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The story of diamonds is, to use the metaphor, a tale of fire and "ice." Forged through immense heat and pressure over millions, or hundreds of millions of years, diamonds start their humble existence as simple, elemental carbon; the basic building block of all life in earth. We attempt to demystify these enigmatic little stones, by explaining their scientific reason for being, as well as were they are mined, how they are mined, and the history of the diamond trade, or 'diamond pipeline.' Diamonds are both elemental, and complex. As such, there is a lot of technical jargon associated with them. Shopping for a diamond can be very confusing to the newbie, but we have endeavored to make it as simple and interesting as humanly possible. You shouldn't need extraordinary brilliance to understand scintillation or refraction. Enjoy!
All About Diamonds
Diamond Basics The "4 Cs" of Diamonds - Cut The "4 C's" of Diamonds - Carat The "Four C's" of Diamonds - Clarity The "Four Cs" of Diamonds - Color Diamond Chemistry Optical Properties of Diamond Fancy Colored Diamonds Diamond Inclusion Library Diamond Enhancements Synthetics & Simulants Synthetic Diamonds Cubic Zirconia Moissanite Diamond Cuts Diamond Cutting Ideal Cut Modern Round Brilliant Patented Signature Diamond Cuts Old European Diamond Cuts Uncut Raw Diamonds in Jewelry The Diamond Market The Diamond Pipeline Diamond Bourses The Diamond Trade's Key Players Diamond Pricing - Price Comparison Charts Diamond Certification
AGS Diamond Grading Report Independent Diamond Testing Laboratories Diamond Mining & Mine Technology Diamond Mining Technology Diamond Geology & Kimberlites Full List of Worldwide Diamond Mines Artisanal Diamond Mining & Conflict Diamonds Worldwide Diamond Mining Regions Australian Diamond Mines Borneo's Landak Diamond Mines Botswana Diamond Mines Brazilian Diamond Mines Canadian Diamond Mines India's Golconda Diamond Mines Namibia Russian Diamond Mines South African Diamond Mines US Diamond Mines Conflict Diamonds Angola Diamond Mines Congo (DRC) Diamond Mines Liberia Diamond Mines Sierra Leone Diamond Mines Zimbabwe's Chiadzwa Marange Diamond Fields Diamond History & Cutting Regions Historical Diamond Cuts & Cutting History Historical Diamond Cutting Regions Diamond Cutting in Amsterdam Diamond Cutting in Antwerp Diamond Cutting in Belgium Diamond Cutting in Guangzhou, China Diamond Cutting in Gujarat, India Diamond Cutting in Idar-Oberstein, Germany Diamond Terminology Glossary - Gemology
The 4 Cs of Diamonds: Cut
The 4 C's Diamond Grading System
1. 2. 3. 4. Cut Carat Clarity Color
More than 100 million diamonds are sold in the United States each year, yet most consumers know very little about the product they are purchasing, and how that product is valued. The '4 Cs' represent the four main variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics. As a consumer, your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the '4 Cs' diamond grading system. If you are purchasing an expensive stone it will also be critical for you to learn how to read and understand the details of a GIA (Gemological Institute of America) 'Diamond Dossier,' AGL report, or AGS (American Gem Society) 'Diamond Certificate,' or Sarin 'Diamond Grading Report' (see full list of independent testing laboratories, below). You will also want to familiarize yourself with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines on jeweler conduct and consumer awareness. This knowledge will help be invaluable when you are comparison shopping for diamonds.
Diamond Cut Quality When jewelers judge the quality of a diamond cut, or "make", they often rate "Cut" as the most important of the "4 Cs." The way a diamond is cut is primarily dependent upon the original shape of the rough stone, location of the inclusions and flaws to be eliminated, the preservation of the weight, and the popularity of certain shapes. Don't confuse a diamond's "cut" with it's "shape". Shape refers only to the outward appearance of the diamond (Fig. 5 below), and not how it is faceted. The Importance of Cut Quality When a diamond has a high quality cut (ideal cut), incident light will enter the stone through the table and crown, traveling toward the pavilion where it reflects from one side to the other before bouncing back out of the diamond's table toward the observer's eye (see Fig. 1 below). This phenomenon is referred to as "light return" (Fig. 2 below) which affects a diamond's brightness, brilliance, and dispersion. Any light-leakage caused by poor symmetry and/or cut proportions (off-make) will adversely affect the quality of light return. The "Shallow Cut" and "Deep Cut" examples in Fig. 1 show how light that enters through the table of a Modern Round Brilliant diamond reaches the pavilion facets and then leaks out from the sides or bottom of the diamond rather than reflecting back to the eye through the table. Less light reflected back to the eye means less "Brilliance". In the "Ideal Cut" example, most of the light entering through the table is reflected back towards the observer from the pavilion facets.
Keep in mind that the variance in proportions between an "Ideal Cut" (ideal make) and a "Fair, Poor, Shallow or Deep Cut" may be difficult to discern to the novice observer, although there will be a lack of brilliance, scintillation, and fire. Cut quality is divided into several grades listed below.
Ideal Cut Premium Cut Very Good / Fine Cut
when one incorrect facet angle can throw off the symmetry of the entire stone. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. and the pavillion will have 25 facets. 64. 80. A poorly cut diamond with facets cut just a few degrees from the optimal ratio will result in a stone that lacks gemmy quality because the "brilliance" and "fire" of a diamond largely depends on the angle of the facets in relation to each other. Fig. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951.e. Other variations of the "Modern Round Brilliant" include the "Ideal Brilliant" which was invented by Johnson and Roesch in 1929. 3 . a Round Brilliant cut that does not have the proper proportions and symmetry (off-make) will have noticeably less brilliance. 2 The proportion and symmetry of the cuts as well as the quality of the polish are factors in determining the overall quality of the cut.Good Cut Fair Cut Poor Cut Cut Proportions In the past. the "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. Poor Diamond Faceting and Symmetry Due to the mathmatics involved in light refraction. The crown will have 33 facets. 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. All of that has changed with the AGS Cut Grading system and GIA's new "Cut Grading System". Fig. or 96 facets which are not counted in the total number of facets (58). Only a trained eye could see the quality of a good cut. pavilion and crown angle) and did not provide a subjective ranking of how good the cut was. Common cutting problems can occur during the faceting process. This can also result in the undesirable creation of extra facets beyond the required 58. The chart below shows several common problems to look for.
The round brilliant cut is preferred when the crystal is an octahedron. The "Ideal" designation is an AGS term that is not found on an GIA report. Asymmetrical raw crystals such as macles are usually cut in a "Fancy" style. all three categories of cut (Polish. the "FireScope. Eppler Cut (European Standard). there is a balance between "brilliance" and "fire". as two stones could be cut from one crystal. 5) are listed below.For a Modern Round Brilliant cut (Tolkowsky Brilliant). out through the table. 4 Perfectly formed Hearts and Arrows patterns with eight hearts AND eight arrows (above. which gives out much more fire than a real diamond. AGS Triple-0 Certification The American Gem Society (AGS) is the industry leader in laboratory testing of round gems for cut grade and quality. Fig. Emerald . GIA vs AGS Cut Grading GIA's new cut-grading system is based on averages that are rounded-up to predict 'light performance. Several basic diamond shapes (Fig. The IdealScope was invented by Kazumi Okuda in the 1970's. or a Scan D. and its later incarnation." was invented by Ken Shigetomi and Kazumi Okuda in 1984. Cut (Scandinavian Standard) will display a "Hearts and Arrows" pattern when observed through a IdealScope (arrows only). Proportion) must meet the "ideal" criteria. the quality of the cutter's execution of that shape is of primary importance. N. Hearts and Arrows Diamonds A perfectly proportioned ideal cut that is cut to the exacting specifications of a Tolkowsky Cut. The first official H & A "EightStar" diamond was cut in 1985 by Kioyishi Higuchi for Japanese businessman and FireScope manufacturer. The shape of the diamond cut is heavily dependent upon the original shape of the rough stone.' while AGS uses a more exacting combination of proportional facet ratios along with raytracing metrics to calculate light return. 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. Fancy Diamond Cuts The shape of the cut is a matter of personal taste and preference. making the diamond appear white when viewed from the top. 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. A Triple-0 diamond can also be called a "Triple Ideal Cut" or "AGS-Ideal Zero" diamond. Takanori Tamura. or a H & A Viewer gemscope (FireScope). However. left) are only found in diamonds that meet the American Gem Society Laboratories' "0" Ideal Cut specifications. In order for a diamond to receive a "Triple-0" grading. A diamond cut for too much fire will look like cubic zirconia. A well executed round brilliant cut should reflect the maximum amount light from the interior pavilion facets. Symetry.
007 ounce. As a consumer." . the total mass of all diamonds or gemstones is referred to as "Total Carat Weight" or "T. Therefor. CARAT Balancing Cut and Weight A diamond or gemstone's "Carat" designation is a measurement of both the size and weight of the stone. your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the "4 C's" diamond grading system. A carat can also be divided into "points" with one carat being equal to 100 points. Cut 2." "Briolette" (a form of Rose cut).Heart Marquise Oval Pear Princess Radiant Round Trillion (not shown at diagram) Fig.086 grains) or 0. Clarity 4. Carat 3. Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics. and the Pear. and with each point being 2 milligrams in weight. 5 Popular fancy cuts include the "Baguette" (bread loaf). a 1/2 carat diamond would be 50 points. and a 2 carat diamond is 200 points. "Princess" (square outline).W. Color Carat weight is one of the 4 C's. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond.C.2 grams (200 milligrams or 3. One "Carat" is a unit of mass that is equal to 0. a 3/4 carat diamond is 75 points. The 4 C's of Diamonds: Carat (Weight) The 4 C's Diamond Grading System 1. "Marquise" or "Navette" (little boat). The "fancy cuts" are generally not held to the same strict standards as Round Brilliants. When a single piece of jewelry has multiple stones. "Heart.
By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry.10 carat diamond for its better cut. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained.600 6. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place.5 carat 1. a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight.0 carat 1. Occasionally. It is for this reason that an even 1.99 carat diamond for its better price. or "seed of the carob". See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown.Grade: F Colorless .800 6. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight. or to buy a 1.195 and . A diamond that has a specified carat weight of .5º crown.5 carats must have an actual weight of between . a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut.VS1 Carat Size</ 0.495 carats and .20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between .000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line. 40º pavilion.5 carat 2. it must be accurate to the second decimal place. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone.600 8.600 12.750 30. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity . a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions." If the carat weight is shown as ".0 carat 3.500 15. Price Per Carat (2005) . "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat. In ancient times. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration. girdle and pavilion. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York. clarity and weight. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing.204 carat. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only.504 carats. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a . many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond.
Inclusions that are near to. . .Inclusions large and obvious. Color Clarity is one of the Four C's."Small" or "Slight" Inclusions or "Imperfections" may be "eye clean" SI-2 . The term "Clarity" refers to the presence or absence of tiny imperfections (inclusions) within the stone. Clarity 4. light or pale inclusions may show greater relief."Very Small" inclusions visible at 10 x mag. thus minimizing any negative impact of the inclusion. On the other hand."Very Small" inclusions VS1 is better grade than VS2 SI-1 . VVS1 better than VVS2 VS-1 . As a consumer. point size and the location of inclusions."Internally Flawless" no inclusions at 10 x mag. darker inclusions will tend to create the most significant drop in clarity grade. may weaken the diamond structurally. In "colorless" diamonds."Flawless" no inclusions at 10 x magnification IF . little or no brilliance I1 to I3 . with large Inclusions. 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)."Small" or "Slight" Inclusions or "Imperfections" visible to naked eye SI-3 . In fancy-colored diamonds. .small blemishes VVS-1 . Considerations in grading the clarity of a diamond include the type of stone. and/or on the surface of the stone.not naked eye VS-2 . making them more apparent."Very Very Small" inclusions hard to see at 10 x magnification VVS-2 .The Four C's Diamond Grading System 1. Diamond Clarity Designations FL ."Very Very Small" inclusions. CLARITY All of the grades of diamond clarity shown in the table below. therefore reducing its value significantly. and flaws GIA Clarity Grading System The chart below explains the GIA grading system for inclusions and imperfections. or break the surface. fractures. it is important to learn and understand the clarity designations found within the "Four C's" diamond grading system.Imperfect. Carat 3. Cut 2. 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. causing a greater drop in grade.
Indented Naturals . Diamond Fracture Filling Diamond clarity is sometimes enhanced by filling fractures.Fine cracks. waviness. therefor it is essential to inform anyone working on a setting if the diamond is fracture-filled. Such diamonds are sometimes called "fracture filled diamonds". Internal Diamond Inclusions Carbon .Concentrated area of crystal growth that appear light or dark.An inclusion that penetrates the surface. Pique . Feathers .Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet. and reputable filling companies will use filling agents which show an orange or pink flash of color. vendors should disclose this enhancement." According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides. Pinpoints . fringing. Knots . Cavities . If a jeweler sells a diamond that has an actual grade of VS-1. he or she could legally sell it as a VVS-2. much like repairing a crack in your car's windshield.Rutile-like needle inclusions.A percussion mark caused by impact. Laser Drilling Laser drilling involves using a laser to burn a tunnel or hole to a carbon inclusion. The drilling process leave tiny telltale shafts or tunnels that are visible under magnification.Inclusions resulting from crystal twining during growth. External Diamond Inclusions Bearded Girdles . haze. in part because the treatment isn't permanent. Chips . There is a significant price discount for fracture-filled diamonds. chips. Reputable companies often provide for repeat treatments if heat causes damage to the filling. Grain Center .Cleavage planes or internal fractures that have the appearance of feathers.Garnet or other Included gem stones Twinning Wisps . Filled Fractures . Needles . appearing as a raised area. The final clarity grade will be the grade that is assigned after treatment.A natural indentation that was not removed by polishing. The heat generated by a blowtorch used to work on settings can cause damage.Fractures that have been artificially filled. The treatment is considered permanent and both the GIA and AGS will issue grades for laser drilled diamonds.An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing. According to FTC guidelines. Clouds .Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation. Internal Graining . The GIA will not grade fracture-filled diamonds. According to Fred Cuellar in his book How to Buy a Diamond.Cloudy grouping of tiny pinpoints that may not resolve at 10X Magnification.Dislodged pinpoint inclusions at the surface. so they can use greater care while working on the piece. Bruising . Surface Graining .Diamond Clarity Grade Inflation A fairly common practice in the jewelry trade is grade-inflation or "grade bumping.Minute crystals within the diamond that appear white. or feathers along the outer edge of girdle.Tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts). Pits .Irregular crystal growth causing internal distortions." . a diamond must be within one clarity grade of its advertised amount at the time of sale. followed by acid washing to remove the coloring agent. "One out of every three diamonds sold in the United States is laser-drilled.
a Sarin Diamond Color Grading report is the state-of-the-art color measuring standard. COLOR Most all natural diamonds contain small quantities of nitrogen atoms that displacing the carbon atoms within the crystal's lattice structure. I. In determining the color rating of a diamond.colorless (white) G. As a consumer. The designation of SI-3 was popularized by the EGL (European Gemological Laboratory) grading office. Carat 3. Cut 2.faint yellow or brown N. At present. assign this grade.Small chips at facet junctions.Surface burning from heat buildup during polishing. The color chart in Fig. E. U. the Gemological Institute of America uses a scale of "D" to "Z" in which "D" is totally colorless and "Z" is yellow. O. the most reputable well known US labs. Color Color is one of the Four Cs representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. "SI-3" is a grade sometimes used in the diamond industry. H. 1 explains the GIA grading system for clear (not fancy-colored) stones. Neither the GIA nor the AGS (American Gemological Society).very light yellow or brown S. T.Whitish haziness along the junction of facets caused by wear. it will be beneficial to learn and understand some of the basic parameters for diamond color grading. the yellower the stone will appear. Z . M . These nitrogen impurities are evenly dispersed throughout the stone. Burn Marks . J . Q. V. R . F . The Four Cs of Diamonds: Color The Four Cs Diamond Grading System 1. Scratches . L.near colorless K. thereby making the diamond appear yellow. Diamonds of this low grade would be inappropriate for jewelry.Grinding Wheel Marks of scratches from contact with other diamonds. The higher the amount of nitrogen atoms. Clarity 4.light yellow or brown Fig. absorbing some of the blue spectrum. P. Diamond Color Designations D. Nicks . Y.Human Caused Surface Blemishes Abrasions . 1 . X. W.
Due to a diamond's high brilliance. and dispersion of light (fire) when looking through the table or crown. and HRD grading scales. jewelers and gem labs can accurately provide a 'color typing' printout of a diamond's color grading that is compatible with AGS. 2). most gem labs do not currently provide color-typing data in their reports and certificates. it is extremely benificial to know if your 'F' is a strong 'F. color grading should be determined by examining the stone through the side of the pavilion (Fig. Color grading by 'visual-observation is performed against a Master CZ Colored Grading Set. D4. IGI. GIA-GEM. D3. 2 Sarin Color Typing is a relatively new sub-classification of the D through Z gading scale. as in our Fig.The Holy Grail ." or "D+. Using a Sarin Diamond Colorimeter DC3000 (aka Gran Colorimeter)." "whiter than white. Each classification is divided into five sub-classifications (D1. Fig.' Unfortunatly. and D5). 3 example below.' or a borderline 'G. sometimes referred to as "white diamonds. These colorless stones. and not by looking at the top of the stone. Fig. India. D2." are named after the famous Golconda Diamond Mines located in the state of Hyderabad. D-Flawless . 3 Golconda Diamonds Type IIa diamonds (aka Golconda Diamonds) are colorless stones containing negligible amounts nitrogen or boron impurities to absorb the blue end of the color spectrum. For the consumer.
Diamond Formation . For diamonds with a color grading of D through H (colorless). murky appearance when compared to a non-fluorescing diamond. they tend to fluoresce as blue. as the blue fluorescence will cancel out some of the yellow. Diamonds: Chemistry & Structural Properties Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Structural Properties of Diamond . Diamond Fluorescence Approximatly 1/3 (35%) of all diamonds have a tendency to fluoresce when exposed to ultra-violet (UV) light. according to the GIA. faint. Fluorescence is graded as none. On the other hand. fluorescence can negatively impact the value of the stone by 3% to 20%. so this effect will be more apparent under natural daylight than under artificial incandescent light. This fluorescent effect can be beneficial to a diamond that has a yellow tint. In some settings with various combinations of other stones. Skin Tone and Settings While some may prefer a very transparent D to F range. When diamonds are viewed under a UV light-source. diamonds with a visible tint may be preffered. diamonds with a poorer color grading (I through K).Large D-flawless diamonds (those weighing more than 2 carats) are some of the rarest minerals on earth. fewer than 5. medium. and strong.000 D-color diamonds weighing over half a carat are found each year. Even with microscopic inclusions. others may prefer a "warmer" color found in a G to J range to compliment their skin tone. Ultra-violet light is a component of natural sunlight and artificial 4800k to 5000k color-proofing light. Only around 600 D-flawless roughs are cut into gems weighing between 1 and 2 carats during a given year. fluorescence could increase the value by 0% to 2% buy improving the color (or lack thereof). See Color in Gemstones for more information." but the diamond will have a dull. making the diamond appear "colorless.
Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km)." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms. A diamond is a transparent." which is also known as "adamant. igneous rock composed of garnet. . phlogopite. with the principle allotrope being graphite. and differentiates it from simple graphite. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits. olivine. Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe. with a variety of trace minerals." and "unconquerable." "untamable. and a specific gravity of 3. ultramafic.42. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses.044. The name "diamond. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical. Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth. Therefore.200 degrees Celsius). a refractive index of 2. and pyroxene.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1. which resemble a champagne flute." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon." referring to its incredible hardness. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" . At these depths. or "invincible. Deep within the earth's crust there are regions that have a high enough temperature (900¼C to 1400¼C) and pressure (5 to 6 GPa) that it is thermodynamically possible for liquified carbon to form into diamonds. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes.Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale. diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation.52. Under the continental crust." is derived from the Greek adamas. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2.
with the end byproduct of the combustion being carbonic-acid gas.A Type 2-A diamond has a hardness value of 167 GPa (±6) when scratched with an ultrahard fullerite tip. whether it is cubic. does not always reflect the internal arrangement of its atoms. Experimentation during the late 18th century demonstrated that diamonds were made of carbon. or dodecahedral. a currently hypothetical material. perfectly formed crystals are rare. is nearly as hard as diamond. The material "boron nitride. may also be as hard or harder than diamond. a predictable crystal growth pattern known as its "crystal habit." or "anhedral. by igniting a diamond in an oxygen atmosphere." This means that diamond crystals usually "grow" in an orderly and symmetrical arrangement. or carbon dioxide. When a gemstone has an irregular external shape or asymmetrical arrangement of its crystal facets. The natural crystal form. and a hardness value of 231 GPa (±5) when scratched with a diamond tip. although in nature. beta carbon nitride. and crystal habit of a diamond is octahedral (photo. although the reason for its combustion was not understood at the time." ." when found in a crystalline form that is structurally similar to diamond. A diamond's incredible hardness was the subject of curiosity dating back to the Roman empire. it is termed as "subhedral. above). Diamond Crystal Habit Diamonds have a characteristic crystalline structure. and therefore. where it was shown to combust in scientific experiments. Additionally. octahedral. The external shape of the crystal.
but its toughness rating is also excellent. meaning that a diamond is 4 times "harder" than sapphire. Carbon Inclusion . By comparrison. graphite can develop internally and on the diamond's surface.© AGS Labs Hexagonal (Graphite) Platelet Inclusion . The culet facet at the bottom of the pavilion. a diamond's "toughness" is only fair to good. Internally formed crystallographic graphite inclusions often create intense strain on the surrounding diamond. very thin girdles on brilliant cut diamonds are also prone to breakage. and varying growth conditions of heat. and "pound-force" per square-inch in US units of measurement." If you were to place a large enough diamond on your tongue it would draw heat away. due to its ability to fracture along cleavage planes.Trace impurities. Diamond Graphitization In extremely high temperature environments above 1700 ¡C.5 to 6. most scratch resistant mineral on earth. A material's toughness is measured in units of "joules" per cubic meter (J/m3) in the SI system. pressure and space can also affect the final shape of a formed crystal. the term "toughness" describes the resistance of a given material to fracture when it is stressed or impacted. Many natural blue . Additionally.5. yet sapphire has a toughness rating of excellent. Thermal Properties of Diamonds Diamond is a good conductor of heat. sapphire has a hardness rating of 9. Unlike "hardness. crystal twinning. causing stress fractures or feathers. and therefore may be uninsurable by reputable insurance companies. with a Mohs scale rating of 10.© AGS Labs Diamond Toughness Within the fields of metallurgy and materials science. Hematite has a hardness of only 5. making it seem cold. acting as a "thermal conductor." and therefore. its "toughness" rating is moderate. is a facet specifically designed to resist breakage. Particular cuts of diamond are more prone to breakage along cleavage planes. Although diamond is the "hardest." which only denotes a diamond's high resistance to scratching.
Insulators or Semiconductors Diamond is a relatively good electrical insulator. are known as p-type semiconductors.com The surface luster (or "lustre") of diamond is described as adamantine. Natural blue diamonds containing boron atoms. Purified synthetic diamond can have the highest thermal conductivity (2000-2500 W/m-K) of any solid material at room temperature . re-emitting them as lower-energy. Optical Properties of Diamond: Type I & Type II Diamonds Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Surface Luster of Diamond Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. or longer-wavelength photons. Fluorescence in Diamonds Fluorescence is an optical phenomenon in which a diamond's molecules absorb high-energy photons. gloss. Due to diamond's high thermal conductance. increasing thermal conductance. giving off a somewhat greasy sheen. electronic circuits could be manufactured from diamonds in the future . or having the hardness or luster of a diamond. and generally implies radiance.nearly five times greater than pure copper. which means unyielding. inflexible. with the exception of natural blue diamonds. or brilliance. Electromagnetic Properties of Diamond . If an n-type semiconductor can be synthesized. meaning "light". . to prevent silicon and other semiconducting materials from overheating. which are in fact semiconductors. and synthetic diamonds that are doped with boron. The word luster traces its origins back to the Latin word lux. The term adamantine describes the way light interacts with the surface of a crystal. it is used in the manufacturing of semiconductors.diamonds contain boron atoms which replace carbon atoms within the crystal matrix.
classifying them as Type IIb diamonds. thereby allowing the passage of short-wave ultra-violet (SWUV) light through the stone. due primarily to certain structural anomalies arising from "plastic deformation" which occurred during their formation. 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. Some Type IIa diamonds can be found with pink. . they can give the stone a yellow tint.417. with very high thermal conductivity. Typically. Diamond can exhibit pseudochromatic coloration giving the appearance of "color" without having any actual color in the mineral itself. Diamond Refraction & Coloration Diamonds are "singly refractive. Some diamond varieties. greenish or yellow fluorescence when exposed to the X-ray wavelength. or brown coloration. These rare diamonds have a lower nitrogen content. and give off a bluish-white.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. a natural diamond may contains both Type 1-A and Type 1-B material. red. and contain nitrogen atoms as an impurity. or "fire. absorbing some of the blue spectrum. and thereby making the diamond appear yellow. show no fluorescence." with a refractive index of 2. Type I & Type II Diamonds As many as 99% of all natural diamonds are classified as Type I. and appear dark when exposed to ultra-violet light or X-rays. All Type 1 diamonds have nitrogen atoms as their main impurity. These Nitrogen impurities found in Type I diamonds are evenly dispersed throughout the gemstone. Type II diamonds do not contain any detectable nitrogen.© AGS Labs Type I UV Fluorescence . and some of the finest historical gemstones such as the Cullinan and Koh-i-Noor are both Type IIa diamonds. permitting the passage and reflectance of blue light. Man-made synthetic diamonds containing nitrogen are classified as Type 1-B." and refraction.© AGS Labs Type IIa diamonds are very rare. and are classified as Type 1-B. These Type IIa diamonds have a near-perfect crystal structure making them highly transparent and colorless. If the nitrogen atoms are dispersed evenly throughout the crystal. Cloud Inclusion Under UV . particularly Canadian diamonds. which replace some carbon atoms within the crystal lattice structure. making them appear 'colorless' (D). while Type II diamonds that lack boron impurities are classified as Type IIa. If the nitrogen atoms are grouped in clusters they do not necessarily affect the diamond's overall color. Natural blue Type II diamonds containing scattered boron impurities within their crystal matrix are good conductors of electricity. and they are classified as Type 1-A. This illusion of color is caused by the varying optics effects created by spectral dispersion. Type II Diamond Formation Certain diamonds were formed under extremely high pressure for longer time periods.
Green & Cognac Fancy Colored Diamond Diamonds can occur in all colors of the spectrum. In this case. orange. red. brown. steel grey. Diamond Color & Composition Diamonds can occur in a wide variety of colors: colorless or white. and their color is due to trace impurities of nitrogen and/or hydrogen (yellow. it enters the realm of a "Fancy Color" diamond. However. 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. Yellow. . fancy pink diamonds can command very high prices as they have become increasingly popular. However. and black. certain fancy-colored diamonds such as pink (Condé). Fancy Diamond Color Hues A fancy brown (or Fancy Cognac). red diamonds). and therefor colorless. Blue. Colorless diamonds would normally be priced much higher than yellow diamonds. blue. green. and red (Hancock Diamond) are particularly valuable. pink. brown diamonds). green. green (Ocean Dream). Fancy Colored Diamonds: Pink. radiation exposure (green diamonds) or irregular growth patterns within the crystal (pink. boron (blue diamonds). or yellow diamond may have a relatively low value when compared to a colorless diamond. while chemically "pure" diamonds are basically transparent. blue (Hope Diamond). All colored diamonds contain certain specific impurities and/or structural defects that cause their coloration.Diamond Refraction & Light Dispersion Diamonds can also exhibit allochromatic coloration which is caused by chromophores from the nitrogen trace impurities found within crystalline structure. when a diamond's color is more intense than the "Z" grading. the intensity of the color in the diamond can plays a significant role in its value. Once thought to be of little value. yellow. It is this nitrogen component that produces the color of fancy yellow diamonds.
Champagne 3 is darkest C8 to C1 . lighting color temperatures (incandescent. 1PP is the highest quality designation for Pink Diamond. halogen.54 carat cushion cut with an estimated value in the millions of dollars.Pink (Reddish-pink) 1 is darkest 1BP to 8BP .Pink (Brownish-pink) 1 is darkest PC3 to PC1 . sold at a greater discount. The rough stone weighed 287. Pink diamonds are similar to pink sapphire in color. One of the world's only major sources for rare pink diamonds is the Argyle Mine in Australia. The GIA grades fancy diamond color by quantifying the saturation. Fancy Pink/Brown Diamond Color (Hue) Designations 1PP to 8PP .42 carats.Highest Saturation One of the largest. left). An 1P designation would have less blue and more brownish-red. . 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. which changes hue from grayish-blue or olive-green to yellowish-green or straw-yellow under different lighting conditions (darkness. daylight) and ambient temperature changes. causing microscopic imperfections within the lattice structure. which are generally less appreciated than other fancy colors and therefor. hue. Pink Diamonds The pink color within these rare diamonds is due to irregular crystal growth patterns. and was cut into a 128. South Africa in 1878. having a pure magenta color with deep saturation. and most valuable Fancy Yellow diamonds in the world is the 'Tiffany Diamond.Start of 'Fancy' Fancy Fancy Dark Fancy Intense Fancy Deep Fancy Vivid . yet considerably more expensive. As the numbers go lower (8PP) the color is paler.S to Z Fancy Light .M Very Light .' GIA 'Fancy Yellow' Diamond Color Saturation Designations Faint .Brown diamonds.Pink (Magenta-pink) 1 is darkest 1P to 8P . Only 1% to 2% of the diamonds produced at the Argyle Mine are high-quality pink specimens. have become more commonplace as Australian colored diamonds have gained in popularity.Cognac 8 is darkest Chameleon Diamonds There is a very rare olive-grayish color-changing diamond called "Chameleon Diamond" (below. bright light).' found in Kimberly. This Chameleon-like phenomenon was first documented by the GIA in the early 1940s. and value (darkness) using nine classifications ranging from 'Faint' to 'Vivid.N to R Light .
Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste. On thing is certain. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds. . Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red. or a combination of the two. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply. The color change effect is temporary.000 to $500. Intense.000 per carat. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner. Warren Hancock. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant.com) The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive 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).90 carats. greyish-green.95carats.com) Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems.03 carats. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities.000 in 1987. and the De Young Red weighing 5. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness . pure green hues. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa. and weighed a modest 0. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation.' discovered during the 18th century. Green diamonds can range from $35. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926.
Reddish Brown Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. The term "clarity" refers to the presence.G.S. or on the surface of the cut stone.com) Fancy Colored Synthetic Diamonds Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless D. gemological testing laboratory in Las Vegas. and can be naturally occuring.com Clarity is one of the Four C's of diamond grading. or absence of tiny imperfections known as "inclusions. ." These inclusions can occur within the stone. Inclusions which are not visible to the naked eye (eye clean) fall into the GIA range of "IF" (Internally Flawless) to "SI2" (Small Inclusions). This section contains a compendium of photography depicting all of the various types of diamond inclusions—both naturally occurring. and beautifully photographed by their Director of Gem Services. or human caused. F grades. Inclusions which are visible to the naked eye are referred to as piquŽ. All of the microscopic inclusion photographs on this page were generously contributed by the A.com) Enhanced Blue & Yellow Diamonds (© AfricaGems. 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. E. making the stone appear yellowish.L. Diamond Inclusion Library: Inclusion Photos Over 100 High-Resolution Diamond Photos! All Contents: Copyright © 2010 AllAboutGemstones. representing the four main variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. Joe Vanells. Nevada. These impurities absorb the blue end of the light spectrum. and man-made imperfections—that can be found in raw and cut diamonds. and so-called "piquŽ diamonds" fall into the GIA grading range of I1 to I3 (CIBJO grade P1 to P3). It is for this reason that manufacturers of synthetic diamonds tend to specialize in fancy colors.
ferropericlase. Black or dark material found within a diamond's internal fracture planes can also be particles or crystallographic inclusions of graphite. pyrrhotite and pentlandite. PiquŽ Carbon Inclusion Photos Internal Carbon Pique Diamond Inclusion Photography Piqué are tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts) within diamonds. pyrrhotite and pentlandite. Black material found within internal fracture planes can also be crystallographic inclusions of graphite.Internal Diamond Inclusion Photos Carbon Tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts). ferropericlase. .
Microscopic Carbon Picque Inclusions Hexagonal Platelet Inclusion in Trillion Cut Diamond .
All of the microscopic diamond carbon inclusion photography on this page was generously contributed by the AGSL gemological testing laboratory in Las Vegas. which can leave their own types of unique inclusions.Carbon piqué inclusions are sometimes removed by diamond enhancements such as laser drilling. 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. Nevada. Clouds (Cld) A dense grouping of tiny pinpoints that create a cloudy zone which may not resolve as individual pinpoints at 10X Magnification. Internal cloud inclusions may not resolve as pinpoints at 10X . and is reproduced with their permission.
. 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 Inclusion Photos Internal Diamond Feather Inclusion Photography Feather inclusions (Ftr) are caused by cleavage planes or internal stress fractures that have the appearance of wispy feathers. Common around included crystals. which cause internal stress fractures during crystal growth. Feather inclusions can be accompanied by internal graining and/or twinning wisp inclusions.Feathers (Ftr) Cleavage planes or internal stress fractures that have the appearance of feathers. . Feather inclusions are common around included crystals such as garnet.
Feather inclusions caused by stress fractures around included garnet crystal. .
diamonds with significant stress fractures and feather should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner as this could cause the diamond to shatter. and the stress inclusion occurs along the gem's natural cleavage plane. This is especially true if the fracture breeches the stone's surface. making it susceptible to fracturing when exposed to thermal or physical shock. As a result. .Pronounced stress fractures and feather inclusions can potentially weaken the stone.
Grain Center (GrCnt) A concentrated area of crystal growth that can appear light or dark. Grain Center Inclusion Photos Internal Grain Center Diamond Inclusion Photography Internal Grain Center (IntGr) inclusions (aka internal graining) are caused by irregular diamond crystal growth which creates internal distortions. and haze within a cut diamond. waviness. .
Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .
when a tube is generated by a formerly liquid filled cavity. when a tube or tunnel is generated in the crystalizing diamond by an internal cavity that was once liquid filled. . Growth Tube Inclusion Photos Internal Growth Tubes Inclusion Photography Internal Growth Tube inclusions are natural Imperfections that are created during diamond formation.Growth Tubes Imperfection formed during crystal growth.
Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .
calcite. silica or other gem stone inclusions. olivine. Green chrome diopside Inclusion within a Diamond . iron oxides. 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.Included Crystals (Xtl) Included and undigested gemstones or fragments of garnet. spinel. iron oxides. calcite. or silica. olivine. diopside. spinel. diopside.
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 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. the drilled passage may not breach the cut diamond's surface. With internal laser-drilling inclusions. .Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) Internal pathway caused by laser-drilling to remove large inclusions. and where pathway does not breach the cut diamond's surface.
Needle Inclusion Photos Needle Inclusion Photography Internal Needles (Ndl) or needle inclusions are naturally occurring rutile-like needle shaped inclusions within the diamond. .Needles (Ndl) Rutile-like needle-shaped inclusions.
Pinpoint Inclusion Photos Pinpoints (Pp) Inclusion Photography Internal Pinpoints (Pp).Pinpoints (Pp) Minute crystals within the diamond that appear white. . Large groupings of small pinpoints can create a cloud effect. Large groupings of small pinpoints can create a cloud inclusion effect. or Pinpoint Inclusions are minute included crystals within the diamond that appear white under magnification.
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.Twinning Wisps Inclusions and defects resulting from crystal-twining during crystal growth. Can be accompanied by graining and strain. . resulting from crystal twining during the growth process.
. showing the strange and beautiful world of microscopic diamond inclusions.Odds & Ends: Microscopic Diamond Inclusion Beauty Photos Microscopic Diamond Inclusion Photography This is an assortment of spectacular diamond-inclusion photography taken by Joe Vanells.
Natural Comet Inclusion .
Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud .
Tabular Reflection in Diamond .
Included Garnet Twins within Diamond .
Included Dalmatian Garnet .
Cloud Inclusion .
Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers .
Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light .
Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion .
appearing as a raised area on the diamond's surface. Knot Inclusion Photos Photography of Diamond Inclusion Knots Knot inclusions are naturally occurring external inclusions or imperfections that penetrate the surface (convex). appearing as a raised area. . Knot diamond inclusions can potentially be the cause of man-made drag-line inclusions.Natural External Diamond Inclusions or Blemishes Knots An inclusion that penetrates the surface.
Indented Natural Inclusion Photos Indented Natural (IndN) Diamond Inclusion Photography Indented Natural (IndN) inclusions (indented naturals) are external imperfections that are caused by naturally-occurring recessed (concave) indentations that penetrate the surface of a rough diamond. and were not fully removed during the stone's cutting or polishing process. .Indented Natural (IndN) A naturally occurring indentation in the crystal that was not removed during cutting or polishing.
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. Surface Graining (SGr) Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation. .Pits Dislodged pinpoint inclusions at the surface.
. 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.Human Caused Surface Blemishes Abrasion (Abr) A tightly grouped series of nicks along the sharp edge of facet junctions. Bearded Girdle (BG) Fine cracks. or feathers along the outer edge of girdle. chips. fringing.
Chips Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet. Drag Line Photos Diamond Surface Drag Lines Photography Drag Lines are human-caused surface imperfections and blemishes that are created when a loose rough particle is dragged along the surface. or caught by a included crystal. or when abrasive material is caught by an included crystal such as garnet during the polishing of a diamond. the overheating of a facet causes a burn mark. during cutting and/or polishing the diamond. . Drag Lines Created when a rough particle is dragged along the surface.Burn Marks Created during polishing. Cavities (Cv) An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing.
. Filled Fractures Fractures or feathers that have been artificially filled to enhance clarity. Filled Fracture Photos Internal Fracture Filling Inclusion Photography Fracture-filling Inclusions are man-made diamond enhancements that are the result of natural cleavage-plane stress fractures or feathers which have been artificially filled with molten glass to enhance clarity. This microscopic photograph shows the telltale orange or pink flash of a filled fracture enhancement within a cut diamond.Extra Facet (EF) An asymmetrical and irregularly placed facet that is not part of the original faceting scheme. and remove cloudiness.
and inscriptions.Laser Etching or Markings Careless or inadvertent laser etchings. or inscribing the external surface of a cut diamond. . markings. Laser Etching Photos Diamond Laser Etching Inscription Photography Laser etching inclusions are surface blemishes and imperfections that are created when careless or inadvertent markings or inscriptions are made while laser etching. marking.
Polish Marks (PM) Also known as "Wheel Marks. Diamond Enhancements: Laser Drilling & Fracture Filling .Polish Lines (PL) Fine parallel surface groves resulting from the polishing process. Scratch (S) A fine whitish line that can be curved or straight." whitish film on the surface of a facet caused by excessive heat during polishing.
© AGS Lab Telltale Signs of Fracture Filling . polished natural diamonds. but instead attempt to hide their visual effect. A trained gemologist should be able to identify most traditional "enhancements" made to a particular stone.© 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. altered. or removed by employing several invasive techniques from fracture filling to laser drilling. Such diamonds are sometimes then branded as "fracture filled diamonds. but not necessarily increase its value. in accordance with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines for the gem trade. Minor diamond inclusions or surface imperfections which are not visible to the naked eye ("VVS1" to "SI2") can be disguised. which are designed to improve the visual or gemological characteristics of the stone. There are also heating treatments to improve a white diamond's color grade. or treatments to give a fancy color to a off-white diamond. much like you would repair a crack in a car's windshield glass." 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. These techniques do not eliminate the imperfection.Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Enhanced Diamonds Diamond "enhancements" are specific treatments performed on cut. Diamond Fracture Filling Diamond clarity is sometimes improved and enhanced by filling tiny fractures or feathers with molten glass. . Unfilled Fractures around Garnet Inclusion .
so that the jeweler can use greater care while working on the piece. in part because the treatment isn't permanent." Diamond Color Treatment Color enhancement of diamonds in done to increase the color intensity of so-called "fancy" colored diamonds.com Radiation treatments are completely safe. "vivid" blue and yellow colors result. and the GIA will not even grade a fracture-filled diamond. referred to as the HTHP process.© AfricaGems. or subjecting the diamond to intense pressure and temperature. and the diamonds are tested to ensure that no trace levels of radiation remain. These enhancements are achieved using low levels of radiation (irradiation). It is therefor essential to inform anyone working on a setting where the diamond has been fracture-filled. the heat generated by a blowtorch used to work on settings can cause damage to the filling material.There should always be a significant price discount for any diamond that has been fracture-filled.© AfricaGems. Diamonds treated with HTHP have their molecular altered so that intense. The final clarity grade will be the grade that is assigned after treatment.© AGS Lab Laser Drilling Tubes . . The drilling process leave tiny telltale shafts or tunnels that are visible under high magnification (see photos below). "One out of every three diamonds sold in the United States is laser-drilled. Reputable filling companies will often provide repeat treatments if heat causes damage to the filling. followed by acid washing to remove the coloring agent.© AGS Lab The laser-drilling treatment is considered permanent. Signs of Laser Drilling . Natural Fancy Diamonds . According to Fred Cuellar in his book How to Buy a Diamond. and both the GIA and AGS will issue grades for laser drilled diamonds.com Color Enhanced Diamonds . Due to its low melting-point. 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.
The process. Using an electric furnace constructed with blocks of lime.© AGS Labs Today. This abrupt cooling caused the rapid shrinkage of the molten iron crucible. the intense heat would render the crucible and its carbon contents into a molten liquid mass. With Moissan's process.Synthetic Diamonds & Man-Made Diamond Simulants Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite The First Synthetic Diamonds Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. high-pressure) "belt press" process was used for synthesizing industrial-grade diamonds. Although synthetic diamonds were originally conceived as a substitute for natural industrial-grade diamonds. known as the HTHP (high-temperature. lab diamonds) was first conceived by French chemist Henri Moissan in 1892.© AGS Labs Synthetic Yellow Chatham Diamond . which created enough pressure to crystallize the molten carbon into tiny diamond fragments. . The first practical commercial application of Moissan's process was developed in 1954. the crucible and its contents were rapidly cooled by immersing them into cold water. and has been steadily improved upon throughout the last 50 years. Once the desired temperature had been achieved. yet they have the identical carbon-based chemical properties of natural diamond. tiny fragments of synthetic diamond were created by heating charcoal. there are two main processes for creating lab diamonds: the High-Temperature High-Pressure or "HTHP" method. they are increasingly used in fine jewelry as their quality increases. or carbon to an extremely high temperature (4000º C) in a cast iron crucible.Tracy Hall for the General Electric Company. by H. and the Chemical Vapor Deposition or "CVD" method. Synthetic Diamond under Fluorescent .com The process of creating man-made diamonds (aka cultured diamonds. These man-made synthetic diamonds are a laboratory-grown simulation of the natural gemstone.
the diamond's entire growth process takes several days to complete. A diamond seed is placed into a growth camber. Geminaire In the early 1900's. synthetic diamonds may contain small inclusions. hardness. Like natural diamond. or "deposited" onto the substrate in successive layers. also known as "GE POL. Fabulite Synthetic Rutile (1946-1955) Diamothyst. Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) The "Chemical Vapor Deposition" (CVD) method was developed during the 1980s. With the advent of Cubic Zirconia in the mid 1970's." uses a four-anvil 'tetrahedral press. Radient Yttrium Aluminum Garnet (YAG) (1970-1975) Diamone. the HTHP diamond's growth process can take 7 to 10 days to complete. Diamond Essence. Rutania. which attracts the gas to the substrate. refractive index. or by measuring UV fluorescence with a DiamondView tester. Diamonite. Diamonte." also known as "simulated diamonds" or "fake diamonds" are man-made gemstones that look like. With CVD. Thrilliant Synthetic Spinel (1920-1947) Corundolite. Java Gem. Synthetic Diamond Manufacturers Apollo Diamonds . Synthetic Diamond Color & Optics Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless form. but are not a carbonbased compound having a natural diamond's crystalline structure. Synthetic diamonds can also be treated with the HTHP process to alter the optical properties of the stones. making them difficult to differentiate from natural diamonds. Jourado Diamond. a seed or substrate material is placed into the growth camber. and Moissanite in 1998. Diamondite. Titangem Synthetic Sapphire (1900-1947) Diamondette. Using Chemical Vapor Deposition. light dispersion. Diamonaire. Lustergem. Diamond Simulants Diamond "simulants. or "simulate" the appearance of natural diamonds. most of these lesser simulants fell by the wayside. Magalux. specific gravity. Phianite Gadolinium Gallium Garnet (GGG) (1972-1975) Strontium Titanate (ST) (1955 . and uses a lowerpressure growth environment than the earlier HTHP method. These impurities absorb the blue end of the light spectrum. In the late 1940's Diamondite gave way to Synthetic Rutile which was popular until the advent of YAG in the early 1970's. Unlike their natural diamond counterparts. making the stone appear yellowish.' or six-anvil 'cubic press' to create the necessary pressure. produced using the Verneuil (flame-fusion) Process.High-Temperature High-Pressure (HTHP) The "High-Temperature High-Pressure" (HTHP) technique. Rainbow Diamond. The vaporized carbon gases are energized using microwave energy. and a combination of heat and pressure are applied while a vaporized carbon-plasma that is combined with hydrogen is applied. colorless synthetic sapphire (aka Diamondite) was a popular diamond simulant. A cultured synthetic diamond will have the identical cleavage.1970) Diagem. 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. 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. ultraviolet. Synthetic diamonds can be detected using infrared. or X-ray spectroscopy. Common diamond simulants include: Cubic Zirconia (CZ) (1976-) Czarite. ranging in clarity from IF to SI or I. and surface luster as its natural diamond counterpart.
com Tairus Created Gems Tairus Created Gems is a Russian company that grows fancy-colored diamonds in their proprietary "Split Sphere" system. Florida. Cubic Zirconia (Zirconium Oxide ZrO2) has a completely different chemical structure.com Chatham Created Diamonds Chatham Gems is a San Francisco based company that grows only fancy-colored diamonds in colors ranging from champagne and canary yellow to pink and midnight blue.Apollo Diamond. with clarity grades from IF to SI. which they claim is the closest thing to mother nature. and CZ has a hardness of only 8.25 carats to 1 carat. and each cut stone is laser inscribed with the Apollo company logo and serial number. emerald. and some fancy colored diamonds. While a synthetic diamond is a man-made recreation of an actual carbon-based diamond.500 to $9. Apollo Diamond's cut stones are available in round brilliant.gemesis.30 carats to 3 carats. each Gemesis cut stone over . and stones are cut to order. of Bangkok Thailand. Gemesis only grows fancy-colored diamonds. and rose cuts. Tairus Created Gems are sold exclusively through Tairus Thailand Co. www. Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is the most familiar type of diamond simulant on the market.chatham.). Massachusetts grows colorless (D to M) diamonds.25 carats is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number.500 per carat (2004 est. The toughness of Cubic Zirconia is rated as good. www. carbonate fluid solution that is similar to diamond-bearing metamorphic rock.com Gemesis Cultured Diamonds Gemesis is located in Sarasota.3 on the Mohs scale. inc.com To the average consumer. using a proprietary variation of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) technique. Ltd. . Tairus produces rough sizes from . in Boston. The Split Sphere system crystalizes the carbon seed in an alkaline. princess. Chatham's pricing ranges from $6.. and each stone is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. Apollo Diamonds are cut and polished in sizes ranging from .apollodiamond. while diamond has a hardness of 10. and like Chatham. Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite Cubic Zirconia Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. www. To insure easy identification as a man-made product.
while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease. or colorless (white) versions. Unlike most natural diamonds. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below). 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." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR). Natural diamonds attract grease.41 (RI). a CZ is optically flawless. Zirconium oxide powder is heated. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight. but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. and CZs can be made in any "color grade.In 1973. CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1. 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. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible. candle.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. 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. Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored.17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2. or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond. Due to their low cost and consistency.2. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing. CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds.170.800 . Diamond's RI is 2.80 to 2. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left). Once the mixture has cooled.) in a totally dark room. etc.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce. The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond . For instance. . the greater dispersive power. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting. Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond. CZ vs Diamond . The 1.
Moissanite. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI.417. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. etc. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. 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. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight.060. found only in iron-nickel meteorites.A small. Arizona. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting.65 to 2. is classified as an element rather than a compound.104 as compared to CZ at 0. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. while diamond has a hardness of 10.670. 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. . sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index. when examining the gem through the kite facets. Moissanite has an RI of 2. Henri Moissan (above. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond.25 on the Mohs scale. and diamond at 0. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent.69. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. candle. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond. Moissanite has a hardness of 9. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. center) near Winslow.044. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0.) in a dark room.com Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion.
Detectable With Testing Double Refraction: Moissanite is double refractive. The first improvements on nature's design involved a polishing of the crystal faces. but significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its high RI. Cutting a Rough Diamond . which was called the "Point Cut.Detectable to the Naked Eye Dispersion Pattern: Secondary patterns of dispersion due to double refraction Color: Moissanite has a slight yellow color and does not come in grades better than 'J' Lack of Flaws: Moissanite is virtually flawless.417 Moissanite is double refractive (anisotropic) while a natural diamond is singly refractive (isotropic). detailed and sharply focused pattern caused by secondary reflections will be seen when observing a diamond. caused by primary reflections from the pavilion and CZ's low RI. Prior to this time.670. diamonds were used in their natural octahedral state. Diamond cutting can be traced back to the late Middle Ages. creating the "Table Cut. most diamonds have some inclusions Moissanite vs Diamond . Diamond's RI is 2. due to its high refractive index." and the rough stone must be cut with the grain. Moissanite vs Diamond . rather than against it. Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be more diffused. Table Cut diamonds appeared black to the eye." As further refinement progressed. diamond is singly refractive Refractive Index: Moissanite has a refractive index of 2. one half of the crystal would be cut off.A small. diamond has a "grain. The Modern Round Brilliant cut (below) is the culmination of several hundred years of experimentation and development. 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. only a diamond is hard enough to cut other diamonds. Like wood. although it can be easily cleaved or fractured due to its defined cleavage planes. A similarly sharp. diamonds were valued primarily for their luster and hardness." At the time. Diamonds: Modern Diamond Cutting Diamond Cutting Background One of the hardest substances on earth.
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. Bruting: The rough is placed in a chuck on a lathe. Cleaving is a critical step as a mistake by the "cleaver" could fracture. then pressing it against a revolving cast iron disk. The steps are: Marking Cleaving Sawing Bruting (Girdling) Faceting Marking: A rough stone is marked prior to cleaving or sawing to determine the direction of the grain and cleavage. and bypass any inclusions or imperfections. Due to its atomic structure. This step is also referred to as "rounding. a second diamond mounted on a dop is pressed against it. During this faceting stage the angles of each facet must be cut to an exacting standard in order to yield maximum brilliancy. or shatter the stone.Modern Round Brilliant Diamond .Cutting a raw diamond into a faceted and polished gem-quality stone is a multi-step process. a diamond can be cleaved in four directions parallel to each of the four octahedron crystal faces. Sawing: A stone-cutting saw is a thin disk made of phosphor bronze. Cleaving: Cleaving refers to splitting a stone along its grain by striking it. 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. eliminate waste. 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. then a "brillianteer" will cut and polish the remaining 40 facets. rounding the rough diamond into a conical shape. Each step is critical to the final outcome. The cutting (also called "placing") and polishing of each facet is accomplished by attaching the stone to a dop stick with cement. Diamonds: Ideal Cut . A rough stone is cleaved if there are conspicuous defects and/or inclusions which would prevent it from being made into a single gemstone. and maintain symmetry. Asymmetrical crystals such as macles are used primarily for fancy cuts. the "blocker" or "lapper" will cut the first 18 main facets. Cubic shapes are ideal for a square Princess or Radiant cut. Cleavage is the tendency of crystalline materials to split along defined cleavage plane. on a scaife. While the rough stone rotates on the diamond lathe." Faceting: To facet a round brilliant. High-tech computerized helium and oxygen analyzers are now used to evaluate a stone prior to cutting.
compromises would have to be made. but in order to do this. it may be better to aim for a higher carat weight utilizing a "Standard" cut. cut proportions. on the other hand. the rough stone has some coloration and/or is heavily included. 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. elimination of any inclusions.Ideal Cut vs Standard Cut Diamond Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. If. An octehedral rough diamond will yield two round brilliant cut stones (see diagram below). The objective is always to maximize carat weight. and the amount of internal inclusions will play an important part in the decisions as to how to maximize yield. The clarity of the stone. it would be cost effective to sacrifice some carat weight in order to finish with two "Ideal" cuts.com When deciding how to cut a rough diamond. Reconciling Cut & Weight Retention If the rough stone has a colorless D through F rating and has very few inclusions.weight retention. Parameters Ideal Cut Standard (Premium) Cut Rough Material Loss Finished Stones Cutting Time Crown Symmetry Greater Loss Lower Carat Weight 2 to 4 Days Ideal Higher Yield Higher Carat Weight 1 to 2 Days Shallow Crown .
the cutting and polishing of a diamonds resulted in a loss of as much as 50% of the stone's total weight. This is primarily due to the fact that this cut has yet to be improved on for two reasons: 1. 16 "lower girdle" facets. In the diagram of a "Round Cut" diamond (above and below). you will see that there are 8 "star" facets. This cut is also known as the "Tolkowsky Cut" and "Tolkowsky Brilliant. "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: . and 2. and one "table" facet on the top of the stone for a total of 58 facets. 8 "kite" facets. 16 "upper girdle" facets." Even with modern techniques. etc. hearts.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. The Modern Round Brilliant Cut The modern "Round Brilliant Cut" (below) was developed by Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. This is why it is very rare to see flawless stones cut into fancy cuts such as emeralds. it is the most efficient cut for maximizing yield. 1 "culet" facet on the bottom. An "Ideal Cut". it is the best cut for showcasing a high-quality stone's fire and brilliance. The round brilliant cut is beneficial when the crystal is an octahedron. as two stones could be cut from one crystal. The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem. 8 "pavilion" facets.
N. and overall height of 57." (Scandinavian standard. Ideal Scope. Tolkowsky.5% to 43.7%. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant".4%. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%.6% and overall height of 57. crown height of 14. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope.' 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.N.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42. H&A Viewer. Since then. crown height of 14. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect. The "Scan D. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace. Symmetry. and Proportions.7%. more brilliance and fire. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts. . and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. very small to small In the 1970s. invented in 1929. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut. To quantify a diamond's cut quality.5%. Eppler & Scan D.. A perfect blending of facet symmetry. etc. and crown/pavilion angles. facet ratios. As with all human endeavors.
Tolkowsky came up with a "brilliant" idea almost 90 years ago. The cut has a deep pavilion and a high crown. the Cullinan 1 and Cullinan 2 being set into the crown and sceptre of the British Crown Jewels. but some like the Barion Cut have disappeared into obscurity. it is put in front of the ultimate arbiter of quality . Asscher Cut The Asscher Cut was developed by Abraham and Joseph Asscher of the Royal Asscher Diamond Company of Amsterdam in 1902.like Einstein's theory of relativity. 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. www. and it still survives in some form today.each trying to improve on the tried-and-true Old European cuts. mathematicians. The Asscher brothers cut the famous 3. and their modest brilliance and light return.nl Barion Cut . etc. One thing is for sure . cut corners and a small table. (more facets. Popular in Art Deco jewelry of the period.the consumer. the Asscher diamond cut has a squarish octagonal shape with a step cut. scientists. Every conceivable cutting theory is tried. with the two largest stones. cut proportions. and entrepreneurs .) and when suitably scrutinized by the gem trade. but at the end of the day it may simply come down to consumer preference and/or marketing. Some have gone on to become household names such as the Asscher cut.asscher. less facets.Producers split hairs over cut angle. and the culet is square. Here is a collection of just a few of the many "signature" diamond cuts that have been produced over the last 100 years. and number of facets. or the widely marketed Leo cut which is a modified round-brilliant sold by Leo Schachter Diamonds.106 carat Cullinan Diamond into eleven gem stones.
Barocut The Barocut® diamond cut is a patented. The Context Cut follows a rough diamond crystal's natural octahedral shape. and a total of 81 facets. Gabi Tolkowsky.de Eternal Cut The Eternal Cut diamond was designed and patented by master Israeli diamond cutter. with star-shaped cross facets cut diagonally into the pavilion. modified rectangular (baguette) cut that was developed by Baroka Creations. Garrard & Co. parting ways in 2002 to again become Garrard. and in all diamond colors and/or clarity grades. The Context Cut is used to cut colored gemstones by Julius Petsch of Idar-Oberstein. and was the forerunner to the princess cut. The Eternal Cut has a total of 81 facets.The Barion square cut (aka Barion square cushion cut) was invented by Basil Watermeyer of South Africa in 1971. The Barocut is also called a "two heart diamond" due to the illusion of two mirrored hearts meeting at the culet. Barocut stones are also sold in tapered shapes.baroka. of New York in 2000. www. forming a square shape when viewed from the top.garrard. not including the 16 girdle facets. www. adding up to 50% to the cost when compared to a Round Brilliant cut diamond. 23 more than a modern Round Brilliant cut. It is sold exclusively through the 270 year old firm of Garrard & Company in London.com Context Cut The Context Cut is a square cut that was developed by Dr. or the company website. and its patent has expired. www. and creates a high amount of waste. Marce Tolkowsky. 81 facets on the cut corner (cushion) version. and a 'softer' briliance than a traditional round brilliant cut. The Eternal Cut is being sold exclusively at Garrard's main London store and Harvey Nichols stores in Great Britain.freiesleben. The Barion square cut diamond has a 4-fold mirror-image symmetry. The cut has a total of 8 facets plus a girdle. A Barocut diamond has a total of 77 facets. Inc. Ulrich Freiesleben of Germany in the early 1980s then patented and trademarked in 1997. In 1998. Germany. or to increase light-dispersion. Barocut diamonds are promoted and sold exclusively through the Baroka Creations catalog. merged with the jewelry firm Asprey. The cutting process requires a high-quality rough. to become Asprey & Garrard.com . creating a unique 'flower petal' pattern surrounding the cutlet. The name "Barion" or "Barion cut" was never trademarked. The Barocut is available in sizes from 20 points to 3 carats. The Context Cut design was based on an earlier patented design by Bernd Munsteiner from the early 1960s. nephew to the inventor of the Modern Round Brilliant cut. The Context Cut consists of two back-to-back pyramids (an octahedron).
The cut is distributed by the National Diamond Syndicate (NDS) of Chicago. 48 of which are clustered around the culet to increase fire. and pear shapes. Sunflower and Zinnia cut. designed to maximize the brilliance and color of diamonds while increasing their yield. The Leo diamond cut has a total of 66 facets. adding greater brilliance and fire than standard brilliant cuts. Fire-Rose. marquise. maximizing the amount of light returned back as scintillation. angular shapes. off-color stones.flanders-cuts. the Gabrielle Cut is available in carre. oval. www. The Marigold is an octagon shape with 73 facets. The Dahlia is a 12 sided oval shape with 63 facets. who was commissioned by De Beers to create new cuts as a way of marketing unusual. The Flower Cut is actually a series of five fancy cut shapes: the Dahlia. which is 47 more than a traditional 'Tolkowsky' round brilliant cut. The Fire-Rose is a hexagonal shape designed to produce higher yields. the Gabrielle has a total of 105 facets.nationaldiamond. that is suited to a relatively flat rough.gabriellediamonds. and the cut was named after the Flanders region of Belgium (Antwerp) where the cut was first preformed in 1987. The Flower Cuts employ unconventional cutting angles and dimensions. 8 more facets than the Round Brilliant cut's 58. The Zinnia is a round fancy shape with 73 facets.Flanders Brilliant Cut The Flanders Brilliant Cut (aka Fire Brilliant) is a modified Radiant or Princess cut with truncated corners that form an octagon with brilliant faceting. The Flanders Fire-Brilliant was developed by Flanders Cut International of Antwerp in 1983. is a patented symmetrical round cut created by Leo Schachter Diamonds. www. emerald. Unveiled at the Las Vegas Gem Show in 2001.com Flower Cut The 'Flower Cut' series was created by Gabi Tolkowsky in 1986. heart. Marigold.com Leo Cut The Leo® Diamond. Other than the traditional round brilliant shape.com www. The Flower Cuts were never patented or trademarked by De Beers in order to increase their popularity and use. (aka Leo Schachter Diamond). LLC. The Flanders Brilliant has 33 crown facets and 28 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets. 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 Sunflower has 43 facets in unusual. .
small table. The Lucida diamond cut is a modified square or rectangular (Marquise) cut with truncated corners. www. and the table is a bowed out rectangle.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. eternity bands.' and each diamond comes with a "Return of Light Certificate.diamondaires. sold in solitaire engagement/wedding bands. The Lucida is sold exclusively through Tiffany's retail chain.The Leo diamond cut is the first to be certified for fire and brilliance as measured by a 'BrillianceScope. www. www. Upon the expiration of the patent. 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. There are a total of 49 facets. and was patented and trademarked by Bez Ambar Jewelers of Los Angeles in 1980.radiantcut. RCDC launched the 'Original Radiant Cut' diamond brand In 2002. patented and trademarked by Henry Grossbard of the Radiant Cut Diamond Company (RCDC) in 1977.tiffany. brilliant-style faceted pavilion (similar to a Cushion Cut). and all Original Radiant Cut diamonds weigh at least 0. Prior to the Quadrillion. There are 25 crown facets and 36 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets (not including 8 girdle facets). and a total of has 50 facets. a highstep crown (similar to the Asscher Cut). and three-stone rings." The Leo Diamond is marketed through the Kay Jeweler chain.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 Radiant Cut became a fully accepted diamond shape in the jewelry business.com Starburst Cut . The Lucida diamond cut is marketed as a wedding cut. Bez Ambar Radiant Cut The Radiant Cut is a modified emerald cut shape that was developed.com Lucida Cut The Lucida (TM) Cut is a patented diamond cut that was created by Tiffany & Company in 1999. It was the first emerald shaped diamond cut to have brilliance and fire similar to that of a round brilliant diamond. square shaped diamonds were stepcut limiting their brilliance. The pavilion is similar to a Barion cut.
and scintillation when cut to the correct proportions. Old European Gem Cuts: Point. making the hue of fancy yellow diamonds more intense. The pavilion has two differently sized sets triangular facets with a large triangular table. Since the day that humans first discovered 'adamas' (diamonds). and light return from the stone. www. Still. 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.early 1300s The "point cut" (below left) is one of the first symmetrically faceted diamond cuts. with weight losses in the fifty percent range. Harry Winston. and the career of the "diamantaire" (diamond cutter/polisher) was born. Point Cut . Starburst Cuts are mounted and sold directly through Cartier.com The faceting of diamonds has come a long way in the last 700 years. of New York in 1978. but at each stage of advancement the pioneers of 'brillianting' diamonds have made great strides in bringing out the magic that is inherent in these gifts from nature. The crown of the Starburst Cut is similar to that of the radiant cut. and the natural octahedral symmetry of the rough stone's closed isometric form. Old eight. The starburst faceting pattern is designed to focus color near the top of a stone. craftsmen have attempted to "improve" on nature. for a total of 89 kite and star shaped facets. and the Trilliant is now a generic term for a triangular brilliant cut.louisglick. this led to the invention of the first gem cutting machines (precursor to the "lap" or "Facetron") in the 1300s. The Trilliant has the Schoenflies point group symmetry of a round brilliant. The Trilliant Cut has a total of 31 facets. The Trilliant cut gives a high brilliance.The Starburst Cut was patented and trademarked by the Louis Glick Diamond Corp. The Starburst cut was created to bring out the highest amount of color to fancy yellow diamonds. The Starburst cut is especially suitable for a octahedral rough. . The Trilliant trademark has since lapsed. There are two variations of this cut: the Curved cut used for solitary stones. Nieman Marcus and Tiffany. right) was created by cutting off some of the top half of the point cut's octahedron to create a table. The "table cut" (below. and Uncurved cut used for accent stones. The point cut design is dictated by the natural shape of an octahedral rough diamond. the precursor for the "design" of the first faceted diamond lay within the rough stone itself. There are 49 crown facets and 40 pavilion facets.com Trilliant Cut The Trilliant Cut (aka Trielle. With the realization that only a diamond could cut another diamond. brilliance. but the pavilion is completely different. Trillion) is a triangular cut designed and trademarked by the Henry Meyer Diamond Company of New York in 1962. Trillian. Old Mine Cut Evolution of the Faceted Diamond & Colored Gem Article Copyright © 2008 AllAboutGemstones. reworked into the shape of a trillion (triangle). fire. From this point forward it was a race to see who could design the perfect faceted cut which would bring out the maximum fire.
This Old Mine cut is basically square with gently rounded corners and "brilliant" style facets." and the Full Holland cut. it has a cushioned or rounded girdle shape. The briolette was the precursor to the "pendeloque cut" which is a pear-shaped modification of the round brilliant cut. Also called the "cushion cut". Old Mine Cut . The "senaille cut" is a rose cut with irregular or non-symmetrical faceting." "Dutch cut.Single Cut . The briolette cut was designed primarily for use in a pendant or as a dangling bauble in a crown." "crowned rose cut.1700s The "old mine" cut is the earliest form of the "brilliant cut" diamond.late 1300s Invented in the late 14th century. The single cut may or may not have a culet at the bottom. resulting in a smaller table. the "rose cut" is also known by the the "Antwerp rose. Rose & Briolette Cut. The culet is usually large enough to be visible when viewed through the table. eight bezel or crown facets. the "old single cut" (aka "old eight cut") diamond has the addition of corner facets to create an octagonal girdle. The "briolette cut" is a modified "double Dutch rose cut" with one of the hemispheres being elongated. 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 crown is typically tall. and eight pavilion facets. an octagonal table.1500s Invented in the mid 16th century.
This cut is also known as the "Tolkowsky Cut" and "Tolkowsky brilliant.1800s The "Old European" cut was the forerunner of the modern round brilliant cut. Like the modern round brilliant. and an octagon-shaped table for a total of 17 facets (18 if a culet is used). The Modern Round Brilliant Cut . eight facets at the pavilion. the old European diamond has a circular girdle. As with its predecessor the "point cut" over 600 years earlier. The eight cut is similar to the "single cut" in that there are eight four-sided trapezoidal facets at the crown. .Old European Cut . the Modern Round Brilliant cut is beneficial when the crystal is an octahedron (diagram above). The Old European diamond cut has a very small table. The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem. Eight Cut & Swiss Cut The "eight cut" is primarily used for small stones when a brilliant cut would be impractical." Even with modern techniques.1900s The "modern round brilliant cut" (below) was developed by Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. and very tall overall depth. a heavy crown. as two stones can be cut from one crystal with a minimum amount of waste. the cutting and polishing of a diamonds resulted in a loss of as much as 50% of the stone's total weight.
The rough stones are separated into 16. Gaborone. There is a limited market for the resale of diamonds that are less than "investment grade. thereby controlling and stabilizing prices. with a total of 33 facets (34 if a culet is used). which combines ("aggregating") supplies of rough diamonds from multiple sources into one wholesale market (#2). . Kimberley and Windhoek. Both the eight cut Swiss cut are still used today for small very diamonds and gems (smaller than 2mm carat weight) as would be used in pavé settings. BHP Billiton and a hand-full of other companies which use their cartel power to control the supply of diamonds on the wholesale market (diamond pipeline). for sorting and resale. Rio Tinto.A "Swiss cut" is a compromise between an eight cut and a brilliant cut. or secondary mining producers in Canada and Russia to De Beers' Diamond Trading Company (DTC) in London. 16 isosceles triangle facets on the crown and 16 facets on the pavilion. silver or platinum. then divided by human or automated sorters into individual lots called "boxes." The DTC is part of the DeBeers Group supply-chain known as the Central Selling Organization (CSO)." The 'Diamond Pipeline' Rough diamonds are sent directly from De Beers mining operations in Africa (#1). Trans Hex. Unlike precious metals such as gold.com The trade in gem-grade rough diamonds is primarily controlled by the De Beers. color and quality.000 categories based on size. The Diamond Trade: The 'Diamond Pipeline' Rough Diamond Producers Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. there is usually a substantial mark-up in the retail sale price of diamonds.
000. and independent diamond producers in Canada. China. diamonds have underperformed since 1987 when compared to the "luxury goods" market or global GDP. 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. As a reaction to their decrease in market share.20 carats or less) in Mumbai (Bombay) and Surat. and New York. Additionally. reclaiming their "A Diamond Is Forever" moniker. Tel Aviv. Russia and elswhere. and retailers . and the breakaway from CSO's cartel by the Argyle Diamond Mine in Australia. cutters. through their Diamond Promotion Service (DPS) and Diamond Information Centres (DIC) marketing divisions. they are sold to retailers or direct to the customer. to take advantage of market fluctuations. has launched an aggressive branding and marketing campaign. De Beers. or to jewelry manufacturers (#5) around the world. The diamonds are then re-sold from the cutting and polishing (manufacturing) centers to wholesalers (Diamond Bourses). Both traders and manufacturers may sell diamonds "upstream" and "downstream" through the diamond pipeline . De Beers (DTC) sets the price of each box in advance. and Thailand. De Beers and the Future De Beers' (CSO's) control over the wholesale diamond market has diminished due to increased market penetration.com website). Ramat Gan.000 USD. which are increasing in popularity and consumer acceptance.000 to $2. De Beers is also facing increasing pressure from the manufactures of synthetic diamonds. (see DeBeers' Adiamondisforever. while large stones are primarily cut in Antwerp. Other major cutting centers are located in Johannesburg. . Many Sightholders are also cutters. A 'sight' can have a value of between $500. The sightholder then transports the box of rough diamonds back to diamantaire firms (cutting and polishing factories) located around the world (#4). where De Beers sells the "boxes" to its select group ("supplier of choice") of 125 "sightholders" (#3) or diamond manufacturers. determining the quantity and quality that each site-holder will receive.De Beers Sightholders The DTC holds a sale called a "site" or "sight" ten times per year in London and Johannesburg. India cuts the vast majority of small stones (.
Forevermark diamonds will be available through sightholder/retailers in the U. The Council began in July 2000 after a joint meeting of the WFDB and its international headquarters are in New York City. and Rijfstraat. Hong Kong.500 diamond dealers (diamantbedrijven) are ensconced in small. and the city is the hub of the global diamond trading industry (diamanthandel). This mark is only visible via a point-of-sale electronic viewer. The Diamond Trade: Diamond Bourses of Antwerp Diamond Bourses Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. The largest diamond trading center in the world is located in Antwerp. Schupstraat. the WDC has observers from the governments of Belgium. London. Belgium but there are also Diamond Bourses in Israel. and will com with a certificate of authenticity. Moscow. are sold in Antwerp every year. Israel and South Africa and works with 35 independent Governments. the DTC has developed new inscription technologies to "invisibly" mark the table facet of polished diamonds with a "Forevermark" trademark. Within Antwerp's diamond district. . bond. The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates . also known as the "World Diamond Center" or Diamantenzentrum. De Beers is hoping that the combination of branding and security will increase consumer demand. China. or commodities exchange similar to the NYSE.com The word "Bourse" refers to a private stock. The Council has approximately 70 members representing jewelers. and preventing the inherent product misidentification that will follow. heavily guarded geographic area surrounded by three main streets. KPCS originated in May 2000 during a meeting of South African diamond producing states in Kimberley. NY . 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. traders and manufacturer/producers. and India (2007). As of 2006.. Almost 85% of the world's rough diamonds. Asia. and about half of the polished diamonds. Europe. 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. South Africa. In addition to its members. Hoveniersstraat. cut and uncut 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 . some 1. Diamond Bourses are basically trading exchanges for loose. The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base.Forevermark Diamonds As a way of staving off the onslaught of secondary diamond markets. and Shanghai. the European Union and the United Nations to rid the diamond Industry of conflict diamonds.S.
bisected by Hoveniersstraat street. regulations. an by-laws that govern business practices. Control over the diamond trade is maintained through the WFDB's Constitution containing a series of rules. and both are still in operation today. After the liberation. founded in 1893—and the Beurs voor Diamanthande (at Pelikaanstraat 78) founded in 1904 . Most transactions conducted within the Bourses done with cash and a handshake. and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) was founded in 1947. uncut diamonds was the Antwerpsche Diamantkring (Antwerp Diamond Ring) . These first trading exchanges mainly dealt with the wholesaling of cut stones. ethics and morality. and disputes are handled by an internal arbitration process. friendship and trust . Both bourse were founded by Hasidim diamantairs.Photo: Wiki Public The first trading exchange to deal exclusively with rough. The Diamond High Council (HRD) . making it the largest diamond-trading center in the world . there are around 4000 diamond-cutters (diamantaire) working in the several-square-block diamond district. the Antwerpsche Diamantkring was reopened. Beurs voor Diamanthandel . In Antwerp's 'Diamond Center' (Diamantenzentrum) today.Antwerp's Diamond District Two of the oldest Diamond Bourse (Bourse van de diamant or diamantenbšrsen) in Antwerp were the 'Diamond Club of Antwerp' (Diamantclub van Antwerpen—at Pelikaanstraat 62. which was established in the same year that the 1930 World Expo was held in Antwerp. and repatriation of Antwerp following the end of WWII. 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. Around $16+ billion in polished diamonds pass through Antwerp's diamond bourses each year.
The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates . ending with the inclusion of all Boer territories into British colonies. This led to a new wave of emigrants and adventurer-seekers from England.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. with 10. there was a mass exodus (the Great Trek) northward to 'Northern Cape. and Limpopo (Venetia Diamond Mine). which at the time was administered by the 'Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie' or 'Dutch East India Company. The Boers resisted British encroachments into their territory until the Second 'Anglo' Boer War (1899— 1902). 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. most with Dutch Calvinist.' 'Gauteng.com Diamonds and the Afrikaners The Afrikaners & British Diamonds and the Jews The Hindustani Diamond Cutters The African Nationals The Americans Photos: Public Domain The Boers Historically. and fully annexed the Cape Colony in 1806 ." Three of South Africa's richest diamond mines are in Northern Cape (Kimberley Diamond Mine). Diamonds and the British The Second Wave of Europeans Needing a stopping-off point on the sea-route to Australia and India. England seized the Cape of Good Hope from the Dutch East India Company in 1797.000 Zulu warriors attacking 470 Boer settlers. The First Boer War (1880—1881) began with the Transvaal (Limpopo) Boers declaring independence from Great Britain. who were in search of the "quiet sweet life. The Voortrekkers had to contend with the native Zulu tribe over land they wished to settle on.' During the 1830s and 1840s. Afrikaners who participated in the migration northward became known as the 'Trekboer' or Voortrekkers. under the Treaty of Vereeniging. There was not a single Boer fatality. coming for .' and the 'Orange Free State' provinces to escape hostilities with the native 'Xhosa tribe' from which Nelson Mandela decended. Flemish. They settled in the 'Cape of Good Hope' on Africa's southern most tip. Afrikaners (aka Boers or farmers) were religious refugees from the Netherlands and other parts of northern Europe during the mid 1600s to late 1700s. Gauteng (Premier Diamond Mine).' 'Limpopo. and this eventually lead to all-out war. or German Protestant backgrounds.' After the devastating Zulu defeat. The Diamond Trade: History & Culture of the Key Players Article Copyright © 2006 AllAboutGemstones. The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base.
' Cecil Rhodes died a single man with no children and. a curious discovery was being made along the banks of the Orange River. N. Photo: Pub. and later selling steam-powered water pumps to drain the open-pit mines of Kimberley. and J. Domain Barney Barnato During the same period that Cecil Rhodes was building De Beers Consolidated Mines. In exchange. no heirs to his empire. 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. he was able to build a monopolistic empire through skill and cunning. De Beer. Photo: Pub. Cullinan . As a young lad from England.. Rhodes made several aborted attempt to gain control over Barnato's interest in Kimberley Central Mine. Barnato died several years later. but was eventually successful in convincing Barnato to merge with De Beers. Domain Cecil Rhodes Cecil Rhodes (1853—1902) is the undisputed father of the modern diamond industry.the "mineral revolution. De Beers and Kimberley Central were the two largest mining interests in South Africa at the time. Amid all of this turmoil and chaos. Barnato was given appointed to 'life governor' and temporary controlling interest in De Beers . Domain Thomas M. 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. As founder of De Beers. D. in Northern Cape. The African nation of Rhodesia was named after him (now the Republic of Zimbabwe). although Rhodes did not start out with an interest in diamonds. One of the richest men in the world. A.. With the help of the Rothschild bank in London. Photo: Pub." In 1906. 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. mysteriously falling overboard on a ship passage back to England. self-government was restored. Rhodes started out selling ice cream to the diamond-diggers and service workers. Cecil Rhodes' De Beers empire was started on a farm owned by two Boer settlers and brothers. and in 1910 the 'Union of South Africa' was created. a prospector.
Sir Thomas Major Cullinan (1860—1936) was the founder of one of Africa's richest diamond mines, the 'Premier Diamond Mine,' 30 kilometers east of Pretoria, in Gauteng province, South Africa. Although Cullinan was already a successful building contractor in Johannesburg, he was also an amateur geologist who had heard about alluvial diamonds being found along a stream near the old 'Cornelis Minnaar Farm' in upper Gauteng. Cullinan was interested in purchasing the farm, which had already changed hands several times, but the present owner, Willem Prinsloo (who had purchased the land for £570 in 1861) was not interested in selling. Shortly after the close Anglo Boer War (1898—1902), Willem Prinsloo's widow agreed to sell the land to Cullinan for £52,000, and the 'Transvaal Premier Diamond Mining Company LTD' was officially registered on the December 1, 1902 . On January 25th 1905, a 3,106 carat diamond was found at the mine, which remains the largest diamond ever found in the world. When news of Premier's success hit the board room of De Beers, several aborted attempts were made to purchase the mine, but Cullinan had no intention of selling . In 1914, WW1 broke out in Europe, and diamond prices began to spiral. Layoffs at the mine caused enough friction that by August, mining operations were suspended. The Premier Mine had resumed production by January 1916, but in need of cash, Cullinan sold a major stake in the mine to the Transvaal government. Frank Oats, who was now the chairman of De Beers, was able to convince the Transvaal government to sell its controlling interest in 1917, and De Beers once again enjoyed a monopoly on South African diamonds.
Diamonds and the Ashkenazi, Sephardi and Hasidic Jews
There is perhaps no other ethnic group that is so inextricably intertwined with the diamond trade, than the jews. In an odd twist of fate, it may be Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama's discovery of a searoute to India around Africa's Cape of Good Hope in 1488, that set the stage for the Jewish/diamond connection. Da Gama's discovery opened up a direct diamond-trading route from India's Malabar Coast and the island of Borneo, to Portugal and on the Netherlands. With Lisbon now at the forefront of the European diamond trade, many Portuguese Sephardi businessmen opened cutting houses, and quickly gained a dominant roll in the diamond-polishing industry. The Sephardi were Jews who originated from Spain and Portugal (the Iberian Peninsula), many practicing a secret adherence to Judaism known as "Crypto-Judaism," while professing other faiths. Jews who practiced their religion in the open were expelled from Spain and Portugal, when the Catholic Monarchs issued the "Alhambra Decree" in 1492 (1497 for Portugal), fleeing to Morocco, the Ottoman Empire, Antwerp and Amsterdam. When the first Jewish emigrants (Ashkenazi) came to Antwerp in the 1200s, they were welcomed, but when the Black Plague swept across Antwerp in the mid 1300s, the Jews were one of the scapegoats. Although Amsterdam's Dutch were relatively tolerant when it came to religious freedom, in 1585 Antwerp came under Spanish rule, and the Jews (this time Sephardic), were once again the focus of scrutiny. With the Spanish Inquisition in high gear, Jews were now persecuted for conducting trade with the Ottoman Empire, or for being 'pseudo-Christian.' In the 1600s, wealthy Jewish diamond-traders now living in the Netherlands, financed the 'Dutch East India Company' and its exploration of new trade routes to India, but the British were beginning to see opportunity in the diamond trade, creating new competition for the Jewish/Dutch. Prior to being granted 'civil equality' in 1796, Amsterdam's Jews were not allowed to join trade guilds, leaving the unregulated diamond industry as one of the only means of employment. By the late 18th century, many of Amsterdam's Jews were working in the diamond trade, and many of these 'Sephardi refugees' had maintained connections with Portuguese traders who now had a monopoly on the trade of raw diamonds from India. By the early 1700s, India's mines were nearing exhaustion, but a new discovery in Brazil helped to reinvigorate the diamond trade. By this time, British naval superiority proved to be a great advantage, and the 'British East India Company' was born. The European center for the diamond trade now began to move away from Amsterdam, as Jewish traders set up shop in London. The cut stones were sold to the nobility and royalty of Europe, using the Hofjude (Court Jews) as purchasing agents to select the stones from the London diamond merchants.
Photo: Pub. Domain
The Pshevorsk Hasidic Dynasty Hasidic Judaism was founded by Polish (now Ukrainian) Rabbi 'Ba'al Shem Tov', aka 'Israel ben Eliezer' (1698—1760) in a time when European Jews were facing increasing hostility and pressure from the "Cossacks' Uprising" in Ukraine. The Hasidic movement is a sub-group of the theologically conservative Haredi or Charedi Judaism, aka Ultra-Orthodox Judaism. The movement was seen as a way of turning inward towards a 'deeper spiritualism and mysticism.' Hasidism spread westward, making its way to western Europe in the 1800s. The Hasidic movement in Antwerp began with Rabbi Moshe of Pshevorsk, who authored 'Ohr Pnei Moshe' in 1805 . The Pshevorsk is a small sub-Hasidic movement based in Antwerp, Belgium, with their hub at the study hall (beth midrash), 'Beth Yitzchok' at Mercatorstraat 56. With the discovery of vast diamond reserves in South Africa during the late 1800s, concern over a glut in the diamond market spread throughout London's diamond merchants. A group of wealthy Jewish dealers pooled their resources to form "the syndicate," which was created to soak up all of the excess capacity being created by South Africa. Today, Antwerp and London's diamond trade is largely controlled by the Hasidic Jewish community, although Indian influence is on the rise in recent years. Many of these Hasidic entrepreneurs are nameless by choice, preferring to maintain their anonymity, but they have been the driving force behind the multi-billion dollar diamond industry for hundreds of years.
Photo: Pub. Domain
Alfred Beit Alfred Beit (1853—1906) was born into a prominent Jewish family in Hamburg, Germany. Beit worked for the diamond firm of Jules Porges and Co. in Amsterdam before emigrating to 'Cape Colony' in 1875 during the Kimberley diamond-rush . Beit was part of a group of financiers, including Cecil Rhodes, who gained control of the diamond-mining claims in the Central Mine, Dutoitspan Mine, and De Beers Mine, thereby 'consolodating' the South African mining industry. becoming a 'life-governor' of De Beers Consolidated Mines. He was also the director of the Beira Railway Company, British South Africa Company, Rand Mines, and the Rhodesia Railways. Beit, along with partner Cecil Rhodes, financed the 1895 'Jameson Raid' which was an attempt to trigger an unsuccessful coup in the South African Republic of Transvaal. The Royal School of Mines, at the Imperial College London has a large memorial to Beit, in recognition of the Beit trust's bequeathment to the university, and to educational institutions in Britain, Germany South Africa, and Zimbabwe (Rhodesia).
Photo: Pub. Domain
Sir Ernest Oppenheimer Ernest Oppenheimer (1880—1957) was born in Friedberg, Germany to a large Jewish family, and with several brothers working for "the syndicate," Ernest was well positioned for his future vocation. He began his career at age 17, working for the diamond brokerage firm, Dunkelsbuhler & Company in London. Oppenheimer created the concept of "single-channel marketing" over 100 years ago, by funneling the world's supply of diamonds through a single clearing house. Oppenheimer gained control of Namibia's diamond mines, forming the Anglo American mining conglomerate. This gave him the financing and power to gain the chairmanship of De Beers. Today, Oppenheimer's Anglo American operates a fleet of diamond recovery ships off the coast of Namibia and South Africa under the umbrella of De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited (DBCM), and Central Holdings Limited (CHL), an Oppenheimer family holding company, and in partnership with Namdeb.
Photo: Pub. Domain
Nicky Oppenheimer Ernest's grandson, Nicky Oppenheimer (born 1945) studied philosophy at Oxford as a young man, and is now the chairman of the De Beers Diamond Mining Company and its subsidiary Diamond Trading Company. The Oppenheimer family and Anglo American maintains a 45% stake in De Beers today. Africa's richest man, and #134 on the Forbes list of the world's richest people, Nicky Oppenheimer is worth an estimated $4.5 billion. Under new legislation, passed by the African National Congress, Nicky Oppenheimer was forced to sell a 26% share of De Beers to the South African 'Black Economic Empowerment' group (BEE). This was the first major ownership change for De Beers in over a century. Of the legislation Oppenheimer said: "De Beers is here to make a profit, but we must benefit the people and communities where we operate."
Photo: Pub. Domain
Lev Leviev The Lev Leviev Group, created by Israeli national, Lev Leviev (born 1956 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan) is the worlds largest cutter and polisher (diamantaire) of rough diamonds, with factories in Armenia, India, Israel, and the Ukraine. The Lev Leviev Group also owns mining interests in Namibia's offshore dredging operations. Through his personal relationship to Vladimir Putin and other Russian heads of
Laurence Graff was born into a Jewish orthodox family in London's poorer 'East End' district. Photo: Pub. Using this model of "local control. The Hindustani Diamond Cutters Photo: dnavin. to purchasing a 51% stake in Safdico (South African Diamond Corp. Dubai. found on August 22.com Gujarat's Indian Diamantaires . Graff's net worth is estimated at 2. which are now owned by Lev Leviev. and has satellite locations in Wafi City.5 billion (#278 Forbes List). Leviev's net-worth is estimated at $2." a compendium and history of his most famous jewels. Lesotho Promise is the 15th largest diamond ever found. to Larry Ellison. formed by Decree 158C of the Russian Federation. Russia. and the largest rough unearthed in this century. Tretiakovsky Proezd in Moscow. selling to the rich and famous from Elizabeth Taylor and Donald Trump. now called ALROSA (Almazy-Rossii-Sakha) . Hotel de Paris' salon privé in Paris. Graff has been dubbed the "king of diamonds. ALROSA produces 100% of Russia's rough diamond output and approximately 20% of the world's rough diamonds . Lev Leviev lives in B'nei Brak. Alrosa now sells direct to cutting factories throughout Russia.). Mr. Israel. Graff has co-authored (with Vanessa von Zitzewitz) "The Most Fabulous Jewels in the World. 2006 at the Letseng diamond mine in the tiny Kingdom of Lesotho in the center of the Republic of South Africa. By circumventing the De Beers supply chain. and one of the most successful diamond merchants in modern history. New York's Madison Avenue. in 1992. which gives him access to some of the finest uncut diamonds coming out of South Africa. 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. Monte Carlo. Raised by his grandparents.state. with his wife and their nine children. and on board the luxury residential ship The World ResidenSea." and the "king of bling" by Forbes magazine . Domain Laurence Graff Laurence Graff (1938—) is a DeBeers sightholder.5 billion dollars . It will ultimately be cut into an estimated 20 or so 'D-flawless' stones ranging from 75 carats to 1 carat in size. House of Graff is also located on London's Sloane Street. Graff's strategy of "vertically integration" has been to control every angle of the diamond pipeline. a DeBeers sightholder in Johannesburg. All House of Graff stones have a laser-inscribed girdle with the 'Graff' logo and GIA number. from wholesale and retail. One of his most notable acquisitions was the 603 carat "Lesotho Promise diamond." the Leviev Group has found willing partners in several countries including Angola's ASCORP after De Beers' exit in 2001.
with diamond cutting factories located in Borivali. Several other divisions of the Rosy Blue Group. from Hong Kong to Israel. is the CEO of the 'Rosy Blue Group' which is currently one of the world's largest diamond companies. a minister to the Indian king. By slowly developing markets. This vast fortune is shared by some 300 to 500 Gujaratis families from Palanpur on the GujaratRajasthan border . The Indian communities' share has grown to around 60%. Navinchandra & Co (board of directors . displacing the Hasidim as the dominant force in the industry . and is currently a Senior Partner and head of the UAE division. both college dropouts. improve perceptions. 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. Mumbai. Domain Bharat & Vijay Shah Bharat and Vijay Shah came from a family of jewelers going back three generations." The Indians would go on to enjoy a singular reign over the diamond-rich dominion—known as Hindustan—for another two thousand years. started out thirty years ago by purchasing cheaper stones that the Dutch Hasidim. D. Gujarat.com Dilip Mehta Indian diamantaire. Sanghavi Exports. Suresh & Co. (HDC). is the newest addition to India's arsenal of global marketing tools to promote exports. India (born 1949). Photo: Pub. Venus Jewels. are headed and staffed by Mehta family members. 320 BC) by Kautiliya. Shree Ramkrishna Exports. and Shah.7 billion in annual sales . to elevate quality standards. and although India's famous "Diamonds of Golconda" were mined-out hundreds of years ago. and were written about in an ancient Sanskrit manuscript called the "The Lesson of Profit" Arthasastra (c. or "thunderbolt. the Hindustan Diamond Company Ltd. Harshad Mehta ("Diamond King of the world") is one of the founders of Rosy Blue. Gitanjali Gems is one of the largest manufacturers of diamonds and diamond jewelry in India. and Vijaydimon are family owned operations run by Jains with the common surnames of Jhavari. they were able to gain an increasingly larger share of the wholesale diamond trade. Mehta. Of the $26 billion per year diamond revenues that flow through Antwerp. polishes. heighten awareness of ethical business practices. The Indo Argyle Diamond Council (IADC) formed in 1994 as a consortium of Indian jewelry manufacturers and cutting houses. Gitanjali Gems. and De Beers India. with $1. The brothers. propelling their twin companies. It is estimated that India cuts. and exports several billion dollars worth of gems per year. Jainism is an ancient Indian religious sect believing in the 'Jain' philosophy. Companies like Bhavani Gems. and Surat's 'Special Economic Zone' . based upon eternal. 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. Photo: rosyblue. the Indians would not be giving up their rightful heritage as diamantaires. universal truths. . and to develop an "understanding of the world market. M. The Sanskrit word for 'diamond' was vajra. Dilip Mehta of Mumbai. Chandragupta." The Bharat Diamond Bourse in Mumbai. and Israelis didn't want to work with .above).
Ayer & Son . Vijaydimon is a DTC sightholder with offices in Belgium. into a global position with nearly $1 Billion a year in sales. and the United States.W. employing 22. dos Santos. & Mogae Starting with Botswana's independence in 1966. Hong Kong. Thailand.Vijaydimon (Belgium) and B Vijaykumar (India) . China. the 'United Nations Industrial Development Orginization' (UNIDO). Kabila. Botswana is a relatively wealthy African country. and enjoys broad support. and the end to South African apartheid in 1994. with one of the fastest per-capita income growth rates in the world. Bombay. In a post-conflict reconstruction effort. The president of Sierra Leone. Bangkok. Mandela. Joseph Kabila (above. Domain N. only hinting at their possibility in 2007 or 2008. who was a major general in the army. created a program for capacity-building of 'small and medium-sized enterprise' (SME) development. Diamonds and the African Nationals Photos: Public Domain Kabila. India. the political situation in Angola has begun to normalize. both domestically and internationally. working in cooperation with the government of Sierra Leone. On a somewhat darker note. Surat. Kabbah. At the age of 29. Angola and from mining magnates. After years of fighting between the PMLA and UNITA. succeeded his father (Laurent-Désiré Kabila) as president the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC) after his assassination in January 2001. all who have signed multi-million dollar trade deals. Vijaydimon also purchases rough diamonds from Canada's Diavik Mine and Argyle (Rio Tinto) and Russia . Palanpur. Singapore. and Tel Aviv. is receiving broad support from the South Africa. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. The company has cutting factories in Antwerp. is making great strides in stabilizing the country after years of strife. After winning a disicive re-election victory in 2006. president José Eduardo dos Santos is preventing democratic elections from taking place. Botswana has held regular elections and has been one of the more stable governments in southern Africa. Diamonds and the Americans Photo: Pub. President Festus Mogae was elected for a second term in 2004. UAE. many of the ex-colonial nations of Sub-Saharan Africa are starting to emerge as powerful and legitimate forces in the diamond industry. The last democratic election in Angola was in 1992.000 workers. left).
De Beers and the diamond industry got another shot in the arm. Lorelei receives a diamond tiara from her suitor. gems and jewelry from the estates of the European aristocracy." by Jean Schlumberger in the 1960s. and Tiffany seized on the opportunity. Ayer in 1938. purchased diamonds.' staring Audrey Hepburn.' The stone was set into a garish jewelry piece called "Bird on a Rock." was the co-founder of Tiffany & Co. In 1948 the famous "A diamond is forever" slogan was introduced. aka "the King of Diamonds. De Beers president.' which was adapted to film in 1953. the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine." after here charecter.54 carat 'The Tiffany Diamond. The stone was cut in Paris.' brand was catapulted into the stratosphere by the 1961 movie 'Breakfast at Tiffany's. Jule Styne.' During the 1800s. Ayer & Son. this time from playwriter. and a series of diamond-related slogans were introduced into the American lexicon. Photo: Pub. Photo: Pub. which started out as 'Tiffany & Young' of New York City in 1837.W. Styne wrote the score for the 1949 Broadway musical 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.' at the flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. Tiffany & Young. and the diamond industry was particularly hard hit. . and from the Spanish Crown Jewels . the values of ostentatious gems and jewelry dropped precipitously. The movie version featured Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend. Charles Tiffany. One of Tiffany's most notable diamond acquisitions was a 287. producing the 128.W. Jule Styne (born Julius Kerwin Stein) was born in London. Styne moved to Hollywood where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn. Tiffany was able to purchase significant gems from such renowned estates as: the 'jewel-mad' Duke of Brunswick. Harry Frederick Oppenheimer enlisted the help of N."A diamond is forever" is the legendary saying that was created by America's first advertising agency. for resale in America. was originally a 'fancy goods' emporium. The Tiffany is still selling luxury jewelry in their trademarked 'Tiffany Blue Box. and the subsequent overthrowing of King Louis-Philippe of France in 1848.72 carat cushion-cut diamond (one of the "Diamonds of Golconda") was mounted by Tiffany. who was known for his jewelry expertise. Prince Esterhazy of Hungary. Sir Francis "Piggy" Beekman. specializing in one-of-a-kind baubles for New York's newly-minted industrialists and 'robber-barons. and sold to Nanaline Duke (now in the Doris Duke Collection). N. After the French revolution in 1799. With financial shockwaves caused by the French economy's collapse in 1847. A 19. the public's tolerance towards nobility was at a low point. After attending Chicago Musical College. Domain Charles Lewis Tiffany Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812—1902). located at 259 Broadway. The 'Tiffany & Co. The Great Depression had taken a heavy toll on luxury goods during the 1930s. and featuring the memorable scene in which Holly gazes longingly into Tiffany's window display.42 carat rough flawless-yellow diamond from the 'Compagnie Français de Diamant du Cap' (Kimberley mine) in 1877. Domain Hollywood in 1949 Coming just on the heels of the immortal "a diamond is forever" campaign.
or "cert" may be your only assurance that you are getting exactly what you paid for. appraisal report. This time. Diamonds are tested for . but not least. the glamor is laid bare. In a preemptive strike against any negative publicity that the movie would generate. a diamond certificates." there would be no "diamond trade. the unsung hero in the diamond trade. grading report. we have the faceless American consumer. Were it not for intrepid consumers. the World Diamond Council placed ten full-page ads in newspapers around the county." Diamond Grading: Diamond Certificates (Certs) Gemological Laboratory Certification Why do you need a laboratory certification for your diamond? Although it may seem like a needless expense. Leavitt weaves a tale of Sierra Leone's impoverished "diamond diggers. The Consumer Last. Through interviews with human-rights organizations like Doctors Without Borders and Global Witness.Photo: © Warner Bros." and the terrible working conditions that these workers must endure. as writer Charles Leavitt takes us through the dark underbelly of the diamond trade. 2006 Hollywood in 2006 Blood Diamond is the latest incarnation of Hollywood's fascination with diamond. certificate of authenticity. and their willingness to purchase the concept of "foreverness.
GIA reports also cover any treatments or enhancements that have been done. 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. poorly cut SI-3 grade stone. and is the largest independent gem certification and appraisal institute in the United States. but for insurance appraisal as well. The GIA was founded by Robert M. clarity. 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 . IGI Certificate The International Gemological Institute (IGI) is the oldest institute of its kind in Antwerp.other than the price.the basics (cut dimensions and proportions. shape and cut of a stone. The IGI offers Identification Reports. Toronto. Antwerp. Dubai and Hong Kong. wether the stone is natural or synthetic. color. Shipley in 1931. and wether they are synthetic. Los Angeles. Certificates of Authenticity. there is very little (visible) difference between a FL stone and a IF or VVS-1 stone . and Attestations of Origin. carat weight. with operations in New York City. and of corse. and carat weight) and they are also tested for traces of gem enhancement. Bangkok. with offices around the globe. founded in 1975. Although even a lay-person may be able to tell the difference between a triple-zero diamond and a cheap. which can be substantially different. . GIA Certificate A GIA (Gemological Institute of America) report provides detailed information about the dimensions. California.not only for resale. the same year that Shipley published his groundbreaking book titled 'Gemology. Appraisal Reports. Tokyo. tone.' GIA's world headquarters are located in Carlsbad. Mumbai. and saturation of a colored stone.
Color. jewellery design and gemology. and Fluorescence. color.The IGI lab grades diamonds as well as colored gemstones along several basic criteria which include: shape and cut. Cut. polish and symmetry) using a scale ranging from Excellent to Fair. and the graders can not know the identity of the owner. as well as quantifying the standard parameters of Clarity. weight. HRD's refined Cut Grading system measures each of the three parameters (proportions. mesurments. origin (colored gems). and finish. Belgium issues quality reports for loose (unmounted) polished diamonds according to ISO 17025 international standards for gemelogical testing laboratories. Carat Weight. HRD Antwerp Diamond Certificate The certificates department of HRD Antwerp in Antwerpen. . HRD uses the "Hearts and Arrows" measuring system which was developed by HRD Antwerp scientists. HRD also offers gemelogical training and continuing education courses in diamond grading. clarity. with "Triple Excellent" being the highest overall designation. Shape. All diamonds are examined anonymously. the sorting of rough diamonds.
An AGS report. A diamond's clarity is also graded on a simple numeric scale from 0 to 10. and s ratings. and Proportions. and does not evaluate other types of colored gemstones. Shipley. Diamond Grading AGS Diamond Quality Report (DQD) AGS Gemological Laboratory Background Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors. Today. 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. certificates issued after January 1. . 'Polish' and 'Symmetry' were merged into one category called "Finish. vs. and to set a higher standard of business ethics and professional practices in the jewelry industry. Aditionally. AGSL Certificate The AGSL was the first gem lab to grade a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish." is not an appraisal of monetary value. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). 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 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.com The American Gem Society was founded in 1934 by Robert M. The AGS specializes in diamond testing and evaluation. referred to as a "Diamond Quality Document" or "DQD. The mission of the AGS is to increase consumer awareness. 2005 can be viewed online. Symmetry. but rather a comprehensive quality evaluation. AGS is considered the premier diamond-grading laboratory. mathematicians. creator of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA)." The AGS Cut Grading system was developed through of years of research by gemologists.As well as testing for synthetic diamonds. the HRD lab also uses state-of-the-art technology to test for subtle and hard to recognize enhancements such as HPHT. AGS grades diamond color on a numeric sliding scale that is similar to GIA's alphabetical scale. along with a consortium of independent jewelers. as well as the most comprehensive system for grading the all-important 'cut' parameters. To insure the security of their documents. and optical physicists. having the most rigid grading standards. HRD uses complex watermarking to prevent copying or falsifying their reports. as opposed to GIA's vvs. The AGS Gemological Laboratories was established in 1996 to provide state-of-the-art diamond grading and appraisal services to the jewelry industry.
Each parameter is given a numeric grade from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). dispersion. The ray-tracing program measures the quantity of the light being returned to the viewer by quantifying brightness. and Proportions. leakage and light spread." The AGS Cut grading system was developed through years of research by gemologists. mathematicians.Cut Grade: Finish." but to retained the "Triple Zero" monicker for diamonds with a perfect score. Symmetry." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors. In 2004 AGS added a new category that is referred to as "Light Performance. 'Polish' and 'Symmetry' were merged into one category called "Finish. AGS uses the "Light Performance" designation to quantify 'light return' by using a ray-tracing software program to follow the path of light rays as they travel through the diamond. . contrast. Proportions & Light Performance The AGSL was the first gem lab to grade a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. and optical physicists.
0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light . AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless . When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. and individual facet ratios." or "ideal" rating.3. the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible.7.0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless . The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles." 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. all measured in three spacial dimensions. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram. relative facet angles.5 to 3. 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.0 to 7.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero. . in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above). AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering.0 to 1. where facets intersect with each-other.1.5 to 4.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003.5.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light .0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint . 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.
so that the cutter can improve the light performance of their cut stones. 5. 2. through AGS offices in Antwerp." A decline is a spiral (corkscrew) tunnel which circles the ore deposit. AGS will only evaluate loose. Diamonds: Gem & Diamond Mining Technology Photos: Public Domain Diamond & Gem Mining . while a shaft is . Accessing the underground ore is achieved via a horizontal passageway called a "decline. princess. As of 2005. OctoNus Software. These diamond extraction methods vary depending on how the minerals are deposited within the earth.Extraction Methods Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. and OGI Systems. 4. and the peripheral damage that will be done to the surrounding environment.Triple-0 Round Brilliant Setting 'American Star Diamond' 13. 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. AGS will also provide analysis of a manufacturers 'cut performance' by analyzing a sample stone's Sarin file. the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA). Additionally. Artisanal Mining Hard Rock Mining Marine Mining Open Pit Mining Placer Mining Hard-Rock Diamond Mining The term "hard-rock mining" (top of page.42 Carat D. minerals. and ore bodies that are in situ. and octagon step-cut diamonds. AGS offers laser inscription services as well. and will soon be offering cut evaluations for other fancy shapes. The principle methods of diamond extraction are: 1. India and Israel. Dubai. Obtaining an AGS Report AGS is a 'trade-industry' testing laboratory that will only evaluate diamonds sent from jewelers or manufacturers.com Diamonds and other precious and semi-precious gemstones are extracted from the earth using five basic mining techniques. unmounted diamonds." or a by a vertical "shaft. left) refers to various techniques used to extract gems. the stability of the material that surrounds that desired gem or mineral. AGSL reports will also grade cut quality for emerald. which are used by non-contact measuring-device manufacturers such as Sarin Technologies. Pricing for a diamond grading report is based on carat weight. and can only be accessed by tunneling underground and creating underground "rooms" or "stopes" that are supported by timber pillars or standing rock. The AGS supplies 'facet arrangement' templates corresponding to their cutgrading system. 3.
Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . box screens. machinery. highly resistant to weathering. shovels. Gems are separated from waste material using various sifting and sorting techniques such as cone screens. right) is used for extracting diamonds and minerals from alluvial. or sort material according to size. A decline is typically used for mining personnel. or sand) that is unsuitable for tunneling. Open pit mines are typically used when mineral deposits are found close to the surface or along defined kimberlite pipes. or hand digging (artisanal mining). Horizontal mining employs the use of Seabed Crawlers (remotely controlled. and have a specific gravity that is higher than that of common minerals. the gravels are separated and sorted into three sizes. Diamonds and most gemstones are hard.Photo: USGS Alluvial Diamond . also known as "sand-bank mining" (top of page. they tend to concentrate in alluvial deposits in the same way that gold placers develop. CAT-tracked underwater mining vehicles) move across the sea floor pumping gravel up to an offshore vessel. . therefore. Placer Mining Placer diamond mining. also known as "open-cast mining" (top of page. Marine Mining Marine mining technology only became commercially viable in the early 1990s.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. and or colluvial secondary deposits. at a maximum depth of 500 feet. center) is a method of extracting rock and minerals from the earth by removal from a machine-dug open pit or burrow. with the middle size being a candidate for final sorting. Marine diamond mining employs both "vertical" and "horizontal" techniques to extract diamonds from offshore placer deposits. Artisanal Mining Artisanal diamond mining (aka "small-scale mining") involves nothing more that digging and sifting through mud or gravel river-bank alluvial deposits (above. Open Pit Mining Open-pit diamond mining.vertical tunnel used for ore haulage. or pans. gravel. running adjacent 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. right) with bare hands. and access to the ore. Small "pit lakes" tend to form at the bottom of open-pit mines as a result of groundwater intrusion. While on board. Laborers who work in artisanal diamond mining are called "diamond diggers" (below left). and is a derivative form of open-cast mining used to extract minerals from the surface of the earth without the use of tunneling. rock or sedimentary soil. Excavation is accomplished using water pressure (hydraulic mining). or large conical sieves. Artisanal diamond mining is a form of "subsistence based" non-mechanized mining that is used in poorer countries throughout the world. which concentrate the heavier gems at the bottom. eluvial. mechanized surface excavating equipment.
Kimberlite is a diamondiferous igneous-rock matrix composed of carbonate. with a variety of trace minerals. These pipes are called "kimberlites" or "kimberlite pipes" (see diagram below). phlogopite. Artisanal diamond mining accounts for 90% of Sierra Leone's diamond exports and is the country's second largest employer after subsistence farming. Kimberlites are found as "dikes" and "volcanic pipes" which underlie and are the source for rare and relatively small volcanoes or "maars" (above. It is also used extensivly in Angola. . Many kimberlite pipes also produce alluvial diamond placer deposits. left) or "yellow-ground" kimberlite and can be found worldwide. and upper mantle rock. right). yet only about 1 in every 200 kimberlite pipes contain gem-quality diamonds. Diamond bearing kimberlite in some parts of South Africa is black in color (above. left). Kimberlite occurs in the zone of the Earth's crust in vertical structures known as kimberlite pipes (above.Artisanal diamond mining is used throughout west Africa. and Liberia. rock fragments.North Cape" below). olivine. and diamonds approaches the earth's surface it begins to form an underground structure (pipe) that is shaped like a champagne-flute. Diamonds: Diamond Geology Diamond Geology & Kimberlites Kimberlite Pipes Diamonds form at a depth greater than 93 miles (150 kilometers) beneath the earth's surface. As this molten mixture of magma (molten rock). the Congo (DROC). Kimberlite pipes can lie directly underneath shallow lakes formed in the inactive volcanic calderas or craters. Kimberlite pipes are the most significant source of diamonds. diamonds are carried to the surface of the earth by volcanic activity. pyroxene. minerals. After their formation. garnet. 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 . serpentine. Most kimberlite is called "blue-ground" kimberlite (above. right). in conflict zones where mechanized mining is impractical and unsafe.
usually from kimberlite deposits.Photo: Public Domain Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . known as the Sperrgebiet or "forbidden territory. or "cementing material.Photo: NASA The alluvial terrace gravels (below. and tectonic breccia.Photo: Public Domain Lamproite Pipes Lamproite pipes produce diamonds to a lesser extent than kimberlite pipes. Alluvial diamond deposits are usually located within river terrace gravels that have been transported from their location of origin. These dried 'lakes' receive river water during seasonal flooding which transports large amounts of sediment held in suspension. resulting in a broader cone of eviscerated rock at the surface." and along the Orange River near Alexander Bay. The Argyle pipe is a diatreme. or different in composition to the fragments themselves. Lamproite pipes are created in a similar manner to kimberlite pipes. except that boiling water and volatile compounds contained in the magma act corrosively on the overlying rock.' which are created by abandoned river meanders. Diamondiferous material tends to concentrate in and around 'oxbow lakes. impact breccia. Alluvial Diamonds from Africa .Open Pit Mine . igneous breccia. 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. including: hydrothermal breccia. There are several types of breccia which are categorized based on their geological origin. The world's largest known gem quality alluvial diamond deposits are located along the Namib Desert coastline of southwestern Africa. Breccia is a rock composed of angular fragments of several minerals or rocks in a matrix. sedimentary breccia. The Argyle diamond mine in Western Australia is one of the first commercial open-cast diamond mines that is dug along an olivine lamproite pipe. Alluvial (Placer) Diamond Deposits The location of alluvial (secondary or placer) diamond deposits is controlled by the surrounding topography. This results in a martini-glass shaped diamondiferous deposit as opposed to kimberlite's champagne flute shape." that may be similar. . left) and marine gravels of the south-western coastline of Africa represent the some of the world's largest placer diamond deposits.
potholes.Namibia's placer diamond deposits are between 40 and 80 million years old. made their way to the sea bed just offshore.000 years ago). but were not deposited on land. Diamond Mines of the World: Active Diamond Mines List of Active Diamond Mines All Contents Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.8 million to 10. in central South Africa and Botswana. Westward draining river systems transported these diamonds to Africa's continental coastline for final deposition within on-shore marine terrace gravels. Alluvial Terrace Gravels .9k and 101. The diamonds within these deposits were transported from deeply-eroded diamondiferous kimberlites or. depressions. to a lesser extent. channels or other trapsites for diamondiferous deposits.com . Diamonds that were transported downstream. 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. including Angola's two largest diamonds at 105. from olivine lamproites formed during the Cretaceous or Permo-Triassic period.8k. carried from their primary origination point on the Kaapvaal Craton.Photo: Wiki Diamond-Bearing 'Diamondiferous' Gravel Many of these alluvial diamond deposits occur in Pleistocene and Holocene successions (1. Some of the largest and highest gemquality diamonds produced from alluvial placer diamond mining have come from this region. Diamonds in marine areas are typically trapped in bedrock depressions such as gullies.
3. 4. mining operator info. 3. 1. and hard rock diamond mines. 6. 2. Open-pit mine De Beers operated. 1. 75% De Beers ownership. open pit. mostly industrial grade. mining industry inside news. map Damtshaa Diamond Mine: (water for a tortoise) New open pit mine. map . produces over 40% of world's gem-quality diamonds.closed. 2. Odebrecht (50%). links to satellite images of the mines (where available). map Venetia Diamond Mine: Limpopo. map Botswana Congo (DROC or RDC) Lesotho Namibia Sierra Leone South Africa Tanzania Zimbabwe Australia East Kimberley 1. 2. 1. 4. Luarica Diamond Mine: Owned by Endiama (38%) & Trans Hex (32%). map Finsch Diamond Mine: Finsch is an open-pit mine near Lime Acres.Currently there are eleven major 'diamond producing' nations. map Orange River (Daberas) Mines: Orange River alluvium. the Kimberley Open Pits closed in 2005. map Marine Mining: Namco Mining operates a dredging fleet off the west coast of Namibia. map Ekati Diamond Mine: Canada's first diamond mining operation. Kimberlite pipe. Closed in 2006. Namdeb Namib Gov. 1. Diavik Diamond Mine: The Diavik diamond mine is located in the NWT. Namdeb. 2. De Beers / Botswana. map Koffiefontein Diamond Mine: The Koffiefontein mine opened in 1870. located in NWT. map Koidu Open Pit Mines: Kimberlite open-pit mines just south of Koidu. De Beers/Botswana. 5. Israel. 3. Active Mines | Inactive Mines | Future Exploration | Mining Companies Africa Angola 1. map Orapa Diamond Mine: (resting place for lions) Largest/oldest of four . 3. Trans Hex. map River Ranch Diamond Mine: Open Pit & Underground mine. Rio Tinto. map Kimberley Diamond Mine: Started in 1871. map Canada North West Territories (NWT) 1. South Kalimantan 1. map Bakwanga Mine: (aka Bushimaïe. map Borneo Cempaka/Riam Kanan. 1. map Forminière Diamond Mine: Alluvial mine located on the River Tshikapa. map Letlhakane Diamond Mine: ("little reeds") second oldest of four . map Magna Egoli Mine: Largest mechanized mine in Sierra Leone. south of Lüderitz. in Kasaï . map The Oaks Diamond Mine: In Limpopo province. Waldman Resources. 3. 1. Owned by Endiama (40%) & Trans Hex (35%). map Cullinan Diamond Mine: Open Pit/Hard Rock diamond mine owned by De Beers. 2. 75% De Beers ownership map Murowa Diamond Mine: Open Pit & Underground mine. and a host of other counties with operational and/or historic alluvial. and any relevant geographic data.DeBeers/Botswana. Argyle Diamond Mine: Largest producer in world.De Beers / Botswana. Luzamba Diamond Mine: Angola's largest alluvial mine. Endiama (50%). Catoca Diamond Mine: Fourth largest diamond mine in world. 1. 2. map Elizabeth Bay Mine: Open-cast mine in Namib desert. Lubilash) Alluvial river mines in Kasaï. map Baken Diamond Mine: Located along Orange River in North Cape. MIBA. These lists also contains new project explorations. map Williamson Diamond Mine: (aka Mwadui mine) Open Pit mine. 75% De Beers ownership. 2. map Letseng Diamond Mine: Open-cast mine in Maluti Mountains 70 km from Mokhotlong. 1. map Fucauma Diamond Mine: Newly constructed. map Koidu-Sefadu Mines: Subsistence digging in alluvium pits west of Koidu. 2. map Jwaneng Diamond Mine: (place of small stones) richest mine in world. De Beers operated. Cempaka Diamond Mines: Alluvials mined by indigenous artisanal Kalimantan miners. 7. 4. So Africa. There are also several African nations with ongoing off-shore dredging/vacuming operations.
Alrosa. 5. map Jubilee (Yubileinaya) Mine: Newer open-pit kimberlite mine near Udachny.India Madhya Pradesh 1. Jubilee. map Russia Siberia 1. 4. Mirna Mine: Largest diamond deposit in Russia and one of the largest in the world. Aikhal GOK Mine: Three open-pit kimberlite pipe mines: Aikhal. Panna Diamond Mine: Alluvial mine in state of Madhya Pradesh. map Udachnaya (Udachny) Pipe Mine: One of the deepest diamond mines in the world. and Sytykan. 2. 3. map . map Anabar GOK Mine: The norther most location of Russia's diomond mines.
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