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

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

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

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

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

it must be accurate to the second decimal place.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration. clarity and weight. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32.10 carat diamond for its better cut.195 and .Grade: F Colorless .5º crown.495 carats and . or "seed of the carob". a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight.99 carat diamond for its better price. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between . The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut. Occasionally.5 carat 1. It is for this reason that an even 1.504 carats.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1.800 6.600 12. Price Per Carat (2005) .5 carats must have an actual weight of between . See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison.5 carat 2. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions. 40º pavilion.0 carat 1. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown. girdle and pavilion. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place.VS1 Carat Size</ 0. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing.750 30. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales. In ancient times. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a . that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York.204 carat. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity . or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations." If the carat weight is shown as ".600 6. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry. or to buy a 1. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat.0 carat 3. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above.500 15. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of .600 8.

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

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

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

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

Only around 600 D-flawless roughs are cut into gems weighing between 1 and 2 carats during a given year. Skin Tone and Settings While some may prefer a very transparent D to F range. Diamonds: Chemistry & Structural Properties Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Structural Properties of Diamond . Fluorescence is graded as none. Diamond Fluorescence Approximatly 1/3 (35%) of all diamonds have a tendency to fluoresce when exposed to ultra-violet (UV) light. medium. In some settings with various combinations of other stones. as the blue fluorescence will cancel out some of the yellow. See Color in Gemstones for more information." but the diamond will have a dull. so this effect will be more apparent under natural daylight than under artificial incandescent light. Ultra-violet light is a component of natural sunlight and artificial 4800k to 5000k color-proofing light. Even with microscopic inclusions. others may prefer a "warmer" color found in a G to J range to compliment their skin tone. diamonds with a poorer color grading (I through K). On the other hand. making the diamond appear "colorless. according to the GIA. and strong.Diamond Formation . For diamonds with a color grading of D through H (colorless). This fluorescent effect can be beneficial to a diamond that has a yellow tint. murky appearance when compared to a non-fluorescing diamond. they tend to fluoresce as blue. When diamonds are viewed under a UV light-source. fluorescence could increase the value by 0% to 2% buy improving the color (or lack thereof). faint. fluorescence can negatively impact the value of the stone by 3% to 20%.Large D-flawless diamonds (those weighing more than 2 carats) are some of the rarest minerals on earth. diamonds with a visible tint may be preffered. fewer than 5.000 D-color diamonds weighing over half a carat are found each year.

Under the continental crust." referring to its incredible hardness. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms. and pyroxene. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2. At these depths." which is also known as "adamant. and a specific gravity of 3. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe. diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation. A diamond is a transparent." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km). Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine. with the principle allotrope being graphite. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale.42.200 degrees Celsius). Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness. phlogopite." is derived from the Greek adamas.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1. and differentiates it from simple graphite.Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time. a refractive index of 2. with a variety of trace minerals. Therefore. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon. .52." and "unconquerable. ultramafic. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" [2]. olivine. or "invincible. The name "diamond." "untamable. 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. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0.044. which resemble a champagne flute. Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth. igneous rock composed of garnet.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil. Intense. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds. .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). Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. or a combination of the two.95carats. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness [9]. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities. and the De Young Red weighing 5.03 carats. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa. On thing is certain. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste.com) Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems.000 per carat. Warren Hancock. Green diamonds can range from $35. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner. pure green hues. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant. The color change effect is temporary. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color. greyish-green. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize.' discovered during the 18th century. and weighed a modest 0. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation.000 to $500. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits.90 carats.000 in 1987.com) The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond.

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

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

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

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

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

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Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.

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

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

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

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

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.Growth Tubes Imperfection formed during crystal growth. 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. .

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Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .

olivine. or silica. iron oxides. iron oxides. silica or other gem stone inclusions. calcite.Included Crystals (Xtl) Included and undigested gemstones or fragments of garnet. spinel. Included Crystals Inclusion Photos Internal Included Crystals in Diamond Included Crystal inclusions are whole crystals or tiny included gem fragments of undigested crystals such as garnet. diopside. olivine. Green chrome diopside Inclusion within a Diamond . calcite. diopside. spinel.

Garnet Inclusions within Diamond .

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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.

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Internal Graining with Cloud Inclusion .

the drilled passage may not breach the cut diamond's surface. With internal laser-drilling inclusions. and where pathway does not breach the cut diamond's surface.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. .

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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.

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

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

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

Natural Comet Inclusion .

Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud .

Tabular Reflection in Diamond .

Included Garnet Twins within Diamond .

Included Dalmatian Garnet .

Cloud Inclusion .

Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers .

Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light .

Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion .

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

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

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Lizard Skin A bumpy or wavy 'orange-peel' textured pattern on the polished surface of a diamond. made up of a bumpy or wavy pattern on the polished surface of a diamond. 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. . The lizard-skin effect is caused by an orange-peel texture.

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

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

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

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

and inscriptions. 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. .Laser Etching or Markings Careless or inadvertent laser etchings. or inscribing the external surface of a cut diamond. markings. marking.

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

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

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

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

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

Florida. and rose cuts. . princess. while diamond has a hardness of 10.25 carats is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. To insure easy identification as a man-made product.com To the average consumer.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. Massachusetts grows colorless (D to M) diamonds. and stones are cut to order. using a proprietary variation of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) technique. Tairus Created Gems are sold exclusively through Tairus Thailand Co. and each cut stone is laser inscribed with the Apollo company logo and serial number. The toughness of Cubic Zirconia is rated as good.chatham. with clarity grades from IF to SI..com Gemesis Cultured Diamonds Gemesis is located in Sarasota.com Tairus Created Gems Tairus Created Gems is a Russian company that grows fancy-colored diamonds in their proprietary "Split Sphere" system. emerald. of Bangkok Thailand. in Boston.500 to $9. carbonate fluid solution that is similar to diamond-bearing metamorphic rock.30 carats to 3 carats. Apollo Diamonds are cut and polished in sizes ranging from . Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is the most familiar type of diamond simulant on the market. and CZ has a hardness of only 8. Cubic Zirconia (Zirconium Oxide ZrO2) has a completely different chemical structure. www.).500 per carat (2004 est.apollodiamond. Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite Cubic Zirconia Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.25 carats to 1 carat. Chatham's pricing ranges from $6. Gemesis only grows fancy-colored diamonds. and some fancy colored diamonds. www. each Gemesis cut stone over . and each stone is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. While a synthetic diamond is a man-made recreation of an actual carbon-based diamond. Apollo Diamond's cut stones are available in round brilliant. The Split Sphere system crystalizes the carbon seed in an alkaline. Tairus produces rough sizes from . Ltd. www. which they claim is the closest thing to mother nature.3 on the Mohs scale. and like Chatham.Apollo Diamond.gemesis. inc.

" but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR). You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing. Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator.170. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond . The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below).Detectable to the Naked Eye Light Dispersion: Greater prismatic effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire Lack of Flaws: CZ is virtually flawless. Using Visual Optics To Detect CZ The Hodgkinson "Visual Optics" technique was developed in the mid-1970s by Alan Hodgkinson as a method of detecting natural diamonds and diamond simulants. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease. Diamond's RI is 2. The 1.800 . but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye. candle.2. 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. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight. Zirconium oxide powder is heated. Once the mixture has cooled.41 (RI). Due to their low cost and consistency. the greater dispersive power. CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds. or colorless (white) versions.) in a totally dark room. 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. The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit. Natural diamonds attract grease. Unlike most natural diamonds. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting. etc. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce. Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left).Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. For instance. and CZs can be made in any "color grade. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible. a CZ is optically flawless. CZ vs Diamond . . CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1. or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond.17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2.80 to 2.In 1973.

69. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI.65 to 2. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index.A small. while diamond has a hardness of 10.com Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). is classified as an element rather than a compound. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight. 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.) in a dark room. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent. left) who won the Nobel Prize in 1906 for his discovery of a new mineral (moissanite6H) found within meteorite fragments of the ancient Barringer meteor crater (above.104 as compared to CZ at 0. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. 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. Arizona. Moissanite has an RI of 2.417. Moissanite has a hardness of 9. found only in iron-nickel meteorites. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. Henri Moissan (above. . Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998.060. candle.25 on the Mohs scale.670. Moissanite. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0. and diamond at 0. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. etc. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite.044. center) near Winslow.

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

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

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

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

Ideal Scope.N. Since then.4%. crown height of 14. and crown/pavilion angles." (Scandinavian standard. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57.' 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. Symmetry. A perfect blending of facet symmetry. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42. .Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. As with all human endeavors. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). To quantify a diamond's cut quality. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish.5%. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios.7%. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. H&A Viewer.6% and overall height of 57. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope. more brilliance and fire. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. Eppler & Scan D.N. The "Scan D.5% to 43. facet ratios.7%.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed.. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant". and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace. etc. crown height of 14. and Proportions. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%. and overall height of 57. very small to small In the 1970s. Tolkowsky. invented in 1929. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Around $16+ billion in polished diamonds pass through Antwerp's diamond bourses each year. friendship and trust [2]. ethics and morality. Both bourse were founded by Hasidim diamantairs.Photo: Wiki Public The first trading exchange to deal exclusively with rough.Antwerp's Diamond District Two of the oldest Diamond Bourse (Bourse van de diamant or diamantenbšrsen) in Antwerp were the 'Diamond Club of Antwerp' (Diamantclub van Antwerpen—at Pelikaanstraat 62. and repatriation of Antwerp following the end of WWII. In Antwerp's 'Diamond Center' (Diamantenzentrum) today. uncut diamonds was the Antwerpsche Diamantkring (Antwerp Diamond Ring) [2]. regulations. and disputes are handled by an internal arbitration process. and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) was founded in 1947. and both are still in operation today. These first trading exchanges mainly dealt with the wholesaling of cut stones. making it the largest diamond-trading center in the world [3]. there are around 4000 diamond-cutters (diamantaire) working in the several-square-block diamond district. bisected by Hoveniersstraat street. After the liberation. the Antwerpsche Diamantkring was reopened. Most transactions conducted within the Bourses done with cash and a handshake. Beurs voor Diamanthandel . Control over the diamond trade is maintained through the WFDB's Constitution containing a series of rules. founded in 1893—and the Beurs voor Diamanthande (at Pelikaanstraat 78) founded in 1904 [1]. which was established in the same year that the 1930 World Expo was held in Antwerp. Members of the Diamond Bourses operate within a system based on mutual trust and each member pledges to uphold the traditions and principles of consideration. The Diamond High Council (HRD) . an by-laws that govern business practices.

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

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

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

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram. where facets intersect with each-other. and individual facet ratios. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.3. AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond.0 to 1.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero. In the upper left corner of the document there is a unique AGS reference number that can be used when contacting AGS with questions about your report. 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.5 to 4.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint . The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles. relative facet angles. in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above).1. the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light .5 to 3.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering.0 to 7.0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless .7. all measured in three spacial dimensions. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless .0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light ." Document Security Each AGS grading document is marked with a hologram (dark circle at lower right of report) and watermarking or embossing to prevent fraudulent duplication.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003. ." or "ideal" rating.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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