DEMISE OF COLORMASTER: END OF AN ERA A controversial chapter in the way gem color is communicated has come to an end. The Gemological Institute of America has halted the production and sale of its ColorMaster machine. "Sales of ColorMasters had decreased over a long period of time," says Dick Agnew, chief executive of GIA's Gem Instruments Division. "It was just not practical to continue to make them. And there was a lack of interest in reviving the project." GIA unveiled the ColorMaster in 1979 to meet the need for an accurate and efficient way to communicate gem color. (The machine was based on a color simulator, originally dubbed the Ritziscope, invented by Tom Ritzi of Florida, who sold the patents to GIA in 1978.) The idea itself was ingenious. Color filters allowed the user to calibrate colored light mixtures by dialing in combinations of red, green and blue. Results of the c

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