A JCK Exclusive: AGS and Eightstar sign research and development agreement

The American Gem Society (AGS) has finalized an agreement with Richard von Sternberg of Eightstar Diamond Company for exclusive use of technology and instrumentation for the AGS development of a cut grading system for fancy shaped diamonds.

“We strongly believe that a quantifiable cut grade for fancy shaped diamonds is now within reach,” states Robert W. Bridel, AGS executive director and CEO. “Richard von Sternberg’s knowledge of diamonds and Eightstar’s technological advances will help AGS bring this project to a timely completion.”

AGS will use data from the physical analysis of fancy shaped diamonds to construct a new performance-based cut grading system. The research will be conducted at the new AGS Laboratories facility on the AGS Campus in Las Vegas.

“We are very pleased to be able to contribute to this historical venture,” says Richard von Sternberg, president of Eightstar. “We believe that a diamond’s performance can be quantifiably graded no matter what the shape. This anticipated AGS grading system is a further example of the American Gem Society’s dedication to protecting the consumer through the provision of complete information on all four C’s.”

In 1955, the American Gem Society formally organized its research regarding optical phenomena in diamonds with the establishment of the AGS Diamond Standards Committee. Many industry leaders, including Leo Kaplan, Bob Limon, Carlton Broer Sr. and George Sloan, working closely with GIA’s Richard T. Liddicoat participated in these early research efforts, which culminated in the completion of the first AGS Diamond Grading Standards Manual in 1966.

In the years following, AGS retailers applied the new cut grade system in their businesses, addressing for the first time the relationship of proportions to a diamond’s beauty, in such a way as to provide consumers with an additional tool to analyze value at the point of purchase. This system of grading the proportions, polish, and symmetry of a round brilliant diamond gained international approval, almost overnight, with the opening of the AGS Laboratories in 1996. And today, only 5 years later, the AGS “0” has become synonymous with the most brilliant, fiery and beautiful diamonds the world over, and AGS Laboratories, under the guidance of Lab Director Peter Yantzer, is lauded for consistent and accurate application of its grading standards.

“Our grading system is dynamic and continues to evolve as our knowledge of the optical characteristics of the diamond increases,” expresses Peter Yantzer. “Performance based cut grading is a quantum leap in the evolution and understanding of what makes a diamond beautiful,”

The American Gem Society, founded in 1934 by Robert M. Shipley, who also founded the Gemological Institute of America in 1931, is a trade association dedicated to proven ethics, knowledge and consumer protection within the jewelry industry. All members are held to high ethical standards in the industry and are re-certified annually to maintain their AGS titles. For more information regarding the American Gem Society and 2002 International Conclave please call 702-255-6500, or visit the AGS website at www.ags.org.

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