All About Gemstones: Diamonds

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

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

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

The 4 Cs of Diamonds: Cut

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place. See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration.0 carat 3. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained.600 6. Price Per Carat (2005) . many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight.600 12. Occasionally. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity . This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing. or "seed of the carob".000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1.10 carat diamond for its better cut. it must be accurate to the second decimal place.204 carat.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between .0 carat 1.99 carat diamond for its better price.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone. or to buy a 1.495 carats and .5 carat 1.600 8.500 15. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor. a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions.5 carat 2.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line. It is for this reason that an even 1. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat.800 6. girdle and pavilion. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond.195 and .5 carats must have an actual weight of between . clarity and weight." If the carat weight is shown as ". A diamond that has a specified carat weight of .5º crown. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a . 40º pavilion. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales. In ancient times.VS1 Carat Size</ 0.Grade: F Colorless . Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above.750 30.504 carats.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities. pure green hues.000 per The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. or a combination of the two. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation. and the De Young Red weighing 5. greyish-green. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner. On thing is Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems.95carats. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green. Warren Hancock. Intense. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat.Green Chameleon Diamonds Fancy Pink Diamond Color Grading Chameleon diamonds can be forced to temporarily change to a yellowish-green color by exposing them to heat (150º C to 250º C).51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness [9]. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color.90 carats. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926. . Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply.000 in 1987. The color change effect is temporary.' discovered during the 18th century. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. Green diamonds can range from $35.000 to $500. and weighed a modest 0.03 carats. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil.

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

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

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

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

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.




Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.

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



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

. and the stress inclusion occurs along the gem's natural cleavage plane.Pronounced stress fractures and feather inclusions can potentially weaken the stone. making it susceptible to fracturing when exposed to thermal or physical shock. 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. This is especially true if the fracture breeches the stone's surface.



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

Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .

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



Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .

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

Garnet Inclusions within Diamond .





Garnet fragment on Diamond Girdle .

Grossularite Garnet Inclusions in Diamond .

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

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


Internal Graining with Cloud Inclusion .

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


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

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. Large groupings of small pinpoints can create a cloud inclusion effect. Pinpoint Inclusion Photos Pinpoints (Pp) Inclusion Photography Internal Pinpoints (Pp). Large groupings of small pinpoints can create a cloud effect. .

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.


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




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





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


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

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

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

during cutting and/or polishing the diamond. Cavities (Cv) An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing. Drag Lines Created when a rough particle is dragged along the surface. Drag Line Photos Diamond Surface Drag Lines Photography Drag Lines are human-caused surface imperfections and blemishes that are created when a loose rough particle is dragged along the surface. Chips Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet. . or when abrasive material is caught by an included crystal such as garnet during the polishing of a diamond.Burn Marks Created during polishing. or caught by a included crystal. the overheating of a facet causes a burn mark.



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

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




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

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

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

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

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

www. and each cut stone is laser inscribed with the Apollo company logo and serial number. www. Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite Cubic Zirconia Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. in Boston. and rose cuts. and like Chatham. of Bangkok Thailand. 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.3 on the Mohs Gemesis Cultured Diamonds Gemesis is located in Sarasota. Massachusetts grows colorless (D to M) diamonds. which they claim is the closest thing to mother nature.).500 to $9.500 per carat (2004 est. using a proprietary variation of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) technique.30 carats to 3 carats. www.Apollo Diamond.25 carats to 1 To the average consumer. carbonate fluid solution that is similar to diamond-bearing metamorphic rock. Apollo Diamond's cut stones are available in round brilliant. Ltd. Florida. and some fancy colored Tairus Created Gems Tairus Created Gems is a Russian company that grows fancy-colored diamonds in their proprietary "Split Sphere" system.chatham. Tairus produces rough sizes from .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. inc. with clarity grades from IF to SI. and CZ has a hardness of only 8. .. each Gemesis cut stone over . Tairus Created Gems are sold exclusively through Tairus Thailand Co. Gemesis only grows fancy-colored diamonds. Cubic Zirconia (Zirconium Oxide ZrO2) has a completely different chemical structure. The Split Sphere system crystalizes the carbon seed in an alkaline. Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is the most familiar type of diamond simulant on the market. princess.25 carats is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number.apollodiamond. To insure easy identification as a man-made product. and stones are cut to order. while diamond has a hardness of 10.gemesis. The toughness of Cubic Zirconia is rated as good. emerald. Apollo Diamonds are cut and polished in sizes ranging from . Chatham's pricing ranges from $6.

and CZs can be made in any "color grade. etc. 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 greater dispersive power. Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR). Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored.) in a totally dark room. natural diamond is a thermal conductor Weight: Cubic Zirconia is heavier than diamond in a given size Another method for distinguishing Cubic Zirconia from diamond is to mark the stone with a grease pencil or felt-tipped pen.In 1973. The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. Diamond's RI is 2. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left). or colorless (white) versions. 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.80 to 2. Natural diamonds attract grease. but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting. candle. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below). a CZ is optically flawless.2. Due to their low cost and consistency. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator. .17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2. Once the mixture has cooled.800 .170. The 1. or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond. Unlike most natural diamonds. For instance.41 (RI). CZ vs Diamond . although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce. 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. Zirconium oxide powder is heated.Detectable to the Naked Eye Light Dispersion: Greater prismatic effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire Lack of Flaws: CZ is virtually flawless. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight. CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1.

670. 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. while diamond has a hardness of 10. etc. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. Moissanite. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research.044. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective.417. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ. when examining the gem through the kite facets.104 as compared to CZ at 0.25 on the Mohs scale.060. Moissanite has a hardness of 9. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. candle. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0.A small. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). and diamond at 0. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. Moissanite has an RI of 2. Henri Moissan (above.65 to 2. found only in iron-nickel meteorites. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998.69. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight. 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. center) near Winslow. . Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent. is classified as an element rather than a compound.) in a dark room.

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

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

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

This cut is also known as the "Tolkowsky Cut" and "Tolkowsky Brilliant. In the diagram of a "Round Cut" diamond (above and below). 1 "culet" facet on the bottom. 16 "lower girdle" facets. The Modern Round Brilliant Cut The modern "Round Brilliant Cut" (below) was developed by Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. This is why it is very rare to see flawless stones cut into fancy cuts such as emeralds. etc. "Premium Cut" or "Modern Round Brilliant" (Tolkowsky Round Brilliant) diamond as shown in the diagrams above would have the following basic proportions according to the AGS: . it is the most efficient cut for maximizing yield.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." Even with modern techniques. and one "table" facet on the top of the stone for a total of 58 facets. 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 "upper girdle" facets. you will see that there are 8 "star" facets. The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem. and 2. 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". 8 "pavilion" facets. The round brilliant cut is beneficial when the crystal is an octahedron. 8 "kite" facets. as two stones could be cut from one crystal. hearts.

and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. Tolkowsky. A perfect blending of facet symmetry. H&A Viewer. . Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design. facet ratios.5%. invented in 1929.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42. To quantify a diamond's cut quality. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. very small to small In the 1970s. more brilliance and fire. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios. and Proportions.N. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57. As with all human endeavors." (Scandinavian standard.5% to 43. Ideal Scope. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts.7%.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed. The "Scan D. etc. crown height of 14. and crown/pavilion angles..N. Symmetry.' 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.4%. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. Eppler & Scan D. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect. and overall height of 57. Since then. crown height of 14. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.7%.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35.6% and overall height of 57. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant". there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap.

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

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

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

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

The starburst faceting pattern is designed to focus color near the top of a stone.early 1300s The "point cut" (below left) is one of the first symmetrically faceted diamond cuts. Still. and light return from the stone. and the natural octahedral symmetry of the rough stone's closed isometric form. the precursor for the "design" of the first faceted diamond lay within the rough stone itself. Since the day that humans first discovered 'adamas' (diamonds). . The Trilliant Cut has a total of 31 facets. and Uncurved cut used for accent stones. this led to the invention of the first gem cutting machines (precursor to the "lap" or "Facetron") in the 1300s. reworked into the shape of a trillion (triangle). craftsmen have attempted to "improve" on nature. The Starburst cut is especially suitable for a octahedral rough. The Trilliant cut gives a high brilliance. The point cut design is dictated by the natural shape of an octahedral rough diamond. of New York in 1978. making the hue of fancy yellow diamonds more The faceting of diamonds has come a long way in the last 700 years. With the realization that only a diamond could cut another diamond. The Trilliant has the Schoenflies point group symmetry of a round brilliant. brilliance. right) was created by cutting off some of the top half of the point cut's octahedron to create a table. There are 49 crown facets and 40 pavilion facets. The "table cut" (below. for a total of 89 kite and star shaped facets. Trillion) is a triangular cut designed and trademarked by the Henry Meyer Diamond Company of New York in 1962. Trillian. There are two variations of this cut: the Curved cut used for solitary stones. www.The Starburst Cut was patented and trademarked by the Louis Glick Diamond Corp. Nieman Marcus and Tiffany. with weight losses in the fifty percent range. and scintillation when cut to the correct proportions. and the career of the "diamantaire" (diamond cutter/polisher) was born. The pavilion has two differently sized sets triangular facets with a large triangular table.louisglick. From this point forward it was a race to see who could design the perfect faceted cut which would bring out the maximum fire. Harry Winston. Old Mine Cut Evolution of the Faceted Diamond & Colored Gem Article Copyright © 2008 AllAboutGemstones. The Trilliant trademark has since lapsed. but the pavilion is completely different. and the Trilliant is now a generic term for a triangular brilliant cut. fire. Old European Gem Cuts: Point. The Starburst cut was created to bring out the highest amount of color to fancy yellow Trilliant Cut The Trilliant Cut (aka Trielle. Old eight. Starburst Cuts are mounted and sold directly through Cartier. The crown of the Starburst Cut is similar to that of the radiant cut. but that has not always been easy as these little chunks of elemental carbon are harder that anything that could be found to cut them. Point Cut . but at each stage of advancement the pioneers of 'brillianting' diamonds have made great strides in bringing out the magic that is inherent in these gifts from nature.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5.7. all measured in three spacial dimensions.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero. and individual facet ratios. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading." or "ideal" rating. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless .0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint . AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond.5 to 4.0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light . 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. .0 to 1. where facets intersect with each-other." Document Security Each AGS grading document is marked with a hologram (dark circle at lower right of report) and watermarking or embossing to prevent fraudulent duplication.0 to 7. 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. relative facet angles.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light . in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above).5 to 3.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram.1. the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering.3.0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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