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

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

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

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

VS1 Carat Size</ 0. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained.600 6. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a . carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales. 40º pavilion.5º crown. See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown. it must be accurate to the second decimal place. clarity and weight.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of . a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight. or "seed of the carob".20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between . It is for this reason that an even 1." If the carat weight is shown as ". or to buy a 1. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity . In ancient times.195 and . 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 carat 1. Occasionally.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration. girdle and pavilion.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line.Grade: F Colorless . If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place.10 carat diamond for its better cut.600 12.495 carats and . that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York.204 carat.500 15. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above. Price Per Carat (2005) .0 carat 1.5 carat 2.800 6.600 8.99 carat diamond for its better price.5 carats must have an actual weight of between . "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat. 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. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight.504 carats. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor.750 30.0 carat 3. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut.

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

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

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

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

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

or "invincible. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale. and pyroxene.42. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes." is derived from the Greek adamas." referring to its incredible hardness. 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. A diamond is a transparent." and "unconquerable. At these depths." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km). The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms. Therefore. igneous rock composed of garnet. Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0." "untamable. The name "diamond.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1.Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time. Under the continental crust. Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth.52.044. with a variety of trace minerals. and a specific gravity of 3. which resemble a champagne flute. a refractive index of 2. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical. phlogopite.200 degrees Celsius). olivine. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits. ." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic. ultramafic. Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" [2]." which is also known as "adamant. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2. with the principle allotrope being graphite. diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation. and differentiates it from simple graphite.

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

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

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

show no fluorescence. Some Type IIa diamonds can be found with pink. Type II Diamond Formation Certain diamonds were formed under extremely high pressure for longer time periods. while Type II diamonds that lack boron impurities are classified as Type IIa.© AGS Labs Type I UV Fluorescence . or "fire. All Type 1 diamonds have nitrogen atoms as their main impurity. 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 are classified as Type 1-B. Type II diamonds do not contain any detectable nitrogen. red. and some of the finest historical gemstones such as the Cullinan and Koh-i-Noor are both Type IIa diamonds. Man-made synthetic diamonds containing nitrogen are classified as Type 1-B. thereby allowing the passage of short-wave ultra-violet (SWUV) light through the stone. which replace some carbon atoms within the crystal lattice structure.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. they can give the stone a yellow tint. Diamond can exhibit pseudochromatic coloration giving the appearance of "color" without having any actual color in the mineral itself. classifying them as Type IIb diamonds. and contain nitrogen atoms as an impurity." with a refractive index of 2.417. greenish or yellow fluorescence when exposed to the X-ray wavelength. Cloud Inclusion Under UV . Diamond Refraction & Coloration Diamonds are "singly refractive. . These rare diamonds have a lower nitrogen content. Typically. If the nitrogen atoms are dispersed evenly throughout the crystal. and thereby making the diamond appear yellow." and refraction. absorbing some of the blue spectrum. due primarily to certain structural anomalies arising from "plastic deformation" which occurred during their formation. particularly Canadian diamonds. Type I & Type II Diamonds As many as 99% of all natural diamonds are classified as Type I. or brown coloration. and they are classified as Type 1-A. Natural blue Type II diamonds containing scattered boron impurities within their crystal matrix are good conductors of electricity. These Nitrogen impurities found in Type I diamonds are evenly dispersed throughout the gemstone. with very high thermal conductivity. and appear dark when exposed to ultra-violet light or X-rays. permitting the passage and reflectance of blue light. If the nitrogen atoms are grouped in clusters they do not necessarily affect the diamond's overall color. These Type IIa diamonds have a near-perfect crystal structure making them highly transparent and colorless. and give off a bluish-white. making them appear 'colorless' (D). a natural diamond may contains both Type 1-A and Type 1-B material. This illusion of color is caused by the varying optics effects created by spectral dispersion. Some diamond varieties.© AGS Labs Type IIa diamonds are very rare.

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

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

The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red.000 to $500. Green diamonds can range from $35. Warren Hancock. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness [9]. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green. and the De Young Red weighing 5. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926.' discovered during the 18th century. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13. pure green Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation. and weighed a modest 0. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities.95carats.000 per carat.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant.90 carats. The color change effect is temporary. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. On thing is certain. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner. Intense. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities.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). greyish-green. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil.000 in 1987. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. or a combination of the The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. . the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste.03 carats.

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

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

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

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

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




Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.

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



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

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



Grain Center (GrCnt) A concentrated area of crystal growth that can appear light or dark. and haze within a cut diamond. 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. waviness. .

Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .

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



Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .

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

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 .

With internal laser-drilling inclusions.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. and where pathway does 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.


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.

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

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


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

Natural Comet Inclusion .

Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud .

Tabular Reflection in Diamond .

Included Garnet Twins within Diamond .

Included Dalmatian Garnet .

Cloud Inclusion .

Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers .

Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light .

Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion .

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




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





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


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

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. .

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

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



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

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




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

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

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

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

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

each Gemesis cut stone over .30 carats to 3 carats.500 per carat (2004 est.. which they claim is the closest thing to mother nature. and stones are cut to order.gemesis. www. Gemesis only grows fancy-colored diamonds. Massachusetts grows colorless (D to M) diamonds. Ltd. To the average consumer. While a synthetic diamond is a man-made recreation of an actual carbon-based diamond. www. Gemesis Cultured Diamonds Gemesis is located in Sarasota.). Tairus Created Gems Tairus Created Gems is a Russian company that grows fancy-colored diamonds in their proprietary "Split Sphere" system. while diamond has a hardness of 10. carbonate fluid solution that is similar to diamond-bearing metamorphic rock. Apollo Diamonds are cut and polished in sizes ranging from . Tairus Created Gems are sold exclusively through Tairus Thailand Co. The Split Sphere system crystalizes the carbon seed in an alkaline.25 carats is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. Tairus produces rough sizes from . and rose cuts.500 to $9. and CZ has a hardness of only 8. Cubic Zirconia (Zirconium Oxide ZrO2) has a completely different chemical structure. Apollo Diamond's cut stones are available in round brilliant.Apollo Diamond. of Bangkok Thailand.chatham. Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite Cubic Zirconia Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. using a proprietary variation of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) 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. in Boston. Florida. princess. . and each stone is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. with clarity grades from IF to SI. To insure easy identification as a man-made product. and some fancy colored diamonds. and like Chatham. and each cut stone is laser inscribed with the Apollo company logo and serial number. Chatham's pricing ranges from $6.25 carats to 1 carat. Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is the most familiar type of diamond simulant on the market. The toughness of Cubic Zirconia is rated as good.apollodiamond.3 on the Mohs scale.

the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. Diamond's RI is 2. candle. etc. .) in a totally dark room. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting. The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit. Unlike most natural diamonds. CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below). Natural diamonds attract grease.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.2.800 . a CZ is optically flawless. Using Visual Optics To Detect CZ The Hodgkinson "Visual Optics" technique was developed in the mid-1970s by Alan Hodgkinson as a method of detecting natural diamonds and diamond simulants. For instance. Zirconium oxide powder is heated. and CZs can be made in any "color grade. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing.170.80 to 2.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. the greater dispersive power. Due to their low cost and consistency.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR). 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. Once the mixture has cooled. 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. or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond. CZ vs Diamond . but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight. or colorless (white) versions. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left). while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease. Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond.41 (RI). The 1. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce. 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.In 1973. Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond .

By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. etc. 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. candle.104 as compared to CZ at 0. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent. Moissanite has a hardness of 9.060. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite.69. Moissanite has an RI of 2. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. left) who won the Nobel Prize in 1906 for his discovery of a new mineral (moissanite6H) found within meteorite fragments of the ancient Barringer meteor crater (above. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. found only in iron-nickel meteorites. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion.A small.670. and diamond at 0.044. Henri Moissan (above. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight.65 to 2.25 on the Mohs scale. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0. when examining the gem through the kite facets. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. center) near Winslow.) in a dark Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum).417. while diamond has a hardness of 10. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. . Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond. Arizona. Moissanite. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. is classified as an element rather than a compound. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible.

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

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

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

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

Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace. very small to small In the 1970s. and Proportions.. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios.4%. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor).5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. Ideal Scope. Eppler & Scan D. crown height of 14." (Scandinavian standard. The "Scan D. more brilliance and fire. and crown/pavilion angles. facet ratios. To quantify a diamond's cut quality.N. As with all human endeavors. etc. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant". the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951.N.7%. Since then. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect. invented in 1929. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35.' 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. and overall height of 57. Symmetry.5% to 43.6% and overall height of 57. Tolkowsky. .7%. H&A Viewer. crown height of 14.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42. A perfect blending of facet symmetry. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972.5%.

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

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

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

and a total of has 50 facets.' and each diamond comes with a "Return of Light Certificate. a highstep crown (similar to the Asscher Cut). Bez Ambar Radiant Cut The Radiant Cut is a modified emerald cut shape that was developed. The pavilion is similar to a Barion cut." The Leo Diamond is marketed through the Kay Jeweler Lucida Cut The Lucida (TM) Cut is a patented diamond cut that was created by Tiffany & Company in 1999. and the table is a bowed out rectangle. It was the first emerald shaped diamond cut to have brilliance and fire similar to that of a round brilliant diamond.radiantcut. square shaped diamonds were stepcut limiting their brilliance. and was patented and trademarked by Bez Ambar Jewelers of Los Angeles in 1980. sold in solitaire engagement/wedding bands.diamondaires. 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. www. The Lucida diamond cut is a modified square or rectangular (Marquise) cut with truncated corners. and three-stone rings. patented and trademarked by Henry Grossbard of the Radiant Cut Diamond Company (RCDC) in 1977. eternity bands.The Leo diamond cut is the first to be certified for fire and brilliance as measured by a 'BrillianceScope. Upon the expiration of the patent.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. www. Prior to the Starburst Cut . and all Original Radiant Cut diamonds weigh at least 0. The Lucida diamond cut is marketed as a wedding cut. the Radiant Cut became a fully accepted diamond shape in the jewelry business. There are 25 crown facets and 36 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets (not including 8 girdle facets). www. There are a total of 49 facets. brilliant-style faceted pavilion (similar to a Cushion Cut).com Quadrillion Cut The Quadrillion® Cut (aka Squarillion Cut) is a modified square princess cut that was developed by Israel Itzkowitz and Betzalel Ambar in the late 1970s. RCDC launched the 'Original Radiant Cut' diamond brand In 2002. The Lucida is sold exclusively through Tiffany's retail chain. small table.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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).

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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

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

" The Bharat Diamond Bourse in Mumbai. Mumbai. or "thunderbolt. Gujarat. D. Domain Bharat & Vijay Shah Bharat and Vijay Shah came from a family of jewelers going back three generations. Photo: Pub. It is estimated that India cuts. Suresh & Co. propelling their twin companies. Jainism is an ancient Indian religious sect believing in the 'Jain' philosophy. is the CEO of the 'Rosy Blue Group' which is currently one of the world's largest diamond companies. Sanghavi Exports. By slowly developing markets.7 billion in annual sales [17].Diamonds made their first reluctant appearance in human history over 2400 years ago. The brothers. and is currently a Senior Partner and head of the UAE division. Several other divisions of the Rosy Blue Group. and the DTC has demonstrated Gujarat's power in the diamond cutting/polishing arena by increasing India's take of its 125 sightholder contracts to nearly 50 in 2006." The Indians would go on to enjoy a singular reign over the diamond-rich dominion—known as Hindustan—for another two thousand years. and Israelis didn't want to work with [19]. the Indians would not be giving up their rightful heritage as diamantaires. This vast fortune is shared by some 300 to 500 Gujaratis families from Palanpur on the GujaratRajasthan border [15]. The Sanskrit word for 'diamond' was vajra. 320 BC) by Kautiliya. Mehta. and Surat's 'Special Economic Zone' [12]. heighten awareness of ethical business practices. Gitanjali Gems. M. Shree Ramkrishna Exports. a minister to the Indian king. polishes. Photo: rosyblue. improve perceptions. and exports several billion dollars worth of gems per year. . Venus Dilip Mehta Indian diamantaire. Navinchandra & Co (board of directors . with diamond cutting factories located in Borivali. and Vijaydimon are family owned operations run by Jains with the common surnames of Jhavari. to elevate quality standards. and Shah. and were written about in an ancient Sanskrit manuscript called the "The Lesson of Profit" Arthasastra (c. The Indo Argyle Diamond Council (IADC) formed in 1994 as a consortium of Indian jewelry manufacturers and cutting houses. Chandragupta. from Hong Kong to Israel. both college dropouts. and De Beers India.above). Harshad Mehta ("Diamond King of the world") is one of the founders of Rosy Blue. are headed and staffed by Mehta family members. Companies like Bhavani Gems. Of the $26 billion per year diamond revenues that flow through Antwerp. universal truths. started out thirty years ago by purchasing cheaper stones that the Dutch Hasidim. and although India's famous "Diamonds of Golconda" were mined-out hundreds of years ago. India (born 1949). based upon eternal. the Hindustan Diamond Company Ltd. Much of India's diamond trade is controlled by a handful of wealthy families in Gujarat. Dilip Mehta of Mumbai. is the newest addition to India's arsenal of global marketing tools to promote exports. (HDC). and to develop an "understanding of the world market. The Indian communities' share has grown to around 60%. displacing the Hasidim as the dominant force in the industry [14]. Gitanjali Gems is one of the largest manufacturers of diamonds and diamond jewelry in India. with $1. they were able to gain an increasingly larger share of the wholesale diamond trade.

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

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

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

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

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

certificates issued after January 1. In 2004 AGS added a new category referred to as "Light Performance" but to retained the "Triple Zero" monicker for diamonds with a perfect score. and gives you the option of having your diamond returned in a tamper-proof sealed container to insure that a given certificate and the accompanying diamond belong together. but rather a comprehensive quality evaluation. and s ratings. AGS grades diamond color on a numeric sliding scale that is similar to GIA's alphabetical scale. creator of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA)." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors. AGSL Certificate The AGSL was the first gem lab to grade a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. as well as the most comprehensive system for grading the all-important 'cut' The American Gem Society was founded in 1934 by Robert M. and does not evaluate other types of colored gemstones. vs. and optical physicists. as opposed to GIA's vvs. Shipley. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). Diamond Grading AGS Diamond Quality Report (DQD) AGS Gemological Laboratory Background Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. The AGS specializes in diamond testing and evaluation. Today. A diamond's clarity is also graded on a simple numeric scale from 0 to 10. having the most rigid grading standards. The AGS Gemological Laboratories was established in 1996 to provide state-of-the-art diamond grading and appraisal services to the jewelry industry. An AGS report. mathematicians. .As well as testing for synthetic diamonds." The AGS Cut Grading system was developed through of years of research by gemologists. HRD uses complex watermarking to prevent copying or falsifying their reports. Symmetry. and to set a higher standard of business ethics and professional practices in the jewelry industry. 2005 can be viewed online. along with a consortium of independent jewelers. referred to as a "Diamond Quality Document" or "DQD. AGS is considered the premier diamond-grading laboratory. the HRD lab also uses state-of-the-art technology to test for subtle and hard to recognize enhancements such as HPHT. 'Polish' and 'Symmetry' were merged into one category called "Finish." is not an appraisal of monetary value. and Proportions. The mission of the AGS is to increase consumer awareness. 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. To insure the security of their documents. Aditionally.

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

as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram. in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above).' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering. . relative facet angles. all measured in three spacial dimensions.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003.3.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero. 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.5." 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. and individual facet ratios. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless .5 to 4.0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light .0 to 7.7. the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible. where facets intersect with each-other." or "ideal" rating. AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond. AGS Diamond Grading System On the inside fold of an AGS Diamond Quality grading report there is a legend explaining the unique AGS nomenclature with comparisons to GIA's grading system.1.5 to 3.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint .0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless .5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light .0 to 1. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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