GIA's New Cut Grade Begins in 2006  
   By Jeff Miller Posted: 8/1/2005 7:43 PM   
  (Rapaport...August 1, 2005) The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) will be issuing its new Diamond Cut Grading System reports on January 1, 2006, for round brilliant cut diamonds, D-to-Z and Flawless-toI3. GIA's new reports will continue to include cut grade accompanied by color, clarity, and carat weight, but now will include face-up cut quality.

Proportion information --on most diamonds-- graded from January 1 through July 31, 2005, by GIA is available, and reissue service reports can be ordered for a nominal fee. For round brilliant diamonds graded between August 1 and December 31, 2005, the new reports will be provided without additional charge.

GIA also made available its Facetware cut estimator tool for assessing diamond cut quality. The tool requires user input for total depth, table size, crown angle, pavilion angle, star length, lower-half (lower-girdle facet) length, girdle thickness, and culet size, as well as the diamond's polish and symmetry grades. (Available free for use

Based upon the science involved with 70,000 observations on 2,300 diamonds GIA developed the new cut grade reports after many years of research. The new GIA diamond reports will provide an overall cut grade description of; excellent, very good, good, fair, or poor. The report will also have expanded (graphical) proportion information along with consumer friendly descriptions of the 4Cs.

William Boyajian, president of GIA, told a press conference on August 1, that GIA took the necessary time to develop the new system, provided lead-time to the industry for preparation, and will be offering education sessions to learn the benefits of the new system.

"This system helps retailers better communicate the effects of cut on round brilliant diamonds and enables consumers to buy with even greater confidence," Boyajian said.

In support of the diamond cut grading system, GIA has made available a standardized viewing environment station (GIA DiamondDock) to provide optimal lighting for assessing and displaying cut quality. It will also release a brochure for the industry that explains the cut grading system and how the cut grade will be presented on GIA Laboratory reports.

Seven components make up the standards, which include brightness, fire, scintillation, weight ratio, durability, polish, and symmetry. It also takes into account total depth, table size, average crown angle, average pavilion angle, average star length, and average girdle length and thickness, culet size, polish, and symmetry. GIA will also consider the presence of significant painting or digging out.

For now, GIA will not offer the new cut grading system for fancy colored or fancy shaped diamonds, or to round diamonds modified with different faceting arrangements.