All About Gemstones: Diamonds

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

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

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

The 4 Cs of Diamonds: Cut

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A diamond that has a specified carat weight of .495 carats and . and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat. a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight. girdle and pavilion.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line. or "seed of the carob".5 carat 1. See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison.500 15. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone.10 carat diamond for its better cut.600 8. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only. clarity and weight.195 and .600 6. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32.0 carat 1. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry.5 carats must have an actual weight of between . the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat. In ancient times.99 carat diamond for its better price. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing. It is for this reason that an even 1. it must be accurate to the second decimal place. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations.5 carat 2. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor.5º crown. or to buy a 1.204 carat." If the carat weight is shown as ". The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between .750 30. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone.504 carats. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity .0 carat 3. Price Per Carat (2005) .The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown.600 12. 40º pavilion. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a . a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions.VS1 Carat Size</ 0. Occasionally.800 6. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales.Grade: F Colorless .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unlike "hardness.Trace impurities. Internally formed crystallographic graphite inclusions often create intense strain on the surrounding diamond." If you were to place a large enough diamond on your tongue it would draw heat away. acting as a "thermal conductor. its "toughness" rating is moderate. making it seem cold.5 to 6.© AGS Labs Diamond Toughness Within the fields of metallurgy and materials science. The culet facet at the bottom of the pavilion. yet sapphire has a toughness rating of excellent. with a Mohs scale rating of 10.© AGS Labs Hexagonal (Graphite) Platelet Inclusion . A material's toughness is measured in units of "joules" per cubic meter (J/m3) in the SI system. pressure and space can also affect the final shape of a formed crystal. Particular cuts of diamond are more prone to breakage along cleavage planes. Many natural blue . Although diamond is the "hardest. By comparrison. most scratch resistant mineral on earth. Hematite has a hardness of only 5.5. crystal twinning. sapphire has a hardness rating of 9. causing stress fractures or feathers. Additionally. the term "toughness" describes the resistance of a given material to fracture when it is stressed or impacted. a diamond's "toughness" is only fair to good. meaning that a diamond is 4 times "harder" than sapphire. Thermal Properties of Diamonds Diamond is a good conductor of heat. graphite can develop internally and on the diamond's surface. due to its ability to fracture along cleavage planes. is a facet specifically designed to resist breakage. but its toughness rating is also excellent. Diamond Graphitization In extremely high temperature environments above 1700 ¡C." and therefore. and "pound-force" per square-inch in US units of measurement. and varying growth conditions of heat. very thin girdles on brilliant cut diamonds are also prone to breakage." which only denotes a diamond's high resistance to scratching. Carbon Inclusion . and therefore may be uninsurable by reputable insurance companies.

inflexible. re-emitting them as lower-energy. with the exception of natural blue diamonds. gloss. it is used in the manufacturing of semiconductors. and generally implies radiance. increasing thermal conductance. Electromagnetic Properties of Diamond .Insulators or Semiconductors Diamond is a relatively good electrical insulator. which are in fact semiconductors. which means unyielding. Optical Properties of Diamond: Type I & Type II Diamonds Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Surface Luster of Diamond Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. or longer-wavelength photons. are known as p-type semiconductors.diamonds contain boron atoms which replace carbon atoms within the crystal matrix.com The surface luster (or "lustre") of diamond is described as adamantine. The word luster traces its origins back to the Latin word lux. . meaning "light". The term adamantine describes the way light interacts with the surface of a crystal. and synthetic diamonds that are doped with boron. Due to diamond's high thermal conductance. giving off a somewhat greasy sheen. Fluorescence in Diamonds Fluorescence is an optical phenomenon in which a diamond's molecules absorb high-energy photons. or brilliance. electronic circuits could be manufactured from diamonds in the future [8]. or having the hardness or luster of a diamond.nearly five times greater than pure copper. Purified synthetic diamond can have the highest thermal conductivity (2000-2500 W/m-K) of any solid material at room temperature . to prevent silicon and other semiconducting materials from overheating. If an n-type semiconductor can be synthesized. Natural blue diamonds containing boron atoms.

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

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

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

There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13.03 carats. or a combination of the two.000 per carat.000 to $500.95carats. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation. pure green hues. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. Warren Hancock. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste.90 carats. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926. . and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits. Intense. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color. and weighed a modest 0. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems.000 in 1987. and the De Young Red weighing 5. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa.com) Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems.com) The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green. greyish-green. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities. On thing is certain.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant.' discovered during the 18th century. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness [9]. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply. Green diamonds can range from $35. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize.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 color change effect is temporary.

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

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

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

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

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. .

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Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.

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

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

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

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

Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .

Growth Tube Inclusion Photos Internal Growth Tubes Inclusion Photography Internal Growth Tube inclusions are natural Imperfections that are created during diamond formation. when a tube is generated by a formerly liquid filled cavity.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. .

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Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .

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

Garnet Inclusions within Diamond .

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Garnet fragment on Diamond Girdle .

Grossularite Garnet Inclusions in Diamond .

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

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

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Internal Graining with Cloud Inclusion .

the drilled passage may not breach the cut diamond's surface. Internal Laser Drilling 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. 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. With internal laser-drilling inclusions.

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

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

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

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

Natural Comet Inclusion .

Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud .

Tabular Reflection in Diamond .

Included Garnet Twins within Diamond .

Included Dalmatian Garnet .

Cloud Inclusion .

Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers .

Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light .

Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion .

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

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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. .

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

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

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

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

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. during cutting and/or polishing the diamond.Burn Marks Created during polishing. Drag Lines Created when a rough particle is dragged along the surface. Chips Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet. the overheating of a facet causes a burn mark. Cavities (Cv) An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing. or caught by a included crystal. .

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

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

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

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

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

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

which attracts the gas to the substrate. and Moissanite in 1998. A diamond seed is placed into a growth camber. Phianite Gadolinium Gallium Garnet (GGG) (1972-1975) Strontium Titanate (ST) (1955 . light dispersion. and a combination of heat and pressure are applied while a vaporized carbon-plasma that is combined with hydrogen is applied. These impurities absorb the blue end of the light spectrum.' or six-anvil 'cubic press' to create the necessary pressure. Using Chemical Vapor Deposition. 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. Synthetic Diamond Manufacturers Apollo Diamonds . Diamond Essence. Diamonite. the HTHP diamond's growth process can take 7 to 10 days to complete. Lustergem. Diamonte. Diamonaire. Rutania. Diamond Simulants Diamond "simulants. The vaporized carbon gases are energized using microwave energy. making them difficult to differentiate from natural diamonds. Titangem Synthetic Sapphire (1900-1947) Diamondette. refractive index. most of these lesser simulants fell by the wayside. produced using the Verneuil (flame-fusion) Process. With the advent of Cubic Zirconia in the mid 1970's." also known as "simulated diamonds" or "fake diamonds" are man-made gemstones that look like. In the late 1940's Diamondite gave way to Synthetic Rutile which was popular until the advent of YAG in the early 1970's. Radient Yttrium Aluminum Garnet (YAG) (1970-1975) Diamone.1970) Diagem. also known as "GE POL. Rainbow Diamond. or "simulate" the appearance of natural diamonds. With CVD. 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.High-Temperature High-Pressure (HTHP) The "High-Temperature High-Pressure" (HTHP) technique. Unlike their natural diamond counterparts. and surface luster as its natural diamond counterpart. A cultured synthetic diamond will have the identical cleavage. ranging in clarity from IF to SI or I. Like natural diamond. Common diamond simulants include: Cubic Zirconia (CZ) (1976-) Czarite. or X-ray spectroscopy. Synthetic Diamond Color & Optics Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless form. specific gravity. Java Gem. Magalux. hardness. synthetic diamonds may contain small inclusions. but are not a carbonbased compound having a natural diamond's crystalline structure. Geminaire In the early 1900's. ultraviolet. making the stone appear yellowish. colorless synthetic sapphire (aka Diamondite) was a popular diamond simulant. Synthetic diamonds can also be treated with the HTHP process to alter the optical properties of the stones. and uses a lowerpressure growth environment than the earlier HTHP method. Diamondite. or by measuring UV fluorescence with a DiamondView tester. the diamond's entire growth process takes several days to complete. Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) The "Chemical Vapor Deposition" (CVD) method was developed during the 1980s. Jourado Diamond. a seed or substrate material is placed into the growth camber. Synthetic diamonds can be detected using infrared. Thrilliant Synthetic Spinel (1920-1947) Corundolite. Fabulite Synthetic Rutile (1946-1955) Diamothyst." uses a four-anvil 'tetrahedral press. or "deposited" onto the substrate in successive layers.

chatham.com Tairus Created Gems Tairus Created Gems is a Russian company that grows fancy-colored diamonds in their proprietary "Split Sphere" system. Massachusetts grows colorless (D to M) diamonds. in Boston. Ltd. with clarity grades from IF to SI. each Gemesis cut stone over . and CZ has a hardness of only 8.gemesis.. and each cut stone is laser inscribed with the Apollo company logo and serial number.apollodiamond. and rose cuts. www. Chatham's pricing ranges from $6.500 to $9. of Bangkok Thailand.25 carats is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. Tairus produces rough sizes from . carbonate fluid solution that is similar to diamond-bearing metamorphic rock.30 carats to 3 carats. Apollo Diamond's cut stones are available in round brilliant. Gemesis only grows fancy-colored diamonds. while diamond has a hardness of 10. 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. using a proprietary variation of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) technique. www.). The toughness of Cubic Zirconia is rated as good. Tairus Created Gems are sold exclusively through Tairus Thailand Co. emerald. www.Apollo Diamond. .com Chatham Created Diamonds Chatham Gems is a San Francisco based company that grows only fancy-colored diamonds in colors ranging from champagne and canary yellow to pink and midnight blue. Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is the most familiar type of diamond simulant on the market.com To the average consumer. Apollo Diamonds are cut and polished in sizes ranging from .com Gemesis Cultured Diamonds Gemesis is located in Sarasota. and stones are cut to order. To insure easy identification as a man-made product.3 on the Mohs scale. Cubic Zirconia (Zirconium Oxide ZrO2) has a completely different chemical structure. inc.500 per carat (2004 est. which they claim is the closest thing to mother nature. Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite Cubic Zirconia Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. and some fancy colored diamonds. and like Chatham. and each stone is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. Florida. princess.25 carats to 1 carat.

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

Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ. Moissanite has an RI of 2. 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.) in a dark room. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index.69. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. and diamond at 0. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr.25 on the Mohs scale. is classified as an element rather than a compound. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Arizona.A small. candle.65 to 2.670. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. Moissanite has a hardness of 9. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. when examining the gem through the kite facets.com Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). Hodgkinson's 'Visual Optics' Detection The Hodgkinson technique (aka Visual Optics) was discovered by Alan Hodgkinson with Gem-A in the mid-1970s as a method for differentiating natural diamond from colorless gemstones and simulants. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond.060. found only in iron-nickel meteorites.417. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. . Henri Moissan (above. Moissanite. while diamond has a hardness of 10. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. center) near Winslow.104 as compared to CZ at 0.044. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. etc.

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

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

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

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

The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect.. Symmetry. A perfect blending of facet symmetry.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35.' 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. Tolkowsky.N. etc. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. Eppler & Scan D. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace. more brilliance and fire.6% and overall height of 57. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant". Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design." (Scandinavian standard. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. and Proportions. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. To quantify a diamond's cut quality. facet ratios. Ideal Scope. The "Scan D. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. As with all human endeavors. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios. invented in 1929. H&A Viewer.7%.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42. and crown/pavilion angles. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%. Since then.5%.7%. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. crown height of 14. .N. crown height of 14.4%. very small to small In the 1970s. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57.5% to 43. and overall height of 57.

and their modest brilliance and light return. The Asscher brothers cut the famous 3. www. cut proportions.Producers split hairs over cut angle. Every conceivable cutting theory is tried. and entrepreneurs . the Asscher diamond cut has a squarish octagonal shape with a step cut.) and when suitably scrutinized by the gem trade. or the widely marketed Leo cut which is a modified round-brilliant sold by Leo Schachter Diamonds. Here is a collection of just a few of the many "signature" diamond cuts that have been produced over the last 100 years. The cut has a deep pavilion and a high crown. cut corners and a small table. Some have gone on to become household names such as the Asscher cut. the Cullinan 1 and Cullinan 2 being set into the crown and sceptre of the British Crown Jewels.nl Barion Cut . scientists.each trying to improve on the tried-and-true Old European cuts. etc. and it still survives in some form today. Asscher Cut The Asscher Cut was developed by Abraham and Joseph Asscher of the Royal Asscher Diamond Company of Amsterdam in 1902.the consumer.106 carat Cullinan Diamond into eleven gem stones. and the culet is square. with the two largest stones. One thing is for sure . but some like the Barion Cut have disappeared into obscurity.asscher. less facets. it is put in front of the ultimate arbiter of quality . Popular in Art Deco jewelry of the period. Tolkowsky came up with a "brilliant" idea almost 90 years ago. Diamonds: Patented Signature Diamond Cuts Notable Patented & Proprietary Diamond Cuts Since the early 1900s there has been a proliferation of elaborate diamond cuts that have been developed by master gem cutters. (more facets. mathematicians. but at the end of the day it may simply come down to consumer preference and/or marketing. and number of facets.like Einstein's theory of relativity.

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

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

The Lucida is sold exclusively through Tiffany's retail chain. and all Original Radiant Cut diamonds weigh at least 0.radiantcut. and a total of has 50 facets. www. It was the first emerald shaped diamond cut to have brilliance and fire similar to that of a round brilliant diamond.com Lucida Cut The Lucida (TM) Cut is a patented diamond cut that was created by Tiffany & Company in 1999." The Leo Diamond is marketed through the Kay Jeweler chain. patented and trademarked by Henry Grossbard of the Radiant Cut Diamond Company (RCDC) in 1977. the Radiant Cut became a fully accepted diamond shape in the jewelry business. sold in solitaire engagement/wedding bands. square shaped diamonds were stepcut limiting their brilliance.The Leo diamond cut is the first to be certified for fire and brilliance as measured by a 'BrillianceScope. and the table is a bowed out rectangle.com Starburst Cut . There are a total of 49 facets. and was patented and trademarked by Bez Ambar Jewelers of Los Angeles in 1980. www.70 carats and come with a GIA Certificate and an "Original Radiant Cut Diamond Certificate" guarantying that the stone meets the ideal proportions as designed by Henry Grossbard. The Quadrillion was the result of three years of optical research to create a square diamond cut that can claim a similar brilliance to a round diamond. The pavilion is similar to a Barion cut.tiffany.com Quadrillion Cut The Quadrillion® Cut (aka Squarillion Cut) is a modified square princess cut that was developed by Israel Itzkowitz and Betzalel Ambar in the late 1970s.diamondaires. The Lucida diamond cut is marketed as a wedding cut. eternity bands.' and each diamond comes with a "Return of Light Certificate. www. Upon the expiration of the patent. There are 25 crown facets and 36 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets (not including 8 girdle facets). Prior to the Quadrillion. RCDC launched the 'Original Radiant Cut' diamond brand In 2002. and three-stone rings. brilliant-style faceted pavilion (similar to a Cushion Cut). The Lucida diamond cut is a modified square or rectangular (Marquise) cut with truncated corners. a highstep crown (similar to the Asscher Cut). small table. Bez Ambar Radiant Cut The Radiant Cut is a modified emerald cut shape that was developed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

ethics and morality. Control over the diamond trade is maintained through the WFDB's Constitution containing a series of rules. the Antwerpsche Diamantkring was reopened. making it the largest diamond-trading center in the world [3]. an by-laws that govern business practices. In Antwerp's 'Diamond Center' (Diamantenzentrum) today. Members of the Diamond Bourses operate within a system based on mutual trust and each member pledges to uphold the traditions and principles of consideration.Photo: Wiki Public The first trading exchange to deal exclusively with rough. regulations.Antwerp's Diamond District Two of the oldest Diamond Bourse (Bourse van de diamant or diamantenbšrsen) in Antwerp were the 'Diamond Club of Antwerp' (Diamantclub van Antwerpen—at Pelikaanstraat 62. which was established in the same year that the 1930 World Expo was held in Antwerp. The Diamond High Council (HRD) . Around $16+ billion in polished diamonds pass through Antwerp's diamond bourses each year. and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) was founded in 1947. Beurs voor Diamanthandel . Most transactions conducted within the Bourses done with cash and a handshake. After the liberation. there are around 4000 diamond-cutters (diamantaire) working in the several-square-block diamond district. uncut diamonds was the Antwerpsche Diamantkring (Antwerp Diamond Ring) [2]. friendship and trust [2]. and disputes are handled by an internal arbitration process. and repatriation of Antwerp following the end of WWII. founded in 1893—and the Beurs voor Diamanthande (at Pelikaanstraat 78) founded in 1904 [1]. and both are still in operation today. bisected by Hoveniersstraat street. Both bourse were founded by Hasidim diamantairs. These first trading exchanges mainly dealt with the wholesaling of cut stones.

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

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

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.

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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).

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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.

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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."

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.0 to 7. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles.0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless . 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.3. where facets intersect with each-other.5 to 3.5. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light .' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering." 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." or "ideal" rating.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint .7.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003. the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible.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).0 to 1.5 to 4.0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light . . relative facet angles. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram. all measured in three spacial dimensions. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless . and individual facet ratios.

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

Marine diamond mining employs both "vertical" and "horizontal" techniques to extract diamonds from offshore placer deposits. shovels. center) is a method of extracting rock and minerals from the earth by removal from a machine-dug open pit or burrow. also known as "sand-bank mining" (top of page. Marine Mining Marine mining technology only became commercially viable in the early 1990s. 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. or hand digging (artisanal mining). and or colluvial secondary deposits. or pans. at a maximum depth of 500 feet. and access to the ore. the gravels are separated and sorted into three sizes. and have a specific gravity that is higher than that of common minerals. Laborers who work in artisanal diamond mining are called "diamond diggers" (below left). Artisanal diamond mining is a form of "subsistence based" non-mechanized mining that is used in poorer countries throughout the world. with the middle size being a candidate for final sorting. mechanized surface excavating equipment. which concentrate the heavier gems at the bottom. Horizontal mining employs the use of Seabed Crawlers (remotely controlled. they tend to concentrate in alluvial deposits in the same way that gold placers develop. Placer Mining Placer diamond mining. While on board. Excavation is accomplished using water pressure (hydraulic mining). . box screens.vertical tunnel used for ore haulage. and is a derivative form of open-cast mining used to extract minerals from the surface of the earth without the use of tunneling. or sort material according to size. right) is used for extracting diamonds and minerals from alluvial. also known as "open-cast mining" (top of page.Photo: USGS Alluvial Diamond . or sand) that is unsuitable for tunneling. CAT-tracked underwater mining vehicles) move across the sea floor pumping gravel up to an offshore vessel. gravel. running adjacent to the ore. machinery. Diamonds and most gemstones are hard. A decline is typically used for mining personnel. Gems are separated from waste material using various sifting and sorting techniques such as cone screens. Small "pit lakes" tend to form at the bottom of open-pit mines as a result of groundwater intrusion. Artisanal Mining Artisanal diamond mining (aka "small-scale mining") involves nothing more that digging and sifting through mud or gravel river-bank alluvial deposits (above. or large conical sieves. rock or sedimentary soil. Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . Open Pit Mining Open-pit diamond mining. right) with bare hands.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. Open pit mines are typically used when mineral deposits are found close to the surface or along defined kimberlite pipes. highly resistant to weathering. therefore. eluvial.

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

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

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

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

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

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