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Additional comments on the GIA Colored Stone Grading System

Written by Gary Kratochvil
May 2008

I have just a few extra comments I would like to make on the GIA Colored Stone Grading System. Starting in 1972 I traveled selling diamonds and colored stones. At that time we didn't have a colored stone grading system. Everyone just applied the same clarity system we used for diamonds on colored stones. One system that was universally applied to all faceted stones. That worked just fine. Everyone knew the rarity of a VVS emerald compared to a VVS diamond.
Years later the GIA came up with the "Type" system. The Type system is split into three Types. Tourmaline for example is actually in each Type depending on what color it is. Are you kidding me? There is no way the public could ever keep up with this system. Perhaps that is the whole reason for this complicated mess of a system. It would seem so much easier to have one clarity system for all faceted gemstones. Instead of trying to teach this mess of a system, how about educating people as to the value of colored gemstones? Explain to the public how rare a VVS emerald really is.
My last comment of the GIA system is that the GIA says that there are no flawless colored stones. That simply is not true. Using that logic I guess there would be no such thing as a flawless pink diamond. I would bet that the diamond dealers may have an issue with that logic.
In my opinion there are many problems in the GIA system. I do not like it and I will not use it. I often wonder what factors or influences came to play when this system was designed. The system I like and use is appropriately named the Common Sense Gemstone Grading.

© 2008 Gary Kratochvil - All rights reserved