Grading

GCAL Expands 8X Cut Grade to Fancy Diamond Shapes

GradingMay 05, 2022

GCAL Expands 8X Cut Grade to Fancy Diamond Shapes

It will introduce the 8X Oval and 8X Princess Diamond Cut Grade certificates at the upcoming JCK Las Vegas jewelry trade show.

New York-based Gem Certification & Assurance Lab has introduced a new diamond cut grade standard for fancy shapes, called the 8X Ultimate Diamond Cut Grade.
New York—A year after launching 8X, a new cut grade standard for round brilliant diamonds, the Gem Certification & Assurance Lab has expanded it to fancy shapes. 
 
The lab introduced the 8X Ultimate Diamond Cut Grade in April 2021 to reflect advancements in diamond cutting technology and techniques and the resulting cuts from the top diamond manufacturers. 
 
The cut grade takes eight factors into account. (GIA, for comparison, bases its cut grade on seven factors.)
 
The lab said it received many requests for the development of 8X for fancy shapes after its introduction. 
 
So, it created the new 8X Fancy Shape Diamond Cut Grade, notable since fancy shape diamonds are typically graded for polish and symmetry only. 

The new cut grade from GCAL considers eight critical factors: polish, external symmetry, proportions, optical brilliance, fire, scintillation, optical symmetry, and shape aesthetics.
 
Similar to the 8X evaluation of round brilliants, polish, external symmetry, and proportions focus on physical precision of the diamond’s surface, facet shapes, and angles. Optical brilliance, fire, and scintillation analyze how a diamond handles light.
 
The final two grading factors, optical symmetry, and shape aesthetics, are about optical precision, or the craftsmanship of the crown and pavilion facets and how they work together.

Angelo Palmieri, GCAL COO and partner, said the lab has a “vast wealth of analytical images and data” from all the stones that have passed through it since it opened in 2000, including millions of photomicrographs, direct assessment images of optical brilliance, optical symmetry, scintillation, fire, and measurements.
 
 Related stories will be right here … 
 
This positioned them well to build correlation tables between proportions and performance, he said. For ovals, for example, they developed datamining software to analyze images and build custom applications to calculate bowtie and shoulder bulge.
 
“As a result, I believe a diamond certificate has been created that honors the exceptional craftsmanship in fancy shape diamond cutting. And not merely with words, but with analytical and visual analysis that backs up those claims,” Palmieri said. 
 
“This is the proof retailers need to demonstrate a diamond’s brilliance, fire, scintillation, and beauty, and it’s the visual, scientific, and accurate proof consumers have been looking for to make a more informed decision.”

The cut grade can be used for both natural diamonds and lab-grown diamonds. 
 
The corresponding reports are priced the same as those for the 8X Ultimate Diamond Cut Grade and look similar to those created for the round brilliants. 
 
GCAL will introduce the 8X Oval and 8X Princess Diamond Cut Grade certificates at the upcoming JCK Las Vegas jewelry trade show. 
 
Additional 8X fancies will be introduced later this year, GCAL said, confirming that cushions will be up next. 
 
For more information, visit GCALUSA.com.
Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

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