Interview with Jody Wainwright and Saul Goldberg

Boodles Director of Precious Gemstones, Jody Wainwright, regularly travels to New York’s diamond district in search of the world’s most beautiful stones.
We caught up with Jody during a recent visit to Saul Goldberg. It was Saul’s late father, William, who perfected the Ashoka® cut.
Boodles Ashoka eternity rings

What makes an Ashoka diamond so special?

Jody Wainwright: "There’s something about the Ashoka cut that’s really uplifting. People often speak of diamonds as if they have life. You don’t see it in a photograph, because of course a picture is static. When you look at an Ashoka close-up, the way the light plays is just spectacular. For me, it’s an emotional response."

Saul Goldberg: "That’s it: joy. More than any other diamond cut I know, the Ashoka puts a smile on people’s faces."

Boodles Ashoka solitaire ring
Jody Wainwright

How does the Ashoka achieve that?

Jody Wainwright [to Saul]: "I like the way Willy describes it."

Saul Goldberg: "Willy Lopez, he’s our master gem cutter. Yes, he says it’s sexy,it’s got a nice bounce. Back and forth, just like it’s breathing. It’s very elegant. You can’t cut all stones that way.In fact you can’t cut very many at all."

Jody Wainwright: "It has to do with the ratio: it uses the Golden Mean. The idea has been around for thousands of years — in the Renaissance, artists like Leonardo da Vinci were obsessed with it. But it’s not easy to do with a diamond. Most rough stones won’t allow it: either their proportions aren’t right or you would have to cut so many carats away that nobody would have the courage to do it. So when we find a stone that can be cut this way, it’s almost criminal not to."

Saul Goldberg: "That’s what my father always said. “Don’t cheat a stone of its right to be beautiful.”

Jody Wainwright: "Indeed. And that’s what’s so special about the Ashoka diamond. It gives our designers a chance to create something that couldn’t be completed any other way. It opens the door to design ideas no other cut allows for."

 

Why is Ashoka so important for your business?

Jody Wainwright: "It’s very simple. It is a stunning shape. For many people interested in beautiful gemstones, when they see this cut they want to have it. So if your heart’s set on an Ashoka in the most beautiful setting imaginable, you’re going to have to come and visit Boodles!"

How does the Ashoka achieve that?

Jody Wainwright [to Saul]: "I like the way Willy describes it."

Saul Goldberg: "Willy Lopez, he’s our master gem cutter. Yes, he says it’s sexy,it’s got a nice bounce. Back and forth, just like it’s breathing. It’s very elegant. You can’t cut all stones that way.In fact you can’t cut very many at all."

Jody Wainwright: "It has to do with the ratio: it uses the Golden Mean. The idea has been around for thousands of years — in the Renaissance, artists like Leonardo da Vinci were obsessed with it. But it’s not easy to do with a diamond. Most rough stones won’t allow it: either their proportions aren’t right or you would have to cut so many carats away that nobody would have the courage to do it. So when we find a stone that can be cut this way, it’s almost criminal not to."

Saul Goldberg: "That’s what my father always said. “Don’t cheat a stone of its right to be beautiful.”

Jody Wainwright: "Indeed. And that’s what’s so special about the Ashoka diamond. It gives our designers a chance to create something that couldn’t be completed any other way. It opens the door to design ideas no other cut allows for."

 

Why is Ashoka so important for your business?

Jody Wainwright: "It’s very simple. It is a stunning shape. For many people interested in beautiful gemstones, when they see this cut they want to have it. So if your heart’s set on an Ashoka in the most beautiful setting imaginable, you’re going to have to come and visit Boodles!"

Jody Wainwright

Tell us a bit more about your transatlantic relationship.

Jody Wainwright: "What’s so wonderful is it doesn’t feel like work. Boodles is a family business — I work with my father, my uncle, my cousin. It’s been a similar journey for Saul. And the people who like Boodles jewellery value that kind of trusting relationship where your word is your bond. When Saul and his wife Dale join us at Boodles events in England or elsewhere, they love to meet the people who are wearing our jewellery — and especially when they’re wearing Ashoka!"

Saul Goldberg: "It’s very special. Families do things on trust. There’s a continuity of ethics, morality, behaviour, passed on from generation to generation. Everything is a handshake. You keep to your word, you do what’s right. And that’s what diamonds are about. Diamonds are symbols of that love and trust. It’s important we never forget that."

Boodles Ashoka pendant and ring
Jody Wainwright and Saul Goldberg

So would you describe yourselves more as friends than business partners?

Jody Wainwright: "Absolutely. We’re great friends. Most of our business takes place over dinner. We’ll be sitting around the table and Saul will pop out a 7 carat D flawless Ashoka. He likes to surprise us like that."

Saul Goldberg: "We love it when Jody and Kirstie [Jody’s wife] come to stay. And we speak every couple of days. When our daughter, Rose, was interested in getting to know London, Jody arranged for her to spend a year helping Boodles. She had a blast."

Saul, do you think Rose will follow you into the family business?

Saul Goldberg: "I’m not sure, you’d have to ask her about that. She came back from London and got married. But you can guess what she chose for her engagement ring!"

Jody Wainwright: "I think it would be lovely if Rose followed in your footsteps, as her brother Ben did. And she’d always receive a very warm welcome back at Boodles."

So would you describe yourselves more as friends than business partners?

Jody Wainwright: "Absolutely. We’re great friends. Most of our business takes place over dinner. We’ll be sitting around the table and Saul will pop out a 7 carat D flawless Ashoka. He likes to surprise us like that."

Saul Goldberg: "We love it when Jody and Kirstie [Jody’s wife] come to stay. And we speak every couple of days. When our daughter, Rose, was interested in getting to know London, Jody arranged for her to spend a year helping Boodles. She had a blast."

Saul, do you think Rose will follow you into the family business?

Saul Goldberg: "I’m not sure, you’d have to ask her about that. She came back from London and got married. But you can guess what she chose for her engagement ring!"

Jody Wainwright: "I think it would be lovely if Rose followed in your footsteps, as her brother Ben did. And she’d always receive a very warm welcome back at Boodles."

Jody Wainwright and Saul Goldberg
Boodles Ashoka ring selection
Boodles Mosaic necklace
Boodles Ashoka bracelets
Boodles Mosaic pendant