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Dec. 2004

In the latest Gem and Jewellery News, Harry Levy of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain lays out the pros and cons of the upcoming Gemological Institute of America cut grade.

* Levy notes that the grade was spurred by the new focus on cut. “We all know that some diamonds simply look better than others, and the way a stone is cut is determines how the stone looks,” he says.

* Because of this, and the popularity of “ideal cuts” and “Hearts and Arrows” grades, GIA began researching cut and now plans a grade. Levy says that this grade will likely add “extra costs.”

“Buyers will be reluctant to buy stones with the old formatted reports, and people holding stones with the old reports have to resubmit their stones to obtain the new type of certificate,” he says.

* “A far greater fear,” he says, “is that end users may submit their stones for re-grading and if the comments on cut and proportion are not that favorable, may demand compensation for thinking that they had the best stones.”

It could also cause a backlog at GIA, where the turnaround time is already several weeks.

* He ends by noting cut and proportion are very much subjective.

But the grade does have its positive points.

Consumers will be more educated. You no longer have to be an expert to sell a diamond. It will make it easier for stones to be traded like a commodity, which itself is both good and bad.

On the other hand, we agree with Levy that the beauty of a diamond is ultimately in the eye of the beholder. We feel that there are people who like what we would call a “spready” stone. To measure beauty in the numbers is very difficult. And if you did, the faces in a Picasso painting will be very low on the scale. 

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