All About Gemstones: Diamonds
The story of diamonds is, to use the metaphor, a tale of fire and "ice." Forged through immense heat and pressure over millions, or hundreds of millions of years, diamonds start their humble existence as simple, elemental carbon; the basic building block of all life in earth. We attempt to demystify these enigmatic little stones, by explaining their scientific reason for being, as well as were they are mined, how they are mined, and the history of the diamond trade, or 'diamond pipeline.' Diamonds are both elemental, and complex. As such, there is a lot of technical jargon associated with them. Shopping for a diamond can be very confusing to the newbie, but we have endeavored to make it as simple and interesting as humanly possible. You shouldn't need extraordinary brilliance to understand scintillation or refraction. Enjoy!
All About Diamonds
Diamond Basics The "4 Cs" of Diamonds - Cut The "4 C's" of Diamonds - Carat The "Four C's" of Diamonds - Clarity The "Four Cs" of Diamonds - Color Diamond Chemistry Optical Properties of Diamond Fancy Colored Diamonds Diamond Inclusion Library Diamond Enhancements Synthetics & Simulants Synthetic Diamonds Cubic Zirconia Moissanite Diamond Cuts Diamond Cutting Ideal Cut Modern Round Brilliant Patented Signature Diamond Cuts Old European Diamond Cuts Uncut Raw Diamonds in Jewelry The Diamond Market The Diamond Pipeline Diamond Bourses The Diamond Trade's Key Players Diamond Pricing - Price Comparison Charts Diamond Certification
AGS Diamond Grading Report Independent Diamond Testing Laboratories Diamond Mining & Mine Technology Diamond Mining Technology Diamond Geology & Kimberlites Full List of Worldwide Diamond Mines Artisanal Diamond Mining & Conflict Diamonds Worldwide Diamond Mining Regions Australian Diamond Mines Borneo's Landak Diamond Mines Botswana Diamond Mines Brazilian Diamond Mines Canadian Diamond Mines India's Golconda Diamond Mines Namibia Russian Diamond Mines South African Diamond Mines US Diamond Mines Conflict Diamonds Angola Diamond Mines Congo (DRC) Diamond Mines Liberia Diamond Mines Sierra Leone Diamond Mines Zimbabwe's Chiadzwa Marange Diamond Fields Diamond History & Cutting Regions Historical Diamond Cuts & Cutting History Historical Diamond Cutting Regions Diamond Cutting in Amsterdam Diamond Cutting in Antwerp Diamond Cutting in Belgium Diamond Cutting in Guangzhou, China Diamond Cutting in Gujarat, India Diamond Cutting in Idar-Oberstein, Germany Diamond Terminology Glossary - Gemology
The 4 Cs of Diamonds: Cut
The 4 C's Diamond Grading System
1. 2. 3. 4. Cut Carat Clarity Color
More than 100 million diamonds are sold in the United States each year, yet most consumers know very little about the product they are purchasing, and how that product is valued. The '4 Cs' represent the four main variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics. As a consumer, your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the '4 Cs' diamond grading system. If you are purchasing an expensive stone it will also be critical for you to learn how to read and understand the details of a GIA (Gemological Institute of America) 'Diamond Dossier,' AGL report, or AGS (American Gem Society) 'Diamond Certificate,' or Sarin 'Diamond Grading Report' (see full list of independent testing laboratories, below). You will also want to familiarize yourself with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines on jeweler conduct and consumer awareness. This knowledge will help be invaluable when you are comparison shopping for diamonds.
Diamond Cut Quality When jewelers judge the quality of a diamond cut, or "make", they often rate "Cut" as the most important of the "4 Cs." The way a diamond is cut is primarily dependent upon the original shape of the rough stone, location of the inclusions and flaws to be eliminated, the preservation of the weight, and the popularity of certain shapes. Don't confuse a diamond's "cut" with it's "shape". Shape refers only to the outward appearance of the diamond (Fig. 5 below), and not how it is faceted. The Importance of Cut Quality When a diamond has a high quality cut (ideal cut), incident light will enter the stone through the table and crown, traveling toward the pavilion where it reflects from one side to the other before bouncing back out of the diamond's table toward the observer's eye (see Fig. 1 below). This phenomenon is referred to as "light return" (Fig. 2 below) which affects a diamond's brightness, brilliance, and dispersion. Any light-leakage caused by poor symmetry and/or cut proportions (off-make) will adversely affect the quality of light return. The "Shallow Cut" and "Deep Cut" examples in Fig. 1 show how light that enters through the table of a Modern Round Brilliant diamond reaches the pavilion facets and then leaks out from the sides or bottom of the diamond rather than reflecting back to the eye through the table. Less light reflected back to the eye means less "Brilliance". In the "Ideal Cut" example, most of the light entering through the table is reflected back towards the observer from the pavilion facets.
Keep in mind that the variance in proportions between an "Ideal Cut" (ideal make) and a "Fair, Poor, Shallow or Deep Cut" may be difficult to discern to the novice observer, although there will be a lack of brilliance, scintillation, and fire. Cut quality is divided into several grades listed below.
Ideal Cut Premium Cut Very Good / Fine Cut
. 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 "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. when one incorrect facet angle can throw off the symmetry of the entire stone. Poor Diamond Faceting and Symmetry Due to the mathmatics involved in light refraction.
Fig. and the pavillion will have 25 facets. The chart below shows several common problems to look for. Other variations of the "Modern Round Brilliant" include the "Ideal Brilliant" which was invented by Johnson and Roesch in 1929. 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. All of that has changed with the AGS Cut Grading system and GIA's new "Cut Grading System". the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. Only a trained eye could see the quality of a good cut.e. 80. 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. pavilion and crown angle) and did not provide a subjective ranking of how good the cut was. Common cutting problems can occur during the faceting process. 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. or 96 facets which are not counted in the total number of facets (58). a Round Brilliant cut that does not have the proper proportions and symmetry (off-make) will have noticeably less brilliance. This can also result in the undesirable creation of extra facets beyond the required 58.Good Cut Fair Cut Poor Cut
Cut Proportions In the past.
Fig. The crown will have 33 facets.
. which gives out much more fire than a real diamond. A diamond cut for too much fire will look like cubic zirconia.
GIA vs AGS Cut Grading
GIA's new cut-grading system is based on averages that are rounded-up to predict 'light performance. In order for a diamond to receive a "Triple-0" grading. the "FireScope.
AGS Triple-0 Certification
The American Gem Society (AGS) is the industry leader in laboratory testing of round gems for cut grade and quality. Proportion) must meet the "ideal" criteria. all three categories of cut (Polish. The shape of the diamond cut is heavily dependent upon the original shape of the rough stone. Cut (Scandinavian Standard) will display a "Hearts and Arrows" pattern when observed through a IdealScope (arrows only). or a Scan D. 5) are listed below. The IdealScope was invented by Kazumi Okuda in the 1970's. The "Ideal" designation is an AGS term that is not found on an GIA report. A Triple-0 diamond can also be called a "Triple Ideal Cut" or "AGS-Ideal Zero" diamond. there is a balance between "brilliance" and "fire". Several basic diamond shapes (Fig. as two stones could be cut from one crystal. left) are only found in diamonds that meet the American Gem Society Laboratories' "0" Ideal Cut specifications. the quality of the cutter's execution of that shape is of primary importance. making the diamond appear white when viewed from the top. The round brilliant cut is preferred when the crystal is an octahedron. Symetry.
Hearts and Arrows Diamonds
A perfectly proportioned ideal cut that is cut to the exacting specifications of a Tolkowsky Cut. 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. or a H & A Viewer gemscope (FireScope). 4
Perfectly formed Hearts and Arrows patterns with eight hearts AND eight arrows (above.For a Modern Round Brilliant cut (Tolkowsky Brilliant). and its later incarnation. out through the table. A cut with inferior proportions will produce a stone that appears dark at the center (due to light leaking out of the pavilion) and in some extreme cases the ring settings may show through the top of the diamond as shadows. The first official H & A "EightStar" diamond was cut in 1985 by Kioyishi Higuchi for Japanese businessman and FireScope manufacturer. Eppler Cut (European Standard). N. Takanori Tamura. Asymmetrical raw crystals such as macles are usually cut in a "Fancy" style.
Fancy Diamond Cuts
The shape of the cut is a matter of personal taste and preference. A well executed round brilliant cut should reflect the maximum amount light from the interior pavilion facets.' while AGS uses a more exacting combination of proportional facet ratios along with raytracing metrics to calculate light return." was invented by Ken Shigetomi and Kazumi Okuda in 1984.
"Marquise" or "Navette" (little boat). a 3/4 carat diamond is 75 points. A carat can also be divided into "points" with one carat being equal to 100 points. Carat 3.C. representing the four 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. The "fancy cuts" are generally not held to the same strict standards as Round Brilliants. Clarity 4. and with each point being 2 milligrams in weight. "Princess" (square outline).2 grams (200 milligrams or 3."
. When a single piece of jewelry has multiple stones. your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the "4 C's" diamond grading system. As a consumer. Therefor. Cut 2. One "Carat" is a unit of mass that is equal to 0. 5
Popular fancy cuts include the "Baguette" (bread loaf). and the Pear.W. and a 2 carat diamond is 200 points. "Heart.
The 4 C's of Diamonds: Carat (Weight)
The 4 C's Diamond Grading System
1.086 grains) or 0. Color Carat weight is one of the 4 C's.Heart Marquise Oval Pear Princess Radiant Round Trillion (not shown at diagram)
Fig. the total mass of all diamonds or gemstones is referred to as "Total Carat Weight" or "T.
Balancing Cut and Weight A diamond or gemstone's "Carat" designation is a measurement of both the size and weight of the stone." "Briolette" (a form of Rose cut). a 1/2 carat diamond would be 50 points.007 ounce.
495 carats and .5 carat 1. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions.600 8.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between .750 30.VS1 Carat Size</ 0. 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.0 carat 3.99 carat diamond for its better price.504 carats.5 carats must have an actual weight of between . 40º pavilion. In ancient times." If the carat weight is shown as ". See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales.5 carat 2. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat. it must be accurate to the second decimal place. It is for this reason that an even 1. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone.10 carat diamond for its better cut.204 carat. or "seed of the carob".
Occasionally. a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of . or to buy a 1.600 12. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1.000 Total Cost (USD)</
Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line.Grade: F Colorless .800 6. clarity and weight.0 carat 1. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a .600 6. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut.
Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above.
The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity
. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. girdle and pavilion.195 and .5º crown. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight.500 15. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight. Price Per Carat (2005) .
it is important to learn and understand the clarity designations found within the "Four C's" diamond grading system. causing a greater drop in grade. reflect the appearance of inclusions within the stone when viewed from above at 10x magnification Higher magnifications and viewing from other angles are also used during the grading process. The term "Clarity" refers to the presence or absence of tiny imperfections (inclusions) within the stone. light or pale inclusions may show greater relief. VVS1 better than VVS2 VS-1 . therefore reducing its value significantly. As a consumer. it may be possible to hide certain inclusions behind the setting of the diamond (depending on where the inclusion is located). Cut 2. fractures. Carat 3.
. Clarity 4."Small" or "Slight" Inclusions or "Imperfections" may be "eye clean" SI-2 . may weaken the diamond structurally.small blemishes VVS-1 .Imperfect. or break the surface.
All of the grades of diamond clarity shown in the table below. Inclusions that are near to. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. .The Four C's Diamond Grading System
1. In fancy-colored diamonds."Internally Flawless" no inclusions at 10 x mag. with large Inclusions. . point size and the location of inclusions. little or no brilliance I1 to I3 . In "colorless" diamonds."Very Very Small" inclusions. and flaws
GIA Clarity Grading System
The chart below explains the GIA grading system for inclusions and imperfections."Very Very Small" inclusions hard to see at 10 x magnification VVS-2 ."Flawless" no inclusions at 10 x magnification IF . making them more apparent. Diamond Clarity Designations
FL ."Very Small" inclusions VS1 is better grade than VS2 SI-1 . Considerations in grading the clarity of a diamond include the type of stone. thus minimizing any negative impact of the inclusion. On the other hand."Small" or "Slight" Inclusions or "Imperfections" visible to naked eye SI-3 ."Very Small" inclusions visible at 10 x mag. darker inclusions will tend to create the most significant drop in clarity grade.Inclusions large and obvious. and/or on the surface of the stone.not naked eye VS-2 . Color Clarity is one of the Four C's.
Diamond Clarity Grade Inflation
A fairly common practice in the jewelry trade is grade-inflation or "grade bumping. Internal Diamond Inclusions
Carbon .Cleavage planes or internal fractures that have the appearance of feathers.Fractures that have been artificially filled. a diamond must be within one clarity grade of its advertised amount at the time of sale.Minute crystals within the diamond that appear white." According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides. Pique . Chips . therefor it is essential to inform anyone working on a setting if the diamond is fracture-filled. chips. haze. Pinpoints . vendors should disclose this enhancement.Tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts).Concentrated area of crystal growth that appear light or dark. Bruising .Fine cracks. Grain Center .A natural indentation that was not removed by polishing.An inclusion that penetrates the surface."
. and reputable filling companies will use filling agents which show an orange or pink flash of color.Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet. Clouds . Internal Graining . Filled Fractures .
Diamond Fracture Filling
Diamond clarity is sometimes enhanced by filling fractures. Pits . much like repairing a crack in your car's windshield. There is a significant price discount for fracture-filled diamonds. fringing.An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing. appearing as a raised area. in part because the treatment isn't permanent. The final clarity grade will be the grade that is assigned after treatment. Reputable companies often provide for repeat treatments if heat causes damage to the filling. Feathers . The treatment is considered permanent and both the GIA and AGS will issue grades for laser drilled diamonds. Needles .Irregular crystal growth causing internal distortions. or feathers along the outer edge of girdle. waviness.A percussion mark caused by impact.Rutile-like needle inclusions. Surface Graining . Cavities . followed by acid washing to remove the coloring agent.Dislodged pinpoint inclusions at the surface. Indented Naturals . According to Fred Cuellar in his book How to Buy a Diamond. The heat generated by a blowtorch used to work on settings can cause damage.Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation. "One out of every three diamonds sold in the United States is laser-drilled.
External Diamond Inclusions
Bearded Girdles . so they can use greater care while working on the piece. Knots . The drilling process leave tiny telltale shafts or tunnels that are visible under magnification.
Laser drilling involves using a laser to burn a tunnel or hole to a carbon inclusion. The GIA will not grade fracture-filled diamonds.Inclusions resulting from crystal twining during growth. he or she could legally sell it as a VVS-2.Garnet or other Included gem stones Twinning Wisps . If a jeweler sells a diamond that has an actual grade of VS-1.Cloudy grouping of tiny pinpoints that may not resolve at 10X Magnification. According to FTC guidelines. Such diamonds are sometimes called "fracture filled diamonds".
J . E. the most reputable well known US labs. absorbing some of the blue spectrum. The higher the amount of nitrogen atoms. The designation of SI-3 was popularized by the EGL (European Gemological Laboratory) grading office. U. At present. a Sarin Diamond Color Grading report is the state-of-the-art color measuring standard. F . L. Q. P. These nitrogen impurities are evenly dispersed throughout the stone. I. 1
.colorless (white) G. W.Whitish haziness along the junction of facets caused by wear. Color Color is one of the Four Cs representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. X. the Gemological Institute of America uses a scale of "D" to "Z" in which "D" is totally colorless and "Z" is yellow. Carat 3.
"SI-3" is a grade sometimes used in the diamond industry. T.
The Four Cs of Diamonds: Color
The Four Cs Diamond Grading System
1. Y. Cut 2.Grinding Wheel Marks of scratches from contact with other diamonds. Clarity 4.faint yellow or brown N. thereby making the diamond appear yellow.light yellow or brown Fig.very light yellow or brown S. O. In determining the color rating of a diamond.Human Caused Surface Blemishes
Abrasions . As a consumer.Small chips at facet junctions. Neither the GIA nor the AGS (American Gemological Society). V. Z . Diamonds of this low grade would be inappropriate for jewelry. Burn Marks . Scratches . the yellower the stone will appear. M . assign this grade. 1 explains the GIA grading system for clear (not fancy-colored) stones. Nicks . The color chart in Fig.Surface burning from heat buildup during polishing.near colorless K. H. it will be beneficial to learn and understand some of the basic parameters for diamond color grading. R .
Most all natural diamonds contain small quantities of nitrogen atoms that displacing the carbon atoms within the crystal's lattice structure. Diamond Color Designations D.
Color grading by 'visual-observation is performed against a Master CZ Colored Grading Set.Due to a diamond's high brilliance." "whiter than white.The Holy Grail
. and not by looking at the top of the stone. D3.
D-Flawless . jewelers and gem labs can accurately provide a 'color typing' printout of a diamond's color grading that is compatible with AGS. sometimes referred to as "white diamonds. D2. For the consumer. 2). Fig.' Unfortunatly. D4. color grading should be determined by examining the stone through the side of the pavilion (Fig. and D5). it is extremely benificial to know if your 'F' is a strong 'F. India. Each classification is divided into five sub-classifications (D1. 2
Sarin Color Typing
is a relatively new sub-classification of the D through Z gading scale. IGI." or "D+. and HRD grading scales. Fig.' or a borderline 'G." are named after the famous Golconda Diamond Mines located in the state of Hyderabad. 3
Type IIa diamonds (aka Golconda Diamonds) are colorless stones containing negligible amounts nitrogen or boron impurities to absorb the blue end of the color spectrum. Using a Sarin Diamond Colorimeter DC3000 (aka Gran Colorimeter). and dispersion of light (fire) when looking through the table or crown. 3 example below. as in our Fig. most gem labs do not currently provide color-typing data in their reports and certificates. GIA-GEM. These colorless stones.
Ultra-violet light is a component of natural sunlight and artificial 4800k to 5000k color-proofing light. so this effect will be more apparent under natural daylight than under artificial incandescent light. murky appearance when compared to a non-fluorescing diamond.
Approximatly 1/3 (35%) of all diamonds have a tendency to fluoresce when exposed to ultra-violet (UV) light. faint. 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. making the diamond appear "colorless. diamonds with a poorer color grading (I through K). In some settings with various combinations of other stones.Large D-flawless diamonds (those weighing more than 2 carats) are some of the rarest minerals on earth. others may prefer a "warmer" color found in a G to J range to compliment their skin tone." but the diamond will have a dull. they tend to fluoresce as blue.Diamond Formation
. Only around 600 D-flawless roughs are cut into gems weighing between 1 and 2 carats during a given year. Fluorescence is graded as none. diamonds with a visible tint may be preffered.
For diamonds with a color grading of D through H (colorless). Skin Tone and Settings While some may prefer a very transparent D to F range.000 D-color diamonds weighing over half a carat are found each year. Even with microscopic inclusions. fewer than 5. On the other hand. See Color in Gemstones for more information.
Diamonds: Chemistry & Structural Properties
| Optical Properties of Diamond
| Diamond Enhancement
Structural Properties of Diamond . as the blue fluorescence will cancel out some of the yellow. medium. When diamonds are viewed under a UV light-source. according to the GIA. and strong. fluorescence could increase the value by 0% to 2% buy improving the color (or lack thereof).
with a variety of trace minerals. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe. At these depths. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2."
Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale. The name "diamond. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine." referring to its incredible hardness.200 degrees Celsius).Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km)." "untamable." is derived from the Greek adamas. olivine. which resemble a champagne flute. a refractive index of 2. with the principle allotrope being graphite. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses. Therefore. ultramafic.
Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness
The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" .
Basic Physical Properties of Diamond
Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes. or "invincible.
. 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." which is also known as "adamant. Under the continental crust. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0. and a specific gravity of 3.42. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical.52." and "unconquerable. and pyroxene. Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures. phlogopite.044. A diamond is a transparent.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1. diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation. and differentiates it from simple graphite. igneous rock composed of garnet.
or dodecahedral. with the end byproduct of the combustion being carbonic-acid gas. does not always reflect the internal arrangement of its atoms. and crystal habit of a diamond is octahedral (photo. and a hardness value of 231 GPa (±5) when scratched with a diamond tip. it is termed as "subhedral. above)."
." when found in a crystalline form that is structurally similar to diamond. The material "boron nitride. and therefore. The natural crystal form. A diamond's incredible hardness was the subject of curiosity dating back to the Roman empire." This means that diamond crystals usually "grow" in an orderly and symmetrical arrangement. where it was shown to combust in scientific experiments. by igniting a diamond in an oxygen atmosphere. beta carbon nitride. a currently hypothetical material.A Type 2-A diamond has a hardness value of 167 GPa (±6) when scratched with an ultrahard fullerite tip. may also be as hard or harder than diamond.
Diamond Crystal Habit
Diamonds have a characteristic crystalline structure. a predictable crystal growth pattern known as its "crystal habit. whether it is cubic. Additionally. is nearly as hard as diamond. octahedral.
The external shape of the crystal. Experimentation during the late 18th century demonstrated that diamonds were made of carbon. perfectly formed crystals are rare. or carbon dioxide." or "anhedral. although the reason for its combustion was not understood at the time. When a gemstone has an irregular external shape or asymmetrical arrangement of its crystal facets. although in nature.
the term "toughness" describes the resistance of a given material to fracture when it is stressed or impacted.
Carbon Inclusion . very thin girdles on brilliant cut diamonds are also prone to breakage. acting as a "thermal conductor. causing stress fractures or feathers. sapphire has a hardness rating of 9.Trace impurities. crystal twinning. graphite can develop internally and on the diamond's surface. Hematite has a hardness of only 5. The culet facet at the bottom of the pavilion. By comparrison." If you were to place a large enough diamond on your tongue it would draw heat away. with a Mohs scale rating of 10.© AGS Labs
Hexagonal (Graphite) Platelet Inclusion . due to its ability to fracture along cleavage planes. pressure and space can also affect the final shape of a formed crystal.
Thermal Properties of Diamonds
Diamond is a good conductor of heat. and therefore may be uninsurable by reputable insurance companies." which only denotes a diamond's high resistance to scratching. meaning that a diamond is 4 times "harder" than sapphire. Many natural blue
. most scratch resistant mineral on earth. and varying growth conditions of heat.5. but its toughness rating is also excellent. Internally formed crystallographic graphite inclusions often create intense strain on the surrounding diamond." and therefore. Particular cuts of diamond are more prone to breakage along cleavage planes. is a facet specifically designed to resist breakage. Additionally. A material's toughness is measured in units of "joules" per cubic meter (J/m3) in the SI system. yet sapphire has a toughness rating of excellent. its "toughness" rating is moderate.
In extremely high temperature environments above 1700 ¡C. a diamond's "toughness" is only fair to good.© AGS Labs
Within the fields of metallurgy and materials science. and "pound-force" per square-inch in US units of measurement. making it seem cold. Unlike "hardness. Although diamond is the "hardest.5 to 6.
If an n-type semiconductor can be synthesized. which are in fact semiconductors. with the exception of natural blue diamonds.
Fluorescence in Diamonds
Fluorescence is an optical phenomenon in which a diamond's molecules absorb high-energy photons. or having the hardness or luster of a diamond. The word luster traces its origins back to the Latin word lux.
Electromagnetic Properties of Diamond . Natural blue diamonds containing boron atoms. increasing thermal conductance. or brilliance. meaning "light".nearly five times greater than pure copper. or longer-wavelength photons. giving off a somewhat greasy sheen. Due to diamond's high thermal conductance. it is used in the manufacturing of semiconductors.
Optical Properties of Diamond: Type I & Type II Diamonds
| Optical Properties of Diamond
| Diamond Enhancement
Surface Luster of Diamond
Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Purified synthetic diamond can have the highest thermal conductivity (2000-2500 W/m-K) of any solid material at room temperature . re-emitting them as lower-energy.
. The term adamantine describes the way light interacts with the surface of a crystal. and generally implies radiance.diamonds contain boron atoms which replace carbon atoms within the crystal matrix. to prevent silicon and other semiconducting materials from overheating. are known as p-type semiconductors. and synthetic diamonds that are doped with boron. electronic circuits could be manufactured from diamonds in the future . which means unyielding. gloss. inflexible.Insulators or Semiconductors
Diamond is a relatively good electrical insulator.com The surface luster (or "lustre") of diamond is described as adamantine.
or "fire. show no fluorescence. and contain nitrogen atoms as an impurity. Typically.© AGS Labs
Type IIa diamonds are very rare. These Type IIa diamonds have a near-perfect crystal structure making them highly transparent and colorless. These rare diamonds have a lower nitrogen content.
Diamond Refraction & Coloration
Diamonds are "singly refractive. which replace some carbon atoms within the crystal lattice structure. greenish or yellow fluorescence when exposed to the X-ray wavelength.
Type II Diamond Formation
Certain diamonds were formed under extremely high pressure for longer time periods. they can give the stone a yellow tint. absorbing some of the blue spectrum. with very high thermal conductivity.© AGS Labs
Type I UV Fluorescence . due primarily to certain structural anomalies arising from "plastic deformation" which occurred during their formation. making them appear 'colorless' (D). and appear dark when exposed to ultra-violet light or X-rays. or brown coloration.
. permitting the passage and reflectance of blue light. Diamond can exhibit pseudochromatic coloration giving the appearance of "color" without having any actual color in the mineral itself. Natural blue Type II diamonds containing scattered boron impurities within their crystal matrix are good conductors of electricity. and some of the finest historical gemstones such as the Cullinan and Koh-i-Noor are both Type IIa diamonds. Man-made synthetic diamonds containing nitrogen are classified as Type 1-B. a natural diamond may contains both Type 1-A and Type 1-B material. red. and they are classified as Type 1-A. and are classified as Type 1-B. Some Type IIa diamonds can be found with pink. while Type II diamonds that lack boron impurities are classified as Type IIa. Some diamond varieties. If the nitrogen atoms are dispersed evenly throughout the crystal. classifying them as Type IIb diamonds. and thereby making the diamond appear yellow.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.
Cloud Inclusion Under UV . Type II diamonds do not contain any detectable nitrogen. thereby allowing the passage of short-wave ultra-violet (SWUV) light through the stone. If the nitrogen atoms are grouped in clusters they do not necessarily affect the diamond's overall color.
Type I & Type II Diamonds
As many as 99% of all natural diamonds are classified as Type I." with a refractive index of 2.417." and refraction. 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. All Type 1 diamonds have nitrogen atoms as their main impurity. particularly Canadian diamonds. and give off a bluish-white. This illusion of color is caused by the varying optics effects created by spectral dispersion. These Nitrogen impurities found in Type I diamonds are evenly dispersed throughout the gemstone.
green. and black. boron (blue diamonds). and their color is due to trace impurities of nitrogen and/or hydrogen (yellow. the intensity of the color in the diamond can plays a significant role in its value. yellow.
Fancy Diamond Color Hues
A fancy brown (or Fancy Cognac). 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. 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. In this case. Green & Cognac
Fancy Colored Diamond
Diamonds can occur in all colors of the spectrum.
. while chemically "pure" diamonds are basically transparent. blue. red diamonds). brown diamonds). green. Blue. certain fancy-colored diamonds such as pink (Condé). blue (Hope Diamond). red. 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. However. steel grey. Yellow. pink. All colored diamonds contain certain specific impurities and/or structural defects that cause their coloration. when a diamond's color is more intense than the "Z" grading. green (Ocean Dream).
Diamond Color & Composition
Diamonds can occur in a wide variety of colors: colorless or white. radiation exposure (green diamonds) or irregular growth patterns within the crystal (pink. It is this nitrogen component that produces the color of fancy yellow diamonds. it enters the realm of a "Fancy Color" diamond.
Fancy Colored Diamonds: Pink. Once thought to be of little value. or yellow diamond may have a relatively low value when compared to a colorless diamond. and red (Hancock Diamond) are particularly valuable. orange. However. brown.
sold at a greater discount.S to Z Fancy Light . Pink diamonds are similar to pink sapphire in color.Pink (Brownish-pink) 1 is darkest PC3 to PC1 .M Very Light .Brown diamonds. causing microscopic imperfections within the lattice structure. and was cut into a 128. daylight) and ambient temperature changes. halogen. left). South Africa in 1878.
The pink color within these rare diamonds is due to irregular crystal growth patterns.Pink (Magenta-pink) 1 is darkest 1P to 8P .54 carat cushion cut with an estimated value in the millions of dollars. 1PP is the highest quality designation for Pink Diamond.' found in Kimberly. bright light).42 carats. Fancy Pink/Brown Diamond Color (Hue) Designations
1PP to 8PP . which are generally less appreciated than other fancy colors and therefor.N to R Light . which changes hue from grayish-blue or olive-green to yellowish-green or straw-yellow under different lighting conditions (darkness. This Chameleon-like phenomenon was first documented by the GIA in the early 1940s.Start of 'Fancy' Fancy Fancy Dark Fancy Intense Fancy Deep Fancy Vivid .Highest Saturation
One of the largest. and value (darkness) using nine classifications ranging from 'Faint' to 'Vivid. One of the world's only major sources for rare pink diamonds is the Argyle Mine in Australia. hue. An 1P designation would have less blue and more brownish-red.Champagne 3 is darkest C8 to C1 . The rough stone weighed 287. have become more commonplace as Australian colored diamonds have gained in popularity. lighting color temperatures (incandescent. Only 1% to 2% of the diamonds produced at the Argyle Mine are high-quality pink specimens. and most valuable Fancy Yellow diamonds in the world is the 'Tiffany Diamond.
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.Cognac 8 is darkest
There is a very rare olive-grayish color-changing diamond called "Chameleon Diamond" (below. As the numbers go lower (8PP) the color is paler.'
GIA 'Fancy Yellow' Diamond Color Saturation Designations
Faint . The GIA grades fancy diamond color by quantifying the saturation.
. having a pure magenta color with deep saturation.Pink (Reddish-pink) 1 is darkest 1BP to 8BP . yet considerably more expensive.
000 in 1987.90 carats.' discovered during the 18th century. or a combination of the two.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa. Warren Hancock.Green Chameleon Diamonds
Fancy Pink Diamond Color Grading
Chameleon diamonds can be forced to temporarily change to a yellowish-green color by exposing them to heat (150º C to 250º C). and the De Young Red weighing 5. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil. Green diamonds can range from $35.95carats.03 carats. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color. On thing is certain. The color change effect is temporary. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. as in the one-of-a-kind 5.com)
The Elusive Red Diamond
Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat. greyish-green. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply. and weighed a modest 0.com)
Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems.
Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red.000 to $500. Intense. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green.000 per carat. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13.
Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation. pure green hues.
Diamond Fashion Trends
While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness . and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits.
Joe Vanells.com Clarity is one of the Four C's of diamond grading. It is for this reason that manufacturers of synthetic diamonds tend to specialize in fancy colors. most synthetic diamonds will have a slightly yellowish hue due to nitrogen impurities that are dispersed throughout the crystal lattice structure during the growth phase. E. gemological testing laboratory in Las Vegas.S.com)
Fancy Colored Synthetic Diamonds
Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless D. Inclusions which are visible to the naked eye are referred to as piquŽ. Inclusions which are not visible to the naked eye (eye clean) fall into the GIA range of "IF" (Internally Flawless) to "SI2" (Small Inclusions). and so-called "piquŽ diamonds" fall into the GIA grading range of I1 to I3 (CIBJO grade P1 to P3). making the stone appear yellowish. or human caused.L." These inclusions can occur within the stone. Nevada. F grades. or absence of tiny imperfections known as "inclusions. All of the microscopic inclusion photographs on this page were generously contributed by the A. or on the surface of the cut stone.Reddish Brown Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. These impurities absorb the blue end of the light spectrum. This section contains a compendium of photography depicting all of the various types of diamond inclusions—both naturally occurring. and can be naturally occuring.
. The term "clarity" refers to the presence.com)
Enhanced Blue & Yellow Diamonds (© AfricaGems.G. 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. and man-made imperfections—that can be found in raw and cut diamonds. representing the four main variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond.
ferropericlase.Internal Diamond Inclusion Photos
Carbon Tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts).
. pyrrhotite and pentlandite. PiquŽ Carbon Inclusion Photos
Internal Carbon Pique Diamond Inclusion Photography
Piqué are tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts) within diamonds. pyrrhotite and pentlandite. ferropericlase. Black or dark material found within a diamond's internal fracture planes can also be particles or crystallographic inclusions of graphite. 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
Internal cloud inclusions may not resolve as pinpoints at 10X
.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. and is reproduced with their permission. which can leave their own types of unique inclusions. Clouds (Cld) A dense grouping of tiny pinpoints that create a cloudy zone which may not resolve as individual pinpoints at 10X Magnification. Nevada. All of the microscopic diamond carbon inclusion photography on this page was generously contributed by the AGSL gemological testing laboratory in Las Vegas.
These pinpoint cloud inclusions can have a dramatic effect on the clarity and brilliance of a faceted diamond as they interfere with the refraction of light within the stone.
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 Inclusion Photos
Internal Diamond Feather Inclusion Photography
Feather inclusions (Ftr) are caused by cleavage planes or internal stress fractures that have the appearance of wispy feathers.Feathers (Ftr) Cleavage planes or internal stress fractures that have the appearance of feathers. Common around included crystals. which cause internal stress fractures during crystal growth. Feather inclusions are common around included crystals such as garnet.
.Feather inclusions caused by stress fractures around included garnet crystal.
diamonds with significant stress fractures and feather should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner as this could cause the diamond to shatter. making it susceptible to fracturing when exposed to thermal or physical shock. This is especially true if the fracture breeches the stone's surface. As a result.
. and the stress inclusion occurs along the gem's natural cleavage plane.Pronounced stress fractures and feather inclusions can potentially weaken the stone.
waviness.Grain Center (GrCnt) A concentrated area of crystal growth that can appear light or dark. 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.
. and haze within a cut diamond.
Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions
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.Growth Tubes Imperfection formed during crystal growth. when a tube is generated by a formerly liquid filled cavity.
Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light
Green chrome diopside Inclusion within a Diamond
. diopside. spinel. silica or other gem stone inclusions. calcite.Included Crystals (Xtl) Included and undigested gemstones or fragments of garnet. or silica. spinel. diopside. olivine. olivine. iron oxides. iron oxides. calcite. Included Crystals Inclusion Photos
Internal Included Crystals in Diamond
Included Crystal inclusions are whole crystals or tiny included gem fragments of undigested crystals such as garnet.
Garnet Inclusions within Diamond
Garnet fragment on Diamond Girdle
Grossularite Garnet Inclusions in Diamond
Internal Graining (IntGr) Irregular crystal growth causing internal distortions, waviness, and/or haze. Can be accompanied by internal strain. Internal Graining Inclusion Photos
Internal Graining Diamond Inclusion Photography
Internal Graining (IntGr) inclusions are caused by irregular crystal growth which creates internal distortions, waviness, or haze. Internal Graining imperfections may be accompanied by internal strain such as feather Inclusions.
Internal Graining with Cloud Inclusion
With internal laser-drilling inclusions. the drilled passage may not breach the cut diamond's surface. and where pathway does not breach the cut diamond's surface. Internal Laser Drilling Inclusion Photos
Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) Inclusion Photography
Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) inclusions are man-made internal flaws that resulted from laser-drilling that was done to remove large piquŽ carbon inclusions in a rough stone.
.Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) Internal pathway caused by laser-drilling to remove large 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.
Large groupings of small pinpoints can create a cloud effect. or Pinpoint Inclusions are minute included crystals within the diamond that appear white under magnification.
. Large groupings of small pinpoints can create a cloud inclusion effect. Pinpoint Inclusion Photos
Pinpoints (Pp) Inclusion Photography
Internal Pinpoints (Pp).Pinpoints (Pp) Minute crystals within the diamond that appear white.
Twinning Wisp Inclusion Photos
Twinning Wisps Inclusion Photography
Twinning Wisp inclusions are naturally-occurring structural defects with a diamond. Twinning Wisp inclusions can be accompanied by internal graining and/or strain feathers. Can be accompanied by graining and strain.
. resulting from crystal twining during the growth process.Twinning Wisps Inclusions and defects resulting from crystal-twining during crystal growth.
.Odds & Ends: Microscopic Diamond Inclusion Beauty Photos
Microscopic Diamond Inclusion Photography
This is an assortment of spectacular diamond-inclusion photography taken by Joe Vanells. showing the strange and beautiful world of microscopic diamond inclusions.
Natural Comet Inclusion
Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud
Tabular Reflection in Diamond
Included Garnet Twins within Diamond
Included Dalmatian Garnet
Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers
Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light
Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion
appearing as a raised area on the diamond's surface.Natural External Diamond Inclusions or Blemishes
Knots An inclusion that penetrates the surface. Knot diamond inclusions can potentially be the cause of man-made drag-line inclusions. Knot Inclusion Photos
Photography of Diamond Inclusion Knots
Knot inclusions are naturally occurring external inclusions or imperfections that penetrate the surface (convex). appearing as a raised area.
Indented Natural (IndN) A naturally occurring indentation in the crystal that was not removed during cutting or polishing. Indented Natural Inclusion Photos
Indented Natural (IndN) Diamond Inclusion Photography
Indented Natural (IndN) inclusions (indented naturals) are external imperfections that are caused by naturally-occurring recessed (concave) indentations that penetrate the surface of a rough diamond. and were not fully removed during the stone's cutting or polishing process.
made up of a bumpy or wavy pattern on the polished surface of a diamond. Lizard Skin Inclusion Photos
Lizard Skin Diamond Surface Blemish Photography
A "lizard skin" surface blemish is a man-made external diamond imperfection that is created during polishing. The lizard-skin effect is caused by an orange-peel texture.Lizard Skin A bumpy or wavy 'orange-peel' textured pattern on the polished surface of a diamond.
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.
Surface Graining (SGr) Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation.
. Surface Graining Inclusion Photos
Diamond Surface Graining (SGr) Photography
Surface Graining (SGr) is a natural imperfection or inclusion that creates visible surface lines which are caused by irregular crystallization during diamond formation.Pits Dislodged pinpoint inclusions at the surface.
. chips. Bearded Girdle (BG) Fine cracks.Human Caused Surface Blemishes
Abrasion (Abr) A tightly grouped series of nicks along the sharp edge of facet junctions. or feathers along the outer edge of girdle. Bruising (Br) A percussion mark or hole caused by impact and surrounded by tiny feathers. fringing. creating a whitish fuzzy edge as opposed to a sharp edge.
during cutting and/or polishing the diamond. or caught by a included crystal. Chips Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet.Burn Marks Created during polishing. Cavities (Cv) An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing.
. Drag Line Photos
Diamond Surface Drag Lines Photography
Drag Lines are human-caused surface imperfections and blemishes that are created when a loose rough particle is dragged along the surface. the overheating of a facet causes a burn mark. or when abrasive material is caught by an included crystal such as garnet during the polishing of a diamond. Drag Lines Created when a rough particle is dragged along the surface.
and remove cloudiness.Extra Facet (EF) An asymmetrical and irregularly placed facet that is not part of the original faceting scheme. Filled Fracture Photos
Internal Fracture Filling Inclusion Photography
Fracture-filling Inclusions are man-made diamond enhancements that are the result of natural cleavage-plane stress fractures or feathers which have been artificially filled with molten glass to enhance clarity. Filled Fractures Fractures or feathers that have been artificially filled to enhance clarity. This microscopic photograph shows the telltale orange or pink flash of a filled fracture enhancement within a cut diamond.
Laser Etching or Markings Careless or inadvertent laser etchings. Laser Etching Photos
Diamond Laser Etching Inscription Photography
Laser etching inclusions are surface blemishes and imperfections that are created when careless or inadvertent markings or inscriptions are made while laser etching. markings. or inscribing the external surface of a cut diamond. marking.
. and inscriptions.
Scratch (S) A fine whitish line that can be curved or straight.Polish Lines (PL) Fine parallel surface groves resulting from the polishing process.
Diamond Enhancements: Laser Drilling & Fracture Filling
. Polish Marks (PM) Also known as "Wheel Marks." whitish film on the surface of a facet caused by excessive heat during polishing.
© AGS Lab
Telltale Signs of Fracture Filling .
. Minor diamond inclusions or surface imperfections which are not visible to the naked eye ("VVS1" to "SI2") can be disguised.
Unfilled Fractures around Garnet Inclusion . but instead attempt to hide their visual effect.© AGS Lab
Diamonds that have been altered or enhanced by Fracture Filling and/or Laser Drilling should always be labeled and their "improvements" identified to the potential consumer.Diamond Chemistry
| Optical Properties of Diamond
| Diamond Enhancement
Diamond "enhancements" are specific treatments performed on cut. altered.
There are also heating treatments to improve a white diamond's color grade. much like you would repair a crack in a car's windshield glass.
Diamond Fracture Filling
Diamond clarity is sometimes improved and enhanced by filling tiny fractures or feathers with molten glass. or removed by employing several invasive techniques from fracture filling to laser drilling. Such diamonds are sometimes then branded as "fracture filled diamonds." 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. These techniques do not eliminate the imperfection. but not necessarily increase its value. in accordance with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines for the gem trade. or treatments to give a fancy color to a off-white diamond. polished natural diamonds. which are designed to improve the visual or gemological characteristics of the stone. A trained gemologist should be able to identify most traditional "enhancements" made to a particular stone.
© AfricaGems. or subjecting the diamond to intense pressure and temperature. 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. The final clarity grade will be the grade that is assigned after treatment.
Signs of Laser Drilling . "vivid" blue and yellow colors result.There should always be a significant price discount for any diamond that has been fracture-filled. the heat generated by a blowtorch used to work on settings can cause damage to the filling material. in part because the treatment isn't permanent.© AGS Lab
Laser Drilling Tubes .
Natural Fancy Diamonds .© AfricaGems.
. It is therefor essential to inform anyone working on a setting where the diamond has been fracture-filled.© AGS Lab
The laser-drilling treatment is considered permanent. referred to as the HTHP process. 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. "One out of every three diamonds sold in the United States is laser-drilled.
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. According to Fred Cuellar in his book How to Buy a Diamond. The drilling process leave tiny telltale shafts or tunnels that are visible under high magnification (see photos below).com
Radiation treatments are completely safe. Due to its low melting-point.com
Color Enhanced Diamonds . and both the GIA and AGS will issue grades for laser drilled diamonds. and the GIA will not even grade a fracture-filled diamond. Diamonds treated with HTHP have their molecular altered so that intense. followed by acid washing to remove the coloring agent. Reputable filling companies will often provide repeat treatments if heat causes damage to the filling.
tiny fragments of synthetic diamond were created by heating charcoal. high-pressure) "belt press" process was used for synthesizing industrial-grade diamonds. they are increasingly used in fine jewelry as their quality increases.com The process of creating man-made diamonds (aka cultured diamonds.
. Once the desired temperature had been achieved.© AGS Labs
Today.Synthetic Diamonds & Man-Made Diamond Simulants
| Cubic Zirconia
The First Synthetic Diamonds
Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. and has been steadily improved upon throughout the last 50 years.© AGS Labs
Synthetic Yellow Chatham Diamond . and the Chemical Vapor Deposition or "CVD" method. known as the HTHP (high-temperature.Tracy Hall for the General Electric Company. by H. Using an electric furnace constructed with blocks of lime. the intense heat would render the crucible and its carbon contents into a molten liquid mass. yet they have the identical carbon-based chemical properties of natural diamond. These man-made synthetic diamonds are a laboratory-grown simulation of the natural gemstone. The first practical commercial application of Moissan's process was developed in 1954. Although synthetic diamonds were originally conceived as a substitute for natural industrial-grade diamonds. the crucible and its contents were rapidly cooled by immersing them into cold water.
Synthetic Diamond under Fluorescent . lab diamonds) was first conceived by French chemist Henri Moissan in 1892. or carbon to an extremely high temperature (4000º C) in a cast iron crucible. This abrupt cooling caused the rapid shrinkage of the molten iron crucible. there are two main processes for creating lab diamonds: the High-Temperature High-Pressure or "HTHP" method. The process. With Moissan's process. which created enough pressure to crystallize the molten carbon into tiny diamond fragments.
Synthetic diamonds can also be treated with the HTHP process to alter the optical properties of the stones. Titangem Synthetic Sapphire (1900-1947) Diamondette. Jourado Diamond. ultraviolet. specific gravity. With the advent of Cubic Zirconia in the mid 1970's. or by measuring UV fluorescence with a DiamondView tester. A cultured synthetic diamond will have the identical cleavage. Diamonite. Geminaire
In the early 1900's. which attracts the gas to the substrate. Radient Yttrium Aluminum Garnet (YAG) (1970-1975) Diamone. or "simulate" the appearance of natural diamonds. Like natural diamond. most of these lesser simulants fell by the wayside. but are not a carbonbased compound having a natural diamond's crystalline structure. Java Gem. Unlike their natural diamond counterparts. refractive index. Diamond Essence. Rutania. a seed or substrate material is placed into the growth camber. produced using the Verneuil (flame-fusion) Process. and uses a lowerpressure growth environment than the earlier HTHP method. ranging in clarity from IF to SI or I. hardness." also known as "simulated diamonds" or "fake diamonds" are man-made gemstones that look like. These impurities absorb the blue end of the light spectrum. A diamond seed is placed into a growth camber. In the late 1940's Diamondite gave way to Synthetic Rutile which was popular until the advent of YAG in the early 1970's. Phianite Gadolinium Gallium Garnet (GGG) (1972-1975) Strontium Titanate (ST) (1955 . Rainbow Diamond. 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. Diamonte.1970) Diagem. the diamond's entire growth process takes several days to complete.High-Temperature High-Pressure (HTHP)
The "High-Temperature High-Pressure" (HTHP) technique. Diamonaire.
Synthetic Diamond Color & Optics
Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless form.
Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD)
The "Chemical Vapor Deposition" (CVD) method was developed during the 1980s.' or six-anvil 'cubic press' to create the necessary pressure. Thrilliant Synthetic Spinel (1920-1947) Corundolite. or X-ray spectroscopy. Common diamond simulants include:
Cubic Zirconia (CZ) (1976-) Czarite. Synthetic diamonds can be detected using infrared. With CVD. making the stone appear yellowish. synthetic diamonds may contain small inclusions.
Synthetic Diamond Manufacturers
. and a combination of heat and pressure are applied while a vaporized carbon-plasma that is combined with hydrogen is applied. and surface luster as its natural diamond counterpart. colorless synthetic sapphire (aka Diamondite) was a popular diamond simulant. Diamondite. or "deposited" onto the substrate in successive layers. light dispersion. 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. Lustergem. also known as "GE POL. The vaporized carbon gases are energized using microwave energy." uses a four-anvil 'tetrahedral press. and Moissanite in 1998. Fabulite Synthetic Rutile (1946-1955) Diamothyst. Using Chemical Vapor Deposition. the HTHP diamond's growth process can take 7 to 10 days to complete. making them difficult to differentiate from natural diamonds. Magalux.
Florida. which they claim is the closest thing to mother nature.25 carats to 1 carat. and each stone is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. in Boston. www. www.com To the average consumer. while diamond has a hardness of 10.com Gemesis Cultured Diamonds Gemesis is located in Sarasota.com Tairus Created Gems Tairus Created Gems is a Russian company that grows fancy-colored diamonds in their proprietary "Split Sphere" system. each Gemesis cut stone over .3 on the Mohs scale. Tairus Created Gems are sold exclusively through Tairus Thailand Co. Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is the most familiar type of diamond simulant on the market. and each cut stone is laser inscribed with the Apollo company logo and serial number. and rose cuts. and CZ has a hardness of only 8.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. using a proprietary variation of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) technique.500 per carat (2004 est. Ltd. emerald.
. To insure easy identification as a man-made product. Chatham's pricing ranges from $6.gemesis.
| Cubic Zirconia
Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. The toughness of Cubic Zirconia is rated as good.apollodiamond. and stones are cut to order. carbonate fluid solution that is similar to diamond-bearing metamorphic rock.30 carats to 3 carats. with clarity grades from IF to SI. The Split Sphere system crystalizes the carbon seed in an alkaline. www. and like Chatham. and some fancy colored diamonds. of Bangkok Thailand.).chatham.500 to $9.Apollo Diamond.. Massachusetts grows colorless (D to M) diamonds. Tairus produces rough sizes from . Apollo Diamond's cut stones are available in round brilliant. inc. Gemesis only grows fancy-colored diamonds. princess. Apollo Diamonds are cut and polished in sizes ranging from . Cubic Zirconia (Zirconium Oxide ZrO2) has a completely different chemical structure. While a synthetic diamond is a man-made recreation of an actual carbon-based diamond.25 carats is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number.
and CZs can be made in any "color grade. the greater dispersive power. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below).80 to 2.17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2.2. For instance." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR). candle. Due to their low cost and consistency. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight. but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease.Detectable With Testing
Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. Natural diamonds attract grease. or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond.
Photos: Larry P Kelley
Identifying Cubic Zirconia
A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond.) in a totally dark room.170. 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. Unlike most natural diamonds.
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.800 .In 1973. CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator. Once the mixture has cooled. etc. Diamond's RI is 2. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible. or colorless (white) versions. The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit. 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. Zirconium oxide powder is heated. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods
CZ vs Diamond .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. Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left). the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. a CZ is optically flawless.
. CZ vs Diamond . You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing. The 1.41 (RI). CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce.
you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight. when examining the gem through the kite facets. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent.69. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. Moissanite has an RI of 2.670. candle. is classified as an element rather than a compound. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond.A small. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible.25 on the Mohs scale.65 to 2. while diamond has a hardness of 10. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. found only in iron-nickel meteorites. Arizona. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused.044. 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. Henri Moissan (above. and diamond at 0. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2.417. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. Moissanite. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998.104 as compared to CZ at 0. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index. Moissanite has a hardness of 9.com Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective.060. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. etc.
.) in a dark room. 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.
Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite.
Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. center) near Winslow.
Moissanite vs Diamond .Detectable With Testing
Double Refraction: Moissanite is double refractive. Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be more diffused. diamonds were valued primarily for their luster and hardness. diamonds were used in their natural octahedral state. which was called the "Point Cut. rather than against it.417
Moissanite is double refractive (anisotropic) while a natural diamond is singly refractive (isotropic).
Cutting a Rough Diamond
. diamond has a "grain. Prior to this time. but significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its high RI. The Modern Round Brilliant cut (below) is the culmination of several hundred years of experimentation and development. most diamonds have some inclusions
Moissanite vs Diamond . Diamond's RI is 2." At the time. detailed and sharply focused pattern caused by secondary reflections will be seen when observing a diamond. diamond is singly refractive Refractive Index: Moissanite has a refractive index of 2." As further refinement progressed. although it can be easily cleaved or fractured due to its defined cleavage planes. Like wood. one half of the crystal would be cut off. Diamond cutting can be traced back to the late Middle Ages. due to its high refractive index." and the rough stone must be cut with the grain. creating the "Table Cut.A small. A similarly sharp. Table Cut diamonds appeared black to the eye.Detectable to the Naked Eye
Dispersion Pattern: Secondary patterns of dispersion due to double refraction Color: Moissanite has a slight yellow color and does not come in grades better than 'J' Lack of Flaws: Moissanite is virtually flawless. The first improvements on nature's design involved a polishing of the crystal faces. caused by primary reflections from the pavilion and CZ's low RI. 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.
Diamonds: Modern Diamond Cutting
Diamond Cutting Background
One of the hardest substances on earth.670. only a diamond is hard enough to cut other diamonds.
The natural shape of the rough stone will also be a major factor in deciding how to cut the stone. rounding the rough diamond into a conical shape. Sawing: A stone-cutting saw is a thin disk made of phosphor bronze. Each step is critical to the final outcome. and bypass any inclusions or imperfections." Faceting: To facet a round brilliant. or lap that has been "charged" with diamond dust. and maintain symmetry. High-tech computerized helium and oxygen analyzers are now used to evaluate a stone prior to cutting. Cleavage is the tendency of crystalline materials to split along defined cleavage plane. The cutting (also called "placing") and polishing of each facet is accomplished by attaching the stone to a dop stick with cement. While the rough stone rotates on the diamond lathe. the "blocker" or "lapper" will cut the first 18 main facets. on a scaife. An octahedron can be cut into one or two Round Brilliants but a square Princess cut will result in the least amount of waste due to the square shape of the stone.Modern Round Brilliant Diamond
. a second diamond mounted on a dop is pressed against it. During this faceting stage the angles of each facet must be cut to an exacting standard in order to yield maximum brilliancy. A rough stone is cleaved if there are conspicuous defects and/or inclusions which would prevent it from being made into a single gemstone. or shatter the stone. Bruting: The rough is placed in a chuck on a lathe. As the saw blade rotates it continues to pickup or "recharge" itself with diamond dust which is the cutting agent. then pressing it against a revolving cast iron disk. Asymmetrical crystals such as macles are used primarily for fancy cuts. 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. Cubic shapes are ideal for a square Princess or Radiant cut. a diamond can be cleaved in four directions parallel to each of the four octahedron crystal faces. This step is also referred to as "rounding.
Cleaving: Cleaving refers to splitting a stone along its grain by striking it. then a "brillianteer" will cut and polish the remaining 40 facets. eliminate waste. Cleaving is a critical step as a mistake by the "cleaver" could fracture. Due to its atomic structure.
Diamonds: Ideal Cut .Cutting a raw diamond into a faceted and polished gem-quality stone is a multi-step process. It can take several hours for the saw blade to cut through a 1k rough diamond.
and the amount of internal inclusions will play an important part in the decisions as to how to maximize yield. but in order to do this. it may be better to aim for a higher carat weight utilizing a "Standard" cut.weight retention. elimination of any inclusions. An octehedral rough diamond will yield two round brilliant cut stones (see diagram below).
Reconciling Cut & Weight Retention
If the rough stone has a colorless D through F rating and has very few inclusions. the rough stone has some coloration and/or is heavily included. compromises would have to be made.
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
. This is accomplished by reconciling three key factors .com When deciding how to cut a rough diamond. a cutter must make a cost-benefit analysis as to how to maximize the cut stone's value. on the other hand. The clarity of the stone. The objective is always to maximize carat weight.Ideal Cut vs Standard Cut Diamond
Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. If. it would be cost effective to sacrifice some carat weight in order to finish with two "Ideal" cuts. cut proportions.
In the diagram of a "Round Cut" diamond (above and below).Pavilion Symmetry Girdle Symmetry
Deep Pavilion Thick Girdle
When dealing with a near-perfect (or flawless) stone the cut that is generally preferred is the classic "round brilliant" cut." Even with modern techniques. 16 "lower girdle" facets. as two stones could be cut from one crystal. 8 "kite" facets. and 2. This is primarily due to the fact that this cut has yet to be improved on for two reasons: 1. 8 "pavilion" facets.
The Modern Round Brilliant Cut
The modern "Round Brilliant Cut" (below) was developed by Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919.
An "Ideal Cut". This is why it is very rare to see flawless stones cut into fancy cuts such as emeralds. 1 "culet" facet on the bottom. This cut is also known as the "Tolkowsky Cut" and "Tolkowsky Brilliant. The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem. the cutting and polishing of a diamonds resulted in a loss of as much as 50% of the stone's total weight. The round brilliant cut is beneficial when the crystal is an octahedron. and one "table" facet on the top of the stone for a total of 58 facets. 16 "upper girdle" facets. you will see that there are 8 "star" facets. etc. it is the best cut for showcasing a high-quality stone's fire and brilliance. hearts. "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.
invented in 1929. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant". Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design.5%.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972.' 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. Eppler & Scan D.
Tolkowsky. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect..5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed.
To quantify a diamond's cut quality. A perfect blending of facet symmetry.N. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%. etc. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer.7%. As with all human endeavors. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. and overall height of 57." (Scandinavian standard. H&A Viewer.
AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade
The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish.7%. more brilliance and fire. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts.
. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios. crown height of 14.N.4%.
Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut. Since then.5% to 43. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. The "Scan D. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope. facet ratios. very small to small In the 1970s. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. crown height of 14. Symmetry.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35. and crown/pavilion angles. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). Ideal Scope.6% and overall height of 57. and Proportions.
Popular in Art Deco jewelry of the period.) and when suitably scrutinized by the gem trade. Every conceivable cutting theory is tried. and it still survives in some form today. but at the end of the day it may simply come down to consumer preference and/or marketing. and number of facets. Some have gone on to become household names such as the Asscher cut. scientists. but some like the Barion Cut have disappeared into obscurity.
Asscher Cut The Asscher Cut was developed by Abraham and Joseph Asscher of the Royal Asscher Diamond Company of Amsterdam in 1902. cut proportions. cut corners and a small table. or the widely marketed Leo cut which is a modified round-brilliant sold by Leo Schachter Diamonds.Producers split hairs over cut angle. with the two largest stones.nl
. (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. The cut has a deep pavilion and a high crown. it is put in front of the ultimate arbiter of quality . the Cullinan 1 and Cullinan 2 being set into the crown and sceptre of the British Crown Jewels.asscher. the Asscher diamond cut has a squarish octagonal shape with a step cut. and their modest brilliance and light return. One thing is for sure .the consumer. The Asscher brothers cut the famous 3. less facets. and entrepreneurs . mathematicians.each trying to improve on the tried-and-true Old European cuts.
Diamonds: Patented Signature Diamond Cuts
Notable Patented & Proprietary Diamond Cuts
Since the early 1900s there has been a proliferation of elaborate diamond cuts that have been developed by master gem cutters. Tolkowsky came up with a "brilliant" idea almost 90 years ago. and the culet is square. etc.106 carat Cullinan Diamond into eleven gem stones.like Einstein's theory of relativity. www.
or to increase light-dispersion. and a 'softer' briliance than a traditional round brilliant cut. The Context Cut is used to cut colored gemstones by Julius Petsch of Idar-Oberstein. not including the 16 girdle facets. with star-shaped cross facets cut diagonally into the pavilion. The Barocut is available in sizes from 20 points to 3 carats. nephew to the inventor of the Modern Round Brilliant cut. Marce Tolkowsky. www. Gabi Tolkowsky. Ulrich Freiesleben of Germany in the early 1980s then patented and trademarked in 1997. adding up to 50% to the cost when compared to a Round Brilliant cut diamond. In 1998. and a total of 81 facets. The Context Cut design was based on an earlier patented design by Bernd Munsteiner from the early 1960s. modified rectangular (baguette) cut that was developed by Baroka Creations.com
. and its patent has expired. The Context Cut follows a rough diamond crystal's natural octahedral shape.com
Context Cut The Context Cut is a square cut that was developed by Dr. Barocut stones are also sold in tapered shapes. to become Asprey & Garrard.freiesleben. The cut has a total of 8 facets plus a girdle. or the company website. www. Garrard & Co. parting ways in 2002 to again become Garrard.
Barocut The Barocut® diamond cut is a patented. Barocut diamonds are promoted and sold exclusively through the Baroka Creations catalog. It is sold exclusively through the 270 year old firm of Garrard & Company in London. The Barion square cut diamond has a 4-fold mirror-image symmetry. The name "Barion" or "Barion cut" was never trademarked. and was the forerunner to the princess cut. and in all diamond colors and/or clarity grades. 81 facets on the cut corner (cushion) version. 23 more than a modern Round Brilliant cut. Germany. The Eternal Cut has a total of 81 facets.de
Eternal Cut The Eternal Cut diamond was designed and patented by master Israeli diamond cutter.The Barion square cut (aka Barion square cushion cut) was invented by Basil Watermeyer of South Africa in 1971. www. Inc. creating a unique 'flower petal' pattern surrounding the cutlet. of New York in 2000. The Eternal Cut is being sold exclusively at Garrard's main London store and Harvey Nichols stores in Great Britain. The Context Cut consists of two back-to-back pyramids (an octahedron). The Barocut is also called a "two heart diamond" due to the illusion of two mirrored hearts meeting at the culet. A Barocut diamond has a total of 77 facets. and creates a high amount of waste.baroka. merged with the jewelry firm Asprey. forming a square shape when viewed from the top. The cutting process requires a high-quality rough.garrard.
emerald. The Flower Cut is actually a series of five fancy cut shapes: the Dahlia. Fire-Rose. the Gabrielle has a total of 105 facets. The Leo diamond cut has a total of 66 facets. Other than the traditional round brilliant shape.
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. 48 of which are clustered around the culet to increase fire. The Dahlia is a 12 sided oval shape with 63 facets. The Flower Cuts were never patented or trademarked by De Beers in order to increase their popularity and use. The Zinnia is a round fancy shape with 73 facets. designed to maximize the brilliance and color of diamonds while increasing their yield. The Flanders Fire-Brilliant was developed by Flanders Cut International of Antwerp in 1983.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.com
Flower Cut The 'Flower Cut' series was created by Gabi Tolkowsky in 1986. is a patented symmetrical round cut created by Leo Schachter Diamonds. maximizing the amount of light returned back as scintillation.com www. angular shapes. marquise.com
Leo Cut The Leo® Diamond.flanders-cuts. Marigold. which is 47 more than a traditional 'Tolkowsky' round brilliant cut. the Gabrielle Cut is available in carre. (aka Leo Schachter Diamond). The Flanders Brilliant has 33 crown facets and 28 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets. adding greater brilliance and fire than standard brilliant cuts. www. Sunflower and Zinnia cut. 8 more facets than the Round Brilliant cut's 58. www. The Flower Cuts employ unconventional cutting angles and dimensions. off-color stones. The cut is distributed by the National Diamond Syndicate (NDS) of Chicago. that is suited to a relatively flat rough. The Sunflower has 43 facets in unusual. oval. The Marigold is an octagon shape with 73 facets. and pear shapes. The Fire-Rose is a hexagonal shape designed to produce higher yields. who was commissioned by De Beers to create new cuts as a way of marketing unusual. heart.gabriellediamonds.
. and the cut was named after the Flanders region of Belgium (Antwerp) where the cut was first preformed in 1987. Unveiled at the Las Vegas Gem Show in 2001.nationaldiamond. LLC.
patented and trademarked by Henry Grossbard of the Radiant Cut Diamond Company (RCDC) in 1977. It was the first emerald shaped diamond cut to have brilliance and fire similar to that of a round brilliant diamond. Upon the expiration of the patent. The Quadrillion was the result of three years of optical research to create a square diamond cut that can claim a similar brilliance to a round diamond.diamondaires. Prior to the Quadrillion.radiantcut.The Leo diamond cut is the first to be certified for fire and brilliance as measured by a 'BrillianceScope. brilliant-style faceted pavilion (similar to a Cushion Cut). eternity bands. www. The Lucida diamond cut is marketed as a wedding cut. The pavilion is similar to a Barion cut. sold in solitaire engagement/wedding bands.com
Lucida Cut The Lucida (TM) Cut is a patented diamond cut that was created by Tiffany & Company in 1999. www. a highstep crown (similar to the Asscher Cut).com
Quadrillion Cut The Quadrillion® Cut (aka Squarillion Cut) is a modified square princess cut that was developed by Israel Itzkowitz and Betzalel Ambar in the late 1970s. The Lucida is sold exclusively through Tiffany's retail chain." The Leo Diamond is marketed through the Kay Jeweler chain. There are 25 crown facets and 36 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets (not including 8 girdle facets).tiffany.com
. and all Original Radiant Cut diamonds weigh at least 0. and three-stone rings. and the table is a bowed out rectangle. and was patented and trademarked by Bez Ambar Jewelers of Los Angeles in 1980. the Radiant Cut became a fully accepted diamond shape in the jewelry business. square shaped diamonds were stepcut limiting their brilliance. www. RCDC launched the 'Original Radiant Cut' diamond brand In 2002.70 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.' and each diamond comes with a "Return of Light Certificate. small table. There are a total of 49 facets. Bez Ambar
Radiant Cut The Radiant Cut is a modified emerald cut shape that was developed. and a total of has 50 facets. The Lucida diamond cut is a modified square or rectangular (Marquise) cut with truncated corners.
and Uncurved cut used for accent stones. The Starburst cut is especially suitable for a octahedral rough.louisglick. and the career of the "diamantaire" (diamond cutter/polisher) was born. Old eight. Trillion) is a triangular cut designed and trademarked by the Henry Meyer Diamond Company of New York in 1962. The Trilliant has the Schoenflies point group symmetry of a round brilliant. and the Trilliant is now a generic term for a triangular brilliant cut. Still. Old Mine Cut
Evolution of the Faceted Diamond & Colored Gem
Article Copyright © 2008 AllAboutGemstones.
Old European Gem Cuts: Point.
Point Cut .com The faceting of diamonds has come a long way in the last 700 years. for a total of 89 kite and star shaped facets. The pavilion has two differently sized sets triangular facets with a large triangular table. Starburst Cuts are mounted and sold directly through Cartier. Since the day that humans first discovered 'adamas' (diamonds). and light return from the stone. The "table cut" (below. and scintillation when cut to the correct proportions. but the pavilion is completely different. with weight losses in the fifty percent range. right) was created by cutting off some of the top half of the point cut's octahedron to create a table. 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. The Starburst cut was created to bring out the highest amount of color to fancy yellow diamonds. making the hue of fancy yellow diamonds more intense.The Starburst Cut was patented and trademarked by the Louis Glick Diamond Corp. 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. The Trilliant cut gives a high brilliance. The Trilliant trademark has since lapsed. There are two variations of this cut: the Curved cut used for solitary stones. The starburst faceting pattern is designed to focus color near the top of a stone. Harry Winston. 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. craftsmen have attempted to "improve" on nature. Nieman Marcus and Tiffany. fire. The Trilliant Cut has a total of 31 facets. There are 49 crown facets and 40 pavilion facets.com
Trilliant Cut The Trilliant Cut (aka Trielle. of New York in 1978. this led to the invention of the first gem cutting machines (precursor to the "lap" or "Facetron") in the 1300s. brilliance.early 1300s
The "point cut" (below left) is one of the first symmetrically faceted diamond cuts. The point cut design is dictated by the natural shape of an octahedral rough diamond. With the realization that only a diamond could cut another diamond.
. reworked into the shape of a trillion (triangle). The crown of the Starburst Cut is similar to that of the radiant cut. Trillian. From this point forward it was a race to see who could design the perfect faceted cut which would bring out the maximum fire. www.
it has a cushioned or rounded girdle shape. resulting in a smaller table.
The "senaille cut" is a rose cut with irregular or non-symmetrical faceting. The culet is usually large enough to be visible when viewed through the table. eight bezel or crown facets." and the Full Holland cut.1700s
The "old mine" cut is the earliest form of the "brilliant cut" diamond.
Old Mine Cut ." "crowned rose cut.Single Cut . and eight pavilion facets. The "briolette cut" is a modified "double Dutch rose cut" with one of the hemispheres being elongated. The briolette was the precursor to the "pendeloque cut" which is a pear-shaped modification of the round brilliant cut. This Old Mine cut is basically square with gently rounded corners and "brilliant" style facets. the "old single cut" (aka "old eight cut") diamond has the addition of corner facets to create an octagonal girdle. The Rose cut can form a single hemisphere for a total of 24 facets or it can be two back-to-back hemispheres (Double Dutch rose) forming a total of 48 facets. The single cut may or may not have a culet at the bottom. the "rose cut" is also known by the the "Antwerp rose.late 1300s
Invented in the late 14th century. The crown is typically tall.
Rose & Briolette Cut." "Dutch cut. The briolette cut was designed primarily for use in a pendant or as a dangling bauble in a crown. Also called the "cushion cut".1500s
Invented in the mid 16th century. an octagonal table.
The Modern Round Brilliant Cut . 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. The Old European diamond cut has a very small table.1900s
The "modern round brilliant cut" (below) was developed by Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919.
As with its predecessor the "point cut" over 600 years earlier.Old European Cut ." Even with modern techniques. The eight cut is similar to the "single cut" in that there are eight four-sided trapezoidal facets at the crown. the old European diamond has a circular girdle. a heavy crown. and an octagon-shaped table for a total of 17 facets (18 if a culet is used).
. the Modern Round Brilliant cut is beneficial when the crystal is an octahedron (diagram above). The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem. eight facets at the pavilion.1800s
The "Old European" cut was the forerunner of the modern round brilliant cut. This cut is also known as the "Tolkowsky Cut" and "Tolkowsky brilliant.
Eight Cut & Swiss Cut
The "eight cut" is primarily used for small stones when a brilliant cut would be impractical. Like the modern round brilliant. and very tall overall depth.
thereby controlling and stabilizing prices. 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. Unlike precious metals such as gold. Rio Tinto. Gaborone. then divided by human or automated sorters into individual lots called "boxes. there is usually a substantial mark-up in the retail sale price of diamonds. The rough stones are separated into 16. Kimberley and Windhoek.000 categories based on size. color and quality.A "Swiss cut" is a compromise between an eight cut and a brilliant cut. or secondary mining producers in Canada and Russia to De Beers' Diamond Trading Company (DTC) in London. silver or platinum. with a total of 33 facets (34 if a culet is used). Trans Hex. 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).
The Diamond Trade: The 'Diamond Pipeline'
Rough Diamond Producers
Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. There is a limited market for the resale of diamonds that are less than "investment grade. 16 isosceles triangle facets on the crown and 16 facets on the pavilion. which combines ("aggregating") supplies of rough diamonds from multiple sources into one wholesale market (#2)." The DTC is part of the DeBeers Group supply-chain known as the Central Selling Organization (CSO)."
The 'Diamond Pipeline'
Rough diamonds are sent directly from De Beers mining operations in Africa (#1). for sorting and resale.com The trade in gem-grade rough diamonds is primarily controlled by the De Beers.
De Beers and the Future
De Beers' (CSO's) control over the wholesale diamond market has diminished due to increased market penetration. Once the diamonds are set into jewelry. and the breakaway from CSO's cartel by the Argyle Diamond Mine in Australia. (see DeBeers' Adiamondisforever. Other major cutting centers are located in Johannesburg. China. they are sold to retailers or direct to the customer.000. diamonds have underperformed since 1987 when compared to the "luxury goods" market or global GDP. Ramat Gan. and retailers . Rough diamonds are cut in various geographic regions according to tradition and the skill-sets of the labor force. India cuts the vast majority of small stones (. which are increasing in popularity and consumer acceptance. or to jewelry manufacturers (#5) around the world.
. and Thailand. determining the quantity and quality that each site-holder will receive. to take advantage of market fluctuations. through their Diamond Promotion Service (DPS) and Diamond Information Centres (DIC) marketing divisions. De Beers. As a reaction to their decrease in market share. Many Sightholders are also cutters.000 to $2. The diamonds are then re-sold from the cutting and polishing (manufacturing) centers to wholesalers (Diamond Bourses). reclaiming their "A Diamond Is Forever" moniker. A 'sight' can have a value of between $500. Tel Aviv. has launched an aggressive branding and marketing campaign. Russia and elswhere. Both traders and manufacturers may sell diamonds "upstream" and "downstream" through the diamond pipeline . De Beers (DTC) sets the price of each box in advance. where De Beers sells the "boxes" to its select group ("supplier of choice") of 125 "sightholders" (#3) or diamond manufacturers. cutters. Additionally.20 carats or less) in Mumbai (Bombay) and Surat. The sightholder then transports the box of rough diamonds back to diamantaire firms (cutting and polishing factories) located around the world (#4).De Beers Sightholders
The DTC holds a sale called a "site" or "sight" ten times per year in London and Johannesburg. and New York. De Beers is also facing increasing pressure from the manufactures of synthetic diamonds.000 USD.com website). while large stones are primarily cut in Antwerp. and independent diamond producers in Canada.
also known as the "World Diamond Center" or Diamantenzentrum. Almost 85% of the world's rough diamonds. The Council has approximately 70 members representing jewelers. This mark is only visible via a point-of-sale electronic viewer. As of 2006.
The Diamond Trade: Diamond Bourses of Antwerp
Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. the European Union and the United Nations to rid the diamond Industry of conflict diamonds. heavily guarded geographic area surrounded by three main streets. and Shanghai. Belgium but there are also Diamond Bourses in Israel.com The word "Bourse" refers to a private stock. South Africa. and will com with a certificate of authenticity. 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. London. and Rijfstraat. The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base. the WDC has observers from the governments of Belgium. KPCS originated in May 2000 during a meeting of South African diamond producing states in Kimberley. 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. Europe.
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.Forevermark Diamonds
As a way of staving off the onslaught of secondary diamond markets. Within Antwerp's diamond district.
. or commodities exchange similar to the NYSE.S. In addition to its members. Moscow. and India (2007). Schupstraat. and about half of the polished diamonds. The largest diamond trading center in the world is located in Antwerp. Asia. cut and uncut diamonds. and preventing the inherent product misidentification that will follow. traders and manufacturer/producers. Hong Kong. some 1.. 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 . Forevermark diamonds will be available through sightholder/retailers in the U. Israel and South Africa and works with 35 independent Governments. bond.500 diamond dealers (diamantbedrijven) are ensconced in small. Hoveniersstraat. are sold in Antwerp every year. NY . China. The Council began in July 2000 after a joint meeting of the WFDB and its international headquarters are in New York City. and the city is the hub of the global diamond trading industry (diamanthandel). De Beers is hoping that the combination of branding and security will increase consumer demand. The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates .
bisected by Hoveniersstraat street. founded in 1893—and the Beurs voor Diamanthande (at Pelikaanstraat 78) founded in 1904 . 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. Most transactions conducted within the Bourses done with cash and a handshake. and repatriation of Antwerp following the end of WWII. and both are still in operation today. Control over the diamond trade is maintained through the WFDB's Constitution containing a series of rules. an by-laws that govern business practices.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. After the liberation.
In Antwerp's 'Diamond Center' (Diamantenzentrum) today. which was established in the same year that the 1930 World Expo was held in Antwerp. uncut diamonds was the Antwerpsche Diamantkring (Antwerp Diamond Ring) . ethics and morality.Photo: Wiki Public
The first trading exchange to deal exclusively with rough. there are around 4000 diamond-cutters (diamantaire) working in the several-square-block diamond district. regulations.
The Diamond High Council (HRD)
. making it the largest diamond-trading center in the world . Around $16+ billion in polished diamonds pass through Antwerp's diamond bourses each year. These first trading exchanges mainly dealt with the wholesaling of cut stones. friendship and trust .
Beurs voor Diamanthandel . the Antwerpsche Diamantkring was reopened. and disputes are handled by an internal arbitration process. and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) was founded in 1947. Both bourse were founded by Hasidim diamantairs.
They settled in the 'Cape of Good Hope' on Africa's southern most tip. This led to a new wave of emigrants and adventurer-seekers from England. There was not a single Boer fatality. 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. 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. The Voortrekkers had to contend with the native Zulu tribe over land they wished to settle on. Gauteng (Premier Diamond Mine). under the Treaty of Vereeniging. The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base.
The Diamond Trade: History & Culture of the Key Players
Article Copyright © 2006 AllAboutGemstones. Afrikaners who participated in the migration northward became known as the 'Trekboer' or Voortrekkers. England seized the Cape of Good Hope from the Dutch East India Company in 1797. and Limpopo (Venetia Diamond Mine). Afrikaners (aka Boers or farmers) were religious refugees from the Netherlands and other parts of northern Europe during the mid 1600s to late 1700s. and fully annexed the Cape Colony in 1806 . ending with the inclusion of all Boer territories into British colonies.' and the 'Orange Free State' provinces to escape hostilities with the native 'Xhosa tribe' from which Nelson Mandela decended.com
Diamonds and the Afrikaners
The Afrikaners & British Diamonds and the Jews The Hindustani Diamond Cutters The African Nationals The Americans
Photos: Public Domain
The Boers Historically.The HRD (Hoge Raad voor Diamant) Diamond High Council is a non-profit industry organization designed to promote and represent the Antwerp diamond trade. most with Dutch Calvinist. with 10. Flemish. but 3000 Zulus were killed in what became known as the 'Battle of Blood River.' 'Limpopo. or German Protestant backgrounds. The Boers resisted British encroachments into their territory until the Second 'Anglo' Boer War (1899— 1902). there was a mass exodus (the Great Trek) northward to 'Northern Cape.' 'Gauteng. coming for
. and this eventually lead to all-out war.' After the devastating Zulu defeat.' During the 1830s and 1840s.000 Zulu warriors attacking 470 Boer settlers.
Diamonds and the British
The Second Wave of Europeans Needing a stopping-off point on the sea-route to Australia and India. which at the time was administered by the 'Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie' or 'Dutch East India Company. The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates ." Three of South Africa's richest diamond mines are in Northern Cape (Kimberley Diamond Mine).
. Amid all of this turmoil and chaos. no heirs to his empire. Domain
Cecil Rhodes Cecil Rhodes (1853—1902) is the undisputed father of the modern diamond industry. and J. 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. but was eventually successful in convincing Barnato to merge with De Beers. he began his business interests in South Africa by servicing the "ant hill" of humanity that was descending on Kimberley during the diamond rush of the late 1800s. N. As a young lad from England. he was able to build a monopolistic empire through skill and cunning. a prospector. Rhodes started out selling ice cream to the diamond-diggers and service workers. Cecil Rhodes' De Beers empire was started on a farm owned by two Boer settlers and brothers. A. De Beers and Kimberley Central were the two largest mining interests in South Africa at the time. Domain
Thomas M. self-government was restored. With the help of the Rothschild bank in London.the "mineral revolution.. One of the richest men in the world.' Cecil Rhodes died a single man with no children and. 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). As founder of De Beers. although Rhodes did not start out with an interest in diamonds." In 1906. Barnato died several years later. a curious discovery was being made along the banks of the Orange River. D. In exchange. Domain
Barney Barnato During the same period that Cecil Rhodes was building De Beers Consolidated Mines. and in 1910 the 'Union of South Africa' was created. De Beer. and later selling steam-powered water pumps to drain the open-pit mines of Kimberley.
Photo: Pub. Barnato was given appointed to 'life governor' and temporary controlling interest in De Beers . Rhodes made several aborted attempt to gain control over Barnato's interest in Kimberley Central Mine.. mysteriously falling overboard on a ship passage back to England.
Photo: Pub. in Northern Cape.
Sir Thomas Major Cullinan (1860—1936) was the founder of one of Africa's richest diamond mines, the 'Premier Diamond Mine,' 30 kilometers east of Pretoria, in Gauteng province, South Africa. Although Cullinan was already a successful building contractor in Johannesburg, he was also an amateur geologist who had heard about alluvial diamonds being found along a stream near the old 'Cornelis Minnaar Farm' in upper Gauteng. Cullinan was interested in purchasing the farm, which had already changed hands several times, but the present owner, Willem Prinsloo (who had purchased the land for £570 in 1861) was not interested in selling. Shortly after the close Anglo Boer War (1898—1902), Willem Prinsloo's widow agreed to sell the land to Cullinan for £52,000, and the 'Transvaal Premier Diamond Mining Company LTD' was officially registered on the December 1, 1902 . On January 25th 1905, a 3,106 carat diamond was found at the mine, which remains the largest diamond ever found in the world. When news of Premier's success hit the board room of De Beers, several aborted attempts were made to purchase the mine, but Cullinan had no intention of selling . In 1914, WW1 broke out in Europe, and diamond prices began to spiral. Layoffs at the mine caused enough friction that by August, mining operations were suspended. The Premier Mine had resumed production by January 1916, but in need of cash, Cullinan sold a major stake in the mine to the Transvaal government. Frank Oats, who was now the chairman of De Beers, was able to convince the Transvaal government to sell its controlling interest in 1917, and De Beers once again enjoyed a monopoly on South African diamonds.
Diamonds and the Ashkenazi, Sephardi and Hasidic Jews
There is perhaps no other ethnic group that is so inextricably intertwined with the diamond trade, than the jews. In an odd twist of fate, it may be Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama's discovery of a searoute to India around Africa's Cape of Good Hope in 1488, that set the stage for the Jewish/diamond connection. Da Gama's discovery opened up a direct diamond-trading route from India's Malabar Coast and the island of Borneo, to Portugal and on the Netherlands. With Lisbon now at the forefront of the European diamond trade, many Portuguese Sephardi businessmen opened cutting houses, and quickly gained a dominant roll in the diamond-polishing industry. The Sephardi were Jews who originated from Spain and Portugal (the Iberian Peninsula), many practicing a secret adherence to Judaism known as "Crypto-Judaism," while professing other faiths. Jews who practiced their religion in the open were expelled from Spain and Portugal, when the Catholic Monarchs issued the "Alhambra Decree" in 1492 (1497 for Portugal), fleeing to Morocco, the Ottoman Empire, Antwerp and Amsterdam. When the first Jewish emigrants (Ashkenazi) came to Antwerp in the 1200s, they were welcomed, but when the Black Plague swept across Antwerp in the mid 1300s, the Jews were one of the scapegoats. Although Amsterdam's Dutch were relatively tolerant when it came to religious freedom, in 1585 Antwerp came under Spanish rule, and the Jews (this time Sephardic), were once again the focus of scrutiny. With the Spanish Inquisition in high gear, Jews were now persecuted for conducting trade with the Ottoman Empire, or for being 'pseudo-Christian.' In the 1600s, wealthy Jewish diamond-traders now living in the Netherlands, financed the 'Dutch East India Company' and its exploration of new trade routes to India, but the British were beginning to see opportunity in the diamond trade, creating new competition for the Jewish/Dutch. Prior to being granted 'civil equality' in 1796, Amsterdam's Jews were not allowed to join trade guilds, leaving the unregulated diamond industry as one of the only means of employment. By the late 18th century, many of Amsterdam's Jews were working in the diamond trade, and many of these 'Sephardi refugees' had maintained connections with Portuguese traders who now had a monopoly on the trade of raw diamonds from India. By the early 1700s, India's mines were nearing exhaustion, but a new discovery in Brazil helped to reinvigorate the diamond trade. By this time, British naval superiority proved to be a great advantage, and the 'British East India Company' was born. The European center for the diamond trade now began to move away from Amsterdam, as Jewish traders set up shop in London. The cut stones were sold to the nobility and royalty of Europe, using the Hofjude (Court Jews) as purchasing agents to select the stones from the London diamond merchants.
Photo: Pub. Domain
The Pshevorsk Hasidic Dynasty Hasidic Judaism was founded by Polish (now Ukrainian) Rabbi 'Ba'al Shem Tov', aka 'Israel ben Eliezer' (1698—1760) in a time when European Jews were facing increasing hostility and pressure from the "Cossacks' Uprising" in Ukraine. The Hasidic movement is a sub-group of the theologically conservative Haredi or Charedi Judaism, aka Ultra-Orthodox Judaism. The movement was seen as a way of turning inward towards a 'deeper spiritualism and mysticism.' Hasidism spread westward, making its way to western Europe in the 1800s. The Hasidic movement in Antwerp began with Rabbi Moshe of Pshevorsk, who authored 'Ohr Pnei Moshe' in 1805 . The Pshevorsk is a small sub-Hasidic movement based in Antwerp, Belgium, with their hub at the study hall (beth midrash), 'Beth Yitzchok' at Mercatorstraat 56. With the discovery of vast diamond reserves in South Africa during the late 1800s, concern over a glut in the diamond market spread throughout London's diamond merchants. A group of wealthy Jewish dealers pooled their resources to form "the syndicate," which was created to soak up all of the excess capacity being created by South Africa. Today, Antwerp and London's diamond trade is largely controlled by the Hasidic Jewish community, although Indian influence is on the rise in recent years. Many of these Hasidic entrepreneurs are nameless by choice, preferring to maintain their anonymity, but they have been the driving force behind the multi-billion dollar diamond industry for hundreds of years.
Photo: Pub. Domain
Alfred Beit Alfred Beit (1853—1906) was born into a prominent Jewish family in Hamburg, Germany. Beit worked for the diamond firm of Jules Porges and Co. in Amsterdam before emigrating to 'Cape Colony' in 1875 during the Kimberley diamond-rush . Beit was part of a group of financiers, including Cecil Rhodes, who gained control of the diamond-mining claims in the Central Mine, Dutoitspan Mine, and De Beers Mine, thereby 'consolodating' the South African mining industry. becoming a 'life-governor' of De Beers Consolidated Mines. He was also the director of the Beira Railway Company, British South Africa Company, Rand Mines, and the Rhodesia Railways. Beit, along with partner Cecil Rhodes, financed the 1895 'Jameson Raid' which was an attempt to trigger an unsuccessful coup in the South African Republic of Transvaal. The Royal School of Mines, at the Imperial College London has a large memorial to Beit, in recognition of the Beit trust's bequeathment to the university, and to educational institutions in Britain, Germany South Africa, and Zimbabwe (Rhodesia).
Photo: Pub. Domain
Sir Ernest Oppenheimer Ernest Oppenheimer (1880—1957) was born in Friedberg, Germany to a large Jewish family, and with several brothers working for "the syndicate," Ernest was well positioned for his future vocation. He began his career at age 17, working for the diamond brokerage firm, Dunkelsbuhler & Company in London. Oppenheimer created the concept of "single-channel marketing" over 100 years ago, by funneling the world's supply of diamonds through a single clearing house. Oppenheimer gained control of Namibia's diamond mines, forming the Anglo American mining conglomerate. This gave him the financing and power to gain the chairmanship of De Beers. Today, Oppenheimer's Anglo American operates a fleet of diamond recovery ships off the coast of Namibia and South Africa under the umbrella of De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited (DBCM), and Central Holdings Limited (CHL), an Oppenheimer family holding company, and in partnership with Namdeb.
Photo: Pub. Domain
Nicky Oppenheimer Ernest's grandson, Nicky Oppenheimer (born 1945) studied philosophy at Oxford as a young man, and is now the chairman of the De Beers Diamond Mining Company and its subsidiary Diamond Trading Company. The Oppenheimer family and Anglo American maintains a 45% stake in De Beers today. Africa's richest man, and #134 on the Forbes list of the world's richest people, Nicky Oppenheimer is worth an estimated $4.5 billion. Under new legislation, passed by the African National Congress, Nicky Oppenheimer was forced to sell a 26% share of De Beers to the South African 'Black Economic Empowerment' group (BEE). This was the first major ownership change for De Beers in over a century. Of the legislation Oppenheimer said: "De Beers is here to make a profit, but we must benefit the people and communities where we operate."
Photo: Pub. Domain
Lev Leviev The Lev Leviev Group, created by Israeli national, Lev Leviev (born 1956 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan) is the worlds largest cutter and polisher (diamantaire) of rough diamonds, with factories in Armenia, India, Israel, and the Ukraine. The Lev Leviev Group also owns mining interests in Namibia's offshore dredging operations. Through his personal relationship to Vladimir Putin and other Russian heads of
Israel. Lev Leviev has formed a partnership with the ex Soviet state-owned diamond firm.
The Hindustani Diamond Cutters
Photo: dnavin. Graff's net worth is estimated at 2. Tretiakovsky Proezd in Moscow. Dubai. New York's Madison Avenue." the Leviev Group has found willing partners in several countries including Angola's ASCORP after De Beers' exit in 2001. Lesotho Promise is the 15th largest diamond ever found.). Leviev's net-worth is estimated at $2. found on August 22. Using this model of "local control. and has satellite locations in Wafi City. Alrosa now sells direct to cutting factories throughout Russia. By circumventing the De Beers supply chain. which are now owned by Lev Leviev. and the largest rough unearthed in this century. from wholesale and retail.com
Gujarat's Indian Diamantaires
. It will ultimately be cut into an estimated 20 or so 'D-flawless' stones ranging from 75 carats to 1 carat in size. and on board the luxury residential ship The World ResidenSea. ALROSA produces 100% of Russia's rough diamond output and approximately 20% of the world's rough diamonds . selling to the rich and famous from Elizabeth Taylor and Donald Trump. with his wife and their nine children.5 billion dollars . Russia. to purchasing a 51% stake in Safdico (South African Diamond Corp. Domain
Laurence Graff Laurence Graff (1938—) is a DeBeers sightholder. founder of the House of Graff in the heart of London's posh New Bond Street.
Photo: Pub. Graff has co-authored (with Vanessa von Zitzewitz) "The Most Fabulous Jewels in the World. Lev Leviev lives in B'nei Brak. House of Graff is also located on London's Sloane Street.5 billion (#278 Forbes List). a DeBeers sightholder in Johannesburg. which gives him access to some of the finest uncut diamonds coming out of South Africa. Laurence Graff was born into a Jewish orthodox family in London's poorer 'East End' district. 2006 at the Letseng diamond mine in the tiny Kingdom of Lesotho in the center of the Republic of South Africa. Graff's strategy of "vertically integration" has been to control every angle of the diamond pipeline." a compendium and history of his most famous jewels. Hotel de Paris' salon privé in Paris." and the "king of bling" by Forbes magazine . Monte Carlo.state. One of his most notable acquisitions was the 603 carat "Lesotho Promise diamond. All House of Graff stones have a laser-inscribed girdle with the 'Graff' logo and GIA number. Raised by his grandparents. Mr. formed by Decree 158C of the Russian Federation. in 1992. Graff has been dubbed the "king of diamonds. now called ALROSA (Almazy-Rossii-Sakha) . to Larry Ellison. and one of the most successful diamond merchants in modern history.
D. Sanghavi Exports." The Indians would go on to enjoy a singular reign over the diamond-rich dominion—known as Hindustan—for another two thousand years. and Surat's 'Special Economic Zone' . to elevate quality standards.com
Dilip Mehta Indian diamantaire. propelling their twin companies. Harshad Mehta ("Diamond King of the world") is one of the founders of Rosy Blue. The Indian communities' share has grown to around 60%. Shree Ramkrishna Exports. and exports several billion dollars worth of gems per year. or "thunderbolt. India (born 1949). from Hong Kong to Israel. Mumbai. and Israelis didn't want to work with . displacing the Hasidim as the dominant force in the industry . Jainism is an ancient Indian religious sect believing in the 'Jain' philosophy. The brothers. heighten awareness of ethical business practices.
Photo: rosyblue. based upon eternal. polishes. both college dropouts.
Photo: Pub. and Vijaydimon are family owned operations run by Jains with the common surnames of Jhavari. and is currently a Senior Partner and head of the UAE division. Mehta. Venus Jewels.7 billion in annual sales . The Sanskrit word for 'diamond' was vajra. with $1. improve perceptions. is the CEO of the 'Rosy Blue Group' which is currently one of the world's largest diamond companies. 320 BC) by Kautiliya. Of the $26 billion per year diamond revenues that flow through Antwerp. the Indians would not be giving up their rightful heritage as diamantaires. started out thirty years ago by purchasing cheaper stones that the Dutch Hasidim. and although India's famous "Diamonds of Golconda" were mined-out hundreds of years ago. Domain
Bharat & Vijay Shah Bharat and Vijay Shah came from a family of jewelers going back three generations. and to develop an "understanding of the world market. and the DTC has demonstrated Gujarat's power in the diamond cutting/polishing arena by increasing India's take of its 125 sightholder contracts to nearly 50 in 2006. and Shah. Gujarat. they were able to gain an increasingly larger share of the wholesale diamond trade. By slowly developing markets. Gitanjali Gems is one of the largest manufacturers of diamonds and diamond jewelry in India. are headed and staffed by Mehta family members. It is estimated that India cuts." The Bharat Diamond Bourse in Mumbai. M. the Hindustan Diamond Company Ltd. This vast fortune is shared by some 300 to 500 Gujaratis families from Palanpur on the GujaratRajasthan border . Chandragupta.above). with diamond cutting factories located in Borivali. Gitanjali Gems. a minister to the Indian king. Much of India's diamond trade is controlled by a handful of wealthy families in Gujarat. and were written about in an ancient Sanskrit manuscript called the "The Lesson of Profit" Arthasastra (c.Diamonds made their first reluctant appearance in human history over 2400 years ago. is the newest addition to India's arsenal of global marketing tools to promote exports. The Indo Argyle Diamond Council (IADC) formed in 1994 as a consortium of Indian jewelry manufacturers and cutting houses. Companies like Bhavani Gems. Dilip Mehta of Mumbai. and De Beers India. Navinchandra & Co (board of directors . Several other divisions of the Rosy Blue Group. Suresh & Co. universal truths. (HDC).
and the end to South African apartheid in 1994. many of the ex-colonial nations of Sub-Saharan Africa are starting to emerge as powerful and legitimate forces in the diamond industry. left). Joseph Kabila (above. & Mogae Starting with Botswana's independence in 1966. President Festus Mogae was elected for a second term in 2004. all who have signed multi-million dollar trade deals. Domain
N. China.Vijaydimon (Belgium) and B Vijaykumar (India) . The president of Sierra Leone. created a program for capacity-building of 'small and medium-sized enterprise' (SME) development. Ayer & Son
. Hong Kong. who was a major general in the army. president José Eduardo dos Santos is preventing democratic elections from taking place. Singapore. Thailand. employing 22. Mandela. the 'United Nations Industrial Development Orginization' (UNIDO). Bombay.W. Angola and from mining magnates. Botswana is a relatively wealthy African country. dos Santos. Kabbah. The company has cutting factories in Antwerp. the political situation in Angola has begun to normalize. Vijaydimon is a DTC sightholder with offices in Belgium.
Diamonds and the African Nationals
Photos: Public Domain
Kabila. both domestically and internationally. succeeded his father (Laurent-Désiré Kabila) as president the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC) after his assassination in January 2001. The last democratic election in Angola was in 1992. and Tel Aviv. and enjoys broad support. with one of the fastest per-capita income growth rates in the world. into a global position with nearly $1 Billion a year in sales. On a somewhat darker note. At the age of 29. is receiving broad support from the South Africa. In a post-conflict reconstruction effort. Palanpur. After winning a disicive re-election victory in 2006. India. Kabila. Botswana has held regular elections and has been one of the more stable governments in southern Africa. UAE.000 workers. After years of fighting between the PMLA and UNITA. only hinting at their possibility in 2007 or 2008. Bangkok. is making great strides in stabilizing the country after years of strife. and the United States.
Diamonds and the Americans
Photo: Pub. Surat. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. Vijaydimon also purchases rough diamonds from Canada's Diavik Mine and Argyle (Rio Tinto) and Russia . working in cooperation with the government of Sierra Leone.
The movie version featured Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend. the values of ostentatious gems and jewelry dropped precipitously. After the French revolution in 1799. Harry Frederick Oppenheimer enlisted the help of N. and the subsequent overthrowing of King Louis-Philippe of France in 1848." by Jean Schlumberger in the 1960s. One of Tiffany's most notable diamond acquisitions was a 287. and from the Spanish Crown Jewels .' which was adapted to film in 1953. the public's tolerance towards nobility was at a low point. With financial shockwaves caused by the French economy's collapse in 1847. and Tiffany seized on the opportunity. Domain
Charles Lewis Tiffany Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812—1902). Sir Francis "Piggy" Beekman. which started out as 'Tiffany & Young' of New York City in 1837. Ayer in 1938.
Photo: Pub. producing the 128.' at the flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. The Great Depression had taken a heavy toll on luxury goods during the 1930s. De Beers and the diamond industry got another shot in the arm. who was known for his jewelry expertise.
. Ayer & Son.W. Domain
Hollywood in 1949 Coming just on the heels of the immortal "a diamond is forever" campaign. The 'Tiffany & Co.54 carat 'The Tiffany Diamond. Charles Tiffany. The stone was cut in Paris. gems and jewelry from the estates of the European aristocracy. and sold to Nanaline Duke (now in the Doris Duke Collection).' During the 1800s. Styne wrote the score for the 1949 Broadway musical 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. and the diamond industry was particularly hard hit. Lorelei receives a diamond tiara from her suitor. Tiffany & Young." after here charecter.' brand was catapulted into the stratosphere by the 1961 movie 'Breakfast at Tiffany's. aka "the King of Diamonds. for resale in America. Jule Styne (born Julius Kerwin Stein) was born in London.42 carat rough flawless-yellow diamond from the 'Compagnie Français de Diamant du Cap' (Kimberley mine) in 1877. specializing in one-of-a-kind baubles for New York's newly-minted industrialists and 'robber-barons. A 19." was the co-founder of Tiffany & Co. De Beers president. Prince Esterhazy of Hungary.' The stone was set into a garish jewelry piece called "Bird on a Rock. purchased diamonds. In 1948 the famous "A diamond is forever" slogan was introduced. and a series of diamond-related slogans were introduced into the American lexicon. N. the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine. located at 259 Broadway.W.
Photo: Pub.72 carat cushion-cut diamond (one of the "Diamonds of Golconda") was mounted by Tiffany. and featuring the memorable scene in which Holly gazes longingly into Tiffany's window display.' staring Audrey Hepburn. Jule Styne. The Tiffany is still selling luxury jewelry in their trademarked 'Tiffany Blue Box. Tiffany was able to purchase significant gems from such renowned estates as: the 'jewel-mad' Duke of Brunswick."A diamond is forever" is the legendary saying that was created by America's first advertising agency. this time from playwriter. After attending Chicago Musical College. Styne moved to Hollywood where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn. was originally a 'fancy goods' emporium.
The Consumer Last.Photo: © Warner Bros." there would be no "diamond trade. a diamond certificates. Through interviews with human-rights organizations like Doctors Without Borders and Global Witness. the World Diamond Council placed ten full-page ads in newspapers around the county. This time. In a preemptive strike against any negative publicity that the movie would generate. appraisal report. grading report."
Diamond Grading: Diamond Certificates (Certs)
Gemological Laboratory Certification
Why do you need a laboratory certification for your diamond? Although it may seem like a needless expense. or "cert" may be your only assurance that you are getting exactly what you paid for. Diamonds are tested for
. certificate of authenticity. the unsung hero in the diamond trade. but not least. and their willingness to purchase the concept of "foreverness. as writer Charles Leavitt takes us through the dark underbelly of the diamond trade. we have the faceless American consumer. the glamor is laid bare. 2006
Hollywood in 2006 Blood Diamond is the latest incarnation of Hollywood's fascination with diamond." and the terrible working conditions that these workers must endure. Were it not for intrepid consumers. Leavitt weaves a tale of Sierra Leone's impoverished "diamond diggers.
shape and cut of a stone. Tokyo.
A GIA (Gemological Institute of America) report provides detailed information about the dimensions. 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. but for insurance appraisal as well. the same year that Shipley published his groundbreaking book titled 'Gemology.not only for resale. poorly cut SI-3 grade stone.other than the price. and is the largest independent gem certification and appraisal institute in the United States. founded in 1975. and carat weight) and they are also tested for traces of gem enhancement. and of corse. GIA reports also cover any treatments or enhancements that have been done.' GIA's world headquarters are located in Carlsbad.
The International Gemological Institute (IGI) is the oldest institute of its kind in Antwerp. tone. and saturation of a colored stone. Although even a lay-person may be able to tell the difference between a triple-zero diamond and a cheap. Dubai and Hong Kong. Los Angeles. and Attestations of Origin. and wether they are 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 . wether the stone is natural or synthetic. California.
The GIA was founded by Robert M.the basics (cut dimensions and proportions. Toronto. color. The IGI offers Identification Reports. carat weight. Certificates of Authenticity. Appraisal Reports. Bangkok. with operations in New York City. Antwerp. Shipley in 1931.
. which can be substantially different. there is very little (visible) difference between a FL stone and a IF or VVS-1 stone . with offices around the globe. Mumbai. clarity.
with "Triple Excellent" being the highest overall designation. Carat Weight.The IGI lab grades diamonds as well as colored gemstones along several basic criteria which include: shape and cut. clarity. color. Shape. and finish. and the graders can not know the identity of the owner. HRD also offers gemelogical training and continuing education courses in diamond grading. jewellery design and gemology. origin (colored gems). the sorting of rough diamonds. All diamonds are examined anonymously. mesurments. HRD's refined Cut Grading system measures each of the three parameters (proportions. weight.
HRD Antwerp Diamond Certificate
The certificates department of HRD Antwerp in Antwerpen.
. as well as quantifying the standard parameters of Clarity. Color. Belgium issues quality reports for loose (unmounted) polished diamonds according to ISO 17025 international standards for gemelogical testing laboratories. and Fluorescence. polish and symmetry) using a scale ranging from Excellent to Fair.
HRD uses the "Hearts and Arrows" measuring system which was developed by HRD Antwerp scientists. Cut.
The AGS specializes in diamond testing and evaluation. but rather a comprehensive quality evaluation. having the most rigid grading standards. AGS grades diamond color on a numeric sliding scale that is similar to GIA's alphabetical scale. creator of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). HRD uses complex watermarking to prevent copying or falsifying their reports. and optical physicists. Aditionally." is not an appraisal of monetary value.
The AGSL was the first gem lab to grade a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors. vs. Symmetry." The AGS Cut Grading system was developed through of years of research by gemologists. 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. Today.com 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. The mission of the AGS is to increase consumer awareness. Shipley. as opposed to GIA's vvs. 2005 can be viewed online. AGS is considered the premier diamond-grading laboratory. along with a consortium of independent jewelers. An AGS report. and does not evaluate other types of colored gemstones. To insure the security of their documents. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). certificates issued after January 1. 'Polish' and 'Symmetry' were merged into one category called "Finish. 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.As well as testing for synthetic diamonds. and gives you the option of having your diamond returned in a tamper-proof sealed container to insure that a given certificate and the accompanying diamond belong together. and to set a higher standard of business ethics and professional practices in the jewelry industry. and Proportions. and s ratings.
Diamond Grading AGS Diamond Quality Report (DQD)
AGS Gemological Laboratory Background
Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.
. mathematicians. referred to as a "Diamond Quality Document" or "DQD. The AGS Gemological Laboratories was established in 1996 to provide state-of-the-art diamond grading and appraisal services to the jewelry industry. as well as the most comprehensive system for grading the all-important 'cut' parameters. A diamond's clarity is also graded on a simple numeric scale from 0 to 10.
In 2004 AGS added a new category that is referred to as "Light Performance. and Proportions. Proportions & Light Performance
The AGSL was the first gem lab to grade a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. Symmetry. and optical physicists." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors." The AGS Cut grading system was developed through years of research by gemologists. dispersion.Cut Grade: Finish. The ray-tracing program measures the quantity of the light being returned to the viewer by quantifying brightness. mathematicians.
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. leakage and light spread. contrast. Each parameter is given a numeric grade from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). 'Polish' and 'Symmetry' were merged into one category called "Finish." but to retained the "Triple Zero" monicker for diamonds with a perfect score.
0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint .0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless .0 to 1.3.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z)
As of 2003. In the upper left corner of the document there is a unique AGS reference number that can be used when contacting AGS with questions about your report.
AGS Diamond Grading System
On the inside fold of an AGS Diamond Quality grading report there is a legend explaining the unique AGS nomenclature with comparisons to GIA's grading system.0 to 7.5 to 3.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light ."
Each AGS grading document is marked with a hologram (dark circle at lower right of report) and watermarking or embossing to prevent fraudulent duplication.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade
The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero.5 to 4. in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above). When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.5.
." or "ideal" rating.0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light . AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram. and individual facet ratios. where facets intersect with each-other. 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. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles. relative facet angles.1.7.
AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations
Colorless . all measured in three spacial dimensions.
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. unmounted diamonds. the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA).Triple-0 Round Brilliant Setting
'American Star Diamond' 13. and the peripheral damage that will be done to the surrounding environment. Pricing for a diamond grading report is based on carat weight. which are used by non-contact measuring-device manufacturers such as Sarin Technologies. so that the cutter can improve the light performance of their cut stones. India and Israel. AGS will only evaluate loose.42 Carat D. AGSL reports will also grade cut quality for emerald. As of 2005. 3. AGS offers laser inscription services as well. while a shaft is
Accessing the underground ore is achieved via a horizontal passageway called a "decline. and will soon be offering cut evaluations for other fancy shapes. OctoNus Software.
Obtaining an AGS Report
AGS is a 'trade-industry' testing laboratory that will only evaluate diamonds sent from jewelers or manufacturers. and can only be accessed by tunneling underground and creating underground "rooms" or "stopes" that are supported by timber pillars or standing rock. and octagon step-cut diamonds.
Diamonds: Gem & Diamond Mining Technology
Photos: Public Domain
Diamond & Gem Mining . the stability of the material that surrounds that desired gem or mineral. minerals. The AGS supplies 'facet arrangement' templates corresponding to their cutgrading system. 5. and OGI Systems. and ore bodies that are in situ.com Diamonds and other precious and semi-precious gemstones are extracted from the earth using five basic mining techniques. 2. through AGS offices in Antwerp." or a by a vertical "shaft. Additionally." A decline is a spiral (corkscrew) tunnel which circles the ore deposit. princess. AGS will also provide analysis of a manufacturers 'cut performance' by analyzing a sample stone's Sarin file. These diamond extraction methods vary depending on how the minerals are deposited within the earth. Artisanal Mining Hard Rock Mining Marine Mining Open Pit Mining Placer Mining
Hard-Rock Diamond Mining The term "hard-rock mining" (top of page.Extraction Methods
Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. left) refers to various techniques used to extract gems. 4. Dubai. The principle methods of diamond extraction are:
Marine diamond mining employs both "vertical" and "horizontal" techniques to extract diamonds from offshore placer deposits. A decline is typically used for mining personnel. or sort material according to size. also known as "sand-bank mining" (top of page. right) with bare hands.Photo: USGS
Alluvial Diamond . with the middle size being a candidate for final sorting. 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. or hand digging (artisanal mining). and access to the ore. therefore.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. Placer Mining Placer diamond mining. Horizontal mining employs the use of Seabed Crawlers (remotely controlled. box screens. center) is a method of extracting rock and minerals from the earth by removal from a machine-dug open pit or burrow. highly resistant to weathering. Diamonds and most gemstones are hard. Excavation is accomplished using water pressure (hydraulic mining). and or colluvial secondary deposits. Small "pit lakes" tend to form at the bottom of open-pit mines as a result of groundwater intrusion.
Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix .vertical tunnel used for ore haulage. right) is used for extracting diamonds and minerals from alluvial. Laborers who work in artisanal diamond mining are called "diamond diggers" (below left).
. Artisanal diamond mining is a form of "subsistence based" non-mechanized mining that is used in poorer countries throughout the world. gravel. running adjacent to the ore. eluvial. CAT-tracked underwater mining vehicles) move across the sea floor pumping gravel up to an offshore vessel. they tend to concentrate in alluvial deposits in the same way that gold placers develop. Open pit mines are typically used when mineral deposits are found close to the surface or along defined kimberlite pipes. mechanized surface excavating equipment. or pans. and have a specific gravity that is higher than that of common minerals. and is a derivative form of open-cast mining used to extract minerals from the surface of the earth without the use of tunneling. Gems are separated from waste material using various sifting and sorting techniques such as cone screens. machinery. Marine Mining Marine mining technology only became commercially viable in the early 1990s. While on board. at a maximum depth of 500 feet. the gravels are separated and sorted into three sizes. which concentrate the heavier gems at the bottom. shovels. or large conical sieves. or sand) that is unsuitable for tunneling. Open Pit Mining Open-pit diamond mining. Artisanal Mining Artisanal diamond mining (aka "small-scale mining") involves nothing more that digging and sifting through mud or gravel river-bank alluvial deposits (above. also known as "open-cast mining" (top of page. rock or sedimentary soil.
minerals. Kimberlite pipes can lie directly underneath shallow lakes formed in the inactive volcanic calderas or craters.
Diamonds: Diamond Geology
Diamond Geology & Kimberlites
Kimberlite Pipes Diamonds form at a depth greater than 93 miles (150 kilometers) beneath the earth's surface. After their formation.
Kimberlite is a diamondiferous igneous-rock matrix composed of carbonate. with a variety of trace minerals. Artisanal diamond mining accounts for 90% of Sierra Leone's diamond exports and is the country's second largest employer after subsistence farming. Diamond bearing kimberlite in some parts of South Africa is black in color (above. and diamonds approaches the earth's surface it begins to form an underground structure (pipe) that is shaped like a champagne-flute. serpentine. right).
. left). Kimberlites are found as "dikes" and "volcanic pipes" which underlie and are the source for rare and relatively small volcanoes or "maars" (above. pyroxene. phlogopite. left) or "yellow-ground" kimberlite and can be found worldwide. Kimberlite pipes are the most significant source of diamonds. rock fragments. the Congo (DROC). yet only about 1 in every 200 kimberlite pipes contain gem-quality diamonds.Artisanal diamond mining is used throughout west Africa. Kimberlite occurs in the zone of the Earth's crust in vertical structures known as kimberlite pipes (above. garnet. olivine. Most kimberlite is called "blue-ground" kimberlite (above.North Cape" below). and Liberia. 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 . These pipes are called "kimberlites" or "kimberlite pipes" (see diagram below). As this molten mixture of magma (molten rock). right). It is also used extensivly in Angola. in conflict zones where mechanized mining is impractical and unsafe. diamonds are carried to the surface of the earth by volcanic activity. and upper mantle rock. Many kimberlite pipes also produce alluvial diamond placer deposits.
" that may be similar. Alluvial (Placer) Diamond Deposits The location of alluvial (secondary or placer) diamond deposits is controlled by the surrounding topography. The world's largest known gem quality alluvial diamond deposits are located along the Namib Desert coastline of southwestern Africa. or "cementing material. The Argyle pipe is a diatreme. 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. impact breccia. Alluvial diamond deposits are usually located within river terrace gravels that have been transported from their location of origin. Lamproite pipes are created in a similar manner to kimberlite pipes. including: hydrothermal breccia.Photo: Public Domain
Lamproite Pipes Lamproite pipes produce diamonds to a lesser extent than kimberlite pipes. Diamondiferous material tends to concentrate in and around 'oxbow lakes.
. except that boiling water and volatile compounds contained in the magma act corrosively on the overlying rock.Photo: Public Domain
Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . and tectonic breccia. or different in composition to the fragments themselves. There are several types of breccia which are categorized based on their geological origin. These dried 'lakes' receive river water during seasonal flooding which transports large amounts of sediment held in suspension. usually from kimberlite deposits. sedimentary breccia. known as the Sperrgebiet or "forbidden territory. igneous breccia." and along the Orange River near Alexander Bay. Breccia is a rock composed of angular fragments of several minerals or rocks in a matrix.Open Pit Mine .Photo: NASA
The alluvial terrace gravels (below.' which are created by abandoned river meanders. 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. resulting in a broader cone of eviscerated rock at the surface. left) and marine gravels of the south-western coastline of Africa represent the some of the world's largest placer diamond deposits. This results in a martini-glass shaped diamondiferous deposit as opposed to kimberlite's champagne flute shape.
Alluvial Diamonds from Africa .
Westward draining river systems transported these diamonds to Africa's continental coastline for final deposition within on-shore marine terrace gravels.9k and 101. to a lesser extent.com
.8 million to 10.Photo: Wiki
Diamond-Bearing 'Diamondiferous' Gravel
Many of these alluvial diamond deposits occur in Pleistocene and Holocene successions (1. but were not deposited on land. Diamonds in marine areas are typically trapped in bedrock depressions such as gullies.Namibia's placer diamond deposits are between 40 and 80 million years old. made their way to the sea bed just offshore. from olivine lamproites formed during the Cretaceous or Permo-Triassic period. depressions. potholes.
Alluvial Terrace Gravels .8k. The diamonds within these deposits were transported from deeply-eroded diamondiferous kimberlites or. Some of the largest and highest gemquality diamonds produced from alluvial placer diamond mining have come from this region. channels or other trapsites for diamondiferous deposits. in central South Africa and Botswana. Alluvial diamond mining in Angola takes place along a meandering stretch of the Cuango River floodplain which is also along the south-western coastline of Africa. Diamonds that were transported downstream. including Angola's two largest diamonds at 105. carried from their primary origination point on the Kaapvaal Craton.
Diamond Mines of the World: Active Diamond Mines
List of Active Diamond Mines
All Contents Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.000 years ago).
map Cullinan Diamond Mine: Open Pit/Hard Rock diamond mine owned by De Beers. 4. and any relevant geographic data. Namdeb Namib Gov. Lubilash) Alluvial river mines in Kasaï. 2. So Africa. the Kimberley Open Pits closed in 2005. map Elizabeth Bay Mine: Open-cast mine in Namib desert. produces over 40% of world's gem-quality diamonds. 1. 1. Waldman Resources. map
Congo (DROC or RDC) Lesotho Namibia
1.closed. 2. Endiama (50%). map The Oaks Diamond Mine: In Limpopo province. There are also several African nations with ongoing off-shore dredging/vacuming operations. 75% De Beers ownership map Murowa Diamond Mine: Open Pit & Underground mine. 1. Rio Tinto. south of Lüderitz. Cempaka Diamond Mines: Alluvials mined by indigenous artisanal Kalimantan miners. 3. 2. open pit. map Koidu-Sefadu Mines: Subsistence digging in alluvium pits west of Koidu. located in NWT. Open-pit mine De Beers operated. and hard rock diamond mines.
| Inactive Mines
| Future Exploration
| Mining Companies
Cempaka/Riam Kanan. De Beers/Botswana. map Williamson Diamond Mine: (aka Mwadui mine) Open Pit mine. 2.DeBeers/Botswana. map Jwaneng Diamond Mine: (place of small stones) richest mine in world. 1. South Kalimantan
1. Namdeb. Luarica Diamond Mine: Owned by Endiama (38%) & Trans Hex (32%). 4.De Beers / Botswana. map Letlhakane Diamond Mine: ("little reeds") second oldest of four . MIBA. 4. in Kasaï . Argyle Diamond Mine: Largest producer in world. 2. map Koffiefontein Diamond Mine: The Koffiefontein mine opened in 1870. map Venetia Diamond Mine: Limpopo. De Beers / Botswana. 3. links to satellite images of the mines (where available).
These lists also contains new project explorations. De Beers operated.Currently there are eleven major 'diamond producing' nations. 1. mostly industrial grade. 75% De Beers ownership. Kimberlite pipe. 1. map Koidu Open Pit Mines: Kimberlite open-pit mines just south of Koidu. map River Ranch Diamond Mine: Open Pit & Underground mine. map Forminière Diamond Mine: Alluvial mine located on the River Tshikapa. map Magna Egoli Mine: Largest mechanized mine in Sierra Leone. 5. 3. map Baken Diamond Mine: Located along Orange River in North Cape. map
. map Kimberley Diamond Mine: Started in 1871. 7. 3. 2. map Orapa Diamond Mine: (resting place for lions) Largest/oldest of four . map Bakwanga Mine: (aka Bushimaïe. 1. mining industry inside news. map Ekati Diamond Mine: Canada's first diamond mining operation. 1. map Orange River (Daberas) Mines: Orange River alluvium. mining operator info. 3. map Fucauma Diamond Mine: Newly constructed. Closed in 2006. map Damtshaa Diamond Mine: (water for a tortoise) New open pit mine. Catoca Diamond Mine: Fourth largest diamond mine in world. map Letseng Diamond Mine: Open-cast mine in Maluti Mountains 70 km from Mokhotlong. Owned by Endiama (40%) & Trans Hex (35%). 75% De Beers ownership. and a host of other counties with operational and/or historic alluvial. map Marine Mining: Namco Mining operates a dredging fleet off the west coast of Namibia. Luzamba Diamond Mine: Angola's largest alluvial mine. Diavik Diamond Mine: The Diavik diamond mine is located in the NWT. map
North West Territories (NWT)
1. 2. Odebrecht (50%). map Finsch Diamond Mine: Finsch is an open-pit mine near Lime Acres. Israel. 6. Trans Hex. 2.
1. Aikhal GOK Mine: Three open-pit kimberlite pipe mines: Aikhal. Jubilee.India
1. map Udachnaya (Udachny) Pipe Mine: One of the deepest diamond mines in the world. Mirna Mine: Largest diamond deposit in Russia and one of the largest in the world. Alrosa. 4. 5. 3. map Jubilee (Yubileinaya) Mine: Newer open-pit kimberlite mine near Udachny. and Sytykan. map
. 2. map Anabar GOK Mine: The norther most location of Russia's diomond mines. Panna Diamond Mine: Alluvial mine in state of Madhya Pradesh.