more.
"When I came to America some 25 years ago," Slowinski says, "I began working as an apprentice jeweler. Over time, I learned the various processes involved in manufacturing jewelry. To my dismay, I also learned that to cut costs, many companies sacrificed quality.
I didn't want to do it that way. Only through the development of new and better technologies should we reduce our costs, while improving quality. This was my belief, so I set out to make my dream a reality." And what a "reality" he has created.
With the founding of Christopher Designs, Inc., not only has Slowinski been able to develop new technologies, but he has been granted no less than six patents - three U.S. and three International, including one for his now famous Crisscut® diamond. Slowinski owns both a U.S. and an International patents for this revolutionary new cut. With 77 facets compared to the 44 used in normal emerald cut stones, Slowinski's Crisscut® diamonds are unmistakable in their fire and brilliance.
The increased number of facets, along with the way each stone is meticulously cut adds a whole new dimension of beauty, radiance and perfection to his jewelry. But the cut itself, actually happened by mistake. Slowinski was playing around with his invisible settings when he made an error in the faceting. He noticed that the accidental cut gave the stone an unusually brilliant sparkle in that area. Slowinski began making drawings and quickly came up with a plan to further facet the stone in this manner. He gave it to an old stonecutter to experiment with. The gentlemen never got around to cutting it, so he took it to Israel and had his partners look at it. The rest is - as they say - history.
Over the years, I have always tried to combine my classic jewelry training with the revolutionary technological advantages of the day," Slowinski explains. "My work has been rewarded with the granting of three United States patents. Two of these are technological patents. The first one is for invisibly-set diamond jewelry and the second is for our machine-set, closed-end channel anniversary or wedding bands."
Slowinski's third U.S. patent is, of course, for the Crisscut®. Ironically, the term did not come from his name, but describes the "crisscrossed" facets that give the diamond its superior brilliance and fire. Just this past year, his company launched a new version of the Crisscut® called the Crisscut® Cushion. Using a cushion-shaped diamond, this spectacular version of the original emerald cut also utilizes 77 facets and has inspired an entire new collection called the "Cushion Collection."
Slowinski has also utilized this cut on sapphires and the result is nothing short of "brilliant!" While the Crisscut® may have happened by accident, Slowinski's amazing invisible setting took years to develop. Even as a young designer, Christopher was enthralled with the almost magical look of invisible-set diamonds. But it was his talent as a master jeweler and skilled lapidary, along with many painstaking years of research that finally enabled him to develop and patent this new technique.
Today, Christopher Slowinski is one of only two jewelers in the world to hold a patent for this type of setting. Aptly named LaserCut, Slowinski's method uses a special microscopic diagonal cut in the sides of each diamond to hold the stone. The cuts are so small that they are completely invisible when viewed from the top of the setting. He also uses a special alloy of 18K gold to fabricate the invisible settings, which makes them as strong as they are beautiful.