A Wellington-based jeweller has come up with a laser sharp way to set diamonds off in their best light.
Callaghan Innovation's independent testing has confirmed The Village Goldsmith's Floeting Diamond technology is 20 percent stronger than traditional claw settings, which have been used in diamond settings for well over 100 years.
Inventor Ian Douglas said the Floeting Diamond was held in place by a micro-groove that had been laser-cut around the underside of the diamond in such a way that its light reflection was not affected.
"The designs are intended to have very broad market appeal, although with our patented system we can accommodate a diamond from 0.30 carats (cts) up to 100cts," Douglas said.
The design solved an age-old problem, he said.
"Like jewellers around the world, I have always been asked by customers if it was possible to have a ring that displays a diamond without the claws surrounding it, and until now the answer has always been 'no'."
Douglas said the final design was a collaboration of a master diamond cutter, laser engineers, metallurgists, scientists, and testing laboratories.
Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) chief executive Peter Chrisp said the organisation was providing The Village Goldsmith with the support needed to launch the product into the United States market.
"America's Cup boats, rockets, robotics for horticulture, renowned movie and special effects studios, niche-dominating software, and now a Kiwi invention to shake up the jewellery world with the first significant innovation in diamond setting since the classic six-claw was invented in 1886," Chrisp said.
"We work with hundreds of export companies which demonstrate ingenuity, and a determination to find new solutions to old problems. It's great to see The Village Goldsmith joining their ranks."
Douglas said company was aiming for about 2 percent of the $90 billion market, or about $2b, with more than half of that market in the United States.
"We think that's achievable."