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

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

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

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

5 carat 2. girdle and pavilion.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above.10 carat diamond for its better cut. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing. a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight.495 carats and .5 carats must have an actual weight of between . it must be accurate to the second decimal place. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry.750 30.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales.800 6." If the carat weight is shown as ".5º crown. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone.99 carat diamond for its better price. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity .The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration.600 6. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1.5 carat 1. In ancient times.VS1 Carat Size</ 0.195 and . "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat.0 carat 1.0 carat 3. It is for this reason that an even 1.600 12. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions. See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison.204 carat. or to buy a 1.600 8. 40º pavilion. clarity and weight. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a . The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of . Price Per Carat (2005) .504 carats. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place.Grade: F Colorless . or "seed of the carob". Occasionally.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between .500 15.

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

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

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

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

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

diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km)." which is also known as "adamant. . Therefore. At these depths." referring to its incredible hardness." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine. or "invincible. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" [2]. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0.200 degrees Celsius). Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness.Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time." and "unconquerable. a refractive index of 2. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical. and pyroxene." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic. and a specific gravity of 3. A diamond is a transparent. 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. with a variety of trace minerals. ultramafic. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits." "untamable.52. Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures. olivine. Under the continental crust.42. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes. which resemble a champagne flute. The name "diamond. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale. phlogopite.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1. and differentiates it from simple graphite. igneous rock composed of garnet. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses." is derived from the Greek adamas. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms. with the principle allotrope being graphite.044. Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil.000 per carat. or a combination of the two.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). the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. Warren Hancock. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness [9]. Green diamonds can range from $35.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant. pure green hues.000 in 1987. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply. . There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities. The color change effect is temporary. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems.90 carats. and weighed a modest 0. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa.' discovered during the 18th century.03 carats. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13.95carats. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926. and the De Young Red weighing 5. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. Intense.000 to $500. On thing is certain. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation.

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

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

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

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. and is reproduced with their permission. Clouds (Cld) A dense grouping of tiny pinpoints that create a cloudy zone which may not resolve as individual pinpoints at 10X Magnification. Internal cloud inclusions may not resolve as pinpoints at 10X . Nevada. 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 Inclusion Photos Internal Diamond Feather Inclusion Photography Feather inclusions (Ftr) are caused by cleavage planes or internal stress fractures that have the appearance of wispy feathers. Common around included crystals. Feather inclusions are common around included crystals such as garnet. Feather inclusions can be accompanied by internal graining and/or twinning wisp inclusions. .Feathers (Ftr) Cleavage planes or internal stress fractures that have the appearance of feathers. which cause internal stress fractures during crystal growth.



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

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



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

Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .

. 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. when a tube or tunnel is generated in the crystalizing diamond by an internal cavity that was once liquid filled.



Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .

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

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


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

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

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


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

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 .

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




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





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


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

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

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

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



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




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

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

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

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

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

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

Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored. or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond. The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left). Once the mixture has cooled. natural diamond is a thermal conductor Weight: Cubic Zirconia is heavier than diamond in a given size Another method for distinguishing Cubic Zirconia from diamond is to mark the stone with a grease pencil or felt-tipped pen. Zirconium oxide powder is heated. CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting.41 (RI). Due to their low cost and consistency. but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye. CZ vs Diamond . or colorless (white) versions. 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. Diamond's RI is 2.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator. etc. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight. For instance. Natural diamonds attract grease. 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.800 . most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond . The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below).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.80 to 2. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease. CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1.) in a totally dark room.170. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR).Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light.In 1973. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible. Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond.2. candle. and CZs can be made in any "color grade. Unlike most natural diamonds.17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2. The 1. the greater dispersive power. a CZ is optically flawless. .

sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. is classified as an element rather than a compound. candle.060. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight.25 on the Mohs scale.) in a dark room.104 as compared to CZ at 0. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). Arizona. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research.65 to 2. Moissanite. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused.69. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent.A small. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI.670. center) near Winslow. 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. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. etc. Moissanite has an RI of 2. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0. 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. found only in iron-nickel meteorites. when examining the gem through the kite facets. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. .044. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond. Henri Moissan (above.417. while diamond has a hardness of 10. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. and diamond at 0. Moissanite has a hardness of 9.

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

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

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

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

To quantify a diamond's cut quality. invented in 1929. The "Scan D. Tolkowsky. Ideal Scope. crown height of 14.6% and overall height of 57. and Proportions. H&A Viewer. and overall height of 57. As with all human endeavors.N. very small to small In the 1970s. facet ratios.7%. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. and crown/pavilion angles..5% to 43. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios. more brilliance and fire. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972.N. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed. etc.4%. Symmetry. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant"." (Scandinavian standard.5%. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%. Eppler & Scan D. Since then. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42. crown height of 14. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace.7%. A perfect blending of facet symmetry. .Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35.' 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. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Diamond Trade: History & Culture of the Key Players Article Copyright © 2006 AllAboutGemstones. This led to a new wave of emigrants and adventurer-seekers from England. and fully annexed the Cape Colony in 1806 [24]. or German Protestant 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. most with Dutch Calvinist." Three of South Africa's richest diamond mines are in Northern Cape (Kimberley Diamond Mine). 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.' 'Gauteng.' During the 1830s and 1840s. Flemish. The Voortrekkers had to contend with the native Zulu tribe over land they wished to settle on. and Limpopo (Venetia Diamond Mine). there was a mass exodus (the Great Trek) northward to 'Northern Cape.' 'Limpopo. Diamonds and the British The Second Wave of Europeans Needing a stopping-off point on the sea-route to Australia and India. 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. Afrikaners who participated in the migration northward became known as the 'Trekboer' or Voortrekkers. Gauteng (Premier Diamond Mine). which at the time was administered by the 'Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie' or 'Dutch East India Company.' After the devastating Zulu defeat. There was not a single Boer fatality.' and the 'Orange Free State' provinces to escape hostilities with the native 'Xhosa tribe' from which Nelson Mandela decended. The First Boer War (1880—1881) began with the Transvaal (Limpopo) Boers declaring independence from Great Britain. and this eventually lead to all-out war. 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 (Hoge Raad voor Diamant) Diamond High Council is a non-profit industry organization designed to promote and represent the Antwerp diamond trade. who were in search of the "quiet sweet life. England seized the Cape of Good Hope from the Dutch East India Company in 1797.000 Zulu warriors attacking 470 Boer settlers. coming for . under the Treaty of Vereeniging. The Boers resisted British encroachments into their territory until the Second 'Anglo' Boer War (1899— 1902). They settled in the 'Cape of Good Hope' on Africa's southern most tip. The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base. The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates [9]. with 10.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless . . AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond.0 to 7." or "ideal" rating.5.0 to 1. all measured in three spacial dimensions.5 to 3. and individual facet ratios.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering." Document Security Each AGS grading document is marked with a hologram (dark circle at lower right of report) and watermarking or embossing to prevent fraudulent duplication.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light . in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above).AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero.0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light . The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles. In the upper left corner of the document there is a unique AGS reference number that can be used when contacting AGS with questions about your report. AGS 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. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless .0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint .7.1. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram. relative facet angles. where facets intersect with each-other. 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.3.5 to 4.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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