All About Diamonds | Diamond | Gemstone

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

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

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

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

0 carat 1.0 carat 3.600 6. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of . See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison.5 carat 1. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place.750 30. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone.600 12.495 carats and . Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity .10 carat diamond for its better cut. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor. 40º pavilion. a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight." If the carat weight is shown as ". A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown. In ancient times. or "seed of the carob". By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry.204 carat. clarity and weight. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only.VS1 Carat Size</ 0. It is for this reason that an even 1.Grade: F Colorless .5 carat 2. 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.600 8. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations.195 and . carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales.5º crown.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between . Occasionally.99 carat diamond for its better price. or to buy a 1.500 15.504 carats. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat. it must be accurate to the second decimal place. girdle and pavilion. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a .000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line.5 carats must have an actual weight of between . a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions.800 6. Price Per Carat (2005) .The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness [9]. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities. Green diamonds can range from $35. . The color change effect is temporary. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat. and weighed a modest 0.90 carats.03 carats. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13. and the De Young Red weighing 5. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste. On thing is certain.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). pure green hues. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926. greyish-green.000 per carat. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply. Warren Hancock. Intense. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant. or a combination of the two.' discovered during the 18th century.000 in 1987. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond.95carats. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems.000 to $500. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner.

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

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

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

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

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.Magnification. .




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. which cause internal stress fractures during crystal growth. Feather inclusions can be accompanied by internal graining and/or twinning wisp inclusions.Feathers (Ftr) Cleavage planes or internal stress fractures that have the appearance of feathers.



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

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



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

Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .

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



Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .

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

Garnet Inclusions within Diamond .





Garnet fragment on Diamond Girdle .

Grossularite Garnet Inclusions in Diamond .

Internal Graining (IntGr) Irregular crystal growth causing internal distortions, waviness, and/or haze. Can be accompanied by internal strain. Internal Graining Inclusion Photos

Internal Graining Diamond Inclusion Photography
Internal Graining (IntGr) inclusions are caused by irregular crystal growth which creates internal distortions, waviness, or haze. Internal Graining imperfections may be accompanied by internal strain such as feather Inclusions.


Internal Graining with Cloud Inclusion .

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


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

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

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


. 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 .

Knot Inclusion Photos Photography of Diamond Inclusion Knots Knot inclusions are naturally occurring external inclusions or imperfections that penetrate the surface (convex). .Natural External Diamond Inclusions or Blemishes Knots An inclusion that penetrates the surface. appearing as a raised area on the diamond's surface. appearing as a raised area. 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 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.Lizard Skin A bumpy or wavy 'orange-peel' textured pattern on the polished surface of a diamond. The lizard-skin effect is caused by an orange-peel texture. made up of a bumpy or wavy pattern on the polished surface of a diamond. .


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. . and remain visible on the surface of a polished stone.

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

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

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



This microscopic photograph shows the telltale orange or pink flash of a filled fracture enhancement within a cut diamond.Extra Facet (EF) An asymmetrical and irregularly placed facet that is not part of the original faceting scheme. Filled Fractures Fractures or feathers that have been artificially filled to enhance clarity. Filled Fracture Photos Internal Fracture Filling Inclusion Photography Fracture-filling Inclusions are man-made diamond enhancements that are the result of natural cleavage-plane stress fractures or feathers which have been artificially filled with molten glass to enhance clarity. . and remove cloudiness.

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




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

There are also heating treatments to improve a white diamond's color grade. but not necessarily increase its value. much like you would repair a crack in a car's windshield glass.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. polished natural diamonds. which are designed to improve the visual or gemological characteristics of the stone." 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. altered.© AGS Lab Diamonds that have been altered or enhanced by Fracture Filling and/or Laser Drilling should always be labeled and their "improvements" identified to the potential consumer. in accordance with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines for the gem trade. 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. These techniques do not eliminate the imperfection. . 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.© AGS Lab Telltale Signs of Fracture Filling . or treatments to give a fancy color to a off-white diamond. Unfilled Fractures around Garnet Inclusion . but instead attempt to hide their visual effect.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ideal Scope. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish.5%. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%. As with all human endeavors. Since then. Symmetry. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). The "Scan D.7%. etc.7%.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35.N.' 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. To quantify a diamond's cut quality.5% to 43. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut. 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. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57. H&A Viewer. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace. Eppler & Scan D..5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42.N. and Proportions. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant".5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed. . and overall height of 57. invented in 1929.4%.6% and overall height of 57. and crown/pavilion angles." (Scandinavian standard. more brilliance and fire. crown height of 14. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. crown height of 14. facet ratios. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. very small to small In the 1970s. A perfect blending of facet symmetry. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. Tolkowsky.

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

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

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

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

but that has not always been easy as these little chunks of elemental carbon are harder that anything that could be found to cut them. reworked into the shape of a trillion (triangle). Nieman Marcus and Tiffany. The pavilion has two differently sized sets triangular facets with a large triangular table. and the natural octahedral symmetry of the rough stone's closed isometric form. The "table cut" (below. and scintillation when cut to the correct proportions. craftsmen have attempted to "improve" on nature. There are 49 crown facets and 40 pavilion facets. Still. Starburst Cuts are mounted and sold directly through Cartier. Trillion) is a triangular cut designed and trademarked by the Henry Meyer Diamond Company of New York in 1962. making the hue of fancy yellow diamonds more intense. The Starburst cut is especially suitable for a octahedral rough. Harry Winston. and light return from the stone. The Starburst cut was created to bring out the highest amount of color to fancy yellow diamonds. Old Mine Cut Evolution of the Faceted Diamond & Colored Gem Article Copyright © 2008 AllAboutGemstones. From this point forward it was a race to see who could design the perfect faceted cut which would bring out the maximum fire. of New York in 1978. brilliance. and the career of the "diamantaire" (diamond cutter/polisher) was born. The crown of the Starburst Cut is similar to that of the radiant cut. The Trilliant has the Schoenflies point group symmetry of a round brilliant. Since the day that humans first discovered 'adamas' (diamonds).louisglick. but the pavilion is completely different. the precursor for the "design" of the first faceted diamond lay within the rough stone itself. 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 Trilliant Cut has a total of 31 facets. with weight losses in the fifty percent range.early 1300s The "point cut" (below left) is one of the first symmetrically faceted diamond cuts. and Uncurved cut used for accent stones. fire. Old eight. and the Trilliant is now a generic term for a triangular brilliant cut. for a total of 89 kite and star shaped facets. The point cut design is dictated by the natural shape of an octahedral rough diamond. this led to the invention of the first gem cutting machines (precursor to the "lap" or "Facetron") in the 1300s. With the realization that only a diamond could cut another diamond. www. The Trilliant trademark has since lapsed.The Starburst Cut was patented and trademarked by the Louis Glick Diamond Corp. right) was created by cutting off some of the top half of the point cut's octahedron to create a table. Old European Gem Cuts: The faceting of diamonds has come a long way in the last 700 years. The Trilliant cut gives a high Trilliant Cut The Trilliant Cut (aka Trielle. Trillian. Point Cut . There are two variations of this cut: the Curved cut used for solitary stones.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amid all of this turmoil and chaos. Rhodes started out selling ice cream to the diamond-diggers and service workers. De Beers and Kimberley Central were the two largest mining interests in South Africa at the time. A. and later selling steam-powered water pumps to drain the open-pit mines of Kimberley. no heirs to his empire. but was eventually successful in convincing Barnato to merge with De Beers. Domain Cecil Rhodes Cecil Rhodes (1853—1902) is the undisputed father of the modern diamond industry. a prospector. Cullinan . As founder of De Beers. in Northern Cape. The African nation of Rhodesia was named after him (now the Republic of Zimbabwe). 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.. self-government was restored. although Rhodes did not start out with an interest in diamonds. and J.' Cecil Rhodes died a single man with no children and. Photo: Pub. Photo: Pub. a curious discovery was being made along the banks of the Orange River. As a young lad from England. N. D." In 1906. diamond speculator and fellow Englishman named Barney Barnato (1852—1897) was buying up pieces of the Big Hole in Kimberley to form the Kimberley Central Mine. Photo: Pub.. Domain Barney Barnato During the same period that Cecil Rhodes was building De Beers Consolidated Mines. In exchange. De Beer. Around 1873 the De Beer brothers sold out to a group of mining syndicates who later merged with Cecil Rhodes' pumping company to form 'De Beers Consolidated Mines. Domain Thomas M. With the help of the Rothschild bank in London. One of the richest men in the world. he was able to build a monopolistic empire through skill and cunning. mysteriously falling overboard on a ship passage back to England. Rhodes made several aborted attempt to gain control over Barnato's interest in Kimberley Central Mine. Barnato died several years later. and in 1910 the 'Union of South Africa' was created. Barnato was given appointed to 'life governor' and temporary controlling interest in De Beers [6]. Cecil Rhodes' De Beers empire was started on a farm owned by two Boer settlers and brothers.the "mineral revolution.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and individual facet ratios. where facets intersect with each-other. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.1. the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible. in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above).0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless . AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless . as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram. AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond." or "ideal" rating. In the upper left corner of the document there is a unique AGS reference number that can be used when contacting AGS with questions about your report.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero.5 to 3.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint .0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light . .5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003.0 to 7. all measured in three spacial dimensions.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering." Document Security Each AGS grading document is marked with a hologram (dark circle at lower right of report) and watermarking or embossing to prevent fraudulent duplication.5 to 4. relative facet angles.5.0 to 1. 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.7. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light .3.

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

and access to the ore. or hand digging (artisanal mining). Marine diamond mining employs both "vertical" and "horizontal" techniques to extract diamonds from offshore placer deposits. and or colluvial secondary deposits. Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix .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. Excavation is accomplished using water pressure (hydraulic mining). and have a specific gravity that is higher than that of common minerals. Open Pit Mining Open-pit diamond mining.vertical tunnel used for ore haulage. right) is used for extracting diamonds and minerals from alluvial. Diamonds and most gemstones are hard. Marine Mining Marine mining technology only became commercially viable in the early 1990s. Artisanal Mining Artisanal diamond mining (aka "small-scale mining") involves nothing more that digging and sifting through mud or gravel river-bank alluvial deposits (above. also known as "sand-bank mining" (top of page. or sort material according to size. or pans. Open pit mines are typically used when mineral deposits are found close to the surface or along defined kimberlite pipes. Placer Mining Placer diamond mining. center) is a method of extracting rock and minerals from the earth by removal from a machine-dug open pit or burrow. running adjacent to the ore. CAT-tracked underwater mining vehicles) move across the sea floor pumping gravel up to an offshore vessel. the gravels are separated and sorted into three sizes. Laborers who work in artisanal diamond mining are called "diamond diggers" (below left). . Gems are separated from waste material using various sifting and sorting techniques such as cone screens. also known as "open-cast mining" (top of page. and is a derivative form of open-cast mining used to extract minerals from the surface of the earth without the use of tunneling. Vertical marine mining uses a 6 to 7 meter diameter drill head to cut into the seabed and suck up the diamond bearing material from the sea bed. therefore. A decline is typically used for mining personnel. or large conical sieves. right) with bare hands. they tend to concentrate in alluvial deposits in the same way that gold placers develop. mechanized surface excavating equipment. Small "pit lakes" tend to form at the bottom of open-pit mines as a result of groundwater intrusion.Photo: USGS Alluvial Diamond . box screens. or sand) that is unsuitable for tunneling. highly resistant to weathering. which concentrate the heavier gems at the bottom. rock or sedimentary soil. gravel. machinery. Horizontal mining employs the use of Seabed Crawlers (remotely controlled. shovels. with the middle size being a candidate for final sorting. eluvial. While on board. at a maximum depth of 500 feet. Artisanal diamond mining is a form of "subsistence based" non-mechanized mining that is used in poorer countries throughout the world.

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

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

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

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

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

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful