All About Gemstones: Diamonds

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

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

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

The 4 Cs of Diamonds: Cut

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

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

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

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

Poor Diamond Faceting and Symmetry Due to the mathmatics involved in light refraction. Only a trained eye could see the quality of a good cut. A poorly cut diamond with facets cut just a few degrees from the optimal ratio will result in a stone that lacks gemmy quality because the "brilliance" and "fire" of a diamond largely depends on the angle of the facets in relation to each other. Common cutting problems can occur during the faceting process. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. This can also result in the undesirable creation of extra facets beyond the required 58. 2 The proportion and symmetry of the cuts as well as the quality of the polish are factors in determining the overall quality of the cut. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. Fig. 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. The crown will have 33 facets. Fig. 3 . Other variations of the "Modern Round Brilliant" include the "Ideal Brilliant" which was invented by Johnson and Roesch in 1929.Good Cut Fair Cut Poor Cut Cut Proportions In the past. 80.e. or 96 facets which are not counted in the total number of facets (58). when one incorrect facet angle can throw off the symmetry of the entire stone. pavilion and crown angle) and did not provide a subjective ranking of how good the cut was. 64. a Round Brilliant cut that does not have the proper proportions and symmetry (off-make) will have noticeably less brilliance. and the pavillion will have 25 facets. An Ideal Cut or Premium Cut "Round Brilliant" diamond has the following basic proportions according to the AGS: Table Size: 53% to 60% of the diameter Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35 degrees Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Facets: 58 (57 if the culet is excluded) Polish & Symmetry: very good to excellent The girdle on a Modern Round Brilliant can have 32. The chart below shows several common problems to look for.

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

As a consumer. and the Pear. and a 2 carat diamond is 200 points.W. A carat can also be divided into "points" with one carat being equal to 100 points. "Princess" (square outline). "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. The 4 C's of Diamonds: Carat (Weight) The 4 C's Diamond Grading System 1.C. 5 Popular fancy cuts include the "Baguette" (bread loaf). Therefor. Clarity 4. a 3/4 carat diamond is 75 points. The "fancy cuts" are generally not held to the same strict standards as Round Brilliants. Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics.007 ounce. Color Carat weight is one of the 4 C's. a 1/2 carat diamond would be 50 points." "Briolette" (a form of Rose cut). When a single piece of jewelry has multiple stones. your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the "4 C's" diamond grading system. Carat 3. CARAT Balancing Cut and Weight A diamond or gemstone's "Carat" designation is a measurement of both the size and weight of the stone. "Marquise" or "Navette" (little boat). Cut 2.2 grams (200 milligrams or 3.086 grains) or 0. the total mass of all diamonds or gemstones is referred to as "Total Carat Weight" or "T. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. and with each point being 2 milligrams in weight." .

Occasionally.195 and .5 carat 1." If the carat weight is shown as ". and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight. Price Per Carat (2005) .800 6. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained. girdle and pavilion.600 8.Grade: F Colorless . a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight. See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat.204 carat. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of . It is for this reason that an even 1. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone. 40º pavilion. In ancient times.0 carat 3. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry. or "seed of the carob".VS1 Carat Size</ 0. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone.5 carats must have an actual weight of between . it must be accurate to the second decimal place. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond.5º crown.500 15. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between .000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a . a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor.10 carat diamond for its better cut. clarity and weight. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing. or to buy a 1.495 carats and . a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions.600 12.504 carats.5 carat 2.750 30.0 carat 1.600 6. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity .99 carat diamond for its better price.

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

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

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

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

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

The name "diamond. Therefore." which is also known as "adamant. Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km).52.200 degrees Celsius). and pyroxene. A diamond is a transparent. a refractive index of 2." referring to its incredible hardness. diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation. Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures. 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 a variety of trace minerals.044. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" [2]." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine. olivine. ultramafic. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale. with the principle allotrope being graphite." "untamable. igneous rock composed of garnet. and a specific gravity of 3. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits.42. or "invincible. phlogopite. Under the continental crust. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms. At these depths. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2. and differentiates it from simple graphite. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon." is derived from the Greek adamas.Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time. Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness. . which resemble a champagne flute. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1." and "unconquerable.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Warren Hancock. Intense. and weighed a modest 0. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. pure green hues. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color. or a combination of the two. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste.000 per carat. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities. greyish-green. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply.com) The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13.' discovered during the 18th century. The color change effect is temporary.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).95carats. On thing is certain. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation. Green diamonds can range from $35. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond.90 carats.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant. and the De Young Red weighing 5. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness [9].com) Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems. .000 to $500. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926.03 carats.000 in 1987.

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

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

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

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

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

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Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.

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

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

and the stress inclusion occurs along the gem's natural cleavage plane.Pronounced stress fractures and feather inclusions can potentially weaken the stone. This is especially true if the fracture breeches the stone's surface. As a result. 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. .

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and haze within a cut diamond.Grain Center (GrCnt) A concentrated area of crystal growth that can appear light or dark. waviness. . 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.

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.

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Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .

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

Garnet Inclusions within Diamond .

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Garnet fragment on Diamond Girdle .

Grossularite Garnet Inclusions in Diamond .

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

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

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Internal Graining with Cloud Inclusion .

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

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

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

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

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

Natural Comet Inclusion .

Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud .

Tabular Reflection in Diamond .

Included Garnet Twins within Diamond .

Included Dalmatian Garnet .

Cloud Inclusion .

Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers .

Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light .

Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion .

. Knot diamond inclusions can potentially be the cause of man-made drag-line inclusions. appearing as a raised area. 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 on the diamond's surface.Natural External Diamond Inclusions or Blemishes Knots An inclusion that penetrates the surface.

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

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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. . 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. The lizard-skin effect is caused by an orange-peel texture.

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

.Pits Dislodged pinpoint inclusions at the surface. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To insure easy identification as a man-made product. The toughness of Cubic Zirconia is rated as good.500 to $9.500 per carat (2004 est.Apollo Diamond. Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite Cubic Zirconia Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. and like Chatham.. emerald. and some fancy colored diamonds.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.com To the average consumer. www. Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is the most familiar type of diamond simulant on the market.chatham.com Tairus Created Gems Tairus Created Gems is a Russian company that grows fancy-colored diamonds in their proprietary "Split Sphere" system.com Gemesis Cultured Diamonds Gemesis is located in Sarasota. Apollo Diamonds are cut and polished in sizes ranging from . Massachusetts grows colorless (D to M) diamonds. in Boston.apollodiamond. . and CZ has a hardness of only 8. Cubic Zirconia (Zirconium Oxide ZrO2) has a completely different chemical structure. using a proprietary variation of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) technique. with clarity grades from IF to SI. while diamond has a hardness of 10. While a synthetic diamond is a man-made recreation of an actual carbon-based diamond.3 on the Mohs scale. www.25 carats is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. and each stone is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. Tairus produces rough sizes from . Ltd. inc. and stones are cut to order. and rose cuts.). Chatham's pricing ranges from $6.30 carats to 3 carats. Tairus Created Gems are sold exclusively through Tairus Thailand Co.gemesis. and each cut stone is laser inscribed with the Apollo company logo and serial number. carbonate fluid solution that is similar to diamond-bearing metamorphic rock. princess. Gemesis only grows fancy-colored diamonds. www. each Gemesis cut stone over . of Bangkok Thailand. Florida. Apollo Diamond's cut stones are available in round brilliant.25 carats to 1 carat. The Split Sphere system crystalizes the carbon seed in an alkaline. which they claim is the closest thing to mother nature.

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

The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 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. center) near Winslow.417. etc. Moissanite. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.) in a dark room.104 as compared to CZ at 0. Moissanite has a hardness of 9. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. 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. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. Arizona.25 on the Mohs scale. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. Moissanite has an RI of 2. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. while diamond has a hardness of 10.044.670. and diamond at 0. is classified as an element rather than a compound.060.A small.65 to 2. when examining the gem through the kite facets. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. . Henri Moissan (above. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2.com Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). candle.69. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. found only in iron-nickel meteorites. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight.

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

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

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

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

7%. Ideal Scope. H&A Viewer. facet ratios.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42. etc. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. The "Scan D. very small to small In the 1970s. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish.7%. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. and Proportions. crown height of 14. A perfect blending of facet symmetry. Symmetry. crown height of 14.' 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.6% and overall height of 57. As with all human endeavors. and overall height of 57. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%.4%. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.N. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. Tolkowsky.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35.5%. invented in 1929. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect. To quantify a diamond's cut quality. and crown/pavilion angles. more brilliance and fire. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. Eppler & Scan D. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant". Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace. . Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor).5% to 43. Since then. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts." (Scandinavian standard..N.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The stone was cut in Paris. and a series of diamond-related slogans were introduced into the American lexicon. located at 259 Broadway. and sold to Nanaline Duke (now in the Doris Duke Collection). Domain Charles Lewis Tiffany Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812—1902). In 1948 the famous "A diamond is forever" slogan was introduced. Domain Hollywood in 1949 Coming just on the heels of the immortal "a diamond is forever" campaign. Styne wrote the score for the 1949 Broadway musical 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. specializing in one-of-a-kind baubles for New York's newly-minted industrialists and 'robber-barons. One of Tiffany's most notable diamond acquisitions was a 287. purchased diamonds.W. and featuring the memorable scene in which Holly gazes longingly into Tiffany's window display. Sir Francis "Piggy" Beekman.42 carat rough flawless-yellow diamond from the 'Compagnie Français de Diamant du Cap' (Kimberley mine) in 1877." by Jean Schlumberger in the 1960s. Lorelei receives a diamond tiara from her suitor. With financial shockwaves caused by the French economy's collapse in 1847. producing the 128.' which was adapted to film in 1953.54 carat 'The Tiffany Diamond.W. De Beers president. which started out as 'Tiffany & Young' of New York City in 1837. De Beers and the diamond industry got another shot in the arm."A diamond is forever" is the legendary saying that was created by America's first advertising agency. and from the Spanish Crown Jewels [27]. After the French revolution in 1799. Charles Tiffany. Photo: Pub. Ayer in 1938. gems and jewelry from the estates of the European aristocracy. Ayer & Son. Tiffany was able to purchase significant gems from such renowned estates as: the 'jewel-mad' Duke of Brunswick. The 'Tiffany & Co.' staring Audrey Hepburn.' During the 1800s. and the subsequent overthrowing of King Louis-Philippe of France in 1848. After attending Chicago Musical College. Prince Esterhazy of Hungary. Jule Styne. the public's tolerance towards nobility was at a low point. Tiffany & Young. The Tiffany is still selling luxury jewelry in their trademarked 'Tiffany Blue Box. this time from playwriter." was the co-founder of Tiffany & Co. Styne moved to Hollywood where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn. The Great Depression had taken a heavy toll on luxury goods during the 1930s. the values of ostentatious gems and jewelry dropped precipitously. the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine. .' The stone was set into a garish jewelry piece called "Bird on a Rock. was originally a 'fancy goods' emporium. A 19. for resale in America. aka "the King of Diamonds." after here charecter. and Tiffany seized on the opportunity.' brand was catapulted into the stratosphere by the 1961 movie 'Breakfast at Tiffany's. who was known for his jewelry expertise. N. and the diamond industry was particularly hard hit. Jule Styne (born Julius Kerwin Stein) was born in London. Photo: Pub.' at the flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. Harry Frederick Oppenheimer enlisted the help of N. The movie version featured Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend.72 carat cushion-cut diamond (one of the "Diamonds of Golconda") was mounted by Tiffany.

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

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

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

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

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

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. the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible. where facets intersect with each-other.0 to 1. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading." or "ideal" rating. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless . The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles. and individual facet ratios.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003.7.1.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero.3. all measured in three spacial dimensions.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light . 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.5.5 to 3.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering.0 to 7. AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond.5 to 4.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint .0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless . in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above). .0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light . relative facet angles." Document Security Each AGS grading document is marked with a hologram (dark circle at lower right of report) and watermarking or embossing to prevent fraudulent duplication.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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