All About Gemstones: Diamonds

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

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

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

The 4 Cs of Diamonds: Cut

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

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

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

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

The crown will have 33 facets. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. and the pavillion will have 25 facets. A poorly cut diamond with facets cut just a few degrees from the optimal ratio will result in a stone that lacks gemmy quality because the "brilliance" and "fire" of a diamond largely depends on the angle of the facets in relation to each other. Common cutting problems can occur during the faceting process. Fig.Good Cut Fair Cut Poor Cut Cut Proportions In the past. or 96 facets which are not counted in the total number of facets (58). 64. Fig.e. pavilion and crown angle) and did not provide a subjective ranking of how good the cut was. 80. This can also result in the undesirable creation of extra facets beyond the required 58. 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. 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. 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. 3 . the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. 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 chart below shows several common problems to look for. Other variations of the "Modern Round Brilliant" include the "Ideal Brilliant" which was invented by Johnson and Roesch in 1929. All of that has changed with the AGS Cut Grading system and GIA's new "Cut Grading System". Poor Diamond Faceting and Symmetry Due to the mathmatics involved in light refraction. a Round Brilliant cut that does not have the proper proportions and symmetry (off-make) will have noticeably less brilliance.

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

Therefor. your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the "4 C's" diamond grading system. The "fancy cuts" are generally not held to the same strict standards as Round Brilliants. 5 Popular fancy cuts include the "Baguette" (bread loaf). Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics. "Heart. One "Carat" is a unit of mass that is equal to 0. a 1/2 carat diamond would be 50 points. A carat can also be divided into "points" with one carat being equal to 100 points." "Briolette" (a form of Rose cut). CARAT Balancing Cut and Weight A diamond or gemstone's "Carat" designation is a measurement of both the size and weight of the stone. the total mass of all diamonds or gemstones is referred to as "Total Carat Weight" or "T. The 4 C's of Diamonds: Carat (Weight) The 4 C's Diamond Grading System 1. When a single piece of jewelry has multiple stones.086 grains) or 0.007 ounce. and the Pear." .W. a 3/4 carat diamond is 75 points. Cut 2. and a 2 carat diamond is 200 points.Heart Marquise Oval Pear Princess Radiant Round Trillion (not shown at diagram) Fig. As a consumer. Color Carat weight is one of the 4 C's. "Marquise" or "Navette" (little boat). and with each point being 2 milligrams in weight. Carat 3.C. "Princess" (square outline).2 grams (200 milligrams or 3. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. Clarity 4.

or "seed of the carob". This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only.99 carat diamond for its better price.10 carat diamond for its better cut. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor.VS1 Carat Size</ 0.504 carats. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut.5 carat 2. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above. or to buy a 1. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. clarity and weight.5 carat 1.500 15.600 6." If the carat weight is shown as ". carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales.0 carat 3.0 carat 1. In ancient times. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between . girdle and pavilion.600 12.5 carats must have an actual weight of between . Occasionally. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity .600 8. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry.204 carat. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone. Price Per Carat (2005) . that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration.Grade: F Colorless .195 and . Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a . It is for this reason that an even 1.800 6.5º crown. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of . See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison. a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained.495 carats and . it must be accurate to the second decimal place. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing.750 30. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place. 40º pavilion.

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

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

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

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

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

which resemble a champagne flute." is derived from the Greek adamas." "untamable." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine. Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth. a refractive index of 2. with a variety of trace minerals.200 degrees Celsius). Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures. The name "diamond. phlogopite. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" [2]. with the principle allotrope being graphite.52. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2. diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation. 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." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic. 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). and differentiates it from simple graphite." referring to its incredible hardness. or "invincible. Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness. ultramafic. Under the continental crust. At these depths. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon." which is also known as "adamant. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms. A diamond is a transparent. olivine. .Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time." and "unconquerable. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0. Therefore. igneous rock composed of garnet. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe. and a specific gravity of 3.42.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits.044. and pyroxene. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Warren Hancock.95carats. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color.03 carats.000 to $500. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red. On thing is The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. Green diamonds can range from $35.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil.Green Chameleon Diamonds Fancy Pink Diamond Color Grading Chameleon diamonds can be forced to temporarily change to a yellowish-green color by exposing them to heat (150º C to 250º C). and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat. and the De Young Red weighing 5. . There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond. The color change effect is temporary. Intense.' discovered during the 18th century. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems.000 per carat. greyish-green. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities. or a combination of the two.000 in 1987. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa. pure green hues.90 carats. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness [9]. and weighed a modest 0.

. Joe Vanells. Inclusions which are visible to the naked eye are referred to as piquŽ. Nevada. and so-called "piquŽ diamonds" fall into the GIA grading range of I1 to I3 (CIBJO grade P1 to P3). 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. or human caused. making the stone appear Enhanced Blue & Yellow Diamonds (© AfricaGems." These inclusions can occur within the stone. F grades. This section contains a compendium of photography depicting all of the various types of diamond inclusions—both naturally occurring. or absence of tiny imperfections known as "inclusions. All of the microscopic inclusion photographs on this page were generously contributed by the A. representing the four main variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond.L. Diamond Inclusion Library: Inclusion Photos Over 100 High-Resolution Diamond Photos! All Contents: Copyright © 2010 AllAboutGemstones. and beautifully photographed by their Director of Gem Fancy Colored Synthetic Diamonds Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless D. and can be naturally occuring. 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.Reddish Brown Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. The term "clarity" refers to the Clarity is one of the Four C's of diamond grading. or on the surface of the cut stone. gemological testing laboratory in Las Vegas.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). E. and man-made imperfections—that can be found in raw and cut diamonds.

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

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

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

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




Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.

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



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

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



waviness. . 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.Grain Center (GrCnt) A concentrated area of crystal growth that can appear light or dark.

Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .

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



Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .

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

Garnet Inclusions within Diamond .





Garnet fragment on Diamond Girdle .

Grossularite Garnet Inclusions in Diamond .

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

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


Internal Graining with Cloud Inclusion .

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


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

resulting from crystal twining during the growth process. 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.Twinning Wisps Inclusions and defects resulting from crystal-twining during crystal growth. 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). Knot diamond inclusions can potentially be the cause of man-made drag-line inclusions.Natural External Diamond Inclusions or Blemishes Knots An inclusion that penetrates the surface. appearing as a raised area on the diamond's surface. . 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.





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


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.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.

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

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

Burn Marks Created during polishing. or caught by a included crystal. Chips Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet. during cutting and/or polishing the diamond. 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. or when abrasive material is caught by an included crystal such as garnet during the polishing of a diamond. Cavities (Cv) An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing. the overheating of a facet causes a burn mark. .



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

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




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

There are also heating treatments to improve a white diamond's color grade. in accordance with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines for the gem trade. polished natural diamonds. Such diamonds are sometimes then branded as "fracture filled diamonds. altered. These techniques do not eliminate the imperfection. 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. .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.© 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. Unfilled Fractures around Garnet Inclusion . 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.© AGS Lab Telltale Signs of Fracture Filling . but not necessarily increase its value." Reputable filling companies will always use filling agents which show an orange or pink flash of color when viewed under a microscope with certain controlled lighting conditions. or treatments to give a fancy color to a off-white diamond. A trained gemologist should be able to identify most traditional "enhancements" made to a particular stone.

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

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

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

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

CZ vs Diamond . but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye. 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. Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond. etc. Unlike most natural diamonds.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease. Zirconium oxide powder is heated.170. Once the mixture has cooled. 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. a CZ is optically flawless. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below). you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight. candle.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. Natural diamonds attract grease." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR).2.In 1973.) in a totally dark room.17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2. 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. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting. Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored. For instance. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond . then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible. the greater dispersive power.80 to 2.800 . Due to their low cost and consistency. The 1. and CZs can be made in any "color grade. . The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit.41 (RI). or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond. or colorless (white) versions. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left). CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds.Detectable to the Naked Eye Light Dispersion: Greater prismatic effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire Lack of Flaws: CZ is virtually flawless. CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce. Diamond's RI is 2. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing.

Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite.69.104 as compared to CZ at 0.044. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond. Moissanite has an RI of 2. when examining the gem through the kite facets. and diamond at 0. Moissanite. etc. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. found only in iron-nickel meteorites. 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. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight.670.) in a dark room. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. candle.417. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. center) near Winslow. Moissanite has a hardness of 9. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. is classified as an element rather than a compound. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting.65 to 2. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0. . The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material.060. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998.25 on the Mohs scale. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. Arizona. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. Henri Moissan (above. 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 doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). while diamond has a hardness of 10.A small. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent.

only a diamond is hard enough to cut other diamonds. creating the "Table Cut. Diamond cutting can be traced back to the late Middle Ages. most diamonds have some inclusions Moissanite vs Diamond . Diamond's RI is 2. detailed and sharply focused pattern caused by secondary reflections will be seen when observing a diamond." At the time. Prior to this time. one half of the crystal would be cut off. although it can be easily cleaved or fractured due to its defined cleavage planes. due to its high refractive index.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. Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be more diffused. Table Cut diamonds appeared black to the eye. diamonds were used in their natural octahedral state. A similarly sharp. The Modern Round Brilliant cut (below) is the culmination of several hundred years of experimentation and development. Cutting a Rough Diamond . diamond is singly refractive Refractive Index: Moissanite has a refractive index of 2.670. The first improvements on nature's design involved a polishing of the crystal faces.Detectable With Testing Double Refraction: Moissanite is double refractive.417 Moissanite is double refractive (anisotropic) while a natural diamond is singly refractive (isotropic). caused by primary reflections from the pavilion and CZ's low RI. but significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its high RI." As further refinement progressed." and the rough stone must be cut with the grain. You can also Inspect the facet edges with a 10x loupe to look for any chipping or slightly rounded or soft (not sharp) edges that are telltale signs of Simulants. Diamonds: Modern Diamond Cutting Diamond Cutting Background One of the hardest substances on earth. rather than against it.A small. Like wood. diamond has a "grain. Moissanite vs Diamond . which was called the "Point Cut. diamonds were valued primarily for their luster and hardness.

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

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

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

The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect.5% to 43. etc. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. As with all human endeavors. facet ratios. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed." (Scandinavian standard. crown height of 14.N.6% and overall height of 57. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios. Tolkowsky. and overall height of 57. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace.5%.N. The "Scan D. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish.. . and crown/pavilion angles. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design. very small to small In the 1970s. crown height of 14. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant". Ideal Scope. H&A Viewer. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope.4%.7%. Symmetry. more brilliance and fire. A perfect blending of facet symmetry. and Proportions. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). Since then.7%. invented in 1929.' 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.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35. Eppler & Scan D. To quantify a diamond's cut quality.

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

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

The Zinnia is a round fancy shape with 73 facets. www. that is suited to a relatively flat rough. angular shapes.gabriellediamonds. oval. and pear shapes. is a patented symmetrical round cut created by Leo Schachter Diamonds. The Flower Cuts employ unconventional cutting angles and dimensions. Fire-Rose. and the cut was named after the Flanders region of Belgium (Antwerp) where the cut was first preformed in 1987. The Flower Cuts were never patented or trademarked by De Beers in order to increase their popularity and Leo Cut The Leo® Diamond. heart. off-color stones. the Gabrielle Cut is available in carre. which is 47 more than a traditional 'Tolkowsky' round brilliant cut. designed to maximize the brilliance and color of diamonds while increasing their yield. who was commissioned by De Beers to create new cuts as a way of marketing unusual.Flanders Brilliant Cut The Flanders Brilliant Cut (aka Fire Brilliant) is a modified Radiant or Princess cut with truncated corners that form an octagon with brilliant faceting. The Gabrielle Diamond The Gabrielle® Cut is a modified brilliant cut (triple brilliant cut) that was created by DeBeers desinger/consultant Gabriel Tolkowsky in 2000. Marigold. LLC.nationaldiamond. the Gabrielle has a total of 105 facets. The Marigold is an octagon shape with 73 facets. marquise. . 48 of which are clustered around the culet to increase fire. The Sunflower has 43 facets in unusual. The Leo diamond cut has a total of 66 facets. The Flanders Fire-Brilliant was developed by Flanders Cut International of Antwerp in 1983. adding greater brilliance and fire than standard brilliant cuts. (aka Leo Schachter Diamond).com www. Other than the traditional round brilliant shape. Flower Cut The 'Flower Cut' series was created by Gabi Tolkowsky in 1986. The Flanders Brilliant has 33 crown facets and 28 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets. The cut is distributed by the National Diamond Syndicate (NDS) of Chicago. The Dahlia is a 12 sided oval shape with 63 facets. Sunflower and Zinnia cut. The Fire-Rose is a hexagonal shape designed to produce higher yields. 8 more facets than the Round Brilliant cut's 58. www. The Flower Cut is actually a series of five fancy cut shapes: the Dahlia. Unveiled at the Las Vegas Gem Show in 2001. maximizing the amount of light returned back as scintillation.flanders-cuts.

www. The Lucida diamond cut is a modified square or rectangular (Marquise) cut with truncated corners. Prior to the Quadrillion. patented and trademarked by Henry Grossbard of the Radiant Cut Diamond Company (RCDC) in 1977. RCDC launched the 'Original Radiant Cut' diamond brand In 2002.radiantcut. sold in solitaire engagement/wedding bands. brilliant-style faceted pavilion (similar to a Cushion Cut). the Radiant Cut became a fully accepted diamond shape in the jewelry business. Bez Ambar Radiant Cut The Radiant Cut is a modified emerald cut shape that was developed. There are 25 crown facets and 36 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets (not including 8 girdle facets).diamondaires. Upon the expiration of the patent. It was the first emerald shaped diamond cut to have brilliance and fire similar to that of a round brilliant diamond. square shaped diamonds were stepcut limiting their brilliance. and a total of has 50 facets. small table. eternity bands. and all Original Radiant Cut diamonds weigh at least Lucida Cut The Lucida (TM) Cut is a patented diamond cut that was created by Tiffany & Company in 1999.' and each diamond comes with a "Return of Light Certificate. 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. The Lucida diamond cut is marketed as a wedding cut." The Leo Diamond is marketed through the Kay Jeweler chain. and three-stone rings. and was patented and trademarked by Bez Ambar Jewelers of Los Angeles in 1980. and the table is a bowed out rectangle. 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. The pavilion is similar to a Barion cut. a highstep crown (similar to the Asscher Cut).com Starburst Cut . www. The Lucida is sold exclusively through Tiffany's retail There are a total of 49 Quadrillion Cut The Quadrillion® Cut (aka Squarillion Cut) is a modified square princess cut that was developed by Israel Itzkowitz and Betzalel Ambar in the late 1970s.

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

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

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

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

China.000. and the breakaway from CSO's cartel by the Argyle Diamond Mine in Australia. De Beers is also facing increasing pressure from the manufactures of synthetic diamonds. .De Beers Sightholders The DTC holds a sale called a "site" or "sight" ten times per year in London and Johannesburg. Both traders and manufacturers may sell diamonds "upstream" and "downstream" through the diamond pipeline [8].com website). De Beers. The sightholder then transports the box of rough diamonds back to diamantaire firms (cutting and polishing factories) located around the world (#4). De Beers and the Future De Beers' (CSO's) control over the wholesale diamond market has diminished due to increased market penetration. and retailers [5]. to take advantage of market fluctuations. The diamonds are then re-sold from the cutting and polishing (manufacturing) centers to wholesalers (Diamond Bourses). determining the quantity and quality that each site-holder will receive. A 'sight' can have a value of between $500.000 to $2. Russia and elswhere. which are increasing in popularity and consumer acceptance. As a reaction to their decrease in market share. Other major cutting centers are located in Johannesburg.000 USD. and independent diamond producers in Canada. while large stones are primarily cut in Antwerp. Ramat Gan. or to jewelry manufacturers (#5) around the world. where De Beers sells the "boxes" to its select group ("supplier of choice") of 125 "sightholders" (#3) or diamond manufacturers. Rough diamonds are cut in various geographic regions according to tradition and the skill-sets of the labor force. Many Sightholders are also cutters. cutters. Tel Aviv. reclaiming their "A Diamond Is Forever" moniker. and Thailand. (see DeBeers' Adiamondisforever. has launched an aggressive branding and marketing campaign.20 carats or less) in Mumbai (Bombay) and Surat. and New York. they are sold to retailers or direct to the customer. De Beers (DTC) sets the price of each box in advance. India cuts the vast majority of small stones (. through their Diamond Promotion Service (DPS) and Diamond Information Centres (DIC) marketing divisions. diamonds have underperformed since 1987 when compared to the "luxury goods" market or global GDP. Once the diamonds are set into jewelry. Additionally.

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

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

' 'Gauteng. but 3000 Zulus were killed in what became known as the 'Battle of Blood River. and Limpopo (Venetia Diamond Mine). with 10.000 Zulu warriors attacking 470 Boer settlers.The HRD (Hoge Raad voor Diamant) Diamond High Council is a non-profit industry organization designed to promote and represent the Antwerp diamond trade. The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates [9]. There was not a single Boer fatality. The Diamond Trade: History & Culture of the Key Players Article Copyright © 2006 AllAboutGemstones. The First Boer War (1880—1881) began with the Transvaal (Limpopo) Boers declaring independence from Great Britain. there was a mass exodus (the Great Trek) northward to 'Northern Cape. and fully annexed the Cape Colony in 1806 [24]. who were in search of the "quiet sweet life. and this eventually lead to all-out war. 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." Three of South Africa's richest diamond mines are in Northern Cape (Kimberley Diamond Mine). Afrikaners who participated in the migration northward became known as the 'Trekboer' or Voortrekkers. The Boers resisted British encroachments into their territory until the Second 'Anglo' Boer War (1899— 1902).' After the devastating Zulu defeat. or German Protestant backgrounds. Diamonds and the British The Second Wave of Europeans Needing a stopping-off point on the sea-route to Australia and India. The Voortrekkers had to contend with the native Zulu tribe over land they wished to settle on.' and the 'Orange Free State' provinces to escape hostilities with the native 'Xhosa tribe' from which Nelson Mandela decended. most with Dutch Calvinist. ending with the inclusion of all Boer territories into British colonies. Afrikaners (aka Boers or farmers) were religious refugees from the Netherlands and other parts of northern Europe during the mid 1600s to late 1700s.' During the 1830s and 1840s. England seized the Cape of Good Hope from the Dutch East India Company in 1797. coming for . which at the time was administered by the 'Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie' or 'Dutch East India Company. They settled in the 'Cape of Good Hope' on Africa's southern most tip. Flemish. This led to a new wave of emigrants and adventurer-seekers from England.' 'Limpopo. Gauteng (Premier 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. under the Treaty of Vereeniging. The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base.

. Domain Cecil Rhodes Cecil Rhodes (1853—1902) is the undisputed father of the modern diamond industry. and in 1910 the 'Union of South Africa' was created. he began his business interests in South Africa by servicing the "ant hill" of humanity that was descending on Kimberley during the diamond rush of the late 1800s." In 1906. 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. Cullinan . no heirs to his empire. A. self-government was restored. De Beer. diamond speculator and fellow Englishman named Barney Barnato (1852—1897) was buying up pieces of the Big Hole in Kimberley to form the Kimberley Central Mine.. Barnato was given appointed to 'life governor' and temporary controlling interest in De Beers [6]. N. With the help of the Rothschild bank in London. Rhodes started out selling ice cream to the diamond-diggers and service workers. The African nation of Rhodesia was named after him (now the Republic of Zimbabwe).the "mineral revolution. In exchange. One of the richest men in the world. Photo: Pub. D. and J. and later selling steam-powered water pumps to drain the open-pit mines of Kimberley. Rhodes made several aborted attempt to gain control over Barnato's interest in Kimberley Central Mine. Photo: Pub. Amid all of this turmoil and chaos.' Cecil Rhodes died a single man with no children and. a prospector. he was able to build a monopolistic empire through skill and cunning. De Beers and Kimberley Central were the two largest mining interests in South Africa at the time. Cecil Rhodes' De Beers empire was started on a farm owned by two Boer settlers and brothers. mysteriously falling overboard on a ship passage back to England. in Northern Cape. Domain Thomas M. As a young lad from England. but was eventually successful in convincing Barnato to merge with De Beers. Barnato died several years later. Photo: Pub. although Rhodes did not start out with an interest in diamonds. Domain Barney Barnato During the same period that Cecil Rhodes was building De Beers Consolidated Mines. a curious discovery was being made along the banks of the Orange River. As founder of De Beers.

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

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

the Indians would not be giving up their rightful heritage as diamantaires. to elevate quality standards. and Shah. Of the $26 billion per year diamond revenues that flow through Antwerp. Mehta. Shree Ramkrishna Exports. the Hindustan Diamond Company Ltd. improve perceptions. Venus Jewels. Mumbai. Much of India's diamond trade is controlled by a handful of wealthy families in Gujarat. India (born 1949). The Sanskrit word for 'diamond' was vajra. Photo: rosyblue. displacing the Hasidim as the dominant force in the industry [14]. and were written about in an ancient Sanskrit manuscript called the "The Lesson of Profit" Arthasastra (c." The Bharat Diamond Bourse in Mumbai. Companies like Bhavani Gems. is the newest addition to India's arsenal of global marketing tools to promote exports. This vast fortune is shared by some 300 to 500 Gujaratis families from Palanpur on the GujaratRajasthan border [15]. The Indian communities' share has grown to around 60%.Diamonds made their first reluctant appearance in human history over 2400 years ago. heighten awareness of ethical business practices. and is currently a Senior Partner and head of the UAE division. from Hong Kong to Israel. 320 BC) by Kautiliya. with diamond cutting factories located in Borivali. polishes. Gujarat. and exports several billion dollars worth of gems per Dilip Mehta Indian diamantaire. they were able to gain an increasingly larger share of the wholesale diamond trade. is the CEO of the 'Rosy Blue Group' which is currently one of the world's largest diamond companies. The brothers. Dilip Mehta of Mumbai. (HDC). are headed and staffed by Mehta family members. universal truths. with $1. D. By slowly developing markets. .7 billion in annual sales [17]. Navinchandra & Co (board of directors . and Vijaydimon are family owned operations run by Jains with the common surnames of Jhavari. and to develop an "understanding of the world market. Gitanjali Gems is one of the largest manufacturers of diamonds and diamond jewelry in India. a minister to the Indian king. Suresh & Co.above)." The Indians would go on to enjoy a singular reign over the diamond-rich dominion—known as Hindustan—for another two thousand years. and Surat's 'Special Economic Zone' [12]. M. Harshad Mehta ("Diamond King of the world") is one of the founders of Rosy Blue. Gitanjali Gems. and the DTC has demonstrated Gujarat's power in the diamond cutting/polishing arena by increasing India's take of its 125 sightholder contracts to nearly 50 in 2006. and De Beers India. It is estimated that India cuts. Chandragupta. propelling their twin companies. both college dropouts. and although India's famous "Diamonds of Golconda" were mined-out hundreds of years ago. Jainism is an ancient Indian religious sect believing in the 'Jain' philosophy. started out thirty years ago by purchasing cheaper stones that the Dutch Hasidim. and Israelis didn't want to work with [19]. or "thunderbolt. The Indo Argyle Diamond Council (IADC) formed in 1994 as a consortium of Indian jewelry manufacturers and cutting houses. Sanghavi Exports. Domain Bharat & Vijay Shah Bharat and Vijay Shah came from a family of jewelers going back three generations. Several other divisions of the Rosy Blue Group. based upon eternal. Photo: Pub.

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

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. and Tiffany seized on the opportunity. After attending Chicago Musical College. The 'Tiffany & Co. The Great Depression had taken a heavy toll on luxury goods during the 1930s.' During the 1800s. Tiffany & Young. The stone was cut in Paris. After the French revolution in 1799." by Jean Schlumberger in the 1960s. specializing in one-of-a-kind baubles for New York's newly-minted industrialists and 'robber-barons."A diamond is forever" is the legendary saying that was created by America's first advertising agency. De Beers president. producing the 128.72 carat cushion-cut diamond (one of the "Diamonds of Golconda") was mounted by Tiffany. this time from playwriter. and a series of diamond-related slogans were introduced into the American lexicon. Photo: Pub. and sold to Nanaline Duke (now in the Doris Duke Collection). who was known for his jewelry expertise. and the diamond industry was particularly hard hit." was the co-founder of Tiffany & Co. Tiffany was able to purchase significant gems from such renowned estates as: the 'jewel-mad' Duke of Brunswick. was originally a 'fancy goods' emporium. In 1948 the famous "A diamond is forever" slogan was introduced. aka "the King of Diamonds. and from the Spanish Crown Jewels [27]. The Tiffany is still selling luxury jewelry in their trademarked 'Tiffany Blue Box. Ayer in 1938. De Beers and the diamond industry got another shot in the arm.' staring Audrey Hepburn.W. and featuring the memorable scene in which Holly gazes longingly into Tiffany's window display. With financial shockwaves caused by the French economy's collapse in 1847. which started out as 'Tiffany & Young' of New York City in 1837.' brand was catapulted into the stratosphere by the 1961 movie 'Breakfast at Tiffany's. for resale in America. Harry Frederick Oppenheimer enlisted the help of N.' which was adapted to film in 1953. Ayer & Son. gems and jewelry from the estates of the European aristocracy. N. . A 19. One of Tiffany's most notable diamond acquisitions was a 287. the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine. Jule Styne.W. Prince Esterhazy of Hungary. Charles Tiffany. Domain Charles Lewis Tiffany Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812—1902). Domain Hollywood in 1949 Coming just on the heels of the immortal "a diamond is forever" campaign." after here charecter. Jule Styne (born Julius Kerwin Stein) was born in London.' at the flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. Photo: Pub. located at 259 Broadway. and the subsequent overthrowing of King Louis-Philippe of France in 1848. Styne wrote the score for the 1949 Broadway musical 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.54 carat 'The Tiffany Diamond.' The stone was set into a garish jewelry piece called "Bird on a Rock. The movie version featured Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend. the values of ostentatious gems and jewelry dropped precipitously. the public's tolerance towards nobility was at a low point. Styne moved to Hollywood where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn. purchased diamonds. Sir Francis "Piggy" Beekman.

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

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

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

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

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

the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible.3." or "ideal" rating.7.5 to 3.0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless . and individual facet ratios.5 to 4. all measured in three spacial dimensions. relative facet angles. where facets intersect with each-other. AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond.0 to 7. in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above). AGS Diamond Grading System On the inside fold of an AGS Diamond Quality grading report there is a legend explaining the unique AGS nomenclature with comparisons to GIA's grading system. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless .5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light .AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero.0 to 1. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram.1." 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. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light .5.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint .' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles. . In 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.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003.

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

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

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

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

8k.Namibia's placer diamond deposits are between 40 and 80 million years old. Diamonds that were transported downstream. carried from their primary origination point on the Kaapvaal Craton.Photo: Wiki Diamond-Bearing 'Diamondiferous' Gravel Many of these alluvial diamond deposits occur in Pleistocene and Holocene successions (1. potholes. made their way to the sea bed just offshore.8 million to 10. Alluvial diamond mining in Angola takes place along a meandering stretch of the Cuango River floodplain which is also along the south-western coastline of Africa. Some of the largest and highest gemquality diamonds produced from alluvial placer diamond mining have come from this region. Diamonds in marine areas are typically trapped in bedrock depressions such as gullies. but were not deposited on land. depressions.000 years ago). The diamonds within these deposits were transported from deeply-eroded diamondiferous kimberlites or. channels or other trapsites for diamondiferous deposits. from olivine lamproites formed during the Cretaceous or Permo-Triassic .9k and 101. to a lesser extent. including Angola's two largest diamonds at 105. in central South Africa and Botswana. Westward draining river systems transported these diamonds to Africa's continental coastline for final deposition within on-shore marine terrace gravels. Alluvial Terrace Gravels . Diamond Mines of the World: Active Diamond Mines List of Active Diamond Mines All Contents Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.

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

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

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