All About Gemstones: Diamonds

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

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

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

The 4 Cs of Diamonds: Cut

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

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

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

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

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

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

When a single piece of jewelry has multiple stones. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. "Princess" (square outline). The "fancy cuts" are generally not held to the same strict standards as Round Brilliants. "Marquise" or "Navette" (little boat).007 ounce. Therefor. The 4 C's of Diamonds: Carat (Weight) The 4 C's Diamond Grading System 1.2 grams (200 milligrams or 3.Heart Marquise Oval Pear Princess Radiant Round Trillion (not shown at diagram) Fig. your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the "4 C's" diamond grading system. Carat 3. and a 2 carat diamond is 200 points. A carat can also be divided into "points" with one carat being equal to 100 points. the total mass of all diamonds or gemstones is referred to as "Total Carat Weight" or "T. Color Carat weight is one of the 4 C's.C." "Briolette" (a form of Rose cut). and with each point being 2 milligrams in weight." . Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics.086 grains) or 0. CARAT Balancing Cut and Weight A diamond or gemstone's "Carat" designation is a measurement of both the size and weight of the stone. As a consumer. a 3/4 carat diamond is 75 points. 5 Popular fancy cuts include the "Baguette" (bread loaf). a 1/2 carat diamond would be 50 points. One "Carat" is a unit of mass that is equal to 0. and the Pear. Cut 2. "Heart.W. Clarity 4.

495 carats and . many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight.750 30. or "seed of the carob".195 and .204 carat.800 6. a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight. Occasionally.Grade: F Colorless .VS1 Carat Size</ 0.600 6. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity . the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line.99 carat diamond for its better price. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations." If the carat weight is shown as ". Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32.600 8. See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison.10 carat diamond for its better cut. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor. In ancient times.5 carat 1. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York. Price Per Carat (2005) . 40º pavilion. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a . A diamond that has a specified carat weight of . This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales.600 12.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1.5 carat 2. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing. clarity and weight.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry. or to buy a 1. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight. It is for this reason that an even 1.504 carats. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between .0 carat 1.5 carats must have an actual weight of between .0 carat 3. girdle and pavilion.500 15.5º crown. it must be accurate to the second decimal place.

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

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

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

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

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

. and a specific gravity of 3." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2. ultramafic." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine. At these depths. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1.044.Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time. and differentiates it from simple graphite. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km). 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. Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness. with a variety of trace minerals." which is also known as "adamant. diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation." "untamable. igneous rock composed of garnet. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes. The name "diamond. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical." is derived from the Greek adamas.42. Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth. with the principle allotrope being graphite.200 degrees Celsius)." referring to its incredible hardness. Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures. A diamond is a transparent. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits. a refractive index of 2. which resemble a champagne flute. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" [2]. and pyroxene. Under the continental crust. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses.52. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe." and "unconquerable. olivine. phlogopite. Therefore. or "invincible.

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

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

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

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

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

Pink (Brownish-pink) 1 is darkest PC3 to PC1 . bright light).Start of 'Fancy' Fancy Fancy Dark Fancy Intense Fancy Deep Fancy Vivid . An 1P designation would have less blue and more brownish-red. . lighting color temperatures (incandescent.Highest Saturation One of the largest.' GIA 'Fancy Yellow' Diamond Color Saturation Designations Faint . Pink Diamonds The pink color within these rare diamonds is due to irregular crystal growth patterns.Pink (Magenta-pink) 1 is darkest 1P to 8P .S to Z Fancy Light . One of the world's only major sources for rare pink diamonds is the Argyle Mine in Australia. The rough stone weighed 287. As the numbers go lower (8PP) the color is paler. left).M Very Light . 1PP is the highest quality designation for Pink Diamond.Brown diamonds.Cognac 8 is darkest Chameleon Diamonds There is a very rare olive-grayish color-changing diamond called "Chameleon Diamond" (below. The GIA grades fancy diamond color by quantifying the saturation. South Africa in 1878. daylight) and ambient temperature changes.Champagne 3 is darkest C8 to C1 . sold at a greater discount. having a pure magenta color with deep saturation. which are generally less appreciated than other fancy colors and therefor. and value (darkness) using nine classifications ranging from 'Faint' to 'Vivid. Pink diamonds are similar to pink sapphire in color. which changes hue from grayish-blue or olive-green to yellowish-green or straw-yellow under different lighting conditions (darkness. halogen.' found in Kimberly. causing microscopic imperfections within the lattice structure. This Chameleon-like phenomenon was first documented by the GIA in the early 1940s.42 carats.Pink (Reddish-pink) 1 is darkest 1BP to 8BP . Only 1% to 2% of the diamonds produced at the Argyle Mine are high-quality pink specimens. have become more commonplace as Australian colored diamonds have gained in popularity. Fancy Pink/Brown Diamond Color (Hue) Designations 1PP to 8PP . and was cut into a 128.54 carat cushion cut with an estimated value in the millions of dollars.N to R Light . and most valuable Fancy Yellow diamonds in the world is the 'Tiffany Diamond. hue. yet considerably more expensive. 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.

Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness [9]. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. . Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities. and weighed a modest 0. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green. The color change effect is The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant.000 per carat. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color. and the De Young Red weighing 5. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply. greyish-green.95carats. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. Intense. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems.' discovered during the 18th century.000 in 1987. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red. or a combination of the two. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits. as in the one-of-a-kind 5.90 carats. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities. pure green hues.Green Chameleon Diamonds Fancy Pink Diamond Color Grading Chameleon diamonds can be forced to temporarily change to a yellowish-green color by exposing them to heat (150º C to 250º C).com) Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa. On thing is certain. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond. 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.03 carats. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste.000 to $500. Warren Hancock.

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

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

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

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

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




Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.

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



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

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



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

Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .

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



Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .

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

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.


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

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

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. 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. .


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




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





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


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

Surface Graining 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. Surface Graining (SGr) Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation. .

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

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



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. . Filled Fractures Fractures or feathers that have been artificially filled to enhance clarity. and remove cloudiness. Filled Fracture Photos Internal Fracture Filling Inclusion Photography Fracture-filling Inclusions are man-made diamond enhancements that are the result of natural cleavage-plane stress fractures or feathers which have been artificially filled with molten glass to enhance clarity.

markings. 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. and inscriptions. or inscribing the external surface of a cut diamond. . marking.




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

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

so that the jeweler can use greater care while working on the piece. Natural Fancy Diamonds .© AfricaGems.© AGS Lab The laser-drilling treatment is considered permanent.© AGS Lab Laser Drilling Tubes . followed by acid washing to remove the coloring agent. 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. Diamonds treated with HTHP have their molecular altered so that intense. It is therefor essential to inform anyone working on a setting where the diamond has been fracture-filled. According to Fred Cuellar in his book How to Buy a Diamond. . the heat generated by a blowtorch used to work on settings can cause damage to the filling material. and the GIA will not even grade a fracture-filled diamond.There should always be a significant price discount for any diamond that has been fracture-filled. These enhancements are achieved using low levels of radiation (irradiation). "One out of every three diamonds sold in the United States is laser-drilled. Reputable filling companies will often provide repeat treatments if heat causes damage to the filling. "vivid" blue and yellow colors result. Signs of Laser Drilling .com Color Enhanced Diamonds ." Diamond Color Treatment Color enhancement of diamonds in done to increase the color intensity of so-called "fancy" colored diamonds. or subjecting the diamond to intense pressure and temperature. Due to its low melting-point. The drilling process leave tiny telltale shafts or tunnels that are visible under high magnification (see photos below). in part because the treatment isn't permanent. and both the GIA and AGS will issue grades for laser drilled Radiation treatments are completely safe.© AfricaGems. The final clarity grade will be the grade that is assigned after treatment. referred to as the HTHP process.

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

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

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

80 to 2. Using Visual Optics To Detect CZ The Hodgkinson "Visual Optics" technique was developed in the mid-1970s by Alan Hodgkinson as a method of detecting natural diamonds and diamond simulants. The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit. Once the mixture has cooled. and CZs can be made in any "color grade. CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds. natural diamond is a thermal conductor Weight: Cubic Zirconia is heavier than diamond in a given size Another method for distinguishing Cubic Zirconia from diamond is to mark the stone with a grease pencil or felt-tipped pen. candle. but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye.41 (RI). the greater dispersive power.17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2. CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1. . CZ vs Diamond . Due to their low cost and consistency.170.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones.2. Natural diamonds attract grease. Zirconium oxide powder is heated. a CZ is optically flawless.In 1973. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below). Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond.800 . then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible.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. etc." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR). although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond . You 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. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing. Unlike most natural diamonds. Diamond's RI is 2. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting. or colorless (white) versions. The 1. For instance. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left). or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond. Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight.) in a totally dark room.

Moissanite has a hardness of 9.) in a dark room.417.65 to 2. is classified as an element rather than a compound.044.060. candle. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998.104 as compared to CZ at 0. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. and diamond at 0. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material.A small. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0.69.25 on the Mohs scale. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). Henri Moissan (above. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. when examining the gem through the kite facets. . center) near Winslow. Arizona. found only in iron-nickel meteorites. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. while diamond has a hardness of 10. Moissanite. etc. 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. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. Moissanite has an RI of 2. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. 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.670. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent.

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

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

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

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

more brilliance and fire..4%.6% and overall height of 57. .5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed. crown height of 14. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. H&A Viewer. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. and Proportions. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. Tolkowsky. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant". As with all human endeavors.N. To quantify a diamond's cut quality. and crown/pavilion angles. Symmetry. A perfect blending of facet symmetry. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect.5% to 43. etc. invented in 1929.7%. very small to small In the 1970s. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace. crown height of 14.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design. Since then. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish." (Scandinavian standard.7%. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%. Ideal Scope. The "Scan D. facet ratios. and overall height of 57. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57.5%. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor).' and there has been numerous attempts to improve on this tried-and-true formula with the introduction of new signature diamond cuts that claim to have a higher light return.N. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. Eppler & Scan D.

less facets. and it still survives in some form today. The cut has a deep pavilion and a high crown. www.each trying to improve on the tried-and-true Old European Barion Cut . scientists. and entrepreneurs . and their modest brilliance and light return. Tolkowsky came up with a "brilliant" idea almost 90 years ago. etc. with the two largest stones. cut corners and a small table. and the culet is square. The Asscher brothers cut the famous 3. (more facets. but some like the Barion Cut have disappeared into Einstein's theory of relativity. Popular in Art Deco jewelry of the period. Diamonds: Patented Signature Diamond Cuts Notable Patented & Proprietary Diamond Cuts Since the early 1900s there has been a proliferation of elaborate diamond cuts that have been developed by master gem cutters. One thing is for sure .asscher.Producers split hairs over cut angle. 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 1902.106 carat Cullinan Diamond into eleven gem stones. cut proportions. Every conceivable cutting theory is tried.) and when suitably scrutinized by the gem trade. or the widely marketed Leo cut which is a modified round-brilliant sold by Leo Schachter Diamonds. the Asscher diamond cut has a squarish octagonal shape with a step cut. mathematicians. Some have gone on to become household names such as the Asscher cut. but at the end of the day it may simply come down to consumer preference and/or marketing. Here is a collection of just a few of the many "signature" diamond cuts that have been produced over the last 100 years.the consumer. and number of facets. the Cullinan 1 and Cullinan 2 being set into the crown and sceptre of the British Crown Jewels.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

relative facet angles.0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless ." or "ideal" rating. 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.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.5 to 3.3.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering.0 to 1. in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above).7. the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light .0 to 7. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint .5. AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond. all measured in three spacial dimensions. where facets intersect with each-other.5 to 4." Document Security Each AGS grading document is marked with a hologram (dark circle at lower right of report) and watermarking or embossing to prevent fraudulent duplication.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light . and individual facet ratios. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless . .5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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