All About Gemstones: Diamonds

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

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

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The 4 Cs of Diamonds: Cut

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

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

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

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

pavilion and crown angle) and did not provide a subjective ranking of how good the cut was. The chart below shows several common problems to look for. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. All of that has changed with the AGS Cut Grading system and GIA's new "Cut Grading System". Only a trained eye could see the quality of a good cut. An Ideal Cut or Premium Cut "Round Brilliant" diamond has the following basic proportions according to the AGS: Table Size: 53% to 60% of the diameter Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35 degrees Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Facets: 58 (57 if the culet is excluded) Polish & Symmetry: very good to excellent The girdle on a Modern Round Brilliant can have 32. when one incorrect facet angle can throw off the symmetry of the entire stone. 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. and the pavillion will have 25 facets.Good Cut Fair Cut Poor Cut Cut Proportions In the past. Fig. Other variations of the "Modern Round Brilliant" include the "Ideal Brilliant" which was invented by Johnson and Roesch in 1929. or 96 facets which are not counted in the total number of facets (58). 3 . Common cutting problems can occur during the faceting process. 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. This can also result in the undesirable creation of extra facets beyond the required 58. Fig.e. a Round Brilliant cut that does not have the proper proportions and symmetry (off-make) will have noticeably less brilliance. the "Cut" quality of the "4 Cs" was the most difficult part for a consumer to understand when selecting a good diamond because a GIA or AGS certificate did not show the important measurements influencing cut (i. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. 80. The crown will have 33 facets. 64. Poor Diamond Faceting and Symmetry Due to the mathmatics involved in light refraction.

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

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

0 carat 1.500 15. Occasionally. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration.204 carat. Price Per Carat (2005) .600 12.Grade: F Colorless . This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only. or to buy a 1. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of . It is for this reason that an even 1.600 6.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone.0 carat 3.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone.5 carats must have an actual weight of between . clarity and weight. a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above. or "seed of the carob". girdle and pavilion.5 carat 2. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing. In ancient times. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity . and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown. See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison.195 and .VS1 Carat Size</ 0. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat.504 carats.600 8.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between .800 6.5º crown. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a . it must be accurate to the second decimal place. 40º pavilion.10 carat diamond for its better cut.495 carats and .99 carat diamond for its better price.5 carat 1. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond." If the carat weight is shown as ". By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry.750 30. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor.

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

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

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

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

000 D-color diamonds weighing over half a carat are found each year. making the diamond appear "colorless. medium. Diamonds: Chemistry & Structural Properties Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Structural Properties of Diamond . murky appearance when compared to a non-fluorescing diamond. Skin Tone and Settings While some may prefer a very transparent D to F range. See Color in Gemstones for more information. so this effect will be more apparent under natural daylight than under artificial incandescent light. and strong. For diamonds with a color grading of D through H (colorless). they tend to fluoresce as blue. according to the GIA. fluorescence can negatively impact the value of the stone by 3% to 20%.Large D-flawless diamonds (those weighing more than 2 carats) are some of the rarest minerals on earth. fewer than 5. Ultra-violet light is a component of natural sunlight and artificial 4800k to 5000k color-proofing light. diamonds with a poorer color grading (I through K). fluorescence could increase the value by 0% to 2% buy improving the color (or lack thereof). Diamond Fluorescence Approximatly 1/3 (35%) of all diamonds have a tendency to fluoresce when exposed to ultra-violet (UV) light. Only around 600 D-flawless roughs are cut into gems weighing between 1 and 2 carats during a given year. This fluorescent effect can be beneficial to a diamond that has a yellow tint." but the diamond will have a dull. On the other hand. faint. Fluorescence is graded as none.Diamond Formation . When diamonds are viewed under a UV light-source. others may prefer a "warmer" color found in a G to J range to compliment their skin tone. diamonds with a visible tint may be preffered. as the blue fluorescence will cancel out some of the yellow. In some settings with various combinations of other stones. Even with microscopic inclusions.

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

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

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

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

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

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

' found in Kimberly. sold at a greater discount. The rough stone weighed 287. hue. which changes hue from grayish-blue or olive-green to yellowish-green or straw-yellow under different lighting conditions (darkness. .Pink (Reddish-pink) 1 is darkest 1BP to 8BP . Fancy Pink/Brown Diamond Color (Hue) Designations 1PP to 8PP .Start of 'Fancy' Fancy Fancy Dark Fancy Intense Fancy Deep Fancy Vivid . yet considerably more expensive. 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. halogen. and was cut into a 128. The GIA grades fancy diamond color by quantifying the saturation.Brown diamonds.Pink (Magenta-pink) 1 is darkest 1P to 8P . 1PP is the highest quality designation for Pink Diamond.54 carat cushion cut with an estimated value in the millions of dollars. daylight) and ambient temperature changes.M Very Light . This Chameleon-like phenomenon was first documented by the GIA in the early 1940s. which are generally less appreciated than other fancy colors and therefor. Only 1% to 2% of the diamonds produced at the Argyle Mine are high-quality pink specimens. and value (darkness) using nine classifications ranging from 'Faint' to 'Vivid. have become more commonplace as Australian colored diamonds have gained in popularity.Champagne 3 is darkest C8 to C1 .Highest Saturation One of the largest.Cognac 8 is darkest Chameleon Diamonds There is a very rare olive-grayish color-changing diamond called "Chameleon Diamond" (below. causing microscopic imperfections within the lattice structure.S to Z Fancy Light . One of the world's only major sources for rare pink diamonds is the Argyle Mine in Australia. having a pure magenta color with deep saturation. left). An 1P designation would have less blue and more brownish-red. South Africa in 1878.42 carats. Pink Diamonds The pink color within these rare diamonds is due to irregular crystal growth patterns. lighting color temperatures (incandescent.N to R Light . and most valuable Fancy Yellow diamonds in the world is the 'Tiffany Diamond. As the numbers go lower (8PP) the color is paler. Pink diamonds are similar to pink sapphire in color.Pink (Brownish-pink) 1 is darkest PC3 to PC1 . bright light).' GIA 'Fancy Yellow' Diamond Color Saturation Designations Faint .

There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness [9]. and the De Young Red weighing 5. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil.90 carats. and weighed a modest 0. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. and will totally reverse itself when conditions The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond.' discovered during the 18th century.000 per carat. Warren Hancock. On thing is certain. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa.000 to $500. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. Intense. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926. Green diamonds can range from $35.000 in 1987. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat.03 carats. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13.Green Chameleon Diamonds Fancy Pink Diamond Color Grading Chameleon diamonds can be forced to temporarily change to a yellowish-green color by exposing them to heat (150º C to 250º C). the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems.95carats. The color change effect is temporary. greyish-green. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits. . as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red. or a combination of the two. pure green hues. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation.

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

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

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

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

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




Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.

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



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

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



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

Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .

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



Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .

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

Garnet Inclusions within Diamond .





Garnet fragment on Diamond Girdle .

Grossularite Garnet Inclusions in Diamond .

Internal Graining (IntGr) Irregular crystal growth causing internal distortions, waviness, and/or haze. Can be accompanied by internal strain. Internal Graining Inclusion Photos

Internal Graining Diamond Inclusion Photography
Internal Graining (IntGr) inclusions are caused by irregular crystal growth which creates internal distortions, waviness, or haze. Internal Graining imperfections may be accompanied by internal strain such as feather Inclusions.


Internal Graining with Cloud Inclusion .

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


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

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

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


Odds & Ends: Microscopic Diamond Inclusion Beauty Photos Microscopic Diamond Inclusion Photography This is an assortment of spectacular diamond-inclusion photography taken by Joe Vanells. . showing the strange and beautiful world of microscopic diamond inclusions.

Natural Comet Inclusion .

Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud .

Tabular Reflection in Diamond .

Included Garnet Twins within Diamond .

Included Dalmatian Garnet .

Cloud Inclusion .

Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers .

Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light .

Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion .

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




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. 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. .





. 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 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.Lizard Skin A bumpy or wavy 'orange-peel' textured pattern on the polished surface of a diamond.


. 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.Natural (N) A raised portion of the rough diamond's original surface structure that remains visible on the surface of a polished stone.

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

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

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



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

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. and inscriptions.Laser Etching or Markings Careless or inadvertent laser etchings. marking. . or inscribing the external surface of a cut diamond.




Polish Lines (PL) Fine parallel surface groves resulting from the polishing process. Diamond Enhancements: Laser Drilling & Fracture Filling . Polish Marks (PM) Also known as "Wheel Marks. 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.

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

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

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

refractive index. most of these lesser simulants fell by the wayside. Diamonaire. Thrilliant Synthetic Spinel (1920-1947) Corundolite. Rutania." also known as "simulated diamonds" or "fake diamonds" are man-made gemstones that look like. Rainbow Diamond. Diamond Essence. Diamond Simulants Diamond "simulants. produced using the Verneuil (flame-fusion) Process. also known as "GE POL. Jourado Diamond. Unlike their natural diamond counterparts. With CVD. Magalux. ranging in clarity from IF to SI or I. or "deposited" onto the substrate in successive layers.1970) Diagem.' or six-anvil 'cubic press' to create the necessary pressure. or by measuring UV fluorescence with a DiamondView tester. Geminaire In the early 1900's. and a combination of heat and pressure are applied while a vaporized carbon-plasma that is combined with hydrogen is applied. Phianite Gadolinium Gallium Garnet (GGG) (1972-1975) Strontium Titanate (ST) (1955 . A cultured synthetic diamond will have the identical cleavage. and uses a lowerpressure growth environment than the earlier HTHP method. Synthetic Diamond Color & Optics Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless form. Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) The "Chemical Vapor Deposition" (CVD) method was developed during the 1980s. which attracts the gas to the substrate. and surface luster as its natural diamond counterpart. Fabulite Synthetic Rutile (1946-1955) Diamothyst. With the advent of Cubic Zirconia in the mid 1970's. ultraviolet. Titangem Synthetic Sapphire (1900-1947) Diamondette. Synthetic Diamond Manufacturers Apollo Diamonds . specific gravity. a seed or substrate material is placed into the growth camber. making the stone appear yellowish. Java Gem. Synthetic diamonds can be detected using infrared.High-Temperature High-Pressure (HTHP) The "High-Temperature High-Pressure" (HTHP) technique." uses a four-anvil 'tetrahedral press. synthetic diamonds may contain small inclusions. 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. and Moissanite in 1998. Diamondite. Radient Yttrium Aluminum Garnet (YAG) (1970-1975) Diamone. hardness. A diamond seed is placed into a growth camber. Common diamond simulants include: Cubic Zirconia (CZ) (1976-) Czarite. the diamond's entire growth process takes several days to complete. The vaporized carbon gases are energized using microwave energy. or "simulate" the appearance of natural diamonds. In the late 1940's Diamondite gave way to Synthetic Rutile which was popular until the advent of YAG in the early 1970's. Using Chemical Vapor Deposition. or X-ray spectroscopy. Diamonte. 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. These impurities absorb the blue end of the light spectrum. light dispersion. colorless synthetic sapphire (aka Diamondite) was a popular diamond simulant. 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. Like natural diamond. making them difficult to differentiate from natural diamonds. Lustergem. the HTHP diamond's growth process can take 7 to 10 days to complete. Diamonite.

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

Unlike most natural diamonds. Zirconium oxide powder is heated. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left).800 .41 (RI). 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. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR). or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond. The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit. For instance. or colorless (white) versions. Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below).170. Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored.17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2. Due to their low cost and consistency. . CZ vs Diamond .2. and CZs can be made in any "color grade. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible. Diamond's RI is 2. the greater dispersive power. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye.) in a totally dark room. etc.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing. The 1. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond . a CZ is optically flawless.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator.In 1973. CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce. Natural diamonds attract grease. natural diamond is a thermal conductor Weight: Cubic Zirconia is heavier than diamond in a given size Another method for distinguishing Cubic Zirconia from diamond is to mark the stone with a grease pencil or felt-tipped pen. You can also Inspect the facet edges with a 10x loupe to look for any chipping or slightly rounded (not sharp) facet edges that are telltale signs of Cubic Zirconia. CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds. Once the mixture has cooled. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting.80 to 2.Detectable to the Naked Eye Light Dispersion: Greater prismatic effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire Lack of Flaws: CZ is virtually flawless. candle.

when examining the gem through the kite facets. Moissanite. . Moissanite has a hardness of 9. is classified as an element rather than a compound. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr.060.044. center) near Winslow. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ.670.104 as compared to CZ at 0.) in a dark room. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond. 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. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. Arizona. Moissanite has an RI of 2. Henri Moissan (above. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material.69. Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. etc.A small.417. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective.25 on the Mohs scale. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. left) who won the Nobel Prize in 1906 for his discovery of a new mineral (moissanite6H) found within meteorite fragments of the ancient Barringer meteor crater (above. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight.65 to 2. while diamond has a hardness of 10. found only in iron-nickel meteorites. and diamond at 0.

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

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

it would be cost effective to sacrifice some carat weight in order to finish with two "Ideal" cuts. a cutter must make a cost-benefit analysis as to how to maximize the cut stone's value. cut proportions. Parameters Ideal Cut Standard (Premium) Cut Rough Material Loss Finished Stones Cutting Time Crown Symmetry Greater Loss Lower Carat Weight 2 to 4 Days Ideal Higher Yield Higher Carat Weight 1 to 2 Days Shallow Crown . The objective is always to maximize carat weight. but in order to do this. elimination of any inclusions. An octehedral rough diamond will yield two round brilliant cut stones (see diagram below). the rough stone has some coloration and/or is heavily included. The clarity of the stone.weight retention. Reconciling Cut & Weight Retention If the rough stone has a colorless D through F rating and has very few inclusions. and the amount of internal inclusions will play an important part in the decisions as to how to maximize yield.Ideal Cut vs Standard Cut Diamond Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. on the other When deciding how to cut a rough diamond. If. This is accomplished by reconciling three key factors . compromises would have to be made. it may be better to aim for a higher carat weight utilizing a "Standard" cut.

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

. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace. Symmetry. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts.5% to 43.7%. and crown/pavilion angles. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. and overall height of 57. To quantify a diamond's cut quality. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. Ideal Scope. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant". Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%. invented in 1929.' 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.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed. etc.6% and overall height of 57. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. The "Scan D. very small to small In the 1970s. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). crown height of 14. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. facet ratios. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design. H&A Viewer. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish.7%. Tolkowsky. As with all human endeavors..4%. more brilliance and fire. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer.N. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect. crown height of 14.5%. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57.N. Since then. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope." (Scandinavian standard. and Proportions. A perfect blending of facet symmetry. Eppler & Scan D.

Asscher Cut The Asscher Cut was developed by Abraham and Joseph Asscher of the Royal Asscher Diamond Company of Amsterdam in 1902. the Cullinan 1 and Cullinan 2 being set into the crown and sceptre of the British Crown Jewels.) 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. Popular in Art Deco jewelry of the period. and the culet is square. it is put in front of the ultimate arbiter of quality . cut proportions. One thing is for sure .like Einstein's theory of relativity. etc. The cut has a deep pavilion and a high crown. with the two largest stones. Diamonds: Patented Signature Diamond Cuts Notable Patented & Proprietary Diamond Cuts Since the early 1900s there has been a proliferation of elaborate diamond cuts that have been developed by master gem Barion Cut . and number of facets. www. the Asscher diamond cut has a squarish octagonal shape with a step cut.the consumer.Producers split hairs over cut angle. but some like the Barion Cut have disappeared into obscurity.each trying to improve on the tried-and-true Old European cuts. and it still survives in some form today. less facets. Some have gone on to become household names such as the Asscher cut.asscher. and their modest brilliance and light return. mathematicians. Tolkowsky came up with a "brilliant" idea almost 90 years ago. cut corners and a small table. 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. Every conceivable cutting theory is tried. and entrepreneurs . (more facets. The Asscher brothers cut the famous 3. Here is a collection of just a few of the many "signature" diamond cuts that have been produced over the last 100 years. scientists.

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

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

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

www. The pavilion has two differently sized sets triangular facets with a large triangular table. Trillian. but the pavilion is completely different. The Trilliant has the Schoenflies point group symmetry of a round brilliant. The Starburst cut was created to bring out the highest amount of color to fancy yellow diamonds. the precursor for the "design" of the first faceted diamond lay within the rough stone itself. The starburst faceting pattern is designed to focus color near the top of a stone. brilliance. The Starburst cut is especially suitable for a octahedral rough. Still. There are 49 crown facets and 40 pavilion facets. There are two variations of this cut: the Curved cut used for solitary The faceting of diamonds has come a long way in the last 700 years. but at each stage of advancement the pioneers of 'brillianting' diamonds have made great strides in bringing out the magic that is inherent in these gifts from nature. for a total of 89 kite and star shaped facets. Point Cut . The Trilliant trademark has since lapsed. From this point forward it was a race to see who could design the perfect faceted cut which would bring out the maximum fire. making the hue of fancy yellow diamonds more intense. The Trilliant cut gives a high brilliance. and the natural octahedral symmetry of the rough stone's closed isometric form. and scintillation when cut to the correct proportions. With the realization that only a diamond could cut another diamond. right) was created by cutting off some of the top half of the point cut's octahedron to create a table. with weight losses in the fifty percent range. The "table cut" (below. and light return from the stone. this led to the invention of the first gem cutting machines (precursor to the "lap" or "Facetron") in the 1300s. but that has not always been easy as these little chunks of elemental carbon are harder that anything that could be found to cut them. Harry Winston. Starburst Cuts are mounted and sold directly through Cartier. The Trilliant Cut has a total of 31 facets. craftsmen have attempted to "improve" on nature. Since the day that humans first discovered 'adamas' (diamonds). Old eight.louisglick. reworked into the shape of a trillion (triangle). and Uncurved cut used for accent stones.The Starburst Cut was patented and trademarked by the Louis Glick Diamond Corp. fire. . of New York in 1978. and the Trilliant is now a generic term for a triangular brilliant cut. Old Mine Cut Evolution of the Faceted Diamond & Colored Gem Article Copyright © 2008 AllAboutGemstones. Trillion) is a triangular cut designed and trademarked by the Henry Meyer Diamond Company of New York in 1962.early 1300s The "point cut" (below left) is one of the first symmetrically faceted diamond cuts. Nieman Marcus and Tiffany. The crown of the Starburst Cut is similar to that of the radiant cut. and the career of the "diamantaire" (diamond cutter/polisher) was Trilliant Cut The Trilliant Cut (aka Trielle. The point cut design is dictated by the natural shape of an octahedral rough diamond. Old European Gem Cuts: Point.

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

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

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.A "Swiss cut" is a compromise between an eight cut and a brilliant cut. The Diamond Trade: The 'Diamond Pipeline' Rough Diamond Producers Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. which combines ("aggregating") supplies of rough diamonds from multiple sources into one wholesale market (#2). thereby controlling and stabilizing prices. 16 isosceles triangle facets on the crown and 16 facets on the pavilion. then divided by human or automated sorters into individual lots called "boxes. Rio Tinto. 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. There is a limited market for the resale of diamonds that are less than "investment The trade in gem-grade rough diamonds is primarily controlled by the De Beers. Kimberley and Windhoek. there is usually a substantial mark-up in the retail sale price of diamonds. with a total of 33 facets (34 if a culet is used). silver or platinum. or secondary mining producers in Canada and Russia to De Beers' Diamond Trading Company (DTC) in London. color and quality. Gaborone. Trans Hex. . The rough stones are separated into 16.000 categories based on size." The 'Diamond Pipeline' Rough diamonds are sent directly from De Beers mining operations in Africa (#1). Unlike precious metals such as gold." The DTC is part of the DeBeers Group supply-chain known as the Central Selling Organization (CSO).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Laurence Graff was born into a Jewish orthodox family in London's poorer 'East End' district. Monte Gujarat's Indian Diamantaires . with his wife and their nine children. Lev Leviev has formed a partnership with the ex Soviet state-owned diamond firm. Lesotho Promise is the 15th largest diamond ever found. Hotel de Paris' salon privé in Paris. ALROSA produces 100% of Russia's rough diamond output and approximately 20% of the world's rough diamonds [9]. House of Graff is also located on London's Sloane Street. found on August 22.5 billion dollars [28]. Using this model of "local control." and the "king of bling" by Forbes magazine [28]. and on board the luxury residential ship The World ResidenSea. By circumventing the De Beers supply chain. It will ultimately be cut into an estimated 20 or so 'D-flawless' stones ranging from 75 carats to 1 carat in size.5 billion (#278 Forbes List)." a compendium and history of his most famous jewels." the Leviev Group has found willing partners in several countries including Angola's ASCORP after De Beers' exit in 2001. All House of Graff stones have a laser-inscribed girdle with the 'Graff' logo and GIA number. Graff's strategy of "vertically integration" has been to control every angle of the diamond pipeline. Photo: Pub. One of his most notable acquisitions was the 603 carat "Lesotho Promise diamond. Raised by his grandparents. Israel. formed by Decree 158C of the Russian Federation. selling to the rich and famous from Elizabeth Taylor and Donald Trump. Graff has been dubbed the "king of diamonds. Mr. in 1992. 2006 at the Letseng diamond mine in the tiny Kingdom of Lesotho in the center of the Republic of South Africa. Alrosa now sells direct to cutting factories throughout Russia. to purchasing a 51% stake in Safdico (South African Diamond Corp. from wholesale and retail. Tretiakovsky Proezd in Moscow. which are now owned by Lev Leviev. Lev Leviev lives in B'nei Brak.). Domain Laurence Graff Laurence Graff (1938—) is a DeBeers sightholder. Russia. and the largest rough unearthed in this century. and has satellite locations in Wafi City. Graff's net worth is estimated at 2. Leviev's net-worth is estimated at $2. which gives him access to some of the finest uncut diamonds coming out of South Africa. founder of the House of Graff in the heart of London's posh New Bond Street. to Larry Ellison. and one of the most successful diamond merchants in modern history. a DeBeers sightholder in Johannesburg. now called ALROSA (Almazy-Rossii-Sakha) [7]. Graff has co-authored (with Vanessa von Zitzewitz) "The Most Fabulous Jewels in the World. New York's Madison Avenue. The Hindustani Diamond Cutters Photo: dnavin.state. Dubai.

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

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

located at 259 Broadway. producing the 128. and from the Spanish Crown Jewels [27]. Sir Francis "Piggy" Beekman. and Tiffany seized on the opportunity. Photo: Pub. After attending Chicago Musical College. Jule Styne (born Julius Kerwin Stein) was born in London.W. the public's tolerance towards nobility was at a low point. Styne moved to Hollywood where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn." after here charecter. Lorelei receives a diamond tiara from her suitor. was originally a 'fancy goods' emporium. and featuring the memorable scene in which Holly gazes longingly into Tiffany's window display. After the French revolution in 1799. The Tiffany is still selling luxury jewelry in their trademarked 'Tiffany Blue Box. for resale in America. Charles Tiffany.' brand was catapulted into the stratosphere by the 1961 movie 'Breakfast at Tiffany's. The Great Depression had taken a heavy toll on luxury goods during the 1930s.72 carat cushion-cut diamond (one of the "Diamonds of Golconda") was mounted by Tiffany. this time from playwriter. Ayer in 1938. Domain Hollywood in 1949 Coming just on the heels of the immortal "a diamond is forever" campaign."A diamond is forever" is the legendary saying that was created by America's first advertising agency. purchased diamonds. The 'Tiffany & Co. and a series of diamond-related slogans were introduced into the American lexicon. Ayer & Son. specializing in one-of-a-kind baubles for New York's newly-minted industrialists and 'robber-barons. .54 carat 'The Tiffany Diamond.' During the 1800s. Styne wrote the score for the 1949 Broadway musical 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. De Beers and the diamond industry got another shot in the arm. One of Tiffany's most notable diamond acquisitions was a 287. A 19. Domain Charles Lewis Tiffany Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812—1902).' at the flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. Harry Frederick Oppenheimer enlisted the help of N.' staring Audrey Hepburn. gems and jewelry from the estates of the European aristocracy.W. the values of ostentatious gems and jewelry dropped precipitously." by Jean Schlumberger in the 1960s. and the diamond industry was particularly hard hit. The stone was cut in Paris. Prince Esterhazy of Hungary. which started out as 'Tiffany & Young' of New York City in 1837.42 carat rough flawless-yellow diamond from the 'Compagnie Français de Diamant du Cap' (Kimberley mine) in 1877. and sold to Nanaline Duke (now in the Doris Duke Collection). who was known for his jewelry expertise. With financial shockwaves caused by the French economy's collapse in 1847.' which was adapted to film in 1953. Tiffany & Young. Jule Styne. The movie version featured Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend. Tiffany was able to purchase significant gems from such renowned estates as: the 'jewel-mad' Duke of Brunswick. Photo: Pub. De Beers president. the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine. In 1948 the famous "A diamond is forever" slogan was introduced. aka "the King of Diamonds. and the subsequent overthrowing of King Louis-Philippe of France in 1848.' The stone was set into a garish jewelry piece called "Bird on a Rock. N." was the co-founder of Tiffany & Co.

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

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

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

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

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

0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless .AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero. 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. where facets intersect with each-other.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light . .5 to 3.5. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram.0 to 1. in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above). the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible. AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond. 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." 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. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles.1.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint . When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless .0 to 7." or "ideal" rating. all measured in three spacial dimensions.0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light . and individual facet ratios.5 to 4.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering.7. relative facet angles.3.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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