I just returned home from Tucson a couple of hours ago. For me, it
was another rewarding trip, not for buying gemstone rough or
anything else for that matter. I have enough gem rough right now
that will take me at least two hundred and seventy years or so to
facet…at the rate that I cut. What I went to Tucson for was to mix
with faceters and people interested in faceting.
My wife Rhoda and I attended the Friday evening Orchid dinner at the
very old Savoy Opera House, which was fun. We met some friendly and
interesting people there. My only negative on the event was that I
had to eat burned barbecued chicken. It again proved why I never
barbecue chicken at home. Why louse up a good thing!
On Saturday morning I attended GIA’s new (out just last month)
Diamond Cut Grading System course. This was a full four hour long
presentation presented by excellent GIA instructors and staff
members. Like I remember from my Graduate Gemologist classes of
twenty-five years ago, the lecturers’ did not waste words or have
any long pauses. The flowed continuously, and I had a
bit of a time in absorbing all that was flowing my direction. There
were microscopes for about thirty five of us, and then there were
another fifteen seats or more occupied by observers that reserved
space too late. They followed along in an extensive workbook like we
all had. We were led through GIA’s diamond grading form that covers
round brilliant cuts. This is the favorite cut of jewelers and end
buyers all over the world, so it was natural to concentrate on round
I have looked at diamonds in my early GIA courses and did again this
week in Tucson. What we all see are terrible work, when it comes to
cutting, faceting, fashioning…whatever term pleases you. Every
diamond that I have examined would rate a Novice Class in a
competition cutting…if we were talking about the stones I love,
the colored And so, what the GIA course seems to be in my
mind is a method of looking closely at how far off a diamonds CUT
compares, when it is compared to a perfectly cut gem. The GIA system
is literally pointing out all of the faults in the cutting and to
just what degree of being un-desirable that stone is. The grading
form covers approximately eighteen areas, from Brightness to
Proportions. But hey, GIA is now giving some serious thought to that
fourth “C” of the four C’s (Color, Clarity, Carat weight, Cut) that
we keep hearing about from every jeweler in every jewelry store.
What I have done here is present a fifth “C,”…COMMENTS!
Of course, it is no wonder that cutting faults are acceptable when
it comes to diamonds. The material is so difficult to work with and
is so very much more valuable than the colored It is no
wonder then, why the many cutting faults are not corrected on
diamonds…THERE WOULD BE TOO MUCH WEIGHT LOSS! The value of each
and every diamond would drastically drop if they were cut to proper
meet points, level and parallel girdles, best table width, and
proper crown angles. If you do not believe me, check the much lower
sales price of a 99-point diamond to a 101 point diamond. And
remember, the GIA course I examined is talking about round brilliant
cuts, not the other shapes or cut designs like Barions, which would
be far too wasteful of diamond material to make it profitable for
anyone. GIA’s cut grading system is great, I think. There are so
many variables involved when one grades the cut of a stone. I cannot
think of any person or organization that could do a better job of
grading quality of cut than what GIA has produced thus far.
Read the chapter in my Faceting History book about the cutting of
diamonds. It is the longest chapter in my book for good reason. It
is amazing to me what earlier cutters accomplished with their
equipment and methods, when working with diamonds. We modern day
colored stone cutters have it so easy in comparison.
Rhoda and I spent the evening Saturday with a large group of
faceters at the OPLC’s Hob Nob gathering. This is an outstanding
event for like interested people. You cannot help but enjoy talking
to all of the friendly faceters. Art Kavan deserves a big thanks for
making the event happen.
And so, 525 miles later, I am once again home in Lake Forest, CA,
where I have to face reality. It was nice being in Tucson Heaven for
a few days.
Glenn Klein, G.G.
Lake Forest CA USA