History of the Tolkowski Family

by on December 9, 2011

In the 1800’s, Adam Tolkowski experimented with cutting colored stones and in 1840, together with his family, moved to Antwerp. Maurice Tolkowski, son of Abraham Tolkowski became well-known in the business.

In 1898, Marcel Tolkowski was born to Isadore Tolkowski as a sixth generation diamond cutter. He later became known as the “father of the modern round brilliant diamond cut”.

Isadore and Sam Tolkowski worked along-side their brother, Maurice, who invented the bruiting machine which was the basis for cutting round diamonds. Sam was elected to the Antwerp Diamond Exchange as the first chairman.

In 1919, Marcel Tolkowski developed the American Standard Cut also known as the Tolkowski Cut. It was a diamond cut that took into consideration mathematical calculations to create a diamond with the most brilliance and fire. He died on February 19, 1991.

Gabi Tolkowski was born in 1939 and later fell in love with the diamond cutting industry. He was trained by Marcel and his father Jean. He invented the flower cuts in 1985-86 and since 1995, has “been a world-wide consultant to the DeBeers Group”.

In 1988, Gabi Tolkowski was asked to cut the 273.85 carat Centenary Diamond that took three years to cut. The Centenary Diamond remained untouched for one year while Gabi’s team found the correct tools and conditions to cut the diamond. It is considered to be “the largest most colour-perfect and flawless modern diamond in the world” today.


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