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The story of diamonds is, to use the metaphor, a tale of fire and "ice." Forged through immense heat and pressure over millions, or hundreds of millions of years, diamonds start their humble existence as simple, elemental carbon; the basic building block of all life in earth. We attempt to demystify these enigmatic little stones, by explaining their scientific reason for being, as well as were they are mined, how they are mined, and the history of the diamond trade, or 'diamond pipeline.' Diamonds are both elemental, and complex. As such, there is a lot of technical jargon associated with them. Shopping for a diamond can be very confusing to the newbie, but we have endeavored to make it as simple and interesting as humanly possible. You shouldn't need extraordinary brilliance to understand scintillation or refraction. Enjoy!
All About Diamonds
Diamond Basics The "4 Cs" of Diamonds - Cut The "4 C's" of Diamonds - Carat The "Four C's" of Diamonds - Clarity The "Four Cs" of Diamonds - Color Diamond Chemistry Optical Properties of Diamond Fancy Colored Diamonds Diamond Inclusion Library Diamond Enhancements Synthetics & Simulants Synthetic Diamonds Cubic Zirconia Moissanite Diamond Cuts Diamond Cutting Ideal Cut Modern Round Brilliant Patented Signature Diamond Cuts Old European Diamond Cuts Uncut Raw Diamonds in Jewelry The Diamond Market The Diamond Pipeline Diamond Bourses The Diamond Trade's Key Players Diamond Pricing - Price Comparison Charts Diamond Certification
AGS Diamond Grading Report Independent Diamond Testing Laboratories Diamond Mining & Mine Technology Diamond Mining Technology Diamond Geology & Kimberlites Full List of Worldwide Diamond Mines Artisanal Diamond Mining & Conflict Diamonds Worldwide Diamond Mining Regions Australian Diamond Mines Borneo's Landak Diamond Mines Botswana Diamond Mines Brazilian Diamond Mines Canadian Diamond Mines India's Golconda Diamond Mines Namibia Russian Diamond Mines South African Diamond Mines US Diamond Mines Conflict Diamonds Angola Diamond Mines Congo (DRC) Diamond Mines Liberia Diamond Mines Sierra Leone Diamond Mines Zimbabwe's Chiadzwa Marange Diamond Fields Diamond History & Cutting Regions Historical Diamond Cuts & Cutting History Historical Diamond Cutting Regions Diamond Cutting in Amsterdam Diamond Cutting in Antwerp Diamond Cutting in Belgium Diamond Cutting in Guangzhou, China Diamond Cutting in Gujarat, India Diamond Cutting in Idar-Oberstein, Germany Diamond Terminology Glossary - Gemology
The 4 Cs of Diamonds: Cut
The 4 C's Diamond Grading System
1. 2. 3. 4. Cut Carat Clarity Color
More than 100 million diamonds are sold in the United States each year, yet most consumers know very little about the product they are purchasing, and how that product is valued. The '4 Cs' represent the four main variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics. As a consumer, your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the '4 Cs' diamond grading system. If you are purchasing an expensive stone it will also be critical for you to learn how to read and understand the details of a GIA (Gemological Institute of America) 'Diamond Dossier,' AGL report, or AGS (American Gem Society) 'Diamond Certificate,' or Sarin 'Diamond Grading Report' (see full list of independent testing laboratories, below). You will also want to familiarize yourself with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines on jeweler conduct and consumer awareness. This knowledge will help be invaluable when you are comparison shopping for diamonds.
Diamond Cut Quality When jewelers judge the quality of a diamond cut, or "make", they often rate "Cut" as the most important of the "4 Cs." The way a diamond is cut is primarily dependent upon the original shape of the rough stone, location of the inclusions and flaws to be eliminated, the preservation of the weight, and the popularity of certain shapes. Don't confuse a diamond's "cut" with it's "shape". Shape refers only to the outward appearance of the diamond (Fig. 5 below), and not how it is faceted. The Importance of Cut Quality When a diamond has a high quality cut (ideal cut), incident light will enter the stone through the table and crown, traveling toward the pavilion where it reflects from one side to the other before bouncing back out of the diamond's table toward the observer's eye (see Fig. 1 below). This phenomenon is referred to as "light return" (Fig. 2 below) which affects a diamond's brightness, brilliance, and dispersion. Any light-leakage caused by poor symmetry and/or cut proportions (off-make) will adversely affect the quality of light return. The "Shallow Cut" and "Deep Cut" examples in Fig. 1 show how light that enters through the table of a Modern Round Brilliant diamond reaches the pavilion facets and then leaks out from the sides or bottom of the diamond rather than reflecting back to the eye through the table. Less light reflected back to the eye means less "Brilliance". In the "Ideal Cut" example, most of the light entering through the table is reflected back towards the observer from the pavilion facets.
Keep in mind that the variance in proportions between an "Ideal Cut" (ideal make) and a "Fair, Poor, Shallow or Deep Cut" may be difficult to discern to the novice observer, although there will be a lack of brilliance, scintillation, and fire. Cut quality is divided into several grades listed below.
Ideal Cut Premium Cut Very Good / Fine Cut
This can also result in the undesirable creation of extra facets beyond the required 58. 80. pavilion and crown angle) and did not provide a subjective ranking of how good the cut was. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. 64. or 96 facets which are not counted in the total number of facets (58). Fig. All of that has changed with the AGS Cut Grading system and GIA's new "Cut Grading System". Poor Diamond Faceting and Symmetry Due to the mathmatics involved in light refraction. 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.Good Cut Fair Cut Poor Cut Cut Proportions In the past. Other variations of the "Modern Round Brilliant" include the "Ideal Brilliant" which was invented by Johnson and Roesch in 1929. The crown will have 33 facets. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. Common cutting problems can occur during the faceting process. a Round Brilliant cut that does not have the proper proportions and symmetry (off-make) will have noticeably less brilliance. 2 The proportion and symmetry of the cuts as well as the quality of the polish are factors in determining the overall quality of the cut. 3 .e. The chart below shows several common problems to look for. 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. Only a trained eye could see the quality of a good cut. 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. when one incorrect facet angle can throw off the symmetry of the entire stone. Fig. and the pavillion will have 25 facets.
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. Fig. A cut with inferior proportions will produce a stone that appears dark at the center (due to light leaking out of the pavilion) and in some extreme cases the ring settings may show through the top of the diamond as shadows. Cut (Scandinavian Standard) will display a "Hearts and Arrows" pattern when observed through a IdealScope (arrows only). or a Scan D. The "Ideal" designation is an AGS term that is not found on an GIA report. The IdealScope was invented by Kazumi Okuda in the 1970's. left) are only found in diamonds that meet the American Gem Society Laboratories' "0" Ideal Cut specifications. there is a balance between "brilliance" and "fire". A well executed round brilliant cut should reflect the maximum amount light from the interior pavilion facets. A Triple-0 diamond can also be called a "Triple Ideal Cut" or "AGS-Ideal Zero" diamond. The first official H & A "EightStar" diamond was cut in 1985 by Kioyishi Higuchi for Japanese businessman and FireScope manufacturer. Asymmetrical raw crystals such as macles are usually cut in a "Fancy" style. Emerald . all three categories of cut (Polish. which gives out much more fire than a real diamond. making the diamond appear white when viewed from the top. Fancy Diamond Cuts The shape of the cut is a matter of personal taste and preference. as two stones could be cut from one crystal. Several basic diamond shapes (Fig. the quality of the cutter's execution of that shape is of primary importance. or a H & A Viewer gemscope (FireScope).' while AGS uses a more exacting combination of proportional facet ratios along with raytracing metrics to calculate light return.For a Modern Round Brilliant cut (Tolkowsky Brilliant). Symetry. In order for a diamond to receive a "Triple-0" grading. A diamond cut for too much fire will look like cubic zirconia. N. 4 Perfectly formed Hearts and Arrows patterns with eight hearts AND eight arrows (above. Hearts and Arrows Diamonds A perfectly proportioned ideal cut that is cut to the exacting specifications of a Tolkowsky Cut. GIA vs AGS Cut Grading GIA's new cut-grading system is based on averages that are rounded-up to predict 'light performance. Takanori Tamura. Proportion) must meet the "ideal" criteria. However. 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. Eppler Cut (European Standard). and its later incarnation. the "FireScope. out through the table. 5) are listed below." was invented by Ken Shigetomi and Kazumi Okuda in 1984. The round brilliant cut is preferred when the crystal is an octahedron.
and a 2 carat diamond is 200 points. CARAT Balancing Cut and Weight A diamond or gemstone's "Carat" designation is a measurement of both the size and weight of the stone. 5 Popular fancy cuts include the "Baguette" (bread loaf). "Princess" (square outline). The 4 C's of Diamonds: Carat (Weight) The 4 C's Diamond Grading System 1. Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics. The "fancy cuts" are generally not held to the same strict standards as Round Brilliants. a 3/4 carat diamond is 75 points.Heart Marquise Oval Pear Princess Radiant Round Trillion (not shown at diagram) Fig. the total mass of all diamonds or gemstones is referred to as "Total Carat Weight" or "T. your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the "4 C's" diamond grading system. One "Carat" is a unit of mass that is equal to 0. As a consumer. "Heart.W." ." "Briolette" (a form of Rose cut). Clarity 4. and the Pear.C.007 ounce.086 grains) or 0. "Marquise" or "Navette" (little boat). Carat 3. Color Carat weight is one of the 4 C's. A carat can also be divided into "points" with one carat being equal to 100 points. When a single piece of jewelry has multiple stones. Therefor.2 grams (200 milligrams or 3. a 1/2 carat diamond would be 50 points. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. and with each point being 2 milligrams in weight. Cut 2.
195 and . In ancient times.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration.5 carat 2. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight.5 carat 1. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32.5º crown. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity . It is for this reason that an even 1. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown. Price Per Carat (2005) . carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales.495 carats and . or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone.600 12.5 carats must have an actual weight of between . and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight.0 carat 3.204 carat. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone." If the carat weight is shown as ". A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1. a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight.800 6. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry. See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut.750 30. or to buy a 1. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions. clarity and weight.500 15. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of .0 carat 1. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between .600 6.600 8.Grade: F Colorless . a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line. girdle and pavilion.99 carat diamond for its better price. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat.VS1 Carat Size</ 0. 40º pavilion. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place.10 carat diamond for its better cut. it must be accurate to the second decimal place. Occasionally. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained.504 carats. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a . FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. or "seed of the carob".
point size and the location of inclusions."Very Very Small" inclusions hard to see at 10 x magnification VVS-2 ."Very Small" inclusions VS1 is better grade than VS2 SI-1 . may weaken the diamond structurally. fractures. Clarity 4.Imperfect. therefore reducing its value significantly."Very Small" inclusions visible at 10 x mag.The Four C's Diamond Grading System 1. light or pale inclusions may show greater relief. . In "colorless" diamonds."Small" or "Slight" Inclusions or "Imperfections" visible to naked eye SI-3 . with large Inclusions.Inclusions large and obvious. Inclusions that are near to. darker inclusions will tend to create the most significant drop in clarity grade. or break the surface. In fancy-colored diamonds. 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. it is important to learn and understand the clarity designations found within the "Four C's" diamond grading system.small blemishes VVS-1 ."Small" or "Slight" Inclusions or "Imperfections" may be "eye clean" SI-2 .not naked eye VS-2 . Considerations in grading the clarity of a diamond include the type of stone. thus minimizing any negative impact of the inclusion. . making them more apparent."Very Very Small" inclusions. and flaws GIA Clarity Grading System The chart below explains the GIA grading system for inclusions and imperfections. As a consumer. it may be possible to hide certain inclusions behind the setting of the diamond (depending on where the inclusion is located). VVS1 better than VVS2 VS-1 . On the other hand. little or no brilliance I1 to I3 . Carat 3. causing a greater drop in grade. and/or on the surface of the stone. . representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. Diamond Clarity Designations FL ."Flawless" no inclusions at 10 x magnification IF . CLARITY All of the grades of diamond clarity shown in the table below."Internally Flawless" no inclusions at 10 x mag. Color Clarity is one of the Four C's. Cut 2. The term "Clarity" refers to the presence or absence of tiny imperfections (inclusions) within the stone.
Filled Fractures . waviness. According to Fred Cuellar in his book How to Buy a Diamond. Grain Center . "One out of every three diamonds sold in the United States is laser-drilled. Laser Drilling Laser drilling involves using a laser to burn a tunnel or hole to a carbon inclusion.Tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts).Fractures that have been artificially filled. Diamond Fracture Filling Diamond clarity is sometimes enhanced by filling fractures.Dislodged pinpoint inclusions at the surface.Garnet or other Included gem stones Twinning Wisps ." According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides. Chips . The heat generated by a blowtorch used to work on settings can cause damage. chips. much like repairing a crack in your car's windshield. Pits .Irregular crystal growth causing internal distortions. and reputable filling companies will use filling agents which show an orange or pink flash of color. Reputable companies often provide for repeat treatments if heat causes damage to the filling. in part because the treatment isn't permanent. Internal Diamond Inclusions Carbon . The final clarity grade will be the grade that is assigned after treatment. Knots .Rutile-like needle inclusions. Bruising . or feathers along the outer edge of girdle.Diamond Clarity Grade Inflation A fairly common practice in the jewelry trade is grade-inflation or "grade bumping. Surface Graining . Clouds . The treatment is considered permanent and both the GIA and AGS will issue grades for laser drilled diamonds.A natural indentation that was not removed by polishing. Feathers .Cleavage planes or internal fractures that have the appearance of feathers. haze.Fine cracks. Pique .Minute crystals within the diamond that appear white. he or she could legally sell it as a VVS-2. therefor it is essential to inform anyone working on a setting if the diamond is fracture-filled. followed by acid washing to remove the coloring agent.Concentrated area of crystal growth that appear light or dark. Indented Naturals ." . The GIA will not grade fracture-filled diamonds.Inclusions resulting from crystal twining during growth. appearing as a raised area. Cavities . The drilling process leave tiny telltale shafts or tunnels that are visible under magnification. External Diamond Inclusions Bearded Girdles . According to FTC guidelines. so they can use greater care while working on the piece.An inclusion that penetrates the surface. Such diamonds are sometimes called "fracture filled diamonds".Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation. vendors should disclose this enhancement. If a jeweler sells a diamond that has an actual grade of VS-1.A percussion mark caused by impact.Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet. Needles . Pinpoints .Cloudy grouping of tiny pinpoints that may not resolve at 10X Magnification. a diamond must be within one clarity grade of its advertised amount at the time of sale. Internal Graining .An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing. fringing. There is a significant price discount for fracture-filled diamonds.
The color chart in Fig. O. As a consumer. W. the Gemological Institute of America uses a scale of "D" to "Z" in which "D" is totally colorless and "Z" is yellow. the most reputable well known US labs. E. Color Color is one of the Four Cs representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. absorbing some of the blue spectrum. L.Small chips at facet junctions. R . U. 1 . Carat 3.light yellow or brown Fig.Surface burning from heat buildup during polishing.Grinding Wheel Marks of scratches from contact with other diamonds.Human Caused Surface Blemishes Abrasions . the yellower the stone will appear. The higher the amount of nitrogen atoms. Nicks . assign this grade. T. Diamond Color Designations D. At present. H. The designation of SI-3 was popularized by the EGL (European Gemological Laboratory) grading office. In determining the color rating of a diamond. Cut 2. J . COLOR Most all natural diamonds contain small quantities of nitrogen atoms that displacing the carbon atoms within the crystal's lattice structure. Neither the GIA nor the AGS (American Gemological Society). Diamonds of this low grade would be inappropriate for jewelry. F . Y.very light yellow or brown S.Whitish haziness along the junction of facets caused by wear. a Sarin Diamond Color Grading report is the state-of-the-art color measuring standard. P. Q. thereby making the diamond appear yellow. X. The Four Cs of Diamonds: Color The Four Cs Diamond Grading System 1. Burn Marks .faint yellow or brown N. M . V. These nitrogen impurities are evenly dispersed throughout the stone. it will be beneficial to learn and understand some of the basic parameters for diamond color grading. Scratches .near colorless K.colorless (white) G. 1 explains the GIA grading system for clear (not fancy-colored) stones. I. Clarity 4. "SI-3" is a grade sometimes used in the diamond industry. Z .
Color grading by 'visual-observation is performed against a Master CZ Colored Grading Set. 3 example below.The Holy Grail ." are named after the famous Golconda Diamond Mines located in the state of Hyderabad. Using a Sarin Diamond Colorimeter DC3000 (aka Gran Colorimeter).' Unfortunatly. most gem labs do not currently provide color-typing data in their reports and certificates. D4. as in our Fig.Due to a diamond's high brilliance.' or a borderline 'G. jewelers and gem labs can accurately provide a 'color typing' printout of a diamond's color grading that is compatible with AGS. Fig. D-Flawless . and not by looking at the top of the stone. These colorless stones. color grading should be determined by examining the stone through the side of the pavilion (Fig. Each classification is divided into five sub-classifications (D1. it is extremely benificial to know if your 'F' is a strong 'F." or "D+. Fig. D3. GIA-GEM. India. IGI. and HRD grading scales. For the consumer. sometimes referred to as "white diamonds. and dispersion of light (fire) when looking through the table or crown." "whiter than white. 2). 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. 2 Sarin Color Typing is a relatively new sub-classification of the D through Z gading scale. D2. and D5).
Diamond Fluorescence Approximatly 1/3 (35%) of all diamonds have a tendency to fluoresce when exposed to ultra-violet (UV) light.000 D-color diamonds weighing over half a carat are found each year. fewer than 5. Only around 600 D-flawless roughs are cut into gems weighing between 1 and 2 carats during a given year." but the diamond will have a dull. For diamonds with a color grading of D through H (colorless). making the diamond appear "colorless. and strong. as the blue fluorescence will cancel out some of the yellow. diamonds with a poorer color grading (I through K). fluorescence can negatively impact the value of the stone by 3% to 20%. Ultra-violet light is a component of natural sunlight and artificial 4800k to 5000k color-proofing light. so this effect will be more apparent under natural daylight than under artificial incandescent light. On the other hand. they tend to fluoresce as blue. This fluorescent effect can be beneficial to a diamond that has a yellow tint. See Color in Gemstones for more information. Fluorescence is graded as none. Even with microscopic inclusions. others may prefer a "warmer" color found in a G to J range to compliment their skin tone. Skin Tone and Settings While some may prefer a very transparent D to F range. murky appearance when compared to a non-fluorescing diamond.Diamond Formation . according to the GIA. In some settings with various combinations of other stones. diamonds with a visible tint may be preffered. medium. fluorescence could increase the value by 0% to 2% buy improving the color (or lack thereof).Large D-flawless diamonds (those weighing more than 2 carats) are some of the rarest minerals on earth. When diamonds are viewed under a UV light-source. faint. Diamonds: Chemistry & Structural Properties Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Structural Properties of Diamond .
igneous rock composed of garnet. Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth. and differentiates it from simple graphite. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms. Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1. with a variety of trace minerals. phlogopite.52." which is also known as "adamant. and pyroxene. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic." and "unconquerable. Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness. or "invincible. Therefore. The name "diamond. A diamond is a transparent.200 degrees Celsius). a refractive index of 2. 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. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0." is derived from the Greek adamas. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" .Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time.42." "untamable." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine." referring to its incredible hardness. which resemble a champagne flute. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon. At these depths. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2. olivine. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale. . diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km). with the principle allotrope being graphite. and a specific gravity of 3.044. diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation. ultramafic. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses. Under the continental crust.
When a gemstone has an irregular external shape or asymmetrical arrangement of its crystal facets. The external shape of the crystal. by igniting a diamond in an oxygen atmosphere. a currently hypothetical material. and therefore." . although the reason for its combustion was not understood at the time. The material "boron nitride. or dodecahedral. may also be as hard or harder than diamond.A Type 2-A diamond has a hardness value of 167 GPa (±6) when scratched with an ultrahard fullerite tip. Experimentation during the late 18th century demonstrated that diamonds were made of carbon. it is termed as "subhedral. where it was shown to combust in scientific experiments." when found in a crystalline form that is structurally similar to diamond. a predictable crystal growth pattern known as its "crystal habit. Additionally. The natural crystal form." This means that diamond crystals usually "grow" in an orderly and symmetrical arrangement. or carbon dioxide. octahedral. and a hardness value of 231 GPa (±5) when scratched with a diamond tip. does not always reflect the internal arrangement of its atoms. and crystal habit of a diamond is octahedral (photo. with the end byproduct of the combustion being carbonic-acid gas. beta carbon nitride. perfectly formed crystals are rare." or "anhedral. although in nature. whether it is cubic. above). A diamond's incredible hardness was the subject of curiosity dating back to the Roman empire. Diamond Crystal Habit Diamonds have a characteristic crystalline structure. is nearly as hard as diamond.
5 to 6. pressure and space can also affect the final shape of a formed crystal. yet sapphire has a toughness rating of excellent. is a facet specifically designed to resist breakage. a diamond's "toughness" is only fair to good. By comparrison. with a Mohs scale rating of 10. Additionally.5. Hematite has a hardness of only 5. crystal twinning. the term "toughness" describes the resistance of a given material to fracture when it is stressed or impacted. but its toughness rating is also excellent. very thin girdles on brilliant cut diamonds are also prone to breakage.© AGS Labs Hexagonal (Graphite) Platelet Inclusion . Thermal Properties of Diamonds Diamond is a good conductor of heat. Particular cuts of diamond are more prone to breakage along cleavage planes." which only denotes a diamond's high resistance to scratching. and varying growth conditions of heat. graphite can develop internally and on the diamond's surface. Unlike "hardness. Many natural blue . Although diamond is the "hardest. Diamond Graphitization In extremely high temperature environments above 1700 ¡C. causing stress fractures or feathers. its "toughness" rating is moderate. and therefore may be uninsurable by reputable insurance companies. A material's toughness is measured in units of "joules" per cubic meter (J/m3) in the SI system. making it seem cold.Trace impurities." If you were to place a large enough diamond on your tongue it would draw heat away. acting as a "thermal conductor. due to its ability to fracture along cleavage planes. The culet facet at the bottom of the pavilion. sapphire has a hardness rating of 9. most scratch resistant mineral on earth. Carbon Inclusion .© AGS Labs Diamond Toughness Within the fields of metallurgy and materials science." and therefore. meaning that a diamond is 4 times "harder" than sapphire. and "pound-force" per square-inch in US units of measurement. Internally formed crystallographic graphite inclusions often create intense strain on the surrounding diamond.
Electromagnetic Properties of Diamond . which means unyielding. The word luster traces its origins back to the Latin word lux.com The surface luster (or "lustre") of diamond is described as adamantine. with the exception of natural blue diamonds. or longer-wavelength photons. which are in fact semiconductors. Optical Properties of Diamond: Type I & Type II Diamonds Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Surface Luster of Diamond Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. meaning "light". increasing thermal conductance. If an n-type semiconductor can be synthesized. and synthetic diamonds that are doped with boron. The term adamantine describes the way light interacts with the surface of a crystal. or having the hardness or luster of a diamond. it is used in the manufacturing of semiconductors. Purified synthetic diamond can have the highest thermal conductivity (2000-2500 W/m-K) of any solid material at room temperature . Natural blue diamonds containing boron atoms.Insulators or Semiconductors Diamond is a relatively good electrical insulator. Due to diamond's high thermal conductance. re-emitting them as lower-energy. .nearly five times greater than pure copper. giving off a somewhat greasy sheen. electronic circuits could be manufactured from diamonds in the future . or brilliance. Fluorescence in Diamonds Fluorescence is an optical phenomenon in which a diamond's molecules absorb high-energy photons. are known as p-type semiconductors.diamonds contain boron atoms which replace carbon atoms within the crystal matrix. inflexible. and generally implies radiance. gloss. to prevent silicon and other semiconducting materials from overheating.
These Nitrogen impurities found in Type I diamonds are evenly dispersed throughout the gemstone. and are classified as Type 1-B. Some diamond varieties. This illusion of color is caused by the varying optics effects created by spectral dispersion. All Type 1 diamonds have nitrogen atoms as their main impurity. Typically.© AGS Labs Type I UV Fluorescence . red. and contain nitrogen atoms as an impurity. Type II Diamond Formation Certain diamonds were formed under extremely high pressure for longer time periods. show no fluorescence. or "fire. Man-made synthetic diamonds containing nitrogen are classified as Type 1-B. Diamond Refraction & Coloration Diamonds are "singly refractive. absorbing some of the blue spectrum. making them appear 'colorless' (D). and some of the finest historical gemstones such as the Cullinan and Koh-i-Noor are both Type IIa diamonds. a natural diamond may contains both Type 1-A and Type 1-B material. These Type IIa diamonds have a near-perfect crystal structure making them highly transparent and colorless. they can give the stone a yellow tint. These rare diamonds have a lower nitrogen content. . and appear dark when exposed to ultra-violet light or X-rays. 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." with a refractive index of 2. particularly Canadian diamonds. while Type II diamonds that lack boron impurities are classified as Type IIa. and give off a bluish-white.© AGS Labs Type IIa diamonds are very rare. If the nitrogen atoms are dispersed evenly throughout the crystal. Type II diamonds do not contain any detectable nitrogen. and thereby making the diamond appear yellow.417. and they are classified as Type 1-A. If the nitrogen atoms are grouped in clusters they do not necessarily affect the diamond's overall color.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. permitting the passage and reflectance of blue light. Cloud Inclusion Under UV . Natural blue Type II diamonds containing scattered boron impurities within their crystal matrix are good conductors of electricity. with very high thermal conductivity." and refraction. classifying them as Type IIb diamonds. Diamond can exhibit pseudochromatic coloration giving the appearance of "color" without having any actual color in the mineral itself. greenish or yellow fluorescence when exposed to the X-ray wavelength. due primarily to certain structural anomalies arising from "plastic deformation" which occurred during their formation. or brown coloration. which replace some carbon atoms within the crystal lattice structure. Type I & Type II Diamonds As many as 99% of all natural diamonds are classified as Type I. Some Type IIa diamonds can be found with pink. thereby allowing the passage of short-wave ultra-violet (SWUV) light through the stone.
However. green. while chemically "pure" diamonds are basically transparent. and red (Hancock Diamond) are particularly valuable. brown. certain fancy-colored diamonds such as pink (Condé). when a diamond's color is more intense than the "Z" grading. blue. or yellow diamond may have a relatively low value when compared to a colorless diamond. yellow. red diamonds). radiation exposure (green diamonds) or irregular growth patterns within the crystal (pink. Blue. fancy pink diamonds can command very high prices as they have become increasingly popular.Diamond Refraction & Light Dispersion Diamonds can also exhibit allochromatic coloration which is caused by chromophores from the nitrogen trace impurities found within crystalline structure. pink. Once thought to be of little value. It is this nitrogen component that produces the color of fancy yellow diamonds. In this case. . Yellow. However. orange. steel grey. 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. Colorless diamonds would normally be priced much higher than yellow diamonds. boron (blue diamonds). green. Fancy Colored Diamonds: Pink. Green & Cognac Fancy Colored Diamond Diamonds can occur in all colors of the spectrum. and therefor colorless. All colored diamonds contain certain specific impurities and/or structural defects that cause their coloration. and black. red. it enters the realm of a "Fancy Color" diamond. blue (Hope Diamond). green (Ocean Dream). Fancy Diamond Color Hues A fancy brown (or Fancy Cognac). and their color is due to trace impurities of nitrogen and/or hydrogen (yellow. brown diamonds). Diamond Color & Composition Diamonds can occur in a wide variety of colors: colorless or white. the intensity of the color in the diamond can plays a significant role in its value.
Pink (Reddish-pink) 1 is darkest 1BP to 8BP . yet considerably more expensive. An 1P designation would have less blue and more brownish-red.Pink (Brownish-pink) 1 is darkest PC3 to PC1 . Pink diamonds are similar to pink sapphire in color. 1PP is the highest quality designation for Pink Diamond. and was cut into a 128. lighting color temperatures (incandescent.Cognac 8 is darkest Chameleon Diamonds There is a very rare olive-grayish color-changing diamond called "Chameleon Diamond" (below. left). As the numbers go lower (8PP) the color is paler. and value (darkness) using nine classifications ranging from 'Faint' to 'Vivid. bright light). Fancy Pink/Brown Diamond Color (Hue) Designations 1PP to 8PP . and most valuable Fancy Yellow diamonds in the world is the 'Tiffany Diamond.54 carat cushion cut with an estimated value in the millions of dollars. causing microscopic imperfections within the lattice structure. which are generally less appreciated than other fancy colors and therefor. The rough stone weighed 287. Pink Diamonds The pink color within these rare diamonds is due to irregular crystal growth patterns. having a pure magenta color with deep saturation.Champagne 3 is darkest C8 to C1 . This Chameleon-like phenomenon was first documented by the GIA in the early 1940s.N to R Light . South Africa in 1878.Highest Saturation One of the largest.Start of 'Fancy' Fancy Fancy Dark Fancy Intense Fancy Deep Fancy Vivid .S to Z Fancy Light . sold at a greater discount.M Very Light .Pink (Magenta-pink) 1 is darkest 1P to 8P .Brown diamonds. . Fancy Yellow Diamonds (Canary Yellow) Fancy yellow diamonds owe their color the presence of nitrogen impurities which absorb the blue end of the color spectrum. hue. The GIA grades fancy diamond color by quantifying the saturation. One of the world's only major sources for rare pink diamonds is the Argyle Mine in Australia. which changes hue from grayish-blue or olive-green to yellowish-green or straw-yellow under different lighting conditions (darkness. halogen. daylight) and ambient temperature changes.42 carats. have become more commonplace as Australian colored diamonds have gained in popularity.' found in Kimberly.' GIA 'Fancy Yellow' Diamond Color Saturation Designations Faint . Only 1% to 2% of the diamonds produced at the Argyle Mine are high-quality pink specimens.
51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant.000 in 1987. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness . Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa.' discovered during the 18th century.000 per carat. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner. The color change effect is temporary. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green. pure green hues. and the De Young Red weighing 5.com) The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. greyish-green. . It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply. Warren Hancock. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926.com) Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems.90 carats. or a combination of the two. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. and weighed a modest 0.000 to $500. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize.03 carats. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities.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). Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds. Intense. On thing is certain.95carats. Green diamonds can range from $35. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color.
The term "clarity" refers to the presence. and beautifully photographed by their Director of Gem Services.G. F grades. Inclusions which are not visible to the naked eye (eye clean) fall into the GIA range of "IF" (Internally Flawless) to "SI2" (Small Inclusions)." These inclusions can occur within the stone.com) Fancy Colored Synthetic Diamonds Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless D.com Clarity is one of the Four C's of diamond grading. making the stone appear yellowish. All of the microscopic inclusion photographs on this page were generously contributed by the A.S.com) Enhanced Blue & Yellow Diamonds (© AfricaGems. and so-called "piquŽ diamonds" fall into the GIA grading range of I1 to I3 (CIBJO grade P1 to P3). gemological testing laboratory in Las Vegas. Diamond Inclusion Library: Inclusion Photos Over 100 High-Resolution Diamond Photos! All Contents: Copyright © 2010 AllAboutGemstones. and man-made imperfections—that can be found in raw and cut diamonds. Joe Vanells. Inclusions which are visible to the naked eye are referred to as piquŽ.L. 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. Nevada. This section contains a compendium of photography depicting all of the various types of diamond inclusions—both naturally occurring. . representing the four main variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. or absence of tiny imperfections known as "inclusions. These impurities absorb the blue end of the light spectrum. E. and can be naturally occuring. It is for this reason that manufacturers of synthetic diamonds tend to specialize in fancy colors.Reddish Brown Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. or on the surface of the cut stone.
ferropericlase. Black material found within internal fracture planes can also be crystallographic inclusions of graphite.Internal Diamond Inclusion Photos Carbon Tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts). ferropericlase. pyrrhotite and pentlandite. Black or dark material found within a diamond's internal fracture planes can also be particles or crystallographic inclusions of graphite. . pyrrhotite and pentlandite. PiquŽ Carbon Inclusion Photos Internal Carbon Pique Diamond Inclusion Photography Piqué are tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts) within diamonds.
Microscopic Carbon Picque Inclusions Hexagonal Platelet Inclusion in Trillion Cut Diamond .
All of the microscopic diamond carbon inclusion photography on this page was generously contributed by the AGSL gemological testing laboratory in Las Vegas.Carbon piqué inclusions are sometimes removed by diamond enhancements such as laser drilling. Internal cloud inclusions may not resolve as pinpoints at 10X . Nevada. and is reproduced with their permission. Clouds (Cld) A dense grouping of tiny pinpoints that create a cloudy zone which may not resolve as individual pinpoints at 10X Magnification. 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. which can leave their own types of unique inclusions.
.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.
which cause internal stress fractures during crystal growth. Common around included crystals. Feather inclusions can be accompanied by internal graining and/or twinning wisp inclusions. Feather inclusions are common around included crystals such as garnet. . 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.Feathers (Ftr) Cleavage planes or internal stress fractures that have the appearance of feathers.
.Feather inclusions caused by stress fractures around included garnet crystal.
making it susceptible to fracturing when exposed to thermal or physical shock. . As a result.Pronounced stress fractures and feather inclusions can potentially weaken the stone. and the stress inclusion occurs along the gem's natural cleavage plane. diamonds with significant stress fractures and feather should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner as this could cause the diamond to shatter. This is especially true if the fracture breeches the stone's surface.
and haze within a cut diamond. Grain Center Inclusion Photos Internal Grain Center Diamond Inclusion Photography Internal Grain Center (IntGr) inclusions (aka internal graining) are caused by irregular diamond crystal growth which creates internal distortions. waviness.Grain Center (GrCnt) A concentrated area of crystal growth that can appear light or dark. .
Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .
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 is generated by a formerly liquid filled cavity. 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 .
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. or silica. olivine. diopside. spinel. iron oxides. diopside. olivine. spinel. calcite. Green chrome diopside Inclusion within a Diamond . calcite.Included Crystals (Xtl) Included and undigested gemstones or fragments of garnet. silica or other gem stone inclusions.
Garnet Inclusions within Diamond .
Garnet fragment on Diamond Girdle .
Grossularite Garnet Inclusions in Diamond .
Internal Graining (IntGr) Irregular crystal growth causing internal distortions, waviness, and/or haze. Can be accompanied by internal strain. Internal Graining Inclusion Photos
Internal Graining Diamond Inclusion Photography
Internal Graining (IntGr) inclusions are caused by irregular crystal growth which creates internal distortions, waviness, or haze. Internal Graining imperfections may be accompanied by internal strain such as feather Inclusions.
Internal Graining with Cloud Inclusion .
and where pathway does not breach the cut diamond's surface. . the drilled passage may not breach the cut diamond's surface. 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. 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). .Pinpoints (Pp) Minute crystals within the diamond that appear white. Large groupings of small pinpoints can create a cloud effect. 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 Wisps Inclusions and defects resulting from crystal-twining during crystal growth. Twinning Wisp inclusions can be accompanied by internal graining and/or strain feathers. . resulting from crystal twining during the growth process. Twinning Wisp Inclusion Photos Twinning Wisps Inclusion Photography Twinning Wisp inclusions are naturally-occurring structural defects with a diamond. Can be accompanied by graining and strain.
Odds & Ends: Microscopic Diamond Inclusion Beauty Photos Microscopic Diamond Inclusion Photography This is an assortment of spectacular diamond-inclusion photography taken by Joe Vanells. showing the strange and beautiful world of microscopic diamond inclusions. .
Natural Comet Inclusion .
Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud .
Tabular Reflection in Diamond .
Included Garnet Twins within Diamond .
Included Dalmatian Garnet .
Cloud Inclusion .
Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers .
Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light .
Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion .
Natural External Diamond Inclusions or Blemishes Knots An inclusion that penetrates the surface. Knot Inclusion Photos Photography of Diamond Inclusion Knots Knot inclusions are naturally occurring external inclusions or imperfections that penetrate the surface (convex). appearing as a raised area. appearing as a raised area on the diamond's surface. . Knot diamond inclusions can potentially be the cause of man-made drag-line inclusions.
Indented Natural Inclusion Photos Indented Natural (IndN) Diamond Inclusion Photography Indented Natural (IndN) inclusions (indented naturals) are external imperfections that are caused by naturally-occurring recessed (concave) indentations that penetrate the surface of a rough diamond. .Indented Natural (IndN) A naturally occurring indentation in the crystal that was not removed during cutting or polishing. and were not fully removed during the stone's cutting or polishing process.
Lizard Skin A bumpy or wavy 'orange-peel' textured pattern on the polished surface of a diamond. The lizard-skin effect is caused by an orange-peel texture. . made up of a bumpy or wavy pattern on the polished surface of a diamond. Lizard Skin Inclusion Photos Lizard Skin Diamond Surface Blemish Photography A "lizard skin" surface blemish is a man-made external diamond imperfection that is created during polishing.
and remain visible on the surface of a polished stone. . Natural Inclusion Photos Natural Diamond Inclusion Photography Natural inclusions (aka Naturals) are naturally-occurring raised portions of the rough diamond's original surface structure that were not removed during the polishing process.Natural (N) A raised portion of the rough diamond's original surface structure that remains visible on the surface of a polished stone.
. Surface Graining Inclusion Photos Diamond Surface Graining (SGr) Photography Surface Graining (SGr) is a natural imperfection or inclusion that creates visible surface lines which are caused by irregular crystallization during diamond formation. Surface Graining (SGr) Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation.Pits Dislodged pinpoint inclusions at the surface.
. chips.Human Caused Surface Blemishes Abrasion (Abr) A tightly grouped series of nicks along the sharp edge of facet junctions. or feathers along the outer edge of girdle. Bearded Girdle (BG) Fine cracks. fringing. Bruising (Br) A percussion mark or hole caused by impact and surrounded by tiny feathers. creating a whitish fuzzy edge as opposed to a sharp edge.
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. during cutting and/or polishing the diamond. 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.Burn Marks Created during polishing. Cavities (Cv) An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing. or caught by a included crystal.
Extra Facet (EF) An asymmetrical and irregularly placed facet that is not part of the original faceting scheme. Filled Fractures Fractures or feathers that have been artificially filled to enhance clarity. This microscopic photograph shows the telltale orange or pink flash of a filled fracture enhancement within a cut diamond. . and remove cloudiness. Filled Fracture Photos Internal Fracture Filling Inclusion Photography Fracture-filling Inclusions are man-made diamond enhancements that are the result of natural cleavage-plane stress fractures or feathers which have been artificially filled with molten glass to enhance clarity.
. markings. or inscribing the external surface of a cut diamond.Laser Etching or Markings Careless or inadvertent laser etchings. 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. marking. and inscriptions.
Polish Lines (PL) Fine parallel surface groves resulting from the polishing process. Diamond Enhancements: Laser Drilling & Fracture Filling . Polish Marks (PM) Also known as "Wheel Marks." whitish film on the surface of a facet caused by excessive heat during polishing. Scratch (S) A fine whitish line that can be curved or straight.
Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Enhanced Diamonds Diamond "enhancements" are specific treatments performed on cut. Minor diamond inclusions or surface imperfections which are not visible to the naked eye ("VVS1" to "SI2") can be disguised. which are designed to improve the visual or gemological characteristics of the stone. much like you would repair a crack in a car's windshield glass.© 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. or removed by employing several invasive techniques from fracture filling to laser drilling. Unfilled Fractures around Garnet Inclusion . altered. .© AGS Lab Telltale Signs of Fracture Filling . Diamond Fracture Filling Diamond clarity is sometimes improved and enhanced by filling tiny fractures or feathers with molten glass. A trained gemologist should be able to identify most traditional "enhancements" made to a particular stone. but instead attempt to hide their visual effect. Such diamonds are sometimes then branded as "fracture filled diamonds. or treatments to give a fancy color to a off-white diamond. in accordance with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines for the gem trade." Reputable filling companies will always use filling agents which show an orange or pink flash of color when viewed under a microscope with certain controlled lighting conditions. but not necessarily increase its value. polished natural diamonds. There are also heating treatments to improve a white diamond's color grade.
© AGS Lab The laser-drilling treatment is considered permanent." Diamond Color Treatment Color enhancement of diamonds in done to increase the color intensity of so-called "fancy" colored diamonds. so that the jeweler can use greater care while working on the piece.© AGS Lab Laser Drilling Tubes . and the GIA will not even grade a fracture-filled diamond. Natural Fancy Diamonds . Diamonds treated with HTHP have their molecular altered so that intense. Signs of Laser Drilling .There should always be a significant price discount for any diamond that has been fracture-filled. and the diamonds are tested to ensure that no trace levels of radiation remain. the heat generated by a blowtorch used to work on settings can cause damage to the filling material. "vivid" blue and yellow colors result.© AfricaGems.com Color Enhanced Diamonds . Due to its low melting-point. . These enhancements are achieved using low levels of radiation (irradiation). The drilling process leave tiny telltale shafts or tunnels that are visible under high magnification (see photos below). "One out of every three diamonds sold in the United States is laser-drilled. or subjecting the diamond to intense pressure and temperature. The final clarity grade will be the grade that is assigned after treatment. According to Fred Cuellar in his book How to Buy a Diamond. 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. Reputable filling companies will often provide repeat treatments if heat causes damage to the filling.© AfricaGems. in part because the treatment isn't permanent.com Radiation treatments are completely safe. It is therefor essential to inform anyone working on a setting where the diamond has been fracture-filled. referred to as the HTHP process. and both the GIA and AGS will issue grades for laser drilled diamonds. followed by acid washing to remove the coloring agent.
high-pressure) "belt press" process was used for synthesizing industrial-grade diamonds. Once the desired temperature had been achieved. These man-made synthetic diamonds are a laboratory-grown simulation of the natural gemstone. tiny fragments of synthetic diamond were created by heating charcoal.com The process of creating man-made diamonds (aka cultured diamonds. there are two main processes for creating lab diamonds: the High-Temperature High-Pressure or "HTHP" method. or carbon to an extremely high temperature (4000º C) in a cast iron crucible.Synthetic Diamonds & Man-Made Diamond Simulants Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite The First Synthetic Diamonds Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. by H. and has been steadily improved upon throughout the last 50 years.Tracy Hall for the General Electric Company. The process. lab diamonds) was first conceived by French chemist Henri Moissan in 1892. The first practical commercial application of Moissan's process was developed in 1954. the crucible and its contents were rapidly cooled by immersing them into cold water. yet they have the identical carbon-based chemical properties of natural diamond. Using an electric furnace constructed with blocks of lime. the intense heat would render the crucible and its carbon contents into a molten liquid mass. This abrupt cooling caused the rapid shrinkage of the molten iron crucible. they are increasingly used in fine jewelry as their quality increases.© AGS Labs Synthetic Yellow Chatham Diamond . which created enough pressure to crystallize the molten carbon into tiny diamond fragments. . and the Chemical Vapor Deposition or "CVD" method.© AGS Labs Today. With Moissan's process. Although synthetic diamonds were originally conceived as a substitute for natural industrial-grade diamonds. known as the HTHP (high-temperature. Synthetic Diamond under Fluorescent .
and Moissanite in 1998. Phianite Gadolinium Gallium Garnet (GGG) (1972-1975) Strontium Titanate (ST) (1955 . Synthetic Diamond Color & Optics Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless form. Lustergem. or by measuring UV fluorescence with a DiamondView tester. making them difficult to differentiate from natural diamonds.' or six-anvil 'cubic press' to create the necessary pressure. synthetic diamonds may contain small inclusions. The vaporized carbon gases are energized using microwave energy. Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) The "Chemical Vapor Deposition" (CVD) method was developed during the 1980s. Synthetic diamonds can also be treated with the HTHP process to alter the optical properties of the stones. but are not a carbonbased compound having a natural diamond's crystalline structure. Titangem Synthetic Sapphire (1900-1947) Diamondette." also known as "simulated diamonds" or "fake diamonds" are man-made gemstones that look like. Diamond Simulants Diamond "simulants. These impurities absorb the blue end of the light spectrum. and uses a lowerpressure growth environment than the earlier HTHP method. With the advent of Cubic Zirconia in the mid 1970's. 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. and surface luster as its natural diamond counterpart. or "simulate" the appearance of natural diamonds. Geminaire In the early 1900's. Magalux. most of these lesser simulants fell by the wayside. In the late 1940's Diamondite gave way to Synthetic Rutile which was popular until the advent of YAG in the early 1970's. Diamonaire. Rutania. Fabulite Synthetic Rutile (1946-1955) Diamothyst. Synthetic Diamond Manufacturers Apollo Diamonds . Thrilliant Synthetic Spinel (1920-1947) Corundolite. ultraviolet. With CVD. produced using the Verneuil (flame-fusion) Process." uses a four-anvil 'tetrahedral press. light dispersion. A cultured synthetic diamond will have the identical cleavage. Rainbow Diamond. Diamondite. Using Chemical Vapor Deposition. Diamonte. Java Gem. specific gravity. and a combination of heat and pressure are applied while a vaporized carbon-plasma that is combined with hydrogen is applied. Like natural diamond. A diamond seed is placed into a growth camber. or X-ray spectroscopy. ranging in clarity from IF to SI or I.1970) Diagem. making the stone appear yellowish. which attracts the gas to the substrate. a seed or substrate material is placed into the growth camber. Common diamond simulants include: Cubic Zirconia (CZ) (1976-) Czarite. the diamond's entire growth process takes several days to complete. Diamonite. Radient Yttrium Aluminum Garnet (YAG) (1970-1975) Diamone. hardness. Jourado Diamond.High-Temperature High-Pressure (HTHP) The "High-Temperature High-Pressure" (HTHP) technique. refractive index. or "deposited" onto the substrate in successive layers. colorless synthetic sapphire (aka Diamondite) was a popular diamond simulant. 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. the HTHP diamond's growth process can take 7 to 10 days to complete. Diamond Essence. also known as "GE POL. Synthetic diamonds can be detected using infrared. Unlike their natural diamond counterparts.
inc.500 to $9. . Cubic Zirconia (Zirconium Oxide ZrO2) has a completely different chemical structure. www..chatham. Tairus Created Gems are sold exclusively through Tairus Thailand Co.).com Gemesis Cultured Diamonds Gemesis is located in Sarasota. princess.30 carats to 3 carats. Ltd. www. with clarity grades from IF to SI. The Split Sphere system crystalizes the carbon seed in an alkaline. and each stone is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. in Boston. and CZ has a hardness of only 8. Apollo Diamonds are cut and polished in sizes ranging from .Apollo Diamond. Gemesis only grows fancy-colored diamonds. using a proprietary variation of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) technique. and some fancy colored diamonds. While a synthetic diamond is a man-made recreation of an actual carbon-based diamond. and like Chatham. and stones are cut to order. Florida. of Bangkok Thailand.25 carats to 1 carat. Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is the most familiar type of diamond simulant on the market. Apollo Diamond's cut stones are available in round brilliant. and each cut stone is laser inscribed with the Apollo company logo and serial number. Tairus produces rough sizes from . The toughness of Cubic Zirconia is rated as good.3 on the Mohs scale. Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite Cubic Zirconia Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. which they claim is the closest thing to mother nature. each Gemesis cut stone over . and rose cuts. www. To insure easy identification as a man-made product.25 carats is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. Massachusetts grows colorless (D to M) diamonds.500 per carat (2004 est.com Chatham Created Diamonds Chatham Gems is a San Francisco based company that grows only fancy-colored diamonds in colors ranging from champagne and canary yellow to pink and midnight blue. while diamond has a hardness of 10.apollodiamond. emerald.com To the average consumer. carbonate fluid solution that is similar to diamond-bearing metamorphic rock.com Tairus Created Gems Tairus Created Gems is a Russian company that grows fancy-colored diamonds in their proprietary "Split Sphere" system.gemesis. Chatham's pricing ranges from $6.
Natural diamonds attract grease. Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored. a CZ is optically flawless. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible. You can also Inspect the facet edges with a 10x loupe to look for any chipping or slightly rounded (not sharp) facet edges that are telltale signs of Cubic Zirconia. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below).Detectable to the Naked Eye Light Dispersion: Greater prismatic effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire Lack of Flaws: CZ is virtually flawless. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce. CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1. candle. and CZs can be made in any "color grade. Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond.In 1973.800 . The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit. Zirconium oxide powder is heated.17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2. CZ vs Diamond .170. or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond. The 1. the greater dispersive power.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. Using Visual Optics To Detect CZ The Hodgkinson "Visual Optics" technique was developed in the mid-1970s by Alan Hodgkinson as a method of detecting natural diamonds and diamond simulants.2. but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye. or colorless (white) versions. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR). Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left). while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator. CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds. .80 to 2.) in a totally dark room. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond .41 (RI). For instance. Due to their low cost and consistency. Unlike most natural diamonds. etc. Diamond's RI is 2. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing. 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. Once the mixture has cooled.
Henri Moissan (above. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.060. is classified as an element rather than a compound. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. candle. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite.65 to 2. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. Moissanite has an RI of 2. found only in iron-nickel meteorites.25 on the Mohs scale. when examining the gem through the kite facets. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight.com Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent.417. 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.104 as compared to CZ at 0. while diamond has a hardness of 10. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. Moissanite has a hardness of 9.670. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. . Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ. etc. center) near Winslow.044. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. 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. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0. Moissanite. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. Arizona. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index.) in a dark room.A small. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. and diamond at 0. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2.69.
The Modern Round Brilliant cut (below) is the culmination of several hundred years of experimentation and development. most diamonds have some inclusions Moissanite vs Diamond . one half of the crystal would be cut off. Like wood. Diamonds: Modern Diamond Cutting Diamond Cutting Background One of the hardest substances on earth. caused by primary reflections from the pavilion and CZ's low RI.417 Moissanite is double refractive (anisotropic) while a natural diamond is singly refractive (isotropic).A small. The first improvements on nature's design involved a polishing of the crystal faces.670. creating the "Table Cut. Diamond's RI is 2. A similarly sharp. detailed and sharply focused pattern caused by secondary reflections will be seen when observing a diamond. Diamond cutting can be traced back to the late Middle Ages. only a diamond is hard enough to cut other diamonds. Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be more diffused. You can also Inspect the facet edges with a 10x loupe to look for any chipping or slightly rounded or soft (not sharp) edges that are telltale signs of Simulants.Detectable With Testing Double Refraction: Moissanite is double refractive. although it can be easily cleaved or fractured due to its defined cleavage planes. due to its high refractive index." As further refinement progressed. Cutting a Rough Diamond . rather than against it.Detectable to the Naked Eye Dispersion Pattern: Secondary patterns of dispersion due to double refraction Color: Moissanite has a slight yellow color and does not come in grades better than 'J' Lack of Flaws: Moissanite is virtually flawless. which was called the "Point Cut." At the time." and the rough stone must be cut with the grain. Moissanite vs Diamond . Table Cut diamonds appeared black to the eye. diamonds were used in their natural octahedral state. but significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its high RI. diamonds were valued primarily for their luster and hardness. Prior to this time. diamond has a "grain. diamond is singly refractive Refractive Index: Moissanite has a refractive index of 2.
Cleaving: Cleaving refers to splitting a stone along its grain by striking it. a diamond can be cleaved in four directions parallel to each of the four octahedron crystal faces. the "blocker" or "lapper" will cut the first 18 main facets. A rough stone is cleaved if there are conspicuous defects and/or inclusions which would prevent it from being made into a single gemstone. then a "brillianteer" will cut and polish the remaining 40 facets. High-tech computerized helium and oxygen analyzers are now used to evaluate a stone prior to cutting. or lap that has been "charged" with diamond dust. or shatter the stone. The natural shape of the rough stone will also be a major factor in deciding how to cut the stone. Bruting: The rough is placed in a chuck on a lathe. Cubic shapes are ideal for a square Princess or Radiant cut. While the rough stone rotates on the diamond lathe. Each step is critical to the final outcome.Modern Round Brilliant Diamond . on a scaife. It can take several hours for the saw blade to cut through a 1k rough diamond. eliminate waste. Sawing: A stone-cutting saw is a thin disk made of phosphor bronze. During this faceting stage the angles of each facet must be cut to an exacting standard in order to yield maximum brilliancy. Due to its atomic structure. then pressing it against a revolving cast iron disk. Asymmetrical crystals such as macles are used primarily for fancy cuts. and maintain symmetry. As the saw blade rotates it continues to pickup or "recharge" itself with diamond dust which is the cutting agent. rounding the rough diamond into a conical shape." Faceting: To facet a round brilliant. a second diamond mounted on a dop is pressed against it. Diamonds: Ideal Cut . This step is also referred to as "rounding. The cutting (also called "placing") and polishing of each facet is accomplished by attaching the stone to a dop stick with cement. Cleaving is a critical step as a mistake by the "cleaver" could fracture.Cutting a raw diamond into a faceted and polished gem-quality stone is a multi-step process. 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. Cleavage is the tendency of crystalline materials to split along defined cleavage plane. and bypass any inclusions or imperfections. 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.
cut proportions. but in order to do this. the rough stone has some coloration and/or is heavily included. and the amount of internal inclusions will play an important part in the decisions as to how to maximize yield. 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. compromises would have to be made. it would be cost effective to sacrifice some carat weight in order to finish with two "Ideal" cuts. This is accomplished by reconciling three key factors . Parameters Ideal Cut Standard (Premium) Cut Rough Material Loss Finished Stones Cutting Time Crown Symmetry Greater Loss Lower Carat Weight 2 to 4 Days Ideal Higher Yield Higher Carat Weight 1 to 2 Days Shallow Crown . An octehedral rough diamond will yield two round brilliant cut stones (see diagram below).com When deciding how to cut a rough diamond. a cutter must make a cost-benefit analysis as to how to maximize the cut stone's value.Ideal Cut vs Standard Cut Diamond Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. If.weight retention. on the other hand. it may be better to aim for a higher carat weight utilizing a "Standard" cut. elimination of any inclusions. The clarity of the stone.
"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: . 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. and one "table" facet on the top of the stone for a total of 58 facets. the cutting and polishing of a diamonds resulted in a loss of as much as 50% of the stone's total weight. as two stones could be cut from one crystal. 8 "kite" facets. it is the most efficient cut for maximizing yield. 1 "culet" facet on the bottom. The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem. it is the best cut for showcasing a high-quality stone's fire and brilliance. 16 "upper girdle" facets. etc. 16 "lower girdle" facets. The Modern Round Brilliant Cut The modern "Round Brilliant Cut" (below) was developed by Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. 8 "pavilion" facets. In the diagram of a "Round Cut" diamond (above and below).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." Even with modern techniques. and 2. This cut is also known as the "Tolkowsky Cut" and "Tolkowsky Brilliant. hearts. This is why it is very rare to see flawless stones cut into fancy cuts such as emeralds. An "Ideal Cut". The round brilliant cut is beneficial when the crystal is an octahedron.
and overall height of 57.4%. H&A Viewer. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. very small to small In the 1970s.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace. Symmetry.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35. As with all human endeavors. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. Eppler & Scan D. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. more brilliance and fire.N. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect.' 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. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant".5%. invented in 1929. The "Scan D.5% to 43. facet ratios. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut.6% and overall height of 57. and crown/pavilion angles. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%.. To quantify a diamond's cut quality.N.7%. crown height of 14. . Ideal Scope. Tolkowsky.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. and Proportions. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts.7%. etc. Since then. crown height of 14." (Scandinavian standard. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope. A perfect blending of facet symmetry.
nl Barion Cut . One thing is for sure . it is put in front of the ultimate arbiter of quality . Asscher Cut The Asscher Cut was developed by Abraham and Joseph Asscher of the Royal Asscher Diamond Company of Amsterdam in 1902. Popular in Art Deco jewelry of the period. or the widely marketed Leo cut which is a modified round-brilliant sold by Leo Schachter Diamonds.the consumer. but some like the Barion Cut have disappeared into obscurity. cut corners and a small table.like Einstein's theory of relativity. Some have gone on to become household names such as the Asscher cut. the Cullinan 1 and Cullinan 2 being set into the crown and sceptre of the British Crown Jewels. cut proportions.asscher.) and when suitably scrutinized by the gem trade. and the culet is square. scientists. mathematicians. and their modest brilliance and light return. (more facets. less facets.Producers split hairs over cut angle. and entrepreneurs . Every conceivable cutting theory is tried. 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. Here is a collection of just a few of the many "signature" diamond cuts that have been produced over the last 100 years. The cut has a deep pavilion and a high crown.each trying to improve on the tried-and-true Old European cuts. and it still survives in some form today. Tolkowsky came up with a "brilliant" idea almost 90 years ago. with the two largest stones. but at the end of the day it may simply come down to consumer preference and/or marketing. the Asscher diamond cut has a squarish octagonal shape with a step cut. www. etc. The Asscher brothers cut the famous 3.106 carat Cullinan Diamond into eleven gem stones. and number of facets.
adding up to 50% to the cost when compared to a Round Brilliant cut diamond. 81 facets on the cut corner (cushion) version. merged with the jewelry firm Asprey. Ulrich Freiesleben of Germany in the early 1980s then patented and trademarked in 1997. of New York in 2000. The Barocut is available in sizes from 20 points to 3 carats. and a 'softer' briliance than a traditional round brilliant cut.baroka. Germany. In 1998. The Eternal Cut has 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. Marce Tolkowsky. A Barocut diamond has a total of 77 facets. The Barocut is also called a "two heart diamond" due to the illusion of two mirrored hearts meeting at the culet. and in all diamond colors and/or clarity grades.The Barion square cut (aka Barion square cushion cut) was invented by Basil Watermeyer of South Africa in 1971. Barocut stones are also sold in tapered shapes. Barocut diamonds are promoted and sold exclusively through the Baroka Creations catalog. The Context Cut follows a rough diamond crystal's natural octahedral shape. Inc. The Barion square cut diamond has a 4-fold mirror-image symmetry. The cutting process requires a high-quality rough. Barocut The Barocut® diamond cut is a patented. 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. and a total of 81 facets. not including the 16 girdle facets. creating a unique 'flower petal' pattern surrounding the cutlet.com . with star-shaped cross facets cut diagonally into the pavilion. and was the forerunner to the princess cut. forming a square shape when viewed from the top.garrard. The Context Cut design was based on an earlier patented design by Bernd Munsteiner from the early 1960s. to become Asprey & Garrard.com Context Cut The Context Cut is a square cut that was developed by Dr. www. www. and creates a high amount of waste. www. modified rectangular (baguette) cut that was developed by Baroka Creations.freiesleben.de Eternal Cut The Eternal Cut diamond was designed and patented by master Israeli diamond cutter. The name "Barion" or "Barion cut" was never trademarked. Garrard & Co. 23 more than a modern Round Brilliant cut. The Context Cut is used to cut colored gemstones by Julius Petsch of Idar-Oberstein. parting ways in 2002 to again become Garrard. or to increase light-dispersion. The Context Cut consists of two back-to-back pyramids (an octahedron). or the company website. Gabi Tolkowsky. nephew to the inventor of the Modern Round Brilliant cut. and its patent has expired.
Sunflower and Zinnia cut. Other than the traditional round brilliant shape.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. Fire-Rose. emerald. angular shapes. Unveiled at the Las Vegas Gem Show in 2001. is a patented symmetrical round cut created by Leo Schachter Diamonds. marquise. Marigold. 8 more facets than the Round Brilliant cut's 58. designed to maximize the brilliance and color of diamonds while increasing their yield. who was commissioned by De Beers to create new cuts as a way of marketing unusual. heart. adding greater brilliance and fire than standard brilliant cuts. oval. that is suited to a relatively flat rough. The Marigold is an octagon shape with 73 facets.com Flower Cut The 'Flower Cut' series was created by Gabi Tolkowsky in 1986. and the cut was named after the Flanders region of Belgium (Antwerp) where the cut was first preformed in 1987. maximizing the amount of light returned back as scintillation. The Flower Cuts employ unconventional cutting angles and dimensions. The Fire-Rose is a hexagonal shape designed to produce higher yields. the Gabrielle Cut is available in carre. The Zinnia is a round fancy shape with 73 facets. The Flanders Brilliant has 33 crown facets and 28 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets.flanders-cuts.com Leo Cut The Leo® Diamond. The Sunflower has 43 facets in unusual. which is 47 more than a traditional 'Tolkowsky' round brilliant cut. The Flower Cuts were never patented or trademarked by De Beers in order to increase their popularity and use. www.nationaldiamond. 48 of which are clustered around the culet to increase fire. The Leo diamond cut has a total of 66 facets. The Flanders Fire-Brilliant was developed by Flanders Cut International of Antwerp in 1983. www. The cut is distributed by the National Diamond Syndicate (NDS) of Chicago. 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. (aka Leo Schachter Diamond). . The Flower Cut is actually a series of five fancy cut shapes: the Dahlia.com www. and pear shapes. The Dahlia is a 12 sided oval shape with 63 facets.gabriellediamonds. LLC. off-color stones. the Gabrielle has a total of 105 facets.
diamondaires.70 carats and come with a GIA Certificate and an "Original Radiant Cut Diamond Certificate" guarantying that the stone meets the ideal proportions as designed by Henry Grossbard. The 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. www. sold in solitaire engagement/wedding bands. The Lucida diamond cut is a modified square or rectangular (Marquise) cut with truncated corners.radiantcut. a highstep crown (similar to the Asscher Cut). the Radiant Cut became a fully accepted diamond shape in the jewelry business. Prior to the Quadrillion. patented and trademarked by Henry Grossbard of the Radiant Cut Diamond Company (RCDC) in 1977. www.com Starburst Cut .' and each diamond comes with a "Return of Light Certificate. There are a total of 49 facets. The Lucida diamond cut is marketed as a wedding cut.tiffany. and three-stone rings. and all Original Radiant Cut diamonds weigh at least 0." The Leo Diamond is marketed through the Kay Jeweler chain. eternity bands.com Lucida Cut The Lucida (TM) Cut is a patented diamond cut that was created by Tiffany & Company in 1999. Upon the expiration of the patent.The Leo diamond cut is the first to be certified for fire and brilliance as measured by a 'BrillianceScope. and was patented and trademarked by Bez Ambar Jewelers of Los Angeles in 1980. and a total of has 50 facets. RCDC launched the 'Original Radiant Cut' diamond brand In 2002.com Quadrillion Cut The Quadrillion® Cut (aka Squarillion Cut) is a modified square princess cut that was developed by Israel Itzkowitz and Betzalel Ambar in the late 1970s. brilliant-style faceted pavilion (similar to a Cushion Cut). It was the first emerald shaped diamond cut to have brilliance and fire similar to that of a round brilliant diamond. The Lucida is sold exclusively through Tiffany's retail chain. Bez Ambar Radiant Cut The Radiant Cut is a modified emerald cut shape that was developed. square shaped diamonds were stepcut limiting their brilliance. There are 25 crown facets and 36 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets (not including 8 girdle facets). www. small table. The pavilion is similar to a Barion cut. and the table is a bowed out rectangle.
There are two variations of this cut: the Curved cut used for solitary stones. The Trilliant trademark has since lapsed. Trillian. but at each stage of advancement the pioneers of 'brillianting' diamonds have made great strides in bringing out the magic that is inherent in these gifts from nature.The Starburst Cut was patented and trademarked by the Louis Glick Diamond Corp. for a total of 89 kite and star shaped facets. Harry Winston. Point Cut . The point cut design is dictated by the natural shape of an octahedral rough diamond. and the Trilliant is now a generic term for a triangular brilliant cut. fire. of New York in 1978. reworked into the shape of a trillion (triangle).early 1300s The "point cut" (below left) is one of the first symmetrically faceted diamond cuts. and light return from the stone.louisglick. this led to the invention of the first gem cutting machines (precursor to the "lap" or "Facetron") in the 1300s. 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. and Uncurved cut used for accent stones. The Trilliant Cut has a total of 31 facets. . Still. brilliance.com The faceting of diamonds has come a long way in the last 700 years.com Trilliant Cut The Trilliant Cut (aka Trielle. From this point forward it was a race to see who could design the perfect faceted cut which would bring out the maximum fire. and scintillation when cut to the correct proportions. The pavilion has two differently sized sets triangular facets with a large triangular table. Old Mine Cut Evolution of the Faceted Diamond & Colored Gem Article Copyright © 2008 AllAboutGemstones. The crown of the Starburst Cut is similar to that of the radiant cut. The Starburst cut is especially suitable for a octahedral rough. With the realization that only a diamond could cut another diamond. and the natural octahedral symmetry of the rough stone's closed isometric form. craftsmen have attempted to "improve" on nature. right) was created by cutting off some of the top half of the point cut's octahedron to create a table. and the career of the "diamantaire" (diamond cutter/polisher) was born. The Trilliant has the Schoenflies point group symmetry of a round brilliant. Old European Gem Cuts: Point. www. Since the day that humans first discovered 'adamas' (diamonds). with weight losses in the fifty percent range. Starburst Cuts are mounted and sold directly through Cartier. There are 49 crown facets and 40 pavilion facets. The Trilliant cut gives a high brilliance. The Starburst cut was created to bring out the highest amount of color to fancy yellow diamonds. Nieman Marcus and Tiffany. but the pavilion is completely different. The "table cut" (below. Trillion) is a triangular cut designed and trademarked by the Henry Meyer Diamond Company of New York in 1962. the precursor for the "design" of the first faceted diamond lay within the rough stone itself. making the hue of fancy yellow diamonds more intense. Old eight. The starburst faceting pattern is designed to focus color near the top of a stone.
This Old Mine cut is basically square with gently rounded corners and "brilliant" style facets." "Dutch cut. the "old single cut" (aka "old eight cut") diamond has the addition of corner facets to create an octagonal girdle. The single cut may or may not have a culet at the bottom.Single Cut . and eight pavilion facets. 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.late 1300s Invented in the late 14th century. the "rose cut" is also known by the the "Antwerp rose. an octagonal table." "crowned rose cut. Also called the "cushion cut". it has a cushioned or rounded girdle shape. The "senaille cut" is a rose cut with irregular or non-symmetrical faceting. resulting in a smaller table.1500s Invented in the mid 16th century.1700s The "old mine" cut is the earliest form of the "brilliant cut" diamond. eight bezel or crown facets. Old Mine Cut . The briolette cut was designed primarily for use in a pendant or as a dangling bauble in a crown. The crown is typically tall. The "briolette cut" is a modified "double Dutch rose cut" with one of the hemispheres being elongated." and the Full Holland cut. The briolette was the precursor to the "pendeloque cut" which is a pear-shaped modification of the round brilliant cut. Rose & Briolette Cut. . The culet is usually large enough to be visible when viewed through the table.
the cutting and polishing of a diamonds resulted in a loss of as much as 50% of the stone's total weight. Eight Cut & Swiss Cut The "eight cut" is primarily used for small stones when a brilliant cut would be impractical. The eight cut is similar to the "single cut" in that there are eight four-sided trapezoidal facets at the crown. and an octagon-shaped table for a total of 17 facets (18 if a culet is used). The Modern Round Brilliant Cut . the old European diamond has a circular girdle. the Modern Round Brilliant cut is beneficial when the crystal is an octahedron (diagram above). The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem.Old European Cut .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. As with its predecessor the "point cut" over 600 years earlier. as two stones can be cut from one crystal with a minimum amount of waste. . eight facets at the pavilion. a heavy crown." Even with modern techniques. This cut is also known as the "Tolkowsky Cut" and "Tolkowsky brilliant. and very tall overall depth. The Old European diamond cut has a very small table. Like the modern round brilliant.
silver or platinum.com The trade in gem-grade rough diamonds is primarily controlled by the De Beers. Unlike precious metals such as gold. Gaborone. Trans Hex.A "Swiss cut" is a compromise between an eight cut and a brilliant cut. then divided by human or automated sorters into individual lots called "boxes. Kimberley and Windhoek. thereby controlling and stabilizing prices. . Rio Tinto. The rough stones are separated into 16. for sorting and resale. there is usually a substantial mark-up in the retail sale price of diamonds. color and quality. BHP Billiton and a hand-full of other companies which use their cartel power to control the supply of diamonds on the wholesale market (diamond pipeline). which combines ("aggregating") supplies of rough diamonds from multiple sources into one wholesale market (#2). 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. or secondary mining producers in Canada and Russia to De Beers' Diamond Trading Company (DTC) in London.000 categories based on size. The Diamond Trade: The 'Diamond Pipeline' Rough Diamond Producers Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. There is a limited market for the resale of diamonds that are less than "investment grade." The 'Diamond Pipeline' Rough diamonds are sent directly from De Beers mining operations in Africa (#1)." The DTC is part of the DeBeers Group supply-chain known as the Central Selling Organization (CSO). with a total of 33 facets (34 if a culet is used). 16 isosceles triangle facets on the crown and 16 facets on the pavilion.
Additionally. reclaiming their "A Diamond Is Forever" moniker. where De Beers sells the "boxes" to its select group ("supplier of choice") of 125 "sightholders" (#3) or diamond manufacturers. A 'sight' can have a value of between $500. Many Sightholders are also cutters. De Beers (DTC) sets the price of each box in advance. to take advantage of market fluctuations. . and the breakaway from CSO's cartel by the Argyle Diamond Mine in Australia. (see DeBeers' Adiamondisforever. has launched an aggressive branding and marketing campaign. Ramat Gan. De Beers is also facing increasing pressure from the manufactures of synthetic diamonds.20 carats or less) in Mumbai (Bombay) and Surat. Tel Aviv. Russia and elswhere. and Thailand. The sightholder then transports the box of rough diamonds back to diamantaire firms (cutting and polishing factories) located around the world (#4). and New York. De Beers and the Future De Beers' (CSO's) control over the wholesale diamond market has diminished due to increased market penetration. Once the diamonds are set into jewelry. determining the quantity and quality that each site-holder will receive.000 to $2. China. while large stones are primarily cut in Antwerp. diamonds have underperformed since 1987 when compared to the "luxury goods" market or global GDP. or to jewelry manufacturers (#5) around the world. As a reaction to their decrease in market share.De Beers Sightholders The DTC holds a sale called a "site" or "sight" ten times per year in London and Johannesburg. which are increasing in popularity and consumer acceptance. cutters. India cuts the vast majority of small stones (. Rough diamonds are cut in various geographic regions according to tradition and the skill-sets of the labor force. and independent diamond producers in Canada. and retailers . Other major cutting centers are located in Johannesburg. they are sold to retailers or direct to the customer. Both traders and manufacturers may sell diamonds "upstream" and "downstream" through the diamond pipeline .000. through their Diamond Promotion Service (DPS) and Diamond Information Centres (DIC) marketing divisions.000 USD.com website). The diamonds are then re-sold from the cutting and polishing (manufacturing) centers to wholesalers (Diamond Bourses). De Beers.
Hong Kong. Moscow. Schupstraat. In addition to its members. The Kimberley Process The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme or KPCS is designed to prevent conflict diamonds (aka "blood diamonds") entering into the mainstream rough diamond market .S. are sold in Antwerp every year. Within Antwerp's diamond district. As of 2006. The Council has approximately 70 members representing jewelers. Europe. traders and manufacturer/producers. Almost 85% of the world's rough diamonds. bond. This mark is only visible via a point-of-sale electronic viewer. The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base. and Rijfstraat. The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates . Hoveniersstraat. Diamond Industry Trade Organizations World Diamond Council The World Diamond Council (aka: International Diamond Council) was established by the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) to find ways to reduce the number of conflict diamonds entering the diamond market. and the city is the hub of the global diamond trading industry (diamanthandel). KPCS originated in May 2000 during a meeting of South African diamond producing states in Kimberley. The Diamond Trade: Diamond Bourses of Antwerp Diamond Bourses Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. and preventing the inherent product misidentification that will follow. and India (2007). The Diamond High Council (HRD) The HRD (Hoge Raad voor Diamant) Diamond High Council is a non-profit industry organization designed to promote and represent the Antwerp diamond trade. and will com with a certificate of authenticity. cut and uncut diamonds. The largest diamond trading center in the world is located in Antwerp. Israel and South Africa and works with 35 independent Governments. some 1. heavily guarded geographic area surrounded by three main streets. Diamond Bourses are basically trading exchanges for loose. South Africa. and Shanghai. NY . China. London.Forevermark Diamonds As a way of staving off the onslaught of secondary diamond markets. the WDC has observers from the governments of Belgium.. also known as the "World Diamond Center" or Diamantenzentrum. Belgium but there are also Diamond Bourses in Israel.com The word "Bourse" refers to a private stock. . the European Union and the United Nations to rid the diamond Industry of conflict diamonds. Asia. The Council began in July 2000 after a joint meeting of the WFDB and its international headquarters are in New York City. the DTC has developed new inscription technologies to "invisibly" mark the table facet of polished diamonds with a "Forevermark" trademark. Forevermark diamonds will be available through sightholder/retailers in the U. or commodities exchange similar to the NYSE.500 diamond dealers (diamantbedrijven) are ensconced in small. and about half of the polished diamonds. De Beers is hoping that the combination of branding and security will increase consumer demand.
ethics and morality. which was established in the same year that the 1930 World Expo was held in Antwerp.Photo: Wiki Public The first trading exchange to deal exclusively with rough. and disputes are handled by an internal arbitration process. there are around 4000 diamond-cutters (diamantaire) working in the several-square-block diamond district. Both bourse were founded by Hasidim diamantairs. These first trading exchanges mainly dealt with the wholesaling of cut stones. founded in 1893—and the Beurs voor Diamanthande (at Pelikaanstraat 78) founded in 1904 . 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. Most transactions conducted within the Bourses done with cash and a handshake. After the liberation. uncut diamonds was the Antwerpsche Diamantkring (Antwerp Diamond Ring) . and both are still in operation today. and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) was founded in 1947. The Diamond High Council (HRD) . Beurs voor Diamanthandel . bisected by Hoveniersstraat street. Around $16+ billion in polished diamonds pass through Antwerp's diamond bourses each year. Control over the diamond trade is maintained through the WFDB's Constitution containing a series of rules. making it the largest diamond-trading center in the world . regulations. an by-laws that govern business practices.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. friendship and trust . the Antwerpsche Diamantkring was reopened. and repatriation of Antwerp following the end of WWII. In Antwerp's 'Diamond Center' (Diamantenzentrum) today.
Flemish. coming for .com Diamonds and the Afrikaners The Afrikaners & British Diamonds and the Jews The Hindustani Diamond Cutters The African Nationals The Americans Photos: Public Domain The Boers Historically. or German Protestant backgrounds. but 3000 Zulus were killed in what became known as the 'Battle of Blood River. Gauteng (Premier Diamond Mine). They settled in the 'Cape of Good Hope' on Africa's southern most tip. The Boers resisted British encroachments into their territory until the Second 'Anglo' Boer War (1899— 1902). there was a mass exodus (the Great Trek) northward to 'Northern Cape. who were in search of the "quiet sweet life. which at the time was administered by the 'Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie' or 'Dutch East India Company. most with Dutch Calvinist. This led to a new wave of emigrants and adventurer-seekers from England. and Limpopo (Venetia Diamond Mine). 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 Voortrekkers had to contend with the native Zulu tribe over land they wished to settle on. England seized the Cape of Good Hope from the Dutch East India Company in 1797. 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. ending with the inclusion of all Boer territories into British colonies.' 'Limpopo.' 'Gauteng." Three of South Africa's richest diamond mines are in Northern Cape (Kimberley Diamond Mine). under the Treaty of Vereeniging. The Diamond Trade: History & Culture of the Key Players Article Copyright © 2006 AllAboutGemstones. The First Boer War (1880—1881) began with the Transvaal (Limpopo) Boers declaring independence from Great Britain. The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base.' During the 1830s and 1840s. and fully annexed the Cape Colony in 1806 .' and the 'Orange Free State' provinces to escape hostilities with the native 'Xhosa tribe' from which Nelson Mandela decended. Diamonds and the British The Second Wave of Europeans Needing a stopping-off point on the sea-route to Australia and India.' After the devastating Zulu defeat. and this eventually lead to all-out war. The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates .000 Zulu warriors attacking 470 Boer settlers. with 10. There was not a single Boer fatality.The HRD (Hoge Raad voor Diamant) Diamond High Council is a non-profit industry organization designed to promote and represent the Antwerp diamond trade. Afrikaners who participated in the migration northward became known as the 'Trekboer' or Voortrekkers.
Domain Barney Barnato During the same period that Cecil Rhodes was building De Beers Consolidated Mines. although Rhodes did not start out with an interest in diamonds. Domain Cecil Rhodes Cecil Rhodes (1853—1902) is the undisputed father of the modern diamond industry. Cullinan . 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. D. no heirs to his empire. As founder of De Beers. N. De Beers and Kimberley Central were the two largest mining interests in South Africa at the time. In exchange. but was eventually successful in convincing Barnato to merge with De Beers. The African nation of Rhodesia was named after him (now the Republic of Zimbabwe). he was able to build a monopolistic empire through skill and cunning." In 1906. Photo: Pub. As a young lad from England. Barnato died several years later. Domain Thomas M. Cecil Rhodes' De Beers empire was started on a farm owned by two Boer settlers and brothers. and later selling steam-powered water pumps to drain the open-pit mines of Kimberley. With the help of the Rothschild bank in London.the "mineral revolution. One of the richest men in the world. Rhodes started out selling ice cream to the diamond-diggers and service workers. a curious discovery was being made along the banks of the Orange River. and J. 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. Barnato was given appointed to 'life governor' and temporary controlling interest in De Beers .' Cecil Rhodes died a single man with no children and. self-government was restored. Photo: Pub. Amid all of this turmoil and chaos. a prospector. De Beer. mysteriously falling overboard on a ship passage back to England. he began his business interests in South Africa by servicing the "ant hill" of humanity that was descending on Kimberley during the diamond rush of the late 1800s.. and in 1910 the 'Union of South Africa' was created.. Rhodes made several aborted attempt to gain control over Barnato's interest in Kimberley Central Mine. Photo: Pub. A. in Northern Cape.
Sir Thomas Major Cullinan (1860—1936) was the founder of one of Africa's richest diamond mines, the 'Premier Diamond Mine,' 30 kilometers east of Pretoria, in Gauteng province, South Africa. Although Cullinan was already a successful building contractor in Johannesburg, he was also an amateur geologist who had heard about alluvial diamonds being found along a stream near the old 'Cornelis Minnaar Farm' in upper Gauteng. Cullinan was interested in purchasing the farm, which had already changed hands several times, but the present owner, Willem Prinsloo (who had purchased the land for £570 in 1861) was not interested in selling. Shortly after the close Anglo Boer War (1898—1902), Willem Prinsloo's widow agreed to sell the land to Cullinan for £52,000, and the 'Transvaal Premier Diamond Mining Company LTD' was officially registered on the December 1, 1902 . On January 25th 1905, a 3,106 carat diamond was found at the mine, which remains the largest diamond ever found in the world. When news of Premier's success hit the board room of De Beers, several aborted attempts were made to purchase the mine, but Cullinan had no intention of selling . In 1914, WW1 broke out in Europe, and diamond prices began to spiral. Layoffs at the mine caused enough friction that by August, mining operations were suspended. The Premier Mine had resumed production by January 1916, but in need of cash, Cullinan sold a major stake in the mine to the Transvaal government. Frank Oats, who was now the chairman of De Beers, was able to convince the Transvaal government to sell its controlling interest in 1917, and De Beers once again enjoyed a monopoly on South African diamonds.
Diamonds and the Ashkenazi, Sephardi and Hasidic Jews
There is perhaps no other ethnic group that is so inextricably intertwined with the diamond trade, than the jews. In an odd twist of fate, it may be Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama's discovery of a searoute to India around Africa's Cape of Good Hope in 1488, that set the stage for the Jewish/diamond connection. Da Gama's discovery opened up a direct diamond-trading route from India's Malabar Coast and the island of Borneo, to Portugal and on the Netherlands. With Lisbon now at the forefront of the European diamond trade, many Portuguese Sephardi businessmen opened cutting houses, and quickly gained a dominant roll in the diamond-polishing industry. The Sephardi were Jews who originated from Spain and Portugal (the Iberian Peninsula), many practicing a secret adherence to Judaism known as "Crypto-Judaism," while professing other faiths. Jews who practiced their religion in the open were expelled from Spain and Portugal, when the Catholic Monarchs issued the "Alhambra Decree" in 1492 (1497 for Portugal), fleeing to Morocco, the Ottoman Empire, Antwerp and Amsterdam. When the first Jewish emigrants (Ashkenazi) came to Antwerp in the 1200s, they were welcomed, but when the Black Plague swept across Antwerp in the mid 1300s, the Jews were one of the scapegoats. Although Amsterdam's Dutch were relatively tolerant when it came to religious freedom, in 1585 Antwerp came under Spanish rule, and the Jews (this time Sephardic), were once again the focus of scrutiny. With the Spanish Inquisition in high gear, Jews were now persecuted for conducting trade with the Ottoman Empire, or for being 'pseudo-Christian.' In the 1600s, wealthy Jewish diamond-traders now living in the Netherlands, financed the 'Dutch East India Company' and its exploration of new trade routes to India, but the British were beginning to see opportunity in the diamond trade, creating new competition for the Jewish/Dutch. Prior to being granted 'civil equality' in 1796, Amsterdam's Jews were not allowed to join trade guilds, leaving the unregulated diamond industry as one of the only means of employment. By the late 18th century, many of Amsterdam's Jews were working in the diamond trade, and many of these 'Sephardi refugees' had maintained connections with Portuguese traders who now had a monopoly on the trade of raw diamonds from India. By the early 1700s, India's mines were nearing exhaustion, but a new discovery in Brazil helped to reinvigorate the diamond trade. By this time, British naval superiority proved to be a great advantage, and the 'British East India Company' was born. The European center for the diamond trade now began to move away from Amsterdam, as Jewish traders set up shop in London. The cut stones were sold to the nobility and royalty of Europe, using the Hofjude (Court Jews) as purchasing agents to select the stones from the London diamond merchants.
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 . 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 . 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
). Lesotho Promise is the 15th largest diamond ever found. selling to the rich and famous from Elizabeth Taylor and Donald Trump. Domain Laurence Graff Laurence Graff (1938—) is a DeBeers sightholder. Russia. Tretiakovsky Proezd in Moscow." the Leviev Group has found willing partners in several countries including Angola's ASCORP after De Beers' exit in 2001. Graff has co-authored (with Vanessa von Zitzewitz) "The Most Fabulous Jewels in the World. from wholesale and retail.5 billion dollars . By circumventing the De Beers supply chain. Graff's net worth is estimated at 2.5 billion (#278 Forbes List). Raised by his grandparents. and has satellite locations in Wafi City. with his wife and their nine children. and one of the most successful diamond merchants in modern history." and the "king of bling" by Forbes magazine . in 1992. Monte Carlo. All House of Graff stones have a laser-inscribed girdle with the 'Graff' logo and GIA number. formed by Decree 158C of the Russian Federation.com Gujarat's Indian Diamantaires . a DeBeers sightholder in Johannesburg. Lev Leviev lives in B'nei Brak. 2006 at the Letseng diamond mine in the tiny Kingdom of Lesotho in the center of the Republic of South Africa. to Larry Ellison. Mr. Dubai. which gives him access to some of the finest uncut diamonds coming out of South Africa. Lev Leviev has formed a partnership with the ex Soviet state-owned diamond firm. Using this model of "local control.state. Israel. New York's Madison Avenue." a compendium and history of his most famous jewels. Graff's strategy of "vertically integration" has been to control every angle of the diamond pipeline. and the largest rough unearthed in this century. Photo: Pub. which are now owned by Lev Leviev. Laurence Graff was born into a Jewish orthodox family in London's poorer 'East End' district. Hotel de Paris' salon privé in Paris. The Hindustani Diamond Cutters Photo: dnavin. House of Graff is also located on London's Sloane Street. to purchasing a 51% stake in Safdico (South African Diamond Corp. found on August 22. One of his most notable acquisitions was the 603 carat "Lesotho Promise diamond. Graff has been dubbed the "king of diamonds. ALROSA produces 100% of Russia's rough diamond output and approximately 20% of the world's rough diamonds . now called ALROSA (Almazy-Rossii-Sakha) . Alrosa now sells direct to cutting factories throughout Russia. It will ultimately be cut into an estimated 20 or so 'D-flawless' stones ranging from 75 carats to 1 carat in size. founder of the House of Graff in the heart of London's posh New Bond Street. Leviev's net-worth is estimated at $2. and on board the luxury residential ship The World ResidenSea.
both college dropouts. 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. Domain Bharat & Vijay Shah Bharat and Vijay Shah came from a family of jewelers going back three generations. propelling their twin companies. and to develop an "understanding of the world market." The Bharat Diamond Bourse in Mumbai. Sanghavi Exports.7 billion in annual sales . to elevate quality standards.Diamonds made their first reluctant appearance in human history over 2400 years ago. . Several other divisions of the Rosy Blue Group. and Shah. and Israelis didn't want to work with .com Dilip Mehta Indian diamantaire. and Vijaydimon are family owned operations run by Jains with the common surnames of Jhavari. or "thunderbolt. D. and were written about in an ancient Sanskrit manuscript called the "The Lesson of Profit" Arthasastra (c. Chandragupta. Jainism is an ancient Indian religious sect believing in the 'Jain' philosophy. Navinchandra & Co (board of directors . and Surat's 'Special Economic Zone' . The Indo Argyle Diamond Council (IADC) formed in 1994 as a consortium of Indian jewelry manufacturers and cutting houses. heighten awareness of ethical business practices. Dilip Mehta of Mumbai. The Sanskrit word for 'diamond' was vajra. Much of India's diamond trade is controlled by a handful of wealthy families in Gujarat. The brothers." The Indians would go on to enjoy a singular reign over the diamond-rich dominion—known as Hindustan—for another two thousand years. Photo: Pub. improve perceptions. are headed and staffed by Mehta family members. with $1. and De Beers India. Shree Ramkrishna Exports. started out thirty years ago by purchasing cheaper stones that the Dutch Hasidim. based upon eternal. Harshad Mehta ("Diamond King of the world") is one of the founders of Rosy Blue.above). polishes. (HDC). It is estimated that India cuts. Mehta. 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. Mumbai. displacing the Hasidim as the dominant force in the industry . a minister to the Indian king. and exports several billion dollars worth of gems per year. Gitanjali Gems is one of the largest manufacturers of diamonds and diamond jewelry in India. and is currently a Senior Partner and head of the UAE division. Suresh & Co. with diamond cutting factories located in Borivali. 320 BC) by Kautiliya. By slowly developing markets. universal truths. Gitanjali Gems. Gujarat. Companies like Bhavani Gems. Venus Jewels. M. India (born 1949). This vast fortune is shared by some 300 to 500 Gujaratis families from Palanpur on the GujaratRajasthan border . The Indian communities' share has grown to around 60%. Photo: rosyblue. Of the $26 billion per year diamond revenues that flow through Antwerp. is the newest addition to India's arsenal of global marketing tools to promote exports. from Hong Kong to Israel. the Hindustan Diamond Company Ltd. and although India's famous "Diamonds of Golconda" were mined-out hundreds of years ago. is the CEO of the 'Rosy Blue Group' which is currently one of the world's largest diamond companies.
Vijaydimon is a DTC sightholder with offices in Belgium. Joseph Kabila (above.W. succeeded his father (Laurent-Désiré Kabila) as president the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC) after his assassination in January 2001. dos Santos. both domestically and internationally.Vijaydimon (Belgium) and B Vijaykumar (India) . Bombay. Surat. Kabbah. Kabila. India. Singapore. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. Diamonds and the Americans Photo: Pub. and Tel Aviv. all who have signed multi-million dollar trade deals. is receiving broad support from the South Africa. China. Thailand. After winning a disicive re-election victory in 2006. the 'United Nations Industrial Development Orginization' (UNIDO). with one of the fastest per-capita income growth rates in the world. employing 22. The company has cutting factories in Antwerp. into a global position with nearly $1 Billion a year in sales. working in cooperation with the government of Sierra Leone. President Festus Mogae was elected for a second term in 2004. Bangkok. Ayer & Son . many of the ex-colonial nations of Sub-Saharan Africa are starting to emerge as powerful and legitimate forces in the diamond industry. president José Eduardo dos Santos is preventing democratic elections from taking place. In a post-conflict reconstruction effort. The last democratic election in Angola was in 1992. created a program for capacity-building of 'small and medium-sized enterprise' (SME) development. & Mogae Starting with Botswana's independence in 1966. only hinting at their possibility in 2007 or 2008. and enjoys broad support. the political situation in Angola has begun to normalize. Domain N.000 workers. left). Diamonds and the African Nationals Photos: Public Domain Kabila. is making great strides in stabilizing the country after years of strife. Vijaydimon also purchases rough diamonds from Canada's Diavik Mine and Argyle (Rio Tinto) and Russia . Botswana has held regular elections and has been one of the more stable governments in southern Africa. Botswana is a relatively wealthy African country. On a somewhat darker note. and the end to South African apartheid in 1994. Mandela. Angola and from mining magnates. Palanpur. Hong Kong. After years of fighting between the PMLA and UNITA. who was a major general in the army. and the United States. The president of Sierra Leone. At the age of 29. UAE.
The Tiffany is still selling luxury jewelry in their trademarked 'Tiffany Blue Box. Domain Charles Lewis Tiffany Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812—1902). The Great Depression had taken a heavy toll on luxury goods during the 1930s. Ayer in 1938. Ayer & Son. Tiffany & Young.W. N. De Beers president.' which was adapted to film in 1953. and sold to Nanaline Duke (now in the Doris Duke Collection). gems and jewelry from the estates of the European aristocracy." by Jean Schlumberger in the 1960s. Harry Frederick Oppenheimer enlisted the help of N.' The stone was set into a garish jewelry piece called "Bird on a Rock. producing the 128. who was known for his jewelry expertise. A 19."A diamond is forever" is the legendary saying that was created by America's first advertising agency. De Beers and the diamond industry got another shot in the arm.72 carat cushion-cut diamond (one of the "Diamonds of Golconda") was mounted by Tiffany. Styne moved to Hollywood where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn. Sir Francis "Piggy" Beekman. Lorelei receives a diamond tiara from her suitor. purchased diamonds. Charles Tiffany. located at 259 Broadway. and the subsequent overthrowing of King Louis-Philippe of France in 1848. One of Tiffany's most notable diamond acquisitions was a 287. Jule Styne. Prince Esterhazy of Hungary. and the diamond industry was particularly hard hit. was originally a 'fancy goods' emporium. The 'Tiffany & Co. the values of ostentatious gems and jewelry dropped precipitously. for resale in America. and featuring the memorable scene in which Holly gazes longingly into Tiffany's window display. In 1948 the famous "A diamond is forever" slogan was introduced. and Tiffany seized on the opportunity.' staring Audrey Hepburn. aka "the King of Diamonds. Tiffany was able to purchase significant gems from such renowned estates as: the 'jewel-mad' Duke of Brunswick.' During the 1800s. Jule Styne (born Julius Kerwin Stein) was born in London." was the co-founder of Tiffany & Co.54 carat 'The Tiffany Diamond.W.' at the flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. Styne wrote the score for the 1949 Broadway musical 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Photo: Pub. .' brand was catapulted into the stratosphere by the 1961 movie 'Breakfast at Tiffany's. With financial shockwaves caused by the French economy's collapse in 1847. The stone was cut in Paris. which started out as 'Tiffany & Young' of New York City in 1837." after here charecter. this time from playwriter. After attending Chicago Musical College. The movie version featured Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend. Photo: Pub. the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine. and a series of diamond-related slogans were introduced into the American lexicon. and from the Spanish Crown Jewels . specializing in one-of-a-kind baubles for New York's newly-minted industrialists and 'robber-barons. After the French revolution in 1799. Domain Hollywood in 1949 Coming just on the heels of the immortal "a diamond is forever" campaign.42 carat rough flawless-yellow diamond from the 'Compagnie Français de Diamant du Cap' (Kimberley mine) in 1877. the public's tolerance towards nobility was at a low point.
" 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.Photo: © Warner Bros. but not least. and their willingness to purchase the concept of "foreverness. appraisal report. grading report. Through interviews with human-rights organizations like Doctors Without Borders and Global Witness. Were it not for intrepid consumers. the World Diamond Council placed ten full-page ads in newspapers around the county. The Consumer Last. we have the faceless American consumer. This time. the glamor is laid bare. as writer Charles Leavitt takes us through the dark underbelly of the diamond trade. or "cert" may be your only assurance that you are getting exactly what you paid for. certificate of authenticity. In a preemptive strike against any negative publicity that the movie would generate. a diamond certificates. Diamonds are tested for . 2006 Hollywood in 2006 Blood Diamond is the latest incarnation of Hollywood's fascination with diamond. Leavitt weaves a tale of Sierra Leone's impoverished "diamond diggers." there would be no "diamond trade. the unsung hero in the diamond trade." and the terrible working conditions that these workers must endure.
with operations in New York City. and is the largest independent gem certification and appraisal institute in the United States. Toronto. the same year that Shipley published his groundbreaking book titled 'Gemology. there is very little (visible) difference between a FL stone and a IF or VVS-1 stone . Mumbai. 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.the basics (cut dimensions and proportions. Antwerp. and carat weight) and they are also tested for traces of gem enhancement. and of corse. poorly cut SI-3 grade stone. shape and cut of a stone. GIA reports also cover any treatments or enhancements that have been done. Appraisal Reports.not only for resale.' GIA's world headquarters are located in Carlsbad. tone.other than the price. founded in 1975. Shipley in 1931. carat weight. and saturation of a colored stone. color. which can be substantially different. and wether they are synthetic. The GIA was founded by Robert M. 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 IGI offers Identification Reports. and Attestations of Origin. Tokyo. . but for insurance appraisal as well. California. with offices around the globe. Los Angeles. Although even a lay-person may be able to tell the difference between a triple-zero diamond and a cheap. Bangkok. wether the stone is natural or synthetic. Dubai and Hong Kong. clarity. GIA Certificate A GIA (Gemological Institute of America) report provides detailed information about the dimensions. Certificates of Authenticity. IGI Certificate The International Gemological Institute (IGI) is the oldest institute of its kind in Antwerp.
and finish. HRD's refined Cut Grading system measures each of the three parameters (proportions. weight. with "Triple Excellent" being the highest overall designation. Cut. Shape. HRD Antwerp Diamond Certificate The certificates department of HRD Antwerp in Antwerpen. HRD also offers gemelogical training and continuing education courses in diamond grading. origin (colored gems). jewellery design and gemology. the sorting of rough diamonds. All diamonds are examined anonymously. mesurments. and the graders can not know the identity of the owner. and Fluorescence.The IGI lab grades diamonds as well as colored gemstones along several basic criteria which include: shape and cut. . Belgium issues quality reports for loose (unmounted) polished diamonds according to ISO 17025 international standards for gemelogical testing laboratories. as well as quantifying the standard parameters of Clarity. Color. color. HRD uses the "Hearts and Arrows" measuring system which was developed by HRD Antwerp scientists. polish and symmetry) using a scale ranging from Excellent to Fair. Carat Weight. clarity.
In 2004 AGS added a new category referred to as "Light Performance" but to retained the "Triple Zero" monicker for diamonds with a perfect score. To insure the security of their documents." is not an appraisal of monetary value. The mission of the AGS is to increase consumer awareness. referred to as a "Diamond Quality Document" or "DQD. creator of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). as well as the most comprehensive system for grading the all-important 'cut' parameters." The AGS Cut Grading system was developed through of years of research by gemologists. 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. having the most rigid grading standards. 2005 can be viewed online. Today. the HRD lab also uses state-of-the-art technology to test for subtle and hard to recognize enhancements such as HPHT. mathematicians. An AGS report. as opposed to GIA's vvs. Shipley. but rather a comprehensive quality evaluation. AGSL Certificate The AGSL was the first gem lab to grade a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. and s ratings. and optical physicists. The AGS specializes in diamond testing and evaluation. certificates issued after January 1. and to set a higher standard of business ethics and professional practices in the jewelry industry." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors. 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. along with a consortium of independent jewelers. HRD uses complex watermarking to prevent copying or falsifying their reports. Aditionally. 'Polish' and 'Symmetry' were merged into one category called "Finish. The AGS Gemological Laboratories was established in 1996 to provide state-of-the-art diamond grading and appraisal services to the jewelry industry. AGS grades diamond color on a numeric sliding scale that is similar to GIA's alphabetical scale. Diamond Grading AGS Diamond Quality Report (DQD) AGS Gemological Laboratory Background Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.As well as testing for synthetic diamonds. AGS is considered the premier diamond-grading laboratory. A diamond's clarity is also graded on a simple numeric scale from 0 to 10.com The American Gem Society was founded in 1934 by Robert M. and Proportions. and does not evaluate other types of colored gemstones. . vs. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). Symmetry.
mathematicians. 'Polish' and 'Symmetry' were merged into one category called "Finish. In 2004 AGS added a new category that is referred to as "Light Performance." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors. 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." but to retained the "Triple Zero" monicker for diamonds with a perfect score. Proportions & Light Performance The AGSL was the first gem lab to grade a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. leakage and light spread. Symmetry. and optical physicists. Each parameter is given a numeric grade from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). . and Proportions.Cut Grade: Finish." The AGS Cut grading system was developed through years of research by gemologists. dispersion. The ray-tracing program measures the quantity of the light being returned to the viewer by quantifying brightness.
5 to 3. 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.0 to 7." or "ideal" rating.0 to 1. in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above). AGS Diamond Grading System On the inside fold of an AGS Diamond Quality grading report there is a legend explaining the unique AGS nomenclature with comparisons to GIA's grading system.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering.3. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram.0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless .5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light . . the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless .0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light .5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint . where facets intersect with each-other.5. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles. all measured in three spacial dimensions.5 to 4." Document Security Each AGS grading document is marked with a hologram (dark circle at lower right of report) and watermarking or embossing to prevent fraudulent duplication. relative facet angles. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond.1.7. and individual facet ratios.
com Diamonds and other precious and semi-precious gemstones are extracted from the earth using five basic mining techniques. minerals. Accessing the underground ore is achieved via a horizontal passageway called a "decline. the stability of the material that surrounds that desired gem or mineral. The AGS supplies 'facet arrangement' templates corresponding to their cutgrading system. Dubai.42 Carat D. and can only be accessed by tunneling underground and creating underground "rooms" or "stopes" that are supported by timber pillars or standing rock. which are used by non-contact measuring-device manufacturers such as Sarin Technologies. 2. left) refers to various techniques used to extract gems. 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. and ore bodies that are in situ.Triple-0 Round Brilliant Setting 'American Star Diamond' 13. India and Israel. and octagon step-cut diamonds. and the peripheral damage that will be done to the surrounding environment. through AGS offices in Antwerp. Obtaining an AGS Report AGS is a 'trade-industry' testing laboratory that will only evaluate diamonds sent from jewelers or manufacturers. 3. Artisanal Mining Hard Rock Mining Marine Mining Open Pit Mining Placer Mining Hard-Rock Diamond Mining The term "hard-rock mining" (top of page. The principle methods of diamond extraction are: 1. unmounted diamonds." or a by a vertical "shaft. AGS offers laser inscription services as well. AGS will also provide analysis of a manufacturers 'cut performance' by analyzing a sample stone's Sarin file. 4. and OGI Systems. the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA)." A decline is a spiral (corkscrew) tunnel which circles the ore deposit. so that the cutter can improve the light performance of their cut stones. AGSL reports will also grade cut quality for emerald. OctoNus Software. AGS will only evaluate loose.Extraction Methods Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Additionally. Pricing for a diamond grading report is based on carat weight. while a shaft is . These diamond extraction methods vary depending on how the minerals are deposited within the earth. 5. Diamonds: Gem & Diamond Mining Technology Photos: Public Domain Diamond & Gem Mining . princess. and will soon be offering cut evaluations for other fancy shapes. As of 2005.
Open pit mines are typically used when mineral deposits are found close to the surface or along defined kimberlite pipes. and access to the ore. and have a specific gravity that is higher than that of common minerals.Photo: USGS Alluvial Diamond . right) with bare hands. Excavation is accomplished using water pressure (hydraulic mining). the gravels are separated and sorted into three sizes. with the middle size being a candidate for final sorting. and or colluvial secondary deposits. which concentrate the heavier gems at the bottom. or large conical sieves. Placer Mining Placer diamond mining. Gems are separated from waste material using various sifting and sorting techniques such as cone screens. Artisanal diamond mining is a form of "subsistence based" non-mechanized mining that is used in poorer countries throughout the world. rock or sedimentary soil. or sort material according to size. or hand digging (artisanal mining).Smithsonian Museum Open pit mining is used when the surface material (overburden) covering the deposit is relatively thin and/or the desired minerals are imbedded within structurally unstable earth (cinder. or sand) that is unsuitable for tunneling. highly resistant to weathering. box screens. Diamonds and most gemstones are hard. Horizontal mining employs the use of Seabed Crawlers (remotely controlled. Marine diamond mining employs both "vertical" and "horizontal" techniques to extract diamonds from offshore placer deposits. gravel. also known as "open-cast mining" (top of page. also known as "sand-bank mining" (top of page.vertical tunnel used for ore haulage. or pans. CAT-tracked underwater mining vehicles) move across the sea floor pumping gravel up to an offshore vessel. eluvial. 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. right) is used for extracting diamonds and minerals from alluvial. Small "pit lakes" tend to form at the bottom of open-pit mines as a result of groundwater intrusion. . Marine Mining Marine mining technology only became commercially viable in the early 1990s. Open Pit Mining Open-pit diamond mining. mechanized surface excavating equipment. at a maximum depth of 500 feet. Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . A decline is typically used for mining personnel. and is a derivative form of open-cast mining used to extract minerals from the surface of the earth without the use of tunneling. center) is a method of extracting rock and minerals from the earth by removal from a machine-dug open pit or burrow. machinery. running adjacent to the ore. they tend to concentrate in alluvial deposits in the same way that gold placers develop. therefore. Laborers who work in artisanal diamond mining are called "diamond diggers" (below left). 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. shovels. While on board.
Artisanal diamond mining is used throughout west Africa. It is also used extensivly in Angola. Many kimberlite pipes also produce alluvial diamond placer deposits. phlogopite. pyroxene. Kimberlites are found as "dikes" and "volcanic pipes" which underlie and are the source for rare and relatively small volcanoes or "maars" (above. Kimberlite pipes can lie directly underneath shallow lakes formed in the inactive volcanic calderas or craters. Kimberlite pipes are the most significant source of diamonds. diamonds are carried to the surface of the earth by volcanic activity. serpentine. rock fragments. left) or "yellow-ground" kimberlite and can be found worldwide. right). Diamond bearing kimberlite in some parts of South Africa is black in color (above.North Cape" below). Diamonds: Diamond Geology Diamond Geology & Kimberlites Kimberlite Pipes Diamonds form at a depth greater than 93 miles (150 kilometers) beneath the earth's surface. and upper mantle rock. yet only about 1 in every 200 kimberlite pipes contain gem-quality diamonds. 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 . in conflict zones where mechanized mining is impractical and unsafe. Kimberlite occurs in the zone of the Earth's crust in vertical structures known as kimberlite pipes (above. right). garnet. Most kimberlite is called "blue-ground" kimberlite (above. olivine. and Liberia. As this molten mixture of magma (molten rock). left). and diamonds approaches the earth's surface it begins to form an underground structure (pipe) that is shaped like a champagne-flute. minerals. After their formation. These pipes are called "kimberlites" or "kimberlite pipes" (see diagram below). . Artisanal diamond mining accounts for 90% of Sierra Leone's diamond exports and is the country's second largest employer after subsistence farming. Kimberlite is a diamondiferous igneous-rock matrix composed of carbonate. with a variety of trace minerals. the Congo (DROC).
left) and marine gravels of the south-western coastline of Africa represent the some of the world's largest placer diamond deposits. Breccia is a rock composed of angular fragments of several minerals or rocks in a matrix. . This results in a martini-glass shaped diamondiferous deposit as opposed to kimberlite's champagne flute shape. or "cementing material. or different in composition to the fragments themselves. These dried 'lakes' receive river water during seasonal flooding which transports large amounts of sediment held in suspension. There are several types of breccia which are categorized based on their geological origin. Alluvial Diamonds from Africa . Lamproite pipes are created in a similar manner to kimberlite pipes. or breccia-filled volcanic pipe that is formed by gas or volatile explosive magma which has breached the surface to form a "tuff" (consolidated volcanic ash) cone.Open Pit Mine .' which are created by abandoned river meanders. Diamondiferous material tends to concentrate in and around 'oxbow lakes. The Argyle pipe is a diatreme.Photo: Public Domain Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . resulting in a broader cone of eviscerated rock at the surface. including: hydrothermal breccia. igneous breccia. impact breccia. except that boiling water and volatile compounds contained in the magma act corrosively on the overlying rock. sedimentary breccia. 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. known as the Sperrgebiet or "forbidden territory. usually from kimberlite deposits.Photo: NASA The alluvial terrace gravels (below. The world's largest known gem quality alluvial diamond deposits are located along the Namib Desert coastline of southwestern Africa." that may be similar. Alluvial (Placer) Diamond Deposits The location of alluvial (secondary or placer) diamond deposits is controlled by the surrounding topography." and along the Orange River near Alexander Bay. Alluvial diamond deposits are usually located within river terrace gravels that have been transported from their location of origin. and tectonic breccia.Photo: Public Domain Lamproite Pipes Lamproite pipes produce diamonds to a lesser extent than kimberlite pipes.
channels or other trapsites for diamondiferous deposits.Photo: Wiki Diamond-Bearing 'Diamondiferous' Gravel Many of these alluvial diamond deposits occur in Pleistocene and Holocene successions (1. 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. The diamonds within these deposits were transported from deeply-eroded diamondiferous kimberlites or. depressions. from olivine lamproites formed during the Cretaceous or Permo-Triassic period.com . Some of the largest and highest gemquality diamonds produced from alluvial placer diamond mining have come from this region.8 million to 10.Namibia's placer diamond deposits are between 40 and 80 million years old. Diamonds in marine areas are typically trapped in bedrock depressions such as gullies. Alluvial Terrace Gravels . made their way to the sea bed just offshore. in central South Africa and Botswana. to a lesser extent. Diamonds that were transported downstream. potholes. but were not deposited on land.9k and 101. carried from their primary origination point on the Kaapvaal Craton.8k. Diamond Mines of the World: Active Diamond Mines List of Active Diamond Mines All Contents Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. including Angola's two largest diamonds at 105.000 years ago). Westward draining river systems transported these diamonds to Africa's continental coastline for final deposition within on-shore marine terrace gravels.
map Koidu Open Pit Mines: Kimberlite open-pit mines just south of Koidu. 3. map Ekati Diamond Mine: Canada's first diamond mining operation. 75% De Beers ownership. Open-pit mine De Beers operated. Lubilash) Alluvial river mines in Kasaï. 1. 2. De Beers/Botswana. mostly industrial grade. map Orapa Diamond Mine: (resting place for lions) Largest/oldest of four . Owned by Endiama (40%) & Trans Hex (35%). map Canada North West Territories (NWT) 1. map Orange River (Daberas) Mines: Orange River alluvium. 75% De Beers ownership. 2. map Williamson Diamond Mine: (aka Mwadui mine) Open Pit mine. map Venetia Diamond Mine: Limpopo. and a host of other counties with operational and/or historic alluvial. Closed in 2006. 1. There are also several African nations with ongoing off-shore dredging/vacuming operations. map Koffiefontein Diamond Mine: The Koffiefontein mine opened in 1870. 5. 3.closed. 2. 4. Catoca Diamond Mine: Fourth largest diamond mine in world. map Fucauma Diamond Mine: Newly constructed.DeBeers/Botswana. 1. 1. located in NWT.Currently there are eleven major 'diamond producing' nations. MIBA. map River Ranch Diamond Mine: Open Pit & Underground mine. map The Oaks Diamond Mine: In Limpopo province. map Letseng Diamond Mine: Open-cast mine in Maluti Mountains 70 km from Mokhotlong. map Borneo Cempaka/Riam Kanan. Diavik Diamond Mine: The Diavik diamond mine is located in the NWT. map Bakwanga Mine: (aka Bushimaïe. 3. De Beers / Botswana. map Elizabeth Bay Mine: Open-cast mine in Namib desert. Odebrecht (50%).De Beers / Botswana. south of Lüderitz. and any relevant geographic data. These lists also contains new project explorations. Luarica Diamond Mine: Owned by Endiama (38%) & Trans Hex (32%). map Botswana Congo (DROC or RDC) Lesotho Namibia Sierra Leone South Africa Tanzania Zimbabwe Australia East Kimberley 1. Waldman Resources. 1. links to satellite images of the mines (where available). Cempaka Diamond Mines: Alluvials mined by indigenous artisanal Kalimantan miners. 2. Rio Tinto. 3. Luzamba Diamond Mine: Angola's largest alluvial mine. map Damtshaa Diamond Mine: (water for a tortoise) New open pit mine. 2. 75% De Beers ownership map Murowa Diamond Mine: Open Pit & Underground mine. 4. map Kimberley Diamond Mine: Started in 1871. Endiama (50%). Namdeb. Israel. 2. map Magna Egoli Mine: Largest mechanized mine in Sierra Leone. Namdeb Namib Gov. map Forminière Diamond Mine: Alluvial mine located on the River Tshikapa. produces over 40% of world's gem-quality diamonds. map Letlhakane Diamond Mine: ("little reeds") second oldest of four . Active Mines | Inactive Mines | Future Exploration | Mining Companies Africa Angola 1. map Koidu-Sefadu Mines: Subsistence digging in alluvium pits west of Koidu. in Kasaï . South Kalimantan 1. 2. 3. 7. Trans Hex. open pit. and hard rock diamond mines. map Marine Mining: Namco Mining operates a dredging fleet off the west coast of Namibia. map Baken Diamond Mine: Located along Orange River in North Cape. Kimberlite pipe. Argyle Diamond Mine: Largest producer in world. map Cullinan Diamond Mine: Open Pit/Hard Rock diamond mine owned by De Beers. 1. 1. map Finsch Diamond Mine: Finsch is an open-pit mine near Lime Acres. map . 6. mining industry inside news. 4. the Kimberley Open Pits closed in 2005. So Africa. De Beers operated. mining operator info. 2. map Jwaneng Diamond Mine: (place of small stones) richest mine in world. 1.
Panna Diamond Mine: Alluvial mine in state of Madhya Pradesh. and Sytykan. map Anabar GOK Mine: The norther most location of Russia's diomond mines.India Madhya Pradesh 1. map Jubilee (Yubileinaya) Mine: Newer open-pit kimberlite mine near Udachny. Jubilee. 2. map Udachnaya (Udachny) Pipe Mine: One of the deepest diamond mines in the world. 3. Mirna Mine: Largest diamond deposit in Russia and one of the largest in the world. map . Alrosa. 4. 5. map Russia Siberia 1. Aikhal GOK Mine: Three open-pit kimberlite pipe mines: Aikhal.