An Ideal Book

If you want to know the history of the Ideal-cut diamond, read American Cut: The First 100 Years, by Al Gilbertson, research associate for the Gemological Institute of America, in Carlsbad, Calif. It’s not only a wonderful read but also a historical treasure filled with significant discoveries that make for a compelling story about the men who created the Ideal-cut round brilliant diamond.

The book describes a chance meeting between Gilbertson and Joe Samuel, of the Boston/New York estate jewelry firm J & S.S. DeYoung. Samuel, a former GIA governor, talked with Gilbertson and Dona Dirlam, director of the Richard T. Liddicoat Gemological Library and Information Center, about his family history, which stretched back to the diamond-cutting factories of Henry Morse. During the conversation, he mentioned two volumes of archived business correspondence from the Morse Diamond Cutting Co., including 2,500 letters, and a cast copper model of an original Morse-cut diamond, which happened to be the Tiffany II.

Thanks to Gilbertson, we all have to reprogram what we’ve been taught. And an enjoyable reprogramming it will be. Gilbertson hasn’t rewritten history; he’s uncovered the true history of American diamond cutting.

For more information about the book, visit GIA’s Web site at