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

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

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

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

carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line. It is for this reason that an even 1. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat.5 carats must have an actual weight of between .0 carat 1.204 carat.800 6. clarity and weight. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of . Price Per Carat (2005) . 40º pavilion. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above.Grade: F Colorless . many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place. it must be accurate to the second decimal place. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing. See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight.500 15. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York. girdle and pavilion. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained.5 carat 1. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a . This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions.600 6.495 carats and . The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity .600 12. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone.10 carat diamond for its better cut.195 and .504 carats.5º crown.99 carat diamond for its better price.0 carat 3. Occasionally. or "seed of the carob". a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration.750 30. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place.5 carat 2.VS1 Carat Size</ 0. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1. a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between . FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry. or to buy a 1.600 8." If the carat weight is shown as ". In ancient times.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities.000 to $500. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat. Intense. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits.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 color change effect is temporary. .000 in 1987. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color. pure green hues.95carats. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa. and the De Young Red weighing 5.03 carats. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds.000 per carat. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil. or a combination of the two. and weighed a modest The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. Green diamonds can range from $35. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness [9]. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. greyish-green. Warren Hancock.' discovered during the 18th century. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant. On thing is certain. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds.90 carats. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply.

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

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

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

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

. 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.

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



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

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



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

Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .

Growth Tubes Imperfection formed during crystal growth. Growth Tube Inclusion Photos Internal Growth Tubes Inclusion Photography Internal Growth Tube inclusions are natural Imperfections that are created during diamond formation. . when a tube 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 .

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

Garnet Inclusions within Diamond .





Garnet fragment on Diamond Girdle .

Grossularite Garnet Inclusions in Diamond .

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

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


Internal Graining with Cloud Inclusion .

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


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

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

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


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

Natural Comet Inclusion .

Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud .

Tabular Reflection in Diamond .

Included Garnet Twins within Diamond .

Included Dalmatian Garnet .

Cloud Inclusion .

Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers .

Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light .

Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion .

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




. 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. and were not fully removed during the stone's cutting or polishing process.





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


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

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

or feathers along the outer edge of girdle. creating a whitish fuzzy edge as opposed to a sharp edge. 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. chips. . Bruising (Br) A percussion mark or hole caused by impact and surrounded by tiny feathers.

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



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

. and inscriptions. or inscribing the external surface of a cut diamond. 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. marking.




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

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

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

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

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

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

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. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below). the greater dispersive power. . candle.800 . Zirconium oxide powder is heated. 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. CZ vs Diamond . You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR).41 (RI).In 1973.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator. Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond. and CZs can be made in any "color grade. but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce. Natural diamonds attract grease.170. For instance. 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. 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. Unlike most natural diamonds. Once the mixture has cooled. The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond . The 1. Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored.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. Diamond's RI is 2.80 to 2. 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. Due to their low cost and consistency. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left). or colorless (white) versions. a CZ is optically flawless.) in a totally dark room.2. or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond.

Moissanite. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. Henri Moissan (above. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ. 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. Moissanite has an RI of 2. etc. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion.25 on the Mohs scale. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused.417. .670. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI.A small. Arizona. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent. 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.) in a dark room. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond.104 as compared to CZ at 0. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. when examining the gem through the kite facets. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. candle. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. while diamond has a hardness of 10. Moissanite has a hardness of 9. found only in iron-nickel meteorites. is classified as an element rather than a compound. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2.69. center) near Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material.65 to 2. and diamond at 0. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index.

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

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

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

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

6% and overall height of 57. The "Scan D. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. and crown/pavilion angles. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope. more brilliance and fire. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57. very small to small In the 1970s.N.7%. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design.N. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. facet ratios. and overall height of 57.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35.7%.' 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.5%. invented in 1929.5% to 43. etc. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant".4%. crown height of 14. H&A Viewer. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer.. crown height of 14." (Scandinavian standard. A perfect blending of facet symmetry. Since then.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios. As with all human endeavors. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. Eppler & Scan D. To quantify a diamond's cut quality. and Proportions. Ideal Scope. Symmetry. . Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. Tolkowsky.

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

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

marquise. The Leo diamond cut has a total of 66 facets. The Gabrielle Diamond The Gabrielle® Cut is a modified brilliant cut (triple brilliant cut) that was created by DeBeers desinger/consultant Gabriel Tolkowsky in 2000. Marigold. The Fire-Rose is a hexagonal shape designed to produce higher yields. heart.nationaldiamond. The cut is distributed by the National Diamond Syndicate (NDS) of Chicago. 48 of which are clustered around the culet to increase fire. Sunflower and Zinnia cut. and the cut was named after the Flanders region of Belgium (Antwerp) where the cut was first preformed in 1987. is a patented symmetrical round cut created by Leo Schachter Diamonds. The Flanders Fire-Brilliant was developed by Flanders Cut International of Antwerp in 1983.gabriellediamonds. adding greater brilliance and fire than standard brilliant Leo Cut The Leo® Diamond. the Gabrielle Cut is available in carre. The Dahlia is a 12 sided oval shape with 63 facets. emerald. which is 47 more than a traditional 'Tolkowsky' round brilliant cut. off-color stones. the Gabrielle has a total of 105 facets. Other than the traditional round brilliant shape. oval. www. The Marigold is an octagon shape with 73 facets. (aka Leo Schachter Diamond).flanders-cuts. . designed to maximize the brilliance and color of diamonds while increasing their yield. www. angular shapes. 8 more facets than the Round Brilliant cut's 58. The Zinnia is a round fancy shape with 73 facets. maximizing the amount of light returned back as scintillation. Fire-Rose. The Flower Cuts were never patented or trademarked by De Beers in order to increase their popularity and use. The Flower Cut is actually a series of five fancy cut shapes: the Flower Cut The 'Flower Cut' series was created by Gabi Tolkowsky in 1986. who was commissioned by De Beers to create new cuts as a way of marketing unusual. Unveiled at the Las Vegas Gem Show in 2001. that is suited to a relatively flat rough. and pear shapes.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. LLC. The Flower Cuts employ unconventional cutting angles and dimensions. The Flanders Brilliant has 33 crown facets and 28 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets. The Sunflower has 43 facets in unusual.

Prior to the Quadrillion. and a total of has 50 The Lucida diamond cut is marketed as a wedding cut. square shaped diamonds were stepcut limiting their brilliance. www. www. eternity bands. the Radiant Cut became a fully accepted diamond shape in the jewelry business. There are a total of 49 facets.radiantcut. 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." The Leo Diamond is marketed through the Kay Jeweler chain. and the table is a bowed out rectangle. The Lucida is sold exclusively through Tiffany's retail chain.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. RCDC launched the 'Original Radiant Cut' diamond brand In 2002.The Leo diamond cut is the first to be certified for fire and brilliance as measured by a 'BrillianceScope. Upon the expiration of the Starburst Cut . patented and trademarked by Henry Grossbard of the Radiant Cut Diamond Company (RCDC) in 1977. and three-stone rings. The Lucida diamond cut is a modified square or rectangular (Marquise) cut with truncated corners. www.' and each diamond comes with a "Return of Light Certificate. small table. sold in solitaire engagement/wedding bands. There are 25 crown facets and 36 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets (not including 8 girdle facets). and was patented and trademarked by Bez Ambar Jewelers of Los Angeles in 1980. a highstep crown (similar to the Asscher Cut). brilliant-style faceted pavilion (similar to a Cushion Cut).com Lucida Cut The Lucida (TM) Cut is a patented diamond cut that was created by Tiffany & Company in Quadrillion Cut The Quadrillion® Cut (aka Squarillion Cut) is a modified square princess cut that was developed by Israel Itzkowitz and Betzalel Ambar in the late 1970s. It was the first emerald shaped diamond cut to have brilliance and fire similar to that of a round brilliant diamond.diamondaires. and all Original Radiant Cut diamonds weigh at least 0.

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

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

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

A "Swiss cut" is a compromise between an eight cut and a brilliant cut. which combines ("aggregating") supplies of rough diamonds from multiple sources into one wholesale market (#2)." The DTC is part of the DeBeers Group supply-chain known as the Central Selling Organization (CSO). there is usually a substantial mark-up in the retail sale price of diamonds. The rough stones are separated into 16.000 categories based on size. . Both the eight cut Swiss cut are still used today for small very diamonds and gems (smaller than 2mm carat weight) as would be used in pavé settings. for sorting and resale. color and quality. Unlike precious metals such as gold. Rio Tinto. then divided by human or automated sorters into individual lots called "boxes. 16 isosceles triangle facets on the crown and 16 facets on the pavilion. 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). with a total of 33 facets (34 if a culet is used). or secondary mining producers in Canada and Russia to De Beers' Diamond Trading Company (DTC) in London. silver or platinum. thereby controlling and stabilizing The trade in gem-grade rough diamonds is primarily controlled by the De Beers. Kimberley and Windhoek. Trans Hex." The 'Diamond Pipeline' Rough diamonds are sent directly from De Beers mining operations in Africa (#1). The Diamond Trade: The 'Diamond Pipeline' Rough Diamond Producers Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Gaborone. There is a limited market for the resale of diamonds that are less than "investment grade.

or to jewelry manufacturers (#5) around the world. India cuts the vast majority of small stones (. The diamonds are then re-sold from the cutting and polishing (manufacturing) centers to wholesalers (Diamond Bourses).000. where De Beers sells the "boxes" to its select group ("supplier of choice") of 125 "sightholders" (#3) or diamond manufacturers.De Beers Sightholders The DTC holds a sale called a "site" or "sight" ten times per year in London and website). reclaiming their "A Diamond Is Forever" moniker. and independent diamond producers in Canada. Tel Aviv. and New York. Once the diamonds are set into jewelry. As a reaction to their decrease in market share. through their Diamond Promotion Service (DPS) and Diamond Information Centres (DIC) marketing divisions. and Thailand. De Beers (DTC) sets the price of each box in advance. Many Sightholders are also cutters. to take advantage of market fluctuations. Additionally. and the breakaway from CSO's cartel by the Argyle Diamond Mine in Australia.000 USD. diamonds have underperformed since 1987 when compared to the "luxury goods" market or global GDP. has launched an aggressive branding and marketing campaign. De Beers is also facing increasing pressure from the manufactures of synthetic diamonds. cutters. while large stones are primarily cut in Antwerp.000 to $2.20 carats or less) in Mumbai (Bombay) and Surat. Both traders and manufacturers may sell diamonds "upstream" and "downstream" through the diamond pipeline [8]. Ramat Gan. Rough diamonds are cut in various geographic regions according to tradition and the skill-sets of the labor force. De Beers and the Future De Beers' (CSO's) control over the wholesale diamond market has diminished due to increased market penetration. . and retailers [5]. determining the quantity and quality that each site-holder will receive. they are sold to retailers or direct to the customer. A 'sight' can have a value of between $500. which are increasing in popularity and consumer acceptance. De Beers. Russia and elswhere. The sightholder then transports the box of rough diamonds back to diamantaire firms (cutting and polishing factories) located around the world (#4). (see DeBeers' Adiamondisforever. China. Other major cutting centers are located in Johannesburg.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and enjoys broad support. On a somewhat darker note. and the United States. all who have signed multi-million dollar trade deals. Thailand. At the age of 29. succeeded his father (Laurent-Désiré Kabila) as president the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC) after his assassination in January 2001. who was a major general in the army. Ayer & Son . Domain N. created a program for capacity-building of 'small and medium-sized enterprise' (SME) development. Hong Kong. Kabila. many of the ex-colonial nations of Sub-Saharan Africa are starting to emerge as powerful and legitimate forces in the diamond industry. Bangkok. president José Eduardo dos Santos is preventing democratic elections from taking place. Diamonds and the African Nationals Photos: Public Domain Kabila. Botswana has held regular elections and has been one of the more stable governments in southern Africa. The company has cutting factories in Antwerp. with one of the fastest per-capita income growth rates in the world. After winning a disicive re-election victory in 2006. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. only hinting at their possibility in 2007 or 2008.000 workers. and Tel Aviv. Vijaydimon also purchases rough diamonds from Canada's Diavik Mine and Argyle (Rio Tinto) and Russia [21]. the 'United Nations Industrial Development Orginization' (UNIDO). Singapore.W. The president of Sierra Leone. and the end to South African apartheid in 1994. Kabbah. China. working in cooperation with the government of Sierra Leone. Angola and from mining magnates. The last democratic election in Angola was in 1992. Palanpur. Botswana is a relatively wealthy African country. UAE. is receiving broad support from the South Africa. into a global position with nearly $1 Billion a year in sales. both domestically and internationally. is making great strides in stabilizing the country after years of strife. Vijaydimon is a DTC sightholder with offices in Belgium. left). Bombay. Diamonds and the Americans Photo: Pub. President Festus Mogae was elected for a second term in 2004. & Mogae Starting with Botswana's independence in 1966. Surat. After years of fighting between the PMLA and UNITA. employing 22. the political situation in Angola has begun to normalize. In a post-conflict reconstruction effort. Joseph Kabila (above. India. dos Santos.Vijaydimon (Belgium) and B Vijaykumar (India) . Mandela.

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

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

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

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

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

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

AGS Diamond Grading System On the inside fold of an AGS Diamond Quality grading report there is a legend explaining the unique AGS nomenclature with comparisons to GIA's grading system.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero.0 to 1. relative facet angles.3. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram. the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible." or "ideal" rating.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light .5 to 4. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless .0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint . and individual facet ratios. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.5. 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. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles. AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond.7. all measured in three spacial dimensions.0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light .0 to 7.1.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003. where facets intersect with each-other. in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above).5 to 3." 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 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless . .

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

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

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

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

Diamonds in marine areas are typically trapped in bedrock depressions such as gullies. Diamond Mines of the World: Active Diamond Mines List of Active Diamond Mines All Contents Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. depressions.8 million to 10. potholes.Namibia's placer diamond deposits are between 40 and 80 million years old. from olivine lamproites formed during the Cretaceous or Permo-Triassic period. in central South Africa and Botswana. but were not deposited on . carried from their primary origination point on the Kaapvaal Craton. channels or other trapsites for diamondiferous deposits.000 years ago). made their way to the sea bed just offshore.8k. Diamonds that were transported downstream.Photo: Wiki Diamond-Bearing 'Diamondiferous' Gravel Many of these alluvial diamond deposits occur in Pleistocene and Holocene successions (1. Alluvial Terrace Gravels . Some of the largest and highest gemquality diamonds produced from alluvial placer diamond mining have come from this region. Alluvial diamond mining in Angola takes place along a meandering stretch of the Cuango River floodplain which is also along the south-western coastline of Africa. to a lesser extent. The diamonds within these deposits were transported from deeply-eroded diamondiferous kimberlites or. Westward draining river systems transported these diamonds to Africa's continental coastline for final deposition within on-shore marine terrace gravels. including Angola's two largest diamonds at 105.9k and 101.

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

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

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