From ColorMaster to GemSet to Gem e-Wizard: Computer might be the answer for GIA

Gem e-Wizard Inc., Ramat Gan, Israel, a developer of gemstone color software, is currently working with the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) on adapting a custom color communication module that could possibly be used in GIA’s colored stone grading classes. Gem e-Wizard says they plan to have the software module beta-tested at GIA later this year.

For those who are familiar with the past, Gem e-Wizard could be compared to an enhanced computerized combination of Munsell Color Books, the old GIA ColorMaster, and the GIA GemSet, with a number of added bells and whistles. As with past GIA color communication systems, Gem e-Wizard uses 31 primary hues, six tones, and six saturation levels, which when combined can offer up 1,116 different gemstone colors. (This is similar to Munsell’s master color collection, which contains more than 1,600 different colors.)

Benefits and drawbacks. The drawback to using the Munsell color books is that they are too cumbersome. The GIA GemSet uses only a limited set of 324 colored plastic comparitors, and the ColorMaster was too big, inconsistent, and difficult to use.

With Gem e-Wizard, you see comparison gem images on a standard 15-inch LCD computer monitor. Every hue is recreated in six color tones, with each of those appearing in six levels of saturation. Each is retrievable in 15 polished gemstone shapes, giving the jeweler/gemologist 16,740 images of gems from which to choose. And it’s fast.

Gem e-Wizard includes tools for communication between retailer and supplier, as well as between retailer and consumer. You can use it for buying, selling, matching, appraising, and even in a limited capacity for identification.

Another advantage of color communication by computer is that users can communicate color via e-mail. The only disadvantage that has been voiced by some thus far has been the lack of consistency of color among computer monitors.

Gem e-Wizard is the brainchild of Menahem Sevdermish of Israel, a gemologist, gem trader, and manufacturer, who 12 years ago began developing a computer-based color communication software program. Joining forces with Stuller Inc. two years ago, the Gem e -Wizard project gained momentum, giving Gem e -Wizard’s developers wide-ranging access to Stuller’s knowledge base, as well as their comprehensive gem and diamond resources.

In a press release from Gem e-Wizard, GIA president Bill Boyajian states, “As with any endeavor of this magnitude, GIA is approaching this on a step-by-step basis, with experts from various departments applying their knowledge and experience to assist in the development of Gem e -Wizard as an instructional support tool for GIA Education. A development team, including members from GIA Education, Research, and Gem Instruments, is working with Mr. Sevdermish to align the colors in Gem e -Wizard ’s software with the 31 hues in the GIA colored stone grading system. We are also exploring setting standards for lighting and a viewing environment as well as a methodology for using the tool to achieve consistency and repeatability in color distinctions.”

Collaboration between GIA and Gem e -Wizard began in March 2003, and beta testing is scheduled to begin in GIA colored stone grading classes during the second half of 2004.

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