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1990: Diamond Cut Producers Are Trying To Find Diamond Cut Formulas

April 1998

An ongoing debate about the premium value of “ideal” cut diamonds proved to be less than explosive at the “Town Meeting” of the American Gem Society conclave in Anaheim, California on Friday, March 20.

Many of the AGS members, and thus, most of the member of the panel, are known to be LKI customers which sells the Lazare diamond, an ideal cut. In addition, the recently opened AGS laboratory does give a superior grade to the so-called ideal cut diamond. The ideal cut is notable in particular for its small percentage of table to diameter (53% to 59%).

On the other side of the “argument,” was Bill Boyajian, head of the GIA. His presented the view that the Tolkowsky ideal cut formula produces a beautiful cut but GIA does not have scientific substantiation showing it to be the best possible or only beautiful formula. He reported that research is in progress, with results expected in the upcoming issue of “Gems & Gemology.”

Bob Speisman of LKI added that the motivation of the ideal cut producers is not to create a certain formula for its own sake, but to produce a beautiful diamond. Therefore, he said, that if GIA were to find scientific evidence pointing to a better solution than the one currently in use, LKI, and no doubt others, would be likely to adopt it.

Others have expressed the view held by most American and even more so, European jewelers, that a larger table fills the needs of many customers who want to get as much diamond as possible without paying a premium for the diamond being labeled “ideal.”

Finally, as one jeweler at the conclave pointed out, the diamond has to “speak to you” and not to some scientist’s mathematical formula.

No doubt, the debate was not resolved at this conclave and won’t likely be at any in the future. After all, a diamond’s beauty has never been a matter purely of rigid standards but rather has and will always be measured in the eye of the beholder.

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