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

3 . 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. pavilion and crown angle) and did not provide a subjective ranking of how good the cut was. The crown will have 33 facets. 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. Only a trained eye could see the quality of a good cut. This can also result in the undesirable creation of extra facets beyond the required 58. Other variations of the "Modern Round Brilliant" include the "Ideal Brilliant" which was invented by Johnson and Roesch in 1929. Fig. Fig. 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. 80. The chart below shows several common problems to look for. Poor Diamond Faceting and Symmetry Due to the mathmatics involved in light refraction. 64. or 96 facets which are not counted in the total number of facets (58). the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. a Round Brilliant cut that does not have the proper proportions and symmetry (off-make) will have noticeably less brilliance. 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. All of that has changed with the AGS Cut Grading system and GIA's new "Cut Grading System".e. and the pavillion will have 25 facets. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. Common cutting problems can occur during the faceting process.Good Cut Fair Cut Poor Cut Cut Proportions In the past.

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

Heart Marquise Oval Pear Princess Radiant Round Trillion (not shown at diagram) Fig. and the Pear. a 1/2 carat diamond would be 50 points.2 grams (200 milligrams or 3.086 grains) or 0.C." . Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics. Color Carat weight is one of the 4 C's.W. Carat 3. a 3/4 carat diamond is 75 points. The 4 C's of Diamonds: Carat (Weight) The 4 C's Diamond Grading System 1. One "Carat" is a unit of mass that is equal to 0. and with each point being 2 milligrams in weight. "Marquise" or "Navette" (little boat). 5 Popular fancy cuts include the "Baguette" (bread loaf). A carat can also be divided into "points" with one carat being equal to 100 points. the total mass of all diamonds or gemstones is referred to as "Total Carat Weight" or "T." "Briolette" (a form of Rose cut). "Princess" (square outline). When a single piece of jewelry has multiple stones. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. and a 2 carat diamond is 200 points. As a consumer. "Heart. Clarity 4. Cut 2. your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the "4 C's" diamond grading system. Therefor. CARAT Balancing Cut and Weight A diamond or gemstone's "Carat" designation is a measurement of both the size and weight of the stone.007 ounce. The "fancy cuts" are generally not held to the same strict standards as Round Brilliants.

A diamond that has a specified carat weight of .5 carat 2. clarity and weight.Grade: F Colorless .600 12. or to buy a 1. It is for this reason that an even 1. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry.750 30.195 and . a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only. 40º pavilion.504 carats. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight.204 carat." If the carat weight is shown as ". as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing.99 carat diamond for its better price. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity .5 carat 1. Price Per Carat (2005) . Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a .000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone.0 carat 1.800 6. a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight. girdle and pavilion.5º crown. Occasionally. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat.600 8.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between . and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight.600 6.5 carats must have an actual weight of between . it must be accurate to the second decimal place. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat. In ancient times. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales.VS1 Carat Size</ 0. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone.500 15. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration. See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line. or "seed of the carob".0 carat 3.10 carat diamond for its better cut. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown.495 carats and .

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

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

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

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

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

with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale." "untamable.42." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine. with a variety of trace minerals." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic. and a specific gravity of 3." is derived from the Greek adamas.52. Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness. At these depths." referring to its incredible hardness. with the principle allotrope being graphite. phlogopite. and pyroxene. olivine. The name "diamond. or "invincible. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe.Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time. Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth. 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. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km).200 degrees Fahrenheit (1. and differentiates it from simple graphite. igneous rock composed of garnet." and "unconquerable. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms. Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures. a refractive index of 2. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2.200 degrees Celsius). diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation. ultramafic. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" [2]. . Under the continental crust. A diamond is a transparent.044. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0." which is also known as "adamant. which resemble a champagne flute. Therefore.

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

and therefore may be uninsurable by reputable insurance companies. Many natural blue . most scratch resistant mineral on earth. The culet facet at the bottom of the pavilion.© AGS Labs Diamond Toughness Within the fields of metallurgy and materials science. a diamond's "toughness" is only fair to good. making it seem cold. causing stress fractures or feathers. Unlike "hardness.5. graphite can develop internally and on the diamond's surface. with a Mohs scale rating of 10. By comparrison. Additionally. the term "toughness" describes the resistance of a given material to fracture when it is stressed or impacted. Thermal Properties of Diamonds Diamond is a good conductor of heat. yet sapphire has a toughness rating of excellent. acting as a "thermal conductor. and varying growth conditions of heat. its "toughness" rating is moderate. very thin girdles on brilliant cut diamonds are also prone to breakage. A material's toughness is measured in units of "joules" per cubic meter (J/m3) in the SI system. sapphire has a hardness rating of 9. Hematite has a hardness of only 5.5 to 6. Particular cuts of diamond are more prone to breakage along cleavage planes.Trace impurities. Internally formed crystallographic graphite inclusions often create intense strain on the surrounding diamond. Carbon Inclusion . due to its ability to fracture along cleavage planes. meaning that a diamond is 4 times "harder" than sapphire. Diamond Graphitization In extremely high temperature environments above 1700 ¡C. but its toughness rating is also excellent." which only denotes a diamond's high resistance to scratching. crystal twinning. and "pound-force" per square-inch in US units of measurement." If you were to place a large enough diamond on your tongue it would draw heat away. is a facet specifically designed to resist breakage." and therefore. pressure and space can also affect the final shape of a formed crystal.© AGS Labs Hexagonal (Graphite) Platelet Inclusion . Although diamond is the "hardest.

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

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

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

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

com) Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems.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). or a combination of the two. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness [9].03 carats. greyish-green. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926.' discovered during the 18th century. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. pure green hues.000 to $500. The color change effect is temporary. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities. and are typically found in alluvial secondary The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. and weighed a modest 0. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. On thing is certain. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities.90 carats. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13. Intense. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste. Green diamonds can range from $35. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat. and the De Young Red weighing 5.95carats.000 in 1987. . Primary sources are in southcentral Africa. Warren Hancock. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red.000 per carat. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds.

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

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

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

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

.Magnification. 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.




Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.

Feather inclusions can be accompanied by internal graining and/or twinning wisp inclusions. . which cause internal stress fractures during crystal growth.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. Common around included crystals. Feather inclusions are common around included crystals such as garnet.



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

Pronounced stress fractures and feather inclusions can potentially weaken the stone. As a result. This is especially true if the fracture breeches the stone's surface. 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. . and the stress inclusion occurs along the gem's natural cleavage plane.



Grain Center (GrCnt) A concentrated area of crystal growth that can appear light or dark. waviness. 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. . and haze within a cut diamond.

Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .

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



Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .

iron oxides. spinel. diopside. or silica. calcite. diopside. olivine. calcite. Green chrome diopside Inclusion within a Diamond .Included Crystals (Xtl) Included and undigested gemstones or fragments of garnet. silica or other gem stone inclusions. olivine. spinel. 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. iron oxides.

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.Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) Internal pathway caused by laser-drilling to remove large inclusions. and where pathway does not breach the cut diamond's surface. 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. .


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

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

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. resulting from crystal twining during the growth process.


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 .

Natural External Diamond Inclusions or Blemishes Knots An inclusion that penetrates the surface. . Knot diamond inclusions can potentially be the cause of man-made drag-line inclusions. 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. appearing as a raised area on the diamond's surface.




and were not fully removed during the stone's cutting or polishing process.Indented Natural (IndN) A naturally occurring indentation in the crystal that was not removed during cutting or polishing. 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. .





.Lizard Skin A bumpy or wavy 'orange-peel' textured pattern on the polished surface of a diamond. made up of a bumpy or wavy pattern on the polished surface of a diamond. 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. The lizard-skin effect is caused by an orange-peel texture.


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. and remain visible on the surface of a polished stone. .Natural (N) A raised portion of the rough diamond's original surface structure that remains 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.

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

Drag Lines Created when a rough particle is dragged along the surface. or when abrasive material is caught by an included crystal such as garnet during the polishing of a diamond. Chips Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet. 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. the overheating of a facet causes a burn mark.Burn Marks Created during polishing. Cavities (Cv) An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing. or caught by a included crystal. . during cutting and/or polishing the diamond.



and remove cloudiness. 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. Filled Fractures Fractures or feathers that have been artificially filled to enhance clarity. This microscopic photograph shows the telltale orange or pink flash of a filled fracture enhancement within a cut diamond.Extra Facet (EF) An asymmetrical and irregularly placed facet that is not part of the original faceting scheme. .

Laser Etching or Markings Careless or inadvertent laser etchings. marking. 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. . or inscribing the external surface of a cut diamond. markings. and inscriptions.




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

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

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

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

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

Tairus Created Gems are sold exclusively through Tairus Thailand Co. with clarity grades from IF to SI. Cubic Zirconia (Zirconium Oxide ZrO2) has a completely different chemical structure. while diamond has a hardness of 10. and each cut stone is laser inscribed with the Apollo company logo and serial number. Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite Cubic Zirconia Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. www. Chatham's pricing ranges from $6. carbonate fluid solution that is similar to diamond-bearing metamorphic rock. The Split Sphere system crystalizes the carbon seed in an alkaline. in Boston.30 carats to 3 carats. using a proprietary variation of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) technique..25 carats to 1 Gemesis Cultured Diamonds Gemesis is located in Sarasota. Massachusetts grows colorless (D to M) diamonds.3 on the Mohs scale. inc. The toughness of Cubic Zirconia is rated as good. and like Chatham. each Gemesis cut stone over . and each stone is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. and rose cuts. and some fancy colored diamonds.25 carats is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. and CZ has a hardness of only 8. and stones are cut to order. Florida.apollodiamond. of Bangkok Thailand. Apollo Diamonds are cut and polished in sizes ranging from . www. Tairus produces rough sizes from . princess. Ltd.Apollo Diamond.chatham. .com Tairus Created Gems Tairus Created Gems is a Russian company that grows fancy-colored diamonds in their proprietary "Split Sphere" system. Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is the most familiar type of diamond simulant on the market.500 per carat (2004 est. emerald. Apollo Diamond's cut stones are available in round 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.gemesis.500 to $9. which they claim is the closest thing to mother nature. To insure easy identification as a man-made product. While a synthetic diamond is a man-made recreation of an actual carbon-based diamond.). Gemesis only grows fancy-colored To the average consumer. www.

Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond. 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. the greater dispersive power. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond . Natural diamonds attract grease. For instance. CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease. or colorless (white) versions. Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored. Once the mixture has cooled.800 . then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible. Zirconium oxide powder is heated. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left). or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond. Unlike most natural diamonds. Due to their low cost and consistency.170. candle.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing. Diamond's RI is 2." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR). 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. but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce.) in a totally dark room. CZ vs Diamond . a CZ is optically flawless. The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit.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.2. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight.17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below). the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. 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.In 1973. etc. and CZs can be made in any "color grade.41 (RI).80 to 2.

sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index. 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. candle. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible.A small. Henri Moissan (above. center) near Winslow. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI.25 on the Mohs scale. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond. when examining the gem through the kite facets.104 as compared to CZ at 0.) in a dark room. Arizona. . Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. found only in iron-nickel meteorites. 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 (above. is classified as an element rather than a compound. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective.417. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. and diamond at 0. Moissanite has a hardness of 9.670. while diamond has a hardness of 10. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. Moissanite has an RI of 2. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight.060.65 to 2. etc.69. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Moissanite.044.

but significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its high RI. most diamonds have some inclusions Moissanite vs Diamond . Table Cut diamonds appeared black to the eye. Diamonds: Modern Diamond Cutting Diamond Cutting Background One of the hardest substances on earth. due to its high refractive index. diamond is singly refractive Refractive Index: Moissanite has a refractive index of 2. although it can be easily cleaved or fractured due to its defined cleavage planes." As further refinement progressed. Moissanite vs Diamond . Diamond cutting can be traced back to the late Middle Ages. 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. The Modern Round Brilliant cut (below) is the culmination of several hundred years of experimentation and development.A small. caused by primary reflections from the pavilion and CZ's low RI. detailed and sharply focused pattern caused by secondary reflections will be seen when observing a diamond. rather than against it.670. 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. creating the "Table Cut. diamonds were used in their natural octahedral state. A similarly sharp. Like wood. Cutting a Rough Diamond ." and the rough stone must be cut with the grain.417 Moissanite is double refractive (anisotropic) while a natural diamond is singly refractive (isotropic). which was called the "Point Cut. only a diamond is hard enough to cut other diamonds." At the time. diamond has a "grain. Diamond's RI is 2. Prior to this time. diamonds were valued primarily for their luster and hardness. Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be more diffused.Detectable With Testing Double Refraction: Moissanite is double refractive. The first improvements on nature's design involved a polishing of the crystal faces.

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

An octehedral rough diamond will yield two round brilliant cut stones (see diagram below). but in order to do this. the rough stone has some coloration and/or is heavily included. The objective is always to maximize carat weight. 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 .com When deciding how to cut a rough diamond. on the other hand. it may be better to aim for a higher carat weight utilizing a "Standard" cut. The clarity of the stone. 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 . If. compromises would have to be made. a cutter must make a cost-benefit analysis as to how to maximize the cut stone's value. and the amount of internal inclusions will play an important part in the decisions as to how to maximize yield. Reconciling Cut & Weight Retention If the rough stone has a colorless D through F rating and has very few inclusions.weight retention. elimination of any inclusions. cut proportions.Ideal Cut vs Standard Cut Diamond Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.

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

and crown/pavilion angles. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios. Tolkowsky.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design. As with all human endeavors. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope. and overall height of 57. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect.." (Scandinavian standard. A perfect blending of facet symmetry. invented in 1929. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. H&A Viewer. . there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap.N. facet ratios. Ideal Scope. The "Scan D. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor).' 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.N. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant".5%. crown height of 14. crown height of 14. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish.6% and overall height of 57. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut. Eppler & Scan D.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed.5% to 43. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. Since then. very small to small In the 1970s.7%. more brilliance and fire. and Proportions.4%. To quantify a diamond's cut quality. etc. Symmetry. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%.7%. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.

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

www. The Eternal Cut is being sold exclusively at Garrard's main London store and Harvey Nichols stores in Great Britain. with star-shaped cross facets cut diagonally into the pavilion. merged with the jewelry firm Asprey. and in all diamond colors and/or clarity grades. Barocut diamonds are promoted and sold exclusively through the Baroka Creations catalog. to become Asprey & Garrard. forming a square shape when viewed from the top. 81 facets on the cut corner (cushion) version. Barocut The Barocut® diamond cut is a patented. 23 more than a modern Round Brilliant cut. The Barocut is also called a "two heart diamond" due to the illusion of two mirrored hearts meeting at the culet. Gabi Tolkowsky. The name "Barion" or "Barion cut" was never trademarked. In Context Cut The Context Cut is a square cut that was developed by Dr. It is sold exclusively through the 270 year old firm of Garrard & Company in Eternal Cut The Eternal Cut diamond was designed and patented by master Israeli diamond cutter. A Barocut diamond has a total of 77 facets. parting ways in 2002 to again become Garrard. of New York in 2000. Ulrich Freiesleben of Germany in the early 1980s then patented and trademarked in 1997. 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. not including the 16 girdle facets. The Barocut is available in sizes from 20 points to 3 carats. nephew to the inventor of the Modern Round Brilliant cut. adding up to 50% to the cost when compared to a Round Brilliant cut diamond. and creates a high amount of waste.baroka. modified rectangular (baguette) cut that was developed by Baroka Creations. and a 'softer' briliance than a traditional round brilliant cut. and a total of 81 facets. The Barion square cut diamond has a 4-fold mirror-image symmetry.garrard. Garrard & Co. www. www. The Context Cut is used to cut colored gemstones by Julius Petsch of Idar-Oberstein. and its patent has expired. or to increase light-dispersion. creating a unique 'flower petal' pattern surrounding the cutlet. The cutting process requires a high-quality rough. Barocut stones are also sold in tapered shapes. The Context Cut follows a rough diamond crystal's natural octahedral shape. Germany. The Context Cut consists of two back-to-back pyramids (an octahedron). The Context Cut design was based on an earlier patented design by Bernd Munsteiner from the early 1960s.freiesleben. and was the forerunner to the princess cut. Marce . Inc. or the company website. The Eternal Cut has a total of 81 facets.

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

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

The Trilliant has the Schoenflies point group symmetry of a round brilliant. With the realization that only a diamond could cut another diamond. There are 49 crown facets and 40 pavilion facets. The Trilliant Cut has a total of 31 facets. 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. brilliance. and Uncurved cut used for accent stones. The "table cut" (below. 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. Trillion) is a triangular cut designed and trademarked by the Henry Meyer Diamond Company of New York in 1962. The pavilion has two differently sized sets triangular facets with a large triangular table. The point cut design is dictated by the natural shape of an octahedral rough diamond. Old European Gem Cuts: Point. this led to the invention of the first gem cutting machines (precursor to the "lap" or "Facetron") in the 1300s. Starburst Cuts are mounted and sold directly through Cartier. fire. and the career of the "diamantaire" (diamond cutter/polisher) was born. but the pavilion is completely different. The Starburst cut is especially suitable for a octahedral Trilliant Cut The Trilliant Cut (aka Trielle. reworked into the shape of a trillion (triangle). right) was created by cutting off some of the top half of the point cut's octahedron to create a The faceting of diamonds has come a long way in the last 700 years. The Starburst cut was created to bring out the highest amount of color to fancy yellow diamonds. Nieman Marcus and Tiffany. the precursor for the "design" of the first faceted diamond lay within the rough stone itself. From this point forward it was a race to see who could design the perfect faceted cut which would bring out the maximum fire.The Starburst Cut was patented and trademarked by the Louis Glick Diamond Corp.early 1300s The "point cut" (below left) is one of the first symmetrically faceted diamond cuts. Point Cut . The Trilliant trademark has since lapsed. www. making the hue of fancy yellow diamonds more intense. The crown of the Starburst Cut is similar to that of the radiant cut. and light return from the stone. Old Mine Cut Evolution of the Faceted Diamond & Colored Gem Article Copyright © 2008 AllAboutGemstones. Since the day that humans first discovered 'adamas' (diamonds). of New York in 1978. Trillian. The Trilliant cut gives a high brilliance. . for a total of 89 kite and star shaped facets. with weight losses in the fifty percent range. and the Trilliant is now a generic term for a triangular brilliant cut. Still. The starburst faceting pattern is designed to focus color near the top of a stone. Harry Winston. Old eight. and the natural octahedral symmetry of the rough stone's closed isometric form. craftsmen have attempted to "improve" on nature. There are two variations of this cut: the Curved cut used for solitary stones. and scintillation when cut to the correct proportions.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

W. Sir Francis "Piggy" Beekman. The stone was cut in Paris. Ayer & Son. Domain Charles Lewis Tiffany Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812—1902). which started out as 'Tiffany & Young' of New York City in 1837. The 'Tiffany & Co. purchased diamonds.' at the flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. Tiffany was able to purchase significant gems from such renowned estates as: the 'jewel-mad' Duke of Brunswick.' which was adapted to film in 1953. who was known for his jewelry expertise. Prince Esterhazy of Hungary.' brand was catapulted into the stratosphere by the 1961 movie 'Breakfast at Tiffany's. Charles Tiffany." by Jean Schlumberger in the 1960s. After attending Chicago Musical College. and sold to Nanaline Duke (now in the Doris Duke Collection). and the diamond industry was particularly hard hit.W. The movie version featured Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend. De Beers president. this time from playwriter. One of Tiffany's most notable diamond acquisitions was a 287.72 carat cushion-cut diamond (one of the "Diamonds of Golconda") was mounted by Tiffany." was the co-founder of Tiffany & Co. for resale in America. specializing in one-of-a-kind baubles for New York's newly-minted industrialists and 'robber-barons. the public's tolerance towards nobility was at a low point. Photo: Pub.42 carat rough flawless-yellow diamond from the 'Compagnie Français de Diamant du Cap' (Kimberley mine) in 1877. The Tiffany is still selling luxury jewelry in their trademarked 'Tiffany Blue Box.' staring Audrey Hepburn. Photo: Pub. N. Jule Styne (born Julius Kerwin Stein) was born in London. Lorelei receives a diamond tiara from her suitor.' The stone was set into a garish jewelry piece called "Bird on a Rock. located at 259 Broadway. producing the 128. and a series of diamond-related slogans were introduced into the American lexicon. Jule Styne. After the French revolution in 1799. the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine. Ayer in 1938. and the subsequent overthrowing of King Louis-Philippe of France in 1848. and from the Spanish Crown Jewels [27]. Styne wrote the score for the 1949 Broadway musical 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Tiffany & Young.' During the 1800s. was originally a 'fancy goods' emporium. De Beers and the diamond industry got another shot in the arm. Domain Hollywood in 1949 Coming just on the heels of the immortal "a diamond is forever" campaign. and featuring the memorable scene in which Holly gazes longingly into Tiffany's window display. Styne moved to Hollywood where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn. aka "the King of Diamonds. With financial shockwaves caused by the French economy's collapse in 1847. the values of ostentatious gems and jewelry dropped precipitously. and Tiffany seized on the opportunity. . gems and jewelry from the estates of the European aristocracy. Harry Frederick Oppenheimer enlisted the help of N. A 19. The Great Depression had taken a heavy toll on luxury goods during the 1930s.54 carat 'The Tiffany Diamond." after here charecter. In 1948 the famous "A diamond is forever" slogan was introduced."A diamond is forever" is the legendary saying that was created by America's first advertising agency.

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

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

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

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

Cut Grade: Finish. and Proportions. Each parameter is given a numeric grade from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). mathematicians. Symmetry. Proportions & Light Performance The AGSL was the first gem lab to grade a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. and optical physicists." but to retained the "Triple Zero" monicker for diamonds with a perfect score. contrast. 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. dispersion. '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. ." The AGS Cut grading system was developed through years of research by gemologists. In 2004 AGS added a new category that is referred to as "Light Performance. leakage and light spread." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors.

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.0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light .1. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles. where facets intersect with each-other. . all measured in three spacial dimensions.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering." 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. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless .AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero. AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond. relative facet angles." or "ideal" rating.0 to 7.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint .5.0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless .5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light . as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.3.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003.5 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).5 to 4.0 to 1.7. 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. the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible. and individual facet ratios.

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

with the middle size being a candidate for final sorting. shovels. Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . Marine Mining Marine mining technology only became commercially viable in the early 1990s. Gems are separated from waste material using various sifting and sorting techniques such as cone screens. and or colluvial secondary deposits. and is a derivative form of open-cast mining used to extract minerals from the surface of the earth without the use of tunneling. Placer Mining Placer diamond mining. they tend to concentrate in alluvial deposits in the same way that gold placers develop. Artisanal diamond mining is a form of "subsistence based" non-mechanized mining that is used in poorer countries throughout the world. right) is used for extracting diamonds and minerals from alluvial. center) is a method of extracting rock and minerals from the earth by removal from a machine-dug open pit or burrow. mechanized surface excavating equipment. machinery. gravel. Open pit mines are typically used when mineral deposits are found close to the surface or along defined kimberlite pipes. Excavation is accomplished using water pressure (hydraulic mining). or sand) that is unsuitable for tunneling. . or sort material according to size. Diamonds and most gemstones are hard.Photo: USGS Alluvial Diamond .vertical tunnel used for ore haulage. and access to the ore. While on board. Small "pit lakes" tend to form at the bottom of open-pit mines as a result of groundwater intrusion. and have a specific gravity that is higher than that of common minerals. therefore.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. Open Pit Mining Open-pit diamond mining. Laborers who work in artisanal diamond mining are called "diamond diggers" (below left). Marine diamond mining employs both "vertical" and "horizontal" techniques to extract diamonds from offshore placer deposits. CAT-tracked underwater mining vehicles) move across the sea floor pumping gravel up to an offshore vessel. which concentrate the heavier gems at the bottom. at a maximum depth of 500 feet. or large conical sieves. A decline is typically used for mining personnel. or pans. or hand digging (artisanal mining). eluvial. right) with bare hands. also known as "sand-bank mining" (top of page. Horizontal mining employs the use of Seabed Crawlers (remotely controlled. box screens. rock or sedimentary soil. 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. highly resistant to weathering. running adjacent to the ore. the gravels are separated and sorted into three sizes. also known as "open-cast 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.

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

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

com . 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. Diamonds in marine areas are typically trapped in bedrock depressions such as gullies. but were not deposited on land.Namibia's placer diamond deposits are between 40 and 80 million years old. including Angola's two largest diamonds at 105.8 million to 10.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. Westward draining river systems transported these diamonds to Africa's continental coastline for final deposition within on-shore marine terrace gravels. Alluvial Terrace Gravels . to a lesser extent. carried from their primary origination point on the Kaapvaal Craton. in central South Africa and Botswana. depressions. channels or other trapsites for diamondiferous deposits. made their way to the sea bed just offshore.8k. Diamonds that were transported downstream.000 years ago). Some of the largest and highest gemquality diamonds produced from alluvial placer diamond mining have come from this region.9k and 101. Diamond Mines of the World: Active Diamond Mines List of Active Diamond Mines All Contents Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. potholes. The diamonds within these deposits were transported from deeply-eroded diamondiferous kimberlites or.

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

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

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