Pseudoscience runs amok
Holloway Cut Advisor (HCA) is a web-based honeypot collecting personal information under a diamond evaluating system’s guise. The HCA is designed to spy on consumers, and channel leads to affiliated dealers.
- NOT recognized by any gemological lab in the world
- NOT used by professionals
- NOT supported by the scientific community
- NOT subject to a peer review
Hans Christian Andersen described it perfectly: “Two con artists offer to weave the emperor with magnificent cloak invisible to stupid or incompetent people. Once finished, they mimed dressing the emperor, and he set off in a procession. The townsfolk go along with the pretense to avoid being labeled stupid. Until a kid yells: “The emperor has no clothes!” no one was willing to state the obvious.”
Like the two swindlers in “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” the HCA plays on people’s pride and intellectual vanity by selling a “diamond score” that no one can see. The imposters, in this case, are the Australian diamond broker and his Russian sidekick. Garry Ian Holloway and Sergey Sivovolenko worked out a scam to substitute the established GIA cut charts with their own cockamamie scheme. One is a self-proclaimed diamond guru; the other is a crackpot operative of notorious Russian tech start-up Octonus Software allegedly working under the cover of the Russian spy agency. The duo acquired the US patent 7,251,619 for “a computer-implemented system for gem evaluation and assessment of a diamond appearance based upon the determined values of attributes contributing to the visual appeal and the established rating value.”
How HCA is misleading
Not surprisingly, the HCA calculator is hosted by Pricescope, the notorious troll farm used by a closely-knit group of brokers and dealers to manipulate public opinion in their own interests and in the interests of the Russian diamond monopoly.
Supposedly HCA can rate a diamond’s “visual appeal” using a proprietary system that has no scientific base. In fact, HCA is neither groundbreaking nor independent or unbiased. All ideal-cut diamonds look exactly the same; a regular person cannot tell them apart. The subtle differences do not make one superior to another. They are equally beautiful. The Holloway Cut Adviser (HCA) is billed as a diamond-cut calculator. It takes a diamond’s metrics, such as total depth, table size, and crown angle. The diamond’s pavilion angle determines 90% of the score.
The calculator also requires a diamond’s weight, measurements, and certificate number. This additional information is collected purely for marketing purposes and is not used in the calculation. Diamonds are scored on a scale from 0 to 10 — the lower the number, the higher the score. Yet, the highest score is not zero but 1.0. Anything less than 1 is also undesirable. The calculator is currently limited to three calculations free of charge; after that, it demands payment.