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

Fig.e. when one incorrect facet angle can throw off the symmetry of the entire stone. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. Other variations of the "Modern Round Brilliant" include the "Ideal Brilliant" which was invented by Johnson and Roesch in 1929. The crown will have 33 facets. This can also result in the undesirable creation of extra facets beyond the required 58. A poorly cut diamond with facets cut just a few degrees from the optimal ratio will result in a stone that lacks gemmy quality because the "brilliance" and "fire" of a diamond largely depends on the angle of the facets in relation to each other. Poor Diamond Faceting and Symmetry Due to the mathmatics involved in light refraction. Fig. pavilion and crown angle) and did not provide a subjective ranking of how good the cut was. 80. 64. 3 . An Ideal Cut or Premium Cut "Round Brilliant" diamond has the following basic proportions according to the AGS: Table Size: 53% to 60% of the diameter Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35 degrees Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Facets: 58 (57 if the culet is excluded) Polish & Symmetry: very good to excellent The girdle on a Modern Round Brilliant can have 32. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. or 96 facets which are not counted in the total number of facets (58). The chart below shows several common problems to look for.Good Cut Fair Cut Poor Cut Cut Proportions In the past. All of that has changed with the AGS Cut Grading system and GIA's new "Cut Grading System". Only a trained eye could see the quality of a good cut. 2 The proportion and symmetry of the cuts as well as the quality of the polish are factors in determining the overall quality of the cut. and the pavillion will have 25 facets. a Round Brilliant cut that does not have the proper proportions and symmetry (off-make) will have noticeably less brilliance. the "Cut" quality of the "4 Cs" was the most difficult part for a consumer to understand when selecting a good diamond because a GIA or AGS certificate did not show the important measurements influencing cut (i. Common cutting problems can occur during the faceting process.

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

and a 2 carat diamond is 200 points. A carat can also be divided into "points" with one carat being equal to 100 points. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond.007 ounce. Clarity 4.2 grams (200 milligrams or 3. Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics.Heart Marquise Oval Pear Princess Radiant Round Trillion (not shown at diagram) Fig. Color Carat weight is one of the 4 C's.086 grains) or 0. The "fancy cuts" are generally not held to the same strict standards as Round Brilliants. When a single piece of jewelry has multiple stones.C. and with each point being 2 milligrams in weight. The 4 C's of Diamonds: Carat (Weight) The 4 C's Diamond Grading System 1. the total mass of all diamonds or gemstones is referred to as "Total Carat Weight" or "T. Cut 2. "Princess" (square outline). and the Pear. As a consumer. Carat 3. a 3/4 carat diamond is 75 points.W. 5 Popular fancy cuts include the "Baguette" (bread loaf). your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the "4 C's" diamond grading system. CARAT Balancing Cut and Weight A diamond or gemstone's "Carat" designation is a measurement of both the size and weight of the stone. One "Carat" is a unit of mass that is equal to 0. "Marquise" or "Navette" (little boat)." "Briolette" (a form of Rose cut). Therefor." . "Heart. a 1/2 carat diamond would be 50 points.

Occasionally. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry.600 6.5º crown.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor.0 carat 1.504 carats. Price Per Carat (2005) .750 30. 40º pavilion.500 15. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond.600 12. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing. See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut.204 carat.5 carat 1. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown. girdle and pavilion.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32. a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight. or to buy a 1. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of .5 carat 2.600 8. or "seed of the carob". If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place.800 6. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone. it must be accurate to the second decimal place.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1. In ancient times.195 and .99 carat diamond for its better price. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity . This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only. clarity and weight." If the carat weight is shown as ".00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone.495 carats and .Grade: F Colorless . Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight.0 carat 3.5 carats must have an actual weight of between .10 carat diamond for its better cut.VS1 Carat Size</ 0. It is for this reason that an even 1.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between . Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

graphite can develop internally and on the diamond's surface. Diamond Graphitization In extremely high temperature environments above 1700 ¡C. Internally formed crystallographic graphite inclusions often create intense strain on the surrounding diamond. The culet facet at the bottom of the pavilion.© AGS Labs Hexagonal (Graphite) Platelet Inclusion . most scratch resistant mineral on earth. very thin girdles on brilliant cut diamonds are also prone to breakage.© AGS Labs Diamond Toughness Within the fields of metallurgy and materials science. and therefore may be uninsurable by reputable insurance companies. meaning that a diamond is 4 times "harder" than sapphire. Particular cuts of diamond are more prone to breakage along cleavage planes." and therefore. crystal twinning. its "toughness" rating is moderate. By comparrison. pressure and space can also affect the final shape of a formed crystal. making it seem cold. causing stress fractures or feathers. with a Mohs scale rating of 10. Unlike "hardness. and "pound-force" per square-inch in US units of measurement. Many natural blue . is a facet specifically designed to resist breakage.Trace impurities. A material's toughness is measured in units of "joules" per cubic meter (J/m3) in the SI system. due to its ability to fracture along cleavage planes. and varying growth conditions of heat. sapphire has a hardness rating of 9.5 to 6. acting as a "thermal conductor." If you were to place a large enough diamond on your tongue it would draw heat away. yet sapphire has a toughness rating of excellent. Hematite has a hardness of only 5. the term "toughness" describes the resistance of a given material to fracture when it is stressed or impacted. Additionally. a diamond's "toughness" is only fair to good. but its toughness rating is also excellent. Thermal Properties of Diamonds Diamond is a good conductor of heat. Carbon Inclusion . Although diamond is the "hardest.5." which only denotes a diamond's high resistance to scratching.

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

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

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

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

000 in 1987. and are typically found in alluvial secondary The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems. or a combination of the two. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds.000 to $500.000 per carat. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste. On thing is certain. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply. and weighed a modest 0. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities.95carats. Warren Hancock. .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). Green diamonds can range from $35.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant. and the De Young Red weighing 5. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner. The color change effect is temporary. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities. Intense.' discovered during the 18th century. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green.03 carats. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness [9]. greyish-green.90 carats. pure green hues.

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

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

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

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

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




Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.

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



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

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



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

Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .

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



Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .

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

Garnet Inclusions within Diamond .





Garnet fragment on Diamond Girdle .

Grossularite Garnet Inclusions in Diamond .

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

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


Internal Graining with Cloud Inclusion .

Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) Internal pathway caused by laser-drilling to remove large inclusions. 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. With internal laser-drilling inclusions.


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

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

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




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. and were not fully removed during the stone's cutting or polishing process.Indented Natural (IndN) A naturally occurring indentation in the crystal that was not removed during cutting or polishing. .





Lizard Skin A bumpy or wavy 'orange-peel' textured pattern on the polished surface of a diamond. made up of a bumpy or wavy pattern on the polished surface of a diamond. The lizard-skin effect is caused by an orange-peel texture. Lizard Skin Inclusion Photos Lizard Skin Diamond Surface Blemish Photography A "lizard skin" surface blemish is a man-made external diamond imperfection that is created during polishing. .


and remain visible on the surface of a polished stone. . Natural Inclusion Photos Natural Diamond Inclusion Photography Natural inclusions (aka Naturals) are naturally-occurring raised portions of the rough diamond's original surface structure that were not removed during the polishing process.Natural (N) A raised portion of the rough diamond's original surface structure that remains visible on the surface of a polished stone.

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. .

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

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



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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

when examining the gem through the kite facets.A small. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. Moissanite has an RI of Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum).060. Hodgkinson's 'Visual Optics' Detection The Hodgkinson technique (aka Visual Optics) was discovered by Alan Hodgkinson with Gem-A in the mid-1970s as a method for differentiating natural diamond from colorless gemstones and simulants.104 as compared to CZ at 0. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Arizona. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0.670. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent.25 on the Mohs scale. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. Moissanite. Moissanite has a hardness of 9.65 to 2. found only in iron-nickel meteorites. candle.044. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion.) in a dark room. is classified as an element rather than a compound. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. Henri Moissan (above. while diamond has a hardness of 10. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2.69. and diamond at 0. 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.417. etc. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight. center) near Winslow. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. .

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

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

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

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

the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant".' 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. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace." (Scandinavian standard. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. Since then. Eppler & Scan D. and overall height of 57. and crown/pavilion angles.5% to 43.4%.N. invented in 1929.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42..6% and overall height of 57. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect. The "Scan D. and Proportions. Ideal Scope. very small to small In the 1970s. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. . As with all human endeavors. Tolkowsky. more brilliance and fire.7%.5%.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). etc.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design. Symmetry.N. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope. H&A Viewer. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios. crown height of 14.7%. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. To quantify a diamond's cut quality. facet ratios. crown height of 14. A perfect blending of facet symmetry.

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

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

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

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

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

The culet is usually large enough to be visible when viewed through the table." "crowned rose cut. Rose & Briolette Cut. The briolette was the precursor to the "pendeloque cut" which is a pear-shaped modification of the round brilliant cut. This Old Mine cut is basically square with gently rounded corners and "brilliant" style facets. and eight pavilion facets. the "rose cut" is also known by the the "Antwerp rose. The "briolette cut" is a modified "double Dutch rose cut" with one of the hemispheres being elongated. The crown is typically tall. an octagonal table. Also called the "cushion cut"." "Dutch cut. eight bezel or crown facets. it has a cushioned or rounded girdle shape. .1700s The "old mine" cut is the earliest form of the "brilliant cut" diamond.1500s Invented in the mid 16th century. The single cut may or may not have a culet at the bottom. Old Mine Cut . The briolette cut was designed primarily for use in a pendant or as a dangling bauble in a crown." and the Full Holland cut. resulting in a smaller table. the "old single cut" (aka "old eight cut") diamond has the addition of corner facets to create an octagonal girdle.Single Cut . The Rose cut can form a single hemisphere for a total of 24 facets or it can be two back-to-back hemispheres (Double Dutch rose) forming a total of 48 facets. The "senaille cut" is a rose cut with irregular or non-symmetrical faceting.late 1300s Invented in the late 14th century.

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

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

Russia and elswhere. India cuts the vast majority of small stones (. determining the quantity and quality that each site-holder will receive.000 USD. which are increasing in popularity and consumer acceptance. As a reaction to their decrease in market share. where De Beers sells the "boxes" to its select group ("supplier of choice") of 125 "sightholders" (#3) or diamond manufacturers. or to jewelry manufacturers (#5) around the world. Once the diamonds are set into jewelry. (see DeBeers' Adiamondisforever. Ramat Gan. The diamonds are then re-sold from the cutting and polishing (manufacturing) centers to wholesalers (Diamond Bourses).20 carats or less) in Mumbai (Bombay) and Surat. they are sold to retailers or direct to the customer. Additionally. and New York. Both traders and manufacturers may sell diamonds "upstream" and "downstream" through the diamond pipeline [8]. to take advantage of market fluctuations. diamonds have underperformed since 1987 when compared to the "luxury goods" market or global GDP. and Thailand. De Beers is also facing increasing pressure from the manufactures of synthetic diamonds. . and the breakaway from CSO's cartel by the Argyle Diamond Mine in Australia. A 'sight' can have a value of between $500. reclaiming their "A Diamond Is Forever" moniker. has launched an aggressive branding and marketing campaign. China. through their Diamond Promotion Service (DPS) and Diamond Information Centres (DIC) marketing divisions. while large stones are primarily cut in Antwerp.000 to $2.000. cutters. Rough diamonds are cut in various geographic regions according to tradition and the skill-sets of the labor force.De Beers Sightholders The DTC holds a sale called a "site" or "sight" ten times per year in London and Johannesburg. Other major cutting centers are located in Johannesburg. Tel Aviv. The sightholder then transports the box of rough diamonds back to diamantaire firms (cutting and polishing factories) located around the world (#4).com website). and independent diamond producers in Canada. De Beers. De Beers and the Future De Beers' (CSO's) control over the wholesale diamond market has diminished due to increased market penetration. De Beers (DTC) sets the price of each box in advance. Many Sightholders are also cutters. and retailers [5].

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

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

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

Rhodes made several aborted attempt to gain control over Barnato's interest in Kimberley Central Mine. One of the richest men in the world. As a young lad from England. Cullinan . De Beers and Kimberley Central were the two largest mining interests in South Africa at the time. As founder of De Beers. and in 1910 the 'Union of South Africa' was created. no heirs to his empire. Photo: Pub... In exchange. but was eventually successful in convincing Barnato to merge with De Beers. De Beer. in Northern Cape. Amid all of this turmoil and chaos. D. mysteriously falling overboard on a ship passage back to England. a curious discovery was being made along the banks of the Orange River. self-government was restored. Rhodes started out selling ice cream to the diamond-diggers and service workers. he was able to build a monopolistic empire through skill and cunning. Cecil Rhodes' De Beers empire was started on a farm owned by two Boer settlers and brothers. Photo: Pub. a prospector. Domain Barney Barnato During the same period that Cecil Rhodes was building De Beers Consolidated Mines. Barnato died several years later. The African nation of Rhodesia was named after him (now the Republic of Zimbabwe). With the help of the Rothschild bank in London. Domain Cecil Rhodes Cecil Rhodes (1853—1902) is the undisputed father of the modern diamond industry. 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.' Cecil Rhodes died a single man with no children and." In 1906. Domain Thomas M. although Rhodes did not start out with an interest in diamonds.the "mineral revolution. Around 1873 the De Beer brothers sold out to a group of mining syndicates who later merged with Cecil Rhodes' pumping company to form 'De Beers Consolidated Mines. and J. Photo: Pub. he began his business interests in South Africa by servicing the "ant hill" of humanity that was descending on Kimberley during the diamond rush of the late 1800s. N. and later selling steam-powered water pumps to drain the open-pit mines of Kimberley. Barnato was given appointed to 'life governor' and temporary controlling interest in De Beers [6]. A.

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

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

with $1. Photo: Pub. Gitanjali Gems. Jainism is an ancient Indian religious sect believing in the 'Jain' philosophy. based upon eternal. are headed and staffed by Mehta family members. and is currently a Senior Partner and head of the UAE division. to elevate quality standards. a minister to the Indian king. universal truths. and Vijaydimon are family owned operations run by Jains with the common surnames of Jhavari. (HDC). displacing the Hasidim as the dominant force in the industry [14]. Dilip Mehta of Mumbai. Several other divisions of the Rosy Blue Group.7 billion in annual sales [17]. and the DTC has demonstrated Gujarat's power in the diamond cutting/polishing arena by increasing India's take of its 125 sightholder contracts to nearly 50 in 2006. The Indo Argyle Diamond Council (IADC) formed in 1994 as a consortium of Indian jewelry manufacturers and cutting houses. Companies like Bhavani Gems. Suresh & Co. Chandragupta. and to develop an "understanding of the world market. propelling their twin companies. M. and exports several billion dollars worth of gems per year. Mumbai. It is estimated that India cuts. started out thirty years ago by purchasing cheaper stones that the Dutch Hasidim. The Sanskrit word for 'diamond' was vajra. and were written about in an ancient Sanskrit manuscript called the "The Lesson of Profit" Arthasastra (c. the Indians would not be giving up their rightful heritage as diamantaires. Harshad Mehta ("Diamond King of the world") is one of the founders of Rosy Blue. polishes. Venus Jewels. and Surat's 'Special Economic Zone' [12]. Mehta.above). improve perceptions. is the CEO of the 'Rosy Blue Group' which is currently one of the world's largest diamond companies. This vast fortune is shared by some 300 to 500 Gujaratis families from Palanpur on the GujaratRajasthan border [15]. Gitanjali Gems is one of the largest manufacturers of diamonds and diamond jewelry in India. and Israelis didn't want to work with [19]. Sanghavi Exports. Navinchandra & Co (board of directors . D. and De Beers India. Photo: rosyblue. Shree Ramkrishna Exports. By slowly developing markets. the Hindustan Diamond Company Ltd. Much of India's diamond trade is controlled by a handful of wealthy families in Gujarat.Diamonds made their first reluctant appearance in human history over 2400 years Dilip Mehta Indian diamantaire. from Hong Kong to Israel. and Shah. . heighten awareness of ethical business practices." The Indians would go on to enjoy a singular reign over the diamond-rich dominion—known as Hindustan—for another two thousand years. 320 BC) by Kautiliya. is the newest addition to India's arsenal of global marketing tools to promote exports. they were able to gain an increasingly larger share of the wholesale diamond trade. and although India's famous "Diamonds of Golconda" were mined-out hundreds of years ago." The Bharat Diamond Bourse in Mumbai. or "thunderbolt. Domain Bharat & Vijay Shah Bharat and Vijay Shah came from a family of jewelers going back three generations. The brothers. Gujarat. both college dropouts. The Indian communities' share has grown to around 60%. with diamond cutting factories located in Borivali. India (born 1949). Of the $26 billion per year diamond revenues that flow through Antwerp.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible." or "ideal" rating. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles.3.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint . all measured in three spacial dimensions.0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light . AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless .5." 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. in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above).AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram. where facets intersect with each-other. AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond.0 to 1. In the upper left corner of the document there is a unique AGS reference number that can be used when contacting AGS with questions about your report.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light .1. .0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless . and individual facet ratios.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003.7.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.0 to 7.5 to 4. 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. relative facet angles.5 to 3. Diamonds and other precious and semi-precious gemstones are extracted from the earth using five basic mining techniques. The principle methods of diamond extraction are: 1. the stability of the material that surrounds that desired gem or mineral. OctoNus Software. AGS offers laser inscription services as well. Diamonds: Gem & Diamond Mining Technology Photos: Public Domain Diamond & Gem Mining . 5. AGS will also provide analysis of a manufacturers 'cut performance' by analyzing a sample stone's Sarin file. and can only be accessed by tunneling underground and creating underground "rooms" or "stopes" that are supported by timber pillars or standing rock. Pricing for a diamond grading report is based on carat weight. through AGS offices in Antwerp. 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. Artisanal Mining Hard Rock Mining Marine Mining Open Pit Mining Placer Mining Hard-Rock Diamond Mining The term "hard-rock mining" (top of page. Additionally. princess. India and Israel. which are used by non-contact measuring-device manufacturers such as Sarin Technologies. the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA). unmounted diamonds. Accessing the underground ore is achieved via a horizontal passageway called a "decline. AGS will only evaluate loose. and octagon step-cut diamonds. so that the cutter can improve the light performance of their cut stones. and ore bodies that are in situ. These diamond extraction methods vary depending on how the minerals are deposited within the earth. while a shaft is . minerals. and will soon be offering cut evaluations for other fancy shapes. The AGS supplies 'facet arrangement' templates corresponding to their cutgrading system. and the peripheral damage that will be done to the surrounding environment.Extraction Methods Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. AGSL reports will also grade cut quality for emerald. Dubai. Obtaining an AGS Report AGS is a 'trade-industry' testing laboratory that will only evaluate diamonds sent from jewelers or manufacturers. 4." or a by a vertical "shaft." A decline is a spiral (corkscrew) tunnel which circles the ore deposit. 2. left) refers to various techniques used to extract gems.42 Carat D. and OGI Systems. As of 2005.Triple-0 Round Brilliant Setting 'American Star Diamond' 13.

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

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

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

channels or other trapsites for diamondiferous deposits. to a lesser extent.000 years ago). Some of the largest and highest gemquality diamonds produced from alluvial placer diamond mining have come from this region.Namibia's placer diamond deposits are between 40 and 80 million years old. Alluvial diamond mining in Angola takes place along a meandering stretch of the Cuango River floodplain which is also along the south-western coastline of Africa. Alluvial Terrace Gravels .Photo: Wiki Diamond-Bearing 'Diamondiferous' Gravel Many of these alluvial diamond deposits occur in Pleistocene and Holocene successions (1. depressions. from olivine lamproites formed during the Cretaceous or Permo-Triassic period.8k. Diamonds in marine areas are typically trapped in bedrock depressions such as gullies. but were not deposited on land. Westward draining river systems transported these diamonds to Africa's continental coastline for final deposition within on-shore marine terrace gravels. including Angola's two largest diamonds at 105. The diamonds within these deposits were transported from deeply-eroded diamondiferous kimberlites or. potholes. made their way to the sea bed just offshore. Diamonds that were transported downstream.8 million to 10.9k and . carried from their primary origination point on the Kaapvaal Craton. Diamond Mines of the World: Active Diamond Mines List of Active Diamond Mines All Contents Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. in central South Africa and Botswana.

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

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

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful