All About Gemstones: Diamonds

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

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

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

The 4 Cs of Diamonds: Cut

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

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

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

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

All of that has changed with the AGS Cut Grading system and GIA's new "Cut Grading System". pavilion and crown angle) and did not provide a subjective ranking of how good the cut was. 64. Common cutting problems can occur during the faceting process. The chart below shows several common problems to look for. Poor Diamond Faceting and Symmetry Due to the mathmatics involved in light refraction. 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. a Round Brilliant cut that does not have the proper proportions and symmetry (off-make) will have noticeably less brilliance. and the pavillion will have 25 facets.e. when one incorrect facet angle can throw off the symmetry of the entire stone. 80. 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. This can also result in the undesirable creation of extra facets beyond the required 58. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972.Good Cut Fair Cut Poor Cut Cut Proportions In the past. Other variations of the "Modern Round Brilliant" include the "Ideal Brilliant" which was invented by Johnson and Roesch in 1929. or 96 facets which are not counted in the total number of facets (58). Fig. The crown will have 33 facets. 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 "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. Only a trained eye could see the quality of a good cut. Fig.

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

A carat can also be divided into "points" with one carat being equal to 100 points. a 1/2 carat diamond would be 50 points. The 4 C's of Diamonds: Carat (Weight) The 4 C's Diamond Grading System 1. Therefor.W. the total mass of all diamonds or gemstones is referred to as "Total Carat Weight" or "T. "Heart.007 ounce. Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics. and a 2 carat diamond is 200 points." . One "Carat" is a unit of mass that is equal to 0." "Briolette" (a form of Rose cut). The "fancy cuts" are generally not held to the same strict standards as Round Brilliants. As a consumer. 5 Popular fancy cuts include the "Baguette" (bread loaf). Cut 2. Clarity 4. "Marquise" or "Navette" (little boat). "Princess" (square outline). your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the "4 C's" diamond grading system. When a single piece of jewelry has multiple stones. a 3/4 carat diamond is 75 points. and the Pear.C.Heart Marquise Oval Pear Princess Radiant Round Trillion (not shown at diagram) Fig. Color Carat weight is one of the 4 C's.2 grams (200 milligrams or 3.086 grains) or 0. and with each point being 2 milligrams in weight. Carat 3. CARAT Balancing Cut and Weight A diamond or gemstone's "Carat" designation is a measurement of both the size and weight of the stone. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond.

40º pavilion. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration. or to buy a 1.500 15. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a . that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat. See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison. a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight.600 12.5 carat 2. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing. It is for this reason that an even 1. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of . many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight.10 carat diamond for its better cut. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above.99 carat diamond for its better price.750 30.5 carats must have an actual weight of between . The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut. Price Per Carat (2005) .VS1 Carat Size</ 0. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity . 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained.Grade: F Colorless .000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between . The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown.800 6. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone. girdle and pavilion." If the carat weight is shown as ".5º crown.5 carat 1.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line.204 carat.495 carats and . In ancient times.600 6.0 carat 1. clarity and weight.600 8. or "seed of the carob". the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place. it must be accurate to the second decimal place. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat.0 carat 3.195 and . Occasionally.504 carats.

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

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

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

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

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

" and "unconquerable." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine. Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness. Therefore." "untamable. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits. Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km).42. and differentiates it from simple graphite. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0. A diamond is a transparent. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2." referring to its incredible hardness. The name "diamond. diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms. phlogopite.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" [2]. Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures. with the principle allotrope being graphite. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses. and pyroxene.52. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe.200 degrees Celsius). ultramafic.044. with a variety of trace minerals. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical. a refractive index of 2.Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time. and a specific gravity of 3. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon. . Under the continental crust." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale. or "invincible." which is also known as "adamant. igneous rock composed of garnet. At these depths. 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." is derived from the Greek adamas. which resemble a champagne flute. olivine.

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

Particular cuts of diamond are more prone to breakage along cleavage planes." If you were to place a large enough diamond on your tongue it would draw heat away.© AGS Labs Hexagonal (Graphite) Platelet Inclusion . is a facet specifically designed to resist breakage. crystal twinning. pressure and space can also affect the final shape of a formed crystal. causing stress fractures or feathers. Additionally. with a Mohs scale rating of 10. most scratch resistant mineral on earth. the term "toughness" describes the resistance of a given material to fracture when it is stressed or impacted. Unlike "hardness. Although diamond is the "hardest. its "toughness" rating is moderate. sapphire has a hardness rating of 9. and "pound-force" per square-inch in US units of measurement. meaning that a diamond is 4 times "harder" than sapphire. and therefore may be uninsurable by reputable insurance companies. acting as a "thermal conductor. Internally formed crystallographic graphite inclusions often create intense strain on the surrounding diamond. Carbon Inclusion . graphite can develop internally and on the diamond's surface.Trace impurities. due to its ability to fracture along cleavage planes." and therefore. Many natural blue ." which only denotes a diamond's high resistance to scratching. but its toughness rating is also excellent. yet sapphire has a toughness rating of excellent. Hematite has a hardness of only 5.5 to 6.5.© AGS Labs Diamond Toughness Within the fields of metallurgy and materials science. making it seem cold. a diamond's "toughness" is only fair to good. Thermal Properties of Diamonds Diamond is a good conductor of heat. very thin girdles on brilliant cut diamonds are also prone to breakage. The culet facet at the bottom of the pavilion. and varying growth conditions of heat. A material's toughness is measured in units of "joules" per cubic meter (J/m3) in the SI system. By comparrison. Diamond Graphitization In extremely high temperature environments above 1700 ¡C.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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 inclusions are common around included crystals such as garnet.Feathers (Ftr) Cleavage planes or internal stress fractures that have the appearance of feathers. . Common around included crystals. which cause internal stress fractures during crystal growth. Feather 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.

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

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

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

Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .

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

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Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .

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. olivine. Green chrome diopside Inclusion within a Diamond . spinel. diopside.Included Crystals (Xtl) Included and undigested gemstones or fragments of garnet. iron oxides. diopside. or silica. spinel. calcite. silica or other gem stone inclusions. iron oxides. olivine. calcite.

Garnet Inclusions within Diamond .

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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.

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Internal Graining with Cloud Inclusion .

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

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

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

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

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

Natural Comet Inclusion .

Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud .

Tabular Reflection in Diamond .

Included Garnet Twins within Diamond .

Included Dalmatian Garnet .

Cloud Inclusion .

Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers .

Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light .

Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion .

appearing as a raised area on the diamond's surface. 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. Knot Inclusion Photos Photography of Diamond Inclusion Knots Knot inclusions are naturally occurring external inclusions or imperfections that penetrate the surface (convex). .

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

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The lizard-skin effect is caused by an orange-peel texture.Lizard Skin A bumpy or wavy 'orange-peel' textured pattern on the polished surface of a diamond. . 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds. 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. Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored.In 1973.17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2. and CZs can be made in any "color grade. Diamond's RI is 2. Once the mixture has cooled. or colorless (white) versions.170. candle.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light.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. etc. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond .417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator. Due to their low cost and consistency. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible. CZ vs Diamond . natural diamond is a thermal conductor Weight: Cubic Zirconia is heavier than diamond in a given size Another method for distinguishing Cubic Zirconia from diamond is to mark the stone with a grease pencil or felt-tipped pen. .800 . You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing. The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting.) in a totally dark room. the greater dispersive power. Unlike most natural diamonds. Zirconium oxide powder is heated. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left). you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight. For instance. Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond. CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1. a CZ is optically flawless." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR). The 1. Using Visual Optics To Detect CZ The Hodgkinson "Visual Optics" technique was developed in the mid-1970s by Alan Hodgkinson as a method of detecting natural diamonds and diamond simulants. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below).41 (RI). while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease. but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye.2. or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond. Natural diamonds attract grease.80 to 2. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones.

Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr.com Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum).25 on the Mohs scale. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. is classified as an element rather than a compound. center) near Winslow. etc.) in a dark room.A small.65 to 2. Arizona. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. candle. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent. 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. . CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. left) who won the Nobel Prize in 1906 for his discovery of a new mineral (moissanite6H) found within meteorite fragments of the ancient Barringer meteor crater (above. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ. Moissanite. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite.060. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight.104 as compared to CZ at 0.69. Moissanite has an RI of 2. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. Henri Moissan (above. while diamond has a hardness of 10. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2.417. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion.670. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible.044. and diamond at 0. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index. when examining the gem through the kite facets. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. Moissanite has a hardness of 9. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective.

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

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

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

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

crown height of 14. invented in 1929. Eppler & Scan D. Tolkowsky.7%. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut. Ideal Scope. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios.. very small to small In the 1970s. crown height of 14. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. and Proportions.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42." (Scandinavian standard. and crown/pavilion angles. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. A perfect blending of facet symmetry. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). Symmetry. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%.' 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.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed. facet ratios. more brilliance and fire.4%. Since then. etc. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace.7%.N. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope. and overall height of 57. H&A Viewer. As with all human endeavors. .N. To quantify a diamond's cut quality. The "Scan D. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect.5% to 43. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant".6% and overall height of 57.5%. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.

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

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

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

' and each diamond comes with a "Return of Light Certificate. www. There are a total of 49 facets. square shaped diamonds were stepcut limiting their brilliance.tiffany. There are 25 crown facets and 36 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets (not including 8 girdle facets)." The Leo Diamond is marketed through the Kay Jeweler chain. the Radiant Cut became a fully accepted diamond shape in the jewelry business. The pavilion is similar to a Barion cut.com Starburst Cut . The Lucida diamond cut is marketed as a wedding cut. www. www. and all Original Radiant Cut diamonds weigh at least 0. patented and trademarked by Henry Grossbard of the Radiant Cut Diamond Company (RCDC) in 1977. a highstep crown (similar to the Asscher Cut).com Lucida Cut The Lucida (TM) Cut is a patented diamond cut that was created by Tiffany & Company in 1999. and three-stone rings. The Lucida is sold exclusively through Tiffany's retail chain. sold in solitaire engagement/wedding bands. and was patented and trademarked by Bez Ambar Jewelers of Los Angeles in 1980. The Quadrillion was the result of three years of optical research to create a square diamond cut that can claim a similar brilliance to a round diamond.diamondaires. RCDC launched the 'Original Radiant Cut' diamond brand In 2002.The Leo diamond cut is the first to be certified for fire and brilliance as measured by a 'BrillianceScope. It was the first emerald shaped diamond cut to have brilliance and fire similar to that of a round brilliant diamond. Upon the expiration of the patent. and the table is a bowed out rectangle. and a total of has 50 facets. The Lucida diamond cut is a modified square or rectangular (Marquise) cut with truncated corners. brilliant-style faceted pavilion (similar to a Cushion Cut). small table. eternity bands.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.com Quadrillion Cut The Quadrillion® Cut (aka Squarillion Cut) is a modified square princess cut that was developed by Israel Itzkowitz and Betzalel Ambar in the late 1970s. Prior to the Quadrillion. Bez Ambar Radiant Cut The Radiant Cut is a modified emerald cut shape that was developed.radiantcut.

making the hue of fancy yellow diamonds more intense. for a total of 89 kite and star shaped facets.com The faceting of diamonds has come a long way in the last 700 years. Trillion) is a triangular cut designed and trademarked by the Henry Meyer Diamond Company of New York in 1962. fire. There are two variations of this cut: the Curved cut used for solitary stones. Nieman Marcus and Tiffany.com Trilliant Cut The Trilliant Cut (aka Trielle.louisglick. The Trilliant Cut has a total of 31 facets. brilliance. and light return from the stone. but at each stage of advancement the pioneers of 'brillianting' diamonds have made great strides in bringing out the magic that is inherent in these gifts from nature. Still. The pavilion has two differently sized sets triangular facets with a large triangular table. The Starburst cut is especially suitable for a octahedral rough. The starburst faceting pattern is designed to focus color near the top of a stone. The Trilliant trademark has since lapsed. this led to the invention of the first gem cutting machines (precursor to the "lap" or "Facetron") in the 1300s. and the Trilliant is now a generic term for a triangular brilliant cut. Old Mine Cut Evolution of the Faceted Diamond & Colored Gem Article Copyright © 2008 AllAboutGemstones. . There are 49 crown facets and 40 pavilion facets. Starburst Cuts are mounted and sold directly through Cartier. With the realization that only a diamond could cut another diamond. The Trilliant has the Schoenflies point group symmetry of a round brilliant. The crown of the Starburst Cut is similar to that of the radiant cut.early 1300s The "point cut" (below left) is one of the first symmetrically faceted diamond cuts. Point Cut . Since the day that humans first discovered 'adamas' (diamonds). of New York in 1978. reworked into the shape of a trillion (triangle). 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 Starburst Cut was patented and trademarked by the Louis Glick Diamond Corp. right) was created by cutting off some of the top half of the point cut's octahedron to create a table. and the natural octahedral symmetry of the rough stone's closed isometric form. and the career of the "diamantaire" (diamond cutter/polisher) was born. Old European Gem Cuts: Point. The Starburst cut was created to bring out the highest amount of color to fancy yellow diamonds. the precursor for the "design" of the first faceted diamond lay within the rough stone itself. craftsmen have attempted to "improve" on nature. www. and scintillation when cut to the correct proportions. with weight losses in the fifty percent range. but the pavilion is completely different. but that has not always been easy as these little chunks of elemental carbon are harder that anything that could be found to cut them. The Trilliant cut gives a high brilliance. Harry Winston. The "table cut" (below. and Uncurved cut used for accent stones. The point cut design is dictated by the natural shape of an octahedral rough diamond. Old eight. Trillian.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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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.

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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

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

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

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

Lorelei receives a diamond tiara from her suitor.' which was adapted to film in 1953. De Beers and the diamond industry got another shot in the arm. producing the 128. Prince Esterhazy of Hungary. Photo: Pub. Charles Tiffany.' staring Audrey Hepburn." was the co-founder of Tiffany & Co. Jule Styne (born Julius Kerwin Stein) was born in London. The Great Depression had taken a heavy toll on luxury goods during the 1930s. this time from playwriter. One of Tiffany's most notable diamond acquisitions was a 287. Sir Francis "Piggy" Beekman. and a series of diamond-related slogans were introduced into the American lexicon.' The stone was set into a garish jewelry piece called "Bird on a Rock." by Jean Schlumberger in the 1960s. the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine. N. After attending Chicago Musical College. De Beers president. which started out as 'Tiffany & Young' of New York City in 1837. Styne moved to Hollywood where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn. and the subsequent overthrowing of King Louis-Philippe of France in 1848. Domain Hollywood in 1949 Coming just on the heels of the immortal "a diamond is forever" campaign. After the French revolution in 1799. and featuring the memorable scene in which Holly gazes longingly into Tiffany's window display. the values of ostentatious gems and jewelry dropped precipitously." after here charecter. purchased diamonds. and the diamond industry was particularly hard hit. who was known for his jewelry expertise. The stone was cut in Paris.54 carat 'The Tiffany Diamond. Styne wrote the score for the 1949 Broadway musical 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Tiffany & Young. The movie version featured Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend. The 'Tiffany & Co. . Jule Styne. gems and jewelry from the estates of the European aristocracy."A diamond is forever" is the legendary saying that was created by America's first advertising agency. Ayer & Son. and from the Spanish Crown Jewels [27]. In 1948 the famous "A diamond is forever" slogan was introduced.42 carat rough flawless-yellow diamond from the 'Compagnie Français de Diamant du Cap' (Kimberley mine) in 1877. Tiffany was able to purchase significant gems from such renowned estates as: the 'jewel-mad' Duke of Brunswick. Domain Charles Lewis Tiffany Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812—1902). specializing in one-of-a-kind baubles for New York's newly-minted industrialists and 'robber-barons. Harry Frederick Oppenheimer enlisted the help of N.W. The Tiffany is still selling luxury jewelry in their trademarked 'Tiffany Blue Box. located at 259 Broadway.' During the 1800s. for resale in America. A 19. and sold to Nanaline Duke (now in the Doris Duke Collection).' at the flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. the public's tolerance towards nobility was at a low point. Photo: Pub. was originally a 'fancy goods' emporium. aka "the King of Diamonds. Ayer in 1938.72 carat cushion-cut diamond (one of the "Diamonds of Golconda") was mounted by Tiffany.' brand was catapulted into the stratosphere by the 1961 movie 'Breakfast at Tiffany's. and Tiffany seized on the opportunity. With financial shockwaves caused by the French economy's collapse in 1847.W.

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

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

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

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

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

AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero. 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. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram.0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless .3.0 to 1.1.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering. . AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond." Document Security Each AGS grading document is marked with a hologram (dark circle at lower right of report) and watermarking or embossing to prevent fraudulent duplication.5 to 4.5 to 3.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint . in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above).7. the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible.5. where facets intersect with each-other. 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.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light . all measured in three spacial dimensions. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless ." or "ideal" rating.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles. and individual facet ratios.0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light .0 to 7. relative facet angles.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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