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George Kaplan of LKI Dies at Age 97

Aug 9, 2015 7:05 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... George Kaplan, the former vice chairman of Lazare Kaplan Inc. (LKI) and former chairman of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), died on July 12 at the age of 97.

Kaplan, born in Brooklyn in 1918, was the son and brother of company founders Lazare and Leo Kaplan.

“George was a skilled professional in the industry, well known for his inventive creativity, his caring human touch and his business acumen,” said Maurice Templesman, chairman of Lazare Kaplan, in a statement eulogizing Kaplan. “George knew that if our industry was to grow and thrive, integrity - and the perception of integrity by the consumer - were essential foundations. And he so conducted himself in all his undertakings."

During the Second World War, the U.S. government faced a shortage of chronometers for planes and ships due to difficulty of trading with Switzerland. Kaplan helped resolve the issue by developing the diamond technology needed to produce a frictionless balance wheel for chronometers in the U.S.

Kaplan later co-invented the laser inscription technology that is now used by all diamond laboratories to mark graded diamonds. He also had a hand in developing the high pressure, high temperature (HPHT) color treatment for brown Type II diamonds.

In addition to his own business pursuits, Kaplan served as GIA board member from 1958 to 1992 and as its chairman from 1981 to 1983. Kaplan is survived by his wife, Carol Tannenbaum Kaplan, three children and two grandchildren.
Tags: death, George Kaplan, Lazare kaplan, LKI, Maurice Templesman, Rapaport News
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