All About Gemstones: Diamonds

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

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

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

The 4 Cs of Diamonds: Cut

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

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

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

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

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

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

and a 2 carat diamond is 200 points.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. and the Pear. "Princess" (square outline). a 1/2 carat diamond would be 50 points. When a single piece of jewelry has multiple stones. "Heart. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. The 4 C's of Diamonds: Carat (Weight) The 4 C's Diamond Grading System 1. Cut 2. and with each point being 2 milligrams in weight. 5 Popular fancy cuts include the "Baguette" (bread loaf). As a consumer. the total mass of all diamonds or gemstones is referred to as "Total Carat Weight" or "T. CARAT Balancing Cut and Weight A diamond or gemstone's "Carat" designation is a measurement of both the size and weight of the stone. 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. Clarity 4.007 ounce.W.086 grains) or 0. One "Carat" is a unit of mass that is equal to 0. A carat can also be divided into "points" with one carat being equal to 100 points. Carat 3.2 grams (200 milligrams or 3. "Marquise" or "Navette" (little boat). The "fancy cuts" are generally not held to the same strict standards as Round Brilliants." "Briolette" (a form of Rose cut).C." . a 3/4 carat diamond is 75 points.

as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing. In ancient times. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained.750 30. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a . carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales. a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight.500 15.495 carats and . "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32.600 8. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between . A diamond that has a specified carat weight of . See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison. It is for this reason that an even 1. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place. it must be accurate to the second decimal place. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line. clarity and weight. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat." If the carat weight is shown as ". many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity .000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1.5 carat 2.99 carat diamond for its better price.VS1 Carat Size</ 0.0 carat 1.600 12.5º crown.600 6.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration. or "seed of the carob". A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond. or to buy a 1. girdle and pavilion.0 carat 3.Grade: F Colorless . and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight.10 carat diamond for its better cut. Price Per Carat (2005) . By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry.204 carat.5 carats must have an actual weight of between . Occasionally.504 carats. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor.5 carat 1.195 and . that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York. 40º pavilion.800 6. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions.

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

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

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

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

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

Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms. ultramafic. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" [2]. a refractive index of 2. or "invincible. The name "diamond. and differentiates it from simple graphite. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits. diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation.Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time. phlogopite. with the principle allotrope being graphite.52." which is also known as "adamant." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic. At these depths.044." is derived from the Greek adamas. with a variety of trace minerals. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2. A diamond is a transparent." and "unconquerable. Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km). igneous rock composed of garnet. which resemble a champagne flute. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale." referring to its incredible hardness. ." "untamable. Therefore. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes.42. and pyroxene. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon. and a specific gravity of 3.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine. olivine.200 degrees Celsius). Under the continental crust. 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. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical.

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

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

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

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

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

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

and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness [9].90 carats. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities.com) The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner. Green diamonds can range from $35.000 in 1987. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. pure green hues.000 to $500. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. or a combination of the two. .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).000 per carat. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. and the De Young Red weighing 5.03 carats. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926.95carats. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant. and weighed a modest 0. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation. The color change effect is temporary. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa. Intense. Warren Hancock.com) Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems. greyish-green. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds.' discovered during the 18th century. On thing is certain.

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

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

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

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

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

.

.

.

Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.

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

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

.

.

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

Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .

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

.

.

Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .

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

Garnet Inclusions within Diamond .

.

.

.

.

Garnet fragment on Diamond Girdle .

Grossularite Garnet Inclusions in Diamond .

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

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

.

Internal Graining with Cloud Inclusion .

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

.

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

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

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

.

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

Natural Comet Inclusion .

Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud .

Tabular Reflection in Diamond .

Included Garnet Twins within Diamond .

Included Dalmatian Garnet .

Cloud Inclusion .

Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers .

Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light .

Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion .

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

.

.

.

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

.

.

.

.

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.Lizard Skin A bumpy or wavy 'orange-peel' textured pattern on the polished surface of a diamond.

.

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

. 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. Surface Graining (SGr) Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation.

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

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

.

.

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

Laser Etching or Markings Careless or inadvertent laser etchings. Laser Etching Photos Diamond Laser Etching Inscription Photography Laser etching inclusions are surface blemishes and imperfections that are created when careless or inadvertent markings or inscriptions are made while laser etching. or inscribing the external surface of a cut diamond. . and inscriptions. markings. marking.

.

.

.

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

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

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

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

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

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

while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease. Natural diamonds attract grease.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. The 1. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. Due to their low cost and consistency.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator. CZ vs Diamond .2. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below). or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce. CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds. and CZs can be made in any "color grade.17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2. . CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1. Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond. 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.In 1973. but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye. Diamond's RI is 2. natural diamond is a thermal conductor Weight: Cubic Zirconia is heavier than diamond in a given size Another method for distinguishing Cubic Zirconia from diamond is to mark the stone with a grease pencil or felt-tipped pen. or colorless (white) versions. Once the mixture has cooled.) in a totally dark room. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting. 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. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond . the greater dispersive power. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light.80 to 2.170. a CZ is optically flawless.800 .41 (RI). You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR). Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left). Zirconium oxide powder is heated. etc. Unlike most natural diamonds. candle. The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible. For instance.

Moissanite. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting.com Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum).417. center) near Winslow. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. found only in iron-nickel meteorites. Henri Moissan (above. while diamond has a hardness of 10. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond.25 on the Mohs scale. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible.670. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. when examining the gem through the kite facets. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. . 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. and diamond at 0. Moissanite has an RI of 2. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. is classified as an element rather than a compound. 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.A small.) in a dark room. Arizona. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused.044.060.104 as compared to CZ at 0. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. Moissanite has a hardness of 9. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent.69. etc. candle. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight.65 to 2.

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

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

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

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

5% to 43.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. Tolkowsky." (Scandinavian standard. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design.N. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish.N.7%. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. .5%. and crown/pavilion angles. more brilliance and fire. very small to small In the 1970s. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant".. Symmetry. Since then.7%. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor).5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42. As with all human endeavors. Ideal Scope. etc. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts. A perfect blending of facet symmetry. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%. and Proportions. facet ratios. crown height of 14. To quantify a diamond's cut quality. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57. The "Scan D. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. invented in 1929. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope.6% and overall height of 57.4%.' 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. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios. H&A Viewer. crown height of 14. Eppler & Scan D. and overall height of 57.

Every conceivable cutting theory is tried.106 carat Cullinan Diamond into eleven gem stones. etc. and entrepreneurs .the consumer. cut corners and a small table. One thing is for sure . www.like Einstein's theory of relativity. cut proportions. (more facets.each trying to improve on the tried-and-true Old European cuts. The cut has a deep pavilion and a high crown. scientists. Here is a collection of just a few of the many "signature" diamond cuts that have been produced over the last 100 years. or the widely marketed Leo cut which is a modified round-brilliant sold by Leo Schachter Diamonds. it is put in front of the ultimate arbiter of quality . but at the end of the day it may simply come down to consumer preference and/or marketing. but some like the Barion Cut have disappeared into obscurity.nl Barion Cut . Asscher Cut The Asscher Cut was developed by Abraham and Joseph Asscher of the Royal Asscher Diamond Company of Amsterdam in 1902.asscher. Some have gone on to become household names such as the Asscher cut. the Asscher diamond cut has a squarish octagonal shape with a step cut.Producers split hairs over cut angle. mathematicians. Popular in Art Deco jewelry of the period. and it still survives in some form today.) and when suitably scrutinized by the gem trade. and their modest brilliance and light return. with the two largest stones. the Cullinan 1 and Cullinan 2 being set into the crown and sceptre of the British Crown Jewels. The Asscher brothers cut the famous 3. Tolkowsky came up with a "brilliant" idea almost 90 years ago. 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. and the culet is square. less facets. and number of facets.

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

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

It was the first emerald shaped diamond cut to have brilliance and fire similar to that of a round brilliant diamond. eternity bands. The Lucida diamond cut is marketed as a wedding cut." The Leo Diamond is marketed through the Kay Jeweler chain. the Radiant Cut became a fully accepted diamond shape in the jewelry business. RCDC launched the 'Original Radiant Cut' diamond brand In 2002. The Lucida is sold exclusively through Tiffany's retail chain. a highstep crown (similar to the Asscher Cut). There are a total of 49 facets.' and each diamond comes with a "Return of Light Certificate. www. Bez Ambar Radiant Cut The Radiant Cut is a modified emerald cut shape that was developed. The Lucida diamond cut is a modified square or rectangular (Marquise) cut with truncated corners. and three-stone rings.radiantcut. and a total of has 50 facets. sold in solitaire engagement/wedding bands. The pavilion is similar to a Barion cut. There are 25 crown facets and 36 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets (not including 8 girdle facets).com Starburst Cut . www. Upon the expiration of the patent.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. square shaped diamonds were stepcut limiting their brilliance. patented and trademarked by Henry Grossbard of the Radiant Cut Diamond Company (RCDC) in 1977. small table.tiffany. www.70 carats and come with a GIA Certificate and an "Original Radiant Cut Diamond Certificate" guarantying that the stone meets the ideal proportions as designed by Henry Grossbard. and all Original Radiant Cut diamonds weigh at least 0. and the table is a bowed out rectangle.diamondaires.com Lucida Cut The Lucida (TM) Cut is a patented diamond cut that was created by Tiffany & Company in 1999. and was patented and trademarked by Bez Ambar Jewelers of Los Angeles in 1980. Prior to the Quadrillion. The Quadrillion was the result of three years of optical research to create a square diamond cut that can claim a similar brilliance to a round diamond.The Leo diamond cut is the first to be certified for fire and brilliance as measured by a 'BrillianceScope. brilliant-style faceted pavilion (similar to a Cushion Cut).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Domain Laurence Graff Laurence Graff (1938—) is a DeBeers sightholder. which are now owned by Lev Leviev. and has satellite locations in Wafi City. Raised by his grandparents. Using this model of "local control. formed by Decree 158C of the Russian Federation. Graff's net worth is estimated at 2." the Leviev Group has found willing partners in several countries including Angola's ASCORP after De Beers' exit in 2001. with his wife and their nine children. and the largest rough unearthed in this century. By circumventing the De Beers supply chain. selling to the rich and famous from Elizabeth Taylor and Donald Trump. Tretiakovsky Proezd in Moscow. 2006 at the Letseng diamond mine in the tiny Kingdom of Lesotho in the center of the Republic of South Africa. Photo: Pub. and on board the luxury residential ship The World ResidenSea. founder of the House of Graff in the heart of London's posh New Bond Street. Graff has been dubbed the "king of diamonds. a DeBeers sightholder in Johannesburg. Lev Leviev has formed a partnership with the ex Soviet state-owned diamond firm. It will ultimately be cut into an estimated 20 or so 'D-flawless' stones ranging from 75 carats to 1 carat in size. Graff's strategy of "vertically integration" has been to control every angle of the diamond pipeline. Russia. to purchasing a 51% stake in Safdico (South African Diamond Corp. Lev Leviev lives in B'nei Brak. Laurence Graff was born into a Jewish orthodox family in London's poorer 'East End' district. to Larry Ellison. Hotel de Paris' salon privé in Paris. which gives him access to some of the finest uncut diamonds coming out of South Africa. All House of Graff stones have a laser-inscribed girdle with the 'Graff' logo and GIA number. One of his most notable acquisitions was the 603 carat "Lesotho Promise diamond. New York's Madison Avenue. ALROSA produces 100% of Russia's rough diamond output and approximately 20% of the world's rough diamonds [9]. House of Graff is also located on London's Sloane Street.com Gujarat's Indian Diamantaires . Alrosa now sells direct to cutting factories throughout Russia.5 billion (#278 Forbes List). Leviev's net-worth is estimated at $2.5 billion dollars [28]. Lesotho Promise is the 15th largest diamond ever found.state. Monte Carlo." and the "king of bling" by Forbes magazine [28].)." a compendium and history of his most famous jewels. The Hindustani Diamond Cutters Photo: dnavin. found on August 22. Graff has co-authored (with Vanessa von Zitzewitz) "The Most Fabulous Jewels in the World. Israel. now called ALROSA (Almazy-Rossii-Sakha) [7]. Dubai. from wholesale and retail. and one of the most successful diamond merchants in modern history. Mr. in 1992.

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

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

" by Jean Schlumberger in the 1960s.' During the 1800s. N. In 1948 the famous "A diamond is forever" slogan was introduced. the public's tolerance towards nobility was at a low point. Jule Styne (born Julius Kerwin Stein) was born in London." was the co-founder of Tiffany & Co. located at 259 Broadway. The stone was cut in Paris. Ayer in 1938. for resale in America. A 19. Harry Frederick Oppenheimer enlisted the help of N. Photo: Pub. Charles Tiffany. producing the 128.' The stone was set into a garish jewelry piece called "Bird on a Rock. .' brand was catapulted into the stratosphere by the 1961 movie 'Breakfast at Tiffany's. Prince Esterhazy of Hungary. De Beers president.' staring Audrey Hepburn.' which was adapted to film in 1953. Photo: Pub. One of Tiffany's most notable diamond acquisitions was a 287. and the subsequent overthrowing of King Louis-Philippe of France in 1848. Tiffany was able to purchase significant gems from such renowned estates as: the 'jewel-mad' Duke of Brunswick. The 'Tiffany & Co. The movie version featured Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend."A diamond is forever" is the legendary saying that was created by America's first advertising agency. specializing in one-of-a-kind baubles for New York's newly-minted industrialists and 'robber-barons." after here charecter. aka "the King of Diamonds. The Tiffany is still selling luxury jewelry in their trademarked 'Tiffany Blue Box.W. After attending Chicago Musical College.42 carat rough flawless-yellow diamond from the 'Compagnie Français de Diamant du Cap' (Kimberley mine) in 1877. Lorelei receives a diamond tiara from her suitor. was originally a 'fancy goods' emporium. the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine. Styne moved to Hollywood where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn. and Tiffany seized on the opportunity. Sir Francis "Piggy" Beekman. who was known for his jewelry expertise. De Beers and the diamond industry got another shot in the arm. 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. With financial shockwaves caused by the French economy's collapse in 1847.54 carat 'The Tiffany Diamond. which started out as 'Tiffany & Young' of New York City in 1837. the values of ostentatious gems and jewelry dropped precipitously. Jule Styne. and a series of diamond-related slogans were introduced into the American lexicon. Tiffany & Young. Ayer & Son.' at the flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. The Great Depression had taken a heavy toll on luxury goods during the 1930s. and the diamond industry was particularly hard hit. Styne wrote the score for the 1949 Broadway musical 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.W. and featuring the memorable scene in which Holly gazes longingly into Tiffany's window display.72 carat cushion-cut diamond (one of the "Diamonds of Golconda") was mounted by Tiffany. and from the Spanish Crown Jewels [27]. Domain Charles Lewis Tiffany Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812—1902). and sold to Nanaline Duke (now in the Doris Duke Collection). this time from playwriter. purchased diamonds. After the French revolution in 1799.

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

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

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

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

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

0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light . all measured in three spacial dimensions.3.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light .5 to 4. and individual facet ratios. AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering. where facets intersect with each-other.5.0 to 1. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless .5 to 3. 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. the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles.0 to 7.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint . in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above). relative facet angles. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram.7. .AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero." 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.1. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless ." or "ideal" rating. 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.

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

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

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

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

channels or other trapsites for diamondiferous deposits.Namibia's placer diamond deposits are between 40 and 80 million years old. Diamonds in marine areas are typically trapped in bedrock depressions such as gullies. to a lesser extent.8 million to 10.9k and 101. Diamonds that were transported downstream. The diamonds within these deposits were transported from deeply-eroded diamondiferous kimberlites or. including Angola's two largest diamonds at 105.8k. Diamond Mines of the World: Active Diamond Mines List of Active Diamond Mines All Contents Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.Photo: Wiki Diamond-Bearing 'Diamondiferous' Gravel Many of these alluvial diamond deposits occur in Pleistocene and Holocene successions (1. 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.com . depressions. carried from their primary origination point on the Kaapvaal Craton. in central South Africa and Botswana. from olivine lamproites formed during the Cretaceous or Permo-Triassic period. Westward draining river systems transported these diamonds to Africa's continental coastline for final deposition within on-shore marine terrace gravels. but were not deposited on land. potholes. made their way to the sea bed just offshore. Alluvial Terrace Gravels . Some of the largest and highest gemquality diamonds produced from alluvial placer diamond mining have come from this region.000 years ago).

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

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

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful