AGA Tucson Conference Tackles Cut Grade Changes

January 24, 2005

AGA Tucson Conference Tackles Cut Grade Changes

The Accredited Gemologists Association Conference will feature presentations by the Gemological Institute of America and American Gem Society on Feb. 2 from 8:30 a.m-5:30 p.m. at the Marriott University Park, Tucson, AZ. Participants will get an overview of the future GIA diamond cut grading system, including an extensive review of the research used to develop the system, a description of the cut-quality components incorporated by the system and information on planned software and support products needed to determine a cut grade.

The AGS presentation will discuss recent revisions in the AGS cut grading system for round diamonds, cut grading for princess-cut diamonds and future plans for grading other fancy-cuts. Both will address the parameters and procedures used to ascertain a specific grade and how these systems may affect gemologists and the trade. Each presentation will be followed by a Q & A period.

The session will begin with a panel of experts discussing alternative cut-grade systems and general issues surrounding cut grades. Panelists include Lalit Aggarwal, chairman and president, ImaGem; C.R. Beesley, president, American Gemological Laboratories; Jean-Pierre Chalain, research director of SSEF/Swiss Gemological Institute diamond division and past president of CIBJO Laboratory Commission; Nicholas Del Re, manager, gemological services, EGL-USA; Richard Drucker, president, Gemworld International Laboratories; and Don Palmieri, president, Gem Certification and Appraisal Lab.

The panel discussion will be followed by a hands-on opportunity for participants to examine diamonds for themselves that have been pre-graded for "cut" by some of the participating labs. Participants will also be able to explore new technology now being used to measure light performance in diamonds. Representatives from GemEx, OGI, Sarin and ImaGem will be available to demonstrate and answer questions about their systems.

Beginning this year, the AGA Conference will introduce "The Breaking News Corner." Here, as part of the hands-on session, participants will be among the first to see and learn about late-breaking developments in the field, including new gemstones, treatments, synthetics and instrumentation. Topics introduced in the "Breaking News Corner" will be covered in-depth at a future AGA conference. This year, attendees can examine first-hand and obtain important gemological data to help them identify treated red and pink diamonds, presented by Sharrie Woodring and Dusan Simic, EGL-USA Research Group.

Following extensive media coverage, consumers who own natural quahog pearls, one of America's rarest and least-known pearls, are being given erroneous information by gemologists and appraisers unfamiliar with these gems. Attendees can see and examine some first hand so they'll recognize them in the future. The presentation is courtesy of Antoinette Matlins, P.G.

The AGA conference will be followed by a dinner-dance and award ceremony from 6:30- 11 p.m.

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