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The story of diamonds is, to use the metaphor, a tale of fire and "ice." Forged through immense heat and pressure over millions, or hundreds of millions of years, diamonds start their humble existence as simple, elemental carbon; the basic building block of all life in earth. We attempt to demystify these enigmatic little stones, by explaining their scientific reason for being, as well as were they are mined, how they are mined, and the history of the diamond trade, or 'diamond pipeline.' Diamonds are both elemental, and complex. As such, there is a lot of technical jargon associated with them. Shopping for a diamond can be very confusing to the newbie, but we have endeavored to make it as simple and interesting as humanly possible. You shouldn't need extraordinary brilliance to understand scintillation or refraction. Enjoy!
All About Diamonds
Diamond Basics The "4 Cs" of Diamonds - Cut The "4 C's" of Diamonds - Carat The "Four C's" of Diamonds - Clarity The "Four Cs" of Diamonds - Color Diamond Chemistry Optical Properties of Diamond Fancy Colored Diamonds Diamond Inclusion Library Diamond Enhancements Synthetics & Simulants Synthetic Diamonds Cubic Zirconia Moissanite Diamond Cuts Diamond Cutting Ideal Cut Modern Round Brilliant Patented Signature Diamond Cuts Old European Diamond Cuts Uncut Raw Diamonds in Jewelry The Diamond Market The Diamond Pipeline Diamond Bourses The Diamond Trade's Key Players Diamond Pricing - Price Comparison Charts Diamond Certification
AGS Diamond Grading Report Independent Diamond Testing Laboratories Diamond Mining & Mine Technology Diamond Mining Technology Diamond Geology & Kimberlites Full List of Worldwide Diamond Mines Artisanal Diamond Mining & Conflict Diamonds Worldwide Diamond Mining Regions Australian Diamond Mines Borneo's Landak Diamond Mines Botswana Diamond Mines Brazilian Diamond Mines Canadian Diamond Mines India's Golconda Diamond Mines Namibia Russian Diamond Mines South African Diamond Mines US Diamond Mines Conflict Diamonds Angola Diamond Mines Congo (DRC) Diamond Mines Liberia Diamond Mines Sierra Leone Diamond Mines Zimbabwe's Chiadzwa Marange Diamond Fields Diamond History & Cutting Regions Historical Diamond Cuts & Cutting History Historical Diamond Cutting Regions Diamond Cutting in Amsterdam Diamond Cutting in Antwerp Diamond Cutting in Belgium Diamond Cutting in Guangzhou, China Diamond Cutting in Gujarat, India Diamond Cutting in Idar-Oberstein, Germany Diamond Terminology Glossary - Gemology
The 4 Cs of Diamonds: Cut
The 4 C's Diamond Grading System
1. 2. 3. 4. Cut Carat Clarity Color
More than 100 million diamonds are sold in the United States each year, yet most consumers know very little about the product they are purchasing, and how that product is valued. The '4 Cs' represent the four main variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics. As a consumer, your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the '4 Cs' diamond grading system. If you are purchasing an expensive stone it will also be critical for you to learn how to read and understand the details of a GIA (Gemological Institute of America) 'Diamond Dossier,' AGL report, or AGS (American Gem Society) 'Diamond Certificate,' or Sarin 'Diamond Grading Report' (see full list of independent testing laboratories, below). You will also want to familiarize yourself with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines on jeweler conduct and consumer awareness. This knowledge will help be invaluable when you are comparison shopping for diamonds.
Diamond Cut Quality When jewelers judge the quality of a diamond cut, or "make", they often rate "Cut" as the most important of the "4 Cs." The way a diamond is cut is primarily dependent upon the original shape of the rough stone, location of the inclusions and flaws to be eliminated, the preservation of the weight, and the popularity of certain shapes. Don't confuse a diamond's "cut" with it's "shape". Shape refers only to the outward appearance of the diamond (Fig. 5 below), and not how it is faceted. The Importance of Cut Quality When a diamond has a high quality cut (ideal cut), incident light will enter the stone through the table and crown, traveling toward the pavilion where it reflects from one side to the other before bouncing back out of the diamond's table toward the observer's eye (see Fig. 1 below). This phenomenon is referred to as "light return" (Fig. 2 below) which affects a diamond's brightness, brilliance, and dispersion. Any light-leakage caused by poor symmetry and/or cut proportions (off-make) will adversely affect the quality of light return. The "Shallow Cut" and "Deep Cut" examples in Fig. 1 show how light that enters through the table of a Modern Round Brilliant diamond reaches the pavilion facets and then leaks out from the sides or bottom of the diamond rather than reflecting back to the eye through the table. Less light reflected back to the eye means less "Brilliance". In the "Ideal Cut" example, most of the light entering through the table is reflected back towards the observer from the pavilion facets.
Keep in mind that the variance in proportions between an "Ideal Cut" (ideal make) and a "Fair, Poor, Shallow or Deep Cut" may be difficult to discern to the novice observer, although there will be a lack of brilliance, scintillation, and fire. Cut quality is divided into several grades listed below.
Ideal Cut Premium Cut Very Good / Fine Cut
and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. 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 crown will have 33 facets. Other variations of the "Modern Round Brilliant" include the "Ideal Brilliant" which was invented by Johnson and Roesch in 1929. 64.Good Cut Fair Cut Poor Cut Cut Proportions In the past. The chart below shows several common problems to look for. 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. Fig. a Round Brilliant cut that does not have the proper proportions and symmetry (off-make) will have noticeably less brilliance. This can also result in the undesirable creation of extra facets beyond the required 58. Fig. Poor Diamond Faceting and Symmetry Due to the mathmatics involved in light refraction. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. 3 . Common cutting problems can occur during the faceting process. 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. Only a trained eye could see the quality of a good cut. 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. and the pavillion will have 25 facets. All of that has changed with the AGS Cut Grading system and GIA's new "Cut Grading System". 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.e. or 96 facets which are not counted in the total number of facets (58). 80.
A well executed round brilliant cut should reflect the maximum amount light from the interior pavilion facets.For a Modern Round Brilliant cut (Tolkowsky Brilliant). the quality of the cutter's execution of that shape is of primary importance. Several basic diamond shapes (Fig. and its later incarnation. making the diamond appear white when viewed from the top. The shape of the diamond cut is heavily dependent upon the original shape of the rough stone. AGS Triple-0 Certification The American Gem Society (AGS) is the industry leader in laboratory testing of round gems for cut grade and quality. Eppler Cut (European Standard). Cut (Scandinavian Standard) will display a "Hearts and Arrows" pattern when observed through a IdealScope (arrows only). 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. Fig. the "FireScope. GIA vs AGS Cut Grading GIA's new cut-grading system is based on averages that are rounded-up to predict 'light performance. The "Ideal" designation is an AGS term that is not found on an GIA report. 5) are listed below. there is a balance between "brilliance" and "fire". However. Fancy Diamond Cuts The shape of the cut is a matter of personal taste and preference. The round brilliant cut is preferred when the crystal is an octahedron. In order for a diamond to receive a "Triple-0" grading. all three categories of cut (Polish. as two stones could be cut from one crystal. left) are only found in diamonds that meet the American Gem Society Laboratories' "0" Ideal Cut specifications. which gives out much more fire than a real diamond. Hearts and Arrows Diamonds A perfectly proportioned ideal cut that is cut to the exacting specifications of a Tolkowsky Cut.' while AGS uses a more exacting combination of proportional facet ratios along with raytracing metrics to calculate light return. The IdealScope was invented by Kazumi Okuda in the 1970's. Asymmetrical raw crystals such as macles are usually cut in a "Fancy" style. A Triple-0 diamond can also be called a "Triple Ideal Cut" or "AGS-Ideal Zero" diamond. Takanori Tamura. 4 Perfectly formed Hearts and Arrows patterns with eight hearts AND eight arrows (above. or a Scan D. Emerald . Symetry. The first official H & A "EightStar" diamond was cut in 1985 by Kioyishi Higuchi for Japanese businessman and FireScope manufacturer. Proportion) must meet the "ideal" criteria. or a H & A Viewer gemscope (FireScope). 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. out through the table. N. A diamond cut for too much fire will look like cubic zirconia." was invented by Ken Shigetomi and Kazumi Okuda in 1984.
2 grams (200 milligrams or 3. "Princess" (square outline). and a 2 carat diamond is 200 points." .C.Heart Marquise Oval Pear Princess Radiant Round Trillion (not shown at diagram) Fig. As a consumer. 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. Therefor. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. Carat 3.007 ounce. and the Pear.086 grains) or 0. One "Carat" is a unit of mass that is equal to 0. the total mass of all diamonds or gemstones is referred to as "Total Carat Weight" or "T. When a single piece of jewelry has multiple stones. Cut 2. Clarity 4. 5 Popular fancy cuts include the "Baguette" (bread loaf)." "Briolette" (a form of Rose cut). "Marquise" or "Navette" (little boat). your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the "4 C's" diamond grading system. Color Carat weight is one of the 4 C's.W. "Heart. Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics. CARAT Balancing Cut and Weight A diamond or gemstone's "Carat" designation is a measurement of both the size and weight of the stone. a 3/4 carat diamond is 75 points. a 1/2 carat diamond would be 50 points. The 4 C's of Diamonds: Carat (Weight) The 4 C's Diamond Grading System 1. The "fancy cuts" are generally not held to the same strict standards as Round Brilliants.
Occasionally.600 8. Price Per Carat (2005) . as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity . A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond. it must be accurate to the second decimal place.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut.504 carats.Grade: F Colorless .5 carats must have an actual weight of between .10 carat diamond for its better cut. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight.0 carat 3.0 carat 1.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown.800 6. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone.5 carat 1.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a .500 15.750 30. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above." If the carat weight is shown as ". In ancient times. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32.5 carat 2. a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight.VS1 Carat Size</ 0. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between . Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight.495 carats and . clarity and weight. It is for this reason that an even 1.204 carat. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry.600 12. 40º pavilion. or to buy a 1. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor. or "seed of the carob". girdle and pavilion.5º crown. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only. See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained.99 carat diamond for its better price.600 6. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat.195 and . A diamond that has a specified carat weight of .
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. Diamond Clarity Designations FL . therefore reducing its value significantly. Considerations in grading the clarity of a diamond include the type of stone. and/or on the surface of the stone. light or pale inclusions may show greater relief. or break the surface. Color Clarity is one of the Four C's. little or no brilliance I1 to I3 . may weaken the diamond structurally. 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). Clarity 4. fractures.Imperfect. making them more apparent.small blemishes VVS-1 . it is important to learn and understand the clarity designations found within the "Four C's" diamond grading system. In "colorless" diamonds."Internally Flawless" no inclusions at 10 x mag. .not naked eye VS-2 ."Small" or "Slight" Inclusions or "Imperfections" may be "eye clean" SI-2 . The term "Clarity" refers to the presence or absence of tiny imperfections (inclusions) within the stone. VVS1 better than VVS2 VS-1 .The Four C's Diamond Grading System 1. Inclusions that are near to."Small" or "Slight" Inclusions or "Imperfections" visible to naked eye SI-3 . thus minimizing any negative impact of the inclusion."Very Small" inclusions VS1 is better grade than VS2 SI-1 ."Very Very Small" inclusions. In fancy-colored diamonds. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. CLARITY All of the grades of diamond clarity shown in the table below."Flawless" no inclusions at 10 x magnification IF . Cut 2. Carat 3. . with large Inclusions. darker inclusions will tend to create the most significant drop in clarity grade."Very Small" inclusions visible at 10 x mag. ."Very Very Small" inclusions hard to see at 10 x magnification VVS-2 . As a consumer.Inclusions large and obvious. causing a greater drop in grade. On the other hand. and flaws GIA Clarity Grading System The chart below explains the GIA grading system for inclusions and imperfections.
Garnet or other Included gem stones Twinning Wisps . Feathers . fringing.Cleavage planes or internal fractures that have the appearance of feathers.Irregular crystal growth causing internal distortions. appearing as a raised area. haze.Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation. Diamond Fracture Filling Diamond clarity is sometimes enhanced by filling fractures.Tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts). chips. Reputable companies often provide for repeat treatments if heat causes damage to the filling.Dislodged pinpoint inclusions at the surface. followed by acid washing to remove the coloring agent. Cavities .Cloudy grouping of tiny pinpoints that may not resolve at 10X Magnification.A percussion mark caused by impact. so they can use greater care while working on the piece. According to FTC guidelines. "One out of every three diamonds sold in the United States is laser-drilled.Concentrated area of crystal growth that appear light or dark." . Bruising . or feathers along the outer edge of girdle. Clouds .An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing.Rutile-like needle inclusions.Fractures that have been artificially filled. The GIA will not grade fracture-filled diamonds.Diamond Clarity Grade Inflation A fairly common practice in the jewelry trade is grade-inflation or "grade bumping. The treatment is considered permanent and both the GIA and AGS will issue grades for laser drilled diamonds." According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides. According to Fred Cuellar in his book How to Buy a Diamond. The final clarity grade will be the grade that is assigned after treatment. a diamond must be within one clarity grade of its advertised amount at the time of sale. The heat generated by a blowtorch used to work on settings can cause damage. waviness. Knots .A natural indentation that was not removed by polishing. he or she could legally sell it as a VVS-2. vendors should disclose this enhancement. much like repairing a crack in your car's windshield. Indented Naturals .Inclusions resulting from crystal twining during growth. in part because the treatment isn't permanent. Grain Center . and reputable filling companies will use filling agents which show an orange or pink flash of color.Fine cracks. Laser Drilling Laser drilling involves using a laser to burn a tunnel or hole to a carbon inclusion. Pits . Internal Diamond Inclusions Carbon . The drilling process leave tiny telltale shafts or tunnels that are visible under magnification. Pique .An inclusion that penetrates the surface. Needles . External Diamond Inclusions Bearded Girdles .Minute crystals within the diamond that appear white. If a jeweler sells a diamond that has an actual grade of VS-1. Such diamonds are sometimes called "fracture filled diamonds". Internal Graining . Chips .Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet. Pinpoints . therefor it is essential to inform anyone working on a setting if the diamond is fracture-filled. There is a significant price discount for fracture-filled diamonds. Filled Fractures . Surface Graining .
the most reputable well known US labs. The higher the amount of nitrogen atoms. 1 explains the GIA grading system for clear (not fancy-colored) stones. U.faint yellow or brown N. O. M . a Sarin Diamond Color Grading report is the state-of-the-art color measuring standard.very light yellow or brown S. The designation of SI-3 was popularized by the EGL (European Gemological Laboratory) grading office. Burn Marks . the Gemological Institute of America uses a scale of "D" to "Z" in which "D" is totally colorless and "Z" is yellow. Color Color is one of the Four Cs representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. 1 .Small chips at facet junctions. COLOR Most all natural diamonds contain small quantities of nitrogen atoms that displacing the carbon atoms within the crystal's lattice structure. thereby making the diamond appear yellow. "SI-3" is a grade sometimes used in the diamond industry. Neither the GIA nor the AGS (American Gemological Society). J . H. Nicks . Z . W. Carat 3. the yellower the stone will appear. P. In determining the color rating of a diamond. assign this grade.near colorless K. Diamond Color Designations D. These nitrogen impurities are evenly dispersed throughout the stone. I.Surface burning from heat buildup during polishing. Y. At present. it will be beneficial to learn and understand some of the basic parameters for diamond color grading. E. Clarity 4.Whitish haziness along the junction of facets caused by wear. L. As a consumer.light yellow or brown Fig. Scratches .Grinding Wheel Marks of scratches from contact with other diamonds. V. X. F .Human Caused Surface Blemishes Abrasions . The color chart in Fig. absorbing some of the blue spectrum. Q. T. R . Cut 2. Diamonds of this low grade would be inappropriate for jewelry.colorless (white) G. The Four Cs of Diamonds: Color The Four Cs Diamond Grading System 1.
most gem labs do not currently provide color-typing data in their reports and certificates. D-Flawless . These colorless stones.The Holy Grail .Due to a diamond's high brilliance. color grading should be determined by examining the stone through the side of the pavilion (Fig." "whiter than white.' or a borderline 'G. Fig. 3 example below. D4." are named after the famous Golconda Diamond Mines located in the state of Hyderabad. and dispersion of light (fire) when looking through the table or crown. Fig. jewelers and gem labs can accurately provide a 'color typing' printout of a diamond's color grading that is compatible with AGS. 2). 2 Sarin Color Typing is a relatively new sub-classification of the D through Z gading scale. and not by looking at the top of the stone. GIA-GEM. and D5). Using a Sarin Diamond Colorimeter DC3000 (aka Gran Colorimeter). D2. IGI. it is extremely benificial to know if your 'F' is a strong 'F. D3.' Unfortunatly. Each classification is divided into five sub-classifications (D1. 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. and HRD grading scales. India. as in our Fig. For the consumer. Color grading by 'visual-observation is performed against a Master CZ Colored Grading Set." or "D+. sometimes referred to as "white diamonds.
Fluorescence is graded as none. Ultra-violet light is a component of natural sunlight and artificial 4800k to 5000k color-proofing light." but the diamond will have a dull. so this effect will be more apparent under natural daylight than under artificial incandescent light. For diamonds with a color grading of D through H (colorless). diamonds with a visible tint may be preffered. making the diamond appear "colorless. diamonds with a poorer color grading (I through K). murky appearance when compared to a non-fluorescing diamond. Diamond Fluorescence Approximatly 1/3 (35%) of all diamonds have a tendency to fluoresce when exposed to ultra-violet (UV) light. medium. they tend to fluoresce as blue. and strong. fewer than 5. Skin Tone and Settings While some may prefer a very transparent D to F range. When diamonds are viewed under a UV light-source. See Color in Gemstones for more information.Diamond Formation . according to the GIA. faint. others may prefer a "warmer" color found in a G to J range to compliment their skin tone. This fluorescent effect can be beneficial to a diamond that has a yellow tint.Large D-flawless diamonds (those weighing more than 2 carats) are some of the rarest minerals on earth. Only around 600 D-flawless roughs are cut into gems weighing between 1 and 2 carats during a given year.000 D-color diamonds weighing over half a carat are found each year. fluorescence could increase the value by 0% to 2% buy improving the color (or lack thereof). Even with microscopic inclusions. Diamonds: Chemistry & Structural Properties Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Structural Properties of Diamond . as the blue fluorescence will cancel out some of the yellow. fluorescence can negatively impact the value of the stone by 3% to 20%. In some settings with various combinations of other stones. On the other hand.
Therefore. The name "diamond.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1.52. Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses. Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes. with a variety of trace minerals. ultramafic. olivine." referring to its incredible hardness. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical.42.044. Under the continental crust. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe. 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. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2. which resemble a champagne flute. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale." and "unconquerable. or "invincible." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km). with the principle allotrope being graphite. and pyroxene.200 degrees Celsius).Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time. A diamond is a transparent." which is also known as "adamant. ." "untamable. a refractive index of 2. and differentiates it from simple graphite." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon. At these depths. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" . Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth. phlogopite. igneous rock composed of garnet. diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation." is derived from the Greek adamas. and a specific gravity of 3.
The natural crystal form.A Type 2-A diamond has a hardness value of 167 GPa (±6) when scratched with an ultrahard fullerite tip. above). it is termed as "subhedral. The external shape of the crystal. beta carbon nitride. with the end byproduct of the combustion being carbonic-acid gas. where it was shown to combust in scientific experiments." or "anhedral. although in nature. whether it is cubic. and a hardness value of 231 GPa (±5) when scratched with a diamond tip. may also be as hard or harder than diamond. is nearly as hard as diamond. When a gemstone has an irregular external shape or asymmetrical arrangement of its crystal facets. a currently hypothetical material. by igniting a diamond in an oxygen atmosphere. Diamond Crystal Habit Diamonds have a characteristic crystalline structure. or carbon dioxide. perfectly formed crystals are rare. although the reason for its combustion was not understood at the time." when found in a crystalline form that is structurally similar to diamond. A diamond's incredible hardness was the subject of curiosity dating back to the Roman empire." This means that diamond crystals usually "grow" in an orderly and symmetrical arrangement. or dodecahedral. Additionally. and therefore." . octahedral. does not always reflect the internal arrangement of its atoms. a predictable crystal growth pattern known as its "crystal habit. and crystal habit of a diamond is octahedral (photo. Experimentation during the late 18th century demonstrated that diamonds were made of carbon. The material "boron nitride.
" which only denotes a diamond's high resistance to scratching. The culet facet at the bottom of the pavilion. Diamond Graphitization In extremely high temperature environments above 1700 ¡C. meaning that a diamond is 4 times "harder" than sapphire.© AGS Labs Hexagonal (Graphite) Platelet Inclusion . and varying growth conditions of heat.5 to 6. a diamond's "toughness" is only fair to good. due to its ability to fracture along cleavage planes. but its toughness rating is also excellent. Unlike "hardness. causing stress fractures or feathers. Particular cuts of diamond are more prone to breakage along cleavage planes. is a facet specifically designed to resist breakage. and therefore may be uninsurable by reputable insurance companies. making it seem cold." If you were to place a large enough diamond on your tongue it would draw heat away. By comparrison.Trace impurities. and "pound-force" per square-inch in US units of measurement. graphite can develop internally and on the diamond's surface. sapphire has a hardness rating of 9. Although diamond is the "hardest. acting as a "thermal conductor. Additionally." and therefore. Internally formed crystallographic graphite inclusions often create intense strain on the surrounding diamond. crystal twinning. its "toughness" rating is moderate. with a Mohs scale rating of 10. yet sapphire has a toughness rating of excellent. A material's toughness is measured in units of "joules" per cubic meter (J/m3) in the SI system. most scratch resistant mineral on earth. very thin girdles on brilliant cut diamonds are also prone to breakage. Many natural blue .5. Thermal Properties of Diamonds Diamond is a good conductor of heat. pressure and space can also affect the final shape of a formed crystal.© AGS Labs Diamond Toughness Within the fields of metallurgy and materials science. Hematite has a hardness of only 5. the term "toughness" describes the resistance of a given material to fracture when it is stressed or impacted. Carbon Inclusion .
Due to diamond's high thermal conductance. . which means unyielding. If an n-type semiconductor can be synthesized. giving off a somewhat greasy sheen. electronic circuits could be manufactured from diamonds in the future .diamonds contain boron atoms which replace carbon atoms within the crystal matrix. with the exception of natural blue diamonds. Fluorescence in Diamonds Fluorescence is an optical phenomenon in which a diamond's molecules absorb high-energy photons. meaning "light". Natural blue diamonds containing boron atoms. Optical Properties of Diamond: Type I & Type II Diamonds Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Surface Luster of Diamond Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. gloss. and generally implies radiance. or having the hardness or luster of a diamond. which are in fact semiconductors. inflexible.nearly five times greater than pure copper. 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 . increasing thermal conductance. The word luster traces its origins back to the Latin word lux. it is used in the manufacturing of semiconductors. and synthetic diamonds that are doped with boron. or longer-wavelength photons. The term adamantine describes the way light interacts with the surface of a crystal.com The surface luster (or "lustre") of diamond is described as adamantine.Insulators or Semiconductors Diamond is a relatively good electrical insulator. or brilliance. to prevent silicon and other semiconducting materials from overheating. Electromagnetic Properties of Diamond . re-emitting them as lower-energy.
and they are classified as Type 1-A. particularly Canadian diamonds. while Type II diamonds that lack boron impurities are classified as Type IIa. Natural blue Type II diamonds containing scattered boron impurities within their crystal matrix are good conductors of electricity. greenish or yellow fluorescence when exposed to the X-ray wavelength. All Type 1 diamonds have nitrogen atoms as their main impurity. and some of the finest historical gemstones such as the Cullinan and Koh-i-Noor are both Type IIa diamonds. permitting the passage and reflectance of blue light. they can give the stone a yellow tint." with a refractive index of 2.© AGS Labs Type IIa diamonds are very rare. which replace some carbon atoms within the crystal lattice structure. . If the nitrogen atoms are grouped in clusters they do not necessarily affect the diamond's overall color. and are classified as Type 1-B." and refraction. show no fluorescence. and give off a bluish-white. Type I & Type II Diamonds As many as 99% of all natural diamonds are classified as Type I. classifying them as Type IIb diamonds. Some Type IIa diamonds can be found with pink. Diamond can exhibit pseudochromatic coloration giving the appearance of "color" without having any actual color in the mineral itself. These Type IIa diamonds have a near-perfect crystal structure making them highly transparent and colorless. Type II Diamond Formation Certain diamonds were formed under extremely high pressure for longer time periods.© AGS Labs Type I UV Fluorescence . These Nitrogen impurities found in Type I diamonds are evenly dispersed throughout the gemstone. and contain nitrogen atoms as an impurity. making them appear 'colorless' (D). Diamond Refraction & Coloration Diamonds are "singly refractive. Cloud Inclusion Under UV . Typically. or brown coloration. due primarily to certain structural anomalies arising from "plastic deformation" which occurred during their formation. These rare diamonds have a lower nitrogen content. a natural diamond may contains both Type 1-A and Type 1-B material. Man-made synthetic diamonds containing nitrogen are classified as Type 1-B. Some diamond varieties.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. 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.417. and thereby making the diamond appear yellow. and appear dark when exposed to ultra-violet light or X-rays. absorbing some of the blue spectrum. Type II diamonds do not contain any detectable nitrogen. If the nitrogen atoms are dispersed evenly throughout the crystal. red. This illusion of color is caused by the varying optics effects created by spectral dispersion. thereby allowing the passage of short-wave ultra-violet (SWUV) light through the stone. or "fire. with very high thermal conductivity.
Colorless diamonds would normally be priced much higher than yellow diamonds. while chemically "pure" diamonds are basically transparent. Diamond Color & Composition Diamonds can occur in a wide variety of colors: colorless or white. green. Fancy Colored Diamonds: Pink. green (Ocean Dream). when a diamond's color is more intense than the "Z" grading. orange. fancy pink diamonds can command very high prices as they have become increasingly popular. However. boron (blue diamonds). blue. Once thought to be of little value. and red (Hancock Diamond) are particularly valuable. brown. brown diamonds). The value of a Fancy Color Diamond can surpass that of colorless diamonds if the intensity of the color is high and the color is rare. or yellow diamond may have a relatively low value when compared to a colorless diamond. radiation exposure (green diamonds) or irregular growth patterns within the crystal (pink. pink. and their color is due to trace impurities of nitrogen and/or hydrogen (yellow. Blue. It is this nitrogen component that produces the color of fancy yellow diamonds. and therefor colorless.Diamond Refraction & Light Dispersion Diamonds can also exhibit allochromatic coloration which is caused by chromophores from the nitrogen trace impurities found within crystalline structure. it enters the realm of a "Fancy Color" diamond. However. green. the intensity of the color in the diamond can plays a significant role in its value. . Yellow. yellow. In this case. Green & Cognac Fancy Colored Diamond Diamonds can occur in all colors of the spectrum. steel grey. red. Fancy Diamond Color Hues A fancy brown (or Fancy Cognac). red diamonds). All colored diamonds contain certain specific impurities and/or structural defects that cause their coloration. and black. certain fancy-colored diamonds such as pink (Condé). blue (Hope Diamond).
have become more commonplace as Australian colored diamonds have gained in popularity. which changes hue from grayish-blue or olive-green to yellowish-green or straw-yellow under different lighting conditions (darkness.42 carats.N to R Light . South Africa in 1878. and most valuable Fancy Yellow diamonds in the world is the 'Tiffany Diamond. As the numbers go lower (8PP) the color is paler.' found in Kimberly. and value (darkness) using nine classifications ranging from 'Faint' to 'Vivid.Pink (Reddish-pink) 1 is darkest 1BP to 8BP . . Fancy Pink/Brown Diamond Color (Hue) Designations 1PP to 8PP .' GIA 'Fancy Yellow' Diamond Color Saturation Designations Faint .Start of 'Fancy' Fancy Fancy Dark Fancy Intense Fancy Deep Fancy Vivid . yet considerably more expensive. An 1P designation would have less blue and more brownish-red. This Chameleon-like phenomenon was first documented by the GIA in the early 1940s.Highest Saturation One of the largest. halogen. sold at a greater discount.M Very Light . hue. daylight) and ambient temperature changes.Brown diamonds. Pink Diamonds The pink color within these rare diamonds is due to irregular crystal growth patterns. Pink diamonds are similar to pink sapphire in color. causing microscopic imperfections within the lattice structure. 1PP is the highest quality designation for Pink Diamond. Only 1% to 2% of the diamonds produced at the Argyle Mine are high-quality pink specimens. lighting color temperatures (incandescent.Pink (Brownish-pink) 1 is darkest PC3 to PC1 . bright light). 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. The rough stone weighed 287.Champagne 3 is darkest C8 to C1 . having a pure magenta color with deep saturation. which are generally less appreciated than other fancy colors and therefor. One of the world's only major sources for rare pink diamonds is the Argyle Mine in Australia. left).S to Z Fancy Light .Cognac 8 is darkest Chameleon Diamonds There is a very rare olive-grayish color-changing diamond called "Chameleon Diamond" (below. and was cut into a 128.54 carat cushion cut with an estimated value in the millions of dollars. The GIA grades fancy diamond color by quantifying the saturation.Pink (Magenta-pink) 1 is darkest 1P to 8P .
' discovered during the 18th century. 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. .000 per carat. or a combination of the two. and weighed a modest 0.com) The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red.000 to $500. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green. Warren Hancock.000 in 1987. The color change effect is temporary.com) Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems. Intense. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13.03 carats.Green Chameleon Diamonds Fancy Pink Diamond Color Grading Chameleon diamonds can be forced to temporarily change to a yellowish-green color by exposing them to heat (150º C to 250º C). so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness . as in the one-of-a-kind 5. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. On thing is certain. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color. pure green hues.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds. greyish-green. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond.95carats. and the De Young Red weighing 5.90 carats. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits. Green diamonds can range from $35.
and can be naturally occuring. All of the microscopic inclusion photographs on this page were generously contributed by the A.S.com) Enhanced Blue & Yellow Diamonds (© AfricaGems. E. Nevada. or human caused. representing the four main variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. gemological testing laboratory in Las Vegas. . Diamond Inclusion Library: Inclusion Photos Over 100 High-Resolution Diamond Photos! All Contents: Copyright © 2010 AllAboutGemstones. It is for this reason that manufacturers of synthetic diamonds tend to specialize in fancy colors. making the stone appear yellowish.com) Fancy Colored Synthetic Diamonds Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless D. most synthetic diamonds will have a slightly yellowish hue due to nitrogen impurities that are dispersed throughout the crystal lattice structure during the growth phase." These inclusions can occur within the stone. and beautifully photographed by their Director of Gem Services.L.G. and so-called "piquŽ diamonds" fall into the GIA grading range of I1 to I3 (CIBJO grade P1 to P3). The term "clarity" refers to the presence. or absence of tiny imperfections known as "inclusions. This section contains a compendium of photography depicting all of the various types of diamond inclusions—both naturally occurring. or on the surface of the cut stone.com Clarity is one of the Four C's of diamond grading. Inclusions which are not visible to the naked eye (eye clean) fall into the GIA range of "IF" (Internally Flawless) to "SI2" (Small Inclusions). F grades.Reddish Brown Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. Joe Vanells. Inclusions which are visible to the naked eye are referred to as piquŽ. These impurities absorb the blue end of the light spectrum. and man-made imperfections—that can be found in raw and cut diamonds.
Black material found within internal fracture planes can also be crystallographic inclusions of graphite. pyrrhotite and pentlandite. PiquŽ Carbon Inclusion Photos Internal Carbon Pique Diamond Inclusion Photography Piqué are tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts) within diamonds.Internal Diamond Inclusion Photos Carbon Tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts). . pyrrhotite and pentlandite. Black or dark material found within a diamond's internal fracture planes can also be particles or crystallographic inclusions of graphite. ferropericlase. ferropericlase.
Microscopic Carbon Picque Inclusions Hexagonal Platelet Inclusion in Trillion Cut Diamond .
which can leave their own types of unique inclusions. All of the microscopic diamond carbon inclusion photography on this page was generously contributed by the AGSL gemological testing laboratory in Las Vegas. Clouds (Cld) A dense grouping of tiny pinpoints that create a cloudy zone which may not resolve as individual pinpoints at 10X Magnification. and is reproduced with their permission.Carbon piqué inclusions are sometimes removed by diamond enhancements such as laser drilling. Internal cloud inclusions may not resolve as pinpoints at 10X . 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. Nevada.
.Magnification. These pinpoint cloud inclusions can have a dramatic effect on the clarity and brilliance of a faceted diamond as they interfere with the refraction of light within the stone.
Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.
Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.
Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.
Feathers (Ftr) Cleavage planes or internal stress fractures that have the appearance of feathers. . Feather Inclusion Photos Internal Diamond Feather Inclusion Photography Feather inclusions (Ftr) are caused by cleavage planes or internal stress fractures that have the appearance of wispy feathers. which cause internal stress fractures during crystal growth. Feather inclusions are common around included crystals such as garnet. Common around included crystals. Feather inclusions can be accompanied by internal graining and/or twinning wisp inclusions.
Feather inclusions caused by stress fractures around included garnet crystal. .
This is especially true if the fracture breeches the stone's surface. diamonds with significant stress fractures and feather should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner as this could cause the diamond to shatter. and the stress inclusion occurs along the gem's natural cleavage plane. As a result. . making it susceptible to fracturing when exposed to thermal or physical shock.Pronounced stress fractures and feather inclusions can potentially weaken the stone.
Grain Center (GrCnt) A concentrated area of crystal growth that can appear light or dark. Grain Center Inclusion Photos Internal Grain Center Diamond Inclusion Photography Internal Grain Center (IntGr) inclusions (aka internal graining) are caused by irregular diamond crystal growth which creates internal distortions. and haze within a cut diamond. waviness. .
Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .
Growth Tubes Imperfection formed during crystal growth. when a tube or tunnel is generated in the crystalizing diamond by an internal cavity that was once liquid filled. when a tube is generated by a formerly liquid filled cavity. Growth Tube Inclusion Photos Internal Growth Tubes Inclusion Photography Internal Growth Tube inclusions are natural Imperfections that are created during diamond formation. .
Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .
or silica. iron oxides. Included Crystals Inclusion Photos Internal Included Crystals in Diamond Included Crystal inclusions are whole crystals or tiny included gem fragments of undigested crystals such as garnet. silica or other gem stone inclusions.Included Crystals (Xtl) Included and undigested gemstones or fragments of garnet. diopside. olivine. iron oxides. spinel. spinel. calcite. olivine. calcite. Green chrome diopside Inclusion within a Diamond . diopside.
Garnet Inclusions within Diamond .
Garnet fragment on Diamond Girdle .
Grossularite Garnet Inclusions in Diamond .
Internal Graining (IntGr) Irregular crystal growth causing internal distortions, waviness, and/or haze. Can be accompanied by internal strain. Internal Graining Inclusion Photos
Internal Graining Diamond Inclusion Photography
Internal Graining (IntGr) inclusions are caused by irregular crystal growth which creates internal distortions, waviness, or haze. Internal Graining imperfections may be accompanied by internal strain such as feather Inclusions.
Internal Graining with Cloud Inclusion .
and where pathway does not breach the cut diamond's surface. 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. With internal laser-drilling inclusions. .
Needle Inclusion Photos Needle Inclusion Photography Internal Needles (Ndl) or needle inclusions are naturally occurring rutile-like needle shaped inclusions within the diamond.Needles (Ndl) Rutile-like needle-shaped inclusions. .
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. Pinpoint Inclusion Photos Pinpoints (Pp) Inclusion Photography Internal Pinpoints (Pp). Large groupings of small pinpoints can create a cloud inclusion effect.
. 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. resulting from crystal twining during the growth process.Twinning Wisps Inclusions and defects resulting from crystal-twining during crystal growth. Can be accompanied by graining and strain.
Odds & Ends: Microscopic Diamond Inclusion Beauty Photos Microscopic Diamond Inclusion Photography This is an assortment of spectacular diamond-inclusion photography taken by Joe Vanells. showing the strange and beautiful world of microscopic diamond inclusions. .
Natural Comet Inclusion .
Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud .
Tabular Reflection in Diamond .
Included Garnet Twins within Diamond .
Included Dalmatian Garnet .
Cloud Inclusion .
Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers .
Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light .
Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion .
Natural External Diamond Inclusions or Blemishes Knots An inclusion that penetrates the surface. . Knot Inclusion Photos Photography of Diamond Inclusion Knots Knot inclusions are naturally occurring external inclusions or imperfections that penetrate the surface (convex). appearing as a raised area. Knot diamond inclusions can potentially be the cause of man-made drag-line inclusions. appearing as a raised area on the diamond's surface.
and were not fully removed during the stone's cutting or polishing process.Indented Natural (IndN) A naturally occurring indentation in the crystal that was not removed during cutting or polishing. Indented Natural Inclusion Photos Indented Natural (IndN) Diamond Inclusion Photography Indented Natural (IndN) inclusions (indented naturals) are external imperfections that are caused by naturally-occurring recessed (concave) indentations that penetrate the surface of a rough diamond. .
made up of a bumpy or wavy pattern on the polished surface of a diamond. The lizard-skin effect is caused by an orange-peel texture. . Lizard Skin Inclusion Photos Lizard Skin Diamond Surface Blemish Photography A "lizard skin" surface blemish is a man-made external diamond imperfection that is created during polishing.Lizard Skin A bumpy or wavy 'orange-peel' textured pattern on the polished surface of a diamond.
Natural (N) A raised portion of the rough diamond's original surface structure that remains visible on the surface of a polished stone. . Natural Inclusion Photos Natural Diamond Inclusion Photography Natural inclusions (aka Naturals) are naturally-occurring raised portions of the rough diamond's original surface structure that were not removed during the polishing process. and remain visible on the surface of a polished stone.
.Pits Dislodged pinpoint inclusions at the surface. Surface Graining Inclusion Photos Diamond Surface Graining (SGr) Photography Surface Graining (SGr) is a natural imperfection or inclusion that creates visible surface lines which are caused by irregular crystallization during diamond formation. Surface Graining (SGr) Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation.
creating a whitish fuzzy edge as opposed to a sharp edge.Human Caused Surface Blemishes Abrasion (Abr) A tightly grouped series of nicks along the sharp edge of facet junctions. Bearded Girdle (BG) Fine cracks. chips. . or feathers along the outer edge of girdle. Bruising (Br) A percussion mark or hole caused by impact and surrounded by tiny feathers. fringing.
the overheating of a facet causes a burn mark. Chips Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet. . Cavities (Cv) An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing. or caught by a included crystal. Drag Lines Created when a rough particle is dragged along the surface. during cutting and/or polishing the diamond. or when abrasive material is caught by an included crystal such as garnet during the polishing of a diamond. Drag Line Photos Diamond Surface Drag Lines Photography Drag Lines are human-caused surface imperfections and blemishes that are created when a loose rough particle is dragged along the surface.Burn Marks Created during polishing.
Filled Fractures Fractures or feathers that have been artificially filled to enhance clarity. This microscopic photograph shows the telltale orange or pink flash of a filled fracture enhancement within a cut diamond. . and remove cloudiness.Extra Facet (EF) An asymmetrical and irregularly placed facet that is not part of the original faceting scheme. Filled Fracture Photos Internal Fracture Filling Inclusion Photography Fracture-filling Inclusions are man-made diamond enhancements that are the result of natural cleavage-plane stress fractures or feathers which have been artificially filled with molten glass to enhance clarity.
or inscribing the external surface of a cut diamond. markings. marking. 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. and inscriptions. .Laser Etching or Markings Careless or inadvertent laser etchings.
" whitish film on the surface of a facet caused by excessive heat during polishing.Polish Lines (PL) Fine parallel surface groves resulting from the polishing process. Polish Marks (PM) Also known as "Wheel Marks. Scratch (S) A fine whitish line that can be curved or straight. Diamond Enhancements: Laser Drilling & Fracture Filling .
polished natural diamonds. altered. There are also heating treatments to improve a white diamond's color grade. in accordance with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines for the gem trade. Such diamonds are sometimes then branded as "fracture filled diamonds. or treatments to give a fancy color to a off-white diamond. or removed by employing several invasive techniques from fracture filling to laser drilling.© AGS Lab Telltale Signs of Fracture Filling .Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Enhanced Diamonds Diamond "enhancements" are specific treatments performed on cut. A trained gemologist should be able to identify most traditional "enhancements" made to a particular stone. Minor diamond inclusions or surface imperfections which are not visible to the naked eye ("VVS1" to "SI2") can be disguised. but instead attempt to hide their visual effect.© 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. much like you would repair a crack in a car's windshield glass. These techniques do not eliminate the imperfection. Unfilled Fractures around Garnet Inclusion . . Diamond Fracture Filling Diamond clarity is sometimes improved and enhanced by filling tiny fractures or feathers with molten glass. which are designed to improve the visual or gemological characteristics of the stone." Reputable filling companies will always use filling agents which show an orange or pink flash of color when viewed under a microscope with certain controlled lighting conditions. but not necessarily increase its value.
"One out of every three diamonds sold in the United States is laser-drilled.com Color Enhanced Diamonds . . and the GIA will not even grade a fracture-filled diamond. Due to its low melting-point. so that the jeweler can use greater care while working on the piece.com Radiation treatments are completely safe. and the diamonds are tested to ensure that no trace levels of radiation remain. The drilling process leave tiny telltale shafts or tunnels that are visible under high magnification (see photos below). referred to as the HTHP process. followed by acid washing to remove the coloring agent. The final clarity grade will be the grade that is assigned after treatment.© AfricaGems. or subjecting the diamond to intense pressure and temperature.© AGS Lab Laser Drilling Tubes . "vivid" blue and yellow colors result.There should always be a significant price discount for any diamond that has been fracture-filled." Diamond Color Treatment Color enhancement of diamonds in done to increase the color intensity of so-called "fancy" colored diamonds. in part because the treatment isn't permanent. the heat generated by a blowtorch used to work on settings can cause damage to the filling material. It is therefor essential to inform anyone working on a setting where the diamond has been fracture-filled.© AfricaGems. These enhancements are achieved using low levels of radiation (irradiation). Reputable filling companies will often provide repeat treatments if heat causes damage to the filling. Signs of Laser Drilling . Laser Drilling of Diamonds Laser drilling involves the use of a laser to burn a tunnel or hole down to any dark carbon inclusions or piquŽ. According to Fred Cuellar in his book How to Buy a Diamond. Natural Fancy Diamonds . and both the GIA and AGS will issue grades for laser drilled diamonds.© AGS Lab The laser-drilling treatment is considered permanent. Diamonds treated with HTHP have their molecular altered so that intense.
lab diamonds) was first conceived by French chemist Henri Moissan in 1892. known as the HTHP (high-temperature. and the Chemical Vapor Deposition or "CVD" method. they are increasingly used in fine jewelry as their quality increases.Synthetic Diamonds & Man-Made Diamond Simulants Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite The First Synthetic Diamonds Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. 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 . by H. Although synthetic diamonds were originally conceived as a substitute for natural industrial-grade diamonds. tiny fragments of synthetic diamond were created by heating charcoal. and has been steadily improved upon throughout the last 50 years.Tracy Hall for the General Electric Company. The first practical commercial application of Moissan's process was developed in 1954. . there are two main processes for creating lab diamonds: the High-Temperature High-Pressure or "HTHP" method. high-pressure) "belt press" process was used for synthesizing industrial-grade diamonds. yet they have the identical carbon-based chemical properties of natural diamond.© AGS Labs Synthetic Yellow Chatham Diamond .© AGS Labs Today. which created enough pressure to crystallize the molten carbon into tiny diamond fragments. or carbon to an extremely high temperature (4000º C) in a cast iron crucible.com The process of creating man-made diamonds (aka cultured diamonds. Once the desired temperature had been achieved. the intense heat would render the crucible and its carbon contents into a molten liquid mass. The process. These man-made synthetic diamonds are a laboratory-grown simulation of the natural gemstone. With Moissan's process. This abrupt cooling caused the rapid shrinkage of the molten iron crucible.
Diamonte. but are not a carbonbased compound having a natural diamond's crystalline structure. Diamond Essence. Synthetic Diamond Color & Optics Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless form. Diamonaire. which attracts the gas to the substrate. Lustergem.High-Temperature High-Pressure (HTHP) The "High-Temperature High-Pressure" (HTHP) technique. produced using the Verneuil (flame-fusion) Process. ranging in clarity from IF to SI or I.1970) Diagem. With the advent of Cubic Zirconia in the mid 1970's. Phianite Gadolinium Gallium Garnet (GGG) (1972-1975) Strontium Titanate (ST) (1955 . Geminaire In the early 1900's. Diamondite. Thrilliant Synthetic Spinel (1920-1947) Corundolite. A diamond seed is placed into a growth camber. Common diamond simulants include: Cubic Zirconia (CZ) (1976-) Czarite. Rutania. making them difficult to differentiate from natural diamonds. a seed or substrate material is placed into the growth camber. Diamond Simulants Diamond "simulants. 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. Unlike their natural diamond counterparts. hardness. light dispersion." also known as "simulated diamonds" or "fake diamonds" are man-made gemstones that look like. or by measuring UV fluorescence with a DiamondView tester. Fabulite Synthetic Rutile (1946-1955) Diamothyst. Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) The "Chemical Vapor Deposition" (CVD) method was developed during the 1980s. and surface luster as its natural diamond counterpart. Radient Yttrium Aluminum Garnet (YAG) (1970-1975) Diamone. Java Gem. Using Chemical Vapor Deposition. or X-ray spectroscopy. and uses a lowerpressure growth environment than the earlier HTHP method. most of these lesser simulants fell by the wayside. With CVD. The vaporized carbon gases are energized using microwave energy. refractive index." uses a four-anvil 'tetrahedral press. the HTHP diamond's growth process can take 7 to 10 days to complete. A cultured synthetic diamond will have the identical cleavage. making the stone appear yellowish. Synthetic diamonds can also be treated with the HTHP process to alter the optical properties of the stones. Synthetic diamonds can be detected using infrared. and Moissanite in 1998. Like natural diamond. specific gravity. or "deposited" onto the substrate in successive layers. Diamonite. or "simulate" the appearance of natural diamonds. Magalux. ultraviolet. colorless synthetic sapphire (aka Diamondite) was a popular diamond simulant. synthetic diamonds may contain small inclusions. the diamond's entire growth process takes several days to complete. Synthetic Diamond Manufacturers Apollo Diamonds . In the late 1940's Diamondite gave way to Synthetic Rutile which was popular until the advent of YAG in the early 1970's. and a combination of heat and pressure are applied while a vaporized carbon-plasma that is combined with hydrogen is applied. Titangem Synthetic Sapphire (1900-1947) Diamondette. Jourado Diamond. These impurities absorb the blue end of the light spectrum. also known as "GE POL.' or six-anvil 'cubic press' to create the necessary pressure. Rainbow Diamond. 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.
apollodiamond. Ltd.25 carats is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. www.Apollo Diamond. and some fancy colored diamonds. To insure easy identification as a man-made product. Cubic Zirconia (Zirconium Oxide ZrO2) has a completely different chemical structure.com Chatham Created Diamonds Chatham Gems is a San Francisco based company that grows only fancy-colored diamonds in colors ranging from champagne and canary yellow to pink and midnight blue.gemesis.com To the average consumer.com Tairus Created Gems Tairus Created Gems is a Russian company that grows fancy-colored diamonds in their proprietary "Split Sphere" system.3 on the Mohs scale. Gemesis only grows fancy-colored diamonds. The toughness of Cubic Zirconia is rated as good.com Gemesis Cultured Diamonds Gemesis is located in Sarasota. carbonate fluid solution that is similar to diamond-bearing metamorphic rock. inc. Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite Cubic Zirconia Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Florida.. . Apollo Diamonds are cut and polished in sizes ranging from . using a proprietary variation of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) technique. Tairus Created Gems are sold exclusively through Tairus Thailand Co. Massachusetts grows colorless (D to M) diamonds.25 carats to 1 carat. and each cut stone is laser inscribed with the Apollo company logo and serial number. and rose cuts. while diamond has a hardness of 10. of Bangkok Thailand. and like Chatham. and CZ has a hardness of only 8. www.500 to $9. princess.30 carats to 3 carats.). and stones are cut to order. Tairus produces rough sizes from . The Split Sphere system crystalizes the carbon seed in an alkaline.chatham. with clarity grades from IF to SI. and each stone is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. www. Apollo Diamond's cut stones are available in round brilliant. While a synthetic diamond is a man-made recreation of an actual carbon-based diamond. which they claim is the closest thing to mother nature. emerald.500 per carat (2004 est. each Gemesis cut stone over . Chatham's pricing ranges from $6. Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is the most familiar type of diamond simulant on the market. in Boston.
CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below).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. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. The 1. 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. Diamond's RI is 2. Natural diamonds attract grease.80 to 2. and CZs can be made in any "color grade. a CZ is optically flawless.) in a totally dark room.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator.In 1973. the greater dispersive power. CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds. 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. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible. . The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit. candle. Due to their low cost and consistency. etc. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting. Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. Unlike most natural diamonds.2.41 (RI). Once the mixture has cooled. CZ vs Diamond . Zirconium oxide powder is heated.17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2. or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond . For instance. Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left). although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce.800 . 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. but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye.170. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR). or colorless (white) versions.
Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0.69. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. found only in iron-nickel meteorites. candle. is classified as an element rather than a compound.417. while diamond has a hardness of 10. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998.060. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. . center) near Winslow. Arizona. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting.670. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight.104 as compared to CZ at 0. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. 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. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research.044.) in a dark room. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. left) who won the Nobel Prize in 1906 for his discovery of a new mineral (moissanite6H) found within meteorite fragments of the ancient Barringer meteor crater (above. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ.25 on the Mohs scale.A small. Moissanite has an RI of 2. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. and diamond at 0. etc. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. Henri Moissan (above. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent.com Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum).65 to 2. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. Moissanite has a hardness of 9. when examining the gem through the kite facets. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. Moissanite. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.
caused by primary reflections from the pavilion and CZ's low RI. Prior to this time. but significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its high RI. Diamond cutting can be traced back to the late Middle Ages. diamond is singly refractive Refractive Index: Moissanite has a refractive index of 2. Moissanite vs Diamond . diamonds were used in their natural octahedral state." and the rough stone must be cut with the grain. Diamond's RI is 2. most diamonds have some inclusions Moissanite vs Diamond . due to its high refractive index. although it can be easily cleaved or fractured due to its defined cleavage planes. only a diamond is hard enough to cut other diamonds.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. diamonds were valued primarily for their luster and hardness. The first improvements on nature's design involved a polishing of the crystal faces. Like wood. Diamonds: Modern Diamond Cutting Diamond Cutting Background One of the hardest substances on earth. detailed and sharply focused pattern caused by secondary reflections will be seen when observing a diamond. You can also Inspect the facet edges with a 10x loupe to look for any chipping or slightly rounded or soft (not sharp) edges that are telltale signs of Simulants. creating the "Table Cut. Cutting a Rough Diamond . one half of the crystal would be cut off. which was called the "Point Cut. rather than against it. diamond has a "grain.Detectable With Testing Double Refraction: Moissanite is double refractive. A similarly sharp.A small. Table Cut diamonds appeared black to the eye.417 Moissanite is double refractive (anisotropic) while a natural diamond is singly refractive (isotropic)." At the time. The Modern Round Brilliant cut (below) is the culmination of several hundred years of experimentation and development. Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be more diffused.670." As further refinement progressed.
the "blocker" or "lapper" will cut the first 18 main facets.Modern Round Brilliant Diamond . Cleaving: Cleaving refers to splitting a stone along its grain by striking it. rounding the rough diamond into a conical shape. then pressing it against a revolving cast iron disk. During this faceting stage the angles of each facet must be cut to an exacting standard in order to yield maximum brilliancy." Faceting: To facet a round brilliant. Asymmetrical crystals such as macles are used primarily for fancy cuts. or lap that has been "charged" with diamond dust. Bruting: The rough is placed in a chuck on a lathe. then a "brillianteer" will cut and polish the remaining 40 facets. High-tech computerized helium and oxygen analyzers are now used to evaluate a stone prior to cutting. eliminate waste. 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. The natural shape of the rough stone will also be a major factor in deciding how to cut the stone. and bypass any inclusions or imperfections. on a scaife.Cutting a raw diamond into a faceted and polished gem-quality stone is a multi-step process. Each step is critical to the final outcome. a second diamond mounted on a dop is pressed against it. This step is also referred to as "rounding. or shatter the stone. Sawing: A stone-cutting saw is a thin disk made of phosphor bronze. Due to its atomic structure. 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. While the rough stone rotates on the diamond lathe. Cleavage is the tendency of crystalline materials to split along defined cleavage plane. a diamond can be cleaved in four directions parallel to each of the four octahedron crystal faces. As the saw blade rotates it continues to pickup or "recharge" itself with diamond dust which is the cutting agent. Cleaving is a critical step as a mistake by the "cleaver" could fracture. 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. and maintain symmetry. It can take several hours for the saw blade to cut through a 1k rough diamond. The cutting (also called "placing") and polishing of each facet is accomplished by attaching the stone to a dop stick with cement. Cubic shapes are ideal for a square Princess or Radiant cut.
An octehedral rough diamond will yield two round brilliant cut stones (see diagram below).weight retention. The clarity of the stone. Reconciling Cut & Weight Retention If the rough stone has a colorless D through F rating and has very few inclusions. cut proportions. If.com When deciding how to cut a rough diamond. This is accomplished by reconciling three key factors . compromises would have to be made.Ideal Cut vs Standard Cut Diamond Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. a cutter must make a cost-benefit analysis as to how to maximize the cut stone's value. The objective is always to maximize carat weight. the rough stone has some coloration and/or is heavily included. 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. on the other hand. it would be cost effective to sacrifice some carat weight in order to finish with two "Ideal" cuts. elimination of any inclusions. 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 . it may be better to aim for a higher carat weight utilizing a "Standard" cut.
as two stones could be cut from one crystal. The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem. and one "table" facet on the top of the stone for a total of 58 facets. it is the most efficient cut for maximizing yield. hearts. This is primarily due to the fact that this cut has yet to be improved on for two reasons: 1. it is the best cut for showcasing a high-quality stone's fire and brilliance. 8 "kite" facets. This is why it is very rare to see flawless stones cut into fancy cuts such as emeralds. 8 "pavilion" facets." Even with modern techniques. the cutting and polishing of a diamonds resulted in a loss of as much as 50% of the stone's total weight. "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: . you will see that there are 8 "star" facets. The round brilliant cut is beneficial when the crystal is an octahedron. In the diagram of a "Round Cut" diamond (above and below). 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. 16 "lower girdle" facets. This cut is also known as the "Tolkowsky Cut" and "Tolkowsky Brilliant. and 2. etc. 16 "upper girdle" facets. An "Ideal Cut". The Modern Round Brilliant Cut The modern "Round Brilliant Cut" (below) was developed by Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919.
and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972.N. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace. very small to small In the 1970s. . but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42. As with all human endeavors. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope. A perfect blending of facet symmetry. and overall height of 57. crown height of 14. Since then. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect. To quantify a diamond's cut quality.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. H&A Viewer. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts. Symmetry. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.N. Eppler & Scan D.4%. Tolkowsky." (Scandinavian standard. more brilliance and fire. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%.' and there has been numerous attempts to improve on this tried-and-true formula with the introduction of new signature diamond cuts that claim to have a higher light return. The "Scan D. crown height of 14.7%. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57.7%. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant". there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap.5%. and Proportions. invented in 1929. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). and crown/pavilion angles.6% and overall height of 57. etc.. facet ratios. Ideal Scope.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed.5% to 43.
and the culet is square. cut proportions. and entrepreneurs . 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. Every conceivable cutting theory is tried. less facets.like Einstein's theory of relativity. it is put in front of the ultimate arbiter of quality . 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.each trying to improve on the tried-and-true Old European cuts.asscher. www. scientists. etc. but some like the Barion Cut have disappeared into obscurity. and it still survives in some form today. cut corners and a small table. the Asscher diamond cut has a squarish octagonal shape with a step cut.) and when suitably scrutinized by the gem trade. the Cullinan 1 and Cullinan 2 being set into the crown and sceptre of the British Crown Jewels. Asscher Cut The Asscher Cut was developed by Abraham and Joseph Asscher of the Royal Asscher Diamond Company of Amsterdam in 1902. Popular in Art Deco jewelry of the period.the consumer.Producers split hairs over cut angle. One thing is for sure . (more facets. Some have gone on to become household names such as the Asscher cut. and their modest brilliance and light return. with the two largest stones. but at the end of the day it may simply come down to consumer preference and/or marketing.nl Barion Cut . The cut has a deep pavilion and a high crown.106 carat Cullinan Diamond into eleven gem stones. The Asscher brothers cut the famous 3. mathematicians. and number of facets. Tolkowsky came up with a "brilliant" idea almost 90 years ago.
freiesleben. Barocut The Barocut® diamond cut is a patented. of New York in 2000. forming a square shape when viewed from the top. Ulrich Freiesleben of Germany in the early 1980s then patented and trademarked in 1997. or the company website. It is sold exclusively through the 270 year old firm of Garrard & Company in London. merged with the jewelry firm Asprey. The Context Cut design was based on an earlier patented design by Bernd Munsteiner from the early 1960s.de Eternal Cut The Eternal Cut diamond was designed and patented by master Israeli diamond cutter. Gabi Tolkowsky. The Context Cut follows a rough diamond crystal's natural octahedral shape. and in all diamond colors and/or clarity grades. Marce Tolkowsky.baroka. and creates a high amount of waste. not including the 16 girdle facets. The name "Barion" or "Barion cut" was never trademarked. The cut has a total of 8 facets plus a girdle. to become Asprey & Garrard. The Context Cut is used to cut colored gemstones by Julius Petsch of Idar-Oberstein. A Barocut diamond has a total of 77 facets.com . and a 'softer' briliance than a traditional round brilliant cut. Barocut diamonds are promoted and sold exclusively through the Baroka Creations catalog. 81 facets on the cut corner (cushion) version. In 1998. www. parting ways in 2002 to again become Garrard.The Barion square cut (aka Barion square cushion cut) was invented by Basil Watermeyer of South Africa in 1971. and a total of 81 facets. The Barocut is available in sizes from 20 points to 3 carats. or to increase light-dispersion. Germany. 23 more than a modern Round Brilliant cut. Inc. and was the forerunner to the princess cut. The cutting process requires a high-quality rough. creating a unique 'flower petal' pattern surrounding the cutlet. modified rectangular (baguette) cut that was developed by Baroka Creations. and its patent has expired. www. The Barion square cut diamond has a 4-fold mirror-image symmetry. Barocut stones are also sold in tapered shapes. Garrard & Co. adding up to 50% to the cost when compared to a Round Brilliant cut diamond. The Eternal Cut is being sold exclusively at Garrard's main London store and Harvey Nichols stores in Great Britain. The Barocut is also called a "two heart diamond" due to the illusion of two mirrored hearts meeting at the culet. The Context Cut consists of two back-to-back pyramids (an octahedron). The Eternal Cut has a total of 81 facets.garrard.com Context Cut The Context Cut is a square cut that was developed by Dr. www. nephew to the inventor of the Modern Round Brilliant cut. with star-shaped cross facets cut diagonally into the pavilion.
The Flower Cut is actually a series of five fancy cut shapes: the Dahlia. maximizing the amount of light returned back as scintillation. the Gabrielle Cut is available in carre. adding greater brilliance and fire than standard brilliant cuts. (aka Leo Schachter Diamond). The Zinnia is a round fancy shape with 73 facets.gabriellediamonds. www. heart. and the cut was named after the Flanders region of Belgium (Antwerp) where the cut was first preformed in 1987. The Marigold is an octagon shape with 73 facets. The Gabrielle Diamond The Gabrielle® Cut is a modified brilliant cut (triple brilliant cut) that was created by DeBeers desinger/consultant Gabriel Tolkowsky in 2000. The Flanders Fire-Brilliant was developed by Flanders Cut International of Antwerp in 1983. Marigold. The cut is distributed by the National Diamond Syndicate (NDS) of Chicago. that is suited to a relatively flat rough. The Flanders Brilliant has 33 crown facets and 28 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets. emerald. the Gabrielle has a total of 105 facets.com Leo Cut The Leo® Diamond.com Flower Cut The 'Flower Cut' series was created by Gabi Tolkowsky in 1986. Fire-Rose.flanders-cuts. marquise. oval.com www. The Dahlia is a 12 sided oval shape with 63 facets. The Flower Cuts were never patented or trademarked by De Beers in order to increase their popularity and use. 8 more facets than the Round Brilliant cut's 58. The Flower Cuts employ unconventional cutting angles and dimensions. 48 of which are clustered around the culet to increase fire. off-color stones. LLC. www. Sunflower and Zinnia cut. The Sunflower has 43 facets in unusual. . angular shapes. is a patented symmetrical round cut created by Leo Schachter Diamonds. and pear shapes. Unveiled at the Las Vegas Gem Show in 2001. Other than the traditional round brilliant shape. who was commissioned by De Beers to create new cuts as a way of marketing unusual. The Leo diamond cut has a total of 66 facets. which is 47 more than a traditional 'Tolkowsky' round brilliant cut. The Fire-Rose is a hexagonal shape designed to produce higher yields.nationaldiamond.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. designed to maximize the brilliance and color of diamonds while increasing their yield.
There are 25 crown facets and 36 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets (not including 8 girdle facets). RCDC launched the 'Original Radiant Cut' diamond brand In 2002.diamondaires. and a total of has 50 facets. brilliant-style faceted pavilion (similar to a Cushion Cut). It was the first emerald shaped diamond cut to have brilliance and fire similar to that of a round brilliant diamond. the Radiant Cut became a fully accepted diamond shape in the jewelry business.radiantcut. and was patented and trademarked by Bez Ambar Jewelers of Los Angeles in 1980.' and each diamond comes with a "Return of Light Certificate. 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. patented and trademarked by Henry Grossbard of the Radiant Cut Diamond Company (RCDC) in 1977. square shaped diamonds were stepcut limiting their brilliance. The Lucida is sold exclusively through Tiffany's retail chain.com Lucida Cut The Lucida (TM) Cut is a patented diamond cut that was created by Tiffany & Company in 1999. The pavilion is similar to a Barion cut.com Quadrillion Cut The Quadrillion® Cut (aka Squarillion Cut) is a modified square princess cut that was developed by Israel Itzkowitz and Betzalel Ambar in the late 1970s. and all Original Radiant Cut diamonds weigh at least 0.The Leo diamond cut is the first to be certified for fire and brilliance as measured by a 'BrillianceScope. sold in solitaire engagement/wedding bands. There are a total of 49 facets.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. and three-stone rings. www.com Starburst Cut . small table. The Lucida diamond cut is a modified square or rectangular (Marquise) cut with truncated corners." The Leo Diamond is marketed through the Kay Jeweler chain. Prior to the Quadrillion. www. and the table is a bowed out rectangle. www. Upon the expiration of the patent. The Lucida diamond cut is marketed as a wedding cut. eternity bands. a highstep crown (similar to the Asscher Cut). Bez Ambar Radiant Cut The Radiant Cut is a modified emerald cut shape that was developed.tiffany.
and the natural octahedral symmetry of the rough stone's closed isometric form. making the hue of fancy yellow diamonds more intense. 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.louisglick. Starburst Cuts are mounted and sold directly through Cartier. Old Mine Cut Evolution of the Faceted Diamond & Colored Gem Article Copyright © 2008 AllAboutGemstones. the precursor for the "design" of the first faceted diamond lay within the rough stone itself.com The faceting of diamonds has come a long way in the last 700 years. The point cut design is dictated by the natural shape of an octahedral rough diamond. Still. and scintillation when cut to the correct proportions. Old European Gem Cuts: Point. The pavilion has two differently sized sets triangular facets with a large triangular table. The Trilliant cut gives a high brilliance. brilliance. The "table cut" (below. The crown of the Starburst Cut is similar to that of the radiant cut.The Starburst Cut was patented and trademarked by the Louis Glick Diamond Corp. There are 49 crown facets and 40 pavilion facets. www. right) was created by cutting off some of the top half of the point cut's octahedron to create a table. and Uncurved cut used for accent stones. Since the day that humans first discovered 'adamas' (diamonds). Nieman Marcus and Tiffany. 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. From this point forward it was a race to see who could design the perfect faceted cut which would bring out the maximum fire. Harry Winston. this led to the invention of the first gem cutting machines (precursor to the "lap" or "Facetron") in the 1300s. craftsmen have attempted to "improve" on nature. of New York in 1978. but the pavilion is completely different. and light return from the stone. The Starburst cut was created to bring out the highest amount of color to fancy yellow diamonds. and the Trilliant is now a generic term for a triangular brilliant cut. The starburst faceting pattern is designed to focus color near the top of a stone. reworked into the shape of a trillion (triangle). with weight losses in the fifty percent range. for a total of 89 kite and star shaped facets. The Trilliant Cut has a total of 31 facets. The Starburst cut is especially suitable for a octahedral rough. Trillion) is a triangular cut designed and trademarked by the Henry Meyer Diamond Company of New York in 1962. There are two variations of this cut: the Curved cut used for solitary stones. and the career of the "diamantaire" (diamond cutter/polisher) was born. Trillian. . Old eight. fire. The Trilliant trademark has since lapsed. Point Cut . The Trilliant has the Schoenflies point group symmetry of a round brilliant.com Trilliant Cut The Trilliant Cut (aka Trielle.early 1300s The "point cut" (below left) is one of the first symmetrically faceted diamond cuts. With the realization that only a diamond could cut another diamond.
1500s Invented in the mid 16th century. The briolette cut was designed primarily for use in a pendant or as a dangling bauble in a crown.Single Cut . . Old Mine Cut . the "rose cut" is also known by the the "Antwerp rose. The "senaille cut" is a rose cut with irregular or non-symmetrical faceting.1700s The "old mine" cut is the earliest form of the "brilliant cut" diamond. The single cut may or may not have a culet at the bottom." and the Full Holland cut. resulting in a smaller table.late 1300s Invented in the late 14th century. The culet is usually large enough to be visible when viewed through the table. Also called the "cushion cut". an octagonal table. The briolette was the precursor to the "pendeloque cut" which is a pear-shaped modification of the round brilliant cut. it has a cushioned or rounded girdle shape. The "briolette cut" is a modified "double Dutch rose cut" with one of the hemispheres being elongated." "Dutch 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 "old single cut" (aka "old eight cut") diamond has the addition of corner facets to create an octagonal girdle." "crowned rose cut. eight bezel or crown facets. Rose & Briolette Cut. and eight pavilion facets. This Old Mine cut is basically square with gently rounded corners and "brilliant" style facets. The crown is typically tall.
1800s The "Old European" cut was the forerunner of the modern round brilliant cut. . and very tall overall depth. Like the modern round brilliant. Eight Cut & Swiss Cut The "eight cut" is primarily used for small stones when a brilliant cut would be impractical. The Old European diamond cut has a very small table. The eight cut is similar to the "single cut" in that there are eight four-sided trapezoidal facets at the crown. The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem.1900s The "modern round brilliant cut" (below) was developed by Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919." Even with modern techniques. 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 cutting and polishing of a diamonds resulted in a loss of as much as 50% of the stone's total weight. The Modern Round Brilliant Cut . and an octagon-shaped table for a total of 17 facets (18 if a culet is used). as two stones can be cut from one crystal with a minimum amount of waste.Old European Cut . a heavy crown. As with its predecessor the "point cut" over 600 years earlier. the old European diamond has a circular girdle. eight facets at the pavilion.
. or secondary mining producers in Canada and Russia to De Beers' Diamond Trading Company (DTC) in London. 16 isosceles triangle facets on the crown and 16 facets on the pavilion. which combines ("aggregating") supplies of rough diamonds from multiple sources into one wholesale market (#2). There is a limited market for the resale of diamonds that are less than "investment grade. Kimberley and Windhoek. Both the eight cut Swiss cut are still used today for small very diamonds and gems (smaller than 2mm carat weight) as would be used in pavé settings. Rio Tinto. Unlike precious metals such as gold. The rough stones are separated into 16. 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). color and quality. The Diamond Trade: The 'Diamond Pipeline' Rough Diamond Producers Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. thereby controlling and stabilizing prices. then divided by human or automated sorters into individual lots called "boxes. with a total of 33 facets (34 if a culet is used). there is usually a substantial mark-up in the retail sale price of diamonds.com The trade in gem-grade rough diamonds is primarily controlled by the De Beers.000 categories based on size. Trans Hex. for sorting and resale. Gaborone." The DTC is part of the DeBeers Group supply-chain known as the Central Selling Organization (CSO).A "Swiss cut" is a compromise between an eight cut and a brilliant cut. silver or platinum." The 'Diamond Pipeline' Rough diamonds are sent directly from De Beers mining operations in Africa (#1).
diamonds have underperformed since 1987 when compared to the "luxury goods" market or global GDP. reclaiming their "A Diamond Is Forever" moniker. De Beers is also facing increasing pressure from the manufactures of synthetic diamonds.com website). As a reaction to their decrease in market share. Tel Aviv. they are sold to retailers or direct to the customer.000. Other major cutting centers are located in Johannesburg. Once the diamonds are set into jewelry. India cuts the vast majority of small stones (. Additionally. Many Sightholders are also cutters. to take advantage of market fluctuations. Rough diamonds are cut in various geographic regions according to tradition and the skill-sets of the labor force. has launched an aggressive branding and marketing campaign. and New York. Both traders and manufacturers may sell diamonds "upstream" and "downstream" through the diamond pipeline . and the breakaway from CSO's cartel by the Argyle Diamond Mine in Australia. China. The diamonds are then re-sold from the cutting and polishing (manufacturing) centers to wholesalers (Diamond Bourses). through their Diamond Promotion Service (DPS) and Diamond Information Centres (DIC) marketing divisions. A 'sight' can have a value of between $500. cutters. De Beers. The sightholder then transports the box of rough diamonds back to diamantaire firms (cutting and polishing factories) located around the world (#4).De Beers Sightholders The DTC holds a sale called a "site" or "sight" ten times per year in London and Johannesburg. and retailers . determining the quantity and quality that each site-holder will receive. Russia and elswhere.20 carats or less) in Mumbai (Bombay) and Surat. and independent diamond producers in Canada. Ramat Gan. De Beers (DTC) sets the price of each box in advance.000 to $2. which are increasing in popularity and consumer acceptance. while large stones are primarily cut in Antwerp. De Beers and the Future De Beers' (CSO's) control over the wholesale diamond market has diminished due to increased market penetration. (see DeBeers' Adiamondisforever. or to jewelry manufacturers (#5) around the world. and Thailand. .000 USD. where De Beers sells the "boxes" to its select group ("supplier of choice") of 125 "sightholders" (#3) or diamond manufacturers.
cut and uncut diamonds. The largest diamond trading center in the world is located in Antwerp. Forevermark diamonds will be available through sightholder/retailers in the U. The Diamond Trade: Diamond Bourses of Antwerp Diamond Bourses Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. are sold in Antwerp every year. some 1. and India (2007). and Shanghai. or commodities exchange similar to the NYSE. and about half of the polished diamonds.Forevermark Diamonds As a way of staving off the onslaught of secondary diamond markets. KPCS originated in May 2000 during a meeting of South African diamond producing states in Kimberley.com The word "Bourse" refers to a private stock. heavily guarded geographic area surrounded by three main streets. . Hong Kong. the European Union and the United Nations to rid the diamond Industry of conflict diamonds. Diamond Bourses are basically trading exchanges for loose. South Africa. Almost 85% of the world's rough diamonds. As of 2006. the WDC has observers from the governments of Belgium. The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates . and Rijfstraat. Hoveniersstraat. The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base. traders and manufacturer/producers..S. London. Israel and South Africa and works with 35 independent Governments. Schupstraat. and will com with a certificate of authenticity.500 diamond dealers (diamantbedrijven) are ensconced in small. and preventing the inherent product misidentification that will follow. The Council has approximately 70 members representing jewelers. China. and the city is the hub of the global diamond trading industry (diamanthandel). bond. The Kimberley Process The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme or KPCS is designed to prevent conflict diamonds (aka "blood diamonds") entering into the mainstream rough diamond market . Europe. Within Antwerp's diamond district. also known as the "World Diamond Center" or Diamantenzentrum. Moscow. 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. Belgium but there are also Diamond Bourses in Israel. De Beers is hoping that the combination of branding and security will increase consumer demand. In addition to its members. NY . the DTC has developed new inscription technologies to "invisibly" mark the table facet of polished diamonds with a "Forevermark" trademark. 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. This mark is only visible via a point-of-sale electronic viewer. The Council began in July 2000 after a joint meeting of the WFDB and its international headquarters are in New York City. Asia.
The Diamond High Council (HRD) . and disputes are handled by an internal arbitration process. there are around 4000 diamond-cutters (diamantaire) working in the several-square-block diamond district. the Antwerpsche Diamantkring was reopened. regulations.Photo: Wiki Public The first trading exchange to deal exclusively with rough. and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) was founded in 1947. Both bourse were founded by Hasidim diamantairs. These first trading exchanges mainly dealt with the wholesaling of cut stones. making it the largest diamond-trading center in the world . Control over the diamond trade is maintained through the WFDB's Constitution containing a series of rules. uncut diamonds was the Antwerpsche Diamantkring (Antwerp Diamond Ring) . bisected by Hoveniersstraat street. Most transactions conducted within the Bourses done with cash and a handshake.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. friendship and trust . Beurs voor Diamanthandel . In Antwerp's 'Diamond Center' (Diamantenzentrum) today. and both are still in operation today. ethics and morality. Around $16+ billion in polished diamonds pass through Antwerp's diamond bourses each year. an by-laws that govern business practices. After the liberation. 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. which was established in the same year that the 1930 World Expo was held in Antwerp. and repatriation of Antwerp following the end of WWII. founded in 1893—and the Beurs voor Diamanthande (at Pelikaanstraat 78) founded in 1904 .
The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base.' 'Gauteng.The HRD (Hoge Raad voor Diamant) Diamond High Council is a non-profit industry organization designed to promote and represent the Antwerp diamond trade. England seized the Cape of Good Hope from the Dutch East India Company in 1797. who were in search of the "quiet sweet life. most with Dutch Calvinist. The Voortrekkers had to contend with the native Zulu tribe over land they wished to settle on. which at the time was administered by the 'Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie' or 'Dutch East India Company.com Diamonds and the Afrikaners The Afrikaners & British Diamonds and the Jews The Hindustani Diamond Cutters The African Nationals The Americans Photos: Public Domain The Boers Historically. The Boers resisted British encroachments into their territory until the Second 'Anglo' Boer War (1899— 1902). 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 First Boer War (1880—1881) began with the Transvaal (Limpopo) Boers declaring independence from Great Britain. under the Treaty of Vereeniging. Afrikaners (aka Boers or farmers) were religious refugees from the Netherlands and other parts of northern Europe during the mid 1600s to late 1700s. Diamonds and the British The Second Wave of Europeans Needing a stopping-off point on the sea-route to Australia and India. and Limpopo (Venetia Diamond Mine). Gauteng (Premier Diamond Mine). 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 . or German Protestant backgrounds. This led to a new wave of emigrants and adventurer-seekers from England.' During the 1830s and 1840s. coming for . Flemish. ending with the inclusion of all Boer territories into British colonies. with 10. there was a mass exodus (the Great Trek) northward to 'Northern Cape.' and the 'Orange Free State' provinces to escape hostilities with the native 'Xhosa tribe' from which Nelson Mandela decended. The Diamond Trade: History & Culture of the Key Players Article Copyright © 2006 AllAboutGemstones. They settled in the 'Cape of Good Hope' on Africa's southern most tip.' After the devastating Zulu defeat. There was not a single Boer fatality.000 Zulu warriors attacking 470 Boer settlers. but 3000 Zulus were killed in what became known as the 'Battle of Blood River.' 'Limpopo. Afrikaners who participated in the migration northward became known as the 'Trekboer' or Voortrekkers." Three of South Africa's richest diamond mines are in Northern Cape (Kimberley Diamond Mine). and fully annexed the Cape Colony in 1806 .
Rhodes started out selling ice cream to the diamond-diggers and service workers. 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. Photo: Pub. Domain Cecil Rhodes Cecil Rhodes (1853—1902) is the undisputed father of the modern diamond industry. As a young lad from England. In exchange. in Northern Cape. Barnato was given appointed to 'life governor' and temporary controlling interest in De Beers . Photo: Pub. With the help of the Rothschild bank in London. Barnato died several years later. De Beer. De Beers and Kimberley Central were the two largest mining interests in South Africa at the time. As founder of De Beers. although Rhodes did not start out with an interest in diamonds. Cullinan . 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. D. and J. but was eventually successful in convincing Barnato to merge with De Beers. Cecil Rhodes' De Beers empire was started on a farm owned by two Boer settlers and brothers. Domain Thomas M..the "mineral revolution. self-government was restored. N. he was able to build a monopolistic empire through skill and cunning. Amid all of this turmoil and chaos.. Domain Barney Barnato During the same period that Cecil Rhodes was building De Beers Consolidated Mines. A. a curious discovery was being made along the banks of the Orange River. 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." In 1906. and later selling steam-powered water pumps to drain the open-pit mines of Kimberley. Photo: Pub. and in 1910 the 'Union of South Africa' was created. a prospector. Rhodes made several aborted attempt to gain control over Barnato's interest in Kimberley Central Mine. mysteriously falling overboard on a ship passage back to England. One of the richest men in the world.' Cecil Rhodes died a single man with no children and. The African nation of Rhodesia was named after him (now the Republic of Zimbabwe). no heirs to his empire.
Sir Thomas Major Cullinan (1860—1936) was the founder of one of Africa's richest diamond mines, the 'Premier Diamond Mine,' 30 kilometers east of Pretoria, in Gauteng province, South Africa. Although Cullinan was already a successful building contractor in Johannesburg, he was also an amateur geologist who had heard about alluvial diamonds being found along a stream near the old 'Cornelis Minnaar Farm' in upper Gauteng. Cullinan was interested in purchasing the farm, which had already changed hands several times, but the present owner, Willem Prinsloo (who had purchased the land for £570 in 1861) was not interested in selling. Shortly after the close Anglo Boer War (1898—1902), Willem Prinsloo's widow agreed to sell the land to Cullinan for £52,000, and the 'Transvaal Premier Diamond Mining Company LTD' was officially registered on the December 1, 1902 . On January 25th 1905, a 3,106 carat diamond was found at the mine, which remains the largest diamond ever found in the world. When news of Premier's success hit the board room of De Beers, several aborted attempts were made to purchase the mine, but Cullinan had no intention of selling . In 1914, WW1 broke out in Europe, and diamond prices began to spiral. Layoffs at the mine caused enough friction that by August, mining operations were suspended. The Premier Mine had resumed production by January 1916, but in need of cash, Cullinan sold a major stake in the mine to the Transvaal government. Frank Oats, who was now the chairman of De Beers, was able to convince the Transvaal government to sell its controlling interest in 1917, and De Beers once again enjoyed a monopoly on South African diamonds.
Diamonds and the Ashkenazi, Sephardi and Hasidic Jews
There is perhaps no other ethnic group that is so inextricably intertwined with the diamond trade, than the jews. In an odd twist of fate, it may be Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama's discovery of a searoute to India around Africa's Cape of Good Hope in 1488, that set the stage for the Jewish/diamond connection. Da Gama's discovery opened up a direct diamond-trading route from India's Malabar Coast and the island of Borneo, to Portugal and on the Netherlands. With Lisbon now at the forefront of the European diamond trade, many Portuguese Sephardi businessmen opened cutting houses, and quickly gained a dominant roll in the diamond-polishing industry. The Sephardi were Jews who originated from Spain and Portugal (the Iberian Peninsula), many practicing a secret adherence to Judaism known as "Crypto-Judaism," while professing other faiths. Jews who practiced their religion in the open were expelled from Spain and Portugal, when the Catholic Monarchs issued the "Alhambra Decree" in 1492 (1497 for Portugal), fleeing to Morocco, the Ottoman Empire, Antwerp and Amsterdam. When the first Jewish emigrants (Ashkenazi) came to Antwerp in the 1200s, they were welcomed, but when the Black Plague swept across Antwerp in the mid 1300s, the Jews were one of the scapegoats. Although Amsterdam's Dutch were relatively tolerant when it came to religious freedom, in 1585 Antwerp came under Spanish rule, and the Jews (this time Sephardic), were once again the focus of scrutiny. With the Spanish Inquisition in high gear, Jews were now persecuted for conducting trade with the Ottoman Empire, or for being 'pseudo-Christian.' In the 1600s, wealthy Jewish diamond-traders now living in the Netherlands, financed the 'Dutch East India Company' and its exploration of new trade routes to India, but the British were beginning to see opportunity in the diamond trade, creating new competition for the Jewish/Dutch. Prior to being granted 'civil equality' in 1796, Amsterdam's Jews were not allowed to join trade guilds, leaving the unregulated diamond industry as one of the only means of employment. By the late 18th century, many of Amsterdam's Jews were working in the diamond trade, and many of these 'Sephardi refugees' had maintained connections with Portuguese traders who now had a monopoly on the trade of raw diamonds from India. By the early 1700s, India's mines were nearing exhaustion, but a new discovery in Brazil helped to reinvigorate the diamond trade. By this time, British naval superiority proved to be a great advantage, and the 'British East India Company' was born. The European center for the diamond trade now began to move away from Amsterdam, as Jewish traders set up shop in London. The cut stones were sold to the nobility and royalty of Europe, using the Hofjude (Court Jews) as purchasing agents to select the stones from the London diamond merchants.
Photo: Pub. Domain
The Pshevorsk Hasidic Dynasty Hasidic Judaism was founded by Polish (now Ukrainian) Rabbi 'Ba'al Shem Tov', aka 'Israel ben Eliezer' (1698—1760) in a time when European Jews were facing increasing hostility and pressure from the "Cossacks' Uprising" in Ukraine. The Hasidic movement is a sub-group of the theologically conservative Haredi or Charedi Judaism, aka Ultra-Orthodox Judaism. The movement was seen as a way of turning inward towards a 'deeper spiritualism and mysticism.' Hasidism spread westward, making its way to western Europe in the 1800s. The Hasidic movement in Antwerp began with Rabbi Moshe of Pshevorsk, who authored 'Ohr Pnei Moshe' in 1805 . The Pshevorsk is a small sub-Hasidic movement based in Antwerp, Belgium, with their hub at the study hall (beth midrash), 'Beth Yitzchok' at Mercatorstraat 56. With the discovery of vast diamond reserves in South Africa during the late 1800s, concern over a glut in the diamond market spread throughout London's diamond merchants. A group of wealthy Jewish dealers pooled their resources to form "the syndicate," which was created to soak up all of the excess capacity being created by South Africa. Today, Antwerp and London's diamond trade is largely controlled by the Hasidic Jewish community, although Indian influence is on the rise in recent years. Many of these Hasidic entrepreneurs are nameless by choice, preferring to maintain their anonymity, but they have been the driving force behind the multi-billion dollar diamond industry for hundreds of years.
Photo: Pub. Domain
Alfred Beit Alfred Beit (1853—1906) was born into a prominent Jewish family in Hamburg, Germany. Beit worked for the diamond firm of Jules Porges and Co. in Amsterdam before emigrating to 'Cape Colony' in 1875 during the Kimberley diamond-rush . Beit was part of a group of financiers, including Cecil Rhodes, who gained control of the diamond-mining claims in the Central Mine, Dutoitspan Mine, and De Beers Mine, thereby 'consolodating' the South African mining industry. becoming a 'life-governor' of De Beers Consolidated Mines. He was also the director of the Beira Railway Company, British South Africa Company, Rand Mines, and the Rhodesia Railways. Beit, along with partner Cecil Rhodes, financed the 1895 'Jameson Raid' which was an attempt to trigger an unsuccessful coup in the South African Republic of Transvaal. The Royal School of Mines, at the Imperial College London has a large memorial to Beit, in recognition of the Beit trust's bequeathment to the university, and to educational institutions in Britain, Germany South Africa, and Zimbabwe (Rhodesia).
Photo: Pub. Domain
Sir Ernest Oppenheimer Ernest Oppenheimer (1880—1957) was born in Friedberg, Germany to a large Jewish family, and with several brothers working for "the syndicate," Ernest was well positioned for his future vocation. He began his career at age 17, working for the diamond brokerage firm, Dunkelsbuhler & Company in London. Oppenheimer created the concept of "single-channel marketing" over 100 years ago, by funneling the world's supply of diamonds through a single clearing house. Oppenheimer gained control of Namibia's diamond mines, forming the Anglo American mining conglomerate. This gave him the financing and power to gain the chairmanship of De Beers. Today, Oppenheimer's Anglo American operates a fleet of diamond recovery ships off the coast of Namibia and South Africa under the umbrella of De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited (DBCM), and Central Holdings Limited (CHL), an Oppenheimer family holding company, and in partnership with Namdeb.
Photo: Pub. Domain
Nicky Oppenheimer Ernest's grandson, Nicky Oppenheimer (born 1945) studied philosophy at Oxford as a young man, and is now the chairman of the De Beers Diamond Mining Company and its subsidiary Diamond Trading Company. The Oppenheimer family and Anglo American maintains a 45% stake in De Beers today. Africa's richest man, and #134 on the Forbes list of the world's richest people, Nicky Oppenheimer is worth an estimated $4.5 billion. Under new legislation, passed by the African National Congress, Nicky Oppenheimer was forced to sell a 26% share of De Beers to the South African 'Black Economic Empowerment' group (BEE). This was the first major ownership change for De Beers in over a century. Of the legislation Oppenheimer said: "De Beers is here to make a profit, but we must benefit the people and communities where we operate."
Photo: Pub. Domain
Lev Leviev The Lev Leviev Group, created by Israeli national, Lev Leviev (born 1956 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan) is the worlds largest cutter and polisher (diamantaire) of rough diamonds, with factories in Armenia, India, Israel, and the Ukraine. The Lev Leviev Group also owns mining interests in Namibia's offshore dredging operations. Through his personal relationship to Vladimir Putin and other Russian heads of
ALROSA produces 100% of Russia's rough diamond output and approximately 20% of the world's rough diamonds . Alrosa now sells direct to cutting factories throughout Russia. Dubai. Lev Leviev lives in B'nei Brak.5 billion dollars . 2006 at the Letseng diamond mine in the tiny Kingdom of Lesotho in the center of the Republic of South Africa. and on board the luxury residential ship The World ResidenSea. New York's Madison Avenue. which are now owned by Lev Leviev." the Leviev Group has found willing partners in several countries including Angola's ASCORP after De Beers' exit in 2001. Graff's strategy of "vertically integration" has been to control every angle of the diamond pipeline. a DeBeers sightholder in Johannesburg. formed by Decree 158C of the Russian Federation. Israel. House of Graff is also located on London's Sloane Street. now called ALROSA (Almazy-Rossii-Sakha) . Russia. One of his most notable acquisitions was the 603 carat "Lesotho Promise diamond. Graff's net worth is estimated at 2. Monte Carlo. All House of Graff stones have a laser-inscribed girdle with the 'Graff' logo and GIA number. to Larry Ellison. Graff has been dubbed the "king of diamonds. Graff has co-authored (with Vanessa von Zitzewitz) "The Most Fabulous Jewels in the World. The Hindustani Diamond Cutters Photo: dnavin. with his wife and their nine children. and has satellite locations in Wafi City.state.5 billion (#278 Forbes List). Domain Laurence Graff Laurence Graff (1938—) is a DeBeers sightholder." a compendium and history of his most famous jewels. Lesotho Promise is the 15th largest diamond ever found. Mr. to purchasing a 51% stake in Safdico (South African Diamond Corp. and the largest rough unearthed in this century. found on August 22. Tretiakovsky Proezd in Moscow." and the "king of bling" by Forbes magazine . Laurence Graff was born into a Jewish orthodox family in London's poorer 'East End' district. Hotel de Paris' salon privé in Paris. founder of the House of Graff in the heart of London's posh New Bond Street. Photo: Pub. It will ultimately be cut into an estimated 20 or so 'D-flawless' stones ranging from 75 carats to 1 carat in size. Leviev's net-worth is estimated at $2. Lev Leviev has formed a partnership with the ex Soviet state-owned diamond firm. in 1992. By circumventing the De Beers supply chain.com Gujarat's Indian Diamantaires . and one of the most successful diamond merchants in modern history. which gives him access to some of the finest uncut diamonds coming out of South Africa.). from wholesale and retail. selling to the rich and famous from Elizabeth Taylor and Donald Trump. Raised by his grandparents. Using this model of "local control.
based upon eternal. Venus Jewels. and exports several billion dollars worth of gems per year. Dilip Mehta of Mumbai. heighten awareness of ethical business practices. Harshad Mehta ("Diamond King of the world") is one of the founders of Rosy Blue. polishes. started out thirty years ago by purchasing cheaper stones that the Dutch Hasidim. The Indian communities' share has grown to around 60%. or "thunderbolt. Photo: Pub.above). Shree Ramkrishna Exports.com Dilip Mehta Indian diamantaire. Mehta. is the newest addition to India's arsenal of global marketing tools to promote exports. are headed and staffed by Mehta family members. Photo: rosyblue. to elevate quality standards. both college dropouts. The Indo Argyle Diamond Council (IADC) formed in 1994 as a consortium of Indian jewelry manufacturers and cutting houses. improve perceptions. and Shah. Gujarat.Diamonds made their first reluctant appearance in human history over 2400 years ago. Much of India's diamond trade is controlled by a handful of wealthy families in Gujarat. Sanghavi Exports. they were able to gain an increasingly larger share of the wholesale diamond trade. and although India's famous "Diamonds of Golconda" were mined-out hundreds of years ago. propelling their twin companies. the Hindustan Diamond Company Ltd. By slowly developing markets." The Indians would go on to enjoy a singular reign over the diamond-rich dominion—known as Hindustan—for another two thousand years. and Surat's 'Special Economic Zone' . and Israelis didn't want to work with . and to develop an "understanding of the world market. Mumbai. 320 BC) by Kautiliya. It is estimated that India cuts. Gitanjali Gems is one of the largest manufacturers of diamonds and diamond jewelry in India. Several other divisions of the Rosy Blue Group. Suresh & Co. from Hong Kong to Israel. . a minister to the Indian king. Companies like Bhavani Gems. Domain Bharat & Vijay Shah Bharat and Vijay Shah came from a family of jewelers going back three generations. D. and is currently a Senior Partner and head of the UAE division. and were written about in an ancient Sanskrit manuscript called the "The Lesson of Profit" Arthasastra (c. Navinchandra & Co (board of directors . The Sanskrit word for 'diamond' was vajra. and the DTC has demonstrated Gujarat's power in the diamond cutting/polishing arena by increasing India's take of its 125 sightholder contracts to nearly 50 in 2006." The Bharat Diamond Bourse in Mumbai. Gitanjali Gems. Jainism is an ancient Indian religious sect believing in the 'Jain' philosophy. and De Beers India. is the CEO of the 'Rosy Blue Group' which is currently one of the world's largest diamond companies. India (born 1949). with $1. displacing the Hasidim as the dominant force in the industry . M. This vast fortune is shared by some 300 to 500 Gujaratis families from Palanpur on the GujaratRajasthan border .7 billion in annual sales . universal truths. the Indians would not be giving up their rightful heritage as diamantaires. Of the $26 billion per year diamond revenues that flow through Antwerp. The brothers. (HDC). Chandragupta. and Vijaydimon are family owned operations run by Jains with the common surnames of Jhavari. with diamond cutting factories located in Borivali.
Kabila. At the age of 29. The company has cutting factories in Antwerp.W. who was a major general in the army. and the end to South African apartheid in 1994. Diamonds and the African Nationals Photos: Public Domain Kabila. UAE. Mandela. created a program for capacity-building of 'small and medium-sized enterprise' (SME) development. & Mogae Starting with Botswana's independence in 1966. Angola and from mining magnates. only hinting at their possibility in 2007 or 2008. China. many of the ex-colonial nations of Sub-Saharan Africa are starting to emerge as powerful and legitimate forces in the diamond industry. The president of Sierra Leone. president José Eduardo dos Santos is preventing democratic elections from taking place. Palanpur. Bombay. both domestically and internationally. Vijaydimon also purchases rough diamonds from Canada's Diavik Mine and Argyle (Rio Tinto) and Russia . Bangkok. and enjoys broad support. After winning a disicive re-election victory in 2006. working in cooperation with the government of Sierra Leone.Vijaydimon (Belgium) and B Vijaykumar (India) . and the United States. Vijaydimon is a DTC sightholder with offices in Belgium. Thailand. the 'United Nations Industrial Development Orginization' (UNIDO). President Festus Mogae was elected for a second term in 2004.000 workers. Botswana has held regular elections and has been one of the more stable governments in southern Africa. left). Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. In a post-conflict reconstruction effort. into a global position with nearly $1 Billion a year in sales. Botswana is a relatively wealthy African country. Ayer & Son . employing 22. Kabbah. with one of the fastest per-capita income growth rates in the world. After years of fighting between the PMLA and UNITA. India. all who have signed multi-million dollar trade deals. succeeded his father (Laurent-Désiré Kabila) as president the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC) after his assassination in January 2001. Domain N. and Tel Aviv. On a somewhat darker note. dos Santos. Singapore. Hong Kong. The last democratic election in Angola was in 1992. Surat. is making great strides in stabilizing the country after years of strife. the political situation in Angola has begun to normalize. Diamonds and the Americans Photo: Pub. is receiving broad support from the South Africa. Joseph Kabila (above.
' brand was catapulted into the stratosphere by the 1961 movie 'Breakfast at Tiffany's. gems and jewelry from the estates of the European aristocracy. The stone was cut in Paris. the public's tolerance towards nobility was at a low point. Styne moved to Hollywood where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn. Photo: Pub. and the subsequent overthrowing of King Louis-Philippe of France in 1848. Harry Frederick Oppenheimer enlisted the help of N. Domain Hollywood in 1949 Coming just on the heels of the immortal "a diamond is forever" campaign.72 carat cushion-cut diamond (one of the "Diamonds of Golconda") was mounted by Tiffany. Domain Charles Lewis Tiffany Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812—1902). The Great Depression had taken a heavy toll on luxury goods during the 1930s. who was known for his jewelry expertise. The 'Tiffany & Co. De Beers and the diamond industry got another shot in the arm.' staring Audrey Hepburn. the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine. N.' at the flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. located at 259 Broadway. and a series of diamond-related slogans were introduced into the American lexicon. De Beers president.' During the 1800s.42 carat rough flawless-yellow diamond from the 'Compagnie Français de Diamant du Cap' (Kimberley mine) in 1877. A 19. purchased diamonds. and featuring the memorable scene in which Holly gazes longingly into Tiffany's window display. With financial shockwaves caused by the French economy's collapse in 1847. Jule Styne (born Julius Kerwin Stein) was born in London. One of Tiffany's most notable diamond acquisitions was a 287. Ayer & Son. the values of ostentatious gems and jewelry dropped precipitously. Prince Esterhazy of Hungary. and from the Spanish Crown Jewels ." after here charecter.54 carat 'The Tiffany Diamond. Jule Styne. producing the 128. The movie version featured Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend. The Tiffany is still selling luxury jewelry in their trademarked 'Tiffany Blue Box."A diamond is forever" is the legendary saying that was created by America's first advertising agency.W. Tiffany & Young.W. In 1948 the famous "A diamond is forever" slogan was introduced. Lorelei receives a diamond tiara from her suitor. After attending Chicago Musical College." was the co-founder of Tiffany & Co. and sold to Nanaline Duke (now in the Doris Duke Collection).' The stone was set into a garish jewelry piece called "Bird on a Rock. aka "the King of Diamonds. which started out as 'Tiffany & Young' of New York City in 1837. was originally a 'fancy goods' emporium. After the French revolution in 1799. Photo: Pub. . this time from playwriter. Charles Tiffany. specializing in one-of-a-kind baubles for New York's newly-minted industrialists and 'robber-barons. for resale in America. and Tiffany seized on the opportunity. Styne wrote the score for the 1949 Broadway musical 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. and the diamond industry was particularly hard hit. Ayer in 1938. Tiffany was able to purchase significant gems from such renowned estates as: the 'jewel-mad' Duke of Brunswick.' which was adapted to film in 1953. Sir Francis "Piggy" Beekman." by Jean Schlumberger in the 1960s.
Photo: © Warner Bros. and their willingness to purchase the concept of "foreverness." and the terrible working conditions that these workers must endure. the unsung hero in the diamond trade. but not least. Were it not for intrepid consumers. certificate of authenticity." there would be no "diamond trade. Through interviews with human-rights organizations like Doctors Without Borders and Global Witness. 2006 Hollywood in 2006 Blood Diamond is the latest incarnation of Hollywood's fascination with diamond. the World Diamond Council placed ten full-page ads in newspapers around the county." Diamond Grading: Diamond Certificates (Certs) Gemological Laboratory Certification Why do you need a laboratory certification for your diamond? Although it may seem like a needless expense. appraisal report. In a preemptive strike against any negative publicity that the movie would generate. This time. Diamonds are tested for . as writer Charles Leavitt takes us through the dark underbelly of the diamond trade. 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. The Consumer Last. grading report. we have the faceless American consumer. the glamor is laid bare. a diamond certificates.
Shipley in 1931. shape and cut of a stone. Tokyo. IGI Certificate The International Gemological Institute (IGI) is the oldest institute of its kind in Antwerp. and wether they are synthetic. The GIA was founded by Robert M. but for insurance appraisal as well. there is very little (visible) difference between a FL stone and a IF or VVS-1 stone . . founded in 1975. poorly cut SI-3 grade stone.the basics (cut dimensions and proportions. The IGI offers Identification Reports. which can be substantially different. GIA reports also cover any treatments or enhancements that have been done. Mumbai. with operations in New York City.' GIA's world headquarters are located in Carlsbad. clarity. with offices around the globe. and is the largest independent gem certification and appraisal institute in the United States. and saturation of a colored stone. tone.other than the price. 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. and carat weight) and they are also tested for traces of gem enhancement. Los Angeles.not only for resale. Appraisal Reports. Bangkok. the same year that Shipley published his groundbreaking book titled 'Gemology. Certificates of Authenticity. wether the stone is natural or synthetic. and of corse. color. California. Toronto. and Attestations of Origin. Antwerp. GIA Certificate A GIA (Gemological Institute of America) report provides detailed information about the dimensions. 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. Although even a lay-person may be able to tell the difference between a triple-zero diamond and a cheap. Dubai and Hong Kong.
Carat Weight. HRD uses the "Hearts and Arrows" measuring system which was developed by HRD Antwerp scientists. origin (colored gems). Belgium issues quality reports for loose (unmounted) polished diamonds according to ISO 17025 international standards for gemelogical testing laboratories. the sorting of rough diamonds. jewellery design and gemology. Color.The IGI lab grades diamonds as well as colored gemstones along several basic criteria which include: shape and cut. HRD also offers gemelogical training and continuing education courses in diamond grading. All diamonds are examined anonymously. polish and symmetry) using a scale ranging from Excellent to Fair. and finish. HRD Antwerp Diamond Certificate The certificates department of HRD Antwerp in Antwerpen. HRD's refined Cut Grading system measures each of the three parameters (proportions. Cut. color. with "Triple Excellent" being the highest overall designation. and Fluorescence. Shape. . as well as quantifying the standard parameters of Clarity. clarity. weight. and the graders can not know the identity of the owner. mesurments.
and gives you the option of having your diamond returned in a tamper-proof sealed container to insure that a given certificate and the accompanying diamond belong together. 'Polish' and 'Symmetry' were merged into one category called "Finish. mathematicians. AGS is considered the premier diamond-grading laboratory. vs." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors. HRD uses complex watermarking to prevent copying or falsifying their reports. Today.As well as testing for synthetic diamonds. and to set a higher standard of business ethics and professional practices in the jewelry industry. certificates issued after January 1. Shipley. Diamond Grading AGS Diamond Quality Report (DQD) AGS Gemological Laboratory Background Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). Aditionally." The AGS Cut Grading system was developed through of years of research by gemologists. along with a consortium of independent jewelers. as well as the most comprehensive system for grading the all-important 'cut' parameters. and s ratings. and Proportions.com The American Gem Society was founded in 1934 by Robert M. The AGS specializes in diamond testing and evaluation. The mission of the AGS is to increase consumer awareness. 2005 can be viewed online. Symmetry. A diamond's clarity is also graded on a simple numeric scale from 0 to 10. An AGS report. and does not evaluate other types of colored gemstones. the HRD lab also uses state-of-the-art technology to test for subtle and hard to recognize enhancements such as HPHT. In 2004 AGS added a new category referred to as "Light Performance" but to retained the "Triple Zero" monicker for diamonds with a perfect score. as opposed to GIA's vvs. AGS grades diamond color on a numeric sliding scale that is similar to GIA's alphabetical scale. having the most rigid grading standards. The AGS Gemological Laboratories was established in 1996 to provide state-of-the-art diamond grading and appraisal services to the jewelry industry. . The AGS Diamond Quality Document uses a unique and proprietary 0 to 10 grading system that is simpler for the consumer to understand than the GIA's grading nomenclature. creator of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). AGSL Certificate The AGSL was the first gem lab to grade a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish." is not an appraisal of monetary value. but rather a comprehensive quality evaluation. To insure the security of their documents. referred to as a "Diamond Quality Document" or "DQD. and optical physicists.
The ray-tracing program measures the quantity of the light being returned to the viewer by quantifying brightness." but to retained the "Triple Zero" monicker for diamonds with a perfect score. dispersion. Symmetry." The AGS Cut grading system was developed through years of research by gemologists. and Proportions." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors. Each parameter is given a numeric grade from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor).Cut Grade: Finish. 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. contrast. Proportions & Light Performance The AGSL was the first gem lab to grade a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. mathematicians. leakage and light spread. 'Polish' and 'Symmetry' were merged into one category called "Finish. . 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. and individual facet ratios. .0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint .3. in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above). The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles.0 to 7.5 to 3. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless . 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.1. all measured in three spacial dimensions. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram.0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless .AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero.7. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading." or "ideal" rating.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light . the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible.5 to 4.0 to 1. relative facet angles.0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light . where facets intersect with each-other.5.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering. AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond. AGS Diamond Grading System On the inside fold of an AGS Diamond Quality grading report there is a legend explaining the unique AGS nomenclature with comparisons to GIA's grading system." Document Security Each AGS grading document is marked with a hologram (dark circle at lower right of report) and watermarking or embossing to prevent fraudulent duplication.
As of 2005. and ore bodies that are in situ. 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. Obtaining an AGS Report AGS is a 'trade-industry' testing laboratory that will only evaluate diamonds sent from jewelers or manufacturers. princess. OctoNus Software. so that the cutter can improve the light performance of their cut stones. 4. The principle methods of diamond extraction are: 1.Triple-0 Round Brilliant Setting 'American Star Diamond' 13. through AGS offices in Antwerp. 5. which are used by non-contact measuring-device manufacturers such as Sarin Technologies. The AGS supplies 'facet arrangement' templates corresponding to their cutgrading system. unmounted diamonds. and will soon be offering cut evaluations for other fancy shapes." A decline is a spiral (corkscrew) tunnel which circles the ore deposit. 2. AGS offers laser inscription services as well." or a by a vertical "shaft. Diamonds: Gem & Diamond Mining Technology Photos: Public Domain Diamond & Gem Mining . the stability of the material that surrounds that desired gem or mineral. the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA). Accessing the underground ore is achieved via a horizontal passageway called a "decline. Pricing for a diamond grading report is based on carat weight.42 Carat D. AGS will only evaluate loose.com Diamonds and other precious and semi-precious gemstones are extracted from the earth using five basic mining techniques. Artisanal Mining Hard Rock Mining Marine Mining Open Pit Mining Placer Mining Hard-Rock Diamond Mining The term "hard-rock mining" (top of page. AGS will also provide analysis of a manufacturers 'cut performance' by analyzing a sample stone's Sarin file. These diamond extraction methods vary depending on how the minerals are deposited within the earth. 3. India and Israel. while a shaft is . and OGI Systems. minerals.Extraction Methods Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. left) refers to various techniques used to extract gems. and octagon step-cut diamonds. AGSL reports will also grade cut quality for emerald. Additionally. and the peripheral damage that will be done to the surrounding environment. Dubai. and can only be accessed by tunneling underground and creating underground "rooms" or "stopes" that are supported by timber pillars or standing rock.
or sand) that is unsuitable for tunneling. or hand digging (artisanal mining). 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. Open Pit Mining Open-pit diamond mining. 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. and access to the ore. or sort material according to size. running adjacent to the ore. CAT-tracked underwater mining vehicles) move across the sea floor pumping gravel up to an offshore vessel. Gems are separated from waste material using various sifting and sorting techniques such as cone screens. machinery. they tend to concentrate in alluvial deposits in the same way that gold placers develop. Excavation is accomplished using water pressure (hydraulic mining). at a maximum depth of 500 feet. highly resistant to weathering.vertical tunnel used for ore haulage. eluvial. Horizontal mining employs the use of Seabed Crawlers (remotely controlled. also known as "sand-bank mining" (top of page. Marine diamond mining employs both "vertical" and "horizontal" techniques to extract diamonds from offshore placer deposits. right) with bare hands. shovels. Artisanal diamond mining is a form of "subsistence based" non-mechanized mining that is used in poorer countries throughout the world. Marine Mining Marine mining technology only became commercially viable in the early 1990s. or large conical sieves. and have a specific gravity that is higher than that of common minerals. which concentrate the heavier gems at the bottom. gravel. rock or sedimentary soil. Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . Laborers who work in artisanal diamond mining are called "diamond diggers" (below left). Small "pit lakes" tend to form at the bottom of open-pit mines as a result of groundwater intrusion. or pans. A decline is typically used for mining personnel. therefore. the gravels are separated and sorted into three sizes. also known as "open-cast mining" (top of page. Diamonds and most gemstones are hard. Placer Mining Placer diamond mining.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. center) is a method of extracting rock and minerals from the earth by removal from a machine-dug open pit or burrow. While on board. . with the middle size being a candidate for final sorting. Open pit mines are typically used when mineral deposits are found close to the surface or along defined kimberlite pipes.Photo: USGS Alluvial Diamond . right) is used for extracting diamonds and minerals from alluvial. box screens. and is a derivative form of open-cast mining used to extract minerals from the surface of the earth without the use of tunneling. mechanized surface excavating equipment. and or colluvial secondary deposits.
phlogopite. Kimberlites are found as "dikes" and "volcanic pipes" which underlie and are the source for rare and relatively small volcanoes or "maars" (above. Kimberlite occurs in the zone of the Earth's crust in vertical structures known as kimberlite pipes (above. the Congo (DROC). and diamonds approaches the earth's surface it begins to form an underground structure (pipe) that is shaped like a champagne-flute. 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 . .Artisanal diamond mining is used throughout west Africa. Diamonds: Diamond Geology Diamond Geology & Kimberlites Kimberlite Pipes Diamonds form at a depth greater than 93 miles (150 kilometers) beneath the earth's surface. rock fragments. pyroxene. Kimberlite pipes are the most significant source of diamonds. These pipes are called "kimberlites" or "kimberlite pipes" (see diagram below). olivine. yet only about 1 in every 200 kimberlite pipes contain gem-quality diamonds. serpentine. and upper mantle rock.North Cape" below). Kimberlite pipes can lie directly underneath shallow lakes formed in the inactive volcanic calderas or craters. As this molten mixture of magma (molten rock). Diamond bearing kimberlite in some parts of South Africa is black in color (above. left). right). right). left) or "yellow-ground" kimberlite and can be found worldwide. It is also used extensivly in Angola. Kimberlite is a diamondiferous igneous-rock matrix composed of carbonate. in conflict zones where mechanized mining is impractical and unsafe. diamonds are carried to the surface of the earth by volcanic activity. minerals. Many kimberlite pipes also produce alluvial diamond placer deposits. After their formation. Artisanal diamond mining accounts for 90% of Sierra Leone's diamond exports and is the country's second largest employer after subsistence farming. with a variety of trace minerals. Most kimberlite is called "blue-ground" kimberlite (above. and Liberia. garnet.
Photo: NASA The alluvial terrace gravels (below. or different in composition to the fragments themselves.Photo: Public Domain Lamproite Pipes Lamproite pipes produce diamonds to a lesser extent than kimberlite pipes. resulting in a broader cone of eviscerated rock at the surface." that may be similar. Lamproite pipes are created in a similar manner to kimberlite pipes. 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." and along the Orange River near Alexander Bay. Diamondiferous material tends to concentrate in and around 'oxbow lakes. sedimentary breccia. known as the Sperrgebiet or "forbidden territory. Alluvial (Placer) Diamond Deposits The location of alluvial (secondary or placer) diamond deposits is controlled by the surrounding topography. except that boiling water and volatile compounds contained in the magma act corrosively on the overlying rock. This results in a martini-glass shaped diamondiferous deposit as opposed to kimberlite's champagne flute shape. including: hydrothermal breccia. Alluvial diamond deposits are usually located within river terrace gravels that have been transported from their location of origin. and tectonic breccia.' which are created by abandoned river meanders. Breccia is a rock composed of angular fragments of several minerals or rocks in a matrix. impact breccia. . or "cementing material. These dried 'lakes' receive river water during seasonal flooding which transports large amounts of sediment held in suspension. There are several types of breccia which are categorized based on their geological origin. Alluvial Diamonds from Africa . The Argyle pipe is a diatreme.Open Pit Mine . left) and marine gravels of the south-western coastline of Africa represent the some of the world's largest placer diamond deposits. 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. The world's largest known gem quality alluvial diamond deposits are located along the Namib Desert coastline of southwestern Africa. igneous breccia.Photo: Public Domain Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . usually from kimberlite deposits.
including Angola's two largest diamonds at 105.8k.Photo: Wiki Diamond-Bearing 'Diamondiferous' Gravel Many of these alluvial diamond deposits occur in Pleistocene and Holocene successions (1.com . channels or other trapsites for diamondiferous deposits. Alluvial Terrace Gravels . potholes. Westward draining river systems transported these diamonds to Africa's continental coastline for final deposition within on-shore marine terrace gravels. made their way to the sea bed just offshore. to a lesser extent.000 years ago). but were not deposited on land.Namibia's placer diamond deposits are between 40 and 80 million years old. Some of the largest and highest gemquality diamonds produced from alluvial placer diamond mining have come from this region. The diamonds within these deposits were transported from deeply-eroded diamondiferous kimberlites or. Diamond Mines of the World: Active Diamond Mines List of Active Diamond Mines All Contents Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. in central South Africa and Botswana. Diamonds in marine areas are typically trapped in bedrock depressions such as gullies.9k and 101.8 million to 10. depressions. Diamonds that were transported downstream. carried from their primary origination point on the Kaapvaal Craton. 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. from olivine lamproites formed during the Cretaceous or Permo-Triassic period.
map Jwaneng Diamond Mine: (place of small stones) richest mine in world. These lists also contains new project explorations. map Koidu Open Pit Mines: Kimberlite open-pit mines just south of Koidu. 1. map Letlhakane Diamond Mine: ("little reeds") second oldest of four . South Kalimantan 1. Luarica Diamond Mine: Owned by Endiama (38%) & Trans Hex (32%). Israel. and a host of other counties with operational and/or historic alluvial. 2. 1. links to satellite images of the mines (where available). map Borneo Cempaka/Riam Kanan. map Botswana Congo (DROC or RDC) Lesotho Namibia Sierra Leone South Africa Tanzania Zimbabwe Australia East Kimberley 1. 4. map Kimberley Diamond Mine: Started in 1871. 1. Open-pit mine De Beers operated. and hard rock diamond mines. map Finsch Diamond Mine: Finsch is an open-pit mine near Lime Acres. map Canada North West Territories (NWT) 1. in Kasaï . Kimberlite pipe. Active Mines | Inactive Mines | Future Exploration | Mining Companies Africa Angola 1. 75% De Beers ownership. map Orange River (Daberas) Mines: Orange River alluvium. map Venetia Diamond Mine: Limpopo. There are also several African nations with ongoing off-shore dredging/vacuming operations. 2. 75% De Beers ownership map Murowa Diamond Mine: Open Pit & Underground mine. 3. De Beers/Botswana. map Forminière Diamond Mine: Alluvial mine located on the River Tshikapa. 1. Namdeb Namib Gov. map Koffiefontein Diamond Mine: The Koffiefontein mine opened in 1870. map Koidu-Sefadu Mines: Subsistence digging in alluvium pits west of Koidu. 2. 2. De Beers operated. Rio Tinto. south of Lüderitz. 7. 6. 1. map Letseng Diamond Mine: Open-cast mine in Maluti Mountains 70 km from Mokhotlong. 2. 3. 1. map The Oaks Diamond Mine: In Limpopo province. map Fucauma Diamond Mine: Newly constructed. produces over 40% of world's gem-quality diamonds. 3. De Beers / Botswana. map . 2. mining industry inside news. map Baken Diamond Mine: Located along Orange River in North Cape.De Beers / Botswana. Namdeb. So Africa. map Ekati Diamond Mine: Canada's first diamond mining operation. 3. Argyle Diamond Mine: Largest producer in world. Odebrecht (50%). map Orapa Diamond Mine: (resting place for lions) Largest/oldest of four . open pit. Catoca Diamond Mine: Fourth largest diamond mine in world. map River Ranch Diamond Mine: Open Pit & Underground mine. 1. and any relevant geographic data. 4. Diavik Diamond Mine: The Diavik diamond mine is located in the NWT. 2. map Marine Mining: Namco Mining operates a dredging fleet off the west coast of Namibia. located in NWT. map Magna Egoli Mine: Largest mechanized mine in Sierra Leone. map Damtshaa Diamond Mine: (water for a tortoise) New open pit mine. 2. map Bakwanga Mine: (aka Bushimaïe. MIBA. mining operator info. 3. Lubilash) Alluvial river mines in Kasaï. 1. 4. map Elizabeth Bay Mine: Open-cast mine in Namib desert. 75% De Beers ownership. 5. mostly industrial grade. the Kimberley Open Pits closed in 2005.DeBeers/Botswana. Closed in 2006.Currently there are eleven major 'diamond producing' nations. Cempaka Diamond Mines: Alluvials mined by indigenous artisanal Kalimantan miners.closed. Luzamba Diamond Mine: Angola's largest alluvial mine. map Williamson Diamond Mine: (aka Mwadui mine) Open Pit mine. Owned by Endiama (40%) & Trans Hex (35%). Waldman Resources. Endiama (50%). map Cullinan Diamond Mine: Open Pit/Hard Rock diamond mine owned by De Beers. Trans Hex.
Panna Diamond Mine: Alluvial mine in state of Madhya Pradesh.India Madhya Pradesh 1. Aikhal GOK Mine: Three open-pit kimberlite pipe mines: Aikhal. map Russia Siberia 1. map Udachnaya (Udachny) Pipe Mine: One of the deepest diamond mines in the world. and Sytykan. map . Jubilee. map Anabar GOK Mine: The norther most location of Russia's diomond mines. map Jubilee (Yubileinaya) Mine: Newer open-pit kimberlite mine near Udachny. Mirna Mine: Largest diamond deposit in Russia and one of the largest in the world. 5. 4. Alrosa. 2. 3.
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