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.
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
Only a trained eye could see the quality of a good cut. or 96 facets which are not counted in the total number of facets (58). when one incorrect facet angle can throw off the symmetry of the entire stone.
Fig. All of that has changed with the AGS Cut Grading system and GIA's new "Cut Grading System". 64. The chart below shows several common problems to look for. Poor Diamond Faceting and Symmetry Due to the mathmatics involved in light refraction. 80. 2
The proportion and symmetry of the cuts as well as the quality of the polish are factors in determining the overall quality of the cut. The crown will have 33 facets.Good Cut Fair Cut Poor Cut
Cut Proportions In the past. Other variations of the "Modern Round Brilliant" include the "Ideal Brilliant" which was invented by Johnson and Roesch in 1929. a Round Brilliant cut that does not have the proper proportions and symmetry (off-make) will have noticeably less brilliance. 3
. and the pavillion will have 25 facets. pavilion and crown angle) and did not provide a subjective ranking of how good the cut was. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951.e.
Fig. Common cutting problems can occur during the faceting process. A poorly cut diamond with facets cut just a few degrees from the optimal ratio will result in a stone that lacks gemmy quality because the "brilliance" and "fire" of a diamond largely depends on the angle of the facets in relation to each other. the "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. This can also result in the undesirable creation of extra facets beyond the required 58. An Ideal Cut or Premium Cut "Round Brilliant" diamond has the following basic proportions according to the AGS:
Table Size: 53% to 60% of the diameter Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35 degrees Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Facets: 58 (57 if the culet is excluded) Polish & Symmetry: very good to excellent
The girdle on a Modern Round Brilliant can have 32. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972.
the quality of the cutter's execution of that shape is of primary importance. However." was invented by Ken Shigetomi and Kazumi Okuda in 1984. Takanori Tamura. which gives out much more fire than a real diamond. Eppler Cut (European Standard).
Hearts and Arrows Diamonds
A perfectly proportioned ideal cut that is cut to the exacting specifications of a Tolkowsky Cut. 5) are listed below. The IdealScope was invented by Kazumi Okuda in the 1970's. and its later incarnation. out through the table.
Fancy Diamond Cuts
The shape of the cut is a matter of personal taste and preference. The shape of the diamond cut is heavily dependent upon the original shape of the rough stone.
GIA vs AGS Cut Grading
GIA's new cut-grading system is based on averages that are rounded-up to predict 'light performance. or a H & A Viewer gemscope (FireScope). there is a balance between "brilliance" and "fire". Asymmetrical raw crystals such as macles are usually cut in a "Fancy" style. 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.
Perfectly formed Hearts and Arrows patterns with eight hearts AND eight arrows (above. 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. all three categories of cut (Polish. In order for a diamond to receive a "Triple-0" grading. The "Ideal" designation is an AGS term that is not found on an GIA report. or a Scan D. Several basic diamond shapes (Fig.
Fig. The round brilliant cut is preferred when the crystal is an octahedron.
AGS Triple-0 Certification
The American Gem Society (AGS) is the industry leader in laboratory testing of round gems for cut grade and quality.' while AGS uses a more exacting combination of proportional facet ratios along with raytracing metrics to calculate light return. left) are only found in diamonds that meet the American Gem Society Laboratories' "0" Ideal Cut specifications. A diamond cut for too much fire will look like cubic zirconia. The first official H & A "EightStar" diamond was cut in 1985 by Kioyishi Higuchi for Japanese businessman and FireScope manufacturer.For a Modern Round Brilliant cut (Tolkowsky Brilliant). Proportion) must meet the "ideal" criteria. A well executed round brilliant cut should reflect the maximum amount light from the interior pavilion facets. N. Cut (Scandinavian Standard) will display a "Hearts and Arrows" pattern when observed through a IdealScope (arrows only). the "FireScope. A Triple-0 diamond can also be called a "Triple Ideal Cut" or "AGS-Ideal Zero" diamond. Symetry. making the diamond appear white when viewed from the top. as two stones could be cut from one crystal.
C.W. As a consumer." "Briolette" (a form of Rose cut).Heart Marquise Oval Pear Princess Radiant Round Trillion (not shown at diagram)
Fig.2 grams (200 milligrams or 3. and the Pear.
Balancing Cut and Weight A diamond or gemstone's "Carat" designation is a measurement of both the size and weight of the stone. Therefor. a 1/2 carat diamond would be 50 points. and a 2 carat diamond is 200 points. "Marquise" or "Navette" (little boat). Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics."
. One "Carat" is a unit of mass that is equal to 0. When a single piece of jewelry has multiple stones. "Heart. Carat 3. Color Carat weight is one of the 4 C's.
The 4 C's of Diamonds: Carat (Weight)
The 4 C's Diamond Grading System
1.086 grains) or 0. your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the "4 C's" diamond grading system. A carat can also be divided into "points" with one carat being equal to 100 points.007 ounce. "Princess" (square outline). a 3/4 carat diamond is 75 points. 5
Popular fancy cuts include the "Baguette" (bread loaf). The "fancy cuts" are generally not held to the same strict standards as Round Brilliants. Clarity 4. and with each point being 2 milligrams in weight. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. the total mass of all diamonds or gemstones is referred to as "Total Carat Weight" or "T. Cut 2.
FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone.750 30. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only.5 carat 1. it must be accurate to the second decimal place.0 carat 3. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight.204 carat. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight.600 8. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales. See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone. Price Per Carat (2005) . girdle and pavilion.5 carats must have an actual weight of between . or "seed of the carob". 40º pavilion. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing.5º crown.600 6. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a .495 carats and . By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry. clarity and weight. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions.195 and . In ancient times. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat.10 carat diamond for its better cut.99 carat diamond for its better price.VS1 Carat Size</ 0.Grade: F Colorless .0 carat 1.
The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity
. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York.5 carat 2. It is for this reason that an even 1." If the carat weight is shown as ". the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place.
Occasionally.600 12. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of . "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between .000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1.500 15.000 Total Cost (USD)</
Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line.
Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above.504 carats. a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight.800 6. or to buy a 1. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32.
VVS1 better than VVS2 VS-1 ."Small" or "Slight" Inclusions or "Imperfections" may be "eye clean" SI-2 . therefore reducing its value significantly. In fancy-colored diamonds. or break the surface. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond.Inclusions large and obvious.Imperfect. fractures. Carat 3. Considerations in grading the clarity of a diamond include the type of stone. On the other hand.not naked eye VS-2 . and/or on the surface of the stone."Internally Flawless" no inclusions at 10 x mag.
All of the grades of diamond clarity shown in the table below."Very Very Small" inclusions. it is important to learn and understand the clarity designations found within the "Four C's" diamond grading system. causing a greater drop in grade. it may be possible to hide certain inclusions behind the setting of the diamond (depending on where the inclusion is located). darker inclusions will tend to create the most significant drop in clarity grade. Color Clarity is one of the Four C's.small blemishes VVS-1 .The Four C's Diamond Grading System
1. point size and the location of inclusions. Diamond Clarity Designations
FL . As a consumer. Cut 2."Very Very Small" inclusions hard to see at 10 x magnification VVS-2 . 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. The term "Clarity" refers to the presence or absence of tiny imperfections (inclusions) within the stone. Inclusions that are near to."Small" or "Slight" Inclusions or "Imperfections" visible to naked eye SI-3 . light or pale inclusions may show greater relief."Very Small" inclusions VS1 is better grade than VS2 SI-1 ."Very Small" inclusions visible at 10 x mag. In "colorless" diamonds. . thus minimizing any negative impact of the inclusion. little or no brilliance I1 to I3 ."Flawless" no inclusions at 10 x magnification IF . may weaken the diamond structurally.
. Clarity 4. making them more apparent. and flaws
GIA Clarity Grading System
The chart below explains the GIA grading system for inclusions and imperfections. . with large Inclusions.
Internal Diamond Inclusions
Carbon . Cavities . Such diamonds are sometimes called "fracture filled diamonds". or feathers along the outer edge of girdle. waviness. Grain Center . much like repairing a crack in your car's windshield.Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet. There is a significant price discount for fracture-filled diamonds. Pique .Concentrated area of crystal growth that appear light or dark. Clouds .
Diamond Fracture Filling
Diamond clarity is sometimes enhanced by filling fractures. followed by acid washing to remove the coloring agent. appearing as a raised area. Indented Naturals . The GIA will not grade fracture-filled diamonds.
External Diamond Inclusions
Bearded Girdles . he or she could legally sell it as a VVS-2. Filled Fractures .Garnet or other Included gem stones Twinning Wisps . According to Fred Cuellar in his book How to Buy a Diamond.An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing.Irregular crystal growth causing internal distortions. The treatment is considered permanent and both the GIA and AGS will issue grades for laser drilled diamonds.Tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts). Surface Graining .Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation. The heat generated by a blowtorch used to work on settings can cause damage.
Laser drilling involves using a laser to burn a tunnel or hole to a carbon inclusion.Cloudy grouping of tiny pinpoints that may not resolve at 10X Magnification.Diamond Clarity Grade Inflation
A fairly common practice in the jewelry trade is grade-inflation or "grade bumping. Pinpoints ." According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides. a diamond must be within one clarity grade of its advertised amount at the time of sale. Pits . so they can use greater care while working on the piece. therefor it is essential to inform anyone working on a setting if the diamond is fracture-filled.Fractures that have been artificially filled.Cleavage planes or internal fractures that have the appearance of feathers. Internal Graining . Needles . If a jeweler sells a diamond that has an actual grade of VS-1.Fine cracks.An inclusion that penetrates the surface. vendors should disclose this enhancement.Minute crystals within the diamond that appear white. According to FTC guidelines.A percussion mark caused by impact. Feathers .Rutile-like needle inclusions.Dislodged pinpoint inclusions at the surface."
. "One out of every three diamonds sold in the United States is laser-drilled. The drilling process leave tiny telltale shafts or tunnels that are visible under magnification. Knots . Reputable companies often provide for repeat treatments if heat causes damage to the filling.A natural indentation that was not removed by polishing. in part because the treatment isn't permanent. Bruising . and reputable filling companies will use filling agents which show an orange or pink flash of color. Chips . The final clarity grade will be the grade that is assigned after treatment. haze.Inclusions resulting from crystal twining during growth. fringing. chips.
In determining the color rating of a diamond. 1 explains the GIA grading system for clear (not fancy-colored) stones. V.Surface burning from heat buildup during polishing. At present. E. Q. L. I. T. Color Color is one of the Four Cs representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. The color chart in Fig.Whitish haziness along the junction of facets caused by wear. O. R . The higher the amount of nitrogen atoms. U.very light yellow or brown S.Grinding Wheel Marks of scratches from contact with other diamonds. Diamonds of this low grade would be inappropriate for jewelry.
"SI-3" is a grade sometimes used in the diamond industry. the yellower the stone will appear. Y. 1
. the most reputable well known US labs. H. P. Neither the GIA nor the AGS (American Gemological Society).faint yellow or brown N. Burn Marks .
The Four Cs of Diamonds: Color
The Four Cs Diamond Grading System
1. assign this grade. X. thereby making the diamond appear yellow. The designation of SI-3 was popularized by the EGL (European Gemological Laboratory) grading office. W. Nicks .
Most all natural diamonds contain small quantities of nitrogen atoms that displacing the carbon atoms within the crystal's lattice structure.near colorless K. These nitrogen impurities are evenly dispersed throughout the stone. the Gemological Institute of America uses a scale of "D" to "Z" in which "D" is totally colorless and "Z" is yellow. As a consumer.light yellow or brown Fig. Carat 3. a Sarin Diamond Color Grading report is the state-of-the-art color measuring standard. it will be beneficial to learn and understand some of the basic parameters for diamond color grading.Small chips at facet junctions. Diamond Color Designations D. absorbing some of the blue spectrum. Scratches . J . Cut 2. M .colorless (white) G. F . Z . Clarity 4.Human Caused Surface Blemishes
' Unfortunatly. and dispersion of light (fire) when looking through the table or crown. and HRD grading scales." "whiter than white. and D5). GIA-GEM. 3 example below. color grading should be determined by examining the stone through the side of the pavilion (Fig. 2
Sarin Color Typing
is a relatively new sub-classification of the D through Z gading scale. D4. India. Fig. D3. as in our Fig. it is extremely benificial to know if your 'F' is a strong 'F. most gem labs do not currently provide color-typing data in their reports and certificates.
D-Flawless . IGI. jewelers and gem labs can accurately provide a 'color typing' printout of a diamond's color grading that is compatible with AGS. Each classification is divided into five sub-classifications (D1. Using a Sarin Diamond Colorimeter DC3000 (aka Gran Colorimeter).The Holy Grail
. 2). sometimes referred to as "white diamonds.' or a borderline 'G. D2. and not by looking at the top of the stone." or "D+.Due to a diamond's high brilliance. Fig. These colorless stones." are named after the famous Golconda Diamond Mines located in the state of Hyderabad. For the consumer. 3
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. Color grading by 'visual-observation is performed against a Master CZ Colored Grading Set.
See Color in Gemstones for more information.
Diamonds: Chemistry & Structural Properties
| Optical Properties of Diamond
| Diamond Enhancement
Structural Properties of Diamond . This fluorescent effect can be beneficial to a diamond that has a yellow tint. as the blue fluorescence will cancel out some of the yellow. making the diamond appear "colorless. faint.Large D-flawless diamonds (those weighing more than 2 carats) are some of the rarest minerals on earth. Even with microscopic inclusions.000 D-color diamonds weighing over half a carat are found each year. so this effect will be more apparent under natural daylight than under artificial incandescent light.Diamond Formation
. On the other hand.
Approximatly 1/3 (35%) of all diamonds have a tendency to fluoresce when exposed to ultra-violet (UV) light. diamonds with a poorer color grading (I through K). medium. Skin Tone and Settings While some may prefer a very transparent D to F range. diamonds with a visible tint may be preffered. according to the GIA. murky appearance when compared to a non-fluorescing diamond. Fluorescence is graded as none." but the diamond will have a dull. Only around 600 D-flawless roughs are cut into gems weighing between 1 and 2 carats during a given year. In some settings with various combinations of other stones. Ultra-violet light is a component of natural sunlight and artificial 4800k to 5000k color-proofing light. fluorescence could increase the value by 0% to 2% buy improving the color (or lack thereof).
For diamonds with a color grading of D through H (colorless). others may prefer a "warmer" color found in a G to J range to compliment their skin tone. fewer than 5. When diamonds are viewed under a UV light-source. and strong. fluorescence can negatively impact the value of the stone by 3% to 20%. they tend to fluoresce as blue.
Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness
The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness. A diamond is a transparent. Under the continental crust.52. or "invincible.
. which resemble a champagne flute. igneous rock composed of garnet. phlogopite. diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation. ultramafic.
Basic Physical Properties of Diamond
Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth." which is also known as "adamant. a refractive index of 2." referring to its incredible hardness. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms.044. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon. Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures. and differentiates it from simple graphite. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0. with a variety of trace minerals. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses. and a specific gravity of 3. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km). pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine. Therefore."
Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic.200 degrees Celsius). Deep within the earth's crust there are regions that have a high enough temperature (900¼C to 1400¼C) and pressure (5 to 6 GPa) that it is thermodynamically possible for liquified carbon to form into diamonds. and pyroxene. with the principle allotrope being graphite. At these depths." "untamable.Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" . olivine.42. The name "diamond. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes." is derived from the Greek adamas." and "unconquerable.
where it was shown to combust in scientific experiments." This means that diamond crystals usually "grow" in an orderly and symmetrical arrangement. with the end byproduct of the combustion being carbonic-acid gas. A diamond's incredible hardness was the subject of curiosity dating back to the Roman empire. beta carbon nitride. and therefore. and crystal habit of a diamond is octahedral (photo. perfectly formed crystals are rare. it is termed as "subhedral." or "anhedral.
Diamond Crystal Habit
Diamonds have a characteristic crystalline structure. or carbon dioxide.
The external shape of the crystal." when found in a crystalline form that is structurally similar to diamond. does not always reflect the internal arrangement of its atoms. whether it is cubic. When a gemstone has an irregular external shape or asymmetrical arrangement of its crystal facets. octahedral.A Type 2-A diamond has a hardness value of 167 GPa (±6) when scratched with an ultrahard fullerite tip. may also be as hard or harder than diamond. The natural crystal form. and a hardness value of 231 GPa (±5) when scratched with a diamond tip. Additionally. The material "boron nitride. by igniting a diamond in an oxygen atmosphere. a predictable crystal growth pattern known as its "crystal habit. above). although in nature. Experimentation during the late 18th century demonstrated that diamonds were made of carbon."
. although the reason for its combustion was not understood at the time. or dodecahedral. a currently hypothetical material. is nearly as hard as diamond.
Carbon Inclusion . a diamond's "toughness" is only fair to good.Trace impurities.
In extremely high temperature environments above 1700 ¡C. most scratch resistant mineral on earth. and varying growth conditions of heat. Although diamond is the "hardest. very thin girdles on brilliant cut diamonds are also prone to breakage.5. Additionally. Particular cuts of diamond are more prone to breakage along cleavage planes. Internally formed crystallographic graphite inclusions often create intense strain on the surrounding diamond. sapphire has a hardness rating of 9. Unlike "hardness. causing stress fractures or feathers. The culet facet at the bottom of the pavilion. acting as a "thermal conductor. is a facet specifically designed to resist breakage. Hematite has a hardness of only 5.
Thermal Properties of Diamonds
Diamond is a good conductor of heat.© AGS Labs
Within the fields of metallurgy and materials science." If you were to place a large enough diamond on your tongue it would draw heat away. due to its ability to fracture along cleavage planes. with a Mohs scale rating of 10." which only denotes a diamond's high resistance to scratching.5 to 6. making it seem cold. its "toughness" rating is moderate. By comparrison. but its toughness rating is also excellent. meaning that a diamond is 4 times "harder" than sapphire. pressure and space can also affect the final shape of a formed crystal.© AGS Labs
Hexagonal (Graphite) Platelet Inclusion . and "pound-force" per square-inch in US units of measurement. Many natural blue
. A material's toughness is measured in units of "joules" per cubic meter (J/m3) in the SI system. graphite can develop internally and on the diamond's surface. yet sapphire has a toughness rating of excellent." and therefore. the term "toughness" describes the resistance of a given material to fracture when it is stressed or impacted. crystal twinning. and therefore may be uninsurable by reputable insurance companies.
increasing thermal conductance. electronic circuits could be manufactured from diamonds in the future .com The surface luster (or "lustre") of diamond is described as adamantine. inflexible. with the exception of natural blue diamonds. and synthetic diamonds that are doped with boron. are known as p-type semiconductors. which means unyielding. Due to diamond's high thermal conductance. and generally implies radiance.
Optical Properties of Diamond: Type I & Type II Diamonds
| Optical Properties of Diamond
| Diamond Enhancement
Surface Luster of Diamond
Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.
Electromagnetic Properties of Diamond . to prevent silicon and other semiconducting materials from overheating. If an n-type semiconductor can be synthesized. it is used in the manufacturing of semiconductors.nearly five times greater than pure copper. meaning "light". The term adamantine describes the way light interacts with the surface of a crystal. The word luster traces its origins back to the Latin word lux. Natural blue diamonds containing boron atoms. or brilliance. or having the hardness or luster of a diamond. or longer-wavelength photons.
Fluorescence in Diamonds
Fluorescence is an optical phenomenon in which a diamond's molecules absorb high-energy photons. giving off a somewhat greasy sheen.diamonds contain boron atoms which replace carbon atoms within the crystal matrix. re-emitting them as lower-energy. which are in fact semiconductors. gloss.Insulators or Semiconductors
Diamond is a relatively good electrical insulator. Purified synthetic diamond can have the highest thermal conductivity (2000-2500 W/m-K) of any solid material at room temperature .
All Type 1 diamonds have nitrogen atoms as their main impurity. and thereby making the diamond appear yellow. and give off a bluish-white.
Type II Diamond Formation
Certain diamonds were formed under extremely high pressure for longer time periods. If the nitrogen atoms are dispersed evenly throughout the crystal.© AGS Labs
Type I UV Fluorescence .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. Natural blue Type II diamonds containing scattered boron impurities within their crystal matrix are good conductors of electricity. 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. while Type II diamonds that lack boron impurities are classified as Type IIa.
Cloud Inclusion Under UV . and appear dark when exposed to ultra-violet light or X-rays. particularly Canadian diamonds.
Type I & Type II Diamonds
As many as 99% of all natural diamonds are classified as Type I. show no fluorescence.417. and are classified as Type 1-B. These Nitrogen impurities found in Type I diamonds are evenly dispersed throughout the gemstone.
Diamond Refraction & Coloration
Diamonds are "singly refractive." with a refractive index of 2. permitting the passage and reflectance of blue light. Type II diamonds do not contain any detectable nitrogen. or brown coloration. classifying them as Type IIb diamonds. Typically. If the nitrogen atoms are grouped in clusters they do not necessarily affect the diamond's overall color. they can give the stone a yellow tint. Some Type IIa diamonds can be found with pink.
. making them appear 'colorless' (D). greenish or yellow fluorescence when exposed to the X-ray wavelength. thereby allowing the passage of short-wave ultra-violet (SWUV) light through the stone. Some diamond varieties. These Type IIa diamonds have a near-perfect crystal structure making them highly transparent and colorless. Man-made synthetic diamonds containing nitrogen are classified as Type 1-B. and they are classified as Type 1-A. These rare diamonds have a lower nitrogen content. absorbing some of the blue spectrum. with very high thermal conductivity. red. 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. or "fire. due primarily to certain structural anomalies arising from "plastic deformation" which occurred during their formation.© AGS Labs
Type IIa diamonds are very rare. which replace some carbon atoms within the crystal lattice structure." and refraction. and contain nitrogen atoms as an impurity. and some of the finest historical gemstones such as the Cullinan and Koh-i-Noor are both Type IIa diamonds. Diamond can exhibit pseudochromatic coloration giving the appearance of "color" without having any actual color in the mineral itself.
red diamonds). when a diamond's color is more intense than the "Z" grading. and black. However. All colored diamonds contain certain specific impurities and/or structural defects that cause their coloration. while chemically "pure" diamonds are basically transparent. it enters the realm of a "Fancy Color" diamond. or yellow diamond may have a relatively low value when compared to a colorless diamond. boron (blue diamonds).
Fancy Colored Diamonds: Pink. pink. and therefor colorless. 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.
Fancy Diamond Color Hues
A fancy brown (or Fancy Cognac). Yellow. red. the intensity of the color in the diamond can plays a significant role in its value. In this case. Colorless diamonds would normally be priced much higher than yellow diamonds.
Diamond Color & Composition
Diamonds can occur in a wide variety of colors: colorless or white. green (Ocean Dream). yellow.Diamond Refraction & Light Dispersion
Diamonds can also exhibit allochromatic coloration which is caused by chromophores from the nitrogen trace impurities found within crystalline structure. green. certain fancy-colored diamonds such as pink (Condé). Green & Cognac
Fancy Colored Diamond
Diamonds can occur in all colors of the spectrum. steel grey. blue. Once thought to be of little value. green. brown diamonds). and red (Hancock Diamond) are particularly valuable. Blue. radiation exposure (green diamonds) or irregular growth patterns within the crystal (pink. It is this nitrogen component that produces the color of fancy yellow diamonds. However. fancy pink diamonds can command very high prices as they have become increasingly popular. blue (Hope Diamond). and their color is due to trace impurities of nitrogen and/or hydrogen (yellow. orange.
yet considerably more expensive. which are generally less appreciated than other fancy colors and therefor. The rough stone weighed 287.S to Z Fancy Light .' found in Kimberly. 1PP is the highest quality designation for Pink Diamond. One of the world's only major sources for rare pink diamonds is the Argyle Mine in Australia.Cognac 8 is darkest
There is a very rare olive-grayish color-changing diamond called "Chameleon Diamond" (below. have become more commonplace as Australian colored diamonds have gained in popularity.
. hue. South Africa in 1878. As the numbers go lower (8PP) the color is paler. and was cut into a 128.M Very Light . Pink diamonds are similar to pink sapphire in color. This Chameleon-like phenomenon was first documented by the GIA in the early 1940s.Pink (Magenta-pink) 1 is darkest 1P to 8P .42 carats.N to R Light . and value (darkness) using nine classifications ranging from 'Faint' to 'Vivid. daylight) and ambient temperature changes.
The pink color within these rare diamonds is due to irregular crystal growth patterns.54 carat cushion cut with an estimated value in the millions of dollars. The GIA grades fancy diamond color by quantifying the saturation. An 1P designation would have less blue and more brownish-red.Brown diamonds. which changes hue from grayish-blue or olive-green to yellowish-green or straw-yellow under different lighting conditions (darkness. halogen.Highest Saturation
One of the largest.
Fancy Yellow Diamonds (Canary Yellow)
Fancy yellow diamonds owe their color the presence of nitrogen impurities which absorb the blue end of the color spectrum.Pink (Reddish-pink) 1 is darkest 1BP to 8BP . causing microscopic imperfections within the lattice structure.Champagne 3 is darkest C8 to C1 . left). Only 1% to 2% of the diamonds produced at the Argyle Mine are high-quality pink specimens. sold at a greater discount.Start of 'Fancy' Fancy Fancy Dark Fancy Intense Fancy Deep Fancy Vivid . lighting color temperatures (incandescent.'
GIA 'Fancy Yellow' Diamond Color Saturation Designations
Faint . bright light). having a pure magenta color with deep saturation. and most valuable Fancy Yellow diamonds in the world is the 'Tiffany Diamond.Pink (Brownish-pink) 1 is darkest PC3 to PC1 . Fancy Pink/Brown Diamond Color (Hue) Designations
1PP to 8PP .
as in the one-of-a-kind 5. Warren Hancock. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926.95carats. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat.
.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). and weighed a modest 0. The color change effect is temporary. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits.
Diamond Fashion Trends
While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds.000 per carat.03 carats. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness . It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner.com)
The Elusive Red Diamond
Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities. Intense. Green diamonds can range from $35. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond. pure green hues. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste.000 in 1987.
Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa.90 carats.
Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green. or a combination of the two. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color. greyish-green.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant. and the De Young Red weighing 5.com)
Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems.000 to $500. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. On thing is certain.' discovered during the 18th century. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red.
or absence of tiny imperfections known as "inclusions. F grades.
Diamond Inclusion Library: Inclusion Photos
Over 100 High-Resolution Diamond Photos!
All Contents: Copyright © 2010 AllAboutGemstones.
Fancy Colored Synthetic Diamonds
Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless D.Reddish Brown Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. gemological testing laboratory in Las Vegas. The term "clarity" refers to the presence. making the stone appear yellowish. Joe Vanells. These impurities absorb the blue end of the light spectrum.com Clarity is one of the Four C's of diamond grading. and man-made imperfections—that can be found in raw and cut diamonds.com)
Enhanced Blue & Yellow Diamonds (© AfricaGems.L. It is for this reason that manufacturers of synthetic diamonds tend to specialize in fancy colors." These inclusions can occur within the stone. and so-called "piquŽ diamonds" fall into the GIA grading range of I1 to I3 (CIBJO grade P1 to P3).G. E. This section contains a compendium of photography depicting all of the various types of diamond inclusions—both naturally occurring. representing the four main variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. and beautifully photographed by their Director of Gem Services. Nevada. 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. and can be naturally occuring. Inclusions which are visible to the naked eye are referred to as piquŽ. or on the surface of the cut stone. All of the microscopic inclusion photographs on this page were generously contributed by the A.S. or human caused. Inclusions which are not visible to the naked eye (eye clean) fall into the GIA range of "IF" (Internally Flawless) to "SI2" (Small Inclusions).
pyrrhotite and pentlandite. Black or dark material found within a diamond's internal fracture planes can also be particles or crystallographic inclusions of graphite. PiquŽ Carbon Inclusion Photos
Internal Carbon Pique Diamond Inclusion Photography
Piqué are tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts) within diamonds.Internal Diamond Inclusion Photos
Carbon Tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts). ferropericlase. ferropericlase. Black material found within internal fracture planes can also be crystallographic inclusions of graphite. pyrrhotite and pentlandite.
Microscopic Carbon Picque Inclusions
Hexagonal Platelet Inclusion in Trillion Cut Diamond
Internal cloud inclusions may not resolve as pinpoints at 10X
.Carbon piqué inclusions are sometimes removed by diamond enhancements such as laser drilling. Nevada. which can leave their own types of unique inclusions. Clouds (Cld) A dense grouping of tiny pinpoints that create a cloudy zone which may not resolve as individual pinpoints at 10X Magnification. 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. and is reproduced with their permission. All of the microscopic diamond carbon inclusion photography on this page was generously contributed by the AGSL gemological testing laboratory in Las Vegas.
These pinpoint cloud inclusions can have a dramatic effect on the clarity and brilliance of a faceted diamond as they interfere with the refraction of light within the stone.Magnification.
Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.
Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.
Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.
Feather inclusions can be accompanied by internal graining and/or twinning wisp inclusions. Common around included crystals. Feather Inclusion Photos
Internal Diamond Feather Inclusion Photography
Feather inclusions (Ftr) are caused by cleavage planes or internal stress fractures that have the appearance of wispy feathers. Feather inclusions are common around included crystals such as garnet. which cause internal stress fractures during crystal growth.
.Feathers (Ftr) Cleavage planes or internal stress fractures that have the appearance of feathers.
.Feather inclusions caused by stress fractures around included garnet crystal.
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. and the stress inclusion occurs along the gem's natural cleavage plane.
.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. waviness. 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.
Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions
when a tube or tunnel is generated in the crystalizing diamond by an internal cavity that was once liquid filled. when a tube is generated by a formerly liquid filled cavity. Growth Tube Inclusion Photos
Internal Growth Tubes Inclusion Photography
Internal Growth Tube inclusions are natural Imperfections that are created during diamond formation.Growth Tubes Imperfection formed during crystal growth.
Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light
iron oxides. Included Crystals Inclusion Photos
Internal Included Crystals in Diamond
Included Crystal inclusions are whole crystals or tiny included gem fragments of undigested crystals such as garnet.
Green chrome diopside Inclusion within a Diamond
. or silica. olivine. spinel. olivine. silica or other gem stone inclusions.Included Crystals (Xtl) Included and undigested gemstones or fragments of garnet. spinel. iron oxides. diopside. calcite. diopside. calcite.
Garnet Inclusions within Diamond
Garnet fragment on Diamond Girdle
Grossularite Garnet Inclusions in Diamond
Internal Graining (IntGr) Irregular crystal growth causing internal distortions, waviness, and/or haze. Can be accompanied by internal strain. Internal Graining Inclusion Photos
Internal Graining Diamond Inclusion Photography
Internal Graining (IntGr) inclusions are caused by irregular crystal growth which creates internal distortions, waviness, or haze. Internal Graining imperfections may be accompanied by internal strain such as feather Inclusions.
Internal Graining with Cloud Inclusion
and where pathway does not breach the cut diamond's surface. With internal laser-drilling inclusions.Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) Internal pathway caused by laser-drilling to remove large inclusions.
. 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. the drilled passage may not breach the cut diamond's surface.
Needles (Ndl) Rutile-like needle-shaped inclusions.
. Needle Inclusion Photos
Needle Inclusion Photography
Internal Needles (Ndl) or needle inclusions are naturally occurring rutile-like needle shaped inclusions within the diamond.
Pinpoints (Pp) Minute crystals within the diamond that appear white.
. or Pinpoint Inclusions are minute included crystals within the diamond that appear white under magnification. Large groupings of small pinpoints can create a cloud effect. Large groupings of small pinpoints can create a cloud inclusion effect. Pinpoint Inclusion Photos
Pinpoints (Pp) Inclusion Photography
Internal Pinpoints (Pp).
Twinning Wisps Inclusions and defects resulting from crystal-twining during crystal growth. Twinning Wisp Inclusion Photos
Twinning Wisps Inclusion Photography
Twinning Wisp inclusions are naturally-occurring structural defects with a diamond. Twinning Wisp inclusions can be accompanied by internal graining and/or strain feathers.
. resulting from crystal twining during the growth process. Can be accompanied by graining and strain.
.Odds & Ends: Microscopic Diamond Inclusion Beauty Photos
Microscopic Diamond Inclusion Photography
This is an assortment of spectacular diamond-inclusion photography taken by Joe Vanells. showing the strange and beautiful world of microscopic diamond inclusions.
Natural Comet Inclusion
Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud
Tabular Reflection in Diamond
Included Garnet Twins within Diamond
Included Dalmatian Garnet
Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers
Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light
Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion
Natural External Diamond Inclusions or Blemishes
Knots An inclusion that penetrates the surface. appearing as a raised area on the diamond's 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. appearing as a raised area.
and were not fully removed during the stone's cutting or polishing process.Indented Natural (IndN) A naturally occurring indentation in the crystal that was not removed during cutting or polishing.
. Indented Natural Inclusion Photos
Indented Natural (IndN) Diamond Inclusion Photography
Indented Natural (IndN) inclusions (indented naturals) are external imperfections that are caused by naturally-occurring recessed (concave) indentations that penetrate the surface of a rough diamond.
The lizard-skin effect is caused by an orange-peel texture.
. made up of a bumpy or wavy pattern on the polished surface of a diamond.Lizard Skin A bumpy or wavy 'orange-peel' textured pattern on the polished surface of a diamond. 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.
Surface Graining Inclusion Photos
Diamond Surface Graining (SGr) Photography
Surface Graining (SGr) is a natural imperfection or inclusion that creates visible surface lines which are caused by irregular crystallization during diamond formation.
.Pits Dislodged pinpoint inclusions at the surface. Surface Graining (SGr) Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation.
Bruising (Br) A percussion mark or hole caused by impact and surrounded by tiny feathers.Human Caused Surface Blemishes
Abrasion (Abr) A tightly grouped series of nicks along the sharp edge of facet junctions. chips. creating a whitish fuzzy edge as opposed to a sharp edge. or feathers along the outer edge of girdle. fringing. Bearded Girdle (BG) Fine cracks.
or caught by a included crystal. Drag Lines Created when a rough particle is dragged along the surface. the overheating of a facet causes a burn mark.
. Chips Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet. Cavities (Cv) An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing. Drag Line Photos
Diamond Surface Drag Lines Photography
Drag Lines are human-caused surface imperfections and blemishes that are created when a loose rough particle is dragged along the surface. or when abrasive material is caught by an included crystal such as garnet during the polishing of a diamond. during cutting and/or polishing the diamond.Burn Marks Created during polishing.
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. This microscopic photograph shows the telltale orange or pink flash of a filled fracture enhancement within a cut diamond. and remove cloudiness. Filled Fractures Fractures or feathers that have been artificially filled to enhance clarity.
.Extra Facet (EF) An asymmetrical and irregularly placed facet that is not part of the original faceting scheme.
.Laser Etching or Markings Careless or inadvertent laser etchings. markings. or inscribing the external surface of 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.
Diamond Enhancements: Laser Drilling & Fracture Filling
. Polish Marks (PM) Also known as "Wheel Marks.Polish Lines (PL) Fine parallel surface groves resulting from the polishing process. Scratch (S) A fine whitish line that can be curved or straight." whitish film on the surface of a facet caused by excessive heat during polishing.
or removed by employing several invasive techniques from fracture filling to laser drilling.
Unfilled Fractures around Garnet Inclusion . or treatments to give a fancy color to a off-white diamond.© 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. which are designed to improve the visual or gemological characteristics of the stone. much like you would repair a crack in a car's windshield glass. Such diamonds are sometimes then branded as "fracture filled diamonds. These techniques do not eliminate the imperfection. in accordance with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines for the gem trade. A trained gemologist should be able to identify most traditional "enhancements" made to a particular stone. but not necessarily increase its value.
." Reputable filling companies will always use filling agents which show an orange or pink flash of color when viewed under a microscope with certain controlled lighting conditions. altered. but instead attempt to hide their visual effect.Diamond Chemistry
| Optical Properties of Diamond
| Diamond Enhancement
Diamond "enhancements" are specific treatments performed on cut. polished natural diamonds.© AGS Lab
Telltale Signs of Fracture Filling .
Diamond Fracture Filling
Diamond clarity is sometimes improved and enhanced by filling tiny fractures or feathers with molten glass.
There are also heating treatments to improve a white diamond's color grade. Minor diamond inclusions or surface imperfections which are not visible to the naked eye ("VVS1" to "SI2") can be disguised.
According to Fred Cuellar in his book How to Buy a Diamond."
Diamond Color Treatment
Color enhancement of diamonds in done to increase the color intensity of so-called "fancy" colored diamonds.com
Color Enhanced Diamonds . so that the jeweler can use greater care while working on the piece.© AfricaGems. "vivid" blue and yellow colors result.
Natural Fancy Diamonds . or subjecting the diamond to intense pressure and temperature.
. the heat generated by a blowtorch used to work on settings can cause damage to the filling material.© AfricaGems. and both the GIA and AGS will issue grades for laser drilled diamonds. It is therefor essential to inform anyone working on a setting where the diamond has been fracture-filled. Diamonds treated with HTHP have their molecular altered so that intense.
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. "One out of every three diamonds sold in the United States is laser-drilled.There should always be a significant price discount for any diamond that has been fracture-filled.
Signs of Laser Drilling .com
Radiation treatments are completely safe.© AGS Lab
The laser-drilling treatment is considered permanent. in part because the treatment isn't permanent. followed by acid washing to remove the coloring agent. and the diamonds are tested to ensure that no trace levels of radiation remain. The drilling process leave tiny telltale shafts or tunnels that are visible under high magnification (see photos below). referred to as the HTHP process. The final clarity grade will be the grade that is assigned after treatment. Reputable filling companies will often provide repeat treatments if heat causes damage to the filling. These enhancements are achieved using low levels of radiation (irradiation). and the GIA will not even grade a fracture-filled diamond. Due to its low melting-point.© AGS Lab
Laser Drilling Tubes .
This abrupt cooling caused the rapid shrinkage of the molten iron crucible. the intense heat would render the crucible and its carbon contents into a molten liquid mass.com The process of creating man-made diamonds (aka cultured diamonds. The process. and the Chemical Vapor Deposition or "CVD" method. Once the desired temperature had been achieved. lab diamonds) was first conceived by French chemist Henri Moissan in 1892.Synthetic Diamonds & Man-Made Diamond Simulants
| Cubic Zirconia
The First Synthetic Diamonds
Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.
Synthetic Diamond under Fluorescent . These man-made synthetic diamonds are a laboratory-grown simulation of the natural gemstone. there are two main processes for creating lab diamonds: the High-Temperature High-Pressure or "HTHP" method. tiny fragments of synthetic diamond were created by heating charcoal. the crucible and its contents were rapidly cooled by immersing them into cold water.Tracy Hall for the General Electric Company. or carbon to an extremely high temperature (4000º C) in a cast iron crucible. yet they have the identical carbon-based chemical properties of natural diamond.
. With Moissan's process.© AGS Labs
Today.© AGS Labs
Synthetic Yellow Chatham Diamond . by H. Using an electric furnace constructed with blocks of lime. known as the HTHP (high-temperature. The first practical commercial application of Moissan's process was developed in 1954. high-pressure) "belt press" process was used for synthesizing industrial-grade diamonds. and has been steadily improved upon throughout the last 50 years. they are increasingly used in fine jewelry as their quality increases. which created enough pressure to crystallize the molten carbon into tiny diamond fragments. Although synthetic diamonds were originally conceived as a substitute for natural industrial-grade diamonds.
making them difficult to differentiate from natural diamonds. produced using the Verneuil (flame-fusion) Process.
Synthetic Diamond Color & Optics
Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless form.High-Temperature High-Pressure (HTHP)
The "High-Temperature High-Pressure" (HTHP) technique." also known as "simulated diamonds" or "fake diamonds" are man-made gemstones that look like.
Diamond "simulants. or "simulate" the appearance of natural diamonds. and uses a lowerpressure growth environment than the earlier HTHP method.
Synthetic Diamond Manufacturers
In the early 1900's. which attracts the gas to the substrate. the HTHP diamond's growth process can take 7 to 10 days to complete. A cultured synthetic diamond will have the identical cleavage. light dispersion. Jourado Diamond. With the advent of Cubic Zirconia in the mid 1970's. Common diamond simulants include:
Cubic Zirconia (CZ) (1976-) Czarite. or X-ray spectroscopy. Diamonaire. Radient Yttrium Aluminum Garnet (YAG) (1970-1975) Diamone. a seed or substrate material is placed into the growth camber. synthetic diamonds may contain small inclusions. Unlike their natural diamond counterparts. Using Chemical Vapor Deposition. Rutania. Like natural diamond." uses a four-anvil 'tetrahedral press. Phianite Gadolinium Gallium Garnet (GGG) (1972-1975) Strontium Titanate (ST) (1955 .1970) Diagem.' or six-anvil 'cubic press' to create the necessary pressure. Rainbow Diamond. A diamond seed is placed into a growth camber. and a combination of heat and pressure are applied to the seed in a process that attempts to replicate the natural conditions for diamond-formation. Synthetic diamonds can be detected using infrared. With CVD. Java Gem. Diamonite. Diamonte. Diamondite. Synthetic diamonds can also be treated with the HTHP process to alter the optical properties of the stones. colorless synthetic sapphire (aka Diamondite) was a popular diamond simulant. making the stone appear yellowish.
Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD)
The "Chemical Vapor Deposition" (CVD) method was developed during the 1980s. Thrilliant Synthetic Spinel (1920-1947) Corundolite. also known as "GE POL. or "deposited" onto the substrate in successive layers. the diamond's entire growth process takes several days to complete. ultraviolet. Titangem Synthetic Sapphire (1900-1947) Diamondette. most of these lesser simulants fell by the wayside. Lustergem. ranging in clarity from IF to SI or I. Magalux. and a combination of heat and pressure are applied while a vaporized carbon-plasma that is combined with hydrogen is applied. and surface luster as its natural diamond counterpart. These impurities absorb the blue end of the light spectrum. 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. and Moissanite in 1998. Diamond Essence. specific gravity. The vaporized carbon gases are energized using microwave energy. refractive index. hardness. Fabulite Synthetic Rutile (1946-1955) Diamothyst. In the late 1940's Diamondite gave way to Synthetic Rutile which was popular until the advent of YAG in the early 1970's. but are not a carbonbased compound having a natural diamond's crystalline structure. or by measuring UV fluorescence with a DiamondView tester.
com Gemesis Cultured Diamonds Gemesis is located in Sarasota.com To the average consumer. inc. of Bangkok Thailand. in Boston.
| Cubic Zirconia
Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. and some fancy colored diamonds.chatham.apollodiamond. The toughness of Cubic Zirconia is rated as good. each Gemesis cut stone over . Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is the most familiar type of diamond simulant on the market.500 per carat (2004 est.. princess. while diamond has a hardness of 10. with clarity grades from IF to SI. Gemesis only grows fancy-colored diamonds.Apollo Diamond. emerald. Tairus produces rough sizes from . The Split Sphere system crystalizes the carbon seed in an alkaline. www. While a synthetic diamond is a man-made recreation of an actual carbon-based diamond.25 carats to 1 carat. and stones are cut to order. Apollo Diamonds are cut and polished in sizes ranging from . To insure easy identification as a man-made product.3 on the Mohs scale. Cubic Zirconia (Zirconium Oxide ZrO2) has a completely different chemical structure. which they claim is the closest thing to mother nature.gemesis. Tairus Created Gems are sold exclusively through Tairus Thailand Co.500 to $9.30 carats to 3 carats. using a proprietary variation of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) technique.
. carbonate fluid solution that is similar to diamond-bearing metamorphic rock. Ltd. www. www. and each cut stone is laser inscribed with the Apollo company logo and serial number. Apollo Diamond's cut stones are available in round brilliant. Massachusetts grows colorless (D to M) diamonds.com Chatham Created Diamonds Chatham Gems is a San Francisco based company that grows only fancy-colored diamonds in colors ranging from champagne and canary yellow to pink and midnight blue. and CZ has a hardness of only 8.25 carats is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. Chatham's pricing ranges from $6. Florida. and like Chatham. and each stone is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. and rose cuts.).com Tairus Created Gems Tairus Created Gems is a Russian company that grows fancy-colored diamonds in their proprietary "Split Sphere" system.
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. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR).
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. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight. natural diamond is a thermal conductor Weight: Cubic Zirconia is heavier than diamond in a given size
Another method for distinguishing Cubic Zirconia from diamond is to mark the stone with a grease pencil or felt-tipped pen.In 1973. Zirconium oxide powder is heated.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.17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2. candle. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods
CZ vs Diamond . but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye. 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. Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease. Unlike most natural diamonds.
. For instance.2.
Photos: Larry P Kelley
Identifying Cubic Zirconia
A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond. CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds. Once the mixture has cooled. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing.Detectable With Testing
Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light.41 (RI). a CZ is optically flawless. the greater dispersive power. CZ vs Diamond . The 1.80 to 2. or colorless (white) versions.170. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce. The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator. Due to their low cost and consistency.800 . When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting. and CZs can be made in any "color grade. Natural diamonds attract grease. etc. or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left). CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below).) in a totally dark room.
Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.
. Moissanite has an RI of 2. center) near Winslow. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. Hodgkinson's 'Visual Optics' Detection The Hodgkinson technique (aka Visual Optics) was discovered by Alan Hodgkinson with Gem-A in the mid-1970s as a method for differentiating natural diamond from colorless gemstones and simulants.) in a dark room. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused.060. Moissanite. is classified as an element rather than a compound. when examining the gem through the kite facets. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent.104 as compared to CZ at 0. Moissanite has a hardness of 9.69. Henri Moissan (above. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index. and diamond at 0.417. 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. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0. candle.670. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting.044. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible.65 to 2. Arizona. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr.
Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite.25 on the Mohs scale. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight.com Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. found only in iron-nickel meteorites.A small. etc. while diamond has a hardness of 10. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond.
Moissanite vs Diamond . due to its high refractive index. Like wood." and the rough stone must be cut with the grain. diamond is singly refractive Refractive Index: Moissanite has a refractive index of 2. The Modern Round Brilliant cut (below) is the culmination of several hundred years of experimentation and development. which was called the "Point Cut. although it can be easily cleaved or fractured due to its defined cleavage planes.417
Moissanite is double refractive (anisotropic) while a natural diamond is singly refractive (isotropic). Diamond cutting can be traced back to the late Middle Ages. caused by primary reflections from the pavilion and CZ's low RI. Diamond's RI is 2. Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be more diffused." At the time.
Diamonds: Modern Diamond Cutting
Diamond Cutting Background
One of the hardest substances on earth. diamonds were used in their natural octahedral state. most diamonds have some inclusions
Moissanite vs Diamond .670. only a diamond is hard enough to cut other diamonds. You can also Inspect the facet edges with a 10x loupe to look for any chipping or slightly rounded or soft (not sharp) edges that are telltale signs of Simulants. diamond has a "grain. rather than against it." As further refinement progressed. Prior to this time.A small. The first improvements on nature's design involved a polishing of the crystal faces.Detectable to the Naked Eye
Dispersion Pattern: Secondary patterns of dispersion due to double refraction Color: Moissanite has a slight yellow color and does not come in grades better than 'J' Lack of Flaws: Moissanite is virtually flawless. detailed and sharply focused pattern caused by secondary reflections will be seen when observing a diamond. creating the "Table Cut. diamonds were valued primarily for their luster and hardness.
Cutting a Rough Diamond
.Detectable With Testing
Double Refraction: Moissanite is double refractive. A similarly sharp. but significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its high RI. Table Cut diamonds appeared black to the eye. one half of the crystal would be cut off.
Bruting: The rough is placed in a chuck on a lathe.Modern Round Brilliant Diamond
." Faceting: To facet a round brilliant. or shatter the stone.Cutting a raw diamond into a faceted and polished gem-quality stone is a multi-step process. A rough stone is cleaved if there are conspicuous defects and/or inclusions which would prevent it from being made into a single gemstone. a second diamond mounted on a dop is pressed against it. During this faceting stage the angles of each facet must be cut to an exacting standard in order to yield maximum brilliancy. Asymmetrical crystals such as macles are used primarily for fancy cuts. While the rough stone rotates on the diamond lathe. Cleaving is a critical step as a mistake by the "cleaver" could fracture. High-tech computerized helium and oxygen analyzers are now used to evaluate a stone prior to cutting. eliminate waste. As the saw blade rotates it continues to pickup or "recharge" itself with diamond dust which is the cutting agent. then pressing it against a revolving cast iron disk.
Diamonds: Ideal Cut . or lap that has been "charged" with diamond dust. An octahedron can be cut into one or two Round Brilliants but a square Princess cut will result in the least amount of waste due to the square shape of the stone. Cubic shapes are ideal for a square Princess or Radiant cut. The cutting (also called "placing") and polishing of each facet is accomplished by attaching the stone to a dop stick with cement. the "blocker" or "lapper" will cut the first 18 main facets. a diamond can be cleaved in four directions parallel to each of the four octahedron crystal faces. and maintain symmetry. on a scaife.
Cleaving: Cleaving refers to splitting a stone along its grain by striking it. This step is also referred to as "rounding. The natural shape of the rough stone will also be a major factor in deciding how to cut the stone. rounding the rough diamond into a conical shape. Cleavage is the tendency of crystalline materials to split along defined cleavage plane. and bypass any inclusions or imperfections. Each step is critical to the final outcome. then a "brillianteer" will cut and polish the remaining 40 facets. 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. Sawing: A stone-cutting saw is a thin disk made of phosphor bronze. It can take several hours for the saw blade to cut through a 1k rough diamond. Due to its atomic structure.
Reconciling Cut & Weight Retention
If the rough stone has a colorless D through F rating and has very few inclusions. and the amount of internal inclusions will play an important part in the decisions as to how to maximize yield. This is accomplished by reconciling three key factors . it may be better to aim for a higher carat weight utilizing a "Standard" cut.Ideal Cut vs Standard Cut Diamond
Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. it would be cost effective to sacrifice some carat weight in order to finish with two "Ideal" cuts. The clarity of the stone. on the other hand.
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. The objective is always to maximize carat weight. If. elimination of any inclusions.com When deciding how to cut a rough diamond.weight retention. An octehedral rough diamond will yield two round brilliant cut stones (see diagram below). compromises would have to be made. cut proportions. a cutter must make a cost-benefit analysis as to how to maximize the cut stone's value. the rough stone has some coloration and/or is heavily included.
The Modern Round Brilliant Cut
The modern "Round Brilliant Cut" (below) was developed by Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. This is why it is very rare to see flawless stones cut into fancy cuts such as emeralds. you will see that there are 8 "star" facets.
An "Ideal Cut". and 2. "Premium Cut" or "Modern Round Brilliant" (Tolkowsky Round Brilliant) diamond as shown in the diagrams above would have the following basic proportions according to the AGS:
. 16 "lower girdle" facets. The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem. 16 "upper girdle" facets. hearts. it is the best cut for showcasing a high-quality stone's fire and brilliance. etc. the cutting and polishing of a diamonds resulted in a loss of as much as 50% of the stone's total weight.Pavilion Symmetry Girdle Symmetry
Deep Pavilion Thick Girdle
When dealing with a near-perfect (or flawless) stone the cut that is generally preferred is the classic "round brilliant" cut. as two stones could be cut from one crystal. The round brilliant cut is beneficial when the crystal is an octahedron. and one "table" facet on the top of the stone for a total of 58 facets.
In the diagram of a "Round Cut" diamond (above and below)." Even with modern techniques. 8 "pavilion" facets. 1 "culet" facet on the bottom. This is primarily due to the fact that this cut has yet to be improved on for two reasons: 1. it is the most efficient cut for maximizing yield. This cut is also known as the "Tolkowsky Cut" and "Tolkowsky Brilliant. 8 "kite" facets.
the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts.N. H&A Viewer.
AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade
The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57.7%. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope.
Tolkowsky. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant". very small to small In the 1970s. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed.. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%.
. The "Scan D. more brilliance and fire. and crown/pavilion angles.5%.N.
Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut. Symmetry. Since then. Ideal Scope. and Proportions.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42. A perfect blending of facet symmetry. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect. invented in 1929.4%. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor).6% and overall height of 57. Eppler & Scan D. crown height of 14." (Scandinavian standard. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace. As with all human endeavors.' 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 facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer.
To quantify a diamond's cut quality. facet ratios.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35. and overall height of 57.5% to 43. etc. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. crown height of 14.7%.
. with the two largest stones. scientists. and it still survives in some form today. but at the end of the day it may simply come down to consumer preference and/or marketing. mathematicians. and the culet is square.the consumer. less facets. but some like the Barion Cut have disappeared into obscurity. and entrepreneurs . and number of facets. Here is a collection of just a few of the many "signature" diamond cuts that have been produced over the last 100 years. Some have gone on to become household names such as the Asscher cut. cut proportions.106 carat Cullinan Diamond into eleven gem stones. The cut has a deep pavilion and a high crown. or the widely marketed Leo cut which is a modified round-brilliant sold by Leo Schachter Diamonds. Popular in Art Deco jewelry of the period. www.
Asscher Cut The Asscher Cut was developed by Abraham and Joseph Asscher of the Royal Asscher Diamond Company of Amsterdam in 1902. the Asscher diamond cut has a squarish octagonal shape with a step cut. Tolkowsky came up with a "brilliant" idea almost 90 years ago. the Cullinan 1 and Cullinan 2 being set into the crown and sceptre of the British Crown Jewels.asscher.) and when suitably scrutinized by the gem trade.like Einstein's theory of relativity. Every conceivable cutting theory is tried. and their modest brilliance and light return.each trying to improve on the tried-and-true Old European cuts.Producers split hairs over cut angle.
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. (more facets. cut corners and a small table. The Asscher brothers cut the famous 3. etc. it is put in front of the ultimate arbiter of quality . One thing is for sure .
nephew to the inventor of the Modern Round Brilliant cut. It is sold exclusively through the 270 year old firm of Garrard & Company in London. and creates a high amount of waste.freiesleben. Gabi Tolkowsky. The cutting process requires a high-quality rough. Marce Tolkowsky. adding up to 50% to the cost when compared to a Round Brilliant cut diamond. and a total of 81 facets. www. Inc. In 1998. The Context Cut follows a rough diamond crystal's natural octahedral shape. The Eternal Cut is being sold exclusively at Garrard's main London store and Harvey Nichols stores in Great Britain. The Barocut is available in sizes from 20 points to 3 carats. The name "Barion" or "Barion cut" was never trademarked. and was the forerunner to the princess cut. The Context Cut is used to cut colored gemstones by Julius Petsch of Idar-Oberstein. not including the 16 girdle facets. The cut has a total of 8 facets plus a girdle. with star-shaped cross facets cut diagonally into the pavilion.com
. The Barion square cut diamond has a 4-fold mirror-image symmetry. parting ways in 2002 to again become Garrard.
Barocut The Barocut® diamond cut is a patented. Germany. The Context Cut design was based on an earlier patented design by Bernd Munsteiner from the early 1960s. and its patent has expired. and in all diamond colors and/or clarity grades.garrard. or the company website. Barocut stones are also sold in tapered shapes. 81 facets on the cut corner (cushion) version. A Barocut diamond has a total of 77 facets. www. Ulrich Freiesleben of Germany in the early 1980s then patented and trademarked in 1997. Garrard & Co.com
Context Cut The Context Cut is a square cut that was developed by Dr. The Context Cut consists of two back-to-back pyramids (an octahedron). creating a unique 'flower petal' pattern surrounding the cutlet. Barocut diamonds are promoted and sold exclusively through the Baroka Creations catalog. or to increase light-dispersion. 23 more than a modern Round Brilliant cut. forming a square shape when viewed from the top. The Eternal Cut has a total of 81 facets. of New York in 2000. merged with the jewelry firm Asprey. The Barocut is also called a "two heart diamond" due to the illusion of two mirrored hearts meeting at the culet. and a 'softer' briliance than a traditional round brilliant cut. www.The Barion square cut (aka Barion square cushion cut) was invented by Basil Watermeyer of South Africa in 1971.de
Eternal Cut The Eternal Cut diamond was designed and patented by master Israeli diamond cutter. to become Asprey & Garrard.baroka. modified rectangular (baguette) cut that was developed by Baroka Creations.
that is suited to a relatively flat rough. oval. (aka Leo Schachter Diamond). adding greater brilliance and fire than standard brilliant cuts. Unveiled at the Las Vegas Gem Show in 2001. The Zinnia is a round fancy shape with 73 facets. Other than the traditional round brilliant shape. the Gabrielle Cut is available in carre.com
Flower Cut The 'Flower Cut' series was created by Gabi Tolkowsky in 1986.
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. LLC. The Flanders Fire-Brilliant was developed by Flanders Cut International of Antwerp in 1983. marquise. Fire-Rose. which is 47 more than a traditional 'Tolkowsky' round brilliant cut. the Gabrielle has a total of 105 facets. The cut is distributed by the National Diamond Syndicate (NDS) of Chicago. who was commissioned by De Beers to create new cuts as a way of marketing unusual. off-color stones. Marigold. and the cut was named after the Flanders region of Belgium (Antwerp) where the cut was first preformed in 1987. The Dahlia is a 12 sided oval shape with 63 facets.com
Leo Cut The Leo® Diamond.
. The Flower Cuts were never patented or trademarked by De Beers in order to increase their popularity and use.gabriellediamonds. and pear shapes.nationaldiamond. www. The Sunflower has 43 facets in unusual. angular shapes. The Flower Cut is actually a series of five fancy cut shapes: the Dahlia. www. The Flower Cuts employ unconventional cutting angles and dimensions. is a patented symmetrical round cut created by Leo Schachter Diamonds.flanders-cuts. The Fire-Rose is a hexagonal shape designed to produce higher yields. 8 more facets than the Round Brilliant cut's 58. emerald.com www. 48 of which are clustered around the culet to increase fire. The Leo diamond cut has a total of 66 facets. The Flanders Brilliant has 33 crown facets and 28 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets. The Marigold is an octagon shape with 73 facets. heart. maximizing the amount of light returned back as scintillation. designed to maximize the brilliance and color of diamonds while increasing their yield. Sunflower and Zinnia cut.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 Lucida diamond cut is marketed as a wedding cut. www. and a total of has 50 facets.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. a highstep crown (similar to the Asscher Cut). www.tiffany. Bez Ambar
Radiant Cut The Radiant Cut is a modified emerald cut shape that was developed.radiantcut. The Lucida diamond cut is a modified square or rectangular (Marquise) cut with truncated corners. small table. 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. and all Original Radiant Cut diamonds weigh at least 0. and three-stone rings. The pavilion is similar to a Barion cut.The Leo diamond cut is the first to be certified for fire and brilliance as measured by a 'BrillianceScope. brilliant-style faceted pavilion (similar to a Cushion Cut). There are 25 crown facets and 36 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets (not including 8 girdle facets). sold in solitaire engagement/wedding bands.diamondaires. the Radiant Cut became a fully accepted diamond shape in the jewelry business. RCDC launched the 'Original Radiant Cut' diamond brand In 2002. and was patented and trademarked by Bez Ambar Jewelers of Los Angeles in 1980. Prior to the Quadrillion. square shaped diamonds were stepcut limiting their brilliance.com
. and the table is a bowed out rectangle. patented and trademarked by Henry Grossbard of the Radiant Cut Diamond Company (RCDC) in 1977.com
Lucida Cut The Lucida (TM) Cut is a patented diamond cut that was created by Tiffany & Company in 1999." The Leo Diamond is marketed through the Kay Jeweler chain. The Lucida is sold exclusively through Tiffany's retail chain.' and each diamond comes with a "Return of Light Certificate. eternity bands.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. Upon the expiration of the patent. There are a total of 49 facets. It was the first emerald shaped diamond cut to have brilliance and fire similar to that of a round brilliant diamond. www.
Trillion) is a triangular cut designed and trademarked by the Henry Meyer Diamond Company of New York in 1962. Since the day that humans first discovered 'adamas' (diamonds). for a total of 89 kite and star shaped facets.com
Trilliant Cut The Trilliant Cut (aka Trielle. and scintillation when cut to the correct proportions. Old eight. Harry Winston.
Point Cut . The Starburst cut was created to bring out the highest amount of color to fancy yellow diamonds. The Trilliant has the Schoenflies point group symmetry of a round brilliant. 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. Still. The point cut design is dictated by the natural shape of an octahedral rough diamond. Trillian. reworked into the shape of a trillion (triangle). The starburst faceting pattern is designed to focus color near the top of a stone. and Uncurved cut used for accent stones. but the pavilion is completely different.
. 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. and light return from the stone. this led to the invention of the first gem cutting machines (precursor to the "lap" or "Facetron") in the 1300s. craftsmen have attempted to "improve" on nature. The Trilliant Cut has a total of 31 facets.com The faceting of diamonds has come a long way in the last 700 years.early 1300s
The "point cut" (below left) is one of the first symmetrically faceted diamond cuts. With the realization that only a diamond could cut another diamond. Starburst Cuts are mounted and sold directly through Cartier. and the career of the "diamantaire" (diamond cutter/polisher) was born. There are two variations of this cut: the Curved cut used for solitary stones. right) was created by cutting off some of the top half of the point cut's octahedron to create a table. Old Mine Cut
Evolution of the Faceted Diamond & Colored Gem
Article Copyright © 2008 AllAboutGemstones. The Trilliant trademark has since lapsed. The Trilliant cut gives a high brilliance. The crown of the Starburst Cut is similar to that of the radiant cut. of New York in 1978.
Old European Gem Cuts: Point. brilliance. and the natural octahedral symmetry of the rough stone's closed isometric form. There are 49 crown facets and 40 pavilion facets. The "table cut" (below. the precursor for the "design" of the first faceted diamond lay within the rough stone itself.The Starburst Cut was patented and trademarked by the Louis Glick Diamond Corp. fire. with weight losses in the fifty percent range. making the hue of fancy yellow diamonds more intense. The pavilion has two differently sized sets triangular facets with a large triangular table. www. Nieman Marcus and Tiffany. and the Trilliant is now a generic term for a triangular brilliant cut.louisglick. The Starburst cut is especially suitable for a octahedral rough. From this point forward it was a race to see who could design the perfect faceted cut which would bring out the maximum fire.
Also called the "cushion cut". and eight pavilion facets.1500s
Invented in the mid 16th century. an octagonal table. the "rose cut" is also known by the the "Antwerp rose. The briolette was the precursor to the "pendeloque cut" which is a pear-shaped modification of the round brilliant cut. The single cut may or may not have a culet at the bottom. eight bezel or crown facets. The "briolette cut" is a modified "double Dutch rose cut" with one of the hemispheres being elongated. The crown is typically tall.
The "senaille cut" is a rose cut with irregular or non-symmetrical faceting.
Old Mine Cut . This Old Mine cut is basically square with gently rounded corners and "brilliant" style facets." "Dutch cut. it has a cushioned or rounded girdle shape." and the Full Holland cut.
. The culet is usually large enough to be visible when viewed through the table. 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.
Rose & Briolette Cut.late 1300s
Invented in the late 14th century.1700s
The "old mine" cut is the earliest form of the "brilliant cut" diamond. the "old single cut" (aka "old eight cut") diamond has the addition of corner facets to create an octagonal girdle. The briolette cut was designed primarily for use in a pendant or as a dangling bauble in a crown. resulting in a smaller table." "crowned rose cut.Single Cut .
and very tall overall depth.
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.
The "Old European" cut was the forerunner of the modern round brilliant cut. eight facets at the pavilion.Old European 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. as two stones can be cut from one crystal with a minimum amount of waste.
The Modern Round Brilliant Cut . Like the modern round brilliant.
As with its predecessor the "point cut" over 600 years earlier." Even with modern techniques. the Modern Round Brilliant cut is beneficial when the crystal is an octahedron (diagram above).1900s
The "modern round brilliant cut" (below) was developed by Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. the cutting and polishing of a diamonds resulted in a loss of as much as 50% of the stone's total weight. The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem. This cut is also known as the "Tolkowsky Cut" and "Tolkowsky brilliant. and an octagon-shaped table for a total of 17 facets (18 if a culet is used). a heavy crown.
The Diamond Trade: The 'Diamond Pipeline'
Rough Diamond Producers
Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. which combines ("aggregating") supplies of rough diamonds from multiple sources into one wholesale market (#2). Kimberley and Windhoek. there is usually a substantial mark-up in the retail sale price of diamonds. color and quality. 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).com The trade in gem-grade rough diamonds is primarily controlled by the De Beers. There is a limited market for the resale of diamonds that are less than "investment grade. 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. with a total of 33 facets (34 if a culet is used). Rio Tinto. or secondary mining producers in Canada and Russia to De Beers' Diamond Trading Company (DTC) in London. Trans Hex." The DTC is part of the DeBeers Group supply-chain known as the Central Selling Organization (CSO). thereby controlling and stabilizing prices."
The 'Diamond Pipeline'
Rough diamonds are sent directly from De Beers mining operations in Africa (#1).000 categories based on size. The rough stones are separated into 16. then divided by human or automated sorters into individual lots called "boxes. for sorting and resale. silver or platinum.A "Swiss cut" is a compromise between an eight cut and a brilliant cut. Gaborone. 16 isosceles triangle facets on the crown and 16 facets on the pavilion.
which are increasing in popularity and consumer acceptance.000. through their Diamond Promotion Service (DPS) and Diamond Information Centres (DIC) marketing divisions. De Beers.20 carats or less) in Mumbai (Bombay) and Surat. Many Sightholders are also cutters. Russia and elswhere.
. or to jewelry manufacturers (#5) around the world. De Beers is also facing increasing pressure from the manufactures of synthetic diamonds. while large stones are primarily cut in Antwerp. diamonds have underperformed since 1987 when compared to the "luxury goods" market or global GDP. where De Beers sells the "boxes" to its select group ("supplier of choice") of 125 "sightholders" (#3) or diamond manufacturers. De Beers (DTC) sets the price of each box in advance. The diamonds are then re-sold from the cutting and polishing (manufacturing) centers to wholesalers (Diamond Bourses). Rough diamonds are cut in various geographic regions according to tradition and the skill-sets of the labor force. and retailers . Both traders and manufacturers may sell diamonds "upstream" and "downstream" through the diamond pipeline . As a reaction to their decrease in market share. determining the quantity and quality that each site-holder will receive. has launched an aggressive branding and marketing campaign.000 to $2. The sightholder then transports the box of rough diamonds back to diamantaire firms (cutting and polishing factories) located around the world (#4).
De Beers and the Future
De Beers' (CSO's) control over the wholesale diamond market has diminished due to increased market penetration.com website). and independent diamond producers in Canada.000 USD. (see DeBeers' Adiamondisforever. cutters. and the breakaway from CSO's cartel by the Argyle Diamond Mine in Australia. A 'sight' can have a value of between $500. Tel Aviv. Other major cutting centers are located in Johannesburg. reclaiming their "A Diamond Is Forever" moniker. and Thailand. India cuts the vast majority of small stones (.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 New York. Once the diamonds are set into jewelry. to take advantage of market fluctuations. Additionally. Ramat Gan. China.
the European Union and the United Nations to rid the diamond Industry of conflict diamonds.Forevermark Diamonds
As a way of staving off the onslaught of secondary diamond markets. Belgium but there are also Diamond Bourses in Israel. and the city is the hub of the global diamond trading industry (diamanthandel). Almost 85% of the world's rough diamonds. are sold in Antwerp every year. NY . Moscow. some 1. London. In addition to its members. South Africa. and Rijfstraat. As of 2006. or commodities exchange similar to the NYSE. heavily guarded geographic area surrounded by three main streets. The largest diamond trading center in the world is located in Antwerp. and about half of the polished diamonds.S. and preventing the inherent product misidentification that will follow. 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. cut and uncut diamonds. and will com with a certificate of authenticity. Asia. bond. The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base. The Council has approximately 70 members representing jewelers. Within Antwerp's diamond district.500 diamond dealers (diamantbedrijven) are ensconced in small. and Shanghai. Hong Kong. Europe. The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates . China.com The word "Bourse" refers to a private stock. The Council began in July 2000 after a joint meeting of the WFDB and its international headquarters are in New York City. Israel and South Africa and works with 35 independent Governments. Hoveniersstraat. Forevermark diamonds will be available through sightholder/retailers in the U. Schupstraat. also known as the "World Diamond Center" or Diamantenzentrum.
The Diamond Trade: Diamond Bourses of Antwerp
Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. KPCS originated in May 2000 during a meeting of South African diamond producing states in Kimberley. and India (2007). the DTC has developed new inscription technologies to "invisibly" mark the table facet of polished diamonds with a "Forevermark" trademark.
. De Beers is hoping that the combination of branding and security will increase consumer demand. Diamond Bourses are basically trading exchanges for loose. the WDC has observers from the governments of Belgium.
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. This mark is only visible via a point-of-sale electronic viewer. traders and manufacturer/producers. 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 ..
These first trading exchanges mainly dealt with the wholesaling of cut stones. Both bourse were founded by Hasidim diamantairs.
In Antwerp's 'Diamond Center' (Diamantenzentrum) today. regulations. making it the largest diamond-trading center in the world .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. which was established in the same year that the 1930 World Expo was held in Antwerp. and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) was founded in 1947. the Antwerpsche Diamantkring was reopened. founded in 1893—and the Beurs voor Diamanthande (at Pelikaanstraat 78) founded in 1904 .Photo: Wiki Public
The first trading exchange to deal exclusively with rough. an by-laws that govern business practices. Control over the diamond trade is maintained through the WFDB's Constitution containing a series of rules. and repatriation of Antwerp following the end of WWII. Most transactions conducted within the Bourses done with cash and a handshake. After the liberation.
The Diamond High Council (HRD)
. Around $16+ billion in polished diamonds pass through Antwerp's diamond bourses each year. bisected by Hoveniersstraat street. ethics and morality. friendship and trust . uncut diamonds was the Antwerpsche Diamantkring (Antwerp Diamond Ring) . 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. there are around 4000 diamond-cutters (diamantaire) working in the several-square-block diamond district. and disputes are handled by an internal arbitration process.
Beurs voor Diamanthandel . and both are still in operation today.
Gauteng (Premier Diamond Mine). coming for
. This led to a new wave of emigrants and adventurer-seekers from England. The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base.' After the devastating Zulu defeat.' and the 'Orange Free State' provinces to escape hostilities with the native 'Xhosa tribe' from which Nelson Mandela decended. The Boers resisted British encroachments into their territory until the Second 'Anglo' Boer War (1899— 1902). The Voortrekkers had to contend with the native Zulu tribe over land they wished to settle on. England seized the Cape of Good Hope from the Dutch East India Company in 1797. The First Boer War (1880—1881) began with the Transvaal (Limpopo) Boers declaring independence from Great Britain.The HRD (Hoge Raad voor Diamant) Diamond High Council is a non-profit industry organization designed to promote and represent the Antwerp diamond trade. which at the time was administered by the 'Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie' or 'Dutch East India Company. who were in search of the "quiet sweet life. ending with the inclusion of all Boer territories into British colonies. and fully annexed the Cape Colony in 1806 . Afrikaners (aka Boers or farmers) were religious refugees from the Netherlands and other parts of northern Europe during the mid 1600s to late 1700s. Afrikaners who participated in the migration northward became known as the 'Trekboer' or Voortrekkers. There was not a single Boer fatality." Three of South Africa's richest diamond mines are in Northern Cape (Kimberley Diamond Mine).000 Zulu warriors attacking 470 Boer settlers.
Diamonds and the British
The Second Wave of Europeans Needing a stopping-off point on the sea-route to Australia and India. and Limpopo (Venetia Diamond Mine). or German Protestant backgrounds.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. most with Dutch Calvinist.' During the 1830s and 1840s.' 'Gauteng. The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates . there was a mass exodus (the Great Trek) northward to 'Northern Cape.' 'Limpopo. but 3000 Zulus were killed in what became known as the 'Battle of Blood River. They settled in the 'Cape of Good Hope' on Africa's southern most tip. under the Treaty of Vereeniging. with 10. 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. Flemish.
The Diamond Trade: History & Culture of the Key Players
Article Copyright © 2006 AllAboutGemstones. and this eventually lead to all-out war.
Rhodes started out selling ice cream to the diamond-diggers and service workers. self-government was restored. and in 1910 the 'Union of South Africa' was created.. and later selling steam-powered water pumps to drain the open-pit mines of Kimberley. Barnato was given appointed to 'life governor' and temporary controlling interest in De Beers .the "mineral revolution. Barnato died several years later. Domain
Cecil Rhodes Cecil Rhodes (1853—1902) is the undisputed father of the modern diamond industry. 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. D. a curious discovery was being made along the banks of the Orange River. no heirs to his empire. De Beers and Kimberley Central were the two largest mining interests in South Africa at the time. he was able to build a monopolistic empire through skill and cunning. but was eventually successful in convincing Barnato to merge with De Beers. As a young lad from England.' Cecil Rhodes died a single man with no children and.
Photo: Pub. De Beer. With the help of the Rothschild bank in London. A. Amid all of this turmoil and chaos. Domain
Thomas M." In 1906. although Rhodes did not start out with an interest in diamonds. Domain
Barney Barnato During the same period that Cecil Rhodes was building De Beers Consolidated Mines. Rhodes made several aborted attempt to gain control over Barnato's interest in Kimberley Central Mine. in Northern Cape. and J. Cecil Rhodes' De Beers empire was started on a farm owned by two Boer settlers and brothers.
Photo: Pub. One of the richest men in the world. N.
Photo: Pub. 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. diamond speculator and fellow Englishman named Barney Barnato (1852—1897) was buying up pieces of the Big Hole in Kimberley to form the Kimberley Central Mine. As founder of De Beers. Cullinan
.. The African nation of Rhodesia was named after him (now the Republic of Zimbabwe). In exchange. a prospector. mysteriously falling overboard on a ship passage back to England.
Sir Thomas Major Cullinan (1860—1936) was the founder of one of Africa's richest diamond mines, the 'Premier Diamond Mine,' 30 kilometers east of Pretoria, in Gauteng province, South Africa. Although Cullinan was already a successful building contractor in Johannesburg, he was also an amateur geologist who had heard about alluvial diamonds being found along a stream near the old 'Cornelis Minnaar Farm' in upper Gauteng. Cullinan was interested in purchasing the farm, which had already changed hands several times, but the present owner, Willem Prinsloo (who had purchased the land for £570 in 1861) was not interested in selling. Shortly after the close Anglo Boer War (1898—1902), Willem Prinsloo's widow agreed to sell the land to Cullinan for £52,000, and the 'Transvaal Premier Diamond Mining Company LTD' was officially registered on the December 1, 1902 . On January 25th 1905, a 3,106 carat diamond was found at the mine, which remains the largest diamond ever found in the world. When news of Premier's success hit the board room of De Beers, several aborted attempts were made to purchase the mine, but Cullinan had no intention of selling . In 1914, WW1 broke out in Europe, and diamond prices began to spiral. Layoffs at the mine caused enough friction that by August, mining operations were suspended. The Premier Mine had resumed production by January 1916, but in need of cash, Cullinan sold a major stake in the mine to the Transvaal government. Frank Oats, who was now the chairman of De Beers, was able to convince the Transvaal government to sell its controlling interest in 1917, and De Beers once again enjoyed a monopoly on South African diamonds.
Diamonds and the Ashkenazi, Sephardi and Hasidic Jews
There is perhaps no other ethnic group that is so inextricably intertwined with the diamond trade, than the jews. In an odd twist of fate, it may be Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama's discovery of a searoute to India around Africa's Cape of Good Hope in 1488, that set the stage for the Jewish/diamond connection. Da Gama's discovery opened up a direct diamond-trading route from India's Malabar Coast and the island of Borneo, to Portugal and on the Netherlands. With Lisbon now at the forefront of the European diamond trade, many Portuguese Sephardi businessmen opened cutting houses, and quickly gained a dominant roll in the diamond-polishing industry. The Sephardi were Jews who originated from Spain and Portugal (the Iberian Peninsula), many practicing a secret adherence to Judaism known as "Crypto-Judaism," while professing other faiths. Jews who practiced their religion in the open were expelled from Spain and Portugal, when the Catholic Monarchs issued the "Alhambra Decree" in 1492 (1497 for Portugal), fleeing to Morocco, the Ottoman Empire, Antwerp and Amsterdam. When the first Jewish emigrants (Ashkenazi) came to Antwerp in the 1200s, they were welcomed, but when the Black Plague swept across Antwerp in the mid 1300s, the Jews were one of the scapegoats. Although Amsterdam's Dutch were relatively tolerant when it came to religious freedom, in 1585 Antwerp came under Spanish rule, and the Jews (this time Sephardic), were once again the focus of scrutiny. With the Spanish Inquisition in high gear, Jews were now persecuted for conducting trade with the Ottoman Empire, or for being 'pseudo-Christian.' In the 1600s, wealthy Jewish diamond-traders now living in the Netherlands, financed the 'Dutch East India Company' and its exploration of new trade routes to India, but the British were beginning to see opportunity in the diamond trade, creating new competition for the Jewish/Dutch. Prior to being granted 'civil equality' in 1796, Amsterdam's Jews were not allowed to join trade guilds, leaving the unregulated diamond industry as one of the only means of employment. By the late 18th century, many of Amsterdam's Jews were working in the diamond trade, and many of these 'Sephardi refugees' had maintained connections with Portuguese traders who now had a monopoly on the trade of raw diamonds from India. By the early 1700s, India's mines were nearing exhaustion, but a new discovery in Brazil helped to reinvigorate the diamond trade. By this time, British naval superiority proved to be a great advantage, and the 'British East India Company' was born. The European center for the diamond trade now began to move away from Amsterdam, as Jewish traders set up shop in London. The cut stones were sold to the nobility and royalty of Europe, using the Hofjude (Court Jews) as purchasing agents to select the stones from the London diamond merchants.
Photo: Pub. Domain
The Pshevorsk Hasidic Dynasty Hasidic Judaism was founded by Polish (now Ukrainian) Rabbi 'Ba'al Shem Tov', aka 'Israel ben Eliezer' (1698—1760) in a time when European Jews were facing increasing hostility and pressure from the "Cossacks' Uprising" in Ukraine. The Hasidic movement is a sub-group of the theologically conservative Haredi or Charedi Judaism, aka Ultra-Orthodox Judaism. The movement was seen as a way of turning inward towards a 'deeper spiritualism and mysticism.' Hasidism spread westward, making its way to western Europe in the 1800s. The Hasidic movement in Antwerp began with Rabbi Moshe of Pshevorsk, who authored 'Ohr Pnei Moshe' in 1805 . The Pshevorsk is a small sub-Hasidic movement based in Antwerp, Belgium, with their hub at the study hall (beth midrash), 'Beth Yitzchok' at Mercatorstraat 56. With the discovery of vast diamond reserves in South Africa during the late 1800s, concern over a glut in the diamond market spread throughout London's diamond merchants. A group of wealthy Jewish dealers pooled their resources to form "the syndicate," which was created to soak up all of the excess capacity being created by South Africa. Today, Antwerp and London's diamond trade is largely controlled by the Hasidic Jewish community, although Indian influence is on the rise in recent years. Many of these Hasidic entrepreneurs are nameless by choice, preferring to maintain their anonymity, but they have been the driving force behind the multi-billion dollar diamond industry for hundreds of years.
Photo: Pub. Domain
Alfred Beit Alfred Beit (1853—1906) was born into a prominent Jewish family in Hamburg, Germany. Beit worked for the diamond firm of Jules Porges and Co. in Amsterdam before emigrating to 'Cape Colony' in 1875 during the Kimberley diamond-rush . Beit was part of a group of financiers, including Cecil Rhodes, who gained control of the diamond-mining claims in the Central Mine, Dutoitspan Mine, and De Beers Mine, thereby 'consolodating' the South African mining industry. becoming a 'life-governor' of De Beers Consolidated Mines. He was also the director of the Beira Railway Company, British South Africa Company, Rand Mines, and the Rhodesia Railways. Beit, along with partner Cecil Rhodes, financed the 1895 'Jameson Raid' which was an attempt to trigger an unsuccessful coup in the South African Republic of Transvaal. The Royal School of Mines, at the Imperial College London has a large memorial to Beit, in recognition of the Beit trust's bequeathment to the university, and to educational institutions in Britain, Germany South Africa, and Zimbabwe (Rhodesia).
Photo: Pub. Domain
Sir Ernest Oppenheimer Ernest Oppenheimer (1880—1957) was born in Friedberg, Germany to a large Jewish family, and with several brothers working for "the syndicate," Ernest was well positioned for his future vocation. He began his career at age 17, working for the diamond brokerage firm, Dunkelsbuhler & Company in London. Oppenheimer created the concept of "single-channel marketing" over 100 years ago, by funneling the world's supply of diamonds through a single clearing house. Oppenheimer gained control of Namibia's diamond mines, forming the Anglo American mining conglomerate. This gave him the financing and power to gain the chairmanship of De Beers. Today, Oppenheimer's Anglo American operates a fleet of diamond recovery ships off the coast of Namibia and South Africa under the umbrella of De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited (DBCM), and Central Holdings Limited (CHL), an Oppenheimer family holding company, and in partnership with Namdeb.
Photo: Pub. Domain
Nicky Oppenheimer Ernest's grandson, Nicky Oppenheimer (born 1945) studied philosophy at Oxford as a young man, and is now the chairman of the De Beers Diamond Mining Company and its subsidiary Diamond Trading Company. The Oppenheimer family and Anglo American maintains a 45% stake in De Beers today. Africa's richest man, and #134 on the Forbes list of the world's richest people, Nicky Oppenheimer is worth an estimated $4.5 billion. Under new legislation, passed by the African National Congress, Nicky Oppenheimer was forced to sell a 26% share of De Beers to the South African 'Black Economic Empowerment' group (BEE). This was the first major ownership change for De Beers in over a century. Of the legislation Oppenheimer said: "De Beers is here to make a profit, but we must benefit the people and communities where we operate."
Photo: Pub. Domain
Lev Leviev The Lev Leviev Group, created by Israeli national, Lev Leviev (born 1956 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan) is the worlds largest cutter and polisher (diamantaire) of rough diamonds, with factories in Armenia, India, Israel, and the Ukraine. The Lev Leviev Group also owns mining interests in Namibia's offshore dredging operations. Through his personal relationship to Vladimir Putin and other Russian heads of
found on August 22. with his wife and their nine children.). ALROSA produces 100% of Russia's rough diamond output and approximately 20% of the world's rough diamonds . Lesotho Promise is the 15th largest diamond ever found. Raised by his grandparents. formed by Decree 158C of the Russian Federation. Dubai. It will ultimately be cut into an estimated 20 or so 'D-flawless' stones ranging from 75 carats to 1 carat in size. Graff has co-authored (with Vanessa von Zitzewitz) "The Most Fabulous Jewels in the World." and the "king of bling" by Forbes magazine .state.com
Gujarat's Indian Diamantaires
. New York's Madison Avenue. Laurence Graff was born into a Jewish orthodox family in London's poorer 'East End' district. now called ALROSA (Almazy-Rossii-Sakha) . Graff's net worth is estimated at 2. 2006 at the Letseng diamond mine in the tiny Kingdom of Lesotho in the center of the Republic of South Africa. Graff has been dubbed the "king of diamonds. and one of the most successful diamond merchants in modern history. and has satellite locations in Wafi City. House of Graff is also located on London's Sloane Street. Using this model of "local control.5 billion dollars . to Larry Ellison.
The Hindustani Diamond Cutters
Photo: dnavin. Monte Carlo. All House of Graff stones have a laser-inscribed girdle with the 'Graff' logo and GIA number. from wholesale and retail. and the largest rough unearthed in this century. Graff's strategy of "vertically integration" has been to control every angle of the diamond pipeline. Domain
Laurence Graff Laurence Graff (1938—) is a DeBeers sightholder." the Leviev Group has found willing partners in several countries including Angola's ASCORP after De Beers' exit in 2001. Tretiakovsky Proezd in Moscow.5 billion (#278 Forbes List). founder of the House of Graff in the heart of London's posh New Bond Street. Leviev's net-worth is estimated at $2. to purchasing a 51% stake in Safdico (South African Diamond Corp. Alrosa now sells direct to cutting factories throughout Russia. Hotel de Paris' salon privé in Paris. Russia. By circumventing the De Beers supply chain. which are now owned by Lev Leviev. Mr." a compendium and history of his most famous jewels. and on board the luxury residential ship The World ResidenSea.
Photo: Pub. a DeBeers sightholder in Johannesburg. Israel. selling to the rich and famous from Elizabeth Taylor and Donald Trump. in 1992. Lev Leviev lives in B'nei Brak. Lev Leviev has formed a partnership with the ex Soviet state-owned diamond firm. One of his most notable acquisitions was the 603 carat "Lesotho Promise diamond. which gives him access to some of the finest uncut diamonds coming out of South Africa.
Navinchandra & Co (board of directors . Gitanjali Gems. and were written about in an ancient Sanskrit manuscript called the "The Lesson of Profit" Arthasastra (c. D. and De Beers India. and to develop an "understanding of the world market." The Indians would go on to enjoy a singular reign over the diamond-rich dominion—known as Hindustan—for another two thousand years. Harshad Mehta ("Diamond King of the world") is one of the founders of Rosy Blue. heighten awareness of ethical business practices. started out thirty years ago by purchasing cheaper stones that the Dutch Hasidim. It is estimated that India cuts.7 billion in annual sales . from Hong Kong to Israel. The Sanskrit word for 'diamond' was vajra. and exports several billion dollars worth of gems per year. Venus Jewels.
Photo: rosyblue. and Shah. Gujarat. and is currently a Senior Partner and head of the UAE division. 320 BC) by Kautiliya. the Hindustan Diamond Company Ltd.above).
Photo: Pub. (HDC). Shree Ramkrishna Exports. to elevate quality standards. universal truths. and although India's famous "Diamonds of Golconda" were mined-out hundreds of years ago. based upon eternal. are headed and staffed by Mehta family members. and Israelis didn't want to work with ." The Bharat Diamond Bourse in Mumbai. The Indo Argyle Diamond Council (IADC) formed in 1994 as a consortium of Indian jewelry manufacturers and cutting houses. Domain
Bharat & Vijay Shah Bharat and Vijay Shah came from a family of jewelers going back three generations. Dilip Mehta of Mumbai. M. Sanghavi Exports. with $1. improve perceptions. or "thunderbolt. Jainism is an ancient Indian religious sect believing in the 'Jain' philosophy. and Surat's 'Special Economic Zone' . 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. with diamond cutting factories located in Borivali.Diamonds made their first reluctant appearance in human history over 2400 years ago. Mumbai. Companies like Bhavani Gems. Much of India's diamond trade is controlled by a handful of wealthy families in Gujarat. displacing the Hasidim as the dominant force in the industry . Gitanjali Gems is one of the largest manufacturers of diamonds and diamond jewelry in India. India (born 1949). polishes.com
Dilip Mehta Indian diamantaire. they were able to gain an increasingly larger share of the wholesale diamond trade. is the newest addition to India's arsenal of global marketing tools to promote exports. both college dropouts. By slowly developing markets. and Vijaydimon are family owned operations run by Jains with the common surnames of Jhavari. propelling their twin companies. a minister to the Indian king. the Indians would not be giving up their rightful heritage as diamantaires. Suresh & Co. Mehta. is the CEO of the 'Rosy Blue Group' which is currently one of the world's largest diamond companies.
. Several other divisions of the Rosy Blue Group. This vast fortune is shared by some 300 to 500 Gujaratis families from Palanpur on the GujaratRajasthan border . The Indian communities' share has grown to around 60%. Of the $26 billion per year diamond revenues that flow through Antwerp. Chandragupta. The brothers.
UAE. dos Santos. the political situation in Angola has begun to normalize. President Festus Mogae was elected for a second term in 2004. is making great strides in stabilizing the country after years of strife. Joseph Kabila (above. and the United States. Domain
N. employing 22. Angola and from mining magnates. who was a major general in the army. After winning a disicive re-election victory in 2006. succeeded his father (Laurent-Désiré Kabila) as president the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC) after his assassination in January 2001. Botswana is a relatively wealthy African country. Hong Kong. is receiving broad support from the South Africa. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. Ayer & Son
. working in cooperation with the government of Sierra Leone.
Diamonds and the Americans
Photo: Pub. into a global position with nearly $1 Billion a year in sales. and the end to South African apartheid in 1994. The last democratic election in Angola was in 1992. India. created a program for capacity-building of 'small and medium-sized enterprise' (SME) development. left). On a somewhat darker note. Surat. In a post-conflict reconstruction effort.Vijaydimon (Belgium) and B Vijaykumar (India) . only hinting at their possibility in 2007 or 2008. Mandela. Thailand. Botswana has held regular elections and has been one of the more stable governments in southern Africa. Kabbah. The president of Sierra Leone. and Tel Aviv. Singapore. president José Eduardo dos Santos is preventing democratic elections from taking place.000 workers. all who have signed multi-million dollar trade deals. Vijaydimon also purchases rough diamonds from Canada's Diavik Mine and Argyle (Rio Tinto) and Russia . the 'United Nations Industrial Development Orginization' (UNIDO). After years of fighting between the PMLA and UNITA. both domestically and internationally. and enjoys broad support. The company has cutting factories in Antwerp. Bangkok. Bombay. with one of the fastest per-capita income growth rates in the world.W.
Diamonds and the African Nationals
Photos: Public Domain
Kabila. China. many of the ex-colonial nations of Sub-Saharan Africa are starting to emerge as powerful and legitimate forces in the diamond industry. & Mogae Starting with Botswana's independence in 1966. Vijaydimon is a DTC sightholder with offices in Belgium. At the age of 29. Palanpur. Kabila.
' During the 1800s. Charles Tiffany. which started out as 'Tiffany & Young' of New York City in 1837. Lorelei receives a diamond tiara from her suitor. The stone was cut in Paris. The Great Depression had taken a heavy toll on luxury goods during the 1930s.' brand was catapulted into the stratosphere by the 1961 movie 'Breakfast at Tiffany's. Styne moved to Hollywood where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn. The Tiffany is still selling luxury jewelry in their trademarked 'Tiffany Blue Box. After the French revolution in 1799. the values of ostentatious gems and jewelry dropped precipitously. The 'Tiffany & Co." was the co-founder of Tiffany & Co. and a series of diamond-related slogans were introduced into the American lexicon.W.72 carat cushion-cut diamond (one of the "Diamonds of Golconda") was mounted by Tiffany. who was known for his jewelry expertise.' staring Audrey Hepburn. the public's tolerance towards nobility was at a low point. With financial shockwaves caused by the French economy's collapse in 1847. Domain
Charles Lewis Tiffany Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812—1902). The movie version featured Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend.54 carat 'The Tiffany Diamond.' at the flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. and from the Spanish Crown Jewels . N.' which was adapted to film in 1953. and featuring the memorable scene in which Holly gazes longingly into Tiffany's window display. De Beers president.
Photo: Pub. Tiffany & Young. was originally a 'fancy goods' emporium. Jule Styne. gems and jewelry from the estates of the European aristocracy." after here charecter. A 19. and the diamond industry was particularly hard hit. One of Tiffany's most notable diamond acquisitions was a 287.W. specializing in one-of-a-kind baubles for New York's newly-minted industrialists and 'robber-barons.42 carat rough flawless-yellow diamond from the 'Compagnie Français de Diamant du Cap' (Kimberley mine) in 1877. and sold to Nanaline Duke (now in the Doris Duke Collection). Tiffany was able to purchase significant gems from such renowned estates as: the 'jewel-mad' Duke of Brunswick.
Photo: Pub. Ayer & Son. located at 259 Broadway. aka "the King of Diamonds. In 1948 the famous "A diamond is forever" slogan was introduced. this time from playwriter. Jule Styne (born Julius Kerwin Stein) was born in London. After attending Chicago Musical College. Harry Frederick Oppenheimer enlisted the help of N. the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine." by Jean Schlumberger in the 1960s. Prince Esterhazy of Hungary. and Tiffany seized on the opportunity.' The stone was set into a garish jewelry piece called "Bird on a Rock. De Beers and the diamond industry got another shot in the arm. Sir Francis "Piggy" Beekman.
. and the subsequent overthrowing of King Louis-Philippe of France in 1848."A diamond is forever" is the legendary saying that was created by America's first advertising agency. Domain
Hollywood in 1949 Coming just on the heels of the immortal "a diamond is forever" campaign. producing the 128. purchased diamonds. Ayer in 1938. Styne wrote the score for the 1949 Broadway musical 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. for resale in America.
but not least. 2006
Hollywood in 2006 Blood Diamond is the latest incarnation of Hollywood's fascination with diamond. In a preemptive strike against any negative publicity that the movie would generate." there would be no "diamond trade.Photo: © Warner Bros. or "cert" may be your only assurance that you are getting exactly what you paid for. Diamonds are tested for
Diamond Grading: Diamond Certificates (Certs)
Gemological Laboratory Certification
Why do you need a laboratory certification for your diamond? Although it may seem like a needless expense. Leavitt weaves a tale of Sierra Leone's impoverished "diamond diggers. This time. grading report. as writer Charles Leavitt takes us through the dark underbelly of the diamond trade. appraisal report. Through interviews with human-rights organizations like Doctors Without Borders and Global Witness. certificate of authenticity. the World Diamond Council placed ten full-page ads in newspapers around the county. we have the faceless American consumer. a diamond certificates. Were it not for intrepid consumers.
The Consumer Last." and the terrible working conditions that these workers must endure. the unsung hero in the diamond trade. the glamor is laid bare. and their willingness to purchase the concept of "foreverness.
The International Gemological Institute (IGI) is the oldest institute of its kind in Antwerp. with operations in New York City. California.other than the price. founded in 1975. Although even a lay-person may be able to tell the difference between a triple-zero diamond and a cheap. shape and cut of a stone. clarity. Bangkok.not only for resale. poorly cut SI-3 grade stone. and carat weight) and they are also tested for traces of gem enhancement. there is very little (visible) difference between a FL stone and a IF or VVS-1 stone . with offices around the globe. Toronto.
The GIA was founded by Robert M. Antwerp. and Attestations of Origin.
A GIA (Gemological Institute of America) report provides detailed information about the dimensions. wether the stone is natural or synthetic. color. Appraisal Reports. Tokyo. Dubai and Hong Kong. Although GIA's diamond grading methodology is the industry standard they are also known for their "colored stone grading system" used to quantify the hue. and is the largest independent gem certification and appraisal institute in the United States. Mumbai. Los Angeles. Certificates of Authenticity. and wether they are synthetic. which can be substantially different. GIA reports also cover any treatments or enhancements that have been done. and saturation of a colored stone.
. The IGI offers Identification Reports. 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 . and of corse.' GIA's world headquarters are located in Carlsbad. tone. the same year that Shipley published his groundbreaking book titled 'Gemology. Shipley in 1931.the basics (cut dimensions and proportions. carat weight. but for insurance appraisal as well.
weight. HRD also offers gemelogical training and continuing education courses in diamond grading. Cut.
. Shape. jewellery design and gemology. as well as quantifying the standard parameters of Clarity.
HRD uses the "Hearts and Arrows" measuring system which was developed by HRD Antwerp scientists. the sorting of rough diamonds. and Fluorescence.The IGI lab grades diamonds as well as colored gemstones along several basic criteria which include: shape and cut.
HRD Antwerp Diamond Certificate
The certificates department of HRD Antwerp in Antwerpen. All diamonds are examined anonymously. and finish. with "Triple Excellent" being the highest overall designation. mesurments. Carat Weight. Belgium issues quality reports for loose (unmounted) polished diamonds according to ISO 17025 international standards for gemelogical testing laboratories. and the graders can not know the identity of the owner. HRD's refined Cut Grading system measures each of the three parameters (proportions. origin (colored gems). clarity. polish and symmetry) using a scale ranging from Excellent to Fair. color. Color.
" The AGS Cut Grading system was developed through of years of research by gemologists." is not an appraisal of monetary value. An AGS report. Shipley. 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. Symmetry. AGS is considered the premier diamond-grading laboratory. The AGS Gemological Laboratories was established in 1996 to provide state-of-the-art diamond grading and appraisal services to the jewelry industry. and s ratings.
Diamond Grading AGS Diamond Quality Report (DQD)
AGS Gemological Laboratory Background
Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. but rather a comprehensive quality evaluation.
. certificates issued after January 1. and to set a higher standard of business ethics and professional practices in the jewelry industry. referred to as a "Diamond Quality Document" or "DQD. 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 Proportions. having the most rigid grading standards. 'Polish' and 'Symmetry' were merged into one category called "Finish. A diamond's clarity is also graded on a simple numeric scale from 0 to 10.As well as testing for synthetic diamonds. Today. and does not evaluate other types of colored gemstones. AGS grades diamond color on a numeric sliding scale that is similar to GIA's alphabetical scale. HRD uses complex watermarking to prevent copying or falsifying their reports. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). The AGS specializes in diamond testing and evaluation. mathematicians. as opposed to GIA's vvs. The mission of the AGS is to increase consumer awareness. vs. 2005 can be viewed online. as well as the most comprehensive system for grading the all-important 'cut' parameters. To insure the security of their documents.
The AGSL was the first gem lab to grade a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors. and optical physicists. along with a consortium of independent jewelers. the HRD lab also uses state-of-the-art technology to test for subtle and hard to recognize enhancements such as HPHT. The AGS Diamond Quality Document uses a unique and proprietary 0 to 10 grading system that is simpler for the consumer to understand than the GIA's grading nomenclature. creator of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Aditionally.com The American Gem Society was founded in 1934 by Robert M.
" and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors. 'Polish' and 'Symmetry' were merged into one category called "Finish. In 2004 AGS added a new category that is referred to as "Light Performance. Each parameter is given a numeric grade from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). Proportions & Light Performance
The AGSL was the first gem lab to grade a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. and optical physicists." The AGS Cut grading system was developed through years of research by gemologists.
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. dispersion. contrast. mathematicians. The ray-tracing program measures the quantity of the light being returned to the viewer by quantifying brightness.
. leakage and light spread. and Proportions.Cut Grade: Finish. Symmetry." but to retained the "Triple Zero" monicker for diamonds with a perfect score.
0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light .0 to 7.0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless ."
Each AGS grading document is marked with a hologram (dark circle at lower right of report) and watermarking or embossing to prevent fraudulent duplication. 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.5 to 4.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering. the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade
The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero.
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." or "ideal" rating. in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above). The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles.
. and individual facet ratios. AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond. all measured in three spacial dimensions.0 to 1.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light .
AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations
Colorless . where facets intersect with each-other.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint .5 to 3.5. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. relative facet angles.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z)
As of 2003.3.7. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram.1.
OctoNus Software. Dubai. princess.42 Carat D. the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA). and ore bodies that are in situ.
Diamonds: Gem & Diamond Mining Technology
Photos: Public Domain
Diamond & Gem Mining . AGS will only evaluate loose. 5. Additionally. and OGI Systems. and will soon be offering cut evaluations for other fancy shapes. As of 2005. AGSL reports will also grade cut quality for emerald. while a shaft is
." A decline is a spiral (corkscrew) tunnel which circles the ore deposit. Artisanal Mining Hard Rock Mining Marine Mining Open Pit Mining Placer Mining
Hard-Rock Diamond Mining The term "hard-rock mining" (top of page. and octagon step-cut diamonds.
Accessing the underground ore is achieved via a horizontal passageway called a "decline.Triple-0 Round Brilliant Setting
'American Star Diamond' 13. and can only be accessed by tunneling underground and creating underground "rooms" or "stopes" that are supported by timber pillars or standing rock. 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. India and Israel. 4. 2.Extraction Methods
Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. minerals. and the peripheral damage that will be done to the surrounding environment. These diamond extraction methods vary depending on how the minerals are deposited within the earth. 3. Pricing for a diamond grading report is based on carat weight.com Diamonds and other precious and semi-precious gemstones are extracted from the earth using five basic mining techniques. so that the cutter can improve the light performance of their cut stones. through AGS offices in Antwerp. unmounted diamonds. The principle methods of diamond extraction are:
1." or a by a vertical "shaft. which are used by non-contact measuring-device manufacturers such as Sarin Technologies.
Obtaining an AGS Report
AGS is a 'trade-industry' testing laboratory that will only evaluate diamonds sent from jewelers or manufacturers. AGS will also provide analysis of a manufacturers 'cut performance' by analyzing a sample stone's Sarin file. the stability of the material that surrounds that desired gem or mineral. AGS offers laser inscription services as well. left) refers to various techniques used to extract gems. The AGS supplies 'facet arrangement' templates corresponding to their cutgrading system.
right) is used for extracting diamonds and minerals from alluvial. Diamonds and most gemstones are hard. highly resistant to weathering. Small "pit lakes" tend to form at the bottom of open-pit mines as a result of groundwater intrusion. or large conical sieves. or hand digging (artisanal mining). at a maximum depth of 500 feet. or pans. center) is a method of extracting rock and minerals from the earth by removal from a machine-dug open pit or burrow. which concentrate the heavier gems at the bottom. Laborers who work in artisanal diamond mining are called "diamond diggers" (below left). rock or sedimentary soil. Open Pit Mining Open-pit diamond mining.vertical tunnel used for ore haulage. also known as "sand-bank mining" (top of page.
. gravel. Gems are separated from waste material using various sifting and sorting techniques such as cone screens. Artisanal Mining Artisanal diamond mining (aka "small-scale mining") involves nothing more that digging and sifting through mud or gravel river-bank alluvial deposits (above. Artisanal diamond mining is a form of "subsistence based" non-mechanized mining that is used in poorer countries throughout the world.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. also known as "open-cast mining" (top of page. and access to the ore. and have a specific gravity that is higher than that of common minerals. mechanized surface excavating equipment. with the middle size being a candidate for final sorting.Photo: USGS
Alluvial Diamond . running adjacent to the ore. right) with bare hands. Horizontal mining employs the use of Seabed Crawlers (remotely controlled. machinery. 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. Marine diamond mining employs both "vertical" and "horizontal" techniques to extract diamonds from offshore placer deposits. A decline is typically used for mining personnel. Marine Mining Marine mining technology only became commercially viable in the early 1990s. CAT-tracked underwater mining vehicles) move across the sea floor pumping gravel up to an offshore vessel. Open pit mines are typically used when mineral deposits are found close to the surface or along defined kimberlite pipes. Placer Mining Placer diamond mining.
Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . therefore. they tend to concentrate in alluvial deposits in the same way that gold placers develop. and is a derivative form of open-cast mining used to extract minerals from the surface of the earth without the use of tunneling. shovels. the gravels are separated and sorted into three sizes. or sand) that is unsuitable for tunneling. box screens. or sort material according to size. eluvial. and or colluvial secondary deposits. Excavation is accomplished using water pressure (hydraulic mining). While on board.
garnet. with a variety of trace minerals.
Kimberlite is a diamondiferous igneous-rock matrix composed of carbonate.
Diamonds: Diamond Geology
Diamond Geology & Kimberlites
Kimberlite Pipes Diamonds form at a depth greater than 93 miles (150 kilometers) beneath the earth's surface. Artisanal diamond mining accounts for 90% of Sierra Leone's diamond exports and is the country's second largest employer after subsistence farming.North Cape" below). serpentine. Most kimberlite is called "blue-ground" kimberlite (above. diamonds are carried to the surface of the earth by volcanic activity. After their formation. Kimberlite pipes are the most significant source of diamonds. minerals. left) or "yellow-ground" kimberlite and can be found worldwide. left). and diamonds approaches the earth's surface it begins to form an underground structure (pipe) that is shaped like a champagne-flute. the Congo (DROC). 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 . rock fragments. olivine. right). yet only about 1 in every 200 kimberlite pipes contain gem-quality diamonds. and upper mantle rock. and Liberia. As this molten mixture of magma (molten rock). Kimberlite pipes can lie directly underneath shallow lakes formed in the inactive volcanic calderas or craters. in conflict zones where mechanized mining is impractical and unsafe. Many kimberlite pipes also produce alluvial diamond placer deposits. Kimberlite occurs in the zone of the Earth's crust in vertical structures known as kimberlite pipes (above. pyroxene. These pipes are called "kimberlites" or "kimberlite pipes" (see diagram below). Diamond bearing kimberlite in some parts of South Africa is black in color (above. right). Kimberlites are found as "dikes" and "volcanic pipes" which underlie and are the source for rare and relatively small volcanoes or "maars" (above.Artisanal diamond mining is used throughout west Africa. phlogopite. It is also used extensivly in Angola.
Photo: Public Domain
Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . The Argyle pipe is a diatreme. Breccia is a rock composed of angular fragments of several minerals or rocks in a matrix. The world's largest known gem quality alluvial diamond deposits are located along the Namib Desert coastline of southwestern Africa. including: hydrothermal breccia. 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. except that boiling water and volatile compounds contained in the magma act corrosively on the overlying rock. 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.
Alluvial Diamonds from Africa . or "cementing material." and along the Orange River near Alexander Bay. There are several types of breccia which are categorized based on their geological origin. This results in a martini-glass shaped diamondiferous deposit as opposed to kimberlite's champagne flute shape. Diamondiferous material tends to concentrate in and around 'oxbow lakes. sedimentary breccia. igneous breccia. Alluvial (Placer) Diamond Deposits The location of alluvial (secondary or placer) diamond deposits is controlled by the surrounding topography.' which are created by abandoned river meanders.
. known as the Sperrgebiet or "forbidden territory.Open Pit Mine .Photo: Public Domain
Lamproite Pipes Lamproite pipes produce diamonds to a lesser extent than kimberlite pipes.Photo: NASA
The alluvial terrace gravels (below. 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. Lamproite pipes are created in a similar manner to kimberlite pipes. or different in composition to the fragments themselves. resulting in a broader cone of eviscerated rock at the surface. usually from kimberlite deposits. left) and marine gravels of the south-western coastline of Africa represent the some of the world's largest placer diamond deposits. impact breccia. and tectonic breccia.
Namibia's placer diamond deposits are between 40 and 80 million years old.
Alluvial Terrace Gravels . in central South Africa and Botswana. carried from their primary origination point on the Kaapvaal Craton. including Angola's two largest diamonds at 105.
Diamond Mines of the World: Active Diamond Mines
List of Active Diamond Mines
All Contents Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. from olivine lamproites formed during the Cretaceous or Permo-Triassic period. depressions.9k and 101.8 million to 10.8k. Diamonds in marine areas are typically trapped in bedrock depressions such as gullies. Alluvial diamond mining in Angola takes place along a meandering stretch of the Cuango River floodplain which is also along the south-western coastline of Africa. Diamonds that were transported downstream. The diamonds within these deposits were transported from deeply-eroded diamondiferous kimberlites or. but were not deposited on land.000 years ago). made their way to the sea bed just offshore. channels or other trapsites for diamondiferous deposits.Photo: Wiki
Diamond-Bearing 'Diamondiferous' Gravel
Many of these alluvial diamond deposits occur in Pleistocene and Holocene successions (1. potholes. to a lesser extent. Some of the largest and highest gemquality diamonds produced from alluvial placer diamond mining have come from this region. Westward draining river systems transported these diamonds to Africa's continental coastline for final deposition within on-shore marine terrace gravels.com
map Damtshaa Diamond Mine: (water for a tortoise) New open pit mine. 1. 3. 75% De Beers ownership. Luarica Diamond Mine: Owned by Endiama (38%) & Trans Hex (32%). 1. Open-pit mine De Beers operated. MIBA. map Letlhakane Diamond Mine: ("little reeds") second oldest of four . 75% De Beers ownership. map The Oaks Diamond Mine: In Limpopo province. map Venetia Diamond Mine: Limpopo. produces over 40% of world's gem-quality diamonds. links to satellite images of the mines (where available). map Marine Mining: Namco Mining operates a dredging fleet off the west coast of Namibia. Israel. map Finsch Diamond Mine: Finsch is an open-pit mine near Lime Acres. mostly industrial grade. Diavik Diamond Mine: The Diavik diamond mine is located in the NWT. Catoca Diamond Mine: Fourth largest diamond mine in world. map Fucauma Diamond Mine: Newly constructed. 2. 1. map
Congo (DROC or RDC) Lesotho Namibia
1. and a host of other counties with operational and/or historic alluvial. map River Ranch Diamond Mine: Open Pit & Underground mine. Waldman Resources. Luzamba Diamond Mine: Angola's largest alluvial mine. 1. Endiama (50%). map Orapa Diamond Mine: (resting place for lions) Largest/oldest of four . map Magna Egoli Mine: Largest mechanized mine in Sierra Leone. South Kalimantan
1. 3. 2. south of Lüderitz. 5. map Bakwanga Mine: (aka Bushimaïe. map
. map Elizabeth Bay Mine: Open-cast mine in Namib desert. 1.
| Inactive Mines
| Future Exploration
| Mining Companies
1. mining industry inside news. map Letseng Diamond Mine: Open-cast mine in Maluti Mountains 70 km from Mokhotlong. Owned by Endiama (40%) & Trans Hex (35%). map Kimberley Diamond Mine: Started in 1871. De Beers/Botswana. 3. map Williamson Diamond Mine: (aka Mwadui mine) Open Pit mine. Namdeb. map Jwaneng Diamond Mine: (place of small stones) richest mine in world. and hard rock diamond mines. 2.DeBeers/Botswana. map Cullinan Diamond Mine: Open Pit/Hard Rock diamond mine owned by De Beers. map Orange River (Daberas) Mines: Orange River alluvium. Kimberlite pipe. 1. Closed in 2006.Currently there are eleven major 'diamond producing' nations. map Baken Diamond Mine: Located along Orange River in North Cape. 6. 1. So Africa. 4. Rio Tinto. 2. map Ekati Diamond Mine: Canada's first diamond mining operation. map
North West Territories (NWT)
These lists also contains new project explorations. 3. 75% De Beers ownership map Murowa Diamond Mine: Open Pit & Underground mine. There are also several African nations with ongoing off-shore dredging/vacuming operations. Argyle Diamond Mine: Largest producer in world. map Forminière Diamond Mine: Alluvial mine located on the River Tshikapa. in Kasaï . mining operator info. De Beers operated. 2. Lubilash) Alluvial river mines in Kasaï. 7. Trans Hex. 2. the Kimberley Open Pits closed in 2005.De Beers / Botswana. 2. Namdeb Namib Gov. 1. 4. Odebrecht (50%). located in NWT.closed. map Koffiefontein Diamond Mine: The Koffiefontein mine opened in 1870. and any relevant geographic data. Cempaka Diamond Mines: Alluvials mined by indigenous artisanal Kalimantan miners. map
Cempaka/Riam Kanan. De Beers / Botswana. map Koidu-Sefadu Mines: Subsistence digging in alluvium pits west of Koidu. open pit. 3. 4. map Koidu Open Pit Mines: Kimberlite open-pit mines just south of Koidu. 2.
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. Alrosa. Aikhal GOK Mine: Three open-pit kimberlite pipe mines: Aikhal. 2.India
1. map Udachnaya (Udachny) Pipe Mine: One of the deepest diamond mines in the world. map
. map Jubilee (Yubileinaya) Mine: Newer open-pit kimberlite mine near Udachny. 5. Jubilee. map Anabar GOK Mine: The norther most location of Russia's diomond mines. 3. and Sytykan. map