Professional Jeweler Archive: Shining Example

July 2004


Shining Example

The article titled “GIA Nears Release of Diamond-Cut Grading System” (Professional Jeweler, April 2004, p. 26) contains three images from Part 1 of the Gemological Institute of America’s cut study, published in the Fall 1998 edition of Gems & Gemology. The top two images are GIA’s computer-generated three-dimensional models of a round brilliant, colorless, flawless 58-facet virtual diamond with perfect symmetry and polish. The bottom image is an EightStar diamond I provided to GIA, but which is not credited in your article.

In the acknowledgments at the end of the Gems & Gemology article, GIA writes: “Richard von Sternberg of EightStar Diamond Co., Santa Rosa, California, provided a diamond that approximated the symmetry of the model.”
This is significant because I believe it shows the truth of our claim that we pioneered a method of cutting diamonds that has forced a paradigm shift away from the metric of mathematical analysis of diamonds’ exterior measurements and comparison of that analysis to an “ideal” mathematical model offered early in the 20th century by Marcel Tolkowsky and others. The metric we began to offer in the 1980s is one of a diamond’s performance seen in a device (the Firescope
®) that was the precursor to the hemispherical lighting environment of GIA’s research on brilliance.

In acknowledging that our diamond was comparable to the virtual model of brilliance in its study, I believe GIA confirmed that our technology and cutting methods opened the door to a new way of evaluating diamonds that supersedes what came before them.

Ilene M Reinitz, one of the authors of GIA’s cut study, has given me permission to quote the remarks she made about the Firescope and EightStar diamonds at the American Gem Society Conclave in 1999. In response to a question, Reinitz said: “The Firescope looks at several things. It both looks at the proportion and the exact symmetry of the diamond ... the Firescope is a very interesting tool because it lets you see aspects of the optical proportion of the diamond. [It’s] very similar to our diffused lighting conditions. It lets you see brilliance and less of the other aspects.”

The Gemological Institute of America computer-generated diamond at left and the Eight-Star diamond that approximates the model’s symmetry on the right.

In response to a question about EightStar diamonds, Reinitz said: “EightStar diamonds have phenomenal symmetry ... We have the perfect symmetry since [ours] is a computer model. [EightStar] actually cuts, I would say, the best real approximation of the symmetry I have ever seen.”

Richard von Sternberg
EightStar Diamond Co.
Santa Rosa, CA

Copyright © 2004 by Bond Communications