Professional Jeweler Archive: Let There Be Light!

September 2004


Let There Be Light!

Gemworld International Laboratories opens its first NYC office

A new lab in New York City focuses on grading diamonds for light return and cut quality. Gemworld International, Northbrook, IL, also cites overwhelming market demand for diamond certificates as a reason for the venture, called Gemworld International Laboratories. “The strongest need is from diamond manufacturers who have branded programs,” says Gemworld President Richard Drucker. “They need independent certificates backed by strict standards, integrity and knowledge.” The lab is open also to retailers and others in the industry.

Response to the announcement of the laboratory was enthusiastic. “Once we put out the word that we would establish the lab, we got so much business lined up we were actually a little afraid of the pressures of opening day,” he says.

Drucker is president, CEO and one of three equal partners in the new venture. David Bucks, a 38-year diamond industry veteran, is vice president and COO. The third partner is Bob DuBois, formerly from GemEx Systems Inc., now vice president of sales and marketing for Gemworld International Laboratories.

Light and Cut

The lab focuses on diamond cut, color, clarity and carat weight because everyone talks about these 4C’s, says Drucker, but no lab fully discloses the information on reports. “We provide that information in easy-to-read reports that finish with a Light Return Index™ grade (based on brilliance, fire, scintillation and efficiency) and a Cut Quality Index™ grade (based on industry standards for round cuts, including proportions, symmetry and polish.)”

Brilliance, fire and scintillation are common terms in the diamond community, but Gemworld is introducing the term “efficiency” in reference to the measurement of how much dark area a diamond has and where it is to determine how efficiently and uniformly the top of a diamond is illuminated.
The Light Return Index is calculated using computer software beam-tracing technology developed by Paul Shannon of Diamond Technologies Inc., Macon, GA. Independent verification of the program’s trustworthiness and accuracy in assessing a diamond’s light return came from the Optical Sciences Center at the University of Arizona. Drucker says that for proprietary reasons, information about the beam-tracing technology won’t be published for now.

Only round diamonds are being graded initially, though princess, radiant and other popular cuts will follow.

The Report

All diamonds that enter the lab are laser-inscribed with the report number along the girdle; a photo of the inscription is duplicated on the report. A colorful bar graph shows consumers how their diamonds are graded in terms of brilliance, fire, scintillation and efficiency. The Light Return Index and Cut Quality Index are each defined as poor, fair, good, very good or excellent.

“Our goal is to make our reports user-friendly, helpful and unique,” says Drucker. “We have even defined our own 4C’s:

Confidence. Sales associates using our reports can sell with confidence.

Credibility. Our reports are credible because we don’t sell or buy gems and we offer accurate representation.

Consistency. Through our state-of-the-art equipment and technical data, we impart consistency. In subjective areas, we are strict and fair and have measurable quality control.

Comprehensive. We offer all a customer should know about the 4C’s of their diamond.”

  • Gemworld International Laboratories LLC, 576 Fifth Ave., Ninth Floor, New York City 10036; (212) 354-5185.

– by Robert Weldon, G.G.

A sample of a diamond grading report by Gemworld International Laboratories.

Copyright © 2004 by Bond Communications