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.
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
Other variations of the "Modern Round Brilliant" include the "Ideal Brilliant" which was invented by Johnson and Roesch in 1929. the "Cut" quality of the "4 Cs" was the most difficult part for a consumer to understand when selecting a good diamond because a GIA or AGS certificate did not show the important measurements influencing cut (i. Common cutting problems can occur during the faceting process.Good Cut Fair Cut Poor Cut
Cut Proportions In the past. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. Poor Diamond Faceting and Symmetry Due to the mathmatics involved in light refraction. when one incorrect facet angle can throw off the symmetry of the entire stone. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. The crown will have 33 facets. 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. All of that has changed with the AGS Cut Grading system and GIA's new "Cut Grading System". 2
The proportion and symmetry of the cuts as well as the quality of the polish are factors in determining the overall quality of the cut. 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. and the pavillion will have 25 facets. 64. a Round Brilliant cut that does not have the proper proportions and symmetry (off-make) will have noticeably less brilliance.
Fig. or 96 facets which are not counted in the total number of facets (58).e. Only a trained eye could see the quality of a good cut. 3
. 80. The chart below shows several common problems to look for.
Fig. This can also result in the undesirable creation of extra facets beyond the required 58.
Fancy Diamond Cuts
The shape of the cut is a matter of personal taste and preference. or a H & A Viewer gemscope (FireScope).
AGS Triple-0 Certification
The American Gem Society (AGS) is the industry leader in laboratory testing of round gems for cut grade and quality. there is a balance between "brilliance" and "fire". However. A well executed round brilliant cut should reflect the maximum amount light from the interior pavilion facets. A cut with inferior proportions will produce a stone that appears dark at the center (due to light leaking out of the pavilion) and in some extreme cases the ring settings may show through the top of the diamond as shadows. The GIA will give a symmetry demerit for what it calls "non-standard brillianteering" which some manufacturers use to 'improve' on the standardized Tolkowsky-type cuts." was invented by Ken Shigetomi and Kazumi Okuda in 1984. making the diamond appear white when viewed from the top. The IdealScope was invented by Kazumi Okuda in the 1970's. 5) are listed below. Takanori Tamura. which gives out much more fire than a real diamond. In order for a diamond to receive a "Triple-0" grading. Asymmetrical raw crystals such as macles are usually cut in a "Fancy" style. or a Scan D. Several basic diamond shapes (Fig. The first official H & A "EightStar" diamond was cut in 1985 by Kioyishi Higuchi for Japanese businessman and FireScope manufacturer. and its later incarnation. N. as two stones could be cut from one crystal. A Triple-0 diamond can also be called a "Triple Ideal Cut" or "AGS-Ideal Zero" diamond. left) are only found in diamonds that meet the American Gem Society Laboratories' "0" Ideal Cut specifications. Eppler Cut (European Standard). Proportion) must meet the "ideal" criteria. 4
Perfectly formed Hearts and Arrows patterns with eight hearts AND eight arrows (above. Symetry.
Fig. the quality of the cutter's execution of that shape is of primary importance. the "FireScope.
GIA vs AGS Cut Grading
GIA's new cut-grading system is based on averages that are rounded-up to predict 'light performance.
Hearts and Arrows Diamonds
A perfectly proportioned ideal cut that is cut to the exacting specifications of a Tolkowsky Cut. The round brilliant cut is preferred when the crystal is an octahedron. The "Ideal" designation is an AGS term that is not found on an GIA report. The shape of the diamond cut is heavily dependent upon the original shape of the rough stone. all three categories of cut (Polish. out through the table.For a Modern Round Brilliant cut (Tolkowsky Brilliant).' while AGS uses a more exacting combination of proportional facet ratios along with raytracing metrics to calculate light return. A diamond cut for too much fire will look like cubic zirconia. Cut (Scandinavian Standard) will display a "Hearts and Arrows" pattern when observed through a IdealScope (arrows only).
a 1/2 carat diamond would be 50 points.
Balancing Cut and Weight A diamond or gemstone's "Carat" designation is a measurement of both the size and weight of the stone. Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics. and the Pear. Clarity 4. Cut 2. One "Carat" is a unit of mass that is equal to 0. A carat can also be divided into "points" with one carat being equal to 100 points."
. As a consumer.W. Color Carat weight is one of the 4 C's. 5
Popular fancy cuts include the "Baguette" (bread loaf).007 ounce." "Briolette" (a form of Rose cut).Heart Marquise Oval Pear Princess Radiant Round Trillion (not shown at diagram)
The 4 C's of Diamonds: Carat (Weight)
The 4 C's Diamond Grading System
1. a 3/4 carat diamond is 75 points. "Princess" (square outline).2 grams (200 milligrams or 3. When a single piece of jewelry has multiple stones. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond.C. your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the "4 C's" diamond grading system. Carat 3.086 grains) or 0. and with each point being 2 milligrams in weight. and a 2 carat diamond is 200 points. "Marquise" or "Navette" (little boat). the total mass of all diamonds or gemstones is referred to as "Total Carat Weight" or "T. Therefor. The "fancy cuts" are generally not held to the same strict standards as Round Brilliants.
"If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of . Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a . The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat.
Occasionally.500 15. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions.600 8.5 carat 1. It is for this reason that an even 1.5 carats must have an actual weight of between .
Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above.99 carat diamond for its better price. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained.495 carats and . By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations.Grade: F Colorless .00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone.600 6. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32. 40º pavilion. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight." If the carat weight is shown as ".600 12.0 carat 3. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration. a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight. or "seed of the carob". a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place.0 carat 1.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between .5º crown.
The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity
. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York. In ancient times.204 carat. Price Per Carat (2005) . as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing. girdle and pavilion.504 carats. clarity and weight. or to buy a 1.VS1 Carat Size</ 0.5 carat 2.195 and . The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut.000 Total Cost (USD)</
Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line.750 30. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond.800 6.10 carat diamond for its better cut.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1. See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison. it must be accurate to the second decimal place. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight.
. On the other hand."Very Very Small" inclusions hard to see at 10 x magnification VVS-2 . 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."Small" or "Slight" Inclusions or "Imperfections" visible to naked eye SI-3 . Cut 2. with large Inclusions.Imperfect. making them more apparent."Small" or "Slight" Inclusions or "Imperfections" may be "eye clean" SI-2 ."Very Very Small" inclusions. In "colorless" diamonds. and flaws
GIA Clarity Grading System
The chart below explains the GIA grading system for inclusions and imperfections.small blemishes VVS-1 . it may be possible to hide certain inclusions behind the setting of the diamond (depending on where the inclusion is located). The term "Clarity" refers to the presence or absence of tiny imperfections (inclusions) within the stone.
All of the grades of diamond clarity shown in the table below.
. In fancy-colored diamonds. Diamond Clarity Designations
FL . and/or on the surface of the stone. Considerations in grading the clarity of a diamond include the type of stone. VVS1 better than VVS2 VS-1 . Clarity 4. or break the surface."Flawless" no inclusions at 10 x magnification IF .The Four C's Diamond Grading System
1. it is important to learn and understand the clarity designations found within the "Four C's" diamond grading system."Internally Flawless" no inclusions at 10 x mag. Carat 3. Color Clarity is one of the Four C's. therefore reducing its value significantly. ."Very Small" inclusions visible at 10 x mag. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond.not naked eye VS-2 . point size and the location of inclusions. light or pale inclusions may show greater relief.Inclusions large and obvious. Inclusions that are near to."Very Small" inclusions VS1 is better grade than VS2 SI-1 . thus minimizing any negative impact of the inclusion. may weaken the diamond structurally. fractures. darker inclusions will tend to create the most significant drop in clarity grade. causing a greater drop in grade. little or no brilliance I1 to I3 .
Dislodged pinpoint inclusions at the surface. haze.Inclusions resulting from crystal twining during growth. The GIA will not grade fracture-filled diamonds.Fractures that have been artificially filled.Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet. Surface Graining . Pique . much like repairing a crack in your car's windshield. Such diamonds are sometimes called "fracture filled diamonds".
Laser drilling involves using a laser to burn a tunnel or hole to a carbon inclusion.A natural indentation that was not removed by polishing. therefor it is essential to inform anyone working on a setting if the diamond is fracture-filled. The treatment is considered permanent and both the GIA and AGS will issue grades for laser drilled diamonds.Tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts).Concentrated area of crystal growth that appear light or dark. Bruising . "One out of every three diamonds sold in the United States is laser-drilled. There is a significant price discount for fracture-filled diamonds.Rutile-like needle inclusions. If a jeweler sells a diamond that has an actual grade of VS-1. or feathers along the outer edge of girdle. in part because the treatment isn't permanent. fringing. chips. Internal Diamond Inclusions
Carbon .Fine cracks." According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides. Feathers .
Diamond Fracture Filling
Diamond clarity is sometimes enhanced by filling fractures. Grain Center . a diamond must be within one clarity grade of its advertised amount at the time of sale.Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation."
. he or she could legally sell it as a VVS-2. and reputable filling companies will use filling agents which show an orange or pink flash of color. The final clarity grade will be the grade that is assigned after treatment.A percussion mark caused by impact. The heat generated by a blowtorch used to work on settings can cause damage.Cleavage planes or internal fractures that have the appearance of feathers. Knots . Pinpoints . According to FTC guidelines.Diamond Clarity Grade Inflation
A fairly common practice in the jewelry trade is grade-inflation or "grade bumping. Clouds . Pits . Chips .Irregular crystal growth causing internal distortions. Reputable companies often provide for repeat treatments if heat causes damage to the filling.Garnet or other Included gem stones Twinning Wisps . Filled Fractures . Internal Graining . waviness. Needles .Minute crystals within the diamond that appear white. appearing as a raised area. followed by acid washing to remove the coloring agent. Indented Naturals .An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing. so they can use greater care while working on the piece. The drilling process leave tiny telltale shafts or tunnels that are visible under magnification. According to Fred Cuellar in his book How to Buy a Diamond.
External Diamond Inclusions
Bearded Girdles .An inclusion that penetrates the surface. vendors should disclose this enhancement.Cloudy grouping of tiny pinpoints that may not resolve at 10X Magnification. Cavities .
As a consumer. J . Scratches . Color Color is one of the Four Cs representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. thereby making the diamond appear yellow.Grinding Wheel Marks of scratches from contact with other diamonds. 1
. Diamonds of this low grade would be inappropriate for jewelry. Clarity 4. absorbing some of the blue spectrum. Carat 3. the most reputable well known US labs.Small chips at facet junctions. 1 explains the GIA grading system for clear (not fancy-colored) stones.Whitish haziness along the junction of facets caused by wear. Diamond Color Designations D. assign this grade.
"SI-3" is a grade sometimes used in the diamond industry. the Gemological Institute of America uses a scale of "D" to "Z" in which "D" is totally colorless and "Z" is yellow.near colorless K.colorless (white) G. I. T. X. O. E.
Most all natural diamonds contain small quantities of nitrogen atoms that displacing the carbon atoms within the crystal's lattice structure. U.faint yellow or brown N.very light yellow or brown S. it will be beneficial to learn and understand some of the basic parameters for diamond color grading. W.
The Four Cs of Diamonds: Color
The Four Cs Diamond Grading System
1. Z . In determining the color rating of a diamond.Human Caused Surface Blemishes
Abrasions . Nicks . The designation of SI-3 was popularized by the EGL (European Gemological Laboratory) grading office.Surface burning from heat buildup during polishing.light yellow or brown Fig. P. Y. the yellower the stone will appear. Q. H. The higher the amount of nitrogen atoms. At present. Neither the GIA nor the AGS (American Gemological Society). V. M . L. Cut 2. R . a Sarin Diamond Color Grading report is the state-of-the-art color measuring standard. Burn Marks . The color chart in Fig. These nitrogen impurities are evenly dispersed throughout the stone. F .
color grading should be determined by examining the stone through the side of the pavilion (Fig.' Unfortunatly.' or a borderline 'G. most gem labs do not currently provide color-typing data in their reports and certificates. For the consumer." or "D+. D3.The Holy Grail
. and D5). 3
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. These colorless stones. as in our Fig. 2
Sarin Color Typing
is a relatively new sub-classification of the D through Z gading scale. GIA-GEM. and not by looking at the top of the stone. jewelers and gem labs can accurately provide a 'color typing' printout of a diamond's color grading that is compatible with AGS. it is extremely benificial to know if your 'F' is a strong 'F." "whiter than white. Each classification is divided into five sub-classifications (D1. IGI. 2). India. D4. 3 example below. Fig. D2." are named after the famous Golconda Diamond Mines located in the state of Hyderabad. Color grading by 'visual-observation is performed against a Master CZ Colored Grading Set. and HRD grading scales.Due to a diamond's high brilliance.
D-Flawless . Using a Sarin Diamond Colorimeter DC3000 (aka Gran Colorimeter). Fig. and dispersion of light (fire) when looking through the table or crown. sometimes referred to as "white diamonds.
and strong. Even with microscopic inclusions. Only around 600 D-flawless roughs are cut into gems weighing between 1 and 2 carats during a given year. they tend to fluoresce as blue. fluorescence could increase the value by 0% to 2% buy improving the color (or lack thereof). When diamonds are viewed under a UV light-source. This fluorescent effect can be beneficial to a diamond that has a yellow tint.
Diamonds: Chemistry & Structural Properties
| Optical Properties of Diamond
| Diamond Enhancement
Structural Properties of Diamond .
For diamonds with a color grading of D through H (colorless). as the blue fluorescence will cancel out some of the yellow. medium. according to the GIA. fewer than 5. See Color in Gemstones for more information. diamonds with a poorer color grading (I through K). On the other hand.Large D-flawless diamonds (those weighing more than 2 carats) are some of the rarest minerals on earth.
Approximatly 1/3 (35%) of all diamonds have a tendency to fluoresce when exposed to ultra-violet (UV) light.000 D-color diamonds weighing over half a carat are found each year. making the diamond appear "colorless." but the diamond will have a dull. diamonds with a visible tint may be preffered. murky appearance when compared to a non-fluorescing diamond.Diamond Formation
. so this effect will be more apparent under natural daylight than under artificial incandescent light. Skin Tone and Settings While some may prefer a very transparent D to F range. In some settings with various combinations of other stones. Fluorescence is graded as none. others may prefer a "warmer" color found in a G to J range to compliment their skin tone. faint. fluorescence can negatively impact the value of the stone by 3% to 20%. Ultra-violet light is a component of natural sunlight and artificial 4800k to 5000k color-proofing light.
and pyroxene. with the principle allotrope being graphite. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe.
Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness
The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical. and a specific gravity of 3." referring to its incredible hardness.52. or "invincible. phlogopite. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" . Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale."
Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic. The name "diamond. olivine. Under the continental crust.Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km). Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms.
. diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0. A diamond is a transparent.42." is derived from the Greek adamas. and differentiates it from simple graphite. Deep within the earth's crust there are regions that have a high enough temperature (900¼C to 1400¼C) and pressure (5 to 6 GPa) that it is thermodynamically possible for liquified carbon to form into diamonds. with a variety of trace minerals. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2. a refractive index of 2.200 degrees Celsius)." and "unconquerable. Therefore." "untamable." which is also known as "adamant.044. Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1. igneous rock composed of garnet. ultramafic. At these depths. which resemble a champagne flute.
Basic Physical Properties of Diamond
Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth.
A diamond's incredible hardness was the subject of curiosity dating back to the Roman empire. octahedral. or dodecahedral. When a gemstone has an irregular external shape or asymmetrical arrangement of its crystal facets." This means that diamond crystals usually "grow" in an orderly and symmetrical arrangement." or "anhedral. is nearly as hard as diamond. Experimentation during the late 18th century demonstrated that diamonds were made of carbon. with the end byproduct of the combustion being carbonic-acid gas. The natural crystal form. or carbon dioxide. although the reason for its combustion was not understood at the time.
Diamond Crystal Habit
Diamonds have a characteristic crystalline structure. a predictable crystal growth pattern known as its "crystal habit. Additionally. although in nature. a currently hypothetical material. where it was shown to combust in scientific experiments.A Type 2-A diamond has a hardness value of 167 GPa (±6) when scratched with an ultrahard fullerite tip."
. beta carbon nitride.
The external shape of the crystal. does not always reflect the internal arrangement of its atoms. and a hardness value of 231 GPa (±5) when scratched with a diamond tip. above)." when found in a crystalline form that is structurally similar to diamond. perfectly formed crystals are rare. may also be as hard or harder than diamond. The material "boron nitride. and crystal habit of a diamond is octahedral (photo. it is termed as "subhedral. by igniting a diamond in an oxygen atmosphere. whether it is cubic. and therefore.
Unlike "hardness. yet sapphire has a toughness rating of excellent.
In extremely high temperature environments above 1700 ¡C.5 to 6. very thin girdles on brilliant cut diamonds are also prone to breakage. Particular cuts of diamond are more prone to breakage along cleavage planes. crystal twinning. Many natural blue
. but its toughness rating is also excellent. A material's toughness is measured in units of "joules" per cubic meter (J/m3) in the SI system. graphite can develop internally and on the diamond's surface. pressure and space can also affect the final shape of a formed crystal. a diamond's "toughness" is only fair to good." and therefore. causing stress fractures or feathers. acting as a "thermal conductor. and varying growth conditions of heat.
Carbon Inclusion ." which only denotes a diamond's high resistance to scratching." If you were to place a large enough diamond on your tongue it would draw heat away. making it seem cold. Although diamond is the "hardest. most scratch resistant mineral on earth.Trace impurities.
Thermal Properties of Diamonds
Diamond is a good conductor of heat.5. Hematite has a hardness of only 5. The culet facet at the bottom of the pavilion. its "toughness" rating is moderate. is a facet specifically designed to resist breakage. By comparrison. the term "toughness" describes the resistance of a given material to fracture when it is stressed or impacted. and "pound-force" per square-inch in US units of measurement.© AGS Labs
Within the fields of metallurgy and materials science. Additionally. and therefore may be uninsurable by reputable insurance companies.© AGS Labs
Hexagonal (Graphite) Platelet Inclusion . meaning that a diamond is 4 times "harder" than sapphire. Internally formed crystallographic graphite inclusions often create intense strain on the surrounding diamond. with a Mohs scale rating of 10. sapphire has a hardness rating of 9. due to its ability to fracture along cleavage planes.
to prevent silicon and other semiconducting materials from overheating. or having the hardness or luster of a diamond. meaning "light".diamonds contain boron atoms which replace carbon atoms within the crystal matrix. which are in fact semiconductors. gloss. or brilliance. Due to diamond's high thermal conductance.
. re-emitting them as lower-energy. increasing thermal conductance. giving off a somewhat greasy sheen.
Fluorescence in Diamonds
Fluorescence is an optical phenomenon in which a diamond's molecules absorb high-energy photons. it is used in the manufacturing of semiconductors.com The surface luster (or "lustre") of diamond is described as adamantine. Purified synthetic diamond can have the highest thermal conductivity (2000-2500 W/m-K) of any solid material at room temperature . and synthetic diamonds that are doped with boron. and generally implies radiance. with the exception of natural blue diamonds.nearly five times greater than pure copper. or longer-wavelength photons. electronic circuits could be manufactured from diamonds in the future .
Electromagnetic Properties of Diamond .Insulators or Semiconductors
Diamond is a relatively good electrical insulator. are known as p-type semiconductors. If an n-type semiconductor can be synthesized. The word luster traces its origins back to the Latin word lux.
Optical Properties of Diamond: Type I & Type II Diamonds
| Optical Properties of Diamond
| Diamond Enhancement
Surface Luster of Diamond
Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. which means unyielding. Natural blue diamonds containing boron atoms. The term adamantine describes the way light interacts with the surface of a crystal. inflexible.
Type II Diamond Formation
Certain diamonds were formed under extremely high pressure for longer time periods. which replace some carbon atoms within the crystal lattice structure. Diamond can exhibit pseudochromatic coloration giving the appearance of "color" without having any actual color in the mineral itself. Type II diamonds do not contain any detectable nitrogen. Natural blue Type II diamonds containing scattered boron impurities within their crystal matrix are good conductors of electricity.417. particularly Canadian diamonds. thereby allowing the passage of short-wave ultra-violet (SWUV) light through the stone. These Type IIa diamonds have a near-perfect crystal structure making them highly transparent and colorless. permitting the passage and reflectance of blue light.
Type I & Type II Diamonds
As many as 99% of all natural diamonds are classified as Type I. a natural diamond may contains both Type 1-A and Type 1-B material. with very high thermal conductivity.
. 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. while Type II diamonds that lack boron impurities are classified as Type IIa.
Diamond Refraction & Coloration
Diamonds are "singly refractive.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 IIa diamonds are very rare. or brown coloration. Typically. classifying them as Type IIb diamonds. absorbing some of the blue spectrum. These Nitrogen impurities found in Type I diamonds are evenly dispersed throughout the gemstone. show no fluorescence. Some diamond varieties. and contain nitrogen atoms as an impurity. due primarily to certain structural anomalies arising from "plastic deformation" which occurred during their formation. making them appear 'colorless' (D). These rare diamonds have a lower nitrogen content. and are classified as Type 1-B. This illusion of color is caused by the varying optics effects created by spectral dispersion. Man-made synthetic diamonds containing nitrogen are classified as Type 1-B.© AGS Labs
Type I UV Fluorescence . and appear dark when exposed to ultra-violet light or X-rays.
Cloud Inclusion Under UV . If the nitrogen atoms are dispersed evenly throughout the crystal." and refraction. and thereby making the diamond appear yellow. Some Type IIa diamonds can be found with pink. greenish or yellow fluorescence when exposed to the X-ray wavelength. they can give the stone a yellow tint. or "fire. and give off a bluish-white. All Type 1 diamonds have nitrogen atoms as their main impurity. red." with a refractive index of 2. If the nitrogen atoms are grouped in clusters they do not necessarily affect the diamond's overall color. and they are classified as Type 1-A. and some of the finest historical gemstones such as the Cullinan and Koh-i-Noor are both Type IIa diamonds.
yellow. brown. Yellow. steel grey. All colored diamonds contain certain specific impurities and/or structural defects that cause their coloration. Colorless diamonds would normally be priced much higher than yellow diamonds. certain fancy-colored diamonds such as pink (Condé). red diamonds).
. 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. and their color is due to trace impurities of nitrogen and/or hydrogen (yellow.
Fancy Diamond Color Hues
A fancy brown (or Fancy Cognac). Green & Cognac
Fancy Colored Diamond
Diamonds can occur in all colors of the spectrum. brown diamonds). In this case. blue (Hope Diamond). red. blue. boron (blue diamonds). green. green (Ocean Dream). when a diamond's color is more intense than the "Z" grading. it enters the realm of a "Fancy Color" diamond. pink.
Fancy Colored Diamonds: Pink. green. or yellow diamond may have a relatively low value when compared to a colorless diamond. However.
Diamond Color & Composition
Diamonds can occur in a wide variety of colors: colorless or white. and therefor colorless. Once thought to be of little value. the intensity of the color in the diamond can plays a significant role in its value. radiation exposure (green diamonds) or irregular growth patterns within the crystal (pink. and red (Hancock Diamond) are particularly valuable. while chemically "pure" diamonds are basically transparent.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 is this nitrogen component that produces the color of fancy yellow diamonds. and black. However. fancy pink diamonds can command very high prices as they have become increasingly popular. orange. Blue.
S to Z Fancy Light . bright light). yet considerably more expensive. An 1P designation would have less blue and more brownish-red. and was cut into a 128. which are generally less appreciated than other fancy colors and therefor. Fancy Pink/Brown Diamond Color (Hue) Designations
1PP to 8PP . and most valuable Fancy Yellow diamonds in the world is the 'Tiffany Diamond. daylight) and ambient temperature changes.
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.Pink (Magenta-pink) 1 is darkest 1P to 8P .
The pink color within these rare diamonds is due to irregular crystal growth patterns. left).Pink (Brownish-pink) 1 is darkest PC3 to PC1 . lighting color temperatures (incandescent.Cognac 8 is darkest
There is a very rare olive-grayish color-changing diamond called "Chameleon Diamond" (below. This Chameleon-like phenomenon was first documented by the GIA in the early 1940s.' found in Kimberly. The rough stone weighed 287.Start of 'Fancy' Fancy Fancy Dark Fancy Intense Fancy Deep Fancy Vivid . sold at a greater discount.54 carat cushion cut with an estimated value in the millions of dollars.N to R Light . 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.42 carats. South Africa in 1878. causing microscopic imperfections within the lattice structure.Champagne 3 is darkest C8 to C1 .'
GIA 'Fancy Yellow' Diamond Color Saturation Designations
Faint . As the numbers go lower (8PP) the color is paler. One of the world's only major sources for rare pink diamonds is the Argyle Mine in Australia.Highest Saturation
One of the largest. Pink diamonds are similar to pink sapphire in color.Brown diamonds.M Very Light . hue. halogen.Pink (Reddish-pink) 1 is darkest 1BP to 8BP . 1PP is the highest quality designation for Pink Diamond.
. and value (darkness) using nine classifications ranging from 'Faint' to 'Vivid. The GIA grades fancy diamond color by quantifying the saturation. having a pure magenta color with deep saturation. which changes hue from grayish-blue or olive-green to yellowish-green or straw-yellow under different lighting conditions (darkness.
The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil. On thing is certain.000 to $500. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. and weighed a modest 0.000 per carat. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat.com)
The Elusive Red Diamond
Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond.90 carats. Intense. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa. pure green hues. and the De Young Red weighing 5. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13. or a combination of the two.95carats.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).000 in 1987.
Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems.
. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply.
Diamond Fashion Trends
While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness . There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond. 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.com)
Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems. Green diamonds can range from $35. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds.
Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities. Warren Hancock. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green.' discovered during the 18th century. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities. greyish-green.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant.03 carats.
Inclusions which are visible to the naked eye are referred to as piquŽ. It is for this reason that manufacturers of synthetic diamonds tend to specialize in fancy colors." These inclusions can occur within the stone.com)
Enhanced Blue & Yellow Diamonds (© AfricaGems.
.Reddish Brown Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems.S. representing the four main variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. E. and beautifully photographed by their Director of Gem Services. and man-made imperfections—that can be found in raw and cut diamonds. All of the microscopic inclusion photographs on this page were generously contributed by the A. or absence of tiny imperfections known as "inclusions.com Clarity is one of the Four C's of diamond grading. F grades. making the stone appear yellowish. and can be naturally occuring. or human caused. This section contains a compendium of photography depicting all of the various types of diamond inclusions—both naturally occurring.
Diamond Inclusion Library: Inclusion Photos
Over 100 High-Resolution Diamond Photos!
All Contents: Copyright © 2010 AllAboutGemstones. gemological testing laboratory in Las Vegas. most synthetic diamonds will have a slightly yellowish hue due to nitrogen impurities that are dispersed throughout the crystal lattice structure during the growth phase. Nevada. or on the surface of the cut stone. The term "clarity" refers to the presence. Joe Vanells. Inclusions which are not visible to the naked eye (eye clean) fall into the GIA range of "IF" (Internally Flawless) to "SI2" (Small Inclusions). and so-called "piquŽ diamonds" fall into the GIA grading range of I1 to I3 (CIBJO grade P1 to P3). These impurities absorb the blue end of the light spectrum.com)
Fancy Colored Synthetic Diamonds
Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless D.G.L.
Black or dark material found within a diamond's internal fracture planes can also be particles or crystallographic inclusions of graphite. ferropericlase. PiquŽ Carbon Inclusion Photos
Internal Carbon Pique Diamond Inclusion Photography
Piqué are tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts) within diamonds. ferropericlase. pyrrhotite and pentlandite.
. Black material found within internal fracture planes can also be crystallographic inclusions of graphite. pyrrhotite and pentlandite.Internal Diamond Inclusion Photos
Carbon Tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts).
Microscopic Carbon Picque Inclusions
Hexagonal Platelet Inclusion in Trillion Cut Diamond
Cloud Inclusion Photos
Diamond Internal Cloud Inclusion Photography
Cloud Inclusions (Cld) within a diamond are caused by a tightly packed grouping of tiny pinpoints that resemble clouds or cloudiness. All of the microscopic diamond carbon inclusion photography on this page was generously contributed by the AGSL gemological testing laboratory in Las Vegas.Carbon piqué inclusions are sometimes removed by diamond enhancements such as laser drilling. and is reproduced with their permission. Internal cloud inclusions may not resolve as pinpoints at 10X
. which can leave their own types of unique inclusions. Nevada. Clouds (Cld) A dense grouping of tiny pinpoints that create a cloudy zone which may not resolve as individual 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.Magnification.
Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.
Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.
Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.
Feather inclusions can be accompanied by internal graining and/or twinning wisp inclusions.
. Common around included crystals. Feather inclusions are common around included crystals such as garnet. 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.Feathers (Ftr) Cleavage planes or internal stress fractures that have the appearance of feathers. which cause internal stress fractures during crystal growth.
Feather inclusions caused by stress fractures around included garnet crystal.
This is especially true if the fracture breeches the stone's surface. and the stress inclusion occurs along the gem's natural cleavage plane. As a result.Pronounced stress fractures and feather inclusions can potentially weaken the stone. diamonds with significant stress fractures and feather should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner as this could cause the diamond to shatter. making it susceptible to fracturing when exposed to thermal or physical shock.
and haze within a cut diamond.Grain Center (GrCnt) A concentrated area of crystal growth that can appear light or dark. Grain Center Inclusion Photos
Internal Grain Center Diamond Inclusion Photography
Internal Grain Center (IntGr) inclusions (aka internal graining) are caused by irregular diamond crystal growth which creates internal distortions. waviness.
Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions
Growth Tubes Imperfection formed during crystal growth. Growth Tube Inclusion Photos
Internal Growth Tubes Inclusion Photography
Internal Growth Tube inclusions are natural Imperfections that are created during diamond formation. when a tube or tunnel is generated in the crystalizing diamond by an internal cavity that was once liquid filled. when a tube is generated by a formerly liquid filled cavity.
Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light
Included Crystals Inclusion Photos
Internal Included Crystals in Diamond
Included Crystal inclusions are whole crystals or tiny included gem fragments of undigested crystals such as garnet. calcite. olivine. olivine. spinel. iron oxides.
Green chrome diopside Inclusion within a Diamond
. diopside. iron oxides. silica or other gem stone inclusions. spinel. or silica. calcite.Included Crystals (Xtl) Included and undigested gemstones or fragments of garnet. 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. 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. the drilled passage may not breach the cut diamond's surface.
Needle Inclusion Photos
Needle Inclusion Photography
Internal Needles (Ndl) or needle inclusions are naturally occurring rutile-like needle shaped inclusions within the diamond.
.Needles (Ndl) Rutile-like needle-shaped inclusions.
or Pinpoint Inclusions are minute included crystals within the diamond that appear white under magnification. Pinpoint Inclusion Photos
Pinpoints (Pp) Inclusion Photography
Internal Pinpoints (Pp). Large groupings of small pinpoints can create a cloud inclusion effect.
. Large groupings of small pinpoints can create a cloud effect.Pinpoints (Pp) Minute crystals within the diamond that appear white.
Twinning Wisps Inclusions and defects resulting from crystal-twining during crystal growth. Twinning Wisp Inclusion Photos
Twinning Wisps Inclusion Photography
Twinning Wisp inclusions are naturally-occurring structural defects with a diamond. Twinning Wisp inclusions can be accompanied by internal graining and/or strain feathers.
. Can be accompanied by graining and strain. resulting from crystal twining during the growth process.
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
Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers
Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light
Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion
Knot Inclusion Photos
Photography of Diamond Inclusion Knots
Knot inclusions are naturally occurring external inclusions or imperfections that penetrate the surface (convex).
. appearing as a raised area on the diamond's surface. Knot diamond inclusions can potentially be the cause of man-made drag-line inclusions.Natural External Diamond Inclusions or Blemishes
Knots An inclusion that penetrates the surface. appearing as a raised area.
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.Indented Natural (IndN) A naturally occurring indentation in the crystal that was not removed during cutting or polishing.
. and were not fully removed during the stone's cutting or polishing process.
The lizard-skin effect is caused by an orange-peel texture.Lizard Skin A bumpy or wavy 'orange-peel' textured pattern on the polished surface of a diamond.
. made up of a bumpy or wavy pattern on the polished surface of a diamond. 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.
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. 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.
Surface Graining (SGr) Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation.Pits Dislodged pinpoint inclusions at the surface. 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.
.Human Caused Surface Blemishes
Abrasion (Abr) A tightly grouped series of nicks along the sharp edge of facet junctions. chips. or feathers along the outer edge of girdle. creating a whitish fuzzy edge as opposed to a sharp edge. Bruising (Br) A percussion mark or hole caused by impact and surrounded by tiny feathers. fringing. Bearded Girdle (BG) Fine cracks.
Drag Lines Created when a rough particle is dragged along the surface. Cavities (Cv) An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing. or when abrasive material is caught by an included crystal such as garnet during the polishing of a diamond. Chips Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet. or caught by a included crystal.Burn Marks Created during polishing. Drag Line Photos
Diamond Surface Drag Lines Photography
Drag Lines are human-caused surface imperfections and blemishes that are created when a loose rough particle is dragged along the surface. during cutting and/or polishing the diamond. the overheating of a facet causes a burn mark.
. This microscopic photograph shows the telltale orange or pink flash of a filled fracture enhancement within a cut diamond.Extra Facet (EF) An asymmetrical and irregularly placed facet that is not part of the original faceting scheme. 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. Filled Fractures Fractures or feathers that have been artificially filled to enhance clarity.
and inscriptions. markings.
. marking.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.
Polish Lines (PL) Fine parallel surface groves resulting from the polishing process." whitish film on the surface of a facet caused by excessive heat during polishing. Scratch (S) A fine whitish line that can be curved or straight. Polish Marks (PM) Also known as "Wheel Marks.
Diamond Enhancements: Laser Drilling & Fracture Filling
but not necessarily increase its value. polished natural diamonds.
There are also heating treatments to improve a white diamond's color grade.
| Optical Properties of Diamond
| Diamond Enhancement
Diamond "enhancements" are specific treatments performed on cut. Minor diamond inclusions or surface imperfections which are not visible to the naked eye ("VVS1" to "SI2") can be disguised.
Diamond Fracture Filling
Diamond clarity is sometimes improved and enhanced by filling tiny fractures or feathers with molten glass.© AGS Lab
Telltale Signs of Fracture Filling . which are designed to improve the visual or gemological characteristics of the stone." 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. much like you would repair a crack in a car's windshield glass. or treatments to give a fancy color to a off-white diamond. but instead attempt to hide their visual effect. These techniques do not eliminate the imperfection. or removed by employing several invasive techniques from fracture filling to laser drilling.
Unfilled Fractures around Garnet Inclusion . altered. A trained gemologist should be able to identify most traditional "enhancements" made to a particular stone. in accordance with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines for the gem trade.© 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. Such diamonds are sometimes then branded as "fracture filled diamonds.
in part because the treatment isn't permanent.com
Color Enhanced Diamonds . and the GIA will not even grade a fracture-filled diamond.© AGS Lab
Laser Drilling Tubes .© AfricaGems.
Signs of Laser Drilling .com
Radiation treatments are completely safe.© AGS Lab
The laser-drilling treatment is considered permanent. the heat generated by a blowtorch used to work on settings can cause damage to the filling material. and the diamonds are tested to ensure that no trace levels of radiation remain.
. Reputable filling companies will often provide repeat treatments if heat causes damage to the filling. or subjecting the diamond to intense pressure and temperature. The final clarity grade will be the grade that is assigned after treatment. "vivid" blue and yellow colors result. These enhancements are achieved using low levels of radiation (irradiation).© AfricaGems. Due to its low melting-point. followed by acid washing to remove the coloring agent. The drilling process leave tiny telltale shafts or tunnels that are visible under high magnification (see photos below).There should always be a significant price discount for any diamond that has been fracture-filled. and both the GIA and AGS will issue grades for laser drilled 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. According to Fred Cuellar in his book How to Buy a Diamond. Diamonds treated with HTHP have their molecular altered so that intense. so that the jeweler can use greater care while working on the piece. referred to as the HTHP process. "One out of every three diamonds sold in the United States is laser-drilled."
Diamond Color Treatment
Color enhancement of diamonds in done to increase the color intensity of so-called "fancy" colored diamonds.
Natural Fancy Diamonds . It is therefor essential to inform anyone working on a setting where the diamond has been fracture-filled.
known as the HTHP (high-temperature. the intense heat would render the crucible and its carbon contents into a molten liquid mass. Once the desired temperature had been achieved. the crucible and its contents were rapidly cooled by immersing them into cold water. This abrupt cooling caused the rapid shrinkage of the molten iron crucible. they are increasingly used in fine jewelry as their quality increases. The process. The first practical commercial application of Moissan's process was developed in 1954. which created enough pressure to crystallize the molten carbon into tiny diamond fragments. Using an electric furnace constructed with blocks of lime. and the Chemical Vapor Deposition or "CVD" method. Although synthetic diamonds were originally conceived as a substitute for natural industrial-grade diamonds. These man-made synthetic diamonds are a laboratory-grown simulation of the natural gemstone. and has been steadily improved upon throughout the last 50 years.
. there are two main processes for creating lab diamonds: the High-Temperature High-Pressure or "HTHP" method.© AGS Labs
Synthetic Yellow Chatham Diamond .© AGS Labs
Synthetic Diamond under Fluorescent .Synthetic Diamonds & Man-Made Diamond Simulants
| Cubic Zirconia
The First Synthetic Diamonds
Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. or carbon to an extremely high temperature (4000º C) in a cast iron crucible. lab diamonds) was first conceived by French chemist Henri Moissan in 1892. tiny fragments of synthetic diamond were created by heating charcoal. yet they have the identical carbon-based chemical properties of natural diamond.com The process of creating man-made diamonds (aka cultured diamonds.Tracy Hall for the General Electric Company. by H. high-pressure) "belt press" process was used for synthesizing industrial-grade diamonds. With Moissan's process.
High-Temperature High-Pressure (HTHP)
The "High-Temperature High-Pressure" (HTHP) technique. These impurities absorb the blue end of the light spectrum. the diamond's entire growth process takes several days to complete. Jourado Diamond. Rutania." also known as "simulated diamonds" or "fake diamonds" are man-made gemstones that look like. Common diamond simulants include:
Cubic Zirconia (CZ) (1976-) Czarite. A diamond seed is placed into a growth camber. but are not a carbonbased compound having a natural diamond's crystalline structure. refractive index. light dispersion. Thrilliant Synthetic Spinel (1920-1947) Corundolite. making the stone appear yellowish. The vaporized carbon gases are energized using microwave energy. Using Chemical Vapor Deposition.
Synthetic Diamond Color & Optics
Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless form. ranging in clarity from IF to SI or I. the HTHP diamond's growth process can take 7 to 10 days to complete. 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.1970) Diagem. Radient Yttrium Aluminum Garnet (YAG) (1970-1975) Diamone. specific gravity. With CVD. and a combination of heat and pressure are applied while a vaporized carbon-plasma that is combined with hydrogen is applied. and uses a lowerpressure growth environment than the earlier HTHP method. Unlike their natural diamond counterparts. Java Gem. or X-ray spectroscopy. 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. hardness.
Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD)
The "Chemical Vapor Deposition" (CVD) method was developed during the 1980s. Diamonte." uses a four-anvil 'tetrahedral press. Like natural diamond. In the late 1940's Diamondite gave way to Synthetic Rutile which was popular until the advent of YAG in the early 1970's. colorless synthetic sapphire (aka Diamondite) was a popular diamond simulant. synthetic diamonds may contain small inclusions. Lustergem.
Diamond "simulants. most of these lesser simulants fell by the wayside. Diamonaire. or by measuring UV fluorescence with a DiamondView tester. Synthetic diamonds can be detected using infrared. which attracts the gas to the substrate. or "simulate" the appearance of natural diamonds. A cultured synthetic diamond will have the identical cleavage. Magalux. Diamonite. Geminaire
In the early 1900's. Synthetic diamonds can also be treated with the HTHP process to alter the optical properties of the stones. Diamond Essence.
Synthetic Diamond Manufacturers
. ultraviolet. and Moissanite in 1998. or "deposited" onto the substrate in successive layers. Fabulite Synthetic Rutile (1946-1955) Diamothyst. With the advent of Cubic Zirconia in the mid 1970's. making them difficult to differentiate from natural diamonds. Rainbow Diamond.' or six-anvil 'cubic press' to create the necessary pressure. also known as "GE POL. Titangem Synthetic Sapphire (1900-1947) Diamondette. Diamondite. Phianite Gadolinium Gallium Garnet (GGG) (1972-1975) Strontium Titanate (ST) (1955 . and surface luster as its natural diamond counterpart. a seed or substrate material is placed into the growth camber. produced using the Verneuil (flame-fusion) Process.
and each stone is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is the most familiar type of diamond simulant on the market. Gemesis only grows fancy-colored diamonds.25 carats to 1 carat. www. and CZ has a hardness of only 8. Chatham's pricing ranges from $6.com To the average consumer. and stones are cut to order.30 carats to 3 carats. and like Chatham.
. using a proprietary variation of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) technique. The Split Sphere system crystalizes the carbon seed in an alkaline. and some fancy colored diamonds. carbonate fluid solution that is similar to diamond-bearing metamorphic rock.chatham. and each cut stone is laser inscribed with the Apollo company logo and serial number. Cubic Zirconia (Zirconium Oxide ZrO2) has a completely different chemical structure. The toughness of Cubic Zirconia is rated as good.500 per carat (2004 est.com Gemesis Cultured Diamonds Gemesis is located in Sarasota. emerald.com Tairus Created Gems Tairus Created Gems is a Russian company that grows fancy-colored diamonds in their proprietary "Split Sphere" system. while diamond has a hardness of 10. www.
| Cubic Zirconia
Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.3 on the Mohs scale. To insure easy identification as a man-made product.com Chatham Created Diamonds Chatham Gems is a San Francisco based company that grows only fancy-colored diamonds in colors ranging from champagne and canary yellow to pink and midnight blue. Tairus Created Gems are sold exclusively through Tairus Thailand Co. Tairus produces rough sizes from . and rose cuts. with clarity grades from IF to SI. which they claim is the closest thing to mother nature. www. Ltd. While a synthetic diamond is a man-made recreation of an actual carbon-based diamond. of Bangkok Thailand. each Gemesis cut stone over .. Florida.500 to $9. princess. Massachusetts grows colorless (D to M) diamonds. Apollo Diamond's cut stones are available in round brilliant.25 carats is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number.gemesis.). Apollo Diamonds are cut and polished in sizes ranging from . in Boston. inc.Apollo Diamond.apollodiamond.
but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye.17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2. Unlike most natural diamonds. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below). candle.800 .417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator. For instance. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce. 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." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR).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. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods
CZ vs Diamond .80 to 2. Due to their low cost and consistency.In 1973. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left). or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond. or colorless (white) versions.2.Detectable With Testing
Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. Zirconium oxide powder is heated. natural diamond is a thermal conductor Weight: Cubic Zirconia is heavier than diamond in a given size
Another method for distinguishing Cubic Zirconia from diamond is to mark the stone with a grease pencil or felt-tipped pen. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease.
Using Visual Optics To Detect CZ
The Hodgkinson "Visual Optics" technique was developed in the mid-1970s by Alan Hodgkinson as a method of detecting natural diamonds and diamond simulants. the greater dispersive power. etc. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting. Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored. The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit.170.
. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight. Once the mixture has cooled. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing. a CZ is optically flawless. Diamond's RI is 2. Natural diamonds attract grease. CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1.) in a totally dark room. and CZs can be made in any "color grade. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. CZ vs Diamond . CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds. The 1.41 (RI).
Photos: Larry P Kelley
Identifying Cubic Zirconia
A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond.
manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. 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. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused.
Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite.25 on the Mohs scale.A small. 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. Moissanite. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective.69. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr.com Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. found only in iron-nickel meteorites. is classified as an element rather than a compound.65 to 2.044. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight. etc.060.
. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index.417. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. Moissanite has an RI of 2. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond. and diamond at 0. Moissanite has a hardness of 9. center) near Winslow. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. Henri Moissan (above. while diamond has a hardness of 10. candle.670. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent.) in a dark room. when examining the gem through the kite facets.104 as compared to CZ at 0. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. Arizona.
Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI.
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. caused by primary reflections from the pavilion and CZ's low RI. diamond is singly refractive Refractive Index: Moissanite has a refractive index of 2. rather than against it. most diamonds have some inclusions
Moissanite vs Diamond .
Diamonds: Modern Diamond Cutting
Diamond Cutting Background
One of the hardest substances on earth." At the time. creating the "Table Cut. only a diamond is hard enough to cut other diamonds. Table Cut diamonds appeared black to the eye. which was called the "Point Cut.670." and the rough stone must be cut with the grain. diamonds were used in their natural octahedral state. Diamond's RI is 2. diamond has a "grain. A similarly sharp. Moissanite vs Diamond . Diamond cutting can be traced back to the late Middle Ages. although it can be easily cleaved or fractured due to its defined cleavage planes. Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be more diffused. detailed and sharply focused pattern caused by secondary reflections will be seen when observing a diamond." As further refinement progressed. The Modern Round Brilliant cut (below) is the culmination of several hundred years of experimentation and development. Prior to this time.417
Moissanite is double refractive (anisotropic) while a natural diamond is singly refractive (isotropic). due to its high refractive index.
Cutting a Rough Diamond
. You can also Inspect the facet edges with a 10x loupe to look for any chipping or slightly rounded or soft (not sharp) edges that are telltale signs of Simulants.Detectable With Testing
Double Refraction: Moissanite is double refractive.A small. The first improvements on nature's design involved a polishing of the crystal faces. but significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its high RI. Like wood. diamonds were valued primarily for their luster and hardness. one half of the crystal would be cut off.
A rough stone is cleaved if there are conspicuous defects and/or inclusions which would prevent it from being made into a single gemstone. The cutting (also called "placing") and polishing of each facet is accomplished by attaching the stone to a dop stick with cement. While the rough stone rotates on the diamond lathe. As the saw blade rotates it continues to pickup or "recharge" itself with diamond dust which is the cutting agent. a second diamond mounted on a dop is pressed against it. Sawing: A stone-cutting saw is a thin disk made of phosphor bronze. The steps are: Marking Cleaving Sawing Bruting (Girdling) Faceting Marking: A rough stone is marked prior to cleaving or sawing to determine the direction of the grain and cleavage. and bypass any inclusions or imperfections. Bruting: The rough is placed in a chuck on a lathe. This step is also referred to as "rounding. a diamond can be cleaved in four directions parallel to each of the four octahedron crystal faces. The natural shape of the rough stone will also be a major factor in deciding how to cut the stone. Each step is critical to the final outcome. on a scaife. During this faceting stage the angles of each facet must be cut to an exacting standard in order to yield maximum brilliancy. eliminate waste. Cleavage is the tendency of crystalline materials to split along defined cleavage plane. It can take several hours for the saw blade to cut through a 1k rough diamond. rounding the rough diamond into a conical shape.Modern Round Brilliant Diamond
Diamonds: Ideal Cut . the "blocker" or "lapper" will cut the first 18 main facets." Faceting: To facet a round brilliant. and maintain symmetry. Cleaving is a critical step as a mistake by the "cleaver" could fracture. High-tech computerized helium and oxygen analyzers are now used to evaluate a stone prior to cutting. or lap that has been "charged" with diamond dust. then pressing it against a revolving cast iron disk. or shatter the stone.Cutting a raw diamond into a faceted and polished gem-quality stone is a multi-step process. then a "brillianteer" will cut and polish the remaining 40 facets.
Cleaving: Cleaving refers to splitting a stone along its grain by striking it. Asymmetrical crystals such as macles are used primarily for fancy cuts. Cubic shapes are ideal for a square Princess or Radiant cut. Due to its atomic structure. 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.
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
. If. but in order to do this.
Reconciling Cut & Weight Retention
If the rough stone has a colorless D through F rating and has very few inclusions. elimination of any inclusions.com When deciding how to cut a rough diamond. An octehedral rough diamond will yield two round brilliant cut stones (see diagram below).weight retention. it may be better to aim for a higher carat weight utilizing a "Standard" cut. and the amount of internal inclusions will play an important part in the decisions as to how to maximize yield. the rough stone has some coloration and/or is heavily included. This is accomplished by reconciling three key factors . The clarity of the stone.Ideal Cut vs Standard Cut Diamond
Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. The objective is always to maximize carat weight. compromises would have to be made. cut proportions. on the other hand. a cutter must make a cost-benefit analysis as to how to maximize the cut stone's value. it would be cost effective to sacrifice some carat weight in order to finish with two "Ideal" cuts.
8 "pavilion" facets." Even with modern techniques. The round brilliant cut is beneficial when the crystal is an octahedron. as two stones could be cut from one crystal. 8 "kite" facets. and 2.
An "Ideal Cut". "Premium Cut" or "Modern Round Brilliant" (Tolkowsky Round Brilliant) diamond as shown in the diagrams above would have the following basic proportions according to the AGS:
. it is the best cut for showcasing a high-quality stone's fire and brilliance. hearts.
In the diagram of a "Round Cut" diamond (above and below). 16 "upper girdle" facets.Pavilion Symmetry Girdle Symmetry
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. 1 "culet" facet on the bottom. etc. This is why it is very rare to see flawless stones cut into fancy cuts such as emeralds. The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem.
The Modern Round Brilliant Cut
The modern "Round Brilliant Cut" (below) was developed by Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. it is the most efficient cut for maximizing yield. 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. you will see that there are 8 "star" facets. and one "table" facet on the top of the stone for a total of 58 facets. 16 "lower girdle" facets. This is primarily due to the fact that this cut has yet to be improved on for two reasons: 1.
5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972.6% and overall height of 57. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design.7%. more brilliance and fire.
.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42.
To quantify a diamond's cut quality. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%. and Proportions." (Scandinavian standard.5% to 43. A perfect blending of facet symmetry. As with all human endeavors. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57.7%.
AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade
The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. crown height of 14.
Tolkowsky. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. Eppler & Scan D.' 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. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951.
Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut.N. Since then. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace. and overall height of 57. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope. Ideal Scope. and crown/pavilion angles. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. invented in 1929. The "Scan D.. Symmetry.N.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35.4%. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. very small to small In the 1970s. etc. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect. crown height of 14.5%. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant". facet ratios. H&A Viewer. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios.
etc.the consumer. cut proportions. with the two largest stones. and the culet is square. scientists. but at the end of the day it may simply come down to consumer preference and/or marketing.) and when suitably scrutinized by the gem trade. and entrepreneurs .
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. and their modest brilliance and light return.each trying to improve on the tried-and-true Old European cuts. and number of facets. and it still survives in some form today. www. The Asscher brothers cut the famous 3. Tolkowsky came up with a "brilliant" idea almost 90 years ago. the Cullinan 1 and Cullinan 2 being set into the crown and sceptre of the British Crown Jewels. the Asscher diamond cut has a squarish octagonal shape with a step cut.
Asscher Cut The Asscher Cut was developed by Abraham and Joseph Asscher of the Royal Asscher Diamond Company of Amsterdam in 1902. or the widely marketed Leo cut which is a modified round-brilliant sold by Leo Schachter Diamonds.asscher. it is put in front of the ultimate arbiter of quality . Popular in Art Deco jewelry of the period. (more facets. One thing is for sure . but some like the Barion Cut have disappeared into obscurity. mathematicians.106 carat Cullinan Diamond into eleven gem stones. Some have gone on to become household names such as the Asscher cut.nl
. less facets. Here is a collection of just a few of the many "signature" diamond cuts that have been produced over the last 100 years.like Einstein's theory of relativity.Producers split hairs over cut angle. Every conceivable cutting theory is tried. The cut has a deep pavilion and a high crown. cut corners and a small table.
The Eternal Cut has a total of 81 facets. 23 more than a modern Round Brilliant cut. The Barocut is also called a "two heart diamond" due to the illusion of two mirrored hearts meeting at the culet.garrard. Germany. nephew to the inventor of the Modern Round Brilliant cut. and in all diamond colors and/or clarity grades. The Eternal Cut is being sold exclusively at Garrard's main London store and Harvey Nichols stores in Great Britain. Garrard & Co. and a total of 81 facets. parting ways in 2002 to again become Garrard. www. The Barocut is available in sizes from 20 points to 3 carats. and its patent has expired.The Barion square cut (aka Barion square cushion cut) was invented by Basil Watermeyer of South Africa in 1971. modified rectangular (baguette) cut that was developed by Baroka Creations. or the company website. with star-shaped cross facets cut diagonally into the pavilion.baroka. The Context Cut consists of two back-to-back pyramids (an octahedron). Barocut diamonds are promoted and sold exclusively through the Baroka Creations catalog. Barocut stones are also sold in tapered shapes. adding up to 50% to the cost when compared to a Round Brilliant cut diamond. In 1998. The name "Barion" or "Barion cut" was never trademarked. not including the 16 girdle facets. www. or to increase light-dispersion. It is sold exclusively through the 270 year old firm of Garrard & Company in London. 81 facets on the cut corner (cushion) version. of New York in 2000. Marce Tolkowsky. Gabi Tolkowsky.com
Context Cut The Context Cut is a square cut that was developed by Dr.freiesleben. creating a unique 'flower petal' pattern surrounding the cutlet. www. The cutting process requires a high-quality rough.
Barocut The Barocut® diamond cut is a patented. A Barocut diamond has a total of 77 facets. and a 'softer' briliance than a traditional round brilliant cut. The Context Cut is used to cut colored gemstones by Julius Petsch of Idar-Oberstein. merged with the jewelry firm Asprey. The cut has a total of 8 facets plus a girdle. to become Asprey & Garrard. The Context Cut design was based on an earlier patented design by Bernd Munsteiner from the early 1960s. The Context Cut follows a rough diamond crystal's natural octahedral shape. Inc. forming a square shape when viewed from the top. and was the forerunner to the princess cut.de
Eternal Cut The Eternal Cut diamond was designed and patented by master Israeli diamond cutter. Ulrich Freiesleben of Germany in the early 1980s then patented and trademarked in 1997. and creates a high amount of waste.com
. The Barion square cut diamond has a 4-fold mirror-image symmetry.
The Flower Cuts employ unconventional cutting angles and dimensions. the Gabrielle has a total of 105 facets. The Sunflower has 43 facets in unusual. the Gabrielle Cut is available in carre. 8 more facets than the Round Brilliant cut's 58. and pear shapes. and the cut was named after the Flanders region of Belgium (Antwerp) where the cut was first preformed in 1987. Fire-Rose. that is suited to a relatively flat rough. off-color stones.com
Leo Cut The Leo® Diamond.flanders-cuts. oval. LLC. Sunflower and Zinnia cut. Unveiled at the Las Vegas Gem Show in 2001.
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. heart.gabriellediamonds. which is 47 more than a traditional 'Tolkowsky' round brilliant cut. angular shapes. The Fire-Rose is a hexagonal shape designed to produce higher yields. (aka Leo Schachter Diamond). The Flower Cut is actually a series of five fancy cut shapes: the Dahlia.com www. 48 of which are clustered around the culet to increase fire.
. maximizing the amount of light returned back as scintillation. designed to maximize the brilliance and color of diamonds while increasing their yield. The Zinnia is a round fancy shape with 73 facets. The cut is distributed by the National Diamond Syndicate (NDS) of Chicago. Marigold. The Leo diamond cut has a total of 66 facets.nationaldiamond. The Flanders Fire-Brilliant was developed by Flanders Cut International of Antwerp in 1983. The Dahlia is a 12 sided oval shape with 63 facets. adding greater brilliance and fire than standard brilliant cuts. Other than the traditional round brilliant shape. marquise. The Marigold is an octagon shape with 73 facets. The Flower Cuts were never patented or trademarked by De Beers in order to increase their popularity and use. emerald.com
Flower Cut The 'Flower Cut' series was created by Gabi Tolkowsky in 1986. who was commissioned by De Beers to create new cuts as a way of marketing unusual.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. www. www. is a patented symmetrical round cut created by Leo Schachter Diamonds. The Flanders Brilliant has 33 crown facets and 28 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets.
The Lucida diamond cut is a modified square or rectangular (Marquise) cut with truncated corners. a highstep crown (similar to the Asscher Cut). The Quadrillion was the result of three years of optical research to create a square diamond cut that can claim a similar brilliance to a round diamond." The Leo Diamond is marketed through the Kay Jeweler chain. sold in solitaire engagement/wedding bands. There are a total of 49 facets. RCDC launched the 'Original Radiant Cut' diamond brand In 2002. and was patented and trademarked by Bez Ambar Jewelers of Los Angeles in 1980. and the table is a bowed out rectangle. and all Original Radiant Cut diamonds weigh at least 0. The pavilion is similar to a Barion cut. the Radiant Cut became a fully accepted diamond shape in the jewelry business. It was the first emerald shaped diamond cut to have brilliance and fire similar to that of a round brilliant diamond. Bez Ambar
Radiant Cut The Radiant Cut is a modified emerald cut shape that was developed.diamondaires. small table. There are 25 crown facets and 36 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets (not including 8 girdle facets). www. The Lucida is sold exclusively through Tiffany's retail chain. www.' and each diamond comes with a "Return of Light Certificate. eternity bands.com
. brilliant-style faceted pavilion (similar to a Cushion Cut). square shaped diamonds were stepcut limiting their brilliance. and three-stone rings. Upon the expiration of the patent. www. patented and trademarked by Henry Grossbard of the Radiant Cut Diamond Company (RCDC) in 1977.70 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 Leo diamond cut is the first to be certified for fire and brilliance as measured by a 'BrillianceScope.com
Lucida Cut The Lucida (TM) Cut is a patented diamond cut that was created by Tiffany & Company in 1999. The Lucida diamond cut is marketed as a wedding cut. and a total of has 50 facets.tiffany.com
Quadrillion Cut The Quadrillion® Cut (aka Squarillion Cut) is a modified square princess cut that was developed by Israel Itzkowitz and Betzalel Ambar in the late 1970s. Prior to the Quadrillion.radiantcut.
The starburst faceting pattern is designed to focus color near the top of a stone. From this point forward it was a race to see who could design the perfect faceted cut which would bring out the maximum fire. The pavilion has two differently sized sets triangular facets with a large triangular table. of New York in 1978. The Trilliant has the Schoenflies point group symmetry of a round brilliant. with weight losses in the fifty percent range. Old Mine Cut
Evolution of the Faceted Diamond & Colored Gem
Article Copyright © 2008 AllAboutGemstones. reworked into the shape of a trillion (triangle). The Starburst cut was created to bring out the highest amount of color to fancy yellow diamonds. Harry Winston. and the natural octahedral symmetry of the rough stone's closed isometric form. and the Trilliant is now a generic term for a triangular brilliant cut. Trillion) is a triangular cut designed and trademarked by the Henry Meyer Diamond Company of New York in 1962. The "table cut" (below. but the pavilion is completely different. The point cut design is dictated by the natural shape of an octahedral rough diamond. There are two variations of this cut: the Curved cut used for solitary stones. www. Still. The Starburst cut is especially suitable for a octahedral rough. this led to the invention of the first gem cutting machines (precursor to the "lap" or "Facetron") in the 1300s. and Uncurved cut used for accent stones. There are 49 crown facets and 40 pavilion facets. Old eight. for a total of 89 kite and star shaped facets. 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 Starburst Cut was patented and trademarked by the Louis Glick Diamond Corp. Since the day that humans first discovered 'adamas' (diamonds). and scintillation when cut to the correct proportions.
Old European Gem Cuts: Point.com
Trilliant Cut The Trilliant Cut (aka Trielle. With the realization that only a diamond could cut another diamond. right) was created by cutting off some of the top half of the point cut's octahedron to create a table. The Trilliant trademark has since lapsed. brilliance. Starburst Cuts are mounted and sold directly through Cartier. The crown of the Starburst Cut is similar to that of the radiant cut.louisglick. craftsmen have attempted to "improve" on nature. and the career of the "diamantaire" (diamond cutter/polisher) was born. fire. The Trilliant Cut has a total of 31 facets. making the hue of fancy yellow diamonds more intense. 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. Trillian.
Point Cut .early 1300s
The "point cut" (below left) is one of the first symmetrically faceted diamond cuts. and light return from the stone.com The faceting of diamonds has come a long way in the last 700 years.
. Nieman Marcus and Tiffany. The Trilliant cut gives a high brilliance. the precursor for the "design" of the first faceted diamond lay within the rough stone itself.
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." "crowned rose cut.Single Cut .
Old Mine Cut . eight bezel or crown facets. and eight pavilion facets." "Dutch cut.
. 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. an octagonal table. The culet is usually large enough to be visible when viewed through the table. This Old Mine cut is basically square with gently rounded corners and "brilliant" style facets.late 1300s
Invented in the late 14th century. The single cut may or may not have a culet at the bottom. The briolette cut was designed primarily for use in a pendant or as a dangling bauble in a crown.1500s
Invented in the mid 16th century.
Rose & Briolette Cut. The crown is typically tall. resulting in a smaller table." and the Full Holland cut. the "rose cut" is also known by the the "Antwerp rose.
The "senaille cut" is a rose cut with irregular or non-symmetrical faceting.1700s
The "old mine" cut is the earliest form of the "brilliant cut" diamond. The briolette was the precursor to the "pendeloque cut" which is a pear-shaped modification of the round brilliant cut. The "briolette cut" is a modified "double Dutch rose cut" with one of the hemispheres being elongated. Also called the "cushion cut".
The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem." Even with modern techniques. the cutting and polishing of a diamonds resulted in a loss of as much as 50% of the stone's total weight. The eight cut is similar to the "single cut" in that there are eight four-sided trapezoidal facets at the crown.
. the Modern Round Brilliant cut is beneficial when the crystal is an octahedron (diagram above).
As with its predecessor the "point cut" over 600 years earlier. the old European diamond has a circular girdle. a heavy crown.1800s
The "Old European" cut was the forerunner of the modern round brilliant cut. Like the modern round brilliant. and very tall overall depth.1900s
The "modern round brilliant cut" (below) was developed by Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. This cut is also known as the "Tolkowsky Cut" and "Tolkowsky brilliant. The Old European diamond cut has a very small table. eight facets at the pavilion. and an octagon-shaped table for a total of 17 facets (18 if a culet is used).
The Modern Round Brilliant Cut .
Eight Cut & Swiss Cut
The "eight cut" is primarily used for small stones when a brilliant cut would be impractical. as two stones can be cut from one crystal with a minimum amount of waste.Old European Cut .
with a total of 33 facets (34 if a culet is used). Trans Hex." The DTC is part of the DeBeers Group supply-chain known as the Central Selling Organization (CSO). The rough stones are separated into 16. for sorting and resale. thereby controlling and stabilizing prices. or secondary mining producers in Canada and Russia to De Beers' Diamond Trading Company (DTC) in London. 16 isosceles triangle facets on the crown and 16 facets on the pavilion. Unlike precious metals such as gold.A "Swiss cut" is a compromise between an eight cut and a brilliant cut. there is usually a substantial mark-up in the retail sale price of diamonds. silver or platinum.000 categories based on size.com The trade in gem-grade rough diamonds is primarily controlled by the De Beers.
. Kimberley and Windhoek. BHP Billiton and a hand-full of other companies which use their cartel power to control the supply of diamonds on the wholesale market (diamond pipeline)."
The 'Diamond Pipeline'
Rough diamonds are sent directly from De Beers mining operations in Africa (#1). Both the eight cut Swiss cut are still used today for small very diamonds and gems (smaller than 2mm carat weight) as would be used in pavé settings. Rio Tinto. There is a limited market for the resale of diamonds that are less than "investment grade. color and quality. then divided by human or automated sorters into individual lots called "boxes. which combines ("aggregating") supplies of rough diamonds from multiple sources into one wholesale market (#2).
The Diamond Trade: The 'Diamond Pipeline'
Rough Diamond Producers
Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Gaborone.
000 to $2. and retailers . determining the quantity and quality that each site-holder will receive. while large stones are primarily cut in Antwerp. and independent diamond producers in Canada. A 'sight' can have a value of between $500. reclaiming their "A Diamond Is Forever" moniker. and Thailand. Ramat Gan. The sightholder then transports the box of rough diamonds back to diamantaire firms (cutting and polishing factories) located around the world (#4). has launched an aggressive branding and marketing campaign. Once the diamonds are set into jewelry. Rough diamonds are cut in various geographic regions according to tradition and the skill-sets of the labor force. China.De Beers Sightholders
The DTC holds a sale called a "site" or "sight" ten times per year in London and Johannesburg.20 carats or less) in Mumbai (Bombay) and Surat. De Beers.000.
.com website). diamonds have underperformed since 1987 when compared to the "luxury goods" market or global GDP. The diamonds are then re-sold from the cutting and polishing (manufacturing) centers to wholesalers (Diamond Bourses). Russia and elswhere. De Beers (DTC) sets the price of each box in advance. As a reaction to their decrease in market share. or to jewelry manufacturers (#5) around the world. which are increasing in popularity and consumer acceptance. Additionally. Other major cutting centers are located in Johannesburg. (see DeBeers' Adiamondisforever. India cuts the vast majority of small stones (. they are sold to retailers or direct to the customer. to take advantage of market fluctuations. Tel Aviv. De Beers is also facing increasing pressure from the manufactures of synthetic diamonds. Both traders and manufacturers may sell diamonds "upstream" and "downstream" through the diamond pipeline .
De Beers and the Future
De Beers' (CSO's) control over the wholesale diamond market has diminished due to increased market penetration. and New York. where De Beers sells the "boxes" to its select group ("supplier of choice") of 125 "sightholders" (#3) or diamond manufacturers.000 USD. and the breakaway from CSO's cartel by the Argyle Diamond Mine in Australia. Many Sightholders are also cutters. through their Diamond Promotion Service (DPS) and Diamond Information Centres (DIC) marketing divisions. cutters.
cut and uncut diamonds. The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates . bond. are sold in Antwerp every year. The Council began in July 2000 after a joint meeting of the WFDB and its international headquarters are in New York City. NY . Hong Kong. KPCS originated in May 2000 during a meeting of South African diamond producing states in Kimberley. De Beers is hoping that the combination of branding and security will increase consumer demand. Europe. The Council has approximately 70 members representing jewelers. heavily guarded geographic area surrounded by three main streets. The largest diamond trading center in the world is located in Antwerp. Moscow.500 diamond dealers (diamantbedrijven) are ensconced in small. The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base.com The word "Bourse" refers to a private stock.. and about half of the polished diamonds. China. Within Antwerp's diamond district. also known as the "World Diamond Center" or Diamantenzentrum. some 1. the DTC has developed new inscription technologies to "invisibly" mark the table facet of polished diamonds with a "Forevermark" trademark.
The Diamond Trade: Diamond Bourses of Antwerp
Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. This mark is only visible via a point-of-sale electronic viewer.
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. traders and manufacturer/producers. Belgium but there are also Diamond Bourses in Israel. or commodities exchange similar to the NYSE. the European Union and the United Nations to rid the diamond Industry of conflict diamonds. and Shanghai. Asia. London. Schupstraat. the WDC has observers from the governments of Belgium. Almost 85% of the world's rough diamonds. South Africa. and preventing the inherent product misidentification that will follow. Diamond Bourses are basically trading exchanges for loose. The Diamond High Council (HRD) The HRD (Hoge Raad voor Diamant) Diamond High Council is a non-profit industry organization designed to promote and represent the Antwerp diamond trade. and will com with a certificate of authenticity. As of 2006. and India (2007). and the city is the hub of the global diamond trading industry (diamanthandel).S. 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 . Forevermark diamonds will be available through sightholder/retailers in the U. 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 Rijfstraat. In addition to its members.
and disputes are handled by an internal arbitration process.
The Diamond High Council (HRD)
. Most transactions conducted within the Bourses done with cash and a handshake. there are around 4000 diamond-cutters (diamantaire) working in the several-square-block diamond district. and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) was founded in 1947. and both are still in operation today. uncut diamonds was the Antwerpsche Diamantkring (Antwerp Diamond Ring) . These first trading exchanges mainly dealt with the wholesaling of cut stones. which was established in the same year that the 1930 World Expo was held in Antwerp. founded in 1893—and the Beurs voor Diamanthande (at Pelikaanstraat 78) founded in 1904 . making it the largest diamond-trading center in the world . Around $16+ billion in polished diamonds pass through Antwerp's diamond bourses each year.
In Antwerp's 'Diamond Center' (Diamantenzentrum) today.Photo: Wiki Public
The first trading exchange to deal exclusively with rough. After the liberation. Both bourse were founded by Hasidim diamantairs. the Antwerpsche Diamantkring was reopened. bisected by Hoveniersstraat street. ethics and morality. an by-laws that govern business practices. 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. friendship and trust . Control over the diamond trade is maintained through the WFDB's Constitution containing a series of rules. and repatriation of Antwerp following the end of WWII.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.
Beurs voor Diamanthandel . regulations.
and fully annexed the Cape Colony in 1806 . which at the time was administered by the 'Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie' or 'Dutch East India Company.' 'Limpopo." Three of South Africa's richest diamond mines are in Northern Cape (Kimberley Diamond Mine). Afrikaners who participated in the migration northward became known as the 'Trekboer' or Voortrekkers. The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base. but 3000 Zulus were killed in what became known as the 'Battle of Blood River. This led to a new wave of emigrants and adventurer-seekers from England.
Diamonds and the British
The Second Wave of Europeans Needing a stopping-off point on the sea-route to Australia and India. The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates . and Limpopo (Venetia Diamond Mine).
The Diamond Trade: History & Culture of the Key Players
Article Copyright © 2006 AllAboutGemstones.' 'Gauteng.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. They settled in the 'Cape of Good Hope' on Africa's southern most tip. ending with the inclusion of all Boer territories into British colonies.' and the 'Orange Free State' provinces to escape hostilities with the native 'Xhosa tribe' from which Nelson Mandela decended. The Voortrekkers had to contend with the native Zulu tribe over land they wished to settle on.000 Zulu warriors attacking 470 Boer settlers. Gauteng (Premier Diamond Mine). There was not a single Boer fatality. most with Dutch Calvinist. coming for
. and this eventually lead to all-out war.' During the 1830s and 1840s. The Boers resisted British encroachments into their territory until the Second 'Anglo' Boer War (1899— 1902). under the Treaty of Vereeniging. The First Boer War (1880—1881) began with the Transvaal (Limpopo) Boers declaring independence from Great Britain. there was a mass exodus (the Great Trek) northward to 'Northern Cape. who were in search of the "quiet sweet life.The HRD (Hoge Raad voor Diamant) Diamond High Council is a non-profit industry organization designed to promote and represent the Antwerp diamond trade. Flemish. England seized the Cape of Good Hope from the Dutch East India Company in 1797. 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. Afrikaners (aka Boers or farmers) were religious refugees from the Netherlands and other parts of northern Europe during the mid 1600s to late 1700s.' After the devastating Zulu defeat. with 10.
self-government was restored. Cullinan
Photo: Pub. Cecil Rhodes' De Beers empire was started on a farm owned by two Boer settlers and brothers.. but was eventually successful in convincing Barnato to merge with De Beers. N. Rhodes made several aborted attempt to gain control over Barnato's interest in Kimberley Central Mine. Domain
Thomas M. a curious discovery was being made along the banks of the Orange River. Amid all of this turmoil and chaos.' Cecil Rhodes died a single man with no children and. A. De Beers and Kimberley Central were the two largest mining interests in South Africa at the time. Barnato died several years later. and later selling steam-powered water pumps to drain the open-pit mines of Kimberley. One of the richest men in the world. although Rhodes did not start out with an interest in diamonds. Domain
Barney Barnato During the same period that Cecil Rhodes was building De Beers Consolidated Mines. diamond speculator and fellow Englishman named Barney Barnato (1852—1897) was buying up pieces of the Big Hole in Kimberley to form the Kimberley Central Mine..the "mineral revolution. Domain
Cecil Rhodes Cecil Rhodes (1853—1902) is the undisputed father of the modern diamond industry. As founder of De Beers." In 1906. De Beer. 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.
Photo: Pub. mysteriously falling overboard on a ship passage back to England. With the help of the Rothschild bank in London. 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. D. and J. Rhodes started out selling ice cream to the diamond-diggers and service workers. a prospector. in Northern Cape. and in 1910 the 'Union of South Africa' was created. In exchange. Barnato was given appointed to 'life governor' and temporary controlling interest in De Beers . The African nation of Rhodesia was named after him (now the Republic of Zimbabwe). As a young lad from England. he was able to build a monopolistic empire through skill and cunning.
Sir Thomas Major Cullinan (1860—1936) was the founder of one of Africa's richest diamond mines, the 'Premier Diamond Mine,' 30 kilometers east of Pretoria, in Gauteng province, South Africa. Although Cullinan was already a successful building contractor in Johannesburg, he was also an amateur geologist who had heard about alluvial diamonds being found along a stream near the old 'Cornelis Minnaar Farm' in upper Gauteng. Cullinan was interested in purchasing the farm, which had already changed hands several times, but the present owner, Willem Prinsloo (who had purchased the land for £570 in 1861) was not interested in selling. Shortly after the close Anglo Boer War (1898—1902), Willem Prinsloo's widow agreed to sell the land to Cullinan for £52,000, and the 'Transvaal Premier Diamond Mining Company LTD' was officially registered on the December 1, 1902 . On January 25th 1905, a 3,106 carat diamond was found at the mine, which remains the largest diamond ever found in the world. When news of Premier's success hit the board room of De Beers, several aborted attempts were made to purchase the mine, but Cullinan had no intention of selling . In 1914, WW1 broke out in Europe, and diamond prices began to spiral. Layoffs at the mine caused enough friction that by August, mining operations were suspended. The Premier Mine had resumed production by January 1916, but in need of cash, Cullinan sold a major stake in the mine to the Transvaal government. Frank Oats, who was now the chairman of De Beers, was able to convince the Transvaal government to sell its controlling interest in 1917, and De Beers once again enjoyed a monopoly on South African diamonds.
Diamonds and the Ashkenazi, Sephardi and Hasidic Jews
There is perhaps no other ethnic group that is so inextricably intertwined with the diamond trade, than the jews. In an odd twist of fate, it may be Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama's discovery of a searoute to India around Africa's Cape of Good Hope in 1488, that set the stage for the Jewish/diamond connection. Da Gama's discovery opened up a direct diamond-trading route from India's Malabar Coast and the island of Borneo, to Portugal and on the Netherlands. With Lisbon now at the forefront of the European diamond trade, many Portuguese Sephardi businessmen opened cutting houses, and quickly gained a dominant roll in the diamond-polishing industry. The Sephardi were Jews who originated from Spain and Portugal (the Iberian Peninsula), many practicing a secret adherence to Judaism known as "Crypto-Judaism," while professing other faiths. Jews who practiced their religion in the open were expelled from Spain and Portugal, when the Catholic Monarchs issued the "Alhambra Decree" in 1492 (1497 for Portugal), fleeing to Morocco, the Ottoman Empire, Antwerp and Amsterdam. When the first Jewish emigrants (Ashkenazi) came to Antwerp in the 1200s, they were welcomed, but when the Black Plague swept across Antwerp in the mid 1300s, the Jews were one of the scapegoats. Although Amsterdam's Dutch were relatively tolerant when it came to religious freedom, in 1585 Antwerp came under Spanish rule, and the Jews (this time Sephardic), were once again the focus of scrutiny. With the Spanish Inquisition in high gear, Jews were now persecuted for conducting trade with the Ottoman Empire, or for being 'pseudo-Christian.' In the 1600s, wealthy Jewish diamond-traders now living in the Netherlands, financed the 'Dutch East India Company' and its exploration of new trade routes to India, but the British were beginning to see opportunity in the diamond trade, creating new competition for the Jewish/Dutch. Prior to being granted 'civil equality' in 1796, Amsterdam's Jews were not allowed to join trade guilds, leaving the unregulated diamond industry as one of the only means of employment. By the late 18th century, many of Amsterdam's Jews were working in the diamond trade, and many of these 'Sephardi refugees' had maintained connections with Portuguese traders who now had a monopoly on the trade of raw diamonds from India. By the early 1700s, India's mines were nearing exhaustion, but a new discovery in Brazil helped to reinvigorate the diamond trade. By this time, British naval superiority proved to be a great advantage, and the 'British East India Company' was born. The European center for the diamond trade now began to move away from Amsterdam, as Jewish traders set up shop in London. The cut stones were sold to the nobility and royalty of Europe, using the Hofjude (Court Jews) as purchasing agents to select the stones from the London diamond merchants.
Photo: Pub. Domain
The Pshevorsk Hasidic Dynasty Hasidic Judaism was founded by Polish (now Ukrainian) Rabbi 'Ba'al Shem Tov', aka 'Israel ben Eliezer' (1698—1760) in a time when European Jews were facing increasing hostility and pressure from the "Cossacks' Uprising" in Ukraine. The Hasidic movement is a sub-group of the theologically conservative Haredi or Charedi Judaism, aka Ultra-Orthodox Judaism. The movement was seen as a way of turning inward towards a 'deeper spiritualism and mysticism.' Hasidism spread westward, making its way to western Europe in the 1800s. The Hasidic movement in Antwerp began with Rabbi Moshe of Pshevorsk, who authored 'Ohr Pnei Moshe' in 1805 . The Pshevorsk is a small sub-Hasidic movement based in Antwerp, Belgium, with their hub at the study hall (beth midrash), 'Beth Yitzchok' at Mercatorstraat 56. With the discovery of vast diamond reserves in South Africa during the late 1800s, concern over a glut in the diamond market spread throughout London's diamond merchants. A group of wealthy Jewish dealers pooled their resources to form "the syndicate," which was created to soak up all of the excess capacity being created by South Africa. Today, Antwerp and London's diamond trade is largely controlled by the Hasidic Jewish community, although Indian influence is on the rise in recent years. Many of these Hasidic entrepreneurs are nameless by choice, preferring to maintain their anonymity, but they have been the driving force behind the multi-billion dollar diamond industry for hundreds of years.
Photo: Pub. Domain
Alfred Beit Alfred Beit (1853—1906) was born into a prominent Jewish family in Hamburg, Germany. Beit worked for the diamond firm of Jules Porges and Co. in Amsterdam before emigrating to 'Cape Colony' in 1875 during the Kimberley diamond-rush . Beit was part of a group of financiers, including Cecil Rhodes, who gained control of the diamond-mining claims in the Central Mine, Dutoitspan Mine, and De Beers Mine, thereby 'consolodating' the South African mining industry. becoming a 'life-governor' of De Beers Consolidated Mines. He was also the director of the Beira Railway Company, British South Africa Company, Rand Mines, and the Rhodesia Railways. Beit, along with partner Cecil Rhodes, financed the 1895 'Jameson Raid' which was an attempt to trigger an unsuccessful coup in the South African Republic of Transvaal. The Royal School of Mines, at the Imperial College London has a large memorial to Beit, in recognition of the Beit trust's bequeathment to the university, and to educational institutions in Britain, Germany South Africa, and Zimbabwe (Rhodesia).
Photo: Pub. Domain
Sir Ernest Oppenheimer Ernest Oppenheimer (1880—1957) was born in Friedberg, Germany to a large Jewish family, and with several brothers working for "the syndicate," Ernest was well positioned for his future vocation. He began his career at age 17, working for the diamond brokerage firm, Dunkelsbuhler & Company in London. Oppenheimer created the concept of "single-channel marketing" over 100 years ago, by funneling the world's supply of diamonds through a single clearing house. Oppenheimer gained control of Namibia's diamond mines, forming the Anglo American mining conglomerate. This gave him the financing and power to gain the chairmanship of De Beers. Today, Oppenheimer's Anglo American operates a fleet of diamond recovery ships off the coast of Namibia and South Africa under the umbrella of De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited (DBCM), and Central Holdings Limited (CHL), an Oppenheimer family holding company, and in partnership with Namdeb.
Photo: Pub. Domain
Nicky Oppenheimer Ernest's grandson, Nicky Oppenheimer (born 1945) studied philosophy at Oxford as a young man, and is now the chairman of the De Beers Diamond Mining Company and its subsidiary Diamond Trading Company. The Oppenheimer family and Anglo American maintains a 45% stake in De Beers today. Africa's richest man, and #134 on the Forbes list of the world's richest people, Nicky Oppenheimer is worth an estimated $4.5 billion. Under new legislation, passed by the African National Congress, Nicky Oppenheimer was forced to sell a 26% share of De Beers to the South African 'Black Economic Empowerment' group (BEE). This was the first major ownership change for De Beers in over a century. Of the legislation Oppenheimer said: "De Beers is here to make a profit, but we must benefit the people and communities where we operate."
Photo: Pub. Domain
Lev Leviev The Lev Leviev Group, created by Israeli national, Lev Leviev (born 1956 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan) is the worlds largest cutter and polisher (diamantaire) of rough diamonds, with factories in Armenia, India, Israel, and the Ukraine. The Lev Leviev Group also owns mining interests in Namibia's offshore dredging operations. Through his personal relationship to Vladimir Putin and other Russian heads of
Russia. Lev Leviev has formed a partnership with the ex Soviet state-owned diamond firm. Laurence Graff was born into a Jewish orthodox family in London's poorer 'East End' district. now called ALROSA (Almazy-Rossii-Sakha) . New York's Madison Avenue. found on August 22. Raised by his grandparents.state. Graff has co-authored (with Vanessa von Zitzewitz) "The Most Fabulous Jewels in the World. from wholesale and retail. Tretiakovsky Proezd in Moscow. 2006 at the Letseng diamond mine in the tiny Kingdom of Lesotho in the center of the Republic of South Africa. Monte Carlo. Hotel de Paris' salon privé in Paris. and has satellite locations in Wafi City. in 1992. a DeBeers sightholder in Johannesburg." the Leviev Group has found willing partners in several countries including Angola's ASCORP after De Beers' exit in 2001.com
Gujarat's Indian Diamantaires
. One of his most notable acquisitions was the 603 carat "Lesotho Promise diamond. Graff's strategy of "vertically integration" has been to control every angle of the diamond pipeline.). Using this model of "local control. Leviev's net-worth is estimated at $2. which gives him access to some of the finest uncut diamonds coming out of South Africa. and the largest rough unearthed in this century. which are now owned by Lev Leviev. House of Graff is also located on London's Sloane Street. By circumventing the De Beers supply chain. ALROSA produces 100% of Russia's rough diamond output and approximately 20% of the world's rough diamonds . selling to the rich and famous from Elizabeth Taylor and Donald Trump. It will ultimately be cut into an estimated 20 or so 'D-flawless' stones ranging from 75 carats to 1 carat in size. and one of the most successful diamond merchants in modern history. Lesotho Promise is the 15th largest diamond ever found." a compendium and history of his most famous jewels. Graff has been dubbed the "king of diamonds." and the "king of bling" by Forbes magazine . to Larry Ellison.5 billion dollars .
Photo: Pub. to purchasing a 51% stake in Safdico (South African Diamond Corp. Mr. All House of Graff stones have a laser-inscribed girdle with the 'Graff' logo and GIA number. Domain
Laurence Graff Laurence Graff (1938—) is a DeBeers sightholder. with his wife and their nine children. Graff's net worth is estimated at 2. Alrosa now sells direct to cutting factories throughout Russia. Israel. Dubai. and on board the luxury residential ship The World ResidenSea. founder of the House of Graff in the heart of London's posh New Bond Street. formed by Decree 158C of the Russian Federation. Lev Leviev lives in B'nei Brak.
The Hindustani Diamond Cutters
Photo: dnavin.5 billion (#278 Forbes List).
to elevate quality standards. with $1. and although India's famous "Diamonds of Golconda" were mined-out hundreds of years ago. Much of India's diamond trade is controlled by a handful of wealthy families in Gujarat. Chandragupta. Harshad Mehta ("Diamond King of the world") is one of the founders of Rosy Blue.
. Dilip Mehta of Mumbai. heighten awareness of ethical business practices. Of the $26 billion per year diamond revenues that flow through Antwerp. and to develop an "understanding of the world market. and Vijaydimon are family owned operations run by Jains with the common surnames of Jhavari. Sanghavi Exports. propelling their twin companies. they were able to gain an increasingly larger share of the wholesale diamond trade. and is currently a Senior Partner and head of the UAE division." The Indians would go on to enjoy a singular reign over the diamond-rich dominion—known as Hindustan—for another two thousand years. Venus Jewels." The Bharat Diamond Bourse in Mumbai. Domain
Bharat & Vijay Shah Bharat and Vijay Shah came from a family of jewelers going back three generations.7 billion in annual sales .above). (HDC). is the newest addition to India's arsenal of global marketing tools to promote exports. Mumbai. and were written about in an ancient Sanskrit manuscript called the "The Lesson of Profit" Arthasastra (c. from Hong Kong to Israel. or "thunderbolt. started out thirty years ago by purchasing cheaper stones that the Dutch Hasidim. the Hindustan Diamond Company Ltd. improve perceptions. the Indians would not be giving up their rightful heritage as diamantaires. Suresh & Co. The Indian communities' share has grown to around 60%. Gitanjali Gems. universal truths. The brothers. Gujarat. is the CEO of the 'Rosy Blue Group' which is currently one of the world's largest diamond companies. Companies like Bhavani Gems. D.Diamonds made their first reluctant appearance in human history over 2400 years ago. and Shah. Shree Ramkrishna Exports. are headed and staffed by Mehta family members. Mehta. Gitanjali Gems is one of the largest manufacturers of diamonds and diamond jewelry in India.
Photo: Pub. both college dropouts. The Sanskrit word for 'diamond' was vajra.com
Dilip Mehta Indian diamantaire. India (born 1949). 320 BC) by Kautiliya. and De Beers India. 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. Several other divisions of the Rosy Blue Group. This vast fortune is shared by some 300 to 500 Gujaratis families from Palanpur on the GujaratRajasthan border . Navinchandra & Co (board of directors . It is estimated that India cuts. and Surat's 'Special Economic Zone' . and exports several billion dollars worth of gems per year. and Israelis didn't want to work with . By slowly developing markets. a minister to the Indian king.
Photo: rosyblue. M. displacing the Hasidim as the dominant force in the industry . based upon eternal. Jainism is an ancient Indian religious sect believing in the 'Jain' philosophy. with diamond cutting factories located in Borivali. The Indo Argyle Diamond Council (IADC) formed in 1994 as a consortium of Indian jewelry manufacturers and cutting houses. polishes.
and the end to South African apartheid in 1994. created a program for capacity-building of 'small and medium-sized enterprise' (SME) development. with one of the fastest per-capita income growth rates in the world. Palanpur. is making great strides in stabilizing the country after years of strife. Botswana has held regular elections and has been one of the more stable governments in southern Africa. After winning a disicive re-election victory in 2006.
Diamonds and the Americans
Photo: Pub. President Festus Mogae was elected for a second term in 2004. The company has cutting factories in Antwerp. who was a major general in the army. Vijaydimon also purchases rough diamonds from Canada's Diavik Mine and Argyle (Rio Tinto) and Russia . left). On a somewhat darker note. In a post-conflict reconstruction effort. into a global position with nearly $1 Billion a year in sales. and the United States. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. Botswana is a relatively wealthy African country. The last democratic election in Angola was in 1992. Hong Kong. president José Eduardo dos Santos is preventing democratic elections from taking place. China. all who have signed multi-million dollar trade deals. Angola and from mining magnates. the political situation in Angola has begun to normalize.000 workers. Vijaydimon is a DTC sightholder with offices in Belgium. UAE. At the age of 29. only hinting at their possibility in 2007 or 2008. India. and enjoys broad support. Kabila. employing 22. Thailand.W. succeeded his father (Laurent-Désiré Kabila) as president the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC) after his assassination in January 2001. Mandela. and Tel Aviv. After years of fighting between the PMLA and UNITA. Bombay. Singapore. the 'United Nations Industrial Development Orginization' (UNIDO). Kabbah. & Mogae Starting with Botswana's independence in 1966.Vijaydimon (Belgium) and B Vijaykumar (India) . working in cooperation with the government of Sierra Leone. many of the ex-colonial nations of Sub-Saharan Africa are starting to emerge as powerful and legitimate forces in the diamond industry. Ayer & Son
N. dos Santos.
Diamonds and the African Nationals
Photos: Public Domain
Kabila. Joseph Kabila (above. The president of Sierra Leone. both domestically and internationally. Surat. Bangkok. is receiving broad support from the South Africa.
"A diamond is forever" is the legendary saying that was created by America's first advertising agency.
. aka "the King of Diamonds. gems and jewelry from the estates of the European aristocracy. Lorelei receives a diamond tiara from her suitor. Jule Styne. the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine. Ayer & Son. and the diamond industry was particularly hard hit. The stone was cut in Paris. and the subsequent overthrowing of King Louis-Philippe of France in 1848. which started out as 'Tiffany & Young' of New York City in 1837.54 carat 'The Tiffany Diamond." by Jean Schlumberger in the 1960s. was originally a 'fancy goods' emporium. specializing in one-of-a-kind baubles for New York's newly-minted industrialists and 'robber-barons.72 carat cushion-cut diamond (one of the "Diamonds of Golconda") was mounted by Tiffany. Styne wrote the score for the 1949 Broadway musical 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. De Beers and the diamond industry got another shot in the arm. located at 259 Broadway. In 1948 the famous "A diamond is forever" slogan was introduced. With financial shockwaves caused by the French economy's collapse in 1847.W. who was known for his jewelry expertise. and Tiffany seized on the opportunity.' brand was catapulted into the stratosphere by the 1961 movie 'Breakfast at Tiffany's. the public's tolerance towards nobility was at a low point. Tiffany & Young.42 carat rough flawless-yellow diamond from the 'Compagnie Français de Diamant du Cap' (Kimberley mine) in 1877. purchased diamonds. Jule Styne (born Julius Kerwin Stein) was born in London. Domain
Hollywood in 1949 Coming just on the heels of the immortal "a diamond is forever" campaign. the values of ostentatious gems and jewelry dropped precipitously." after here charecter. producing the 128. N. Harry Frederick Oppenheimer enlisted the help of N. this time from playwriter. Tiffany was able to purchase significant gems from such renowned estates as: the 'jewel-mad' Duke of Brunswick. Charles Tiffany.' The stone was set into a garish jewelry piece called "Bird on a Rock. Styne moved to Hollywood where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn. The Great Depression had taken a heavy toll on luxury goods during the 1930s. A 19. for resale in America. and a series of diamond-related slogans were introduced into the American lexicon. The 'Tiffany & Co.W. Ayer in 1938.
Photo: Pub.' at the flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street." was the co-founder of Tiffany & Co. One of Tiffany's most notable diamond acquisitions was a 287.' which was adapted to film in 1953.' staring Audrey Hepburn. and from the Spanish Crown Jewels . Prince Esterhazy of Hungary. Sir Francis "Piggy" Beekman. The movie version featured Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend. After the French revolution in 1799. Domain
Charles Lewis Tiffany Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812—1902). and featuring the memorable scene in which Holly gazes longingly into Tiffany's window display.
Photo: Pub. and sold to Nanaline Duke (now in the Doris Duke Collection).' During the 1800s. De Beers president. The Tiffany is still selling luxury jewelry in their trademarked 'Tiffany Blue Box. After attending Chicago Musical College.
The Consumer Last. the unsung hero in the diamond trade. as writer Charles Leavitt takes us through the dark underbelly of the diamond trade." and the terrible working conditions that these workers must endure. 2006
Hollywood in 2006 Blood Diamond is the latest incarnation of Hollywood's fascination with diamond." there would be no "diamond trade. Leavitt weaves a tale of Sierra Leone's impoverished "diamond diggers. we have the faceless American consumer. appraisal report. or "cert" may be your only assurance that you are getting exactly what you paid for."
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. Through interviews with human-rights organizations like Doctors Without Borders and Global Witness. This time. but not least. certificate of authenticity. Diamonds are tested for
.Photo: © Warner Bros. a diamond certificates. the glamor is laid bare. In a preemptive strike against any negative publicity that the movie would generate. the World Diamond Council placed ten full-page ads in newspapers around the county. Were it not for intrepid consumers. and their willingness to purchase the concept of "foreverness.
The GIA was founded by Robert M. Certificates of Authenticity. Mumbai. tone. there is very little (visible) difference between a FL stone and a IF or VVS-1 stone . the same year that Shipley published his groundbreaking book titled 'Gemology.
The International Gemological Institute (IGI) is the oldest institute of its kind in Antwerp. Bangkok. Appraisal Reports. carat weight. shape and cut of a stone. clarity. GIA reports also cover any treatments or enhancements that have been done.the basics (cut dimensions and proportions. and Attestations of Origin. and is the largest independent gem certification and appraisal institute in the United States. but for insurance appraisal as well. with offices around the globe. Shipley in 1931. and wether they are synthetic. poorly cut SI-3 grade stone. wether the stone is natural or synthetic. and carat weight) and they are also tested for traces of gem enhancement. California. and saturation of a colored stone.other than the price. The IGI offers Identification Reports. color. 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. Antwerp. Dubai and Hong Kong. and of corse. founded in 1975. Tokyo. with operations in New York City. which can be substantially different. 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's world headquarters are located in Carlsbad. Although even a lay-person may be able to tell the difference between a triple-zero diamond and a cheap.
A GIA (Gemological Institute of America) report provides detailed information about the dimensions. Los Angeles. Toronto.
.not only for resale.
HRD also offers gemelogical training and continuing education courses in diamond grading.
. Color. jewellery design and gemology. Belgium issues quality reports for loose (unmounted) polished diamonds according to ISO 17025 international standards for gemelogical testing laboratories. mesurments. color. as well as quantifying the standard parameters of Clarity. weight. and Fluorescence. and finish. HRD's refined Cut Grading system measures each of the three parameters (proportions. All diamonds are examined anonymously. Cut. Carat Weight.The IGI lab grades diamonds as well as colored gemstones along several basic criteria which include: shape and cut. clarity. with "Triple Excellent" being the highest overall designation. origin (colored gems). polish and symmetry) using a scale ranging from Excellent to Fair.
HRD Antwerp Diamond Certificate
The certificates department of HRD Antwerp in Antwerpen.
HRD uses the "Hearts and Arrows" measuring system which was developed by HRD Antwerp scientists. Shape. and the graders can not know the identity of the owner. the sorting of rough diamonds.
A diamond's clarity is also graded on a simple numeric scale from 0 to 10. Symmetry. Today. The AGS Diamond Quality Document uses a unique and proprietary 0 to 10 grading system that is simpler for the consumer to understand than the GIA's grading nomenclature. The AGS specializes in diamond testing and evaluation. and optical physicists.com The American Gem Society was founded in 1934 by Robert M. along with a consortium of independent jewelers. 2005 can be viewed online. certificates issued after January 1. Aditionally.As well as testing for synthetic diamonds. but rather a comprehensive quality evaluation.
. The AGS Gemological Laboratories was established in 1996 to provide state-of-the-art diamond grading and appraisal services to the jewelry industry. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). AGS is considered the premier diamond-grading laboratory. mathematicians. and to set a higher standard of business ethics and professional practices in the jewelry industry. HRD uses complex watermarking to prevent copying or falsifying their reports. as opposed to GIA's vvs. An AGS report. To insure the security of their documents. and s ratings. referred to as a "Diamond Quality Document" or "DQD. having the most rigid grading standards.
The AGSL was the first gem lab to grade a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish." The AGS Cut Grading system was developed through of years of research by gemologists. and Proportions. The mission of the AGS is to increase consumer awareness.
Diamond Grading AGS Diamond Quality Report (DQD)
AGS Gemological Laboratory Background
Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors. Shipley. and does not evaluate other types of colored gemstones. as well as the most comprehensive system for grading the all-important 'cut' parameters. 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. vs. creator of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). AGS grades diamond color on a numeric sliding scale that is similar to GIA's alphabetical scale. 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. the HRD lab also uses state-of-the-art technology to test for subtle and hard to recognize enhancements such as HPHT." is not an appraisal of monetary value.
Each parameter is given a numeric grade from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). 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. mathematicians." but to retained the "Triple Zero" monicker for diamonds with a perfect score." The AGS Cut grading system was developed through years of research by gemologists. Proportions & Light Performance
The AGSL was the first gem lab to grade a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. leakage and light spread. In 2004 AGS added a new category that is referred to as "Light Performance." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors.
. and optical physicists. 'Polish' and 'Symmetry' were merged into one category called "Finish.Cut Grade: Finish. and Proportions. dispersion. Symmetry. The ray-tracing program measures the quantity of the light being returned to the viewer by quantifying brightness.
0 to 7. relative facet angles."
Each AGS grading document is marked with a hologram (dark circle at lower right of report) and watermarking or embossing to prevent fraudulent duplication.0 to 1. where facets intersect with each-other.0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless .5 to 3. and individual facet ratios.7.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z)
As of 2003. AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint .3. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram.1.
AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations
Colorless ." or "ideal" rating.0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light . in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above). The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles. the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible. In the upper left corner of the document there is a unique AGS reference number that can be used when contacting AGS with questions about your report.5.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade
The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero. all measured in three spacial dimensions.5 to 4.
AGS Diamond Grading System
On the inside fold of an AGS Diamond Quality grading report there is a legend explaining the unique AGS nomenclature with comparisons to GIA's grading system.
. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light .
42 Carat D. 2. left) refers to various techniques used to extract gems. OctoNus Software. which are used by non-contact measuring-device manufacturers such as Sarin Technologies. As of 2005. AGS will also provide analysis of a manufacturers 'cut performance' by analyzing a sample stone's Sarin file. The principle methods of diamond extraction are:
Accessing the underground ore is achieved via a horizontal passageway called a "decline. 5. 4. Pricing for a diamond grading report is based on carat weight. AGS offers laser inscription services as well. These diamond extraction methods vary depending on how the minerals are deposited within the earth. 3.
Obtaining an AGS Report
AGS is a 'trade-industry' testing laboratory that will only evaluate diamonds sent from jewelers or manufacturers. AGSL reports will also grade cut quality for emerald. Additionally." or a by a vertical "shaft. Dubai. and the peripheral damage that will be done to the surrounding environment. minerals. through AGS offices in Antwerp.
Diamonds: Gem & Diamond Mining Technology
Photos: Public Domain
Diamond & Gem Mining .Extraction Methods
Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. 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. so that the cutter can improve the light performance of their cut stones. and octagon step-cut diamonds. the stability of the material that surrounds that desired gem or mineral. The AGS supplies 'facet arrangement' templates corresponding to their cutgrading system. and can only be accessed by tunneling underground and creating underground "rooms" or "stopes" that are supported by timber pillars or standing rock. AGS will only evaluate loose. and will soon be offering cut evaluations for other fancy shapes.Triple-0 Round Brilliant Setting
'American Star Diamond' 13.com Diamonds and other precious and semi-precious gemstones are extracted from the earth using five basic mining techniques. princess. and ore bodies that are in situ. the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA)." A decline is a spiral (corkscrew) tunnel which circles the ore deposit. unmounted diamonds. while a shaft is
. India and Israel. and OGI Systems. Artisanal Mining Hard Rock Mining Marine Mining Open Pit Mining Placer Mining
Hard-Rock Diamond Mining The term "hard-rock mining" (top of page.
gravel. highly resistant to weathering. also known as "sand-bank mining" (top of page. running adjacent to the ore. 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. Marine diamond mining employs both "vertical" and "horizontal" techniques to extract diamonds from offshore placer deposits. or hand digging (artisanal mining). A decline is typically used for mining personnel. and have a specific gravity that is higher than that of common minerals.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 and most gemstones are hard. box screens. Marine Mining Marine mining technology only became commercially viable in the early 1990s. the gravels are separated and sorted into three sizes. shovels. center) is a method of extracting rock and minerals from the earth by removal from a machine-dug open pit or burrow. which concentrate the heavier gems at the bottom.
. right) with bare hands. at a maximum depth of 500 feet.vertical tunnel used for ore haulage. and access to the ore. eluvial. Laborers who work in artisanal diamond mining are called "diamond diggers" (below left). While on board. or sand) that is unsuitable for tunneling. with the middle size being a candidate for final sorting. Open pit mines are typically used when mineral deposits are found close to the surface or along defined kimberlite pipes. or sort material according to size. Artisanal diamond mining is a form of "subsistence based" non-mechanized mining that is used in poorer countries throughout the world.
Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . therefore. or large conical sieves. or pans. 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. and or colluvial secondary deposits. and is a derivative form of open-cast mining used to extract minerals from the surface of the earth without the use of tunneling.Photo: USGS
Alluvial Diamond . also known as "open-cast mining" (top of page. Placer Mining Placer diamond mining. mechanized surface excavating equipment. Excavation is accomplished using water pressure (hydraulic mining). right) is used for extracting diamonds and minerals from alluvial. Horizontal mining employs the use of Seabed Crawlers (remotely controlled. Small "pit lakes" tend to form at the bottom of open-pit mines as a result of groundwater intrusion. Gems are separated from waste material using various sifting and sorting techniques such as cone screens. rock or sedimentary soil. machinery. Open Pit Mining Open-pit diamond mining. they tend to concentrate in alluvial deposits in the same way that gold placers develop. CAT-tracked underwater mining vehicles) move across the sea floor pumping gravel up to an offshore vessel.
Kimberlites are found as "dikes" and "volcanic pipes" which underlie and are the source for rare and relatively small volcanoes or "maars" (above. Kimberlite pipes are the most significant source of diamonds. diamonds are carried to the surface of the earth by volcanic activity.North Cape" below). right).
Diamonds: Diamond Geology
Diamond Geology & Kimberlites
Kimberlite Pipes Diamonds form at a depth greater than 93 miles (150 kilometers) beneath the earth's surface. After their formation. serpentine. phlogopite. left). rock fragments. Kimberlite pipes can lie directly underneath shallow lakes formed in the inactive volcanic calderas or craters. the Congo (DROC). Diamond bearing kimberlite in some parts of South Africa is black in color (above. in conflict zones where mechanized mining is impractical and unsafe.
. As this molten mixture of magma (molten rock). Artisanal diamond mining accounts for 90% of Sierra Leone's diamond exports and is the country's second largest employer after subsistence farming. 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 . left) or "yellow-ground" kimberlite and can be found worldwide. with a variety of trace minerals. It is also used extensivly in Angola. olivine.Artisanal diamond mining is used throughout west Africa. garnet. and upper mantle rock. These pipes are called "kimberlites" or "kimberlite pipes" (see diagram below). and diamonds approaches the earth's surface it begins to form an underground structure (pipe) that is shaped like a champagne-flute.
Kimberlite is a diamondiferous igneous-rock matrix composed of carbonate. right). Many kimberlite pipes also produce alluvial diamond placer deposits. Most kimberlite is called "blue-ground" kimberlite (above. Kimberlite occurs in the zone of the Earth's crust in vertical structures known as kimberlite pipes (above. minerals. and Liberia. yet only about 1 in every 200 kimberlite pipes contain gem-quality diamonds. pyroxene.
impact breccia. sedimentary breccia.' which are created by abandoned river meanders. resulting in a broader cone of eviscerated rock at the surface. The Argyle pipe is a diatreme. igneous breccia. Diamondiferous material tends to concentrate in and around 'oxbow lakes. Breccia is a rock composed of angular fragments of several minerals or rocks in a matrix. except that boiling water and volatile compounds contained in the magma act corrosively on the overlying rock. or different in composition to the fragments themselves. 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. and tectonic breccia. The world's largest known gem quality alluvial diamond deposits are located along the Namib Desert coastline of southwestern Africa.
Alluvial Diamonds from Africa . There are several types of breccia which are categorized based on their geological origin. including: hydrothermal breccia. Lamproite pipes are created in a similar manner to kimberlite pipes. usually from kimberlite deposits. These dried 'lakes' receive river water during seasonal flooding which transports large amounts of sediment held in suspension.Photo: Public Domain
Lamproite Pipes Lamproite pipes produce diamonds to a lesser extent than kimberlite pipes. or "cementing material. left) and marine gravels of the south-western coastline of Africa represent the some of the world's largest placer diamond deposits. Alluvial (Placer) Diamond Deposits The location of alluvial (secondary or placer) diamond deposits is controlled by the surrounding topography. This results in a martini-glass shaped diamondiferous deposit as opposed to kimberlite's champagne flute shape.Open Pit Mine . Alluvial diamond deposits are usually located within river terrace gravels that have been transported from their location of origin. known as the Sperrgebiet or "forbidden territory. 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.Photo: NASA
The alluvial terrace gravels (below.
." that may be similar.Photo: Public Domain
Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix ." and along the Orange River near Alexander Bay.
9k and 101.
Alluvial Terrace Gravels . carried from their primary origination point on the Kaapvaal Craton.000 years ago). made their way to the sea bed just offshore. The diamonds within these deposits were transported from deeply-eroded diamondiferous kimberlites or. channels or other trapsites for diamondiferous deposits. potholes. Diamonds in marine areas are typically trapped in bedrock depressions such as gullies.com
. 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. in central South Africa and Botswana. from olivine lamproites formed during the Cretaceous or Permo-Triassic period.Photo: Wiki
Diamond-Bearing 'Diamondiferous' Gravel
Many of these alluvial diamond deposits occur in Pleistocene and Holocene successions (1.8k. but were not deposited on land.Namibia's placer diamond deposits are between 40 and 80 million years old. to a lesser extent.
Diamond Mines of the World: Active Diamond Mines
List of Active Diamond Mines
All Contents Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. including Angola's two largest diamonds at 105.8 million to 10. Some of the largest and highest gemquality diamonds produced from alluvial placer diamond mining have come from this region. Diamonds that were transported downstream. Westward draining river systems transported these diamonds to Africa's continental coastline for final deposition within on-shore marine terrace gravels. depressions.
3. 3. map Damtshaa Diamond Mine: (water for a tortoise) New open pit mine. 75% De Beers ownership. South Kalimantan
North West Territories (NWT)
1. Israel. Kimberlite pipe. produces over 40% of world's gem-quality diamonds. Namdeb Namib Gov. south of Lüderitz. Cempaka Diamond Mines: Alluvials mined by indigenous artisanal Kalimantan miners. 2. Luzamba Diamond Mine: Angola's largest alluvial mine. mostly industrial grade. and any relevant geographic data. and hard rock diamond mines.DeBeers/Botswana. map Koidu-Sefadu Mines: Subsistence digging in alluvium pits west of Koidu. There are also several African nations with ongoing off-shore dredging/vacuming operations. map Jwaneng Diamond Mine: (place of small stones) richest mine in world. map Williamson Diamond Mine: (aka Mwadui mine) Open Pit mine. Rio Tinto. 75% De Beers ownership map Murowa Diamond Mine: Open Pit & Underground mine. 1.
These lists also contains new project explorations. map Koidu Open Pit Mines: Kimberlite open-pit mines just south of Koidu. Trans Hex. So Africa. Open-pit mine De Beers operated. Diavik Diamond Mine: The Diavik diamond mine is located in the NWT. map Venetia Diamond Mine: Limpopo. 3. 1. Luarica Diamond Mine: Owned by Endiama (38%) & Trans Hex (32%). map Orapa Diamond Mine: (resting place for lions) Largest/oldest of four . map Cullinan Diamond Mine: Open Pit/Hard Rock diamond mine owned by De Beers. MIBA. map Magna Egoli Mine: Largest mechanized mine in Sierra Leone. Catoca Diamond Mine: Fourth largest diamond mine in world. Closed in 2006. 75% De Beers ownership. map Letlhakane Diamond Mine: ("little reeds") second oldest of four . links to satellite images of the mines (where available). 1. 4. 1. and a host of other counties with operational and/or historic alluvial. map Fucauma Diamond Mine: Newly constructed. Lubilash) Alluvial river mines in Kasaï. 5. in Kasaï . Owned by Endiama (40%) & Trans Hex (35%). map
Cempaka/Riam Kanan. Waldman Resources. map Forminière Diamond Mine: Alluvial mine located on the River Tshikapa. 4. open pit. 2. map Koffiefontein Diamond Mine: The Koffiefontein mine opened in 1870. map Orange River (Daberas) Mines: Orange River alluvium. 2. map Bakwanga Mine: (aka Bushimaïe.closed. 6. map Elizabeth Bay Mine: Open-cast mine in Namib desert. map Baken Diamond Mine: Located along Orange River in North Cape. 1. Argyle Diamond Mine: Largest producer in world. 3. map Finsch Diamond Mine: Finsch is an open-pit mine near Lime Acres. 2. 2. 3. map The Oaks Diamond Mine: In Limpopo province. the Kimberley Open Pits closed in 2005. 2.Currently there are eleven major 'diamond producing' nations. 7. map Letseng Diamond Mine: Open-cast mine in Maluti Mountains 70 km from Mokhotlong.De Beers / Botswana. 1. 4. mining operator info. De Beers/Botswana. De Beers operated.
| Inactive Mines
| Future Exploration
| Mining Companies
1. 1. 2. map
Congo (DROC or RDC) Lesotho Namibia
1. Endiama (50%). Namdeb. map Marine Mining: Namco Mining operates a dredging fleet off the west coast of Namibia. mining industry inside news. map Ekati Diamond Mine: Canada's first diamond mining operation. map River Ranch Diamond Mine: Open Pit & Underground mine. Odebrecht (50%). De Beers / Botswana. map
. 2. map Kimberley Diamond Mine: Started in 1871. located in NWT. 1.
1. Mirna Mine: Largest diamond deposit in Russia and one of the largest in the world. map Jubilee (Yubileinaya) Mine: Newer open-pit kimberlite mine near Udachny. map
. map Anabar GOK Mine: The norther most location of Russia's diomond mines. 3. and Sytykan. Panna Diamond Mine: Alluvial mine in state of Madhya Pradesh. map Udachnaya (Udachny) Pipe Mine: One of the deepest diamond mines in the world. 2. 5. 4. Aikhal GOK Mine: Three open-pit kimberlite pipe mines: Aikhal. Jubilee.India