AGA Tucson Conference 2005 will grapple with diamond cut grades

The Accredited Gemologists Association (AGA) will be holding its Annual Tucson Conference on Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2005, with a program titled: “Diamond Cut Grades—An In-Depth, Practical, and Applicable Explanation From GIA, AGS, and Others on the Cutting Edge.”

Following the announcements by the GIA that they plan to start providing cut grades on all diamond grading reports early in 2005, and by the AGS that they have revised their cut-grading system for round diamonds and plan to start providing cut grades on reports for fancy shapes, the AGA has decided to devote the entire conference to these important developments.

“Since the AGA was established in 1974,” says Antoinette Matlins, daughter of AGA Founder Antonio Bonanno, “the AGA has been at the forefront of establishing and upholding high standards of professional practice within the gemological field. Today we face a new challenge to ‘established practice’—diamond cut ‘grades.’ “

According to Matlins, the trade now faces a situation where the broader gemological community has an urgent need to clearly understand the procedures and criteria by which GIA and AGS will be assigning specific cut grades. Gemologists everywhere must be able to apply the same procedures and standards in order to arrive at conclusions that will be consistent with the major laboratories.

“Unless gemologists can do so, there will be widespread inconsistency in diamond grading within the gemological community, and confusion among retailers and consumers,” she says.

“The conference will provide participants with what they need to know in order to be ready when these new cut grades are introduced, ready to apply procedures and standards that will result in grades consistent with the major labs, and to be able to clearly and confidently explain it to their clients,” says David Harris, AGA president.

Program speakers will include Al Gilbertson and Ilene Reinitz from GIA, Peter Yantzer from AGS, Richard Drucker from Gemworld International Laboratories, Don Palmieri from Gem Certification and Appraisal Lab, and representatives from Sarin, Gemex, and OGI.

The daylong AGA Conference will take place at the Marriott University Park, 880 East 2nd St., at 8:30 a.m., followed by a gala Dinner dance and presentation ceremony for the “Sixth Annual Antonio C. Bonanno Award For Excellence in Gemology.”

In light of the importance of this conference, attendance will be open to non-AGA members as well. Advance registration for the conference and evening gala is $100; after January 26, the cost is $125. To register or for more information, contact Dana Richardson at (801) 581-9900 or Richard Huntington at (702) 878-3677.