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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
All of that has changed with the AGS Cut Grading system and GIA's new "Cut Grading System". 80. The crown will have 33 facets. Poor Diamond Faceting and Symmetry Due to the mathmatics involved in light refraction. pavilion and crown angle) and did not provide a subjective ranking of how good the cut was. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972.Good Cut Fair Cut Poor Cut Cut Proportions In the past. or 96 facets which are not counted in the total number of facets (58). the "Cut" quality of the "4 Cs" was the most difficult part for a consumer to understand when selecting a good diamond because a GIA or AGS certificate did not show the important measurements influencing cut (i. The chart below shows several common problems to look for. 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. Common cutting problems can occur during the faceting process. Fig. and the pavillion will have 25 facets. when one incorrect facet angle can throw off the symmetry of the entire stone. This can also result in the undesirable creation of extra facets beyond the required 58. Other variations of the "Modern Round Brilliant" include the "Ideal Brilliant" which was invented by Johnson and Roesch in 1929. A poorly cut diamond with facets cut just a few degrees from the optimal ratio will result in a stone that lacks gemmy quality because the "brilliance" and "fire" of a diamond largely depends on the angle of the facets in relation to each other. Fig. 2 The proportion and symmetry of the cuts as well as the quality of the polish are factors in determining the overall quality of the cut. a Round Brilliant cut that does not have the proper proportions and symmetry (off-make) will have noticeably less brilliance.e. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. 3 . Only a trained eye could see the quality of a good cut. 64.
Fancy Diamond Cuts The shape of the cut is a matter of personal taste and preference." was invented by Ken Shigetomi and Kazumi Okuda in 1984. left) are only found in diamonds that meet the American Gem Society Laboratories' "0" Ideal Cut specifications. making the diamond appear white when viewed from the top. The IdealScope was invented by Kazumi Okuda in the 1970's. N. or a H & A Viewer gemscope (FireScope). there is a balance between "brilliance" and "fire". Fig. The first official H & A "EightStar" diamond was cut in 1985 by Kioyishi Higuchi for Japanese businessman and FireScope manufacturer. A well executed round brilliant cut should reflect the maximum amount light from the interior pavilion facets. as two stones could be cut from one crystal. all three categories of cut (Polish.' while AGS uses a more exacting combination of proportional facet ratios along with raytracing metrics to calculate light return. the quality of the cutter's execution of that shape is of primary importance. out through the table. In order for a diamond to receive a "Triple-0" grading.For a Modern Round Brilliant cut (Tolkowsky Brilliant). A diamond cut for too much fire will look like cubic zirconia. 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. 4 Perfectly formed Hearts and Arrows patterns with eight hearts AND eight arrows (above. and its later incarnation. the "FireScope. Several basic diamond shapes (Fig. Cut (Scandinavian Standard) will display a "Hearts and Arrows" pattern when observed through a IdealScope (arrows only). Asymmetrical raw crystals such as macles are usually cut in a "Fancy" style. 5) are listed below. Emerald . However. Takanori Tamura. AGS Triple-0 Certification The American Gem Society (AGS) is the industry leader in laboratory testing of round gems for cut grade and quality. Symetry. GIA vs AGS Cut Grading GIA's new cut-grading system is based on averages that are rounded-up to predict 'light performance. 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 Scan D. Proportion) must meet the "ideal" criteria. The shape of the diamond cut is heavily dependent upon the original shape of the rough stone. Hearts and Arrows Diamonds A perfectly proportioned ideal cut that is cut to the exacting specifications of a Tolkowsky Cut. A Triple-0 diamond can also be called a "Triple Ideal Cut" or "AGS-Ideal Zero" diamond. Eppler Cut (European Standard). The "Ideal" designation is an AGS term that is not found on an GIA report. which gives out much more fire than a real diamond. The round brilliant cut is preferred when the crystal is an octahedron.
A carat can also be divided into "points" with one carat being equal to 100 points. Cut 2. Therefor." . and the Pear. The 4 C's of Diamonds: Carat (Weight) The 4 C's Diamond Grading System 1. "Princess" (square outline). Clarity 4. "Heart. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond.W. your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the "4 C's" diamond grading system. When a single piece of jewelry has multiple stones.2 grams (200 milligrams or 3. Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics. and with each point being 2 milligrams in weight. Carat 3.C. a 1/2 carat diamond would be 50 points. and a 2 carat diamond is 200 points.086 grains) or 0. Color Carat weight is one of the 4 C's. CARAT Balancing Cut and Weight A diamond or gemstone's "Carat" designation is a measurement of both the size and weight of the stone.007 ounce. As a consumer. The "fancy cuts" are generally not held to the same strict standards as Round Brilliants. "Marquise" or "Navette" (little boat). One "Carat" is a unit of mass that is equal to 0. the total mass of all diamonds or gemstones is referred to as "Total Carat Weight" or "T.Heart Marquise Oval Pear Princess Radiant Round Trillion (not shown at diagram) Fig. a 3/4 carat diamond is 75 points. 5 Popular fancy cuts include the "Baguette" (bread loaf)." "Briolette" (a form of Rose cut).
600 12. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York.204 carat.800 6. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of . a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line.10 carat diamond for its better cut. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above. clarity and weight. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing." If the carat weight is shown as ".500 15. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained.504 carats. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a .The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration. 40º pavilion.99 carat diamond for its better price. or to buy a 1. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry.5 carats must have an actual weight of between . the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place.5º crown. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone.195 and .VS1 Carat Size</ 0. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight. It is for this reason that an even 1. girdle and pavilion.5 carat 1.600 8.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between . A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond.495 carats and . many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight. In ancient times.5 carat 2. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat.0 carat 1. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations.750 30. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone. it must be accurate to the second decimal place. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown.0 carat 3. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut. See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison. Price Per Carat (2005) . The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity . a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight. Occasionally. or "seed of the carob".600 6.Grade: F Colorless .
darker inclusions will tend to create the most significant drop in clarity grade. In "colorless" diamonds. As a consumer. with large Inclusions. light or pale inclusions may show greater relief.The Four C's Diamond Grading System 1."Small" or "Slight" Inclusions or "Imperfections" may be "eye clean" SI-2 . Considerations in grading the clarity of a diamond include the type of stone."Very Very Small" inclusions. VVS1 better than VVS2 VS-1 . fractures. In fancy-colored diamonds. Color Clarity is one of the Four C's. it may be possible to hide certain inclusions behind the setting of the diamond (depending on where the inclusion is located). . representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond."Small" or "Slight" Inclusions or "Imperfections" visible to naked eye SI-3 ."Very Very Small" inclusions hard to see at 10 x magnification VVS-2 . The term "Clarity" refers to the presence or absence of tiny imperfections (inclusions) within the stone. or break the surface. Carat 3. may weaken the diamond structurally. . therefore reducing its value significantly. making them more apparent. and/or on the surface of the stone."Very Small" inclusions VS1 is better grade than VS2 SI-1 . . 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. little or no brilliance I1 to I3 .small blemishes VVS-1 .Imperfect. Diamond Clarity Designations FL ."Internally Flawless" no inclusions at 10 x mag. point size and the location of inclusions. CLARITY All of the grades of diamond clarity shown in the table below. Cut 2. Inclusions that are near to. it is important to learn and understand the clarity designations found within the "Four C's" diamond grading system."Flawless" no inclusions at 10 x magnification IF ."Very Small" inclusions visible at 10 x mag.Inclusions large and obvious. thus minimizing any negative impact of the inclusion. Clarity 4. causing a greater drop in grade.not naked eye VS-2 . On the other hand. and flaws GIA Clarity Grading System The chart below explains the GIA grading system for inclusions and imperfections.
An inclusion that penetrates the surface.Rutile-like needle inclusions. The treatment is considered permanent and both the GIA and AGS will issue grades for laser drilled diamonds.Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet. Pique . followed by acid washing to remove the coloring agent. Reputable companies often provide for repeat treatments if heat causes damage to the filling. Internal Diamond Inclusions Carbon . he or she could legally sell it as a VVS-2. Grain Center . Internal Graining .Cleavage planes or internal fractures that have the appearance of feathers. Chips . Cavities .Irregular crystal growth causing internal distortions. waviness.Inclusions resulting from crystal twining during growth.Concentrated area of crystal growth that appear light or dark. much like repairing a crack in your car's windshield. Indented Naturals . Bruising .Fine cracks. or feathers along the outer edge of girdle. and reputable filling companies will use filling agents which show an orange or pink flash of color.A percussion mark caused by impact.Garnet or other Included gem stones Twinning Wisps . Clouds . Feathers . Diamond Fracture Filling Diamond clarity is sometimes enhanced by filling fractures. Knots . Pinpoints . The final clarity grade will be the grade that is assigned after treatment. According to FTC guidelines.Tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts). The heat generated by a blowtorch used to work on settings can cause damage. Pits . a diamond must be within one clarity grade of its advertised amount at the time of sale. The drilling process leave tiny telltale shafts or tunnels that are visible under magnification." According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides.Fractures that have been artificially filled. "One out of every three diamonds sold in the United States is laser-drilled. Filled Fractures . in part because the treatment isn't permanent. External Diamond Inclusions Bearded Girdles . Laser Drilling Laser drilling involves using a laser to burn a tunnel or hole to a carbon inclusion.An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing.Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation. fringing. chips.Dislodged pinpoint inclusions at the surface. vendors should disclose this enhancement. Needles . appearing as a raised area. There is a significant price discount for fracture-filled diamonds.Minute crystals within the diamond that appear white. Surface Graining . The GIA will not grade fracture-filled diamonds.Cloudy grouping of tiny pinpoints that may not resolve at 10X Magnification. According to Fred Cuellar in his book How to Buy a Diamond. haze. therefor it is essential to inform anyone working on a setting if the diamond is fracture-filled.A natural indentation that was not removed by polishing. Such diamonds are sometimes called "fracture filled diamonds". so they can use greater care while working on the piece." . If a jeweler sells a diamond that has an actual grade of VS-1.Diamond Clarity Grade Inflation A fairly common practice in the jewelry trade is grade-inflation or "grade bumping.
faint yellow or brown N. J . Y.Grinding Wheel Marks of scratches from contact with other diamonds.Whitish haziness along the junction of facets caused by wear. Z . Carat 3. H. At present. the Gemological Institute of America uses a scale of "D" to "Z" in which "D" is totally colorless and "Z" is yellow. the most reputable well known US labs. Neither the GIA nor the AGS (American Gemological Society).colorless (white) G. "SI-3" is a grade sometimes used in the diamond industry. The Four Cs of Diamonds: Color The Four Cs Diamond Grading System 1. thereby making the diamond appear yellow. F . P.Small chips at facet junctions. 1 explains the GIA grading system for clear (not fancy-colored) stones.near colorless K.very light yellow or brown S. Diamond Color Designations D.Surface burning from heat buildup during polishing. Cut 2. V. absorbing some of the blue spectrum.light yellow or brown Fig. In determining the color rating of a diamond. O. W. L. I.Human Caused Surface Blemishes Abrasions . The designation of SI-3 was popularized by the EGL (European Gemological Laboratory) grading office. X. These nitrogen impurities are evenly dispersed throughout the stone. 1 . The higher the amount of nitrogen atoms. a Sarin Diamond Color Grading report is the state-of-the-art color measuring standard. Nicks . assign this grade. M . Diamonds of this low grade would be inappropriate for jewelry. Burn Marks . T. Scratches . Q. it will be beneficial to learn and understand some of the basic parameters for diamond color grading. Color Color is one of the Four Cs representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. The color chart in Fig. R . E. the yellower the stone will appear. U. COLOR Most all natural diamonds contain small quantities of nitrogen atoms that displacing the carbon atoms within the crystal's lattice structure. Clarity 4. As a consumer.
Fig. India. 3 example below. Color grading by 'visual-observation is performed against a Master CZ Colored Grading Set. as in our Fig. and D5)." or "D+. 3 Golconda Diamonds Type IIa diamonds (aka Golconda Diamonds) are colorless stones containing negligible amounts nitrogen or boron impurities to absorb the blue end of the color spectrum.Due to a diamond's high brilliance. D3. most gem labs do not currently provide color-typing data in their reports and certificates. and HRD grading scales. These colorless stones. GIA-GEM. D-Flawless . Fig. jewelers and gem labs can accurately provide a 'color typing' printout of a diamond's color grading that is compatible with AGS.' or a borderline 'G." "whiter than white. it is extremely benificial to know if your 'F' is a strong 'F. sometimes referred to as "white diamonds.' Unfortunatly. and not by looking at the top of the stone. 2). Using a Sarin Diamond Colorimeter DC3000 (aka Gran Colorimeter). 2 Sarin Color Typing is a relatively new sub-classification of the D through Z gading scale. D2. color grading should be determined by examining the stone through the side of the pavilion (Fig." are named after the famous Golconda Diamond Mines located in the state of Hyderabad.The Holy Grail . IGI. D4. For the consumer. and dispersion of light (fire) when looking through the table or crown. Each classification is divided into five sub-classifications (D1.
For diamonds with a color grading of D through H (colorless). This fluorescent effect can be beneficial to a diamond that has a yellow tint. Only around 600 D-flawless roughs are cut into gems weighing between 1 and 2 carats during a given year. Diamond Fluorescence Approximatly 1/3 (35%) of all diamonds have a tendency to fluoresce when exposed to ultra-violet (UV) light. making the diamond appear "colorless. On the other hand. When diamonds are viewed under a UV light-source.000 D-color diamonds weighing over half a carat are found each year. fluorescence can negatively impact the value of the stone by 3% to 20%. others may prefer a "warmer" color found in a G to J range to compliment their skin tone. faint. according to the GIA. diamonds with a visible tint may be preffered. Even with microscopic inclusions. as the blue fluorescence will cancel out some of the yellow. diamonds with a poorer color grading (I through K). fluorescence could increase the value by 0% to 2% buy improving the color (or lack thereof). and strong." but the diamond will have a dull. they tend to fluoresce as blue. medium.Diamond Formation . Fluorescence is graded as none. Diamonds: Chemistry & Structural Properties Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Structural Properties of Diamond . so this effect will be more apparent under natural daylight than under artificial incandescent light. See Color in Gemstones for more information. murky appearance when compared to a non-fluorescing diamond. fewer than 5. Skin Tone and Settings While some may prefer a very transparent D to F range. In some settings with various combinations of other stones. Ultra-violet light is a component of natural sunlight and artificial 4800k to 5000k color-proofing light.Large D-flawless diamonds (those weighing more than 2 carats) are some of the rarest minerals on earth.
with the principle allotrope being graphite. with a variety of trace minerals. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits." "untamable.Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine." referring to its incredible hardness. and a specific gravity of 3. phlogopite. Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures. 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.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1. Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness. A diamond is a transparent.200 degrees Celsius). diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km). with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0. igneous rock composed of garnet.52. which resemble a champagne flute. The name "diamond. olivine." is derived from the Greek adamas. and differentiates it from simple graphite. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses. At these depths. Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon. Therefore.42. Under the continental crust." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic. or "invincible. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes." and "unconquerable. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" .044. and pyroxene. . diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation. a refractive index of 2. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe. ultramafic. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms." which is also known as "adamant.
When a gemstone has an irregular external shape or asymmetrical arrangement of its crystal facets. octahedral. Experimentation during the late 18th century demonstrated that diamonds were made of carbon. a predictable crystal growth pattern known as its "crystal habit. A diamond's incredible hardness was the subject of curiosity dating back to the Roman empire. where it was shown to combust in scientific experiments. The natural crystal form. The material "boron nitride. by igniting a diamond in an oxygen atmosphere. with the end byproduct of the combustion being carbonic-acid gas. although the reason for its combustion was not understood at the time. is nearly as hard as diamond. and therefore. does not always reflect the internal arrangement of its atoms." or "anhedral." This means that diamond crystals usually "grow" in an orderly and symmetrical arrangement. whether it is cubic. above). although in nature.A Type 2-A diamond has a hardness value of 167 GPa (±6) when scratched with an ultrahard fullerite tip. or carbon dioxide. and a hardness value of 231 GPa (±5) when scratched with a diamond tip. a currently hypothetical material. perfectly formed crystals are rare. beta carbon nitride. and crystal habit of a diamond is octahedral (photo. or dodecahedral. may also be as hard or harder than diamond. it is termed as "subhedral." when found in a crystalline form that is structurally similar to diamond. Diamond Crystal Habit Diamonds have a characteristic crystalline structure." . The external shape of the crystal. Additionally.
© AGS Labs Hexagonal (Graphite) Platelet Inclusion .© AGS Labs Diamond Toughness Within the fields of metallurgy and materials science. The culet facet at the bottom of the pavilion. very thin girdles on brilliant cut diamonds are also prone to breakage. pressure and space can also affect the final shape of a formed crystal. its "toughness" rating is moderate. causing stress fractures or feathers. is a facet specifically designed to resist breakage. Hematite has a hardness of only 5." If you were to place a large enough diamond on your tongue it would draw heat away. Diamond Graphitization In extremely high temperature environments above 1700 ¡C. and varying growth conditions of heat. Thermal Properties of Diamonds Diamond is a good conductor of heat. Additionally." and therefore.Trace impurities. Many natural blue . Although diamond is the "hardest. sapphire has a hardness rating of 9. Unlike "hardness.5 to 6. Carbon Inclusion . crystal twinning. By comparrison. and "pound-force" per square-inch in US units of measurement. a diamond's "toughness" is only fair to good. graphite can develop internally and on the diamond's surface. the term "toughness" describes the resistance of a given material to fracture when it is stressed or impacted. but its toughness rating is also excellent. making it seem cold. meaning that a diamond is 4 times "harder" than sapphire. acting as a "thermal conductor." which only denotes a diamond's high resistance to scratching. A material's toughness is measured in units of "joules" per cubic meter (J/m3) in the SI system. Particular cuts of diamond are more prone to breakage along cleavage planes.5. due to its ability to fracture along cleavage planes. with a Mohs scale rating of 10. yet sapphire has a toughness rating of excellent. Internally formed crystallographic graphite inclusions often create intense strain on the surrounding diamond. most scratch resistant mineral on earth. and therefore may be uninsurable by reputable insurance companies.
giving off a somewhat greasy sheen. Optical Properties of Diamond: Type I & Type II Diamonds Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Surface Luster of Diamond Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. increasing thermal conductance. If an n-type semiconductor can be synthesized. and generally implies radiance.com The surface luster (or "lustre") of diamond is described as adamantine. and synthetic diamonds that are doped with boron. or having the hardness or luster of a diamond. Natural blue diamonds containing boron atoms. or longer-wavelength photons. The word luster traces its origins back to the Latin word lux. which means unyielding. The term adamantine describes the way light interacts with the surface of a crystal. are known as p-type semiconductors. gloss. .nearly five times greater than pure copper. inflexible. Electromagnetic Properties of Diamond . or brilliance. Purified synthetic diamond can have the highest thermal conductivity (2000-2500 W/m-K) of any solid material at room temperature . which are in fact semiconductors.Insulators or Semiconductors Diamond is a relatively good electrical insulator. electronic circuits could be manufactured from diamonds in the future . meaning "light". re-emitting them as lower-energy. to prevent silicon and other semiconducting materials from overheating. Due to diamond's high thermal conductance. with the exception of natural blue diamonds.diamonds contain boron atoms which replace carbon atoms within the crystal matrix. Fluorescence in Diamonds Fluorescence is an optical phenomenon in which a diamond's molecules absorb high-energy photons. it is used in the manufacturing of semiconductors.
These Type IIa diamonds have a near-perfect crystal structure making them highly transparent and colorless. and they are classified as Type 1-A. Natural blue Type II diamonds containing scattered boron impurities within their crystal matrix are good conductors of electricity. permitting the passage and reflectance of blue light. If the nitrogen atoms are dispersed evenly throughout the crystal. Cloud Inclusion Under UV ." and refraction. These rare diamonds have a lower nitrogen content. absorbing some of the blue spectrum. Man-made synthetic diamonds containing nitrogen are classified as Type 1-B.417. which replace some carbon atoms within the crystal lattice structure. or brown coloration. they can give the stone a yellow tint. . All Type 1 diamonds have nitrogen atoms as their main impurity. Diamond can exhibit pseudochromatic coloration giving the appearance of "color" without having any actual color in the mineral itself. Some Type IIa diamonds can be found with pink.© AGS Labs Type IIa diamonds are very rare. and appear dark when exposed to ultra-violet light or X-rays. red. and thereby making the diamond appear yellow. show no fluorescence.Long Wave/Short Wave UV Cabinet Diamond Fluorescence Under UV Light Diamond types that exhibit the phenomenon of fluorescence radiate or glow in a variety of colors when exposed to long wave ultra-violet light. Type I & Type II Diamonds As many as 99% of all natural diamonds are classified as Type I. 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. Some diamond varieties. Type II diamonds do not contain any detectable nitrogen. and give off a bluish-white. and are classified as Type 1-B. while Type II diamonds that lack boron impurities are classified as Type IIa. a natural diamond may contains both Type 1-A and Type 1-B material. and contain nitrogen atoms as an impurity. 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. particularly Canadian diamonds. due primarily to certain structural anomalies arising from "plastic deformation" which occurred during their formation. Typically. This illusion of color is caused by the varying optics effects created by spectral dispersion. or "fire.© AGS Labs Type I UV Fluorescence . with very high thermal conductivity. Diamond Refraction & Coloration Diamonds are "singly refractive. greenish or yellow fluorescence when exposed to the X-ray wavelength. These Nitrogen impurities found in Type I diamonds are evenly dispersed throughout the gemstone. Type II Diamond Formation Certain diamonds were formed under extremely high pressure for longer time periods. classifying them as Type IIb diamonds. and some of the finest historical gemstones such as the Cullinan and Koh-i-Noor are both Type IIa diamonds. making them appear 'colorless' (D)." with a refractive index of 2.
However. All colored diamonds contain certain specific impurities and/or structural defects that cause their coloration. red diamonds). Yellow. it enters the realm of a "Fancy Color" diamond. green. Fancy Diamond Color Hues A fancy brown (or Fancy Cognac). Fancy Colored Diamonds: Pink. Green & Cognac Fancy Colored Diamond Diamonds can occur in all colors of the spectrum. when a diamond's color is more intense than the "Z" grading. while chemically "pure" diamonds are basically transparent. the intensity of the color in the diamond can plays a significant role in its value. yellow. It is this nitrogen component that produces the color of fancy yellow diamonds. 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. boron (blue diamonds). and their color is due to trace impurities of nitrogen and/or hydrogen (yellow. However. pink. brown. blue.Diamond Refraction & Light Dispersion Diamonds can also exhibit allochromatic coloration which is caused by chromophores from the nitrogen trace impurities found within crystalline structure. and black. In this case. blue (Hope Diamond). Once thought to be of little value. green (Ocean Dream). steel grey. Diamond Color & Composition Diamonds can occur in a wide variety of colors: colorless or white. Blue. and red (Hancock Diamond) are particularly valuable. radiation exposure (green diamonds) or irregular growth patterns within the crystal (pink. or yellow diamond may have a relatively low value when compared to a colorless diamond. brown diamonds). fancy pink diamonds can command very high prices as they have become increasingly popular. red. . and therefor colorless. green. orange. certain fancy-colored diamonds such as pink (Condé). Colorless diamonds would normally be priced much higher than yellow diamonds.
54 carat cushion cut with an estimated value in the millions of dollars. Pink diamonds are similar to pink sapphire in color. causing microscopic imperfections within the lattice structure. 1PP is the highest quality designation for Pink Diamond.' GIA 'Fancy Yellow' Diamond Color Saturation Designations Faint . which are generally less appreciated than other fancy colors and therefor. and most valuable Fancy Yellow diamonds in the world is the 'Tiffany Diamond. .' found in Kimberly. left). halogen. yet considerably more expensive.Pink (Reddish-pink) 1 is darkest 1BP to 8BP . having a pure magenta color with deep saturation. Fancy Yellow Diamonds (Canary Yellow) Fancy yellow diamonds owe their color the presence of nitrogen impurities which absorb the blue end of the color spectrum. and value (darkness) using nine classifications ranging from 'Faint' to 'Vivid.Pink (Magenta-pink) 1 is darkest 1P to 8P .Brown diamonds.Pink (Brownish-pink) 1 is darkest PC3 to PC1 .Start of 'Fancy' Fancy Fancy Dark Fancy Intense Fancy Deep Fancy Vivid . An 1P designation would have less blue and more brownish-red.M Very Light .Champagne 3 is darkest C8 to C1 .N to R Light . The rough stone weighed 287. Pink Diamonds The pink color within these rare diamonds is due to irregular crystal growth patterns. hue. daylight) and ambient temperature changes.Highest Saturation One of the largest.S to Z Fancy Light . bright light). and was cut into a 128. Fancy Pink/Brown Diamond Color (Hue) Designations 1PP to 8PP . One of the world's only major sources for rare pink diamonds is the Argyle Mine in Australia. Only 1% to 2% of the diamonds produced at the Argyle Mine are high-quality pink specimens. which changes hue from grayish-blue or olive-green to yellowish-green or straw-yellow under different lighting conditions (darkness. South Africa in 1878. The GIA grades fancy diamond color by quantifying the saturation. lighting color temperatures (incandescent. sold at a greater discount. As the numbers go lower (8PP) the color is paler. have become more commonplace as Australian colored diamonds have gained in popularity.42 carats. This Chameleon-like phenomenon was first documented by the GIA in the early 1940s.Cognac 8 is darkest Chameleon Diamonds There is a very rare olive-grayish color-changing diamond called "Chameleon Diamond" (below.
000 in 1987. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa. Intense. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. Warren Hancock. pure green hues. On thing is certain. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. Green diamonds can range from $35.03 carats. .95carats. greyish-green. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness . It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner.com) Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities. or a combination of the two. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red. The color change effect is temporary.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant.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). There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond.com) The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation.' discovered during the 18th century. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat.000 per carat. and the De Young Red weighing 5. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply.90 carats.000 to $500. and weighed a modest 0. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color.
. This section contains a compendium of photography depicting all of the various types of diamond inclusions—both naturally occurring. The term "clarity" refers to the presence.L. Inclusions which are visible to the naked eye are referred to as piquŽ. Diamond Inclusion Library: Inclusion Photos Over 100 High-Resolution Diamond Photos! All Contents: Copyright © 2010 AllAboutGemstones. All of the microscopic inclusion photographs on this page were generously contributed by the A. 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. making the stone appear yellowish. representing the four main variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. and beautifully photographed by their Director of Gem Services.com Clarity is one of the Four C's of diamond grading.Reddish Brown Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. Joe Vanells. These impurities absorb the blue end of the light spectrum. or absence of tiny imperfections known as "inclusions.com) Enhanced Blue & Yellow Diamonds (© AfricaGems. or on the surface of the cut stone. Inclusions which are not visible to the naked eye (eye clean) fall into the GIA range of "IF" (Internally Flawless) to "SI2" (Small Inclusions). or human caused.G." These inclusions can occur within the stone.S. and so-called "piquŽ diamonds" fall into the GIA grading range of I1 to I3 (CIBJO grade P1 to P3). gemological testing laboratory in Las Vegas. It is for this reason that manufacturers of synthetic diamonds tend to specialize in fancy colors. Nevada. F grades. and man-made imperfections—that can be found in raw and cut diamonds. and can be naturally occuring.com) Fancy Colored Synthetic Diamonds Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless D.
pyrrhotite and pentlandite. . PiquŽ Carbon Inclusion Photos Internal Carbon Pique Diamond Inclusion Photography Piqué are tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts) within diamonds. Black or dark material found within a diamond's internal fracture planes can also be particles or crystallographic inclusions of graphite. ferropericlase. pyrrhotite and pentlandite.Internal Diamond Inclusion Photos Carbon Tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts). Black material found within internal fracture planes can also be crystallographic inclusions of graphite. ferropericlase.
Microscopic Carbon Picque Inclusions Hexagonal Platelet Inclusion in Trillion Cut Diamond .
Carbon piqué inclusions are sometimes removed by diamond enhancements such as laser drilling. Clouds (Cld) A dense grouping of tiny pinpoints that create a cloudy zone which may not resolve as individual pinpoints at 10X Magnification. which can leave their own types of unique inclusions. All of the microscopic diamond carbon inclusion photography on this page was generously contributed by the AGSL gemological testing laboratory in Las Vegas. Internal cloud inclusions may not resolve as pinpoints at 10X . and is reproduced with their permission. Nevada. 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.
Magnification. . These pinpoint cloud inclusions can have a dramatic effect on the clarity and brilliance of a faceted diamond as they interfere with the refraction of light within the stone.
Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.
Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.
Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.
.Feathers (Ftr) Cleavage planes or internal stress fractures that have the appearance of feathers. Feather inclusions are common around included crystals such as garnet. Feather Inclusion Photos Internal Diamond Feather Inclusion Photography Feather inclusions (Ftr) are caused by cleavage planes or internal stress fractures that have the appearance of wispy feathers. Feather inclusions can be accompanied by internal graining and/or twinning wisp inclusions. Common around included crystals. which cause internal stress fractures during crystal growth.
Feather inclusions caused by stress fractures around included garnet crystal. .
As a result. and the stress inclusion occurs along the gem's natural cleavage plane. This is especially true if the fracture breeches the stone's surface. making it susceptible to fracturing when exposed to thermal or physical shock. .Pronounced stress fractures and feather inclusions can potentially weaken the stone. diamonds with significant stress fractures and feather should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner as this could cause the diamond to shatter.
and haze within a cut diamond. . Grain Center Inclusion Photos Internal Grain Center Diamond Inclusion Photography Internal Grain Center (IntGr) inclusions (aka internal graining) are caused by irregular diamond crystal growth which creates internal distortions. waviness.Grain Center (GrCnt) A concentrated area of crystal growth that can appear light or dark.
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 is generated by a formerly liquid filled cavity.Growth Tubes Imperfection formed during crystal growth. when a tube or tunnel is generated in the crystalizing diamond by an internal cavity that was once liquid filled.
Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .
iron oxides. diopside. silica or other gem stone inclusions. 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. or silica. diopside. spinel. spinel. calcite. olivine. calcite. olivine. iron oxides. Green chrome diopside Inclusion within a Diamond .Included Crystals (Xtl) Included and undigested gemstones or fragments of 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 .
Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) Internal pathway caused by laser-drilling to remove large inclusions. With internal laser-drilling inclusions. the drilled passage may 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. and where pathway does not breach the cut diamond's surface.
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. . Pinpoint Inclusion Photos Pinpoints (Pp) Inclusion Photography Internal Pinpoints (Pp). Large groupings of small pinpoints can create a cloud inclusion effect.Pinpoints (Pp) Minute crystals within the diamond that appear white.
Can be accompanied by graining and strain. Twinning Wisp Inclusion Photos Twinning Wisps Inclusion Photography Twinning Wisp inclusions are naturally-occurring structural defects with a diamond. Twinning Wisp inclusions can be accompanied by internal graining and/or strain feathers.Twinning Wisps Inclusions and defects resulting from crystal-twining during crystal growth. . resulting from crystal twining during the growth process.
Odds & Ends: Microscopic Diamond Inclusion Beauty Photos Microscopic Diamond Inclusion Photography This is an assortment of spectacular diamond-inclusion photography taken by Joe Vanells. . showing the strange and beautiful world of microscopic diamond inclusions.
Natural Comet Inclusion .
Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud .
Tabular Reflection in Diamond .
Included Garnet Twins within Diamond .
Included Dalmatian Garnet .
Cloud Inclusion .
Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers .
Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light .
Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion .
Knot Inclusion Photos Photography of Diamond Inclusion Knots Knot inclusions are naturally occurring external inclusions or imperfections that penetrate the surface (convex). appearing as a raised area on the diamond's surface. appearing as a raised area. . Knot diamond inclusions can potentially be the cause of man-made drag-line inclusions.Natural External Diamond Inclusions or Blemishes Knots An inclusion that penetrates the surface.
.Indented Natural (IndN) A naturally occurring indentation in the crystal that was not removed during cutting or polishing. and were not fully removed during the stone's cutting or polishing process. Indented Natural Inclusion Photos Indented Natural (IndN) Diamond Inclusion Photography Indented Natural (IndN) inclusions (indented naturals) are external imperfections that are caused by naturally-occurring recessed (concave) indentations that penetrate the surface of a rough diamond.
Lizard Skin A bumpy or wavy 'orange-peel' textured pattern on the polished surface of a diamond. The lizard-skin effect is caused by an orange-peel texture. 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.
Natural Inclusion Photos Natural Diamond Inclusion Photography Natural inclusions (aka Naturals) are naturally-occurring raised portions of the rough diamond's original surface structure that were not removed during the polishing process. and remain visible on the surface of a polished stone. .Natural (N) A raised portion of the rough diamond's original surface structure that remains visible on the surface of a polished stone.
Surface Graining Inclusion Photos Diamond Surface Graining (SGr) Photography Surface Graining (SGr) is a natural imperfection or inclusion that creates visible surface lines which are caused by irregular crystallization during diamond formation. . Surface Graining (SGr) Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation.Pits Dislodged pinpoint inclusions at the surface.
. Bruising (Br) A percussion mark or hole caused by impact and surrounded by tiny feathers. or feathers along the outer edge of girdle. chips. creating a whitish fuzzy edge as opposed to a sharp edge.Human Caused Surface Blemishes Abrasion (Abr) A tightly grouped series of nicks along the sharp edge of facet junctions. fringing. Bearded Girdle (BG) Fine cracks.
Cavities (Cv) An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing. or caught by a included crystal. or when abrasive material is caught by an included crystal such as garnet during the polishing of a diamond. . 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.Burn Marks Created during polishing. Drag Lines Created when a rough particle is dragged along the surface. Chips Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet. during cutting and/or polishing the diamond.
and remove cloudiness. .Extra Facet (EF) An asymmetrical and irregularly placed facet that is not part of the original faceting scheme. This microscopic photograph shows the telltale orange or pink flash of a filled fracture enhancement within a cut diamond. Filled Fractures Fractures or feathers that have been artificially filled to enhance clarity. Filled Fracture Photos Internal Fracture Filling Inclusion Photography Fracture-filling Inclusions are man-made diamond enhancements that are the result of natural cleavage-plane stress fractures or feathers which have been artificially filled with molten glass to enhance clarity.
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. . and inscriptions. markings.Laser Etching or Markings Careless or inadvertent laser etchings. or inscribing the external surface of a cut diamond. marking.
Scratch (S) A fine whitish line that can be curved or straight.Polish Lines (PL) Fine parallel surface groves resulting from the polishing process. Polish Marks (PM) Also known as "Wheel Marks." whitish film on the surface of a facet caused by excessive heat during polishing. Diamond Enhancements: Laser Drilling & Fracture Filling .
but not necessarily increase its value. Such diamonds are sometimes then branded as "fracture filled diamonds. or treatments to give a fancy color to a off-white diamond. polished natural diamonds. Minor diamond inclusions or surface imperfections which are not visible to the naked eye ("VVS1" to "SI2") can be disguised. altered. much like you would repair a crack in a car's windshield glass. or removed by employing several invasive techniques from fracture filling to laser drilling. Diamond Fracture Filling Diamond clarity is sometimes improved and enhanced by filling tiny fractures or feathers with molten glass. .© 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 Enhanced Diamonds Diamond "enhancements" are specific treatments performed on cut. but instead attempt to hide their visual effect." 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. There are also heating treatments to improve a white diamond's color grade.© AGS Lab Telltale Signs of Fracture Filling . A trained gemologist should be able to identify most traditional "enhancements" made to a particular stone. These techniques do not eliminate the imperfection. which are designed to improve the visual or gemological characteristics of the stone. Unfilled Fractures around Garnet Inclusion . in accordance with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines for the gem trade.
The drilling process leave tiny telltale shafts or tunnels that are visible under high magnification (see photos below). "vivid" blue and yellow colors result. the heat generated by a blowtorch used to work on settings can cause damage to the filling material. It is therefor essential to inform anyone working on a setting where the diamond has been fracture-filled. in part because the treatment isn't permanent." Diamond Color Treatment Color enhancement of diamonds in done to increase the color intensity of so-called "fancy" colored diamonds.© AGS Lab Laser Drilling Tubes . referred to as the HTHP process. so that the jeweler can use greater care while working on the piece. 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. .com Radiation treatments are completely safe. Due to its low melting-point. Natural Fancy Diamonds . Diamonds treated with HTHP have their molecular altered so that intense.com Color Enhanced Diamonds . These enhancements are achieved using low levels of radiation (irradiation).There should always be a significant price discount for any diamond that has been fracture-filled.© AfricaGems. followed by acid washing to remove the coloring agent.© AGS Lab The laser-drilling treatment is considered permanent. and the GIA will not even grade a fracture-filled diamond. Reputable filling companies will often provide repeat treatments if heat causes damage to the filling. and the diamonds are tested to ensure that no trace levels of radiation remain. "One out of every three diamonds sold in the United States is laser-drilled. According to Fred Cuellar in his book How to Buy a Diamond. or subjecting the diamond to intense pressure and temperature.© AfricaGems. and both the GIA and AGS will issue grades for laser drilled diamonds. Signs of Laser Drilling . The final clarity grade will be the grade that is assigned after treatment.
Synthetic Diamond under Fluorescent . or carbon to an extremely high temperature (4000º C) in a cast iron crucible. Using an electric furnace constructed with blocks of lime. The first practical commercial application of Moissan's process was developed in 1954.Synthetic Diamonds & Man-Made Diamond Simulants Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite The First Synthetic Diamonds Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. the crucible and its contents were rapidly cooled by immersing them into cold water.Tracy Hall for the General Electric Company.© AGS Labs Today. they are increasingly used in fine jewelry as their quality increases. This abrupt cooling caused the rapid shrinkage of the molten iron crucible. high-pressure) "belt press" process was used for synthesizing industrial-grade diamonds. and the Chemical Vapor Deposition or "CVD" method. Once the desired temperature had been achieved. tiny fragments of synthetic diamond were created by heating charcoal. known as the HTHP (high-temperature. which created enough pressure to crystallize the molten carbon into tiny diamond fragments. The process. lab diamonds) was first conceived by French chemist Henri Moissan in 1892.com The process of creating man-made diamonds (aka cultured diamonds. Although synthetic diamonds were originally conceived as a substitute for natural industrial-grade diamonds. and has been steadily improved upon throughout the last 50 years. . With Moissan's process. by H. 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. there are two main processes for creating lab diamonds: the High-Temperature High-Pressure or "HTHP" method. the intense heat would render the crucible and its carbon contents into a molten liquid mass.© AGS Labs Synthetic Yellow Chatham Diamond .
Java Gem. Titangem Synthetic Sapphire (1900-1947) Diamondette. Geminaire In the early 1900's. Synthetic Diamond Manufacturers Apollo Diamonds .High-Temperature High-Pressure (HTHP) The "High-Temperature High-Pressure" (HTHP) technique. Thrilliant Synthetic Spinel (1920-1947) Corundolite. and uses a lowerpressure growth environment than the earlier HTHP method. Diamonaire. Jourado Diamond. Rutania. light dispersion. and a combination of heat and pressure are applied while a vaporized carbon-plasma that is combined with hydrogen is applied. Lustergem. Diamonite. the diamond's entire growth process takes several days to complete. With CVD. ultraviolet. refractive index. but are not a carbonbased compound having a natural diamond's crystalline structure. Radient Yttrium Aluminum Garnet (YAG) (1970-1975) Diamone. Unlike their natural diamond counterparts. ranging in clarity from IF to SI or I. These impurities absorb the blue end of the light spectrum. Diamond Essence. Synthetic Diamond Color & Optics Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless form. synthetic diamonds may contain small inclusions. making them difficult to differentiate from natural diamonds. the HTHP diamond's growth process can take 7 to 10 days to complete. a seed or substrate material is placed into the growth camber. Diamondite. Using Chemical Vapor Deposition. Synthetic diamonds can also be treated with the HTHP process to alter the optical properties of the stones. hardness. Magalux. Like natural diamond. Diamond Simulants Diamond "simulants. A diamond seed is placed into a growth camber. The vaporized carbon gases are energized using microwave energy.' or six-anvil 'cubic press' to create the necessary pressure. or "deposited" onto the substrate in successive layers. Diamonte. making the stone appear yellowish. specific gravity. also known as "GE POL. or by measuring UV fluorescence with a DiamondView tester. produced using the Verneuil (flame-fusion) Process. A cultured synthetic diamond will have the identical cleavage." also known as "simulated diamonds" or "fake diamonds" are man-made gemstones that look like. most of these lesser simulants fell by the wayside. With the advent of Cubic Zirconia in the mid 1970's. In the late 1940's Diamondite gave way to Synthetic Rutile which was popular until the advent of YAG in the early 1970's. which attracts the gas to the substrate. Fabulite Synthetic Rutile (1946-1955) Diamothyst. and surface luster as its natural diamond counterpart." uses a four-anvil 'tetrahedral press. Phianite Gadolinium Gallium Garnet (GGG) (1972-1975) Strontium Titanate (ST) (1955 . Common diamond simulants include: Cubic Zirconia (CZ) (1976-) Czarite. colorless synthetic sapphire (aka Diamondite) was a popular diamond simulant. 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. Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) The "Chemical Vapor Deposition" (CVD) method was developed during the 1980s. Synthetic diamonds can be detected using infrared. Rainbow Diamond. or X-ray spectroscopy. most synthetic diamonds will have a slightly yellowish hue due to nitrogen impurities that are dispersed through out the crystal lattice structure during the growth phase. and Moissanite in 1998. or "simulate" the appearance of natural diamonds.1970) Diagem.
and some fancy colored diamonds. Ltd. while diamond has a hardness of 10. Cubic Zirconia (Zirconium Oxide ZrO2) has a completely different chemical structure. Apollo Diamond's cut stones are available in round brilliant.com To the average consumer. Massachusetts grows colorless (D to M) diamonds.chatham. which they claim is the closest thing to mother nature. carbonate fluid solution that is similar to diamond-bearing metamorphic rock. each Gemesis cut stone over .com Tairus Created Gems Tairus Created Gems is a Russian company that grows fancy-colored diamonds in their proprietary "Split Sphere" system. www. Apollo Diamonds are cut and polished in sizes ranging from . and rose cuts.com Gemesis Cultured Diamonds Gemesis is located in Sarasota. . and each cut stone is laser inscribed with the Apollo company logo and serial number. with clarity grades from IF to SI.500 to $9.3 on the Mohs scale. and each stone is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number.). Florida. inc. emerald. Gemesis only grows fancy-colored diamonds.Apollo Diamond. www. www. Chatham's pricing ranges from $6. The toughness of Cubic Zirconia is rated as good.25 carats is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number.25 carats to 1 carat. Tairus Created Gems are sold exclusively through Tairus Thailand Co.gemesis.com Chatham Created Diamonds Chatham Gems is a San Francisco based company that grows only fancy-colored diamonds in colors ranging from champagne and canary yellow to pink and midnight blue. and CZ has a hardness of only 8.. using a proprietary variation of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) technique.apollodiamond.500 per carat (2004 est. in Boston. Tairus produces rough sizes from . To insure easy identification as a man-made product. While a synthetic diamond is a man-made recreation of an actual carbon-based diamond. of Bangkok Thailand. Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is the most familiar type of diamond simulant on the market. and stones are cut to order. Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite Cubic Zirconia Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. princess. and like Chatham. The Split Sphere system crystalizes the carbon seed in an alkaline.30 carats to 3 carats.
2. Diamond's RI is 2. or colorless (white) versions. You can also Inspect the facet edges with a 10x loupe to look for any chipping or slightly rounded (not sharp) facet edges that are telltale signs of Cubic Zirconia. . etc. The 1. Using Visual Optics To Detect CZ The Hodgkinson "Visual Optics" technique was developed in the mid-1970s by Alan Hodgkinson as a method of detecting natural diamonds and diamond simulants. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight. CZ vs Diamond . Zirconium oxide powder is heated. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing.17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2. a CZ is optically flawless. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce.800 . the greater dispersive power. but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye.In 1973. CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1. Unlike most natural diamonds.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. or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond. 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.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. Natural diamonds attract grease. and CZs can be made in any "color grade. For instance. Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below). Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left). When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting. Once the mixture has cooled.80 to 2. The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond . Due to their low cost and consistency.170." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR).41 (RI).417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator. candle.) in a totally dark room. Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond.
Moissanite has a hardness of 9. etc. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. .044. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. is classified as an element rather than a compound. Moissanite. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. left) who won the Nobel Prize in 1906 for his discovery of a new mineral (moissanite6H) found within meteorite fragments of the ancient Barringer meteor crater (above. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. candle. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ. Henri Moissan (above.65 to 2. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting.com Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998.) in a dark room. Moissanite has an RI of 2.25 on the Mohs scale. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent. Arizona.69.060. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond.670. Hodgkinson's 'Visual Optics' Detection The Hodgkinson technique (aka Visual Optics) was discovered by Alan Hodgkinson with Gem-A in the mid-1970s as a method for differentiating natural diamond from colorless gemstones and simulants. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. center) near Winslow.417. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. when examining the gem through the kite facets. found only in iron-nickel meteorites. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr.104 as compared to CZ at 0. and diamond at 0. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. while diamond has a hardness of 10.A small.
creating the "Table Cut.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. diamond has a "grain. although it can be easily cleaved or fractured due to its defined cleavage planes. Moissanite vs Diamond . Table Cut diamonds appeared black to the eye." As further refinement progressed. due to its high refractive index. A similarly sharp. diamond is singly refractive Refractive Index: Moissanite has a refractive index of 2. The first improvements on nature's design involved a polishing of the crystal faces. Diamond's RI is 2. Diamonds: Modern Diamond Cutting Diamond Cutting Background One of the hardest substances on earth.670. Like wood. detailed and sharply focused pattern caused by secondary reflections will be seen when observing a diamond. but significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its high 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 were used in their natural octahedral state. one half of the crystal would be cut off. Cutting a Rough Diamond . Prior to this time. only a diamond is hard enough to cut other diamonds. rather than against it. most diamonds have some inclusions Moissanite vs Diamond ." and the rough stone must be cut with the grain. Diamond cutting can be traced back to the late Middle Ages." At the time.A small. Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be more diffused. The Modern Round Brilliant cut (below) is the culmination of several hundred years of experimentation and development.417 Moissanite is double refractive (anisotropic) while a natural diamond is singly refractive (isotropic). caused by primary reflections from the pavilion and CZ's low RI.Detectable With Testing Double Refraction: Moissanite is double refractive. which was called the "Point Cut. diamonds were valued primarily for their luster and hardness.
Bruting: The rough is placed in a chuck on a lathe. Each step is critical to the final outcome. and maintain symmetry. It can take several hours for the saw blade to cut through a 1k rough diamond. or shatter the stone. Diamonds: Ideal Cut . As the saw blade rotates it continues to pickup or "recharge" itself with diamond dust which is the cutting agent. the "blocker" or "lapper" will cut the first 18 main facets. An octahedron can be cut into one or two Round Brilliants but a square Princess cut will result in the least amount of waste due to the square shape of the stone. 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. During this faceting stage the angles of each facet must be cut to an exacting standard in order to yield maximum brilliancy. or lap that has been "charged" with diamond dust. and bypass any inclusions or imperfections. Due to its atomic structure. eliminate waste. While the rough stone rotates on the diamond lathe.Modern Round Brilliant Diamond . Asymmetrical crystals such as macles are used primarily for fancy cuts. then a "brillianteer" will cut and polish the remaining 40 facets. Cleaving: Cleaving refers to splitting a stone along its grain by striking it. A rough stone is cleaved if there are conspicuous defects and/or inclusions which would prevent it from being made into a single gemstone." Faceting: To facet a round brilliant. Cubic shapes are ideal for a square Princess or Radiant cut. High-tech computerized helium and oxygen analyzers are now used to evaluate a stone prior to cutting. rounding the rough diamond into a conical shape. Cleavage is the tendency of crystalline materials to split along defined cleavage plane.Cutting a raw diamond into a faceted and polished gem-quality stone is a multi-step process. The natural shape of the rough stone will also be a major factor in deciding how to cut the stone. Sawing: A stone-cutting saw is a thin disk made of phosphor bronze. This step is also referred to as "rounding. on a scaife. a second diamond mounted on a dop is pressed against it. Cleaving is a critical step as a mistake by the "cleaver" could fracture. a diamond can be cleaved in four directions parallel to each of the four octahedron crystal faces. The cutting (also called "placing") and polishing of each facet is accomplished by attaching the stone to a dop stick with cement. then pressing it against a revolving cast iron disk.
Parameters Ideal Cut Standard (Premium) Cut Rough Material Loss Finished Stones Cutting Time Crown Symmetry Greater Loss Lower Carat Weight 2 to 4 Days Ideal Higher Yield Higher Carat Weight 1 to 2 Days Shallow Crown .weight retention. but in order to do this. on the other hand. it may be better to aim for a higher carat weight utilizing a "Standard" cut. it would be cost effective to sacrifice some carat weight in order to finish with two "Ideal" cuts. 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. If.Ideal Cut vs Standard Cut Diamond Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. compromises would have to be made. An octehedral rough diamond will yield two round brilliant cut stones (see diagram below). The clarity of the stone.com When deciding how to cut a rough diamond. The objective is always to maximize carat weight. and the amount of internal inclusions will play an important part in the decisions as to how to maximize yield. cut proportions. elimination of any inclusions. a cutter must make a cost-benefit analysis as to how to maximize the cut stone's value. This is accomplished by reconciling three key factors .
you will see that there are 8 "star" facets. "Premium Cut" or "Modern Round Brilliant" (Tolkowsky Round Brilliant) diamond as shown in the diagrams above would have the following basic proportions according to the AGS: . it is the best cut for showcasing a high-quality stone's fire and brilliance.Pavilion Symmetry Girdle Symmetry Ideal Ideal Deep Pavilion Thick Girdle When dealing with a near-perfect (or flawless) stone the cut that is generally preferred is the classic "round brilliant" cut. The round brilliant cut is beneficial when the crystal is an octahedron. In the diagram of a "Round Cut" diamond (above and below). 16 "upper girdle" facets. The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem. This is primarily due to the fact that this cut has yet to be improved on for two reasons: 1. it is the most efficient cut for maximizing yield. hearts. 1 "culet" facet on the bottom. 8 "kite" facets. 16 "lower girdle" facets. the cutting and polishing of a diamonds resulted in a loss of as much as 50% of the stone's total weight. and 2. 8 "pavilion" facets. and one "table" facet on the top of the stone for a total of 58 facets. This cut is also known as the "Tolkowsky Cut" and "Tolkowsky Brilliant." Even with modern techniques. The Modern Round Brilliant Cut The modern "Round Brilliant Cut" (below) was developed by Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. etc. as two stones could be cut from one crystal. This is why it is very rare to see flawless stones cut into fancy cuts such as emeralds. An "Ideal Cut".
The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect.5% to 43. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972.N. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts. Since then. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant". but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios. The "Scan D. Ideal Scope. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace.5%. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish.' 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. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed.7%. facet ratios. very small to small In the 1970s.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35. Tolkowsky. As with all human endeavors. H&A Viewer. more brilliance and fire. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope. invented in 1929. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut. and Proportions.. etc. and crown/pavilion angles. . or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57. crown height of 14.4%. crown height of 14.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42. To quantify a diamond's cut quality.N. Symmetry. A perfect blending of facet symmetry.6% and overall height of 57.7%." (Scandinavian standard. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. Eppler & Scan D. and overall height of 57. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor).
like Einstein's theory of relativity.) and when suitably scrutinized by the gem trade. cut corners and a small table. or the widely marketed Leo cut which is a modified round-brilliant sold by Leo Schachter Diamonds. and it still survives in some form today. Some have gone on to become household names such as the Asscher cut. mathematicians. Asscher Cut The Asscher Cut was developed by Abraham and Joseph Asscher of the Royal Asscher Diamond Company of Amsterdam in 1902. the Asscher diamond cut has a squarish octagonal shape with a step cut. The cut has a deep pavilion and a high crown. One thing is for sure . The Asscher brothers cut the famous 3. the Cullinan 1 and Cullinan 2 being set into the crown and sceptre of the British Crown Jewels. it is put in front of the ultimate arbiter of quality . www.asscher.nl Barion Cut . less facets. etc. and entrepreneurs . with the two largest stones. Tolkowsky came up with a "brilliant" idea almost 90 years ago. Popular in Art Deco jewelry of the period. Here is a collection of just a few of the many "signature" diamond cuts that have been produced over the last 100 years. Diamonds: Patented Signature Diamond Cuts Notable Patented & Proprietary Diamond Cuts Since the early 1900s there has been a proliferation of elaborate diamond cuts that have been developed by master gem cutters. cut proportions.106 carat Cullinan Diamond into eleven gem stones. but at the end of the day it may simply come down to consumer preference and/or marketing.each trying to improve on the tried-and-true Old European cuts.the consumer. but some like the Barion Cut have disappeared into obscurity. Every conceivable cutting theory is tried. (more facets. and the culet is square.Producers split hairs over cut angle. and their modest brilliance and light return. scientists. and number of facets.
Barocut diamonds are promoted and sold exclusively through the Baroka Creations catalog.de Eternal Cut The Eternal Cut diamond was designed and patented by master Israeli diamond cutter. www. The cutting process requires a high-quality rough. 23 more than a modern Round Brilliant cut. and in all diamond colors and/or clarity grades. not including the 16 girdle facets. and its patent has expired. A Barocut diamond has a total of 77 facets. Marce Tolkowsky. The Context Cut design was based on an earlier patented design by Bernd Munsteiner from the early 1960s. 81 facets on the cut corner (cushion) version. Ulrich Freiesleben of Germany in the early 1980s then patented and trademarked in 1997. nephew to the inventor of the Modern Round Brilliant cut.freiesleben. The Context Cut is used to cut colored gemstones by Julius Petsch of Idar-Oberstein. 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. Gabi Tolkowsky. and creates a high amount of waste. parting ways in 2002 to again become Garrard. or to increase light-dispersion. Garrard & Co. creating a unique 'flower petal' pattern surrounding the cutlet. It is sold exclusively through the 270 year old firm of Garrard & Company in London. modified rectangular (baguette) cut that was developed by Baroka Creations.The Barion square cut (aka Barion square cushion cut) was invented by Basil Watermeyer of South Africa in 1971. and was the forerunner to the princess cut. and a 'softer' briliance than a traditional round brilliant cut. Inc. forming a square shape when viewed from the top.com Context Cut The Context Cut is a square cut that was developed by Dr. adding up to 50% to the cost when compared to a Round Brilliant cut diamond. Germany. www. The Eternal Cut has a total of 81 facets. The Context Cut follows a rough diamond crystal's natural octahedral shape. with star-shaped cross facets cut diagonally into the pavilion. In 1998. or the company website. Barocut The Barocut® diamond cut is a patented.baroka. The Barion square cut diamond has a 4-fold mirror-image symmetry. The cut has a total of 8 facets plus a girdle. The name "Barion" or "Barion cut" was never trademarked. The Barocut is available in sizes from 20 points to 3 carats. www. and a total of 81 facets. to become Asprey & Garrard. 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. merged with the jewelry firm Asprey.garrard.com . Barocut stones are also sold in tapered shapes.
The Flower Cuts were never patented or trademarked by De Beers in order to increase their popularity and use. adding greater brilliance and fire than standard brilliant cuts. The Flanders Brilliant has 33 crown facets and 28 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets. designed to maximize the brilliance and color of diamonds while increasing their yield. maximizing the amount of light returned back as scintillation. Marigold. the Gabrielle has a total of 105 facets. The Fire-Rose is a hexagonal shape designed to produce higher yields. The Dahlia is a 12 sided oval shape with 63 facets. The Leo diamond cut has a total of 66 facets.com www. The Zinnia is a round fancy shape with 73 facets. Fire-Rose. Unveiled at the Las Vegas Gem Show in 2001.com Leo Cut The Leo® Diamond. The Sunflower has 43 facets in unusual. Other than the traditional round brilliant shape. who was commissioned by De Beers to create new cuts as a way of marketing unusual. marquise. is a patented symmetrical round cut created by Leo Schachter Diamonds. oval. angular shapes. The Marigold is an octagon shape with 73 facets. 8 more facets than the Round Brilliant cut's 58. the Gabrielle Cut is available in carre. Sunflower and Zinnia cut. www.flanders-cuts. . that is suited to a relatively flat rough. The Flanders Fire-Brilliant was developed by Flanders Cut International of Antwerp in 1983. The Flower Cuts employ unconventional cutting angles and dimensions. off-color stones. 48 of which are clustered around the culet to increase fire. (aka Leo Schachter Diamond). and the cut was named after the Flanders region of Belgium (Antwerp) where the cut was first preformed in 1987.gabriellediamonds. 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. which is 47 more than a traditional 'Tolkowsky' round brilliant cut. heart. emerald. and pear shapes.nationaldiamond. The Flower Cut is actually a series of five fancy cut shapes: the Dahlia. LLC. www. The cut is distributed by the National Diamond Syndicate (NDS) of Chicago.com Flower Cut The 'Flower Cut' series was created by Gabi Tolkowsky in 1986.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.
Bez Ambar Radiant Cut The Radiant Cut is a modified emerald cut shape that was developed. and a total of has 50 facets. brilliant-style faceted pavilion (similar to a Cushion Cut). and all Original Radiant Cut diamonds weigh at least 0. It was the first emerald shaped diamond cut to have brilliance and fire similar to that of a round brilliant diamond. The Lucida is sold exclusively through Tiffany's retail chain.diamondaires. eternity bands.tiffany. There are a total of 49 facets." The Leo Diamond is marketed through the Kay Jeweler chain. and three-stone rings. the Radiant Cut became a fully accepted diamond shape in the jewelry business. small table. The Lucida diamond cut is a modified square or rectangular (Marquise) cut with truncated corners. RCDC launched the 'Original Radiant Cut' diamond brand In 2002. Prior to the Quadrillion.com Quadrillion Cut The Quadrillion® Cut (aka Squarillion Cut) is a modified square princess cut that was developed by Israel Itzkowitz and Betzalel Ambar in the late 1970s. and was patented and trademarked by Bez Ambar Jewelers of Los Angeles in 1980. a highstep crown (similar to the Asscher Cut). The pavilion is similar to a Barion cut.com Starburst Cut . Upon the expiration of the patent.com Lucida Cut The Lucida (TM) Cut is a patented diamond cut that was created by Tiffany & Company in 1999. www. square shaped diamonds were stepcut limiting their brilliance.radiantcut. 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.The Leo diamond cut is the first to be certified for fire and brilliance as measured by a 'BrillianceScope. www.' and each diamond comes with a "Return of Light Certificate. The Lucida diamond cut is marketed as a wedding cut. and the table is a bowed out rectangle. sold in solitaire engagement/wedding bands. www. patented and trademarked by Henry Grossbard of the Radiant Cut Diamond Company (RCDC) in 1977. There are 25 crown facets and 36 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets (not including 8 girdle facets).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.
Old Mine Cut Evolution of the Faceted Diamond & Colored Gem Article Copyright © 2008 AllAboutGemstones. The Trilliant trademark has since lapsed. Old eight. making the hue of fancy yellow diamonds more intense. and the Trilliant is now a generic term for a triangular brilliant cut. for a total of 89 kite and star shaped facets. brilliance. and scintillation when cut to the correct proportions. and the career of the "diamantaire" (diamond cutter/polisher) was born. Trillion) is a triangular cut designed and trademarked by the Henry Meyer Diamond Company of New York in 1962. Point Cut . fire. The Trilliant Cut has a total of 31 facets.early 1300s The "point cut" (below left) is one of the first symmetrically faceted diamond cuts. There are two variations of this cut: the Curved cut used for solitary stones. and the natural octahedral symmetry of the rough stone's closed isometric form. with weight losses in the fifty percent range. . reworked into the shape of a trillion (triangle). and Uncurved cut used for accent stones. The Trilliant has the Schoenflies point group symmetry of a round brilliant. but at each stage of advancement the pioneers of 'brillianting' diamonds have made great strides in bringing out the magic that is inherent in these gifts from nature. There are 49 crown facets and 40 pavilion facets.com Trilliant Cut The Trilliant Cut (aka Trielle. The pavilion has two differently sized sets triangular facets with a large triangular table.com The faceting of diamonds has come a long way in the last 700 years. 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. The point cut design is dictated by the natural shape of an octahedral rough diamond. Old European Gem Cuts: Point. and light return from the stone. The "table cut" (below. 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.louisglick. but the pavilion is completely different. Since the day that humans first discovered 'adamas' (diamonds). The Trilliant cut gives a high brilliance. craftsmen have attempted to "improve" on nature. Harry Winston. 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. right) was created by cutting off some of the top half of the point cut's octahedron to create a table. The Starburst cut was created to bring out the highest amount of color to fancy yellow diamonds. the precursor for the "design" of the first faceted diamond lay within the rough stone itself. Still.The Starburst Cut was patented and trademarked by the Louis Glick Diamond Corp. Nieman Marcus and Tiffany. Starburst Cuts are mounted and sold directly through Cartier. With the realization that only a diamond could cut another diamond. www. The Starburst cut is especially suitable for a octahedral rough. The starburst faceting pattern is designed to focus color near the top of a stone. The crown of the Starburst Cut is similar to that of the radiant cut.
Old Mine Cut ." "Dutch cut. The briolette cut was designed primarily for use in a pendant or as a dangling bauble in a crown. The culet is usually large enough to be visible when viewed through the table. The briolette was the precursor to the "pendeloque cut" which is a pear-shaped modification of the round brilliant cut. Also called the "cushion cut"." "crowned rose cut.1700s The "old mine" cut is the earliest form of the "brilliant cut" diamond." and the Full Holland cut. Rose & Briolette Cut. The Rose cut can form a single hemisphere for a total of 24 facets or it can be two back-to-back hemispheres (Double Dutch rose) forming a total of 48 facets. The crown is typically tall. The single cut may or may not have a culet at the bottom.Single Cut . eight bezel or crown facets. the "old single cut" (aka "old eight cut") diamond has the addition of corner facets to create an octagonal girdle. . it has a cushioned or rounded girdle shape. The "briolette cut" is a modified "double Dutch rose cut" with one of the hemispheres being elongated. and eight pavilion facets. the "rose cut" is also known by the the "Antwerp rose. an octagonal table. This Old Mine cut is basically square with gently rounded corners and "brilliant" style facets. resulting in a smaller table.late 1300s Invented in the late 14th century.1500s Invented in the mid 16th century. The "senaille cut" is a rose cut with irregular or non-symmetrical faceting.
This cut is also known as the "Tolkowsky Cut" and "Tolkowsky brilliant. The eight cut is similar to the "single cut" in that there are eight four-sided trapezoidal facets at the crown. As with its predecessor the "point cut" over 600 years earlier.1800s The "Old European" cut was the forerunner of the modern round brilliant cut. and an octagon-shaped table for a total of 17 facets (18 if a culet is used). Like the modern round brilliant. . the Modern Round Brilliant cut is beneficial when the crystal is an octahedron (diagram above).Old European Cut .1900s The "modern round brilliant cut" (below) was developed by Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. The Modern Round Brilliant Cut . 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 has a circular girdle. eight facets at the pavilion. The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem. as two stones can be cut from one crystal with a minimum amount of waste." Even with modern techniques. The Old European diamond cut has a very small table. Eight Cut & Swiss Cut The "eight cut" is primarily used for small stones when a brilliant cut would be impractical. a heavy crown. and very tall overall depth.
with a total of 33 facets (34 if a culet is used).000 categories based on size.A "Swiss cut" is a compromise between an eight cut and a brilliant cut." The 'Diamond Pipeline' Rough diamonds are sent directly from De Beers mining operations in Africa (#1). Rio Tinto. Trans Hex. . The Diamond Trade: The 'Diamond Pipeline' Rough Diamond Producers Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. The rough stones are separated into 16. thereby controlling and stabilizing prices. color and quality. for sorting and resale. Gaborone. Kimberley and Windhoek. 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 DTC is part of the DeBeers Group supply-chain known as the Central Selling Organization (CSO). There is a limited market for the resale of diamonds that are less than "investment grade.com The trade in gem-grade rough diamonds is primarily controlled by the De Beers. then divided by human or automated sorters into individual lots called "boxes. Unlike precious metals such as gold. 16 isosceles triangle facets on the crown and 16 facets on the pavilion. or secondary mining producers in Canada and Russia to De Beers' Diamond Trading Company (DTC) in London. Both the eight cut Swiss cut are still used today for small very diamonds and gems (smaller than 2mm carat weight) as would be used in pavé settings. there is usually a substantial mark-up in the retail sale price of diamonds. silver or platinum. which combines ("aggregating") supplies of rough diamonds from multiple sources into one wholesale market (#2).
De Beers and the Future De Beers' (CSO's) control over the wholesale diamond market has diminished due to increased market penetration. A 'sight' can have a value of between $500. As a reaction to their decrease in market share. reclaiming their "A Diamond Is Forever" moniker. and the breakaway from CSO's cartel by the Argyle Diamond Mine in Australia. .20 carats or less) in Mumbai (Bombay) and Surat. Many Sightholders are also cutters. which are increasing in popularity and consumer acceptance. De Beers (DTC) sets the price of each box in advance. they are sold to retailers or direct to the customer. Rough diamonds are cut in various geographic regions according to tradition and the skill-sets of the labor force.000 to $2. Both traders and manufacturers may sell diamonds "upstream" and "downstream" through the diamond pipeline . or to jewelry manufacturers (#5) around the world. and retailers . De Beers. India cuts the vast majority of small stones (. Russia and elswhere. The diamonds are then re-sold from the cutting and polishing (manufacturing) centers to wholesalers (Diamond Bourses). while large stones are primarily cut in Antwerp. determining the quantity and quality that each site-holder will receive. through their Diamond Promotion Service (DPS) and Diamond Information Centres (DIC) marketing divisions. Ramat Gan. diamonds have underperformed since 1987 when compared to the "luxury goods" market or global GDP. cutters. The sightholder then transports the box of rough diamonds back to diamantaire firms (cutting and polishing factories) located around the world (#4). Once the diamonds are set into jewelry. and New York. Tel Aviv.com website).000 USD. has launched an aggressive branding and marketing campaign. Other major cutting centers are located in Johannesburg.000. and Thailand. China. where De Beers sells the "boxes" to its select group ("supplier of choice") of 125 "sightholders" (#3) or diamond manufacturers. De Beers is also facing increasing pressure from the manufactures of synthetic diamonds. (see DeBeers' Adiamondisforever. Additionally.De Beers Sightholders The DTC holds a sale called a "site" or "sight" ten times per year in London and Johannesburg. to take advantage of market fluctuations. and independent diamond producers in Canada.
Forevermark Diamonds As a way of staving off the onslaught of secondary diamond markets. The Council began in July 2000 after a joint meeting of the WFDB and its international headquarters are in New York City. and about half of the polished diamonds. As of 2006. the WDC has observers from the governments of Belgium. cut and uncut diamonds. bond. . Hong Kong. The largest diamond trading center in the world is located in Antwerp. and Rijfstraat. Diamond Bourses are basically trading exchanges for loose. are sold in Antwerp every year. and preventing the inherent product misidentification that will follow. KPCS originated in May 2000 during a meeting of South African diamond producing states in Kimberley.com The word "Bourse" refers to a private stock. and will com with a certificate of authenticity. and Shanghai. Belgium but there are also Diamond Bourses in Israel. South Africa. Within Antwerp's diamond district. or commodities exchange similar to the NYSE. The Council has approximately 70 members representing jewelers. the DTC has developed new inscription technologies to "invisibly" mark the table facet of polished diamonds with a "Forevermark" trademark. De Beers is hoping that the combination of branding and security will increase consumer demand. 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. Hoveniersstraat. London. The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates . Asia. the European Union and the United Nations to rid the diamond Industry of conflict diamonds. and India (2007). The Diamond Trade: Diamond Bourses of Antwerp Diamond Bourses Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. NY . This mark is only visible via a point-of-sale electronic viewer. traders and manufacturer/producers.. Schupstraat.S. Forevermark diamonds will be available through sightholder/retailers in the U. Europe. Moscow. and the city is the hub of the global diamond trading industry (diamanthandel). 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 . some 1.500 diamond dealers (diamantbedrijven) are ensconced in small. The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base. also known as the "World Diamond Center" or Diamantenzentrum. Israel and South Africa and works with 35 independent Governments. In addition to its members. 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. heavily guarded geographic area surrounded by three main streets. China. Almost 85% of the world's rough diamonds.
uncut diamonds was the Antwerpsche Diamantkring (Antwerp Diamond Ring) . Around $16+ billion in polished diamonds pass through Antwerp's diamond bourses each year. which was established in the same year that the 1930 World Expo was held in Antwerp. Most transactions conducted within the Bourses done with cash and a handshake. founded in 1893—and the Beurs voor Diamanthande (at Pelikaanstraat 78) founded in 1904 . and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) was founded in 1947. These first trading exchanges mainly dealt with the wholesaling of cut stones. an by-laws that govern business practices. there are around 4000 diamond-cutters (diamantaire) working in the several-square-block diamond district. Members of the Diamond Bourses operate within a system based on mutual trust and each member pledges to uphold the traditions and principles of consideration. the Antwerpsche Diamantkring was reopened. ethics and morality. friendship and trust . and repatriation of Antwerp following the end of WWII. Both bourse were founded by Hasidim diamantairs. The Diamond High Council (HRD) . After the liberation. regulations. making it the largest diamond-trading center in the world . In Antwerp's 'Diamond Center' (Diamantenzentrum) today.Photo: Wiki Public The first trading exchange to deal exclusively with rough.Antwerp's Diamond District Two of the oldest Diamond Bourse (Bourse van de diamant or diamantenbšrsen) in Antwerp were the 'Diamond Club of Antwerp' (Diamantclub van Antwerpen—at Pelikaanstraat 62. and both are still in operation today. Control over the diamond trade is maintained through the WFDB's Constitution containing a series of rules. Beurs voor Diamanthandel . and disputes are handled by an internal arbitration process. bisected by Hoveniersstraat street.
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. who were in search of the "quiet sweet life. but 3000 Zulus were killed in what became known as the 'Battle of Blood River. The First Boer War (1880—1881) began with the Transvaal (Limpopo) Boers declaring independence from Great Britain. 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 this eventually lead to all-out war. The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base. ending with the inclusion of all Boer territories into British colonies." Three of South Africa's richest diamond mines are in Northern Cape (Kimberley Diamond Mine). Gauteng (Premier Diamond Mine). under the Treaty of Vereeniging. most with Dutch Calvinist. There was not a single Boer fatality. This led to a new wave of emigrants and adventurer-seekers from England.The HRD (Hoge Raad voor Diamant) Diamond High Council is a non-profit industry organization designed to promote and represent the Antwerp diamond trade.' During the 1830s and 1840s. which at the time was administered by the 'Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie' or 'Dutch East India Company. 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 Boers resisted British encroachments into their territory until the Second 'Anglo' Boer War (1899— 1902). The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates . coming for . Flemish.' 'Gauteng. They settled in the 'Cape of Good Hope' on Africa's southern most tip. Diamonds and the British The Second Wave of Europeans Needing a stopping-off point on the sea-route to Australia and India. with 10.' and the 'Orange Free State' provinces to escape hostilities with the native 'Xhosa tribe' from which Nelson Mandela decended.' 'Limpopo. The Diamond Trade: History & Culture of the Key Players Article Copyright © 2006 AllAboutGemstones. and Limpopo (Venetia Diamond Mine). Afrikaners who participated in the migration northward became known as the 'Trekboer' or Voortrekkers.' After the devastating Zulu defeat. The Voortrekkers had to contend with the native Zulu tribe over land they wished to settle on. and fully annexed the Cape Colony in 1806 . England seized the Cape of Good Hope from the Dutch East India Company in 1797.000 Zulu warriors attacking 470 Boer settlers. or German Protestant backgrounds. there was a mass exodus (the Great Trek) northward to 'Northern Cape.
De Beer. One of the richest men in the world. Cullinan . Photo: Pub. although Rhodes did not start out with an interest in diamonds. he began his business interests in South Africa by servicing the "ant hill" of humanity that was descending on Kimberley during the diamond rush of the late 1800s. The African nation of Rhodesia was named after him (now the Republic of Zimbabwe). he was able to build a monopolistic empire through skill and cunning. Domain Thomas M. and in 1910 the 'Union of South Africa' was created. As founder of De Beers. Rhodes made several aborted attempt to gain control over Barnato's interest in Kimberley Central Mine. a curious discovery was being made along the banks of the Orange River. De Beers and Kimberley Central were the two largest mining interests in South Africa at the time. 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." In 1906. With the help of the Rothschild bank in London. N. Cecil Rhodes' De Beers empire was started on a farm owned by two Boer settlers and brothers. As a young lad from England. A. 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.. and later selling steam-powered water pumps to drain the open-pit mines of Kimberley. but was eventually successful in convincing Barnato to merge with De Beers. a prospector.' Cecil Rhodes died a single man with no children and. Photo: Pub. and J. In exchange. self-government was restored.the "mineral revolution. Barnato was given appointed to 'life governor' and temporary controlling interest in De Beers .. no heirs to his empire. Domain Cecil Rhodes Cecil Rhodes (1853—1902) is the undisputed father of the modern diamond industry. Photo: Pub. in Northern Cape. Domain Barney Barnato During the same period that Cecil Rhodes was building De Beers Consolidated Mines. Amid all of this turmoil and chaos. mysteriously falling overboard on a ship passage back to England. Barnato died several years later. D. Rhodes started out selling ice cream to the diamond-diggers and service workers.
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
Monte Carlo. Graff has been dubbed the "king of diamonds. a DeBeers sightholder in Johannesburg. It will ultimately be cut into an estimated 20 or so 'D-flawless' stones ranging from 75 carats to 1 carat in size. selling to the rich and famous from Elizabeth Taylor and Donald Trump. Lev Leviev has formed a partnership with the ex Soviet state-owned diamond firm. found on August 22. which are now owned by Lev Leviev. Graff's net worth is estimated at 2. in 1992. with his wife and their nine children. and on board the luxury residential ship The World ResidenSea. New York's Madison Avenue. Dubai. Laurence Graff was born into a Jewish orthodox family in London's poorer 'East End' district.state." a compendium and history of his most famous jewels. One of his most notable acquisitions was the 603 carat "Lesotho Promise diamond. Leviev's net-worth is estimated at $2. Photo: Pub.com Gujarat's Indian Diamantaires . Mr. 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. ALROSA produces 100% of Russia's rough diamond output and approximately 20% of the world's rough diamonds . and has satellite locations in Wafi City. The Hindustani Diamond Cutters Photo: dnavin. to Larry Ellison.). Lesotho Promise is the 15th largest diamond ever found. All House of Graff stones have a laser-inscribed girdle with the 'Graff' logo and GIA number. Using this model of "local control. Graff's strategy of "vertically integration" has been to control every angle of the diamond pipeline. formed by Decree 158C of the Russian Federation. 2006 at the Letseng diamond mine in the tiny Kingdom of Lesotho in the center of the Republic of South Africa. Israel. House of Graff is also located on London's Sloane Street. to purchasing a 51% stake in Safdico (South African Diamond Corp. from wholesale and retail." and the "king of bling" by Forbes magazine . Russia.5 billion dollars .5 billion (#278 Forbes List). Lev Leviev lives in B'nei Brak. now called ALROSA (Almazy-Rossii-Sakha) . which gives him access to some of the finest uncut diamonds coming out of South Africa. and one of the most successful diamond merchants in modern history. Tretiakovsky Proezd in Moscow. Raised by his grandparents. Alrosa now sells direct to cutting factories throughout Russia. By circumventing the De Beers supply chain. Hotel de Paris' salon privé in Paris. and the largest rough unearthed in this century. Graff has co-authored (with Vanessa von Zitzewitz) "The Most Fabulous Jewels in the World." the Leviev Group has found willing partners in several countries including Angola's ASCORP after De Beers' exit in 2001.
and although India's famous "Diamonds of Golconda" were mined-out hundreds of years ago. M. they were able to gain an increasingly larger share of the wholesale diamond trade.com Dilip Mehta Indian diamantaire. are headed and staffed by Mehta family members. India (born 1949). The Sanskrit word for 'diamond' was vajra. The Indo Argyle Diamond Council (IADC) formed in 1994 as a consortium of Indian jewelry manufacturers and cutting houses. is the CEO of the 'Rosy Blue Group' which is currently one of the world's largest diamond companies. Several other divisions of the Rosy Blue Group. the Hindustan Diamond Company Ltd. universal truths. based upon eternal. Companies like Bhavani Gems. Jainism is an ancient Indian religious sect believing in the 'Jain' philosophy. It is estimated that India cuts. (HDC). and De Beers India. Dilip Mehta of Mumbai. heighten awareness of ethical business practices. Photo: rosyblue. Gujarat.above). 320 BC) by Kautiliya. . This vast fortune is shared by some 300 to 500 Gujaratis families from Palanpur on the GujaratRajasthan border . both college dropouts.Diamonds made their first reluctant appearance in human history over 2400 years ago. Chandragupta. polishes. Shree Ramkrishna Exports. Gitanjali Gems is one of the largest manufacturers of diamonds and diamond jewelry in India. started out thirty years ago by purchasing cheaper stones that the Dutch Hasidim. Domain Bharat & Vijay Shah Bharat and Vijay Shah came from a family of jewelers going back three generations. and Surat's 'Special Economic Zone' . Of the $26 billion per year diamond revenues that flow through Antwerp. and Vijaydimon are family owned operations run by Jains with the common surnames of Jhavari. improve perceptions. Gitanjali Gems. The Indian communities' share has grown to around 60%. Much of India's diamond trade is controlled by a handful of wealthy families in Gujarat. 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. Sanghavi Exports. the Indians would not be giving up their rightful heritage as diamantaires. Navinchandra & Co (board of directors . and to develop an "understanding of the world market. Suresh & Co. displacing the Hasidim as the dominant force in the industry . and is currently a Senior Partner and head of the UAE division. Photo: Pub. and exports several billion dollars worth of gems per year. to elevate quality standards." The Indians would go on to enjoy a singular reign over the diamond-rich dominion—known as Hindustan—for another two thousand years. with $1. from Hong Kong to Israel. is the newest addition to India's arsenal of global marketing tools to promote exports. The brothers. and were written about in an ancient Sanskrit manuscript called the "The Lesson of Profit" Arthasastra (c. Mumbai. with diamond cutting factories located in Borivali. and Israelis didn't want to work with ." The Bharat Diamond Bourse in Mumbai. propelling their twin companies. By slowly developing markets. Harshad Mehta ("Diamond King of the world") is one of the founders of Rosy Blue. D. Mehta.7 billion in annual sales . a minister to the Indian king. Venus Jewels. or "thunderbolt. and Shah.
Vijaydimon also purchases rough diamonds from Canada's Diavik Mine and Argyle (Rio Tinto) and Russia . with one of the fastest per-capita income growth rates in the world. & Mogae Starting with Botswana's independence in 1966.Vijaydimon (Belgium) and B Vijaykumar (India) . Palanpur. and the end to South African apartheid in 1994. who was a major general in the army. Joseph Kabila (above. Mandela. President Festus Mogae was elected for a second term in 2004. Domain N. into a global position with nearly $1 Billion a year in sales. Bombay. is making great strides in stabilizing the country after years of strife. Thailand. Diamonds and the African Nationals Photos: Public Domain Kabila. Vijaydimon is a DTC sightholder with offices in Belgium. India. left). After winning a disicive re-election victory in 2006. Hong Kong. many of the ex-colonial nations of Sub-Saharan Africa are starting to emerge as powerful and legitimate forces in the diamond industry. the 'United Nations Industrial Development Orginization' (UNIDO). Botswana is a relatively wealthy African country. succeeded his father (Laurent-Désiré Kabila) as president the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC) after his assassination in January 2001. all who have signed multi-million dollar trade deals. China. and the United States. Angola and from mining magnates. and enjoys broad support. Ayer & Son . UAE. Surat. the political situation in Angola has begun to normalize.W.000 workers. In a post-conflict reconstruction effort. working in cooperation with the government of Sierra Leone. Botswana has held regular elections and has been one of the more stable governments in southern Africa. and Tel Aviv. only hinting at their possibility in 2007 or 2008. The last democratic election in Angola was in 1992. After years of fighting between the PMLA and UNITA. On a somewhat darker note. dos Santos. The company has cutting factories in Antwerp. Kabila. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. created a program for capacity-building of 'small and medium-sized enterprise' (SME) development. At the age of 29. Bangkok. Diamonds and the Americans Photo: Pub. both domestically and internationally. Kabbah. is receiving broad support from the South Africa. Singapore. The president of Sierra Leone. president José Eduardo dos Santos is preventing democratic elections from taking place. employing 22.
The Great Depression had taken a heavy toll on luxury goods during the 1930s. Prince Esterhazy of Hungary. and from the Spanish Crown Jewels . De Beers and the diamond industry got another shot in the arm. Photo: Pub.' brand was catapulted into the stratosphere by the 1961 movie 'Breakfast at Tiffany's. the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine. and the subsequent overthrowing of King Louis-Philippe of France in 1848. The movie version featured Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend. Ayer & Son. this time from playwriter. specializing in one-of-a-kind baubles for New York's newly-minted industrialists and 'robber-barons. The Tiffany is still selling luxury jewelry in their trademarked 'Tiffany Blue Box.W. the public's tolerance towards nobility was at a low point.' The stone was set into a garish jewelry piece called "Bird on a Rock.' at the flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. Photo: Pub. and the diamond industry was particularly hard hit. One of Tiffany's most notable diamond acquisitions was a 287. Charles Tiffany. The 'Tiffany & Co. The stone was cut in Paris." by Jean Schlumberger in the 1960s.' staring Audrey Hepburn. which started out as 'Tiffany & Young' of New York City in 1837. . Tiffany was able to purchase significant gems from such renowned estates as: the 'jewel-mad' Duke of Brunswick.54 carat 'The Tiffany Diamond. Tiffany & Young. the values of ostentatious gems and jewelry dropped precipitously.72 carat cushion-cut diamond (one of the "Diamonds of Golconda") was mounted by Tiffany. Domain Charles Lewis Tiffany Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812—1902).' which was adapted to film in 1953. producing the 128. and Tiffany seized on the opportunity. Domain Hollywood in 1949 Coming just on the heels of the immortal "a diamond is forever" campaign. With financial shockwaves caused by the French economy's collapse in 1847. Harry Frederick Oppenheimer enlisted the help of N. A 19. located at 259 Broadway.42 carat rough flawless-yellow diamond from the 'Compagnie Français de Diamant du Cap' (Kimberley mine) in 1877."A diamond is forever" is the legendary saying that was created by America's first advertising agency. Styne wrote the score for the 1949 Broadway musical 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. aka "the King of Diamonds. was originally a 'fancy goods' emporium. purchased diamonds. After attending Chicago Musical College. After the French revolution in 1799. gems and jewelry from the estates of the European aristocracy.W. N." was the co-founder of Tiffany & Co. Ayer in 1938. Lorelei receives a diamond tiara from her suitor. who was known for his jewelry expertise. and featuring the memorable scene in which Holly gazes longingly into Tiffany's window display. for resale in America. Jule Styne (born Julius Kerwin Stein) was born in London.' During the 1800s." after here charecter. De Beers president. and sold to Nanaline Duke (now in the Doris Duke Collection). Jule Styne. Sir Francis "Piggy" Beekman. Styne moved to Hollywood where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn. In 1948 the famous "A diamond is forever" slogan was introduced. and a series of diamond-related slogans were introduced into the American lexicon.
the unsung hero in the diamond trade. the glamor is laid bare. certificate of authenticity. This time.Photo: © Warner Bros. or "cert" may be your only assurance that you are getting exactly what you paid for. but not least." and the terrible working conditions that these workers must endure. a diamond certificates. In a preemptive strike against any negative publicity that the movie would generate." 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. Diamonds are tested for . as writer Charles Leavitt takes us through the dark underbelly of the diamond trade. grading report." there would be no "diamond trade. appraisal report. Leavitt weaves a tale of Sierra Leone's impoverished "diamond diggers. Were it not for intrepid consumers. the World Diamond Council placed ten full-page ads in newspapers around the county. The Consumer Last. and their willingness to purchase the concept of "foreverness. Through interviews with human-rights organizations like Doctors Without Borders and Global Witness. 2006 Hollywood in 2006 Blood Diamond is the latest incarnation of Hollywood's fascination with diamond. we have the faceless American consumer.
and Attestations of Origin. 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. Shipley in 1931. there is very little (visible) difference between a FL stone and a IF or VVS-1 stone . with offices around the globe. the same year that Shipley published his groundbreaking book titled 'Gemology. Mumbai. IGI Certificate The International Gemological Institute (IGI) is the oldest institute of its kind in Antwerp. Appraisal Reports.' GIA's world headquarters are located in Carlsbad. and is the largest independent gem certification and appraisal institute in the United States. clarity.not only for resale. color. with operations in New York City. Antwerp. wether the stone is natural or synthetic. If you are purchasing an "investment grade" diamond it is essential to have a detailed cert from a reputable gemological laboratory that specializes in diamonds . Dubai and Hong Kong. and carat weight) and they are also tested for traces of gem enhancement. GIA reports also cover any treatments or enhancements that have been done. but for insurance appraisal as well. and saturation of a colored stone. carat weight. Toronto.other than the price. The IGI offers Identification Reports. Bangkok. tone. Although even a lay-person may be able to tell the difference between a triple-zero diamond and a cheap. Los Angeles. GIA Certificate A GIA (Gemological Institute of America) report provides detailed information about the dimensions. shape and cut of a stone. Certificates of Authenticity. founded in 1975. and of corse. California. poorly cut SI-3 grade stone. Tokyo. . The GIA was founded by Robert M. and wether they are synthetic.the basics (cut dimensions and proportions. which can be substantially different.
the sorting of rough diamonds. Shape. HRD uses the "Hearts and Arrows" measuring system which was developed by HRD Antwerp scientists.The IGI lab grades diamonds as well as colored gemstones along several basic criteria which include: shape and cut. polish and symmetry) using a scale ranging from Excellent to Fair. Belgium issues quality reports for loose (unmounted) polished diamonds according to ISO 17025 international standards for gemelogical testing laboratories. . HRD also offers gemelogical training and continuing education courses in diamond grading. Cut. with "Triple Excellent" being the highest overall designation. jewellery design and gemology. origin (colored gems). All diamonds are examined anonymously. and Fluorescence. mesurments. Carat Weight. and finish. and the graders can not know the identity of the owner. color. weight. clarity. Color. as well as quantifying the standard parameters of Clarity. HRD Antwerp Diamond Certificate The certificates department of HRD Antwerp in Antwerpen. HRD's refined Cut Grading system measures each of the three parameters (proportions.
and does not evaluate other types of colored gemstones. vs.As well as testing for synthetic diamonds. The AGS specializes in diamond testing and evaluation. and Proportions. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). The mission of the AGS is to increase consumer awareness." is not an appraisal of monetary value. . and s ratings. referred to as a "Diamond Quality Document" or "DQD. AGS grades diamond color on a numeric sliding scale that is similar to GIA's alphabetical scale. AGSL Certificate The AGSL was the first gem lab to grade a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish." The AGS Cut Grading system was developed through of years of research by gemologists. but rather a comprehensive quality evaluation. 2005 can be viewed online. Today. Aditionally. and to set a higher standard of business ethics and professional practices in the jewelry industry. the HRD lab also uses state-of-the-art technology to test for subtle and hard to recognize enhancements such as HPHT. Symmetry. A diamond's clarity is also graded on a simple numeric scale from 0 to 10. 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. An AGS report. Shipley. 'Polish' and 'Symmetry' were merged into one category called "Finish. having the most rigid grading standards. certificates issued after January 1. To insure the security of their documents. AGS is considered the premier diamond-grading laboratory. HRD uses complex watermarking to prevent copying or falsifying their reports. mathematicians." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors. as opposed to GIA's vvs. 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 the most comprehensive system for grading the all-important 'cut' parameters. The AGS Gemological Laboratories was established in 1996 to provide state-of-the-art diamond grading and appraisal services to the jewelry industry. creator of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Diamond Grading AGS Diamond Quality Report (DQD) AGS Gemological Laboratory Background Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. and optical physicists. along with a consortium of independent jewelers.com The American Gem Society was founded in 1934 by Robert M. 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.
Proportions & Light Performance The AGSL was the first gem lab to grade a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. dispersion." but to retained the "Triple Zero" monicker for diamonds with a perfect score. leakage and light spread. and Proportions. mathematicians. Each parameter is given a numeric grade from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). and optical physicists. Symmetry.Cut Grade: Finish. contrast. 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. The ray-tracing program measures the quantity of the light being returned to the viewer by quantifying brightness. ." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors. In 2004 AGS added a new category that is referred to as "Light Performance." The AGS Cut grading system was developed through years of research by gemologists. 'Polish' and 'Symmetry' were merged into one category called "Finish.
AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond.3.0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless .' 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. in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above).5.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light . 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.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero." or "ideal" rating.1.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint . where facets intersect with each-other. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless .0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light .0 to 1.7. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram. relative facet angles.0 to 7. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. In the upper left corner of the document there is a unique AGS reference number that can be used when contacting AGS with questions about your report. the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible.5 to 3.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003. . all measured in three spacial dimensions. and individual facet ratios.5 to 4." Document Security Each AGS grading document is marked with a hologram (dark circle at lower right of report) and watermarking or embossing to prevent fraudulent duplication.
These diamond extraction methods vary depending on how the minerals are deposited within the earth. and the peripheral damage that will be done to the surrounding environment.42 Carat D.Extraction Methods Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. unmounted diamonds." or a by a vertical "shaft. Dubai. princess.Triple-0 Round Brilliant Setting 'American Star Diamond' 13. and ore bodies that are in situ. and can only be accessed by tunneling underground and creating underground "rooms" or "stopes" that are supported by timber pillars or standing rock. OctoNus Software. the stability of the material that surrounds that desired gem or mineral. Obtaining an AGS Report AGS is a 'trade-industry' testing laboratory that will only evaluate diamonds sent from jewelers or manufacturers. The principle methods of diamond extraction are: 1. 2.com Diamonds and other precious and semi-precious gemstones are extracted from the earth using five basic mining techniques. AGSL reports will also grade cut quality for emerald. Pricing for a diamond grading report is based on carat weight. the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA). As of 2005. so that the cutter can improve the light performance of their cut stones. 4. through AGS offices in Antwerp. and OGI Systems. while a shaft is . 3. Additionally. Flawless Other Services Supplied by AGS The AGS will soon be entering into an alliance/partnership with one of the premier testing labs of colored gemstones. left) refers to various techniques used to extract gems. Accessing the underground ore is achieved via a horizontal passageway called a "decline. AGS will only evaluate loose. and will soon be offering cut evaluations for other fancy shapes. The AGS supplies 'facet arrangement' templates corresponding to their cutgrading system. which are used by non-contact measuring-device manufacturers such as Sarin Technologies. Artisanal Mining Hard Rock Mining Marine Mining Open Pit Mining Placer Mining Hard-Rock Diamond Mining The term "hard-rock mining" (top of page. AGS will also provide analysis of a manufacturers 'cut performance' by analyzing a sample stone's Sarin file." A decline is a spiral (corkscrew) tunnel which circles the ore deposit. Diamonds: Gem & Diamond Mining Technology Photos: Public Domain Diamond & Gem Mining . minerals. AGS offers laser inscription services as well. India and Israel. and octagon step-cut diamonds. 5.
box screens. Small "pit lakes" tend to form at the bottom of open-pit mines as a result of groundwater intrusion. or large conical sieves. at a maximum depth of 500 feet. rock or sedimentary soil. A decline is typically used for mining personnel. 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. or sort material according to size. right) with bare hands. Laborers who work in artisanal diamond mining are called "diamond diggers" (below left). Marine diamond mining employs both "vertical" and "horizontal" techniques to extract diamonds from offshore placer deposits. Excavation is accomplished using water pressure (hydraulic mining). machinery. Open pit mines are typically used when mineral deposits are found close to the surface or along defined kimberlite pipes.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. CAT-tracked underwater mining vehicles) move across the sea floor pumping gravel up to an offshore vessel. which concentrate the heavier gems at the bottom. eluvial. and have a specific gravity that is higher than that of common minerals. shovels. and access to the ore. Horizontal mining employs the use of Seabed Crawlers (remotely controlled. mechanized surface excavating equipment. 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. Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . center) is a method of extracting rock and minerals from the earth by removal from a machine-dug open pit or burrow. or sand) that is unsuitable for tunneling. and or colluvial secondary deposits. right) is used for extracting diamonds and minerals from alluvial. Open Pit Mining Open-pit diamond mining.vertical tunnel used for ore haulage. gravel. also known as "open-cast mining" (top of page. Marine Mining Marine mining technology only became commercially viable in the early 1990s.Photo: USGS Alluvial Diamond . also known as "sand-bank mining" (top of page. and is a derivative form of open-cast mining used to extract minerals from the surface of the earth without the use of tunneling. therefore. Placer Mining Placer diamond mining. Diamonds and most gemstones are hard. they tend to concentrate in alluvial deposits in the same way that gold placers develop. the gravels are separated and sorted into three sizes. or pans. running adjacent to the ore. or hand digging (artisanal mining). highly resistant to weathering. . Artisanal diamond mining is a form of "subsistence based" non-mechanized mining that is used in poorer countries throughout the world. Gems are separated from waste material using various sifting and sorting techniques such as cone screens. While on board.
Kimberlites are found as "dikes" and "volcanic pipes" which underlie and are the source for rare and relatively small volcanoes or "maars" (above.North Cape" below). 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 . and upper mantle rock. These pipes are called "kimberlites" or "kimberlite pipes" (see diagram below). pyroxene. in conflict zones where mechanized mining is impractical and unsafe. and Liberia.Artisanal diamond mining is used throughout west Africa. It is also used extensivly in Angola. olivine. rock fragments. with a variety of trace minerals. minerals. As this molten mixture of magma (molten rock). Diamond bearing kimberlite in some parts of South Africa is black in color (above. diamonds are carried to the surface of the earth by volcanic activity. the Congo (DROC). Kimberlite is a diamondiferous igneous-rock matrix composed of carbonate. Kimberlite pipes are the most significant source of diamonds. Diamonds: Diamond Geology Diamond Geology & Kimberlites Kimberlite Pipes Diamonds form at a depth greater than 93 miles (150 kilometers) beneath the earth's surface. right). After their formation. yet only about 1 in every 200 kimberlite pipes contain gem-quality diamonds. phlogopite. Kimberlite occurs in the zone of the Earth's crust in vertical structures known as kimberlite pipes (above. garnet. right). Many kimberlite pipes also produce alluvial diamond placer deposits. left). Artisanal diamond mining accounts for 90% of Sierra Leone's diamond exports and is the country's second largest employer after subsistence farming. serpentine. and diamonds approaches the earth's surface it begins to form an underground structure (pipe) that is shaped like a champagne-flute. Most kimberlite is called "blue-ground" kimberlite (above. . left) or "yellow-ground" kimberlite and can be found worldwide. Kimberlite pipes can lie directly underneath shallow lakes formed in the inactive volcanic calderas or craters.
The Argyle diamond mine in Western Australia is one of the first commercial open-cast diamond mines that is dug along an olivine lamproite pipe." that may be similar. This results in a martini-glass shaped diamondiferous deposit as opposed to kimberlite's champagne flute shape. usually from kimberlite deposits. These dried 'lakes' receive river water during seasonal flooding which transports large amounts of sediment held in suspension. Alluvial (Placer) Diamond Deposits The location of alluvial (secondary or placer) diamond deposits is controlled by the surrounding topography.Photo: Public Domain Lamproite Pipes Lamproite pipes produce diamonds to a lesser extent than kimberlite pipes.Open Pit Mine . Alluvial diamond deposits are usually located within river terrace gravels that have been transported from their location of origin. Diamondiferous material tends to concentrate in and around 'oxbow lakes. and tectonic breccia.' which are created by abandoned river meanders. 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. Breccia is a rock composed of angular fragments of several minerals or rocks in a matrix. igneous breccia. or breccia-filled volcanic pipe that is formed by gas or volatile explosive magma which has breached the surface to form a "tuff" (consolidated volcanic ash) cone. There are several types of breccia which are categorized based on their geological origin.Photo: Public Domain Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . sedimentary breccia. The world's largest known gem quality alluvial diamond deposits are located along the Namib Desert coastline of southwestern Africa. . impact breccia. except that boiling water and volatile compounds contained in the magma act corrosively on the overlying rock. or "cementing material. including: hydrothermal breccia. Lamproite pipes are created in a similar manner to kimberlite pipes. The Argyle pipe is a diatreme." and along the Orange River near Alexander Bay.Photo: NASA The alluvial terrace gravels (below. known as the Sperrgebiet or "forbidden territory. Alluvial Diamonds from Africa . or different in composition to the fragments themselves.
Alluvial Terrace Gravels . The diamonds within these deposits were transported from deeply-eroded diamondiferous kimberlites or. 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.8k. but were not deposited on land.9k and 101. made their way to the sea bed just offshore. in central South Africa and Botswana. Some of the largest and highest gemquality diamonds produced from alluvial placer diamond mining have come from this region. depressions. potholes. channels or other trapsites for diamondiferous deposits. Diamond Mines of the World: Active Diamond Mines List of Active Diamond Mines All Contents Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Diamonds in marine areas are typically trapped in bedrock depressions such as gullies. including Angola's two largest diamonds at 105.8 million to 10. Westward draining river systems transported these diamonds to Africa's continental coastline for final deposition within on-shore marine terrace gravels.Photo: Wiki Diamond-Bearing 'Diamondiferous' Gravel Many of these alluvial diamond deposits occur in Pleistocene and Holocene successions (1.com .000 years ago).Namibia's placer diamond deposits are between 40 and 80 million years old. carried from their primary origination point on the Kaapvaal Craton. from olivine lamproites formed during the Cretaceous or Permo-Triassic period. Diamonds that were transported downstream. to a lesser extent.
Rio Tinto. MIBA. 1. Luarica Diamond Mine: Owned by Endiama (38%) & Trans Hex (32%). Catoca Diamond Mine: Fourth largest diamond mine in world. 2. and a host of other counties with operational and/or historic alluvial. map Damtshaa Diamond Mine: (water for a tortoise) New open pit mine. 7. 1. map Koidu Open Pit Mines: Kimberlite open-pit mines just south of Koidu. map The Oaks Diamond Mine: In Limpopo province. Trans Hex. map Letseng Diamond Mine: Open-cast mine in Maluti Mountains 70 km from Mokhotlong. produces over 40% of world's gem-quality diamonds. 75% De Beers ownership. 3. map Williamson Diamond Mine: (aka Mwadui mine) Open Pit mine. map Baken Diamond Mine: Located along Orange River in North Cape. map Elizabeth Bay Mine: Open-cast mine in Namib desert. There are also several African nations with ongoing off-shore dredging/vacuming operations. map Letlhakane Diamond Mine: ("little reeds") second oldest of four . map Forminière Diamond Mine: Alluvial mine located on the River Tshikapa. south of Lüderitz. map Koidu-Sefadu Mines: Subsistence digging in alluvium pits west of Koidu. map Kimberley Diamond Mine: Started in 1871. map Ekati Diamond Mine: Canada's first diamond mining operation. 2. map . map Cullinan Diamond Mine: Open Pit/Hard Rock diamond mine owned by De Beers. map Venetia Diamond Mine: Limpopo. map Botswana Congo (DROC or RDC) Lesotho Namibia Sierra Leone South Africa Tanzania Zimbabwe Australia East Kimberley 1. 1. 1. map Bakwanga Mine: (aka Bushimaïe. Closed in 2006. De Beers / Botswana. Cempaka Diamond Mines: Alluvials mined by indigenous artisanal Kalimantan miners. Diavik Diamond Mine: The Diavik diamond mine is located in the NWT. links to satellite images of the mines (where available). 3. Kimberlite pipe. 5. 1. open pit. 2. map Fucauma Diamond Mine: Newly constructed. located in NWT. Open-pit mine De Beers operated. the Kimberley Open Pits closed in 2005. 4. map Canada North West Territories (NWT) 1. 2. 6. and any relevant geographic data. De Beers/Botswana. Namdeb Namib Gov. map Borneo Cempaka/Riam Kanan. in Kasaï . 4. Waldman Resources. Active Mines | Inactive Mines | Future Exploration | Mining Companies Africa Angola 1. Argyle Diamond Mine: Largest producer in world. Owned by Endiama (40%) & Trans Hex (35%). 1. 2. and hard rock diamond mines. map Koffiefontein Diamond Mine: The Koffiefontein mine opened in 1870. Namdeb. 75% De Beers ownership. 4. 1.DeBeers/Botswana. 2. 75% De Beers ownership map Murowa Diamond Mine: Open Pit & Underground mine.closed. 2. map Marine Mining: Namco Mining operates a dredging fleet off the west coast of Namibia. 3. mining operator info. mostly industrial grade. Odebrecht (50%). map Orapa Diamond Mine: (resting place for lions) Largest/oldest of four . mining industry inside news. Israel. Endiama (50%). 2. So Africa. 3. South Kalimantan 1. 1. 3. map Jwaneng Diamond Mine: (place of small stones) richest mine in world. map Orange River (Daberas) Mines: Orange River alluvium. These lists also contains new project explorations.Currently there are eleven major 'diamond producing' nations. Lubilash) Alluvial river mines in Kasaï. De Beers operated. map Magna Egoli Mine: Largest mechanized mine in Sierra Leone. Luzamba Diamond Mine: Angola's largest alluvial mine. map River Ranch Diamond Mine: Open Pit & Underground mine. map Finsch Diamond Mine: Finsch is an open-pit mine near Lime Acres.De Beers / Botswana.
map Anabar GOK Mine: The norther most location of Russia's diomond mines. 4. Alrosa. Jubilee.India Madhya Pradesh 1. Aikhal GOK Mine: Three open-pit kimberlite pipe mines: Aikhal. map . map Jubilee (Yubileinaya) Mine: Newer open-pit kimberlite mine near Udachny. map Udachnaya (Udachny) Pipe Mine: One of the deepest diamond mines in the world. and Sytykan. 2. 5. 3. Mirna Mine: Largest diamond deposit in Russia and one of the largest in the world. Panna Diamond Mine: Alluvial mine in state of Madhya Pradesh. map Russia Siberia 1.