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Diamond Grading Fancy AGS Cut and Diamond Industry

2000: Diamond Grading Fancy AGS Cut Does Not Exist With Exact Quality Number

March 2000

The American Gem Society lab’s Gemological Committee is holding meetings about its plan to develop a new "zero" cut grade for fancy shapes.

Craig Underwood, chairman of the American Gem Society Laboratory Gemological Committee, said, "We’re in the process of working on it, but it is a work in progress." Because this process is so difficult, Mr. Underwood was unable to provide us with a timetable for grading fancy cuts.

While there are some different ratios given from length to width regarding fancy cuts, it is going to be very difficult to come up with any kind of exact number for the quality of a fancy cut. In regard to brilliance, although emerald cuts are not the most brilliant, they are highly valued for other factors.

The general formula used by some is 1.5 to 1.75 for most fancy cuts. But it is not always correct, especially since the most popular fancy cut this year was the Princess cut which is closest to a square. Because it is close to a square, it has similar brilliance to a round stone.

Many diamond experts feel it is virtually impossible to have a cut grade for fancy shapes. As GIA noted in its recent study, even the industry cannot agree on a cut grade for rounds, although the AGS "0-10 scale" (based on the Ideal) has a following among jewelers and consumers. But at least for rounds, AGS had the "Ideal" base-line to go by. With fancy cut, there is not even that as a marker.

If they do eventually come up with a fancy cut system, we don’t know if their fancy cut grade will be as influential as the AGS cut grade for rounds. But we think that, with fancy cuts especially, the ultimate gauge of any kind of cut’s beauty will be the eye of the beholder — or more likely, the eye of the consumer.


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