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

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

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

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

a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight.5 carats must have an actual weight of between .5º crown.5 carat 1. In ancient times. Occasionally. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown.0 carat 1. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry.Grade: F Colorless . or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone.800 6. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat. 40º pavilion. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a . as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity . See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison. it must be accurate to the second decimal place. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32.495 carats and .600 6. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat." If the carat weight is shown as ".The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York.600 8.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone.500 15. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations.VS1 Carat Size</ 0.204 carat.0 carat 3. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight. It is for this reason that an even 1.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between . A diamond that has a specified carat weight of . or "seed of the carob". carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales.600 12. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions. or to buy a 1.750 30.5 carat 2. girdle and pavilion. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained.99 carat diamond for its better price.195 and .10 carat diamond for its better cut. clarity and weight.504 carats.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor. Price Per Carat (2005) .000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

but its toughness rating is also excellent. A material's toughness is measured in units of "joules" per cubic meter (J/m3) in the SI system. the term "toughness" describes the resistance of a given material to fracture when it is stressed or impacted." which only denotes a diamond's high resistance to scratching. and therefore may be uninsurable by reputable insurance companies. Particular cuts of diamond are more prone to breakage along cleavage planes.Trace impurities. yet sapphire has a toughness rating of excellent. meaning that a diamond is 4 times "harder" than sapphire. acting as a "thermal conductor. The culet facet at the bottom of the pavilion." If you were to place a large enough diamond on your tongue it would draw heat away. sapphire has a hardness rating of 9.5 to 6. causing stress fractures or feathers. its "toughness" rating is moderate. making it seem cold. due to its ability to fracture along cleavage planes. Many natural blue . Thermal Properties of Diamonds Diamond is a good conductor of heat. By comparrison. Although diamond is the "hardest. with a Mohs scale rating of 10. Internally formed crystallographic graphite inclusions often create intense strain on the surrounding diamond." and therefore. and varying growth conditions of heat. very thin girdles on brilliant cut diamonds are also prone to breakage.© AGS Labs Hexagonal (Graphite) Platelet Inclusion . a diamond's "toughness" is only fair to good.5.© AGS Labs Diamond Toughness Within the fields of metallurgy and materials science. is a facet specifically designed to resist breakage. Hematite has a hardness of only 5. graphite can develop internally and on the diamond's surface. and "pound-force" per square-inch in US units of measurement. Additionally. most scratch resistant mineral on earth. pressure and space can also affect the final shape of a formed crystal. crystal twinning. Carbon Inclusion . Unlike "hardness. Diamond Graphitization In extremely high temperature environments above 1700 ¡C.

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

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

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

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

Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. . Green diamonds can range from $35. Warren Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems. or a combination of the two.95carats.90 carats.03 carats.Green Chameleon Diamonds Fancy Pink Diamond Color Grading Chameleon diamonds can be forced to temporarily change to a yellowish-green color by exposing them to heat (150º C to 250º C). or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness [9]. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. greyish-green. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds. On thing is certain. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond.000 to $500.' discovered during the 18th century. and the De Young Red weighing 5. pure green hues.000 in 1987. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. and weighed a modest 0. The color change effect is temporary. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13. Intense. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply.000 per carat.

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

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

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

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

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




Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.

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



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

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



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

Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .

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



Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .

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

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.Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) Internal pathway caused by laser-drilling to remove large inclusions. and where pathway does not breach the cut diamond's surface. the drilled passage may not breach the cut diamond's surface. With internal laser-drilling inclusions.


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

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

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


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

Natural Comet Inclusion .

Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud .

Tabular Reflection in Diamond .

Included Garnet Twins within Diamond .

Included Dalmatian Garnet .

Cloud Inclusion .

Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers .

Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light .

Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion .

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




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





Lizard Skin Inclusion Photos Lizard Skin Diamond Surface Blemish Photography A "lizard skin" surface blemish is a man-made external diamond imperfection that is created during polishing. The lizard-skin effect is caused by an orange-peel texture. made up of a bumpy or wavy pattern on the polished surface of a diamond.Lizard Skin A bumpy or wavy 'orange-peel' textured pattern on the polished surface of a diamond. .


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

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

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

. during cutting and/or polishing the diamond.Burn Marks Created during polishing. or when abrasive material is caught by an included crystal such as garnet during the polishing of a diamond. the overheating of a facet causes a burn mark. 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. Chips Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet. 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.



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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A small. Henri Moissan (above. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight.060. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting.69. Moissanite has an RI of 2. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2.417. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index. found only in iron-nickel meteorites. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. candle. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. Moissanite has a hardness of 9. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr.65 to 2. Moissanite.104 as compared to CZ at 0. . Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond. is classified as an element rather than a compound. and diamond at 0. center) near Winslow. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. when examining the gem through the kite facets. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. 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. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent. 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. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.) in a dark room. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective.044. etc. Arizona.25 on the Mohs scale. while diamond has a hardness of 10.

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

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

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

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

and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. H&A Viewer. crown height of 14. A perfect blending of facet symmetry. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant". Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57. Since then.6% and overall height of 57. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design. facet ratios. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect. very small to small In the 1970s. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope.4%. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%. Tolkowsky. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. invented in 1929. To quantify a diamond's cut quality. The "Scan D.7%.5% to 43.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios. .N. Symmetry. Eppler & Scan D.5%. more brilliance and fire. As with all human endeavors.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42.N. crown height of 14.' 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. etc. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace. and overall height of 57." (Scandinavian standard.7%. Ideal Scope.. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. and Proportions. and crown/pavilion angles.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Old European diamond cut has a very small table. and very tall overall depth. eight facets at the pavilion. ." Even with modern techniques. The Modern Round Brilliant Cut . Eight Cut & Swiss Cut The "eight cut" is primarily used for small stones when a brilliant cut would be impractical. the old European diamond has a circular girdle. Like the modern round brilliant. the Modern Round Brilliant cut is beneficial when the crystal is an octahedron (diagram above). the cutting and polishing of a diamonds resulted in a loss of as much as 50% of the stone's total weight. The eight cut is similar to the "single cut" in that there are eight four-sided trapezoidal facets at the crown.Old European Cut . and an octagon-shaped table for a total of 17 facets (18 if a culet is used). The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem. As with its predecessor the "point cut" over 600 years earlier. This cut is also known as the "Tolkowsky Cut" and "Tolkowsky brilliant. as two stones can be cut from one crystal with a minimum amount of waste.1900s The "modern round brilliant cut" (below) was developed by Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919.1800s The "Old European" cut was the forerunner of the modern round brilliant cut. a heavy crown.

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

while large stones are primarily cut in Antwerp. cutters. which are increasing in popularity and consumer acceptance. As a reaction to their decrease in market share. Russia and elswhere. where De Beers sells the "boxes" to its select group ("supplier of choice") of 125 "sightholders" (#3) or diamond manufacturers. Many Sightholders are also website). The sightholder then transports the box of rough diamonds back to diamantaire firms (cutting and polishing factories) located around the world (#4). and the breakaway from CSO's cartel by the Argyle Diamond Mine in Australia. and retailers [5]. diamonds have underperformed since 1987 when compared to the "luxury goods" market or global GDP. and independent diamond producers in Canada. and New York. Tel Aviv. through their Diamond Promotion Service (DPS) and Diamond Information Centres (DIC) marketing divisions. and Thailand. reclaiming their "A Diamond Is Forever" moniker.000 to $2. De Beers is also facing increasing pressure from the manufactures of synthetic diamonds.000 USD. Ramat Gan. (see DeBeers' Adiamondisforever. Other major cutting centers are located in Johannesburg. India cuts the vast majority of small stones (. China.De Beers Sightholders The DTC holds a sale called a "site" or "sight" ten times per year in London and Johannesburg. Both traders and manufacturers may sell diamonds "upstream" and "downstream" through the diamond pipeline [8]. De Beers. has launched an aggressive branding and marketing campaign. or to jewelry manufacturers (#5) around the world. De Beers and the Future De Beers' (CSO's) control over the wholesale diamond market has diminished due to increased market penetration. to take advantage of market fluctuations. Once the diamonds are set into jewelry. De Beers (DTC) sets the price of each box in advance. determining the quantity and quality that each site-holder will receive. Additionally. The diamonds are then re-sold from the cutting and polishing (manufacturing) centers to wholesalers (Diamond Bourses). Rough diamonds are cut in various geographic regions according to tradition and the skill-sets of the labor force.20 carats or less) in Mumbai (Bombay) and Surat. they are sold to retailers or direct to the customer. A 'sight' can have a value of between $500.000. .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

" but to retained the "Triple Zero" monicker for diamonds with a perfect score. and optical physicists. Each parameter is given a numeric grade from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). ." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors. The ray-tracing program measures the quantity of the light being returned to the viewer by quantifying brightness.Cut Grade: Finish. Symmetry. leakage and light spread. mathematicians. and Proportions. contrast. 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. Proportions & Light Performance 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. 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. dispersion.

0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light ." or "ideal" rating. all measured in three spacial dimensions. the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible.5 to 4. in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above). 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. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram. . and individual facet ratios.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering. AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond. where facets intersect with each-other.0 to 1.0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless .AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless .5 to 3.1." 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. relative facet angles.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint . 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.3.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003.5. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.0 to 7.7.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light .

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

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

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

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

but were not deposited on land. Diamonds that were transported . in central South Africa and Botswana. Westward draining river systems transported these diamonds to Africa's continental coastline for final deposition within on-shore marine terrace gravels. to a lesser extent. The diamonds within these deposits were transported from deeply-eroded diamondiferous kimberlites or.8 million to 10. from olivine lamproites formed during the Cretaceous or Permo-Triassic period. Some of the largest and highest gemquality diamonds produced from alluvial placer diamond mining have come from this region. Diamonds in marine areas are typically trapped in bedrock depressions such as gullies. 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.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. depressions. carried from their primary origination point on the Kaapvaal Craton.000 years ago). Alluvial Terrace Gravels . including Angola's two largest diamonds at 105.9k and 101. made their way to the sea bed just offshore. channels or other trapsites for diamondiferous deposits. Diamond Mines of the World: Active Diamond Mines List of Active Diamond Mines All Contents Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.8k. potholes.

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

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

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