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
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

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

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

Cut 2. The "fancy cuts" are generally not held to the same strict standards as Round Brilliants. a 3/4 carat diamond is 75 points. A carat can also be divided into "points" with one carat being equal to 100 points. The 4 C's of Diamonds: Carat (Weight) The 4 C's Diamond Grading System 1.2 grams (200 milligrams or 3. 5 Popular fancy cuts include the "Baguette" (bread loaf). and the Pear.W. "Heart." . the total mass of all diamonds or gemstones is referred to as "Total Carat Weight" or "T. Carat 3. Clarity 4.007 ounce. When a single piece of jewelry has multiple stones. CARAT Balancing Cut and Weight A diamond or gemstone's "Carat" designation is a measurement of both the size and weight of the stone. As a consumer. and with each point being 2 milligrams in weight." "Briolette" (a form of Rose cut). representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. "Marquise" or "Navette" (little boat).C. Color Carat weight is one of the 4 C's. a 1/2 carat diamond would be 50 points. Therefor. and a 2 carat diamond is 200 points.086 grains) or 0. "Princess" (square outline).Heart Marquise Oval Pear Princess Radiant Round Trillion (not shown at diagram) Fig. your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the "4 C's" diamond grading system. Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics. One "Carat" is a unit of mass that is equal to 0.

or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32.VS1 Carat Size</ 0. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown. In ancient times.600 8.99 carat diamond for its better price. or "seed of the carob".Grade: F Colorless . It is for this reason that an even 1.800 6. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry.5º crown." If the carat weight is shown as ". This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only.495 carats and .0 carat 1. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions.5 carat 1.204 carat.600 6. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight.0 carat 3. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut.10 carat diamond for its better cut.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing. a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight. girdle and pavilion.750 30. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond.504 carats. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a . clarity and weight.600 12. it must be accurate to the second decimal place. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place.195 and .500 15. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above.5 carats must have an actual weight of between . 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between . Occasionally.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity . many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight. or to buy a 1. 40º pavilion. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of .000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat. Price Per Carat (2005) .5 carat 2.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.

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

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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.Pronounced stress fractures and feather inclusions can potentially weaken the stone. and the stress inclusion occurs along the gem's natural cleavage plane. This is especially true if the fracture breeches the stone's surface. As a result. making it susceptible to fracturing when exposed to thermal or physical shock.

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

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.

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Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .

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

Garnet Inclusions within Diamond .

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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.

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Internal Graining with Cloud Inclusion .

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

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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. .

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

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

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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 .

appearing as a raised area.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 on the diamond's surface.

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

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

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and remain visible on the surface of a polished stone. .Natural (N) A raised portion of the rough diamond's original surface structure that remains visible on the surface of a polished stone. Natural Inclusion Photos Natural Diamond Inclusion Photography Natural inclusions (aka Naturals) are naturally-occurring raised portions of the rough diamond's original surface structure that were not removed during the polishing process.

Surface Graining (SGr) Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation. .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.

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

. Drag Lines Created when a 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. during cutting and/or polishing the diamond. Chips Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet. Cavities (Cv) An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing.Burn Marks Created during polishing. the overheating of a facet causes a burn mark. 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 caught by a included crystal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Natural diamonds attract grease.41 (RI).2. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below). CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR). but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye. Unlike most natural diamonds. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible. Due to their low cost and consistency. 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. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease.Detectable to the Naked Eye Light Dispersion: Greater prismatic effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire Lack of Flaws: CZ is virtually flawless. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light.) in a totally dark room. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting. Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond. CZ vs Diamond . and CZs can be made in any "color grade.800 .17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond . Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left). candle. or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. Once the mixture has cooled. etc. 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. or colorless (white) versions. a CZ is optically flawless. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing. Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored. Zirconium oxide powder is heated. .In 1973. The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit. Diamond's RI is 2.170. the greater dispersive power. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight. 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. The 1. CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds.80 to 2. For instance.

Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight.044. when examining the gem through the kite facets. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. 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.670. and diamond at 0. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2.69. Moissanite has an RI of 2.) in a dark room. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ. candle. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. 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.104 as compared to CZ at 0. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. while diamond has a hardness of 10.25 on the Mohs scale.65 to 2. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond.com Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. Henri Moissan (above. center) near Winslow. . rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting.A small. Arizona. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0. is classified as an element rather than a compound. found only in iron-nickel meteorites.417. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. Moissanite has a hardness of 9. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. Moissanite. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. etc.060.

diamonds were used in their natural octahedral state." and the rough stone must be cut with the grain. You can also Inspect the facet edges with a 10x loupe to look for any chipping or slightly rounded or soft (not sharp) edges that are telltale signs of Simulants. Cutting a Rough Diamond ." At the time. Diamond cutting can be traced back to the late Middle Ages. most diamonds have some inclusions Moissanite vs Diamond .Detectable With Testing Double Refraction: Moissanite is double refractive. but significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its high RI. Like wood. Diamonds: Modern Diamond Cutting Diamond Cutting Background One of the hardest substances on earth. Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be more diffused. A similarly sharp. rather than against it. The first improvements on nature's design involved a polishing of the crystal faces. detailed and sharply focused pattern caused by secondary reflections will be seen when observing a diamond. The Modern Round Brilliant cut (below) is the culmination of several hundred years of experimentation and development. Diamond's RI is 2. Table Cut diamonds appeared black to the eye. which was called the "Point Cut.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. Moissanite vs Diamond . one half of the crystal would be cut off. creating the "Table Cut. due to its high refractive index. Prior to this time. caused by primary reflections from the pavilion and CZ's low RI." As further refinement progressed.670. diamonds were valued primarily for their luster and hardness. only a diamond is hard enough to cut other diamonds.A small. although it can be easily cleaved or fractured due to its defined cleavage planes. diamond has a "grain. diamond is singly refractive Refractive Index: Moissanite has a refractive index of 2.417 Moissanite is double refractive (anisotropic) while a natural diamond is singly refractive (isotropic).

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

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

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

4%.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42. Symmetry.' 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. very small to small In the 1970s.N. and Proportions. facet ratios. crown height of 14. more brilliance and fire. . The "Scan D. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts. H&A Viewer. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios.. invented in 1929. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. To quantify a diamond's cut quality. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. Tolkowsky. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant". Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design." (Scandinavian standard. and overall height of 57. etc. A perfect blending of facet symmetry. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed.7%. As with all human endeavors. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). crown height of 14. Since then. Eppler & Scan D.N.5%. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%.6% and overall height of 57.5% to 43. Ideal Scope. and crown/pavilion angles.7%.

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

or the company website.com . The Eternal Cut has a total of 81 facets.garrard. Barocut diamonds are promoted and sold exclusively through the Baroka Creations catalog. Germany. adding up to 50% to the cost when compared to a Round Brilliant cut diamond.baroka. forming a square shape when viewed from the top. Inc. and a total of 81 facets.com Context Cut The Context Cut is a square cut that was developed by Dr. In 1998. and in all diamond colors and/or clarity grades. with star-shaped cross facets cut diagonally into the pavilion. and was the forerunner to the princess cut. Garrard & Co. merged with the jewelry firm Asprey.The Barion square cut (aka Barion square cushion cut) was invented by Basil Watermeyer of South Africa in 1971. nephew to the inventor of the Modern Round Brilliant cut. The Barion square cut diamond has a 4-fold mirror-image symmetry. The Context Cut consists of two back-to-back pyramids (an octahedron).de Eternal Cut The Eternal Cut diamond was designed and patented by master Israeli diamond cutter. The cutting process requires a high-quality rough. The Barocut is available in sizes from 20 points to 3 carats. Barocut The Barocut® diamond cut is a patented. or to increase light-dispersion. to become Asprey & Garrard. Gabi Tolkowsky. creating a unique 'flower petal' pattern surrounding the cutlet. modified rectangular (baguette) cut that was developed by Baroka Creations. Barocut stones are also sold in tapered shapes. The Eternal Cut is being sold exclusively at Garrard's main London store and Harvey Nichols stores in Great Britain. 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. parting ways in 2002 to again become Garrard. A Barocut diamond has a total of 77 facets. Ulrich Freiesleben of Germany in the early 1980s then patented and trademarked in 1997. 81 facets on the cut corner (cushion) version. Marce Tolkowsky. and creates a high amount of waste. and its patent has expired. www. of New York in 2000. The Context Cut follows a rough diamond crystal's natural octahedral shape. It is sold exclusively through the 270 year old firm of Garrard & Company in London. www. and a 'softer' briliance than a traditional round brilliant cut. The Context Cut design was based on an earlier patented design by Bernd Munsteiner from the early 1960s. The cut has a total of 8 facets plus a girdle. www. 23 more than a modern Round Brilliant cut. The Context Cut is used to cut colored gemstones by Julius Petsch of Idar-Oberstein.freiesleben. The name "Barion" or "Barion cut" was never trademarked.

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

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

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

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

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

16 isosceles triangle facets on the crown and 16 facets on the pavilion." The 'Diamond Pipeline' Rough diamonds are sent directly from De Beers mining operations in Africa (#1). 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. Gaborone. there is usually a substantial mark-up in the retail sale price of diamonds. The rough stones are separated into 16. 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). for sorting and resale. Unlike precious metals such as gold. . Kimberley and Windhoek. 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.A "Swiss cut" is a compromise between an eight cut and a brilliant cut. The Diamond Trade: The 'Diamond Pipeline' Rough Diamond Producers Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. color and quality. silver or platinum.com The trade in gem-grade rough diamonds is primarily controlled by the De Beers.000 categories based on size. then divided by human or automated sorters into individual lots called "boxes. There is a limited market for the resale of diamonds that are less than "investment grade. Trans Hex. with a total of 33 facets (34 if a culet is used). which combines ("aggregating") supplies of rough diamonds from multiple sources into one wholesale market (#2). Rio Tinto.

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

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

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

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

Photo: Pub. he began his business interests in South Africa by servicing the "ant hill" of humanity that was descending on Kimberley during the diamond rush of the late 1800s. and later selling steam-powered water pumps to drain the open-pit mines of Kimberley. With the help of the Rothschild bank in London. Barnato died several years later. a curious discovery was being made along the banks of the Orange River. but was eventually successful in convincing Barnato to merge with De Beers. Rhodes made several aborted attempt to gain control over Barnato's interest in Kimberley Central Mine. Cullinan . and in 1910 the 'Union of South Africa' was created. Amid all of this turmoil and chaos. Domain Barney Barnato During the same period that Cecil Rhodes was building De Beers Consolidated Mines.the "mineral revolution. mysteriously falling overboard on a ship passage back to England.. Domain Thomas M. The African nation of Rhodesia was named after him (now the Republic of Zimbabwe). no heirs to his empire. D. In exchange. A. Photo: Pub. in Northern Cape. Cecil Rhodes' De Beers empire was started on a farm owned by two Boer settlers and brothers. As a young lad from England. N. De Beer. Barnato was given appointed to 'life governor' and temporary controlling interest in De Beers [6]." In 1906. diamond speculator and fellow Englishman named Barney Barnato (1852—1897) was buying up pieces of the Big Hole in Kimberley to form the Kimberley Central Mine. Photo: Pub. and J.. although Rhodes did not start out with an interest in diamonds. a prospector. self-government was restored. 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. Rhodes started out selling ice cream to the diamond-diggers and service workers. As founder of De Beers. De Beers and Kimberley Central were the two largest mining interests in South Africa at the time. One of the richest men in the world.' Cecil Rhodes died a single man with no children and. he was able to build a monopolistic empire through skill and cunning. Domain Cecil Rhodes Cecil Rhodes (1853—1902) is the undisputed father of the modern diamond industry.

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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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."

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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

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

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

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

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

" and the terrible working conditions that these workers must endure. 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. appraisal report. as writer Charles Leavitt takes us through the dark underbelly of the diamond trade. the glamor is laid bare. or "cert" may be your only assurance that you are getting exactly what you paid for. but not least. a diamond certificates." there would be no "diamond trade. the unsung hero in the diamond trade." Diamond Grading: Diamond Certificates (Certs) Gemological Laboratory Certification Why do you need a laboratory certification for your diamond? Although it may seem like a needless expense. The Consumer Last. grading report. Leavitt weaves a tale of Sierra Leone's impoverished "diamond diggers.Photo: © Warner Bros. Diamonds are tested for . This time. Were it not for intrepid consumers. we have the faceless American consumer. and their willingness to purchase the concept of "foreverness. certificate of authenticity. 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.

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

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

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

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

0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light .5 to 3. the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles.7. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless .5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light . 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. all measured in three spacial dimensions. relative facet angles.0 to 1. .1. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading." 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. AGS Diamond Grading System On the inside fold of an AGS Diamond Quality grading report there is a legend explaining the unique AGS nomenclature with comparisons to GIA's grading system.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero. AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond." or "ideal" rating.5 to 4.5. and individual facet ratios.0 to 7. in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above).0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless .' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering.3. where facets intersect with each-other.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint . as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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