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

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

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

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

that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor.800 6.VS1 Carat Size</ 0.10 carat diamond for its better cut.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a . or to buy a 1. 40º pavilion. girdle and pavilion.5 carat 2.195 and . Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of .0 carat 3. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity . clarity and weight.750 30.500 15.600 12. it must be accurate to the second decimal place. Price Per Carat (2005) . The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut.600 6. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond.5 carat 1.99 carat diamond for its better price. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown. It is for this reason that an even 1. a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight. Occasionally. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line. or "seed of the carob". "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions.504 carats.495 carats and ." If the carat weight is shown as ". A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32.0 carat 1.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight.Grade: F Colorless .00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between . In ancient times.204 carat. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry.5º crown.600 8. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only.5 carats must have an actual weight of between . See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison.

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

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

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

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

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

a refractive index of 2. igneous rock composed of garnet. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2. and a specific gravity of 3. . or "invincible.42. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km). ultramafic. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0. Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness." "untamable. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic. with the principle allotrope being graphite. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale. The name "diamond. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical. olivine. with a variety of trace minerals. A diamond is a transparent. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe.Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time. Therefore. Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures." referring to its incredible hardness. and pyroxene. 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. Under the continental crust. phlogopite. diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation. which resemble a champagne flute. and differentiates it from simple graphite." is derived from the Greek adamas.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1." which is also known as "adamant. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" [2]. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes.044.52. Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth." and "unconquerable. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses. At these depths.200 degrees Celsius)." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms.

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

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

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

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

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

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

It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner. On thing is certain. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926. Intense.95carats. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness [9].51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant. and the De Young Red weighing 5.000 in 1987.com) The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color. pure green hues.03 carats. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red. . There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat.000 per carat. greyish-green. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa.' discovered during the 18th century. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits. The color change effect is temporary. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds.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). Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation. or a combination of the two. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply. and weighed a modest 0. Warren Hancock. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities.90 carats. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil.000 to $500.com) Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems. Green diamonds can range from $35.

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

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

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

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

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

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Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.

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

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

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

Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .

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

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Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .

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

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 .

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

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

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

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

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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 .

Knot diamond inclusions can potentially be the cause of man-made drag-line inclusions. 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). appearing as a raised area on the diamond's surface. .

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

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made up of a bumpy or wavy pattern on the polished surface of a diamond. . The lizard-skin effect is caused by an orange-peel texture.Lizard Skin A bumpy or wavy 'orange-peel' textured pattern on the polished surface of a diamond. 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.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

which attracts the gas to the substrate. Jourado Diamond. Synthetic Diamond Manufacturers Apollo Diamonds . Diamonte. Rutania. Diamondite. produced using the Verneuil (flame-fusion) Process. colorless synthetic sapphire (aka Diamondite) was a popular diamond simulant. making the stone appear yellowish." uses a four-anvil 'tetrahedral press. and surface luster as its natural diamond counterpart. and Moissanite in 1998. Java Gem. or X-ray spectroscopy. Synthetic diamonds can also be treated with the HTHP process to alter the optical properties of the stones. Common diamond simulants include: Cubic Zirconia (CZ) (1976-) Czarite. Diamond Essence. Lustergem. These impurities absorb the blue end of the light spectrum.High-Temperature High-Pressure (HTHP) The "High-Temperature High-Pressure" (HTHP) technique." also known as "simulated diamonds" or "fake diamonds" are man-made gemstones that look like. making them difficult to differentiate from natural diamonds. Diamonite. Magalux. Thrilliant Synthetic Spinel (1920-1947) Corundolite. or "deposited" onto the substrate in successive layers. also known as "GE POL. and a combination of heat and pressure are applied while a vaporized carbon-plasma that is combined with hydrogen is applied. The vaporized carbon gases are energized using microwave energy. With CVD. the diamond's entire growth process takes several days to complete. specific gravity. Geminaire In the early 1900's. With the advent of Cubic Zirconia in the mid 1970's. Synthetic diamonds can be detected using infrared. Using Chemical Vapor Deposition. 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. 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. Rainbow Diamond. Like natural diamond. Titangem Synthetic Sapphire (1900-1947) Diamondette. Fabulite Synthetic Rutile (1946-1955) Diamothyst. In the late 1940's Diamondite gave way to Synthetic Rutile which was popular until the advent of YAG in the early 1970's. light dispersion. A cultured synthetic diamond will have the identical cleavage. refractive index. Synthetic Diamond Color & Optics Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless form. or "simulate" the appearance of natural diamonds. Radient Yttrium Aluminum Garnet (YAG) (1970-1975) Diamone. Unlike their natural diamond counterparts.1970) Diagem.' or six-anvil 'cubic press' to create the necessary pressure. 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. A diamond seed is placed into a growth camber. Diamonaire. ultraviolet. Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) The "Chemical Vapor Deposition" (CVD) method was developed during the 1980s. the HTHP diamond's growth process can take 7 to 10 days to complete. Diamond Simulants Diamond "simulants. ranging in clarity from IF to SI or I. synthetic diamonds may contain small inclusions. and uses a lowerpressure growth environment than the earlier HTHP method. or by measuring UV fluorescence with a DiamondView tester. a seed or substrate material is placed into the growth camber. hardness.

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

CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1. Natural diamonds attract grease. The 1.) in a totally dark room.41 (RI). candle. the greater dispersive power. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond . Once the mixture has cooled." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR). Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible.80 to 2.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.170. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below). while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease. 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. CZ vs Diamond . 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. Due to their low cost and consistency. a CZ is optically flawless.2.800 .17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left).In 1973. For instance. and CZs can be made in any "color grade. or colorless (white) versions. . the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. Diamond's RI is 2.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. Unlike most natural diamonds. or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond. Zirconium oxide powder is heated. CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing. Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored. but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye. etc. 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. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce. The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit.

670. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI.69. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. Arizona. 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. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index. 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. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible.044. candle. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ.) in a dark room. Moissanite. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2.A small. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. . when examining the gem through the kite facets. and diamond at 0. is classified as an element rather than a compound. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0. Moissanite has an RI of 2. while diamond has a hardness of 10.65 to 2. Moissanite has a hardness of 9.417. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. found only in iron-nickel meteorites. etc.25 on the Mohs scale.060.104 as compared to CZ at 0. Henri Moissan (above. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond.com Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). center) near Winslow. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite.

rather than against it. caused by primary reflections from the pavilion and CZ's low RI.Detectable to the Naked Eye Dispersion Pattern: Secondary patterns of dispersion due to double refraction Color: Moissanite has a slight yellow color and does not come in grades better than 'J' Lack of Flaws: Moissanite is virtually flawless. most diamonds have some inclusions Moissanite vs Diamond . 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. detailed and sharply focused pattern caused by secondary reflections will be seen when observing a diamond. A similarly sharp.417 Moissanite is double refractive (anisotropic) while a natural diamond is singly refractive (isotropic). diamonds were valued primarily for their luster and hardness." At the time. diamonds were used in their natural octahedral state. Diamonds: Modern Diamond Cutting Diamond Cutting Background One of the hardest substances on earth. one half of the crystal would be cut off.A small. Like wood. which was called the "Point Cut. Diamond's RI is 2. although it can be easily cleaved or fractured due to its defined cleavage planes. Diamond cutting can be traced back to the late Middle Ages. creating the "Table Cut. Prior to this time. Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be more diffused.Detectable With Testing Double Refraction: Moissanite is double refractive. only a diamond is hard enough to cut other diamonds. but significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its high RI. Moissanite vs Diamond . Table Cut diamonds appeared black to the eye. Cutting a Rough Diamond . diamond is singly refractive Refractive Index: Moissanite has a refractive index of 2." As further refinement progressed. diamond has a "grain. due to its high refractive index.670." and the rough stone must be cut with the grain. The first improvements on nature's design involved a polishing of the crystal faces. The Modern Round Brilliant cut (below) is the culmination of several hundred years of experimentation and development.

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

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

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

Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design. As with all human endeavors. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant".4%. A perfect blending of facet symmetry. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect. To quantify a diamond's cut quality.7%. and Proportions.7%. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish.N. H&A Viewer. very small to small In the 1970s. more brilliance and fire. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57. crown height of 14.5% to 43. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut.6% and overall height of 57.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace. facet ratios. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%. invented in 1929.5%. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. The "Scan D." (Scandinavian standard. Tolkowsky. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. etc. Since then. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951.N.' and there has been numerous attempts to improve on this tried-and-true formula with the introduction of new signature diamond cuts that claim to have a higher light return. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios.. . Eppler & Scan D. Ideal Scope. and crown/pavilion angles. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope. crown height of 14. and overall height of 57. Symmetry.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

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

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

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

With financial shockwaves caused by the French economy's collapse in 1847.' brand was catapulted into the stratosphere by the 1961 movie 'Breakfast at Tiffany's. for resale in America. and the subsequent overthrowing of King Louis-Philippe of France in 1848. and a series of diamond-related slogans were introduced into the American lexicon. The Tiffany is still selling luxury jewelry in their trademarked 'Tiffany Blue Box. The stone was cut in Paris. After the French revolution in 1799.72 carat cushion-cut diamond (one of the "Diamonds of Golconda") was mounted by Tiffany.42 carat rough flawless-yellow diamond from the 'Compagnie Français de Diamant du Cap' (Kimberley mine) in 1877.' During the 1800s." by Jean Schlumberger in the 1960s. De Beers president. which started out as 'Tiffany & Young' of New York City in 1837. the public's tolerance towards nobility was at a low point. Lorelei receives a diamond tiara from her suitor. gems and jewelry from the estates of the European aristocracy. was originally a 'fancy goods' emporium. aka "the King of Diamonds. Sir Francis "Piggy" Beekman. purchased diamonds.' The stone was set into a garish jewelry piece called "Bird on a Rock. After attending Chicago Musical College. The 'Tiffany & Co. this time from playwriter. Tiffany & Young. Styne wrote the score for the 1949 Broadway musical 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. who was known for his jewelry expertise. Prince Esterhazy of Hungary.' staring Audrey Hepburn. producing the 128.' which was adapted to film in 1953. Jule Styne. Ayer in 1938. and featuring the memorable scene in which Holly gazes longingly into Tiffany's window display.54 carat 'The Tiffany Diamond." was the co-founder of Tiffany & Co. and from the Spanish Crown Jewels [27]. . The Great Depression had taken a heavy toll on luxury goods during the 1930s. In 1948 the famous "A diamond is forever" slogan was introduced. Domain Charles Lewis Tiffany Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812—1902). Styne moved to Hollywood where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn." after here charecter.' at the flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. and the diamond industry was particularly hard hit. A 19. located at 259 Broadway. the values of ostentatious gems and jewelry dropped precipitously. Photo: Pub. Ayer & Son. Domain Hollywood in 1949 Coming just on the heels of the immortal "a diamond is forever" campaign. Photo: Pub. De Beers and the diamond industry got another shot in the arm. The movie version featured Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend.W. and sold to Nanaline Duke (now in the Doris Duke Collection)."A diamond is forever" is the legendary saying that was created by America's first advertising agency.W. specializing in one-of-a-kind baubles for New York's newly-minted industrialists and 'robber-barons. and Tiffany seized on the opportunity. Tiffany was able to purchase significant gems from such renowned estates as: the 'jewel-mad' Duke of Brunswick. the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine. N. One of Tiffany's most notable diamond acquisitions was a 287. Jule Styne (born Julius Kerwin Stein) was born in London. Harry Frederick Oppenheimer enlisted the help of N. Charles Tiffany.

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

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

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

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

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

0 to 1.7.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003. .3. AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. all measured in three spacial dimensions. 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." or "ideal" rating.0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light .0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint .5.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero. and individual facet ratios. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless .1." Document Security Each AGS grading document is marked with a hologram (dark circle at lower right of report) and watermarking or embossing to prevent fraudulent duplication. 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. relative facet angles. where facets intersect with each-other.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light .' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering. the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible.0 to 7.5 to 3.0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless . The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles.5 to 4. in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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