All About Gemstones: Diamonds

The story of diamonds is, to use the metaphor, a tale of fire and "ice." Forged through immense heat and pressure over millions, or hundreds of millions of years, diamonds start their humble existence as simple, elemental carbon; the basic building block of all life in earth. We attempt to demystify these enigmatic little stones, by explaining their scientific reason for being, as well as were they are mined, how they are mined, and the history of the diamond trade, or 'diamond pipeline.' Diamonds are both elemental, and complex. As such, there is a lot of technical jargon associated with them. Shopping for a diamond can be very confusing to the newbie, but we have endeavored to make it as simple and interesting as humanly possible. You shouldn't need extraordinary brilliance to understand scintillation or refraction. Enjoy!

All About Diamonds
Diamond Basics The "4 Cs" of Diamonds - Cut The "4 C's" of Diamonds - Carat The "Four C's" of Diamonds - Clarity The "Four Cs" of Diamonds - Color Diamond Chemistry Optical Properties of Diamond Fancy Colored Diamonds Diamond Inclusion Library Diamond Enhancements Synthetics & Simulants Synthetic Diamonds Cubic Zirconia Moissanite Diamond Cuts Diamond Cutting Ideal Cut Modern Round Brilliant Patented Signature Diamond Cuts Old European Diamond Cuts Uncut Raw Diamonds in Jewelry The Diamond Market The Diamond Pipeline Diamond Bourses The Diamond Trade's Key Players Diamond Pricing - Price Comparison Charts Diamond Certification

AGS Diamond Grading Report Independent Diamond Testing Laboratories Diamond Mining & Mine Technology Diamond Mining Technology Diamond Geology & Kimberlites Full List of Worldwide Diamond Mines Artisanal Diamond Mining & Conflict Diamonds Worldwide Diamond Mining Regions Australian Diamond Mines Borneo's Landak Diamond Mines Botswana Diamond Mines Brazilian Diamond Mines Canadian Diamond Mines India's Golconda Diamond Mines Namibia Russian Diamond Mines South African Diamond Mines US Diamond Mines Conflict Diamonds Angola Diamond Mines Congo (DRC) Diamond Mines Liberia Diamond Mines Sierra Leone Diamond Mines Zimbabwe's Chiadzwa Marange Diamond Fields Diamond History & Cutting Regions Historical Diamond Cuts & Cutting History Historical Diamond Cutting Regions Diamond Cutting in Amsterdam Diamond Cutting in Antwerp Diamond Cutting in Belgium Diamond Cutting in Guangzhou, China Diamond Cutting in Gujarat, India Diamond Cutting in Idar-Oberstein, Germany Diamond Terminology Glossary - Gemology

The 4 Cs of Diamonds: Cut

The 4 C's Diamond Grading System
1. 2. 3. 4. Cut Carat Clarity Color

More than 100 million diamonds are sold in the United States each year, yet most consumers know very little about the product they are purchasing, and how that product is valued. The '4 Cs' represent the four main variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics. As a consumer, your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the '4 Cs' diamond grading system. If you are purchasing an expensive stone it will also be critical for you to learn how to read and understand the details of a GIA (Gemological Institute of America) 'Diamond Dossier,' AGL report, or AGS (American Gem Society) 'Diamond Certificate,' or Sarin 'Diamond Grading Report' (see full list of independent testing laboratories, below). You will also want to familiarize yourself with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines on jeweler conduct and consumer awareness. This knowledge will help be invaluable when you are comparison shopping for diamonds.

Diamond Cut Quality When jewelers judge the quality of a diamond cut, or "make", they often rate "Cut" as the most important of the "4 Cs." The way a diamond is cut is primarily dependent upon the original shape of the rough stone, location of the inclusions and flaws to be eliminated, the preservation of the weight, and the popularity of certain shapes. Don't confuse a diamond's "cut" with it's "shape". Shape refers only to the outward appearance of the diamond (Fig. 5 below), and not how it is faceted. The Importance of Cut Quality When a diamond has a high quality cut (ideal cut), incident light will enter the stone through the table and crown, traveling toward the pavilion where it reflects from one side to the other before bouncing back out of the diamond's table toward the observer's eye (see Fig. 1 below). This phenomenon is referred to as "light return" (Fig. 2 below) which affects a diamond's brightness, brilliance, and dispersion. Any light-leakage caused by poor symmetry and/or cut proportions (off-make) will adversely affect the quality of light return. The "Shallow Cut" and "Deep Cut" examples in Fig. 1 show how light that enters through the table of a Modern Round Brilliant diamond reaches the pavilion facets and then leaks out from the sides or bottom of the diamond rather than reflecting back to the eye through the table. Less light reflected back to the eye means less "Brilliance". In the "Ideal Cut" example, most of the light entering through the table is reflected back towards the observer from the pavilion facets.
Fig. 1

Keep in mind that the variance in proportions between an "Ideal Cut" (ideal make) and a "Fair, Poor, Shallow or Deep Cut" may be difficult to discern to the novice observer, although there will be a lack of brilliance, scintillation, and fire. Cut quality is divided into several grades listed below.
Ideal Cut Premium Cut Very Good / Fine Cut

when one incorrect facet angle can throw off the symmetry of the entire stone. A poorly cut diamond with facets cut just a few degrees from the optimal ratio will result in a stone that lacks gemmy quality because the "brilliance" and "fire" of a diamond largely depends on the angle of the facets in relation to each other. Only a trained eye could see the quality of a good cut. and the pavillion will have 25 facets. All of that has changed with the AGS Cut Grading system and GIA's new "Cut Grading System".e. or 96 facets which are not counted in the total number of facets (58). the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. pavilion and crown angle) and did not provide a subjective ranking of how good the cut was.Good Cut Fair Cut Poor Cut Cut Proportions In the past. 80. Poor Diamond Faceting and Symmetry Due to the mathmatics involved in light refraction. a Round Brilliant cut that does not have the proper proportions and symmetry (off-make) will have noticeably less brilliance. Fig. 64. the "Cut" quality of the "4 Cs" was the most difficult part for a consumer to understand when selecting a good diamond because a GIA or AGS certificate did not show the important measurements influencing cut (i. The chart below shows several common problems to look for. An Ideal Cut or Premium Cut "Round Brilliant" diamond has the following basic proportions according to the AGS: Table Size: 53% to 60% of the diameter Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35 degrees Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Facets: 58 (57 if the culet is excluded) Polish & Symmetry: very good to excellent The girdle on a Modern Round Brilliant can have 32. Other variations of the "Modern Round Brilliant" include the "Ideal Brilliant" which was invented by Johnson and Roesch in 1929. 2 The proportion and symmetry of the cuts as well as the quality of the polish are factors in determining the overall quality of the cut. 3 . and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. This can also result in the undesirable creation of extra facets beyond the required 58. Common cutting problems can occur during the faceting process. Fig. The crown will have 33 facets.

The shape of the diamond cut is heavily dependent upon the original shape of the rough stone. Several basic diamond shapes (Fig. or a Scan D. as two stones could be cut from one crystal. A well executed round brilliant cut should reflect the maximum amount light from the interior pavilion facets. 5) are listed below. Eppler Cut (European Standard).For a Modern Round Brilliant cut (Tolkowsky Brilliant). Emerald . or a H & A Viewer gemscope (FireScope). Cut (Scandinavian Standard) will display a "Hearts and Arrows" pattern when observed through a IdealScope (arrows only). the "FireScope. AGS Triple-0 Certification The American Gem Society (AGS) is the industry leader in laboratory testing of round gems for cut grade and quality. Proportion) must meet the "ideal" criteria. A cut with inferior proportions will produce a stone that appears dark at the center (due to light leaking out of the pavilion) and in some extreme cases the ring settings may show through the top of the diamond as shadows. A diamond cut for too much fire will look like cubic zirconia. making the diamond appear white when viewed from the top. left) are only found in diamonds that meet the American Gem Society Laboratories' "0" Ideal Cut specifications. In order for a diamond to receive a "Triple-0" grading. However. and its later incarnation. all three categories of cut (Polish.' while AGS uses a more exacting combination of proportional facet ratios along with raytracing metrics to calculate light return. Fig. The round brilliant cut is preferred when the crystal is an octahedron." was invented by Ken Shigetomi and Kazumi Okuda in 1984. N. The IdealScope was invented by Kazumi Okuda in the 1970's. A Triple-0 diamond can also be called a "Triple Ideal Cut" or "AGS-Ideal Zero" diamond. The GIA will give a symmetry demerit for what it calls "non-standard brillianteering" which some manufacturers use to 'improve' on the standardized Tolkowsky-type cuts. Hearts and Arrows Diamonds A perfectly proportioned ideal cut that is cut to the exacting specifications of a Tolkowsky Cut. out through the table. Symetry. which gives out much more fire than a real diamond. The first official H & A "EightStar" diamond was cut in 1985 by Kioyishi Higuchi for Japanese businessman and FireScope manufacturer. Fancy Diamond Cuts The shape of the cut is a matter of personal taste and preference. there is a balance between "brilliance" and "fire". the quality of the cutter's execution of that shape is of primary importance. 4 Perfectly formed Hearts and Arrows patterns with eight hearts AND eight arrows (above. Takanori Tamura. GIA vs AGS Cut Grading GIA's new cut-grading system is based on averages that are rounded-up to predict 'light performance. Asymmetrical raw crystals such as macles are usually cut in a "Fancy" style. The "Ideal" designation is an AGS term that is not found on an GIA report.

007 ounce.2 grams (200 milligrams or 3. Clarity 4. the total mass of all diamonds or gemstones is referred to as "Total Carat Weight" or "T.C. Color Carat weight is one of the 4 C's. CARAT Balancing Cut and Weight A diamond or gemstone's "Carat" designation is a measurement of both the size and weight of the stone. When a single piece of jewelry has multiple stones. As a consumer. a 3/4 carat diamond is 75 points. Carat 3. your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the "4 C's" diamond grading system. The "fancy cuts" are generally not held to the same strict standards as Round Brilliants. Therefor. "Marquise" or "Navette" (little boat). Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics. "Heart." .W.086 grains) or 0. a 1/2 carat diamond would be 50 points. and with each point being 2 milligrams in weight. The 4 C's of Diamonds: Carat (Weight) The 4 C's Diamond Grading System 1. and a 2 carat diamond is 200 points. "Princess" (square outline).Heart Marquise Oval Pear Princess Radiant Round Trillion (not shown at diagram) Fig." "Briolette" (a form of Rose cut). One "Carat" is a unit of mass that is equal to 0. and the Pear. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. A carat can also be divided into "points" with one carat being equal to 100 points. Cut 2. 5 Popular fancy cuts include the "Baguette" (bread loaf).

that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York. or "seed of the carob".VS1 Carat Size</ 0.5 carat 2. In ancient times.495 carats and . girdle and pavilion. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of .00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32. See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration.0 carat 3. 40º pavilion.504 carats.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between . FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations.195 and .Grade: F Colorless . or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone.600 8.800 6. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown. it must be accurate to the second decimal place." If the carat weight is shown as ". carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales.10 carat diamond for its better cut. Occasionally.5 carat 1. clarity and weight. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight.5 carats must have an actual weight of between .500 15.99 carat diamond for its better price.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above.750 30. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a . The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity .600 12. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut.5º crown. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing.600 6. or to buy a 1. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry. Price Per Carat (2005) . A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions. a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight.204 carat. It is for this reason that an even 1. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place.0 carat 1. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat.

In fancy-colored diamonds. In "colorless" diamonds. it is important to learn and understand the clarity designations found within the "Four C's" diamond grading system. and flaws GIA Clarity Grading System The chart below explains the GIA grading system for inclusions and imperfections. causing a greater drop in grade. it may be possible to hide certain inclusions behind the setting of the diamond (depending on where the inclusion is located). Carat 3. . making them more apparent. point size and the location of inclusions. Clarity 4. thus minimizing any negative impact of the inclusion.small blemishes VVS-1 .The Four C's Diamond Grading System 1. Inclusions that are near to. darker inclusions will tend to create the most significant drop in clarity grade."Internally Flawless" no inclusions at 10 x mag. . As a consumer. Color Clarity is one of the Four C's."Flawless" no inclusions at 10 x magnification IF ."Small" or "Slight" Inclusions or "Imperfections" visible to naked eye SI-3 . The term "Clarity" refers to the presence or absence of tiny imperfections (inclusions) within the stone. therefore reducing its value significantly. or break the surface. with large Inclusions. ."Very Small" inclusions VS1 is better grade than VS2 SI-1 ."Very Very Small" inclusions hard to see at 10 x magnification VVS-2 .not naked eye VS-2 .Inclusions large and obvious.Imperfect. Cut 2."Small" or "Slight" Inclusions or "Imperfections" may be "eye clean" SI-2 . fractures. reflect the appearance of inclusions within the stone when viewed from above at 10x magnification Higher magnifications and viewing from other angles are also used during the grading process. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond."Very Small" inclusions visible at 10 x mag. CLARITY All of the grades of diamond clarity shown in the table below. may weaken the diamond structurally. little or no brilliance I1 to I3 . On the other hand. light or pale inclusions may show greater relief. Diamond Clarity Designations FL . Considerations in grading the clarity of a diamond include the type of stone."Very Very Small" inclusions. and/or on the surface of the stone. VVS1 better than VVS2 VS-1 .

Rutile-like needle inclusions. Clouds . Internal Diamond Inclusions Carbon . According to Fred Cuellar in his book How to Buy a Diamond. Needles . or feathers along the outer edge of girdle. If a jeweler sells a diamond that has an actual grade of VS-1. in part because the treatment isn't permanent. The GIA will not grade fracture-filled diamonds. Reputable companies often provide for repeat treatments if heat causes damage to the filling. haze." According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides.An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing. so they can use greater care while working on the piece.Irregular crystal growth causing internal distortions.Cloudy grouping of tiny pinpoints that may not resolve at 10X Magnification.Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet. According to FTC guidelines. appearing as a raised area. The final clarity grade will be the grade that is assigned after treatment.Fine cracks. The drilling process leave tiny telltale shafts or tunnels that are visible under magnification. "One out of every three diamonds sold in the United States is laser-drilled.Diamond Clarity Grade Inflation A fairly common practice in the jewelry trade is grade-inflation or "grade bumping.Cleavage planes or internal fractures that have the appearance of feathers. Laser Drilling Laser drilling involves using a laser to burn a tunnel or hole to a carbon inclusion. Cavities . There is a significant price discount for fracture-filled diamonds. Pits . Surface Graining . Knots .Dislodged pinpoint inclusions at the surface. and reputable filling companies will use filling agents which show an orange or pink flash of color. Diamond Fracture Filling Diamond clarity is sometimes enhanced by filling fractures. Pique . therefor it is essential to inform anyone working on a setting if the diamond is fracture-filled. a diamond must be within one clarity grade of its advertised amount at the time of sale.Garnet or other Included gem stones Twinning Wisps . much like repairing a crack in your car's windshield. Internal Graining ." . Feathers .A percussion mark caused by impact. chips.Inclusions resulting from crystal twining during growth. waviness. Such diamonds are sometimes called "fracture filled diamonds". The treatment is considered permanent and both the GIA and AGS will issue grades for laser drilled diamonds.A natural indentation that was not removed by polishing. Indented Naturals . he or she could legally sell it as a VVS-2. followed by acid washing to remove the coloring agent.Tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts).Minute crystals within the diamond that appear white.Fractures that have been artificially filled. Bruising . External Diamond Inclusions Bearded Girdles . Chips . Grain Center . fringing. The heat generated by a blowtorch used to work on settings can cause damage.Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation.An inclusion that penetrates the surface. Filled Fractures . vendors should disclose this enhancement. Pinpoints .Concentrated area of crystal growth that appear light or dark.

assign this grade. 1 explains the GIA grading system for clear (not fancy-colored) stones.colorless (white) G. T. As a consumer.light yellow or brown Fig.Small chips at facet junctions. M .Human Caused Surface Blemishes Abrasions . W. F . 1 . Clarity 4. Color Color is one of the Four Cs representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. O. Scratches . H. L. In determining the color rating of a diamond.very light yellow or brown S. These nitrogen impurities are evenly dispersed throughout the stone. I. R . The designation of SI-3 was popularized by the EGL (European Gemological Laboratory) grading office. Cut 2. the yellower the stone will appear. J . The Four Cs of Diamonds: Color The Four Cs Diamond Grading System 1. COLOR Most all natural diamonds contain small quantities of nitrogen atoms that displacing the carbon atoms within the crystal's lattice structure. The color chart in Fig. absorbing some of the blue spectrum. the most reputable well known US labs.Whitish haziness along the junction of facets caused by wear. thereby making the diamond appear yellow.faint yellow or brown N. "SI-3" is a grade sometimes used in the diamond industry. Nicks . Q. V. U. it will be beneficial to learn and understand some of the basic parameters for diamond color grading. a Sarin Diamond Color Grading report is the state-of-the-art color measuring standard. Diamonds of this low grade would be inappropriate for jewelry. the Gemological Institute of America uses a scale of "D" to "Z" in which "D" is totally colorless and "Z" is yellow. Diamond Color Designations D.near colorless K. P.Surface burning from heat buildup during polishing. Carat 3. Burn Marks . E. At present. Z .Grinding Wheel Marks of scratches from contact with other diamonds. Y. X. Neither the GIA nor the AGS (American Gemological Society). The higher the amount of nitrogen atoms.

jewelers and gem labs can accurately provide a 'color typing' printout of a diamond's color grading that is compatible with AGS. it is extremely benificial to know if your 'F' is a strong 'F. as in our Fig. 3 example below." or "D+. 2 Sarin Color Typing is a relatively new sub-classification of the D through Z gading scale." are named after the famous Golconda Diamond Mines located in the state of Hyderabad. D-Flawless . Fig. These colorless stones. 2). For the consumer.' Unfortunatly." "whiter than white. Using a Sarin Diamond Colorimeter DC3000 (aka Gran Colorimeter). most gem labs do not currently provide color-typing data in their reports and certificates.' or a borderline 'G.The Holy Grail . Each classification is divided into five sub-classifications (D1. sometimes referred to as "white diamonds. and D5). IGI. GIA-GEM. D2. and not by looking at the top of the stone. Fig. and dispersion of light (fire) when looking through the table or crown. color grading should be determined by examining the stone through the side of the pavilion (Fig.Due to a diamond's high brilliance. India. 3 Golconda Diamonds Type IIa diamonds (aka Golconda Diamonds) are colorless stones containing negligible amounts nitrogen or boron impurities to absorb the blue end of the color spectrum. and HRD grading scales. D3. Color grading by 'visual-observation is performed against a Master CZ Colored Grading Set. D4.

they tend to fluoresce as blue. Skin Tone and Settings While some may prefer a very transparent D to F range. and strong. When diamonds are viewed under a UV light-source. On the other hand. murky appearance when compared to a non-fluorescing diamond. See Color in Gemstones for more information.000 D-color diamonds weighing over half a carat are found each year. as the blue fluorescence will cancel out some of the yellow. fluorescence can negatively impact the value of the stone by 3% to 20%. so this effect will be more apparent under natural daylight than under artificial incandescent light. according to the GIA." but the diamond will have a dull. medium.Diamond Formation . Ultra-violet light is a component of natural sunlight and artificial 4800k to 5000k color-proofing light.Large D-flawless diamonds (those weighing more than 2 carats) are some of the rarest minerals on earth. fewer than 5. Diamond Fluorescence Approximatly 1/3 (35%) of all diamonds have a tendency to fluoresce when exposed to ultra-violet (UV) light. In some settings with various combinations of other stones. Only around 600 D-flawless roughs are cut into gems weighing between 1 and 2 carats during a given year. This fluorescent effect can be beneficial to a diamond that has a yellow tint. others may prefer a "warmer" color found in a G to J range to compliment their skin tone. Fluorescence is graded as none. fluorescence could increase the value by 0% to 2% buy improving the color (or lack thereof). diamonds with a poorer color grading (I through K). diamonds with a visible tint may be preffered. faint. For diamonds with a color grading of D through H (colorless). making the diamond appear "colorless. Diamonds: Chemistry & Structural Properties Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Structural Properties of Diamond . Even with microscopic inclusions.

200 degrees Celsius). Therefore. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical. olivine. igneous rock composed of garnet. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes." and "unconquerable. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits. diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale." referring to its incredible hardness. Deep within the earth's crust there are regions that have a high enough temperature (900¼C to 1400¼C) and pressure (5 to 6 GPa) that it is thermodynamically possible for liquified carbon to form into diamonds. which resemble a champagne flute. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" [2]. with a variety of trace minerals." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic." which is also known as "adamant. Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon. Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth. and differentiates it from simple graphite. and a specific gravity of 3. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses. phlogopite.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1. A diamond is a transparent. and pyroxene. Under the continental crust." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine. a refractive index of 2. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km). optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0. The name "diamond." "untamable. ." is derived from the Greek adamas. At these depths.42. or "invincible. with the principle allotrope being graphite.044. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms. ultramafic.Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time. Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness.52.

and therefore. Additionally. may also be as hard or harder than diamond." when found in a crystalline form that is structurally similar to diamond. a predictable crystal growth pattern known as its "crystal habit. is nearly as hard as diamond." .A Type 2-A diamond has a hardness value of 167 GPa (±6) when scratched with an ultrahard fullerite tip. The external shape of the crystal. octahedral. although in nature. does not always reflect the internal arrangement of its atoms. above). and a hardness value of 231 GPa (±5) when scratched with a diamond tip. or carbon dioxide. When a gemstone has an irregular external shape or asymmetrical arrangement of its crystal facets." This means that diamond crystals usually "grow" in an orderly and symmetrical arrangement. and crystal habit of a diamond is octahedral (photo. beta carbon nitride. by igniting a diamond in an oxygen atmosphere. where it was shown to combust in scientific experiments. The natural crystal form. Diamond Crystal Habit Diamonds have a characteristic crystalline structure. A diamond's incredible hardness was the subject of curiosity dating back to the Roman empire. whether it is cubic." or "anhedral. it is termed as "subhedral. The material "boron nitride. Experimentation during the late 18th century demonstrated that diamonds were made of carbon. with the end byproduct of the combustion being carbonic-acid gas. a currently hypothetical material. although the reason for its combustion was not understood at the time. or dodecahedral. perfectly formed crystals are rare.

Carbon Inclusion . the term "toughness" describes the resistance of a given material to fracture when it is stressed or impacted. due to its ability to fracture along cleavage planes. a diamond's "toughness" is only fair to good. crystal twinning. Additionally." and therefore." which only denotes a diamond's high resistance to scratching. very thin girdles on brilliant cut diamonds are also prone to breakage. making it seem cold. its "toughness" rating is moderate. acting as a "thermal conductor. Many natural blue . yet sapphire has a toughness rating of excellent. Although diamond is the "hardest.5 to 6. is a facet specifically designed to resist breakage. graphite can develop internally and on the diamond's surface. Hematite has a hardness of only 5. and varying growth conditions of heat. most scratch resistant mineral on earth. Thermal Properties of Diamonds Diamond is a good conductor of heat.5. and therefore may be uninsurable by reputable insurance companies. Diamond Graphitization In extremely high temperature environments above 1700 ¡C.© AGS Labs Hexagonal (Graphite) Platelet Inclusion .Trace impurities. By comparrison.© AGS Labs Diamond Toughness Within the fields of metallurgy and materials science. but its toughness rating is also excellent. sapphire has a hardness rating of 9. Particular cuts of diamond are more prone to breakage along cleavage planes. causing stress fractures or feathers. Unlike "hardness. with a Mohs scale rating of 10. and "pound-force" per square-inch in US units of measurement. pressure and space can also affect the final shape of a formed crystal." If you were to place a large enough diamond on your tongue it would draw heat away. A material's toughness is measured in units of "joules" per cubic meter (J/m3) in the SI system. meaning that a diamond is 4 times "harder" than sapphire. The culet facet at the bottom of the pavilion. Internally formed crystallographic graphite inclusions often create intense strain on the surrounding diamond.

and synthetic diamonds that are doped with boron. Electromagnetic Properties of Diamond . Fluorescence in Diamonds Fluorescence is an optical phenomenon in which a diamond's molecules absorb high-energy photons.nearly five times greater than pure copper. or longer-wavelength photons. Optical Properties of Diamond: Type I & Type II Diamonds Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Surface Luster of Diamond Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. re-emitting them as lower-energy. Due to diamond's high thermal conductance. or having the hardness or luster of a diamond. The word luster traces its origins back to the Latin word lux. and generally implies radiance. meaning "light". increasing thermal The surface luster (or "lustre") of diamond is described as adamantine. it is used in the manufacturing of semiconductors. electronic circuits could be manufactured from diamonds in the future [8]. The term adamantine describes the way light interacts with the surface of a crystal. or contain boron atoms which replace carbon atoms within the crystal matrix. . If an n-type semiconductor can be synthesized. giving off a somewhat greasy sheen. which means unyielding. gloss. Purified synthetic diamond can have the highest thermal conductivity (2000-2500 W/m-K) of any solid material at room temperature .Insulators or Semiconductors Diamond is a relatively good electrical insulator. are known as p-type semiconductors. inflexible. which are in fact semiconductors. to prevent silicon and other semiconducting materials from overheating. Natural blue diamonds containing boron atoms. with the exception of natural blue diamonds.

show no fluorescence. This illusion of color is caused by the varying optics effects created by spectral dispersion.© AGS Labs Type I UV Fluorescence . with very high thermal conductivity. ." with a refractive index of 2. There are also two subcategories (a and b) within each diamond 'type' (either Type I or Type II) that are based on a stone's electrical conductivity. and some of the finest historical gemstones such as the Cullinan and Koh-i-Noor are both Type IIa diamonds. If the nitrogen atoms are grouped in clusters they do not necessarily affect the diamond's overall color. These Type IIa diamonds have a near-perfect crystal structure making them highly transparent and colorless. Natural blue Type II diamonds containing scattered boron impurities within their crystal matrix are good conductors of electricity. permitting the passage and reflectance of blue light. Typically. and thereby making the diamond appear yellow. Some Type IIa diamonds can be found with pink. while Type II diamonds that lack boron impurities are classified as Type IIa.© AGS Labs Type IIa diamonds are very rare. All Type 1 diamonds have nitrogen atoms as their main impurity.417. and are classified as Type 1-B. and give off a bluish-white. Type II Diamond Formation Certain diamonds were formed under extremely high pressure for longer time periods. thereby allowing the passage of short-wave ultra-violet (SWUV) light through the stone. or brown coloration. making them appear 'colorless' (D). or "fire. and they are classified as Type 1-A. a natural diamond may contains both Type 1-A and Type 1-B material. These rare diamonds have a lower nitrogen content. due primarily to certain structural anomalies arising from "plastic deformation" which occurred during their formation. Some diamond varieties. particularly Canadian diamonds. Cloud Inclusion Under UV . These Nitrogen impurities found in Type I diamonds are evenly dispersed throughout the gemstone. greenish or yellow fluorescence when exposed to the X-ray wavelength. absorbing some of the blue spectrum. If the nitrogen atoms are dispersed evenly throughout the crystal. Diamond Refraction & Coloration Diamonds are "singly refractive. red. Type II diamonds do not contain any detectable nitrogen. and contain nitrogen atoms as an impurity. classifying them as Type IIb diamonds. Diamond can exhibit pseudochromatic coloration giving the appearance of "color" without having any actual color in the mineral itself. Man-made synthetic diamonds containing nitrogen are classified as Type 1-B." and refraction.Long Wave/Short Wave UV Cabinet Diamond Fluorescence Under UV Light Diamond types that exhibit the phenomenon of fluorescence radiate or glow in a variety of colors when exposed to long wave ultra-violet light. which replace some carbon atoms within the crystal lattice structure. they can give the stone a yellow tint. and appear dark when exposed to ultra-violet light or X-rays. Type I & Type II Diamonds As many as 99% of all natural diamonds are classified as Type I.

green (Ocean Dream). Diamond Color & Composition Diamonds can occur in a wide variety of colors: colorless or white. and therefor colorless. The value of a Fancy Color Diamond can surpass that of colorless diamonds if the intensity of the color is high and the color is rare.Diamond Refraction & Light Dispersion Diamonds can also exhibit allochromatic coloration which is caused by chromophores from the nitrogen trace impurities found within crystalline structure. radiation exposure (green diamonds) or irregular growth patterns within the crystal (pink. certain fancy-colored diamonds such as pink (Condé). Fancy Diamond Color Hues A fancy brown (or Fancy Cognac). brown. Yellow. It is this nitrogen component that produces the color of fancy yellow diamonds. green. blue. Fancy Colored Diamonds: Pink. Once thought to be of little value. brown diamonds). fancy pink diamonds can command very high prices as they have become increasingly popular. steel grey. Green & Cognac Fancy Colored Diamond Diamonds can occur in all colors of the spectrum. and black. boron (blue diamonds). and red (Hancock Diamond) are particularly valuable. However. the intensity of the color in the diamond can plays a significant role in its value. or yellow diamond may have a relatively low value when compared to a colorless diamond. Colorless diamonds would normally be priced much higher than yellow diamonds. green. when a diamond's color is more intense than the "Z" grading. orange. pink. while chemically "pure" diamonds are basically transparent. . it enters the realm of a "Fancy Color" diamond. blue (Hope Diamond). yellow. However. and their color is due to trace impurities of nitrogen and/or hydrogen (yellow. All colored diamonds contain certain specific impurities and/or structural defects that cause their coloration. red. red diamonds). Blue. In this case.

Pink (Brownish-pink) 1 is darkest PC3 to PC1 .' found in Kimberly. and was cut into a 128. and most valuable Fancy Yellow diamonds in the world is the 'Tiffany Diamond.Champagne 3 is darkest C8 to C1 .M Very Light . The GIA grades fancy diamond color by quantifying the saturation. left). 1PP is the highest quality designation for Pink Diamond.54 carat cushion cut with an estimated value in the millions of dollars. An 1P designation would have less blue and more brownish-red. One of the world's only major sources for rare pink diamonds is the Argyle Mine in Australia. daylight) and ambient temperature changes. South Africa in 1878. Fancy Pink/Brown Diamond Color (Hue) Designations 1PP to 8PP . bright light). yet considerably more expensive. which changes hue from grayish-blue or olive-green to yellowish-green or straw-yellow under different lighting conditions (darkness.Pink (Reddish-pink) 1 is darkest 1BP to 8BP . Pink diamonds are similar to pink sapphire in color.Cognac 8 is darkest Chameleon Diamonds There is a very rare olive-grayish color-changing diamond called "Chameleon Diamond" (below.Highest Saturation One of the largest. hue. which are generally less appreciated than other fancy colors and therefor. causing microscopic imperfections within the lattice structure.Pink (Magenta-pink) 1 is darkest 1P to 8P .Start of 'Fancy' Fancy Fancy Dark Fancy Intense Fancy Deep Fancy Vivid . have become more commonplace as Australian colored diamonds have gained in popularity. Fancy Yellow Diamonds (Canary Yellow) Fancy yellow diamonds owe their color the presence of nitrogen impurities which absorb the blue end of the color spectrum. sold at a greater discount.N to R Light . and value (darkness) using nine classifications ranging from 'Faint' to 'Vivid. Only 1% to 2% of the diamonds produced at the Argyle Mine are high-quality pink specimens. having a pure magenta color with deep saturation. lighting color temperatures (incandescent.' GIA 'Fancy Yellow' Diamond Color Saturation Designations Faint . halogen.42 carats.S to Z Fancy Light . Pink Diamonds The pink color within these rare diamonds is due to irregular crystal growth patterns.Brown diamonds. . As the numbers go lower (8PP) the color is paler. This Chameleon-like phenomenon was first documented by the GIA in the early 1940s. The rough stone weighed 287.

There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. On thing is certain. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness [9].95carats.Green Chameleon Diamonds Fancy Pink Diamond Color Grading Chameleon diamonds can be forced to temporarily change to a yellowish-green color by exposing them to heat (150º C to 250º C).com) The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red. The color change effect is temporary. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green.000 in 1987. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems.' discovered during the 18th century. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color. and weighed a modest 0. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits. Intense. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa. pure green hues. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926.000 to $500. Green diamonds can range from $35. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds. greyish-green. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities.90 carats.03 carats. Warren Hancock. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation.000 per carat. or a combination of the two. . Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. and the De Young Red weighing 5. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize.

.com Clarity is one of the Four C's of diamond grading. F grades. These impurities absorb the blue end of the light spectrum. or human caused." These inclusions can occur within the stone. All of the microscopic inclusion photographs on this page were generously contributed by the A. most synthetic diamonds will have a slightly yellowish hue due to nitrogen impurities that are dispersed throughout the crystal lattice structure during the growth phase. Nevada.S.L. making the stone appear yellowish. E. This section contains a compendium of photography depicting all of the various types of diamond inclusions—both naturally occurring. Inclusions which are not visible to the naked eye (eye clean) fall into the GIA range of "IF" (Internally Flawless) to "SI2" (Small Inclusions). or absence of tiny imperfections known as "inclusions. and so-called "piquŽ diamonds" fall into the GIA grading range of I1 to I3 (CIBJO grade P1 to P3). The term "clarity" refers to the presence. and beautifully photographed by their Director of Gem Enhanced Blue & Yellow Diamonds (© AfricaGems. Joe Vanells. It is for this reason that manufacturers of synthetic diamonds tend to specialize in fancy colors. Diamond Inclusion Library: Inclusion Photos Over 100 High-Resolution Diamond Photos! All Contents: Copyright © 2010 Fancy Colored Synthetic Diamonds Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless D. gemological testing laboratory in Las Vegas. representing the four main variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. and can be naturally occuring.G.Reddish Brown Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. or on the surface of the cut stone. and man-made imperfections—that can be found in raw and cut diamonds. Inclusions which are visible to the naked eye are referred to as piquŽ.

pyrrhotite and pentlandite. Black or dark material found within a diamond's internal fracture planes can also be particles or crystallographic inclusions of graphite. Black material found within internal fracture planes can also be crystallographic inclusions of graphite. ferropericlase. PiquŽ Carbon Inclusion Photos Internal Carbon Pique Diamond Inclusion Photography Piqué are tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts) within diamonds. pyrrhotite and pentlandite.Internal Diamond Inclusion Photos Carbon Tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts). . ferropericlase.

Microscopic Carbon Picque Inclusions Hexagonal Platelet Inclusion in Trillion Cut Diamond .

Cloud Inclusion Photos Diamond Internal Cloud Inclusion Photography Cloud Inclusions (Cld) within a diamond are caused by a tightly packed grouping of tiny pinpoints that resemble clouds or cloudiness. and is reproduced with their permission. Clouds (Cld) A dense grouping of tiny pinpoints that create a cloudy zone which may not resolve as individual pinpoints at 10X Magnification. Internal cloud inclusions may not resolve as pinpoints at 10X .Carbon piqué inclusions are sometimes removed by diamond enhancements such as laser drilling. which can leave their own types of unique inclusions. All of the microscopic diamond carbon inclusion photography on this page was generously contributed by the AGSL gemological testing laboratory in Las Vegas. Nevada.

. These pinpoint cloud inclusions can have a dramatic effect on the clarity and brilliance of a faceted diamond as they interfere with the refraction of light within the stone.Magnification.




Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.

Common around included crystals.Feathers (Ftr) Cleavage planes or internal stress fractures that have the appearance of feathers. Feather Inclusion Photos Internal Diamond Feather Inclusion Photography Feather inclusions (Ftr) are caused by cleavage planes or internal stress fractures that have the appearance of wispy feathers. Feather inclusions can be accompanied by internal graining and/or twinning wisp inclusions. Feather inclusions are common around included crystals such as garnet. which cause internal stress fractures during crystal growth. .



Feather inclusions caused by stress fractures around included garnet crystal. .

diamonds with significant stress fractures and feather should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner as this could cause the diamond to shatter. making it susceptible to fracturing when exposed to thermal or physical shock. This is especially true if the fracture breeches the stone's surface. As a result. . and the stress inclusion occurs along the gem's natural cleavage plane.Pronounced stress fractures and feather inclusions can potentially weaken the stone.



. Grain Center Inclusion Photos Internal Grain Center Diamond Inclusion Photography Internal Grain Center (IntGr) inclusions (aka internal graining) are caused by irregular diamond crystal growth which creates internal distortions. waviness. and haze within a cut diamond.Grain Center (GrCnt) A concentrated area of crystal growth that can appear light or dark.

Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .

Growth Tubes Imperfection formed during crystal growth. when a tube is generated by a formerly liquid filled cavity. Growth Tube Inclusion Photos Internal Growth Tubes Inclusion Photography Internal Growth Tube inclusions are natural Imperfections that are created during diamond formation. when a tube or tunnel is generated in the crystalizing diamond by an internal cavity that was once liquid filled. .



Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .

iron oxides. spinel. diopside. Included Crystals Inclusion Photos Internal Included Crystals in Diamond Included Crystal inclusions are whole crystals or tiny included gem fragments of undigested crystals such as garnet. calcite. calcite. olivine. olivine. diopside. iron oxides. Green chrome diopside Inclusion within a Diamond . silica or other gem stone inclusions.Included Crystals (Xtl) Included and undigested gemstones or fragments of garnet. spinel. or silica.

Garnet Inclusions within Diamond .





Garnet fragment on Diamond Girdle .

Grossularite Garnet Inclusions in Diamond .

Internal Graining (IntGr) Irregular crystal growth causing internal distortions, waviness, and/or haze. Can be accompanied by internal strain. Internal Graining Inclusion Photos

Internal Graining Diamond Inclusion Photography
Internal Graining (IntGr) inclusions are caused by irregular crystal growth which creates internal distortions, waviness, or haze. Internal Graining imperfections may be accompanied by internal strain such as feather Inclusions.


Internal Graining with Cloud Inclusion .

With internal laser-drilling inclusions. the drilled passage may not breach the cut diamond's surface. . and where pathway does not breach the cut diamond's surface.Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) Internal pathway caused by laser-drilling to remove large inclusions. Internal Laser Drilling Inclusion Photos Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) Inclusion Photography Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) inclusions are man-made internal flaws that resulted from laser-drilling that was done to remove large piquŽ carbon inclusions in a rough stone.


Needle Inclusion Photos Needle Inclusion Photography Internal Needles (Ndl) or needle inclusions are naturally occurring rutile-like needle shaped inclusions within the diamond.Needles (Ndl) Rutile-like needle-shaped inclusions. .

Pinpoint Inclusion Photos Pinpoints (Pp) Inclusion Photography Internal Pinpoints (Pp). or Pinpoint Inclusions are minute included crystals within the diamond that appear white under magnification.Pinpoints (Pp) Minute crystals within the diamond that appear white. . Large groupings of small pinpoints can create a cloud effect. Large groupings of small pinpoints can create a cloud inclusion effect.

resulting from crystal twining during the growth process. Twinning Wisp Inclusion Photos Twinning Wisps Inclusion Photography Twinning Wisp inclusions are naturally-occurring structural defects with a diamond. .Twinning Wisps Inclusions and defects resulting from crystal-twining during crystal growth. Twinning Wisp inclusions can be accompanied by internal graining and/or strain feathers. Can be accompanied by graining and strain.


Odds & Ends: Microscopic Diamond Inclusion Beauty Photos Microscopic Diamond Inclusion Photography This is an assortment of spectacular diamond-inclusion photography taken by Joe Vanells. showing the strange and beautiful world of microscopic diamond inclusions. .

Natural Comet Inclusion .

Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud .

Tabular Reflection in Diamond .

Included Garnet Twins within Diamond .

Included Dalmatian Garnet .

Cloud Inclusion .

Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers .

Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light .

Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion .

Knot diamond inclusions can potentially be the cause of man-made drag-line inclusions. appearing as a raised area on the diamond's surface. Knot Inclusion Photos Photography of Diamond Inclusion Knots Knot inclusions are naturally occurring external inclusions or imperfections that penetrate the surface (convex). . appearing as a raised area.Natural External Diamond Inclusions or Blemishes Knots An inclusion that penetrates the surface.




. and were not fully removed during the stone's cutting or polishing process. Indented Natural Inclusion Photos Indented Natural (IndN) Diamond Inclusion Photography Indented Natural (IndN) inclusions (indented naturals) are external imperfections that are caused by naturally-occurring recessed (concave) indentations that penetrate the surface of a rough diamond.Indented Natural (IndN) A naturally occurring indentation in the crystal that was not removed during cutting or polishing.





Lizard Skin A bumpy or wavy 'orange-peel' textured pattern on the polished surface of a diamond. . The lizard-skin effect is caused by an orange-peel texture. Lizard Skin Inclusion Photos Lizard Skin Diamond Surface Blemish Photography A "lizard skin" surface blemish is a man-made external diamond imperfection that is created during polishing. made up of a bumpy or wavy pattern on the polished surface of a diamond.


. Natural Inclusion Photos Natural Diamond Inclusion Photography Natural inclusions (aka Naturals) are naturally-occurring raised portions of the rough diamond's original surface structure that were not removed during the polishing process.Natural (N) A raised portion of the rough diamond's original surface structure that remains visible on the surface of a polished stone. and remain visible on the surface of a polished stone.

Surface Graining (SGr) Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation.Pits Dislodged pinpoint inclusions at the surface. . Surface Graining Inclusion Photos Diamond Surface Graining (SGr) Photography Surface Graining (SGr) is a natural imperfection or inclusion that creates visible surface lines which are caused by irregular crystallization during diamond formation.

Bearded Girdle (BG) Fine cracks. . creating a whitish fuzzy edge as opposed to a sharp edge. or feathers along the outer edge of girdle. fringing. Bruising (Br) A percussion mark or hole caused by impact and surrounded by tiny feathers. chips.Human Caused Surface Blemishes Abrasion (Abr) A tightly grouped series of nicks along the sharp edge of facet junctions.

Chips Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet. Drag Lines Created when a rough particle is dragged along the surface. . or caught by a included crystal. Cavities (Cv) An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing.Burn Marks Created during polishing. Drag Line Photos Diamond Surface Drag Lines Photography Drag Lines are human-caused surface imperfections and blemishes that are created when a loose rough particle is dragged along the surface. during cutting and/or polishing the diamond. the overheating of a facet causes a burn mark. or when abrasive material is caught by an included crystal such as garnet during the polishing of a diamond.



Filled Fracture Photos Internal Fracture Filling Inclusion Photography Fracture-filling Inclusions are man-made diamond enhancements that are the result of natural cleavage-plane stress fractures or feathers which have been artificially filled with molten glass to enhance clarity. This microscopic photograph shows the telltale orange or pink flash of a filled fracture enhancement within a cut diamond. Filled Fractures Fractures or feathers that have been artificially filled to enhance clarity.Extra Facet (EF) An asymmetrical and irregularly placed facet that is not part of the original faceting scheme. . and remove cloudiness.

Laser Etching or Markings Careless or inadvertent laser etchings. and inscriptions. Laser Etching Photos Diamond Laser Etching Inscription Photography Laser etching inclusions are surface blemishes and imperfections that are created when careless or inadvertent markings or inscriptions are made while laser etching. . markings. or inscribing the external surface of a cut diamond. marking.




" whitish film on the surface of a facet caused by excessive heat during polishing.Polish Lines (PL) Fine parallel surface groves resulting from the polishing process. Scratch (S) A fine whitish line that can be curved or straight. Diamond Enhancements: Laser Drilling & Fracture Filling . Polish Marks (PM) Also known as "Wheel Marks.

or removed by employing several invasive techniques from fracture filling to laser drilling. These techniques do not eliminate the imperfection. . Unfilled Fractures around Garnet Inclusion . or treatments to give a fancy color to a off-white diamond." Reputable filling companies will always use filling agents which show an orange or pink flash of color when viewed under a microscope with certain controlled lighting conditions. A trained gemologist should be able to identify most traditional "enhancements" made to a particular stone. Minor diamond inclusions or surface imperfections which are not visible to the naked eye ("VVS1" to "SI2") can be disguised. in accordance with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines for the gem trade. There are also heating treatments to improve a white diamond's color grade. much like you would repair a crack in a car's windshield glass. Such diamonds are sometimes then branded as "fracture filled diamonds. but instead attempt to hide their visual effect. but not necessarily increase its value. altered. which are designed to improve the visual or gemological characteristics of the stone.© AGS Lab Diamonds that have been altered or enhanced by Fracture Filling and/or Laser Drilling should always be labeled and their "improvements" identified to the potential consumer.© AGS Lab Telltale Signs of Fracture Filling . Diamond Fracture Filling Diamond clarity is sometimes improved and enhanced by filling tiny fractures or feathers with molten glass. polished natural diamonds.Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Enhanced Diamonds Diamond "enhancements" are specific treatments performed on cut.

the heat generated by a blowtorch used to work on settings can cause damage to the filling material. Signs of Laser Drilling .© AfricaGems. followed by acid washing to remove the coloring agent.© AGS Lab The laser-drilling treatment is considered permanent. or subjecting the diamond to intense pressure and temperature. and the diamonds are tested to ensure that no trace levels of radiation remain. Natural Fancy Diamonds .com Color Enhanced Diamonds . . Laser Drilling of Diamonds Laser drilling involves the use of a laser to burn a tunnel or hole down to any dark carbon inclusions or piquŽ.© AfricaGems. and the GIA will not even grade a fracture-filled diamond. "vivid" blue and yellow colors result. in part because the treatment isn't permanent. "One out of every three diamonds sold in the United States is laser-drilled. and both the GIA and AGS will issue grades for laser drilled diamonds." Diamond Color Treatment Color enhancement of diamonds in done to increase the color intensity of so-called "fancy" colored diamonds. The final clarity grade will be the grade that is assigned after treatment. Reputable filling companies will often provide repeat treatments if heat causes damage to the filling. Due to its low melting-point. referred to as the HTHP process. Diamonds treated with HTHP have their molecular altered so that intense. These enhancements are achieved using low levels of radiation (irradiation). It is therefor essential to inform anyone working on a setting where the diamond has been fracture-filled. so that the jeweler can use greater care while working on the piece. The drilling process leave tiny telltale shafts or tunnels that are visible under high magnification (see photos below).There should always be a significant price discount for any diamond that has been Radiation treatments are completely safe. According to Fred Cuellar in his book How to Buy a Diamond.© AGS Lab Laser Drilling Tubes .

the intense heat would render the crucible and its carbon contents into a molten liquid mass. These man-made synthetic diamonds are a laboratory-grown simulation of the natural gemstone. Using an electric furnace constructed with blocks of lime. The first practical commercial application of Moissan's process was developed in 1954. they are increasingly used in fine jewelry as their quality increases. which created enough pressure to crystallize the molten carbon into tiny diamond fragments. This abrupt cooling caused the rapid shrinkage of the molten iron crucible. and has been steadily improved upon throughout the last 50 years.© AGS Labs Today.© AGS Labs Synthetic Yellow Chatham Diamond . The The process of creating man-made diamonds (aka cultured diamonds. by H. high-pressure) "belt press" process was used for synthesizing industrial-grade diamonds. Once the desired temperature had been achieved. and the Chemical Vapor Deposition or "CVD" method. there are two main processes for creating lab diamonds: the High-Temperature High-Pressure or "HTHP" method. . lab diamonds) was first conceived by French chemist Henri Moissan in 1892. the crucible and its contents were rapidly cooled by immersing them into cold water.Tracy Hall for the General Electric Company. known as the HTHP (high-temperature. yet they have the identical carbon-based chemical properties of natural diamond. With Moissan's process.Synthetic Diamonds & Man-Made Diamond Simulants Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite The First Synthetic Diamonds Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. or carbon to an extremely high temperature (4000º C) in a cast iron crucible. tiny fragments of synthetic diamond were created by heating charcoal. Although synthetic diamonds were originally conceived as a substitute for natural industrial-grade diamonds. Synthetic Diamond under Fluorescent .

Lustergem. which attracts the gas to the substrate.1970) Diagem. Like natural diamond. or by measuring UV fluorescence with a DiamondView tester. ranging in clarity from IF to SI or I. Diamondite. the HTHP diamond's growth process can take 7 to 10 days to complete. specific gravity. and uses a lowerpressure growth environment than the earlier HTHP method. The vaporized carbon gases are energized using microwave energy. Using Chemical Vapor Deposition. synthetic diamonds may contain small inclusions. Magalux. With the advent of Cubic Zirconia in the mid 1970's. refractive index. Diamonte. Diamonite. most of these lesser simulants fell by the wayside. making them difficult to differentiate from natural diamonds.High-Temperature High-Pressure (HTHP) The "High-Temperature High-Pressure" (HTHP) technique. and a combination of heat and pressure are applied while a vaporized carbon-plasma that is combined with hydrogen is applied. Diamond Simulants Diamond "simulants. or "simulate" the appearance of natural diamonds. most synthetic diamonds will have a slightly yellowish hue due to nitrogen impurities that are dispersed through out the crystal lattice structure during the growth phase. Thrilliant Synthetic Spinel (1920-1947) Corundolite. These impurities absorb the blue end of the light spectrum." also known as "simulated diamonds" or "fake diamonds" are man-made gemstones that look like. Titangem Synthetic Sapphire (1900-1947) Diamondette. Rainbow Diamond. and a combination of heat and pressure are applied to the seed in a process that attempts to replicate the natural conditions for diamond-formation. Unlike their natural diamond counterparts. Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) The "Chemical Vapor Deposition" (CVD) method was developed during the 1980s.' or six-anvil 'cubic press' to create the necessary pressure. Synthetic Diamond Color & Optics Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless form. colorless synthetic sapphire (aka Diamondite) was a popular diamond simulant. making the stone appear yellowish. the diamond's entire growth process takes several days to complete. or "deposited" onto the substrate in successive layers. or X-ray spectroscopy. With CVD. Diamonaire. hardness. Synthetic Diamond Manufacturers Apollo Diamonds . and surface luster as its natural diamond counterpart. Java Gem. but are not a carbonbased compound having a natural diamond's crystalline structure." uses a four-anvil 'tetrahedral press. In the late 1940's Diamondite gave way to Synthetic Rutile which was popular until the advent of YAG in the early 1970's. Diamond Essence. Synthetic diamonds can also be treated with the HTHP process to alter the optical properties of the stones. Fabulite Synthetic Rutile (1946-1955) Diamothyst. light dispersion. Synthetic diamonds can be detected using infrared. Rutania. Common diamond simulants include: Cubic Zirconia (CZ) (1976-) Czarite. A cultured synthetic diamond will have the identical cleavage. Phianite Gadolinium Gallium Garnet (GGG) (1972-1975) Strontium Titanate (ST) (1955 . Radient Yttrium Aluminum Garnet (YAG) (1970-1975) Diamone. also known as "GE POL. Jourado Diamond. Geminaire In the early 1900's. and Moissanite in 1998. a seed or substrate material is placed into the growth camber. A diamond seed is placed into a growth camber. ultraviolet. produced using the Verneuil (flame-fusion) Process.

. Cubic Zirconia (Zirconium Oxide ZrO2) has a completely different chemical structure. Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is the most familiar type of diamond simulant on the market. Massachusetts grows colorless (D to M) diamonds. Florida. Tairus produces rough sizes from . princess.). and CZ has a hardness of only 8. Tairus Created Gems are sold exclusively through Tairus Thailand Co.500 per carat (2004 est. Gemesis only grows fancy-colored diamonds.chatham.25 carats to 1 carat. To the average consumer. with clarity grades from IF to SI. Ltd. Apollo Diamond's cut stones are available in round brilliant. and rose cuts. www. www. Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite Cubic Zirconia Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. While a synthetic diamond is a man-made recreation of an actual carbon-based diamond. and each cut stone is laser inscribed with the Apollo company logo and serial number.25 carats is laser inscribed with the company name and serial Tairus Created Gems Tairus Created Gems is a Russian company that grows fancy-colored diamonds in their proprietary "Split Sphere" system. of Bangkok Thailand.3 on the Mohs scale. inc. The Split Sphere system crystalizes the carbon seed in an alkaline. . and like Chatham.gemesis. while diamond has a hardness of 10. and stones are cut to order. www. carbonate fluid solution that is similar to diamond-bearing metamorphic rock.30 carats to 3 carats. and some fancy colored diamonds.500 to $ Gemesis Cultured Diamonds Gemesis is located in Sarasota. using a proprietary variation of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) technique.Apollo Diamond. Chatham's pricing ranges from $6. To insure easy identification as a man-made product. each Gemesis cut stone over . which they claim is the closest thing to mother nature. The toughness of Cubic Zirconia is rated as good. Apollo Diamonds are cut and polished in sizes ranging from . in Chatham Created Diamonds Chatham Gems is a San Francisco based company that grows only fancy-colored diamonds in colors ranging from champagne and canary yellow to pink and midnight blue. and each stone is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number.

41 (RI).) in a totally dark room. or colorless (white) versions. Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting. Due to their low cost and consistency.17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible. candle. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond . You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease. The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit.In 1973. Zirconium oxide powder is heated. Using Visual Optics To Detect CZ The Hodgkinson "Visual Optics" technique was developed in the mid-1970s by Alan Hodgkinson as a method of detecting natural diamonds and diamond simulants. . CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. You can also Inspect the facet edges with a 10x loupe to look for any chipping or slightly rounded (not sharp) facet edges that are telltale signs of Cubic Zirconia. a CZ is optically flawless.80 to 2. For instance. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight. Natural diamonds attract grease. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below). but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye. Once the mixture has cooled. natural diamond is a thermal conductor Weight: Cubic Zirconia is heavier than diamond in a given size Another method for distinguishing Cubic Zirconia from diamond is to mark the stone with a grease pencil or felt-tipped pen. The 1. etc. the greater dispersive power. Unlike most natural diamonds. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left).417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator.Detectable to the Naked Eye Light Dispersion: Greater prismatic effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire Lack of Flaws: CZ is virtually flawless. Diamond's RI is 2.800 . and CZs can be made in any "color grade. or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond.170. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce.2. CZ vs Diamond ." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR). Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored.

69. while diamond has a hardness of 10. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0. . being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible.670. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ. Moissanite. and diamond at 0. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. found only in iron-nickel meteorites.65 to 2. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2.060. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight. Hodgkinson's 'Visual Optics' Detection The Hodgkinson technique (aka Visual Optics) was discovered by Alan Hodgkinson with Gem-A in the mid-1970s as a method for differentiating natural diamond from colorless gemstones and simulants. left) who won the Nobel Prize in 1906 for his discovery of a new mineral (moissanite6H) found within meteorite fragments of the ancient Barringer meteor crater ( Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). is classified as an element rather than a compound.044. when examining the gem through the kite facets. candle.417. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. center) near Winslow.) in a dark room. Moissanite has an RI of 2. Henri Moissan (above.25 on the Mohs scale. Arizona. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. Moissanite has a hardness of 9.104 as compared to CZ at 0. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent.A small. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. etc. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond.

creating the "Table Cut. most diamonds have some inclusions Moissanite vs Diamond . The first improvements on nature's design involved a polishing of the crystal faces. Cutting a Rough Diamond . only a diamond is hard enough to cut other diamonds. but significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its high RI. which was called the "Point Cut. diamond has a "grain. caused by primary reflections from the pavilion and CZ's low RI. Diamonds: Modern Diamond Cutting Diamond Cutting Background One of the hardest substances on earth.A small. diamonds were used in their natural octahedral state. The Modern Round Brilliant cut (below) is the culmination of several hundred years of experimentation and development. Diamond cutting can be traced back to the late Middle Ages. Moissanite vs Diamond ." At the time." As further refinement progressed. You can also Inspect the facet edges with a 10x loupe to look for any chipping or slightly rounded or soft (not sharp) edges that are telltale signs of Simulants. one half of the crystal would be cut off.Detectable to the Naked Eye Dispersion Pattern: Secondary patterns of dispersion due to double refraction Color: Moissanite has a slight yellow color and does not come in grades better than 'J' Lack of Flaws: Moissanite is virtually flawless." and the rough stone must be cut with the grain. Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be more diffused. A similarly sharp. Diamond's RI is 2. due to its high refractive index. diamonds were valued primarily for their luster and hardness. diamond is singly refractive Refractive Index: Moissanite has a refractive index of 2. detailed and sharply focused pattern caused by secondary reflections will be seen when observing a diamond.Detectable With Testing Double Refraction: Moissanite is double refractive. rather than against it.670. Table Cut diamonds appeared black to the eye. Like wood.417 Moissanite is double refractive (anisotropic) while a natural diamond is singly refractive (isotropic). although it can be easily cleaved or fractured due to its defined cleavage planes. Prior to this time.

Cleavage is the tendency of crystalline materials to split along defined cleavage plane. rounding the rough diamond into a conical shape. a diamond can be cleaved in four directions parallel to each of the four octahedron crystal faces. A rough stone is cleaved if there are conspicuous defects and/or inclusions which would prevent it from being made into a single gemstone.Modern Round Brilliant Diamond . It can take several hours for the saw blade to cut through a 1k rough diamond. During this faceting stage the angles of each facet must be cut to an exacting standard in order to yield maximum brilliancy. on a scaife. The natural shape of the rough stone will also be a major factor in deciding how to cut the stone. While the rough stone rotates on the diamond lathe. or lap that has been "charged" with diamond dust. This step is also referred to as "rounding. An octahedron can be cut into one or two Round Brilliants but a square Princess cut will result in the least amount of waste due to the square shape of the stone. The steps are: Marking Cleaving Sawing Bruting (Girdling) Faceting Marking: A rough stone is marked prior to cleaving or sawing to determine the direction of the grain and cleavage. Diamonds: Ideal Cut . Each step is critical to the final outcome. Sawing: A stone-cutting saw is a thin disk made of phosphor bronze. and maintain symmetry. then pressing it against a revolving cast iron disk. Due to its atomic structure. the "blocker" or "lapper" will cut the first 18 main facets. Cubic shapes are ideal for a square Princess or Radiant cut." Faceting: To facet a round brilliant. Bruting: The rough is placed in a chuck on a lathe. or shatter the stone. then a "brillianteer" will cut and polish the remaining 40 facets. eliminate waste. Cleaving is a critical step as a mistake by the "cleaver" could fracture. As the saw blade rotates it continues to pickup or "recharge" itself with diamond dust which is the cutting agent. Asymmetrical crystals such as macles are used primarily for fancy cuts. The cutting (also called "placing") and polishing of each facet is accomplished by attaching the stone to a dop stick with cement. High-tech computerized helium and oxygen analyzers are now used to evaluate a stone prior to cutting. a second diamond mounted on a dop is pressed against it. Cleaving: Cleaving refers to splitting a stone along its grain by striking it. and bypass any inclusions or imperfections.Cutting a raw diamond into a faceted and polished gem-quality stone is a multi-step process.

elimination of any inclusions. but in order to do this. If. compromises would have to be made. cut proportions. on the other hand. a cutter must make a cost-benefit analysis as to how to maximize the cut stone's value.weight retention.Ideal Cut vs Standard Cut Diamond Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. it would be cost effective to sacrifice some carat weight in order to finish with two "Ideal" cuts. This is accomplished by reconciling three key factors . The objective is always to maximize carat weight. and the amount of internal inclusions will play an important part in the decisions as to how to maximize yield. Parameters Ideal Cut Standard (Premium) Cut Rough Material Loss Finished Stones Cutting Time Crown Symmetry Greater Loss Lower Carat Weight 2 to 4 Days Ideal Higher Yield Higher Carat Weight 1 to 2 Days Shallow Crown . The clarity of the stone. An octehedral rough diamond will yield two round brilliant cut stones (see diagram below).com When deciding how to cut a rough diamond. the rough stone has some coloration and/or is heavily included. Reconciling Cut & Weight Retention If the rough stone has a colorless D through F rating and has very few inclusions. it may be better to aim for a higher carat weight utilizing a "Standard" cut.

etc. 8 "pavilion" facets. and 2. This cut is also known as the "Tolkowsky Cut" and "Tolkowsky Brilliant. An "Ideal Cut". 1 "culet" facet on the bottom. hearts. and one "table" facet on the top of the stone for a total of 58 facets. The round brilliant cut is beneficial when the crystal is an octahedron. 8 "kite" facets. it is the most efficient cut for maximizing yield. This is primarily due to the fact that this cut has yet to be improved on for two reasons: 1. The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem. 16 "lower girdle" facets. This is why it is very rare to see flawless stones cut into fancy cuts such as emeralds. the cutting and polishing of a diamonds resulted in a loss of as much as 50% of the stone's total weight. it is the best cut for showcasing a high-quality stone's fire and brilliance." Even with modern techniques. you will see that there are 8 "star" facets. In the diagram of a "Round Cut" diamond (above and below). 16 "upper girdle" facets.Pavilion Symmetry Girdle Symmetry Ideal Ideal Deep Pavilion Thick Girdle When dealing with a near-perfect (or flawless) stone the cut that is generally preferred is the classic "round brilliant" cut. as two stones could be cut from one crystal. The Modern Round Brilliant Cut The modern "Round Brilliant Cut" (below) was developed by Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. "Premium Cut" or "Modern Round Brilliant" (Tolkowsky Round Brilliant) diamond as shown in the diagrams above would have the following basic proportions according to the AGS: .

Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design. As with all human endeavors. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. Symmetry.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed. crown height of 14. and crown/pavilion angles. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut.7%. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57. . Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace. and overall height of 57." (Scandinavian standard. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios. Tolkowsky. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%.7%. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. Eppler & Scan D. invented in 1929.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42. more brilliance and fire. facet ratios. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. A perfect blending of facet symmetry.4%. Since then. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor).. Ideal Scope. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect.N.N. crown height of 14. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish.' and there has been numerous attempts to improve on this tried-and-true formula with the introduction of new signature diamond cuts that claim to have a higher light return. etc. The "Scan D. To quantify a diamond's cut quality. H&A Viewer.6% and overall height of 57. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant".5%.5% to 43.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35. very small to small In the 1970s. and Proportions.

and it still survives in some form today. the Cullinan 1 and Cullinan 2 being set into the crown and sceptre of the British Crown Jewels. scientists. with the two largest stones.asscher.each trying to improve on the tried-and-true Old European cuts. and their modest brilliance and light return.106 carat Cullinan Diamond into eleven gem stones. The Asscher brothers cut the famous 3. Popular in Art Deco jewelry of the period. etc.) and when suitably scrutinized by the gem trade. www. Some have gone on to become household names such as the Asscher cut.Producers split hairs over cut angle. less facets. and entrepreneurs . One thing is for sure . Tolkowsky came up with a "brilliant" idea almost 90 years ago. Every conceivable cutting theory is tried. and number of facets. and the culet is square. mathematicians. or the widely marketed Leo cut which is a modified round-brilliant sold by Leo Schachter Einstein's theory of Barion Cut . (more facets. cut corners and a small table. Diamonds: Patented Signature Diamond Cuts Notable Patented & Proprietary Diamond Cuts Since the early 1900s there has been a proliferation of elaborate diamond cuts that have been developed by master gem cutters. cut proportions. the Asscher diamond cut has a squarish octagonal shape with a step cut. but at the end of the day it may simply come down to consumer preference and/or marketing. Here is a collection of just a few of the many "signature" diamond cuts that have been produced over the last 100 years. The cut has a deep pavilion and a high crown.the consumer. it is put in front of the ultimate arbiter of quality . Asscher Cut The Asscher Cut was developed by Abraham and Joseph Asscher of the Royal Asscher Diamond Company of Amsterdam in 1902. but some like the Barion Cut have disappeared into obscurity.

creating a unique 'flower petal' pattern surrounding the cutlet. Barocut The Barocut® diamond cut is a patented. parting ways in 2002 to again become Garrard. with star-shaped cross facets cut diagonally into the pavilion. 23 more than a modern Round Brilliant cut. adding up to 50% to the cost when compared to a Round Brilliant cut diamond. The cut has a total of 8 facets plus a girdle.The Barion square cut (aka Barion square cushion cut) was invented by Basil Watermeyer of South Africa in 1971. Garrard & Co. nephew to the inventor of the Modern Round Brilliant cut. and in all diamond colors and/or clarity grades. The Context Cut follows a rough diamond crystal's natural octahedral shape. The Barocut is available in sizes from 20 points to 3 carats. The Eternal Cut is being sold exclusively at Garrard's main London store and Harvey Nichols stores in Great Britain. The cutting process requires a high-quality rough. The Context Cut is used to cut colored gemstones by Julius Petsch of Idar-Oberstein. 81 facets on the cut corner (cushion) version.freiesleben. . The Barocut is also called a "two heart diamond" due to the illusion of two mirrored hearts meeting at the Context Cut The Context Cut is a square cut that was developed by Dr. forming a square shape when viewed from the top. The Context Cut consists of two back-to-back pyramids (an octahedron). The name "Barion" or "Barion cut" was never trademarked. merged with the jewelry firm Asprey. modified rectangular (baguette) cut that was developed by Baroka Creations. and a total of 81 facets. and creates a high amount of waste. Barocut diamonds are promoted and sold exclusively through the Baroka Creations catalog. or to increase light-dispersion. Barocut stones are also sold in tapered shapes. Ulrich Freiesleben of Germany in the early 1980s then patented and trademarked in Eternal Cut The Eternal Cut diamond was designed and patented by master Israeli diamond cutter. Inc. In 1998. or the company website. of New York in 2000. to become Asprey & Garrard. and a 'softer' briliance than a traditional round brilliant cut.garrard.baroka. Marce Tolkowsky. The Eternal Cut has a total of 81 facets. and its patent has expired. www. The Context Cut design was based on an earlier patented design by Bernd Munsteiner from the early 1960s. not including the 16 girdle facets. It is sold exclusively through the 270 year old firm of Garrard & Company in London. and was the forerunner to the princess cut. The Barion square cut diamond has a 4-fold mirror-image symmetry. Gabi Tolkowsky. A Barocut diamond has a total of 77 facets. www. Germany.

The Flower Cut is actually a series of five fancy cut shapes: the Dahlia. which is 47 more than a traditional 'Tolkowsky' round brilliant cut. The Leo diamond cut has a total of 66 facets. Sunflower and Zinnia cut. marquise. The Sunflower has 43 facets in unusual. off-color stones. (aka Leo Schachter Diamond).com Flower Cut The 'Flower Cut' series was created by Gabi Tolkowsky in 1986. The Zinnia is a round fancy shape with 73 facets.nationaldiamond.Flanders Brilliant Cut The Flanders Brilliant Cut (aka Fire Brilliant) is a modified Radiant or Princess cut with truncated corners that form an octagon with brilliant faceting. angular www. heart. who was commissioned by De Beers to create new cuts as a way of marketing unusual. 8 more facets than the Round Brilliant cut's 58. 48 of which are clustered around the culet to increase fire. Unveiled at the Las Vegas Gem Show in 2001. the Gabrielle Cut is available in carre. and pear shapes. that is suited to a relatively flat rough. is a patented symmetrical round cut created by Leo Schachter Diamonds. The Flanders Fire-Brilliant was developed by Flanders Cut International of Antwerp in 1983. The Dahlia is a 12 sided oval shape with 63 facets. The Flower Cuts were never patented or trademarked by De Beers in order to increase their popularity and use. Other than the traditional round brilliant shape. The Fire-Rose is a hexagonal shape designed to produce higher yields. The Gabrielle Diamond The Gabrielle® Cut is a modified brilliant cut (triple brilliant cut) that was created by DeBeers desinger/consultant Gabriel Tolkowsky in 2000. the Gabrielle has a total of 105 facets.flanders-cuts. The cut is distributed by the National Diamond Syndicate (NDS) of Chicago. The Flower Cuts employ unconventional cutting angles and dimensions. Marigold. emerald. The Flanders Brilliant has 33 crown facets and 28 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets. www. Fire-Rose.gabriellediamonds. Leo Cut The Leo® Diamond. . adding greater brilliance and fire than standard brilliant cuts. designed to maximize the brilliance and color of diamonds while increasing their yield. www. oval. and the cut was named after the Flanders region of Belgium (Antwerp) where the cut was first preformed in 1987. The Marigold is an octagon shape with 73 facets. maximizing the amount of light returned back as scintillation.

It was the first emerald shaped diamond cut to have brilliance and fire similar to that of a round brilliant Starburst Cut . www.' and each diamond comes with a "Return of Light Quadrillion Cut The Quadrillion® Cut (aka Squarillion Cut) is a modified square princess cut that was developed by Israel Itzkowitz and Betzalel Ambar in the late 1970s. and three-stone rings. Bez Ambar Radiant Cut The Radiant Cut is a modified emerald cut shape that was developed. The Lucida is sold exclusively through Tiffany's retail Lucida Cut The Lucida (TM) Cut is a patented diamond cut that was created by Tiffany & Company in 1999. Upon the expiration of the patent. sold in solitaire engagement/wedding bands. the Radiant Cut became a fully accepted diamond shape in the jewelry business.70 carats and come with a GIA Certificate and an "Original Radiant Cut Diamond Certificate" guarantying that the stone meets the ideal proportions as designed by Henry Grossbard.The Leo diamond cut is the first to be certified for fire and brilliance as measured by a 'BrillianceScope. a highstep crown (similar to the Asscher Cut). RCDC launched the 'Original Radiant Cut' diamond brand In 2002. and was patented and trademarked by Bez Ambar Jewelers of Los Angeles in 1980. www. There are a total of 49 facets. The Lucida diamond cut is a modified square or rectangular (Marquise) cut with truncated corners.diamondaires. The pavilion is similar to a Barion cut. The Lucida diamond cut is marketed as a wedding cut. square shaped diamonds were stepcut limiting their brilliance. and all Original Radiant Cut diamonds weigh at least 0. The Quadrillion was the result of three years of optical research to create a square diamond cut that can claim a similar brilliance to a round diamond. brilliant-style faceted pavilion (similar to a Cushion Cut). Prior to the Quadrillion. www. small table. and the table is a bowed out rectangle. eternity bands. There are 25 crown facets and 36 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets (not including 8 girdle facets). and a total of has 50 patented and trademarked by Henry Grossbard of the Radiant Cut Diamond Company (RCDC) in 1977." The Leo Diamond is marketed through the Kay Jeweler chain.

but at each stage of advancement the pioneers of 'brillianting' diamonds have made great strides in bringing out the magic that is inherent in these gifts from nature. Nieman Marcus and Tiffany. Still. Point Cut . Old European Gem Cuts: Point. .com The faceting of diamonds has come a long way in the last 700 years. Trillion) is a triangular cut designed and trademarked by the Henry Meyer Diamond Company of New York in 1962. There are 49 crown facets and 40 pavilion facets. for a total of 89 kite and star shaped facets.louisglick. and Uncurved cut used for accent stones. but that has not always been easy as these little chunks of elemental carbon are harder that anything that could be found to cut them. Old Mine Cut Evolution of the Faceted Diamond & Colored Gem Article Copyright © 2008 AllAboutGemstones. The Starburst cut is especially suitable for a octahedral rough. this led to the invention of the first gem cutting machines (precursor to the "lap" or "Facetron") in the 1300s. Harry Winston. Trillian. Since the day that humans first discovered 'adamas' (diamonds). and the Trilliant is now a generic term for a triangular brilliant cut. The Trilliant trademark has since lapsed. With the realization that only a diamond could cut another diamond. The Trilliant has the Schoenflies point group symmetry of a round brilliant. reworked into the shape of a trillion (triangle). The Trilliant cut gives a high brilliance. www. craftsmen have attempted to "improve" on nature. and the natural octahedral symmetry of the rough stone's closed isometric form. The "table cut" (below. The Starburst cut was created to bring out the highest amount of color to fancy yellow diamonds. the precursor for the "design" of the first faceted diamond lay within the rough stone itself. brilliance. The Trilliant Cut has a total of 31 facets. with weight losses in the fifty percent range. The starburst faceting pattern is designed to focus color near the top of a stone. and scintillation when cut to the correct proportions. but the pavilion is completely different.The Starburst Cut was patented and trademarked by the Louis Glick Diamond Trilliant Cut The Trilliant Cut (aka Trielle. right) was created by cutting off some of the top half of the point cut's octahedron to create a table. There are two variations of this cut: the Curved cut used for solitary stones. From this point forward it was a race to see who could design the perfect faceted cut which would bring out the maximum fire. fire. of New York in 1978. Starburst Cuts are mounted and sold directly through Cartier.early 1300s The "point cut" (below left) is one of the first symmetrically faceted diamond cuts. making the hue of fancy yellow diamonds more intense. The pavilion has two differently sized sets triangular facets with a large triangular table. Old eight. and light return from the stone. The point cut design is dictated by the natural shape of an octahedral rough diamond. The crown of the Starburst Cut is similar to that of the radiant cut. and the career of the "diamantaire" (diamond cutter/polisher) was born.

and eight pavilion facets. Rose & Briolette Cut. The culet is usually large enough to be visible when viewed through the table.Single Cut .1500s Invented in the mid 16th century.1700s The "old mine" cut is the earliest form of the "brilliant cut" diamond." "crowned rose cut. it has a cushioned or rounded girdle shape. The "senaille cut" is a rose cut with irregular or non-symmetrical faceting. the "rose cut" is also known by the the "Antwerp rose. The "briolette cut" is a modified "double Dutch rose cut" with one of the hemispheres being elongated. Also called the "cushion cut". resulting in a smaller table. . The Rose cut can form a single hemisphere for a total of 24 facets or it can be two back-to-back hemispheres (Double Dutch rose) forming a total of 48 facets. The crown is typically tall. The briolette cut was designed primarily for use in a pendant or as a dangling bauble in a crown. The single cut may or may not have a culet at the bottom." and the Full Holland cut. the "old single cut" (aka "old eight cut") diamond has the addition of corner facets to create an octagonal girdle. This Old Mine cut is basically square with gently rounded corners and "brilliant" style facets. eight bezel or crown facets.late 1300s Invented in the late 14th century. Old Mine Cut . The briolette was the precursor to the "pendeloque cut" which is a pear-shaped modification of the round brilliant cut. an octagonal table." "Dutch cut.

Like the modern round brilliant. The Modern Round Brilliant Cut . As with its predecessor the "point cut" over 600 years earlier. The eight cut is similar to the "single cut" in that there are eight four-sided trapezoidal facets at the crown.1900s The "modern round brilliant cut" (below) was developed by Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. This cut is also known as the "Tolkowsky Cut" and "Tolkowsky brilliant. a heavy crown." Even with modern techniques. the old European diamond has a circular girdle. and an octagon-shaped table for a total of 17 facets (18 if a culet is used).Old European Cut . the cutting and polishing of a diamonds resulted in a loss of as much as 50% of the stone's total weight. as two stones can be cut from one crystal with a minimum amount of waste.1800s The "Old European" cut was the forerunner of the modern round brilliant cut. Eight Cut & Swiss Cut The "eight cut" is primarily used for small stones when a brilliant cut would be impractical. The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem. The Old European diamond cut has a very small table. . and very tall overall depth. the Modern Round Brilliant cut is beneficial when the crystal is an octahedron (diagram above). eight facets at the pavilion.

which combines ("aggregating") supplies of rough diamonds from multiple sources into one wholesale market (#2). Gaborone." The 'Diamond Pipeline' Rough diamonds are sent directly from De Beers mining operations in Africa (#1).000 categories based on size. . BHP Billiton and a hand-full of other companies which use their cartel power to control the supply of diamonds on the wholesale market (diamond pipeline).com The trade in gem-grade rough diamonds is primarily controlled by the De Beers. There is a limited market for the resale of diamonds that are less than "investment grade. with a total of 33 facets (34 if a culet is used). Rio Tinto. The rough stones are separated into 16. Trans Hex. thereby controlling and stabilizing prices. or secondary mining producers in Canada and Russia to De Beers' Diamond Trading Company (DTC) in London. Both the eight cut Swiss cut are still used today for small very diamonds and gems (smaller than 2mm carat weight) as would be used in pavé settings. 16 isosceles triangle facets on the crown and 16 facets on the pavilion. for sorting and resale. then divided by human or automated sorters into individual lots called "boxes. there is usually a substantial mark-up in the retail sale price of diamonds." The DTC is part of the DeBeers Group supply-chain known as the Central Selling Organization (CSO). Unlike precious metals such as gold. The Diamond Trade: The 'Diamond Pipeline' Rough Diamond Producers Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.A "Swiss cut" is a compromise between an eight cut and a brilliant cut. silver or platinum. Kimberley and Windhoek. color and quality.

and New York. Tel Aviv.000. and Thailand. reclaiming their "A Diamond Is Forever" moniker.De Beers Sightholders The DTC holds a sale called a "site" or "sight" ten times per year in London and Johannesburg. De Beers is also facing increasing pressure from the manufactures of synthetic diamonds. A 'sight' can have a value of between $500. diamonds have underperformed since 1987 when compared to the "luxury goods" market or global GDP. Russia and elswhere. Both traders and manufacturers may sell diamonds "upstream" and "downstream" through the diamond pipeline [8]. and retailers [5]. while large stones are primarily cut in Antwerp. De Beers. Once the diamonds are set into jewelry. determining the quantity and quality that each site-holder will receive. cutters. through their Diamond Promotion Service (DPS) and Diamond Information Centres (DIC) marketing divisions. China. India cuts the vast majority of small stones (. where De Beers sells the "boxes" to its select group ("supplier of choice") of 125 "sightholders" (#3) or diamond manufacturers.000 to $2. and independent diamond producers in Canada. . De Beers (DTC) sets the price of each box in advance. (see DeBeers' Adiamondisforever. Many Sightholders are also cutters. Other major cutting centers are located in Johannesburg. As a reaction to their decrease in market share.20 carats or less) in Mumbai (Bombay) and Surat. Rough diamonds are cut in various geographic regions according to tradition and the skill-sets of the labor force. The diamonds are then re-sold from the cutting and polishing (manufacturing) centers to wholesalers (Diamond Bourses).000 website). or to jewelry manufacturers (#5) around the world. to take advantage of market fluctuations. Additionally. has launched an aggressive branding and marketing campaign. and the breakaway from CSO's cartel by the Argyle Diamond Mine in Australia. which are increasing in popularity and consumer acceptance. The sightholder then transports the box of rough diamonds back to diamantaire firms (cutting and polishing factories) located around the world (#4). Ramat Gan. they are sold to retailers or direct to the customer. De Beers and the Future De Beers' (CSO's) control over the wholesale diamond market has diminished due to increased market penetration.

are sold in Antwerp every year.Forevermark Diamonds As a way of staving off the onslaught of secondary diamond markets. and India (2007). Hong Kong. In addition to its members. Within Antwerp's diamond district.. The Diamond Trade: Diamond Bourses of Antwerp Diamond Bourses Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. The Kimberley Process The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme or KPCS is designed to prevent conflict diamonds (aka "blood diamonds") entering into the mainstream rough diamond market [5]. . some 1. The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates [9]. bond.S. and Rijfstraat. China. Europe. Schupstraat. Almost 85% of the world's rough diamonds. Belgium but there are also Diamond Bourses in Israel. and about half of the polished diamonds.500 diamond dealers (diamantbedrijven) are ensconced in small. The word "Bourse" refers to a private stock. the DTC has developed new inscription technologies to "invisibly" mark the table facet of polished diamonds with a "Forevermark" trademark. and preventing the inherent product misidentification that will follow. KPCS originated in May 2000 during a meeting of South African diamond producing states in Kimberley. Diamond Bourses are basically trading exchanges for loose. The Council has approximately 70 members representing jewelers. South Africa. cut and uncut diamonds. Asia. The Council began in July 2000 after a joint meeting of the WFDB and its international headquarters are in New York City. This mark is only visible via a point-of-sale electronic viewer. Forevermark diamonds will be available through sightholder/retailers in the U. heavily guarded geographic area surrounded by three main streets. the European Union and the United Nations to rid the diamond Industry of conflict diamonds. The largest diamond trading center in the world is located in Antwerp. also known as the "World Diamond Center" or Diamantenzentrum. and the city is the hub of the global diamond trading industry (diamanthandel). London. and Shanghai. the WDC has observers from the governments of Belgium. De Beers is hoping that the combination of branding and security will increase consumer demand. As of 2006. Diamond Industry Trade Organizations World Diamond Council The World Diamond Council (aka: International Diamond Council) was established by the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) to find ways to reduce the number of conflict diamonds entering the diamond market. The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base. Israel and South Africa and works with 35 independent Governments. traders and manufacturer/producers. The Diamond High Council (HRD) The HRD (Hoge Raad voor Diamant) Diamond High Council is a non-profit industry organization designed to promote and represent the Antwerp diamond trade. and will com with a certificate of authenticity. Hoveniersstraat. NY [4]. or commodities exchange similar to the NYSE.

friendship and trust [2]. After the liberation. ethics and morality. the Antwerpsche Diamantkring was reopened. Both bourse were founded by Hasidim diamantairs. Beurs voor Diamanthandel . bisected by Hoveniersstraat street. founded in 1893—and the Beurs voor Diamanthande (at Pelikaanstraat 78) founded in 1904 [1]. there are around 4000 diamond-cutters (diamantaire) working in the several-square-block diamond district. The Diamond High Council (HRD) . Around $16+ billion in polished diamonds pass through Antwerp's diamond bourses each year. Most transactions conducted within the Bourses done with cash and a handshake. Control over the diamond trade is maintained through the WFDB's Constitution containing a series of rules. and repatriation of Antwerp following the end of WWII. which was established in the same year that the 1930 World Expo was held in Antwerp. an by-laws that govern business practices. and both are still in operation today. In Antwerp's 'Diamond Center' (Diamantenzentrum) today. making it the largest diamond-trading center in the world [3]. and disputes are handled by an internal arbitration process.Photo: Wiki Public The first trading exchange to deal exclusively with rough. Members of the Diamond Bourses operate within a system based on mutual trust and each member pledges to uphold the traditions and principles of consideration. regulations.Antwerp's Diamond District Two of the oldest Diamond Bourse (Bourse van de diamant or diamantenbšrsen) in Antwerp were the 'Diamond Club of Antwerp' (Diamantclub van Antwerpen—at Pelikaanstraat 62. These first trading exchanges mainly dealt with the wholesaling of cut stones. and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) was founded in 1947. uncut diamonds was the Antwerpsche Diamantkring (Antwerp Diamond Ring) [2].

The HRD (Hoge Raad voor Diamant) Diamond High Council is a non-profit industry organization designed to promote and represent the Antwerp diamond trade.' 'Gauteng.000 Zulu warriors attacking 470 Boer settlers. most with Dutch Calvinist. the Zule's King Dingane agreed to a treaty allowing the Voortrekkers to settle in what would be called the Natalia Republic or Boer republics.' During the 1830s and 1840s. and Limpopo (Venetia Diamond Mine). but 3000 Zulus were killed in what became known as the 'Battle of Blood River. This led to a new wave of emigrants and adventurer-seekers from England. coming for . there was a mass exodus (the Great Trek) northward to 'Northern Cape. with 10.' After the devastating Zulu defeat. Diamonds and the British The Second Wave of Europeans Needing a stopping-off point on the sea-route to Australia and India. Afrikaners who participated in the migration northward became known as the 'Trekboer' or Voortrekkers. England seized the Cape of Good Hope from the Dutch East India Company in 1797." Three of South Africa's richest diamond mines are in Northern Cape (Kimberley Diamond Mine). The Boers resisted British encroachments into their territory until the Second 'Anglo' Boer War (1899— 1902). under the Treaty of Vereeniging.' 'Limpopo. They settled in the 'Cape of Good Hope' on Africa's southern most tip. ending with the inclusion of all Boer territories into British colonies. Afrikaners (aka Boers or farmers) were religious refugees from the Netherlands and other parts of northern Europe during the mid 1600s to late 1700s. or German Protestant backgrounds. which at the time was administered by the 'Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie' or 'Dutch East India Company. The First Boer War (1880—1881) began with the Transvaal (Limpopo) Boers declaring independence from Great Britain. The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates [9]. and fully annexed the Cape Colony in 1806 [24]. Gauteng (Premier Diamond Mine).' and the 'Orange Free State' provinces to escape hostilities with the native 'Xhosa tribe' from which Nelson Mandela decended. who were in search of the "quiet sweet life. Diamonds and the Afrikaners The Afrikaners & British Diamonds and the Jews The Hindustani Diamond Cutters The African Nationals The Americans Photos: Public Domain The Boers Historically. The Diamond Trade: History & Culture of the Key Players Article Copyright © 2006 AllAboutGemstones. The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base. The Voortrekkers had to contend with the native Zulu tribe over land they wished to settle on. and this eventually lead to all-out war. There was not a single Boer fatality.

he began his business interests in South Africa by servicing the "ant hill" of humanity that was descending on Kimberley during the diamond rush of the late 1800s. N. Rhodes started out selling ice cream to the diamond-diggers and service workers.' Cecil Rhodes died a single man with no children and. but was eventually successful in convincing Barnato to merge with De Beers. A. although Rhodes did not start out with an interest in diamonds. Amid all of this turmoil and chaos. mysteriously falling overboard on a ship passage back to England. Domain Barney Barnato During the same period that Cecil Rhodes was building De Beers Consolidated Mines. As a young lad from England. in Northern Cape. One of the richest men in the world. Photo: Pub. and later selling steam-powered water pumps to drain the open-pit mines of Kimberley. a curious discovery was being made along the banks of the Orange River. De Beers and Kimberley Central were the two largest mining interests in South Africa at the time. De Beer. D. and J. The African nation of Rhodesia was named after him (now the Republic of Zimbabwe). Around 1873 the De Beer brothers sold out to a group of mining syndicates who later merged with Cecil Rhodes' pumping company to form 'De Beers Consolidated Mines. Cullinan . Domain Cecil Rhodes Cecil Rhodes (1853—1902) is the undisputed father of the modern diamond industry. he was able to build a monopolistic empire through skill and cunning. diamond speculator and fellow Englishman named Barney Barnato (1852—1897) was buying up pieces of the Big Hole in Kimberley to form the Kimberley Central Mine. Photo: Pub. As founder of De Beers... and in 1910 the 'Union of South Africa' was created. no heirs to his empire. Cecil Rhodes' De Beers empire was started on a farm owned by two Boer settlers and brothers. Barnato was given appointed to 'life governor' and temporary controlling interest in De Beers [6]. a prospector.the "mineral revolution. Barnato died several years later. Domain Thomas M. With the help of the Rothschild bank in London. Photo: Pub. In exchange. self-government was restored." In 1906. Rhodes made several aborted attempt to gain control over Barnato's interest in Kimberley Central Mine.

Sir Thomas Major Cullinan (1860—1936) was the founder of one of Africa's richest diamond mines, the 'Premier Diamond Mine,' 30 kilometers east of Pretoria, in Gauteng province, South Africa. Although Cullinan was already a successful building contractor in Johannesburg, he was also an amateur geologist who had heard about alluvial diamonds being found along a stream near the old 'Cornelis Minnaar Farm' in upper Gauteng. Cullinan was interested in purchasing the farm, which had already changed hands several times, but the present owner, Willem Prinsloo (who had purchased the land for £570 in 1861) was not interested in selling. Shortly after the close Anglo Boer War (1898—1902), Willem Prinsloo's widow agreed to sell the land to Cullinan for £52,000, and the 'Transvaal Premier Diamond Mining Company LTD' was officially registered on the December 1, 1902 [23]. On January 25th 1905, a 3,106 carat diamond was found at the mine, which remains the largest diamond ever found in the world. When news of Premier's success hit the board room of De Beers, several aborted attempts were made to purchase the mine, but Cullinan had no intention of selling [6]. In 1914, WW1 broke out in Europe, and diamond prices began to spiral. Layoffs at the mine caused enough friction that by August, mining operations were suspended. The Premier Mine had resumed production by January 1916, but in need of cash, Cullinan sold a major stake in the mine to the Transvaal government. Frank Oats, who was now the chairman of De Beers, was able to convince the Transvaal government to sell its controlling interest in 1917, and De Beers once again enjoyed a monopoly on South African diamonds.

Diamonds and the Ashkenazi, Sephardi and Hasidic Jews
There is perhaps no other ethnic group that is so inextricably intertwined with the diamond trade, than the jews. In an odd twist of fate, it may be Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama's discovery of a searoute to India around Africa's Cape of Good Hope in 1488, that set the stage for the Jewish/diamond connection. Da Gama's discovery opened up a direct diamond-trading route from India's Malabar Coast and the island of Borneo, to Portugal and on the Netherlands. With Lisbon now at the forefront of the European diamond trade, many Portuguese Sephardi businessmen opened cutting houses, and quickly gained a dominant roll in the diamond-polishing industry. The Sephardi were Jews who originated from Spain and Portugal (the Iberian Peninsula), many practicing a secret adherence to Judaism known as "Crypto-Judaism," while professing other faiths. Jews who practiced their religion in the open were expelled from Spain and Portugal, when the Catholic Monarchs issued the "Alhambra Decree" in 1492 (1497 for Portugal), fleeing to Morocco, the Ottoman Empire, Antwerp and Amsterdam. When the first Jewish emigrants (Ashkenazi) came to Antwerp in the 1200s, they were welcomed, but when the Black Plague swept across Antwerp in the mid 1300s, the Jews were one of the scapegoats. Although Amsterdam's Dutch were relatively tolerant when it came to religious freedom, in 1585 Antwerp came under Spanish rule, and the Jews (this time Sephardic), were once again the focus of scrutiny. With the Spanish Inquisition in high gear, Jews were now persecuted for conducting trade with the Ottoman Empire, or for being 'pseudo-Christian.' In the 1600s, wealthy Jewish diamond-traders now living in the Netherlands, financed the 'Dutch East India Company' and its exploration of new trade routes to India, but the British were beginning to see opportunity in the diamond trade, creating new competition for the Jewish/Dutch. Prior to being granted 'civil equality' in 1796, Amsterdam's Jews were not allowed to join trade guilds, leaving the unregulated diamond industry as one of the only means of employment. By the late 18th century, many of Amsterdam's Jews were working in the diamond trade, and many of these 'Sephardi refugees' had maintained connections with Portuguese traders who now had a monopoly on the trade of raw diamonds from India. By the early 1700s, India's mines were nearing exhaustion, but a new discovery in Brazil helped to reinvigorate the diamond trade. By this time, British naval superiority proved to be a great advantage, and the 'British East India Company' was born. The European center for the diamond trade now began to move away from Amsterdam, as Jewish traders set up shop in London. The cut stones were sold to the nobility and royalty of Europe, using the Hofjude (Court Jews) as purchasing agents to select the stones from the London diamond merchants.

Photo: Pub. Domain

The Pshevorsk Hasidic Dynasty Hasidic Judaism was founded by Polish (now Ukrainian) Rabbi 'Ba'al Shem Tov', aka 'Israel ben Eliezer' (1698—1760) in a time when European Jews were facing increasing hostility and pressure from the "Cossacks' Uprising" in Ukraine. The Hasidic movement is a sub-group of the theologically conservative Haredi or Charedi Judaism, aka Ultra-Orthodox Judaism. The movement was seen as a way of turning inward towards a 'deeper spiritualism and mysticism.' Hasidism spread westward, making its way to western Europe in the 1800s. The Hasidic movement in Antwerp began with Rabbi Moshe of Pshevorsk, who authored 'Ohr Pnei Moshe' in 1805 [26]. The Pshevorsk is a small sub-Hasidic movement based in Antwerp, Belgium, with their hub at the study hall (beth midrash), 'Beth Yitzchok' at Mercatorstraat 56. With the discovery of vast diamond reserves in South Africa during the late 1800s, concern over a glut in the diamond market spread throughout London's diamond merchants. A group of wealthy Jewish dealers pooled their resources to form "the syndicate," which was created to soak up all of the excess capacity being created by South Africa. Today, Antwerp and London's diamond trade is largely controlled by the Hasidic Jewish community, although Indian influence is on the rise in recent years. Many of these Hasidic entrepreneurs are nameless by choice, preferring to maintain their anonymity, but they have been the driving force behind the multi-billion dollar diamond industry for hundreds of years.

Photo: Pub. Domain

Alfred Beit Alfred Beit (1853—1906) was born into a prominent Jewish family in Hamburg, Germany. Beit worked for the diamond firm of Jules Porges and Co. in Amsterdam before emigrating to 'Cape Colony' in 1875 during the Kimberley diamond-rush [25]. Beit was part of a group of financiers, including Cecil Rhodes, who gained control of the diamond-mining claims in the Central Mine, Dutoitspan Mine, and De Beers Mine, thereby 'consolodating' the South African mining industry. becoming a 'life-governor' of De Beers Consolidated Mines. He was also the director of the Beira Railway Company, British South Africa Company, Rand Mines, and the Rhodesia Railways. Beit, along with partner Cecil Rhodes, financed the 1895 'Jameson Raid' which was an attempt to trigger an unsuccessful coup in the South African Republic of Transvaal. The Royal School of Mines, at the Imperial College London has a large memorial to Beit, in recognition of the Beit trust's bequeathment to the university, and to educational institutions in Britain, Germany South Africa, and Zimbabwe (Rhodesia).

Photo: Pub. Domain

Sir Ernest Oppenheimer Ernest Oppenheimer (1880—1957) was born in Friedberg, Germany to a large Jewish family, and with several brothers working for "the syndicate," Ernest was well positioned for his future vocation. He began his career at age 17, working for the diamond brokerage firm, Dunkelsbuhler & Company in London. Oppenheimer created the concept of "single-channel marketing" over 100 years ago, by funneling the world's supply of diamonds through a single clearing house. Oppenheimer gained control of Namibia's diamond mines, forming the Anglo American mining conglomerate. This gave him the financing and power to gain the chairmanship of De Beers. Today, Oppenheimer's Anglo American operates a fleet of diamond recovery ships off the coast of Namibia and South Africa under the umbrella of De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited (DBCM), and Central Holdings Limited (CHL), an Oppenheimer family holding company, and in partnership with Namdeb.

Photo: Pub. Domain

Nicky Oppenheimer Ernest's grandson, Nicky Oppenheimer (born 1945) studied philosophy at Oxford as a young man, and is now the chairman of the De Beers Diamond Mining Company and its subsidiary Diamond Trading Company. The Oppenheimer family and Anglo American maintains a 45% stake in De Beers today. Africa's richest man, and #134 on the Forbes list of the world's richest people, Nicky Oppenheimer is worth an estimated $4.5 billion. Under new legislation, passed by the African National Congress, Nicky Oppenheimer was forced to sell a 26% share of De Beers to the South African 'Black Economic Empowerment' group (BEE). This was the first major ownership change for De Beers in over a century. Of the legislation Oppenheimer said: "De Beers is here to make a profit, but we must benefit the people and communities where we operate."

Photo: Pub. Domain

Lev Leviev The Lev Leviev Group, created by Israeli national, Lev Leviev (born 1956 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan) is the worlds largest cutter and polisher (diamantaire) of rough diamonds, with factories in Armenia, India, Israel, and the Ukraine. The Lev Leviev Group also owns mining interests in Namibia's offshore dredging operations. Through his personal relationship to Vladimir Putin and other Russian heads of

Graff's net worth is estimated at 2.). from wholesale and retail.5 billion (#278 Forbes List). 2006 at the Letseng diamond mine in the tiny Kingdom of Lesotho in the center of the Republic of South Africa. and has satellite locations in Wafi City. Photo: Gujarat's Indian Diamantaires . Graff's strategy of "vertically integration" has been to control every angle of the diamond pipeline. Using this model of "local control. Russia. By circumventing the De Beers supply chain.5 billion dollars [28]. Lesotho Promise is the 15th largest diamond ever found. Lev Leviev lives in B'nei Brak. selling to the rich and famous from Elizabeth Taylor and Donald Trump. Lev Leviev has formed a partnership with the ex Soviet state-owned diamond firm. The Hindustani Diamond Cutters Photo: dnavin. Hotel de Paris' salon privé in Paris. ALROSA produces 100% of Russia's rough diamond output and approximately 20% of the world's rough diamonds [9]. founder of the House of Graff in the heart of London's posh New Bond Street.state. which are now owned by Lev Leviev. Domain Laurence Graff Laurence Graff (1938—) is a DeBeers sightholder. Alrosa now sells direct to cutting factories throughout Russia. Tretiakovsky Proezd in Moscow. to purchasing a 51% stake in Safdico (South African Diamond Corp. Mr. Graff has been dubbed the "king of diamonds." a compendium and history of his most famous jewels. Leviev's net-worth is estimated at $2. Laurence Graff was born into a Jewish orthodox family in London's poorer 'East End' district. Graff has co-authored (with Vanessa von Zitzewitz) "The Most Fabulous Jewels in the World. to Larry Ellison. and one of the most successful diamond merchants in modern history. found on August 22." the Leviev Group has found willing partners in several countries including Angola's ASCORP after De Beers' exit in 2001. a DeBeers sightholder in Johannesburg. formed by Decree 158C of the Russian Federation. and the largest rough unearthed in this century. which gives him access to some of the finest uncut diamonds coming out of South Africa. One of his most notable acquisitions was the 603 carat "Lesotho Promise diamond. All House of Graff stones have a laser-inscribed girdle with the 'Graff' logo and GIA number. Monte Carlo. It will ultimately be cut into an estimated 20 or so 'D-flawless' stones ranging from 75 carats to 1 carat in size. Dubai. and on board the luxury residential ship The World ResidenSea. with his wife and their nine children. now called ALROSA (Almazy-Rossii-Sakha) [7]." and the "king of bling" by Forbes magazine [28]. Raised by his grandparents. Israel. New York's Madison Avenue. House of Graff is also located on London's Sloane Street. in 1992.

and to develop an "understanding of the world market. Gujarat. Sanghavi Exports. Photo: rosyblue. 320 BC) by Kautiliya. a minister to the Indian king. both college dropouts. is the CEO of the 'Rosy Blue Group' which is currently one of the world's largest diamond companies. and although India's famous "Diamonds of Golconda" were mined-out hundreds of years ago. the Indians would not be giving up their rightful heritage as diamantaires. (HDC). Of the $26 billion per year diamond revenues that flow through Antwerp. D. heighten awareness of ethical business practices. and Surat's 'Special Economic Zone' [12]. or "thunderbolt. Jainism is an ancient Indian religious sect believing in the 'Jain' philosophy." The Bharat Diamond Bourse in Mumbai. polishes. and Israelis didn't want to work with [19]. started out thirty years ago by purchasing cheaper stones that the Dutch Hasidim. with diamond cutting factories located in Borivali. they were able to gain an increasingly larger share of the wholesale diamond trade.above). and is currently a Senior Partner and head of the UAE division. propelling their twin companies. Chandragupta. Shree Ramkrishna Exports. The Indo Argyle Diamond Council (IADC) formed in 1994 as a consortium of Indian jewelry manufacturers and cutting houses. Gitanjali Gems. The Indian communities' share has grown to around 60%. and exports several billion dollars worth of gems per year. universal truths. The brothers. Navinchandra & Co (board of directors . Photo: Pub. and De Beers India. Mehta.Diamonds made their first reluctant appearance in human history over 2400 years ago. are headed and staffed by Mehta family members. based upon Dilip Mehta Indian diamantaire. Mumbai. Dilip Mehta of Mumbai. and the DTC has demonstrated Gujarat's power in the diamond cutting/polishing arena by increasing India's take of its 125 sightholder contracts to nearly 50 in 2006. from Hong Kong to Israel. This vast fortune is shared by some 300 to 500 Gujaratis families from Palanpur on the GujaratRajasthan border [15]. Gitanjali Gems is one of the largest manufacturers of diamonds and diamond jewelry in India.7 billion in annual sales [17]. with $1. M. It is estimated that India cuts. Venus Jewels. displacing the Hasidim as the dominant force in the industry [14]. Suresh & Co. By slowly developing markets. and Vijaydimon are family owned operations run by Jains with the common surnames of Jhavari. and Shah." The Indians would go on to enjoy a singular reign over the diamond-rich dominion—known as Hindustan—for another two thousand years. India (born 1949). The Sanskrit word for 'diamond' was vajra. improve perceptions. Harshad Mehta ("Diamond King of the world") is one of the founders of Rosy Blue. and were written about in an ancient Sanskrit manuscript called the "The Lesson of Profit" Arthasastra (c. Much of India's diamond trade is controlled by a handful of wealthy families in Gujarat. Domain Bharat & Vijay Shah Bharat and Vijay Shah came from a family of jewelers going back three generations. . the Hindustan Diamond Company Ltd. is the newest addition to India's arsenal of global marketing tools to promote exports. Several other divisions of the Rosy Blue Group. to elevate quality standards. Companies like Bhavani Gems.

all who have signed multi-million dollar trade deals. Joseph Kabila (above. president José Eduardo dos Santos is preventing democratic elections from taking place. Diamonds and the Americans Photo: Pub. President Festus Mogae was elected for a second term in 2004. and Tel Aviv. and the end to South African apartheid in 1994. India. the political situation in Angola has begun to normalize. Botswana has held regular elections and has been one of the more stable governments in southern Africa. working in cooperation with the government of Sierra Leone. Mandela. succeeded his father (Laurent-Désiré Kabila) as president the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC) after his assassination in January 2001. Bangkok. Singapore. left). Thailand. employing 22. and enjoys broad support. The last democratic election in Angola was in 1992. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. created a program for capacity-building of 'small and medium-sized enterprise' (SME) development. many of the ex-colonial nations of Sub-Saharan Africa are starting to emerge as powerful and legitimate forces in the diamond industry. After winning a disicive re-election victory in 2006. the 'United Nations Industrial Development Orginization' (UNIDO). both domestically and internationally. Botswana is a relatively wealthy African country. The president of Sierra Leone. Kabbah. China. and the United States. After years of fighting between the PMLA and UNITA. Bombay. Diamonds and the African Nationals Photos: Public Domain Kabila. with one of the fastest per-capita income growth rates in the world. dos Santos. who was a major general in the army. only hinting at their possibility in 2007 or 2008. Hong Kong.W. & Mogae Starting with Botswana's independence in 1966. On a somewhat darker note.Vijaydimon (Belgium) and B Vijaykumar (India) . into a global position with nearly $1 Billion a year in sales. Vijaydimon is a DTC sightholder with offices in Belgium.000 workers. Vijaydimon also purchases rough diamonds from Canada's Diavik Mine and Argyle (Rio Tinto) and Russia [21]. Kabila. The company has cutting factories in Antwerp. Angola and from mining magnates. Surat. is making great strides in stabilizing the country after years of strife. At the age of 29. Domain N. UAE. In a post-conflict reconstruction effort. Palanpur. Ayer & Son . is receiving broad support from the South Africa.

De Beers president. De Beers and the diamond industry got another shot in the arm. The movie version featured Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend. Domain Hollywood in 1949 Coming just on the heels of the immortal "a diamond is forever" campaign. and a series of diamond-related slogans were introduced into the American lexicon. Sir Francis "Piggy" Beekman. producing the 128. Harry Frederick Oppenheimer enlisted the help of N. Charles Tiffany.' The stone was set into a garish jewelry piece called "Bird on a Rock. Ayer in 1938. The Tiffany is still selling luxury jewelry in their trademarked 'Tiffany Blue Box. the values of ostentatious gems and jewelry dropped precipitously.' During the 1800s. Tiffany & Young. and the diamond industry was particularly hard hit. and Tiffany seized on the opportunity. Jule Styne. Photo: Pub. In 1948 the famous "A diamond is forever" slogan was introduced. .54 carat 'The Tiffany Diamond."A diamond is forever" is the legendary saying that was created by America's first advertising agency. Jule Styne (born Julius Kerwin Stein) was born in London.' brand was catapulted into the stratosphere by the 1961 movie 'Breakfast at Tiffany's. A 19. and featuring the memorable scene in which Holly gazes longingly into Tiffany's window display. was originally a 'fancy goods' emporium.' which was adapted to film in 1953. The Great Depression had taken a heavy toll on luxury goods during the 1930s.72 carat cushion-cut diamond (one of the "Diamonds of Golconda") was mounted by Tiffany. Styne wrote the score for the 1949 Broadway musical 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. aka "the King of Diamonds. Domain Charles Lewis Tiffany Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812—1902). Prince Esterhazy of Hungary.' staring Audrey Hepburn. Styne moved to Hollywood where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn.W. Photo: Pub. who was known for his jewelry expertise." after here charecter. With financial shockwaves caused by the French economy's collapse in 1847. and the subsequent overthrowing of King Louis-Philippe of France in 1848. specializing in one-of-a-kind baubles for New York's newly-minted industrialists and 'robber-barons. Ayer & Son. The 'Tiffany & Co. for resale in America. the public's tolerance towards nobility was at a low point." was the co-founder of Tiffany & Co. this time from playwriter. Lorelei receives a diamond tiara from her suitor. N. and from the Spanish Crown Jewels [27].W.42 carat rough flawless-yellow diamond from the 'Compagnie Français de Diamant du Cap' (Kimberley mine) in 1877. After the French revolution in 1799." by Jean Schlumberger in the 1960s. purchased diamonds. and sold to Nanaline Duke (now in the Doris Duke Collection). which started out as 'Tiffany & Young' of New York City in 1837. After attending Chicago Musical College. the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine.' at the flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. gems and jewelry from the estates of the European aristocracy. Tiffany was able to purchase significant gems from such renowned estates as: the 'jewel-mad' Duke of Brunswick. located at 259 Broadway. One of Tiffany's most notable diamond acquisitions was a 287. The stone was cut in Paris.

" there would be no "diamond trade. appraisal report. as writer Charles Leavitt takes us through the dark underbelly of the diamond trade. grading report. In a preemptive strike against any negative publicity that the movie would generate.Photo: © Warner Bros. Were it not for intrepid consumers." and the terrible working conditions that these workers must endure. Diamonds are tested for . the glamor is laid bare. and their willingness to purchase the concept of "foreverness. or "cert" may be your only assurance that you are getting exactly what you paid for. This time. we have the faceless American consumer. Through interviews with human-rights organizations like Doctors Without Borders and Global Witness. The Consumer Last. a diamond certificates." Diamond Grading: Diamond Certificates (Certs) Gemological Laboratory Certification Why do you need a laboratory certification for your diamond? Although it may seem like a needless expense. Leavitt weaves a tale of Sierra Leone's impoverished "diamond diggers. the unsung hero in the diamond trade. 2006 Hollywood in 2006 Blood Diamond is the latest incarnation of Hollywood's fascination with diamond. certificate of authenticity. but not least. the World Diamond Council placed ten full-page ads in newspapers around the county.

GIA Certificate A GIA (Gemological Institute of America) report provides detailed information about the dimensions. Tokyo. Los Angeles. there is very little (visible) difference between a FL stone and a IF or VVS-1 stone . color. Mumbai. Bangkok. Appraisal Reports. IGI Certificate The International Gemological Institute (IGI) is the oldest institute of its kind in Antwerp. The IGI offers Identification Reports.other than the price. shape and cut of a stone. and saturation of a colored stone.' GIA's world headquarters are located in Carlsbad. Certificates of Authenticity. Although GIA's diamond grading methodology is the industry standard they are also known for their "colored stone grading system" used to quantify the hue. Toronto. founded in 1975. Shipley in 1931. Dubai and Hong Kong. GIA reports also cover any treatments or enhancements that have been done. California. carat weight. the same year that Shipley published his groundbreaking book titled 'Gemology. clarity. Although even a lay-person may be able to tell the difference between a triple-zero diamond and a cheap. and carat weight) and they are also tested for traces of gem enhancement. and Attestations of Origin. which can be substantially different. Antwerp. wether the stone is natural or synthetic. with offices around the globe. and of corse. tone. poorly cut SI-3 grade stone.the basics (cut dimensions and proportions. If you are purchasing an "investment grade" diamond it is essential to have a detailed cert from a reputable gemological laboratory that specializes in diamonds . with operations in New York City. and wether they are synthetic. The GIA was founded by Robert M. but for insurance appraisal as well. and is the largest independent gem certification and appraisal institute in the United States. .not only for resale.

Belgium issues quality reports for loose (unmounted) polished diamonds according to ISO 17025 international standards for gemelogical testing laboratories. Carat Weight. color. and finish. Cut. weight. Shape. with "Triple Excellent" being the highest overall designation. HRD also offers gemelogical training and continuing education courses in diamond grading. the sorting of rough diamonds. HRD Antwerp Diamond Certificate The certificates department of HRD Antwerp in Antwerpen. mesurments. clarity.The IGI lab grades diamonds as well as colored gemstones along several basic criteria which include: shape and cut. origin (colored gems). . and Fluorescence. All diamonds are examined anonymously. as well as quantifying the standard parameters of Clarity. Color. HRD's refined Cut Grading system measures each of the three parameters (proportions. and the graders can not know the identity of the owner. HRD uses the "Hearts and Arrows" measuring system which was developed by HRD Antwerp scientists. jewellery design and gemology. polish and symmetry) using a scale ranging from Excellent to Fair.

referred to as a "Diamond Quality Document" or "DQD. AGSL Certificate The AGSL was the first gem lab to grade a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. Aditionally. The AGS Gemological Laboratories was established in 1996 to provide state-of-the-art diamond grading and appraisal services to the jewelry industry." The AGS Cut Grading system was developed through of years of research by gemologists. having the most rigid grading standards. but rather a comprehensive quality evaluation. along with a consortium of independent jewelers.As well as testing for synthetic diamonds. and to set a higher standard of business ethics and professional practices in the jewelry industry. vs. HRD uses complex watermarking to prevent copying or falsifying their reports. . certificates issued after January 1. creator of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). and does not evaluate other types of colored gemstones. and gives you the option of having your diamond returned in a tamper-proof sealed container to insure that a given certificate and the accompanying diamond belong together. AGS grades diamond color on a numeric sliding scale that is similar to GIA's alphabetical scale. An AGS report. 2005 can be viewed online. The AGS Diamond Quality Document uses a unique and proprietary 0 to 10 grading system that is simpler for the consumer to understand than the GIA's grading nomenclature. and Proportions. and optical physicists. Symmetry. the HRD lab also uses state-of-the-art technology to test for subtle and hard to recognize enhancements such as HPHT. as opposed to GIA's vvs. A diamond's clarity is also graded on a simple numeric scale from 0 to 10. 'Polish' and 'Symmetry' were merged into one category called "Finish. The AGS specializes in diamond testing and evaluation. as well as the most comprehensive system for grading the all-important 'cut' parameters. mathematicians. Diamond Grading AGS Diamond Quality Report (DQD) AGS Gemological Laboratory Background Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Today." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor)." is not an appraisal of monetary value. Shipley. The mission of the AGS is to increase consumer awareness. To insure the security of their documents. AGS is considered the premier diamond-grading laboratory. In 2004 AGS added a new category referred to as "Light Performance" but to retained the "Triple Zero" monicker for diamonds with a perfect The American Gem Society was founded in 1934 by Robert M. and s ratings.

mathematicians." The AGS Cut grading system was developed through years of research by gemologists. dispersion. . AGS uses the "Light Performance" designation to quantify 'light return' by using a ray-tracing software program to follow the path of light rays as they travel through the diamond. contrast. In 2004 AGS added a new category that is referred to as "Light Performance." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors. leakage and light spread. and Proportions. 'Polish' and 'Symmetry' were merged into one category called "Finish. The ray-tracing program measures the quantity of the light being returned to the viewer by quantifying brightness. Symmetry." but to retained the "Triple Zero" monicker for diamonds with a perfect score. Proportions & Light Performance The AGSL was the first gem lab to grade a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. and optical physicists. Each parameter is given a numeric grade from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor).Cut Grade: Finish.

the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading." Document Security Each AGS grading document is marked with a hologram (dark circle at lower right of report) and watermarking or embossing to prevent fraudulent duplication. .5 to 4. In the upper left corner of the document there is a unique AGS reference number that can be used when contacting AGS with questions about your report.0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless .3. and individual facet ratios.0 to 7. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles." or "ideal" rating. AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless .0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint . as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003. where facets intersect with each-other. relative facet angles.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light .5.1.0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light . AGS Diamond Grading System On the inside fold of an AGS Diamond Quality grading report there is a legend explaining the unique AGS nomenclature with comparisons to GIA's grading system.7.0 to 1. all measured in three spacial dimensions.5 to 3. in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above).AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero.

As of 2005. AGSL reports will also grade cut quality for emerald. 5. so that the cutter can improve the light performance of their cut stones. minerals. Accessing the underground ore is achieved via a horizontal passageway called a "decline. and OGI Systems. which are used by non-contact measuring-device manufacturers such as Sarin Technologies. and the peripheral damage that will be done to the surrounding environment. and ore bodies that are in situ. AGS offers laser inscription services as well. and can only be accessed by tunneling underground and creating underground "rooms" or "stopes" that are supported by timber pillars or standing rock. and octagon step-cut diamonds." or a by a vertical "shaft. Diamonds: Gem & Diamond Mining Technology Photos: Public Domain Diamond & Gem Mining . 4. princess. OctoNus Software. Additionally.Extraction Methods Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. AGS will also provide analysis of a manufacturers 'cut performance' by analyzing a sample stone's Sarin file. through AGS offices in Antwerp.42 Carat D. 3. AGS will only evaluate loose. 2. Dubai.Triple-0 Round Brilliant Setting 'American Star Diamond' 13. Flawless Other Services Supplied by AGS The AGS will soon be entering into an alliance/partnership with one of the premier testing labs of colored gemstones. The AGS supplies 'facet arrangement' templates corresponding to their cutgrading system. Pricing for a diamond grading report is based on carat weight. left) refers to various techniques used to extract gems." A decline is a spiral (corkscrew) tunnel which circles the ore deposit. India and Israel. and will soon be offering cut evaluations for other fancy shapes. the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA). while a shaft is . unmounted Diamonds and other precious and semi-precious gemstones are extracted from the earth using five basic mining techniques. Obtaining an AGS Report AGS is a 'trade-industry' testing laboratory that will only evaluate diamonds sent from jewelers or manufacturers. The principle methods of diamond extraction are: 1. the stability of the material that surrounds that desired gem or mineral. Artisanal Mining Hard Rock Mining Marine Mining Open Pit Mining Placer Mining Hard-Rock Diamond Mining The term "hard-rock mining" (top of page. These diamond extraction methods vary depending on how the minerals are deposited within the earth.

Excavation is accomplished using water pressure (hydraulic mining). shovels. with the middle size being a candidate for final sorting. at a maximum depth of 500 feet. . CAT-tracked underwater mining vehicles) move across the sea floor pumping gravel up to an offshore vessel. gravel. which concentrate the heavier gems at the bottom. running adjacent to the ore. Laborers who work in artisanal diamond mining are called "diamond diggers" (below left). and access to the ore. center) is a method of extracting rock and minerals from the earth by removal from a machine-dug open pit or burrow. Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix .Photo: USGS Alluvial Diamond . also known as "open-cast mining" (top of page. or pans. mechanized surface excavating equipment. and have a specific gravity that is higher than that of common minerals.Smithsonian Museum Open pit mining is used when the surface material (overburden) covering the deposit is relatively thin and/or the desired minerals are imbedded within structurally unstable earth (cinder. Artisanal diamond mining is a form of "subsistence based" non-mechanized mining that is used in poorer countries throughout the world. they tend to concentrate in alluvial deposits in the same way that gold placers develop. Horizontal mining employs the use of Seabed Crawlers (remotely controlled. Artisanal Mining Artisanal diamond mining (aka "small-scale mining") involves nothing more that digging and sifting through mud or gravel river-bank alluvial deposits (above. Marine Mining Marine mining technology only became commercially viable in the early 1990s. or sort material according to size. therefore. A decline is typically used for mining personnel. the gravels are separated and sorted into three sizes. Diamonds and most gemstones are hard. highly resistant to weathering.vertical tunnel used for ore haulage. also known as "sand-bank mining" (top of page. Vertical marine mining uses a 6 to 7 meter diameter drill head to cut into the seabed and suck up the diamond bearing material from the sea bed. and or colluvial secondary deposits. While on board. and is a derivative form of open-cast mining used to extract minerals from the surface of the earth without the use of tunneling. box screens. Small "pit lakes" tend to form at the bottom of open-pit mines as a result of groundwater intrusion. Open Pit Mining Open-pit diamond mining. or sand) that is unsuitable for tunneling. right) with bare hands. Gems are separated from waste material using various sifting and sorting techniques such as cone screens. or large conical sieves. eluvial. rock or sedimentary soil. right) is used for extracting diamonds and minerals from alluvial. Open pit mines are typically used when mineral deposits are found close to the surface or along defined kimberlite pipes. machinery. Placer Mining Placer diamond mining. or hand digging (artisanal mining). Marine diamond mining employs both "vertical" and "horizontal" techniques to extract diamonds from offshore placer deposits.

yet only about 1 in every 200 kimberlite pipes contain gem-quality diamonds. and diamonds approaches the earth's surface it begins to form an underground structure (pipe) that is shaped like a champagne-flute. with a variety of trace minerals. right). Kimberlite pipes are the most significant source of diamonds. . in conflict zones where mechanized mining is impractical and unsafe. and upper mantle rock. Artisanal diamond mining accounts for 90% of Sierra Leone's diamond exports and is the country's second largest employer after subsistence farming. diamonds are carried to the surface of the earth by volcanic activity. Diamonds: Diamond Geology Diamond Geology & Kimberlites Kimberlite Pipes Diamonds form at a depth greater than 93 miles (150 kilometers) beneath the earth's surface. The name "Kimberlite" was derived from the South African town of Kimberly where the first diamonds were found in this type of rock conglomeration (see section on "Kimberley . Kimberlites are found as "dikes" and "volcanic pipes" which underlie and are the source for rare and relatively small volcanoes or "maars" (above. These pipes are called "kimberlites" or "kimberlite pipes" (see diagram below). Diamond bearing kimberlite in some parts of South Africa is black in color (above. right). Kimberlite is a diamondiferous igneous-rock matrix composed of carbonate. serpentine. phlogopite. Kimberlite pipes can lie directly underneath shallow lakes formed in the inactive volcanic calderas or craters. After their formation. Most kimberlite is called "blue-ground" kimberlite (above. left). garnet. pyroxene. rock fragments. left) or "yellow-ground" kimberlite and can be found worldwide. It is also used extensivly in Angola. Kimberlite occurs in the zone of the Earth's crust in vertical structures known as kimberlite pipes (above. and Liberia. the Congo (DROC).Artisanal diamond mining is used throughout west Africa. minerals. As this molten mixture of magma (molten rock).North Cape" below). olivine. Many kimberlite pipes also produce alluvial diamond placer deposits.

Photo: Public Domain Lamproite Pipes Lamproite pipes produce diamonds to a lesser extent than kimberlite pipes. or "cementing material. known as the Sperrgebiet or "forbidden territory.' which are created by abandoned river meanders. The Argyle diamond mine in Western Australia is one of the first commercial open-cast diamond mines that is dug along an olivine lamproite pipe. The Argyle pipe is a diatreme. impact breccia.Photo: Public Domain Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . or different in composition to the fragments themselves. Alluvial Diamonds from Africa . or breccia-filled volcanic pipe that is formed by gas or volatile explosive magma which has breached the surface to form a "tuff" (consolidated volcanic ash) cone. igneous breccia. usually from kimberlite deposits. Alluvial (Placer) Diamond Deposits The location of alluvial (secondary or placer) diamond deposits is controlled by the surrounding topography. There are several types of breccia which are categorized based on their geological origin. These dried 'lakes' receive river water during seasonal flooding which transports large amounts of sediment held in suspension. Lamproite pipes are created in a similar manner to kimberlite pipes. except that boiling water and volatile compounds contained in the magma act corrosively on the overlying rock. sedimentary breccia. including: hydrothermal breccia. resulting in a broader cone of eviscerated rock at the surface." that may be similar. Breccia is a rock composed of angular fragments of several minerals or rocks in a matrix. Diamondiferous material tends to concentrate in and around 'oxbow lakes. and tectonic breccia.Open Pit Mine . Alluvial diamond deposits are usually located within river terrace gravels that have been transported from their location of origin.Photo: NASA The alluvial terrace gravels (below. The world's largest known gem quality alluvial diamond deposits are located along the Namib Desert coastline of southwestern Africa. . This results in a martini-glass shaped diamondiferous deposit as opposed to kimberlite's champagne flute shape. left) and marine gravels of the south-western coastline of Africa represent the some of the world's largest placer diamond deposits." and along the Orange River near Alexander Bay.

The diamonds within these deposits were transported from deeply-eroded diamondiferous kimberlites or. Diamonds that were transported downstream. to a lesser extent.Namibia's placer diamond deposits are between 40 and 80 million years old. in central South Africa and Botswana.8 million to . potholes. Westward draining river systems transported these diamonds to Africa's continental coastline for final deposition within on-shore marine terrace gravels.8k. Diamond Mines of the World: Active Diamond Mines List of Active Diamond Mines All Contents Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. but were not deposited on land. depressions. made their way to the sea bed just offshore. carried from their primary origination point on the Kaapvaal Craton. Alluvial diamond mining in Angola takes place along a meandering stretch of the Cuango River floodplain which is also along the south-western coastline of Africa.000 years ago). including Angola's two largest diamonds at 105. channels or other trapsites for diamondiferous deposits.Photo: Wiki Diamond-Bearing 'Diamondiferous' Gravel Many of these alluvial diamond deposits occur in Pleistocene and Holocene successions (1. from olivine lamproites formed during the Cretaceous or Permo-Triassic period. Alluvial Terrace Gravels . Diamonds in marine areas are typically trapped in bedrock depressions such as gullies.9k and 101. Some of the largest and highest gemquality diamonds produced from alluvial placer diamond mining have come from this region.

4.closed. map Ekati Diamond Mine: Canada's first diamond mining operation. 2. map Fucauma Diamond Mine: Newly constructed. So Africa. Namdeb Namib Gov. 1. located in NWT. produces over 40% of world's gem-quality diamonds. mining operator info. Active Mines | Inactive Mines | Future Exploration | Mining Companies Africa Angola 1. Argyle Diamond Mine: Largest producer in world. South Kalimantan 1. 1.Currently there are eleven major 'diamond producing' nations. 1. map Bakwanga Mine: (aka Bushimaïe. Open-pit mine De Beers operated. map Kimberley Diamond Mine: Started in 1871. 1. map Venetia Diamond Mine: Limpopo. and a host of other counties with operational and/or historic alluvial. Namdeb. 6. in Kasaï . Closed in 2006. map Elizabeth Bay Mine: Open-cast mine in Namib desert. 1. Luarica Diamond Mine: Owned by Endiama (38%) & Trans Hex (32%). Odebrecht (50%). map Williamson Diamond Mine: (aka Mwadui mine) Open Pit mine. De Beers/Botswana. 1. map Letseng Diamond Mine: Open-cast mine in Maluti Mountains 70 km from Mokhotlong. map Canada North West Territories (NWT) 1. map Borneo Cempaka/Riam Kanan. map Forminière Diamond Mine: Alluvial mine located on the River Tshikapa. 2. Lubilash) Alluvial river mines in Kasaï. south of Lüderitz. Kimberlite pipe. Waldman Resources.DeBeers/Botswana. map Cullinan Diamond Mine: Open Pit/Hard Rock diamond mine owned by De Beers. map Damtshaa Diamond Mine: (water for a tortoise) New open pit mine. 4. map Marine Mining: Namco Mining operates a dredging fleet off the west coast of Namibia. There are also several African nations with ongoing off-shore dredging/vacuming operations. Rio Tinto. 2. map Orange River (Daberas) Mines: Orange River alluvium. Catoca Diamond Mine: Fourth largest diamond mine in world. the Kimberley Open Pits closed in 2005. mining industry inside news. map Jwaneng Diamond Mine: (place of small stones) richest mine in world. 3. 75% De Beers ownership. 1. map Koidu-Sefadu Mines: Subsistence digging in alluvium pits west of Koidu. Cempaka Diamond Mines: Alluvials mined by indigenous artisanal Kalimantan miners. Endiama (50%). 2. 1. links to satellite images of the mines (where available). MIBA.De Beers / Botswana. map Koffiefontein Diamond Mine: The Koffiefontein mine opened in 1870. map Magna Egoli Mine: Largest mechanized mine in Sierra Leone. 3. 5. 4. Diavik Diamond Mine: The Diavik diamond mine is located in the NWT. Luzamba Diamond Mine: Angola's largest alluvial mine. 2. 7. 3. map . map Orapa Diamond Mine: (resting place for lions) Largest/oldest of four . Israel. map Baken Diamond Mine: Located along Orange River in North Cape. Owned by Endiama (40%) & Trans Hex (35%). De Beers operated. map The Oaks Diamond Mine: In Limpopo province. map Koidu Open Pit Mines: Kimberlite open-pit mines just south of Koidu. 2. and any relevant geographic data. and hard rock diamond mines. 75% De Beers ownership. map Botswana Congo (DROC or RDC) Lesotho Namibia Sierra Leone South Africa Tanzania Zimbabwe Australia East Kimberley 1. 2. Trans Hex. map Letlhakane Diamond Mine: ("little reeds") second oldest of four . mostly industrial grade. 3. open pit. map Finsch Diamond Mine: Finsch is an open-pit mine near Lime Acres. map River Ranch Diamond Mine: Open Pit & Underground mine. 3. 75% De Beers ownership map Murowa Diamond Mine: Open Pit & Underground mine. These lists also contains new project explorations. De Beers / Botswana. 2.

map Russia Siberia 1. Jubilee. map Jubilee (Yubileinaya) Mine: Newer open-pit kimberlite mine near Udachny. map Udachnaya (Udachny) Pipe Mine: One of the deepest diamond mines in the world. 4. map . and Sytykan.India Madhya Pradesh 1. Alrosa. 5. Mirna Mine: Largest diamond deposit in Russia and one of the largest in the world. 3. Aikhal GOK Mine: Three open-pit kimberlite pipe mines: Aikhal. map Anabar GOK Mine: The norther most location of Russia's diomond mines. 2. Panna Diamond Mine: Alluvial mine in state of Madhya Pradesh.

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