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In Memoriam: James Caudill, Gemologist, Engineer, And Visionary |  October 19, 2016 (0 comments)


Las Vegas, NV—James Caudill (left), a leader in the development of diamond performance assessment tools, died October 14 at his home in Las Vegas.

Caudill’s career in the jewelry industry included roles at both the American Gem Society (AGS) and AGS Laboratories, as well as at Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

He was a visionary scientist who assisted in the development of the AGS Light Performance Grading System. Along with Dr. Jose Sasian, Jason Quick, and Peter Yantzer, Caudill was a co-author of a landmark 2007 paper on diamond performance, published in Optical Engineering. He was the main architect of ASET viewer technology and designed many of the instruments for diamond analysis and sales that are in use today around the world.

As news of his passing spread on social media, reactions from industry leaders expressed sorrow at the loss of both his knowledge and warm personality.

Ruth Batson, CEO of AGS and AGS Labs, wrote, “All of us at AGS are heartbroken to hear of the passing of Jimmy Caudill. Jim served in a variety of roles at AGS and AGS Lab. He was instrumental in furthering our research on light performance and created the initial design of our ASET. But, what Jimmy will be most remembered for was his passionate love of life and the laughter and joy he brought to work each day. He loved what he did and it showed. He will be missed.”

Maarten DeWitte, a renowned diamond cutter, said, “We have lost a guiding light. I am forever thankful to have known Jim as a friend, compadre, and working class hero.” And Mary Todd McGinnis of Ben Bridge Jeweler said, “He left a footprint that will influence all of us who sell beautiful diamonds forever.”

Caudill is survived by his wife, Val, daughter Angela, two grandchildren, and a sister. At press time there were no details on a memorial service; this article will be updated as more information becomes available.

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