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

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

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

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

The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut.Grade: F Colorless . girdle and pavilion. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above. or "seed of the carob". The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity . "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat. Occasionally.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone.0 carat 3. See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison.VS1 Carat Size</ 0.504 carats. Price Per Carat (2005) . A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond. it must be accurate to the second decimal place. clarity and weight. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of .99 carat diamond for its better price.204 carat. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a .5º crown.750 30. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor.5 carats must have an actual weight of between . It is for this reason that an even 1.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place.600 8. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration. 40º pavilion.5 carat 1.500 15.800 6.5 carat 2. a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight.10 carat diamond for its better cut.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone.495 carats and . the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place. In ancient times. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight.600 6. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales. or to buy a 1.600 12. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions.0 carat 1." If the carat weight is shown as ".195 and . A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between .

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

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

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

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

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

and a specific gravity of 3. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km). optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses. Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures." is derived from the Greek adamas. phlogopite. or "invincible. and differentiates it from simple graphite. and pyroxene. Under the continental crust.42. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits. The name "diamond. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale. . Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon. 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. olivine." referring to its incredible hardness. a refractive index of 2." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic. At these depths.200 degrees Celsius).044. Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness. A diamond is a transparent." "untamable. with the principle allotrope being graphite. Therefore. which resemble a champagne flute.Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe." and "unconquerable. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms. diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation." which is also known as "adamant. with a variety of trace minerals. igneous rock composed of garnet.52. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical. ultramafic. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" [2]. Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes.

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

" If you were to place a large enough diamond on your tongue it would draw heat away. and varying growth conditions of heat. The culet facet at the bottom of the pavilion. yet sapphire has a toughness rating of excellent. most scratch resistant mineral on earth. Carbon Inclusion . the term "toughness" describes the resistance of a given material to fracture when it is stressed or impacted. Many natural blue . acting as a "thermal conductor.© AGS Labs Hexagonal (Graphite) Platelet Inclusion . is a facet specifically designed to resist breakage. Thermal Properties of Diamonds Diamond is a good conductor of heat." and therefore. A material's toughness is measured in units of "joules" per cubic meter (J/m3) in the SI system. crystal twinning. Diamond Graphitization In extremely high temperature environments above 1700 ¡C. Although diamond is the "hardest. Internally formed crystallographic graphite inclusions often create intense strain on the surrounding diamond. with a Mohs scale rating of 10. but its toughness rating is also excellent. Hematite has a hardness of only 5. Additionally. Particular cuts of diamond are more prone to breakage along cleavage planes. meaning that a diamond is 4 times "harder" than sapphire. its "toughness" rating is moderate. By comparrison. graphite can develop internally and on the diamond's surface.5.5 to 6. and therefore may be uninsurable by reputable insurance companies. due to its ability to fracture along cleavage planes. causing stress fractures or feathers. making it seem cold. sapphire has a hardness rating of 9.Trace impurities. very thin girdles on brilliant cut diamonds are also prone to breakage.© AGS Labs Diamond Toughness Within the fields of metallurgy and materials science. and "pound-force" per square-inch in US units of measurement. a diamond's "toughness" is only fair to good." which only denotes a diamond's high resistance to scratching. Unlike "hardness. pressure and space can also affect the final shape of a formed crystal.

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

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

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

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

and weighed a modest 0. The color change effect is temporary.000 in 1987. . Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner.com) Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems.03 carats. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste.95carats.90 carats. greyish-green. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13.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). On thing is certain. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green.com) The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond.000 to $500. and the De Young Red weighing 5. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness [9]. Warren Hancock.' discovered during the 18th century. or a combination of the two. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. Intense.000 per carat. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. pure green hues. Green diamonds can range from $35. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .

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

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Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .

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

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 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.Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) Internal pathway caused by laser-drilling to remove large inclusions. and where pathway does not breach the cut diamond's surface. the drilled passage may not breach the cut diamond's surface.

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

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

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

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

Natural Comet Inclusion .

Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud .

Tabular Reflection in Diamond .

Included Garnet Twins within Diamond .

Included Dalmatian Garnet .

Cloud Inclusion .

Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers .

Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light .

Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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and remove cloudiness. Filled Fractures Fractures or feathers that have been artificially filled to enhance clarity. 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.Extra Facet (EF) An asymmetrical and irregularly placed facet that is not part of the original faceting scheme.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Massachusetts grows colorless (D to M) diamonds.com Tairus Created Gems Tairus Created Gems is a Russian company that grows fancy-colored diamonds in their proprietary "Split Sphere" system.com Chatham Created Diamonds Chatham Gems is a San Francisco based company that grows only fancy-colored diamonds in colors ranging from champagne and canary yellow to pink and midnight blue. and CZ has a hardness of only 8.25 carats is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number.500 to $9. Tairus Created Gems are sold exclusively through Tairus Thailand Co. while diamond has a hardness of 10. Cubic Zirconia (Zirconium Oxide ZrO2) has a completely different chemical structure. Tairus produces rough sizes from . with clarity grades from IF to SI. www. Florida. Apollo Diamonds are cut and polished in sizes ranging from . of Bangkok Thailand.25 carats to 1 carat. To insure easy identification as a man-made product. Chatham's pricing ranges from $6. www.. and some fancy colored diamonds.chatham.gemesis.500 per carat (2004 est. Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite Cubic Zirconia Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Ltd. .apollodiamond. each Gemesis cut stone over . The Split Sphere system crystalizes the carbon seed in an alkaline. using a proprietary variation of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) technique. princess. Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is the most familiar type of diamond simulant on the market. emerald. While a synthetic diamond is a man-made recreation of an actual carbon-based diamond. and like Chatham. which they claim is the closest thing to mother nature. Gemesis only grows fancy-colored diamonds. Apollo Diamond's cut stones are available in round brilliant. in Boston.30 carats to 3 carats. and stones are cut to order.Apollo Diamond. carbonate fluid solution that is similar to diamond-bearing metamorphic rock. and each stone is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. and rose cuts.3 on the Mohs scale. www. and each cut stone is laser inscribed with the Apollo company logo and serial number.). The toughness of Cubic Zirconia is rated as good.com To the average consumer. inc.com Gemesis Cultured Diamonds Gemesis is located in Sarasota.

For instance. CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1. CZ vs Diamond . Natural diamonds attract grease. or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight. 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. 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. candle. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below).2.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease. 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. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator. a CZ is optically flawless. or colorless (white) versions. The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit. and CZs can be made in any "color grade." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR).80 to 2. Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left).17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting.170. The 1. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones.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. Due to their low cost and consistency. the greater dispersive power. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce. etc. . Diamond's RI is 2. Unlike most natural diamonds.In 1973.) in a totally dark room. Zirconium oxide powder is heated. Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible. CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds.41 (RI). but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye. Once the mixture has cooled.800 . most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond .

Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. while diamond has a hardness of 10. Arizona. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight. etc. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998.417.com Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). and diamond at 0. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond. 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. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent.69. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible.670. Henri Moissan (above. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. Moissanite.044. center) near Winslow. Moissanite has an RI of 2. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond.104 as compared to CZ at 0. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. candle. when examining the gem through the kite facets.) in a dark room.060. Moissanite has a hardness of 9. .65 to 2.A small.25 on the Mohs scale. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ. is classified as an element rather than a compound. 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. found only in iron-nickel meteorites.

diamonds were used in their natural octahedral state. Like wood. but significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its high RI." At the time. although it can be easily cleaved or fractured due to its defined cleavage planes. due to its high refractive index. creating the "Table Cut. which was called the "Point Cut. detailed and sharply focused pattern caused by secondary reflections will be seen when observing a diamond. 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. diamond has a "grain. A similarly sharp." and the rough stone must be cut with the grain. most diamonds have some inclusions Moissanite vs Diamond .670. diamonds were valued primarily for their luster and hardness. The Modern Round Brilliant cut (below) is the culmination of several hundred years of experimentation and development. Diamonds: Modern Diamond Cutting Diamond Cutting Background One of the hardest substances on earth. only a diamond is hard enough to cut other diamonds. caused by primary reflections from the pavilion and CZ's low RI. rather than against it.417 Moissanite is double refractive (anisotropic) while a natural diamond is singly refractive (isotropic)." As further refinement progressed.Detectable With Testing Double Refraction: Moissanite is double refractive. Diamond's RI is 2. diamond is singly refractive Refractive Index: Moissanite has a refractive index of 2. The first improvements on nature's design involved a polishing of the crystal faces. Diamond cutting can be traced back to the late Middle Ages. Table Cut diamonds appeared black to the eye. Prior to this time. Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be more diffused. Moissanite vs Diamond .A small. one half of the crystal would be cut off. Cutting a Rough Diamond .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.

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

com When deciding how to cut a rough diamond. elimination of any inclusions. An octehedral rough diamond will yield two round brilliant cut stones (see diagram below).Ideal Cut vs Standard Cut Diamond Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Parameters Ideal Cut Standard (Premium) Cut Rough Material Loss Finished Stones Cutting Time Crown Symmetry Greater Loss Lower Carat Weight 2 to 4 Days Ideal Higher Yield Higher Carat Weight 1 to 2 Days Shallow Crown . 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. The objective is always to maximize carat weight. compromises would have to be made. it would be cost effective to sacrifice some carat weight in order to finish with two "Ideal" cuts. If. and the amount of internal inclusions will play an important part in the decisions as to how to maximize yield. on the other hand.weight retention. This is accomplished by reconciling three key factors . it may be better to aim for a higher carat weight utilizing a "Standard" cut. Reconciling Cut & Weight Retention If the rough stone has a colorless D through F rating and has very few inclusions. cut proportions. The clarity of the stone. but in order to do this.

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

crown height of 14. H&A Viewer. and overall height of 57. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant". gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios.N. very small to small In the 1970s.N. and crown/pavilion angles.5% to 43. A perfect blending of facet symmetry. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. crown height of 14. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. more brilliance and fire.' 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.6% and overall height of 57. Tolkowsky. . To quantify a diamond's cut quality. invented in 1929.7%. Since then. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951.5%. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor).Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57." (Scandinavian standard.7%. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut. etc.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42. The "Scan D. and Proportions. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace. Symmetry. As with all human endeavors.4%. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts. Eppler & Scan D. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. Ideal Scope. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design. facet ratios.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed.. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

. bond. The Diamond Trade: Diamond Bourses of Antwerp Diamond Bourses Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. The Kimberley Process The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme or KPCS is designed to prevent conflict diamonds (aka "blood diamonds") entering into the mainstream rough diamond market [5]. and the city is the hub of the global diamond trading industry (diamanthandel). De Beers is hoping that the combination of branding and security will increase consumer demand. Asia. The Council began in July 2000 after a joint meeting of the WFDB and its international headquarters are in New York City. and Rijfstraat. The Council has approximately 70 members representing jewelers. NY [4]. cut and uncut diamonds. Israel and South Africa and works with 35 independent Governments. heavily guarded geographic area surrounded by three main streets. 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. Belgium but there are also Diamond Bourses in Israel. and preventing the inherent product misidentification that will follow. and India (2007). the European Union and the United Nations to rid the diamond Industry of conflict diamonds. The largest diamond trading center in the world is located in Antwerp. The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base. or commodities exchange similar to the NYSE..com The word "Bourse" refers to a private stock. and Shanghai.S.Forevermark Diamonds As a way of staving off the onslaught of secondary diamond markets. South Africa. Almost 85% of the world's rough diamonds. Europe. Within Antwerp's diamond district. Moscow. China. are sold in Antwerp every year. Hong Kong. and about half of the polished diamonds. Hoveniersstraat. In addition to its members. and will com with a certificate of authenticity. Schupstraat. Diamond Bourses are basically trading exchanges for loose. traders and manufacturer/producers. The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates [9]. also known as the "World Diamond Center" or Diamantenzentrum. the WDC has observers from the governments of Belgium. the DTC has developed new inscription technologies to "invisibly" mark the table facet of polished diamonds with a "Forevermark" trademark. Forevermark diamonds will be available through sightholder/retailers in the U. This mark is only visible via a point-of-sale electronic viewer. London. KPCS originated in May 2000 during a meeting of South African diamond producing states in Kimberley. some 1.500 diamond dealers (diamantbedrijven) are ensconced in small. As of 2006. 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.

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

England seized the Cape of Good Hope from the Dutch East India Company in 1797.000 Zulu warriors attacking 470 Boer settlers.' and the 'Orange Free State' provinces to escape hostilities with the native 'Xhosa tribe' from which Nelson Mandela decended. or German Protestant backgrounds. who were in search of the "quiet sweet life. which at the time was administered by the 'Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie' or 'Dutch East India Company. There was not a single Boer fatality. and Limpopo (Venetia Diamond Mine). The First Boer War (1880—1881) began with the Transvaal (Limpopo) Boers declaring independence from Great Britain. 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. They settled in the 'Cape of Good Hope' on Africa's southern most tip.' 'Gauteng. most with Dutch Calvinist. Afrikaners who participated in the migration northward became known as the 'Trekboer' or Voortrekkers. with 10. The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates [9]. The Diamond Trade: History & Culture of the Key Players Article Copyright © 2006 AllAboutGemstones. there was a mass exodus (the Great Trek) northward to 'Northern Cape. but 3000 Zulus were killed in what became known as the 'Battle of Blood River. and fully annexed the Cape Colony in 1806 [24]. 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. Gauteng (Premier Diamond Mine).com Diamonds and the Afrikaners The Afrikaners & British Diamonds and the Jews The Hindustani Diamond Cutters The African Nationals The Americans Photos: Public Domain The Boers Historically. This led to a new wave of emigrants and adventurer-seekers from England." Three of South Africa's richest diamond mines are in Northern Cape (Kimberley Diamond Mine). coming for . The Voortrekkers had to contend with the native Zulu tribe over land they wished to settle on. The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base. Flemish. and this eventually lead to all-out war.' After the devastating Zulu defeat. ending with the inclusion of all Boer territories into British colonies. Afrikaners (aka Boers or farmers) were religious refugees from the Netherlands and other parts of northern Europe during the mid 1600s to late 1700s. The Boers resisted British encroachments into their territory until the Second 'Anglo' Boer War (1899— 1902).' During the 1830s and 1840s.' 'Limpopo.The HRD (Hoge Raad voor Diamant) Diamond High Council is a non-profit industry organization designed to promote and represent the Antwerp diamond trade.

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

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.

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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).

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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."

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

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

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

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

Photo: Pub. Domain Charles Lewis Tiffany Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812—1902). aka "the King of Diamonds. and sold to Nanaline Duke (now in the Doris Duke Collection). The Great Depression had taken a heavy toll on luxury goods during the 1930s. . Photo: Pub. producing the 128. N." was the co-founder of Tiffany & Co. The stone was cut in Paris.' During the 1800s.W.' at the flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street.' brand was catapulted into the stratosphere by the 1961 movie 'Breakfast at Tiffany's."A diamond is forever" is the legendary saying that was created by America's first advertising agency. the values of ostentatious gems and jewelry dropped precipitously. who was known for his jewelry expertise. for resale in America.54 carat 'The Tiffany Diamond. the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine. gems and jewelry from the estates of the European aristocracy. Prince Esterhazy of Hungary. and Tiffany seized on the opportunity.' staring Audrey Hepburn. The 'Tiffany & Co. Ayer in 1938. Sir Francis "Piggy" Beekman. One of Tiffany's most notable diamond acquisitions was a 287. and a series of diamond-related slogans were introduced into the American lexicon. Tiffany was able to purchase significant gems from such renowned estates as: the 'jewel-mad' Duke of Brunswick. specializing in one-of-a-kind baubles for New York's newly-minted industrialists and 'robber-barons. and the subsequent overthrowing of King Louis-Philippe of France in 1848. After the French revolution in 1799. De Beers and the diamond industry got another shot in the arm. Ayer & Son.42 carat rough flawless-yellow diamond from the 'Compagnie Français de Diamant du Cap' (Kimberley mine) in 1877. which started out as 'Tiffany & Young' of New York City in 1837. In 1948 the famous "A diamond is forever" slogan was introduced. Styne wrote the score for the 1949 Broadway musical 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Tiffany & Young. Jule Styne." by Jean Schlumberger in the 1960s. Domain Hollywood in 1949 Coming just on the heels of the immortal "a diamond is forever" campaign. Charles Tiffany. and the diamond industry was particularly hard hit. the public's tolerance towards nobility was at a low point. Harry Frederick Oppenheimer enlisted the help of N. Lorelei receives a diamond tiara from her suitor. After attending Chicago Musical College. purchased diamonds. and from the Spanish Crown Jewels [27]. With financial shockwaves caused by the French economy's collapse in 1847.72 carat cushion-cut diamond (one of the "Diamonds of Golconda") was mounted by Tiffany. The movie version featured Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend. The Tiffany is still selling luxury jewelry in their trademarked 'Tiffany Blue Box. Jule Styne (born Julius Kerwin Stein) was born in London. Styne moved to Hollywood where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn. located at 259 Broadway. was originally a 'fancy goods' emporium.W.' The stone was set into a garish jewelry piece called "Bird on a Rock." after here charecter.' which was adapted to film in 1953. A 19. De Beers president. this time from playwriter. and featuring the memorable scene in which Holly gazes longingly into Tiffany's window display.

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

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

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

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

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

the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible.1. and individual facet ratios.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering.7. relative facet angles. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003.0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light . in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above). all measured in three spacial dimensions. AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond. where facets intersect with each-other." 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. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless . The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles.3. AGS Diamond Grading System On the inside fold of an AGS Diamond Quality grading report there is a legend explaining the unique AGS nomenclature with comparisons to GIA's grading system. ." or "ideal" rating.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint .0 to 1.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light .0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless .5 to 3. In the upper left corner of the document there is a unique AGS reference number that can be used when contacting AGS with questions about your report.5.0 to 7.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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