All About Gemstones: Diamonds

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

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

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

The 4 Cs of Diamonds: Cut

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

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

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

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

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. 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.e. The chart below shows several common problems to look for. Poor Diamond Faceting and Symmetry Due to the mathmatics involved in light refraction. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. Other variations of the "Modern Round Brilliant" include the "Ideal Brilliant" which was invented by Johnson and Roesch in 1929. Common cutting problems can occur during the faceting process. 64. 80. Only a trained eye could see the quality of a good cut. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. Fig. or 96 facets which are not counted in the total number of facets (58). a Round Brilliant cut that does not have the proper proportions and symmetry (off-make) will have noticeably less brilliance. 3 . All of that has changed with the AGS Cut Grading system and GIA's new "Cut Grading System". when one incorrect facet angle can throw off the symmetry of the entire stone.Good Cut Fair Cut Poor Cut Cut Proportions In the past. Fig. The crown will have 33 facets. and the pavillion will have 25 facets. This can also result in the undesirable creation of extra facets beyond the required 58. the "Cut" quality of the "4 Cs" was the most difficult part for a consumer to understand when selecting a good diamond because a GIA or AGS certificate did not show the important measurements influencing cut (i. 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. pavilion and crown angle) and did not provide a subjective ranking of how good the cut was.

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

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

The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity .500 15. girdle and pavilion.504 carats. it must be accurate to the second decimal place.204 carat. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat. Price Per Carat (2005) . A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond.5 carat 2. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions.750 30. It is for this reason that an even 1. clarity and weight." If the carat weight is shown as ".195 and . If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat.5 carats must have an actual weight of between . 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained. or "seed of the carob". The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut.800 6.99 carat diamond for its better price. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry.10 carat diamond for its better cut. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales.5º crown. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32.0 carat 3. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor.600 6.VS1 Carat Size</ 0. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only.Grade: F Colorless .5 carat 1.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line.600 8. See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison. In ancient times. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight.600 12. a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of . 40º pavilion. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above. Occasionally. 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 1.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone.0 carat 1. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York.495 carats and . Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a .20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between .

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

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

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

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

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

or "invincible. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe. and a specific gravity of 3. igneous rock composed of garnet. The name "diamond.044. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms. and pyroxene. olivine. At these depths. a refractive index of 2. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale. Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" [2]." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic. 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 "unconquerable. Under the continental crust. Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine. with a variety of trace minerals. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes." "untamable. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical. ultramafic. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km). Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses. .200 degrees Celsius). and differentiates it from simple graphite. with the principle allotrope being graphite. Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness." which is also known as "adamant. which resemble a champagne flute.52." referring to its incredible hardness." is derived from the Greek adamas.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1.Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time. A diamond is a transparent. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon. phlogopite.42. diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation. Therefore.

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

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

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

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

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

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

and weighed a modest 0. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green.000 per carat.03 carats. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. Green diamonds can range from $35.' discovered during the 18th century. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness [9]. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant. or a combination of the two. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926.000 to $500. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13.90 carats. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits.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). . and the De Young Red weighing 5. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply. Intense. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities.95carats.000 in 1987. greyish-green. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste. The color change effect is temporary. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems. On thing is certain. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner. Warren Hancock. pure green hues. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation.

com) Enhanced Blue & Yellow Diamonds (© Fancy Colored Synthetic Diamonds Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless D. Diamond Inclusion Library: Inclusion Photos Over 100 High-Resolution Diamond Photos! All Contents: Copyright © 2010 AllAboutGemstones. 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. Nevada.Reddish Brown Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. F grades. representing the four main variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. 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. or on the surface of the cut Clarity is one of the Four C's of diamond grading. All of the microscopic inclusion photographs on this page were generously contributed by the A. or absence of tiny imperfections known as "inclusions.S.L. It is for this reason that manufacturers of synthetic diamonds tend to specialize in fancy colors. The term "clarity" refers to the presence. These impurities absorb the blue end of the light spectrum. and man-made imperfections—that can be found in raw and cut diamonds. Joe Vanells. and so-called "piquŽ diamonds" fall into the GIA grading range of I1 to I3 (CIBJO grade P1 to P3). . Inclusions which are visible to the naked eye are referred to as piquŽ. and can be naturally occuring. making the stone appear yellowish." These inclusions can occur within the stone. E.G. and beautifully photographed by their Director of Gem Services. or human caused. gemological testing laboratory in Las Vegas.

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

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

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

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.

.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. Feather inclusions are common around included crystals such as garnet. Feather inclusions can be accompanied by internal graining and/or twinning wisp inclusions. which cause internal stress fractures during crystal growth. Common around included crystals.



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

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



waviness. Grain Center Inclusion Photos Internal Grain Center Diamond Inclusion Photography Internal Grain Center (IntGr) inclusions (aka internal graining) are caused by irregular diamond crystal growth which creates internal distortions.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. olivine. iron oxides.Included Crystals (Xtl) Included and undigested gemstones or fragments of garnet. spinel. Green chrome diopside Inclusion within a Diamond . spinel. olivine. calcite. Included Crystals Inclusion Photos Internal Included Crystals in Diamond Included Crystal inclusions are whole crystals or tiny included gem fragments of undigested crystals such as garnet. silica or other gem stone inclusions. calcite. diopside. or silica. 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 .

With internal laser-drilling inclusions.Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) Internal pathway caused by laser-drilling to remove large inclusions. the drilled passage may not breach the cut diamond's surface. . 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.


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

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

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


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

Natural Comet Inclusion .

Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud .

Tabular Reflection in Diamond .

Included Garnet Twins within Diamond .

Included Dalmatian Garnet .

Cloud Inclusion .

Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers .

Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light .

Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion .

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




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





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


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

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. Surface Graining (SGr) Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation. .Pits Dislodged pinpoint inclusions at the surface.

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

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



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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

80 to 2. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting. candle. CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1.) in a totally dark room. CZ vs Diamond ." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR). then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible. the greater dispersive power. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below). The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit. or colorless (white) versions. 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. Once the mixture has cooled.17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2. You can also Inspect the facet edges with a 10x loupe to look for any chipping or slightly rounded (not sharp) facet edges that are telltale signs of Cubic Zirconia. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left).41 (RI). Due to their low cost and consistency. Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond .417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator.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.170.800 . or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond. etc. . 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. Diamond's RI is 2. and CZs can be made in any "color grade. CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight. Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored. Zirconium oxide powder is heated. For instance. The 1. but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye. Unlike most natural diamonds. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. a CZ is optically flawless. Natural diamonds attract grease.In 1973.2.

. is classified as an element rather than a compound. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite.104 as compared to CZ at 0. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. Moissanite has an RI of 2. Henri Moissan (above. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ.25 on the Mohs scale. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective.044. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.) in a dark room. candle. 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 has a hardness of 9. Arizona. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). center) near Winslow. when examining the gem through the kite facets. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused.65 to 2. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. Moissanite. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index. etc. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent.060.69. 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.670. and diamond at 0. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr.417.A small. found only in iron-nickel meteorites. while diamond has a hardness of 10. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond.

Diamonds: Modern Diamond Cutting Diamond Cutting Background One of the hardest substances on earth. diamonds were used in their natural octahedral state. which was called the "Point Cut. detailed and sharply focused pattern caused by secondary reflections will be seen when observing a diamond.Detectable to the Naked Eye Dispersion Pattern: Secondary patterns of dispersion due to double refraction Color: Moissanite has a slight yellow color and does not come in grades better than 'J' Lack of Flaws: Moissanite is virtually flawless. Table Cut diamonds appeared black to the eye.A small. Diamond's RI is 2. A similarly sharp. diamond is singly refractive Refractive Index: Moissanite has a refractive index of 2. Diamond cutting can be traced back to the late Middle Ages. You can also Inspect the facet edges with a 10x loupe to look for any chipping or slightly rounded or soft (not sharp) edges that are telltale signs of Simulants.670. Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be more diffused. due to its high refractive index." As further refinement progressed. caused by primary reflections from the pavilion and CZ's low RI. but significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its high RI. The Modern Round Brilliant cut (below) is the culmination of several hundred years of experimentation and development. rather than against it. only a diamond is hard enough to cut other diamonds. Like wood." At the time. diamond has a "grain.417 Moissanite is double refractive (anisotropic) while a natural diamond is singly refractive (isotropic). The first improvements on nature's design involved a polishing of the crystal faces. Cutting a Rough Diamond . although it can be easily cleaved or fractured due to its defined cleavage planes.Detectable With Testing Double Refraction: Moissanite is double refractive." and the rough stone must be cut with the grain. most diamonds have some inclusions Moissanite vs Diamond . diamonds were valued primarily for their luster and hardness. Prior to this time. creating the "Table Cut. one half of the crystal would be cut off. Moissanite vs Diamond .

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

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

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

Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace.N. Eppler & Scan D. Ideal Scope. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%.. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts.6% and overall height of 57. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut.N. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. and overall height of 57." (Scandinavian standard. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951.4%. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect. facet ratios. invented in 1929. and crown/pavilion angles. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. A perfect blending of facet symmetry. H&A Viewer.5% to 43.7%.5%. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope. crown height of 14. Symmetry. The "Scan D. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. Since then. more brilliance and fire. etc. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor).5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42. Tolkowsky. very small to small In the 1970s.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35. and Proportions. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant". crown height of 14.' and there has been numerous attempts to improve on this tried-and-true formula with the introduction of new signature diamond cuts that claim to have a higher light return. . To quantify a diamond's cut quality.7%. As with all human endeavors.

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

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

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

and a total of has 50 small table. The Lucida diamond cut is a modified square or rectangular (Marquise) cut with truncated corners. a highstep crown (similar to the Asscher Cut). and the table is a bowed out rectangle. square shaped diamonds were stepcut limiting their brilliance. and was patented and trademarked by Bez Ambar Jewelers of Los Angeles in 1980.diamondaires. Prior to the Quadrillion. www. There are 25 crown facets and 36 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets (not including 8 girdle facets). 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 Lucida Cut The Lucida (TM) Cut is a patented diamond cut that was created by Tiffany & Company in 1999.70 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. brilliant-style faceted pavilion (similar to a Cushion Cut). sold in solitaire engagement/wedding bands.radiantcut. www. The Lucida is sold exclusively through Tiffany's retail chain. Upon the expiration of the patent. and three-stone rings. RCDC launched the 'Original Radiant Cut' diamond brand In 2002. Bez Ambar Radiant Cut The Radiant Cut is a modified emerald cut shape that was developed. the Radiant Cut became a fully accepted diamond shape in the jewelry business.' and each diamond comes with a "Return of Light Certificate. The Lucida diamond cut is marketed as a wedding cut. and all Original Radiant Cut diamonds weigh at least Starburst Cut . It was the first emerald shaped diamond cut to have brilliance and fire similar to that of a round brilliant diamond. www. patented and trademarked by Henry Grossbard of the Radiant Cut Diamond Company (RCDC) in 1977. eternity bands." The Leo Diamond is marketed through the Kay Jeweler Quadrillion Cut The Quadrillion® Cut (aka Squarillion Cut) is a modified square princess cut that was developed by Israel Itzkowitz and Betzalel Ambar in the late 1970s.The Leo diamond cut is the first to be certified for fire and brilliance as measured by a 'BrillianceScope. There are a total of 49 facets.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

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

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

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

After the French revolution in 1799. for resale in America.72 carat cushion-cut diamond (one of the "Diamonds of Golconda") was mounted by Tiffany." after here charecter.' staring Audrey Hepburn. purchased diamonds. Domain Charles Lewis Tiffany Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812—1902). Sir Francis "Piggy" Beekman. and Tiffany seized on the opportunity. who was known for his jewelry expertise. After attending Chicago Musical College. Harry Frederick Oppenheimer enlisted the help of N. Photo: Pub.54 carat 'The Tiffany Diamond. Lorelei receives a diamond tiara from her suitor. A 19. and the subsequent overthrowing of King Louis-Philippe of France in 1848. located at 259 Broadway. With financial shockwaves caused by the French economy's collapse in 1847. .' During the 1800s. Ayer in 1938."A diamond is forever" is the legendary saying that was created by America's first advertising agency. Charles Tiffany. and a series of diamond-related slogans were introduced into the American lexicon. The 'Tiffany & Co. The Tiffany is still selling luxury jewelry in their trademarked 'Tiffany Blue Box.' at the flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. and the diamond industry was particularly hard hit. De Beers president." by Jean Schlumberger in the 1960s.' which was adapted to film in 1953. this time from playwriter. De Beers and the diamond industry got another shot in the arm. Ayer & Son. and from the Spanish Crown Jewels [27]. Tiffany was able to purchase significant gems from such renowned estates as: the 'jewel-mad' Duke of Brunswick. was originally a 'fancy goods' emporium.' brand was catapulted into the stratosphere by the 1961 movie 'Breakfast at Tiffany's.W. In 1948 the famous "A diamond is forever" slogan was introduced. the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine. Jule Styne.W. Jule Styne (born Julius Kerwin Stein) was born in London. producing the 128.42 carat rough flawless-yellow diamond from the 'Compagnie Français de Diamant du Cap' (Kimberley mine) in 1877." was the co-founder of Tiffany & Co. Styne wrote the score for the 1949 Broadway musical 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. the values of ostentatious gems and jewelry dropped precipitously.' 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. Prince Esterhazy of Hungary. Tiffany & Young. The stone was cut in Paris. The movie version featured Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend. N. which started out as 'Tiffany & Young' of New York City in 1837. Photo: Pub. specializing in one-of-a-kind baubles for New York's newly-minted industrialists and 'robber-barons. The Great Depression had taken a heavy toll on luxury goods during the 1930s. and featuring the memorable scene in which Holly gazes longingly into Tiffany's window display. gems and jewelry from the estates of the European aristocracy. Styne moved to Hollywood where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn. the public's tolerance towards nobility was at a low point. aka "the King of Diamonds. and sold to Nanaline Duke (now in the Doris Duke Collection). One of Tiffany's most notable diamond acquisitions was a 287.

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

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

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

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

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

in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above).' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless . 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." 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. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint .5 to 3.3.5 to 4.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light . and individual facet ratios." or "ideal" rating.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003. where facets intersect with each-other. .1. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles.7.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero. the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible.0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light .0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless .0 to 1.0 to 7.5. relative facet angles. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram. AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond. 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. all measured in three spacial dimensions.

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

highly resistant to weathering. Gems are separated from waste material using various sifting and sorting techniques such as cone screens. with the middle size being a candidate for final sorting. they tend to concentrate in alluvial deposits in the same way that gold placers develop. right) with bare hands. CAT-tracked underwater mining vehicles) move across the sea floor pumping gravel up to an offshore vessel. therefore. shovels. . Artisanal Mining Artisanal diamond mining (aka "small-scale mining") involves nothing more that digging and sifting through mud or gravel river-bank alluvial deposits (above. right) is used for extracting diamonds and minerals from alluvial. at a maximum depth of 500 feet. and have a specific gravity that is higher than that of common minerals.Photo: USGS Alluvial Diamond . Diamonds and most gemstones are hard. Artisanal diamond mining is a form of "subsistence based" non-mechanized mining that is used in poorer countries throughout the world. or sort material according to size. and or colluvial secondary deposits.vertical tunnel used for ore haulage. eluvial. or large conical sieves. running adjacent to the ore. 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 mines are typically used when mineral deposits are found close to the surface or along defined kimberlite pipes. Marine Mining Marine mining technology only became commercially viable in the early 1990s. Marine diamond mining employs both "vertical" and "horizontal" techniques to extract diamonds from offshore placer deposits. rock or sedimentary soil. Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . A decline is typically used for mining personnel. 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. or hand digging (artisanal mining). and access to the ore. machinery. Laborers who work in artisanal diamond mining are called "diamond diggers" (below left). also known as "open-cast mining" (top of page. Horizontal mining employs the use of Seabed Crawlers (remotely controlled. While on board. mechanized surface excavating equipment. which concentrate the heavier gems at the bottom. or sand) that is unsuitable for tunneling. or pans. gravel. Placer Mining Placer diamond mining. box screens. Open Pit Mining Open-pit diamond mining. Excavation is accomplished using water pressure (hydraulic mining). the gravels are separated and sorted into three sizes. also known as "sand-bank mining" (top of page. Small "pit lakes" tend to form at the bottom of open-pit mines as a result of groundwater intrusion. center) is a method of extracting rock and minerals from the earth by removal from a machine-dug open pit or burrow.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.

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

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

potholes. made their way to the sea bed just offshore. in central South Africa and Botswana. to a lesser extent.9k and 101. Alluvial Terrace Gravels . The diamonds within these deposits were transported from deeply-eroded diamondiferous kimberlites or. Diamond Mines of the World: Active Diamond Mines List of Active Diamond Mines All Contents Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Westward draining river systems transported these diamonds to Africa's continental coastline for final deposition within on-shore marine terrace gravels. channels or other trapsites for diamondiferous deposits.Photo: Wiki Diamond-Bearing 'Diamondiferous' Gravel Many of these alluvial diamond deposits occur in Pleistocene and Holocene successions (1.8k. Alluvial diamond mining in Angola takes place along a meandering stretch of the Cuango River floodplain which is also along the south-western coastline of Africa. Diamonds in marine areas are typically trapped in bedrock depressions such as gullies. but were not deposited on land. depressions. from olivine lamproites formed during the Cretaceous or Permo-Triassic .8 million to 10. Diamonds that were transported downstream.000 years ago).Namibia's placer diamond deposits are between 40 and 80 million years old. carried from their primary origination point on the Kaapvaal Craton. Some of the largest and highest gemquality diamonds produced from alluvial placer diamond mining have come from this region. including Angola's two largest diamonds at 105.

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

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