All About Gemstones: Diamonds

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

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

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

The 4 Cs of Diamonds: Cut

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

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

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

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

All of that has changed with the AGS Cut Grading system and GIA's new "Cut Grading System".Good Cut Fair Cut Poor Cut Cut Proportions In the past. The chart below shows several common problems to look for.e. when one incorrect facet angle can throw off the symmetry of the entire stone. 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. 2 The proportion and symmetry of the cuts as well as the quality of the polish are factors in determining the overall quality of the cut. and the pavillion will have 25 facets. The crown will have 33 facets. a Round Brilliant cut that does not have the proper proportions and symmetry (off-make) will have noticeably less brilliance. This can also result in the undesirable creation of extra facets beyond the required 58. 64. Common cutting problems can occur during the faceting process. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. 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. pavilion and crown angle) and did not provide a subjective ranking of how good the cut was. or 96 facets which are not counted in the total number of facets (58). 80. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. Fig. An Ideal Cut or Premium Cut "Round Brilliant" diamond has the following basic proportions according to the AGS: Table Size: 53% to 60% of the diameter Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35 degrees Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Facets: 58 (57 if the culet is excluded) Polish & Symmetry: very good to excellent The girdle on a Modern Round Brilliant can have 32. 3 . Poor Diamond Faceting and Symmetry Due to the mathmatics involved in light refraction. Only a trained eye could see the quality of a good cut. Fig. Other variations of the "Modern Round Brilliant" include the "Ideal Brilliant" which was invented by Johnson and Roesch in 1929.

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

Color Carat weight is one of the 4 C's. and a 2 carat diamond is 200 points.086 grains) or 0.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. The 4 C's of Diamonds: Carat (Weight) The 4 C's Diamond Grading System 1. "Heart. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. a 1/2 carat diamond would be 50 points. Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics. 5 Popular fancy cuts include the "Baguette" (bread loaf)." "Briolette" (a form of Rose cut).007 ounce. a 3/4 carat diamond is 75 points. The "fancy cuts" are generally not held to the same strict standards as Round Brilliants. and with each point being 2 milligrams in weight. and the Pear. "Marquise" or "Navette" (little boat). 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.C. Carat 3.W. CARAT Balancing Cut and Weight A diamond or gemstone's "Carat" designation is a measurement of both the size and weight of the stone. your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the "4 C's" diamond grading system. Clarity 4.2 grams (200 milligrams or 3." . Therefor. Cut 2. As a consumer. One "Carat" is a unit of mass that is equal to 0. "Princess" (square outline).

Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a . as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between .The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. or "seed of the carob". The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut.5 carat 1. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales.600 8. girdle and pavilion. It is for this reason that an even 1. it must be accurate to the second decimal place. Price Per Carat (2005) . By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry.VS1 Carat Size</ 0.99 carat diamond for its better price.504 carats.0 carat 3. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place.204 carat. 40º pavilion. or to buy a 1.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone. clarity and weight.5º crown.600 6. In ancient times.Grade: F Colorless . a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity . or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond.750 30. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of .495 carats and . See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison.0 carat 1. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown.800 6. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1.600 12.500 15.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place. Occasionally.5 carat 2. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat.195 and .10 carat diamond for its better cut." If the carat weight is shown as ". that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York.5 carats must have an actual weight of between . This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above.

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

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

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

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

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

Under the continental crust. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes. diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation. Therefore. with the principle allotrope being graphite. Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1.Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time.52. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km). they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits. . and pyroxene. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0. and differentiates it from simple graphite.200 degrees Celsius)." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon. A diamond is a transparent. ultramafic. Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures. a refractive index of 2. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses. The name "diamond." is derived from the Greek adamas. olivine. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale.044." "untamable. 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. At these depths." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic. Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" [2]. igneous rock composed of garnet. phlogopite." and "unconquerable. which resemble a champagne flute. with a variety of trace minerals." which is also known as "adamant." referring to its incredible hardness. and a specific gravity of 3.42. or "invincible. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical.

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

Although diamond is the "hardest. Particular cuts of diamond are more prone to breakage along cleavage planes. Hematite has a hardness of only 5." which only denotes a diamond's high resistance to scratching. most scratch resistant mineral on earth." and therefore. with a Mohs scale rating of 10.5 to 6.Trace impurities. but its toughness rating is also excellent. meaning that a diamond is 4 times "harder" than sapphire. Thermal Properties of Diamonds Diamond is a good conductor of heat. By comparrison. the term "toughness" describes the resistance of a given material to fracture when it is stressed or impacted. is a facet specifically designed to resist breakage. a diamond's "toughness" is only fair to good. acting as a "thermal conductor.5. its "toughness" rating is moderate. Unlike "hardness. yet sapphire has a toughness rating of excellent. pressure and space can also affect the final shape of a formed crystal.© AGS Labs Hexagonal (Graphite) Platelet Inclusion . Many natural blue . Carbon Inclusion . making it seem cold.© AGS Labs Diamond Toughness Within the fields of metallurgy and materials science. due to its ability to fracture along cleavage planes. A material's toughness is measured in units of "joules" per cubic meter (J/m3) in the SI system. and "pound-force" per square-inch in US units of measurement. sapphire has a hardness rating of 9. and therefore may be uninsurable by reputable insurance companies. Diamond Graphitization In extremely high temperature environments above 1700 ¡C." If you were to place a large enough diamond on your tongue it would draw heat away. Additionally. very thin girdles on brilliant cut diamonds are also prone to breakage. and varying growth conditions of heat. causing stress fractures or feathers. Internally formed crystallographic graphite inclusions often create intense strain on the surrounding diamond. graphite can develop internally and on the diamond's surface. crystal twinning. The culet facet at the bottom of the pavilion.

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

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

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

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

. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. and the De Young Red weighing 5.03 carats. pure green hues. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red.90 carats. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond. greyish-green.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste. The color change effect is temporary. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds.000 in 1987. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems.000 to $500. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply. On thing is certain. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness [9]. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. Green diamonds can range from $35. and weighed a modest 0.000 per carat.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). Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13.' discovered during the 18th century. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits. Intense.95carats. or a combination of the two. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation. Warren Hancock.

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

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

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. 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. and is reproduced with their permission. Nevada. Internal cloud inclusions may not resolve as pinpoints at 10X . which can leave their own types of unique inclusions.

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




Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.

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



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

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



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. and haze within a cut diamond. .

Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .

Growth Tube Inclusion Photos Internal Growth Tubes Inclusion Photography Internal Growth Tube inclusions are natural Imperfections that are created during diamond formation.Growth Tubes Imperfection formed during crystal growth. 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 .

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

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. With internal laser-drilling inclusions. 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.


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

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

Twinning Wisps Inclusions and defects resulting from crystal-twining during crystal growth. Twinning Wisp inclusions can be accompanied by internal graining and/or strain feathers. Twinning Wisp Inclusion Photos Twinning Wisps Inclusion Photography Twinning Wisp inclusions are naturally-occurring structural defects with a diamond. resulting from crystal twining during the growth process. 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). Knot diamond inclusions can potentially be the cause of man-made drag-line inclusions. appearing as a raised area. appearing as a raised area on the diamond's surface. .




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





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


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

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

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

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



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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

etc. Arizona. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight.060. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent. 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. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2.65 to 2. is classified as an element rather than a compound.A small. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. candle.104 as compared to CZ at 0.) in a dark room. 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. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. when examining the gem through the kite facets. Henri Moissan (above. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ. found only in iron-nickel Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum).044. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. and diamond at 0.69. 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. while diamond has a hardness of 10.25 on the Mohs scale. Moissanite has an RI of 2. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. Moissanite has a hardness of 9. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2.670. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.417. center) near Winslow.

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

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

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

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

and Proportions.. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design. invented in 1929.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed. As with all human endeavors. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant". AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. Symmetry. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect.6% and overall height of 57. H&A Viewer. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios. crown height of 14.N.7%. To quantify a diamond's cut quality.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42." (Scandinavian standard. etc. Since then. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut.4%. Eppler & Scan D. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%.5% to 43. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. very small to small In the 1970s.7%. more brilliance and fire.' 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. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57.N. A perfect blending of facet symmetry. Tolkowsky. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope. Ideal Scope. facet ratios. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor).5%. . and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts. and overall height of 57. crown height of 14. The "Scan D. and crown/pavilion angles.

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

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

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

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

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

the "old single cut" (aka "old eight cut") diamond has the addition of corner facets to create an octagonal girdle. and eight pavilion facets. The briolette cut was designed primarily for use in a pendant or as a dangling bauble in a crown. Also called the "cushion cut". eight bezel or crown facets. The crown is typically tall. The "briolette cut" is a modified "double Dutch rose cut" with one of the hemispheres being elongated.1500s Invented in the mid 16th century. the "rose cut" is also known by the the "Antwerp rose. The briolette was the precursor to the "pendeloque cut" which is a pear-shaped modification of the round brilliant cut. The culet is usually large enough to be visible when viewed through the table.late 1300s Invented in the late 14th century. The "senaille cut" is a rose cut with irregular or non-symmetrical faceting.1700s The "old mine" cut is the earliest form of the "brilliant cut" diamond. . The single cut may or may not have a culet at the bottom." "Dutch cut. Old Mine Cut . it has a cushioned or rounded girdle shape. The Rose cut can form a single hemisphere for a total of 24 facets or it can be two back-to-back hemispheres (Double Dutch rose) forming a total of 48 facets." "crowned rose cut." and the Full Holland cut. This Old Mine cut is basically square with gently rounded corners and "brilliant" style facets. resulting in a smaller table. Rose & Briolette Cut.Single Cut . an octagonal table.

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

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

and retailers [5]. and Thailand.De Beers Sightholders The DTC holds a sale called a "site" or "sight" ten times per year in London and Johannesburg. or to jewelry manufacturers (#5) around the world. to take advantage of market fluctuations. De Beers and the Future De Beers' (CSO's) control over the wholesale diamond market has diminished due to increased market penetration. De Beers. .20 carats or less) in Mumbai (Bombay) and Surat. Tel Aviv. De Beers (DTC) sets the price of each box in advance. Ramat Gan. Both traders and manufacturers may sell diamonds "upstream" and "downstream" through the diamond pipeline [8].com website). Many Sightholders are also cutters. Other major cutting centers are located in Johannesburg. Once the diamonds are set into jewelry. (see DeBeers' Adiamondisforever. De Beers is also facing increasing pressure from the manufactures of synthetic diamonds. diamonds have underperformed since 1987 when compared to the "luxury goods" market or global GDP.000.000 USD. and the breakaway from CSO's cartel by the Argyle Diamond Mine in Australia. has launched an aggressive branding and marketing campaign. China. where De Beers sells the "boxes" to its select group ("supplier of choice") of 125 "sightholders" (#3) or diamond manufacturers. which are increasing in popularity and consumer acceptance. while large stones are primarily cut in Antwerp. A 'sight' can have a value of between $500. reclaiming their "A Diamond Is Forever" moniker. they are sold to retailers or direct to the customer. and New York. cutters. The diamonds are then re-sold from the cutting and polishing (manufacturing) centers to wholesalers (Diamond Bourses). through their Diamond Promotion Service (DPS) and Diamond Information Centres (DIC) marketing divisions. Rough diamonds are cut in various geographic regions according to tradition and the skill-sets of the labor force. As a reaction to their decrease in market share. determining the quantity and quality that each site-holder will receive. Russia and elswhere. and independent diamond producers in Canada. The sightholder then transports the box of rough diamonds back to diamantaire firms (cutting and polishing factories) located around the world (#4).000 to $2. Additionally. India cuts the vast majority of small stones (.

KPCS originated in May 2000 during a meeting of South African diamond producing states in Kimberley. Forevermark diamonds will be available through sightholder/retailers in the U. 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. This mark is only visible via a point-of-sale electronic viewer. the European Union and the United Nations to rid the diamond Industry of conflict diamonds. The Diamond High Council (HRD) The HRD (Hoge Raad voor Diamant) Diamond High Council is a non-profit industry organization designed to promote and represent the Antwerp diamond trade. are sold in Antwerp every year. The Kimberley Process The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme or KPCS is designed to prevent conflict diamonds (aka "blood diamonds") entering into the mainstream rough diamond market [5]. traders and manufacturer/producers. Asia. Diamond Bourses are basically trading exchanges for The word "Bourse" refers to a private stock. and will com with a certificate of authenticity. and about half of the polished diamonds. the WDC has observers from the governments of Belgium. Belgium but there are also Diamond Bourses in Israel. Europe. and the city is the hub of the global diamond trading industry (diamanthandel). De Beers is hoping that the combination of branding and security will increase consumer demand. Hoveniersstraat.. the DTC has developed new inscription technologies to "invisibly" mark the table facet of polished diamonds with a "Forevermark" trademark.Forevermark Diamonds As a way of staving off the onslaught of secondary diamond markets. cut and uncut diamonds. and India (2007). The Diamond Trade: Diamond Bourses of Antwerp Diamond Bourses Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. heavily guarded geographic area surrounded by three main streets. NY [4]. bond. South Africa. In addition to its members. Almost 85% of the world's rough diamonds. The Council has approximately 70 members representing jewelers. also known as the "World Diamond Center" or Diamantenzentrum. some 1.500 diamond dealers (diamantbedrijven) are ensconced in small. China. Schupstraat. London. or commodities exchange similar to the NYSE. Hong Kong. Israel and South Africa and works with 35 independent Governments. The largest diamond trading center in the world is located in Antwerp. The Council began in July 2000 after a joint meeting of the WFDB and its international headquarters are in New York City. The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates [9]. . and Shanghai. Moscow. The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base. As of 2006. and preventing the inherent product misidentification that will follow.S. and Rijfstraat. Within Antwerp's diamond district.

Around $16+ billion in polished diamonds pass through Antwerp's diamond bourses each year. the Antwerpsche Diamantkring was reopened. making it the largest diamond-trading center in the world [3].Photo: Wiki Public The first trading exchange to deal exclusively with rough. Beurs voor Diamanthandel . In Antwerp's 'Diamond Center' (Diamantenzentrum) today.Antwerp's Diamond District Two of the oldest Diamond Bourse (Bourse van de diamant or diamantenbšrsen) in Antwerp were the 'Diamond Club of Antwerp' (Diamantclub van Antwerpen—at Pelikaanstraat 62. founded in 1893—and the Beurs voor Diamanthande (at Pelikaanstraat 78) founded in 1904 [1]. Most transactions conducted within the Bourses done with cash and a handshake. 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. friendship and trust [2]. and both are still in operation today. uncut diamonds was the Antwerpsche Diamantkring (Antwerp Diamond Ring) [2]. regulations. After the liberation. which was established in the same year that the 1930 World Expo was held in Antwerp. bisected by Hoveniersstraat street. Both bourse were founded by Hasidim diamantairs. These first trading exchanges mainly dealt with the wholesaling of cut stones. and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) was founded in 1947. Control over the diamond trade is maintained through the WFDB's Constitution containing a series of rules. The Diamond High Council (HRD) . and repatriation of Antwerp following the end of WWII. and disputes are handled by an internal arbitration process. there are around 4000 diamond-cutters (diamantaire) working in the several-square-block diamond district. ethics and morality. an by-laws that govern business practices.

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

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

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

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

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

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

Joseph Kabila (above. employing 22. Hong Kong. The company has cutting factories in Antwerp. the 'United Nations Industrial Development Orginization' (UNIDO). Kabila. and the end to South African apartheid in 1994. Kabbah. president José Eduardo dos Santos is preventing democratic elections from taking place. dos Santos. After years of fighting between the PMLA and UNITA. Thailand. with one of the fastest per-capita income growth rates in the world. into a global position with nearly $1 Billion a year in sales. Bombay. both domestically and internationally. UAE. many of the ex-colonial nations of Sub-Saharan Africa are starting to emerge as powerful and legitimate forces in the diamond industry. Singapore. Domain N. At the age of 29. created a program for capacity-building of 'small and medium-sized enterprise' (SME) development. is making great strides in stabilizing the country after years of strife. is receiving broad support from the South Africa. left). The last democratic election in Angola was in 1992. all who have signed multi-million dollar trade deals.Vijaydimon (Belgium) and B Vijaykumar (India) .W. Diamonds and the African Nationals Photos: Public Domain Kabila. & Mogae Starting with Botswana's independence in 1966. the political situation in Angola has begun to normalize. In a post-conflict reconstruction effort. President Festus Mogae was elected for a second term in 2004. only hinting at their possibility in 2007 or 2008. succeeded his father (Laurent-Désiré Kabila) as president the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC) after his assassination in January 2001. Surat. China. After winning a disicive re-election victory in 2006.000 workers. Vijaydimon is a DTC sightholder with offices in Belgium. Angola and from mining magnates. Vijaydimon also purchases rough diamonds from Canada's Diavik Mine and Argyle (Rio Tinto) and Russia [21]. Bangkok. Botswana is a relatively wealthy African country. The president of Sierra Leone. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. Botswana has held regular elections and has been one of the more stable governments in southern Africa. India. and enjoys broad support. Diamonds and the Americans Photo: Pub. who was a major general in the army. and the United States. and Tel Aviv. Mandela. Palanpur. Ayer & Son . On a somewhat darker note. working in cooperation with the government of Sierra Leone.

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

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

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

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

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

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

When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering." Document Security Each AGS grading document is marked with a hologram (dark circle at lower right of report) and watermarking or embossing to prevent fraudulent duplication.5 to 4.5.1. all measured in three spacial dimensions. in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above).7. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles." or "ideal" rating.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint . AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless . .0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light .0 to 7. the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light . relative facet angles. where facets intersect with each-other. 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. and individual facet ratios.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero. AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond.0 to 1.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003. In the upper left corner of the document there is a unique AGS reference number that can be used when contacting AGS with questions about your report.5 to 3.3.0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless .

and OGI Systems. India and Israel. left) refers to various techniques used to extract gems. the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA). and can only be accessed by tunneling underground and creating underground "rooms" or "stopes" that are supported by timber pillars or standing rock. 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. OctoNus Software." or a by a vertical "shaft.Extraction Methods Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. The principle methods of diamond extraction are: 1. AGS offers laser inscription services as well. Diamonds and other precious and semi-precious gemstones are extracted from the earth using five basic mining techniques." A decline is a spiral (corkscrew) tunnel which circles the ore deposit. 5. and the peripheral damage that will be done to the surrounding environment. These diamond extraction methods vary depending on how the minerals are deposited within the earth.Triple-0 Round Brilliant Setting 'American Star Diamond' 13. which are used by non-contact measuring-device manufacturers such as Sarin Technologies. 4.42 Carat D. Obtaining an AGS Report AGS is a 'trade-industry' testing laboratory that will only evaluate diamonds sent from jewelers or manufacturers. unmounted diamonds. AGS will only evaluate loose. As of 2005. minerals. Additionally. through AGS offices in Antwerp. The AGS supplies 'facet arrangement' templates corresponding to their cutgrading system. so that the cutter can improve the light performance of their cut stones. and octagon step-cut diamonds. Diamonds: Gem & Diamond Mining Technology Photos: Public Domain Diamond & Gem Mining . princess. Accessing the underground ore is achieved via a horizontal passageway called a "decline. AGSL reports will also grade cut quality for emerald. 2. while a shaft is . Artisanal Mining Hard Rock Mining Marine Mining Open Pit Mining Placer Mining Hard-Rock Diamond Mining The term "hard-rock mining" (top of page. and will soon be offering cut evaluations for other fancy shapes. 3. and ore bodies that are in situ. Pricing for a diamond grading report is based on carat weight. AGS will also provide analysis of a manufacturers 'cut performance' by analyzing a sample stone's Sarin file. the stability of the material that surrounds that desired gem or mineral.

running adjacent to the ore. highly resistant to weathering. Horizontal mining employs the use of Seabed Crawlers (remotely controlled. machinery. Artisanal diamond mining is a form of "subsistence based" non-mechanized mining that is used in poorer countries throughout the world. Open Pit Mining Open-pit diamond mining. Placer Mining Placer diamond mining.Photo: USGS Alluvial Diamond . the gravels are separated and sorted into three sizes. center) is a method of extracting rock and minerals from the earth by removal from a machine-dug open pit or burrow. they tend to concentrate in alluvial deposits in the same way that gold placers develop. or large conical sieves. A decline is typically used for mining personnel. or hand digging (artisanal mining). or sand) that is unsuitable for tunneling. and or colluvial secondary deposits. with the middle size being a candidate for final sorting. eluvial. gravel. which concentrate the heavier gems at the bottom. right) with bare hands. and have a specific gravity that is higher than that of common minerals. Small "pit lakes" tend to form at the bottom of open-pit mines as a result of groundwater intrusion. or sort material according to size. right) is used for extracting diamonds and minerals from alluvial. CAT-tracked underwater mining vehicles) move across the sea floor pumping gravel up to an offshore vessel. box screens.vertical tunnel used for ore haulage. mechanized surface excavating equipment. shovels. Gems are separated from waste material using various sifting and sorting techniques such as cone screens. While on board. Excavation is accomplished using water pressure (hydraulic mining). and access to the ore. also known as "open-cast mining" (top of page.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. Diamonds and most gemstones are hard. or pans. . therefore. at a maximum depth of 500 feet. also known as "sand-bank mining" (top of page. rock or sedimentary soil. Marine Mining Marine mining technology only became commercially viable in the early 1990s. Vertical marine mining uses a 6 to 7 meter diameter drill head to cut into the seabed and suck up the diamond bearing material from the sea bed. Marine diamond mining employs both "vertical" and "horizontal" techniques to extract diamonds from offshore placer deposits. Open pit mines are typically used when mineral deposits are found close to the surface or along defined kimberlite pipes. and is a derivative form of open-cast mining used to extract minerals from the surface of the earth without the use of tunneling. Laborers who work in artisanal diamond mining are called "diamond diggers" (below left). 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. Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix .

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

Photo: NASA The alluvial terrace gravels (below. These dried 'lakes' receive river water during seasonal flooding which transports large amounts of sediment held in suspension. igneous breccia. impact breccia. known as the Sperrgebiet or "forbidden territory. Alluvial Diamonds from Africa .' which are created by abandoned river meanders. or "cementing material. and tectonic breccia." and along the Orange River near Alexander Bay. except that boiling water and volatile compounds contained in the magma act corrosively on the overlying rock. resulting in a broader cone of eviscerated rock at the surface. Alluvial diamond deposits are usually located within river terrace gravels that have been transported from their location of origin. 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. 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. . There are several types of breccia which are categorized based on their geological origin. 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. left) and marine gravels of the south-western coastline of Africa represent the some of the world's largest placer diamond deposits. Alluvial (Placer) Diamond Deposits The location of alluvial (secondary or placer) diamond deposits is controlled by the surrounding topography. including: hydrothermal breccia." that may be similar.Open Pit Mine . Lamproite pipes are created in a similar manner to kimberlite pipes.Photo: Public Domain Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . or different in composition to the fragments themselves. The Argyle pipe is a diatreme. The world's largest known gem quality alluvial diamond deposits are located along the Namib Desert coastline of southwestern Africa. Diamondiferous material tends to concentrate in and around 'oxbow lakes.Photo: Public Domain Lamproite Pipes Lamproite pipes produce diamonds to a lesser extent than kimberlite pipes. sedimentary breccia. usually from kimberlite deposits. . depressions. but were not deposited on land.Namibia's placer diamond deposits are between 40 and 80 million years old. Some of the largest and highest gemquality diamonds produced from alluvial placer diamond mining have come from this region. Diamonds in marine areas are typically trapped in bedrock depressions such as gullies. Alluvial diamond mining in Angola takes place along a meandering stretch of the Cuango River floodplain which is also along the south-western coastline of Africa. Diamonds that were transported downstream. including Angola's two largest diamonds at 105.000 years ago).9k and 101. channels or other trapsites for diamondiferous deposits. Alluvial Terrace Gravels . from olivine lamproites formed during the Cretaceous or Permo-Triassic period.Photo: Wiki Diamond-Bearing 'Diamondiferous' Gravel Many of these alluvial diamond deposits occur in Pleistocene and Holocene successions (1. The diamonds within these deposits were transported from deeply-eroded diamondiferous kimberlites or. to a lesser extent. made their way to the sea bed just offshore. Diamond Mines of the World: Active Diamond Mines List of Active Diamond Mines All Contents Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. potholes. in central South Africa and Botswana.8 million to 10. carried from their primary origination point on the Kaapvaal Craton. Westward draining river systems transported these diamonds to Africa's continental coastline for final deposition within on-shore marine terrace gravels.

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

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

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