“I’m very humbled and honored to receive this recognition. I count myself lucky to work among individuals who share a passion to understand the various jewels we handle; to properly recognize their identity, provenance, quality and ultimately discern a studied value,” said Gilbertson. “I enjoy the challenge; the unravelling of these puzzles placed before us. And most of us, when we acquire some new insight, are eager to share that insight with our peers.”
Gilbertson grew up in the lapidary business and is an accomplished gem cutter. His career includes contributions to appraisal science, color communication and cut research. He is also an inventor, with several patents pertaining to aspects of gem cutting and light performance.
Gilbertson began his career at GIA in 2000 as part of the team to research and create GIA’s cut grading system for round brilliant diamonds. He has written several articles and also has presented lectures on the subject of cut quality evaluation in diamonds and colored gemstones. He is also the author of American Cut: The First 100 Years (2007). Gilbertson is currently studying the influence of proportions and other factors on the appearance of fancy shape diamonds, working towards a cut grading system for fancy-shaped diamonds.
“Al has made substantial contributions to our understanding of diamond cut and the way diamonds interact with light. An integral part of GIA research for 17 years, we’re incredibly grateful to have him on our team. This award is well deserved indeed,” said Susan Jacques, president and CEO of GIA.