Diamonds: GIA to Start Grading Fancy Cuts, ADB & KBC File Motion to Dismiss LKI Suit



The Shape of Things

The Gemological Institute of America is developing a system to evaluate the cut of fancy-shape diamonds, including pears, ovals, and marquises, GIA distinguished research fellow James Shigley tells JCK.

“We want to determine what constitutes a good fancy cut and what doesn’t,” Shigley says.

In February, GIA conducted a series of observation tests at the American Gem Trade Association GemFair in Tucson, Ariz., gauging attendees’ reactions to different types of marquise, oval, and pear shapes. Any evaluation system will likely be a blend of both mathematical calculations and observational tests—the same way the GIA developed its round brilliant cut grade, which it unveiled in 2005.

But Shigley, who helped formulate the grading system for rounds, isn’t certain the lab will devise a grade for fancies. “We just don’t know that yet,” he says. “We are doing our due diligence.”

The GIA will look to the trade for input, he says, and “recognizes there is a lot of experimentation” with fancy cuts. Wherever the system ends up, Shigley says the GIA doesn’t want to take a decade to finish its research, as it did with its round brilliant cut grade: “We want a much shorter timeline.”

Bank Shot

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On April 6, Antwerp Diamond Bank and parent company KBC Bank filed a motion to dismiss a $500 million claim against them by Lazare Kaplan International. The complaint alleges that Antwerp Diamond Bank, KBC, and entities connected to diamantaire Erez Daleyot engaged in a “fraudulent scheme” to steal millions of LKI’s diamonds. “It defies logic that Antwerp Bank, which has been one of Lazare’s primary lenders for more than a decade, would…steal Lazare’s property and then take steps to drive Lazare into bankruptcy,” countered KBC. ADB and KBC also say the case shouldn’t be tried in the United States, as it is already being tried in Belgium.

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