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 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

or 96 facets which are not counted in the total number of facets (58). This can also result in the undesirable creation of extra facets beyond the required 58. 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. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. 64. The chart below shows several common problems to look for. All of that has changed with the AGS Cut Grading system and GIA's new "Cut Grading System". 2 The proportion and symmetry of the cuts as well as the quality of the polish are factors in determining the overall quality of the cut.Good Cut Fair Cut Poor Cut Cut Proportions In the past.e. Fig. 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. Only a trained eye could see the quality of a good cut. when one incorrect facet angle can throw off the symmetry of the entire stone. 80. A poorly cut diamond with facets cut just a few degrees from the optimal ratio will result in a stone that lacks gemmy quality because the "brilliance" and "fire" of a diamond largely depends on the angle of the facets in relation to each other. and the pavillion will have 25 facets. Common cutting problems can occur during the faceting process. pavilion and crown angle) and did not provide a subjective ranking of how good the cut was. Fig. a Round Brilliant cut that does not have the proper proportions and symmetry (off-make) will have noticeably less brilliance. Other variations of the "Modern Round Brilliant" include the "Ideal Brilliant" which was invented by Johnson and Roesch in 1929. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. 3 . Poor Diamond Faceting and Symmetry Due to the mathmatics involved in light refraction.

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

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

10 carat diamond for its better cut.800 6.495 carats and .Grade: F Colorless . The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut. Occasionally. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place.504 carats. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a .20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between .0 carat 1. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only.750 30. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone. a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration. See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison.0 carat 3. girdle and pavilion.195 and . The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown.500 15.600 12. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing.5º crown. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity . By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line.5 carat 2.5 carats must have an actual weight of between . that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of .99 carat diamond for its better price." If the carat weight is shown as ". It is for this reason that an even 1.600 6. Price Per Carat (2005) . In ancient times. it must be accurate to the second decimal place. clarity and weight.204 carat. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above.600 8. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat.VS1 Carat Size</ 0. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1. 40º pavilion. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained. or to buy a 1. or "seed of the carob".5 carat 1. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight.

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

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

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

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

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

At these depths. which resemble a champagne flute." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic. and differentiates it from simple graphite." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine. . optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2." referring to its incredible hardness. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" [2]. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical." which is also known as "adamant.200 degrees Celsius).42. phlogopite. igneous rock composed of garnet. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale. Under the continental crust." "untamable. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes. or "invincible. with a variety of trace minerals. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe. ultramafic.Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time. 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. Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth. with the principle allotrope being graphite. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses.52. and pyroxene.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1." is derived from the Greek adamas. The name "diamond. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km). and a specific gravity of 3. a refractive index of 2.044. Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness. Deep within the earth's crust there are regions that have a high enough temperature (900¼C to 1400¼C) and pressure (5 to 6 GPa) that it is thermodynamically possible for liquified carbon to form into diamonds. Therefore. olivine. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon." and "unconquerable. A diamond is a transparent.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. and the De Young Red weighing 5.' discovered during the 18th century. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. Warren Hancock.03 carats. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. The color change effect is temporary.000 per carat. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits. On thing is certain. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities.000 to $500. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil. or a combination of the two. Green diamonds can range from $35. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color.90 carats. . Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13. and weighed a modest 0. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds.000 in 1987.Green Chameleon Diamonds Fancy Pink Diamond Color Grading Chameleon diamonds can be forced to temporarily change to a yellowish-green color by exposing them to heat (150º C to 250º C). the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness [9]. greyish-green. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926.95carats. pure green hues. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems. Intense. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa.

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

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

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

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




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. Feather inclusions can be accompanied by internal graining and/or twinning wisp inclusions. . Common around included crystals. Feather Inclusion Photos Internal Diamond Feather Inclusion Photography Feather inclusions (Ftr) are caused by cleavage planes or internal stress fractures that have the appearance of wispy feathers.



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

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



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 .

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



Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .

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

Garnet Inclusions within Diamond .





Garnet fragment on Diamond Girdle .

Grossularite Garnet Inclusions in Diamond .

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

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


Internal Graining with Cloud Inclusion .

With internal laser-drilling inclusions.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. . and where pathway does not breach the cut diamond's surface.


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

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

Can be accompanied by graining and strain. Twinning Wisp inclusions can be accompanied by internal graining and/or strain feathers. resulting from crystal twining during the growth process. . 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.


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

Natural Comet Inclusion .

Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud .

Tabular Reflection in Diamond .

Included Garnet Twins within Diamond .

Included Dalmatian Garnet .

Cloud Inclusion .

Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers .

Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light .

Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion .

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




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





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


and remain visible on the surface of a polished stone.Natural (N) A raised portion of the rough diamond's original surface structure that remains visible on the surface of a polished stone. . 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.Human Caused Surface Blemishes Abrasion (Abr) A tightly grouped series of nicks along the sharp edge of facet junctions. chips. Bruising (Br) A percussion mark or hole caused by impact and surrounded by tiny feathers. creating a whitish fuzzy edge as opposed to a sharp edge. Bearded Girdle (BG) Fine cracks. or feathers along the outer edge of girdle.

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



Filled Fracture Photos Internal Fracture Filling Inclusion Photography Fracture-filling Inclusions are man-made diamond enhancements that are the result of natural cleavage-plane stress fractures or feathers which have been artificially filled with molten glass to enhance clarity. 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. .Extra Facet (EF) An asymmetrical and irregularly placed facet that is not part of the original faceting scheme.

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




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

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

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

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

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

com To the average consumer. and stones are cut to Gemesis Cultured Diamonds Gemesis is located in Sarasota. Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite Cubic Zirconia Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. To insure easy identification as a man-made product. each Gemesis cut stone over .com Tairus Created Gems Tairus Created Gems is a Russian company that grows fancy-colored diamonds in their proprietary "Split Sphere" system.chatham. which they claim is the closest thing to mother nature.Apollo Diamond. www. The Split Sphere system crystalizes the carbon seed in an alkaline. Chatham's pricing ranges from $6. princess. using a proprietary variation of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) technique.gemesis. www. Apollo Diamonds are cut and polished in sizes ranging from . Apollo Diamond's cut stones are available in round brilliant.500 to $9. The toughness of Cubic Zirconia is rated as good.3 on the Mohs scale.30 carats to 3 carats. Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is the most familiar type of diamond simulant on the market. Gemesis only grows fancy-colored diamonds. www. carbonate fluid solution that is similar to diamond-bearing metamorphic rock. of Bangkok Thailand.apollodiamond. emerald.25 carats is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. Florida. in Boston. while diamond has a hardness of 10. and like Chatham. and some fancy colored diamonds. Massachusetts grows colorless (D to M) diamonds. and each stone is laser inscribed with the company name and serial Chatham Created Diamonds Chatham Gems is a San Francisco based company that grows only fancy-colored diamonds in colors ranging from champagne and canary yellow to pink and midnight blue. and each cut stone is laser inscribed with the Apollo company logo and serial number. Tairus Created Gems are sold exclusively through Tairus Thailand Co. Tairus produces rough sizes from . Ltd. inc. Cubic Zirconia (Zirconium Oxide ZrO2) has a completely different chemical structure. with clarity grades from IF to SI.. and CZ has a hardness of only 8. . While a synthetic diamond is a man-made recreation of an actual carbon-based diamond.500 per carat (2004 est.).25 carats to 1 carat. and rose cuts.

or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left). Due to their low cost and consistency. and CZs can be made in any "color grade. Diamond's RI is 2. CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight.41 (RI). The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit.80 to 2. Zirconium oxide powder is heated. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing. but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye. etc.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.) in a totally dark room. The 1. Unlike most natural diamonds. 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. Using Visual Optics To Detect CZ The Hodgkinson "Visual Optics" technique was developed in the mid-1970s by Alan Hodgkinson as a method of detecting natural diamonds and diamond simulants.17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2. 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.In 1973. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below). a CZ is optically flawless.800 . most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond . Once the mixture has cooled. Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. For instance." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR). candle.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce.2. Natural diamonds attract grease. the greater dispersive power.170. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible. 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.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator. or colorless (white) versions. CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease. .

is classified as an element rather than a compound. when examining the gem through the kite facets. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. while diamond has a hardness of 10. Moissanite.417. Arizona.670. Moissanite has an RI of 2. etc.) in a dark room. left) who won the Nobel Prize in 1906 for his discovery of a new mineral (moissanite6H) found within meteorite fragments of the ancient Barringer meteor crater (above. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. center) near Winslow. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. . found only in iron-nickel meteorites. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond. and diamond at 0. Moissanite has a hardness of 9. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0. candle. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ.060.25 on the Mohs scale. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index.044.69. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent. 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 Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. Henri Moissan (above.65 to 2.A small.104 as compared to CZ at 0. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond.

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

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

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

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

very small to small In the 1970s. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. Ideal Scope. invented in 1929. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%.' 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. As with all human endeavors.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35.7%. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor).5%. etc.N. . and Proportions. more brilliance and fire. and crown/pavilion angles. A perfect blending of facet symmetry. To quantify a diamond's cut quality. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope. H&A Viewer. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57. Symmetry. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972." (Scandinavian standard. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap.6% and overall height of 57. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts. facet ratios. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect. Tolkowsky. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design. The "Scan D.4%. Eppler & Scan D.. and overall height of 57.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42.N. crown height of 14.7%. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut. crown height of 14. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant". the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951.5% to 43. Since then.

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

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

designed to maximize the brilliance and color of diamonds while increasing their yield. The Flower Cuts were never patented or trademarked by De Beers in order to increase their popularity and use. The Dahlia is a 12 sided oval shape with 63 facets. the Gabrielle Cut is available in carre. maximizing the amount of light returned back as scintillation. oval. The Flanders Fire-Brilliant was developed by Flanders Cut International of Antwerp in 1983. and pear shapes. The Flanders Brilliant has 33 crown facets and 28 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets. Marigold. which is 47 more than a traditional 'Tolkowsky' round brilliant cut. The Marigold is an octagon shape with 73 facets.nationaldiamond. The Gabrielle Diamond The Gabrielle® Cut is a modified brilliant cut (triple brilliant cut) that was created by DeBeers desinger/consultant Gabriel Tolkowsky in 2000.Flanders 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 Leo Cut The Leo® Diamond. off-color stones. The cut is distributed by the National Diamond Syndicate (NDS) of Chicago. Fire-Rose. heart. emerald. marquise. The Flower Cuts employ unconventional cutting angles and dimensions. who was commissioned by De Beers to create new cuts as a way of marketing unusual. (aka Leo Schachter Diamond). and the cut was named after the Flanders region of Belgium (Antwerp) where the cut was first preformed in 1987. The Flower Cut is actually a series of five fancy cut shapes: the Dahlia. . adding greater brilliance and fire than standard brilliant cuts. Unveiled at the Las Vegas Gem Show in 2001. The Zinnia is a round fancy shape with 73 facets. www.flanders-cuts. that is suited to a relatively flat rough. 48 of which are clustered around the culet to increase fire.gabriellediamonds. LLC. angular shapes. The Sunflower has 43 facets in unusual. www. Other than the traditional round brilliant shape. The Leo diamond cut has a total of 66 Flower Cut The 'Flower Cut' series was created by Gabi Tolkowsky in 1986. The Fire-Rose is a hexagonal shape designed to produce higher yields. Sunflower and Zinnia cut. is a patented symmetrical round cut created by Leo Schachter Diamonds. 8 more facets than the Round Brilliant cut's 58. the Gabrielle has a total of 105 facets.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

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

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

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

the values of ostentatious gems and jewelry dropped precipitously. The Great Depression had taken a heavy toll on luxury goods during the 1930s. .' at the flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. Ayer in 1938." by Jean Schlumberger in the 1960s. The movie version featured Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend. the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine. was originally a 'fancy goods' emporium. producing the 128.54 carat 'The Tiffany Diamond.42 carat rough flawless-yellow diamond from the 'Compagnie Français de Diamant du Cap' (Kimberley mine) in 1877.' brand was catapulted into the stratosphere by the 1961 movie 'Breakfast at Tiffany's. The 'Tiffany & Co."A diamond is forever" is the legendary saying that was created by America's first advertising agency.' which was adapted to film in 1953. which started out as 'Tiffany & Young' of New York City in 1837. Charles Tiffany. One of Tiffany's most notable diamond acquisitions was a 287.' The stone was set into a garish jewelry piece called "Bird on a Rock. N. A 19. located at 259 Broadway." was the co-founder of Tiffany & Co. Jule Styne.W. In 1948 the famous "A diamond is forever" slogan was introduced. Harry Frederick Oppenheimer enlisted the help of N. Tiffany was able to purchase significant gems from such renowned estates as: the 'jewel-mad' Duke of Brunswick." after here charecter. Ayer & Son. The stone was cut in Paris. Photo: Pub. the public's tolerance towards nobility was at a low point. for resale in America. this time from playwriter. De Beers and the diamond industry got another shot in the arm. Sir Francis "Piggy" Beekman. purchased diamonds. After attending Chicago Musical College.' During the 1800s. Styne moved to Hollywood where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn. specializing in one-of-a-kind baubles for New York's newly-minted industrialists and 'robber-barons. gems and jewelry from the estates of the European aristocracy. and a series of diamond-related slogans were introduced into the American lexicon. Photo: Pub. The Tiffany is still selling luxury jewelry in their trademarked 'Tiffany Blue Box. Styne wrote the score for the 1949 Broadway musical 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Lorelei receives a diamond tiara from her suitor. Tiffany & Young. and Tiffany seized on the opportunity. Jule Styne (born Julius Kerwin Stein) was born in London. De Beers president.' staring Audrey Hepburn. aka "the King of Diamonds. With financial shockwaves caused by the French economy's collapse in 1847. and the subsequent overthrowing of King Louis-Philippe of France in 1848. and featuring the memorable scene in which Holly gazes longingly into Tiffany's window display. who was known for his jewelry expertise. Domain Hollywood in 1949 Coming just on the heels of the immortal "a diamond is forever" campaign. Domain Charles Lewis Tiffany Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812—1902). and the diamond industry was particularly hard hit. After the French revolution in 1799.W. and sold to Nanaline Duke (now in the Doris Duke Collection).72 carat cushion-cut diamond (one of the "Diamonds of Golconda") was mounted by Tiffany. and from the Spanish Crown Jewels [27]. Prince Esterhazy of Hungary.

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

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

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

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

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

When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. 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. where facets intersect with each-other.0 to 7. all measured in three spacial dimensions. in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above). In the upper left corner of the document there is a unique AGS reference number that can be used when contacting AGS with questions about your report. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless ." or "ideal" rating.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003." 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.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint .' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering.0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light . .5 to 3.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles.3. AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond.1. the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible. relative facet angles. and individual facet ratios.5.0 to 1.0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless .7.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light .5 to 4. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful