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The story of diamonds is, to use the metaphor, a tale of fire and "ice." Forged through immense heat and pressure over millions, or hundreds of millions of years, diamonds start their humble existence as simple, elemental carbon; the basic building block of all life in earth. We attempt to demystify these enigmatic little stones, by explaining their scientific reason for being, as well as were they are mined, how they are mined, and the history of the diamond trade, or 'diamond pipeline.' Diamonds are both elemental, and complex. As such, there is a lot of technical jargon associated with them. Shopping for a diamond can be very confusing to the newbie, but we have endeavored to make it as simple and interesting as humanly possible. You shouldn't need extraordinary brilliance to understand scintillation or refraction. Enjoy!
All About Diamonds
Diamond Basics The "4 Cs" of Diamonds - Cut The "4 C's" of Diamonds - Carat The "Four C's" of Diamonds - Clarity The "Four Cs" of Diamonds - Color Diamond Chemistry Optical Properties of Diamond Fancy Colored Diamonds Diamond Inclusion Library Diamond Enhancements Synthetics & Simulants Synthetic Diamonds Cubic Zirconia Moissanite Diamond Cuts Diamond Cutting Ideal Cut Modern Round Brilliant Patented Signature Diamond Cuts Old European Diamond Cuts Uncut Raw Diamonds in Jewelry The Diamond Market The Diamond Pipeline Diamond Bourses The Diamond Trade's Key Players Diamond Pricing - Price Comparison Charts Diamond Certification
AGS Diamond Grading Report Independent Diamond Testing Laboratories Diamond Mining & Mine Technology Diamond Mining Technology Diamond Geology & Kimberlites Full List of Worldwide Diamond Mines Artisanal Diamond Mining & Conflict Diamonds Worldwide Diamond Mining Regions Australian Diamond Mines Borneo's Landak Diamond Mines Botswana Diamond Mines Brazilian Diamond Mines Canadian Diamond Mines India's Golconda Diamond Mines Namibia Russian Diamond Mines South African Diamond Mines US Diamond Mines Conflict Diamonds Angola Diamond Mines Congo (DRC) Diamond Mines Liberia Diamond Mines Sierra Leone Diamond Mines Zimbabwe's Chiadzwa Marange Diamond Fields Diamond History & Cutting Regions Historical Diamond Cuts & Cutting History Historical Diamond Cutting Regions Diamond Cutting in Amsterdam Diamond Cutting in Antwerp Diamond Cutting in Belgium Diamond Cutting in Guangzhou, China Diamond Cutting in Gujarat, India Diamond Cutting in Idar-Oberstein, Germany Diamond Terminology Glossary - Gemology
The 4 Cs of Diamonds: Cut
The 4 C's Diamond Grading System
1. 2. 3. 4. Cut Carat Clarity Color
More than 100 million diamonds are sold in the United States each year, yet most consumers know very little about the product they are purchasing, and how that product is valued. The '4 Cs' represent the four main variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics. As a consumer, your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the '4 Cs' diamond grading system. If you are purchasing an expensive stone it will also be critical for you to learn how to read and understand the details of a GIA (Gemological Institute of America) 'Diamond Dossier,' AGL report, or AGS (American Gem Society) 'Diamond Certificate,' or Sarin 'Diamond Grading Report' (see full list of independent testing laboratories, below). You will also want to familiarize yourself with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines on jeweler conduct and consumer awareness. This knowledge will help be invaluable when you are comparison shopping for diamonds.
Diamond Cut Quality When jewelers judge the quality of a diamond cut, or "make", they often rate "Cut" as the most important of the "4 Cs." The way a diamond is cut is primarily dependent upon the original shape of the rough stone, location of the inclusions and flaws to be eliminated, the preservation of the weight, and the popularity of certain shapes. Don't confuse a diamond's "cut" with it's "shape". Shape refers only to the outward appearance of the diamond (Fig. 5 below), and not how it is faceted. The Importance of Cut Quality When a diamond has a high quality cut (ideal cut), incident light will enter the stone through the table and crown, traveling toward the pavilion where it reflects from one side to the other before bouncing back out of the diamond's table toward the observer's eye (see Fig. 1 below). This phenomenon is referred to as "light return" (Fig. 2 below) which affects a diamond's brightness, brilliance, and dispersion. Any light-leakage caused by poor symmetry and/or cut proportions (off-make) will adversely affect the quality of light return. The "Shallow Cut" and "Deep Cut" examples in Fig. 1 show how light that enters through the table of a Modern Round Brilliant diamond reaches the pavilion facets and then leaks out from the sides or bottom of the diamond rather than reflecting back to the eye through the table. Less light reflected back to the eye means less "Brilliance". In the "Ideal Cut" example, most of the light entering through the table is reflected back towards the observer from the pavilion facets.
Keep in mind that the variance in proportions between an "Ideal Cut" (ideal make) and a "Fair, Poor, Shallow or Deep Cut" may be difficult to discern to the novice observer, although there will be a lack of brilliance, scintillation, and fire. Cut quality is divided into several grades listed below.
Ideal Cut Premium Cut Very Good / Fine Cut
Common cutting problems can occur during the faceting process. or 96 facets which are not counted in the total number of facets (58). Other variations of the "Modern Round Brilliant" include the "Ideal Brilliant" which was invented by Johnson and Roesch in 1929. when one incorrect facet angle can throw off the symmetry of the entire stone. and the pavillion will have 25 facets.e. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. 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. Fig. The chart below shows several common problems to look for. 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. The crown will have 33 facets.Good Cut Fair Cut Poor Cut Cut Proportions In the past. 3 . Poor Diamond Faceting and Symmetry Due to the mathmatics involved in light refraction. a Round Brilliant cut that does not have the proper proportions and symmetry (off-make) will have noticeably less brilliance. All of that has changed with the AGS Cut Grading system and GIA's new "Cut Grading System". 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. 80. 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. pavilion and crown angle) and did not provide a subjective ranking of how good the cut was. 64. Fig. Only a trained eye could see the quality of a good cut.
In order for a diamond to receive a "Triple-0" grading." 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. The "Ideal" designation is an AGS term that is not found on an GIA report. Fancy Diamond Cuts The shape of the cut is a matter of personal taste and preference. there is a balance between "brilliance" and "fire". The first official H & A "EightStar" diamond was cut in 1985 by Kioyishi Higuchi for Japanese businessman and FireScope manufacturer. left) are only found in diamonds that meet the American Gem Society Laboratories' "0" Ideal Cut specifications. N. Cut (Scandinavian Standard) will display a "Hearts and Arrows" pattern when observed through a IdealScope (arrows only). A well executed round brilliant cut should reflect the maximum amount light from the interior pavilion facets. GIA vs AGS Cut Grading GIA's new cut-grading system is based on averages that are rounded-up to predict 'light performance. Proportion) must meet the "ideal" criteria. as two stones could be cut from one crystal. making the diamond appear white when viewed from the top. or a H & A Viewer gemscope (FireScope). Fig. and its later incarnation.' while AGS uses a more exacting combination of proportional facet ratios along with raytracing metrics to calculate light return. The IdealScope was invented by Kazumi Okuda in the 1970's. 4 Perfectly formed Hearts and Arrows patterns with eight hearts AND eight arrows (above. all three categories of cut (Polish. the "FireScope. Eppler Cut (European Standard). Asymmetrical raw crystals such as macles are usually cut in a "Fancy" style. which gives out much more fire than a real diamond. 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. Several basic diamond shapes (Fig. 5) are listed below. A Triple-0 diamond can also be called a "Triple Ideal Cut" or "AGS-Ideal Zero" diamond. Takanori Tamura. the quality of the cutter's execution of that shape is of primary importance. The shape of the diamond cut is heavily dependent upon the original shape of the rough stone. The round brilliant cut is preferred when the crystal is an octahedron. out through the table. A diamond cut for too much fire will look like cubic zirconia. However. 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. AGS Triple-0 Certification The American Gem Society (AGS) is the industry leader in laboratory testing of round gems for cut grade and quality.For a Modern Round Brilliant cut (Tolkowsky Brilliant). Emerald . or a Scan D. Symetry.
Color Carat weight is one of the 4 C's.W." "Briolette" (a form of Rose cut). 5 Popular fancy cuts include the "Baguette" (bread loaf). Clarity 4. Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics. Cut 2. As a consumer. The 4 C's of Diamonds: Carat (Weight) The 4 C's Diamond Grading System 1. "Heart.Heart Marquise Oval Pear Princess Radiant Round Trillion (not shown at diagram) Fig. One "Carat" is a unit of mass that is equal to 0. Carat 3. The "fancy cuts" are generally not held to the same strict standards as Round Brilliants. "Marquise" or "Navette" (little boat). a 3/4 carat diamond is 75 points.2 grams (200 milligrams or 3.007 ounce. and the Pear. Therefor. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond.086 grains) or 0." . When a single piece of jewelry has multiple stones.C. "Princess" (square outline). your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the "4 C's" diamond grading system. 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. and a 2 carat diamond is 200 points. A carat can also be divided into "points" with one carat being equal to 100 points. a 1/2 carat diamond would be 50 points. CARAT Balancing Cut and Weight A diamond or gemstone's "Carat" designation is a measurement of both the size and weight of the stone.
VS1 Carat Size</ 0.600 6. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown. it must be accurate to the second decimal place.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between .0 carat 1. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a . Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat.0 carat 3. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond.800 6. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight. clarity and weight. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York.5 carat 1. It is for this reason that an even 1.600 12. In ancient times.5º crown. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone.99 carat diamond for its better price.5 carat 2. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above.Grade: F Colorless ." If the carat weight is shown as ". 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry. 40º pavilion. or to buy a 1.500 15. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place. girdle and pavilion.504 carats.750 30. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place. See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of . The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut.5 carats must have an actual weight of between . Price Per Carat (2005) . a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration. Occasionally.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1.195 and . The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity .204 carat.600 8. or "seed of the carob".10 carat diamond for its better cut.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions.495 carats and .
As a consumer. Clarity 4.not naked eye VS-2 . Cut 2. point size and the location of inclusions. therefore reducing its value significantly. Diamond Clarity Designations FL .Inclusions large and obvious. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. Carat 3. The term "Clarity" refers to the presence or absence of tiny imperfections (inclusions) within the stone. . or break the surface."Internally Flawless" no inclusions at 10 x mag. ."Flawless" no inclusions at 10 x magnification IF ."Very Very Small" inclusions. may weaken the diamond structurally. it may be possible to hide certain inclusions behind the setting of the diamond (depending on where the inclusion is located)."Very Small" inclusions VS1 is better grade than VS2 SI-1 . and/or on the surface of the stone. 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. it is important to learn and understand the clarity designations found within the "Four C's" diamond grading system. . CLARITY All of the grades of diamond clarity shown in the table below. and flaws GIA Clarity Grading System The chart below explains the GIA grading system for inclusions and imperfections. little or no brilliance I1 to I3 . darker inclusions will tend to create the most significant drop in clarity grade."Very Very Small" inclusions hard to see at 10 x magnification VVS-2 . Color Clarity is one of the Four C's.The Four C's Diamond Grading System 1.small blemishes VVS-1 . thus minimizing any negative impact of the inclusion. causing a greater drop in grade.Imperfect. In "colorless" diamonds. with large Inclusions. VVS1 better than VVS2 VS-1 ."Small" or "Slight" Inclusions or "Imperfections" may be "eye clean" SI-2 . In fancy-colored diamonds. Considerations in grading the clarity of a diamond include the type of stone. making them more apparent."Very Small" inclusions visible at 10 x mag. fractures. Inclusions that are near to. light or pale inclusions may show greater relief."Small" or "Slight" Inclusions or "Imperfections" visible to naked eye SI-3 . On the other hand.
Surface Graining . chips. According to Fred Cuellar in his book How to Buy a Diamond. Needles . Filled Fractures . fringing.Cleavage planes or internal fractures that have the appearance of feathers. haze. Chips . a diamond must be within one clarity grade of its advertised amount at the time of sale. waviness. Laser Drilling Laser drilling involves using a laser to burn a tunnel or hole to a carbon inclusion.Fractures that have been artificially filled.Fine cracks." . External Diamond Inclusions Bearded Girdles .Cloudy grouping of tiny pinpoints that may not resolve at 10X Magnification. so they can use greater care while working on the piece.Diamond Clarity Grade Inflation A fairly common practice in the jewelry trade is grade-inflation or "grade bumping.Minute crystals within the diamond that appear white. Knots . The final clarity grade will be the grade that is assigned after treatment. appearing as a raised area. Pits .Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation. in part because the treatment isn't permanent.Inclusions resulting from crystal twining during growth. Clouds . The GIA will not grade fracture-filled diamonds.Rutile-like needle inclusions. and reputable filling companies will use filling agents which show an orange or pink flash of color. Grain Center . or feathers along the outer edge of girdle." According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides. Such diamonds are sometimes called "fracture filled diamonds". Internal Diamond Inclusions Carbon .Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet. vendors should disclose this enhancement. much like repairing a crack in your car's windshield.A natural indentation that was not removed by polishing. therefor it is essential to inform anyone working on a setting if the diamond is fracture-filled.An inclusion that penetrates the surface. "One out of every three diamonds sold in the United States is laser-drilled.Tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts).Irregular crystal growth causing internal distortions. Pinpoints . The heat generated by a blowtorch used to work on settings can cause damage. Cavities . followed by acid washing to remove the coloring agent. Pique . The drilling process leave tiny telltale shafts or tunnels that are visible under magnification. If a jeweler sells a diamond that has an actual grade of VS-1.Dislodged pinpoint inclusions at the surface. According to FTC guidelines.An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing.A percussion mark caused by impact. The treatment is considered permanent and both the GIA and AGS will issue grades for laser drilled diamonds.Garnet or other Included gem stones Twinning Wisps . he or she could legally sell it as a VVS-2. There is a significant price discount for fracture-filled diamonds. Diamond Fracture Filling Diamond clarity is sometimes enhanced by filling fractures. Reputable companies often provide for repeat treatments if heat causes damage to the filling. Indented Naturals .Concentrated area of crystal growth that appear light or dark. Bruising . Feathers . Internal Graining .
W.Whitish haziness along the junction of facets caused by wear. The designation of SI-3 was popularized by the EGL (European Gemological Laboratory) grading office. R . the most reputable well known US labs. U. H. E. 1 . Neither the GIA nor the AGS (American Gemological Society). a Sarin Diamond Color Grading report is the state-of-the-art color measuring standard. Color Color is one of the Four Cs representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond.very light yellow or brown S. Clarity 4. O. Z . the yellower the stone will appear. Diamond Color Designations D. Carat 3.near colorless K. 1 explains the GIA grading system for clear (not fancy-colored) stones.colorless (white) G.light yellow or brown Fig. Scratches . X. M . F . thereby making the diamond appear yellow. absorbing some of the blue spectrum. As a consumer. In determining the color rating of a diamond. V. These nitrogen impurities are evenly dispersed throughout the stone. The higher the amount of nitrogen atoms. The color chart in Fig. T. it will be beneficial to learn and understand some of the basic parameters for diamond color grading.faint yellow or brown N.Surface burning from heat buildup during polishing. Nicks . P.Human Caused Surface Blemishes Abrasions . At present. L. I. COLOR Most all natural diamonds contain small quantities of nitrogen atoms that displacing the carbon atoms within the crystal's lattice structure. Y. "SI-3" is a grade sometimes used in the diamond industry.Small chips at facet junctions. Burn Marks . J . Cut 2. Q. the Gemological Institute of America uses a scale of "D" to "Z" in which "D" is totally colorless and "Z" is yellow. The Four Cs of Diamonds: Color The Four Cs Diamond Grading System 1.Grinding Wheel Marks of scratches from contact with other diamonds. assign this grade. Diamonds of this low grade would be inappropriate for jewelry.
For the consumer. Fig." "whiter than white. it is extremely benificial to know if your 'F' is a strong 'F. Using a Sarin Diamond Colorimeter DC3000 (aka Gran Colorimeter).Due to a diamond's high brilliance. and D5). D3. 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.The Holy Grail . GIA-GEM. 2). color grading should be determined by examining the stone through the side of the pavilion (Fig. Fig. 2 Sarin Color Typing is a relatively new sub-classification of the D through Z gading scale. D-Flawless ." are named after the famous Golconda Diamond Mines located in the state of Hyderabad. and not by looking at the top of the stone. and HRD grading scales. These colorless stones.' Unfortunatly. D2. Color grading by 'visual-observation is performed against a Master CZ Colored Grading Set. jewelers and gem labs can accurately provide a 'color typing' printout of a diamond's color grading that is compatible with AGS. India." or "D+. and dispersion of light (fire) when looking through the table or crown. D4.' or a borderline 'G. IGI. 3 example below. most gem labs do not currently provide color-typing data in their reports and certificates. as in our Fig. sometimes referred to as "white diamonds.
making the diamond appear "colorless. Even with microscopic inclusions. diamonds with a visible tint may be preffered. Skin Tone and Settings While some may prefer a very transparent D to F range. This fluorescent effect can be beneficial to a diamond that has a yellow tint. medium. others may prefer a "warmer" color found in a G to J range to compliment their skin tone. In some settings with various combinations of other stones." but the diamond will have a dull. murky appearance when compared to a non-fluorescing diamond. See Color in Gemstones for more information. When diamonds are viewed under a UV light-source. fluorescence can negatively impact the value of the stone by 3% to 20%. they tend to fluoresce as blue.000 D-color diamonds weighing over half a carat are found each year. Only around 600 D-flawless roughs are cut into gems weighing between 1 and 2 carats during a given year. diamonds with a poorer color grading (I through K). fluorescence could increase the value by 0% to 2% buy improving the color (or lack thereof). Diamonds: Chemistry & Structural Properties Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Structural Properties of Diamond .Diamond Formation . Ultra-violet light is a component of natural sunlight and artificial 4800k to 5000k color-proofing light. and strong. so this effect will be more apparent under natural daylight than under artificial incandescent light. Fluorescence is graded as none.Large D-flawless diamonds (those weighing more than 2 carats) are some of the rarest minerals on earth. On the other hand. as the blue fluorescence will cancel out some of the yellow. For diamonds with a color grading of D through H (colorless). Diamond Fluorescence Approximatly 1/3 (35%) of all diamonds have a tendency to fluoresce when exposed to ultra-violet (UV) light. faint. fewer than 5. according to the GIA.
diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km). Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness. phlogopite. igneous rock composed of garnet. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical." referring to its incredible hardness. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon." is derived from the Greek adamas. ultramafic. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2. A diamond is a transparent." "untamable. Therefore. . with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale. At these depths. diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation. and a specific gravity of 3." and "unconquerable.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic.Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time. Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth. and pyroxene. Under the continental crust. 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. with the principle allotrope being graphite. Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures. with a variety of trace minerals.044. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses. a refractive index of 2. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms.42. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe.52. olivine.200 degrees Celsius)." which is also known as "adamant. The name "diamond. and differentiates it from simple graphite. which resemble a champagne flute. or "invincible. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" .
A Type 2-A diamond has a hardness value of 167 GPa (±6) when scratched with an ultrahard fullerite tip. is nearly as hard as diamond. and therefore. Diamond Crystal Habit Diamonds have a characteristic crystalline structure. although in nature. Additionally. a currently hypothetical material. The external shape of the crystal." This means that diamond crystals usually "grow" in an orderly and symmetrical arrangement. it is termed as "subhedral." when found in a crystalline form that is structurally similar to diamond. whether it is cubic." or "anhedral. and crystal habit of a diamond is octahedral (photo. When a gemstone has an irregular external shape or asymmetrical arrangement of its crystal facets. The material "boron nitride. with the end byproduct of the combustion being carbonic-acid gas. perfectly formed crystals are rare. Experimentation during the late 18th century demonstrated that diamonds were made of carbon. where it was shown to combust in scientific experiments. or dodecahedral. octahedral. beta carbon nitride. may also be as hard or harder than diamond. The natural crystal form. above). by igniting a diamond in an oxygen atmosphere. does not always reflect the internal arrangement of its atoms. or carbon dioxide. A diamond's incredible hardness was the subject of curiosity dating back to the Roman empire. although the reason for its combustion was not understood at the time. and a hardness value of 231 GPa (±5) when scratched with a diamond tip. a predictable crystal growth pattern known as its "crystal habit." .
very thin girdles on brilliant cut diamonds are also prone to breakage. and varying growth conditions of heat." which only denotes a diamond's high resistance to scratching. crystal twinning. causing stress fractures or feathers. The culet facet at the bottom of the pavilion. the term "toughness" describes the resistance of a given material to fracture when it is stressed or impacted.© AGS Labs Hexagonal (Graphite) Platelet Inclusion . Carbon Inclusion . with a Mohs scale rating of 10." If you were to place a large enough diamond on your tongue it would draw heat away. pressure and space can also affect the final shape of a formed crystal. Diamond Graphitization In extremely high temperature environments above 1700 ¡C.Trace impurities. making it seem cold. meaning that a diamond is 4 times "harder" than sapphire. a diamond's "toughness" is only fair to good. Additionally. sapphire has a hardness rating of 9. Many natural blue .5. By comparrison. most scratch resistant mineral on earth. Hematite has a hardness of only 5. Unlike "hardness. A material's toughness is measured in units of "joules" per cubic meter (J/m3) in the SI system.© AGS Labs Diamond Toughness Within the fields of metallurgy and materials science. graphite can develop internally and on the diamond's surface. yet sapphire has a toughness rating of excellent. Particular cuts of diamond are more prone to breakage along cleavage planes.5 to 6. and therefore may be uninsurable by reputable insurance companies. and "pound-force" per square-inch in US units of measurement. Internally formed crystallographic graphite inclusions often create intense strain on the surrounding diamond. acting as a "thermal conductor. Thermal Properties of Diamonds Diamond is a good conductor of heat." and therefore. its "toughness" rating is moderate. but its toughness rating is also excellent. due to its ability to fracture along cleavage planes. is a facet specifically designed to resist breakage. Although diamond is the "hardest.
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. gloss. which means unyielding. The term adamantine describes the way light interacts with the surface of a crystal. and generally implies radiance.Insulators or Semiconductors Diamond is a relatively good electrical insulator. or brilliance. Natural blue diamonds containing boron atoms. If an n-type semiconductor can be synthesized. with the exception of natural blue diamonds. which are in fact semiconductors. it is used in the manufacturing of semiconductors. or longer-wavelength photons. inflexible. Fluorescence in Diamonds Fluorescence is an optical phenomenon in which a diamond's molecules absorb high-energy photons. increasing thermal conductance.diamonds contain boron atoms which replace carbon atoms within the crystal matrix. electronic circuits could be manufactured from diamonds in the future . Electromagnetic Properties of Diamond . re-emitting them as lower-energy. to prevent silicon and other semiconducting materials from overheating. meaning "light". Due to diamond's high thermal conductance.nearly five times greater than pure copper.com The surface luster (or "lustre") of diamond is described as adamantine. giving off a somewhat greasy sheen. The word luster traces its origins back to the Latin word lux. . are known as p-type semiconductors. or having the hardness or luster of a diamond. and synthetic diamonds that are doped with boron. Purified synthetic diamond can have the highest thermal conductivity (2000-2500 W/m-K) of any solid material at room temperature .
Diamond can exhibit pseudochromatic coloration giving the appearance of "color" without having any actual color in the mineral itself. and give off a bluish-white. These Nitrogen impurities found in Type I diamonds are evenly dispersed throughout the gemstone." and refraction.© AGS Labs Type IIa diamonds are very rare. Type I & Type II Diamonds As many as 99% of all natural diamonds are classified as Type I. These Type IIa diamonds have a near-perfect crystal structure making them highly transparent and colorless. which replace some carbon atoms within the crystal lattice structure. If the nitrogen atoms are dispersed evenly throughout the crystal. and appear dark when exposed to ultra-violet light or X-rays.© AGS Labs Type I UV Fluorescence . or "fire. Man-made synthetic diamonds containing nitrogen are classified as Type 1-B. greenish or yellow fluorescence when exposed to the X-ray wavelength. due primarily to certain structural anomalies arising from "plastic deformation" which occurred during their formation. Type II Diamond Formation Certain diamonds were formed under extremely high pressure for longer time periods. absorbing some of the blue spectrum. classifying them as Type IIb diamonds. This illusion of color is caused by the varying optics effects created by spectral dispersion. with very high thermal conductivity. Some Type IIa diamonds can be found with pink. If the nitrogen atoms are grouped in clusters they do not necessarily affect the diamond's overall color. Type II diamonds do not contain any detectable nitrogen. 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. particularly Canadian diamonds. making them appear 'colorless' (D). and are classified as Type 1-B. Cloud Inclusion Under UV . and some of the finest historical gemstones such as the Cullinan and Koh-i-Noor are both Type IIa diamonds. Natural blue Type II diamonds containing scattered boron impurities within their crystal matrix are good conductors of electricity. and thereby making the diamond appear yellow.Long Wave/Short Wave UV Cabinet Diamond Fluorescence Under UV Light Diamond types that exhibit the phenomenon of fluorescence radiate or glow in a variety of colors when exposed to long wave ultra-violet light. a natural diamond may contains both Type 1-A and Type 1-B material. . Some diamond varieties. thereby allowing the passage of short-wave ultra-violet (SWUV) light through the stone. Typically. red. and contain nitrogen atoms as an impurity. or brown coloration. and they are classified as Type 1-A.417." with a refractive index of 2. permitting the passage and reflectance of blue light. Diamond Refraction & Coloration Diamonds are "singly refractive. These rare diamonds have a lower nitrogen content. All Type 1 diamonds have nitrogen atoms as their main impurity. they can give the stone a yellow tint. show no fluorescence. while Type II diamonds that lack boron impurities are classified as Type IIa.
blue. it enters the realm of a "Fancy Color" diamond. fancy pink diamonds can command very high prices as they have become increasingly popular. green. Fancy Diamond Color Hues A fancy brown (or Fancy Cognac). green. pink. the intensity of the color in the diamond can plays a significant role in its value. orange. . green (Ocean Dream). radiation exposure (green diamonds) or irregular growth patterns within the crystal (pink. and therefor colorless. and black. steel grey. However. and their color is due to trace impurities of nitrogen and/or hydrogen (yellow. Once thought to be of little value. The value of a Fancy Color Diamond can surpass that of colorless diamonds if the intensity of the color is high and the color is rare. red. Colorless diamonds would normally be priced much higher than yellow diamonds. boron (blue diamonds). Diamond Color & Composition Diamonds can occur in a wide variety of colors: colorless or white. certain fancy-colored diamonds such as pink (Condé). All colored diamonds contain certain specific impurities and/or structural defects that cause their coloration. It is this nitrogen component that produces the color of fancy yellow diamonds. Fancy Colored Diamonds: Pink. yellow. and red (Hancock Diamond) are particularly valuable. In this case. blue (Hope Diamond). when a diamond's color is more intense than the "Z" grading. while chemically "pure" diamonds are basically transparent. Blue. brown. red diamonds). or yellow diamond may have a relatively low value when compared to a colorless diamond. However. Yellow.Diamond Refraction & Light Dispersion Diamonds can also exhibit allochromatic coloration which is caused by chromophores from the nitrogen trace impurities found within crystalline structure. brown diamonds). Green & Cognac Fancy Colored Diamond Diamonds can occur in all colors of the spectrum.
N to R Light . and value (darkness) using nine classifications ranging from 'Faint' to 'Vivid.Pink (Reddish-pink) 1 is darkest 1BP to 8BP . 1PP is the highest quality designation for Pink Diamond. South Africa in 1878. yet considerably more expensive. and was cut into a 128. Pink Diamonds The pink color within these rare diamonds is due to irregular crystal growth patterns. This Chameleon-like phenomenon was first documented by the GIA in the early 1940s. bright light).' GIA 'Fancy Yellow' Diamond Color Saturation Designations Faint . halogen. causing microscopic imperfections within the lattice structure.S to Z Fancy 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.Start of 'Fancy' Fancy Fancy Dark Fancy Intense Fancy Deep Fancy Vivid .42 carats. lighting color temperatures (incandescent. Pink diamonds are similar to pink sapphire in color.Pink (Magenta-pink) 1 is darkest 1P to 8P . which changes hue from grayish-blue or olive-green to yellowish-green or straw-yellow under different lighting conditions (darkness. One of the world's only major sources for rare pink diamonds is the Argyle Mine in Australia. The rough stone weighed 287. hue. and most valuable Fancy Yellow diamonds in the world is the 'Tiffany Diamond. daylight) and ambient temperature changes.Highest Saturation One of the largest.Brown diamonds. Fancy Pink/Brown Diamond Color (Hue) Designations 1PP to 8PP .Pink (Brownish-pink) 1 is darkest PC3 to PC1 .M Very Light . . As the numbers go lower (8PP) the color is paler. left). having a pure magenta color with deep saturation.54 carat cushion cut with an estimated value in the millions of dollars. An 1P designation would have less blue and more brownish-red. Only 1% to 2% of the diamonds produced at the Argyle Mine are high-quality pink specimens.' found in Kimberly. sold at a greater discount. have become more commonplace as Australian colored diamonds have gained in popularity.Champagne 3 is darkest C8 to C1 . The GIA grades fancy diamond color by quantifying the saturation. which are generally less appreciated than other fancy colors and therefor.Cognac 8 is darkest Chameleon Diamonds There is a very rare olive-grayish color-changing diamond called "Chameleon Diamond" (below.
as in the one-of-a-kind 5.000 per carat. Intense. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926.90 carats. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply. and weighed a modest 0. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil.com) The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond.' discovered during the 18th century. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness . Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds. pure green hues. Warren Hancock. On thing is certain. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems.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. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red.000 to $500. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner.95carats. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities.com) Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize.03 carats. greyish-green. or a combination of the two. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color. Green diamonds can range from $35.000 in 1987. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green. . Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13. and the De Young Red weighing 5. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant.
or human caused." These inclusions can occur within the stone. Nevada. Joe Vanells. or absence of tiny imperfections known as "inclusions. representing the four main variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. and man-made imperfections—that can be found in raw and cut diamonds. gemological testing laboratory in Las Vegas. E. 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. These impurities absorb the blue end of the light spectrum. and can be naturally occuring.com) Enhanced Blue & Yellow Diamonds (© AfricaGems. or on the surface of the cut stone. All of the microscopic inclusion photographs on this page were generously contributed by the A.com) Fancy Colored Synthetic Diamonds Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless D. and beautifully photographed by their Director of Gem Services. Inclusions which are not visible to the naked eye (eye clean) fall into the GIA range of "IF" (Internally Flawless) to "SI2" (Small Inclusions). The term "clarity" refers to the presence. Diamond Inclusion Library: Inclusion Photos Over 100 High-Resolution Diamond Photos! All Contents: Copyright © 2010 AllAboutGemstones. and so-called "piquŽ diamonds" fall into the GIA grading range of I1 to I3 (CIBJO grade P1 to P3).S.G. making the stone appear yellowish. F grades.com Clarity is one of the Four C's of diamond grading.L. . Inclusions which are visible to the naked eye are referred to as piquŽ. This section contains a compendium of photography depicting all of the various types of diamond inclusions—both naturally occurring. It is for this reason that manufacturers of synthetic diamonds tend to specialize in fancy colors.Reddish Brown Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems.
pyrrhotite and pentlandite. pyrrhotite and pentlandite. Black or dark material found within a diamond's internal fracture planes can also be particles or crystallographic inclusions of graphite. Black material found within internal fracture planes can also be crystallographic inclusions of graphite.Internal Diamond Inclusion Photos Carbon Tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts). ferropericlase. PiquŽ Carbon Inclusion Photos Internal Carbon Pique Diamond Inclusion Photography Piqué are tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts) within diamonds. . ferropericlase.
Microscopic Carbon Picque Inclusions Hexagonal Platelet Inclusion in Trillion Cut Diamond .
and is reproduced with their permission.Carbon piqué inclusions are sometimes removed by diamond enhancements such as laser drilling. Internal cloud inclusions may not resolve as pinpoints at 10X . Nevada. Cloud Inclusion Photos Diamond Internal Cloud Inclusion Photography Cloud Inclusions (Cld) within a diamond are caused by a tightly packed grouping of tiny pinpoints that resemble clouds or cloudiness. 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. 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. .
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. Feather inclusions can be accompanied by internal graining and/or twinning wisp inclusions. Feather inclusions are common around included crystals such as garnet.Feathers (Ftr) Cleavage planes or internal stress fractures that have the appearance of feathers. Feather Inclusion Photos Internal Diamond Feather Inclusion Photography Feather inclusions (Ftr) are caused by cleavage planes or internal stress fractures that have the appearance of wispy feathers. . Common around included crystals.
Feather inclusions caused by stress fractures around included garnet crystal. .
. making it susceptible to fracturing when exposed to thermal or physical shock. 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. and the stress inclusion occurs along the gem's natural cleavage plane. As a result.Pronounced stress fractures and feather inclusions can potentially weaken the stone.
and haze within a cut diamond.Grain Center (GrCnt) A concentrated area of crystal growth that can appear light or dark. Grain Center Inclusion Photos Internal Grain Center Diamond Inclusion Photography Internal Grain Center (IntGr) inclusions (aka internal graining) are caused by irregular diamond crystal growth which creates internal distortions. waviness. .
Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .
. when a tube is generated by a formerly liquid filled cavity.Growth Tubes Imperfection formed during crystal growth. 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 or tunnel is generated in the crystalizing diamond by an internal cavity that was once liquid filled.
Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .
iron oxides. spinel. calcite.Included Crystals (Xtl) Included and undigested gemstones or fragments of garnet. Green chrome diopside Inclusion within a Diamond . olivine. diopside. olivine. diopside. or silica. iron oxides. spinel. calcite. 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. silica or other gem stone inclusions.
Garnet Inclusions within Diamond .
Garnet fragment on Diamond Girdle .
Grossularite Garnet Inclusions in Diamond .
Internal Graining (IntGr) Irregular crystal growth causing internal distortions, waviness, and/or haze. Can be accompanied by internal strain. Internal Graining Inclusion Photos
Internal Graining Diamond Inclusion Photography
Internal Graining (IntGr) inclusions are caused by irregular crystal growth which creates internal distortions, waviness, or haze. Internal Graining imperfections may be accompanied by internal strain such as feather Inclusions.
Internal Graining with Cloud Inclusion .
.Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) Internal pathway caused by laser-drilling to remove large inclusions. With internal laser-drilling inclusions. Internal Laser Drilling Inclusion Photos Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) Inclusion Photography Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) inclusions are man-made internal flaws that resulted from laser-drilling that was done to remove large piquŽ carbon inclusions in a rough stone. the drilled passage may not breach the cut diamond's surface. and where pathway does not breach the cut diamond's surface.
Needle Inclusion Photos Needle Inclusion Photography Internal Needles (Ndl) or needle inclusions are naturally occurring rutile-like needle shaped inclusions within the diamond. .Needles (Ndl) Rutile-like needle-shaped inclusions.
Pinpoints (Pp) Minute crystals within the diamond that appear white. Pinpoint Inclusion Photos Pinpoints (Pp) Inclusion Photography Internal Pinpoints (Pp). Large groupings of small pinpoints can create a cloud inclusion effect. Large groupings of small pinpoints can create a cloud effect. . or Pinpoint Inclusions are minute included crystals within the diamond that appear white under magnification.
Twinning Wisp Inclusion Photos Twinning Wisps Inclusion Photography Twinning Wisp inclusions are naturally-occurring structural defects with a diamond.Twinning Wisps Inclusions and defects resulting from crystal-twining during crystal growth. Twinning Wisp inclusions can be accompanied by internal graining and/or strain feathers. . Can be accompanied by graining and strain. resulting from crystal twining during the growth process.
showing the strange and beautiful world of microscopic diamond inclusions. .Odds & Ends: Microscopic Diamond Inclusion Beauty Photos Microscopic Diamond Inclusion Photography This is an assortment of spectacular diamond-inclusion photography taken by Joe Vanells.
Natural Comet Inclusion .
Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud .
Tabular Reflection in Diamond .
Included Garnet Twins within Diamond .
Included Dalmatian Garnet .
Cloud Inclusion .
Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers .
Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light .
Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion .
appearing as a raised area on the diamond's surface. .Natural External Diamond Inclusions or Blemishes Knots An inclusion that penetrates the surface. Knot diamond inclusions can potentially be the cause of man-made drag-line inclusions. Knot Inclusion Photos Photography of Diamond Inclusion Knots Knot inclusions are naturally occurring external inclusions or imperfections that penetrate the surface (convex). appearing as a raised area.
Indented Natural (IndN) A naturally occurring indentation in the crystal that was not removed during cutting or polishing. and were not fully removed during the stone's cutting or polishing process. Indented Natural Inclusion Photos Indented Natural (IndN) Diamond Inclusion Photography Indented Natural (IndN) inclusions (indented naturals) are external imperfections that are caused by naturally-occurring recessed (concave) indentations that penetrate the surface of a rough diamond. .
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. made up of a bumpy or wavy pattern on the polished surface of a diamond.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. .
. and remain visible on the surface of a polished stone. Natural Inclusion Photos Natural Diamond Inclusion Photography Natural inclusions (aka Naturals) are naturally-occurring raised portions of the rough diamond's original surface structure that were not removed during the polishing process.Natural (N) A raised portion of the rough diamond's original surface structure that remains visible on the surface of a polished stone.
Surface Graining (SGr) Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation. Surface Graining Inclusion Photos Diamond Surface Graining (SGr) Photography Surface Graining (SGr) is a natural imperfection or inclusion that creates visible surface lines which are caused by irregular crystallization during diamond formation.Pits Dislodged pinpoint inclusions at the surface. .
.Human Caused Surface Blemishes Abrasion (Abr) A tightly grouped series of nicks along the sharp edge of facet junctions. creating a whitish fuzzy edge as opposed to a sharp edge. fringing. chips. or feathers along the outer edge of girdle. Bruising (Br) A percussion mark or hole caused by impact and surrounded by tiny feathers. Bearded Girdle (BG) Fine cracks.
or caught by a included crystal. Cavities (Cv) An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing. Chips Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet. . Drag Line Photos Diamond Surface Drag Lines Photography Drag Lines are human-caused surface imperfections and blemishes that are created when a loose rough particle is dragged along the surface. Drag Lines Created when a rough particle is dragged along the surface. the overheating of a facet causes a burn mark.Burn Marks Created during polishing. during cutting and/or polishing the diamond. or when abrasive material is caught by an included crystal such as garnet during the polishing of a diamond.
Filled Fractures Fractures or feathers that have been artificially filled to enhance clarity. This microscopic photograph shows the telltale orange or pink flash of a filled fracture enhancement within a cut diamond.Extra Facet (EF) An asymmetrical and irregularly placed facet that is not part of the original faceting scheme. and remove cloudiness. Filled Fracture Photos Internal Fracture Filling Inclusion Photography Fracture-filling Inclusions are man-made diamond enhancements that are the result of natural cleavage-plane stress fractures or feathers which have been artificially filled with molten glass to enhance clarity. .
marking. and inscriptions. Laser Etching Photos Diamond Laser Etching Inscription Photography Laser etching inclusions are surface blemishes and imperfections that are created when careless or inadvertent markings or inscriptions are made while laser etching. or inscribing the external surface of a cut diamond.Laser Etching or Markings Careless or inadvertent laser etchings. markings. .
Polish Lines (PL) Fine parallel surface groves resulting from the polishing process. Scratch (S) A fine whitish line that can be curved or straight. Polish Marks (PM) Also known as "Wheel Marks." whitish film on the surface of a facet caused by excessive heat during polishing. Diamond Enhancements: Laser Drilling & Fracture Filling .
" Reputable filling companies will always use filling agents which show an orange or pink flash of color when viewed under a microscope with certain controlled lighting conditions.© AGS Lab Telltale Signs of Fracture Filling . or treatments to give a fancy color to a off-white diamond. in accordance with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines for the gem trade. . but not necessarily increase its value. altered. These techniques do not eliminate the imperfection. Minor diamond inclusions or surface imperfections which are not visible to the naked eye ("VVS1" to "SI2") can be disguised. Such diamonds are sometimes then branded as "fracture filled diamonds. There are also heating treatments to improve a white diamond's color grade. A trained gemologist should be able to identify most traditional "enhancements" made to a particular stone. Unfilled Fractures around Garnet Inclusion .Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Enhanced Diamonds Diamond "enhancements" are specific treatments performed on cut. or removed by employing several invasive techniques from fracture filling to laser drilling. polished natural diamonds. Diamond Fracture Filling Diamond clarity is sometimes improved and enhanced by filling tiny fractures or feathers with molten glass. which are designed to improve the visual or gemological characteristics of the stone. 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. but instead attempt to hide their visual effect.
so that the jeweler can use greater care while working on the piece.© AfricaGems. and the GIA will not even grade a fracture-filled diamond. the heat generated by a blowtorch used to work on settings can cause damage to the filling material.com Color Enhanced Diamonds . The final clarity grade will be the grade that is assigned after treatment. .com Radiation treatments are completely safe. 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.© AfricaGems. and both the GIA and AGS will issue grades for laser drilled diamonds.© AGS Lab Laser Drilling Tubes . "One out of every three diamonds sold in the United States is laser-drilled. These enhancements are achieved using low levels of radiation (irradiation). or subjecting the diamond to intense pressure and temperature.There should always be a significant price discount for any diamond that has been fracture-filled. Natural Fancy Diamonds . The drilling process leave tiny telltale shafts or tunnels that are visible under high magnification (see photos below). in part because the treatment isn't permanent. According to Fred Cuellar in his book How to Buy a Diamond. It is therefor essential to inform anyone working on a setting where the diamond has been fracture-filled. Reputable filling companies will often provide repeat treatments if heat causes damage to the filling. and the diamonds are tested to ensure that no trace levels of radiation remain. followed by acid washing to remove the coloring agent. "vivid" blue and yellow colors result. Due to its low melting-point. Diamonds treated with HTHP have their molecular altered so that intense." Diamond Color Treatment Color enhancement of diamonds in done to increase the color intensity of so-called "fancy" colored diamonds. Signs of Laser Drilling . referred to as the HTHP process.© AGS Lab The laser-drilling treatment is considered permanent.
they are increasingly used in fine jewelry as their quality increases. and has been steadily improved upon throughout the last 50 years. and the Chemical Vapor Deposition or "CVD" method. which created enough pressure to crystallize the molten carbon into tiny diamond fragments.com The process of creating man-made diamonds (aka cultured diamonds. lab diamonds) was first conceived by French chemist Henri Moissan in 1892. the crucible and its contents were rapidly cooled by immersing them into cold water. The first practical commercial application of Moissan's process was developed in 1954. Synthetic Diamond under Fluorescent .Synthetic Diamonds & Man-Made Diamond Simulants Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite The First Synthetic Diamonds Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.© AGS Labs Synthetic Yellow Chatham Diamond .Tracy Hall for the General Electric Company. there are two main processes for creating lab diamonds: the High-Temperature High-Pressure or "HTHP" method. Using an electric furnace constructed with blocks of lime. Once the desired temperature had been achieved. known as the HTHP (high-temperature. by H. The process. With Moissan's process. the intense heat would render the crucible and its carbon contents into a molten liquid mass. . tiny fragments of synthetic diamond were created by heating charcoal. This abrupt cooling caused the rapid shrinkage of the molten iron crucible.© AGS Labs Today. 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. 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. yet they have the identical carbon-based chemical properties of natural diamond.
Titangem Synthetic Sapphire (1900-1947) Diamondette. Like natural diamond. Thrilliant Synthetic Spinel (1920-1947) Corundolite. hardness. and uses a lowerpressure growth environment than the earlier HTHP method. light dispersion. ultraviolet. Diamonaire. Phianite Gadolinium Gallium Garnet (GGG) (1972-1975) Strontium Titanate (ST) (1955 .High-Temperature High-Pressure (HTHP) The "High-Temperature High-Pressure" (HTHP) technique. and a combination of heat and pressure are applied while a vaporized carbon-plasma that is combined with hydrogen is applied. a seed or substrate material is placed into the growth camber. Common diamond simulants include: Cubic Zirconia (CZ) (1976-) Czarite. and surface luster as its natural diamond counterpart. specific gravity. Radient Yttrium Aluminum Garnet (YAG) (1970-1975) Diamone. Diamond Simulants Diamond "simulants. or by measuring UV fluorescence with a DiamondView tester. ranging in clarity from IF to SI or I.1970) Diagem. produced using the Verneuil (flame-fusion) Process. In the late 1940's Diamondite gave way to Synthetic Rutile which was popular until the advent of YAG in the early 1970's. Java Gem. Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) The "Chemical Vapor Deposition" (CVD) method was developed during the 1980s. Synthetic diamonds can also be treated with the HTHP process to alter the optical properties of the stones. These impurities absorb the blue end of the light spectrum. making the stone appear yellowish. or "simulate" the appearance of natural diamonds. Geminaire In the early 1900's. Synthetic diamonds can be detected using infrared. Magalux. but are not a carbonbased compound having a natural diamond's crystalline structure. Synthetic Diamond Manufacturers Apollo Diamonds . also known as "GE POL.' or six-anvil 'cubic press' to create the necessary pressure. The vaporized carbon gases are energized using microwave energy. Diamond Essence. Diamondite. Diamonite. 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. making them difficult to differentiate from natural diamonds. Synthetic Diamond Color & Optics Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless form. the HTHP diamond's growth process can take 7 to 10 days to complete. Using Chemical Vapor Deposition. Lustergem. A diamond seed is placed into a growth camber. or "deposited" onto the substrate in successive layers. Unlike their natural diamond counterparts. Fabulite Synthetic Rutile (1946-1955) Diamothyst. Diamonte. A cultured synthetic diamond will have the identical cleavage. the diamond's entire growth process takes several days to complete. Rutania. most of these lesser simulants fell by the wayside. Rainbow Diamond. With the advent of Cubic Zirconia in the mid 1970's. colorless synthetic sapphire (aka Diamondite) was a popular diamond simulant. Jourado Diamond." uses a four-anvil 'tetrahedral press. and Moissanite in 1998. synthetic diamonds may contain small inclusions. 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. refractive index. With CVD. which attracts the gas to the substrate. or X-ray spectroscopy." also known as "simulated diamonds" or "fake diamonds" are man-made gemstones that look like.
and stones are cut to order. and each cut stone is laser inscribed with the Apollo company logo and serial number. and CZ has a hardness of only 8. Florida.500 to $9.. using a proprietary variation of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) technique. The Split Sphere system crystalizes the carbon seed in an alkaline. each Gemesis cut stone over . .25 carats is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number.com Gemesis Cultured Diamonds Gemesis is located in Sarasota. www. www.chatham. which they claim is the closest thing to mother nature. Tairus Created Gems are sold exclusively through Tairus Thailand Co. inc. Massachusetts grows colorless (D to M) diamonds. and rose cuts.).com To the average consumer.500 per carat (2004 est. Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite Cubic Zirconia Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.com Tairus Created Gems Tairus Created Gems is a Russian company that grows fancy-colored diamonds in their proprietary "Split Sphere" system. and like Chatham.3 on the Mohs scale. Cubic Zirconia (Zirconium Oxide ZrO2) has a completely different chemical structure. Ltd.25 carats to 1 carat. Chatham's pricing ranges from $6. Apollo Diamond's cut stones are available in round brilliant.gemesis. and some fancy colored diamonds.apollodiamond. of Bangkok Thailand. While a synthetic diamond is a man-made recreation of an actual carbon-based diamond. www. in Boston. carbonate fluid solution that is similar to diamond-bearing metamorphic rock. The toughness of Cubic Zirconia is rated as good. Apollo Diamonds are cut and polished in sizes ranging from .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. with clarity grades from IF to SI. To insure easy identification as a man-made product. Tairus produces rough sizes from . Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is the most familiar type of diamond simulant on the market.30 carats to 3 carats. while diamond has a hardness of 10. princess. emerald. Gemesis only grows fancy-colored diamonds. and each stone is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number.Apollo Diamond.
Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left). Diamond's RI is 2. Due to their low cost and consistency. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease. Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond. CZ vs Diamond . Unlike most natural diamonds. Natural diamonds attract grease.41 (RI). CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond . When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting. a CZ is optically flawless. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing. etc.In 1973. CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds.80 to 2.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator. The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR). For instance. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce. candle.170.2. and CZs can be made in any "color grade.800 . the greater dispersive power. Once the mixture has cooled. Zirconium oxide powder is heated. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight. or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond.) in a totally dark room. . or colorless (white) versions. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible. 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.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. 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.17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2. 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. but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored. The 1. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below).
65 to 2. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. candle. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material.A small. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ. Henri Moissan (above.25 on the Mohs scale. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. Moissanite has an RI of 2. Arizona.417. while diamond has a hardness of 10.) in a dark room. etc. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. Moissanite has a hardness of 9.com Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index.044. Moissanite.670.69. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. found only in iron-nickel meteorites.060. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. when examining the gem through the kite facets. 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. . while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused.104 as compared to CZ at 0. 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. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight. and diamond at 0. is classified as an element rather than a compound. center) near Winslow.
but significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its high RI. creating the "Table Cut.A small. The Modern Round Brilliant cut (below) is the culmination of several hundred years of experimentation and development.670. due to its high refractive index. The first improvements on nature's design involved a polishing of the crystal faces." and the rough stone must be cut with the grain. diamond is singly refractive Refractive Index: Moissanite has a refractive index of 2. Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be more diffused. only a diamond is hard enough to cut other diamonds. Moissanite vs Diamond . Prior to this time. caused by primary reflections from the pavilion and CZ's low RI. Table Cut diamonds appeared black to the eye. Diamond cutting can be traced back to the late Middle Ages. 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." As further refinement progressed. one half of the crystal would be cut off. Diamond's RI is 2." At the time. diamond has a "grain. Cutting a Rough Diamond .417 Moissanite is double refractive (anisotropic) while a natural diamond is singly refractive (isotropic). Like wood. most diamonds have some inclusions Moissanite vs Diamond .Detectable to the Naked Eye Dispersion Pattern: Secondary patterns of dispersion due to double refraction Color: Moissanite has a slight yellow color and does not come in grades better than 'J' Lack of Flaws: Moissanite is virtually flawless. detailed and sharply focused pattern caused by secondary reflections will be seen when observing a diamond. although it can be easily cleaved or fractured due to its defined cleavage planes. A similarly sharp. which was called the "Point Cut. Diamonds: Modern Diamond Cutting Diamond Cutting Background One of the hardest substances on earth.Detectable With Testing Double Refraction: Moissanite is double refractive. diamonds were used in their natural octahedral state. rather than against it. diamonds were valued primarily for their luster and hardness.
or shatter the stone. Cleavage is the tendency of crystalline materials to split along defined cleavage plane. on a scaife. It can take several hours for the saw blade to cut through a 1k rough diamond. The steps are: Marking Cleaving Sawing Bruting (Girdling) Faceting Marking: A rough stone is marked prior to cleaving or sawing to determine the direction of the grain and cleavage. Cleaving is a critical step as a mistake by the "cleaver" could fracture. During this faceting stage the angles of each facet must be cut to an exacting standard in order to yield maximum brilliancy. Each step is critical to the final outcome. then pressing it against a revolving cast iron disk. eliminate waste. or lap that has been "charged" with diamond dust. then a "brillianteer" will cut and polish the remaining 40 facets. The natural shape of the rough stone will also be a major factor in deciding how to cut the stone. As the saw blade rotates it continues to pickup or "recharge" itself with diamond dust which is the cutting agent. High-tech computerized helium and oxygen analyzers are now used to evaluate a stone prior to cutting. Sawing: A stone-cutting saw is a thin disk made of phosphor bronze. Diamonds: Ideal Cut . a diamond can be cleaved in four directions parallel to each of the four octahedron crystal faces. 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.Cutting a raw diamond into a faceted and polished gem-quality stone is a multi-step process. Asymmetrical crystals such as macles are used primarily for fancy cuts. Bruting: The rough is placed in a chuck on a lathe. 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 cutting (also called "placing") and polishing of each facet is accomplished by attaching the stone to a dop stick with cement. Due to its atomic structure. rounding the rough diamond into a conical shape. and maintain symmetry. While the rough stone rotates on the diamond lathe. and bypass any inclusions or imperfections. Cubic shapes are ideal for a square Princess or Radiant cut.Modern Round Brilliant Diamond . the "blocker" or "lapper" will cut the first 18 main facets. Cleaving: Cleaving refers to splitting a stone along its grain by striking it. a second diamond mounted on a dop is pressed against it." Faceting: To facet a round brilliant. This step is also referred to as "rounding.
a cutter must make a cost-benefit analysis as to how to maximize the cut stone's value. 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 . This is accomplished by reconciling three key factors . cut proportions. on the other hand. it may be better to aim for a higher carat weight utilizing a "Standard" cut. Reconciling Cut & Weight Retention If the rough stone has a colorless D through F rating and has very few inclusions.com When deciding how to cut a rough diamond. the rough stone has some coloration and/or is heavily included. compromises would have to be made. it would be cost effective to sacrifice some carat weight in order to finish with two "Ideal" cuts. An octehedral rough diamond will yield two round brilliant cut stones (see diagram below). The clarity of the stone. but in order to do this.weight retention. If. elimination of any inclusions.Ideal Cut vs Standard Cut Diamond Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. The objective is always to maximize carat weight. and the amount of internal inclusions will play an important part in the decisions as to how to maximize yield.
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. In the diagram of a "Round Cut" diamond (above and below). This is why it is very rare to see flawless stones cut into fancy cuts such as emeralds. 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: ." Even with modern techniques. and one "table" facet on the top of the stone for a total of 58 facets. you will see that there are 8 "star" facets. 8 "kite" facets. This cut is also known as the "Tolkowsky Cut" and "Tolkowsky Brilliant. etc. the cutting and polishing of a diamonds resulted in a loss of as much as 50% of the stone's total weight. hearts. This is primarily due to the fact that this cut has yet to be improved on for two reasons: 1. 16 "upper girdle" facets. 8 "pavilion" facets. The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem. it is the most efficient cut for maximizing yield. The Modern Round Brilliant Cut The modern "Round Brilliant Cut" (below) was developed by Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. An "Ideal Cut". 1 "culet" facet on the bottom. The round brilliant cut is beneficial when the crystal is an octahedron. and 2. it is the best cut for showcasing a high-quality stone's fire and brilliance.
4%. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. invented in 1929. Symmetry. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant".Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35. crown height of 14. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect.N. H&A Viewer. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. The "Scan D. crown height of 14.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut. To quantify a diamond's cut quality. and Proportions. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios. very small to small In the 1970s." (Scandinavian standard. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope.7%. facet ratios. . Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). more brilliance and fire. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57.N. A perfect blending of facet symmetry.7%.' 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. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer.5%. As with all human endeavors. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. Ideal Scope.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42. etc. and crown/pavilion angles. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts.. Tolkowsky. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%. Since then.6% and overall height of 57. and overall height of 57. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace. Eppler & Scan D.5% to 43. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap.
Some have gone on to become household names such as the Asscher cut.) and when suitably scrutinized by the gem trade. One thing is for sure . and their modest brilliance and light return. etc. the Asscher diamond cut has a squarish octagonal shape with a step cut. Every conceivable cutting theory is tried. Tolkowsky came up with a "brilliant" idea almost 90 years ago.like Einstein's theory of relativity. (more facets. but at the end of the day it may simply come down to consumer preference and/or marketing. cut proportions. www.Producers split hairs over cut angle. The Asscher brothers cut the famous 3. or the widely marketed Leo cut which is a modified round-brilliant sold by Leo Schachter Diamonds. Popular in Art Deco jewelry of the period. and the culet is square.each trying to improve on the tried-and-true Old European cuts.asscher. scientists. but some like the Barion Cut have disappeared into obscurity. and it still survives in some form today. and number of facets. Here is a collection of just a few of the many "signature" diamond cuts that have been produced over the last 100 years. it is put in front of the ultimate arbiter of quality . the Cullinan 1 and Cullinan 2 being set into the crown and sceptre of the British Crown Jewels. less facets. The cut has a deep pavilion and a high crown. cut corners and a small table.106 carat Cullinan Diamond into eleven gem stones. with the two largest stones.the consumer. Asscher Cut The Asscher Cut was developed by Abraham and Joseph Asscher of the Royal Asscher Diamond Company of Amsterdam in 1902. mathematicians. Diamonds: Patented Signature Diamond Cuts Notable Patented & Proprietary Diamond Cuts Since the early 1900s there has been a proliferation of elaborate diamond cuts that have been developed by master gem cutters. and entrepreneurs .nl Barion Cut .
and a total of 81 facets. www. 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. adding up to 50% to the cost when compared to a Round Brilliant cut diamond. and was the forerunner to the princess cut.de Eternal Cut The Eternal Cut diamond was designed and patented by master Israeli diamond cutter. Germany. The Barocut is also called a "two heart diamond" due to the illusion of two mirrored hearts meeting at the culet. modified rectangular (baguette) cut that was developed by Baroka Creations. Inc. creating a unique 'flower petal' pattern surrounding the cutlet. 81 facets on the cut corner (cushion) version. not including the 16 girdle facets.The Barion square cut (aka Barion square cushion cut) was invented by Basil Watermeyer of South Africa in 1971.freiesleben. or the company website. Barocut diamonds are promoted and sold exclusively through the Baroka Creations catalog. and its patent has expired. Marce Tolkowsky. The Context Cut consists of two back-to-back pyramids (an octahedron). merged with the jewelry firm Asprey. of New York in 2000. and a 'softer' briliance than a traditional round brilliant cut. A Barocut diamond has a total of 77 facets. Gabi Tolkowsky. It is sold exclusively through the 270 year old firm of Garrard & Company in London. parting ways in 2002 to again become Garrard. The Context Cut follows a rough diamond crystal's natural octahedral shape. with star-shaped cross facets cut diagonally into the pavilion. to become Asprey & Garrard. The Barocut is available in sizes from 20 points to 3 carats. Ulrich Freiesleben of Germany in the early 1980s then patented and trademarked in 1997.baroka.com Context Cut The Context Cut is a square cut that was developed by Dr. Garrard & Co. www. and in all diamond colors and/or clarity grades. The Context Cut design was based on an earlier patented design by Bernd Munsteiner from the early 1960s. The Context Cut is used to cut colored gemstones by Julius Petsch of Idar-Oberstein. Barocut stones are also sold in tapered shapes. The cut has a total of 8 facets plus a girdle. nephew to the inventor of the Modern Round Brilliant cut.com . or to increase light-dispersion. The cutting process requires a high-quality rough. and creates a high amount of waste. Barocut The Barocut® diamond cut is a patented. In 1998. www.garrard. forming a square shape when viewed from the top. 23 more than a modern Round Brilliant cut. The name "Barion" or "Barion cut" was never trademarked. The Eternal Cut has a total of 81 facets.
adding greater brilliance and fire than standard brilliant cuts. Sunflower and Zinnia cut. 8 more facets than the Round Brilliant cut's 58. The Flower Cut is actually a series of five fancy cut shapes: the Dahlia. The Marigold is an octagon shape with 73 facets. (aka Leo Schachter Diamond). The Flanders Fire-Brilliant was developed by Flanders Cut International of Antwerp in 1983. . The Dahlia is a 12 sided oval shape with 63 facets. marquise. The Leo diamond cut has a total of 66 facets. heart. off-color stones.com Leo Cut The Leo® Diamond. angular shapes.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. www. 48 of which are clustered around the culet to increase fire. who was commissioned by De Beers to create new cuts as a way of marketing unusual.gabriellediamonds. oval. The Fire-Rose is a hexagonal shape designed to produce higher yields. The cut is distributed by the National Diamond Syndicate (NDS) of Chicago. and pear shapes. Fire-Rose.com www. The Flanders Brilliant has 33 crown facets and 28 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets. and the cut was named after the Flanders region of Belgium (Antwerp) where the cut was first preformed in 1987. Unveiled at the Las Vegas Gem Show in 2001. Other than the traditional round brilliant shape. designed to maximize the brilliance and color of diamonds while increasing their yield. the Gabrielle has a total of 105 facets. LLC. the Gabrielle Cut is available in carre. emerald. The Flower Cuts employ unconventional cutting angles and dimensions. that is suited to a relatively flat rough. which is 47 more than a traditional 'Tolkowsky' round brilliant cut. The Gabrielle Diamond The Gabrielle® Cut is a modified brilliant cut (triple brilliant cut) that was created by DeBeers desinger/consultant Gabriel Tolkowsky in 2000. The Sunflower has 43 facets in unusual.flanders-cuts. maximizing the amount of light returned back as scintillation. The Flower Cuts were never patented or trademarked by De Beers in order to increase their popularity and use.nationaldiamond. The Zinnia is a round fancy shape with 73 facets.com Flower Cut The 'Flower Cut' series was created by Gabi Tolkowsky in 1986. www. is a patented symmetrical round cut created by Leo Schachter Diamonds. Marigold.
www.The Leo diamond cut is the first to be certified for fire and brilliance as measured by a 'BrillianceScope. and all Original Radiant Cut diamonds weigh at least 0.70 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. sold in solitaire engagement/wedding bands.com Lucida Cut The Lucida (TM) Cut is a patented diamond cut that was created by Tiffany & Company in 1999. small table. RCDC launched the 'Original Radiant Cut' diamond brand In 2002.com Quadrillion Cut The Quadrillion® Cut (aka Squarillion Cut) is a modified square princess cut that was developed by Israel Itzkowitz and Betzalel Ambar in the late 1970s." The Leo Diamond is marketed through the Kay Jeweler chain.diamondaires. and was patented and trademarked by Bez Ambar Jewelers of Los Angeles in 1980. a highstep crown (similar to the Asscher Cut). and a total of has 50 facets. The Lucida diamond cut is marketed as a wedding cut. The Lucida diamond cut is a modified square or rectangular (Marquise) cut with truncated corners. and the table is a bowed out rectangle. www. The Lucida is sold exclusively through Tiffany's retail chain. and three-stone rings. The pavilion is similar to a Barion cut. It was the first emerald shaped diamond cut to have brilliance and fire similar to that of a round brilliant diamond. square shaped diamonds were stepcut limiting their brilliance. brilliant-style faceted pavilion (similar to a Cushion Cut).tiffany. the Radiant Cut became a fully accepted diamond shape in the jewelry business. Prior to the Quadrillion. patented and trademarked by Henry Grossbard of the Radiant Cut Diamond Company (RCDC) in 1977.' and each diamond comes with a "Return of Light Certificate. Upon the expiration of the patent.radiantcut. www. The Quadrillion was the result of three years of optical research to create a square diamond cut that can claim a similar brilliance to a round diamond. There are a total of 49 facets. Bez Ambar Radiant Cut The Radiant Cut is a modified emerald cut shape that was developed. eternity bands. There are 25 crown facets and 36 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets (not including 8 girdle facets).com Starburst Cut .
The Trilliant Cut has a total of 31 facets. The Trilliant cut gives a high brilliance. 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. From this point forward it was a race to see who could design the perfect faceted cut which would bring out the maximum fire. for a total of 89 kite and star shaped facets. and scintillation when cut to the correct proportions. and the natural octahedral symmetry of the rough stone's closed isometric form. The Starburst cut was created to bring out the highest amount of color to fancy yellow diamonds. Since the day that humans first discovered 'adamas' (diamonds).com Trilliant Cut The Trilliant Cut (aka Trielle. and the Trilliant is now a generic term for a triangular brilliant cut. Still. With the realization that only a diamond could cut another diamond. Old Mine Cut Evolution of the Faceted Diamond & Colored Gem Article Copyright © 2008 AllAboutGemstones. The pavilion has two differently sized sets triangular facets with a large triangular table.louisglick. right) was created by cutting off some of the top half of the point cut's octahedron to create a table.The Starburst Cut was patented and trademarked by the Louis Glick Diamond Corp. craftsmen have attempted to "improve" on nature. The "table cut" (below. with weight losses in the fifty percent range.early 1300s The "point cut" (below left) is one of the first symmetrically faceted diamond cuts. The Trilliant trademark has since lapsed. The starburst faceting pattern is designed to focus color near the top of a stone. The Starburst cut is especially suitable for a octahedral rough. Starburst Cuts are mounted and sold directly through Cartier. of New York in 1978. fire. www. Old European Gem Cuts: Point. Harry Winston. reworked into the shape of a trillion (triangle). brilliance. Trillian. 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.com The faceting of diamonds has come a long way in the last 700 years. the precursor for the "design" of the first faceted diamond lay within the rough stone itself. Point Cut . The point cut design is dictated by the natural shape of an octahedral rough diamond. There are two variations of this cut: the Curved cut used for solitary stones. and the career of the "diamantaire" (diamond cutter/polisher) was born. Trillion) is a triangular cut designed and trademarked by the Henry Meyer Diamond Company of New York in 1962. Old eight. and Uncurved cut used for accent stones. The Trilliant has the Schoenflies point group symmetry of a round brilliant. Nieman Marcus and Tiffany. . this led to the invention of the first gem cutting machines (precursor to the "lap" or "Facetron") in the 1300s. The crown of the Starburst Cut is similar to that of the radiant cut. There are 49 crown facets and 40 pavilion facets. making the hue of fancy yellow diamonds more intense. but the pavilion is completely different. and light return from the stone.
The crown is typically tall.late 1300s Invented in the late 14th century. Also called the "cushion cut"." "crowned rose cut. resulting in a smaller table.1700s The "old mine" cut is the earliest form of the "brilliant cut" diamond. The culet is usually large enough to be visible when viewed through the table. The briolette cut was designed primarily for use in a pendant or as a dangling bauble in a crown.1500s Invented in the mid 16th century. it has a cushioned or rounded girdle shape. the "rose cut" is also known by the the "Antwerp rose. This Old Mine cut is basically square with gently rounded corners and "brilliant" style facets. . Rose & Briolette Cut. the "old single cut" (aka "old eight cut") diamond has the addition of corner facets to create an octagonal girdle. The briolette was the precursor to the "pendeloque cut" which is a pear-shaped modification of the round brilliant cut.Single Cut . The Rose cut can form a single hemisphere for a total of 24 facets or it can be two back-to-back hemispheres (Double Dutch rose) forming a total of 48 facets. The single cut may or may not have a culet at the bottom. eight bezel or crown facets." "Dutch cut. an octagonal table. The "briolette cut" is a modified "double Dutch rose cut" with one of the hemispheres being elongated." and the Full Holland cut. and eight pavilion facets. The "senaille cut" is a rose cut with irregular or non-symmetrical faceting. Old Mine Cut .
The Modern Round Brilliant Cut . This cut is also known as the "Tolkowsky Cut" and "Tolkowsky brilliant." Even with modern techniques.1900s The "modern round brilliant cut" (below) was developed by Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. As with its predecessor the "point cut" over 600 years earlier. the old European diamond has a circular girdle. Like the modern round brilliant. The Old European diamond cut has a very small table. the Modern Round Brilliant cut is beneficial when the crystal is an octahedron (diagram above).Old European Cut . as two stones can be cut from one crystal with a minimum amount of waste.1800s The "Old European" cut was the forerunner of the modern round brilliant cut. The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem. a heavy crown. . the cutting and polishing of a diamonds resulted in a loss of as much as 50% of the stone's total weight. and very tall overall depth. The eight cut is similar to the "single cut" in that there are eight four-sided trapezoidal facets at the crown. eight facets at the pavilion. and an octagon-shaped table for a total of 17 facets (18 if a culet is used). Eight Cut & Swiss Cut The "eight cut" is primarily used for small stones when a brilliant cut would be impractical.
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.000 categories based on size. Gaborone. 16 isosceles triangle facets on the crown and 16 facets on the pavilion. Rio Tinto. or secondary mining producers in Canada and Russia to De Beers' Diamond Trading Company (DTC) in London. with a total of 33 facets (34 if a culet is used). Trans Hex. 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)." The 'Diamond Pipeline' Rough diamonds are sent directly from De Beers mining operations in Africa (#1). Unlike precious metals such as gold. There is a limited market for the resale of diamonds that are less than "investment grade. ." The DTC is part of the DeBeers Group supply-chain known as the Central Selling Organization (CSO). The Diamond Trade: The 'Diamond Pipeline' Rough Diamond Producers Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. for sorting and resale. which combines ("aggregating") supplies of rough diamonds from multiple sources into one wholesale market (#2). The rough stones are separated into 16. there is usually a substantial mark-up in the retail sale price of diamonds. thereby controlling and stabilizing prices. then divided by human or automated sorters into individual lots called "boxes. color and quality. silver or platinum.com The trade in gem-grade rough diamonds is primarily controlled by the De Beers. Kimberley and Windhoek.A "Swiss cut" is a compromise between an eight cut and a brilliant cut.
and New York. they are sold to retailers or direct to the customer. determining the quantity and quality that each site-holder will receive. De Beers. Russia and elswhere. and retailers . through their Diamond Promotion Service (DPS) and Diamond Information Centres (DIC) marketing divisions. 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 is also facing increasing pressure from the manufactures of synthetic diamonds. diamonds have underperformed since 1987 when compared to the "luxury goods" market or global GDP.000 to $2. and Thailand. cutters.20 carats or less) in Mumbai (Bombay) and Surat. which are increasing in popularity and consumer acceptance. A 'sight' can have a value of between $500. Many Sightholders are also cutters.De Beers Sightholders The DTC holds a sale called a "site" or "sight" ten times per year in London and Johannesburg. Additionally. De Beers and the Future De Beers' (CSO's) control over the wholesale diamond market has diminished due to increased market penetration. Both traders and manufacturers may sell diamonds "upstream" and "downstream" through the diamond pipeline . Ramat Gan. and the breakaway from CSO's cartel by the Argyle Diamond Mine in Australia. As a reaction to their decrease in market share. where De Beers sells the "boxes" to its select group ("supplier of choice") of 125 "sightholders" (#3) or diamond manufacturers. Tel Aviv. (see DeBeers' Adiamondisforever.000. while large stones are primarily cut in Antwerp. and independent diamond producers in Canada.000 USD. De Beers (DTC) sets the price of each box in advance. Once the diamonds are set into jewelry. has launched an aggressive branding and marketing campaign. reclaiming their "A Diamond Is Forever" moniker. Other major cutting centers are located in Johannesburg. China. to take advantage of market fluctuations. India cuts the vast majority of small stones (.com website). The diamonds are then re-sold from the cutting and polishing (manufacturing) centers to wholesalers (Diamond Bourses). . The sightholder then transports the box of rough diamonds back to diamantaire firms (cutting and polishing factories) located around the world (#4).
The Diamond High Council (HRD) The HRD (Hoge Raad voor Diamant) Diamond High Council is a non-profit industry organization designed to promote and represent the Antwerp diamond trade. bond. Hoveniersstraat. the DTC has developed new inscription technologies to "invisibly" mark the table facet of polished diamonds with a "Forevermark" trademark. Israel and South Africa and works with 35 independent Governments. Belgium but there are also Diamond Bourses in Israel. Diamond Bourses are basically trading exchanges for loose. The Council has approximately 70 members representing jewelers. Forevermark diamonds will be available through sightholder/retailers in the U. are sold in Antwerp every year. China. and preventing the inherent product misidentification that will follow. De Beers is hoping that the combination of branding and security will increase consumer demand. KPCS originated in May 2000 during a meeting of South African diamond producing states in Kimberley. In addition to its members. and will com with a certificate of authenticity. 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. heavily guarded geographic area surrounded by three main streets. This mark is only visible via a point-of-sale electronic viewer. The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates . and Rijfstraat..S. Hong Kong. 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 . Almost 85% of the world's rough diamonds. The largest diamond trading center in the world is located in Antwerp. or commodities exchange similar to the NYSE. Moscow. the WDC has observers from the governments of Belgium. Asia. South Africa. and about half of the polished diamonds. The Diamond Trade: Diamond Bourses of Antwerp Diamond Bourses Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. As of 2006.500 diamond dealers (diamantbedrijven) are ensconced in small. also known as the "World Diamond Center" or Diamantenzentrum. . and the city is the hub of the global diamond trading industry (diamanthandel). Schupstraat. The Council began in July 2000 after a joint meeting of the WFDB and its international headquarters are in New York City. The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base. NY . cut and uncut diamonds. some 1. Europe. London. Within Antwerp's diamond district. the European Union and the United Nations to rid the diamond Industry of conflict diamonds. and Shanghai.com The word "Bourse" refers to a private stock. traders and manufacturer/producers.Forevermark Diamonds As a way of staving off the onslaught of secondary diamond markets. and India (2007).
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. Both bourse were founded by Hasidim diamantairs. regulations. Around $16+ billion in polished diamonds pass through Antwerp's diamond bourses each year. making it the largest diamond-trading center in the world . and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) was founded in 1947. and repatriation of Antwerp following the end of WWII. Most transactions conducted within the Bourses done with cash and a handshake. friendship and trust . the Antwerpsche Diamantkring was reopened. founded in 1893—and the Beurs voor Diamanthande (at Pelikaanstraat 78) founded in 1904 . uncut diamonds was the Antwerpsche Diamantkring (Antwerp Diamond Ring) . there are around 4000 diamond-cutters (diamantaire) working in the several-square-block diamond district.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. bisected by Hoveniersstraat street.Photo: Wiki Public The first trading exchange to deal exclusively with rough. These first trading exchanges mainly dealt with the wholesaling of cut stones. and both are still in operation today. ethics and morality. The Diamond High Council (HRD) . Beurs voor Diamanthandel . and disputes are handled by an internal arbitration process. After the liberation. which was established in the same year that the 1930 World Expo was held in Antwerp. Control over the diamond trade is maintained through the WFDB's Constitution containing a series of rules. an by-laws that govern business practices.
The HRD (Hoge Raad voor Diamant) Diamond High Council is a non-profit industry organization designed to promote and represent the Antwerp diamond trade. there was a mass exodus (the Great Trek) northward to 'Northern Cape. Gauteng (Premier Diamond Mine).000 Zulu warriors attacking 470 Boer settlers. 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. Afrikaners who participated in the migration northward became known as the 'Trekboer' or Voortrekkers. coming for . who were in search of the "quiet sweet life. They settled in the 'Cape of Good Hope' on Africa's southern most tip. and fully annexed the Cape Colony in 1806 . under the Treaty of Vereeniging. ending with the inclusion of all Boer territories into British colonies.' 'Limpopo. which at the time was administered by the 'Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie' or 'Dutch East India Company. but 3000 Zulus were killed in what became known as the 'Battle of Blood River. The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base. and Limpopo (Venetia Diamond Mine).' After the devastating Zulu defeat." Three of South Africa's richest diamond mines are in Northern Cape (Kimberley Diamond Mine). and this eventually lead to all-out war.' and the 'Orange Free State' provinces to escape hostilities with the native 'Xhosa tribe' from which Nelson Mandela decended.' During the 1830s and 1840s. The Diamond Trade: History & Culture of the Key Players Article Copyright © 2006 AllAboutGemstones. The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates . The First Boer War (1880—1881) began with the Transvaal (Limpopo) Boers declaring independence from Great Britain. The Voortrekkers had to contend with the native Zulu tribe over land they wished to settle on. or German Protestant backgrounds.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.' 'Gauteng. This led to a new wave of emigrants and adventurer-seekers from England. with 10. The Boers resisted British encroachments into their territory until the Second 'Anglo' Boer War (1899— 1902). most with Dutch Calvinist. There was not a single Boer fatality. Afrikaners (aka Boers or farmers) were religious refugees from the Netherlands and other parts of northern Europe during the mid 1600s to late 1700s. England seized the Cape of Good Hope from the Dutch East India Company in 1797. Flemish. Diamonds and the British The Second Wave of Europeans Needing a stopping-off point on the sea-route to Australia and India.
Rhodes started out selling ice cream to the diamond-diggers and service workers. 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. De Beers and Kimberley Central were the two largest mining interests in South Africa at the time. As founder of De Beers. With the help of the Rothschild bank in London. but was eventually successful in convincing Barnato to merge with De Beers.' Cecil Rhodes died a single man with no children and. mysteriously falling overboard on a ship passage back to England. Barnato died several years later. a prospector. and later selling steam-powered water pumps to drain the open-pit mines of Kimberley. Cullinan . no heirs to his empire. In exchange.the "mineral revolution. 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. Photo: Pub. The African nation of Rhodesia was named after him (now the Republic of Zimbabwe). De Beer. and in 1910 the 'Union of South Africa' was created. Domain Barney Barnato During the same period that Cecil Rhodes was building De Beers Consolidated Mines. in Northern Cape. although Rhodes did not start out with an interest in diamonds. Barnato was given appointed to 'life governor' and temporary controlling interest in De Beers . Domain Cecil Rhodes Cecil Rhodes (1853—1902) is the undisputed father of the modern diamond industry. Amid all of this turmoil and chaos. One of the richest men in the world." In 1906. Photo: Pub. Cecil Rhodes' De Beers empire was started on a farm owned by two Boer settlers and brothers. Domain Thomas M.. a curious discovery was being made along the banks of the Orange River. A. he was able to build a monopolistic empire through skill and cunning. As a young lad from England. and J. D.. Photo: Pub. self-government was restored. Rhodes made several aborted attempt to gain control over Barnato's interest in Kimberley Central Mine. N. 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.
Sir Thomas Major Cullinan (1860—1936) was the founder of one of Africa's richest diamond mines, the 'Premier Diamond Mine,' 30 kilometers east of Pretoria, in Gauteng province, South Africa. Although Cullinan was already a successful building contractor in Johannesburg, he was also an amateur geologist who had heard about alluvial diamonds being found along a stream near the old 'Cornelis Minnaar Farm' in upper Gauteng. Cullinan was interested in purchasing the farm, which had already changed hands several times, but the present owner, Willem Prinsloo (who had purchased the land for £570 in 1861) was not interested in selling. Shortly after the close Anglo Boer War (1898—1902), Willem Prinsloo's widow agreed to sell the land to Cullinan for £52,000, and the 'Transvaal Premier Diamond Mining Company LTD' was officially registered on the December 1, 1902 . On January 25th 1905, a 3,106 carat diamond was found at the mine, which remains the largest diamond ever found in the world. When news of Premier's success hit the board room of De Beers, several aborted attempts were made to purchase the mine, but Cullinan had no intention of selling . In 1914, WW1 broke out in Europe, and diamond prices began to spiral. Layoffs at the mine caused enough friction that by August, mining operations were suspended. The Premier Mine had resumed production by January 1916, but in need of cash, Cullinan sold a major stake in the mine to the Transvaal government. Frank Oats, who was now the chairman of De Beers, was able to convince the Transvaal government to sell its controlling interest in 1917, and De Beers once again enjoyed a monopoly on South African diamonds.
Diamonds and the Ashkenazi, Sephardi and Hasidic Jews
There is perhaps no other ethnic group that is so inextricably intertwined with the diamond trade, than the jews. In an odd twist of fate, it may be Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama's discovery of a searoute to India around Africa's Cape of Good Hope in 1488, that set the stage for the Jewish/diamond connection. Da Gama's discovery opened up a direct diamond-trading route from India's Malabar Coast and the island of Borneo, to Portugal and on the Netherlands. With Lisbon now at the forefront of the European diamond trade, many Portuguese Sephardi businessmen opened cutting houses, and quickly gained a dominant roll in the diamond-polishing industry. The Sephardi were Jews who originated from Spain and Portugal (the Iberian Peninsula), many practicing a secret adherence to Judaism known as "Crypto-Judaism," while professing other faiths. Jews who practiced their religion in the open were expelled from Spain and Portugal, when the Catholic Monarchs issued the "Alhambra Decree" in 1492 (1497 for Portugal), fleeing to Morocco, the Ottoman Empire, Antwerp and Amsterdam. When the first Jewish emigrants (Ashkenazi) came to Antwerp in the 1200s, they were welcomed, but when the Black Plague swept across Antwerp in the mid 1300s, the Jews were one of the scapegoats. Although Amsterdam's Dutch were relatively tolerant when it came to religious freedom, in 1585 Antwerp came under Spanish rule, and the Jews (this time Sephardic), were once again the focus of scrutiny. With the Spanish Inquisition in high gear, Jews were now persecuted for conducting trade with the Ottoman Empire, or for being 'pseudo-Christian.' In the 1600s, wealthy Jewish diamond-traders now living in the Netherlands, financed the 'Dutch East India Company' and its exploration of new trade routes to India, but the British were beginning to see opportunity in the diamond trade, creating new competition for the Jewish/Dutch. Prior to being granted 'civil equality' in 1796, Amsterdam's Jews were not allowed to join trade guilds, leaving the unregulated diamond industry as one of the only means of employment. By the late 18th century, many of Amsterdam's Jews were working in the diamond trade, and many of these 'Sephardi refugees' had maintained connections with Portuguese traders who now had a monopoly on the trade of raw diamonds from India. By the early 1700s, India's mines were nearing exhaustion, but a new discovery in Brazil helped to reinvigorate the diamond trade. By this time, British naval superiority proved to be a great advantage, and the 'British East India Company' was born. The European center for the diamond trade now began to move away from Amsterdam, as Jewish traders set up shop in London. The cut stones were sold to the nobility and royalty of Europe, using the Hofjude (Court Jews) as purchasing agents to select the stones from the London diamond merchants.
Photo: Pub. Domain
The Pshevorsk Hasidic Dynasty Hasidic Judaism was founded by Polish (now Ukrainian) Rabbi 'Ba'al Shem Tov', aka 'Israel ben Eliezer' (1698—1760) in a time when European Jews were facing increasing hostility and pressure from the "Cossacks' Uprising" in Ukraine. The Hasidic movement is a sub-group of the theologically conservative Haredi or Charedi Judaism, aka Ultra-Orthodox Judaism. The movement was seen as a way of turning inward towards a 'deeper spiritualism and mysticism.' Hasidism spread westward, making its way to western Europe in the 1800s. The Hasidic movement in Antwerp began with Rabbi Moshe of Pshevorsk, who authored 'Ohr Pnei Moshe' in 1805 . The Pshevorsk is a small sub-Hasidic movement based in Antwerp, Belgium, with their hub at the study hall (beth midrash), 'Beth Yitzchok' at Mercatorstraat 56. With the discovery of vast diamond reserves in South Africa during the late 1800s, concern over a glut in the diamond market spread throughout London's diamond merchants. A group of wealthy Jewish dealers pooled their resources to form "the syndicate," which was created to soak up all of the excess capacity being created by South Africa. Today, Antwerp and London's diamond trade is largely controlled by the Hasidic Jewish community, although Indian influence is on the rise in recent years. Many of these Hasidic entrepreneurs are nameless by choice, preferring to maintain their anonymity, but they have been the driving force behind the multi-billion dollar diamond industry for hundreds of years.
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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 . Beit was part of a group of financiers, including Cecil Rhodes, who gained control of the diamond-mining claims in the Central Mine, Dutoitspan Mine, and De Beers Mine, thereby 'consolodating' the South African mining industry. becoming a 'life-governor' of De Beers Consolidated Mines. He was also the director of the Beira Railway Company, British South Africa Company, Rand Mines, and the Rhodesia Railways. Beit, along with partner Cecil Rhodes, financed the 1895 'Jameson Raid' which was an attempt to trigger an unsuccessful coup in the South African Republic of Transvaal. The Royal School of Mines, at the Imperial College London has a large memorial to Beit, in recognition of the Beit trust's bequeathment to the university, and to educational institutions in Britain, Germany South Africa, and Zimbabwe (Rhodesia).
Photo: Pub. Domain
Sir Ernest Oppenheimer Ernest Oppenheimer (1880—1957) was born in Friedberg, Germany to a large Jewish family, and with several brothers working for "the syndicate," Ernest was well positioned for his future vocation. He began his career at age 17, working for the diamond brokerage firm, Dunkelsbuhler & Company in London. Oppenheimer created the concept of "single-channel marketing" over 100 years ago, by funneling the world's supply of diamonds through a single clearing house. Oppenheimer gained control of Namibia's diamond mines, forming the Anglo American mining conglomerate. This gave him the financing and power to gain the chairmanship of De Beers. Today, Oppenheimer's Anglo American operates a fleet of diamond recovery ships off the coast of Namibia and South Africa under the umbrella of De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited (DBCM), and Central Holdings Limited (CHL), an Oppenheimer family holding company, and in partnership with Namdeb.
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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
founder of the House of Graff in the heart of London's posh New Bond Street.). and the largest rough unearthed in this century. The Hindustani Diamond Cutters Photo: dnavin. Leviev's net-worth is estimated at $2. All House of Graff stones have a laser-inscribed girdle with the 'Graff' logo and GIA number. ALROSA produces 100% of Russia's rough diamond output and approximately 20% of the world's rough diamonds .5 billion (#278 Forbes List). Alrosa now sells direct to cutting factories throughout Russia." and the "king of bling" by Forbes magazine ." a compendium and history of his most famous jewels. Domain Laurence Graff Laurence Graff (1938—) is a DeBeers sightholder. now called ALROSA (Almazy-Rossii-Sakha) . and on board the luxury residential ship The World ResidenSea. Graff's strategy of "vertically integration" has been to control every angle of the diamond pipeline. By circumventing the De Beers supply chain. Photo: Pub. Israel. House of Graff is also located on London's Sloane Street. Laurence Graff was born into a Jewish orthodox family in London's poorer 'East End' district. New York's Madison Avenue. to purchasing a 51% stake in Safdico (South African Diamond Corp. Lesotho Promise is the 15th largest diamond ever found. with his wife and their nine children. Graff has co-authored (with Vanessa von Zitzewitz) "The Most Fabulous Jewels in the World.com Gujarat's Indian Diamantaires . and has satellite locations in Wafi City." the Leviev Group has found willing partners in several countries including Angola's ASCORP after De Beers' exit in 2001. in 1992. Monte Carlo. Russia. found on August 22. 2006 at the Letseng diamond mine in the tiny Kingdom of Lesotho in the center of the Republic of South Africa. Using this model of "local control. and one of the most successful diamond merchants in modern history. to Larry Ellison. which are now owned by Lev Leviev.state. selling to the rich and famous from Elizabeth Taylor and Donald Trump. Lev Leviev has formed a partnership with the ex Soviet state-owned diamond firm. Tretiakovsky Proezd in Moscow. Raised by his grandparents. It will ultimately be cut into an estimated 20 or so 'D-flawless' stones ranging from 75 carats to 1 carat in size.5 billion dollars . a DeBeers sightholder in Johannesburg. Dubai. which gives him access to some of the finest uncut diamonds coming out of South Africa. One of his most notable acquisitions was the 603 carat "Lesotho Promise diamond. Lev Leviev lives in B'nei Brak. Graff has been dubbed the "king of diamonds. from wholesale and retail. Mr. Hotel de Paris' salon privé in Paris. Graff's net worth is estimated at 2. formed by Decree 158C of the Russian Federation.
Of the $26 billion per year diamond revenues that flow through Antwerp. Harshad Mehta ("Diamond King of the world") is one of the founders of Rosy Blue. based upon eternal. polishes. and is currently a Senior Partner and head of the UAE division. It is estimated that India cuts. improve perceptions. and Vijaydimon are family owned operations run by Jains with the common surnames of Jhavari. Domain Bharat & Vijay Shah Bharat and Vijay Shah came from a family of jewelers going back three generations. with $1. Mehta. and although India's famous "Diamonds of Golconda" were mined-out hundreds of years ago. and were written about in an ancient Sanskrit manuscript called the "The Lesson of Profit" Arthasastra (c. This vast fortune is shared by some 300 to 500 Gujaratis families from Palanpur on the GujaratRajasthan border . Shree Ramkrishna Exports. to elevate quality standards. Gujarat. (HDC). Sanghavi Exports. .Diamonds made their first reluctant appearance in human history over 2400 years ago. universal truths. are headed and staffed by Mehta family members. with diamond cutting factories located in Borivali. The Sanskrit word for 'diamond' was vajra. Photo: Pub. Several other divisions of the Rosy Blue Group.com Dilip Mehta Indian diamantaire. Gitanjali Gems.above). displacing the Hasidim as the dominant force in the industry . and De Beers India. and Shah. Much of India's diamond trade is controlled by a handful of wealthy families in Gujarat. Navinchandra & Co (board of directors ." 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. or "thunderbolt. Dilip Mehta of Mumbai. The brothers. both college dropouts. heighten awareness of ethical business practices. Jainism is an ancient Indian religious sect believing in the 'Jain' philosophy. from Hong Kong to Israel. and Israelis didn't want to work with . D. Suresh & Co. is the newest addition to India's arsenal of global marketing tools to promote exports. 320 BC) by Kautiliya. the Hindustan Diamond Company Ltd. and exports several billion dollars worth of gems per year. India (born 1949). Venus Jewels. is the CEO of the 'Rosy Blue Group' which is currently one of the world's largest diamond companies. Gitanjali Gems is one of the largest manufacturers of diamonds and diamond jewelry in India. and Surat's 'Special Economic Zone' . the Indians would not be giving up their rightful heritage as diamantaires. propelling their twin companies." The Bharat Diamond Bourse in Mumbai. M. Companies like Bhavani Gems. By slowly developing markets. started out thirty years ago by purchasing cheaper stones that the Dutch Hasidim. a minister to the Indian king.7 billion in annual sales . The Indian communities' share has grown to around 60%. Chandragupta. and to develop an "understanding of the world market. Mumbai. The Indo Argyle Diamond Council (IADC) formed in 1994 as a consortium of Indian jewelry manufacturers and cutting houses. Photo: rosyblue. 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.
the 'United Nations Industrial Development Orginization' (UNIDO). is making great strides in stabilizing the country after years of strife. China. and the end to South African apartheid in 1994. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. only hinting at their possibility in 2007 or 2008. both domestically and internationally. After years of fighting between the PMLA and UNITA. succeeded his father (Laurent-Désiré Kabila) as president the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC) after his assassination in January 2001. Botswana has held regular elections and has been one of the more stable governments in southern Africa. all who have signed multi-million dollar trade deals. left). working in cooperation with the government of Sierra Leone. president José Eduardo dos Santos is preventing democratic elections from taking place. Bombay. is receiving broad support from the South Africa. At the age of 29. Diamonds and the African Nationals Photos: Public Domain Kabila. the political situation in Angola has begun to normalize. After winning a disicive re-election victory in 2006. Kabila. Bangkok. Kabbah. Ayer & Son . The president of Sierra Leone. Joseph Kabila (above. many of the ex-colonial nations of Sub-Saharan Africa are starting to emerge as powerful and legitimate forces in the diamond industry. and Tel Aviv.Vijaydimon (Belgium) and B Vijaykumar (India) . employing 22. into a global position with nearly $1 Billion a year in sales. Mandela. In a post-conflict reconstruction effort.W. Vijaydimon also purchases rough diamonds from Canada's Diavik Mine and Argyle (Rio Tinto) and Russia .000 workers. and the United States. Palanpur. Botswana is a relatively wealthy African country. who was a major general in the army. Vijaydimon is a DTC sightholder with offices in Belgium. dos Santos. and enjoys broad support. created a program for capacity-building of 'small and medium-sized enterprise' (SME) development. Domain N. with one of the fastest per-capita income growth rates in the world. & Mogae Starting with Botswana's independence in 1966. Thailand. Surat. Hong Kong. President Festus Mogae was elected for a second term in 2004. Diamonds and the Americans Photo: Pub. The last democratic election in Angola was in 1992. Singapore. On a somewhat darker note. UAE. The company has cutting factories in Antwerp. India. Angola and from mining magnates.
With financial shockwaves caused by the French economy's collapse in 1847. and featuring the memorable scene in which Holly gazes longingly into Tiffany's window display.54 carat 'The Tiffany Diamond. After attending Chicago Musical College."A diamond is forever" is the legendary saying that was created by America's first advertising agency. The 'Tiffany & Co." after here charecter. was originally a 'fancy goods' emporium. A 19. Prince Esterhazy of Hungary. and Tiffany seized on the opportunity. who was known for his jewelry expertise.' at the flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. Sir Francis "Piggy" Beekman. for resale in America.' staring Audrey Hepburn. Lorelei receives a diamond tiara from her suitor.W. the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine. De Beers president. N.' which was adapted to film in 1953. and the subsequent overthrowing of King Louis-Philippe of France in 1848." was the co-founder of Tiffany & Co. this time from playwriter. Ayer & Son. and the diamond industry was particularly hard hit. Styne moved to Hollywood where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn. Domain Charles Lewis Tiffany Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812—1902). gems and jewelry from the estates of the European aristocracy. producing the 128. Harry Frederick Oppenheimer enlisted the help of N. Photo: Pub. The movie version featured Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend. located at 259 Broadway.' The stone was set into a garish jewelry piece called "Bird on a Rock. Tiffany & Young. Domain Hollywood in 1949 Coming just on the heels of the immortal "a diamond is forever" campaign. the values of ostentatious gems and jewelry dropped precipitously. specializing in one-of-a-kind baubles for New York's newly-minted industrialists and 'robber-barons. Styne wrote the score for the 1949 Broadway musical 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. De Beers and the diamond industry got another shot in the arm. and sold to Nanaline Duke (now in the Doris Duke Collection).42 carat rough flawless-yellow diamond from the 'Compagnie Français de Diamant du Cap' (Kimberley mine) in 1877. Charles Tiffany.' brand was catapulted into the stratosphere by the 1961 movie 'Breakfast at Tiffany's.' During the 1800s. . which started out as 'Tiffany & Young' of New York City in 1837. and a series of diamond-related slogans were introduced into the American lexicon. Jule Styne (born Julius Kerwin Stein) was born in London. After the French revolution in 1799. Photo: Pub. The Great Depression had taken a heavy toll on luxury goods during the 1930s. and from the Spanish Crown Jewels . the public's tolerance towards nobility was at a low point. Jule Styne. Ayer in 1938. purchased diamonds. Tiffany was able to purchase significant gems from such renowned estates as: the 'jewel-mad' Duke of Brunswick. One of Tiffany's most notable diamond acquisitions was a 287." by Jean Schlumberger in the 1960s. The Tiffany is still selling luxury jewelry in their trademarked 'Tiffany Blue Box.72 carat cushion-cut diamond (one of the "Diamonds of Golconda") was mounted by Tiffany. aka "the King of Diamonds. In 1948 the famous "A diamond is forever" slogan was introduced. The stone was cut in Paris.W.
In a preemptive strike against any negative publicity that the movie would generate. as writer Charles Leavitt takes us through the dark underbelly of the diamond trade. Leavitt weaves a tale of Sierra Leone's impoverished "diamond diggers. Diamonds are tested for . the World Diamond Council placed ten full-page ads in newspapers around the county. certificate of authenticity. and their willingness to purchase the concept of "foreverness. This time. The Consumer Last. Through interviews with human-rights organizations like Doctors Without Borders and Global Witness." and the terrible working conditions that these workers must endure." there would be no "diamond trade. the unsung hero in the diamond trade." Diamond Grading: Diamond Certificates (Certs) Gemological Laboratory Certification Why do you need a laboratory certification for your diamond? Although it may seem like a needless expense. the glamor is laid bare. or "cert" may be your only assurance that you are getting exactly what you paid for. Were it not for intrepid consumers. 2006 Hollywood in 2006 Blood Diamond is the latest incarnation of Hollywood's fascination with diamond. appraisal report.Photo: © Warner Bros. but not least. we have the faceless American consumer. a diamond certificates. grading report.
founded in 1975. there is very little (visible) difference between a FL stone and a IF or VVS-1 stone . Toronto. and wether they are synthetic.' GIA's world headquarters are located in Carlsbad. but for insurance appraisal as well. color. and carat weight) and they are also tested for traces of gem enhancement.not only for resale. Shipley in 1931. Los Angeles. and is the largest independent gem certification and appraisal institute in the United States. .the basics (cut dimensions and proportions. and Attestations of Origin. California. 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 . with offices around the globe. which can be substantially different. and saturation of a colored stone. Dubai and Hong Kong. poorly cut SI-3 grade stone. Bangkok. Antwerp. The IGI offers Identification Reports. The GIA was founded by Robert M. carat weight. the same year that Shipley published his groundbreaking book titled 'Gemology. GIA Certificate A GIA (Gemological Institute of America) report provides detailed information about the dimensions. Although even a lay-person may be able to tell the difference between a triple-zero diamond and a cheap. Certificates of Authenticity. Appraisal Reports.other than the price. Tokyo. tone. 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. wether the stone is natural or synthetic. with operations in New York City. shape and cut of a stone. IGI Certificate The International Gemological Institute (IGI) is the oldest institute of its kind in Antwerp. GIA reports also cover any treatments or enhancements that have been done. clarity. Mumbai. and of corse.
and Fluorescence. HRD uses the "Hearts and Arrows" measuring system which was developed by HRD Antwerp scientists. Carat Weight. Belgium issues quality reports for loose (unmounted) polished diamonds according to ISO 17025 international standards for gemelogical testing laboratories. jewellery design and gemology. HRD Antwerp Diamond Certificate The certificates department of HRD Antwerp in Antwerpen. weight. and the graders can not know the identity of the owner. polish and symmetry) using a scale ranging from Excellent to Fair. All diamonds are examined anonymously. origin (colored gems). color. as well as quantifying the standard parameters of Clarity. the sorting of rough diamonds. clarity. with "Triple Excellent" being the highest overall designation. Cut. Shape. HRD also offers gemelogical training and continuing education courses in diamond grading. Color.The IGI lab grades diamonds as well as colored gemstones along several basic criteria which include: shape and cut. and finish. . mesurments. HRD's refined Cut Grading system measures each of the three parameters (proportions.
com The American Gem Society was founded in 1934 by Robert M. 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. 'Polish' and 'Symmetry' were merged into one category called "Finish. 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. HRD uses complex watermarking to prevent copying or falsifying their reports. The AGS specializes in diamond testing and evaluation. The mission of the AGS is to increase consumer awareness. vs. Diamond Grading AGS Diamond Quality Report (DQD) AGS Gemological Laboratory Background Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. The AGS Gemological Laboratories was established in 1996 to provide state-of-the-art diamond grading and appraisal services to the jewelry industry. AGS grades diamond color on a numeric sliding scale that is similar to GIA's alphabetical scale. along with a consortium of independent jewelers. An AGS report.As well as testing for synthetic diamonds. . as well as the most comprehensive system for grading the all-important 'cut' parameters. Symmetry. and optical physicists. mathematicians. and does not evaluate other types of colored gemstones. AGS is considered the premier diamond-grading laboratory. having the most rigid grading standards. 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. Today. Aditionally. 2005 can be viewed online. creator of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). A diamond's clarity is also graded on a simple numeric scale from 0 to 10. and to set a higher standard of business ethics and professional practices in the jewelry industry. AGSL Certificate The AGSL was the first gem lab to grade a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. referred to as a "Diamond Quality Document" or "DQD. and s ratings. certificates issued after January 1. Shipley." The AGS Cut Grading system was developed through of years of research by gemologists." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors. To insure the security of their documents. as opposed to GIA's vvs. the HRD lab also uses state-of-the-art technology to test for subtle and hard to recognize enhancements such as HPHT. but rather a comprehensive quality evaluation. and Proportions. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor)." is not an appraisal of monetary value.
and Proportions. In 2004 AGS added a new category that is referred to as "Light Performance. contrast. and optical physicists. mathematicians." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors. 'Polish' and 'Symmetry' were merged into one category called "Finish. AGS uses the "Light Performance" designation to quantify 'light return' by using a ray-tracing software program to follow the path of light rays as they travel through the diamond. Proportions & Light Performance The AGSL was the first gem lab to grade a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. leakage and light spread." but to retained the "Triple Zero" monicker for diamonds with a perfect score. ." The AGS Cut grading system was developed through years of research by gemologists. Each parameter is given a numeric grade from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). The ray-tracing program measures the quantity of the light being returned to the viewer by quantifying brightness.Cut Grade: Finish. dispersion. Symmetry.
and individual facet ratios. the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible. 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. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless ." or "ideal" rating. in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above).7.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero. . AGS Diamond Grading System On the inside fold of an AGS Diamond Quality grading report there is a legend explaining the unique AGS nomenclature with comparisons to GIA's grading system.5 to 4.0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless .5.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light .0 to 7. where facets intersect with each-other." Document Security Each AGS grading document is marked with a hologram (dark circle at lower right of report) and watermarking or embossing to prevent fraudulent duplication. AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering.0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light .3.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003.0 to 1. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint . When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.1. 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. relative facet angles.5 to 3.
Extraction Methods Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.Triple-0 Round Brilliant Setting 'American Star Diamond' 13. and ore bodies that are in situ." A decline is a spiral (corkscrew) tunnel which circles the ore deposit. AGSL reports will also grade cut quality for emerald. so that the cutter can improve the light performance of their cut stones. AGS will only evaluate loose. 4. Obtaining an AGS Report AGS is a 'trade-industry' testing laboratory that will only evaluate diamonds sent from jewelers or manufacturers. 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. left) refers to various techniques used to extract gems. and can only be accessed by tunneling underground and creating underground "rooms" or "stopes" that are supported by timber pillars or standing rock. 2. Dubai. OctoNus Software. Accessing the underground ore is achieved via a horizontal passageway called a "decline. 3. which are used by non-contact measuring-device manufacturers such as Sarin Technologies. Pricing for a diamond grading report is based on carat weight. AGS will also provide analysis of a manufacturers 'cut performance' by analyzing a sample stone's Sarin file. and octagon step-cut diamonds. and will soon be offering cut evaluations for other fancy shapes. the stability of the material that surrounds that desired gem or mineral. 5. Diamonds: Gem & Diamond Mining Technology Photos: Public Domain Diamond & Gem Mining . The principle methods of diamond extraction are: 1.42 Carat D. and the peripheral damage that will be done to the surrounding environment. the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA). princess. AGS offers laser inscription services as well. Additionally.com Diamonds and other precious and semi-precious gemstones are extracted from the earth using five basic mining techniques. unmounted diamonds. and OGI Systems." or a by a vertical "shaft. minerals. while a shaft is . through AGS offices in Antwerp. India and Israel. These diamond extraction methods vary depending on how the minerals are deposited within the earth. The AGS supplies 'facet arrangement' templates corresponding to their cutgrading system. As of 2005. Artisanal Mining Hard Rock Mining Marine Mining Open Pit Mining Placer Mining Hard-Rock Diamond Mining The term "hard-rock mining" (top of page.
Photo: USGS Alluvial Diamond . or pans. Excavation is accomplished using water pressure (hydraulic mining). 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. or hand digging (artisanal mining). the gravels are separated and sorted into three sizes. and access to the ore. Artisanal diamond mining is a form of "subsistence based" non-mechanized mining that is used in poorer countries throughout the world. and have a specific gravity that is higher than that of common minerals. machinery. Horizontal mining employs the use of Seabed Crawlers (remotely controlled. or large conical sieves. Placer Mining Placer diamond mining. or sand) that is unsuitable for tunneling.vertical tunnel used for ore haulage. right) with bare hands. and is a derivative form of open-cast mining used to extract minerals from the surface of the earth without the use of tunneling. with the middle size being a candidate for final sorting. which concentrate the heavier gems at the bottom. and or colluvial secondary deposits. at a maximum depth of 500 feet. Marine Mining Marine mining technology only became commercially viable in the early 1990s. Diamonds and most gemstones are hard. highly resistant to weathering. running adjacent to the ore. they tend to concentrate in alluvial deposits in the same way that gold placers develop. Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . rock or sedimentary soil. box screens. CAT-tracked underwater mining vehicles) move across the sea floor pumping gravel up to an offshore vessel. A decline is typically used for mining personnel. Marine diamond mining employs both "vertical" and "horizontal" techniques to extract diamonds from offshore placer deposits. Laborers who work in artisanal diamond mining are called "diamond diggers" (below left).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. eluvial. therefore. 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. . gravel. mechanized surface excavating equipment. or sort material according to size. Open Pit Mining Open-pit diamond mining. shovels. Open pit mines are typically used when mineral deposits are found close to the surface or along defined kimberlite pipes. also known as "open-cast mining" (top of page. center) is a method of extracting rock and minerals from the earth by removal from a machine-dug open pit or burrow. also known as "sand-bank mining" (top of page. 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. right) is used for extracting diamonds and minerals from alluvial. While on board.
After their formation. yet only about 1 in every 200 kimberlite pipes contain gem-quality diamonds. . with a variety of trace minerals.Artisanal diamond mining is used throughout west Africa. garnet. These pipes are called "kimberlites" or "kimberlite pipes" (see diagram below). left) or "yellow-ground" kimberlite and can be found worldwide. Kimberlite is a diamondiferous igneous-rock matrix composed of carbonate. diamonds are carried to the surface of the earth by volcanic activity.North Cape" below). Artisanal diamond mining accounts for 90% of Sierra Leone's diamond exports and is the country's second largest employer after subsistence farming. rock fragments. right). phlogopite. minerals. Diamonds: Diamond Geology Diamond Geology & Kimberlites Kimberlite Pipes Diamonds form at a depth greater than 93 miles (150 kilometers) beneath the earth's surface. It is also used extensivly in Angola. As this molten mixture of magma (molten rock). Kimberlite pipes are the most significant source of diamonds. Kimberlite occurs in the zone of the Earth's crust in vertical structures known as kimberlite pipes (above. The 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 . Kimberlite pipes can lie directly underneath shallow lakes formed in the inactive volcanic calderas or craters. olivine. and diamonds approaches the earth's surface it begins to form an underground structure (pipe) that is shaped like a champagne-flute. in conflict zones where mechanized mining is impractical and unsafe. left). Many kimberlite pipes also produce alluvial diamond placer deposits. and upper mantle rock. Diamond bearing kimberlite in some parts of South Africa is black in color (above. right). the Congo (DROC). pyroxene. serpentine. and Liberia. Most kimberlite is called "blue-ground" kimberlite (above. Kimberlites are found as "dikes" and "volcanic pipes" which underlie and are the source for rare and relatively small volcanoes or "maars" (above.
. Alluvial diamond deposits are usually located within river terrace gravels that have been transported from their location of origin. resulting in a broader cone of eviscerated rock at the surface. There are several types of breccia which are categorized based on their geological origin. impact breccia. or different in composition to the fragments themselves. known as the Sperrgebiet or "forbidden territory." that may be similar. These dried 'lakes' receive river water during seasonal flooding which transports large amounts of sediment held in suspension. Alluvial Diamonds from Africa . Lamproite pipes are created in a similar manner to kimberlite pipes. sedimentary breccia. or breccia-filled volcanic pipe that is formed by gas or volatile explosive magma which has breached the surface to form a "tuff" (consolidated volcanic ash) cone. This results in a martini-glass shaped diamondiferous deposit as opposed to kimberlite's champagne flute shape.Open Pit Mine .' which are created by abandoned river meanders. igneous breccia. and tectonic breccia. The world's largest known gem quality alluvial diamond deposits are located along the Namib Desert coastline of southwestern Africa. The Argyle pipe is a diatreme. 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. Breccia is a rock composed of angular fragments of several minerals or rocks in a matrix.Photo: Public Domain Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix .Photo: Public Domain Lamproite Pipes Lamproite pipes produce diamonds to a lesser extent than kimberlite pipes.Photo: NASA The alluvial terrace gravels (below." and along the Orange River near Alexander Bay. Alluvial (Placer) Diamond Deposits The location of alluvial (secondary or placer) diamond deposits is controlled by the surrounding topography. usually from kimberlite deposits. except that boiling water and volatile compounds contained in the magma act corrosively on the overlying rock. Diamondiferous material tends to concentrate in and around 'oxbow lakes. The Argyle diamond mine in Western Australia is one of the first commercial open-cast diamond mines that is dug along an olivine lamproite pipe. or "cementing material.
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.Photo: Wiki Diamond-Bearing 'Diamondiferous' Gravel Many of these alluvial diamond deposits occur in Pleistocene and Holocene successions (1.8k. in central South Africa and Botswana.000 years ago). Alluvial Terrace Gravels . depressions. carried from their primary origination point on the Kaapvaal Craton.9k and 101. made their way to the sea bed just offshore. Westward draining river systems transported these diamonds to Africa's continental coastline for final deposition within on-shore marine terrace gravels.com . 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. channels or other trapsites for diamondiferous deposits.Namibia's placer diamond deposits are between 40 and 80 million years old. Diamonds in marine areas are typically trapped in bedrock depressions such as gullies. from olivine lamproites formed during the Cretaceous or Permo-Triassic period. including Angola's two largest diamonds at 105. but were not deposited on land. to a lesser extent. Diamonds that were transported downstream. potholes.8 million to 10. Some of the largest and highest gemquality diamonds produced from alluvial placer diamond mining have come from this region.
map Jwaneng Diamond Mine: (place of small stones) richest mine in world. Waldman Resources. Luzamba Diamond Mine: Angola's largest alluvial mine. Catoca Diamond Mine: Fourth largest diamond mine in world. 4. map Marine Mining: Namco Mining operates a dredging fleet off the west coast of Namibia. map Koidu-Sefadu Mines: Subsistence digging in alluvium pits west of Koidu. links to satellite images of the mines (where available). mostly industrial grade. mining operator info. map The Oaks Diamond Mine: In Limpopo province. map Ekati Diamond Mine: Canada's first diamond mining operation. map Orange River (Daberas) Mines: Orange River alluvium. 5. map River Ranch Diamond Mine: Open Pit & Underground mine. map Canada North West Territories (NWT) 1. Owned by Endiama (40%) & Trans Hex (35%). 1. 3. Namdeb. in Kasaï . map Kimberley Diamond Mine: Started in 1871. Endiama (50%). map Forminière Diamond Mine: Alluvial mine located on the River Tshikapa.Currently there are eleven major 'diamond producing' nations. Luarica Diamond Mine: Owned by Endiama (38%) & Trans Hex (32%). Argyle Diamond Mine: Largest producer in world.De Beers / Botswana. 2. Rio Tinto. Trans Hex. map Damtshaa Diamond Mine: (water for a tortoise) New open pit mine. 1. Closed in 2006. These lists also contains new project explorations. map Fucauma Diamond Mine: Newly constructed. 2. map Bakwanga Mine: (aka Bushimaïe. 1. 6. mining industry inside news. 4. 2. map . 3. 3. map Williamson Diamond Mine: (aka Mwadui mine) Open Pit mine. open pit. 1. and any relevant geographic data. map Magna Egoli Mine: Largest mechanized mine in Sierra Leone. 75% De Beers ownership. 75% De Beers ownership map Murowa Diamond Mine: Open Pit & Underground mine. Israel. map Orapa Diamond Mine: (resting place for lions) Largest/oldest of four .closed. De Beers operated. 2.DeBeers/Botswana. So Africa. 75% De Beers ownership. De Beers/Botswana. 3. map Letlhakane Diamond Mine: ("little reeds") second oldest of four . 4. map Baken Diamond Mine: Located along Orange River in North Cape. Cempaka Diamond Mines: Alluvials mined by indigenous artisanal Kalimantan miners. the Kimberley Open Pits closed in 2005. map Borneo Cempaka/Riam Kanan. 1. 2. Lubilash) Alluvial river mines in Kasaï. There are also several African nations with ongoing off-shore dredging/vacuming operations. 1. map Cullinan Diamond Mine: Open Pit/Hard Rock diamond mine owned by De Beers. Odebrecht (50%). map Koffiefontein Diamond Mine: The Koffiefontein mine opened in 1870. 1. map Koidu Open Pit Mines: Kimberlite open-pit mines just south of Koidu. 1. South Kalimantan 1. 2. located in NWT. produces over 40% of world's gem-quality diamonds. 2. and a host of other counties with operational and/or historic alluvial. 3. Active Mines | Inactive Mines | Future Exploration | Mining Companies Africa Angola 1. Open-pit mine De Beers operated. map Venetia Diamond Mine: Limpopo. and hard rock diamond mines. 7. map Finsch Diamond Mine: Finsch is an open-pit mine near Lime Acres. 2. De Beers / Botswana. south of Lüderitz. map Letseng Diamond Mine: Open-cast mine in Maluti Mountains 70 km from Mokhotlong. Namdeb Namib Gov. MIBA. Kimberlite pipe. Diavik Diamond Mine: The Diavik diamond mine is located in the NWT. map Elizabeth Bay Mine: Open-cast mine in Namib desert. map Botswana Congo (DROC or RDC) Lesotho Namibia Sierra Leone South Africa Tanzania Zimbabwe Australia East Kimberley 1.
Aikhal GOK Mine: Three open-pit kimberlite pipe mines: Aikhal. Alrosa. 5. and Sytykan. map Udachnaya (Udachny) Pipe Mine: One of the deepest diamond mines in the world. map Anabar GOK Mine: The norther most location of Russia's diomond mines. 3. Panna Diamond Mine: Alluvial mine in state of Madhya Pradesh. map Russia Siberia 1. Mirna Mine: Largest diamond deposit in Russia and one of the largest in the world. 2. 4. map .India Madhya Pradesh 1. Jubilee. map Jubilee (Yubileinaya) Mine: Newer open-pit kimberlite mine near Udachny.
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