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The story of diamonds is, to use the metaphor, a tale of fire and "ice." Forged through immense heat and pressure over millions, or hundreds of millions of years, diamonds start their humble existence as simple, elemental carbon; the basic building block of all life in earth. We attempt to demystify these enigmatic little stones, by explaining their scientific reason for being, as well as were they are mined, how they are mined, and the history of the diamond trade, or 'diamond pipeline.' Diamonds are both elemental, and complex. As such, there is a lot of technical jargon associated with them. Shopping for a diamond can be very confusing to the newbie, but we have endeavored to make it as simple and interesting as humanly possible. You shouldn't need extraordinary brilliance to understand scintillation or refraction. Enjoy!
All About Diamonds
Diamond Basics The "4 Cs" of Diamonds - Cut The "4 C's" of Diamonds - Carat The "Four C's" of Diamonds - Clarity The "Four Cs" of Diamonds - Color Diamond Chemistry Optical Properties of Diamond Fancy Colored Diamonds Diamond Inclusion Library Diamond Enhancements Synthetics & Simulants Synthetic Diamonds Cubic Zirconia Moissanite Diamond Cuts Diamond Cutting Ideal Cut Modern Round Brilliant Patented Signature Diamond Cuts Old European Diamond Cuts Uncut Raw Diamonds in Jewelry The Diamond Market The Diamond Pipeline Diamond Bourses The Diamond Trade's Key Players Diamond Pricing - Price Comparison Charts Diamond Certification
AGS Diamond Grading Report Independent Diamond Testing Laboratories Diamond Mining & Mine Technology Diamond Mining Technology Diamond Geology & Kimberlites Full List of Worldwide Diamond Mines Artisanal Diamond Mining & Conflict Diamonds Worldwide Diamond Mining Regions Australian Diamond Mines Borneo's Landak Diamond Mines Botswana Diamond Mines Brazilian Diamond Mines Canadian Diamond Mines India's Golconda Diamond Mines Namibia Russian Diamond Mines South African Diamond Mines US Diamond Mines Conflict Diamonds Angola Diamond Mines Congo (DRC) Diamond Mines Liberia Diamond Mines Sierra Leone Diamond Mines Zimbabwe's Chiadzwa Marange Diamond Fields Diamond History & Cutting Regions Historical Diamond Cuts & Cutting History Historical Diamond Cutting Regions Diamond Cutting in Amsterdam Diamond Cutting in Antwerp Diamond Cutting in Belgium Diamond Cutting in Guangzhou, China Diamond Cutting in Gujarat, India Diamond Cutting in Idar-Oberstein, Germany Diamond Terminology Glossary - Gemology
The 4 Cs of Diamonds: Cut
The 4 C's Diamond Grading System
1. 2. 3. 4. Cut Carat Clarity Color
More than 100 million diamonds are sold in the United States each year, yet most consumers know very little about the product they are purchasing, and how that product is valued. The '4 Cs' represent the four main variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics. As a consumer, your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the '4 Cs' diamond grading system. If you are purchasing an expensive stone it will also be critical for you to learn how to read and understand the details of a GIA (Gemological Institute of America) 'Diamond Dossier,' AGL report, or AGS (American Gem Society) 'Diamond Certificate,' or Sarin 'Diamond Grading Report' (see full list of independent testing laboratories, below). You will also want to familiarize yourself with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines on jeweler conduct and consumer awareness. This knowledge will help be invaluable when you are comparison shopping for diamonds.
Diamond Cut Quality When jewelers judge the quality of a diamond cut, or "make", they often rate "Cut" as the most important of the "4 Cs." The way a diamond is cut is primarily dependent upon the original shape of the rough stone, location of the inclusions and flaws to be eliminated, the preservation of the weight, and the popularity of certain shapes. Don't confuse a diamond's "cut" with it's "shape". Shape refers only to the outward appearance of the diamond (Fig. 5 below), and not how it is faceted. The Importance of Cut Quality When a diamond has a high quality cut (ideal cut), incident light will enter the stone through the table and crown, traveling toward the pavilion where it reflects from one side to the other before bouncing back out of the diamond's table toward the observer's eye (see Fig. 1 below). This phenomenon is referred to as "light return" (Fig. 2 below) which affects a diamond's brightness, brilliance, and dispersion. Any light-leakage caused by poor symmetry and/or cut proportions (off-make) will adversely affect the quality of light return. The "Shallow Cut" and "Deep Cut" examples in Fig. 1 show how light that enters through the table of a Modern Round Brilliant diamond reaches the pavilion facets and then leaks out from the sides or bottom of the diamond rather than reflecting back to the eye through the table. Less light reflected back to the eye means less "Brilliance". In the "Ideal Cut" example, most of the light entering through the table is reflected back towards the observer from the pavilion facets.
Keep in mind that the variance in proportions between an "Ideal Cut" (ideal make) and a "Fair, Poor, Shallow or Deep Cut" may be difficult to discern to the novice observer, although there will be a lack of brilliance, scintillation, and fire. Cut quality is divided into several grades listed below.
Ideal Cut Premium Cut Very Good / Fine Cut
Only a trained eye could see the quality of a good cut. The crown will have 33 facets. 2 The proportion and symmetry of the cuts as well as the quality of the polish are factors in determining the overall quality of the cut.Good Cut Fair Cut Poor Cut Cut Proportions In the past. The chart below shows several common problems to look for. Fig. This can also result in the undesirable creation of extra facets beyond the required 58. Fig. or 96 facets which are not counted in the total number of facets (58). the "Cut" quality of the "4 Cs" was the most difficult part for a consumer to understand when selecting a good diamond because a GIA or AGS certificate did not show the important measurements influencing cut (i. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. Other variations of the "Modern Round Brilliant" include the "Ideal Brilliant" which was invented by Johnson and Roesch in 1929. 64. when one incorrect facet angle can throw off the symmetry of the entire stone. 80. All of that has changed with the AGS Cut Grading system and GIA's new "Cut Grading System". 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. 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.e. 3 . the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. pavilion and crown angle) and did not provide a subjective ranking of how good the cut was. and the pavillion will have 25 facets. Poor Diamond Faceting and Symmetry Due to the mathmatics involved in light refraction. Common cutting problems can occur during the faceting process. a Round Brilliant cut that does not have the proper proportions and symmetry (off-make) will have noticeably less brilliance.
the "FireScope. The shape of the diamond cut is heavily dependent upon the original shape of the rough stone. there is a balance between "brilliance" and "fire". Takanori Tamura. Eppler Cut (European Standard). all three categories of cut (Polish. Asymmetrical raw crystals such as macles are usually cut in a "Fancy" style.' while AGS uses a more exacting combination of proportional facet ratios along with raytracing metrics to calculate light return. or a H & A Viewer gemscope (FireScope). Symetry. out through the table. as two stones could be cut from one crystal. A diamond cut for too much fire will look like cubic zirconia. Fancy Diamond Cuts The shape of the cut is a matter of personal taste and preference. 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. GIA vs AGS Cut Grading GIA's new cut-grading system is based on averages that are rounded-up to predict 'light performance. making the diamond appear white when viewed from the top. left) are only found in diamonds that meet the American Gem Society Laboratories' "0" Ideal Cut specifications. In order for a diamond to receive a "Triple-0" grading. The "Ideal" designation is an AGS term that is not found on an GIA report. the quality of the cutter's execution of that shape is of primary importance. or a Scan D. 4 Perfectly formed Hearts and Arrows patterns with eight hearts AND eight arrows (above. 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.For a Modern Round Brilliant cut (Tolkowsky Brilliant). Proportion) must meet the "ideal" criteria. Hearts and Arrows Diamonds A perfectly proportioned ideal cut that is cut to the exacting specifications of a Tolkowsky Cut. However. The round brilliant cut is preferred when the crystal is an octahedron. AGS Triple-0 Certification The American Gem Society (AGS) is the industry leader in laboratory testing of round gems for cut grade and quality. and its later incarnation. The first official H & A "EightStar" diamond was cut in 1985 by Kioyishi Higuchi for Japanese businessman and FireScope manufacturer. Emerald . which gives out much more fire than a real diamond. N. 5) are listed below. Fig. Cut (Scandinavian Standard) will display a "Hearts and Arrows" pattern when observed through a IdealScope (arrows only). The IdealScope was invented by Kazumi Okuda in the 1970's. A Triple-0 diamond can also be called a "Triple Ideal Cut" or "AGS-Ideal Zero" diamond. Several basic diamond shapes (Fig. A well executed round brilliant cut should reflect the maximum amount light from the interior pavilion facets." was invented by Ken Shigetomi and Kazumi Okuda in 1984.
A carat can also be divided into "points" with one carat being equal to 100 points.007 ounce.Heart Marquise Oval Pear Princess Radiant Round Trillion (not shown at diagram) Fig. "Princess" (square outline). representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond.086 grains) or 0. 5 Popular fancy cuts include the "Baguette" (bread loaf). and with each point being 2 milligrams in weight. One "Carat" is a unit of mass that is equal to 0.2 grams (200 milligrams or 3. The 4 C's of Diamonds: Carat (Weight) The 4 C's Diamond Grading System 1.W. Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics. CARAT Balancing Cut and Weight A diamond or gemstone's "Carat" designation is a measurement of both the size and weight of the stone. a 3/4 carat diamond is 75 points. "Heart. your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the "4 C's" diamond grading system." "Briolette" (a form of Rose cut)." . and the Pear. Cut 2. the total mass of all diamonds or gemstones is referred to as "Total Carat Weight" or "T. a 1/2 carat diamond would be 50 points.C. Carat 3. When a single piece of jewelry has multiple stones. Color Carat weight is one of the 4 C's. The "fancy cuts" are generally not held to the same strict standards as Round Brilliants. "Marquise" or "Navette" (little boat). Clarity 4. and a 2 carat diamond is 200 points. As a consumer. Therefor.
Price Per Carat (2005) .195 and . and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight.VS1 Carat Size</ 0. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32. clarity and weight. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing. It is for this reason that an even 1. girdle and pavilion. In ancient times.500 15. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York.Grade: F Colorless . By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown.600 12. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of . or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone.5 carats must have an actual weight of between . See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place.0 carat 1.204 carat. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions." If the carat weight is shown as ". many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a .600 8.5 carat 1.504 carats. it must be accurate to the second decimal place.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1.10 carat diamond for its better cut. 40º pavilion. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration.495 carats and . a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only.5 carat 2.99 carat diamond for its better price.800 6. or to buy a 1. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity .600 6. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat.750 30.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between . Occasionally. or "seed of the carob".5º crown.0 carat 3.
representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond.not naked eye VS-2 . Color Clarity is one of the Four C's. In "colorless" diamonds.The Four C's Diamond Grading System 1. As a consumer. causing a greater drop in grade. it is important to learn and understand the clarity designations found within the "Four C's" diamond grading system. therefore reducing its value significantly. Carat 3.Imperfect. point size and the location of inclusions. reflect the appearance of inclusions within the stone when viewed from above at 10x magnification Higher magnifications and viewing from other angles are also used during the grading process."Small" or "Slight" Inclusions or "Imperfections" may be "eye clean" SI-2 . Considerations in grading the clarity of a diamond include the type of stone. and/or on the surface of the stone. VVS1 better than VVS2 VS-1 . making them more apparent. Inclusions that are near to.Inclusions large and obvious."Very Small" inclusions VS1 is better grade than VS2 SI-1 . with large Inclusions. . CLARITY All of the grades of diamond clarity shown in the table below. . Clarity 4. The term "Clarity" refers to the presence or absence of tiny imperfections (inclusions) within the stone. On the other hand. In fancy-colored diamonds."Very Small" inclusions visible at 10 x mag."Very Very Small" inclusions."Internally Flawless" no inclusions at 10 x mag. light or pale inclusions may show greater relief. fractures. and flaws GIA Clarity Grading System The chart below explains the GIA grading system for inclusions and imperfections. thus minimizing any negative impact of the inclusion.small blemishes VVS-1 . . little or no brilliance I1 to I3 ."Small" or "Slight" Inclusions or "Imperfections" visible to naked eye SI-3 ."Very Very Small" inclusions hard to see at 10 x magnification VVS-2 . may weaken the diamond structurally. it may be possible to hide certain inclusions behind the setting of the diamond (depending on where the inclusion is located). Diamond Clarity Designations FL . or break the surface. Cut 2."Flawless" no inclusions at 10 x magnification IF . darker inclusions will tend to create the most significant drop in clarity grade.
Diamond Clarity Grade Inflation A fairly common practice in the jewelry trade is grade-inflation or "grade bumping. The treatment is considered permanent and both the GIA and AGS will issue grades for laser drilled diamonds.Cloudy grouping of tiny pinpoints that may not resolve at 10X Magnification. fringing. "One out of every three diamonds sold in the United States is laser-drilled. so they can use greater care while working on the piece. haze. Surface Graining .Fractures that have been artificially filled.Concentrated area of crystal growth that appear light or dark. Internal Graining . Pits .A percussion mark caused by impact. Clouds .An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing. If a jeweler sells a diamond that has an actual grade of VS-1. Knots .Cleavage planes or internal fractures that have the appearance of feathers. The final clarity grade will be the grade that is assigned after treatment.Irregular crystal growth causing internal distortions. followed by acid washing to remove the coloring agent. much like repairing a crack in your car's windshield. The heat generated by a blowtorch used to work on settings can cause damage.Minute crystals within the diamond that appear white. The drilling process leave tiny telltale shafts or tunnels that are visible under magnification. Filled Fractures . Indented Naturals . Reputable companies often provide for repeat treatments if heat causes damage to the filling. According to Fred Cuellar in his book How to Buy a Diamond.Dislodged pinpoint inclusions at the surface. chips. According to FTC guidelines. in part because the treatment isn't permanent. he or she could legally sell it as a VVS-2.An inclusion that penetrates the surface. Cavities . vendors should disclose this enhancement. Pique . Chips . Diamond Fracture Filling Diamond clarity is sometimes enhanced by filling fractures. therefor it is essential to inform anyone working on a setting if the diamond is fracture-filled.Inclusions resulting from crystal twining during growth.Rutile-like needle inclusions." . Such diamonds are sometimes called "fracture filled diamonds". Feathers . Internal Diamond Inclusions Carbon . Bruising . External Diamond Inclusions Bearded Girdles . and reputable filling companies will use filling agents which show an orange or pink flash of color. a diamond must be within one clarity grade of its advertised amount at the time of sale. Pinpoints . Needles .Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation.Garnet or other Included gem stones Twinning Wisps . Laser Drilling Laser drilling involves using a laser to burn a tunnel or hole to a carbon inclusion. or feathers along the outer edge of girdle. There is a significant price discount for fracture-filled diamonds.Tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts).Fine cracks. appearing as a raised area. The GIA will not grade fracture-filled diamonds. Grain Center .Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet.A natural indentation that was not removed by polishing. waviness." According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides.
The Four Cs of Diamonds: Color The Four Cs Diamond Grading System 1. the Gemological Institute of America uses a scale of "D" to "Z" in which "D" is totally colorless and "Z" is yellow. Z . Clarity 4. As a consumer. Scratches . Diamond Color Designations D. COLOR Most all natural diamonds contain small quantities of nitrogen atoms that displacing the carbon atoms within the crystal's lattice structure.Human Caused Surface Blemishes Abrasions . Neither the GIA nor the AGS (American Gemological Society).Surface burning from heat buildup during polishing.very light yellow or brown S. 1 . O. U.Whitish haziness along the junction of facets caused by wear. V. absorbing some of the blue spectrum. P. J . H.Small chips at facet junctions. The designation of SI-3 was popularized by the EGL (European Gemological Laboratory) grading office. Q. Y.faint yellow or brown N. Cut 2. F . The higher the amount of nitrogen atoms.near colorless K. X. Color Color is one of the Four Cs representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. L. Nicks . thereby making the diamond appear yellow.colorless (white) G. T. assign this grade. E. "SI-3" is a grade sometimes used in the diamond industry. I. it will be beneficial to learn and understand some of the basic parameters for diamond color grading. R . Carat 3.light yellow or brown Fig. In determining the color rating of a diamond. The color chart in Fig. the most reputable well known US labs.Grinding Wheel Marks of scratches from contact with other diamonds. a Sarin Diamond Color Grading report is the state-of-the-art color measuring standard. These nitrogen impurities are evenly dispersed throughout the stone. 1 explains the GIA grading system for clear (not fancy-colored) stones. At present. Burn Marks . W. Diamonds of this low grade would be inappropriate for jewelry. the yellower the stone will appear. M .
and not by looking at the top of the stone. as in our Fig. Color grading by 'visual-observation is performed against a Master CZ Colored Grading Set. Fig. and D5)." "whiter than white. GIA-GEM.' Unfortunatly. and dispersion of light (fire) when looking through the table or crown. and HRD grading scales. India.' or a borderline 'G." are named after the famous Golconda Diamond Mines located in the state of Hyderabad. Using a Sarin Diamond Colorimeter DC3000 (aka Gran Colorimeter). D2. color grading should be determined by examining the stone through the side of the pavilion (Fig." or "D+. jewelers and gem labs can accurately provide a 'color typing' printout of a diamond's color grading that is compatible with AGS.Due to a diamond's high brilliance. 2). IGI. D-Flawless . 3 example below. D4. 2 Sarin Color Typing is a relatively new sub-classification of the D through Z gading scale. These colorless stones. Fig. Each classification is divided into five sub-classifications (D1.The Holy Grail . For the consumer. it is extremely benificial to know if your 'F' is a strong 'F. sometimes referred to as "white diamonds. 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. D3. most gem labs do not currently provide color-typing data in their reports and certificates.
See Color in Gemstones for more information. making the diamond appear "colorless. For diamonds with a color grading of D through H (colorless). medium. Diamond Fluorescence Approximatly 1/3 (35%) of all diamonds have a tendency to fluoresce when exposed to ultra-violet (UV) light. Even with microscopic inclusions. and strong. faint. diamonds with a poorer color grading (I through K). On the other hand. so this effect will be more apparent under natural daylight than under artificial incandescent light. Only around 600 D-flawless roughs are cut into gems weighing between 1 and 2 carats during a given year. Skin Tone and Settings While some may prefer a very transparent D to F range. fewer than 5. Diamonds: Chemistry & Structural Properties Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Structural Properties of Diamond . Ultra-violet light is a component of natural sunlight and artificial 4800k to 5000k color-proofing light. In some settings with various combinations of other stones. murky appearance when compared to a non-fluorescing diamond.Large D-flawless diamonds (those weighing more than 2 carats) are some of the rarest minerals on earth.000 D-color diamonds weighing over half a carat are found each year." but the diamond will have a dull. according to the GIA. as the blue fluorescence will cancel out some of the yellow.Diamond Formation . they tend to fluoresce as blue. When diamonds are viewed under a UV light-source. fluorescence can negatively impact the value of the stone by 3% to 20%. Fluorescence is graded as none. diamonds with a visible tint may be preffered. others may prefer a "warmer" color found in a G to J range to compliment their skin tone. fluorescence could increase the value by 0% to 2% buy improving the color (or lack thereof). This fluorescent effect can be beneficial to a diamond that has a yellow tint.
Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical.52." "untamable. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km)." which is also known as "adamant. a refractive index of 2. Therefore. igneous rock composed of garnet. and a specific gravity of 3. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0. Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures. or "invincible. 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. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" . ultramafic. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits. with the principle allotrope being graphite. At these depths. and pyroxene. phlogopite. Under the continental crust. Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness. The name "diamond.044. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses." and "unconquerable. olivine. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2.42. Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth. which resemble a champagne flute. diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation. and differentiates it from simple graphite. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine. .Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time. A diamond is a transparent." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic." is derived from the Greek adamas." referring to its incredible hardness. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1.200 degrees Celsius). with a variety of trace minerals.
it is termed as "subhedral. and therefore." This means that diamond crystals usually "grow" in an orderly and symmetrical arrangement. Additionally. by igniting a diamond in an oxygen atmosphere. where it was shown to combust in scientific experiments." . When a gemstone has an irregular external shape or asymmetrical arrangement of its crystal facets. The material "boron nitride. and crystal habit of a diamond is octahedral (photo. although the reason for its combustion was not understood at the time. and a hardness value of 231 GPa (±5) when scratched with a diamond tip. Diamond Crystal Habit Diamonds have a characteristic crystalline structure. A diamond's incredible hardness was the subject of curiosity dating back to the Roman empire. or carbon dioxide. with the end byproduct of the combustion being carbonic-acid gas.A Type 2-A diamond has a hardness value of 167 GPa (±6) when scratched with an ultrahard fullerite tip. a currently hypothetical material. above). perfectly formed crystals are rare. a predictable crystal growth pattern known as its "crystal habit." or "anhedral. does not always reflect the internal arrangement of its atoms. may also be as hard or harder than diamond. or dodecahedral. The natural crystal form. is nearly as hard as diamond. octahedral." when found in a crystalline form that is structurally similar to diamond. although in nature. whether it is cubic. The external shape of the crystal. beta carbon nitride. Experimentation during the late 18th century demonstrated that diamonds were made of carbon.
is a facet specifically designed to resist breakage. the term "toughness" describes the resistance of a given material to fracture when it is stressed or impacted. but its toughness rating is also excellent. making it seem cold. Internally formed crystallographic graphite inclusions often create intense strain on the surrounding diamond." which only denotes a diamond's high resistance to scratching. By comparrison. Unlike "hardness. yet sapphire has a toughness rating of excellent. Although diamond is the "hardest. Many natural blue . due to its ability to fracture along cleavage planes. Diamond Graphitization In extremely high temperature environments above 1700 ¡C. Carbon Inclusion . acting as a "thermal conductor. with a Mohs scale rating of 10. Additionally. Particular cuts of diamond are more prone to breakage along cleavage planes." If you were to place a large enough diamond on your tongue it would draw heat away.5. crystal twinning. causing stress fractures or feathers. Thermal Properties of Diamonds Diamond is a good conductor of heat.© AGS Labs Diamond Toughness Within the fields of metallurgy and materials science. A material's toughness is measured in units of "joules" per cubic meter (J/m3) in the SI system. meaning that a diamond is 4 times "harder" than sapphire. and varying growth conditions of heat. very thin girdles on brilliant cut diamonds are also prone to breakage. The culet facet at the bottom of the pavilion. and therefore may be uninsurable by reputable insurance companies. its "toughness" rating is moderate.Trace impurities. a diamond's "toughness" is only fair to good. most scratch resistant mineral on earth. sapphire has a hardness rating of 9.© AGS Labs Hexagonal (Graphite) Platelet Inclusion . graphite can develop internally and on the diamond's surface. and "pound-force" per square-inch in US units of measurement. Hematite has a hardness of only 5." and therefore.5 to 6. pressure and space can also affect the final shape of a formed crystal.
gloss. Purified synthetic diamond can have the highest thermal conductivity (2000-2500 W/m-K) of any solid material at room temperature . If an n-type semiconductor can be synthesized. it is used in the manufacturing of semiconductors. which are in fact semiconductors. Natural blue diamonds containing boron atoms. with the exception of natural blue diamonds.Insulators or Semiconductors Diamond is a relatively good electrical insulator. increasing thermal conductance. and synthetic diamonds that are doped with boron. or having the hardness or luster of a diamond. The term adamantine describes the way light interacts with the surface of a crystal. The word luster traces its origins back to the Latin word lux. electronic circuits could be manufactured from diamonds in the future . or longer-wavelength photons. to prevent silicon and other semiconducting materials from overheating.nearly five times greater than pure copper. inflexible. which means unyielding. or brilliance.com The surface luster (or "lustre") of diamond is described as adamantine. Fluorescence in Diamonds Fluorescence is an optical phenomenon in which a diamond's molecules absorb high-energy photons. meaning "light". are known as p-type semiconductors. Electromagnetic Properties of Diamond . giving off a somewhat greasy sheen. . 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. re-emitting them as lower-energy. Due to diamond's high thermal conductance.diamonds contain boron atoms which replace carbon atoms within the crystal matrix. and generally implies radiance.
red. and are classified as Type 1-B. or brown coloration.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. which replace some carbon atoms within the crystal lattice structure. and appear dark when exposed to ultra-violet light or X-rays. These rare diamonds have a lower nitrogen content. or "fire. . Type II Diamond Formation Certain diamonds were formed under extremely high pressure for longer time periods. All Type 1 diamonds have nitrogen atoms as their main impurity. Cloud Inclusion Under UV . Typically. If the nitrogen atoms are grouped in clusters they do not necessarily affect the diamond's overall color. particularly Canadian diamonds. greenish or yellow fluorescence when exposed to the X-ray wavelength. with very high thermal conductivity." and refraction. and thereby making the diamond appear yellow. Natural blue Type II diamonds containing scattered boron impurities within their crystal matrix are good conductors of electricity. Type I & Type II Diamonds As many as 99% of all natural diamonds are classified as Type I. and give off a bluish-white. absorbing some of the blue spectrum. while Type II diamonds that lack boron impurities are classified as Type IIa." with a refractive index of 2. If the nitrogen atoms are dispersed evenly throughout the crystal. and they are classified as Type 1-A. classifying them as Type IIb diamonds. permitting the passage and reflectance of blue light. Some diamond varieties.© AGS Labs Type I UV Fluorescence . and contain nitrogen atoms as an impurity. Some Type IIa diamonds can be found with pink. 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. thereby allowing the passage of short-wave ultra-violet (SWUV) light through the stone. Man-made synthetic diamonds containing nitrogen are classified as Type 1-B.417. a natural diamond may contains both Type 1-A and Type 1-B material. These Nitrogen impurities found in Type I diamonds are evenly dispersed throughout the gemstone. making them appear 'colorless' (D). due primarily to certain structural anomalies arising from "plastic deformation" which occurred during their formation. they can give the stone a yellow tint. 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. Diamond can exhibit pseudochromatic coloration giving the appearance of "color" without having any actual color in the mineral itself. and some of the finest historical gemstones such as the Cullinan and Koh-i-Noor are both Type IIa diamonds. Diamond Refraction & Coloration Diamonds are "singly refractive. Type II diamonds do not contain any detectable nitrogen. show no fluorescence.© AGS Labs Type IIa diamonds are very rare.
Green & Cognac Fancy Colored Diamond Diamonds can occur in all colors of the spectrum. certain fancy-colored diamonds such as pink (Condé). or yellow diamond may have a relatively low value when compared to a colorless diamond. when a diamond's color is more intense than the "Z" grading. green. brown. pink. and their color is due to trace impurities of nitrogen and/or hydrogen (yellow. . It is this nitrogen component that produces the color of fancy yellow diamonds. orange. and therefor colorless. 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. blue. the intensity of the color in the diamond can plays a significant role in its value. However. Blue. yellow.Diamond Refraction & Light Dispersion Diamonds can also exhibit allochromatic coloration which is caused by chromophores from the nitrogen trace impurities found within crystalline structure. steel grey. green (Ocean Dream). boron (blue diamonds). Once thought to be of little value. it enters the realm of a "Fancy Color" diamond. In this case. blue (Hope Diamond). red diamonds). while chemically "pure" diamonds are basically transparent. Fancy Colored Diamonds: Pink. Colorless diamonds would normally be priced much higher than yellow diamonds. All colored diamonds contain certain specific impurities and/or structural defects that cause their coloration. Fancy Diamond Color Hues A fancy brown (or Fancy Cognac). red. Yellow. However. radiation exposure (green diamonds) or irregular growth patterns within the crystal (pink. Diamond Color & Composition Diamonds can occur in a wide variety of colors: colorless or white. and black. green. brown diamonds). fancy pink diamonds can command very high prices as they have become increasingly popular. and red (Hancock Diamond) are particularly valuable.
Pink diamonds are similar to pink sapphire in color.M Very Light . and was cut into a 128. yet considerably more expensive.' GIA 'Fancy Yellow' Diamond Color Saturation Designations Faint . As the numbers go lower (8PP) the color is paler. daylight) and ambient temperature changes. This Chameleon-like phenomenon was first documented by the GIA in the early 1940s.Pink (Brownish-pink) 1 is darkest PC3 to PC1 . South Africa in 1878.Pink (Reddish-pink) 1 is darkest 1BP to 8BP . which are generally less appreciated than other fancy colors and therefor. Pink Diamonds The pink color within these rare diamonds is due to irregular crystal growth patterns.Cognac 8 is darkest Chameleon Diamonds There is a very rare olive-grayish color-changing diamond called "Chameleon Diamond" (below. sold at a greater discount.N to R Light . left). causing microscopic imperfections within the lattice structure.42 carats. 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. lighting color temperatures (incandescent. . and value (darkness) using nine classifications ranging from 'Faint' to 'Vivid. One of the world's only major sources for rare pink diamonds is the Argyle Mine in Australia. which changes hue from grayish-blue or olive-green to yellowish-green or straw-yellow under different lighting conditions (darkness. having a pure magenta color with deep saturation. The rough stone weighed 287.Highest Saturation One of the largest.' found in Kimberly. Fancy Pink/Brown Diamond Color (Hue) Designations 1PP to 8PP .54 carat cushion cut with an estimated value in the millions of dollars. halogen.S to Z Fancy Light .Start of 'Fancy' Fancy Fancy Dark Fancy Intense Fancy Deep Fancy Vivid .Champagne 3 is darkest C8 to C1 . 1PP is the highest quality designation for Pink Diamond. have become more commonplace as Australian colored diamonds have gained in popularity.Brown diamonds. and most valuable Fancy Yellow diamonds in the world is the 'Tiffany Diamond. The GIA grades fancy diamond color by quantifying the saturation. An 1P designation would have less blue and more brownish-red. Only 1% to 2% of the diamonds produced at the Argyle Mine are high-quality pink specimens.Pink (Magenta-pink) 1 is darkest 1P to 8P . bright light). hue.
Warren Hancock. Green diamonds can range from $35. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation. pure green hues. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa. On thing is certain. or a combination of the two. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. and the De Young Red weighing 5. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926.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).000 in 1987. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness . .90 carats. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil. The color change effect is temporary. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems.com) The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. Intense. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits.03 carats.95carats. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities.com) Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste. and weighed a modest 0. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond.000 to $500. greyish-green. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat.' discovered during the 18th century. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize.000 per carat.
or human caused. Inclusions which are not visible to the naked eye (eye clean) fall into the GIA range of "IF" (Internally Flawless) to "SI2" (Small Inclusions). The term "clarity" refers to the presence. Nevada. It is for this reason that manufacturers of synthetic diamonds tend to specialize in fancy colors.G. This section contains a compendium of photography depicting all of the various types of diamond inclusions—both naturally occurring. Inclusions which are visible to the naked eye are referred to as piquŽ. These impurities absorb the blue end of the light spectrum. E.com Clarity is one of the Four C's of diamond grading. and man-made imperfections—that can be found in raw and cut diamonds. F grades. and beautifully photographed by their Director of Gem Services. Joe Vanells. and can be naturally occuring." These inclusions can occur within the stone.S. gemological testing laboratory in Las Vegas. and so-called "piquŽ diamonds" fall into the GIA grading range of I1 to I3 (CIBJO grade P1 to P3). representing the four main variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. Diamond Inclusion Library: Inclusion Photos Over 100 High-Resolution Diamond Photos! All Contents: Copyright © 2010 AllAboutGemstones.com) Fancy Colored Synthetic Diamonds Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless D. or absence of tiny imperfections known as "inclusions. . 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. making the stone appear yellowish.L. All of the microscopic inclusion photographs on this page were generously contributed by the A.Reddish Brown Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems.com) Enhanced Blue & Yellow Diamonds (© AfricaGems. or on the surface of the cut stone.
Black or dark material found within a diamond's internal fracture planes can also be particles or crystallographic inclusions of graphite. PiquŽ Carbon Inclusion Photos Internal Carbon Pique Diamond Inclusion Photography Piqué are tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts) within diamonds. ferropericlase. . Black material found within internal fracture planes can also be crystallographic inclusions of graphite.Internal Diamond Inclusion Photos Carbon Tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts). pyrrhotite and pentlandite. pyrrhotite and pentlandite. ferropericlase.
Microscopic Carbon Picque Inclusions Hexagonal Platelet Inclusion in Trillion Cut Diamond .
Clouds (Cld) A dense grouping of tiny pinpoints that create a cloudy zone which may not resolve as individual pinpoints at 10X Magnification. which can leave their own types of unique inclusions. Internal cloud inclusions may not resolve as pinpoints at 10X .Carbon piqué inclusions are sometimes removed by diamond enhancements such as laser drilling. and is reproduced with their permission. All of the microscopic diamond carbon inclusion photography on this page was generously contributed by the AGSL gemological testing laboratory in Las Vegas. 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.
Magnification. These pinpoint cloud inclusions can have a dramatic effect on the clarity and brilliance of a faceted diamond as they interfere with the refraction of light within the stone. .
Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.
Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.
Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.
Feather Inclusion Photos Internal Diamond Feather Inclusion Photography Feather inclusions (Ftr) are caused by cleavage planes or internal stress fractures that have the appearance of wispy feathers.Feathers (Ftr) Cleavage planes or internal stress fractures that have the appearance of feathers. which cause internal stress fractures during crystal growth. Common around included crystals. Feather inclusions are common around included crystals such as garnet. . Feather inclusions can be accompanied by internal graining and/or twinning wisp inclusions.
.Feather inclusions caused by stress fractures around included garnet crystal.
making it susceptible to fracturing when exposed to thermal or physical shock.Pronounced stress fractures and feather inclusions can potentially weaken the stone. . As a result. and the stress inclusion occurs along the gem's natural cleavage plane. This is especially true if the fracture breeches the stone's surface. diamonds with significant stress fractures and feather should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner as this could cause the diamond to shatter.
and haze within a cut diamond. waviness.Grain Center (GrCnt) A concentrated area of crystal growth that can appear light or dark. . Grain Center Inclusion Photos Internal Grain Center Diamond Inclusion Photography Internal Grain Center (IntGr) inclusions (aka internal graining) are caused by irregular diamond crystal growth which creates internal distortions.
Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .
Growth 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.
Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .
olivine. diopside.Included Crystals (Xtl) Included and undigested gemstones or fragments of garnet. calcite. silica or other gem stone inclusions. or silica. spinel. Green chrome diopside Inclusion within a Diamond . olivine. 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. iron oxides. iron oxides. diopside. calcite. spinel.
Garnet Inclusions within Diamond .
Garnet fragment on Diamond Girdle .
Grossularite Garnet Inclusions in Diamond .
Internal Graining (IntGr) Irregular crystal growth causing internal distortions, waviness, and/or haze. Can be accompanied by internal strain. Internal Graining Inclusion Photos
Internal Graining Diamond Inclusion Photography
Internal Graining (IntGr) inclusions are caused by irregular crystal growth which creates internal distortions, waviness, or haze. Internal Graining imperfections may be accompanied by internal strain such as feather Inclusions.
Internal Graining with Cloud Inclusion .
the drilled passage may not breach the cut diamond's surface. and where pathway does not breach the cut diamond's surface. With internal laser-drilling inclusions.Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) Internal pathway caused by laser-drilling to remove large inclusions. 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. .
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. .
Pinpoint Inclusion Photos Pinpoints (Pp) Inclusion Photography Internal Pinpoints (Pp). . or Pinpoint Inclusions are minute included crystals within the diamond that appear white under magnification. Large groupings of small pinpoints can create a cloud effect.Pinpoints (Pp) Minute crystals within the diamond that appear white. Large groupings of small pinpoints can create a cloud inclusion effect.
Twinning Wisp inclusions can be accompanied by internal graining and/or strain feathers. . Can be accompanied by graining and strain.Twinning Wisps Inclusions and defects resulting from crystal-twining during crystal growth. Twinning Wisp Inclusion Photos Twinning Wisps Inclusion Photography Twinning Wisp inclusions are naturally-occurring structural defects with a diamond. resulting from crystal twining during the growth process.
showing the strange and beautiful world of microscopic diamond inclusions.Odds & Ends: Microscopic Diamond Inclusion Beauty Photos Microscopic Diamond Inclusion Photography This is an assortment of spectacular diamond-inclusion photography taken by Joe Vanells. .
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.Natural External Diamond Inclusions or Blemishes Knots An inclusion that penetrates the surface. appearing as a raised area. Knot Inclusion Photos Photography of Diamond Inclusion Knots Knot inclusions are naturally occurring external inclusions or imperfections that penetrate the surface (convex). appearing as a raised area on the diamond's surface.
Indented Natural (IndN) A naturally occurring indentation in the crystal that was not removed during cutting or polishing. Indented Natural Inclusion Photos Indented Natural (IndN) Diamond Inclusion Photography Indented Natural (IndN) inclusions (indented naturals) are external imperfections that are caused by naturally-occurring recessed (concave) indentations that penetrate the surface of a rough diamond. . and were not fully removed during the stone's cutting or polishing process.
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. made up of a bumpy or wavy pattern on the polished surface of a diamond. . Lizard Skin Inclusion Photos Lizard Skin Diamond Surface Blemish Photography A "lizard skin" surface blemish is a man-made external diamond imperfection that is created during polishing.
and remain visible on the surface of a polished stone.Natural (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.
Pits Dislodged pinpoint inclusions at the surface. Surface Graining Inclusion Photos Diamond Surface Graining (SGr) Photography Surface Graining (SGr) is a natural imperfection or inclusion that creates visible surface lines which are caused by irregular crystallization during diamond formation. Surface Graining (SGr) Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation. .
creating a whitish fuzzy edge as opposed to a sharp edge. Bearded Girdle (BG) Fine cracks. . Bruising (Br) A percussion mark or hole caused by impact and surrounded by tiny feathers. chips. fringing.Human Caused Surface Blemishes Abrasion (Abr) A tightly grouped series of nicks along the sharp edge of facet junctions. or feathers along the outer edge of girdle.
during cutting and/or polishing the diamond. Chips Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet. Drag Line Photos Diamond Surface Drag Lines Photography Drag Lines are human-caused surface imperfections and blemishes that are created when a loose rough particle is dragged along the surface. . or when abrasive material is caught by an included crystal such as garnet during the polishing of a diamond. Drag Lines Created when a rough particle is dragged along the surface. Cavities (Cv) An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing.Burn Marks Created during polishing. or caught by a included crystal. the overheating of a facet causes a burn mark.
Extra Facet (EF) An asymmetrical and irregularly placed facet that is not part of the original faceting scheme. Filled Fractures Fractures or feathers that have been artificially filled to enhance clarity. This microscopic photograph shows the telltale orange or pink flash of a filled fracture enhancement within a cut diamond. . and remove cloudiness. Filled Fracture Photos Internal Fracture Filling Inclusion Photography Fracture-filling Inclusions are man-made diamond enhancements that are the result of natural cleavage-plane stress fractures or feathers which have been artificially filled with molten glass to enhance clarity.
Laser Etching or Markings Careless or inadvertent laser etchings. marking. markings. or inscribing the external surface of a cut diamond. . 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.
Diamond Enhancements: Laser Drilling & Fracture Filling ." whitish film on the surface of a facet caused by excessive heat during polishing. Polish Marks (PM) Also known as "Wheel Marks.Polish Lines (PL) Fine parallel surface groves resulting from the polishing process. Scratch (S) A fine whitish line that can be curved or straight.
in accordance with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines for the gem trade. altered. polished natural diamonds. Unfilled Fractures around Garnet Inclusion . A trained gemologist should be able to identify most traditional "enhancements" made to a particular stone. but instead attempt to hide their visual effect. Diamond Fracture Filling Diamond clarity is sometimes improved and enhanced by filling tiny fractures or feathers with molten glass. or treatments to give a fancy color to a off-white diamond. much like you would repair a crack in a car's windshield glass. Minor diamond inclusions or surface imperfections which are not visible to the naked eye ("VVS1" to "SI2") can be disguised. Such diamonds are sometimes then branded as "fracture filled diamonds." Reputable filling companies will always use filling agents which show an orange or pink flash of color when viewed under a microscope with certain controlled lighting conditions. which are designed to improve the visual or gemological characteristics of the stone. 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 Telltale Signs of Fracture Filling . These techniques do not eliminate the imperfection.© 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. There are also heating treatments to improve a white diamond's color grade. or removed by employing several invasive techniques from fracture filling to laser drilling. .
and both the GIA and AGS will issue grades for laser drilled diamonds.© AGS Lab Laser Drilling Tubes . 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. Signs of Laser Drilling . and the GIA will not even grade a fracture-filled diamond. the heat generated by a blowtorch used to work on settings can cause damage to the filling material. Natural Fancy Diamonds .There should always be a significant price discount for any diamond that has been fracture-filled. It is therefor essential to inform anyone working on a setting where the diamond has been fracture-filled. The final clarity grade will be the grade that is assigned after treatment. These enhancements are achieved using low levels of radiation (irradiation). Reputable filling companies will often provide repeat treatments if heat causes damage to the filling.© AGS Lab The laser-drilling treatment is considered permanent. "vivid" blue and yellow colors result.com Radiation treatments are completely safe. followed by acid washing to remove the coloring agent.© AfricaGems. and the diamonds are tested to ensure that no trace levels of radiation remain. or subjecting the diamond to intense pressure and temperature. Due to its low melting-point.© AfricaGems. Diamonds treated with HTHP have their molecular altered so that intense. so that the jeweler can use greater care while working on the piece. .com Color Enhanced Diamonds . in part because the treatment isn't permanent. "One out of every three diamonds sold in the United States is laser-drilled. According to Fred Cuellar in his book How to Buy a Diamond. referred to as the HTHP process." Diamond Color Treatment Color enhancement of diamonds in done to increase the color intensity of so-called "fancy" colored diamonds. The drilling process leave tiny telltale shafts or tunnels that are visible under high magnification (see photos below).
Tracy Hall for the General Electric Company.com The process of creating man-made diamonds (aka cultured diamonds. by H. high-pressure) "belt press" process was used for synthesizing industrial-grade diamonds. These man-made synthetic diamonds are a laboratory-grown simulation of the natural gemstone. The process. lab diamonds) was first conceived by French chemist Henri Moissan in 1892. yet they have the identical carbon-based chemical properties of natural diamond. they are increasingly used in fine jewelry as their quality increases. there are two main processes for creating lab diamonds: the High-Temperature High-Pressure or "HTHP" method. With Moissan's process. or carbon to an extremely high temperature (4000º C) in a cast iron crucible. the intense heat would render the crucible and its carbon contents into a molten liquid mass. the crucible and its contents were rapidly cooled by immersing them into cold water. . Synthetic Diamond under Fluorescent . Once the desired temperature had been achieved.Synthetic Diamonds & Man-Made Diamond Simulants Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite The First Synthetic Diamonds Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.© AGS Labs Today. The first practical commercial application of Moissan's process was developed in 1954. This abrupt cooling caused the rapid shrinkage of the molten iron crucible.© AGS Labs Synthetic Yellow Chatham Diamond . Although synthetic diamonds were originally conceived as a substitute for natural industrial-grade diamonds. tiny fragments of synthetic diamond were created by heating charcoal. which created enough pressure to crystallize the molten carbon into tiny diamond fragments. and has been steadily improved upon throughout the last 50 years. and the Chemical Vapor Deposition or "CVD" method. Using an electric furnace constructed with blocks of lime. known as the HTHP (high-temperature.
Synthetic diamonds can be detected using infrared. Thrilliant Synthetic Spinel (1920-1947) Corundolite. A cultured synthetic diamond will have the identical cleavage. Using Chemical Vapor Deposition. making the stone appear yellowish. Diamondite. The vaporized carbon gases are energized using microwave energy. Jourado Diamond. Synthetic diamonds can also be treated with the HTHP process to alter the optical properties of the stones. Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) The "Chemical Vapor Deposition" (CVD) method was developed during the 1980s. the diamond's entire growth process takes several days to complete. Unlike their natural diamond counterparts." also known as "simulated diamonds" or "fake diamonds" are man-made gemstones that look like. Synthetic Diamond Manufacturers Apollo Diamonds . but are not a carbonbased compound having a natural diamond's crystalline structure.High-Temperature High-Pressure (HTHP) The "High-Temperature High-Pressure" (HTHP) technique. refractive index. produced using the Verneuil (flame-fusion) Process. hardness. Diamonte. These impurities absorb the blue end of the light spectrum. or by measuring UV fluorescence with a DiamondView tester. Rutania. Phianite Gadolinium Gallium Garnet (GGG) (1972-1975) Strontium Titanate (ST) (1955 . With the advent of Cubic Zirconia in the mid 1970's. also known as "GE POL. Lustergem. ranging in clarity from IF to SI or I. specific gravity. Java Gem. Like natural diamond. Geminaire In the early 1900's. colorless synthetic sapphire (aka Diamondite) was a popular diamond simulant. and surface luster as its natural diamond counterpart. and a combination of heat and pressure are applied to the seed in a process that attempts to replicate the natural conditions for diamond-formation. Diamond Simulants Diamond "simulants. Radient Yttrium Aluminum Garnet (YAG) (1970-1975) Diamone. Titangem Synthetic Sapphire (1900-1947) Diamondette. A diamond seed is placed into a growth camber. Diamonite.1970) Diagem. making them difficult to differentiate from natural diamonds. 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. With CVD. In the late 1940's Diamondite gave way to Synthetic Rutile which was popular until the advent of YAG in the early 1970's. and Moissanite in 1998. and a combination of heat and pressure are applied while a vaporized carbon-plasma that is combined with hydrogen is applied. Diamonaire. or "simulate" the appearance of natural diamonds. the HTHP diamond's growth process can take 7 to 10 days to complete. Fabulite Synthetic Rutile (1946-1955) Diamothyst. or "deposited" onto the substrate in successive layers. a seed or substrate material is placed into the growth camber. Magalux. most of these lesser simulants fell by the wayside. Diamond Essence. Common diamond simulants include: Cubic Zirconia (CZ) (1976-) Czarite. which attracts the gas to the substrate. or X-ray spectroscopy." uses a four-anvil 'tetrahedral press. and uses a lowerpressure growth environment than the earlier HTHP method. Rainbow Diamond. ultraviolet.' or six-anvil 'cubic press' to create the necessary pressure. synthetic diamonds may contain small inclusions. Synthetic Diamond Color & Optics Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless form. light dispersion.
Apollo Diamond. The Split Sphere system crystalizes the carbon seed in an alkaline. www. and each cut stone is laser inscribed with the Apollo company logo and serial number. and rose cuts. Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is the most familiar type of diamond simulant on the market. and stones are cut to order. which they claim is the closest thing to mother nature. princess.25 carats is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number.30 carats to 3 carats. Cubic Zirconia (Zirconium Oxide ZrO2) has a completely different chemical structure.com To the average consumer.com Chatham Created Diamonds Chatham Gems is a San Francisco based company that grows only fancy-colored diamonds in colors ranging from champagne and canary yellow to pink and midnight blue. while diamond has a hardness of 10. and CZ has a hardness of only 8. each Gemesis cut stone over . To insure easy identification as a man-made product. in Boston. Ltd.chatham.. with clarity grades from IF to SI. Massachusetts grows colorless (D to M) diamonds. of Bangkok Thailand.).3 on the Mohs scale. and like Chatham.500 to $9. www. and each stone is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite Cubic Zirconia Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. www. emerald. and some fancy colored diamonds. inc. .com Gemesis Cultured Diamonds Gemesis is located in Sarasota. Apollo Diamonds are cut and polished in sizes ranging from .500 per carat (2004 est. The toughness of Cubic Zirconia is rated as good. Tairus produces rough sizes from .gemesis.apollodiamond. Florida. Chatham's pricing ranges from $6. using a proprietary variation of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) technique. While a synthetic diamond is a man-made recreation of an actual carbon-based diamond.com Tairus Created Gems Tairus Created Gems is a Russian company that grows fancy-colored diamonds in their proprietary "Split Sphere" system. Tairus Created Gems are sold exclusively through Tairus Thailand Co. Apollo Diamond's cut stones are available in round brilliant.25 carats to 1 carat. Gemesis only grows fancy-colored diamonds. carbonate fluid solution that is similar to diamond-bearing metamorphic rock.
The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below). When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting. CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1.41 (RI). you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight. CZ vs Diamond . although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce.In 1973. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond . Zirconium oxide powder is heated. Due to their low cost and consistency. 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. You can also Inspect the facet edges with a 10x loupe to look for any chipping or slightly rounded (not sharp) facet edges that are telltale signs of Cubic Zirconia. CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds.800 . etc. Natural diamonds attract grease. The 1.80 to 2. Using Visual Optics To Detect CZ The Hodgkinson "Visual Optics" technique was developed in the mid-1970s by Alan Hodgkinson as a method of detecting natural diamonds and diamond simulants.170.2. Diamond's RI is 2. but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. Unlike most natural diamonds. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible.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. a CZ is optically flawless.17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2. Once the mixture has cooled.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator. the greater dispersive power. The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit. Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored. and CZs can be made in any "color grade. or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR). candle. or colorless (white) versions. . For instance. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left). Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond.) in a totally dark room. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing.
found only in iron-nickel meteorites.69.060. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond. Arizona. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent. center) near Winslow. Henri Moissan (above. candle. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight.104 as compared to CZ at 0.417.25 on the Mohs scale.044. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ. when examining the gem through the kite facets. Moissanite has a hardness of 9. and diamond at 0. Moissanite. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible.) in a dark room. while diamond has a hardness of 10. 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. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. is classified as an element rather than a compound.A small. . sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective.com Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum).670. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. 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. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material.65 to 2. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. etc. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. Moissanite has an RI of 2. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr.
670. Moissanite vs Diamond . Cutting a Rough Diamond . The Modern Round Brilliant cut (below) is the culmination of several hundred years of experimentation and development. diamond has a "grain.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.A small.Detectable With Testing Double Refraction: Moissanite is double refractive. A similarly sharp." At the time.417 Moissanite is double refractive (anisotropic) while a natural diamond is singly refractive (isotropic). Prior to this time. diamonds were used in their natural octahedral state. which was called the "Point Cut. Diamond cutting can be traced back to the late Middle Ages. Diamond's RI is 2. rather than against it. Like wood." and the rough stone must be cut with the grain. caused by primary reflections from the pavilion and CZ's low RI. Table Cut diamonds appeared black to the eye. Diamonds: Modern Diamond Cutting Diamond Cutting Background One of the hardest substances on earth. due to its high refractive index. Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be more diffused." As further refinement progressed. detailed and sharply focused pattern caused by secondary reflections will be seen when observing a diamond. one half of the crystal would be cut off. creating the "Table Cut. but significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its high RI. only a diamond is hard enough to cut other diamonds. diamonds were valued primarily for their luster and hardness. most diamonds have some inclusions Moissanite vs Diamond . diamond is singly refractive Refractive Index: Moissanite has a refractive index of 2. although it can be easily cleaved or fractured due to its defined cleavage planes. The first improvements on nature's design involved a polishing of the crystal faces. 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.
and maintain symmetry. then a "brillianteer" will cut and polish the remaining 40 facets. 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. This step is also referred to as "rounding. The cutting (also called "placing") and polishing of each facet is accomplished by attaching the stone to a dop stick with cement. The natural shape of the rough stone will also be a major factor in deciding how to cut the stone. Sawing: A stone-cutting saw is a thin disk made of phosphor bronze. A rough stone is cleaved if there are conspicuous defects and/or inclusions which would prevent it from being made into a single gemstone. then pressing it against a revolving cast iron disk. Cleavage is the tendency of crystalline materials to split along defined cleavage plane. Diamonds: Ideal Cut . 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. Due to its atomic structure. Cleaving: Cleaving refers to splitting a stone along its grain by striking it. High-tech computerized helium and oxygen analyzers are now used to evaluate a stone prior to cutting. on a scaife. Bruting: The rough is placed in a chuck on a lathe. or lap that has been "charged" with diamond dust. a diamond can be cleaved in four directions parallel to each of the four octahedron crystal faces. the "blocker" or "lapper" will cut the first 18 main facets. 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. rounding the rough diamond into a conical shape.Cutting a raw diamond into a faceted and polished gem-quality stone is a multi-step process. During this faceting stage the angles of each facet must be cut to an exacting standard in order to yield maximum brilliancy. or shatter the stone. eliminate waste. a second diamond mounted on a dop is pressed against it.Modern Round Brilliant Diamond ." Faceting: To facet a round brilliant. Cleaving is a critical step as a mistake by the "cleaver" could fracture. and bypass any inclusions or imperfections. Cubic shapes are ideal for a square Princess or Radiant cut. Each step is critical to the final outcome. Asymmetrical crystals such as macles are used primarily for fancy cuts. While the rough stone rotates on the diamond lathe.
Reconciling Cut & Weight Retention If the rough stone has a colorless D through F rating and has very few inclusions. If. and the amount of internal inclusions will play an important part in the decisions as to how to maximize yield.weight retention. Parameters Ideal Cut Standard (Premium) Cut Rough Material Loss Finished Stones Cutting Time Crown Symmetry Greater Loss Lower Carat Weight 2 to 4 Days Ideal Higher Yield Higher Carat Weight 1 to 2 Days Shallow Crown . The clarity of the stone. elimination of any inclusions. An octehedral rough diamond will yield two round brilliant cut stones (see diagram below). cut proportions. a cutter must make a cost-benefit analysis as to how to maximize the cut stone's value. on the other hand. it may be better to aim for a higher carat weight utilizing a "Standard" cut.Ideal Cut vs Standard Cut Diamond Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. compromises would have to be made. the rough stone has some coloration and/or is heavily included. it would be cost effective to sacrifice some carat weight in order to finish with two "Ideal" cuts. but in order to do this. This is accomplished by reconciling three key factors .com When deciding how to cut a rough diamond. The objective is always to maximize carat weight.
This is why it is very rare to see flawless stones cut into fancy cuts such as emeralds.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. 1 "culet" facet on the bottom. This is primarily due to the fact that this cut has yet to be improved on for two reasons: 1. An "Ideal Cut". the cutting and polishing of a diamonds resulted in a loss of as much as 50% of the stone's total weight. The round brilliant cut is beneficial when the crystal is an octahedron. The Modern Round Brilliant Cut The modern "Round Brilliant Cut" (below) was developed by Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. and one "table" facet on the top of the stone for a total of 58 facets. 16 "lower girdle" facets. In the diagram of a "Round Cut" diamond (above and below). you will see that there are 8 "star" facets. 8 "pavilion" facets. as two stones could be cut from one crystal. This cut is also known as the "Tolkowsky Cut" and "Tolkowsky Brilliant. it is the most efficient cut for maximizing yield. and 2. 8 "kite" facets. The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem. 16 "upper girdle" facets." Even with modern techniques. "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: . hearts. it is the best cut for showcasing a high-quality stone's fire and brilliance.
. facet ratios.' and there has been numerous attempts to improve on this tried-and-true formula with the introduction of new signature diamond cuts that claim to have a higher light return. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant".5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42. A perfect blending of facet symmetry. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts. Symmetry.7%. etc.7%. To quantify a diamond's cut quality. As with all human endeavors.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed. and overall height of 57. more brilliance and fire. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. and crown/pavilion angles.N. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57. . and Proportions. Since then.6% and overall height of 57. Ideal Scope. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect. crown height of 14. Tolkowsky. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972.N. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951.5% to 43. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). invented in 1929." (Scandinavian standard. Eppler & Scan D. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%. very small to small In the 1970s.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35.4%.5%. H&A Viewer. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. The "Scan D. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. crown height of 14.
Here is a collection of just a few of the many "signature" diamond cuts that have been produced over the last 100 years. and entrepreneurs . Some have gone on to become household names such as the Asscher cut. or the widely marketed Leo cut which is a modified round-brilliant sold by Leo Schachter Diamonds.Producers split hairs over cut angle. less facets. cut corners and a small table. with the two largest stones. and their modest brilliance and light return. the Asscher diamond cut has a squarish octagonal shape with a step cut. The Asscher brothers cut the famous 3. the Cullinan 1 and Cullinan 2 being set into the crown and sceptre of the British Crown Jewels.the consumer. and it still survives in some form today.nl Barion Cut . cut proportions.asscher. scientists. Every conceivable cutting theory is tried. etc. Tolkowsky came up with a "brilliant" idea almost 90 years ago. One thing is for sure . (more facets. and number of facets. Popular in Art Deco jewelry of the period. but at the end of the day it may simply come down to consumer preference and/or marketing. but some like the Barion Cut have disappeared into obscurity. it is put in front of the ultimate arbiter of quality .106 carat Cullinan Diamond into eleven gem stones. 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. and the culet is square.) and when suitably scrutinized by the gem trade.like Einstein's theory of relativity.each trying to improve on the tried-and-true Old European cuts. www. mathematicians. Asscher Cut The Asscher Cut was developed by Abraham and Joseph Asscher of the Royal Asscher Diamond Company of Amsterdam in 1902. The cut has a deep pavilion and a high crown.
The cutting process requires a high-quality rough. of New York in 2000. merged with the jewelry firm Asprey.freiesleben. and its patent has expired. The Context Cut is used to cut colored gemstones by Julius Petsch of Idar-Oberstein. In 1998. Germany. modified rectangular (baguette) cut that was developed by Baroka Creations. Gabi Tolkowsky. Barocut stones are also sold in tapered shapes. The Barion square cut diamond has a 4-fold mirror-image symmetry. Inc.com . www. and a 'softer' briliance than a traditional round brilliant cut. nephew to the inventor of the Modern Round Brilliant cut. Ulrich Freiesleben of Germany in the early 1980s then patented and trademarked in 1997. Barocut diamonds are promoted and sold exclusively through the Baroka Creations catalog. 81 facets on the cut corner (cushion) version. The Barocut is available in sizes from 20 points to 3 carats. Marce Tolkowsky.garrard. and a total of 81 facets. The Context Cut consists of two back-to-back pyramids (an octahedron).The Barion square cut (aka Barion square cushion cut) was invented by Basil Watermeyer of South Africa in 1971. The Context Cut follows a rough diamond crystal's natural octahedral shape.de Eternal Cut The Eternal Cut diamond was designed and patented by master Israeli diamond cutter. The cut has a total of 8 facets plus a girdle. to become Asprey & Garrard. or the company website. 23 more than a modern Round Brilliant cut. parting ways in 2002 to again become Garrard. or to increase light-dispersion.com Context Cut The Context Cut is a square cut that was developed by Dr. The Barocut is also called a "two heart diamond" due to the illusion of two mirrored hearts meeting at the culet. adding up to 50% to the cost when compared to a Round Brilliant cut diamond. and was the forerunner to the princess cut.baroka. The Context Cut design was based on an earlier patented design by Bernd Munsteiner from the early 1960s. The Eternal Cut is being sold exclusively at Garrard's main London store and Harvey Nichols stores in Great Britain. www. with star-shaped cross facets cut diagonally into the pavilion. The name "Barion" or "Barion cut" was never trademarked. Barocut The Barocut® diamond cut is a patented. and in all diamond colors and/or clarity grades. The Eternal Cut has a total of 81 facets. A Barocut diamond has a total of 77 facets. forming a square shape when viewed from the top. and creates a high amount of waste. not including the 16 girdle facets. Garrard & Co. www. It is sold exclusively through the 270 year old firm of Garrard & Company in London. creating a unique 'flower petal' pattern surrounding the cutlet.
the Gabrielle Cut is available in carre. 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. that is suited to a relatively flat rough.gabriellediamonds.com Leo Cut The Leo® Diamond.com Flower Cut The 'Flower Cut' series was created by Gabi Tolkowsky in 1986. Unveiled at the Las Vegas Gem Show in 2001. The Fire-Rose is a hexagonal shape designed to produce higher yields. the Gabrielle has a total of 105 facets. The Zinnia is a round fancy shape with 73 facets. The Marigold is an octagon shape with 73 facets. (aka Leo Schachter Diamond).nationaldiamond. and pear shapes. adding greater brilliance and fire than standard brilliant cuts. who was commissioned by De Beers to create new cuts as a way of marketing unusual. Sunflower and Zinnia cut. The Sunflower has 43 facets in unusual. maximizing the amount of light returned back as scintillation. The Flanders Brilliant has 33 crown facets and 28 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets. and the cut was named after the Flanders region of Belgium (Antwerp) where the cut was first preformed in 1987. which is 47 more than a traditional 'Tolkowsky' round brilliant cut. is a patented symmetrical round cut created by Leo Schachter Diamonds.flanders-cuts. Marigold. The Flower Cuts employ unconventional cutting angles and dimensions. emerald. The Leo diamond cut has a total of 66 facets. The Flower Cuts were never patented or trademarked by De Beers in order to increase their popularity and use. . www. The Flanders Fire-Brilliant was developed by Flanders Cut International of Antwerp in 1983. www. off-color stones. oval. Fire-Rose. Other than the traditional round brilliant shape.com www. 8 more facets than the Round Brilliant cut's 58. LLC. marquise. designed to maximize the brilliance and color of diamonds while increasing their yield. The Dahlia is a 12 sided oval shape with 63 facets.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. 48 of which are clustered around the culet to increase fire. The Flower Cut is actually a series of five fancy cut shapes: the Dahlia. angular shapes. The cut is distributed by the National Diamond Syndicate (NDS) of Chicago. heart.
the Radiant Cut became a fully accepted diamond shape in the jewelry business. 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. Bez Ambar Radiant Cut The Radiant Cut is a modified emerald cut shape that was developed. and a total of has 50 facets. Prior to the Quadrillion. www. patented and trademarked by Henry Grossbard of the Radiant Cut Diamond Company (RCDC) in 1977. and three-stone rings. There are a total of 49 facets.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 25 crown facets and 36 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets (not including 8 girdle facets).com Starburst Cut .diamondaires. eternity bands. It was the first emerald shaped diamond cut to have brilliance and fire similar to that of a round brilliant diamond. The Lucida diamond cut is marketed as a wedding cut. square shaped diamonds were stepcut limiting their brilliance. and the table is a bowed out rectangle.radiantcut.tiffany.com Lucida Cut The Lucida (TM) Cut is a patented diamond cut that was created by Tiffany & Company in 1999. Upon the expiration of the patent. www. and all Original Radiant Cut diamonds weigh at least 0." The Leo Diamond is marketed through the Kay Jeweler chain.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. a highstep crown (similar to the Asscher Cut). RCDC launched the 'Original Radiant Cut' diamond brand In 2002. The Lucida is sold exclusively through Tiffany's retail chain. brilliant-style faceted pavilion (similar to a Cushion Cut). The pavilion is similar to a Barion cut. www. small table.' and each diamond comes with a "Return of Light Certificate. and was patented and trademarked by Bez Ambar Jewelers of Los Angeles in 1980. sold in solitaire engagement/wedding bands.70 carats and come with a GIA Certificate and an "Original Radiant Cut Diamond Certificate" guarantying that the stone meets the ideal proportions as designed by Henry Grossbard.
The Trilliant cut gives a high brilliance. The Trilliant has the Schoenflies point group symmetry of a round brilliant. for a total of 89 kite and star shaped facets. the precursor for the "design" of the first faceted diamond lay within the rough stone itself. Trillion) is a triangular cut designed and trademarked by the Henry Meyer Diamond Company of New York in 1962. with weight losses in the fifty percent range. craftsmen have attempted to "improve" on nature. From this point forward it was a race to see who could design the perfect faceted cut which would bring out the maximum fire. and the natural octahedral symmetry of the rough stone's closed isometric form.com The faceting of diamonds has come a long way in the last 700 years. but the pavilion is completely different. Since the day that humans first discovered 'adamas' (diamonds). Old eight. reworked into the shape of a trillion (triangle). and scintillation when cut to the correct proportions. www. 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. 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. Harry Winston. There are two variations of this cut: the Curved cut used for solitary stones. Old European Gem Cuts: Point. making the hue of fancy yellow diamonds more intense. There are 49 crown facets and 40 pavilion facets. The Starburst cut is especially suitable for a octahedral rough.The Starburst Cut was patented and trademarked by the Louis Glick Diamond Corp. but at each stage of advancement the pioneers of 'brillianting' diamonds have made great strides in bringing out the magic that is inherent in these gifts from nature. The pavilion has two differently sized sets triangular facets with a large triangular table. right) was created by cutting off some of the top half of the point cut's octahedron to create a table. With the realization that only a diamond could cut another diamond. Point Cut . Nieman Marcus and Tiffany. and the career of the "diamantaire" (diamond cutter/polisher) was born. The Starburst cut was created to bring out the highest amount of color to fancy yellow diamonds. fire. The crown of the Starburst Cut is similar to that of the radiant cut. and light return from the stone. Old Mine Cut Evolution of the Faceted Diamond & Colored Gem Article Copyright © 2008 AllAboutGemstones. Starburst Cuts are mounted and sold directly through Cartier. .com Trilliant Cut The Trilliant Cut (aka Trielle. Trillian.louisglick. The starburst faceting pattern is designed to focus color near the top of a stone. and the Trilliant is now a generic term for a triangular brilliant cut. of New York in 1978. The Trilliant trademark has since lapsed. brilliance. The Trilliant Cut has a total of 31 facets. Still. this led to the invention of the first gem cutting machines (precursor to the "lap" or "Facetron") in the 1300s. and Uncurved cut used for accent stones. The "table cut" (below.
." and the Full Holland cut." "crowned rose cut. the "old single cut" (aka "old eight cut") diamond has the addition of corner facets to create an octagonal girdle. The briolette was the precursor to the "pendeloque cut" which is a pear-shaped modification of the round brilliant cut.Single Cut . and eight pavilion facets. The Rose cut can form a single hemisphere for a total of 24 facets or it can be two back-to-back hemispheres (Double Dutch rose) forming a total of 48 facets.1700s The "old mine" cut is the earliest form of the "brilliant cut" diamond. the "rose cut" is also known by the the "Antwerp rose. The "senaille cut" is a rose cut with irregular or non-symmetrical faceting. Also called the "cushion cut". The briolette cut was designed primarily for use in a pendant or as a dangling bauble in a crown. Rose & Briolette Cut. The culet is usually large enough to be visible when viewed through the table. Old Mine Cut . The crown is typically tall. This Old Mine cut is basically square with gently rounded corners and "brilliant" style facets. it has a cushioned or rounded girdle shape. an octagonal table. The "briolette cut" is a modified "double Dutch rose cut" with one of the hemispheres being elongated. The single cut may or may not have a culet at the bottom." "Dutch cut.late 1300s Invented in the late 14th century. eight bezel or crown facets.1500s Invented in the mid 16th century. resulting in a smaller table.
" Even with modern techniques. The Old European diamond cut has a very small table. Like the modern round brilliant. As with its predecessor the "point cut" over 600 years earlier. This cut is also known as the "Tolkowsky Cut" and "Tolkowsky brilliant. and very tall overall depth. .Old European Cut . the cutting and polishing of a diamonds resulted in a loss of as much as 50% of the stone's total weight. as two stones can be cut from one crystal with a minimum amount of waste. The eight cut is similar to the "single cut" in that there are eight four-sided trapezoidal facets at the crown. The Modern Round Brilliant Cut . and an octagon-shaped table for a total of 17 facets (18 if a culet is used).1900s The "modern round brilliant cut" (below) was developed by Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem.1800s The "Old European" cut was the forerunner of the modern round brilliant cut. a heavy crown. eight facets at the pavilion. the old European diamond has a circular girdle. the Modern Round Brilliant cut is beneficial when the crystal is an octahedron (diagram above). Eight Cut & Swiss Cut The "eight cut" is primarily used for small stones when a brilliant cut would be impractical.
A "Swiss cut" is a compromise between an eight cut and a brilliant cut. . 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. Trans Hex. The rough stones are separated into 16. silver or platinum. then divided by human or automated sorters into individual lots called "boxes. There is a limited market for the resale of diamonds that are less than "investment grade. Kimberley and Windhoek. Gaborone. there is usually a substantial mark-up in the retail sale price of diamonds. Rio Tinto." The 'Diamond Pipeline' Rough diamonds are sent directly from De Beers mining operations in Africa (#1)." The DTC is part of the DeBeers Group supply-chain known as the Central Selling Organization (CSO). The Diamond Trade: The 'Diamond Pipeline' Rough Diamond Producers Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. 16 isosceles triangle facets on the crown and 16 facets on the pavilion.com The trade in gem-grade rough diamonds is primarily controlled by the De Beers.000 categories based on size. which combines ("aggregating") supplies of rough diamonds from multiple sources into one wholesale market (#2). Unlike precious metals such as gold. 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). color and quality. thereby controlling and stabilizing prices. or secondary mining producers in Canada and Russia to De Beers' Diamond Trading Company (DTC) in London. with a total of 33 facets (34 if a culet is used). for sorting and resale.
A 'sight' can have a value of between $500. and New York. or to jewelry manufacturers (#5) around the world. The diamonds are then re-sold from the cutting and polishing (manufacturing) centers to wholesalers (Diamond Bourses). As a reaction to their decrease in market share. China. Tel Aviv. . cutters. through their Diamond Promotion Service (DPS) and Diamond Information Centres (DIC) marketing divisions. and the breakaway from CSO's cartel by the Argyle Diamond Mine in Australia. (see DeBeers' Adiamondisforever. Once the diamonds are set into jewelry. De Beers. De Beers (DTC) sets the price of each box in advance. Russia and elswhere. Other major cutting centers are located in Johannesburg. The sightholder then transports the box of rough diamonds back to diamantaire firms (cutting and polishing factories) located around the world (#4).com website). has launched an aggressive branding and marketing campaign. to take advantage of market fluctuations. where De Beers sells the "boxes" to its select group ("supplier of choice") of 125 "sightholders" (#3) or diamond manufacturers. while large stones are primarily cut in Antwerp. De Beers is also facing increasing pressure from the manufactures of synthetic diamonds. Rough diamonds are cut in various geographic regions according to tradition and the skill-sets of the labor force.000 USD.20 carats or less) in Mumbai (Bombay) and Surat. which are increasing in popularity and consumer acceptance. Many Sightholders are also cutters. and Thailand. De Beers and the Future De Beers' (CSO's) control over the wholesale diamond market has diminished due to increased market penetration. Additionally. Both traders and manufacturers may sell diamonds "upstream" and "downstream" through the diamond pipeline . India cuts the vast majority of small stones (. reclaiming their "A Diamond Is Forever" moniker.000 to $2. Ramat Gan.De Beers Sightholders The DTC holds a sale called a "site" or "sight" ten times per year in London and Johannesburg. and retailers . 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. determining the quantity and quality that each site-holder will receive. and independent diamond producers in Canada.
some 1. 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. The Council has approximately 70 members representing jewelers. the WDC has observers from the governments of Belgium. Israel and South Africa and works with 35 independent Governments. heavily guarded geographic area surrounded by three main streets. Asia. The Diamond High Council (HRD) The HRD (Hoge Raad voor Diamant) Diamond High Council is a non-profit industry organization designed to promote and represent the Antwerp diamond trade. The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates . and the city is the hub of the global diamond trading industry (diamanthandel). London. traders and manufacturer/producers. and preventing the inherent product misidentification that will follow.500 diamond dealers (diamantbedrijven) are ensconced in small. Schupstraat. cut and uncut diamonds. and about half of the polished diamonds. The largest diamond trading center in the world is located in Antwerp. NY . China. De Beers is hoping that the combination of branding and security will increase consumer demand. The Council began in July 2000 after a joint meeting of the WFDB and its international headquarters are in New York City. and India (2007). Within Antwerp's diamond district. also known as the "World Diamond Center" or Diamantenzentrum. the DTC has developed new inscription technologies to "invisibly" mark the table facet of polished diamonds with a "Forevermark" trademark. This mark is only visible via a point-of-sale electronic viewer. 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 . Europe. In addition to its members. the European Union and the United Nations to rid the diamond Industry of conflict diamonds. The Diamond Trade: Diamond Bourses of Antwerp Diamond Bourses Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.. Moscow. and Shanghai.com The word "Bourse" refers to a private stock. are sold in Antwerp every year. South Africa.Forevermark Diamonds As a way of staving off the onslaught of secondary diamond markets. KPCS originated in May 2000 during a meeting of South African diamond producing states in Kimberley. As of 2006. The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base. . Forevermark diamonds will be available through sightholder/retailers in the U. Hoveniersstraat. and will com with a certificate of authenticity. Diamond Bourses are basically trading exchanges for loose. bond. and Rijfstraat. Belgium but there are also Diamond Bourses in Israel. Almost 85% of the world's rough diamonds. Hong Kong. or commodities exchange similar to the NYSE.S.
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. Both bourse were founded by Hasidim diamantairs. Around $16+ billion in polished diamonds pass through Antwerp's diamond bourses each year.Photo: Wiki Public The first trading exchange to deal exclusively with rough. Members of the Diamond Bourses operate within a system based on mutual trust and each member pledges to uphold the traditions and principles of consideration. Most transactions conducted within the Bourses done with cash and a handshake. and both are still in operation today. Beurs voor Diamanthandel . founded in 1893—and the Beurs voor Diamanthande (at Pelikaanstraat 78) founded in 1904 . In Antwerp's 'Diamond Center' (Diamantenzentrum) today. and repatriation of Antwerp following the end of WWII. there are around 4000 diamond-cutters (diamantaire) working in the several-square-block diamond district. an by-laws that govern business practices. uncut diamonds was the Antwerpsche Diamantkring (Antwerp Diamond Ring) . and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) was founded in 1947. and disputes are handled by an internal arbitration process. friendship and trust . regulations. which was established in the same year that the 1930 World Expo was held in Antwerp. The Diamond High Council (HRD) . Control over the diamond trade is maintained through the WFDB's Constitution containing a series of rules. These first trading exchanges mainly dealt with the wholesaling of cut stones. After the liberation. making it the largest diamond-trading center in the world . the Antwerpsche Diamantkring was reopened. ethics and morality. bisected by Hoveniersstraat street.
most with Dutch Calvinist. England seized the Cape of Good Hope from the Dutch East India Company in 1797.' and the 'Orange Free State' provinces to escape hostilities with the native 'Xhosa tribe' from which Nelson Mandela decended. coming for . and Limpopo (Venetia Diamond Mine).000 Zulu warriors attacking 470 Boer settlers. This led to a new wave of emigrants and adventurer-seekers from England. there was a mass exodus (the Great Trek) northward to 'Northern Cape. Afrikaners (aka Boers or farmers) were religious refugees from the Netherlands and other parts of northern Europe during the mid 1600s to late 1700s. They settled in the 'Cape of Good Hope' on Africa's southern most tip. There was not a single Boer fatality. Flemish. Diamonds and the British The Second Wave of Europeans Needing a stopping-off point on the sea-route to Australia and India.' 'Limpopo. and this eventually lead to all-out war." Three of South Africa's richest diamond mines are in Northern Cape (Kimberley Diamond Mine).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 research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base. the Zule's King Dingane agreed to a treaty allowing the Voortrekkers to settle in what would be called the Natalia Republic or Boer republics. ending with the inclusion of all Boer territories into British colonies.' 'Gauteng. Afrikaners who participated in the migration northward became known as the 'Trekboer' or Voortrekkers.' During the 1830s and 1840s.' After the devastating Zulu defeat. 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). under the Treaty of Vereeniging. and fully annexed the Cape Colony in 1806 . The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates . The Voortrekkers had to contend with the native Zulu tribe over land they wished to settle on.The HRD (Hoge Raad voor Diamant) Diamond High Council is a non-profit industry organization designed to promote and represent the Antwerp diamond trade. with 10. Gauteng (Premier Diamond Mine). which at the time was administered by the 'Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie' or 'Dutch East India Company. The First Boer War (1880—1881) began with the Transvaal (Limpopo) Boers declaring independence from Great Britain. or German Protestant backgrounds. The Diamond Trade: History & Culture of the Key Players Article Copyright © 2006 AllAboutGemstones. who were in search of the "quiet sweet life.
D. N. 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. One of the richest men in the world. A. he was able to build a monopolistic empire through skill and cunning. Rhodes made several aborted attempt to gain control over Barnato's interest in Kimberley Central Mine. Rhodes started out selling ice cream to the diamond-diggers and service workers. Barnato was given appointed to 'life governor' and temporary controlling interest in De Beers . in Northern Cape. As a young lad from England. Domain Barney Barnato During the same period that Cecil Rhodes was building De Beers Consolidated Mines. As founder of De Beers. no heirs to his empire. Cecil Rhodes' De Beers empire was started on a farm owned by two Boer settlers and brothers. although Rhodes did not start out with an interest in diamonds. Cullinan . Around 1873 the De Beer brothers sold out to a group of mining syndicates who later merged with Cecil Rhodes' pumping company to form 'De Beers Consolidated Mines. mysteriously falling overboard on a ship passage back to England.the "mineral revolution. The African nation of Rhodesia was named after him (now the Republic of Zimbabwe). Photo: Pub. and J. In exchange. Amid all of this turmoil and chaos. Photo: Pub. De Beers and Kimberley Central were the two largest mining interests in South Africa at the time. Photo: Pub. Barnato died several years later." In 1906. a prospector. he began his business interests in South Africa by servicing the "ant hill" of humanity that was descending on Kimberley during the diamond rush of the late 1800s. and in 1910 the 'Union of South Africa' was created. self-government was restored. With the help of the Rothschild bank in London.' Cecil Rhodes died a single man with no children and. De Beer. Domain Thomas M. but was eventually successful in convincing Barnato to merge with De Beers. and later selling steam-powered water pumps to drain the open-pit mines of Kimberley. a curious discovery was being made along the banks of the Orange River... 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 . On January 25th 1905, a 3,106 carat diamond was found at the mine, which remains the largest diamond ever found in the world. When news of Premier's success hit the board room of De Beers, several aborted attempts were made to purchase the mine, but Cullinan had no intention of selling . In 1914, WW1 broke out in Europe, and diamond prices began to spiral. Layoffs at the mine caused enough friction that by August, mining operations were suspended. The Premier Mine had resumed production by January 1916, but in need of cash, Cullinan sold a major stake in the mine to the Transvaal government. Frank Oats, who was now the chairman of De Beers, was able to convince the Transvaal government to sell its controlling interest in 1917, and De Beers once again enjoyed a monopoly on South African diamonds.
Diamonds and the Ashkenazi, Sephardi and Hasidic Jews
There is perhaps no other ethnic group that is so inextricably intertwined with the diamond trade, than the jews. In an odd twist of fate, it may be Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama's discovery of a searoute to India around Africa's Cape of Good Hope in 1488, that set the stage for the Jewish/diamond connection. Da Gama's discovery opened up a direct diamond-trading route from India's Malabar Coast and the island of Borneo, to Portugal and on the Netherlands. With Lisbon now at the forefront of the European diamond trade, many Portuguese Sephardi businessmen opened cutting houses, and quickly gained a dominant roll in the diamond-polishing industry. The Sephardi were Jews who originated from Spain and Portugal (the Iberian Peninsula), many practicing a secret adherence to Judaism known as "Crypto-Judaism," while professing other faiths. Jews who practiced their religion in the open were expelled from Spain and Portugal, when the Catholic Monarchs issued the "Alhambra Decree" in 1492 (1497 for Portugal), fleeing to Morocco, the Ottoman Empire, Antwerp and Amsterdam. When the first Jewish emigrants (Ashkenazi) came to Antwerp in the 1200s, they were welcomed, but when the Black Plague swept across Antwerp in the mid 1300s, the Jews were one of the scapegoats. Although Amsterdam's Dutch were relatively tolerant when it came to religious freedom, in 1585 Antwerp came under Spanish rule, and the Jews (this time Sephardic), were once again the focus of scrutiny. With the Spanish Inquisition in high gear, Jews were now persecuted for conducting trade with the Ottoman Empire, or for being 'pseudo-Christian.' In the 1600s, wealthy Jewish diamond-traders now living in the Netherlands, financed the 'Dutch East India Company' and its exploration of new trade routes to India, but the British were beginning to see opportunity in the diamond trade, creating new competition for the Jewish/Dutch. Prior to being granted 'civil equality' in 1796, Amsterdam's Jews were not allowed to join trade guilds, leaving the unregulated diamond industry as one of the only means of employment. By the late 18th century, many of Amsterdam's Jews were working in the diamond trade, and many of these 'Sephardi refugees' had maintained connections with Portuguese traders who now had a monopoly on the trade of raw diamonds from India. By the early 1700s, India's mines were nearing exhaustion, but a new discovery in Brazil helped to reinvigorate the diamond trade. By this time, British naval superiority proved to be a great advantage, and the 'British East India Company' was born. The European center for the diamond trade now began to move away from Amsterdam, as Jewish traders set up shop in London. The cut stones were sold to the nobility and royalty of Europe, using the Hofjude (Court Jews) as purchasing agents to select the stones from the London diamond merchants.
Photo: Pub. Domain
The Pshevorsk Hasidic Dynasty Hasidic Judaism was founded by Polish (now Ukrainian) Rabbi 'Ba'al Shem Tov', aka 'Israel ben Eliezer' (1698—1760) in a time when European Jews were facing increasing hostility and pressure from the "Cossacks' Uprising" in Ukraine. The Hasidic movement is a sub-group of the theologically conservative Haredi or Charedi Judaism, aka Ultra-Orthodox Judaism. The movement was seen as a way of turning inward towards a 'deeper spiritualism and mysticism.' Hasidism spread westward, making its way to western Europe in the 1800s. The Hasidic movement in Antwerp began with Rabbi Moshe of Pshevorsk, who authored 'Ohr Pnei Moshe' in 1805 . The Pshevorsk is a small sub-Hasidic movement based in Antwerp, Belgium, with their hub at the study hall (beth midrash), 'Beth Yitzchok' at Mercatorstraat 56. With the discovery of vast diamond reserves in South Africa during the late 1800s, concern over a glut in the diamond market spread throughout London's diamond merchants. A group of wealthy Jewish dealers pooled their resources to form "the syndicate," which was created to soak up all of the excess capacity being created by South Africa. Today, Antwerp and London's diamond trade is largely controlled by the Hasidic Jewish community, although Indian influence is on the rise in recent years. Many of these Hasidic entrepreneurs are nameless by choice, preferring to maintain their anonymity, but they have been the driving force behind the multi-billion dollar diamond industry for hundreds of years.
Photo: Pub. Domain
Alfred Beit Alfred Beit (1853—1906) was born into a prominent Jewish family in Hamburg, Germany. Beit worked for the diamond firm of Jules Porges and Co. in Amsterdam before emigrating to 'Cape Colony' in 1875 during the Kimberley diamond-rush . Beit was part of a group of financiers, including Cecil Rhodes, who gained control of the diamond-mining claims in the Central Mine, Dutoitspan Mine, and De Beers Mine, thereby 'consolodating' the South African mining industry. becoming a 'life-governor' of De Beers Consolidated Mines. He was also the director of the Beira Railway Company, British South Africa Company, Rand Mines, and the Rhodesia Railways. Beit, along with partner Cecil Rhodes, financed the 1895 'Jameson Raid' which was an attempt to trigger an unsuccessful coup in the South African Republic of Transvaal. The Royal School of Mines, at the Imperial College London has a large memorial to Beit, in recognition of the Beit trust's bequeathment to the university, and to educational institutions in Britain, Germany South Africa, and Zimbabwe (Rhodesia).
Photo: Pub. Domain
Sir Ernest Oppenheimer Ernest Oppenheimer (1880—1957) was born in Friedberg, Germany to a large Jewish family, and with several brothers working for "the syndicate," Ernest was well positioned for his future vocation. He began his career at age 17, working for the diamond brokerage firm, Dunkelsbuhler & Company in London. Oppenheimer created the concept of "single-channel marketing" over 100 years ago, by funneling the world's supply of diamonds through a single clearing house. Oppenheimer gained control of Namibia's diamond mines, forming the Anglo American mining conglomerate. This gave him the financing and power to gain the chairmanship of De Beers. Today, Oppenheimer's Anglo American operates a fleet of diamond recovery ships off the coast of Namibia and South Africa under the umbrella of De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited (DBCM), and Central Holdings Limited (CHL), an Oppenheimer family holding company, and in partnership with Namdeb.
Photo: Pub. Domain
Nicky Oppenheimer Ernest's grandson, Nicky Oppenheimer (born 1945) studied philosophy at Oxford as a young man, and is now the chairman of the De Beers Diamond Mining Company and its subsidiary Diamond Trading Company. The Oppenheimer family and Anglo American maintains a 45% stake in De Beers today. Africa's richest man, and #134 on the Forbes list of the world's richest people, Nicky Oppenheimer is worth an estimated $4.5 billion. Under new legislation, passed by the African National Congress, Nicky Oppenheimer was forced to sell a 26% share of De Beers to the South African 'Black Economic Empowerment' group (BEE). This was the first major ownership change for De Beers in over a century. Of the legislation Oppenheimer said: "De Beers is here to make a profit, but we must benefit the people and communities where we operate."
Photo: Pub. Domain
Lev Leviev The Lev Leviev Group, created by Israeli national, Lev Leviev (born 1956 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan) is the worlds largest cutter and polisher (diamantaire) of rough diamonds, with factories in Armenia, India, Israel, and the Ukraine. The Lev Leviev Group also owns mining interests in Namibia's offshore dredging operations. Through his personal relationship to Vladimir Putin and other Russian heads of
House of Graff is also located on London's Sloane Street. Russia." the Leviev Group has found willing partners in several countries including Angola's ASCORP after De Beers' exit in 2001. Raised by his grandparents. Graff has been dubbed the "king of diamonds. and has satellite locations in Wafi City. in 1992. The Hindustani Diamond Cutters Photo: dnavin. Graff has co-authored (with Vanessa von Zitzewitz) "The Most Fabulous Jewels in the World. By circumventing the De Beers supply chain. Tretiakovsky Proezd in Moscow. which are now owned by Lev Leviev. Photo: Pub. from wholesale and retail. to purchasing a 51% stake in Safdico (South African Diamond Corp. Dubai. Hotel de Paris' salon privé in Paris. 2006 at the Letseng diamond mine in the tiny Kingdom of Lesotho in the center of the Republic of South Africa.com Gujarat's Indian Diamantaires . ALROSA produces 100% of Russia's rough diamond output and approximately 20% of the world's rough diamonds . Lesotho Promise is the 15th largest diamond ever found.5 billion (#278 Forbes List). Lev Leviev lives in B'nei Brak. Using this model of "local control. One of his most notable acquisitions was the 603 carat "Lesotho Promise diamond. and one of the most successful diamond merchants in modern history.5 billion dollars ." a compendium and history of his most famous jewels. and on board the luxury residential ship The World ResidenSea. founder of the House of Graff in the heart of London's posh New Bond Street. Israel. Leviev's net-worth is estimated at $2. Mr. New York's Madison Avenue. Lev Leviev has formed a partnership with the ex Soviet state-owned diamond firm." and the "king of bling" by Forbes magazine . selling to the rich and famous from Elizabeth Taylor and Donald Trump. Laurence Graff was born into a Jewish orthodox family in London's poorer 'East End' district.state. All House of Graff stones have a laser-inscribed girdle with the 'Graff' logo and GIA number. a DeBeers sightholder in Johannesburg. Graff's strategy of "vertically integration" has been to control every angle of the diamond pipeline. found on August 22.). which gives him access to some of the finest uncut diamonds coming out of South Africa. formed by Decree 158C of the Russian Federation. with his wife and their nine children. now called ALROSA (Almazy-Rossii-Sakha) . and the largest rough unearthed in this century. Graff's net worth is estimated at 2. to Larry Ellison. Alrosa now sells direct to cutting factories throughout Russia. Domain Laurence Graff Laurence Graff (1938—) is a DeBeers sightholder. Monte Carlo. It will ultimately be cut into an estimated 20 or so 'D-flawless' stones ranging from 75 carats to 1 carat in size.
Chandragupta. is the newest addition to India's arsenal of global marketing tools to promote exports. with $1. Domain Bharat & Vijay Shah Bharat and Vijay Shah came from a family of jewelers going back three generations. By slowly developing markets. to elevate quality standards. This vast fortune is shared by some 300 to 500 Gujaratis families from Palanpur on the GujaratRajasthan border .com Dilip Mehta Indian diamantaire. and Israelis didn't want to work with . Gitanjali Gems. Photo: rosyblue. and to develop an "understanding of the world market. The Indian communities' share has grown to around 60%. improve perceptions. and Shah. . 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. D. Dilip Mehta of Mumbai. 320 BC) by Kautiliya. both college dropouts. The Indo Argyle Diamond Council (IADC) formed in 1994 as a consortium of Indian jewelry manufacturers and cutting houses. displacing the Hasidim as the dominant force in the industry . and De Beers India." The Indians would go on to enjoy a singular reign over the diamond-rich dominion—known as Hindustan—for another two thousand years.above). the Hindustan Diamond Company Ltd." The Bharat Diamond Bourse in Mumbai. M. Suresh & Co. The brothers. Of the $26 billion per year diamond revenues that flow through Antwerp. started out thirty years ago by purchasing cheaper stones that the Dutch Hasidim. Shree Ramkrishna Exports. universal truths. and Surat's 'Special Economic Zone' . It is estimated that India cuts. Much of India's diamond trade is controlled by a handful of wealthy families in Gujarat. and although India's famous "Diamonds of Golconda" were mined-out hundreds of years ago. they were able to gain an increasingly larger share of the wholesale diamond trade. Venus Jewels. Sanghavi Exports. Photo: Pub. India (born 1949). Gujarat. Harshad Mehta ("Diamond King of the world") is one of the founders of Rosy Blue. a minister to the Indian king. are headed and staffed by Mehta family members. with diamond cutting factories located in Borivali. Navinchandra & Co (board of directors . heighten awareness of ethical business practices. Jainism is an ancient Indian religious sect believing in the 'Jain' philosophy. polishes.Diamonds made their first reluctant appearance in human history over 2400 years ago. the Indians would not be giving up their rightful heritage as diamantaires. is the CEO of the 'Rosy Blue Group' which is currently one of the world's largest diamond companies. Gitanjali Gems is one of the largest manufacturers of diamonds and diamond jewelry in India. and Vijaydimon are family owned operations run by Jains with the common surnames of Jhavari. Several other divisions of the Rosy Blue Group. from Hong Kong to Israel. and is currently a Senior Partner and head of the UAE division. and were written about in an ancient Sanskrit manuscript called the "The Lesson of Profit" Arthasastra (c. The Sanskrit word for 'diamond' was vajra. (HDC). based upon eternal. or "thunderbolt.7 billion in annual sales . propelling their twin companies. Mehta. and exports several billion dollars worth of gems per year. Mumbai. Companies like Bhavani Gems.
The president of Sierra Leone. all who have signed multi-million dollar trade deals. Hong Kong. the political situation in Angola has begun to normalize.000 workers. dos Santos. Singapore. is making great strides in stabilizing the country after years of strife. Ayer & Son . China. and the end to South African apartheid in 1994. India. employing 22. Botswana has held regular elections and has been one of the more stable governments in southern Africa. many of the ex-colonial nations of Sub-Saharan Africa are starting to emerge as powerful and legitimate forces in the diamond industry. Kabbah.Vijaydimon (Belgium) and B Vijaykumar (India) . Surat. Thailand. Bombay. and the United States. Diamonds and the Americans Photo: Pub. Mandela. On a somewhat darker note. The company has cutting factories in Antwerp. President Festus Mogae was elected for a second term in 2004. At the age of 29. into a global position with nearly $1 Billion a year in sales. both domestically and internationally. Joseph Kabila (above. created a program for capacity-building of 'small and medium-sized enterprise' (SME) development. only hinting at their possibility in 2007 or 2008. After winning a disicive re-election victory in 2006. Vijaydimon is a DTC sightholder with offices in Belgium. After years of fighting between the PMLA and UNITA. Palanpur. The last democratic election in Angola was in 1992. UAE. Bangkok. with one of the fastest per-capita income growth rates in the world. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. Vijaydimon also purchases rough diamonds from Canada's Diavik Mine and Argyle (Rio Tinto) and Russia . left). & Mogae Starting with Botswana's independence in 1966. is receiving broad support from the South Africa. Angola and from mining magnates. Kabila.W. Domain N. In a post-conflict reconstruction effort. succeeded his father (Laurent-Désiré Kabila) as president the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC) after his assassination in January 2001. who was a major general in the army. and Tel Aviv. Diamonds and the African Nationals Photos: Public Domain Kabila. Botswana is a relatively wealthy African country. working in cooperation with the government of Sierra Leone. and enjoys broad support. the 'United Nations Industrial Development Orginization' (UNIDO). president José Eduardo dos Santos is preventing democratic elections from taking place.
The 'Tiffany & Co. De Beers president. which started out as 'Tiffany & Young' of New York City in 1837. Photo: Pub. Tiffany was able to purchase significant gems from such renowned estates as: the 'jewel-mad' Duke of Brunswick.' brand was catapulted into the stratosphere by the 1961 movie 'Breakfast at Tiffany's. Domain Charles Lewis Tiffany Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812—1902). was originally a 'fancy goods' emporium. for resale in America. specializing in one-of-a-kind baubles for New York's newly-minted industrialists and 'robber-barons. The movie version featured Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend. Jule Styne. this time from playwriter." by Jean Schlumberger in the 1960s. and a series of diamond-related slogans were introduced into the American lexicon. Harry Frederick Oppenheimer enlisted the help of N. In 1948 the famous "A diamond is forever" slogan was introduced. After attending Chicago Musical College. the public's tolerance towards nobility was at a low point.' at the flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. Photo: Pub." after here charecter. Domain Hollywood in 1949 Coming just on the heels of the immortal "a diamond is forever" campaign.' The stone was set into a garish jewelry piece called "Bird on a Rock. The stone was cut in Paris. N. gems and jewelry from the estates of the European aristocracy. producing the 128. A 19. aka "the King of Diamonds. Prince Esterhazy of Hungary. . the values of ostentatious gems and jewelry dropped precipitously. Lorelei receives a diamond tiara from her suitor. Ayer in 1938.' During the 1800s.W.' staring Audrey Hepburn. Charles Tiffany.W. who was known for his jewelry expertise. the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine.42 carat rough flawless-yellow diamond from the 'Compagnie Français de Diamant du Cap' (Kimberley mine) in 1877. Ayer & Son. and the diamond industry was particularly hard hit. Styne wrote the score for the 1949 Broadway musical 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. and sold to Nanaline Duke (now in the Doris Duke Collection). purchased diamonds. One of Tiffany's most notable diamond acquisitions was a 287. Tiffany & Young. and Tiffany seized on the opportunity. Styne moved to Hollywood where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn. De Beers and the diamond industry got another shot in the arm. and the subsequent overthrowing of King Louis-Philippe of France in 1848. The Great Depression had taken a heavy toll on luxury goods during the 1930s. Sir Francis "Piggy" Beekman." was the co-founder of Tiffany & Co. Jule Styne (born Julius Kerwin Stein) was born in London. and from the Spanish Crown Jewels . With financial shockwaves caused by the French economy's collapse in 1847.54 carat 'The Tiffany Diamond.72 carat cushion-cut diamond (one of the "Diamonds of Golconda") was mounted by Tiffany. and featuring the memorable scene in which Holly gazes longingly into Tiffany's window display.' which was adapted to film in 1953. After the French revolution in 1799. The Tiffany is still selling luxury jewelry in their trademarked 'Tiffany Blue Box. located at 259 Broadway."A diamond is forever" is the legendary saying that was created by America's first advertising agency.
The Consumer Last. Diamonds are tested for . the World Diamond Council placed ten full-page ads in newspapers around the county. Through interviews with human-rights organizations like Doctors Without Borders and Global Witness. or "cert" may be your only assurance that you are getting exactly what you paid for. the glamor is laid bare. and their willingness to purchase the concept of "foreverness. certificate of authenticity. as writer Charles Leavitt takes us through the dark underbelly of the diamond trade. the unsung hero in the diamond trade.Photo: © Warner Bros. grading report. Leavitt weaves a tale of Sierra Leone's impoverished "diamond diggers. we have the faceless American consumer." there would be no "diamond trade. a diamond certificates." and the terrible working conditions that these workers must endure." Diamond Grading: Diamond Certificates (Certs) Gemological Laboratory Certification Why do you need a laboratory certification for your diamond? Although it may seem like a needless expense. but not least. This time. 2006 Hollywood in 2006 Blood Diamond is the latest incarnation of Hollywood's fascination with diamond. appraisal report. In a preemptive strike against any negative publicity that the movie would generate. Were it not for intrepid consumers.
and saturation of a colored stone. 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 . shape and cut of a stone. Tokyo. Antwerp.' GIA's world headquarters are located in Carlsbad. Although even a lay-person may be able to tell the difference between a triple-zero diamond and a cheap. Dubai and Hong Kong. California. . Shipley in 1931. Los Angeles. and of corse. which can be substantially different.not only for resale. Certificates of Authenticity. tone. IGI Certificate The International Gemological Institute (IGI) is the oldest institute of its kind in Antwerp. Toronto. with operations in New York City. GIA Certificate A GIA (Gemological Institute of America) report provides detailed information about the dimensions. wether the stone is natural or synthetic. carat weight. Although GIA's diamond grading methodology is the industry standard they are also known for their "colored stone grading system" used to quantify the hue. and Attestations of Origin. The IGI offers Identification Reports.the basics (cut dimensions and proportions. Appraisal Reports. but for insurance appraisal as well. founded in 1975. Mumbai. with offices around the globe.other than the price. color. The GIA was founded by Robert M. clarity. poorly cut SI-3 grade stone. and is the largest independent gem certification and appraisal institute in the United States. and carat weight) and they are also tested for traces of gem enhancement. the same year that Shipley published his groundbreaking book titled 'Gemology. and wether they are synthetic. GIA reports also cover any treatments or enhancements that have been done. there is very little (visible) difference between a FL stone and a IF or VVS-1 stone . Bangkok.
and Fluorescence. and the graders can not know the identity of the owner. weight. color. . mesurments. jewellery design and gemology. Belgium issues quality reports for loose (unmounted) polished diamonds according to ISO 17025 international standards for gemelogical testing laboratories. All diamonds are examined anonymously. clarity. HRD also offers gemelogical training and continuing education courses in diamond grading. and finish. with "Triple Excellent" being the highest overall designation.The IGI lab grades diamonds as well as colored gemstones along several basic criteria which include: shape and cut. Carat Weight. Shape. HRD uses the "Hearts and Arrows" measuring system which was developed by HRD Antwerp scientists. as well as quantifying the standard parameters of Clarity. the sorting of rough diamonds. Cut. origin (colored gems). HRD Antwerp Diamond Certificate The certificates department of HRD Antwerp in Antwerpen. Color. HRD's refined Cut Grading system measures each of the three parameters (proportions. polish and symmetry) using a scale ranging from Excellent to Fair.
vs." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors. The AGS specializes in diamond testing and evaluation. referred to as a "Diamond Quality Document" or "DQD. having the most rigid grading standards. AGSL Certificate The AGSL was the first gem lab to grade a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. An AGS report. but rather a comprehensive quality evaluation. certificates issued after January 1.com The American Gem Society was founded in 1934 by Robert M. A diamond's clarity is also graded on a simple numeric scale from 0 to 10. 2005 can be viewed online. and Proportions. the HRD lab also uses state-of-the-art technology to test for subtle and hard to recognize enhancements such as HPHT. AGS grades diamond color on a numeric sliding scale that is similar to GIA's alphabetical scale. as well as the most comprehensive system for grading the all-important 'cut' parameters. 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. Symmetry. . Aditionally. The AGS Gemological Laboratories was established in 1996 to provide state-of-the-art diamond grading and appraisal services to the jewelry industry. The mission of the AGS is to increase consumer awareness. HRD uses complex watermarking to prevent copying or falsifying their reports. as opposed to GIA's vvs. 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. 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. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). and does not evaluate other types of colored gemstones. Today. 'Polish' and 'Symmetry' were merged into one category called "Finish." The AGS Cut Grading system was developed through of years of research by gemologists. and s ratings. AGS is considered the premier diamond-grading laboratory. To insure the security of their documents. Diamond Grading AGS Diamond Quality Report (DQD) AGS Gemological Laboratory Background Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Shipley." is not an appraisal of monetary value. and to set a higher standard of business ethics and professional practices in the jewelry industry. along with a consortium of independent jewelers. mathematicians. creator of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).As well as testing for synthetic diamonds. and optical physicists.
Symmetry. 'Polish' and 'Symmetry' were merged into one category called "Finish." The AGS Cut grading system was developed through years of research by gemologists.Cut Grade: Finish. Proportions & Light Performance The AGSL was the first gem lab to grade a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. mathematicians. . and optical physicists. Each parameter is given a numeric grade from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor)." but to retained the "Triple Zero" monicker for diamonds with a perfect score. and Proportions. leakage and light spread. contrast. AGS uses the "Light Performance" designation to quantify 'light return' by using a ray-tracing software program to follow the path of light rays as they travel through the diamond. The ray-tracing program measures the quantity of the light being returned to the viewer by quantifying brightness. In 2004 AGS added a new category that is referred to as "Light Performance." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors. dispersion.
where facets intersect with each-other. .0 to 7.1. the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero. all measured in three spacial dimensions.5 to 3.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint .3.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light . In the upper left corner of the document there is a unique AGS reference number that can be used when contacting AGS with questions about your report." or "ideal" rating.0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light . relative facet angles.5. 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.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).0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless . as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering.0 to 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.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless .7. and individual facet ratios. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles. AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond.
which are used by non-contact measuring-device manufacturers such as Sarin Technologies.Extraction Methods Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Obtaining an AGS Report AGS is a 'trade-industry' testing laboratory that will only evaluate diamonds sent from jewelers or manufacturers. AGS offers laser inscription services as well. As of 2005. Additionally. Diamonds: Gem & Diamond Mining Technology Photos: Public Domain Diamond & Gem Mining . Dubai. AGSL reports will also grade cut quality for emerald." A decline is a spiral (corkscrew) tunnel which circles the ore deposit. 2. Artisanal Mining Hard Rock Mining Marine Mining Open Pit Mining Placer Mining Hard-Rock Diamond Mining The term "hard-rock mining" (top of page. and ore bodies that are in situ. The AGS supplies 'facet arrangement' templates corresponding to their cutgrading system. and octagon step-cut diamonds.com Diamonds and other precious and semi-precious gemstones are extracted from the earth using five basic mining techniques." or a by a vertical "shaft. minerals. and the peripheral damage that will be done to the surrounding environment. while a shaft is . 3. Accessing the underground ore is achieved via a horizontal passageway called a "decline. left) refers to various techniques used to extract gems. through AGS offices in Antwerp. the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA). The principle methods of diamond extraction are: 1. India and Israel. OctoNus Software. 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. Pricing for a diamond grading report is based on carat weight. the stability of the material that surrounds that desired gem or mineral. princess. and OGI Systems. unmounted diamonds. so that the cutter can improve the light performance of their cut stones. AGS will only evaluate loose.Triple-0 Round Brilliant Setting 'American Star Diamond' 13. 4. and can only be accessed by tunneling underground and creating underground "rooms" or "stopes" that are supported by timber pillars or standing rock. These diamond extraction methods vary depending on how the minerals are deposited within the earth. 5. AGS will also provide analysis of a manufacturers 'cut performance' by analyzing a sample stone's Sarin file.42 Carat D. and will soon be offering cut evaluations for other fancy shapes.
Marine diamond mining employs both "vertical" and "horizontal" techniques to extract diamonds from offshore placer deposits. rock or sedimentary soil. 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. or hand digging (artisanal mining).vertical tunnel used for ore haulage. which concentrate the heavier gems at the bottom. Small "pit lakes" tend to form at the bottom of open-pit mines as a result of groundwater intrusion. right) is used for extracting diamonds and minerals from alluvial. and or colluvial secondary deposits. at a maximum depth of 500 feet. eluvial. or large conical sieves. Gems are separated from waste material using various sifting and sorting techniques such as cone screens. the gravels are separated and sorted into three sizes. or sort material according to size. shovels. or pans. gravel. Diamonds and most gemstones are hard. box screens. and access to the ore. with the middle size being a candidate for final sorting. or sand) that is unsuitable for tunneling.Photo: USGS Alluvial Diamond . Marine Mining Marine mining technology only became commercially viable in the early 1990s. Horizontal mining employs the use of Seabed Crawlers (remotely controlled. Open pit mines are typically used when mineral deposits are found close to the surface or along defined kimberlite pipes. . they tend to concentrate in alluvial deposits in the same way that gold placers develop. therefore. machinery. Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . CAT-tracked underwater mining vehicles) move across the sea floor pumping gravel up to an offshore vessel. highly resistant to weathering. A decline is typically used for mining personnel. While on board. mechanized surface excavating equipment. running adjacent to the ore. center) is a method of extracting rock and minerals from the earth by removal from a machine-dug open pit or burrow. 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. Open Pit Mining Open-pit diamond mining. and have a specific gravity that is higher than that of common minerals. Laborers who work in artisanal diamond mining are called "diamond diggers" (below left). right) with bare hands. Placer Mining Placer diamond mining. Artisanal diamond mining is a form of "subsistence based" non-mechanized mining that is used in poorer countries throughout the world. also known as "open-cast mining" (top of page. and is a derivative form of open-cast mining used to extract minerals from the surface of the earth without the use of tunneling.Smithsonian Museum Open pit mining is used when the surface material (overburden) covering the deposit is relatively thin and/or the desired minerals are imbedded within structurally unstable earth (cinder. Excavation is accomplished using water pressure (hydraulic mining). also known as "sand-bank mining" (top of page.
diamonds are carried to the surface of the earth by volcanic activity. minerals. Kimberlite pipes can lie directly underneath shallow lakes formed in the inactive volcanic calderas or craters. yet only about 1 in every 200 kimberlite pipes contain gem-quality diamonds. and Liberia. . garnet. pyroxene. Kimberlite occurs in the zone of the Earth's crust in vertical structures known as kimberlite pipes (above. with a variety of trace minerals. and upper mantle rock.North Cape" below). These pipes are called "kimberlites" or "kimberlite pipes" (see diagram below). rock fragments. left). 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 . Diamond bearing kimberlite in some parts of South Africa is black in color (above. It is also used extensivly in Angola. and diamonds approaches the earth's surface it begins to form an underground structure (pipe) that is shaped like a champagne-flute. After their formation. Many kimberlite pipes also produce alluvial diamond placer deposits. Kimberlite pipes are the most significant source of diamonds. the Congo (DROC). Most kimberlite is called "blue-ground" kimberlite (above. olivine. Kimberlite is a diamondiferous igneous-rock matrix composed of carbonate. phlogopite. right). in conflict zones where mechanized mining is impractical and unsafe. Artisanal diamond mining accounts for 90% of Sierra Leone's diamond exports and is the country's second largest employer after subsistence farming. Diamonds: Diamond Geology Diamond Geology & Kimberlites Kimberlite Pipes Diamonds form at a depth greater than 93 miles (150 kilometers) beneath the earth's surface. Kimberlites are found as "dikes" and "volcanic pipes" which underlie and are the source for rare and relatively small volcanoes or "maars" (above.Artisanal diamond mining is used throughout west Africa. As this molten mixture of magma (molten rock). left) or "yellow-ground" kimberlite and can be found worldwide. right). serpentine.
igneous breccia. This results in a martini-glass shaped diamondiferous deposit as opposed to kimberlite's champagne flute shape. and tectonic breccia. or different in composition to the fragments themselves.Photo: Public Domain Lamproite Pipes Lamproite pipes produce diamonds to a lesser extent than kimberlite pipes." that may be similar. except that boiling water and volatile compounds contained in the magma act corrosively on the overlying rock. Diamondiferous material tends to concentrate in and around 'oxbow lakes. . The Argyle diamond mine in Western Australia is one of the first commercial open-cast diamond mines that is dug along an olivine lamproite pipe. There are several types of breccia which are categorized based on their geological origin. Alluvial Diamonds from Africa . known as the Sperrgebiet or "forbidden territory. Alluvial diamond deposits are usually located within river terrace gravels that have been transported from their location of origin.Photo: NASA The alluvial terrace gravels (below. including: hydrothermal breccia. or "cementing material. or breccia-filled volcanic pipe that is formed by gas or volatile explosive magma which has breached the surface to form a "tuff" (consolidated volcanic ash) cone. The world's largest known gem quality alluvial diamond deposits are located along the Namib Desert coastline of southwestern Africa. Alluvial (Placer) Diamond Deposits The location of alluvial (secondary or placer) diamond deposits is controlled by the surrounding topography." and along the Orange River near Alexander Bay. These dried 'lakes' receive river water during seasonal flooding which transports large amounts of sediment held in suspension. Breccia is a rock composed of angular fragments of several minerals or rocks in a matrix.' which are created by abandoned river meanders. usually from kimberlite deposits. resulting in a broader cone of eviscerated rock at the surface.Photo: Public Domain Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . impact breccia. Lamproite pipes are created in a similar manner to kimberlite pipes. left) and marine gravels of the south-western coastline of Africa represent the some of the world's largest placer diamond deposits. The Argyle pipe is a diatreme. sedimentary breccia.Open Pit Mine .
8 million to 10. potholes. Westward draining river systems transported these diamonds to Africa's continental coastline for final deposition within on-shore marine terrace gravels. Diamonds in marine areas are typically trapped in bedrock depressions such as gullies. from olivine lamproites formed during the Cretaceous or Permo-Triassic period.com .000 years ago). carried from their primary origination point on the Kaapvaal Craton.Namibia's placer diamond deposits are between 40 and 80 million years old.8k. 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. Alluvial Terrace Gravels . including Angola's two largest diamonds at 105. Diamond Mines of the World: Active Diamond Mines List of Active Diamond Mines All Contents Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.9k and 101. made their way to the sea bed just offshore. to a lesser extent. Diamonds that were transported downstream. in central South Africa and Botswana. channels or other trapsites for diamondiferous deposits. but were not deposited on land. depressions. The diamonds within these deposits were transported from deeply-eroded diamondiferous kimberlites or. Some of the largest and highest gemquality diamonds produced from alluvial placer diamond mining have come from this region.Photo: Wiki Diamond-Bearing 'Diamondiferous' Gravel Many of these alluvial diamond deposits occur in Pleistocene and Holocene successions (1.
Luarica Diamond Mine: Owned by Endiama (38%) & Trans Hex (32%). Waldman Resources. map Venetia Diamond Mine: Limpopo. 75% De Beers ownership. Open-pit mine De Beers operated. 75% De Beers ownership map Murowa Diamond Mine: Open Pit & Underground mine. Trans Hex. map Williamson Diamond Mine: (aka Mwadui mine) Open Pit mine. Lubilash) Alluvial river mines in Kasaï. map . 1. map Damtshaa Diamond Mine: (water for a tortoise) New open pit mine. 1. 3. 2. map Bakwanga Mine: (aka Bushimaïe. 1. 2. Luzamba Diamond Mine: Angola's largest alluvial mine. 2. map Jwaneng Diamond Mine: (place of small stones) richest mine in world. Closed in 2006. 1. 1. map Fucauma Diamond Mine: Newly constructed. De Beers operated.DeBeers/Botswana. mostly industrial grade. map Koidu Open Pit Mines: Kimberlite open-pit mines just south of Koidu. 2. map Canada North West Territories (NWT) 1. map River Ranch Diamond Mine: Open Pit & Underground mine.Currently there are eleven major 'diamond producing' nations. located in NWT. map Magna Egoli Mine: Largest mechanized mine in Sierra Leone. 3. Odebrecht (50%). So Africa. There are also several African nations with ongoing off-shore dredging/vacuming operations. Catoca Diamond Mine: Fourth largest diamond mine in world. 4.De Beers / Botswana. in Kasaï . Argyle Diamond Mine: Largest producer in world. map Botswana Congo (DROC or RDC) Lesotho Namibia Sierra Leone South Africa Tanzania Zimbabwe Australia East Kimberley 1. Owned by Endiama (40%) & Trans Hex (35%). map Elizabeth Bay Mine: Open-cast mine in Namib desert. 1. map Kimberley Diamond Mine: Started in 1871. Rio Tinto. 4. map Marine Mining: Namco Mining operates a dredging fleet off the west coast of Namibia. produces over 40% of world's gem-quality diamonds. map Baken Diamond Mine: Located along Orange River in North Cape. open pit. 7. mining industry inside news. 75% De Beers ownership. MIBA. Kimberlite pipe. 2. Namdeb. and a host of other counties with operational and/or historic alluvial. map Koidu-Sefadu Mines: Subsistence digging in alluvium pits west of Koidu. 2. 4. South Kalimantan 1. Cempaka Diamond Mines: Alluvials mined by indigenous artisanal Kalimantan miners. map Orange River (Daberas) Mines: Orange River alluvium. 2. 3. south of Lüderitz. mining operator info. 3. 2. 1. map Letlhakane Diamond Mine: ("little reeds") second oldest of four . map Ekati Diamond Mine: Canada's first diamond mining operation. and hard rock diamond mines. These lists also contains new project explorations. map Orapa Diamond Mine: (resting place for lions) Largest/oldest of four . 3. and any relevant geographic data. map Finsch Diamond Mine: Finsch is an open-pit mine near Lime Acres. De Beers/Botswana. Diavik Diamond Mine: The Diavik diamond mine is located in the NWT. links to satellite images of the mines (where available). De Beers / Botswana. 6. map Cullinan Diamond Mine: Open Pit/Hard Rock diamond mine owned by De Beers. map Borneo Cempaka/Riam Kanan. 5.closed. Namdeb Namib Gov. 1. map Forminière Diamond Mine: Alluvial mine located on the River Tshikapa. map Koffiefontein Diamond Mine: The Koffiefontein mine opened in 1870. Active Mines | Inactive Mines | Future Exploration | Mining Companies Africa Angola 1. map Letseng Diamond Mine: Open-cast mine in Maluti Mountains 70 km from Mokhotlong. the Kimberley Open Pits closed in 2005. map The Oaks Diamond Mine: In Limpopo province. Endiama (50%). Israel.
2. 4. 3.India Madhya Pradesh 1. Alrosa. Jubilee. map . map Jubilee (Yubileinaya) Mine: Newer open-pit kimberlite mine near Udachny. Mirna Mine: Largest diamond deposit in Russia and one of the largest in the world. Aikhal GOK Mine: Three open-pit kimberlite pipe mines: Aikhal. and Sytykan. map Russia Siberia 1. 5. 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. Panna Diamond Mine: Alluvial mine in state of Madhya Pradesh.
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