All About Gemstones: Diamonds

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

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

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

The 4 Cs of Diamonds: Cut

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

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

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

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

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

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

The "fancy cuts" are generally not held to the same strict standards as Round Brilliants. Cut 2. a 1/2 carat diamond would be 50 points.007 ounce. "Marquise" or "Navette" (little boat). Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics." . 5 Popular fancy cuts include the "Baguette" (bread loaf). and the Pear. Clarity 4. As a consumer. your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the "4 C's" diamond grading system. A carat can also be divided into "points" with one carat being equal to 100 points. The 4 C's of Diamonds: Carat (Weight) The 4 C's Diamond Grading System 1. and a 2 carat diamond is 200 points. the total mass of all diamonds or gemstones is referred to as "Total Carat Weight" or "T.Heart Marquise Oval Pear Princess Radiant Round Trillion (not shown at diagram) Fig. One "Carat" is a unit of mass that is equal to 0.086 grains) or 0. and with each point being 2 milligrams in weight. When a single piece of jewelry has multiple stones. a 3/4 carat diamond is 75 points. "Princess" (square outline).C. "Heart.2 grams (200 milligrams or 3. Color Carat weight is one of the 4 C's.W. Therefor. Carat 3." "Briolette" (a form of Rose cut). CARAT Balancing Cut and Weight A diamond or gemstone's "Carat" designation is a measurement of both the size and weight of the stone. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond.

See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a . or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place.10 carat diamond for its better cut.750 30.0 carat 3.5 carat 1.5º crown.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of .VS1 Carat Size</ 0.Grade: F Colorless . a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight.600 8. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity .5 carat 2.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales.195 and .20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between . clarity and weight.800 6. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut. Price Per Carat (2005) . Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. Occasionally. girdle and pavilion. 40º pavilion. it must be accurate to the second decimal place. It is for this reason that an even 1. In ancient times.600 12.204 carat. or to buy a 1. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions.500 15. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place.495 carats and .0 carat 1.600 6." If the carat weight is shown as ". and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight. or "seed of the carob".504 carats.5 carats must have an actual weight of between . A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond.99 carat diamond for its better price. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

having a pure magenta color with deep saturation.54 carat cushion cut with an estimated value in the millions of dollars. and most valuable Fancy Yellow diamonds in the world is the 'Tiffany Diamond.S to Z Fancy Light . halogen. which changes hue from grayish-blue or olive-green to yellowish-green or straw-yellow under different lighting conditions (darkness. daylight) and ambient temperature changes. left).Cognac 8 is darkest Chameleon Diamonds There is a very rare olive-grayish color-changing diamond called "Chameleon Diamond" (below. which are generally less appreciated than other fancy colors and therefor. yet considerably more expensive. 1PP is the highest quality designation for Pink Diamond.N to R Light . Fancy Pink/Brown Diamond Color (Hue) Designations 1PP to 8PP .Champagne 3 is darkest C8 to C1 . The rough stone weighed 287. hue. One of the world's only major sources for rare pink diamonds is the Argyle Mine in Australia. bright light).M Very Light . . The GIA grades fancy diamond color by quantifying the saturation. causing microscopic imperfections within the lattice structure. lighting color temperatures (incandescent. Pink diamonds are similar to pink sapphire in color. sold at a greater discount.Brown diamonds. This Chameleon-like phenomenon was first documented by the GIA in the early 1940s. Only 1% to 2% of the diamonds produced at the Argyle Mine are high-quality pink specimens. have become more commonplace as Australian colored diamonds have gained in popularity.' GIA 'Fancy Yellow' Diamond Color Saturation Designations Faint . An 1P designation would have less blue and more brownish-red. As the numbers go lower (8PP) the color is paler. 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 . and was cut into a 128.' found in Kimberly.Highest Saturation One of the largest.Pink (Brownish-pink) 1 is darkest PC3 to PC1 . South Africa in 1878.42 carats.Pink (Reddish-pink) 1 is darkest 1BP to 8BP .Start of 'Fancy' Fancy Fancy Dark Fancy Intense Fancy Deep Fancy Vivid . Pink Diamonds The pink color within these rare diamonds is due to irregular crystal growth patterns. and value (darkness) using nine classifications ranging from 'Faint' to 'Vivid.

The color change effect is temporary. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems.000 in 1987. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities. pure green hues.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems. Intense. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond.90 carats. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner. Green diamonds can range from $35. On thing is certain. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness [9]. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply. Warren Hancock.Green Chameleon Diamonds Fancy Pink Diamond Color Grading Chameleon diamonds can be forced to temporarily change to a yellowish-green color by exposing them to heat (150º C to 250º C).000 per The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation. .' discovered during the 18th century. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. and weighed a modest 0. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat.000 to $500. as in the one-of-a-kind 5.95carats. greyish-green. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa. or a combination of the two.03 carats. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color. and the De Young Red weighing 5. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds.

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

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

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

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



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

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



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. and haze within a cut diamond. waviness.

Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .

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



Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .

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

Garnet Inclusions within Diamond .





Garnet fragment on Diamond Girdle .

Grossularite Garnet Inclusions in Diamond .

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

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


Internal Graining with Cloud Inclusion .

. Internal Laser Drilling 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. 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. 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. .

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

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


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

Natural Comet Inclusion .

Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud .

Tabular Reflection in Diamond .

Included Garnet Twins within Diamond .

Included Dalmatian Garnet .

Cloud Inclusion .

Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers .

Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light .

Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion .

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




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





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


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

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. Surface Graining (SGr) Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation. .

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

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



and remove cloudiness. Filled Fractures Fractures or feathers that have been artificially filled to enhance clarity. . 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. 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.

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Arizona.060. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond.104 as compared to CZ at 0. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. 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. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight. 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. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible.044. found only in iron-nickel meteorites. Henri Moissan (above. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index. . Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. center) near Winslow.65 to 2. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ. Moissanite has an RI of 2. is classified as an element rather than a compound. when examining the gem through the kite facets.670. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. Moissanite. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). while diamond has a hardness of 10. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0.25 on the Mohs scale.417.A small. and diamond at 0. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. candle.) in a dark room.69. etc. Moissanite has a hardness of 9.

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

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

compromises would have to be made. 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. it would be cost effective to sacrifice some carat weight in order to finish with two "Ideal" cuts. it may be better to aim for a higher carat weight utilizing a "Standard" cut. If.Ideal Cut vs Standard Cut Diamond Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. The clarity of the stone. elimination of any inclusions.weight retention. This is accomplished by reconciling three key factors . The objective is always to maximize carat weight. on the other hand. Reconciling Cut & Weight Retention If the rough stone has a colorless D through F rating and has very few inclusions. a cutter must make a cost-benefit analysis as to how to maximize the cut stone's value. Parameters Ideal Cut Standard (Premium) Cut Rough Material Loss Finished Stones Cutting Time Crown Symmetry Greater Loss Lower Carat Weight 2 to 4 Days Ideal Higher Yield Higher Carat Weight 1 to 2 Days Shallow Crown . An octehedral rough diamond will yield two round brilliant cut stones (see diagram below). but in order to do When deciding how to cut a rough diamond. cut proportions.

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

6% and overall height of 57. and Proportions. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant". Ideal Scope.N. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.4%. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). invented in 1929.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer.7%. etc. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%. crown height of 14. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts. H&A Viewer. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951.. Since then.' 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. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design. crown height of 14. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57. A perfect blending of facet symmetry. more brilliance and fire. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut.5% to 43.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios. and overall height of 57. facet ratios. . very small to small In the 1970s. Eppler & Scan D.7%. Symmetry. The "Scan D. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed." (Scandinavian standard. Tolkowsky. As with all human endeavors.5%. To quantify a diamond's cut quality. and crown/pavilion angles. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace.N.

and their modest brilliance and light return. or the widely marketed Leo cut which is a modified round-brilliant sold by Leo Schachter Diamonds. scientists. Here is a collection of just a few of the many "signature" diamond cuts that have been produced over the last 100 years. cut proportions. (more facets. One thing is for sure . and it still survives in some form today. but some like the Barion Cut have disappeared into obscurity. less facets. it is put in front of the ultimate arbiter of quality . and entrepreneurs .106 carat Cullinan Diamond into eleven gem stones. The cut has a deep pavilion and a high crown. Some have gone on to become household names such as the Asscher cut.) and when suitably scrutinized by the gem trade. Einstein's theory of relativity. Every conceivable cutting theory is tried. cut corners and a small table. The Asscher brothers cut the famous 3. and number of facets. with the two largest stones.each trying to improve on the tried-and-true Old European cuts. Tolkowsky came up with a "brilliant" idea almost 90 years ago. mathematicians.the Barion Cut . the Cullinan 1 and Cullinan 2 being set into the crown and sceptre of the British Crown Jewels. etc.Producers split hairs over cut angle.asscher. and the culet is square. Asscher Cut The Asscher Cut was developed by Abraham and Joseph Asscher of the Royal Asscher Diamond Company of Amsterdam in 1902. Popular in Art Deco jewelry of the period. but at the end of the day it may simply come down to consumer preference and/or marketing. Diamonds: Patented Signature Diamond Cuts Notable Patented & Proprietary Diamond Cuts Since the early 1900s there has been a proliferation of elaborate diamond cuts that have been developed by master gem cutters. the Asscher diamond cut has a squarish octagonal shape with a step cut.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5 to 3.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless . as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram. all measured in three spacial dimensions.0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless .0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint ." Document Security Each AGS grading document is marked with a hologram (dark circle at lower right of report) and watermarking or embossing to prevent fraudulent duplication. 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.7. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. and individual facet ratios. .AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero.0 to 1.5. AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond.5 to 4.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light .5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003.3. the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles." or "ideal" rating. in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above).0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light . where facets intersect with each-other. relative facet angles.1. In the upper left corner of the document there is a unique AGS reference number that can be used when contacting AGS with questions about your report.0 to 7.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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