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

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

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

C. Carat 3. "Heart. and the Pear. a 3/4 carat diamond is 75 points. your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the "4 C's" diamond grading system. 5 Popular fancy cuts include the "Baguette" (bread loaf). The "fancy cuts" are generally not held to the same strict standards as Round Brilliants.W. Color Carat weight is one of the 4 C's.086 grains) or 0. Clarity 4.Heart Marquise Oval Pear Princess Radiant Round Trillion (not shown at diagram) Fig. The 4 C's of Diamonds: Carat (Weight) The 4 C's Diamond Grading System 1. As a consumer. and a 2 carat diamond is 200 points. Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics. Therefor. CARAT Balancing Cut and Weight A diamond or gemstone's "Carat" designation is a measurement of both the size and weight of the stone. Cut 2.007 ounce." "Briolette" (a form of Rose cut). representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. and with each point being 2 milligrams in weight. A carat can also be divided into "points" with one carat being equal to 100 points. "Princess" (square outline). "Marquise" or "Navette" (little boat). When a single piece of jewelry has multiple stones. One "Carat" is a unit of mass that is equal to 0. a 1/2 carat diamond would be 50 points. the total mass of all diamonds or gemstones is referred to as "Total Carat Weight" or "T.2 grams (200 milligrams or 3." .

it must be accurate to the second decimal place.750 30. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone.495 carats and .504 carats.204 carat. clarity and weight. Price Per Carat (2005) . or to buy a 1.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone.5 carat 1.Grade: F Colorless .600 8. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of . By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry. 40º pavilion.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing.0 carat 1. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a . In ancient times. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight.10 carat diamond for its better cut. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity .VS1 Carat Size</ 0.195 and .5 carats must have an actual weight of between ." If the carat weight is shown as ".20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between .500 15. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32. girdle and pavilion.5 carat 2. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only. Occasionally.800 6. It is for this reason that an even 1.5º crown. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained. See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place. a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight.600 12. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration.99 carat diamond for its better price.600 6. or "seed of the carob".0 carat 3. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner.90 carats. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds.000 in 1987. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color. Intense. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness [9].com) Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds.000 to $500.95carats. The color change effect is temporary. On thing is certain.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant. and weighed a modest 0.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). Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits.03 carats. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste. . Warren Hancock. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. greyish-green. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply.000 per carat.' discovered during the 18th century. pure green The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. or a combination of the two. and the De Young Red weighing 5. Green diamonds can range from $35. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond.

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

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

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

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

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




Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.

which cause internal stress fractures during crystal growth. Feather Inclusion Photos Internal Diamond Feather Inclusion Photography Feather inclusions (Ftr) are caused by cleavage planes or internal stress fractures that have the appearance of wispy feathers.Feathers (Ftr) Cleavage planes or internal stress fractures that have the appearance of feathers. 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.



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

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



and haze within a cut diamond.Grain Center (GrCnt) A concentrated area of crystal growth that can appear light or dark. 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 is generated by a formerly liquid filled cavity.Growth Tubes Imperfection formed during crystal growth. Growth Tube Inclusion Photos Internal Growth Tubes Inclusion Photography Internal Growth Tube inclusions are natural Imperfections that are created during diamond formation. when a tube or tunnel is generated in the crystalizing diamond by an internal cavity that was once liquid filled. .



Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .

Green chrome diopside Inclusion within a Diamond . diopside. spinel. olivine. olivine. silica or other gem stone inclusions. 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.Included Crystals (Xtl) Included and undigested gemstones or fragments of garnet. or silica. calcite. diopside. iron oxides. calcite. spinel.

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 .

. the drilled passage may not breach the cut diamond's surface. Internal Laser Drilling Inclusion Photos Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) Inclusion Photography Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) inclusions are man-made internal flaws that resulted from laser-drilling that was done to remove large piquŽ carbon inclusions in a rough stone.Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) Internal pathway caused by laser-drilling to remove large inclusions. and where pathway does not breach the cut diamond's surface. With internal laser-drilling inclusions.


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.

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. . 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.

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


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

Natural Comet Inclusion .

Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud .

Tabular Reflection in Diamond .

Included Garnet Twins within Diamond .

Included Dalmatian Garnet .

Cloud Inclusion .

Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers .

Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light .

Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion .

appearing as a raised area on the diamond's surface.Natural External Diamond Inclusions or Blemishes Knots An inclusion that penetrates the surface. appearing as a raised area. . 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.




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





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


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

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

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

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



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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

For instance.800 . you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight. 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.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. 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. Once the mixture has cooled. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible. Natural diamonds attract grease. candle. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond . or colorless (white) versions. Due to their low cost and consistency.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. a CZ is optically flawless. CZ vs Diamond . Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond. CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1. 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. The 1. and CZs can be made in any "color grade. . The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit. or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond.In 1973. Diamond's RI is 2. Zirconium oxide powder is heated.170.2.80 to 2. Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored.17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2. the greater dispersive power. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting. CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds.) in a totally dark room.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator. Unlike most natural diamonds.41 (RI). The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below). Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left). etc. but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR).

Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. 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.69. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. while diamond has a hardness of 10.A small. Moissanite. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. Moissanite has an RI of 2. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. and diamond at 0. . manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. when examining the gem through the kite facets. Henri Moissan (above. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight. found only in iron-nickel meteorites. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. Arizona. center) near Winslow.25 on the Mohs scale. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ.044. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent.65 to 2. Moissanite has a hardness of 9.417. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index.104 as compared to CZ at 0. is classified as an element rather than a compound. etc. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.) in a dark room. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. left) who won the Nobel Prize in 1906 for his discovery of a new mineral (moissanite6H) found within meteorite fragments of the ancient Barringer meteor crater (above. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective.670. candle. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond.060.

due to its high refractive index. which was called the "Point Cut. diamonds were used in their natural octahedral state. Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be more diffused. although it can be easily cleaved or fractured due to its defined cleavage planes. creating the "Table Cut. The Modern Round Brilliant cut (below) is the culmination of several hundred years of experimentation and development. Diamonds: Modern Diamond Cutting Diamond Cutting Background One of the hardest substances on earth.417 Moissanite is double refractive (anisotropic) while a natural diamond is singly refractive (isotropic). but significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its high RI. Cutting a Rough Diamond . Table Cut diamonds appeared black to the eye. The first improvements on nature's design involved a polishing of the crystal faces. one half of the crystal would be cut off. Diamond's RI is 2.Detectable With Testing Double Refraction: Moissanite is double refractive." and the rough stone must be cut with the grain." As further refinement progressed. 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. diamond is singly refractive Refractive Index: Moissanite has a refractive index of 2. only a diamond is hard enough to cut other diamonds. diamonds were valued primarily for their luster and hardness. detailed and sharply focused pattern caused by secondary reflections will be seen when observing a diamond. most diamonds have some inclusions Moissanite vs Diamond . rather than against it.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. Moissanite vs Diamond . diamond has a "grain. caused by primary reflections from the pavilion and CZ's low RI. Like wood.670. A similarly sharp. Prior to this time." At the time. Diamond cutting can be traced back to the late Middle Ages.A small.

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

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

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

Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant". facet ratios. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut.N. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope. As with all human endeavors. invented in 1929. Symmetry.' 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. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57.6% and overall height of 57. The "Scan D. H&A Viewer. . crown height of 14. and overall height of 57." (Scandinavian standard. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios. more brilliance and fire.N. Ideal Scope. A perfect blending of facet symmetry. crown height of 14. very small to small In the 1970s. Eppler & Scan D. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap.5%. and Proportions. and crown/pavilion angles. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect.. Tolkowsky. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design.7%. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts.7%. To quantify a diamond's cut quality.5% to 43. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed. etc.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42. Since then. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer.4%.

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

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

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

The Leo diamond cut is the first to be certified for fire and brilliance as measured by a 'BrillianceScope. and the table is a bowed out rectangle. and three-stone rings. Bez Ambar Radiant Cut The Radiant Cut is a modified emerald cut shape that was developed. The pavilion is similar to a Barion cut. The Lucida is sold exclusively through Tiffany's retail chain. a highstep crown (similar to the Asscher Cut). www.radiantcut. Upon the expiration of the patent." The Leo Diamond is marketed through the Kay Jeweler chain. and a total of has 50 facets. Prior to the Starburst Cut . and was patented and trademarked by Bez Ambar Jewelers of Los Angeles in 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. RCDC launched the 'Original Radiant Cut' diamond brand In 2002. square shaped diamonds were stepcut limiting their brilliance. 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. eternity bands. brilliant-style faceted pavilion (similar to a Cushion Cut). www.70 carats and come with a GIA Certificate and an "Original Radiant Cut Diamond Certificate" guarantying that the stone meets the ideal proportions as designed by Henry Grossbard. the Radiant Cut became a fully accepted diamond shape in the jewelry business.diamondaires. sold in solitaire engagement/wedding bands. and all Original Radiant Cut diamonds weigh at least 0. small table. The Lucida diamond cut is a modified square or rectangular (Marquise) cut with truncated corners. patented and trademarked by Henry Grossbard of the Radiant Cut Diamond Company (RCDC) in 1977.' and each diamond comes with a "Return of Light Certificate. It was the first emerald shaped diamond cut to have brilliance and fire similar to that of a round brilliant diamond. There are 25 crown facets and 36 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets (not including 8 girdle facets).com Lucida Cut The Lucida (TM) Cut is a patented diamond cut that was created by Tiffany & Company in 1999. There are a total of 49 facets. www. The Lucida diamond cut is marketed as a wedding cut.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

is receiving broad support from the South Africa. many of the ex-colonial nations of Sub-Saharan Africa are starting to emerge as powerful and legitimate forces in the diamond industry. The last democratic election in Angola was in 1992. Kabbah. and the United States. Angola and from mining magnates. Diamonds and the Americans Photo: Pub. Ayer & Son . China. is making great strides in stabilizing the country after years of strife. Botswana has held regular elections and has been one of the more stable governments in southern Africa. created a program for capacity-building of 'small and medium-sized enterprise' (SME) development. Palanpur. Vijaydimon also purchases rough diamonds from Canada's Diavik Mine and Argyle (Rio Tinto) and Russia [21]. the 'United Nations Industrial Development Orginization' (UNIDO). into a global position with nearly $1 Billion a year in sales. left). At the age of 29. dos Santos. The president of Sierra Leone. UAE. succeeded his father (Laurent-Désiré Kabila) as president the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC) after his assassination in January 2001. Thailand. working in cooperation with the government of Sierra Leone. and enjoys broad support.Vijaydimon (Belgium) and B Vijaykumar (India) . After winning a disicive re-election victory in 2006.000 workers. employing 22. The company has cutting factories in Antwerp. After years of fighting between the PMLA and UNITA. and the end to South African apartheid in 1994. the political situation in Angola has begun to normalize. Vijaydimon is a DTC sightholder with offices in Belgium. Bombay. all who have signed multi-million dollar trade deals. Kabila. who was a major general in the army. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. Bangkok. India. with one of the fastest per-capita income growth rates in the world. both domestically and internationally. Joseph Kabila (above. Mandela. President Festus Mogae was elected for a second term in 2004. Botswana is a relatively wealthy African country. In a post-conflict reconstruction effort. Surat.W. Domain N. On a somewhat darker note. Singapore. & Mogae Starting with Botswana's independence in 1966. Diamonds and the African Nationals Photos: Public Domain Kabila. and Tel Aviv. Hong Kong. president José Eduardo dos Santos is preventing democratic elections from taking place. only hinting at their possibility in 2007 or 2008.

aka "the King of Diamonds. gems and jewelry from the estates of the European aristocracy. and a series of diamond-related slogans were introduced into the American lexicon. A 19." was the co-founder of Tiffany & Co. which started out as 'Tiffany & Young' of New York City in 1837. Tiffany was able to purchase significant gems from such renowned estates as: the 'jewel-mad' Duke of Brunswick. After attending Chicago Musical College. was originally a 'fancy goods' emporium.72 carat cushion-cut diamond (one of the "Diamonds of Golconda") was mounted by Tiffany. Sir Francis "Piggy" Beekman. The 'Tiffany & Co.' The stone was set into a garish jewelry piece called "Bird on a Rock. the values of ostentatious gems and jewelry dropped precipitously. for resale in America. this time from playwriter. The movie version featured Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend.42 carat rough flawless-yellow diamond from the 'Compagnie Français de Diamant du Cap' (Kimberley mine) in 1877. Ayer & Son. and sold to Nanaline Duke (now in the Doris Duke Collection). Photo: Pub. Jule Styne (born Julius Kerwin Stein) was born in London.' During the 1800s. Photo: Pub. specializing in one-of-a-kind baubles for New York's newly-minted industrialists and 'robber-barons. After the French revolution in 1799.' which was adapted to film in 1953. Styne wrote the score for the 1949 Broadway musical 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Prince Esterhazy of Hungary. purchased diamonds. The Great Depression had taken a heavy toll on luxury goods during the 1930s.54 carat 'The Tiffany Diamond. and the subsequent overthrowing of King Louis-Philippe of France in 1848. De Beers and the diamond industry got another shot in the arm. the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine. and featuring the memorable scene in which Holly gazes longingly into Tiffany's window display. located at 259 Broadway." by Jean Schlumberger in the 1960s. Lorelei receives a diamond tiara from her suitor. Ayer in 1938. Tiffany & Young."A diamond is forever" is the legendary saying that was created by America's first advertising agency. One of Tiffany's most notable diamond acquisitions was a 287. De Beers president.W. producing the 128. and from the Spanish Crown Jewels [27]. Charles Tiffany. the public's tolerance towards nobility was at a low point. Domain Charles Lewis Tiffany Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812—1902).' brand was catapulted into the stratosphere by the 1961 movie 'Breakfast at Tiffany's. Harry Frederick Oppenheimer enlisted the help of N. N. In 1948 the famous "A diamond is forever" slogan was introduced." after here charecter. and the diamond industry was particularly hard hit. Jule Styne.' at the flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. who was known for his jewelry expertise. The Tiffany is still selling luxury jewelry in their trademarked 'Tiffany Blue Box. and Tiffany seized on the opportunity. .W.' staring Audrey Hepburn. The stone was cut in Paris. Domain Hollywood in 1949 Coming just on the heels of the immortal "a diamond is forever" campaign. With financial shockwaves caused by the French economy's collapse in 1847. Styne moved to Hollywood where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn.

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

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

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

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

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

5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003. 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.0 to 1. where facets intersect with each-other.0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light .5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light . AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero. and individual facet ratios. relative facet angles. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles.0 to 7. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless ." or "ideal" rating. in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above).3.7.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering.5 to 4." 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. . the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible. all measured in three spacial dimensions. In the upper left corner of the document there is a unique AGS reference number that can be used when contacting AGS with questions about your report.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint .5. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.5 to 3.0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless .

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

therefore. and access to the ore. they tend to concentrate in alluvial deposits in the same way that gold placers develop. machinery. also known as "sand-bank mining" (top of page. Diamonds and most gemstones are hard. Open pit mines are typically used when mineral deposits are found close to the surface or along defined kimberlite pipes. mechanized surface excavating equipment. Artisanal Mining Artisanal diamond mining (aka "small-scale mining") involves nothing more that digging and sifting through mud or gravel river-bank alluvial deposits (above. and or colluvial secondary deposits. and is a derivative form of open-cast mining used to extract minerals from the surface of the earth without the use of tunneling. or large conical sieves. Laborers who work in artisanal diamond mining are called "diamond diggers" (below left). center) is a method of extracting rock and minerals from the earth by removal from a machine-dug open pit or burrow. or sort material according to size. or sand) that is unsuitable for tunneling. also known as "open-cast mining" (top of page. Placer Mining Placer diamond mining. at a maximum depth of 500 feet. Small "pit lakes" tend to form at the bottom of open-pit mines as a result of groundwater intrusion. shovels. and have a specific gravity that is higher than that of common minerals. box screens. 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. gravel. or hand digging (artisanal mining). Horizontal mining employs the use of Seabed Crawlers (remotely controlled. rock or sedimentary soil.Photo: USGS Alluvial Diamond . Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . right) is used for extracting diamonds and minerals from alluvial.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. the gravels are separated and sorted into three sizes. eluvial. Excavation is accomplished using water pressure (hydraulic mining). While on board. Marine diamond mining employs both "vertical" and "horizontal" techniques to extract diamonds from offshore placer deposits. or pans. Open Pit Mining Open-pit diamond mining. . Marine Mining Marine mining technology only became commercially viable in the early 1990s. CAT-tracked underwater mining vehicles) move across the sea floor pumping gravel up to an offshore vessel. with the middle size being a candidate for final sorting. Gems are separated from waste material using various sifting and sorting techniques such as cone screens. which concentrate the heavier gems at the bottom. A decline is typically used for mining personnel. highly resistant to weathering. right) with bare hands.vertical tunnel used for ore haulage. Artisanal diamond mining is a form of "subsistence based" non-mechanized mining that is used in poorer countries throughout the world. running adjacent to the ore.

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

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

com .Photo: Wiki Diamond-Bearing 'Diamondiferous' Gravel Many of these alluvial diamond deposits occur in Pleistocene and Holocene successions (1. from olivine lamproites formed during the Cretaceous or Permo-Triassic period. including Angola's two largest diamonds at 105. Diamonds in marine areas are typically trapped in bedrock depressions such as gullies.000 years ago). Westward draining river systems transported these diamonds to Africa's continental coastline for final deposition within on-shore marine terrace gravels. carried from their primary origination point on the Kaapvaal Craton. Some of the largest and highest gemquality diamonds produced from alluvial placer diamond mining have come from this region. made their way to the sea bed just offshore. Diamond Mines of the World: Active Diamond Mines List of Active Diamond Mines All Contents Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. channels or other trapsites for diamondiferous deposits. Alluvial Terrace Gravels . to a lesser extent.9k and 101.8 million to 10. but were not deposited on land. potholes. depressions.8k. Diamonds that were transported downstream.Namibia's placer diamond deposits are between 40 and 80 million years old. The diamonds within these deposits were transported from deeply-eroded diamondiferous kimberlites or. in central South Africa and Botswana. 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.

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

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

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