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

Common cutting problems can occur during the faceting process. 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 chart below shows several common problems to look for. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. 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. All of that has changed with the AGS Cut Grading system and GIA's new "Cut Grading System". pavilion and crown angle) and did not provide a subjective ranking of how good the cut was. or 96 facets which are not counted in the total number of facets (58). Poor Diamond Faceting and Symmetry Due to the mathmatics involved in light refraction. The crown will have 33 facets. when one incorrect facet angle can throw off the symmetry of the entire stone. 3 . 2 The proportion and symmetry of the cuts as well as the quality of the polish are factors in determining the overall quality of the cut. 80. a Round Brilliant cut that does not have the proper proportions and symmetry (off-make) will have noticeably less brilliance. Fig. 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. 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. and the pavillion will have 25 facets. This can also result in the undesirable creation of extra facets beyond the required 58. 64. Fig. Only a trained eye could see the quality of a good cut.e. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972.

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

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

20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between . The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown.600 8.Grade: F Colorless . A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond. Occasionally.504 carats. it must be accurate to the second decimal place.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales.VS1 Carat Size</ 0. girdle and pavilion. See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison.99 carat diamond for its better price. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York. or to buy a 1. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration.10 carat diamond for its better cut. 40º pavilion.0 carat 3. In ancient times." If the carat weight is shown as ".495 carats and . as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor.600 6.204 carat. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut.195 and . The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity . Price Per Carat (2005) .5 carats must have an actual weight of between .5º crown.750 30.5 carat 1. clarity and weight. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat.800 6. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of . This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight.600 12. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1.0 carat 1. It is for this reason that an even 1. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone.5 carat 2. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a . FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place.500 15. a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32. or "seed of the carob".

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

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

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

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

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

42. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" [2].Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine. . upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km). ultramafic. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical. Therefore. igneous rock composed of garnet. Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth. or "invincible. olivine. and differentiates it from simple graphite. with a variety of trace minerals. Deep within the earth's crust there are regions that have a high enough temperature (900¼C to 1400¼C) and pressure (5 to 6 GPa) that it is thermodynamically possible for liquified carbon to form into diamonds." and "unconquerable. Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness. and pyroxene." which is also known as "adamant. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale. phlogopite. The name "diamond. diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2." is derived from the Greek adamas. and a specific gravity of 3.044. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits. a refractive index of 2." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic. Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures. A diamond is a transparent. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe." "untamable.52. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon.200 degrees Celsius).200 degrees Fahrenheit (1. with the principle allotrope being graphite. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0." referring to its incredible hardness. which resemble a champagne flute. At these depths. Under the continental crust. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms.

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

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

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

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

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

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

com) Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems.000 per carat. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926. and weighed a modest 0. and the De Young Red weighing 5. Green diamonds can range from $35. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner.000 in 1987. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation. The color change effect is temporary.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.95carats. pure green hues. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities. . Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat. On thing is certain. or a combination of the two. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color.03 carats. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa.90 carats.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). Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds. The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness [9]. Warren Hancock. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste.' discovered during the 18th century.000 to $500. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. Intense. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits.

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

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

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

Nevada. 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. and is reproduced with their permission. 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.Carbon piqué inclusions are sometimes removed by diamond enhancements such as laser drilling. Clouds (Cld) A dense grouping of tiny pinpoints that create a cloudy zone which may not resolve as individual pinpoints at 10X Magnification. Internal cloud inclusions may not resolve as pinpoints at 10X .

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




Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.

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



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

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



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

Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .

. when a tube or tunnel is generated in the crystalizing diamond by an internal cavity that was once liquid filled. 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.



Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .

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

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


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

or Pinpoint Inclusions are minute included crystals within the diamond that appear white under magnification. Large groupings of small pinpoints can create a cloud effect. . 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.

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


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

Natural Comet Inclusion .

Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud .

Tabular Reflection in Diamond .

Included Garnet Twins within Diamond .

Included Dalmatian Garnet .

Cloud Inclusion .

Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers .

Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light .

Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion .

Knot Inclusion Photos Photography of Diamond Inclusion Knots Knot inclusions are naturally occurring external inclusions or imperfections that penetrate the surface (convex). 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.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. .





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


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

Surface Graining Inclusion Photos Diamond Surface Graining (SGr) Photography Surface Graining (SGr) is a natural imperfection or inclusion that creates visible surface lines which are caused by irregular crystallization during diamond formation. . Surface Graining (SGr) Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation.Pits Dislodged pinpoint inclusions at the surface.

chips.Human Caused Surface Blemishes Abrasion (Abr) A tightly grouped series of nicks along the sharp edge of facet junctions. . or feathers along the outer edge of girdle. 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. Bearded Girdle (BG) Fine cracks. fringing.

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



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

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




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

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

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

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

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

Apollo Diamond. The toughness of Cubic Zirconia is rated as good.3 on the Mohs scale.. Gemesis only grows fancy-colored diamonds. princess.25 carats to 1 carat. Tairus produces rough sizes from .com Gemesis Cultured Diamonds Gemesis is located in Sarasota. Cubic Zirconia (Zirconium Oxide ZrO2) has a completely different chemical structure.25 carats is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. each Gemesis cut stone over . To insure easy identification as a man-made product. Ltd. using a proprietary variation of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) technique.gemesis. Florida. while diamond has a hardness of 10. and like Chatham.chatham. The Split Sphere system crystalizes the carbon seed in an alkaline. Tairus Created Gems are sold exclusively through Tairus Thailand Co. and each cut stone is laser inscribed with the Apollo company logo and serial number.). www. Massachusetts grows colorless (D to M) diamonds. and stones are cut to order. which they claim is the closest thing to mother To the average consumer. While a synthetic diamond is a man-made recreation of an actual carbon-based diamond. Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite Cubic Zirconia Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Tairus Created Gems Tairus Created Gems is a Russian company that grows fancy-colored diamonds in their proprietary "Split Sphere" system. carbonate fluid solution that is similar to diamond-bearing metamorphic rock. in Boston. and each stone is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number.apollodiamond. Apollo Diamond's cut stones are available in round brilliant. and CZ has a hardness of only 8. Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is the most familiar type of diamond simulant on the market. of Bangkok Thailand.500 to $ Chatham Created Diamonds Chatham Gems is a San Francisco based company that grows only fancy-colored diamonds in colors ranging from champagne and canary yellow to pink and midnight blue. and rose cuts. www. with clarity grades from IF to SI. and some fancy colored diamonds. Apollo Diamonds are cut and polished in sizes ranging from .500 per carat (2004 est. inc. . emerald. Chatham's pricing ranges from $6.30 carats to 3 carats.

you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight. but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye.2. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below). When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator. or colorless (white) versions. the greater dispersive power.80 to 2. 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.) in a totally dark room.Detectable to the Naked Eye Light Dispersion: Greater prismatic effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire Lack of Flaws: CZ is virtually flawless. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond . You can also Inspect the facet edges with a 10x loupe to look for any chipping or slightly rounded (not sharp) facet edges that are telltale signs of Cubic Zirconia. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left).In 1973. The 1. and CZs can be made in any "color grade. CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds.17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2. Zirconium oxide powder is heated. or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease. 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. Natural diamonds attract grease. CZ vs Diamond . candle. Due to their low cost and consistency. Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond. Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored. . the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing.170. etc. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible. Once the mixture has cooled.800 . Diamond's RI is 2. Unlike most natural diamonds. CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1. The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit.41 (RI)." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR). a CZ is optically flawless. For instance. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light.

rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective.69. Moissanite. while diamond has a hardness of 10.A small. is classified as an element rather than a compound. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. and diamond at 0. when examining the gem through the kite facets. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI.670. center) near Winslow. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research.65 to 2. candle. found only in iron-nickel meteorites. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ.) in a dark room. etc. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible.25 on the Mohs scale. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0. Arizona. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. left) who won the Nobel Prize in 1906 for his discovery of a new mineral (moissanite6H) found within meteorite fragments of the ancient Barringer meteor crater (above. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2.104 as compared to CZ at 0. . Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum).417. 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. Henri Moissan (above. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond. Moissanite has a hardness of 9.044. Moissanite has an RI of 2. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond.060. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index.

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

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

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

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

the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace. invented in 1929.5%. etc. and overall height of 57. and crown/pavilion angles. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut. Since then.6% and overall height of 57. and Proportions.4%." (Scandinavian standard. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35. crown height of 14.N. As with all human endeavors. Tolkowsky.7%. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap.5% to 43. crown height of 14. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant". more brilliance and fire.N.7%. very small to small In the 1970s. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. Ideal Scope. Symmetry. H&A Viewer. The "Scan D. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%. Eppler & Scan D.. facet ratios. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed. . Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor).' 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. A perfect blending of facet symmetry.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42. To quantify a diamond's cut quality.

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

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

www. off-color stones. marquise. 48 of which are clustered around the culet to increase fire. heart. The Flanders Brilliant has 33 crown facets and 28 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets. angular shapes. 8 more facets than the Round Brilliant cut's 58. is a patented symmetrical round cut created by Leo Schachter Diamonds.gabriellediamonds. The Flower Cuts employ unconventional cutting angles and dimensions. Sunflower and Zinnia cut. The cut is distributed by the National Diamond Syndicate (NDS) of Chicago. . (aka Leo Schachter Diamond).com Leo Cut The Leo® Diamond. oval. designed to maximize the brilliance and color of diamonds while increasing their www. The Flanders Fire-Brilliant was developed by Flanders Cut International of Antwerp in 1983. The Leo diamond cut has a total of 66 facets. that is suited to a relatively flat rough. Marigold. and the cut was named after the Flanders region of Belgium (Antwerp) where the cut was first preformed in 1987. adding greater brilliance and fire than standard brilliant cuts. The Sunflower has 43 facets in unusual. 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. who was commissioned by De Beers to create new cuts as a way of marketing unusual. the Gabrielle Cut is available in Flower Cut The 'Flower Cut' series was created by Gabi Tolkowsky in 1986. maximizing the amount of light returned back as scintillation. The Zinnia is a round fancy shape with 73 facets. The Flower Cut is actually a series of five fancy cut shapes: the Dahlia. emerald.nationaldiamond. The Dahlia is a 12 sided oval shape with 63 facets. Fire-Rose. The Fire-Rose is a hexagonal shape designed to produce higher yields.Flanders Brilliant Cut The Flanders Brilliant Cut (aka Fire Brilliant) is a modified Radiant or Princess cut with truncated corners that form an octagon with brilliant faceting. www. the Gabrielle has a total of 105 facets. LLC.flanders-cuts. Unveiled at the Las Vegas Gem Show in 2001. The Flower Cuts were never patented or trademarked by De Beers in order to increase their popularity and use. The Marigold is an octagon shape with 73 facets. and pear shapes. Other than the traditional round brilliant shape. which is 47 more than a traditional 'Tolkowsky' round brilliant 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. Prior to the Quadrillion." The Leo Diamond is marketed through the Kay Jeweler chain. eternity bands. and a total of has 50 facets. www. square shaped diamonds were stepcut limiting their brilliance. www. and was patented and trademarked by Bez Ambar Jewelers of Los Angeles in and all Original Radiant Cut diamonds weigh at least 0. patented and trademarked by Henry Grossbard of the Radiant Cut Diamond Company (RCDC) in Lucida Cut The Lucida (TM) Cut is a patented diamond cut that was created by Tiffany & Company in 1999. a highstep crown (similar to the Asscher Cut).The Leo diamond cut is the first to be certified for fire and brilliance as measured by a 'BrillianceScope. the Radiant Cut became a fully accepted diamond shape in the jewelry business.radiantcut. Upon the expiration of the patent. It was the first emerald shaped diamond cut to have brilliance and fire similar to that of a round brilliant diamond. and three-stone Starburst Cut .com Quadrillion Cut The Quadrillion® Cut (aka Squarillion Cut) is a modified square princess cut that was developed by Israel Itzkowitz and Betzalel Ambar in the late 1970s. The Lucida is sold exclusively through Tiffany's retail chain. There are a total of 49 facets. RCDC launched the 'Original Radiant Cut' diamond brand In 2002. small table. Bez Ambar Radiant Cut The Radiant Cut is a modified emerald cut shape that was developed. The Lucida diamond cut is a modified square or rectangular (Marquise) cut with truncated corners.' and each diamond comes with a "Return of Light Certificate. sold in solitaire engagement/wedding bands. brilliant-style faceted pavilion (similar to a Cushion Cut). There are 25 crown facets and 36 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets (not including 8 girdle facets). and the table is a bowed out rectangle. The pavilion is similar to a Barion cut. The Quadrillion was the result of three years of optical research to create a square diamond cut that can claim a similar brilliance to a round diamond. The Lucida diamond cut is marketed as a wedding cut. www.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003." 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.1." or "ideal" rating.5. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless .0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless .0 to 1. where facets intersect with each-other. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light . 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.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero. in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above). AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond. all measured in three spacial dimensions. relative facet angles. and individual facet ratios. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles.3.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering.0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light .0 to 7. .5 to 4. 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. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram.7.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint .5 to 3. the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible.

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

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. Placer Mining Placer diamond mining. also known as "open-cast mining" (top of page. Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix .vertical tunnel used for ore haulage. Horizontal mining employs the use of Seabed Crawlers (remotely controlled. which concentrate the heavier gems at the bottom. and access to the ore. at a maximum depth of 500 feet. right) with bare hands. A decline is typically used for mining personnel. rock or sedimentary soil. highly resistant to weathering. While on board. they tend to concentrate in alluvial deposits in the same way that gold placers develop. Artisanal diamond mining is a form of "subsistence based" non-mechanized mining that is used in poorer countries throughout the world. 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.Photo: USGS Alluvial Diamond . machinery.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. or sort material according to size. or sand) that is unsuitable for tunneling. or large conical sieves. the gravels are separated and sorted into three sizes. Open pit mines are typically used when mineral deposits are found close to the surface or along defined kimberlite pipes. . and is a derivative form of open-cast mining used to extract minerals from the surface of the earth without the use of tunneling. Small "pit lakes" tend to form at the bottom of open-pit mines as a result of groundwater intrusion. shovels. therefore. with the middle size being a candidate for final sorting. Open Pit Mining Open-pit diamond mining. Marine diamond mining employs both "vertical" and "horizontal" techniques to extract diamonds from offshore placer deposits. Excavation is accomplished using water pressure (hydraulic mining). running adjacent to the ore. Laborers who work in artisanal diamond mining are called "diamond diggers" (below left). and have a specific gravity that is higher than that of common minerals. or hand digging (artisanal mining). gravel. box screens. Diamonds and most gemstones are hard. Artisanal Mining Artisanal diamond mining (aka "small-scale mining") involves nothing more that digging and sifting through mud or gravel river-bank alluvial deposits (above. and or colluvial secondary deposits. center) is a method of extracting rock and minerals from the earth by removal from a machine-dug open pit or burrow. CAT-tracked underwater mining vehicles) move across the sea floor pumping gravel up to an offshore vessel. or pans. mechanized surface excavating equipment. eluvial. right) is used for extracting diamonds and minerals from alluvial. also known as "sand-bank mining" (top of page.

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

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

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

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

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

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