All About Gemstones: Diamonds

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

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

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

The 4 Cs of Diamonds: Cut

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

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

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

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

e. and the pavillion will have 25 facets. 64. 3 . when one incorrect facet angle can throw off the symmetry of the entire stone.Good Cut Fair Cut Poor Cut Cut Proportions In the past. The chart below shows several common problems to look for. This can also result in the undesirable creation of extra facets beyond the required 58. Other variations of the "Modern Round Brilliant" include the "Ideal Brilliant" which was invented by Johnson and Roesch in 1929. or 96 facets which are not counted in the total number of facets (58). 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. Common cutting problems can occur during the faceting process. Poor Diamond Faceting and Symmetry Due to the mathmatics involved in light refraction. Only a trained eye could see the quality of a good cut. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. the "Cut" quality of the "4 Cs" was the most difficult part for a consumer to understand when selecting a good diamond because a GIA or AGS certificate did not show the important measurements influencing cut (i. 2 The proportion and symmetry of the cuts as well as the quality of the polish are factors in determining the overall quality of the cut. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. 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. The crown will have 33 facets. Fig. a Round Brilliant cut that does not have the proper proportions and symmetry (off-make) will have noticeably less brilliance. pavilion and crown angle) and did not provide a subjective ranking of how good the cut was. Fig. 80. All of that has changed with the AGS Cut Grading system and GIA's new "Cut Grading System".

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

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

Occasionally. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown.0 carat 3.495 carats and . It is for this reason that an even 1.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration.Grade: F Colorless .500 15. a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight. girdle and pavilion. or to buy a 1.10 carat diamond for its better cut.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a . as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity . A diamond that has a specified carat weight of . 40º pavilion.600 6.800 6.5 carat 1.5º crown. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry.99 carat diamond for its better price.5 carat 2. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above.0 carat 1. Price Per Carat (2005) .000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained. See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only.VS1 Carat Size</ 0.600 8. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut.204 carat. or "seed of the carob". "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat.195 and . A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between .750 30. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor. it must be accurate to the second decimal place. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York.5 carats must have an actual weight of between .600 12.504 carats. In ancient times. clarity and weight. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place." If the carat weight is shown as ". a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions.

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

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

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

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

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

in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" [2]. with the principle allotrope being graphite. Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth. Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures. olivine." "untamable." referring to its incredible hardness." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms." and "unconquerable." which is also known as "adamant." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes. ultramafic. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe. Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness. A diamond is a transparent." is derived from the Greek adamas. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical. At these depths. with a variety of trace minerals. a refractive index of 2. which resemble a champagne flute. The name "diamond. igneous rock composed of garnet. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km). Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon.52. .200 degrees Celsius). Therefore. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2. or "invincible. Deep within the earth's crust there are regions that have a high enough temperature (900¼C to 1400¼C) and pressure (5 to 6 GPa) that it is thermodynamically possible for liquified carbon to form into diamonds. and a specific gravity of 3. phlogopite.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1. diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0.Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time. and differentiates it from simple graphite. Under the continental crust.42. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits. and pyroxene.044.

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

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

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

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

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

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

as in the one-of-a-kind 5. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems. and will totally reverse itself when conditions The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. Warren Hancock.000 to $500. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities. Intense. On thing is certain. . and weighed a modest 0. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness [9].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). the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities.90 carats.' discovered during the 18th century. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat. Green diamonds can range from $35. pure green hues. or a combination of the two. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green. greyish-green. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red.000 in 1987. The color change effect is temporary.95carats. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner.000 per carat. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. and the De Young Red weighing 5. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa.

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

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

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

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

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




Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.

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



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

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



and haze within a cut diamond. . waviness.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.

Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .

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



Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .

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

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. . With internal laser-drilling inclusions.Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) Internal pathway caused by laser-drilling to remove large 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. .

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

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


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

Natural Comet Inclusion .

Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud .

Tabular Reflection in Diamond .

Included Garnet Twins within Diamond .

Included Dalmatian Garnet .

Cloud Inclusion .

Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers .

Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light .

Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion .

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




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





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. made up of a bumpy or wavy pattern on the polished surface of a diamond. .


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

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

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

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



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. 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.Extra Facet (EF) An asymmetrical and irregularly placed facet that is not part of the original faceting scheme. . and remove cloudiness.

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




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

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

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

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

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

25 carats to 1 carat. each Gemesis cut stone over . Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is the most familiar type of diamond simulant on the market. www.500 to $9. and each stone is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. www.Apollo 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.). Apollo Diamonds are cut and polished in sizes ranging from . princess. and CZ has a hardness of only 8. Florida.500 per carat (2004 est.gemesis. Massachusetts grows colorless (D to M) Tairus Created Gems Tairus Created Gems is a Russian company that grows fancy-colored diamonds in their proprietary "Split Sphere" system. The Split Sphere system crystalizes the carbon seed in an alkaline. emerald. Tairus Created Gems are sold exclusively through Tairus Thailand Co.. Gemesis only grows fancy-colored diamonds. Cubic Zirconia (Zirconium Oxide ZrO2) has a completely different chemical structure. To the average consumer. While a synthetic diamond is a man-made recreation of an actual carbon-based diamond. The toughness of Cubic Zirconia is rated as good. Apollo Diamond's cut stones are available in round brilliant. and stones are cut to Gemesis Cultured Diamonds Gemesis is located in Sarasota. using a proprietary variation of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) technique. inc. . with clarity grades from IF to SI. and some fancy colored diamonds.apollodiamond.30 carats to 3 carats. www. and rose cuts. of Bangkok Thailand. Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite Cubic Zirconia Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Tairus produces rough sizes from . To insure easy identification as a man-made product.25 carats is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. carbonate fluid solution that is similar to diamond-bearing metamorphic rock. while diamond has a hardness of 10. and each cut stone is laser inscribed with the Apollo company logo and serial number. and like Chatham. which they claim is the closest thing to mother nature. Chatham's pricing ranges from $6.3 on the Mohs scale.chatham. in Boston.

The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below). or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond. Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond. a CZ is optically flawless. For instance. Zirconium oxide powder is heated. The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit. Due to their low cost and consistency. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight.170. 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. CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting.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. etc. 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.2. Once the mixture has cooled. 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 greater dispersive power. CZ vs Diamond . The 1. Natural diamonds attract grease. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing. and CZs can be made in any "color grade.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator. or colorless (white) versions. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. 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. CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1.17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2.800 . but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond .In 1973. Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored.) in a totally dark room." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR). Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left).41 (RI). Diamond's RI is 2. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease. Unlike most natural diamonds. candle.80 to 2.

when examining the gem through the kite facets. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. center) near Winslow.670. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. . found only in iron-nickel meteorites. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. Moissanite has an RI of 2. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight.104 as compared to CZ at 0.65 to 2. candle. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. Henri Moissan (above. etc.) in a dark room. Moissanite has a hardness of 9. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ. Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). Moissanite. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 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. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. 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.060.69. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr.417. and diamond at 0. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI.044. is classified as an element rather than a compound. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0. while diamond has a hardness of 10. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused.A small.25 on the Mohs scale.

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

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

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

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

but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios.' and there has been numerous attempts to improve on this tried-and-true formula with the introduction of new signature diamond cuts that claim to have a higher light return. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace. A perfect blending of facet symmetry. crown height of 14. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut.N. and Proportions.5%. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design. facet ratios. invented in 1929. Eppler & Scan D. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%. As with all human endeavors. The "Scan D. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer.6% and overall height of 57. Since then.7%. Symmetry. very small to small In the 1970s. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. .Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972.4%. etc. Tolkowsky. and crown/pavilion angles.7%. more brilliance and fire. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). To quantify a diamond's cut quality. H&A Viewer. Ideal Scope. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant".5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42.N. and overall height of 57." (Scandinavian standard. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect. crown height of 14. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.5% to 43.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed..

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

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

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

small table. There are a total of 49 facets. It was the first emerald shaped diamond cut to have brilliance and fire similar to that of a round brilliant diamond.' and each diamond comes with a "Return of Light Certificate. The Lucida is sold exclusively through Tiffany's retail chain. Prior to the 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 Starburst Cut . square shaped diamonds were stepcut limiting their brilliance. a highstep crown (similar to the Asscher Cut). eternity and a total of has 50 facets. and the table is a bowed out rectangle. The Lucida diamond cut is marketed as a wedding Lucida Cut The Lucida (TM) Cut is a patented diamond cut that was created by Tiffany & Company in 1999. brilliant-style faceted pavilion (similar to a Cushion Cut). RCDC launched the 'Original Radiant Cut' diamond brand In 2002. and three-stone rings.diamondaires. and all Original Radiant Cut diamonds weigh at least 0. the Radiant Cut became a fully accepted diamond shape in the jewelry business. www.70 carats and come with a GIA Certificate and an "Original Radiant Cut Diamond Certificate" guarantying that the stone meets the ideal proportions as designed by Henry Grossbard. and was patented and trademarked by Bez Ambar Jewelers of Los Angeles in 1980. Upon the expiration of the patent. www. There are 25 crown facets and 36 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets (not including 8 girdle facets). The Quadrillion was the result of three years of optical research to create a square diamond cut that can claim a similar brilliance to a round diamond. The pavilion is similar to a Barion cut. Bez Ambar Radiant Cut The Radiant Cut is a modified emerald cut shape that was developed. patented and trademarked by Henry Grossbard of the Radiant Cut Diamond Company (RCDC) in 1977.radiantcut." The Leo Diamond is marketed through the Kay Jeweler chain. sold in solitaire engagement/wedding bands. The Lucida diamond cut is a modified square or rectangular (Marquise) cut with truncated corners. www.The Leo diamond cut is the first to be certified for fire and brilliance as measured by a 'BrillianceScope.

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

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

Like the modern round brilliant. . and an octagon-shaped table for a total of 17 facets (18 if a culet is used). The Modern Round Brilliant Cut . eight facets at the pavilion. a heavy crown. Eight Cut & Swiss Cut The "eight cut" is primarily used for small stones when a brilliant cut would be impractical.1900s The "modern round brilliant cut" (below) was developed by Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919.1800s The "Old European" cut was the forerunner of the modern round brilliant cut. As with its predecessor the "point cut" over 600 years earlier. as two stones can be cut from one crystal with a minimum amount of waste. the old European diamond has a circular girdle. The Old European diamond cut has a very small table. the cutting and polishing of a diamonds resulted in a loss of as much as 50% of the stone's total weight. The eight cut is similar to the "single cut" in that there are eight four-sided trapezoidal facets at the crown. and very tall overall depth. This cut is also known as the "Tolkowsky Cut" and "Tolkowsky brilliant. the Modern Round Brilliant cut is beneficial when the crystal is an octahedron (diagram above)." Even with modern techniques. The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem.Old European Cut .

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

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

Diamond Industry Trade Organizations World Diamond Council The World Diamond Council (aka: International Diamond Council) was established by the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) to find ways to reduce the number of conflict diamonds entering the diamond market. Hoveniersstraat. NY [4]. Belgium but there are also Diamond Bourses in Israel. Europe. bond. The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates [9]. . China. traders and manufacturer/producers. and India (2007). The largest diamond trading center in the world is located in Antwerp. heavily guarded geographic area surrounded by three main streets. are sold in Antwerp every year. Schupstraat.S.500 diamond dealers (diamantbedrijven) are ensconced in small. KPCS originated in May 2000 during a meeting of South African diamond producing states in Kimberley. and Rijfstraat. also known as the "World Diamond Center" or Diamantenzentrum. London. The Diamond Trade: Diamond Bourses of Antwerp Diamond Bourses Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. and preventing the inherent product misidentification that will follow. Hong Kong.Forevermark Diamonds As a way of staving off the onslaught of secondary diamond markets. Asia. some 1. The Diamond High Council (HRD) The HRD (Hoge Raad voor Diamant) Diamond High Council is a non-profit industry organization designed to promote and represent the Antwerp diamond trade. In addition to its members. or commodities exchange similar to the NYSE. the WDC has observers from the governments of Belgium. and will com with a certificate of authenticity. the DTC has developed new inscription technologies to "invisibly" mark the table facet of polished diamonds with a "Forevermark" trademark. The Kimberley Process The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme or KPCS is designed to prevent conflict diamonds (aka "blood diamonds") entering into the mainstream rough diamond market [5]. Diamond Bourses are basically trading exchanges for loose. and about half of the polished diamonds. the European Union and the United Nations to rid the diamond Industry of conflict diamonds.. Israel and South Africa and works with 35 independent Governments. The Council has approximately 70 members representing jewelers. Moscow. De Beers is hoping that the combination of branding and security will increase consumer demand. Almost 85% of the world's rough The word "Bourse" refers to a private stock. South Africa. Forevermark diamonds will be available through sightholder/retailers in the U. This mark is only visible via a point-of-sale electronic viewer. and Shanghai. Within Antwerp's diamond district. and the city is the hub of the global diamond trading industry (diamanthandel). The Council began in July 2000 after a joint meeting of the WFDB and its international headquarters are in New York City. As of 2006. cut and uncut diamonds. The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base.

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

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

are headed and staffed by Mehta family members. Mumbai. Domain Bharat & Vijay Shah Bharat and Vijay Shah came from a family of jewelers going back three generations. based upon eternal. Chandragupta.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. Jainism is an ancient Indian religious sect believing in the 'Jain' philosophy. Gitanjali Gems is one of the largest manufacturers of diamonds and diamond jewelry in India." The Bharat Diamond Bourse in Mumbai. Suresh & Co. the Indians would not be giving up their rightful heritage as diamantaires. India (born 1949). Dilip Mehta of Mumbai. started out thirty years ago by purchasing cheaper stones that the Dutch Hasidim. improve perceptions. and Surat's 'Special Economic Zone' [12]. Photo: rosyblue. Gitanjali Gems. the Hindustan Diamond Company Ltd. Photo: Pub. displacing the Hasidim as the dominant force in the industry [14].above). and Israelis didn't want to work with [19]. polishes. D. and is currently a Senior Partner and head of the UAE division. and Vijaydimon are family owned operations run by Jains with the common surnames of Jhavari. Harshad Mehta ("Diamond King of the world") is one of the founders of Rosy Blue. The Indian communities' share has grown to around 60%. The Sanskrit word for 'diamond' was vajra. heighten awareness of ethical business practices. Gujarat. universal truths. Sanghavi Exports.7 billion in annual sales [17]. (HDC). and exports several billion dollars worth of gems per year. and Shah." The Indians would go on to enjoy a singular reign over the diamond-rich dominion—known as Hindustan—for another two thousand years. and to develop an "understanding of the world market. is the newest addition to India's arsenal of global marketing tools to promote exports. Mehta. propelling their twin companies. is the CEO of the 'Rosy Blue Group' which is currently one of the world's largest diamond companies. and although India's famous "Diamonds of Golconda" were mined-out hundreds of years ago. Of the $26 billion per year diamond revenues that flow through Antwerp. a minister to the Indian king. . or "thunderbolt. they were able to gain an increasingly larger share of the wholesale diamond trade. This vast fortune is shared by some 300 to 500 Gujaratis families from Palanpur on the GujaratRajasthan border [15]. and De Beers India. and the DTC has demonstrated Gujarat's power in the diamond cutting/polishing arena by increasing India's take of its 125 sightholder contracts to nearly 50 in 2006. Companies like Bhavani Gems. from Hong Kong to Israel. Navinchandra & Co (board of directors . The brothers. By slowly developing markets. Several other divisions of the Rosy Blue Group. The Indo Argyle Diamond Council (IADC) formed in 1994 as a consortium of Indian jewelry manufacturers and cutting houses. It is estimated that India cuts. and were written about in an ancient Sanskrit manuscript called the "The Lesson of Profit" Arthasastra (c. Shree Ramkrishna Exports. with diamond cutting factories located in Borivali. both college dropouts. with $1. to elevate quality Dilip Mehta Indian diamantaire. Venus Jewels. M. 320 BC) by Kautiliya.

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

the public's tolerance towards nobility was at a low point. N. and a series of diamond-related slogans were introduced into the American lexicon. Tiffany was able to purchase significant gems from such renowned estates as: the 'jewel-mad' Duke of Brunswick. Lorelei receives a diamond tiara from her suitor. Photo: Pub. Photo: Pub. Tiffany & Young. the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine. producing the 128. Harry Frederick Oppenheimer enlisted the help of N. After attending Chicago Musical College. The Tiffany is still selling luxury jewelry in their trademarked 'Tiffany Blue Box.' brand was catapulted into the stratosphere by the 1961 movie 'Breakfast at Tiffany's. Jule Styne.' which was adapted to film in 1953. which started out as 'Tiffany & Young' of New York City in 1837.W. and the subsequent overthrowing of King Louis-Philippe of France in 1848.42 carat rough flawless-yellow diamond from the 'Compagnie Français de Diamant du Cap' (Kimberley mine) in 1877. In 1948 the famous "A diamond is forever" slogan was introduced.' During the 1800s. the values of ostentatious gems and jewelry dropped precipitously. Domain Hollywood in 1949 Coming just on the heels of the immortal "a diamond is forever" campaign. . Jule Styne (born Julius Kerwin Stein) was born in London.' The stone was set into a garish jewelry piece called "Bird on a Rock." by Jean Schlumberger in the 1960s. for resale in America. Domain Charles Lewis Tiffany Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812—1902). and the diamond industry was particularly hard hit.' at the flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. One of Tiffany's most notable diamond acquisitions was a 287.54 carat 'The Tiffany Diamond. Styne wrote the score for the 1949 Broadway musical 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. and featuring the memorable scene in which Holly gazes longingly into Tiffany's window display. Prince Esterhazy of Hungary."A diamond is forever" is the legendary saying that was created by America's first advertising agency. Sir Francis "Piggy" Beekman. was originally a 'fancy goods' emporium. The Great Depression had taken a heavy toll on luxury goods during the 1930s. this time from playwriter. Ayer & Son." after here charecter. purchased diamonds. specializing in one-of-a-kind baubles for New York's newly-minted industrialists and 'robber-barons. and sold to Nanaline Duke (now in the Doris Duke Collection). After the French revolution in 1799. who was known for his jewelry expertise. and Tiffany seized on the opportunity. located at 259 Broadway. The movie version featured Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend. De Beers president.W. Charles Tiffany. Styne moved to Hollywood where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn. De Beers and the diamond industry got another shot in the arm. and from the Spanish Crown Jewels [27]. The 'Tiffany & Co. Ayer in 1938. The stone was cut in Paris. A 19." was the co-founder of Tiffany & Co. With financial shockwaves caused by the French economy's collapse in 1847.' staring Audrey Hepburn. gems and jewelry from the estates of the European aristocracy.72 carat cushion-cut diamond (one of the "Diamonds of Golconda") was mounted by Tiffany. aka "the King of Diamonds.

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

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

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

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

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

0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint . the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless .3.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless . AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond. 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. and individual facet ratios.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero.0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light .0 to 7.5.5 to 3. relative facet angles. . 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.0 to 1." or "ideal" rating.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003.7. where facets intersect with each-other.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light .5 to 4. all measured in three spacial dimensions.1. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles. in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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