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GCAL Develops New Cut Grading Standard

Introducing 8X the ultimate diamond cut grade, guaranteed certificate.




GCAL Develops New Cut Grading Standard

(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK — Gem Certification & Assurance Lab (GCAL), world renowned for accurate, consistent and ethical gemstone grading, has announced the industry’s first major change in diamond cut grading in decades. While most in the industry have focused on three factors to determine a diamond’s quality, GCAL has introduced a new standard that focuses on eight critical aspects of cut quality assessment, with all 8 required to achieve a grade of Excellent.

Introducing 8X … the Ultimate Diamond Cut Grade, Guaranteed Certificate.

GCAL’s objective was to finally identify and honor the craftsmanship that exists within the global diamond industry, that truly defines precision diamond cutting. They spent years of extensive research, studying hundreds of thousands of diamonds from a myriad of sources, gathering data on identifying the strict, exacting tolerances to achieve the ultimate precision cut diamond.

“8X is truly the ultimate achievement in precision diamond cutting,” explained Don Palmieri, founder and president of GCAL. “It’s less about distinguishing our lab from all the others, and more about providing a platform for the world’s premier diamond manufacturers to distinguish their products from all others.“

According to Angelo Palmieri, COO of GCAL, “The global diamond industry has witnessed impressive improvements in technology. Diamond cutting techniques have also improved, resulting in more brilliant and beautiful diamonds. It was time to honor that craftsmanship. 8X is a cut grade standard whose time has come.”

The eight aspects of cut quality assessment that must receive a grade of Excellent in order to qualify as an 8X diamond are (1) Polish, (2) External Symmetry, (3) Proportions, (4) Optical Brilliance, (5) Fire, (6) Scintillation, (7) Optical Symmetry and (8) Hearts & Arrows.

Proportion Cut Grade Tolerances

Proportion Cut Grade Tolerances

Grading factors 1 thru 3 (Polish, External Symmetry and Proportions) focus on physical precision. They analyze the exactness of the physical surface, facet shapes, and angles. The precise dimensions required to produce the most ideal round brilliant cut have been analyzed for decades. Only natural and lab grown diamonds within the strict and narrow tolerances outlined below achieve an Excellent Proportion grade.

Grading factors 4 thru 6 (Optical Brilliance, Fire and Scintillation) focus on and analyze the light handling ability of a natural and lab grown diamond. These carry significant consumer importance because it is the combination of these factors that make any diamond visibly shine, dance and sparkle from across the room.

Grading factors 7 and 8 (Optical Symmetry and Hearts & Arrows) focus on optical precision. They closely examine the craftsmanship of the crown and pavilion facets in harmony, to achieve aesthetic precision.

Why Now, and Why 8X?

Three critical issues were considered:

  1. For years, a round brilliant diamond graded Excellent in Cut, Polish and Symmetry has been considered the minimum standard for well cut, brilliant and beautiful diamonds. To most, from cutters to the ultimate consumer, a triple excellent diamond has been the accepted requirement to meet the criteria for determining excellence. But it is still true today, there continues to be a broad range within a grade of Excellent.
  2. A huge percentage of diamonds graded by the various labs, estimated between 50 to 85%, are considered Excellent. But if almost everything is Excellent, how can you distinguish the precision cut stones?
  3. As the most complex of the 4 Cs, it is not surprising that laboratories have yet to consistently quantify the optimal light emissions of brilliance, fire and scintillation.

“A great many manufacturers have shared with us their frustration of having their precision cut diamonds judged on par with diamonds of a far lesser cut quality, yet graded equally,” explained Angelo. He added: “Consumers can easily identify the best color (D)… and the best Clarity (Flawless). Finally, the pinnacle in cutting can now be identified scientifically (8X).”



Celebrate Your Retirement with Wilkerson

For nearly three decades, Suzanne and Tom Arnold ran a successful business at Facets Fine Jewelry in Arlington, Va. But the time came when the Arnolds wanted to do some of the things you put off while you’ve got a business to run. “We decided it was time to retire,” says Suzanne, who claims the couple knew how to open a store, how to run a store but “didn’t know how to close a store.” So, they hired Wilkerson to do it for them. When she called, Suzanne says Wilkerson offered every option for the sale she could have hoped for. Better still, “the sale exceeded our financial goals like crazy,” she says. And customers came, not only to take advantage of the going-out-of-business buys and mark-downs, but to wish a bon voyage to the beloved proprietors of a neighborhood institution. “People were celebrating our retirement, and that was so special,” says says.

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