All About Gemstones: Diamonds

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

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

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

The 4 Cs of Diamonds: Cut

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

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

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

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

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

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

C. 5 Popular fancy cuts include the "Baguette" (bread loaf). "Princess" (square outline). As a consumer. One "Carat" is a unit of mass that is equal to 0. and the Pear.2 grams (200 milligrams or 3.007 ounce. Therefor. Clarity 4. a 1/2 carat diamond would be 50 points. "Marquise" or "Navette" (little boat). a 3/4 carat diamond is 75 points.086 grains) or 0. Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics. The 4 C's of Diamonds: Carat (Weight) The 4 C's Diamond Grading System 1. the total mass of all diamonds or gemstones is referred to as "Total Carat Weight" or "T. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. CARAT Balancing Cut and Weight A diamond or gemstone's "Carat" designation is a measurement of both the size and weight of the stone. The "fancy cuts" are generally not held to the same strict standards as Round Brilliants. Carat 3." . and with each point being 2 milligrams in weight. A carat can also be divided into "points" with one carat being equal to 100 points. When a single piece of jewelry has multiple stones. and a 2 carat diamond is 200 points. Color Carat weight is one of the 4 C's.Heart Marquise Oval Pear Princess Radiant Round Trillion (not shown at diagram) Fig. "Heart." "Briolette" (a form of Rose cut). Cut 2.W. your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the "4 C's" diamond grading system.

a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor.800 6. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity .600 8." If the carat weight is shown as ".VS1 Carat Size</ 0. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry.5 carat 2. or "seed of the carob".000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1. clarity and weight. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight.750 30. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing.504 carats.5 carats must have an actual weight of between .5 carat 1.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone. a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut.5º crown.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place.495 carats and . "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat.195 and .Grade: F Colorless .20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between .000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a . or to buy a 1. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. In ancient times.500 15. It is for this reason that an even 1. Occasionally. Price Per Carat (2005) . Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales.10 carat diamond for its better cut. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of . it must be accurate to the second decimal place.0 carat 1. girdle and pavilion. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight. See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison.600 6.0 carat 3. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond.204 carat. 40º pavilion. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown.99 carat diamond for its better price.600 12.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.

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



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

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



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

Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .

when a tube is generated by a formerly liquid filled cavity. Growth Tube Inclusion Photos Internal Growth Tubes Inclusion Photography Internal Growth Tube inclusions are natural Imperfections that are created during diamond formation. .Growth Tubes Imperfection formed during crystal growth. when a tube or tunnel is generated in the crystalizing diamond by an internal cavity that was once liquid filled.



Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .

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

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 .

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

Large groupings of small pinpoints can create a cloud effect. 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 inclusion effect.Pinpoints (Pp) Minute crystals within the diamond that appear white.

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


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. . Knot Inclusion Photos Photography of Diamond Inclusion Knots Knot inclusions are naturally occurring external inclusions or imperfections that penetrate the surface (convex).Natural External Diamond Inclusions or Blemishes Knots An inclusion that penetrates the surface. appearing as a raised area. appearing as a raised area on the diamond's surface.




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





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


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

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

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

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



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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

In 1973. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting. candle. the greater dispersive power. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight. Unlike most natural diamonds." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR).2.17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2. CZ vs Diamond .41 (RI).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. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left). The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below). CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds.170. but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce. and CZs can be made in any "color grade. a CZ is optically flawless.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. Due to their low cost and consistency.) in a totally dark room. 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. For instance. The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. Using Visual Optics To Detect CZ The Hodgkinson "Visual Optics" technique was developed in the mid-1970s by Alan Hodgkinson as a method of detecting natural diamonds and diamond simulants. or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond. etc. or colorless (white) versions. 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. . most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond .80 to 2. Zirconium oxide powder is heated.800 . Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing. Natural diamonds attract grease. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease. The 1. CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1. Once the mixture has cooled. Diamond's RI is 2.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible. Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond.

Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0. Moissanite has a hardness of 9. and diamond at 0. found only in iron-nickel meteorites. 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. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2.25 on the Mohs scale. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. Arizona.A small. candle.060. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. etc. when examining the gem through the kite facets.417.670. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998.65 to 2.044.) in a dark room.69. Moissanite. Moissanite has an RI of 2. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond. center) near Winslow. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. while diamond has a hardness of 10. Henri Moissan (above.104 as compared to CZ at 0. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. left) who won the Nobel Prize in 1906 for his discovery of a new mineral (moissanite6H) found within meteorite fragments of the ancient Barringer meteor crater (above. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight. is classified as an element rather than a compound. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent. . CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond.

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

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

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

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

To quantify a diamond's cut quality.6% and overall height of 57. and overall height of 57..' 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. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace. . or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. invented in 1929.5%. more brilliance and fire. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). Symmetry. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts. and Proportions. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. As with all human endeavors. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant". The "Scan D. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect. crown height of 14. crown height of 14.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42.7%. H&A Viewer. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951." (Scandinavian standard. etc.N. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios. Tolkowsky.7%.N. Eppler & Scan D. Ideal Scope. facet ratios. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design.4%. A perfect blending of facet symmetry.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. and crown/pavilion angles. very small to small In the 1970s.5% to 43. Since then.

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

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

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

brilliant-style faceted pavilion (similar to a Cushion Cut).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." The Leo Diamond is marketed through the Kay Jeweler chain. www. and was patented and trademarked by Bez Ambar Jewelers of Los Angeles in 1980. Upon the expiration of the patent.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. and the table is a bowed out rectangle. and all Original Radiant Cut diamonds weigh at least 0. a highstep crown (similar to the Asscher Cut).tiffany. RCDC launched the 'Original Radiant Cut' diamond brand In 2002.' and each diamond comes with a "Return of Light Starburst Cut . small table. The Lucida diamond cut is a modified square or rectangular (Marquise) cut with truncated corners. The Lucida is sold exclusively through Tiffany's retail chain. and three-stone rings. www. There are 25 crown facets and 36 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets (not including 8 girdle facets). sold in solitaire engagement/wedding bands. square shaped diamonds were stepcut limiting their brilliance.diamondaires. There are a total of 49 facets. Lucida Cut The Lucida (TM) Cut is a patented diamond cut that was created by Tiffany & Company in 1999. eternity bands. the Radiant Cut became a fully accepted diamond shape in the jewelry business.radiantcut. patented and trademarked by Henry Grossbard of the Radiant Cut Diamond Company (RCDC) in 1977. The pavilion is similar to a Barion cut. and a total of has 50 facets. 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. Prior to the Quadrillion.The Leo diamond cut is the first to be certified for fire and brilliance as measured by a 'BrillianceScope. 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 the career of the "diamantaire" (diamond cutter/polisher) was born. Point Cut . this led to the invention of the first gem cutting machines (precursor to the "lap" or "Facetron") in the 1300s. with weight losses in the fifty percent range. but that has not always been easy as these little chunks of elemental carbon are harder that anything that could be found to cut them. The point cut design is dictated by the natural shape of an octahedral rough Trilliant Cut The Trilliant Cut (aka Trielle. 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. for a total of 89 kite and star shaped facets. . The crown of the Starburst Cut is similar to that of the radiant cut. brilliance. The Starburst cut is especially suitable for a octahedral rough.early 1300s The "point cut" (below left) is one of the first symmetrically faceted diamond cuts. The pavilion has two differently sized sets triangular facets with a large triangular table. From this point forward it was a race to see who could design the perfect faceted cut which would bring out the maximum fire. right) was created by cutting off some of the top half of the point cut's octahedron to create a table. Still. reworked into the shape of a trillion (triangle). www. The Trilliant cut gives a high brilliance. Old eight. and scintillation when cut to the correct proportions. the precursor for the "design" of the first faceted diamond lay within the rough stone itself. The Starburst cut was created to bring out the highest amount of color to fancy yellow The faceting of diamonds has come a long way in the last 700 years. There are two variations of this cut: the Curved cut used for solitary stones. Since the day that humans first discovered 'adamas' (diamonds). Nieman Marcus and Tiffany. The Trilliant Cut has a total of 31 facets. craftsmen have attempted to "improve" on nature. Old European Gem Cuts: Point. Harry Winston. Trillian. With the realization that only a diamond could cut another diamond. but the pavilion is completely different. making the hue of fancy yellow diamonds more intense. and light return from the stone.louisglick. The Trilliant has the Schoenflies point group symmetry of a round brilliant. There are 49 crown facets and 40 pavilion facets. Trillion) is a triangular cut designed and trademarked by the Henry Meyer Diamond Company of New York in 1962. and the natural octahedral symmetry of the rough stone's closed isometric form. and Uncurved cut used for accent stones. fire. The starburst faceting pattern is designed to focus color near the top of a stone.The Starburst Cut was patented and trademarked by the Louis Glick Diamond Corp. and the Trilliant is now a generic term for a triangular brilliant cut. of New York in 1978. The Trilliant trademark has since lapsed. The "table cut" (below. Starburst Cuts are mounted and sold directly through Cartier. Old Mine Cut Evolution of the Faceted Diamond & Colored Gem Article Copyright © 2008 AllAboutGemstones.

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

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

Rio Tinto. with a total of 33 facets (34 if a culet is used). Kimberley and Windhoek. silver or The trade in gem-grade rough diamonds is primarily controlled by the De Beers. The Diamond Trade: The 'Diamond Pipeline' Rough Diamond Producers Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. thereby controlling and stabilizing prices. for sorting and resale. there is usually a substantial mark-up in the retail sale price of diamonds. Trans Hex. Unlike precious metals such as gold. 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. which combines ("aggregating") supplies of rough diamonds from multiple sources into one wholesale market (#2). The rough stones are separated into 16. . 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. 16 isosceles triangle facets on the crown and 16 facets on the pavilion. or secondary mining producers in Canada and Russia to De Beers' Diamond Trading Company (DTC) in London. 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.A "Swiss cut" is a compromise between an eight cut and a brilliant cut." The DTC is part of the DeBeers Group supply-chain known as the Central Selling Organization (CSO). Gaborone.000 categories based on size." The 'Diamond Pipeline' Rough diamonds are sent directly from De Beers mining operations in Africa (#1).

diamonds have underperformed since 1987 when compared to the "luxury goods" market or global GDP. determining the quantity and quality that each site-holder will receive. Ramat Gan. A 'sight' can have a value of between $500.000 to $2. and retailers [5]. China. De Beers and the Future De Beers' (CSO's) control over the wholesale diamond market has diminished due to increased market penetration.000 USD. The diamonds are then re-sold from the cutting and polishing (manufacturing) centers to wholesalers (Diamond Bourses). while large stones are primarily cut in Antwerp. and independent diamond producers in Canada. Both traders and manufacturers may sell diamonds "upstream" and "downstream" through the diamond pipeline [8]. De Beers (DTC) sets the price of each box in advance. As a reaction to their decrease in market share. De Beers is also facing increasing pressure from the manufactures of synthetic diamonds. where De Beers sells the "boxes" to its select group ("supplier of choice") of 125 "sightholders" (#3) or diamond manufacturers.20 carats or less) in Mumbai (Bombay) and Surat. 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).000. which are increasing in popularity and consumer acceptance. Russia and website). Rough diamonds are cut in various geographic regions according to tradition and the skill-sets of the labor force. Once the diamonds are set into jewelry. Many Sightholders are also cutters. and New York. through their Diamond Promotion Service (DPS) and Diamond Information Centres (DIC) marketing divisions. to take advantage of market fluctuations. and Thailand. (see DeBeers' Adiamondisforever. or to jewelry manufacturers (#5) around the world. De Beers.De Beers Sightholders The DTC holds a sale called a "site" or "sight" ten times per year in London and Johannesburg. cutters. Additionally. reclaiming their "A Diamond Is Forever" moniker. Tel Aviv. and the breakaway from CSO's cartel by the Argyle Diamond Mine in Australia. has launched an aggressive branding and marketing campaign. India cuts the vast majority of small stones (. they are sold to retailers or direct to the customer. .

and preventing the inherent product misidentification that will follow. the WDC has observers from the governments of Belgium. and will com with a certificate of authenticity. some 1. This mark is only visible via a point-of-sale electronic viewer. the DTC has developed new inscription technologies to "invisibly" mark the table facet of polished diamonds with a "Forevermark" trademark. The Council began in July 2000 after a joint meeting of the WFDB and its international headquarters are in New York City. and about half of the polished diamonds. and India (2007). Belgium but there are also Diamond Bourses in Israel. and the city is the hub of the global diamond trading industry (diamanthandel). and Shanghai. The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base. 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. China. The Diamond Trade: Diamond Bourses of Antwerp Diamond Bourses Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. are sold in Antwerp every year. Asia. De Beers is hoping that the combination of branding and security will increase consumer demand. South Africa. bond. The largest diamond trading center in the world is located in Antwerp. The word "Bourse" refers to a private stock.Forevermark Diamonds As a way of staving off the onslaught of secondary diamond markets. traders and manufacturer/producers. London. Hoveniersstraat. In addition to its members. or commodities exchange similar to the NYSE. Diamond Bourses are basically trading exchanges for loose. NY [4]. cut and uncut diamonds. KPCS originated in May 2000 during a meeting of South African diamond producing states in Kimberley. and Rijfstraat. The Council has approximately 70 members representing jewelers. also known as the "World Diamond Center" or Diamantenzentrum.S. The Diamond High Council (HRD) The HRD (Hoge Raad voor Diamant) Diamond High Council is a non-profit industry organization designed to promote and represent the Antwerp diamond trade. Hong Kong. the European Union and the United Nations to rid the diamond Industry of conflict diamonds. . heavily guarded geographic area surrounded by three main streets. Schupstraat. Moscow. Israel and South Africa and works with 35 independent Governments. The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates [9]. Almost 85% of the world's rough diamonds. The Kimberley Process The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme or KPCS is designed to prevent conflict diamonds (aka "blood diamonds") entering into the mainstream rough diamond market [5].. As of 2006. Within Antwerp's diamond district.500 diamond dealers (diamantbedrijven) are ensconced in small. Forevermark diamonds will be available through sightholder/retailers in the U.

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

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

De Beer. he was able to build a monopolistic empire through skill and cunning.. As founder of De Beers. in Northern Cape. Amid all of this turmoil and chaos. Cullinan . Photo: Pub. no heirs to his empire. a prospector. and later selling steam-powered water pumps to drain the open-pit mines of Kimberley. and in 1910 the 'Union of South Africa' was created. Photo: Pub. Around 1873 the De Beer brothers sold out to a group of mining syndicates who later merged with Cecil Rhodes' pumping company to form 'De Beers Consolidated Mines. Rhodes started out selling ice cream to the diamond-diggers and service workers. N. A. a curious discovery was being made along the banks of the Orange River. Rhodes made several aborted attempt to gain control over Barnato's interest in Kimberley Central Mine. Photo: Pub. With the help of the Rothschild bank in London. 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. Domain Barney Barnato During the same period that Cecil Rhodes was building De Beers Consolidated Mines. D.' Cecil Rhodes died a single man with no children and. self-government was restored. Barnato died several years later. One of the richest men in the world. As a young lad from England. Cecil Rhodes' De Beers empire was started on a farm owned by two Boer settlers and brothers. 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." In 1906. De Beers and Kimberley Central were the two largest mining interests in South Africa at the time.. although Rhodes did not start out with an interest in diamonds.the "mineral revolution. The African nation of Rhodesia was named after him (now the Republic of Zimbabwe). and J. but was eventually successful in convincing Barnato to merge with De Beers. Barnato was given appointed to 'life governor' and temporary controlling interest in De Beers [6]. Domain Thomas M. mysteriously falling overboard on a ship passage back to England. In exchange. Domain Cecil Rhodes Cecil Rhodes (1853—1902) is the undisputed father of the modern diamond industry.

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

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. The AGS specializes in diamond testing and evaluation. Diamond Grading AGS Diamond Quality Report (DQD) AGS Gemological Laboratory Background Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. 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." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors. as well as the most comprehensive system for grading the all-important 'cut' parameters. HRD uses complex watermarking to prevent copying or falsifying their reports. A diamond's clarity is also graded on a simple numeric scale from 0 to 10. Symmetry. The AGS Gemological Laboratories was established in 1996 to provide state-of-the-art diamond grading and appraisal services to the jewelry industry." The AGS Cut Grading system was developed through of years of research by gemologists." is not an appraisal of monetary value. AGSL Certificate The AGSL was the first gem lab to grade a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. the HRD lab also uses state-of-the-art technology to test for subtle and hard to recognize enhancements such as HPHT. In 2004 AGS added a new category referred to as "Light Performance" but to retained the "Triple Zero" monicker for diamonds with a perfect score. and to set a higher standard of business ethics and professional practices in the jewelry industry. vs. 2005 can be viewed The American Gem Society was founded in 1934 by Robert M. mathematicians. AGS grades diamond color on a numeric sliding scale that is similar to GIA's alphabetical scale. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). and Proportions.As well as testing for synthetic diamonds. certificates issued after January 1. but rather a comprehensive quality evaluation. as opposed to GIA's vvs. Today. along with a consortium of independent jewelers. . To insure the security of their documents. Aditionally. The mission of the AGS is to increase consumer awareness. 'Polish' and 'Symmetry' were merged into one category called "Finish. Shipley. referred to as a "Diamond Quality Document" or "DQD. An AGS report. and s ratings. creator of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). and does not evaluate other types of colored gemstones. having the most rigid grading standards. AGS is considered the premier diamond-grading laboratory. and optical physicists.

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

5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light . in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above). the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless .5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero.5 to 3. relative facet angles.0 to 7.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint . and individual facet ratios.0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light . all measured in three spacial dimensions. ." Document Security Each AGS grading document is marked with a hologram (dark circle at lower right of report) and watermarking or embossing to prevent fraudulent duplication. AGS Diamond Grading System On the inside fold of an AGS Diamond Quality grading report there is a legend explaining the unique AGS nomenclature with comparisons to GIA's grading system.5 to 4. where facets intersect with each-other. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram. AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond.1. 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.3. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles.0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless . When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering." or "ideal" rating.0 to 1.7.5.

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

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

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

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

9k and 101. Some of the largest and highest gemquality diamonds produced from alluvial placer diamond mining have come from this region. made their way to the sea bed just offshore. carried from their primary origination point on the Kaapvaal Craton.000 years ago). Westward draining river systems transported these diamonds to Africa's continental coastline for final deposition within on-shore marine terrace gravels. to a lesser extent. including Angola's two largest diamonds at 105. but were not deposited on land.8 million to 10.Photo: Wiki Diamond-Bearing 'Diamondiferous' Gravel Many of these alluvial diamond deposits occur in Pleistocene and Holocene successions (1.8k. from olivine lamproites formed during the Cretaceous or Permo-Triassic period. Alluvial diamond mining in Angola takes place along a meandering stretch of the Cuango River floodplain which is also along the south-western coastline of Africa. Diamonds that were transported downstream. The diamonds within these deposits were transported from deeply-eroded diamondiferous kimberlites or. Diamond Mines of the World: Active Diamond Mines List of Active Diamond Mines All Contents Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. in central South Africa and Botswana.Namibia's placer diamond deposits are between 40 and 80 million years old. channels or other trapsites for diamondiferous deposits. Diamonds in marine areas are typically trapped in bedrock depressions such as . Alluvial Terrace Gravels . potholes. depressions.

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

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

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