All About Gemstones: Diamonds

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

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

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

The 4 Cs of Diamonds: Cut

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

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

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

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

2 The proportion and symmetry of the cuts as well as the quality of the polish are factors in determining the overall quality of the cut. An Ideal Cut or Premium Cut "Round Brilliant" diamond has the following basic proportions according to the AGS: Table Size: 53% to 60% of the diameter Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35 degrees Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Facets: 58 (57 if the culet is excluded) Polish & Symmetry: very good to excellent The girdle on a Modern Round Brilliant can have 32. 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.e. The chart below shows several common problems to look for. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. 3 . Only a trained eye could see the quality of a good cut. and the pavillion will have 25 facets. or 96 facets which are not counted in the total number of facets (58).Good Cut Fair Cut Poor Cut Cut Proportions In the past. Poor Diamond Faceting and Symmetry Due to the mathmatics involved in light refraction. The crown will have 33 facets. 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. 80. 64. Common cutting problems can occur during the faceting process. Other variations of the "Modern Round Brilliant" include the "Ideal Brilliant" which was invented by Johnson and Roesch in 1929. Fig. pavilion and crown angle) and did not provide a subjective ranking of how good the cut was. Fig. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. 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. All of that has changed with the AGS Cut Grading system and GIA's new "Cut Grading System". a Round Brilliant cut that does not have the proper proportions and symmetry (off-make) will have noticeably less brilliance.

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

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

a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone.750 30.600 6. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of . a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place.600 8.0 carat 3. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry.5 carats must have an actual weight of between . or to buy a 1. clarity and weight. Occasionally.VS1 Carat Size</ 0. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained.204 carat. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place." If the carat weight is shown as ".800 6.495 carats and .000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line.5º crown.600 12.5 carat 2. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat.500 15. girdle and pavilion. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown.5 carat 1. 40º pavilion.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between . The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above.Grade: F Colorless . See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity . Price Per Carat (2005) . or "seed of the carob". it must be accurate to the second decimal place. It is for this reason that an even 1. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat. In ancient times. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing.99 carat diamond for its better price.195 and . or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone.504 carats. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a .10 carat diamond for its better cut.0 carat 1.

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

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

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

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

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

Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses." is derived from the Greek adamas. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms. A diamond is a transparent.200 degrees Celsius)." and "unconquerable.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe. which resemble a champagne flute.42.044. and differentiates it from simple graphite. The name "diamond." referring to its incredible hardness. or "invincible." "untamable. diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale. igneous rock composed of garnet. Under the continental crust. Therefore. with a variety of trace minerals. phlogopite. At these depths. and a specific gravity of 3. and pyroxene." which is also known as "adamant. with the principle allotrope being graphite. 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. Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits.Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time.52. ultramafic. a refractive index of 2." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km)." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical. . upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes. Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness. olivine. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" [2].

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

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

re-emitting them as lower-energy. are known as p-type semiconductors. or longer-wavelength photons. which means unyielding. and synthetic diamonds that are doped with boron. Electromagnetic Properties of Diamond . giving off a somewhat greasy sheen. and generally implies radiance. 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. it is used in the manufacturing of semiconductors. Fluorescence in Diamonds Fluorescence is an optical phenomenon in which a diamond's molecules absorb high-energy photons. with the exception of natural blue diamonds. meaning "light". Due to diamond's high thermal conductance. increasing thermal conductance. inflexible. The term adamantine describes the way light interacts with the surface of a crystal. The word luster traces its origins back to the Latin word lux.Insulators or Semiconductors Diamond is a relatively good electrical insulator. or contain boron atoms which replace carbon atoms within the crystal matrix.nearly five times greater than pure copper. If an n-type semiconductor can be synthesized. electronic circuits could be manufactured from diamonds in the future [8]. to prevent silicon and other semiconducting materials from The surface luster (or "lustre") of diamond is described as adamantine. 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. or having the hardness or luster of a diamond. gloss. Natural blue diamonds containing boron atoms. .

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

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

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

000 to $500. greyish-green. and weighed a modest 0. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems.03 carats.000 in 1987. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness [9]. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13. and the De Young Red weighing 5. or a combination of the two. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner. The color change effect is temporary. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat.' discovered during the 18th century.95carats. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply. Warren Hancock. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green. Intense. pure green hues.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). the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste. . On thing is certain. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $ Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems.000 per carat. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red. Green diamonds can range from $35. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color.90 carats.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa.

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

ferropericlase.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. 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. pyrrhotite and pentlandite. .

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

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 . Clouds (Cld) A dense grouping of tiny pinpoints that create a cloudy zone which may not resolve as individual pinpoints at 10X Magnification.Carbon piqué inclusions are sometimes removed by diamond enhancements such as laser drilling. and is reproduced with their permission. which can leave their own types of unique inclusions. 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.

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




Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.

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



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

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



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

Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .

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



Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .

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

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 .

the drilled passage may not breach the cut diamond's surface. With internal laser-drilling inclusions.Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) Internal pathway caused by laser-drilling to remove large inclusions. and where pathway does not breach the cut diamond's surface. . Internal Laser Drilling Inclusion Photos Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) Inclusion Photography Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) inclusions are man-made internal flaws that resulted from laser-drilling that was done to remove large piquŽ carbon inclusions in a rough stone.


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

Large groupings of small pinpoints can create a cloud effect. 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. or Pinpoint Inclusions are minute included crystals within the diamond that appear white under magnification. .

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


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

Natural Comet Inclusion .

Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud .

Tabular Reflection in Diamond .

Included Garnet Twins within Diamond .

Included Dalmatian Garnet .

Cloud Inclusion .

Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers .

Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light .

Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion .

Knot diamond inclusions can potentially be the cause of man-made drag-line inclusions. appearing as a raised area. 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.Natural External Diamond Inclusions or Blemishes Knots An inclusion that penetrates the surface. .




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





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


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

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

Bearded Girdle (BG) Fine cracks. 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. Bruising (Br) A percussion mark or hole caused by impact and surrounded by tiny feathers. or feathers along the outer edge of girdle. chips.

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



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

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




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

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

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

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

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

Gemesis only grows fancy-colored diamonds. Cubic Zirconia (Zirconium Oxide ZrO2) has a completely different chemical structure. princess. www. Massachusetts grows colorless (D to M) diamonds. www. while diamond has a hardness of 10. and stones are cut to order. of Bangkok Thailand. Tairus Created Gems are sold exclusively through Tairus Thailand Gemesis Cultured Diamonds Gemesis is located in Sarasota. Tairus Created Gems Tairus Created Gems is a Russian company that grows fancy-colored diamonds in their proprietary "Split Sphere" system. using a proprietary variation of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) technique. and some fancy colored diamonds.).3 on the Mohs scale. each Gemesis cut stone over .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. Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite Cubic Zirconia Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. in Boston.30 carats to 3 carats.. . emerald.chatham. Chatham's pricing ranges from $6. and rose cuts.25 carats is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. and each cut stone is laser inscribed with the Apollo company logo and serial number. with clarity grades from IF to SI. Florida.gemesis. which they claim is the closest thing to mother nature. carbonate fluid solution that is similar to diamond-bearing metamorphic To the average consumer.500 per carat (2004 est. Apollo Diamond's cut stones are available in round brilliant. inc. The toughness of Cubic Zirconia is rated as good. www.apollodiamond. and CZ has a hardness of only 8. and each stone is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. and like Chatham.Apollo Diamond.25 carats to 1 carat. Apollo Diamonds are cut and polished in sizes ranging from . Tairus produces rough sizes from . To insure easy identification as a man-made product. Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is the most familiar type of diamond simulant on the market. The Split Sphere system crystalizes the carbon seed in an alkaline.500 to $9. While a synthetic diamond is a man-made recreation of an actual carbon-based diamond.

Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. For instance.80 to 2. . Once the mixture has cooled. Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond. and CZs can be made in any "color grade. CZ vs Diamond .Detectable to the Naked Eye Light Dispersion: Greater prismatic effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire Lack of Flaws: CZ is virtually flawless. or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond.2. candle. CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR).In 1973. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease. Diamond's RI is 2. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below). most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond .41 (RI).800 . Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left).17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2. You can also Inspect the facet edges with a 10x loupe to look for any chipping or slightly rounded (not sharp) facet edges that are telltale signs of Cubic Zirconia. the greater dispersive power. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce. natural diamond is a thermal conductor Weight: Cubic Zirconia is heavier than diamond in a given size Another method for distinguishing Cubic Zirconia from diamond is to mark the stone with a grease pencil or felt-tipped pen.) in a totally dark room. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing. The 1. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible. Natural diamonds attract grease. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting. but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight. a CZ is optically flawless. CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1. The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit.170. Unlike most natural diamonds.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. etc. Due to their low cost and consistency. 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. or colorless (white) versions. Zirconium oxide powder is heated.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator.

manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. Moissanite has a hardness of 9. Moissanite has an RI of 2. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. Henri Moissan (above.) in a dark room. left) who won the Nobel Prize in 1906 for his discovery of a new mineral (moissanite6H) found within meteorite fragments of the ancient Barringer meteor crater (above. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index. when examining the gem through the kite facets. candle. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ. Arizona. and diamond at 0. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. center) near Winslow. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent.104 as compared to CZ at 0. 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. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. found only in iron-nickel meteorites. . A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. while diamond has a hardness of 10. is classified as an element rather than a compound.417.65 to 2. etc. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond.060. Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum).044. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight.25 on the Mohs scale.69.A small.

Like wood. although it can be easily cleaved or fractured due to its defined cleavage planes. but significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its high RI. The Modern Round Brilliant cut (below) is the culmination of several hundred years of experimentation and development. Table Cut diamonds appeared black to the eye. The first improvements on nature's design involved a polishing of the crystal faces. diamond has a "grain. rather than against it. diamonds were used in their natural octahedral state." At the time. creating the "Table Cut. Prior to this time." As further refinement progressed.Detectable With Testing Double Refraction: Moissanite is double refractive. 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.417 Moissanite is double refractive (anisotropic) while a natural diamond is singly refractive (isotropic). Diamond's RI is 2. Diamond cutting can be traced back to the late Middle Ages.Detectable to the Naked Eye Dispersion Pattern: Secondary patterns of dispersion due to double refraction Color: Moissanite has a slight yellow color and does not come in grades better than 'J' Lack of Flaws: Moissanite is virtually flawless. detailed and sharply focused pattern caused by secondary reflections will be seen when observing a diamond. one half of the crystal would be cut off.A small. A similarly sharp. which was called the "Point Cut. Diamonds: Modern Diamond Cutting Diamond Cutting Background One of the hardest substances on earth." and the rough stone must be cut with the grain. diamonds were valued primarily for their luster and hardness.670. due to its high refractive index. Cutting a Rough Diamond . Moissanite vs Diamond . caused by primary reflections from the pavilion and CZ's low RI. diamond is singly refractive Refractive Index: Moissanite has a refractive index of 2. most diamonds have some inclusions Moissanite vs Diamond . Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be more diffused. only a diamond is hard enough to cut other diamonds.

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

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

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

and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. As with all human endeavors.6% and overall height of 57. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope. Eppler & Scan D." (Scandinavian standard.5%. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.4%. invented in 1929. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts.5% to 43.7%. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972.N. ..N. Since then. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant". The "Scan D. A perfect blending of facet symmetry.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57. etc.' 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. Tolkowsky. To quantify a diamond's cut quality. crown height of 14. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect. and overall height of 57. crown height of 14. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design. Ideal Scope.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. and Proportions. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut. more brilliance and fire. Symmetry. H&A Viewer.7%. facet ratios. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%. and crown/pavilion angles. very small to small In the 1970s.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

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

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

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

Ayer & Son.' staring Audrey Hepburn. De Beers president. Photo: Pub. The 'Tiffany & Co. Domain Charles Lewis Tiffany Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812—1902). A 19.54 carat 'The Tiffany Diamond.' The stone was set into a garish jewelry piece called "Bird on a Rock. aka "the King of Diamonds. which started out as 'Tiffany & Young' of New York City in 1837. specializing in one-of-a-kind baubles for New York's newly-minted industrialists and 'robber-barons.72 carat cushion-cut diamond (one of the "Diamonds of Golconda") was mounted by Tiffany. N. and a series of diamond-related slogans were introduced into the American lexicon. With financial shockwaves caused by the French economy's collapse in 1847. Jule Styne (born Julius Kerwin Stein) was born in London. and the subsequent overthrowing of King Louis-Philippe of France in 1848. One of Tiffany's most notable diamond acquisitions was a 287. Styne moved to Hollywood where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn.W.' at the flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. and featuring the memorable scene in which Holly gazes longingly into Tiffany's window display." by Jean Schlumberger in the 1960s. The Tiffany is still selling luxury jewelry in their trademarked 'Tiffany Blue Box. the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine.42 carat rough flawless-yellow diamond from the 'Compagnie Français de Diamant du Cap' (Kimberley mine) in 1877.W. Tiffany & Young. located at 259 Broadway." was the co-founder of Tiffany & Co. purchased diamonds. In 1948 the famous "A diamond is forever" slogan was introduced. Jule Styne.' which was adapted to film in 1953. gems and jewelry from the estates of the European aristocracy. Domain Hollywood in 1949 Coming just on the heels of the immortal "a diamond is forever" campaign. After attending Chicago Musical College. this time from playwriter.' During the 1800s. The Great Depression had taken a heavy toll on luxury goods during the 1930s. for resale in America. Styne wrote the score for the 1949 Broadway musical 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. and Tiffany seized on the opportunity. Prince Esterhazy of Hungary. Ayer in 1938. . Sir Francis "Piggy" Beekman. who was known for his jewelry expertise. Tiffany was able to purchase significant gems from such renowned estates as: the 'jewel-mad' Duke of Brunswick. After the French revolution in 1799. and sold to Nanaline Duke (now in the Doris Duke Collection)."A diamond is forever" is the legendary saying that was created by America's first advertising agency. and the diamond industry was particularly hard hit. the public's tolerance towards nobility was at a low point. The movie version featured Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend. was originally a 'fancy goods' emporium. The stone was cut in Paris. Lorelei receives a diamond tiara from her suitor. the values of ostentatious gems and jewelry dropped precipitously. and from the Spanish Crown Jewels [27].' brand was catapulted into the stratosphere by the 1961 movie 'Breakfast at Tiffany's. De Beers and the diamond industry got another shot in the arm. producing the 128." after here charecter. Charles Tiffany. Photo: Pub. Harry Frederick Oppenheimer enlisted the help of N.

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

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

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

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

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

5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003.3.0 to 7." Document Security Each AGS grading document is marked with a hologram (dark circle at lower right of report) and watermarking or embossing to prevent fraudulent duplication.5 to 3.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero.1. where facets intersect with each-other. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles.5. and individual facet ratios. in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above).0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light . all measured in three spacial dimensions. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram.0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless .0 to 1. the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible.5 to 4.7.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light . AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond. . AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless .' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering. 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." or "ideal" rating.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint . AGS Diamond Grading System On the inside fold of an AGS Diamond Quality grading report there is a legend explaining the unique AGS nomenclature with comparisons to GIA's grading system. relative facet angles.

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

and access to the ore. 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. Small "pit lakes" tend to form at the bottom of open-pit mines as a result of groundwater intrusion. machinery. also known as "sand-bank mining" (top of page. they tend to concentrate in alluvial deposits in the same way that gold placers develop. at a maximum depth of 500 feet. right) with bare hands. Open Pit Mining Open-pit diamond mining. Artisanal Mining Artisanal diamond mining (aka "small-scale mining") involves nothing more that digging and sifting through mud or gravel river-bank alluvial deposits (above. Marine Mining Marine mining technology only became commercially viable in the early 1990s. While on board. Artisanal diamond mining is a form of "subsistence based" non-mechanized mining that is used in poorer countries throughout the world. Horizontal mining employs the use of Seabed Crawlers (remotely controlled. and is a derivative form of open-cast mining used to extract minerals from the surface of the earth without the use of tunneling. Vertical marine mining uses a 6 to 7 meter diameter drill head to cut into the seabed and suck up the diamond bearing material from the sea bed. Marine diamond mining employs both "vertical" and "horizontal" techniques to extract diamonds from offshore placer deposits. Gems are separated from waste material using various sifting and sorting techniques such as cone screens. the gravels are separated and sorted into three sizes. Placer Mining Placer diamond mining.Photo: USGS Alluvial Diamond . and have a specific gravity that is higher than that of common minerals. or pans. Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . rock or sedimentary soil. therefore. gravel. Excavation is accomplished using water pressure (hydraulic mining). right) is used for extracting diamonds and minerals from alluvial. . and or colluvial secondary deposits.Smithsonian Museum Open pit mining is used when the surface material (overburden) covering the deposit is relatively thin and/or the desired minerals are imbedded within structurally unstable earth (cinder. CAT-tracked underwater mining vehicles) move across the sea floor pumping gravel up to an offshore vessel. Diamonds and most gemstones are hard. with the middle size being a candidate for final sorting. running adjacent to the ore. highly resistant to weathering. Laborers who work in artisanal diamond mining are called "diamond diggers" (below left). or sort material according to size. A decline is typically used for mining personnel.vertical tunnel used for ore haulage. or large conical sieves. also known as "open-cast mining" (top of page. or hand digging (artisanal mining). shovels. which concentrate the heavier gems at the bottom. Open pit mines are typically used when mineral deposits are found close to the surface or along defined kimberlite pipes. box screens. mechanized surface excavating equipment. eluvial.

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

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

from olivine lamproites formed during the Cretaceous or Permo-Triassic period. Alluvial diamond mining in Angola takes place along a meandering stretch of the Cuango River floodplain which is also along the south-western coastline of Africa. Diamonds that were transported downstream. carried from their primary origination point on the Kaapvaal Craton. in central South Africa and Botswana.Namibia's placer diamond deposits are between 40 and 80 million years old. Westward draining river systems transported these diamonds to Africa's continental coastline for final deposition within on-shore marine terrace gravels. made their way to the sea bed just offshore. Alluvial Terrace Gravels . Diamond Mines of the World: Active Diamond Mines List of Active Diamond Mines All Contents Copyright © 2009 .8 million to 10. Some of the largest and highest gemquality diamonds produced from alluvial placer diamond mining have come from this region. but were not deposited on land.9k and 101.000 years ago). Diamonds in marine areas are typically trapped in bedrock depressions such as gullies. depressions. to a lesser extent. The diamonds within these deposits were transported from deeply-eroded diamondiferous kimberlites or. channels or other trapsites for diamondiferous deposits. including Angola's two largest diamonds at 105.8k.Photo: Wiki Diamond-Bearing 'Diamondiferous' Gravel Many of these alluvial diamond deposits occur in Pleistocene and Holocene successions (1. potholes.

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

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

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