He was honored in Tucson, AZ.
(Press Release) CARLSBAD, CA – Al Gilbertson, GIA project manager of cut research, is the recipient of the 2017 Antonio C. Bonanno Award for Excellence in Gemology given by the Accredited Gemologists Association.
The award, presented to those who have made significant contributions to the field of gemology, encourages ongoing research, education and public outreach. Gilbertson was honored during the gala dinner at AGA’s conference in Tucson, AZ, on Feb. 1.
“I’m very humbled and honored to receive this recognition. I count myself lucky to work among individuals who share a passion to understand the various jewels we handle; to properly recognize their identity, provenance, quality and ultimately discern a studied value,” said Gilbertson. “I enjoy the challenge; the unravelling of these puzzles placed before us. And most of us, when we acquire some new insight, are eager to share that insight with our peers.”
Gilbertson grew up in the lapidary business and is an accomplished gem cutter. His career includes contributions to appraisal science, color communication and cut research. He is also an inventor, with several patents pertaining to aspects of gem cutting and light performance.
“Al has made substantial contributions to our understanding of diamond cut and the way diamonds interact with light. An integral part of GIA research for 17 years, we’re incredibly grateful to have him on our team. This award is well deserved indeed,” said Susan Jacques, president and CEO of GIA.
Gilbertson began his career at GIA in 2000 as part of the team to research and create GIA’s cut grading system for round brilliant diamonds. He has written several articles related to cut quality evaluation of colored stones (non-diamond), co-authored many articles about cut evaluation of diamonds and presented lectures on cut quality evaluation. He is also the author of American Cut: The First 100 Years (2007). Gilbertson is currently studying the influence of proportions and other factors on the appearance of fancy shape diamonds, working towards a cut grading system for fancy-shaped diamonds.
Past and present GIA staff who have also received the Antonio C. Bonanno Award include Dr. Cigdem Lule (2016), Dr. Emmanuel Fritsch (2013), Christopher Smith (2009), Dr. James Shigley (2008), Shane McClure (2007), G. Robert Crowningshield (2003) and John I. Koivula (2002).