Press Release

GCAL Unveils New Cut Grade Standards

NEW YORK - After recently introducing a new “Ideal Cut” diamond grading certificate, Gem Certification & Assurance Lab, Inc. (GCAL) announced the debut of a new cut grading system. Although the system factors in the traditional gemological criteria of proportions and finish, it is based primarily on direct assessment light performance, the first time a cut grade has referenced a directly measured element of the quality of the cut.

"In the past decade, cut has become one of the most important of the famous 4 Cs for diamonds—so important it is now a recognized factor in diamond grading," explains Donald A. Palmieri, GCAL’s founder and president. "Until now, however, cut grades have been based on theoretical computation and computer simulation--not measurement of actual light performance."

The GCAL cut grade is based primarily on direct-assessment light performance. Using a comprehensive and thorough 100-point rating system, GCAL scores a diamond for proportions, finish, and light performance, then integrates all three scores into a final tally and cut grade. "Those superbly crafted diamonds which earn top point scores for proportions, finish and light performance are awarded the highest designations of 'Ideal' or 'Excellent,'" says Palmieri. "These are the most beautiful diamonds money can buy."

Specifically, the GCAL cut grade system relates these three important elements of cut:

Proportions: A round diamond is measured for ten critical cutting factors. The first six of these--table percentage, depth percentage, crown angle, pavilion angle, girdle thickness and culet size--comprise the preliminary category in the GCAL cut grade associated with proportions. Based on a point system, the stone is given one of five quality grades: excellent, very good, good, fair, and poor. The maximum number of points for proportions is 30.

Finish: The same five quality grades are used to rate for polish and external symmetry. The maximum number of points for finish is 30; a maximum of 15 points each for polish and for external symmetry.

Light Performance: A stone is measured for light performance that consists of two readings using GCAL proprietary technology—the first for optical brilliance (a contrast measurement of the diamond's light return versus its light loss) and the second for optical symmetry (the degree of perfection of its light reflection pattern). The maximum number of points for light performance is 40; a maximum of 20 points for each of the two elements of light assessment.

Following the assignment of points, all three critical factors--proportions, finish and light performance—are analyzed, a final score is given using GCAL’s five-grade quality ratings system from excellent to poor. If a diamond achieves scores of 30 points for proportions, 30 points for finish and 40 points for light performance, it earns a final grade of "Ideal." "If any one of the three scores is less than perfect, the diamond cannot achieve a grade of 'Ideal,'" says Palmieri. "But given the rigorousness of our grading system, you can rest assured that a grade of 'excellent' means a diamond is remarkable, also."

The new GCAL cut grades are available in all GCAL formats at no additional charge. "Consumers deserve to know everything about a diamond that contributes to its beauty and value," says Palmieri. "And since a diamond’s beauty depends significantly on craftsmanship, I can’t think of any more important information than that which pertains to cutting and performance."

About Gem Certification and Assurance Lab
Gem Certification & Assurance Lab (GCAL) is a subsidiary of Collectors Universe, Inc. In addition to being the 2007 Official Diamond Grading Laboratory of the JA NY Winter Show, GCAL is also the Official Diamond Grading Laboratory of the 2007 Fine Jewelry CEO Summit and the 2007 JCK Las Vegas and JCK Invitational Shows, as well as the Platinum Sponsor of the ICA (International Colored Gemstone Association) 2007 World Congress in Dubai. On the Internet:

CONTACTS: Vanessa Lee
Luxury Brand Group
(949) 724-9245

Donald A Palmieri, President
(212) 869-8985