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
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

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

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

As a consumer.W. Color Carat weight is one of the 4 C's. and the Pear. Cut 2.Heart Marquise Oval Pear Princess Radiant Round Trillion (not shown at diagram) Fig." "Briolette" (a form of Rose cut). The "fancy cuts" are generally not held to the same strict standards as Round Brilliants.086 grains) or 0. CARAT Balancing Cut and Weight A diamond or gemstone's "Carat" designation is a measurement of both the size and weight of the stone. and a 2 carat diamond is 200 points.C. One "Carat" is a unit of mass that is equal to 0. 5 Popular fancy cuts include the "Baguette" (bread loaf). your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the "4 C's" diamond grading system." . a 3/4 carat diamond is 75 points. When a single piece of jewelry has multiple stones. "Princess" (square outline). Clarity 4. Carat 3. representing the four 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. Therefor.2 grams (200 milligrams or 3.007 ounce. The 4 C's of Diamonds: Carat (Weight) The 4 C's Diamond Grading System 1. a 1/2 carat diamond would be 50 points. "Marquise" or "Navette" (little boat). the total mass of all diamonds or gemstones is referred to as "Total Carat Weight" or "T. A carat can also be divided into "points" with one carat being equal to 100 points. and with each point being 2 milligrams in weight. "Heart.

0 carat 1.Grade: F Colorless .204 carat.495 carats and .5 carat 2.504 carats. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of . a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight. It is for this reason that an even 1. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions. Price Per Carat (2005) .5º crown. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above.500 15.10 carat diamond for its better cut.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat.0 carat 3. 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. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity ." If the carat weight is shown as ". it must be accurate to the second decimal place. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York.600 12. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a .750 30.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place. See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison.5 carat 1. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. 40º pavilion.99 carat diamond for its better price.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between . many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only.600 8.5 carats must have an actual weight of between .600 6. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry. girdle and pavilion. or to buy a 1.195 and .000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1.VS1 Carat Size</ 0. In ancient times.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut. or "seed of the carob".800 6. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32. Occasionally. clarity and weight.

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

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

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

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

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

and differentiates it from simple graphite. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale. a refractive index of 2.52.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine." which is also known as "adamant. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" [2]. . they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits. Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures. Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses.044. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2. diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation. with the principle allotrope being graphite. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes. igneous rock composed of garnet. phlogopite. Therefore. A diamond is a transparent. The name "diamond. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km). with a variety of trace minerals." and "unconquerable. ultramafic. and a specific gravity of 3." referring to its incredible hardness." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic.200 degrees Celsius). which resemble a champagne flute.Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical. olivine. Under the continental crust. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms. and pyroxene.42. At these depths. Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0. or "invincible." "untamable. 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." is derived from the Greek adamas.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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).90 carats. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation. . Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems.' discovered during the 18th century. pure green hues. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. Intense. greyish-green.000 in 1987. as in the one-of-a-kind 5.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant. and weighed a modest 0. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red.com) The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color. On thing is certain. and the De Young Red weighing 5. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13. The color change effect is temporary. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply.000 per carat. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits.03 carats.95carats. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner.000 to $500. or a combination of the two. Green diamonds can range from $35. Warren Hancock. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness [9].com) Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds.

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

ferropericlase. Black material found within internal fracture planes can also be crystallographic inclusions of graphite. . pyrrhotite and pentlandite.Internal Diamond Inclusion Photos Carbon Tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts). pyrrhotite and pentlandite. 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. 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. Internal cloud inclusions may not resolve as pinpoints at 10X . which can leave their own types of unique inclusions. Nevada. and is reproduced with their permission. All of the microscopic diamond carbon inclusion photography on this page was generously contributed by the AGSL gemological testing laboratory in Las Vegas.Carbon piqué inclusions are sometimes removed by diamond enhancements such as laser drilling. 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.

.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.

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Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.

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

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

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

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

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 Tubes Imperfection formed during crystal growth. when a tube is generated by a formerly liquid filled cavity. Growth Tube Inclusion Photos Internal Growth Tubes Inclusion Photography Internal Growth Tube inclusions are natural Imperfections that are created during diamond formation.

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Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .

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

Garnet Inclusions within Diamond .

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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.

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Internal Graining with Cloud Inclusion .

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

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

Pinpoints (Pp) Minute crystals within the diamond that appear white. 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 effect. Large groupings of small pinpoints can create a cloud inclusion effect.

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

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

Natural Comet Inclusion .

Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud .

Tabular Reflection in Diamond .

Included Garnet Twins within Diamond .

Included Dalmatian Garnet .

Cloud Inclusion .

Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers .

Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light .

Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion .

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

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

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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. made up of a bumpy or wavy pattern on the polished surface of a diamond.Lizard Skin A bumpy or wavy 'orange-peel' textured pattern on the polished surface of a diamond.

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

Surface Graining (SGr) Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation. 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.Pits Dislodged pinpoint inclusions at the surface. .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

25 carats to 1 carat. Gemesis only grows fancy-colored diamonds. Chatham's pricing ranges from $6.30 carats to 3 carats.. To insure easy identification as a man-made product. and stones are cut to order. each Gemesis cut stone over .3 on the Mohs scale. .chatham. and each cut stone is laser inscribed with the Apollo company logo and serial number. www. Florida.com Chatham Created Diamonds Chatham Gems is a San Francisco based company that grows only fancy-colored diamonds in colors ranging from champagne and canary yellow to pink and midnight blue. and like Chatham. and CZ has a hardness of only 8. Ltd.com To the average consumer. Tairus Created Gems are sold exclusively through Tairus Thailand Co. and rose cuts. The toughness of Cubic Zirconia is rated as good. and some fancy colored diamonds. princess. The Split Sphere system crystalizes the carbon seed in an alkaline. emerald. Massachusetts grows colorless (D to M) diamonds. while diamond has a hardness of 10. Tairus produces rough sizes from . with clarity grades from IF to SI. Cubic Zirconia (Zirconium Oxide ZrO2) has a completely different chemical structure. Apollo Diamonds are cut and polished in sizes ranging from .Apollo Diamond. and each stone is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. www. www.). carbonate fluid solution that is similar to diamond-bearing metamorphic rock. which they claim is the closest thing to mother nature.500 per carat (2004 est. inc.gemesis. While a synthetic diamond is a man-made recreation of an actual carbon-based diamond.500 to $9. using a proprietary variation of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) technique. Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is the most familiar type of diamond simulant on the market.apollodiamond.25 carats is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite Cubic Zirconia Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. of Bangkok Thailand. Apollo Diamond's cut stones are available in round brilliant.com Gemesis Cultured Diamonds Gemesis is located in Sarasota.com Tairus Created Gems Tairus Created Gems is a Russian company that grows fancy-colored diamonds in their proprietary "Split Sphere" system. in Boston.

but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light.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. Due to their low cost and consistency.80 to 2. a CZ is optically flawless. .41 (RI). Zirconium oxide powder is heated.) in a totally dark room.170. CZ vs Diamond . Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored.17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2. The 1. Unlike most natural diamonds. Once the mixture has cooled. natural diamond is a thermal conductor Weight: Cubic Zirconia is heavier than diamond in a given size Another method for distinguishing Cubic Zirconia from diamond is to mark the stone with a grease pencil or felt-tipped pen. candle. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight. Diamond's RI is 2.2. etc. or colorless (white) versions. The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit. and CZs can be made in any "color grade. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing. For instance. Using Visual Optics To Detect CZ The Hodgkinson "Visual Optics" technique was developed in the mid-1970s by Alan Hodgkinson as a method of detecting natural diamonds and diamond simulants. CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below). or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond . the greater dispersive power. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce.800 . then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible.In 1973. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR). Natural diamonds attract grease. CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1. 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. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left).

being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion.104 as compared to CZ at 0. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. found only in iron-nickel meteorites. when examining the gem through the kite facets.25 on the Mohs scale. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. 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. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting.417. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused.A small. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. Arizona. Henri Moissan (above. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. Moissanite has a hardness of 9. .044. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. 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. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. etc. and diamond at 0. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. candle. Moissanite has an RI of 2. center) near Winslow.65 to 2.060. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond. Moissanite. while diamond has a hardness of 10.) in a dark room.670.com Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum).69.

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

Cutting a raw diamond into a faceted and polished gem-quality stone is a multi-step process. on a scaife. a diamond can be cleaved in four directions parallel to each of the four octahedron crystal faces. or shatter the stone. Diamonds: Ideal Cut . High-tech computerized helium and oxygen analyzers are now used to evaluate a stone prior to cutting. This step is also referred to as "rounding. As the saw blade rotates it continues to pickup or "recharge" itself with diamond dust which is the cutting agent. and maintain symmetry. The natural shape of the rough stone will also be a major factor in deciding how to cut the stone. A rough stone is cleaved if there are conspicuous defects and/or inclusions which would prevent it from being made into a single gemstone. a second diamond mounted on a dop is pressed against it. Cleaving is a critical step as a mistake by the "cleaver" could fracture." Faceting: To facet a round brilliant. Asymmetrical crystals such as macles are used primarily for fancy cuts. 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. Bruting: The rough is placed in a chuck on a lathe. During this faceting stage the angles of each facet must be cut to an exacting standard in order to yield maximum brilliancy. eliminate waste. Cubic shapes are ideal for a square Princess or Radiant cut. Due to its atomic structure. Each step is critical to the final outcome. Cleaving: Cleaving refers to splitting a stone along its grain by striking it. or lap that has been "charged" with diamond dust. rounding the rough diamond into a conical shape. The cutting (also called "placing") and polishing of each facet is accomplished by attaching the stone to a dop stick with cement. Cleavage is the tendency of crystalline materials to split along defined cleavage plane. It can take several hours for the saw blade to cut through a 1k rough diamond.Modern Round Brilliant Diamond . Sawing: A stone-cutting saw is a thin disk made of phosphor bronze. While the rough stone rotates on the diamond lathe. then pressing it against a revolving cast iron disk. then a "brillianteer" will cut and polish the remaining 40 facets. and bypass any inclusions or imperfections. the "blocker" or "lapper" will cut the first 18 main facets. 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 clarity of the stone. elimination of any inclusions. and the amount of internal inclusions will play an important part in the decisions as to how to maximize yield.com When deciding how to cut a rough diamond. If. Reconciling Cut & Weight Retention If the rough stone has a colorless D through F rating and has very few inclusions. it would be cost effective to sacrifice some carat weight in order to finish with two "Ideal" cuts. The objective is always to maximize carat weight. An octehedral rough diamond will yield two round brilliant cut stones (see diagram below). compromises would have to be made. 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 . but in order to do this. a cutter must make a cost-benefit analysis as to how to maximize the cut stone's value. This is accomplished by reconciling three key factors .Ideal Cut vs Standard Cut Diamond Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. cut proportions. it may be better to aim for a higher carat weight utilizing a "Standard" cut.weight retention. on the other hand. the rough stone has some coloration and/or is heavily included.

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

more brilliance and fire.5%. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. crown height of 14. Eppler & Scan D. Since then. very small to small In the 1970s.6% and overall height of 57. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35.7%. A perfect blending of facet symmetry. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant". Symmetry. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts.' 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. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect. Tolkowsky.4%.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed. and Proportions. .N. etc. crown height of 14. As with all human endeavors.5% to 43.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios. and overall height of 57. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.." (Scandinavian standard. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57. H&A Viewer. and crown/pavilion angles. invented in 1929. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. The "Scan D. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace.N. Ideal Scope. To quantify a diamond's cut quality. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut.7%. facet ratios.

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

The Context Cut follows a rough diamond crystal's natural octahedral shape. The Context Cut consists of two back-to-back pyramids (an octahedron). Barocut The Barocut® diamond cut is a patented. Barocut diamonds are promoted and sold exclusively through the Baroka Creations catalog. The cut has a total of 8 facets plus a girdle. www. Marce Tolkowsky.garrard. of New York in 2000. www. and was the forerunner to the princess cut. The name "Barion" or "Barion cut" was never trademarked. www. Barocut stones are also sold in tapered shapes.freiesleben. 23 more than a modern Round Brilliant cut. The Context Cut design was based on an earlier patented design by Bernd Munsteiner from the early 1960s. to become Asprey & Garrard. Inc. In 1998. Germany. The Barocut is also called a "two heart diamond" due to the illusion of two mirrored hearts meeting at the culet. The Barocut is available in sizes from 20 points to 3 carats. and a total of 81 facets. Gabi Tolkowsky. nephew to the inventor of the Modern Round Brilliant cut. and a 'softer' briliance than a traditional round brilliant cut. merged with the jewelry firm Asprey. and its patent has expired. A Barocut diamond has a total of 77 facets. The Eternal Cut has a total of 81 facets. 81 facets on the cut corner (cushion) version.baroka. Garrard & Co. or to increase light-dispersion.The Barion square cut (aka Barion square cushion cut) was invented by Basil Watermeyer of South Africa in 1971.com Context Cut The Context Cut is a square cut that was developed by Dr. not including the 16 girdle facets. Ulrich Freiesleben of Germany in the early 1980s then patented and trademarked in 1997. with star-shaped cross facets cut diagonally into the pavilion. parting ways in 2002 to again become Garrard. and in all diamond colors and/or clarity grades.com . and creates a high amount of waste. It is sold exclusively through the 270 year old firm of Garrard & Company in London. adding up to 50% to the cost when compared to a Round Brilliant cut diamond. The cutting process requires a high-quality rough. The Context Cut is used to cut colored gemstones by Julius Petsch of Idar-Oberstein. The Barion square cut diamond has a 4-fold mirror-image symmetry. The Eternal Cut is being sold exclusively at Garrard's main London store and Harvey Nichols stores in Great Britain. modified rectangular (baguette) cut that was developed by Baroka Creations. forming a square shape when viewed from the top.de Eternal Cut The Eternal Cut diamond was designed and patented by master Israeli diamond cutter. creating a unique 'flower petal' pattern surrounding the cutlet. or the company website.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and individual facet ratios.1.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero.5 to 4.7. where facets intersect with each-other.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light .0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless . relative facet angles.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003. AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond." or "ideal" rating.3.5 to 3.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint . AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless . the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible.0 to 1.0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light .5. 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.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering. in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above). all measured in three spacial dimensions. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram. 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 AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles." 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. . When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.0 to 7.

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

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

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

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

The diamonds within these deposits were transported from deeply-eroded diamondiferous kimberlites or. in central South Africa and Botswana. Westward draining river systems transported these diamonds to Africa's continental coastline for final deposition within on-shore marine terrace gravels. carried from their primary origination point on the Kaapvaal Craton. including Angola's two largest diamonds at 105. made their way to the sea bed just offshore.8k. 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.8 million to 10.Namibia's placer diamond deposits are between 40 and 80 million years old. Some of the largest and highest gemquality diamonds produced from alluvial placer diamond mining have come from this region.com . depressions. Alluvial Terrace Gravels .9k and 101. Diamonds that were transported downstream. to a lesser extent. channels or other trapsites for diamondiferous deposits. from olivine lamproites formed during the Cretaceous or Permo-Triassic period. but were not deposited on land. Diamond Mines of the World: Active Diamond Mines List of Active Diamond Mines All Contents Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.000 years ago).Photo: Wiki Diamond-Bearing 'Diamondiferous' Gravel Many of these alluvial diamond deposits occur in Pleistocene and Holocene successions (1. potholes.

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

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

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