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The story of diamonds is, to use the metaphor, a tale of fire and "ice." Forged through immense heat and pressure over millions, or hundreds of millions of years, diamonds start their humble existence as simple, elemental carbon; the basic building block of all life in earth. We attempt to demystify these enigmatic little stones, by explaining their scientific reason for being, as well as were they are mined, how they are mined, and the history of the diamond trade, or 'diamond pipeline.' Diamonds are both elemental, and complex. As such, there is a lot of technical jargon associated with them. Shopping for a diamond can be very confusing to the newbie, but we have endeavored to make it as simple and interesting as humanly possible. You shouldn't need extraordinary brilliance to understand scintillation or refraction. Enjoy!
All About Diamonds
Diamond Basics The "4 Cs" of Diamonds - Cut The "4 C's" of Diamonds - Carat The "Four C's" of Diamonds - Clarity The "Four Cs" of Diamonds - Color Diamond Chemistry Optical Properties of Diamond Fancy Colored Diamonds Diamond Inclusion Library Diamond Enhancements Synthetics & Simulants Synthetic Diamonds Cubic Zirconia Moissanite Diamond Cuts Diamond Cutting Ideal Cut Modern Round Brilliant Patented Signature Diamond Cuts Old European Diamond Cuts Uncut Raw Diamonds in Jewelry The Diamond Market The Diamond Pipeline Diamond Bourses The Diamond Trade's Key Players Diamond Pricing - Price Comparison Charts Diamond Certification
AGS Diamond Grading Report Independent Diamond Testing Laboratories Diamond Mining & Mine Technology Diamond Mining Technology Diamond Geology & Kimberlites Full List of Worldwide Diamond Mines Artisanal Diamond Mining & Conflict Diamonds Worldwide Diamond Mining Regions Australian Diamond Mines Borneo's Landak Diamond Mines Botswana Diamond Mines Brazilian Diamond Mines Canadian Diamond Mines India's Golconda Diamond Mines Namibia Russian Diamond Mines South African Diamond Mines US Diamond Mines Conflict Diamonds Angola Diamond Mines Congo (DRC) Diamond Mines Liberia Diamond Mines Sierra Leone Diamond Mines Zimbabwe's Chiadzwa Marange Diamond Fields Diamond History & Cutting Regions Historical Diamond Cuts & Cutting History Historical Diamond Cutting Regions Diamond Cutting in Amsterdam Diamond Cutting in Antwerp Diamond Cutting in Belgium Diamond Cutting in Guangzhou, China Diamond Cutting in Gujarat, India Diamond Cutting in Idar-Oberstein, Germany Diamond Terminology Glossary - Gemology
The 4 Cs of Diamonds: Cut
The 4 C's Diamond Grading System
1. 2. 3. 4. Cut Carat Clarity Color
More than 100 million diamonds are sold in the United States each year, yet most consumers know very little about the product they are purchasing, and how that product is valued. The '4 Cs' represent the four main variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics. As a consumer, your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the '4 Cs' diamond grading system. If you are purchasing an expensive stone it will also be critical for you to learn how to read and understand the details of a GIA (Gemological Institute of America) 'Diamond Dossier,' AGL report, or AGS (American Gem Society) 'Diamond Certificate,' or Sarin 'Diamond Grading Report' (see full list of independent testing laboratories, below). You will also want to familiarize yourself with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines on jeweler conduct and consumer awareness. This knowledge will help be invaluable when you are comparison shopping for diamonds.
Diamond Cut Quality When jewelers judge the quality of a diamond cut, or "make", they often rate "Cut" as the most important of the "4 Cs." The way a diamond is cut is primarily dependent upon the original shape of the rough stone, location of the inclusions and flaws to be eliminated, the preservation of the weight, and the popularity of certain shapes. Don't confuse a diamond's "cut" with it's "shape". Shape refers only to the outward appearance of the diamond (Fig. 5 below), and not how it is faceted. The Importance of Cut Quality When a diamond has a high quality cut (ideal cut), incident light will enter the stone through the table and crown, traveling toward the pavilion where it reflects from one side to the other before bouncing back out of the diamond's table toward the observer's eye (see Fig. 1 below). This phenomenon is referred to as "light return" (Fig. 2 below) which affects a diamond's brightness, brilliance, and dispersion. Any light-leakage caused by poor symmetry and/or cut proportions (off-make) will adversely affect the quality of light return. The "Shallow Cut" and "Deep Cut" examples in Fig. 1 show how light that enters through the table of a Modern Round Brilliant diamond reaches the pavilion facets and then leaks out from the sides or bottom of the diamond rather than reflecting back to the eye through the table. Less light reflected back to the eye means less "Brilliance". In the "Ideal Cut" example, most of the light entering through the table is reflected back towards the observer from the pavilion facets.
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
Good Cut Fair Cut Poor Cut Cut Proportions In the past. 64. All of that has changed with the AGS Cut Grading system and GIA's new "Cut Grading System". Fig. Other variations of the "Modern Round Brilliant" include the "Ideal Brilliant" which was invented by Johnson and Roesch in 1929. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. or 96 facets which are not counted in the total number of facets (58). The chart below shows several common problems to look for. pavilion and crown angle) and did not provide a subjective ranking of how good the cut was. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. The crown will have 33 facets. Poor Diamond Faceting and Symmetry Due to the mathmatics involved in light refraction. 80. and the pavillion will have 25 facets.e. 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. Fig. 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. when one incorrect facet angle can throw off the symmetry of the entire stone. This can also result in the undesirable creation of extra facets beyond the required 58. 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. 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. Only a trained eye could see the quality of a good cut. 3 . a Round Brilliant cut that does not have the proper proportions and symmetry (off-make) will have noticeably less brilliance. Common cutting problems can occur during the faceting process.
The IdealScope was invented by Kazumi Okuda in the 1970's. and its later incarnation. out through the table. The first official H & A "EightStar" diamond was cut in 1985 by Kioyishi Higuchi for Japanese businessman and FireScope manufacturer. 5) are listed below. A diamond cut for too much fire will look like cubic zirconia. 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. Cut (Scandinavian Standard) will display a "Hearts and Arrows" pattern when observed through a IdealScope (arrows only). Takanori Tamura. Fig. as two stones could be cut from one crystal. the quality of the cutter's execution of that shape is of primary importance. The round brilliant cut is preferred when the crystal is an octahedron. or a Scan D. Proportion) must meet the "ideal" criteria. The "Ideal" designation is an AGS term that is not found on an GIA report. 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. Emerald .' while AGS uses a more exacting combination of proportional facet ratios along with raytracing metrics to calculate light return. Asymmetrical raw crystals such as macles are usually cut in a "Fancy" style.For a Modern Round Brilliant cut (Tolkowsky Brilliant). N. left) are only found in diamonds that meet the American Gem Society Laboratories' "0" Ideal Cut specifications. Several basic diamond shapes (Fig. In order for a diamond to receive a "Triple-0" grading. all three categories of cut (Polish. Eppler Cut (European Standard). there is a balance between "brilliance" and "fire". 4 Perfectly formed Hearts and Arrows patterns with eight hearts AND eight arrows (above." was invented by Ken Shigetomi and Kazumi Okuda in 1984. However. AGS Triple-0 Certification The American Gem Society (AGS) is the industry leader in laboratory testing of round gems for cut grade and quality. or a H & A Viewer gemscope (FireScope). GIA vs AGS Cut Grading GIA's new cut-grading system is based on averages that are rounded-up to predict 'light performance. Hearts and Arrows Diamonds A perfectly proportioned ideal cut that is cut to the exacting specifications of a Tolkowsky Cut. The shape of the diamond cut is heavily dependent upon the original shape of the rough stone. A Triple-0 diamond can also be called a "Triple Ideal Cut" or "AGS-Ideal Zero" diamond. A well executed round brilliant cut should reflect the maximum amount light from the interior pavilion facets. Symetry. the "FireScope. Fancy Diamond Cuts The shape of the cut is a matter of personal taste and preference. making the diamond appear white when viewed from the top. which gives out much more fire than a real diamond.
Cut 2.2 grams (200 milligrams or 3. One "Carat" is a unit of mass that is equal to 0. The "fancy cuts" are generally not held to the same strict standards as Round Brilliants." "Briolette" (a form of Rose cut).Heart Marquise Oval Pear Princess Radiant Round Trillion (not shown at diagram) Fig. the total mass of all diamonds or gemstones is referred to as "Total Carat Weight" or "T. "Princess" (square outline). As a consumer. CARAT Balancing Cut and Weight A diamond or gemstone's "Carat" designation is a measurement of both the size and weight of the stone. The 4 C's of Diamonds: Carat (Weight) The 4 C's Diamond Grading System 1. "Heart. 5 Popular fancy cuts include the "Baguette" (bread loaf)." .007 ounce.W. Therefor. Carat 3. Color Carat weight is one of the 4 C's. Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. When a single piece of jewelry has multiple stones. your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the "4 C's" diamond grading system.086 grains) or 0. Clarity 4. a 3/4 carat diamond is 75 points. and a 2 carat diamond is 200 points.C. "Marquise" or "Navette" (little boat). 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. and the Pear. a 1/2 carat diamond would be 50 points.
"If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown. In ancient times.600 6.600 8. girdle and pavilion.504 carats. or "seed of the carob". See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison.0 carat 1. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing.Grade: F Colorless . a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight. or to buy a 1. Occasionally." If the carat weight is shown as ". and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight.5º crown. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity . a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor.204 carat. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions.495 carats and . A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond.800 6.5 carat 1. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place. Price Per Carat (2005) . Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above.195 and . This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only.600 12.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between . It is for this reason that an even 1. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of . that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone.5 carats must have an actual weight of between .99 carat diamond for its better price.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration. it must be accurate to the second decimal place. 40º pavilion.VS1 Carat Size</ 0.0 carat 3. clarity and weight. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a .500 15.10 carat diamond for its better cut.750 30.5 carat 2.
"Very Very Small" inclusions hard to see at 10 x magnification VVS-2 . it is important to learn and understand the clarity designations found within the "Four C's" diamond grading system.The Four C's Diamond Grading System 1."Flawless" no inclusions at 10 x magnification IF . point size and the location of inclusions. Considerations in grading the clarity of a diamond include the type of stone. As a consumer. Diamond Clarity Designations FL . or break the surface. 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. The term "Clarity" refers to the presence or absence of tiny imperfections (inclusions) within the stone.Inclusions large and obvious. Inclusions that are near to. and/or on the surface of the stone. Color Clarity is one of the Four C's.not naked eye VS-2 . it may be possible to hide certain inclusions behind the setting of the diamond (depending on where the inclusion is located). and flaws GIA Clarity Grading System The chart below explains the GIA grading system for inclusions and imperfections. In fancy-colored diamonds. . VVS1 better than VVS2 VS-1 . may weaken the diamond structurally."Very Very Small" inclusions."Small" or "Slight" Inclusions or "Imperfections" visible to naked eye SI-3 .small blemishes VVS-1 . Clarity 4. CLARITY All of the grades of diamond clarity shown in the table below. darker inclusions will tend to create the most significant drop in clarity grade."Very Small" inclusions VS1 is better grade than VS2 SI-1 . In "colorless" diamonds. Cut 2.Imperfect. with large Inclusions. therefore reducing its value significantly."Small" or "Slight" Inclusions or "Imperfections" may be "eye clean" SI-2 . light or pale inclusions may show greater relief. fractures. thus minimizing any negative impact of the inclusion. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. Carat 3. . On the other hand. little or no brilliance I1 to I3 . . making them more apparent."Internally Flawless" no inclusions at 10 x mag. causing a greater drop in grade."Very Small" inclusions visible at 10 x mag.
Reputable companies often provide for repeat treatments if heat causes damage to the filling. much like repairing a crack in your car's windshield. vendors should disclose this enhancement. The heat generated by a blowtorch used to work on settings can cause damage.Garnet or other Included gem stones Twinning Wisps .An inclusion that penetrates the surface.An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing. Needles .A natural indentation that was not removed by polishing.Cloudy grouping of tiny pinpoints that may not resolve at 10X Magnification. Laser Drilling Laser drilling involves using a laser to burn a tunnel or hole to a carbon inclusion. appearing as a raised area. fringing. "One out of every three diamonds sold in the United States is laser-drilled. Filled Fractures . chips. Grain Center . Pique . 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.Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet.Fine cracks. According to FTC guidelines. he or she could legally sell it as a VVS-2. There is a significant price discount for fracture-filled diamonds." .Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation.Minute crystals within the diamond that appear white. Clouds . a diamond must be within one clarity grade of its advertised amount at the time of sale. Pits .Fractures that have been artificially filled. or feathers along the outer edge of girdle. Chips ." According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides.Inclusions resulting from crystal twining during growth. Internal Graining .Irregular crystal growth causing internal distortions.Tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts). Indented Naturals .Dislodged pinpoint inclusions at the surface. According to Fred Cuellar in his book How to Buy a Diamond. Surface Graining .Cleavage planes or internal fractures that have the appearance of feathers. External Diamond Inclusions Bearded Girdles . Bruising . The drilling process leave tiny telltale shafts or tunnels that are visible under magnification. The treatment is considered permanent and both the GIA and AGS will issue grades for laser drilled diamonds.A percussion mark caused by impact. Knots .Diamond Clarity Grade Inflation A fairly common practice in the jewelry trade is grade-inflation or "grade bumping. Internal Diamond Inclusions Carbon .Concentrated area of crystal growth that appear light or dark. Cavities . so they can use greater care while working on the piece.Rutile-like needle inclusions. followed by acid washing to remove the coloring agent. Feathers . Pinpoints . Diamond Fracture Filling Diamond clarity is sometimes enhanced by filling fractures. haze. If a jeweler sells a diamond that has an actual grade of VS-1. The GIA will not grade fracture-filled diamonds. Such diamonds are sometimes called "fracture filled diamonds". therefor it is essential to inform anyone working on a setting if the diamond is fracture-filled. waviness. in part because the treatment isn't permanent.
light yellow or brown Fig. Burn Marks .Surface burning from heat buildup during polishing. the yellower the stone will appear. F . X. T. Scratches .Grinding Wheel Marks of scratches from contact with other diamonds. Y. M . The Four Cs of Diamonds: Color The Four Cs Diamond Grading System 1. V.colorless (white) G. Nicks . it will be beneficial to learn and understand some of the basic parameters for diamond color grading. Cut 2. Carat 3. P. In determining the color rating of a diamond. "SI-3" is a grade sometimes used in the diamond industry. The higher the amount of nitrogen atoms. The designation of SI-3 was popularized by the EGL (European Gemological Laboratory) grading office. E. At present.faint yellow or brown N. the most reputable well known US labs. H. Clarity 4. These nitrogen impurities are evenly dispersed throughout the stone. The color chart in Fig.Whitish haziness along the junction of facets caused by wear. U. Diamond Color Designations D. Diamonds of this low grade would be inappropriate for jewelry. the Gemological Institute of America uses a scale of "D" to "Z" in which "D" is totally colorless and "Z" is yellow. 1 explains the GIA grading system for clear (not fancy-colored) stones. Q. 1 . thereby making the diamond appear yellow. absorbing some of the blue spectrum. COLOR Most all natural diamonds contain small quantities of nitrogen atoms that displacing the carbon atoms within the crystal's lattice structure.Small chips at facet junctions. Z .very light yellow or brown S. O. I. W.near colorless K. As a consumer. assign this grade.Human Caused Surface Blemishes Abrasions . J . Color Color is one of the Four Cs representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. R . L. a Sarin Diamond Color Grading report is the state-of-the-art color measuring standard. Neither the GIA nor the AGS (American Gemological Society).
D4. and dispersion of light (fire) when looking through the table or crown.' or a borderline 'G. and not by looking at the top of the stone." or "D+. jewelers and gem labs can accurately provide a 'color typing' printout of a diamond's color grading that is compatible with AGS. and HRD grading scales. India. D-Flawless . For the consumer.' Unfortunatly. 2 Sarin Color Typing is a relatively new sub-classification of the D through Z gading scale.The Holy Grail .Due to a diamond's high brilliance." "whiter than white. D2. Color grading by 'visual-observation is performed against a Master CZ Colored Grading Set. GIA-GEM. IGI. color grading should be determined by examining the stone through the side of the pavilion (Fig. 2). Fig. as in our Fig. most gem labs do not currently provide color-typing data in their reports and certificates. sometimes referred to as "white diamonds. and D5). Fig. Using a Sarin Diamond Colorimeter DC3000 (aka Gran Colorimeter). D3." are named after the famous Golconda Diamond Mines located in the state of Hyderabad. 3 example below. These colorless stones. it is extremely benificial to know if your 'F' is a strong 'F. Each classification is divided into five sub-classifications (D1. 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.
others may prefer a "warmer" color found in a G to J range to compliment their skin tone. so this effect will be more apparent under natural daylight than under artificial incandescent light. When diamonds are viewed under a UV light-source. fluorescence could increase the value by 0% to 2% buy improving the color (or lack thereof). fewer than 5." but the diamond will have a dull. murky appearance when compared to a non-fluorescing diamond. Diamond Fluorescence Approximatly 1/3 (35%) of all diamonds have a tendency to fluoresce when exposed to ultra-violet (UV) light. In some settings with various combinations of other stones. making the diamond appear "colorless.Diamond Formation . On the other hand. diamonds with a poorer color grading (I through K). diamonds with a visible tint may be preffered. For diamonds with a color grading of D through H (colorless). Even with microscopic inclusions. faint.Large D-flawless diamonds (those weighing more than 2 carats) are some of the rarest minerals on earth. Only around 600 D-flawless roughs are cut into gems weighing between 1 and 2 carats during a given year.000 D-color diamonds weighing over half a carat are found each year. Skin Tone and Settings While some may prefer a very transparent D to F range. and strong. See Color in Gemstones for more information. according to the GIA. Fluorescence is graded as none. Ultra-violet light is a component of natural sunlight and artificial 4800k to 5000k color-proofing light. Diamonds: Chemistry & Structural Properties Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Structural Properties of Diamond . they tend to fluoresce as blue. fluorescence can negatively impact the value of the stone by 3% to 20%. This fluorescent effect can be beneficial to a diamond that has a yellow tint. as the blue fluorescence will cancel out some of the yellow. medium.
igneous rock composed of garnet.044. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale. At these depths. and pyroxene." and "unconquerable." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic.52." "untamable. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes. ultramafic. diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation. Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical. phlogopite. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" ." which is also known as "adamant. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km). Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon. and differentiates it from simple graphite. or "invincible. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms.200 degrees Celsius).42. with a variety of trace minerals. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2.Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time. Therefore. and a specific gravity of 3. 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. olivine. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe." referring to its incredible hardness. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1. Under the continental crust. a refractive index of 2. . which resemble a champagne flute. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses. The name "diamond." is derived from the Greek adamas. with the principle allotrope being graphite. Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine. Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness. A diamond is a transparent.
Experimentation during the late 18th century demonstrated that diamonds were made of carbon. although the reason for its combustion was not understood at the time. or carbon dioxide. is nearly as hard as diamond. it is termed as "subhedral. When a gemstone has an irregular external shape or asymmetrical arrangement of its crystal facets. and therefore." This means that diamond crystals usually "grow" in an orderly and symmetrical arrangement.A Type 2-A diamond has a hardness value of 167 GPa (±6) when scratched with an ultrahard fullerite tip. a predictable crystal growth pattern known as its "crystal habit. The material "boron nitride. with the end byproduct of the combustion being carbonic-acid gas. beta carbon nitride. octahedral." when found in a crystalline form that is structurally similar to diamond. above)." or "anhedral. whether it is cubic. The external shape of the crystal. and a hardness value of 231 GPa (±5) when scratched with a diamond tip. by igniting a diamond in an oxygen atmosphere. The natural crystal form. a currently hypothetical material. or dodecahedral. may also be as hard or harder than diamond. Diamond Crystal Habit Diamonds have a characteristic crystalline structure. although in nature. perfectly formed crystals are rare. and crystal habit of a diamond is octahedral (photo. where it was shown to combust in scientific experiments. Additionally. A diamond's incredible hardness was the subject of curiosity dating back to the Roman empire. does not always reflect the internal arrangement of its atoms." .
" and therefore. and "pound-force" per square-inch in US units of measurement. its "toughness" rating is moderate. Diamond Graphitization In extremely high temperature environments above 1700 ¡C. Hematite has a hardness of only 5. due to its ability to fracture along cleavage planes." If you were to place a large enough diamond on your tongue it would draw heat away.5.5 to 6. Thermal Properties of Diamonds Diamond is a good conductor of heat. and therefore may be uninsurable by reputable insurance companies. Many natural blue . Although diamond is the "hardest. making it seem cold. but its toughness rating is also excellent. acting as a "thermal conductor. By comparrison. a diamond's "toughness" is only fair to good. A material's toughness is measured in units of "joules" per cubic meter (J/m3) in the SI system. meaning that a diamond is 4 times "harder" than sapphire. sapphire has a hardness rating of 9. graphite can develop internally and on the diamond's surface. The culet facet at the bottom of the pavilion. is a facet specifically designed to resist breakage. Unlike "hardness.Trace impurities.© AGS Labs Diamond Toughness Within the fields of metallurgy and materials science." which only denotes a diamond's high resistance to scratching. very thin girdles on brilliant cut diamonds are also prone to breakage. 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. the term "toughness" describes the resistance of a given material to fracture when it is stressed or impacted. crystal twinning. Carbon Inclusion . yet sapphire has a toughness rating of excellent.© AGS Labs Hexagonal (Graphite) Platelet Inclusion . with a Mohs scale rating of 10. and varying growth conditions of heat. most scratch resistant mineral on earth. Additionally. Particular cuts of diamond are more prone to breakage along cleavage planes. causing stress fractures or feathers.
to prevent silicon and other semiconducting materials from overheating. Electromagnetic Properties of Diamond .com The surface luster (or "lustre") of diamond is described as adamantine. and synthetic diamonds that are doped with boron. are known as p-type semiconductors. meaning "light". 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.Insulators or Semiconductors Diamond is a relatively good electrical insulator. which means unyielding. If an n-type semiconductor can be synthesized. increasing thermal conductance. re-emitting them as lower-energy. or brilliance. or longer-wavelength photons.diamonds contain boron atoms which replace carbon atoms within the crystal matrix. giving off a somewhat greasy sheen. or having the hardness or luster of a diamond. and generally implies radiance. Purified synthetic diamond can have the highest thermal conductivity (2000-2500 W/m-K) of any solid material at room temperature . gloss. which are in fact semiconductors. with the exception of natural blue diamonds.nearly five times greater than pure copper. The word luster traces its origins back to the Latin word lux. it is used in the manufacturing of semiconductors. inflexible. The term adamantine describes the way light interacts with the surface of a crystal. . electronic circuits could be manufactured from diamonds in the future . Due to diamond's high thermal conductance. Natural blue diamonds containing boron atoms. Fluorescence in Diamonds Fluorescence is an optical phenomenon in which a diamond's molecules absorb high-energy photons.
© AGS Labs Type IIa diamonds are very rare. red. All Type 1 diamonds have nitrogen atoms as their main impurity. Typically. due primarily to certain structural anomalies arising from "plastic deformation" which occurred during their formation. Some Type IIa diamonds can be found with pink." and refraction. absorbing some of the blue spectrum. Type I & Type II Diamonds As many as 99% of all natural diamonds are classified as Type I. making them appear 'colorless' (D). Cloud Inclusion Under UV . thereby allowing the passage of short-wave ultra-violet (SWUV) light through the stone. permitting the passage and reflectance of blue light. show no fluorescence. Type II Diamond Formation Certain diamonds were formed under extremely high pressure for longer time periods. and contain nitrogen atoms as an impurity. Diamond can exhibit pseudochromatic coloration giving the appearance of "color" without having any actual color in the mineral itself. while Type II diamonds that lack boron impurities are classified as Type IIa. which replace some carbon atoms within the crystal lattice structure. greenish or yellow fluorescence when exposed to the X-ray wavelength. and thereby making the diamond appear yellow. These rare diamonds have a lower nitrogen content. If the nitrogen atoms are dispersed evenly throughout the crystal. 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 give off a bluish-white. Some diamond varieties. and some of the finest historical gemstones such as the Cullinan and Koh-i-Noor are both Type IIa diamonds. classifying them as Type IIb diamonds. they can give the stone a yellow tint.© AGS Labs Type I UV Fluorescence . Type II diamonds do not contain any detectable nitrogen.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. Natural blue Type II diamonds containing scattered boron impurities within their crystal matrix are good conductors of electricity. with very high thermal conductivity. and appear dark when exposed to ultra-violet light or X-rays. a natural diamond may contains both Type 1-A and Type 1-B material. Diamond Refraction & Coloration Diamonds are "singly refractive. . particularly Canadian diamonds. These Nitrogen impurities found in Type I diamonds are evenly dispersed throughout the gemstone. and are classified as Type 1-B. This illusion of color is caused by the varying optics effects created by spectral dispersion." with a refractive index of 2. or "fire. or brown coloration. Man-made synthetic diamonds containing nitrogen are classified as Type 1-B. and they are classified as Type 1-A. These Type IIa diamonds have a near-perfect crystal structure making them highly transparent and colorless.417. If the nitrogen atoms are grouped in clusters they do not necessarily affect the diamond's overall color.
blue (Hope Diamond).Diamond Refraction & Light Dispersion Diamonds can also exhibit allochromatic coloration which is caused by chromophores from the nitrogen trace impurities found within crystalline structure. 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. green. However. while chemically "pure" diamonds are basically transparent. Fancy Diamond Color Hues A fancy brown (or Fancy Cognac). green (Ocean Dream). boron (blue diamonds). Colorless diamonds would normally be priced much higher than yellow diamonds. . it enters the realm of a "Fancy Color" diamond. and black. Green & Cognac Fancy Colored Diamond Diamonds can occur in all colors of the spectrum. red diamonds). yellow. However. orange. Yellow. In this case. and their color is due to trace impurities of nitrogen and/or hydrogen (yellow. or yellow diamond may have a relatively low value when compared to a colorless diamond. pink. fancy pink diamonds can command very high prices as they have become increasingly popular. and red (Hancock Diamond) are particularly valuable. All colored diamonds contain certain specific impurities and/or structural defects that cause their coloration. steel grey. brown. Diamond Color & Composition Diamonds can occur in a wide variety of colors: colorless or white. Once thought to be of little value. brown diamonds). Fancy Colored Diamonds: Pink. radiation exposure (green diamonds) or irregular growth patterns within the crystal (pink. red. blue. It is this nitrogen component that produces the color of fancy yellow diamonds. certain fancy-colored diamonds such as pink (Condé). green. Blue. the intensity of the color in the diamond can plays a significant role in its value. when a diamond's color is more intense than the "Z" grading.
N to R Light . having a pure magenta color with deep saturation. Pink diamonds are similar to pink sapphire in color. Only 1% to 2% of the diamonds produced at the Argyle Mine are high-quality pink specimens. This Chameleon-like phenomenon was first documented by the GIA in the early 1940s. halogen.S to Z Fancy Light . The rough stone weighed 287. and most valuable Fancy Yellow diamonds in the world is the 'Tiffany Diamond. South Africa in 1878.Brown diamonds. . 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. Pink Diamonds The pink color within these rare diamonds is due to irregular crystal growth patterns. An 1P designation would have less blue and more brownish-red. have become more commonplace as Australian colored diamonds have gained in popularity.Pink (Reddish-pink) 1 is darkest 1BP to 8BP . yet considerably more expensive.54 carat cushion cut with an estimated value in the millions of dollars.M Very Light . and was cut into a 128. bright light). which are generally less appreciated than other fancy colors and therefor.Pink (Magenta-pink) 1 is darkest 1P to 8P . Fancy Pink/Brown Diamond Color (Hue) Designations 1PP to 8PP .Start of 'Fancy' Fancy Fancy Dark Fancy Intense Fancy Deep Fancy Vivid . causing microscopic imperfections within the lattice structure.' found in Kimberly. and value (darkness) using nine classifications ranging from 'Faint' to 'Vivid. 1PP is the highest quality designation for Pink Diamond. As the numbers go lower (8PP) the color is paler. One of the world's only major sources for rare pink diamonds is the Argyle Mine in Australia.Cognac 8 is darkest Chameleon Diamonds There is a very rare olive-grayish color-changing diamond called "Chameleon Diamond" (below. lighting color temperatures (incandescent. The GIA grades fancy diamond color by quantifying the saturation. left). hue.Champagne 3 is darkest C8 to C1 .Pink (Brownish-pink) 1 is darkest PC3 to PC1 .Highest Saturation One of the largest.42 carats.' GIA 'Fancy Yellow' Diamond Color Saturation Designations Faint . sold at a greater discount. daylight) and ambient temperature changes. which changes hue from grayish-blue or olive-green to yellowish-green or straw-yellow under different lighting conditions (darkness.
com) The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. or a combination of the two. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds.000 per carat. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red. Warren Hancock. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926.Green Chameleon Diamonds Fancy Pink Diamond Color Grading Chameleon diamonds can be forced to temporarily change to a yellowish-green color by exposing them to heat (150º C to 250º C). or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness .000 in 1987. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits.95carats. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond.000 to $500. The color change effect is temporary. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green. Green diamonds can range from $35. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation.90 carats. . On thing is certain. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities.com) Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems. greyish-green. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities.03 carats.' discovered during the 18th century. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. pure green hues.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant. and the De Young Red weighing 5. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. and weighed a modest 0. Intense. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds.
com) Fancy Colored Synthetic Diamonds Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless D. These impurities absorb the blue end of the light spectrum. and man-made imperfections—that can be found in raw and cut diamonds." These inclusions can occur within the stone.Reddish Brown Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems.com Clarity is one of the Four C's of diamond grading. E. Nevada. or absence of tiny imperfections known as "inclusions.L. . or human caused. representing the four main variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. The term "clarity" refers to the presence.S. It is for this reason that manufacturers of synthetic diamonds tend to specialize in fancy colors. All of the microscopic inclusion photographs on this page were generously contributed by the A. Diamond Inclusion Library: Inclusion Photos Over 100 High-Resolution Diamond Photos! All Contents: Copyright © 2010 AllAboutGemstones. Inclusions which are visible to the naked eye are referred to as piquŽ. F grades. and can be naturally occuring. gemological testing laboratory in Las Vegas. and beautifully photographed by their Director of Gem Services. and so-called "piquŽ diamonds" fall into the GIA grading range of I1 to I3 (CIBJO grade P1 to P3). Inclusions which are not visible to the naked eye (eye clean) fall into the GIA range of "IF" (Internally Flawless) to "SI2" (Small Inclusions).G. making the stone appear yellowish. or on the surface of the cut stone. This section contains a compendium of photography depicting all of the various types of diamond inclusions—both naturally occurring.com) Enhanced Blue & Yellow Diamonds (© AfricaGems. Joe Vanells. 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.
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). ferropericlase. Black or dark material found within a diamond's internal fracture planes can also be particles or crystallographic inclusions of graphite. pyrrhotite and pentlandite. ferropericlase. PiquŽ Carbon Inclusion Photos Internal Carbon Pique Diamond Inclusion Photography Piqué are tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts) within diamonds.
Microscopic Carbon Picque Inclusions Hexagonal Platelet Inclusion in Trillion Cut Diamond .
which can leave their own types of unique inclusions. Internal cloud inclusions may not resolve as pinpoints at 10X .Carbon piqué inclusions are sometimes removed by diamond enhancements such as laser drilling. Clouds (Cld) A dense grouping of tiny pinpoints that create a cloudy zone which may not resolve as individual pinpoints at 10X Magnification. Cloud Inclusion Photos Diamond Internal Cloud Inclusion Photography Cloud Inclusions (Cld) within a diamond are caused by a tightly packed grouping of tiny pinpoints that resemble clouds or cloudiness. All of the microscopic diamond carbon inclusion photography on this page was generously contributed by the AGSL gemological testing laboratory in Las Vegas. Nevada. and is reproduced with their permission.
.Magnification. These pinpoint cloud inclusions can have a dramatic effect on the clarity and brilliance of a faceted diamond as they interfere with the refraction of light within the stone.
Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.
Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.
Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.
Feather Inclusion Photos Internal Diamond Feather Inclusion Photography Feather inclusions (Ftr) are caused by cleavage planes or internal stress fractures that have the appearance of wispy feathers. . Common around included crystals.Feathers (Ftr) Cleavage planes or internal stress fractures that have the appearance of feathers. Feather inclusions can be accompanied by internal graining and/or twinning wisp inclusions. which cause internal stress fractures during crystal growth. Feather inclusions are common around included crystals such as garnet.
.Feather inclusions caused by stress fractures around included garnet crystal.
Pronounced stress fractures and feather inclusions can potentially weaken the stone. . This is especially true if the fracture breeches the stone's surface. making it susceptible to fracturing when exposed to thermal or physical shock. diamonds with significant stress fractures and feather should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner as this could cause the diamond to shatter. and the stress inclusion occurs along the gem's natural cleavage plane. As a result.
Grain Center Inclusion Photos Internal Grain Center Diamond Inclusion Photography Internal Grain Center (IntGr) inclusions (aka internal graining) are caused by irregular diamond crystal growth which creates internal distortions. and haze within a cut diamond.Grain Center (GrCnt) A concentrated area of crystal growth that can appear light or dark. waviness. .
Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .
when a tube is generated by a formerly liquid filled cavity.Growth Tubes Imperfection formed during crystal growth. Growth Tube Inclusion Photos Internal Growth Tubes Inclusion Photography Internal Growth Tube inclusions are natural Imperfections that are created during diamond formation. . when a tube or tunnel is generated in the crystalizing diamond by an internal cavity that was once liquid filled.
Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .
spinel. calcite. olivine.Included Crystals (Xtl) Included and undigested gemstones or fragments of garnet. calcite. or silica. Green chrome diopside Inclusion within a Diamond . iron oxides. diopside. silica or other gem stone inclusions. olivine. diopside. spinel. iron oxides. 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.
Garnet Inclusions within Diamond .
Garnet fragment on Diamond Girdle .
Grossularite Garnet Inclusions in Diamond .
Internal Graining (IntGr) Irregular crystal growth causing internal distortions, waviness, and/or haze. Can be accompanied by internal strain. Internal Graining Inclusion Photos
Internal Graining Diamond Inclusion Photography
Internal Graining (IntGr) inclusions are caused by irregular crystal growth which creates internal distortions, waviness, or haze. Internal Graining imperfections may be accompanied by internal strain such as feather Inclusions.
Internal Graining with Cloud Inclusion .
the drilled passage may not breach the cut diamond's surface. 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.Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) Internal pathway caused by laser-drilling to remove large inclusions. and where pathway does not breach the cut diamond's surface. .
Needles (Ndl) Rutile-like needle-shaped inclusions. . Needle Inclusion Photos Needle Inclusion Photography Internal Needles (Ndl) or needle inclusions are naturally occurring rutile-like needle shaped inclusions within the diamond.
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. . Large groupings of small pinpoints can create a cloud effect. Pinpoint Inclusion Photos Pinpoints (Pp) Inclusion Photography Internal Pinpoints (Pp). Large groupings of small pinpoints can create a cloud inclusion effect.
Twinning Wisp inclusions can be accompanied by internal graining and/or strain feathers. . Twinning Wisp Inclusion Photos Twinning Wisps Inclusion Photography Twinning Wisp inclusions are naturally-occurring structural defects with a diamond. resulting from crystal twining during the growth process. Can be accompanied by graining and strain.Twinning Wisps Inclusions and defects resulting from crystal-twining during crystal growth.
Odds & Ends: Microscopic Diamond Inclusion Beauty Photos Microscopic Diamond Inclusion Photography This is an assortment of spectacular diamond-inclusion photography taken by Joe Vanells. showing the strange and beautiful world of microscopic diamond inclusions. .
Natural Comet Inclusion .
Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud .
Tabular Reflection in Diamond .
Included Garnet Twins within Diamond .
Included Dalmatian Garnet .
Cloud Inclusion .
Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers .
Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light .
Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion .
Natural External Diamond Inclusions or Blemishes Knots An inclusion that penetrates the surface. Knot Inclusion Photos Photography of Diamond Inclusion Knots Knot inclusions are naturally occurring external inclusions or imperfections that penetrate the surface (convex). Knot diamond inclusions can potentially be the cause of man-made drag-line inclusions. . appearing as a raised area. appearing as a raised area on the diamond's surface.
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.
Lizard Skin A bumpy or wavy 'orange-peel' textured pattern on the polished surface of a diamond. The lizard-skin effect is caused by an orange-peel texture. made up of a bumpy or wavy pattern on the polished surface of a diamond. . Lizard Skin Inclusion Photos Lizard Skin Diamond Surface Blemish Photography A "lizard skin" surface blemish is a man-made external diamond imperfection that is created during polishing.
Natural Inclusion Photos Natural Diamond Inclusion Photography Natural inclusions (aka Naturals) are naturally-occurring raised portions of the rough diamond's original surface structure that were not removed during the polishing process.Natural (N) A raised portion of the rough diamond's original surface structure that remains visible on the surface of a polished stone. and remain visible on the surface of a polished stone. .
Surface Graining (SGr) Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation. 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.
fringing. or feathers along the outer edge of girdle.Human Caused Surface Blemishes Abrasion (Abr) A tightly grouped series of nicks along the sharp edge of facet junctions. creating a whitish fuzzy edge as opposed to a sharp edge. Bearded Girdle (BG) Fine cracks. . Bruising (Br) A percussion mark or hole caused by impact and surrounded by tiny feathers. chips.
. during cutting and/or polishing the diamond. or when abrasive material is caught by an included crystal such as garnet during the polishing of a diamond. 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. the overheating of a facet causes a burn mark.Burn Marks Created during polishing. Drag Lines Created when a rough particle is dragged along the surface. or caught by a included crystal. Cavities (Cv) An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing.
. and remove cloudiness. 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.Extra Facet (EF) An asymmetrical and irregularly placed facet that is not part of the original faceting scheme. This microscopic photograph shows the telltale orange or pink flash of a filled fracture enhancement within a cut diamond.
markings. marking. and inscriptions. or inscribing the external surface of a cut diamond. . 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.Laser Etching or Markings Careless or inadvertent laser etchings.
" 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. Diamond Enhancements: Laser Drilling & Fracture Filling .Polish Lines (PL) Fine parallel surface groves resulting from the polishing process.
much like you would repair a crack in a car's windshield glass. Minor diamond inclusions or surface imperfections which are not visible to the naked eye ("VVS1" to "SI2") can be disguised. which are designed to improve the visual or gemological characteristics of the stone. polished natural 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. Diamond Fracture Filling Diamond clarity is sometimes improved and enhanced by filling tiny fractures or feathers with molten glass. altered. A trained gemologist should be able to identify most traditional "enhancements" made to a particular stone. but not necessarily increase its value. or treatments to give a fancy color to a off-white diamond.© AGS Lab Telltale Signs of Fracture Filling . or removed by employing several invasive techniques from fracture filling to laser drilling. Such diamonds are sometimes then branded as "fracture filled diamonds. These techniques do not eliminate the imperfection. but instead attempt to hide their visual effect.© 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. Unfilled Fractures around Garnet Inclusion . . in accordance with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines for the gem trade.Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Enhanced Diamonds Diamond "enhancements" are specific treatments performed on cut. There are also heating treatments to improve a white diamond's color grade.
© AGS Lab Laser Drilling Tubes ." Diamond Color Treatment Color enhancement of diamonds in done to increase the color intensity of so-called "fancy" colored diamonds. Reputable filling companies will often provide repeat treatments if heat causes damage to the filling. in part because the treatment isn't permanent.© AfricaGems.© AfricaGems. These enhancements are achieved using low levels of radiation (irradiation). followed by acid washing to remove the coloring agent. It is therefor essential to inform anyone working on a setting where the diamond has been fracture-filled. "One out of every three diamonds sold in the United States is laser-drilled. or subjecting the diamond to intense pressure and temperature. so that the jeweler can use greater care while working on the piece. 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. and the diamonds are tested to ensure that no trace levels of radiation remain. and both the GIA and AGS will issue grades for laser drilled diamonds. referred to as the HTHP process. . Due to its low melting-point. and the GIA will not even grade a fracture-filled diamond.com Radiation treatments are completely safe.There should always be a significant price discount for any diamond that has been fracture-filled. Signs of Laser Drilling .com Color Enhanced Diamonds . The final clarity grade will be the grade that is assigned after treatment.© AGS Lab The laser-drilling treatment is considered permanent. "vivid" blue and yellow colors result. According to Fred Cuellar in his book How to Buy a Diamond. Diamonds treated with HTHP have their molecular altered so that intense. the heat generated by a blowtorch used to work on settings can cause damage to the filling material. Natural Fancy Diamonds . The drilling process leave tiny telltale shafts or tunnels that are visible under high magnification (see photos below).
they are increasingly used in fine jewelry as their quality increases.© AGS Labs Today. yet they have the identical carbon-based chemical properties of natural diamond. .com The process of creating man-made diamonds (aka cultured diamonds. the crucible and its contents were rapidly cooled by immersing them into cold water.Synthetic Diamonds & Man-Made Diamond Simulants Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite The First Synthetic Diamonds Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. known as the HTHP (high-temperature. With Moissan's process. and the Chemical Vapor Deposition or "CVD" method. or carbon to an extremely high temperature (4000º C) in a cast iron crucible. Once the desired temperature had been achieved. and has been steadily improved upon throughout the last 50 years. Using an electric furnace constructed with blocks of lime. high-pressure) "belt press" process was used for synthesizing industrial-grade diamonds. Although synthetic diamonds were originally conceived as a substitute for natural industrial-grade diamonds. This abrupt cooling caused the rapid shrinkage of the molten iron crucible.Tracy Hall for the General Electric Company. there are two main processes for creating lab diamonds: the High-Temperature High-Pressure or "HTHP" method. The first practical commercial application of Moissan's process was developed in 1954. These man-made synthetic diamonds are a laboratory-grown simulation of the natural gemstone.© AGS Labs Synthetic Yellow Chatham Diamond . lab diamonds) was first conceived by French chemist Henri Moissan in 1892. The process. Synthetic Diamond under Fluorescent . the intense heat would render the crucible and its carbon contents into a molten liquid mass. which created enough pressure to crystallize the molten carbon into tiny diamond fragments. tiny fragments of synthetic diamond were created by heating charcoal. by H.
Thrilliant Synthetic Spinel (1920-1947) Corundolite. Like natural diamond. Rainbow Diamond. synthetic diamonds may contain small inclusions. In the late 1940's Diamondite gave way to Synthetic Rutile which was popular until the advent of YAG in the early 1970's. Diamond Simulants Diamond "simulants. refractive index.High-Temperature High-Pressure (HTHP) The "High-Temperature High-Pressure" (HTHP) technique. a seed or substrate material is placed into the growth camber. Radient Yttrium Aluminum Garnet (YAG) (1970-1975) Diamone. the HTHP diamond's growth process can take 7 to 10 days to complete.' or six-anvil 'cubic press' to create the necessary pressure. Synthetic diamonds can also be treated with the HTHP process to alter the optical properties of the stones. light dispersion. The vaporized carbon gases are energized using microwave energy. Diamonaire." uses a four-anvil 'tetrahedral press. Diamonte. Unlike their natural diamond counterparts. Titangem Synthetic Sapphire (1900-1947) Diamondette. Synthetic Diamond Manufacturers Apollo Diamonds . Fabulite Synthetic Rutile (1946-1955) Diamothyst. Using Chemical Vapor Deposition." also known as "simulated diamonds" or "fake diamonds" are man-made gemstones that look like. ranging in clarity from IF to SI or I. Synthetic Diamond Color & Optics Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless form. Magalux. 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. Java Gem. A diamond seed is placed into a growth camber. With CVD. ultraviolet. Jourado Diamond. These impurities absorb the blue end of the light spectrum. and uses a lowerpressure growth environment than the earlier HTHP method. making them difficult to differentiate from natural diamonds. and surface luster as its natural diamond counterpart. Diamondite. Rutania. Geminaire In the early 1900's. A cultured synthetic diamond will have the identical cleavage.1970) Diagem. Phianite Gadolinium Gallium Garnet (GGG) (1972-1975) Strontium Titanate (ST) (1955 . Common diamond simulants include: Cubic Zirconia (CZ) (1976-) Czarite. but are not a carbonbased compound having a natural diamond's crystalline structure. Synthetic diamonds can be detected using infrared. and a combination of heat and pressure are applied while a vaporized carbon-plasma that is combined with hydrogen is applied. or by measuring UV fluorescence with a DiamondView tester. making the stone appear yellowish. 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. colorless synthetic sapphire (aka Diamondite) was a popular diamond simulant. the diamond's entire growth process takes several days to complete. also known as "GE POL. Lustergem. Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) The "Chemical Vapor Deposition" (CVD) method was developed during the 1980s. Diamond Essence. which attracts the gas to the substrate. Diamonite. most of these lesser simulants fell by the wayside. or "deposited" onto the substrate in successive layers. With the advent of Cubic Zirconia in the mid 1970's. or "simulate" the appearance of natural diamonds. and Moissanite in 1998. produced using the Verneuil (flame-fusion) Process. specific gravity. or X-ray spectroscopy. hardness.
500 to $9. of Bangkok Thailand. and each stone is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. Florida. Ltd. using a proprietary variation of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) technique. Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite Cubic Zirconia Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. . While a synthetic diamond is a man-made recreation of an actual carbon-based diamond.com Tairus Created Gems Tairus Created Gems is a Russian company that grows fancy-colored diamonds in their proprietary "Split Sphere" system. emerald. and CZ has a hardness of only 8. Chatham's pricing ranges from $6.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. while diamond has a hardness of 10.500 per carat (2004 est. The Split Sphere system crystalizes the carbon seed in an alkaline. inc.3 on the Mohs scale. and stones are cut to order. www.25 carats to 1 carat. Apollo Diamonds are cut and polished in sizes ranging from .30 carats to 3 carats. each Gemesis cut stone over . Tairus Created Gems are sold exclusively through Tairus Thailand Co. Tairus produces rough sizes from . Massachusetts grows colorless (D to M) diamonds. with clarity grades from IF to SI. princess. The toughness of Cubic Zirconia is rated as good. and each cut stone is laser inscribed with the Apollo company logo and serial number.chatham.). in Boston. Cubic Zirconia (Zirconium Oxide ZrO2) has a completely different chemical structure. carbonate fluid solution that is similar to diamond-bearing metamorphic rock. and some fancy colored diamonds. Gemesis only grows fancy-colored diamonds.com Gemesis Cultured Diamonds Gemesis is located in Sarasota. and like Chatham. To insure easy identification as a man-made product.gemesis.25 carats is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number.Apollo Diamond.com To the average consumer.apollodiamond. which they claim is the closest thing to mother nature. Apollo Diamond's cut stones are available in round brilliant. www. and rose cuts.. www. Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is the most familiar type of diamond simulant on the market.
80 to 2.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.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. Once the mixture has cooled. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible. CZ vs Diamond . but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye.) in a totally dark room. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing.800 .41 (RI). CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1. For instance.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator. Unlike most natural diamonds. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting. a CZ is optically flawless. 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.2. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left)." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR). most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond .17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2. candle. the greater dispersive power. . The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit. Zirconium oxide powder is heated. Diamond's RI is 2.In 1973. 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. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce. The 1. Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored. or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond. or colorless (white) versions. etc. Natural diamonds attract grease. Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond. CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below). 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.170. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight. Due to their low cost and consistency. and CZs can be made in any "color grade.
being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion.69. . Arizona. when examining the gem through the kite facets.417. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. while diamond has a hardness of 10.A small. 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.104 as compared to CZ at 0.044. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond.) in a dark room. center) near Winslow. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index. Moissanite has an RI of 2. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. 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. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ.25 on the Mohs scale. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.65 to 2. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible.060. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective.670. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. candle. and diamond at 0. Henri Moissan (above. is classified as an element rather than a compound. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. Moissanite. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0. etc.com Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight. found only in iron-nickel meteorites. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. Moissanite has a hardness of 9.
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.Detectable With Testing Double Refraction: Moissanite is double refractive. most diamonds have some inclusions Moissanite vs Diamond . A similarly sharp.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. which was called the "Point Cut. Diamonds: Modern Diamond Cutting Diamond Cutting Background One of the hardest substances on earth. caused by primary reflections from the pavilion and CZ's low RI." As further refinement progressed. but significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its high RI. Like wood." At the time. detailed and sharply focused pattern caused by secondary reflections will be seen when observing a diamond.417 Moissanite is double refractive (anisotropic) while a natural diamond is singly refractive (isotropic). The Modern Round Brilliant cut (below) is the culmination of several hundred years of experimentation and development." and the rough stone must be cut with the grain. Moissanite vs Diamond . Diamond's RI is 2. Table Cut diamonds appeared black to the eye. only a diamond is hard enough to cut other diamonds. due to its high refractive index. Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be more diffused.A small.670. diamonds were used in their natural octahedral state. diamond is singly refractive Refractive Index: Moissanite has a refractive index of 2. diamond has a "grain. Diamond cutting can be traced back to the late Middle Ages. diamonds were valued primarily for their luster and hardness. creating the "Table Cut. The first improvements on nature's design involved a polishing of the crystal faces. one half of the crystal would be cut off. Prior to this time. Cutting a Rough Diamond . although it can be easily cleaved or fractured due to its defined cleavage planes. rather than against it.
High-tech computerized helium and oxygen analyzers are now used to evaluate a stone prior to cutting. Cleaving is a critical step as a mistake by the "cleaver" could fracture. It can take several hours for the saw blade to cut through a 1k rough diamond. eliminate waste. Cleaving: Cleaving refers to splitting a stone along its grain by striking it. then a "brillianteer" will cut and polish the remaining 40 facets. This step is also referred to as "rounding. on a scaife. Due to its atomic structure. 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. 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. Sawing: A stone-cutting saw is a thin disk made of phosphor bronze. The natural shape of the rough stone will also be a major factor in deciding how to cut the stone. Cleavage is the tendency of crystalline materials to split along defined cleavage plane. then pressing it against a revolving cast iron disk. and maintain symmetry. As the saw blade rotates it continues to pickup or "recharge" itself with diamond dust which is the cutting agent. the "blocker" or "lapper" will cut the first 18 main facets. rounding the rough diamond into a conical shape. Cubic shapes are ideal for a square Princess or Radiant cut.Modern Round Brilliant Diamond . Each step is critical to the final outcome. Asymmetrical crystals such as macles are used primarily for fancy cuts. Bruting: The rough is placed in a chuck on a lathe. While the rough stone rotates on the diamond lathe. and bypass any inclusions or imperfections. a diamond can be cleaved in four directions parallel to each of the four octahedron crystal faces. or lap that has been "charged" with diamond dust. The cutting (also called "placing") and polishing of each facet is accomplished by attaching the stone to a dop stick with cement." Faceting: To facet a round brilliant. a second diamond mounted on a dop is pressed against it. or shatter the stone. Diamonds: Ideal Cut . During this faceting stage the angles of each facet must be cut to an exacting standard in order to yield maximum brilliancy.Cutting a raw diamond into a faceted and polished gem-quality stone is a multi-step process. A rough stone is cleaved if there are conspicuous defects and/or inclusions which would prevent it from being made into a single gemstone.
If. An octehedral rough diamond will yield two round brilliant cut stones (see diagram below). a cutter must make a cost-benefit analysis as to how to maximize the cut stone's value. 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 .weight retention. it may be better to aim for a higher carat weight utilizing a "Standard" cut.com When deciding how to cut a rough diamond. This is accomplished by reconciling three key factors . Reconciling Cut & Weight Retention If the rough stone has a colorless D through F rating and has very few inclusions. elimination of any inclusions. but in order to do this. The clarity of the stone. and the amount of internal inclusions will play an important part in the decisions as to how to maximize yield. compromises would have to be made. the rough stone has some coloration and/or is heavily included. it would be cost effective to sacrifice some carat weight in order to finish with two "Ideal" cuts.Ideal Cut vs Standard Cut Diamond Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. cut proportions. on the other hand. The objective is always to maximize carat weight.
The round brilliant cut is beneficial when the crystal is an octahedron. "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: .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. 8 "kite" facets. hearts. and 2. The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem. 1 "culet" facet on the bottom. it is the best cut for showcasing a high-quality stone's fire and brilliance. 16 "lower girdle" facets. In the diagram of a "Round Cut" diamond (above and below). This cut is also known as the "Tolkowsky Cut" and "Tolkowsky Brilliant." Even with modern techniques. the cutting and polishing of a diamonds resulted in a loss of as much as 50% of the stone's total weight. An "Ideal Cut". This is primarily due to the fact that this cut has yet to be improved on for two reasons: 1. as two stones could be cut from one crystal. etc. This is why it is very rare to see flawless stones cut into fancy cuts such as emeralds. 16 "upper girdle" facets. The Modern Round Brilliant Cut The modern "Round Brilliant Cut" (below) was developed by Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. and one "table" facet on the top of the stone for a total of 58 facets. it is the most efficient cut for maximizing yield. 8 "pavilion" facets.
. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts. invented in 1929.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42.' 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. Since then. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios.6% and overall height of 57.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35. Ideal Scope. etc. crown height of 14.4%." (Scandinavian standard.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed. facet ratios. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design.7%. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. Eppler & Scan D.N. H&A Viewer. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57. and overall height of 57. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect. As with all human endeavors. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant". To quantify a diamond's cut quality.5%.5% to 43. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. Tolkowsky. A perfect blending of facet symmetry. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). crown height of 14. and Proportions. more brilliance and fire. .7%. very small to small In the 1970s. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope. Symmetry.N. and crown/pavilion angles. The "Scan D.
Producers split hairs over cut angle. or the widely marketed Leo cut which is a modified round-brilliant sold by Leo Schachter Diamonds.) and when suitably scrutinized by the gem trade.106 carat Cullinan Diamond into eleven gem stones. The Asscher brothers cut the famous 3. and the culet is square.nl Barion Cut . and entrepreneurs . Here is a collection of just a few of the many "signature" diamond cuts that have been produced over the last 100 years. The cut has a deep pavilion and a high crown. and number of facets. cut corners and a small table. etc.each trying to improve on the tried-and-true Old European cuts. Popular in Art Deco jewelry of the period. Some have gone on to become household names such as the Asscher cut.asscher.like Einstein's theory of relativity. mathematicians. www. with the two largest stones. but at the end of the day it may simply come down to consumer preference and/or marketing. One thing is for sure . scientists. (more facets. it is put in front of the ultimate arbiter of quality . Asscher Cut The Asscher Cut was developed by Abraham and Joseph Asscher of the Royal Asscher Diamond Company of Amsterdam in 1902. Tolkowsky came up with a "brilliant" idea almost 90 years ago. cut proportions. but some like the Barion Cut have disappeared into obscurity. less facets. and it still survives in some form today. the Cullinan 1 and Cullinan 2 being set into the crown and sceptre of the British Crown Jewels. 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. Every conceivable cutting theory is tried. and their modest brilliance and light return.the consumer. the Asscher diamond cut has a squarish octagonal shape with a step cut.
81 facets on the cut corner (cushion) version. A Barocut diamond has a total of 77 facets. and a 'softer' briliance than a traditional round brilliant cut.freiesleben. and creates a high amount of waste. or the company website. The Context Cut is used to cut colored gemstones by Julius Petsch of Idar-Oberstein. The Eternal Cut has a total of 81 facets. Garrard & Co. The Eternal Cut is being sold exclusively at Garrard's main London store and Harvey Nichols stores in Great Britain. The Barion square cut diamond has a 4-fold mirror-image symmetry.garrard. nephew to the inventor of the Modern Round Brilliant cut. adding up to 50% to the cost when compared to a Round Brilliant cut diamond. Inc. to become Asprey & Garrard. and was the forerunner to the princess cut. It is sold exclusively through the 270 year old firm of Garrard & Company in London. The Context Cut consists of two back-to-back pyramids (an octahedron). www.The Barion square cut (aka Barion square cushion cut) was invented by Basil Watermeyer of South Africa in 1971. creating a unique 'flower petal' pattern surrounding the cutlet. Gabi Tolkowsky. www. The Context Cut follows a rough diamond crystal's natural octahedral shape. The Barocut is available in sizes from 20 points to 3 carats. The Barocut is also called a "two heart diamond" due to the illusion of two mirrored hearts meeting at the culet. modified rectangular (baguette) cut that was developed by Baroka Creations. Barocut diamonds are promoted and sold exclusively through the Baroka Creations catalog. In 1998. Barocut The Barocut® diamond cut is a patented. The cutting process requires a high-quality rough. 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.com . and its patent has expired. Marce Tolkowsky. or to increase light-dispersion. parting ways in 2002 to again become Garrard. 23 more than a modern Round Brilliant cut. and in all diamond colors and/or clarity grades. www. The name "Barion" or "Barion cut" was never trademarked.baroka. of New York in 2000. The Context Cut design was based on an earlier patented design by Bernd Munsteiner from the early 1960s. not including the 16 girdle facets. merged with the jewelry firm Asprey.com Context Cut The Context Cut is a square cut that was developed by Dr. with star-shaped cross facets cut diagonally into the pavilion. Ulrich Freiesleben of Germany in the early 1980s then patented and trademarked in 1997. Germany. and a total of 81 facets. Barocut stones are also sold in tapered shapes. The cut has a total of 8 facets plus a girdle.
Fire-Rose. and pear shapes.com Flower Cut The 'Flower Cut' series was created by Gabi Tolkowsky in 1986. oval. The Flanders Fire-Brilliant was developed by Flanders Cut International of Antwerp in 1983. and the cut was named after the Flanders region of Belgium (Antwerp) where the cut was first preformed in 1987. which is 47 more than a traditional 'Tolkowsky' round brilliant cut. designed to maximize the brilliance and color of diamonds while increasing their yield.flanders-cuts.gabriellediamonds. www. The Flower Cut is actually a series of five fancy cut shapes: the Dahlia. Other than the traditional round brilliant shape. Marigold. marquise. Sunflower and Zinnia cut. the Gabrielle has a total of 105 facets. that is suited to a relatively flat rough. adding greater brilliance and fire than standard brilliant cuts. Unveiled at the Las Vegas Gem Show in 2001. (aka Leo Schachter Diamond). The Dahlia is a 12 sided oval shape with 63 facets. The Leo diamond cut has a total of 66 facets. The Flanders Brilliant has 33 crown facets and 28 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets. . 8 more facets than the Round Brilliant cut's 58. is a patented symmetrical round cut created by Leo Schachter Diamonds.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 Zinnia is a round fancy shape with 73 facets.com Leo Cut The Leo® Diamond.nationaldiamond. The Flower Cuts employ unconventional cutting angles and dimensions. 48 of which are clustered around the culet to increase fire. the Gabrielle Cut is available in carre. angular shapes. The Marigold is an octagon shape with 73 facets. LLC. emerald. who was commissioned by De Beers to create new cuts as a way of marketing unusual. The Gabrielle Diamond The Gabrielle® Cut is a modified brilliant cut (triple brilliant cut) that was created by DeBeers desinger/consultant Gabriel Tolkowsky in 2000. The Flower Cuts were never patented or trademarked by De Beers in order to increase their popularity and use. The cut is distributed by the National Diamond Syndicate (NDS) of Chicago. maximizing the amount of light returned back as scintillation. off-color stones. The Fire-Rose is a hexagonal shape designed to produce higher yields. www. heart.com www. The Sunflower has 43 facets in unusual.
There are a total of 49 facets. Prior to the Quadrillion.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. a highstep crown (similar to the Asscher Cut). and three-stone rings.com Lucida Cut The Lucida (TM) Cut is a patented diamond cut that was created by Tiffany & Company in 1999. eternity bands. It was the first emerald shaped diamond cut to have brilliance and fire similar to that of a round brilliant diamond.tiffany. There are 25 crown facets and 36 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets (not including 8 girdle facets). patented and trademarked by Henry Grossbard of the Radiant Cut Diamond Company (RCDC) in 1977. small table. square shaped diamonds were stepcut limiting their brilliance. sold in solitaire engagement/wedding bands. The Lucida diamond cut is a modified square or rectangular (Marquise) cut with truncated corners. The Quadrillion was the result of three years of optical research to create a square diamond cut that can claim a similar brilliance to a round diamond. brilliant-style faceted pavilion (similar to a Cushion Cut). the Radiant Cut became a fully accepted diamond shape in the jewelry business. The Lucida diamond cut is marketed as a wedding cut." The Leo Diamond is marketed through the Kay Jeweler chain.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. RCDC launched the 'Original Radiant Cut' diamond brand In 2002. Bez Ambar Radiant Cut The Radiant Cut is a modified emerald cut shape that was developed. www. and a total of has 50 facets. www. The pavilion is similar to a Barion cut.radiantcut. and was patented and trademarked by Bez Ambar Jewelers of Los Angeles in 1980. and all Original Radiant Cut diamonds weigh at least 0.diamondaires. Upon the expiration of the patent. www.The Leo diamond cut is the first to be certified for fire and brilliance as measured by a 'BrillianceScope.' and each diamond comes with a "Return of Light Certificate. The Lucida is sold exclusively through Tiffany's retail chain.com Starburst Cut . and the table is a bowed out rectangle.
fire.louisglick. The Starburst cut was created to bring out the highest amount of color to fancy yellow diamonds. The Trilliant trademark has since lapsed. 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. The starburst faceting pattern is designed to focus color near the top of a stone. Harry Winston.The Starburst Cut was patented and trademarked by the Louis Glick Diamond Corp. Old Mine Cut Evolution of the Faceted Diamond & Colored Gem Article Copyright © 2008 AllAboutGemstones. Starburst Cuts are mounted and sold directly through Cartier. With the realization that only a diamond could cut another diamond. making the hue of fancy yellow diamonds more intense. of New York in 1978. There are two variations of this cut: the Curved cut used for solitary stones. Point Cut . The crown of the Starburst Cut is similar to that of the radiant cut. Still. this led to the invention of the first gem cutting machines (precursor to the "lap" or "Facetron") in the 1300s. From this point forward it was a race to see who could design the perfect faceted cut which would bring out the maximum fire. craftsmen have attempted to "improve" on nature. www. and the natural octahedral symmetry of the rough stone's closed isometric form. The Trilliant Cut has a total of 31 facets. There are 49 crown facets and 40 pavilion facets. The Trilliant has the Schoenflies point group symmetry of a round brilliant. with weight losses in the fifty percent range.com Trilliant Cut The Trilliant Cut (aka Trielle.early 1300s The "point cut" (below left) is one of the first symmetrically faceted diamond cuts. but the pavilion is completely different. . Nieman Marcus and Tiffany. and the career of the "diamantaire" (diamond cutter/polisher) was born. and scintillation when cut to the correct proportions. The "table cut" (below. Old European Gem Cuts: Point. and light return from the stone. brilliance.com The faceting of diamonds has come a long way in the last 700 years. Trillian. 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. right) was created by cutting off some of the top half of the point cut's octahedron to create a table. the precursor for the "design" of the first faceted diamond lay within the rough stone itself. reworked into the shape of a trillion (triangle). Trillion) is a triangular cut designed and trademarked by the Henry Meyer Diamond Company of New York in 1962. The point cut design is dictated by the natural shape of an octahedral rough diamond. The Trilliant cut gives a high brilliance. The Starburst cut is especially suitable for a octahedral rough. and Uncurved cut used for accent stones. and the Trilliant is now a generic term for a triangular brilliant cut. Since the day that humans first discovered 'adamas' (diamonds). for a total of 89 kite and star shaped facets. Old eight. The pavilion has two differently sized sets triangular facets with a large triangular table.
" and the Full Holland cut.1500s Invented in the mid 16th century. . The "briolette cut" is a modified "double Dutch rose cut" with one of the hemispheres being elongated.late 1300s Invented in the late 14th century. Also called the "cushion cut". The culet is usually large enough to be visible when viewed through the table." "Dutch cut.1700s The "old mine" cut is the earliest form of the "brilliant cut" diamond. The briolette cut was designed primarily for use in a pendant or as a dangling bauble in a crown. eight bezel or crown facets. The single cut may or may not have a culet at the bottom. 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 "senaille cut" is a rose cut with irregular or non-symmetrical faceting. the "old single cut" (aka "old eight cut") diamond has the addition of corner facets to create an octagonal girdle. resulting in a smaller table. an octagonal table. and eight pavilion facets. Rose & Briolette Cut." "crowned rose cut. This Old Mine cut is basically square with gently rounded corners and "brilliant" style facets. the "rose cut" is also known by the the "Antwerp rose. The briolette was the precursor to the "pendeloque cut" which is a pear-shaped modification of the round brilliant cut. it has a cushioned or rounded girdle shape.Single Cut . The crown is typically tall. Old Mine Cut .
eight facets at the pavilion. as two stones can be cut from one crystal with a minimum amount of waste. The eight cut is similar to the "single cut" in that there are eight four-sided trapezoidal facets at the crown.1800s The "Old European" cut was the forerunner of the modern round brilliant cut. The Modern Round Brilliant Cut .1900s The "modern round brilliant cut" (below) was developed by Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919." Even with modern techniques. the cutting and polishing of a diamonds resulted in a loss of as much as 50% of the stone's total weight. and an octagon-shaped table for a total of 17 facets (18 if a culet is used).Old European Cut . the old European diamond has a circular girdle. a heavy crown. As with its predecessor the "point cut" over 600 years earlier. and very tall overall depth. Like the modern round brilliant. This cut is also known as the "Tolkowsky Cut" and "Tolkowsky brilliant. Eight Cut & Swiss Cut The "eight cut" is primarily used for small stones when a brilliant cut would be impractical. The Old European diamond cut has a very small table. The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem. . the Modern Round Brilliant cut is beneficial when the crystal is an octahedron (diagram above).
which combines ("aggregating") supplies of rough diamonds from multiple sources into one wholesale market (#2). Gaborone. 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). Trans Hex. Rio Tinto. There is a limited market for the resale of diamonds that are less than "investment grade. thereby controlling and stabilizing prices. color and quality.000 categories based on size.A "Swiss cut" is a compromise between an eight cut and a brilliant cut. then divided by human or automated sorters into individual lots called "boxes. there is usually a substantial mark-up in the retail sale price of diamonds. The rough stones are separated into 16. Kimberley and Windhoek. with a total of 33 facets (34 if a culet is used). or secondary mining producers in Canada and Russia to De Beers' Diamond Trading Company (DTC) in London. The Diamond Trade: The 'Diamond Pipeline' Rough Diamond Producers Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.com The trade in gem-grade rough diamonds is primarily controlled by the De Beers. silver or platinum. 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." The 'Diamond Pipeline' Rough diamonds are sent directly from De Beers mining operations in Africa (#1)." The DTC is part of the DeBeers Group supply-chain known as the Central Selling Organization (CSO). . 16 isosceles triangle facets on the crown and 16 facets on the pavilion. Unlike precious metals such as gold. for sorting and resale.
through their Diamond Promotion Service (DPS) and Diamond Information Centres (DIC) marketing divisions.20 carats or less) in Mumbai (Bombay) and Surat. Rough diamonds are cut in various geographic regions according to tradition and the skill-sets of the labor force. and New York. De Beers. determining the quantity and quality that each site-holder will receive. and the breakaway from CSO's cartel by the Argyle Diamond Mine in Australia.com website). diamonds have underperformed since 1987 when compared to the "luxury goods" market or global GDP. Both traders and manufacturers may sell diamonds "upstream" and "downstream" through the diamond pipeline . . Many Sightholders are also cutters. where De Beers sells the "boxes" to its select group ("supplier of choice") of 125 "sightholders" (#3) or diamond manufacturers. or to jewelry manufacturers (#5) around the world. and independent diamond producers in Canada. to take advantage of market fluctuations. De Beers (DTC) sets the price of each box in advance. cutters. Once the diamonds are set into jewelry. Other major cutting centers are located in Johannesburg. De Beers is also facing increasing pressure from the manufactures of synthetic diamonds.De Beers Sightholders The DTC holds a sale called a "site" or "sight" ten times per year in London and Johannesburg. India cuts the vast majority of small stones (. The sightholder then transports the box of rough diamonds back to diamantaire firms (cutting and polishing factories) located around the world (#4). The diamonds are then re-sold from the cutting and polishing (manufacturing) centers to wholesalers (Diamond Bourses).000. China. while large stones are primarily cut in Antwerp. reclaiming their "A Diamond Is Forever" moniker. De Beers and the Future De Beers' (CSO's) control over the wholesale diamond market has diminished due to increased market penetration. A 'sight' can have a value of between $500. Tel Aviv. and retailers . they are sold to retailers or direct to the customer. has launched an aggressive branding and marketing campaign.000 to $2. Russia and elswhere. Ramat Gan. Additionally.000 USD. which are increasing in popularity and consumer acceptance. and Thailand. (see DeBeers' Adiamondisforever. As a reaction to their decrease in market share.
Europe. Schupstraat. NY . are sold in Antwerp every year.. Moscow. South Africa. London. The Council began in July 2000 after a joint meeting of the WFDB and its international headquarters are in New York City. and Rijfstraat. and about half of the polished diamonds. Diamond Industry Trade Organizations World Diamond Council The World Diamond Council (aka: International Diamond Council) was established by the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) to find ways to reduce the number of conflict diamonds entering the diamond market. The Council has approximately 70 members representing jewelers. and will com with a certificate of authenticity.com The word "Bourse" refers to a private stock. China. Hoveniersstraat. In addition to its members. Asia. the WDC has observers from the governments of Belgium. and Shanghai. The largest diamond trading center in the world is located in Antwerp. the European Union and the United Nations to rid the diamond Industry of conflict diamonds. and the city is the hub of the global diamond trading industry (diamanthandel). some 1. 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. .Forevermark Diamonds As a way of staving off the onslaught of secondary diamond markets.500 diamond dealers (diamantbedrijven) are ensconced in small. De Beers is hoping that the combination of branding and security will increase consumer demand. 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 . the DTC has developed new inscription technologies to "invisibly" mark the table facet of polished diamonds with a "Forevermark" trademark. Belgium but there are also Diamond Bourses in Israel. bond. and preventing the inherent product misidentification that will follow. The Diamond Trade: Diamond Bourses of Antwerp Diamond Bourses Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. traders and manufacturer/producers. also known as the "World Diamond Center" or Diamantenzentrum. As of 2006. This mark is only visible via a point-of-sale electronic viewer. Hong Kong. The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base. KPCS originated in May 2000 during a meeting of South African diamond producing states in Kimberley. Within Antwerp's diamond district. Forevermark diamonds will be available through sightholder/retailers in the U. The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates .S. and India (2007). or commodities exchange similar to the NYSE. Israel and South Africa and works with 35 independent Governments. Almost 85% of the world's rough diamonds. Diamond Bourses are basically trading exchanges for loose. heavily guarded geographic area surrounded by three main streets. cut and uncut diamonds.
regulations. These first trading exchanges mainly dealt with the wholesaling of cut stones. uncut diamonds was the Antwerpsche Diamantkring (Antwerp Diamond Ring) . In Antwerp's 'Diamond Center' (Diamantenzentrum) today. Control over the diamond trade is maintained through the WFDB's Constitution containing a series of rules. Both bourse were founded by Hasidim diamantairs. an by-laws that govern business practices. and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) was founded in 1947. making it the largest diamond-trading center in the world . and repatriation of Antwerp following the end of WWII. Most transactions conducted within the Bourses done with cash and a handshake.Photo: Wiki Public The first trading exchange to deal exclusively with rough. ethics and morality. Beurs voor Diamanthandel . After the liberation. and both are still in operation today. The Diamond High Council (HRD) . bisected by Hoveniersstraat street. founded in 1893—and the Beurs voor Diamanthande (at Pelikaanstraat 78) founded in 1904 . which was established in the same year that the 1930 World Expo was held in Antwerp. and disputes are handled by an internal arbitration process. the Antwerpsche Diamantkring was reopened. Around $16+ billion in polished diamonds pass through Antwerp's diamond bourses each year. 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.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. there are around 4000 diamond-cutters (diamantaire) working in the several-square-block diamond district. friendship and trust .
" Three of South Africa's richest diamond mines are in Northern Cape (Kimberley Diamond Mine).' During the 1830s and 1840s. ending with the inclusion of all Boer territories into British colonies. England seized the Cape of Good Hope from the Dutch East India Company in 1797. This led to a new wave of emigrants and adventurer-seekers from England. They settled in the 'Cape of Good Hope' on Africa's southern most tip.The HRD (Hoge Raad voor Diamant) Diamond High Council is a non-profit industry organization designed to promote and represent the Antwerp diamond trade. and fully annexed the Cape Colony in 1806 . The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates . The First Boer War (1880—1881) began with the Transvaal (Limpopo) Boers declaring independence from Great Britain. most with Dutch Calvinist. and this eventually lead to all-out war. 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.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.' After the devastating Zulu defeat. Flemish. The Boers resisted British encroachments into their territory until the Second 'Anglo' Boer War (1899— 1902). The Diamond Trade: History & Culture of the Key Players Article Copyright © 2006 AllAboutGemstones. The Voortrekkers had to contend with the native Zulu tribe over land they wished to settle on. coming for . but 3000 Zulus were killed in what became known as the 'Battle of Blood River. under the Treaty of Vereeniging. Afrikaners (aka Boers or farmers) were religious refugees from the Netherlands and other parts of northern Europe during the mid 1600s to late 1700s. Diamonds and the British The Second Wave of Europeans Needing a stopping-off point on the sea-route to Australia and India. Gauteng (Premier Diamond Mine).' and the 'Orange Free State' provinces to escape hostilities with the native 'Xhosa tribe' from which Nelson Mandela decended.000 Zulu warriors attacking 470 Boer settlers. or German Protestant backgrounds. and Limpopo (Venetia Diamond Mine). there was a mass exodus (the Great Trek) northward to 'Northern Cape. The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base. who were in search of the "quiet sweet life. There was not a single Boer fatality. Afrikaners who participated in the migration northward became known as the 'Trekboer' or Voortrekkers.' 'Limpopo. with 10.' 'Gauteng. which at the time was administered by the 'Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie' or 'Dutch East India Company.
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. Domain Thomas M. Photo: Pub. The African nation of Rhodesia was named after him (now the Republic of Zimbabwe). Barnato died several years later. a curious discovery was being made along the banks of the Orange River. In exchange. De Beer. Rhodes made several aborted attempt to gain control over Barnato's interest in Kimberley Central Mine. As a young lad from England. Amid all of this turmoil and chaos." In 1906.the "mineral revolution. and later selling steam-powered water pumps to drain the open-pit mines of Kimberley. Domain Cecil Rhodes Cecil Rhodes (1853—1902) is the undisputed father of the modern diamond industry. De Beers and Kimberley Central were the two largest mining interests in South Africa at the time. and J. Photo: Pub.. Rhodes started out selling ice cream to the diamond-diggers and service workers. and in 1910 the 'Union of South Africa' was created. Domain Barney Barnato During the same period that Cecil Rhodes was building De Beers Consolidated Mines. D. Barnato was given appointed to 'life governor' and temporary controlling interest in De Beers . With the help of the Rothschild bank in London. a prospector.' Cecil Rhodes died a single man with no children and. Cecil Rhodes' De Beers empire was started on a farm owned by two Boer settlers and brothers. he was able to build a monopolistic empire through skill and cunning. N. mysteriously falling overboard on a ship passage back to England. As founder of De Beers.. Cullinan . but was eventually successful in convincing Barnato to merge with De Beers. diamond speculator and fellow Englishman named Barney Barnato (1852—1897) was buying up pieces of the Big Hole in Kimberley to form the Kimberley Central Mine. no heirs to his empire. self-government was restored. Photo: Pub. in Northern Cape. A. One of the richest men in the world. 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. although Rhodes did not start out with an interest in diamonds.
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 . 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 . 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.
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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 . 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.
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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 . 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).
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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.
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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."
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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
and the largest rough unearthed in this century. Mr." and the "king of bling" by Forbes magazine . One of his most notable acquisitions was the 603 carat "Lesotho Promise diamond.com Gujarat's Indian Diamantaires . in 1992. Lev Leviev lives in B'nei Brak. ALROSA produces 100% of Russia's rough diamond output and approximately 20% of the world's rough diamonds . Russia.5 billion dollars . Israel. Hotel de Paris' salon privé in Paris. Dubai. and one of the most successful diamond merchants in modern history. Tretiakovsky Proezd in Moscow. with his wife and their nine children. and on board the luxury residential ship The World ResidenSea. to purchasing a 51% stake in Safdico (South African Diamond Corp. Leviev's net-worth is estimated at $2.). All House of Graff stones have a laser-inscribed girdle with the 'Graff' logo and GIA number. Graff has been dubbed the "king of diamonds. which gives him access to some of the finest uncut diamonds coming out of South Africa. founder of the House of Graff in the heart of London's posh New Bond Street. selling to the rich and famous from Elizabeth Taylor and Donald Trump. House of Graff is also located on London's Sloane Street. Photo: Pub." a compendium and history of his most famous jewels. Alrosa now sells direct to cutting factories throughout Russia. Lev Leviev has formed a partnership with the ex Soviet state-owned diamond firm. The Hindustani Diamond Cutters Photo: dnavin. New York's Madison Avenue. Laurence Graff was born into a Jewish orthodox family in London's poorer 'East End' district. from wholesale and retail. now called ALROSA (Almazy-Rossii-Sakha) ." the Leviev Group has found willing partners in several countries including Angola's ASCORP after De Beers' exit in 2001. formed by Decree 158C of the Russian Federation. Lesotho Promise is the 15th largest diamond ever found.5 billion (#278 Forbes List). a DeBeers sightholder in Johannesburg. Monte Carlo. found on August 22. Graff's strategy of "vertically integration" has been to control every angle of the diamond pipeline. Graff's net worth is estimated at 2. 2006 at the Letseng diamond mine in the tiny Kingdom of Lesotho in the center of the Republic of South Africa. Domain Laurence Graff Laurence Graff (1938—) is a DeBeers sightholder. Using this model of "local control. Graff has co-authored (with Vanessa von Zitzewitz) "The Most Fabulous Jewels in the World. which are now owned by Lev Leviev. and has satellite locations in Wafi City. It will ultimately be cut into an estimated 20 or so 'D-flawless' stones ranging from 75 carats to 1 carat in size.state. to Larry Ellison. By circumventing the De Beers supply chain. Raised by his grandparents.
Suresh & Co. Much of India's diamond trade is controlled by a handful of wealthy families in Gujarat. Domain Bharat & Vijay Shah Bharat and Vijay Shah came from a family of jewelers going back three generations. The Indo Argyle Diamond Council (IADC) formed in 1994 as a consortium of Indian jewelry manufacturers and cutting houses. heighten awareness of ethical business practices. a minister to the Indian king. Gitanjali Gems.Diamonds made their first reluctant appearance in human history over 2400 years ago. they were able to gain an increasingly larger share of the wholesale diamond trade. (HDC). Navinchandra & Co (board of directors . and De Beers India. with diamond cutting factories located in Borivali. Sanghavi Exports. or "thunderbolt. Harshad Mehta ("Diamond King of the world") is one of the founders of Rosy Blue. propelling their twin companies. displacing the Hasidim as the dominant force in the industry . Gujarat. the Indians would not be giving up their rightful heritage as diamantaires. Mehta. M. D. and were written about in an ancient Sanskrit manuscript called the "The Lesson of Profit" Arthasastra (c. Gitanjali Gems is one of the largest manufacturers of diamonds and diamond jewelry in India.com Dilip Mehta Indian diamantaire. is the CEO of the 'Rosy Blue Group' which is currently one of the world's largest diamond companies. polishes. It is estimated that India cuts. and Israelis didn't want to work with . the Hindustan Diamond Company Ltd. Several other divisions of the Rosy Blue Group. Companies like Bhavani Gems. and Shah. and exports several billion dollars worth of gems per year. By slowly developing markets. Chandragupta. and the DTC has demonstrated Gujarat's power in the diamond cutting/polishing arena by increasing India's take of its 125 sightholder contracts to nearly 50 in 2006. and although India's famous "Diamonds of Golconda" were mined-out hundreds of years ago. The Indian communities' share has grown to around 60%. is the newest addition to India's arsenal of global marketing tools to promote exports. The brothers.above). This vast fortune is shared by some 300 to 500 Gujaratis families from Palanpur on the GujaratRajasthan border ." The Bharat Diamond Bourse in Mumbai. and Vijaydimon are family owned operations run by Jains with the common surnames of Jhavari. . improve perceptions. universal truths. India (born 1949). Shree Ramkrishna Exports. and to develop an "understanding of the world market. Venus Jewels. Mumbai. Dilip Mehta of Mumbai. Of the $26 billion per year diamond revenues that flow through Antwerp. from Hong Kong to Israel. and Surat's 'Special Economic Zone' .7 billion in annual sales ." The Indians would go on to enjoy a singular reign over the diamond-rich dominion—known as Hindustan—for another two thousand years. both college dropouts. started out thirty years ago by purchasing cheaper stones that the Dutch Hasidim. based upon eternal. to elevate quality standards. Photo: rosyblue. Photo: Pub. and is currently a Senior Partner and head of the UAE division. The Sanskrit word for 'diamond' was vajra. 320 BC) by Kautiliya. with $1. are headed and staffed by Mehta family members. Jainism is an ancient Indian religious sect believing in the 'Jain' philosophy.
China. Bangkok. succeeded his father (Laurent-Désiré Kabila) as president the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC) after his assassination in January 2001. Diamonds and the Americans Photo: Pub.000 workers. only hinting at their possibility in 2007 or 2008. and Tel Aviv. The company has cutting factories in Antwerp. the political situation in Angola has begun to normalize. Vijaydimon is a DTC sightholder with offices in Belgium. Botswana has held regular elections and has been one of the more stable governments in southern Africa. Mandela. and enjoys broad support. India. In a post-conflict reconstruction effort. employing 22. Ayer & Son .W. Vijaydimon also purchases rough diamonds from Canada's Diavik Mine and Argyle (Rio Tinto) and Russia . dos Santos. and the United States. both domestically and internationally. UAE. After years of fighting between the PMLA and UNITA. is receiving broad support from the South Africa. Angola and from mining magnates. all who have signed multi-million dollar trade deals. At the age of 29. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. with one of the fastest per-capita income growth rates in the world. is making great strides in stabilizing the country after years of strife. President Festus Mogae was elected for a second term in 2004. president José Eduardo dos Santos is preventing democratic elections from taking place. Palanpur. left). Thailand. created a program for capacity-building of 'small and medium-sized enterprise' (SME) development. Kabila. Diamonds and the African Nationals Photos: Public Domain Kabila. The last democratic election in Angola was in 1992. The president of Sierra Leone. into a global position with nearly $1 Billion a year in sales.Vijaydimon (Belgium) and B Vijaykumar (India) . Domain N. Kabbah. Singapore. who was a major general in the army. many of the ex-colonial nations of Sub-Saharan Africa are starting to emerge as powerful and legitimate forces in the diamond industry. On a somewhat darker note. working in cooperation with the government of Sierra Leone. and the end to South African apartheid in 1994. the 'United Nations Industrial Development Orginization' (UNIDO). & Mogae Starting with Botswana's independence in 1966. Surat. Bombay. After winning a disicive re-election victory in 2006. Joseph Kabila (above. Hong Kong. Botswana is a relatively wealthy African country.
De Beers president. the values of ostentatious gems and jewelry dropped precipitously. Prince Esterhazy of Hungary. Sir Francis "Piggy" Beekman.' During the 1800s. N.' The stone was set into a garish jewelry piece called "Bird on a Rock." by Jean Schlumberger in the 1960s. Jule Styne (born Julius Kerwin Stein) was born in London. The stone was cut in Paris. Domain Charles Lewis Tiffany Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812—1902).' at the flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. After the French revolution in 1799. The Great Depression had taken a heavy toll on luxury goods during the 1930s. Tiffany & Young. In 1948 the famous "A diamond is forever" slogan was introduced. purchased diamonds. specializing in one-of-a-kind baubles for New York's newly-minted industrialists and 'robber-barons.' brand was catapulted into the stratosphere by the 1961 movie 'Breakfast at Tiffany's. gems and jewelry from the estates of the European aristocracy. producing the 128. Ayer in 1938. Styne wrote the score for the 1949 Broadway musical 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. De Beers and the diamond industry got another shot in the arm. Ayer & Son. The Tiffany is still selling luxury jewelry in their trademarked 'Tiffany Blue Box. Jule Styne. and from the Spanish Crown Jewels . After attending Chicago Musical College.W. this time from playwriter. the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine. . the public's tolerance towards nobility was at a low point. Photo: Pub. and featuring the memorable scene in which Holly gazes longingly into Tiffany's window display. who was known for his jewelry expertise. aka "the King of Diamonds. and a series of diamond-related slogans were introduced into the American lexicon. A 19. and Tiffany seized on the opportunity. and the subsequent overthrowing of King Louis-Philippe of France in 1848.42 carat rough flawless-yellow diamond from the 'Compagnie Français de Diamant du Cap' (Kimberley mine) in 1877.' staring Audrey Hepburn."A diamond is forever" is the legendary saying that was created by America's first advertising agency. With financial shockwaves caused by the French economy's collapse in 1847.54 carat 'The Tiffany Diamond. Charles Tiffany." was the co-founder of Tiffany & Co. Photo: Pub. located at 259 Broadway.W. Lorelei receives a diamond tiara from her suitor.' which was adapted to film in 1953." after here charecter. Tiffany was able to purchase significant gems from such renowned estates as: the 'jewel-mad' Duke of Brunswick. was originally a 'fancy goods' emporium. which started out as 'Tiffany & Young' of New York City in 1837. Domain Hollywood in 1949 Coming just on the heels of the immortal "a diamond is forever" campaign. and the diamond industry was particularly hard hit.72 carat cushion-cut diamond (one of the "Diamonds of Golconda") was mounted by Tiffany. One of Tiffany's most notable diamond acquisitions was a 287. The 'Tiffany & Co. Harry Frederick Oppenheimer enlisted the help of N. and sold to Nanaline Duke (now in the Doris Duke Collection). for resale in America. Styne moved to Hollywood where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn. The movie version featured Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend.
a diamond certificates. and their willingness to purchase the concept of "foreverness. but not least. the glamor is laid bare. Diamonds are tested for . appraisal report. 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. the unsung hero in the diamond trade." 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. Through interviews with human-rights organizations like Doctors Without Borders and Global Witness. The Consumer Last. 2006 Hollywood in 2006 Blood Diamond is the latest incarnation of Hollywood's fascination with diamond. In a preemptive strike against any negative publicity that the movie would generate. or "cert" may be your only assurance that you are getting exactly what you paid for. the World Diamond Council placed ten full-page ads in newspapers around the county. certificate of authenticity." and the terrible working conditions that these workers must endure." there would be no "diamond trade. Were it not for intrepid consumers. we have the faceless American consumer. grading report.Photo: © Warner Bros.
with operations in New York City. and is the largest independent gem certification and appraisal institute in the United States. but for insurance appraisal as well.not only for resale. wether the stone is natural or synthetic. and Attestations of Origin. and wether they are synthetic. color. Toronto. The GIA was founded by Robert M. GIA Certificate A GIA (Gemological Institute of America) report provides detailed information about the dimensions. and carat weight) and they are also tested for traces of gem enhancement. 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. there is very little (visible) difference between a FL stone and a IF or VVS-1 stone . shape and cut of a stone. GIA reports also cover any treatments or enhancements that have been done. Los Angeles.' GIA's world headquarters are located in Carlsbad. the same year that Shipley published his groundbreaking book titled 'Gemology.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 . poorly cut SI-3 grade stone. . Appraisal Reports. tone. Dubai and Hong Kong. IGI Certificate The International Gemological Institute (IGI) is the oldest institute of its kind in Antwerp. Mumbai. The IGI offers Identification Reports. Tokyo. with offices around the globe. and of corse. which can be substantially different. Shipley in 1931. Although even a lay-person may be able to tell the difference between a triple-zero diamond and a cheap. California. carat weight.other than the price. Bangkok. clarity. and saturation of a colored stone. Antwerp. founded in 1975. Certificates of Authenticity.
with "Triple Excellent" being the highest overall designation. Carat Weight.The IGI lab grades diamonds as well as colored gemstones along several basic criteria which include: shape and cut. the sorting of rough diamonds. HRD uses the "Hearts and Arrows" measuring system which was developed by HRD Antwerp scientists. HRD Antwerp Diamond Certificate The certificates department of HRD Antwerp in Antwerpen. Shape. and the graders can not know the identity of the owner. weight. HRD's refined Cut Grading system measures each of the three parameters (proportions. Color. . clarity. and finish. origin (colored gems). mesurments. as well as quantifying the standard parameters of Clarity. color. jewellery design and gemology. Belgium issues quality reports for loose (unmounted) polished diamonds according to ISO 17025 international standards for gemelogical testing laboratories. and Fluorescence. HRD also offers gemelogical training and continuing education courses in diamond grading. Cut. All diamonds are examined anonymously. polish and symmetry) using a scale ranging from Excellent to Fair.
along with a consortium of independent jewelers. The mission of the AGS is to increase consumer awareness. 2005 can be viewed online." The AGS Cut Grading system was developed through of years of research by gemologists. Aditionally. vs. referred to as a "Diamond Quality Document" or "DQD. and Proportions.com The American Gem Society was founded in 1934 by Robert M. The AGS Gemological Laboratories was established in 1996 to provide state-of-the-art diamond grading and appraisal services to the jewelry industry. Shipley. An AGS report. the HRD lab also uses state-of-the-art technology to test for subtle and hard to recognize enhancements such as HPHT. Diamond Grading AGS Diamond Quality Report (DQD) AGS Gemological Laboratory Background Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. 'Polish' and 'Symmetry' were merged into one category called "Finish." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors. and to set a higher standard of business ethics and professional practices in the jewelry industry. 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. certificates issued after January 1. Today. having the most rigid grading standards. mathematicians. AGS is considered the premier diamond-grading laboratory. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). HRD uses complex watermarking to prevent copying or falsifying their reports. Symmetry. A diamond's clarity is also graded on a simple numeric scale from 0 to 10. AGSL Certificate The AGSL was the first gem lab to grade a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. as opposed to GIA's vvs. 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. To insure the security of their documents. The AGS specializes in diamond testing and evaluation." is not an appraisal of monetary value. and s ratings. but rather a comprehensive quality evaluation. .As well as testing for synthetic diamonds. and gives you the option of having your diamond returned in a tamper-proof sealed container to insure that a given certificate and the accompanying diamond belong together. and does not evaluate other types of colored gemstones. AGS grades diamond color on a numeric sliding scale that is similar to GIA's alphabetical scale. as well as the most comprehensive system for grading the all-important 'cut' parameters. creator of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). and optical physicists.
. The ray-tracing program measures the quantity of the light being returned to the viewer by quantifying brightness. mathematicians. and Proportions." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors. contrast. In 2004 AGS added a new category that is referred to as "Light Performance. Proportions & Light Performance The AGSL was the first gem lab to grade a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. 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. 'Polish' and 'Symmetry' were merged into one category called "Finish." but to retained the "Triple Zero" monicker for diamonds with a perfect score. dispersion.Cut Grade: Finish. Symmetry. Each parameter is given a numeric grade from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). leakage and light spread." The AGS Cut grading system was developed through years of research by gemologists. and optical physicists.
1. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light . the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible.0 to 1. 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.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero.5 to 3." or "ideal" rating.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering.0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light .0 to 7. where facets intersect with each-other. relative facet angles.5 to 4.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint . AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless . and individual facet ratios. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram." 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.0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless .7.5.3. in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above). all measured in three spacial dimensions. . AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003. 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.
AGSL reports will also grade cut quality for emerald. and octagon step-cut diamonds. AGS offers laser inscription services as well. Artisanal Mining Hard Rock Mining Marine Mining Open Pit Mining Placer Mining Hard-Rock Diamond Mining The term "hard-rock mining" (top of page. Dubai. 2. which are used by non-contact measuring-device manufacturers such as Sarin Technologies. As of 2005. Diamonds: Gem & Diamond Mining Technology Photos: Public Domain Diamond & Gem Mining . 4. and ore bodies that are in situ. and OGI Systems. unmounted diamonds. and will soon be offering cut evaluations for other fancy shapes. 5. AGS will also provide analysis of a manufacturers 'cut performance' by analyzing a sample stone's Sarin file. AGS will only evaluate loose.Triple-0 Round Brilliant Setting 'American Star Diamond' 13. These diamond extraction methods vary depending on how the minerals are deposited within the earth. the stability of the material that surrounds that desired gem or mineral.42 Carat D. OctoNus Software. through AGS offices in Antwerp. while a shaft is . left) refers to various techniques used to extract gems. The principle methods of diamond extraction are: 1.Extraction Methods Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. The AGS supplies 'facet arrangement' templates corresponding to their cutgrading system." or a by a vertical "shaft. Obtaining an AGS Report AGS is a 'trade-industry' testing laboratory that will only evaluate diamonds sent from jewelers or manufacturers. and can only be accessed by tunneling underground and creating underground "rooms" or "stopes" that are supported by timber pillars or standing rock. Pricing for a diamond grading report is based on carat weight. India and Israel. 3. the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA). and the peripheral damage that will be done to the surrounding environment. Additionally.com Diamonds and other precious and semi-precious gemstones are extracted from the earth using five basic mining techniques. Flawless Other Services Supplied by AGS The AGS will soon be entering into an alliance/partnership with one of the premier testing labs of colored gemstones. minerals. princess. so that the cutter can improve the light performance of their cut stones. Accessing the underground ore is achieved via a horizontal passageway called a "decline." A decline is a spiral (corkscrew) tunnel which circles the ore deposit.
right) is used for extracting diamonds and minerals from alluvial. Placer Mining Placer diamond mining. eluvial. which concentrate the heavier gems at the bottom. A decline is typically used for mining personnel. therefore. Excavation is accomplished using water pressure (hydraulic mining). 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. Gems are separated from waste material using various sifting and sorting techniques such as cone screens. at a maximum depth of 500 feet. with the middle size being a candidate for final sorting. or sand) that is unsuitable for tunneling. gravel. the gravels are separated and sorted into three sizes. rock or sedimentary soil. or hand digging (artisanal mining). and have a specific gravity that is higher than that of common minerals. and or colluvial secondary deposits. Horizontal mining employs the use of Seabed Crawlers (remotely controlled. running adjacent to the ore.Photo: USGS Alluvial Diamond . CAT-tracked underwater mining vehicles) move across the sea floor pumping gravel up to an offshore vessel. Small "pit lakes" tend to form at the bottom of open-pit mines as a result of groundwater intrusion. they tend to concentrate in alluvial deposits in the same way that gold placers develop. highly resistant to weathering. . Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . Marine Mining Marine mining technology only became commercially viable in the early 1990s. Laborers who work in artisanal diamond mining are called "diamond diggers" (below left). Open pit mines are typically used when mineral deposits are found close to the surface or along defined kimberlite pipes. machinery. or pans. also known as "sand-bank mining" (top of page. shovels. Artisanal diamond mining is a form of "subsistence based" non-mechanized mining that is used in poorer countries throughout the world.vertical tunnel used for ore haulage. and is a derivative form of open-cast mining used to extract minerals from the surface of the earth without the use of tunneling. 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. or large conical sieves. or sort material according to size. box screens. right) with bare hands.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. While on board. center) is a method of extracting rock and minerals from the earth by removal from a machine-dug open pit or burrow. Open Pit Mining Open-pit diamond mining. and access to the ore. Diamonds and most gemstones are hard. also known as "open-cast mining" (top of page. Marine diamond mining employs both "vertical" and "horizontal" techniques to extract diamonds from offshore placer deposits. mechanized surface excavating equipment.
and upper mantle rock. As this molten mixture of magma (molten rock). and diamonds approaches the earth's surface it begins to form an underground structure (pipe) that is shaped like a champagne-flute. Diamonds: Diamond Geology Diamond Geology & Kimberlites Kimberlite Pipes Diamonds form at a depth greater than 93 miles (150 kilometers) beneath the earth's surface. Kimberlite pipes are the most significant source of diamonds. It is also used extensivly in Angola. pyroxene. left). diamonds are carried to the surface of the earth by volcanic activity. Most kimberlite is called "blue-ground" kimberlite (above. phlogopite.Artisanal diamond mining is used throughout west Africa. Many kimberlite pipes also produce alluvial diamond placer deposits. minerals. After their formation. Artisanal diamond mining accounts for 90% of Sierra Leone's diamond exports and is the country's second largest employer after subsistence farming. right). right). serpentine. These pipes are called "kimberlites" or "kimberlite pipes" (see diagram below). garnet. Diamond bearing kimberlite in some parts of South Africa is black in color (above. The name "Kimberlite" was derived from the South African town of Kimberly where the first diamonds were found in this type of rock conglomeration (see section on "Kimberley . . yet only about 1 in every 200 kimberlite pipes contain gem-quality diamonds. in conflict zones where mechanized mining is impractical and unsafe. the Congo (DROC). left) or "yellow-ground" kimberlite and can be found worldwide. and Liberia. Kimberlites are found as "dikes" and "volcanic pipes" which underlie and are the source for rare and relatively small volcanoes or "maars" (above. rock fragments. olivine. Kimberlite occurs in the zone of the Earth's crust in vertical structures known as kimberlite pipes (above. with a variety of trace minerals. Kimberlite pipes can lie directly underneath shallow lakes formed in the inactive volcanic calderas or craters. Kimberlite is a diamondiferous igneous-rock matrix composed of carbonate.North Cape" below).
The Argyle pipe is a diatreme.Photo: Public Domain Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . known as the Sperrgebiet or "forbidden territory. 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. The world's largest known gem quality alluvial diamond deposits are located along the Namib Desert coastline of southwestern Africa. There are several types of breccia which are categorized based on their geological origin. . 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. Diamondiferous material tends to concentrate in and around 'oxbow lakes.Open Pit Mine . sedimentary breccia. Alluvial diamond deposits are usually located within river terrace gravels that have been transported from their location of origin. usually from kimberlite deposits. or "cementing material.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. including: hydrothermal breccia. igneous breccia. These dried 'lakes' receive river water during seasonal flooding which transports large amounts of sediment held in suspension. or different in composition to the fragments themselves.Photo: NASA The alluvial terrace gravels (below.' which are created by abandoned river meanders. Alluvial Diamonds from Africa . except that boiling water and volatile compounds contained in the magma act corrosively on the overlying rock. Lamproite pipes are created in a similar manner to kimberlite pipes. left) and marine gravels of the south-western coastline of Africa represent the some of the world's largest placer diamond deposits." that may be similar. resulting in a broader cone of eviscerated rock at the surface. Alluvial (Placer) Diamond Deposits The location of alluvial (secondary or placer) diamond deposits is controlled by the surrounding topography." and along the Orange River near Alexander Bay. and tectonic breccia. This results in a martini-glass shaped diamondiferous deposit as opposed to kimberlite's champagne flute shape. impact breccia.
000 years ago). to a lesser extent. channels or other trapsites for diamondiferous deposits. Alluvial Terrace Gravels . Westward draining river systems transported these diamonds to Africa's continental coastline for final deposition within on-shore marine terrace gravels. made their way to the sea bed just offshore. in central South Africa and Botswana.Photo: Wiki Diamond-Bearing 'Diamondiferous' Gravel Many of these alluvial diamond deposits occur in Pleistocene and Holocene successions (1. Some of the largest and highest gemquality diamonds produced from alluvial placer diamond mining have come from this region.9k and 101. from olivine lamproites formed during the Cretaceous or Permo-Triassic period.8 million to 10. carried from their primary origination point on the Kaapvaal Craton. Diamonds that were transported downstream. 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.Namibia's placer diamond deposits are between 40 and 80 million years old. depressions. The diamonds within these deposits were transported from deeply-eroded diamondiferous kimberlites or. Diamonds in marine areas are typically trapped in bedrock depressions such as gullies. including Angola's two largest diamonds at 105.com . Diamond Mines of the World: Active Diamond Mines List of Active Diamond Mines All Contents Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.8k. potholes. but were not deposited on land.
map Koidu-Sefadu Mines: Subsistence digging in alluvium pits west of Koidu. map Kimberley Diamond Mine: Started in 1871. map The Oaks Diamond Mine: In Limpopo province. Lubilash) Alluvial river mines in Kasaï. 2. map Letseng Diamond Mine: Open-cast mine in Maluti Mountains 70 km from Mokhotlong. 1. So Africa. mining operator info. map Botswana Congo (DROC or RDC) Lesotho Namibia Sierra Leone South Africa Tanzania Zimbabwe Australia East Kimberley 1. Israel. 2. 3. Rio Tinto. There are also several African nations with ongoing off-shore dredging/vacuming operations. open pit. 1. Open-pit mine De Beers operated. MIBA. South Kalimantan 1. De Beers / Botswana. 4. Catoca Diamond Mine: Fourth largest diamond mine in world. 1. map Magna Egoli Mine: Largest mechanized mine in Sierra Leone. Waldman Resources. mostly industrial grade. Active Mines | Inactive Mines | Future Exploration | Mining Companies Africa Angola 1. 75% De Beers ownership.Currently there are eleven major 'diamond producing' nations. produces over 40% of world's gem-quality diamonds. 2. 75% De Beers ownership map Murowa Diamond Mine: Open Pit & Underground mine. 75% De Beers ownership. Namdeb Namib Gov. map Koidu Open Pit Mines: Kimberlite open-pit mines just south of Koidu. in Kasaï . 4. 1. map Finsch Diamond Mine: Finsch is an open-pit mine near Lime Acres. map Letlhakane Diamond Mine: ("little reeds") second oldest of four . 2. links to satellite images of the mines (where available).De Beers / Botswana. 1. south of Lüderitz. 6. map Canada North West Territories (NWT) 1.closed. Namdeb. map Jwaneng Diamond Mine: (place of small stones) richest mine in world. Kimberlite pipe. map Forminière Diamond Mine: Alluvial mine located on the River Tshikapa. the Kimberley Open Pits closed in 2005. map River Ranch Diamond Mine: Open Pit & Underground mine. Luarica Diamond Mine: Owned by Endiama (38%) & Trans Hex (32%). Closed in 2006. Endiama (50%). map . Cempaka Diamond Mines: Alluvials mined by indigenous artisanal Kalimantan miners. 5. map Williamson Diamond Mine: (aka Mwadui mine) Open Pit mine.DeBeers/Botswana. map Marine Mining: Namco Mining operates a dredging fleet off the west coast of Namibia. map Elizabeth Bay Mine: Open-cast mine in Namib desert. De Beers/Botswana. map Koffiefontein Diamond Mine: The Koffiefontein mine opened in 1870. and hard rock diamond mines. 2. De Beers operated. mining industry inside news. map Borneo Cempaka/Riam Kanan. Diavik Diamond Mine: The Diavik diamond mine is located in the NWT. 1. 2. Trans Hex. and any relevant geographic data. 3. 3. map Venetia Diamond Mine: Limpopo. These lists also contains new project explorations. Owned by Endiama (40%) & Trans Hex (35%). 1. 2. 7. map Damtshaa Diamond Mine: (water for a tortoise) New open pit mine. and a host of other counties with operational and/or historic alluvial. 3. map Orange River (Daberas) Mines: Orange River alluvium. 3. map Ekati Diamond Mine: Canada's first diamond mining operation. map Fucauma Diamond Mine: Newly constructed. Luzamba Diamond Mine: Angola's largest alluvial mine. 2. map Bakwanga Mine: (aka Bushimaïe. map Baken Diamond Mine: Located along Orange River in North Cape. located in NWT. Odebrecht (50%). 4. map Orapa Diamond Mine: (resting place for lions) Largest/oldest of four . 1. Argyle Diamond Mine: Largest producer in world. map Cullinan Diamond Mine: Open Pit/Hard Rock diamond mine owned by De Beers.
map . Mirna Mine: Largest diamond deposit in Russia and one of the largest in the world. 3. 4.India Madhya Pradesh 1. map Udachnaya (Udachny) Pipe Mine: One of the deepest diamond mines in the world. map Anabar GOK Mine: The norther most location of Russia's diomond mines. Panna Diamond Mine: Alluvial mine in state of Madhya Pradesh. map Russia Siberia 1. map Jubilee (Yubileinaya) Mine: Newer open-pit kimberlite mine near Udachny. Alrosa. Aikhal GOK Mine: Three open-pit kimberlite pipe mines: Aikhal. 2. 5. Jubilee. and Sytykan.
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