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December 1998

At the DDC marketing week in New York, William Boyajien told a packed audience of diamond cutters and dealers that after spending seven years researching the subject, the GIA’s conclusion is that there is no such thing as the best or ideal cut diamond.

There are many variations of the original Tolkowsky cut that was introduced in 1919. But there are many cuts that may have more brilliance than the original small table version promoted as the “ideal cut.”

The GIA has for many years been conducting high-tech research to measure the brilliance, fire and scintillation of a diamond. So far, the computer simulations and optical measurements have not found any particular set of numbers that produce the ultimate cut.

The so-called “ideal cut” produces a beautiful diamond, but not necessarily the highest brilliance. And it makes the diamond appear a bit smaller than comparable stones with over 60% tables.

One large New York cutter uses a picture of two round diamonds in his advertising. The stones are equal in weight, but one looks larger because of the cut. This larger looking stone is preferred by many, especially in Europe. But the AGS considers the Tolkowsky cut, such as produced by LKI, as the top grade, and some jewelers can get a premium for this cut.

The seven years of sophisticated tests by GIA, in collaboration with the California Institute of Technology, measured, among other things: how light bounces and disperses through diamonds and the different rays of color as well as secondary rays and the amount of polarization and leakage as the light waves vibrate in relation to the light source.

We wonder if such intensive scientific analysis is really the best way to determine the beauty of a diamond. Perhaps there is no need to dissect a rose to find the ultimate mystique of its beauty __ which is the eyes of the beholder.

We humbly suggest that a jury of eleven women and men with 20-20 vision and romantic inclinations decide the issue. And if they can’t reach a verdict, perhaps the customer should be asked: which diamond lights your heart?

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