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The story of diamonds is, to use the metaphor, a tale of fire and "ice." Forged through immense heat and pressure over millions, or hundreds of millions of years, diamonds start their humble existence as simple, elemental carbon; the basic building block of all life in earth. We attempt to demystify these enigmatic little stones, by explaining their scientific reason for being, as well as were they are mined, how they are mined, and the history of the diamond trade, or 'diamond pipeline.' Diamonds are both elemental, and complex. As such, there is a lot of technical jargon associated with them. Shopping for a diamond can be very confusing to the newbie, but we have endeavored to make it as simple and interesting as humanly possible. You shouldn't need extraordinary brilliance to understand scintillation or refraction. Enjoy!
All About Diamonds
Diamond Basics The "4 Cs" of Diamonds - Cut The "4 C's" of Diamonds - Carat The "Four C's" of Diamonds - Clarity The "Four Cs" of Diamonds - Color Diamond Chemistry Optical Properties of Diamond Fancy Colored Diamonds Diamond Inclusion Library Diamond Enhancements Synthetics & Simulants Synthetic Diamonds Cubic Zirconia Moissanite Diamond Cuts Diamond Cutting Ideal Cut Modern Round Brilliant Patented Signature Diamond Cuts Old European Diamond Cuts Uncut Raw Diamonds in Jewelry The Diamond Market The Diamond Pipeline Diamond Bourses The Diamond Trade's Key Players Diamond Pricing - Price Comparison Charts Diamond Certification
AGS Diamond Grading Report Independent Diamond Testing Laboratories Diamond Mining & Mine Technology Diamond Mining Technology Diamond Geology & Kimberlites Full List of Worldwide Diamond Mines Artisanal Diamond Mining & Conflict Diamonds Worldwide Diamond Mining Regions Australian Diamond Mines Borneo's Landak Diamond Mines Botswana Diamond Mines Brazilian Diamond Mines Canadian Diamond Mines India's Golconda Diamond Mines Namibia Russian Diamond Mines South African Diamond Mines US Diamond Mines Conflict Diamonds Angola Diamond Mines Congo (DRC) Diamond Mines Liberia Diamond Mines Sierra Leone Diamond Mines Zimbabwe's Chiadzwa Marange Diamond Fields Diamond History & Cutting Regions Historical Diamond Cuts & Cutting History Historical Diamond Cutting Regions Diamond Cutting in Amsterdam Diamond Cutting in Antwerp Diamond Cutting in Belgium Diamond Cutting in Guangzhou, China Diamond Cutting in Gujarat, India Diamond Cutting in Idar-Oberstein, Germany Diamond Terminology Glossary - Gemology
The 4 Cs of Diamonds: Cut
The 4 C's Diamond Grading System
1. 2. 3. 4. Cut Carat Clarity Color
More than 100 million diamonds are sold in the United States each year, yet most consumers know very little about the product they are purchasing, and how that product is valued. The '4 Cs' represent the four main variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics. As a consumer, your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the '4 Cs' diamond grading system. If you are purchasing an expensive stone it will also be critical for you to learn how to read and understand the details of a GIA (Gemological Institute of America) 'Diamond Dossier,' AGL report, or AGS (American Gem Society) 'Diamond Certificate,' or Sarin 'Diamond Grading Report' (see full list of independent testing laboratories, below). You will also want to familiarize yourself with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines on jeweler conduct and consumer awareness. This knowledge will help be invaluable when you are comparison shopping for diamonds.
Diamond Cut Quality When jewelers judge the quality of a diamond cut, or "make", they often rate "Cut" as the most important of the "4 Cs." The way a diamond is cut is primarily dependent upon the original shape of the rough stone, location of the inclusions and flaws to be eliminated, the preservation of the weight, and the popularity of certain shapes. Don't confuse a diamond's "cut" with it's "shape". Shape refers only to the outward appearance of the diamond (Fig. 5 below), and not how it is faceted. The Importance of Cut Quality When a diamond has a high quality cut (ideal cut), incident light will enter the stone through the table and crown, traveling toward the pavilion where it reflects from one side to the other before bouncing back out of the diamond's table toward the observer's eye (see Fig. 1 below). This phenomenon is referred to as "light return" (Fig. 2 below) which affects a diamond's brightness, brilliance, and dispersion. Any light-leakage caused by poor symmetry and/or cut proportions (off-make) will adversely affect the quality of light return. The "Shallow Cut" and "Deep Cut" examples in Fig. 1 show how light that enters through the table of a Modern Round Brilliant diamond reaches the pavilion facets and then leaks out from the sides or bottom of the diamond rather than reflecting back to the eye through the table. Less light reflected back to the eye means less "Brilliance". In the "Ideal Cut" example, most of the light entering through the table is reflected back towards the observer from the pavilion facets.
Keep in mind that the variance in proportions between an "Ideal Cut" (ideal make) and a "Fair, Poor, Shallow or Deep Cut" may be difficult to discern to the novice observer, although there will be a lack of brilliance, scintillation, and fire. Cut quality is divided into several grades listed below.
Ideal Cut Premium Cut Very Good / Fine Cut
Fig. and the pavillion will have 25 facets. Fig. All of that has changed with the AGS Cut Grading system and GIA's new "Cut Grading System". This can also result in the undesirable creation of extra facets beyond the required 58. The chart below shows several common problems to look for. The crown will have 33 facets.e. when one incorrect facet angle can throw off the symmetry of the entire stone. 64. 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. 80. Common cutting problems can occur during the faceting process. 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. a Round Brilliant cut that does not have the proper proportions and symmetry (off-make) will have noticeably less brilliance. Only a trained eye could see the quality of a good cut.Good Cut Fair Cut Poor Cut Cut Proportions In the past. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. pavilion and crown angle) and did not provide a subjective ranking of how good the cut was. Poor Diamond Faceting and Symmetry Due to the mathmatics involved in light refraction. or 96 facets which are not counted in the total number of facets (58). 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. Other variations of the "Modern Round Brilliant" include the "Ideal Brilliant" which was invented by Johnson and Roesch in 1929. 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. 3 . and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972.
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. 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. N. Takanori Tamura. The IdealScope was invented by Kazumi Okuda in the 1970's.' while AGS uses a more exacting combination of proportional facet ratios along with raytracing metrics to calculate light return. A Triple-0 diamond can also be called a "Triple Ideal Cut" or "AGS-Ideal Zero" diamond. Several basic diamond shapes (Fig. However. making the diamond appear white when viewed from the top. all three categories of cut (Polish. The first official H & A "EightStar" diamond was cut in 1985 by Kioyishi Higuchi for Japanese businessman and FireScope manufacturer.For a Modern Round Brilliant cut (Tolkowsky Brilliant). AGS Triple-0 Certification The American Gem Society (AGS) is the industry leader in laboratory testing of round gems for cut grade and quality. or a H & A Viewer gemscope (FireScope). which gives out much more fire than a real diamond. the "FireScope. Asymmetrical raw crystals such as macles are usually cut in a "Fancy" style. A diamond cut for too much fire will look like cubic zirconia. Fig. out through the table. The round brilliant cut is preferred when the crystal is an octahedron. or a Scan D. left) are only found in diamonds that meet the American Gem Society Laboratories' "0" Ideal Cut specifications. In order for a diamond to receive a "Triple-0" grading. The shape of the diamond cut is heavily dependent upon the original shape of the rough stone. Hearts and Arrows Diamonds A perfectly proportioned ideal cut that is cut to the exacting specifications of a Tolkowsky Cut. 5) are listed below. Emerald . there is a balance between "brilliance" and "fire". Fancy Diamond Cuts The shape of the cut is a matter of personal taste and preference. 4 Perfectly formed Hearts and Arrows patterns with eight hearts AND eight arrows (above. GIA vs AGS Cut Grading GIA's new cut-grading system is based on averages that are rounded-up to predict 'light performance." was invented by Ken Shigetomi and Kazumi Okuda in 1984. Symetry. The "Ideal" designation is an AGS term that is not found on an GIA report. A well executed round brilliant cut should reflect the maximum amount light from the interior pavilion facets. Cut (Scandinavian Standard) will display a "Hearts and Arrows" pattern when observed through a IdealScope (arrows only). Proportion) must meet the "ideal" criteria. Eppler Cut (European Standard). and its later incarnation. as two stones could be cut from one crystal. the quality of the cutter's execution of that shape is of primary importance.
007 ounce. The 4 C's of Diamonds: Carat (Weight) The 4 C's Diamond Grading System 1." . and with each point being 2 milligrams in weight. One "Carat" is a unit of mass that is equal to 0. Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics. Therefor. "Marquise" or "Navette" (little boat).W. The "fancy cuts" are generally not held to the same strict standards as Round Brilliants. the total mass of all diamonds or gemstones is referred to as "Total Carat Weight" or "T. Color Carat weight is one of the 4 C's. Clarity 4.C. and the Pear.2 grams (200 milligrams or 3." "Briolette" (a form of Rose cut). As a consumer. "Princess" (square outline). When a single piece of jewelry has multiple stones. a 1/2 carat diamond would be 50 points. CARAT Balancing Cut and Weight A diamond or gemstone's "Carat" designation is a measurement of both the size and weight of the stone.Heart Marquise Oval Pear Princess Radiant Round Trillion (not shown at diagram) Fig. Carat 3. A carat can also be divided into "points" with one carat being equal to 100 points. 5 Popular fancy cuts include the "Baguette" (bread loaf). a 3/4 carat diamond is 75 points. "Heart. and a 2 carat diamond is 200 points. Cut 2. your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the "4 C's" diamond grading system. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond.086 grains) or 0.
0 carat 3.195 and . If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place.VS1 Carat Size</ 0.Grade: F Colorless . It is for this reason that an even 1. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone.10 carat diamond for its better cut.800 6. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1. or to buy a 1. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales. In ancient times. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond.99 carat diamond for its better price.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone.0 carat 1. clarity and weight.600 8.5 carats must have an actual weight of between . a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions.204 carat. Price Per Carat (2005) . A diamond that has a specified carat weight of . that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York.5 carat 2. a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut.504 carats.500 15. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity .5 carat 1. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a . many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only.750 30. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry.600 12. See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison. girdle and pavilion.5º crown. Occasionally.600 6. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above." If the carat weight is shown as ".The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration.495 carats and . The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown. or "seed of the carob". Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between . 40º pavilion. it must be accurate to the second decimal place.
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. little or no brilliance I1 to I3 .The Four C's Diamond Grading System 1. Clarity 4. or break the surface. . darker inclusions will tend to create the most significant drop in clarity grade. and flaws GIA Clarity Grading System The chart below explains the GIA grading system for inclusions and imperfections. On the other hand."Very Small" inclusions visible at 10 x mag. therefore reducing its value significantly. . Color Clarity is one of the Four C's. may weaken the diamond structurally.not naked eye VS-2 .Inclusions large and obvious. and/or on the surface of the stone. making them more apparent."Very Very Small" inclusions. Inclusions that are near to. thus minimizing any negative impact of the inclusion. point size and the location of inclusions. In fancy-colored diamonds. Considerations in grading the clarity of a diamond include the type of stone. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. . it is important to learn and understand the clarity designations found within the "Four C's" diamond grading system. CLARITY All of the grades of diamond clarity shown in the table below. Carat 3. Cut 2."Flawless" no inclusions at 10 x magnification IF . In "colorless" diamonds. light or pale inclusions may show greater relief."Very Very Small" inclusions hard to see at 10 x magnification VVS-2 . Diamond Clarity Designations FL ."Very Small" inclusions VS1 is better grade than VS2 SI-1 . As a consumer."Small" or "Slight" Inclusions or "Imperfections" visible to naked eye SI-3 . with large Inclusions."Small" or "Slight" Inclusions or "Imperfections" may be "eye clean" SI-2 . The term "Clarity" refers to the presence or absence of tiny imperfections (inclusions) within the stone. VVS1 better than VVS2 VS-1 . fractures. causing a greater drop in grade."Internally Flawless" no inclusions at 10 x mag.small blemishes VVS-1 .Imperfect. it may be possible to hide certain inclusions behind the setting of the diamond (depending on where the inclusion is located).
Dislodged pinpoint inclusions at the surface. fringing. The GIA will not grade fracture-filled diamonds. Internal Graining . According to FTC guidelines. chips. so they can use greater care while working on the piece.Diamond Clarity Grade Inflation A fairly common practice in the jewelry trade is grade-inflation or "grade bumping.Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation. The treatment is considered permanent and both the GIA and AGS will issue grades for laser drilled diamonds. Chips ." .A natural indentation that was not removed by polishing. he or she could legally sell it as a VVS-2. The heat generated by a blowtorch used to work on settings can cause damage. therefor it is essential to inform anyone working on a setting if the diamond is fracture-filled. haze.Inclusions resulting from crystal twining during growth. Knots . Diamond Fracture Filling Diamond clarity is sometimes enhanced by filling fractures. or feathers along the outer edge of girdle.Fractures that have been artificially filled. There is a significant price discount for fracture-filled diamonds. followed by acid washing to remove the coloring agent." According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides. Bruising . Surface Graining .An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing. The drilling process leave tiny telltale shafts or tunnels that are visible under magnification. Grain Center . waviness.Concentrated area of crystal growth that appear light or dark. If a jeweler sells a diamond that has an actual grade of VS-1. Feathers . Laser Drilling Laser drilling involves using a laser to burn a tunnel or hole to a carbon inclusion. The final clarity grade will be the grade that is assigned after treatment. in part because the treatment isn't permanent. Pique .Garnet or other Included gem stones Twinning Wisps . a diamond must be within one clarity grade of its advertised amount at the time of sale. External Diamond Inclusions Bearded Girdles . appearing as a raised area.An inclusion that penetrates the surface. Internal Diamond Inclusions Carbon . "One out of every three diamonds sold in the United States is laser-drilled.Cloudy grouping of tiny pinpoints that may not resolve at 10X Magnification. According to Fred Cuellar in his book How to Buy a Diamond. and reputable filling companies will use filling agents which show an orange or pink flash of color. much like repairing a crack in your car's windshield.Cleavage planes or internal fractures that have the appearance of feathers.Minute crystals within the diamond that appear white. Reputable companies often provide for repeat treatments if heat causes damage to the filling. Indented Naturals . Pits . Cavities . Pinpoints . vendors should disclose this enhancement. Filled Fractures .Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet.Fine cracks. Such diamonds are sometimes called "fracture filled diamonds".Tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts).Rutile-like needle inclusions.Irregular crystal growth causing internal distortions.A percussion mark caused by impact. Clouds . Needles .
Burn Marks . F .Small chips at facet junctions. The higher the amount of nitrogen atoms. O.light yellow or brown Fig. T. "SI-3" is a grade sometimes used in the diamond industry.near colorless K. The Four Cs of Diamonds: Color The Four Cs Diamond Grading System 1. 1 explains the GIA grading system for clear (not fancy-colored) stones. W. J . the most reputable well known US labs. The color chart in Fig. V. the yellower the stone will appear. Y. Clarity 4. Color Color is one of the Four Cs representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. L. E.very light yellow or brown S. These nitrogen impurities are evenly dispersed throughout the stone. In determining the color rating of a diamond. At present. H. Diamond Color Designations D. X.colorless (white) G. Neither the GIA nor the AGS (American Gemological Society). I. Cut 2. 1 .Surface burning from heat buildup during polishing.faint yellow or brown N. Diamonds of this low grade would be inappropriate for jewelry. As a consumer. Nicks . Scratches . R . P.Whitish haziness along the junction of facets caused by wear.Human Caused Surface Blemishes Abrasions . thereby making the diamond appear yellow.Grinding Wheel Marks of scratches from contact with other diamonds. absorbing some of the blue spectrum. Q. the Gemological Institute of America uses a scale of "D" to "Z" in which "D" is totally colorless and "Z" is yellow. M . The designation of SI-3 was popularized by the EGL (European Gemological Laboratory) grading office. COLOR Most all natural diamonds contain small quantities of nitrogen atoms that displacing the carbon atoms within the crystal's lattice structure. Carat 3. assign this grade. Z . U. a Sarin Diamond Color Grading report is the state-of-the-art color measuring standard. it will be beneficial to learn and understand some of the basic parameters for diamond color grading.
Color grading by 'visual-observation is performed against a Master CZ Colored Grading Set. Using a Sarin Diamond Colorimeter DC3000 (aka Gran Colorimeter). and not by looking at the top of the stone." "whiter than white. These colorless stones. D-Flawless . jewelers and gem labs can accurately provide a 'color typing' printout of a diamond's color grading that is compatible with AGS. D3. Fig." or "D+. D2.' or a borderline 'G. sometimes referred to as "white diamonds. For the consumer. Fig.Due to a diamond's high brilliance. GIA-GEM. 2). 2 Sarin Color Typing is a relatively new sub-classification of the D through Z gading scale. and D5). and HRD grading scales. IGI. 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. D4. 3 example below. as in our Fig. most gem labs do not currently provide color-typing data in their reports and certificates. and dispersion of light (fire) when looking through the table or crown.' Unfortunatly. color grading should be determined by examining the stone through the side of the pavilion (Fig.The Holy Grail . Each classification is divided into five sub-classifications (D1. India. it is extremely benificial to know if your 'F' is a strong 'F." are named after the famous Golconda Diamond Mines located in the state of Hyderabad.
others may prefer a "warmer" color found in a G to J range to compliment their skin tone. Only around 600 D-flawless roughs are cut into gems weighing between 1 and 2 carats during a given year. fluorescence can negatively impact the value of the stone by 3% to 20%. murky appearance when compared to a non-fluorescing diamond. diamonds with a poorer color grading (I through K).000 D-color diamonds weighing over half a carat are found each year. Even with microscopic inclusions. making the diamond appear "colorless. In some settings with various combinations of other stones. Diamonds: Chemistry & Structural Properties Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Structural Properties of Diamond . medium. diamonds with a visible tint may be preffered. See Color in Gemstones for more information. Skin Tone and Settings While some may prefer a very transparent D to F range. and strong. Ultra-violet light is a component of natural sunlight and artificial 4800k to 5000k color-proofing light. Diamond Fluorescence Approximatly 1/3 (35%) of all diamonds have a tendency to fluoresce when exposed to ultra-violet (UV) light. they tend to fluoresce as blue. fewer than 5." but the diamond will have a dull. faint. For diamonds with a color grading of D through H (colorless). When diamonds are viewed under a UV light-source. Fluorescence is graded as none. according to the GIA. as the blue fluorescence will cancel out some of the yellow. so this effect will be more apparent under natural daylight than under artificial incandescent light. This fluorescent effect can be beneficial to a diamond that has a yellow tint. On the other hand. fluorescence could increase the value by 0% to 2% buy improving the color (or lack thereof).Diamond Formation .Large D-flawless diamonds (those weighing more than 2 carats) are some of the rarest minerals on earth.
200 degrees Celsius). . Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical. olivine." which is also known as "adamant." referring to its incredible hardness. Therefore. diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic. and differentiates it from simple graphite. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits. with the principle allotrope being graphite. with a variety of trace minerals. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" . Under the continental crust." and "unconquerable. and pyroxene. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon. which resemble a champagne flute. phlogopite.52. Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness. The name "diamond. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0. or "invincible. a refractive index of 2. 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. and a specific gravity of 3." is derived from the Greek adamas. ultramafic.Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time. At these depths. Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km). upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes.42." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine.044." "untamable. A diamond is a transparent. igneous rock composed of garnet. Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1.
may also be as hard or harder than diamond. whether it is cubic. perfectly formed crystals are rare. and a hardness value of 231 GPa (±5) when scratched with a diamond tip. A diamond's incredible hardness was the subject of curiosity dating back to the Roman empire. although the reason for its combustion was not understood at the time. is nearly as hard as diamond." This means that diamond crystals usually "grow" in an orderly and symmetrical arrangement. above).A Type 2-A diamond has a hardness value of 167 GPa (±6) when scratched with an ultrahard fullerite tip. or carbon dioxide. Experimentation during the late 18th century demonstrated that diamonds were made of carbon. The material "boron nitride. and crystal habit of a diamond is octahedral (photo. it is termed as "subhedral. a predictable crystal growth pattern known as its "crystal habit. a currently hypothetical material. 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. beta carbon nitride. and therefore. by igniting a diamond in an oxygen atmosphere. with the end byproduct of the combustion being carbonic-acid gas. The natural crystal form." when found in a crystalline form that is structurally similar to diamond. Diamond Crystal Habit Diamonds have a characteristic crystalline structure." or "anhedral. or dodecahedral. although in nature. where it was shown to combust in scientific experiments. The external shape of the crystal." . Additionally. octahedral.
" which only denotes a diamond's high resistance to scratching. Internally formed crystallographic graphite inclusions often create intense strain on the surrounding diamond. causing stress fractures or feathers. sapphire has a hardness rating of 9. very thin girdles on brilliant cut diamonds are also prone to breakage. is a facet specifically designed to resist breakage. graphite can develop internally and on the diamond's surface. due to its ability to fracture along cleavage planes. yet sapphire has a toughness rating of excellent. crystal twinning. Many natural blue . the term "toughness" describes the resistance of a given material to fracture when it is stressed or impacted. Thermal Properties of Diamonds Diamond is a good conductor of heat. and "pound-force" per square-inch in US units of measurement.© AGS Labs Hexagonal (Graphite) Platelet Inclusion . Additionally. and varying growth conditions of heat.5 to 6. but its toughness rating is also excellent. A material's toughness is measured in units of "joules" per cubic meter (J/m3) in the SI system. with a Mohs scale rating of 10. By comparrison.© AGS Labs Diamond Toughness Within the fields of metallurgy and materials science. acting as a "thermal conductor. Hematite has a hardness of only 5. Carbon Inclusion . meaning that a diamond is 4 times "harder" than sapphire. making it seem cold. a diamond's "toughness" is only fair to good. Particular cuts of diamond are more prone to breakage along cleavage planes." and therefore. its "toughness" rating is moderate. Diamond Graphitization In extremely high temperature environments above 1700 ¡C." If you were to place a large enough diamond on your tongue it would draw heat away. Although diamond is the "hardest. Unlike "hardness. most scratch resistant mineral on earth. pressure and space can also affect the final shape of a formed crystal.5.Trace impurities. and therefore may be uninsurable by reputable insurance companies. The culet facet at the bottom of the pavilion.
which are in fact semiconductors. Fluorescence in Diamonds Fluorescence is an optical phenomenon in which a diamond's molecules absorb high-energy photons. and synthetic diamonds that are doped with boron. The word luster traces its origins back to the Latin word lux. to prevent silicon and other semiconducting materials from overheating.diamonds contain boron atoms which replace carbon atoms within the crystal matrix. Electromagnetic Properties of Diamond .Insulators or Semiconductors Diamond is a relatively good electrical insulator. or longer-wavelength photons. increasing thermal conductance. which means unyielding. electronic circuits could be manufactured from diamonds in the future . The term adamantine describes the way light interacts with the surface of a crystal. giving off a somewhat greasy sheen. or brilliance. Due to diamond's high thermal conductance. with the exception of natural blue diamonds.nearly five times greater than pure copper. gloss. it is used in the manufacturing of semiconductors.com The surface luster (or "lustre") of diamond is described as adamantine. meaning "light". . Optical Properties of Diamond: Type I & Type II Diamonds Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Surface Luster of Diamond Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. or having the hardness or luster of a diamond. inflexible. are known as p-type semiconductors. Natural blue diamonds containing boron atoms. re-emitting them as lower-energy. and generally implies radiance. If an n-type semiconductor can be synthesized. Purified synthetic diamond can have the highest thermal conductivity (2000-2500 W/m-K) of any solid material at room temperature .
" and refraction. There are also two subcategories (a and b) within each diamond 'type' (either Type I or Type II) that are based on a stone's electrical conductivity. This illusion of color is caused by the varying optics effects created by spectral dispersion. or brown coloration. Type II Diamond Formation Certain diamonds were formed under extremely high pressure for longer time periods. making them appear 'colorless' (D). and give off a bluish-white. absorbing some of the blue spectrum. they can give the stone a yellow tint." with a refractive index of 2. while Type II diamonds that lack boron impurities are classified as Type IIa. Diamond can exhibit pseudochromatic coloration giving the appearance of "color" without having any actual color in the mineral itself. show no fluorescence. and contain nitrogen atoms as an impurity. red. greenish or yellow fluorescence when exposed to the X-ray wavelength. These rare diamonds have a lower nitrogen content. Natural blue Type II diamonds containing scattered boron impurities within their crystal matrix are good conductors of electricity. . Some Type IIa diamonds can be found with pink. a natural diamond may contains both Type 1-A and Type 1-B material.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. thereby allowing the passage of short-wave ultra-violet (SWUV) light through the stone. and thereby making the diamond appear yellow. Cloud Inclusion Under UV . and appear dark when exposed to ultra-violet light or X-rays. due primarily to certain structural anomalies arising from "plastic deformation" which occurred during their formation. Typically. Some diamond varieties. Man-made synthetic diamonds containing nitrogen are classified as Type 1-B. permitting the passage and reflectance of blue light. These Nitrogen impurities found in Type I diamonds are evenly dispersed throughout the gemstone. Diamond Refraction & Coloration Diamonds are "singly refractive. If the nitrogen atoms are grouped in clusters they do not necessarily affect the diamond's overall color. These Type IIa diamonds have a near-perfect crystal structure making them highly transparent and colorless. Type II diamonds do not contain any detectable nitrogen.417. particularly Canadian diamonds. and are classified as Type 1-B. classifying them as Type IIb diamonds.© AGS Labs Type IIa diamonds are very rare. with very high thermal conductivity. and some of the finest historical gemstones such as the Cullinan and Koh-i-Noor are both Type IIa diamonds. If the nitrogen atoms are dispersed evenly throughout the crystal. or "fire. All Type 1 diamonds have nitrogen atoms as their main impurity. and they are classified as Type 1-A. which replace some carbon atoms within the crystal lattice structure.© AGS Labs Type I UV Fluorescence . Type I & Type II Diamonds As many as 99% of all natural diamonds are classified as Type I.
Fancy Diamond Color Hues A fancy brown (or Fancy Cognac). yellow. while chemically "pure" diamonds are basically transparent. However. In this case. and therefor colorless. Once thought to be of little value. steel grey. and their color is due to trace impurities of nitrogen and/or hydrogen (yellow. All colored diamonds contain certain specific impurities and/or structural defects that cause their coloration. and black. blue (Hope Diamond). Yellow. orange. Colorless diamonds would normally be priced much higher than yellow diamonds. pink. fancy pink diamonds can command very high prices as they have become increasingly popular. red diamonds). or yellow diamond may have a relatively low value when compared to a colorless diamond. Blue.Diamond Refraction & Light Dispersion Diamonds can also exhibit allochromatic coloration which is caused by chromophores from the nitrogen trace impurities found within crystalline structure. when a diamond's color is more intense than the "Z" grading. green. boron (blue diamonds). and red (Hancock Diamond) are particularly valuable. brown diamonds). However. certain fancy-colored diamonds such as pink (Condé). blue. Diamond Color & Composition Diamonds can occur in a wide variety of colors: colorless or white. . It is this nitrogen component that produces the color of fancy yellow diamonds. brown. it enters the realm of a "Fancy Color" diamond. green. green (Ocean Dream). red. Fancy Colored Diamonds: Pink. the intensity of the color in the diamond can plays a significant role in its value. Green & Cognac Fancy Colored Diamond Diamonds can occur in all colors of the spectrum. 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. radiation exposure (green diamonds) or irregular growth patterns within the crystal (pink.
42 carats.Start of 'Fancy' Fancy Fancy Dark Fancy Intense Fancy Deep Fancy Vivid . having a pure magenta color with deep saturation. As the numbers go lower (8PP) the color is paler. Pink Diamonds The pink color within these rare diamonds is due to irregular crystal growth patterns.Cognac 8 is darkest Chameleon Diamonds There is a very rare olive-grayish color-changing diamond called "Chameleon Diamond" (below.Pink (Magenta-pink) 1 is darkest 1P to 8P .M Very Light .' found in Kimberly. yet considerably more expensive. and was cut into a 128.Brown diamonds. lighting color temperatures (incandescent. hue. which are generally less appreciated than other fancy colors and therefor. South Africa in 1878. 1PP is the highest quality designation for Pink Diamond.N to R Light . The rough stone weighed 287. halogen. . causing microscopic imperfections within the lattice structure. An 1P designation would have less blue and more brownish-red. Pink diamonds are similar to pink sapphire in color. This Chameleon-like phenomenon was first documented by the GIA in the early 1940s.Champagne 3 is darkest C8 to C1 . 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. and most valuable Fancy Yellow diamonds in the world is the 'Tiffany Diamond. Fancy Pink/Brown Diamond Color (Hue) Designations 1PP to 8PP . have become more commonplace as Australian colored diamonds have gained in popularity. which changes hue from grayish-blue or olive-green to yellowish-green or straw-yellow under different lighting conditions (darkness. One of the world's only major sources for rare pink diamonds is the Argyle Mine in Australia. left). sold at a greater discount. bright light).Pink (Brownish-pink) 1 is darkest PC3 to PC1 . Only 1% to 2% of the diamonds produced at the Argyle Mine are high-quality pink specimens. The GIA grades fancy diamond color by quantifying the saturation.54 carat cushion cut with an estimated value in the millions of dollars.Highest Saturation One of the largest.S to Z Fancy Light .Pink (Reddish-pink) 1 is darkest 1BP to 8BP .' GIA 'Fancy Yellow' Diamond Color Saturation Designations Faint . daylight) and ambient temperature changes. and value (darkness) using nine classifications ranging from 'Faint' to 'Vivid.
as in the one-of-a-kind 5.90 carats. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red.' discovered during the 18th century.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). as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities. or a combination of the two. . so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13. On thing is certain.com) The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color. Green diamonds can range from $35. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness . Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation.03 carats. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green. Intense. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. and weighed a modest 0.000 to $500. Warren Hancock. greyish-green. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits. and the De Young Red weighing 5. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926.000 in 1987. The color change effect is temporary. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities.com) Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant.95carats. pure green hues. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner.000 per carat.
These impurities absorb the blue end of the light spectrum. and beautifully photographed by their Director of Gem Services. Inclusions which are not visible to the naked eye (eye clean) fall into the GIA range of "IF" (Internally Flawless) to "SI2" (Small Inclusions). This section contains a compendium of photography depicting all of the various types of diamond inclusions—both naturally occurring. F grades. or human caused.com Clarity is one of the Four C's of diamond grading. Diamond Inclusion Library: Inclusion Photos Over 100 High-Resolution Diamond Photos! All Contents: Copyright © 2010 AllAboutGemstones." These inclusions can occur within the stone. and man-made imperfections—that can be found in raw and cut diamonds. representing the four main variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. E.S. and so-called "piquŽ diamonds" fall into the GIA grading range of I1 to I3 (CIBJO grade P1 to P3).G. 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. It is for this reason that manufacturers of synthetic diamonds tend to specialize in fancy colors. Nevada. Inclusions which are visible to the naked eye are referred to as piquŽ.L. Joe Vanells. or on the surface of the cut stone. The term "clarity" refers to the presence.com) Fancy Colored Synthetic Diamonds Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless D. gemological testing laboratory in Las Vegas. . All of the microscopic inclusion photographs on this page were generously contributed by the A. and can be naturally occuring.Reddish Brown Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. or absence of tiny imperfections known as "inclusions.com) Enhanced Blue & Yellow Diamonds (© AfricaGems. making the stone appear yellowish.
Black material found within internal fracture planes can also be crystallographic inclusions of graphite. ferropericlase. 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). . Black or dark material found within a diamond's internal fracture planes can also be particles or crystallographic inclusions of graphite. ferropericlase. pyrrhotite and pentlandite. pyrrhotite and pentlandite.
Microscopic Carbon Picque Inclusions Hexagonal Platelet Inclusion in Trillion Cut Diamond .
Nevada. All of the microscopic diamond carbon inclusion photography on this page was generously contributed by the AGSL gemological testing laboratory in Las Vegas.Carbon piqué inclusions are sometimes removed by diamond enhancements such as laser drilling. Cloud Inclusion Photos Diamond Internal Cloud Inclusion Photography Cloud Inclusions (Cld) within a diamond are caused by a tightly packed grouping of tiny pinpoints that resemble clouds or cloudiness. which can leave their own types of unique inclusions. and is reproduced with their permission. 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.
Magnification. . 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.
Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.
Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.
Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.
Common around included crystals. Feather inclusions are common around included crystals such as garnet. Feather inclusions can be accompanied by internal graining and/or twinning wisp inclusions.Feathers (Ftr) Cleavage planes or internal stress fractures that have the appearance of feathers. . Feather Inclusion Photos Internal Diamond Feather Inclusion Photography Feather inclusions (Ftr) are caused by cleavage planes or internal stress fractures that have the appearance of wispy feathers. which cause internal stress fractures during crystal growth.
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. This is especially true if the fracture breeches the stone's surface. making it susceptible to fracturing when exposed to thermal or physical shock. .Pronounced stress fractures and feather inclusions can potentially weaken the stone. As a result. and the stress inclusion occurs along the gem's natural cleavage plane.
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 .
when a tube is generated by a formerly liquid filled cavity.Growth Tubes Imperfection formed during crystal growth. . Growth Tube Inclusion Photos Internal Growth Tubes Inclusion Photography Internal Growth Tube inclusions are natural Imperfections that are created during diamond formation. when a tube or tunnel is generated in the crystalizing diamond by an internal cavity that was once liquid filled.
Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .
iron oxides.Included Crystals (Xtl) Included and undigested gemstones or fragments of garnet. spinel. spinel. or silica. iron oxides. silica or other gem stone inclusions. Green chrome diopside Inclusion within a Diamond . calcite. olivine. 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. diopside. calcite. diopside.
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 .
. and where pathway does 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.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. 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.
Pinpoint Inclusion Photos Pinpoints (Pp) Inclusion Photography Internal Pinpoints (Pp). Large groupings of small pinpoints can create a cloud inclusion effect.Pinpoints (Pp) Minute crystals within the diamond that appear white. Large groupings of small pinpoints can create a cloud effect. or Pinpoint Inclusions are minute included crystals within the diamond that appear white under magnification. .
Twinning Wisp Inclusion Photos Twinning Wisps Inclusion Photography Twinning Wisp inclusions are naturally-occurring structural defects with a diamond. . resulting from crystal twining during the growth process.Twinning Wisps Inclusions and defects resulting from crystal-twining during crystal growth. Twinning Wisp inclusions can be accompanied by internal graining and/or strain feathers. Can be accompanied by graining and strain.
.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 .
Knot Inclusion Photos Photography of Diamond Inclusion Knots Knot inclusions are naturally occurring external inclusions or imperfections that penetrate the surface (convex). .Natural External Diamond Inclusions or Blemishes Knots An inclusion that penetrates the surface. appearing as a raised area on the diamond's surface. appearing as a raised area. Knot diamond inclusions can potentially be the cause of man-made drag-line inclusions.
Indented Natural (IndN) A naturally occurring indentation in the crystal that was not removed during cutting or polishing. and were not fully removed during the stone's cutting or polishing process. . Indented Natural Inclusion Photos Indented Natural (IndN) Diamond Inclusion Photography Indented Natural (IndN) inclusions (indented naturals) are external imperfections that are caused by naturally-occurring recessed (concave) indentations that penetrate the surface of a rough diamond.
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.Lizard Skin A bumpy or wavy 'orange-peel' textured pattern on the polished surface of a diamond.
Natural (N) A raised portion of the rough diamond's original surface structure that remains visible on the surface of a polished stone. and remain visible on the surface of a polished stone. Natural Inclusion Photos Natural Diamond Inclusion Photography Natural inclusions (aka Naturals) are naturally-occurring raised portions of the rough diamond's original surface structure that were not removed during the polishing process. .
Surface Graining Inclusion Photos Diamond Surface Graining (SGr) Photography Surface Graining (SGr) is a natural imperfection or inclusion that creates visible surface lines which are caused by irregular crystallization during diamond formation.Pits Dislodged pinpoint inclusions at the surface. Surface Graining (SGr) Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation. .
creating a whitish fuzzy edge as opposed to a sharp edge. Bruising (Br) A percussion mark or hole caused by impact and surrounded by tiny feathers. Bearded Girdle (BG) Fine cracks. or feathers along the outer edge of girdle.Human Caused Surface Blemishes Abrasion (Abr) A tightly grouped series of nicks along the sharp edge of facet junctions. fringing. . chips.
Cavities (Cv) An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing. or caught by a included crystal. during cutting and/or polishing the diamond. Chips Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet. . Drag Lines Created when a rough particle is dragged along the surface. or when abrasive material is caught by an included crystal such as garnet during the polishing of a diamond. the overheating of a facet causes a burn mark.Burn Marks Created during polishing. Drag Line Photos Diamond Surface Drag Lines Photography Drag Lines are human-caused surface imperfections and blemishes that are created when a loose rough particle is dragged along the surface.
Filled Fracture Photos Internal Fracture Filling Inclusion Photography Fracture-filling Inclusions are man-made diamond enhancements that are the result of natural cleavage-plane stress fractures or feathers which have been artificially filled with molten glass to enhance clarity. and remove cloudiness. .Extra Facet (EF) An asymmetrical and irregularly placed facet that is not part of the original faceting scheme. Filled Fractures Fractures or feathers that have been artificially filled to enhance clarity. This microscopic photograph shows the telltale orange or pink flash of a filled fracture enhancement within a cut diamond.
Laser Etching or Markings Careless or inadvertent laser etchings. marking. . markings. and inscriptions. Laser Etching Photos Diamond Laser Etching Inscription Photography Laser etching inclusions are surface blemishes and imperfections that are created when careless or inadvertent markings or inscriptions are made while laser etching. or inscribing the external surface of a cut diamond.
Diamond Enhancements: Laser Drilling & Fracture Filling . Polish Marks (PM) Also known as "Wheel Marks.Polish Lines (PL) Fine parallel surface groves resulting from the polishing process. Scratch (S) A fine whitish line that can be curved or straight." whitish film on the surface of a facet caused by excessive heat during polishing.
Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Enhanced Diamonds Diamond "enhancements" are specific treatments performed on cut." 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. in accordance with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines for the gem trade.© AGS Lab Telltale Signs of Fracture Filling . A trained gemologist should be able to identify most traditional "enhancements" made to a particular stone. which are designed to improve the visual or gemological characteristics of the stone.© AGS Lab Diamonds that have been altered or enhanced by Fracture Filling and/or Laser Drilling should always be labeled and their "improvements" identified to the potential consumer. or removed by employing several invasive techniques from fracture filling to laser drilling. polished natural diamonds. There are also heating treatments to improve a white diamond's color grade. or treatments to give a fancy color to a off-white diamond. much like you would repair a crack in a car's windshield glass. Unfilled Fractures around Garnet Inclusion . Diamond Fracture Filling Diamond clarity is sometimes improved and enhanced by filling tiny fractures or feathers with molten glass. These techniques do not eliminate the imperfection. but not necessarily increase its value. . Such diamonds are sometimes then branded as "fracture filled diamonds. altered. Minor diamond inclusions or surface imperfections which are not visible to the naked eye ("VVS1" to "SI2") can be disguised. but instead attempt to hide their visual effect.
.© AfricaGems.com Color Enhanced Diamonds ." Diamond Color Treatment Color enhancement of diamonds in done to increase the color intensity of so-called "fancy" colored diamonds. followed by acid washing to remove the coloring agent. Reputable filling companies will often provide repeat treatments if heat causes damage to the filling. Due to its low melting-point. and the diamonds are tested to ensure that no trace levels of radiation remain. Signs of Laser Drilling . These enhancements are achieved using low levels of radiation (irradiation). 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.© AGS Lab Laser Drilling Tubes . "One out of every three diamonds sold in the United States is laser-drilled. It is therefor essential to inform anyone working on a setting where the diamond has been fracture-filled. so that the jeweler can use greater care while working on the piece.com Radiation treatments are completely safe. According to Fred Cuellar in his book How to Buy a Diamond. or subjecting the diamond to intense pressure and temperature. "vivid" blue and yellow colors result. in part because the treatment isn't permanent. The final clarity grade will be the grade that is assigned after treatment. Natural Fancy Diamonds . and both the GIA and AGS will issue grades for laser drilled diamonds. and the GIA will not even grade a fracture-filled diamond.© AfricaGems.There should always be a significant price discount for any diamond that has been fracture-filled. The drilling process leave tiny telltale shafts or tunnels that are visible under high magnification (see photos below). the heat generated by a blowtorch used to work on settings can cause damage to the filling material.© AGS Lab The laser-drilling treatment is considered permanent. Diamonds treated with HTHP have their molecular altered so that intense. referred to as the HTHP process.
Using an electric furnace constructed with blocks of lime. the intense heat would render the crucible and its carbon contents into a molten liquid mass. which created enough pressure to crystallize the molten carbon into tiny diamond fragments. tiny fragments of synthetic diamond were created by heating charcoal. known as the HTHP (high-temperature. the crucible and its contents were rapidly cooled by immersing them into cold water. by H. Although synthetic diamonds were originally conceived as a substitute for natural industrial-grade diamonds. lab diamonds) was first conceived by French chemist Henri Moissan in 1892. Synthetic Diamond under Fluorescent . With Moissan's process. . they are increasingly used in fine jewelry as their quality increases. or carbon to an extremely high temperature (4000º C) in a cast iron crucible. The process.© AGS Labs Synthetic Yellow Chatham Diamond . These man-made synthetic diamonds are a laboratory-grown simulation of the natural gemstone. This abrupt cooling caused the rapid shrinkage of the molten iron crucible. and the Chemical Vapor Deposition or "CVD" method. Once the desired temperature had been achieved. yet they have the identical carbon-based chemical properties of natural diamond.Tracy Hall for the General Electric Company. high-pressure) "belt press" process was used for synthesizing industrial-grade diamonds. The first practical commercial application of Moissan's process was developed in 1954.© AGS Labs Today. and has been steadily improved upon throughout the last 50 years. there are two main processes for creating lab diamonds: the High-Temperature High-Pressure or "HTHP" method.com The process of creating man-made diamonds (aka cultured diamonds.Synthetic Diamonds & Man-Made Diamond Simulants Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite The First Synthetic Diamonds Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.
Diamond Essence." uses a four-anvil 'tetrahedral press." 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. or X-ray spectroscopy. Geminaire In the early 1900's. synthetic diamonds may contain small inclusions. Diamond Simulants Diamond "simulants.High-Temperature High-Pressure (HTHP) The "High-Temperature High-Pressure" (HTHP) technique. Diamonaire. Diamonite. Synthetic Diamond Color & Optics Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless form. and Moissanite in 1998. Java Gem. but are not a carbonbased compound having a natural diamond's crystalline structure. With CVD. Synthetic diamonds can also be treated with the HTHP process to alter the optical properties of the stones. ranging in clarity from IF to SI or I. Like natural diamond. a seed or substrate material is placed into the growth camber. Rutania. also known as "GE POL. These impurities absorb the blue end of the light spectrum. The vaporized carbon gases are energized using microwave energy. the diamond's entire growth process takes several days to complete. Thrilliant Synthetic Spinel (1920-1947) Corundolite. making them difficult to differentiate from natural diamonds. light dispersion. colorless synthetic sapphire (aka Diamondite) was a popular diamond simulant. Diamonte. With the advent of Cubic Zirconia in the mid 1970's. Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) The "Chemical Vapor Deposition" (CVD) method was developed during the 1980s. Synthetic Diamond Manufacturers Apollo Diamonds . Unlike their natural diamond counterparts.1970) Diagem. Lustergem. Synthetic diamonds can be detected using infrared. most of these lesser simulants fell by the wayside. or "simulate" the appearance of natural diamonds. hardness. ultraviolet. Jourado Diamond. Using Chemical Vapor Deposition. A cultured synthetic diamond will have the identical cleavage.' or six-anvil 'cubic press' to create the necessary pressure. which attracts the gas to the substrate. specific gravity. Rainbow Diamond. A diamond seed is placed into a growth camber. Common diamond simulants include: Cubic Zirconia (CZ) (1976-) Czarite. and a combination of heat and pressure are applied while a vaporized carbon-plasma that is combined with hydrogen is applied. making the stone appear yellowish. produced using the Verneuil (flame-fusion) Process. Diamondite. and uses a lowerpressure growth environment than the earlier HTHP method. the HTHP diamond's growth process can take 7 to 10 days to complete. 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. refractive index. Magalux. Titangem Synthetic Sapphire (1900-1947) Diamondette. and surface luster as its natural diamond counterpart. or by measuring UV fluorescence with a DiamondView tester. In the late 1940's Diamondite gave way to Synthetic Rutile which was popular until the advent of YAG in the early 1970's. Radient Yttrium Aluminum Garnet (YAG) (1970-1975) Diamone. Phianite Gadolinium Gallium Garnet (GGG) (1972-1975) Strontium Titanate (ST) (1955 . or "deposited" onto the substrate in successive layers. Fabulite Synthetic Rutile (1946-1955) Diamothyst.
each Gemesis cut stone over . using a proprietary variation of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) technique. Tairus produces rough sizes from . Massachusetts grows colorless (D to M) diamonds. with clarity grades from IF to SI. Apollo Diamond's cut stones are available in round brilliant.com To the average consumer. Chatham's pricing ranges from $6. emerald. The toughness of Cubic Zirconia is rated as good. Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite Cubic Zirconia Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Apollo Diamonds are cut and polished in sizes ranging from .3 on the Mohs scale. Tairus Created Gems are sold exclusively through Tairus Thailand Co. while diamond has a hardness of 10. and like Chatham. of Bangkok Thailand.25 carats is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. Gemesis only grows fancy-colored diamonds.chatham.500 to $9.Apollo Diamond. The Split Sphere system crystalizes the carbon seed in an alkaline.25 carats to 1 carat. To insure easy identification as a man-made product. and some fancy colored diamonds. and CZ has a hardness of only 8.30 carats to 3 carats.com Chatham Created Diamonds Chatham Gems is a San Francisco based company that grows only fancy-colored diamonds in colors ranging from champagne and canary yellow to pink and midnight blue. and each cut stone is laser inscribed with the Apollo company logo and serial number. Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is the most familiar type of diamond simulant on the market. inc. .500 per carat (2004 est. Cubic Zirconia (Zirconium Oxide ZrO2) has a completely different chemical structure.). which they claim is the closest thing to mother nature.com Tairus Created Gems Tairus Created Gems is a Russian company that grows fancy-colored diamonds in their proprietary "Split Sphere" system. princess.. Ltd. and rose cuts.gemesis. and each stone is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. www.apollodiamond. carbonate fluid solution that is similar to diamond-bearing metamorphic rock.com Gemesis Cultured Diamonds Gemesis is located in Sarasota. While a synthetic diamond is a man-made recreation of an actual carbon-based diamond. Florida. in Boston. www. www. and stones are cut to order.
CZ vs Diamond . Due to their low cost and consistency. Unlike most natural diamonds. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce. Zirconium oxide powder is heated. 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.41 (RI). then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond .17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2. Once the mixture has cooled. etc. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease.2. candle. Natural diamonds attract grease.Detectable to the Naked Eye Light Dispersion: Greater prismatic effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire Lack of Flaws: CZ is virtually flawless. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight. CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds. 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. or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond. Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored. and CZs can be made in any "color grade. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing. The 1. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left)." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR). but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye. For instance. the greater dispersive power.80 to 2. CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1. The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit. Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below). 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. a CZ is optically flawless.In 1973. Diamond's RI is 2. or colorless (white) versions.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light.170.800 .417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator.) in a totally dark room. .
417. found only in iron-nickel meteorites. center) near Winslow.com Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum).A small. and diamond at 0. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. while diamond has a hardness of 10.104 as compared to CZ at 0. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. etc.670. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. 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. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. candle. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible.) in a dark room. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion.044.060. Moissanite. is classified as an element rather than a compound. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. Moissanite has a hardness of 9. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0.69. Hodgkinson's 'Visual Optics' Detection The Hodgkinson technique (aka Visual Optics) was discovered by Alan Hodgkinson with Gem-A in the mid-1970s as a method for differentiating natural diamond from colorless gemstones and simulants. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight. Moissanite has an RI of 2. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond. when examining the gem through the kite facets. Arizona. Henri Moissan (above. . manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr.25 on the Mohs scale. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2.65 to 2. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998.
" and the rough stone must be cut with the grain. diamond is singly refractive Refractive Index: Moissanite has a refractive index of 2. one half of the crystal would be cut off. Like wood. creating the "Table Cut. most diamonds have some inclusions Moissanite vs Diamond . caused by primary reflections from the pavilion and CZ's low RI.670. Moissanite vs Diamond . A similarly sharp. Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be more diffused. rather than against it. only a diamond is hard enough to cut other diamonds." At the time. diamonds were valued primarily for their luster and hardness. The first improvements on nature's design involved a polishing of the crystal faces.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. although it can be easily cleaved or fractured due to its defined cleavage planes. but significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its high RI. which was called the "Point Cut. diamond has a "grain. detailed and sharply focused pattern caused by secondary reflections will be seen when observing a diamond. Diamond's RI is 2. Cutting a Rough Diamond . diamonds were used in their natural octahedral state. Diamond cutting can be traced back to the late Middle Ages.A small. Diamonds: Modern Diamond Cutting Diamond Cutting Background One of the hardest substances on earth. 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. The Modern Round Brilliant cut (below) is the culmination of several hundred years of experimentation and development. Prior to this time. due to its high refractive index.Detectable With Testing Double Refraction: Moissanite is double refractive. Table Cut diamonds appeared black to the eye." As further refinement progressed.417 Moissanite is double refractive (anisotropic) while a natural diamond is singly refractive (isotropic).
eliminate waste. or shatter the stone. the "blocker" or "lapper" will cut the first 18 main facets. A rough stone is cleaved if there are conspicuous defects and/or inclusions which would prevent it from being made into a single gemstone. An octahedron can be cut into one or two Round Brilliants but a square Princess cut will result in the least amount of waste due to the square shape of the stone. Sawing: A stone-cutting saw is a thin disk made of phosphor bronze. rounding the rough diamond into a conical shape.Cutting a raw diamond into a faceted and polished gem-quality stone is a multi-step process. a diamond can be cleaved in four directions parallel to each of the four octahedron crystal faces. Bruting: The rough is placed in a chuck on a lathe. Each step is critical to the final outcome. on a scaife. Cubic shapes are ideal for a square Princess or Radiant cut. then pressing it against a revolving cast iron disk. then a "brillianteer" will cut and polish the remaining 40 facets. The cutting (also called "placing") and polishing of each facet is accomplished by attaching the stone to a dop stick with cement. Cleaving: Cleaving refers to splitting a stone along its grain by striking it. or lap that has been "charged" with diamond dust. Due to its atomic structure. Asymmetrical crystals such as macles are used primarily for fancy cuts. Cleaving is a critical step as a mistake by the "cleaver" could fracture. The natural shape of the rough stone will also be a major factor in deciding how to cut the stone. and bypass any inclusions or imperfections. It can take several hours for the saw blade to cut through a 1k rough diamond. As the saw blade rotates it continues to pickup or "recharge" itself with diamond dust which is the cutting agent. and maintain symmetry. While the rough stone rotates on the diamond lathe. This step is also referred to as "rounding." Faceting: To facet a round brilliant. During this faceting stage the angles of each facet must be cut to an exacting standard in order to yield maximum brilliancy. High-tech computerized helium and oxygen analyzers are now used to evaluate a stone prior to cutting. Diamonds: Ideal Cut . a second diamond mounted on a dop is pressed against it. Cleavage is the tendency of crystalline materials to split along defined cleavage plane. 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.Modern Round Brilliant Diamond .
but in order to do this. the rough stone has some coloration and/or is heavily included. on the other hand. Reconciling Cut & Weight Retention If the rough stone has a colorless D through F rating and has very few inclusions. The objective is always to maximize carat weight. This is accomplished by reconciling three key factors . and the amount of internal inclusions will play an important part in the decisions as to how to maximize yield. a cutter must make a cost-benefit analysis as to how to maximize the cut stone's value. it may be better to aim for a higher carat weight utilizing a "Standard" cut. The clarity of the stone. elimination of any inclusions. compromises would have to be made.weight retention.Ideal Cut vs Standard Cut Diamond Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. An octehedral rough diamond will yield two round brilliant cut stones (see diagram below). Parameters Ideal Cut Standard (Premium) Cut Rough Material Loss Finished Stones Cutting Time Crown Symmetry Greater Loss Lower Carat Weight 2 to 4 Days Ideal Higher Yield Higher Carat Weight 1 to 2 Days Shallow Crown . cut proportions.com When deciding how to cut a rough diamond. it would be cost effective to sacrifice some carat weight in order to finish with two "Ideal" cuts. If.
" Even with modern techniques. 16 "upper girdle" facets. In the diagram of a "Round Cut" diamond (above and below). 8 "pavilion" facets. This cut is also known as the "Tolkowsky Cut" and "Tolkowsky Brilliant. etc. The Modern Round Brilliant Cut The modern "Round Brilliant Cut" (below) was developed by Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. 16 "lower girdle" facets. 8 "kite" facets. "Premium Cut" or "Modern Round Brilliant" (Tolkowsky Round Brilliant) diamond as shown in the diagrams above would have the following basic proportions according to the AGS: . The round brilliant cut is beneficial when the crystal is an octahedron. as two stones could be cut from one crystal. and 2. you will see that there are 8 "star" facets. it is the best cut for showcasing a high-quality stone's fire and brilliance. 1 "culet" facet on the bottom.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. and one "table" facet on the top of the stone for a total of 58 facets. This is why it is very rare to see flawless stones cut into fancy cuts such as emeralds. it is the most efficient cut for maximizing yield. An "Ideal Cut". This is primarily due to the fact that this cut has yet to be improved on for two reasons: 1. the cutting and polishing of a diamonds resulted in a loss of as much as 50% of the stone's total weight. hearts. The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem.
. As with all human endeavors. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57. H&A Viewer. Ideal Scope.N. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42. crown height of 14. and overall height of 57.N. invented in 1929.5%. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut. Tolkowsky. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope. very small to small In the 1970s. Since then. . but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. facet ratios. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. Symmetry. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant". AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts. The "Scan D.6% and overall height of 57. and Proportions.7%.' and there has been numerous attempts to improve on this tried-and-true formula with the introduction of new signature diamond cuts that claim to have a higher light return." (Scandinavian standard.4%.7%. and crown/pavilion angles. etc. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design.5% to 43. more brilliance and fire. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). A perfect blending of facet symmetry. To quantify a diamond's cut quality.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35. Eppler & Scan D.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed. crown height of 14. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap.
mathematicians. Some have gone on to become household names such as the Asscher cut.asscher. and number of facets. Popular in Art Deco jewelry of the period. and entrepreneurs . The cut has a deep pavilion and a high crown. Asscher Cut The Asscher Cut was developed by Abraham and Joseph Asscher of the Royal Asscher Diamond Company of Amsterdam in 1902.the consumer.Producers split hairs over cut angle. and it still survives in some form today.) and when suitably scrutinized by the gem trade. and their modest brilliance and light return. or the widely marketed Leo cut which is a modified round-brilliant sold by Leo Schachter Diamonds. the Asscher diamond cut has a squarish octagonal shape with a step cut. cut proportions. (more facets. with the two largest stones. the Cullinan 1 and Cullinan 2 being set into the crown and sceptre of the British Crown Jewels.nl Barion Cut . etc.each trying to improve on the tried-and-true Old European cuts. scientists. it is put in front of the ultimate arbiter of quality . and the culet is square. Every conceivable cutting theory is tried. but some like the Barion Cut have disappeared into obscurity. www.like Einstein's theory of relativity.106 carat Cullinan Diamond into eleven gem stones. Here is a collection of just a few of the many "signature" diamond cuts that have been produced over the last 100 years. less facets. One thing is for sure . but at the end of the day it may simply come down to consumer preference and/or marketing. cut corners and a small table. 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 Asscher brothers cut the famous 3. Tolkowsky came up with a "brilliant" idea almost 90 years ago.
or to increase light-dispersion. Garrard & Co. 81 facets on the cut corner (cushion) version. Germany. The Barion square cut diamond has a 4-fold mirror-image symmetry. creating a unique 'flower petal' pattern surrounding the cutlet. The Context Cut consists of two back-to-back pyramids (an octahedron). www. with star-shaped cross facets cut diagonally into the pavilion. and a total of 81 facets.baroka. not including the 16 girdle facets. A Barocut diamond has a total of 77 facets. Marce Tolkowsky. Barocut stones are also sold in tapered shapes. Inc.garrard. The Barocut is available in sizes from 20 points to 3 carats. and in all diamond colors and/or clarity grades. The Eternal Cut is being sold exclusively at Garrard's main London store and Harvey Nichols stores in Great Britain.com Context Cut The Context Cut is a square cut that was developed by Dr. forming a square shape when viewed from the top. adding up to 50% to the cost when compared to a Round Brilliant cut diamond. and was the forerunner to the princess cut. Ulrich Freiesleben of Germany in the early 1980s then patented and trademarked in 1997. merged with the jewelry firm Asprey. www. and a 'softer' briliance than a traditional round brilliant cut. nephew to the inventor of the Modern Round Brilliant cut. It is sold exclusively through the 270 year old firm of Garrard & Company in London.com . The cut has a total of 8 facets plus a girdle. or the company website. In 1998. Gabi Tolkowsky. Barocut The Barocut® diamond cut is a patented.de Eternal Cut The Eternal Cut diamond was designed and patented by master Israeli diamond cutter. and its patent has expired. The Eternal Cut has a total of 81 facets. The Context Cut follows a rough diamond crystal's natural octahedral shape. www. Barocut diamonds are promoted and sold exclusively through the Baroka Creations catalog.freiesleben. The Context Cut design was based on an earlier patented design by Bernd Munsteiner from the early 1960s. The name "Barion" or "Barion cut" was never trademarked.The Barion square cut (aka Barion square cushion cut) was invented by Basil Watermeyer of South Africa in 1971. of New York in 2000. The Barocut is also called a "two heart diamond" due to the illusion of two mirrored hearts meeting at the culet. parting ways in 2002 to again become Garrard. The Context Cut is used to cut colored gemstones by Julius Petsch of Idar-Oberstein. The cutting process requires a high-quality rough. to become Asprey & Garrard. and creates a high amount of waste. 23 more than a modern Round Brilliant cut. modified rectangular (baguette) cut that was developed by Baroka Creations.
The Flanders Brilliant has 33 crown facets and 28 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets. Other than the traditional round brilliant shape. LLC. designed to maximize the brilliance and color of diamonds while increasing their yield. the Gabrielle Cut is available in carre. .com Flower Cut The 'Flower Cut' series was created by Gabi Tolkowsky in 1986. emerald. The Flanders Fire-Brilliant was developed by Flanders Cut International of Antwerp in 1983. adding greater brilliance and fire than standard brilliant cuts. The Leo diamond cut has a total of 66 facets. is a patented symmetrical round cut created by Leo Schachter Diamonds.flanders-cuts. off-color stones. 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.nationaldiamond. The Zinnia is a round fancy shape with 73 facets. The Flower Cuts were never patented or trademarked by De Beers in order to increase their popularity and use. that is suited to a relatively flat rough. 8 more facets than the Round Brilliant cut's 58.Flanders Brilliant Cut The Flanders Brilliant Cut (aka Fire Brilliant) is a modified Radiant or Princess cut with truncated corners that form an octagon with brilliant faceting. The Flower Cut is actually a series of five fancy cut shapes: the Dahlia.com www. the Gabrielle has a total of 105 facets. The Marigold is an octagon shape with 73 facets. The Flower Cuts employ unconventional cutting angles and dimensions. angular shapes. (aka Leo Schachter Diamond).gabriellediamonds. Unveiled at the Las Vegas Gem Show in 2001. and pear shapes. maximizing the amount of light returned back as scintillation. The Sunflower has 43 facets in unusual. which is 47 more than a traditional 'Tolkowsky' round brilliant cut. The Fire-Rose is a hexagonal shape designed to produce higher yields. 48 of which are clustered around the culet to increase fire. www. Marigold. heart. www. who was commissioned by De Beers to create new cuts as a way of marketing unusual. marquise.com Leo Cut The Leo® Diamond. oval. The Dahlia is a 12 sided oval shape with 63 facets. Sunflower and Zinnia cut. and the cut was named after the Flanders region of Belgium (Antwerp) where the cut was first preformed in 1987. Fire-Rose. The cut is distributed by the National Diamond Syndicate (NDS) of Chicago.
There are a total of 49 facets. Prior to the Quadrillion.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.com Lucida Cut The Lucida (TM) Cut is a patented diamond cut that was created by Tiffany & Company in 1999. small table.tiffany. Bez Ambar Radiant Cut The Radiant Cut is a modified emerald cut shape that was developed. and all Original Radiant Cut diamonds weigh at least 0.The Leo diamond cut is the first to be certified for fire and brilliance as measured by a 'BrillianceScope. RCDC launched the 'Original Radiant Cut' diamond brand In 2002. www. the Radiant Cut became a fully accepted diamond shape in the jewelry business. The Lucida is sold exclusively through Tiffany's retail chain. sold in solitaire engagement/wedding bands. a highstep crown (similar to the Asscher Cut). and a total of has 50 facets. www." The Leo Diamond is marketed through the Kay Jeweler chain.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 pavilion is similar to a Barion cut. and the table is a bowed out rectangle.' and each diamond comes with a "Return of Light Certificate. square shaped diamonds were stepcut limiting their brilliance. The Lucida diamond cut is marketed as a wedding cut. www.diamondaires. and three-stone rings. Upon the expiration of the patent. It was the first emerald shaped diamond cut to have brilliance and fire similar to that of a round brilliant diamond. The Lucida diamond cut is a modified square or rectangular (Marquise) cut with truncated corners. patented and trademarked by Henry Grossbard of the Radiant Cut Diamond Company (RCDC) in 1977. and was patented and trademarked by Bez Ambar Jewelers of Los Angeles in 1980. 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. brilliant-style faceted pavilion (similar to a Cushion Cut). There are 25 crown facets and 36 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets (not including 8 girdle facets).com Starburst Cut . eternity bands.
The "table cut" (below. www. right) was created by cutting off some of the top half of the point cut's octahedron to create a table. and the career of the "diamantaire" (diamond cutter/polisher) was born. Old European Gem Cuts: Point.louisglick. Trillion) is a triangular cut designed and trademarked by the Henry Meyer Diamond Company of New York in 1962. of New York in 1978. . The Starburst cut is especially suitable for a octahedral rough. There are two variations of this cut: the Curved cut used for solitary stones. making the hue of fancy yellow diamonds more intense. The Starburst cut was created to bring out the highest amount of color to fancy yellow diamonds. Still. fire. but that has not always been easy as these little chunks of elemental carbon are harder that anything that could be found to cut them. brilliance. and light return from the stone. craftsmen have attempted to "improve" on nature. Old Mine Cut Evolution of the Faceted Diamond & Colored Gem Article Copyright © 2008 AllAboutGemstones. There are 49 crown facets and 40 pavilion facets.The Starburst Cut was patented and trademarked by the Louis Glick Diamond Corp. the precursor for the "design" of the first faceted diamond lay within the rough stone itself. Starburst Cuts are mounted and sold directly through Cartier. for a total of 89 kite and star shaped facets. Since the day that humans first discovered 'adamas' (diamonds). Point Cut . and scintillation when cut to the correct proportions. The crown of the Starburst Cut is similar to that of the radiant cut. with weight losses in the fifty percent range. From this point forward it was a race to see who could design the perfect faceted cut which would bring out the maximum fire.com Trilliant Cut The Trilliant Cut (aka Trielle. and Uncurved cut used for accent stones. but the pavilion is completely different. The Trilliant Cut has a total of 31 facets. The starburst faceting pattern is designed to focus color near the top of a stone. With the realization that only a diamond could cut another diamond. The point cut design is dictated by the natural shape of an octahedral rough diamond. 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. Nieman Marcus and Tiffany. reworked into the shape of a trillion (triangle).early 1300s The "point cut" (below left) is one of the first symmetrically faceted diamond cuts. Old eight. and the natural octahedral symmetry of the rough stone's closed isometric form. The Trilliant trademark has since lapsed. Harry Winston. The Trilliant has the Schoenflies point group symmetry of a round brilliant. The pavilion has two differently sized sets triangular facets with a large triangular table. Trillian.com The faceting of diamonds has come a long way in the last 700 years. and the Trilliant is now a generic term for a triangular brilliant cut. The Trilliant cut gives a high brilliance. this led to the invention of the first gem cutting machines (precursor to the "lap" or "Facetron") in the 1300s.
Also called the "cushion cut". resulting in a smaller table." "crowned rose cut.late 1300s Invented in the late 14th century. an octagonal table. 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." and the Full Holland cut. The culet is usually large enough to be visible when viewed through the table. The briolette was the precursor to the "pendeloque cut" which is a pear-shaped modification of the round brilliant cut. and eight pavilion facets. The "briolette cut" is a modified "double Dutch rose cut" with one of the hemispheres being elongated.1700s The "old mine" cut is the earliest form of the "brilliant cut" diamond. The "senaille cut" is a rose cut with irregular or non-symmetrical faceting. This Old Mine cut is basically square with gently rounded corners and "brilliant" style facets. eight bezel or crown facets. The single cut may or may not have a culet at the bottom." "Dutch cut. the "rose cut" is also known by the the "Antwerp rose. the "old single cut" (aka "old eight cut") diamond has the addition of corner facets to create an octagonal girdle.Single Cut . The crown is typically tall. Rose & Briolette Cut. it has a cushioned or rounded girdle shape. . Old Mine Cut .1500s Invented in the mid 16th century. The briolette cut was designed primarily for use in a pendant or as a dangling bauble in a crown.
and an octagon-shaped table for a total of 17 facets (18 if a culet is used). Like the modern round brilliant. The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem.1900s The "modern round brilliant cut" (below) was developed by Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. As with its predecessor the "point cut" over 600 years earlier. The eight cut is similar to the "single cut" in that there are eight four-sided trapezoidal facets at the crown." Even with modern techniques. and very tall overall depth.Old European Cut . eight facets at the pavilion. the old European diamond has a circular girdle. The Modern Round Brilliant Cut . Eight Cut & Swiss Cut The "eight cut" is primarily used for small stones when a brilliant cut would be impractical. This cut is also known as the "Tolkowsky Cut" and "Tolkowsky brilliant. The Old European diamond cut has a very small table. a heavy crown. as two stones can be cut from one crystal with a minimum amount of waste. the Modern Round Brilliant cut is beneficial when the crystal is an octahedron (diagram above). .1800s The "Old European" cut was the forerunner of the modern round brilliant cut. the cutting and polishing of a diamonds resulted in a loss of as much as 50% of the stone's total weight.
thereby controlling and stabilizing prices. silver or platinum. with a total of 33 facets (34 if a culet is used). 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). which combines ("aggregating") supplies of rough diamonds from multiple sources into one wholesale market (#2). The Diamond Trade: The 'Diamond Pipeline' Rough Diamond Producers Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. for sorting and resale. Both the eight cut Swiss cut are still used today for small very diamonds and gems (smaller than 2mm carat weight) as would be used in pavé settings. Rio Tinto.A "Swiss cut" is a compromise between an eight cut and a brilliant cut. there is usually a substantial mark-up in the retail sale price of diamonds. 16 isosceles triangle facets on the crown and 16 facets on the pavilion. Kimberley and Windhoek. The rough stones are separated into 16." The 'Diamond Pipeline' Rough diamonds are sent directly from De Beers mining operations in Africa (#1). color and quality. Trans Hex. There is a limited market for the resale of diamonds that are less than "investment grade.000 categories based on size. ." The DTC is part of the DeBeers Group supply-chain known as the Central Selling Organization (CSO). Unlike precious metals such as gold.com The trade in gem-grade rough diamonds is primarily controlled by the De Beers. or secondary mining producers in Canada and Russia to De Beers' Diamond Trading Company (DTC) in London. Gaborone. then divided by human or automated sorters into individual lots called "boxes.
Tel Aviv. Many Sightholders are also cutters. cutters. Ramat Gan. Rough diamonds are cut in various geographic regions according to tradition and the skill-sets of the labor force. (see DeBeers' Adiamondisforever. Additionally. or to jewelry manufacturers (#5) around the world.De Beers Sightholders The DTC holds a sale called a "site" or "sight" ten times per year in London and Johannesburg. As a reaction to their decrease in market share. they are sold to retailers or direct to the customer. Both traders and manufacturers may sell diamonds "upstream" and "downstream" through the diamond pipeline . The sightholder then transports the box of rough diamonds back to diamantaire firms (cutting and polishing factories) located around the world (#4). De Beers (DTC) sets the price of each box in advance. and Thailand. and independent diamond producers in Canada.com website). while large stones are primarily cut in Antwerp. India cuts the vast majority of small stones (. China.000. determining the quantity and quality that each site-holder will receive. De Beers.000 to $2. De Beers is also facing increasing pressure from the manufactures of synthetic diamonds. to take advantage of market fluctuations. reclaiming their "A Diamond Is Forever" moniker. and retailers . Other major cutting centers are located in Johannesburg. . and the breakaway from CSO's cartel by the Argyle Diamond Mine in Australia. which are increasing in popularity and consumer acceptance. De Beers and the Future De Beers' (CSO's) control over the wholesale diamond market has diminished due to increased market penetration. where De Beers sells the "boxes" to its select group ("supplier of choice") of 125 "sightholders" (#3) or diamond manufacturers. A 'sight' can have a value of between $500.20 carats or less) in Mumbai (Bombay) and Surat. diamonds have underperformed since 1987 when compared to the "luxury goods" market or global GDP. through their Diamond Promotion Service (DPS) and Diamond Information Centres (DIC) marketing divisions. The diamonds are then re-sold from the cutting and polishing (manufacturing) centers to wholesalers (Diamond Bourses). has launched an aggressive branding and marketing campaign.000 USD. and New York. Russia and elswhere. Once the diamonds are set into jewelry.
. The Diamond Trade: Diamond Bourses of Antwerp Diamond Bourses Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. are sold in Antwerp every year. South Africa. The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates . the WDC has observers from the governments of Belgium. heavily guarded geographic area surrounded by three main streets. Belgium but there are also Diamond Bourses in Israel. . This mark is only visible via a point-of-sale electronic viewer. and Rijfstraat. Forevermark diamonds will be available through sightholder/retailers in the U. 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 . 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. cut and uncut diamonds. and Shanghai. Hoveniersstraat. NY . Europe. The Council began in July 2000 after a joint meeting of the WFDB and its international headquarters are in New York City. As of 2006. and the city is the hub of the global diamond trading industry (diamanthandel). Diamond Bourses are basically trading exchanges for loose. In addition to its members.Forevermark Diamonds As a way of staving off the onslaught of secondary diamond markets. De Beers is hoping that the combination of branding and security will increase consumer demand.S. some 1. the European Union and the United Nations to rid the diamond Industry of conflict diamonds.com The word "Bourse" refers to a private stock. Almost 85% of the world's rough diamonds. The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base. Within Antwerp's diamond district. Schupstraat. the DTC has developed new inscription technologies to "invisibly" mark the table facet of polished diamonds with a "Forevermark" trademark. and will com with a certificate of authenticity. and India (2007). London. bond. Hong Kong. traders and manufacturer/producers. and preventing the inherent product misidentification that will follow. The largest diamond trading center in the world is located in Antwerp. The Council has approximately 70 members representing jewelers. 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. also known as the "World Diamond Center" or Diamantenzentrum. or commodities exchange similar to the NYSE.500 diamond dealers (diamantbedrijven) are ensconced in small. KPCS originated in May 2000 during a meeting of South African diamond producing states in Kimberley. Asia. Moscow. and about half of the polished diamonds. Israel and South Africa and works with 35 independent Governments. China.
which was established in the same year that the 1930 World Expo was held in Antwerp. an by-laws that govern business practices. In Antwerp's 'Diamond Center' (Diamantenzentrum) today. These first trading exchanges mainly dealt with the wholesaling of cut stones. 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) . After the liberation. friendship and trust . regulations. founded in 1893—and the Beurs voor Diamanthande (at Pelikaanstraat 78) founded in 1904 . The Diamond High Council (HRD) . the Antwerpsche Diamantkring was reopened. ethics and morality. Most transactions conducted within the Bourses done with cash and a handshake. 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. Beurs voor Diamanthandel .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 the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) was founded in 1947. making it the largest diamond-trading center in the world . Around $16+ billion in polished diamonds pass through Antwerp's diamond bourses each year. and repatriation of Antwerp following the end of WWII. there are around 4000 diamond-cutters (diamantaire) working in the several-square-block diamond district.Photo: Wiki Public The first trading exchange to deal exclusively with rough. and both are still in operation today. and disputes are handled by an internal arbitration process. bisected by Hoveniersstraat street.
The Voortrekkers had to contend with the native Zulu tribe over land they wished to settle on. 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. which at the time was administered by the 'Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie' or 'Dutch East India Company. They settled in the 'Cape of Good Hope' on Africa's southern most tip. Afrikaners who participated in the migration northward became known as the 'Trekboer' or Voortrekkers. who were in search of the "quiet sweet life.The HRD (Hoge Raad voor Diamant) Diamond High Council is a non-profit industry organization designed to promote and represent the Antwerp diamond trade.' During the 1830s and 1840s. with 10.' 'Gauteng. coming for . There was not a single Boer fatality. under the Treaty of Vereeniging. there was a mass exodus (the Great Trek) northward to 'Northern Cape. Afrikaners (aka Boers or farmers) were religious refugees from the Netherlands and other parts of northern Europe during the mid 1600s to late 1700s. The Diamond Trade: History & Culture of the Key Players Article Copyright © 2006 AllAboutGemstones.' After the devastating Zulu defeat.com Diamonds and the Afrikaners The Afrikaners & British Diamonds and the Jews The Hindustani Diamond Cutters The African Nationals The Americans Photos: Public Domain The Boers Historically. The First Boer War (1880—1881) began with the Transvaal (Limpopo) Boers declaring independence from Great Britain. or German Protestant backgrounds. and this eventually lead to all-out war. The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base.' 'Limpopo. Gauteng (Premier Diamond Mine). most with Dutch Calvinist. Flemish. Diamonds and the British The Second Wave of Europeans Needing a stopping-off point on the sea-route to Australia and India. but 3000 Zulus were killed in what became known as the 'Battle of Blood River. ending with the inclusion of all Boer territories into British colonies. This led to a new wave of emigrants and adventurer-seekers from England." Three of South Africa's richest diamond mines are in Northern Cape (Kimberley Diamond Mine). The Boers resisted British encroachments into their territory until the Second 'Anglo' Boer War (1899— 1902). The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates . and Limpopo (Venetia Diamond Mine).' and the 'Orange Free State' provinces to escape hostilities with the native 'Xhosa tribe' from which Nelson Mandela decended.000 Zulu warriors attacking 470 Boer settlers. and fully annexed the Cape Colony in 1806 . England seized the Cape of Good Hope from the Dutch East India Company in 1797.
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. and in 1910 the 'Union of South Africa' was created. he was able to build a monopolistic empire through skill and cunning. As a young lad from England.. and J. but was eventually successful in convincing Barnato to merge with De Beers.. With the help of the Rothschild bank in London. a prospector. a curious discovery was being made along the banks of the Orange River." In 1906. Photo: Pub. Amid all of this turmoil and chaos. One of the richest men in the world. in Northern Cape. Cullinan . As founder of De Beers. Rhodes made several aborted attempt to gain control over Barnato's interest in Kimberley Central Mine. N. 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. Domain Thomas M. In exchange. D. although Rhodes did not start out with an interest in diamonds. Domain Cecil Rhodes Cecil Rhodes (1853—1902) is the undisputed father of the modern diamond industry. no heirs to his empire. 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. The African nation of Rhodesia was named after him (now the Republic of Zimbabwe). Rhodes started out selling ice cream to the diamond-diggers and service workers. Cecil Rhodes' De Beers empire was started on a farm owned by two Boer settlers and brothers.the "mineral revolution. De Beer. Barnato died several years later. Barnato was given appointed to 'life governor' and temporary controlling interest in De Beers . mysteriously falling overboard on a ship passage back to England. Domain Barney Barnato During the same period that Cecil Rhodes was building De Beers Consolidated Mines. Photo: Pub. and later selling steam-powered water pumps to drain the open-pit mines of Kimberley. A. Photo: Pub. De Beers and Kimberley Central were the two largest mining interests in South Africa at the time. self-government was restored.' Cecil Rhodes died a single man with no children and.
Sir Thomas Major Cullinan (1860—1936) was the founder of one of Africa's richest diamond mines, the 'Premier Diamond Mine,' 30 kilometers east of Pretoria, in Gauteng province, South Africa. Although Cullinan was already a successful building contractor in Johannesburg, he was also an amateur geologist who had heard about alluvial diamonds being found along a stream near the old 'Cornelis Minnaar Farm' in upper Gauteng. Cullinan was interested in purchasing the farm, which had already changed hands several times, but the present owner, Willem Prinsloo (who had purchased the land for £570 in 1861) was not interested in selling. Shortly after the close Anglo Boer War (1898—1902), Willem Prinsloo's widow agreed to sell the land to Cullinan for £52,000, and the 'Transvaal Premier Diamond Mining Company LTD' was officially registered on the December 1, 1902 . On January 25th 1905, a 3,106 carat diamond was found at the mine, which remains the largest diamond ever found in the world. When news of Premier's success hit the board room of De Beers, several aborted attempts were made to purchase the mine, but Cullinan had no intention of selling . In 1914, WW1 broke out in Europe, and diamond prices began to spiral. Layoffs at the mine caused enough friction that by August, mining operations were suspended. The Premier Mine had resumed production by January 1916, but in need of cash, Cullinan sold a major stake in the mine to the Transvaal government. Frank Oats, who was now the chairman of De Beers, was able to convince the Transvaal government to sell its controlling interest in 1917, and De Beers once again enjoyed a monopoly on South African diamonds.
Diamonds and the Ashkenazi, Sephardi and Hasidic Jews
There is perhaps no other ethnic group that is so inextricably intertwined with the diamond trade, than the jews. In an odd twist of fate, it may be Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama's discovery of a searoute to India around Africa's Cape of Good Hope in 1488, that set the stage for the Jewish/diamond connection. Da Gama's discovery opened up a direct diamond-trading route from India's Malabar Coast and the island of Borneo, to Portugal and on the Netherlands. With Lisbon now at the forefront of the European diamond trade, many Portuguese Sephardi businessmen opened cutting houses, and quickly gained a dominant roll in the diamond-polishing industry. The Sephardi were Jews who originated from Spain and Portugal (the Iberian Peninsula), many practicing a secret adherence to Judaism known as "Crypto-Judaism," while professing other faiths. Jews who practiced their religion in the open were expelled from Spain and Portugal, when the Catholic Monarchs issued the "Alhambra Decree" in 1492 (1497 for Portugal), fleeing to Morocco, the Ottoman Empire, Antwerp and Amsterdam. When the first Jewish emigrants (Ashkenazi) came to Antwerp in the 1200s, they were welcomed, but when the Black Plague swept across Antwerp in the mid 1300s, the Jews were one of the scapegoats. Although Amsterdam's Dutch were relatively tolerant when it came to religious freedom, in 1585 Antwerp came under Spanish rule, and the Jews (this time Sephardic), were once again the focus of scrutiny. With the Spanish Inquisition in high gear, Jews were now persecuted for conducting trade with the Ottoman Empire, or for being 'pseudo-Christian.' In the 1600s, wealthy Jewish diamond-traders now living in the Netherlands, financed the 'Dutch East India Company' and its exploration of new trade routes to India, but the British were beginning to see opportunity in the diamond trade, creating new competition for the Jewish/Dutch. Prior to being granted 'civil equality' in 1796, Amsterdam's Jews were not allowed to join trade guilds, leaving the unregulated diamond industry as one of the only means of employment. By the late 18th century, many of Amsterdam's Jews were working in the diamond trade, and many of these 'Sephardi refugees' had maintained connections with Portuguese traders who now had a monopoly on the trade of raw diamonds from India. By the early 1700s, India's mines were nearing exhaustion, but a new discovery in Brazil helped to reinvigorate the diamond trade. By this time, British naval superiority proved to be a great advantage, and the 'British East India Company' was born. The European center for the diamond trade now began to move away from Amsterdam, as Jewish traders set up shop in London. The cut stones were sold to the nobility and royalty of Europe, using the Hofjude (Court Jews) as purchasing agents to select the stones from the London diamond merchants.
Photo: Pub. Domain
The Pshevorsk Hasidic Dynasty Hasidic Judaism was founded by Polish (now Ukrainian) Rabbi 'Ba'al Shem Tov', aka 'Israel ben Eliezer' (1698—1760) in a time when European Jews were facing increasing hostility and pressure from the "Cossacks' Uprising" in Ukraine. The Hasidic movement is a sub-group of the theologically conservative Haredi or Charedi Judaism, aka Ultra-Orthodox Judaism. The movement was seen as a way of turning inward towards a 'deeper spiritualism and mysticism.' Hasidism spread westward, making its way to western Europe in the 1800s. The Hasidic movement in Antwerp began with Rabbi Moshe of Pshevorsk, who authored 'Ohr Pnei Moshe' in 1805 . The Pshevorsk is a small sub-Hasidic movement based in Antwerp, Belgium, with their hub at the study hall (beth midrash), 'Beth Yitzchok' at Mercatorstraat 56. With the discovery of vast diamond reserves in South Africa during the late 1800s, concern over a glut in the diamond market spread throughout London's diamond merchants. A group of wealthy Jewish dealers pooled their resources to form "the syndicate," which was created to soak up all of the excess capacity being created by South Africa. Today, Antwerp and London's diamond trade is largely controlled by the Hasidic Jewish community, although Indian influence is on the rise in recent years. Many of these Hasidic entrepreneurs are nameless by choice, preferring to maintain their anonymity, but they have been the driving force behind the multi-billion dollar diamond industry for hundreds of years.
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 . 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
Mr. and one of the most successful diamond merchants in modern history. New York's Madison Avenue. Russia. Monte Carlo. Photo: Pub. The Hindustani Diamond Cutters Photo: dnavin. now called ALROSA (Almazy-Rossii-Sakha) . Lesotho Promise is the 15th largest diamond ever found. ALROSA produces 100% of Russia's rough diamond output and approximately 20% of the world's rough diamonds . found on August 22.5 billion dollars . Graff has co-authored (with Vanessa von Zitzewitz) "The Most Fabulous Jewels in the World. and the largest rough unearthed in this century.com Gujarat's Indian Diamantaires . Graff's strategy of "vertically integration" has been to control every angle of the diamond pipeline. Lev Leviev lives in B'nei Brak. formed by Decree 158C of the Russian Federation. House of Graff is also located on London's Sloane Street. a DeBeers sightholder in Johannesburg. Domain Laurence Graff Laurence Graff (1938—) is a DeBeers sightholder. 2006 at the Letseng diamond mine in the tiny Kingdom of Lesotho in the center of the Republic of South Africa. from wholesale and retail. which gives him access to some of the finest uncut diamonds coming out of South Africa. Using this model of "local control. Tretiakovsky Proezd in Moscow. Graff's net worth is estimated at 2. All House of Graff stones have a laser-inscribed girdle with the 'Graff' logo and GIA number. Hotel de Paris' salon privé in Paris. Israel. Dubai." the Leviev Group has found willing partners in several countries including Angola's ASCORP after De Beers' exit in 2001. Alrosa now sells direct to cutting factories throughout Russia. Graff has been dubbed the "king of diamonds. selling to the rich and famous from Elizabeth Taylor and Donald Trump. to purchasing a 51% stake in Safdico (South African Diamond Corp.state. and on board the luxury residential ship The World ResidenSea.5 billion (#278 Forbes List). in 1992. It will ultimately be cut into an estimated 20 or so 'D-flawless' stones ranging from 75 carats to 1 carat in size. and has satellite locations in Wafi City. Raised by his grandparents. which are now owned by Lev Leviev. One of his most notable acquisitions was the 603 carat "Lesotho Promise diamond." a compendium and history of his most famous jewels. Lev Leviev has formed a partnership with the ex Soviet state-owned diamond firm. founder of the House of Graff in the heart of London's posh New Bond Street. with his wife and their nine children. Leviev's net-worth is estimated at $2. By circumventing the De Beers supply chain." and the "king of bling" by Forbes magazine . to Larry Ellison. Laurence Graff was born into a Jewish orthodox family in London's poorer 'East End' district.).
is the CEO of the 'Rosy Blue Group' which is currently one of the world's largest diamond companies. Photo: rosyblue. improve perceptions. and were written about in an ancient Sanskrit manuscript called the "The Lesson of Profit" Arthasastra (c. Domain Bharat & Vijay Shah Bharat and Vijay Shah came from a family of jewelers going back three generations. polishes. Suresh & Co. or "thunderbolt. 320 BC) by Kautiliya. Gitanjali Gems. the Hindustan Diamond Company Ltd. Chandragupta. displacing the Hasidim as the dominant force in the industry . propelling their twin companies. India (born 1949). Mehta. and Shah. they were able to gain an increasingly larger share of the wholesale diamond trade." The Indians would go on to enjoy a singular reign over the diamond-rich dominion—known as Hindustan—for another two thousand years. Companies like Bhavani Gems. Much of India's diamond trade is controlled by a handful of wealthy families in Gujarat. started out thirty years ago by purchasing cheaper stones that the Dutch Hasidim. Gitanjali Gems is one of the largest manufacturers of diamonds and diamond jewelry in India. Harshad Mehta ("Diamond King of the world") is one of the founders of Rosy Blue. to elevate quality standards. 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 Indians would not be giving up their rightful heritage as diamantaires. and exports several billion dollars worth of gems per year. based upon eternal. is the newest addition to India's arsenal of global marketing tools to promote exports. heighten awareness of ethical business practices. a minister to the Indian king. universal truths.Diamonds made their first reluctant appearance in human history over 2400 years ago. . and is currently a Senior Partner and head of the UAE division. Gujarat. Photo: Pub. with diamond cutting factories located in Borivali. and Vijaydimon are family owned operations run by Jains with the common surnames of Jhavari. and Israelis didn't want to work with . Navinchandra & Co (board of directors . The brothers. M. D." The Bharat Diamond Bourse in Mumbai. Venus Jewels.com Dilip Mehta Indian diamantaire.7 billion in annual sales . and although India's famous "Diamonds of Golconda" were mined-out hundreds of years ago. (HDC). both college dropouts. are headed and staffed by Mehta family members. Several other divisions of the Rosy Blue Group. and Surat's 'Special Economic Zone' . from Hong Kong to Israel. The Indian communities' share has grown to around 60%. Jainism is an ancient Indian religious sect believing in the 'Jain' philosophy. It is estimated that India cuts. The Indo Argyle Diamond Council (IADC) formed in 1994 as a consortium of Indian jewelry manufacturers and cutting houses. Dilip Mehta of Mumbai. and to develop an "understanding of the world market. and De Beers India. with $1. Of the $26 billion per year diamond revenues that flow through Antwerp. This vast fortune is shared by some 300 to 500 Gujaratis families from Palanpur on the GujaratRajasthan border .above). Mumbai. The Sanskrit word for 'diamond' was vajra. Shree Ramkrishna Exports. Sanghavi Exports. By slowly developing markets.
Bangkok. who was a major general in the army. the political situation in Angola has begun to normalize. Diamonds and the Americans Photo: Pub. all who have signed multi-million dollar trade deals. At the age of 29. is receiving broad support from the South Africa. into a global position with nearly $1 Billion a year in sales. many of the ex-colonial nations of Sub-Saharan Africa are starting to emerge as powerful and legitimate forces in the diamond industry. working in cooperation with the government of Sierra Leone. Vijaydimon also purchases rough diamonds from Canada's Diavik Mine and Argyle (Rio Tinto) and Russia .Vijaydimon (Belgium) and B Vijaykumar (India) . is making great strides in stabilizing the country after years of strife. Singapore. Domain N. dos Santos. After winning a disicive re-election victory in 2006. Diamonds and the African Nationals Photos: Public Domain Kabila. and the end to South African apartheid in 1994. On a somewhat darker note. created a program for capacity-building of 'small and medium-sized enterprise' (SME) development. Hong Kong.000 workers. the 'United Nations Industrial Development Orginization' (UNIDO). Kabbah. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. only hinting at their possibility in 2007 or 2008. Mandela. The last democratic election in Angola was in 1992. both domestically and internationally. Surat. The president of Sierra Leone. In a post-conflict reconstruction effort. China. president José Eduardo dos Santos is preventing democratic elections from taking place. left). Botswana has held regular elections and has been one of the more stable governments in southern Africa. Angola and from mining magnates. and Tel Aviv. and enjoys broad support. President Festus Mogae was elected for a second term in 2004. Thailand. Bombay.W. Palanpur. The company has cutting factories in Antwerp. succeeded his father (Laurent-Désiré Kabila) as president the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC) after his assassination in January 2001. Botswana is a relatively wealthy African country. UAE. After years of fighting between the PMLA and UNITA. & Mogae Starting with Botswana's independence in 1966. employing 22. Kabila. Ayer & Son . with one of the fastest per-capita income growth rates in the world. Joseph Kabila (above. and the United States. India. Vijaydimon is a DTC sightholder with offices in Belgium.
Tiffany & Young. Harry Frederick Oppenheimer enlisted the help of N.W. and sold to Nanaline Duke (now in the Doris Duke Collection). N. and Tiffany seized on the opportunity. this time from playwriter. The movie version featured Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend. the public's tolerance towards nobility was at a low point.54 carat 'The Tiffany Diamond. Tiffany was able to purchase significant gems from such renowned estates as: the 'jewel-mad' Duke of Brunswick. for resale in America. and the subsequent overthrowing of King Louis-Philippe of France in 1848. ." was the co-founder of Tiffany & Co.' brand was catapulted into the stratosphere by the 1961 movie 'Breakfast at Tiffany's. Prince Esterhazy of Hungary. In 1948 the famous "A diamond is forever" slogan was introduced. and the diamond industry was particularly hard hit. The stone was cut in Paris. and from the Spanish Crown Jewels .' staring Audrey Hepburn. One of Tiffany's most notable diamond acquisitions was a 287. was originally a 'fancy goods' emporium. producing the 128. Photo: Pub. After attending Chicago Musical College. The 'Tiffany & Co. Jule Styne. Photo: Pub. After the French revolution in 1799. Styne moved to Hollywood where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn. the values of ostentatious gems and jewelry dropped precipitously. The Tiffany is still selling luxury jewelry in their trademarked 'Tiffany Blue Box. who was known for his jewelry expertise.' During the 1800s. gems and jewelry from the estates of the European aristocracy. Ayer in 1938. Jule Styne (born Julius Kerwin Stein) was born in London. the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine. Lorelei receives a diamond tiara from her suitor.72 carat cushion-cut diamond (one of the "Diamonds of Golconda") was mounted by Tiffany. which started out as 'Tiffany & Young' of New York City in 1837. De Beers president. A 19." by Jean Schlumberger in the 1960s. Styne wrote the score for the 1949 Broadway musical 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.' which was adapted to film in 1953.42 carat rough flawless-yellow diamond from the 'Compagnie Français de Diamant du Cap' (Kimberley mine) in 1877. and a series of diamond-related slogans were introduced into the American lexicon. With financial shockwaves caused by the French economy's collapse in 1847. located at 259 Broadway. The Great Depression had taken a heavy toll on luxury goods during the 1930s. purchased diamonds. aka "the King of Diamonds.' The stone was set into a garish jewelry piece called "Bird on a Rock. Domain Hollywood in 1949 Coming just on the heels of the immortal "a diamond is forever" campaign.W.' at the flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. Charles Tiffany. Ayer & Son. Sir Francis "Piggy" Beekman." after here charecter. and featuring the memorable scene in which Holly gazes longingly into Tiffany's window display. specializing in one-of-a-kind baubles for New York's newly-minted industrialists and 'robber-barons."A diamond is forever" is the legendary saying that was created by America's first advertising agency. De Beers and the diamond industry got another shot in the arm. Domain Charles Lewis Tiffany Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812—1902).
the unsung hero in the diamond trade. as writer Charles Leavitt takes us through the dark underbelly of the diamond trade. Through interviews with human-rights organizations like Doctors Without Borders and Global Witness. appraisal report." and the terrible working conditions that these workers must endure. 2006 Hollywood in 2006 Blood Diamond is the latest incarnation of Hollywood's fascination with diamond. we have the faceless American consumer.Photo: © Warner Bros. Diamonds are tested for . or "cert" may be your only assurance that you are getting exactly what you paid for. grading report. In a preemptive strike against any negative publicity that the movie would generate. Leavitt weaves a tale of Sierra Leone's impoverished "diamond diggers. a diamond certificates. but not least. and their willingness to purchase the concept of "foreverness." there would be no "diamond trade. the glamor is laid bare. This time. certificate of authenticity." 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. Were it not for intrepid consumers. the World Diamond Council placed ten full-page ads in newspapers around the county. The Consumer Last.
Los Angeles. The IGI offers Identification Reports. Appraisal Reports. clarity. and Attestations of Origin. with offices around the globe. the same year that Shipley published his groundbreaking book titled 'Gemology. there is very little (visible) difference between a FL stone and a IF or VVS-1 stone . Antwerp. color. but for insurance appraisal as well. and is the largest independent gem certification and appraisal institute in the United States. Shipley in 1931. and carat weight) and they are also tested for traces of gem enhancement. Although even a lay-person may be able to tell the difference between a triple-zero diamond and a cheap.other than the price. . Toronto. California. IGI Certificate The International Gemological Institute (IGI) is the oldest institute of its kind in Antwerp. GIA Certificate A GIA (Gemological Institute of America) report provides detailed information about the dimensions. Although GIA's diamond grading methodology is the industry standard they are also known for their "colored stone grading system" used to quantify the hue. and of corse. 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 . carat weight. GIA reports also cover any treatments or enhancements that have been done. Certificates of Authenticity.not only for resale.' GIA's world headquarters are located in Carlsbad. with operations in New York City. wether the stone is natural or synthetic. poorly cut SI-3 grade stone. and saturation of a colored stone. tone. which can be substantially different. shape and cut of a stone. Tokyo. Mumbai.the basics (cut dimensions and proportions. Dubai and Hong Kong. and wether they are synthetic. founded in 1975. The GIA was founded by Robert M. Bangkok.
mesurments. polish and symmetry) using a scale ranging from Excellent to Fair. Shape. and the graders can not know the identity of the owner. HRD's refined Cut Grading system measures each of the three parameters (proportions. origin (colored gems). clarity. All diamonds are examined anonymously. Carat Weight. jewellery design and gemology. with "Triple Excellent" being the highest overall designation. color. and finish. the sorting of rough diamonds. HRD uses the "Hearts and Arrows" measuring system which was developed by HRD Antwerp scientists. HRD Antwerp Diamond Certificate The certificates department of HRD Antwerp in Antwerpen. Cut. Color. HRD also offers gemelogical training and continuing education courses in diamond grading.The IGI lab grades diamonds as well as colored gemstones along several basic criteria which include: shape and cut. weight. . and Fluorescence. Belgium issues quality reports for loose (unmounted) polished diamonds according to ISO 17025 international standards for gemelogical testing laboratories. as well as quantifying the standard parameters of Clarity.
Diamond Grading AGS Diamond Quality Report (DQD) AGS Gemological Laboratory Background Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. The mission of the AGS is to increase consumer awareness. as well as the most comprehensive system for grading the all-important 'cut' parameters. Symmetry. The AGS Gemological Laboratories was established in 1996 to provide state-of-the-art diamond grading and appraisal services to the jewelry industry." is not an appraisal of monetary value. AGS grades diamond color on a numeric sliding scale that is similar to GIA's alphabetical scale. Today. as opposed to GIA's vvs. the HRD lab also uses state-of-the-art technology to test for subtle and hard to recognize enhancements such as HPHT. and to set a higher standard of business ethics and professional practices in the jewelry industry. The AGS Diamond Quality Document uses a unique and proprietary 0 to 10 grading system that is simpler for the consumer to understand than the GIA's grading nomenclature. An AGS report. and optical physicists. along with a consortium of independent jewelers. 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. mathematicians. Aditionally." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors. AGSL Certificate The AGSL was the first gem lab to grade a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish.com The American Gem Society was founded in 1934 by Robert M. Shipley. certificates issued after January 1. having the most rigid grading standards. vs. 2005 can be viewed online. creator of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).As well as testing for synthetic diamonds. but rather a comprehensive quality evaluation." The AGS Cut Grading system was developed through of years of research by gemologists. To insure the security of their documents. 'Polish' and 'Symmetry' were merged into one category called "Finish. and does not evaluate other types of colored gemstones. and Proportions. HRD uses complex watermarking to prevent copying or falsifying their reports. referred to as a "Diamond Quality Document" or "DQD. A diamond's clarity is also graded on a simple numeric scale from 0 to 10. AGS is considered the premier diamond-grading laboratory. . and s ratings. 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. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). The AGS specializes in diamond testing and evaluation.
The ray-tracing program measures the quantity of the light being returned to the viewer by quantifying brightness. 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. Each parameter is given a numeric grade from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor)." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors. mathematicians. contrast. leakage and light spread. 'Polish' and 'Symmetry' were merged into one category called "Finish. and Proportions. Symmetry. dispersion." The AGS Cut grading system was developed through years of research by gemologists. ." but to retained the "Triple Zero" monicker for diamonds with a perfect score. Proportions & Light Performance The AGSL was the first gem lab to grade a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish.Cut Grade: Finish. In 2004 AGS added a new category that is referred to as "Light Performance. and optical physicists.
5.1.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint .3.0 to 1.0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless . 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. and individual facet ratios." or "ideal" rating. . as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero. all measured in three spacial dimensions. where facets intersect with each-other.5 to 4.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering. AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond.0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light . AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless ." 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. the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003. in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above). When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. relative facet angles. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light .0 to 7.5 to 3.7. 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.
and will soon be offering cut evaluations for other fancy shapes. 4. Diamonds: Gem & Diamond Mining Technology Photos: Public Domain Diamond & Gem Mining . As of 2005. The AGS supplies 'facet arrangement' templates corresponding to their cutgrading system. Additionally. princess." or a by a vertical "shaft. through AGS offices in Antwerp. OctoNus Software. left) refers to various techniques used to extract gems. Accessing the underground ore is achieved via a horizontal passageway called a "decline. India and Israel. 5. 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. Pricing for a diamond grading report is based on carat weight. while a shaft is . The principle methods of diamond extraction are: 1.Extraction Methods Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Dubai. and can only be accessed by tunneling underground and creating underground "rooms" or "stopes" that are supported by timber pillars or standing rock. the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA).42 Carat D. which are used by non-contact measuring-device manufacturers such as Sarin Technologies.com Diamonds and other precious and semi-precious gemstones are extracted from the earth using five basic mining techniques. and octagon step-cut diamonds. These diamond extraction methods vary depending on how the minerals are deposited within the earth.Triple-0 Round Brilliant Setting 'American Star Diamond' 13. AGSL reports will also grade cut quality for emerald. and ore bodies that are in situ. 3. the stability of the material that surrounds that desired gem or mineral. unmounted diamonds. AGS offers laser inscription services as well. AGS will only evaluate loose. 2. minerals. Artisanal Mining Hard Rock Mining Marine Mining Open Pit Mining Placer Mining Hard-Rock Diamond Mining The term "hard-rock mining" (top of page." A decline is a spiral (corkscrew) tunnel which circles the ore deposit. and OGI Systems. Obtaining an AGS Report AGS is a 'trade-industry' testing laboratory that will only evaluate diamonds sent from jewelers or manufacturers. so that the cutter can improve the light performance of their cut stones. and the peripheral damage that will be done to the surrounding environment. AGS will also provide analysis of a manufacturers 'cut performance' by analyzing a sample stone's Sarin file.
also known as "sand-bank mining" (top of page. at a maximum depth of 500 feet. box screens. and have a specific gravity that is higher than that of common minerals. 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. eluvial. also known as "open-cast mining" (top of page. running adjacent to the ore. or sand) that is unsuitable for tunneling. . the gravels are separated and sorted into three sizes. right) with bare hands. Horizontal mining employs the use of Seabed Crawlers (remotely controlled. 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. A decline is typically used for mining personnel. machinery. they tend to concentrate in alluvial deposits in the same way that gold placers develop. and access to the ore. mechanized surface excavating equipment. Open pit mines are typically used when mineral deposits are found close to the surface or along defined kimberlite pipes. highly resistant to weathering. Diamonds and most gemstones are hard. 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. Marine diamond mining employs both "vertical" and "horizontal" techniques to extract diamonds from offshore placer deposits.Photo: USGS Alluvial Diamond . and or colluvial secondary deposits. Marine Mining Marine mining technology only became commercially viable in the early 1990s. which concentrate the heavier gems at the bottom. shovels. therefore. rock or sedimentary soil. or large conical sieves. Gems are separated from waste material using various sifting and sorting techniques such as cone screens. or hand digging (artisanal mining). Placer Mining Placer diamond mining. or sort material according to size. gravel. with the middle size being a candidate for final sorting. Laborers who work in artisanal diamond mining are called "diamond diggers" (below left). right) is used for extracting diamonds and minerals from alluvial. Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . and is a derivative form of open-cast mining used to extract minerals from the surface of the earth without the use of tunneling. Open Pit Mining Open-pit diamond mining.vertical tunnel used for ore haulage. center) is a method of extracting rock and minerals from the earth by removal from a machine-dug open pit or burrow. CAT-tracked underwater mining vehicles) move across the sea floor pumping gravel up to an offshore vessel. Small "pit lakes" tend to form at the bottom of open-pit mines as a result of groundwater intrusion. While on board. Excavation is accomplished using water pressure (hydraulic mining). or pans.
left) or "yellow-ground" kimberlite and can be found worldwide. Kimberlites are found as "dikes" and "volcanic pipes" which underlie and are the source for rare and relatively small volcanoes or "maars" (above. It is also used extensivly in Angola. These pipes are called "kimberlites" or "kimberlite pipes" (see diagram below). . As this molten mixture of magma (molten rock). Diamonds: Diamond Geology Diamond Geology & Kimberlites Kimberlite Pipes Diamonds form at a depth greater than 93 miles (150 kilometers) beneath the earth's surface. serpentine. and upper mantle rock. diamonds are carried to the surface of the earth by volcanic activity. Kimberlite is a diamondiferous igneous-rock matrix composed of carbonate.North Cape" below). phlogopite. 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 . Many kimberlite pipes also produce alluvial diamond placer deposits. right). Artisanal diamond mining accounts for 90% of Sierra Leone's diamond exports and is the country's second largest employer after subsistence farming. right). the Congo (DROC). Kimberlite pipes are the most significant source of diamonds. with a variety of trace minerals. and diamonds approaches the earth's surface it begins to form an underground structure (pipe) that is shaped like a champagne-flute. garnet. yet only about 1 in every 200 kimberlite pipes contain gem-quality diamonds. Most kimberlite is called "blue-ground" kimberlite (above. olivine. minerals. in conflict zones where mechanized mining is impractical and unsafe. and Liberia. Kimberlite occurs in the zone of the Earth's crust in vertical structures known as kimberlite pipes (above. rock fragments. left). Kimberlite pipes can lie directly underneath shallow lakes formed in the inactive volcanic calderas or craters. pyroxene.Artisanal diamond mining is used throughout west Africa. Diamond bearing kimberlite in some parts of South Africa is black in color (above. After their formation.
or different in composition to the fragments themselves. This results in a martini-glass shaped diamondiferous deposit as opposed to kimberlite's champagne flute shape. 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.' which are created by abandoned river meanders. Alluvial diamond deposits are usually located within river terrace gravels that have been transported from their location of origin. known as the Sperrgebiet or "forbidden territory." that may be similar. resulting in a broader cone of eviscerated rock at the surface. There are several types of breccia which are categorized based on their geological origin.Photo: NASA The alluvial terrace gravels (below. .Open Pit Mine . and tectonic breccia.Photo: Public Domain Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . usually from kimberlite deposits. Diamondiferous material tends to concentrate in and around 'oxbow lakes. including: hydrothermal breccia. except that boiling water and volatile compounds contained in the magma act corrosively on the overlying rock. Alluvial Diamonds from Africa . left) and marine gravels of the south-western coastline of Africa represent the some of the world's largest placer diamond deposits. or "cementing material. igneous breccia. The Argyle pipe is a diatreme.Photo: Public Domain Lamproite Pipes Lamproite pipes produce diamonds to a lesser extent than kimberlite pipes. impact breccia. Alluvial (Placer) Diamond Deposits The location of alluvial (secondary or placer) diamond deposits is controlled by the surrounding topography." and along the Orange River near Alexander Bay. The world's largest known gem quality alluvial diamond deposits are located along the Namib Desert coastline of southwestern Africa. Lamproite pipes are created in a similar manner to kimberlite pipes. 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. These dried 'lakes' receive river water during seasonal flooding which transports large amounts of sediment held in suspension. Breccia is a rock composed of angular fragments of several minerals or rocks in a matrix. sedimentary breccia.
Alluvial Terrace Gravels .Photo: Wiki Diamond-Bearing 'Diamondiferous' Gravel Many of these alluvial diamond deposits occur in Pleistocene and Holocene successions (1. but were not deposited on land.000 years ago). Westward draining river systems transported these diamonds to Africa's continental coastline for final deposition within on-shore marine terrace gravels.8k. in central South Africa and Botswana.Namibia's placer diamond deposits are between 40 and 80 million years old. Some of the largest and highest gemquality diamonds produced from alluvial placer diamond mining have come from this region. carried from their primary origination point on the Kaapvaal Craton. including Angola's two largest diamonds at 105.8 million to 10.com . made their way to the sea bed just offshore. The diamonds within these deposits were transported from deeply-eroded diamondiferous kimberlites or. depressions. Diamonds that were transported downstream. channels or other trapsites for diamondiferous deposits.9k and 101. Diamonds in marine areas are typically trapped in bedrock depressions such as gullies. Diamond Mines of the World: Active Diamond Mines List of Active Diamond Mines All Contents Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. 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. potholes. to a lesser extent. from olivine lamproites formed during the Cretaceous or Permo-Triassic period.
Luarica Diamond Mine: Owned by Endiama (38%) & Trans Hex (32%). De Beers/Botswana. map Letseng Diamond Mine: Open-cast mine in Maluti Mountains 70 km from Mokhotlong. Namdeb. 3. map Elizabeth Bay Mine: Open-cast mine in Namib desert. De Beers operated. 1. So Africa. Closed in 2006. map Kimberley Diamond Mine: Started in 1871. and any relevant geographic data. These lists also contains new project explorations. map . map Koffiefontein Diamond Mine: The Koffiefontein mine opened in 1870. map Koidu Open Pit Mines: Kimberlite open-pit mines just south of Koidu. map Ekati Diamond Mine: Canada's first diamond mining operation. in Kasaï . 75% De Beers ownership. Rio Tinto. 1.DeBeers/Botswana. Diavik Diamond Mine: The Diavik diamond mine is located in the NWT. map Venetia Diamond Mine: Limpopo. 2. Owned by Endiama (40%) & Trans Hex (35%). map Marine Mining: Namco Mining operates a dredging fleet off the west coast of Namibia. 2. Odebrecht (50%). located in NWT. 2. De Beers / Botswana. 3. and hard rock diamond mines. map Baken Diamond Mine: Located along Orange River in North Cape. map River Ranch Diamond Mine: Open Pit & Underground mine. map Cullinan Diamond Mine: Open Pit/Hard Rock diamond mine owned by De Beers. map Finsch Diamond Mine: Finsch is an open-pit mine near Lime Acres. 1. MIBA. 1. map Williamson Diamond Mine: (aka Mwadui mine) Open Pit mine. 6. Lubilash) Alluvial river mines in Kasaï. 3. 4. south of Lüderitz.De Beers / Botswana. map Canada North West Territories (NWT) 1. map Forminière Diamond Mine: Alluvial mine located on the River Tshikapa. map Botswana Congo (DROC or RDC) Lesotho Namibia Sierra Leone South Africa Tanzania Zimbabwe Australia East Kimberley 1. map Letlhakane Diamond Mine: ("little reeds") second oldest of four . Catoca Diamond Mine: Fourth largest diamond mine in world. the Kimberley Open Pits closed in 2005. 2. Cempaka Diamond Mines: Alluvials mined by indigenous artisanal Kalimantan miners. and a host of other counties with operational and/or historic alluvial. Namdeb Namib Gov. Waldman Resources. 75% De Beers ownership. mostly industrial grade.closed. Argyle Diamond Mine: Largest producer in world. links to satellite images of the mines (where available). 1. Luzamba Diamond Mine: Angola's largest alluvial mine. Endiama (50%). South Kalimantan 1. 3. 4.Currently there are eleven major 'diamond producing' nations. 2. map Damtshaa Diamond Mine: (water for a tortoise) New open pit mine. Trans Hex. mining industry inside news. 2. 4. 3. map Fucauma Diamond Mine: Newly constructed. Active Mines | Inactive Mines | Future Exploration | Mining Companies Africa Angola 1. Israel. produces over 40% of world's gem-quality diamonds. map Orange River (Daberas) Mines: Orange River alluvium. map The Oaks Diamond Mine: In Limpopo province. There are also several African nations with ongoing off-shore dredging/vacuming operations. map Orapa Diamond Mine: (resting place for lions) Largest/oldest of four . map Jwaneng Diamond Mine: (place of small stones) richest mine in world. mining operator info. 1. 1. 5. 75% De Beers ownership map Murowa Diamond Mine: Open Pit & Underground mine. Kimberlite pipe. Open-pit mine De Beers operated. map Koidu-Sefadu Mines: Subsistence digging in alluvium pits west of Koidu. 2. map Magna Egoli Mine: Largest mechanized mine in Sierra Leone. map Borneo Cempaka/Riam Kanan. 1. 2. 7. open pit. map Bakwanga Mine: (aka Bushimaïe.
India Madhya Pradesh 1. 3. 2. Aikhal GOK Mine: Three open-pit kimberlite pipe mines: Aikhal. map . map Russia Siberia 1. Jubilee. and Sytykan. 5. Alrosa. 4. Mirna Mine: Largest diamond deposit in Russia and one of the largest in the world. map Anabar GOK Mine: The norther most location of Russia's diomond mines. map Udachnaya (Udachny) Pipe Mine: One of the deepest diamond mines in the world. Panna Diamond Mine: Alluvial mine in state of Madhya Pradesh. map Jubilee (Yubileinaya) Mine: Newer open-pit kimberlite mine near Udachny.
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