This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
The story of diamonds is, to use the metaphor, a tale of fire and "ice." Forged through immense heat and pressure over millions, or hundreds of millions of years, diamonds start their humble existence as simple, elemental carbon; the basic building block of all life in earth. We attempt to demystify these enigmatic little stones, by explaining their scientific reason for being, as well as were they are mined, how they are mined, and the history of the diamond trade, or 'diamond pipeline.' Diamonds are both elemental, and complex. As such, there is a lot of technical jargon associated with them. Shopping for a diamond can be very confusing to the newbie, but we have endeavored to make it as simple and interesting as humanly possible. You shouldn't need extraordinary brilliance to understand scintillation or refraction. Enjoy!
All About Diamonds
Diamond Basics The "4 Cs" of Diamonds - Cut The "4 C's" of Diamonds - Carat The "Four C's" of Diamonds - Clarity The "Four Cs" of Diamonds - Color Diamond Chemistry Optical Properties of Diamond Fancy Colored Diamonds Diamond Inclusion Library Diamond Enhancements Synthetics & Simulants Synthetic Diamonds Cubic Zirconia Moissanite Diamond Cuts Diamond Cutting Ideal Cut Modern Round Brilliant Patented Signature Diamond Cuts Old European Diamond Cuts Uncut Raw Diamonds in Jewelry The Diamond Market The Diamond Pipeline Diamond Bourses The Diamond Trade's Key Players Diamond Pricing - Price Comparison Charts Diamond Certification
AGS Diamond Grading Report Independent Diamond Testing Laboratories Diamond Mining & Mine Technology Diamond Mining Technology Diamond Geology & Kimberlites Full List of Worldwide Diamond Mines Artisanal Diamond Mining & Conflict Diamonds Worldwide Diamond Mining Regions Australian Diamond Mines Borneo's Landak Diamond Mines Botswana Diamond Mines Brazilian Diamond Mines Canadian Diamond Mines India's Golconda Diamond Mines Namibia Russian Diamond Mines South African Diamond Mines US Diamond Mines Conflict Diamonds Angola Diamond Mines Congo (DRC) Diamond Mines Liberia Diamond Mines Sierra Leone Diamond Mines Zimbabwe's Chiadzwa Marange Diamond Fields Diamond History & Cutting Regions Historical Diamond Cuts & Cutting History Historical Diamond Cutting Regions Diamond Cutting in Amsterdam Diamond Cutting in Antwerp Diamond Cutting in Belgium Diamond Cutting in Guangzhou, China Diamond Cutting in Gujarat, India Diamond Cutting in Idar-Oberstein, Germany Diamond Terminology Glossary - Gemology
The 4 Cs of Diamonds: Cut
The 4 C's Diamond Grading System
1. 2. 3. 4. Cut Carat Clarity Color
More than 100 million diamonds are sold in the United States each year, yet most consumers know very little about the product they are purchasing, and how that product is valued. The '4 Cs' represent the four main variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics. As a consumer, your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the '4 Cs' diamond grading system. If you are purchasing an expensive stone it will also be critical for you to learn how to read and understand the details of a GIA (Gemological Institute of America) 'Diamond Dossier,' AGL report, or AGS (American Gem Society) 'Diamond Certificate,' or Sarin 'Diamond Grading Report' (see full list of independent testing laboratories, below). You will also want to familiarize yourself with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines on jeweler conduct and consumer awareness. This knowledge will help be invaluable when you are comparison shopping for diamonds.
Diamond Cut Quality When jewelers judge the quality of a diamond cut, or "make", they often rate "Cut" as the most important of the "4 Cs." The way a diamond is cut is primarily dependent upon the original shape of the rough stone, location of the inclusions and flaws to be eliminated, the preservation of the weight, and the popularity of certain shapes. Don't confuse a diamond's "cut" with it's "shape". Shape refers only to the outward appearance of the diamond (Fig. 5 below), and not how it is faceted. The Importance of Cut Quality When a diamond has a high quality cut (ideal cut), incident light will enter the stone through the table and crown, traveling toward the pavilion where it reflects from one side to the other before bouncing back out of the diamond's table toward the observer's eye (see Fig. 1 below). This phenomenon is referred to as "light return" (Fig. 2 below) which affects a diamond's brightness, brilliance, and dispersion. Any light-leakage caused by poor symmetry and/or cut proportions (off-make) will adversely affect the quality of light return. The "Shallow Cut" and "Deep Cut" examples in Fig. 1 show how light that enters through the table of a Modern Round Brilliant diamond reaches the pavilion facets and then leaks out from the sides or bottom of the diamond rather than reflecting back to the eye through the table. Less light reflected back to the eye means less "Brilliance". In the "Ideal Cut" example, most of the light entering through the table is reflected back towards the observer from the pavilion facets.
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
and the pavillion will have 25 facets. 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. 3 .Good Cut Fair Cut Poor Cut Cut Proportions In the past. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. 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. 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. This can also result in the undesirable creation of extra facets beyond the required 58.e. pavilion and crown angle) and did not provide a subjective ranking of how good the cut was. 80. All of that has changed with the AGS Cut Grading system and GIA's new "Cut Grading System". 64. Fig. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. Fig. Only a trained eye could see the quality of a good cut. The crown will have 33 facets. 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. 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. when one incorrect facet angle can throw off the symmetry of the entire stone. The chart below shows several common problems to look for. Common cutting problems can occur during the faceting process. a Round Brilliant cut that does not have the proper proportions and symmetry (off-make) will have noticeably less brilliance. or 96 facets which are not counted in the total number of facets (58).
Hearts and Arrows Diamonds A perfectly proportioned ideal cut that is cut to the exacting specifications of a Tolkowsky Cut. GIA vs AGS Cut Grading GIA's new cut-grading system is based on averages that are rounded-up to predict 'light performance. AGS Triple-0 Certification The American Gem Society (AGS) is the industry leader in laboratory testing of round gems for cut grade and quality. as two stones could be cut from one crystal. all three categories of cut (Polish. Proportion) must meet the "ideal" criteria. the quality of the cutter's execution of that shape is of primary importance. making the diamond appear white when viewed from the top. 4 Perfectly formed Hearts and Arrows patterns with eight hearts AND eight arrows (above. Takanori Tamura.For a Modern Round Brilliant cut (Tolkowsky Brilliant). Eppler Cut (European Standard). A well executed round brilliant cut should reflect the maximum amount light from the interior pavilion facets. which gives out much more fire than a real diamond. or a Scan D. 5) are listed below. the "FireScope. A Triple-0 diamond can also be called a "Triple Ideal Cut" or "AGS-Ideal Zero" diamond. there is a balance between "brilliance" and "fire"." was invented by Ken Shigetomi and Kazumi Okuda in 1984. A diamond cut for too much fire will look like cubic zirconia. or a H & A Viewer gemscope (FireScope).' while AGS uses a more exacting combination of proportional facet ratios along with raytracing metrics to calculate light return. Emerald . Several basic diamond shapes (Fig. 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. In order for a diamond to receive a "Triple-0" grading. and its later incarnation. Cut (Scandinavian Standard) will display a "Hearts and Arrows" pattern when observed through a IdealScope (arrows only). Fig. left) are only found in diamonds that meet the American Gem Society Laboratories' "0" Ideal Cut specifications. The round brilliant cut is preferred when the crystal is an octahedron. The IdealScope was invented by Kazumi Okuda in the 1970's. out through the table. However. N. The GIA will give a symmetry demerit for what it calls "non-standard brillianteering" which some manufacturers use to 'improve' on the standardized Tolkowsky-type cuts. The first official H & A "EightStar" diamond was cut in 1985 by Kioyishi Higuchi for Japanese businessman and FireScope manufacturer. The "Ideal" designation is an AGS term that is not found on an GIA report. The shape of the diamond cut is heavily dependent upon the original shape of the rough stone. Symetry. Asymmetrical raw crystals such as macles are usually cut in a "Fancy" style. Fancy Diamond Cuts The shape of the cut is a matter of personal taste and preference.
2 grams (200 milligrams or 3. the total mass of all diamonds or gemstones is referred to as "Total Carat Weight" or "T.Heart Marquise Oval Pear Princess Radiant Round Trillion (not shown at diagram) Fig. "Heart. Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics. a 3/4 carat diamond is 75 points. When a single piece of jewelry has multiple stones. The "fancy cuts" are generally not held to the same strict standards as Round Brilliants. and the Pear.C. and with each point being 2 milligrams in weight.W. The 4 C's of Diamonds: Carat (Weight) The 4 C's Diamond Grading System 1. a 1/2 carat diamond would be 50 points. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. 5 Popular fancy cuts include the "Baguette" (bread loaf). "Princess" (square outline). A carat can also be divided into "points" with one carat being equal to 100 points." . and a 2 carat diamond is 200 points. Color Carat weight is one of the 4 C's.007 ounce. Clarity 4. CARAT Balancing Cut and Weight A diamond or gemstone's "Carat" designation is a measurement of both the size and weight of the stone. One "Carat" is a unit of mass that is equal to 0.086 grains) or 0. "Marquise" or "Navette" (little boat). your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the "4 C's" diamond grading system. Cut 2." "Briolette" (a form of Rose cut). Therefor. Carat 3. As a consumer.
a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat.195 and . or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place.5 carat 1. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York.5 carats must have an actual weight of between .600 12.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone. girdle and pavilion. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales. It is for this reason that an even 1. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight. or to buy a 1.504 carats. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a .204 carat.VS1 Carat Size</ 0.10 carat diamond for its better cut. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor. In ancient times. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only. Price Per Carat (2005) . and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight.500 15.800 6.5 carat 2. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of . a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight. clarity and weight." If the carat weight is shown as ".Grade: F Colorless .5º crown. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place. it must be accurate to the second decimal place.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line. See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison.750 30.600 6.0 carat 1. 40º pavilion. or "seed of the carob".99 carat diamond for its better price. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between . The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity .495 carats and .0 carat 3. Occasionally.600 8.
Inclusions large and obvious. The term "Clarity" refers to the presence or absence of tiny imperfections (inclusions) within the stone."Very Small" inclusions VS1 is better grade than VS2 SI-1 . CLARITY All of the grades of diamond clarity shown in the table below. VVS1 better than VVS2 VS-1 . ."Very Very Small" inclusions hard to see at 10 x magnification VVS-2 ."Small" or "Slight" Inclusions or "Imperfections" visible to naked eye SI-3 . representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond."Small" or "Slight" Inclusions or "Imperfections" may be "eye clean" SI-2 . Color Clarity is one of the Four C's. Cut 2. fractures."Internally Flawless" no inclusions at 10 x mag. and flaws GIA Clarity Grading System The chart below explains the GIA grading system for inclusions and imperfections. making them more apparent. Inclusions that are near to. thus minimizing any negative impact of the inclusion. therefore reducing its value significantly. Considerations in grading the clarity of a diamond include the type of stone. In fancy-colored diamonds. light or pale inclusions may show greater relief. or break the surface. In "colorless" diamonds. .small blemishes VVS-1 .not naked eye VS-2 ."Very Small" inclusions visible at 10 x mag.Imperfect. causing a greater drop in grade. As a consumer."Very Very Small" inclusions. with large Inclusions. Clarity 4. and/or on the surface of the stone."Flawless" no inclusions at 10 x magnification IF . On the other hand. darker inclusions will tend to create the most significant drop in clarity grade. . it may be possible to hide certain inclusions behind the setting of the diamond (depending on where the inclusion is located). Carat 3. point size and the location of inclusions. may weaken the diamond structurally. Diamond Clarity Designations FL . it is important to learn and understand the clarity designations found within the "Four C's" diamond grading system. 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.The Four C's Diamond Grading System 1. little or no brilliance I1 to I3 .
If a jeweler sells a diamond that has an actual grade of VS-1.Garnet or other Included gem stones Twinning Wisps .Minute crystals within the diamond that appear white. Such diamonds are sometimes called "fracture filled diamonds". vendors should disclose this enhancement. waviness. There is a significant price discount for fracture-filled diamonds. Laser Drilling Laser drilling involves using a laser to burn a tunnel or hole to a carbon inclusion. chips. Pinpoints . Feathers .Cloudy grouping of tiny pinpoints that may not resolve at 10X Magnification. so they can use greater care while working on the piece.Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet. Chips .Fine cracks.Irregular crystal growth causing internal distortions.A natural indentation that was not removed by polishing. Reputable companies often provide for repeat treatments if heat causes damage to the filling.Fractures that have been artificially filled. Knots . Diamond Fracture Filling Diamond clarity is sometimes enhanced by filling fractures. Cavities . Filled Fractures .Rutile-like needle inclusions. The heat generated by a blowtorch used to work on settings can cause damage. therefor it is essential to inform anyone working on a setting if the diamond is fracture-filled. According to FTC guidelines. Surface Graining . The final clarity grade will be the grade that is assigned after treatment.Dislodged pinpoint inclusions at the surface. The GIA will not grade fracture-filled diamonds. in part because the treatment isn't permanent." According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides. or feathers along the outer edge of girdle.An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing.Concentrated area of crystal growth that appear light or dark. Bruising . appearing as a raised area. haze. Pits . much like repairing a crack in your car's windshield. The treatment is considered permanent and both the GIA and AGS will issue grades for laser drilled diamonds.Diamond Clarity Grade Inflation A fairly common practice in the jewelry trade is grade-inflation or "grade bumping. The drilling process leave tiny telltale shafts or tunnels that are visible under magnification. Grain Center . Indented Naturals . Needles .A percussion mark caused by impact. he or she could legally sell it as a VVS-2. fringing.Inclusions resulting from crystal twining during growth. a diamond must be within one clarity grade of its advertised amount at the time of sale. "One out of every three diamonds sold in the United States is laser-drilled. followed by acid washing to remove the coloring agent." .Cleavage planes or internal fractures that have the appearance of feathers.Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation. Internal Graining .Tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts). According to Fred Cuellar in his book How to Buy a Diamond. Internal Diamond Inclusions Carbon . and reputable filling companies will use filling agents which show an orange or pink flash of color.An inclusion that penetrates the surface. Clouds . Pique . External Diamond Inclusions Bearded Girdles .
Y. The Four Cs of Diamonds: Color The Four Cs Diamond Grading System 1. thereby making the diamond appear yellow. Neither the GIA nor the AGS (American Gemological Society).Grinding Wheel Marks of scratches from contact with other diamonds. Diamond Color Designations D. it will be beneficial to learn and understand some of the basic parameters for diamond color grading.colorless (white) G. Color Color is one of the Four Cs representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. Carat 3. X. COLOR Most all natural diamonds contain small quantities of nitrogen atoms that displacing the carbon atoms within the crystal's lattice structure. T. I. Burn Marks .Small chips at facet junctions. 1 . H. a Sarin Diamond Color Grading report is the state-of-the-art color measuring standard. W. the yellower the stone will appear. Z .light yellow or brown Fig. Q. M . the Gemological Institute of America uses a scale of "D" to "Z" in which "D" is totally colorless and "Z" is yellow. J .near colorless K.faint yellow or brown N. The designation of SI-3 was popularized by the EGL (European Gemological Laboratory) grading office. These nitrogen impurities are evenly dispersed throughout the stone. U. assign this grade. Cut 2.Human Caused Surface Blemishes Abrasions . P. In determining the color rating of a diamond. The color chart in Fig. 1 explains the GIA grading system for clear (not fancy-colored) stones. Clarity 4. O. absorbing some of the blue spectrum.Whitish haziness along the junction of facets caused by wear. E. "SI-3" is a grade sometimes used in the diamond industry.Surface burning from heat buildup during polishing. V. As a consumer. F .very light yellow or brown S. R . the most reputable well known US labs. Scratches . The higher the amount of nitrogen atoms. Diamonds of this low grade would be inappropriate for jewelry. At present. Nicks . L.
For the consumer. jewelers and gem labs can accurately provide a 'color typing' printout of a diamond's color grading that is compatible with AGS. 3 example below. and not by looking at the top of the stone. and D5). and dispersion of light (fire) when looking through the table or crown. 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. most gem labs do not currently provide color-typing data in their reports and certificates. These colorless stones. 2). India. Fig. Each classification is divided into five sub-classifications (D1. Color grading by 'visual-observation is performed against a Master CZ Colored Grading Set. as in our Fig. IGI. D4." "whiter than white. 2 Sarin Color Typing is a relatively new sub-classification of the D through Z gading scale. color grading should be determined by examining the stone through the side of the pavilion (Fig.' Unfortunatly. and HRD grading scales. D2. D-Flawless .The Holy Grail . GIA-GEM. D3.' or a borderline 'G. it is extremely benificial to know if your 'F' is a strong 'F. Using a Sarin Diamond Colorimeter DC3000 (aka Gran Colorimeter).Due to a diamond's high brilliance." or "D+." are named after the famous Golconda Diamond Mines located in the state of Hyderabad. sometimes referred to as "white diamonds.
Skin Tone and Settings While some may prefer a very transparent D to F range. See Color in Gemstones for more information. diamonds with a visible tint may be preffered. according to the GIA. fluorescence can negatively impact the value of the stone by 3% to 20%. fluorescence could increase the value by 0% to 2% buy improving the color (or lack thereof). Diamond Fluorescence Approximatly 1/3 (35%) of all diamonds have a tendency to fluoresce when exposed to ultra-violet (UV) light. and strong. Only around 600 D-flawless roughs are cut into gems weighing between 1 and 2 carats during a given year. On the other hand. medium. others may prefer a "warmer" color found in a G to J range to compliment their skin tone. This fluorescent effect can be beneficial to a diamond that has a yellow tint. Ultra-violet light is a component of natural sunlight and artificial 4800k to 5000k color-proofing light. When diamonds are viewed under a UV light-source. faint. murky appearance when compared to a non-fluorescing diamond. fewer than 5. For diamonds with a color grading of D through H (colorless). In some settings with various combinations of other stones. Diamonds: Chemistry & Structural Properties Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Structural Properties of Diamond .Diamond Formation . Fluorescence is graded as none." but the diamond will have a dull. making the diamond appear "colorless.000 D-color diamonds weighing over half a carat are found each year. diamonds with a poorer color grading (I through K). so this effect will be more apparent under natural daylight than under artificial incandescent light. as the blue fluorescence will cancel out some of the yellow.Large D-flawless diamonds (those weighing more than 2 carats) are some of the rarest minerals on earth. they tend to fluoresce as blue. Even with microscopic inclusions.
" is derived from the Greek adamas." referring to its incredible hardness. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" . upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes. with a variety of trace minerals. The name "diamond. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2. and differentiates it from simple graphite. which resemble a champagne flute. . Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical. ultramafic. phlogopite. Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale.42. a refractive index of 2. A diamond is a transparent. and pyroxene. or "invincible. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe. Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth. Under the continental crust." which is also known as "adamant. and a specific gravity of 3.200 degrees Celsius).044. igneous rock composed of garnet. At these depths. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km). Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits." and "unconquerable. Deep within the earth's crust there are regions that have a high enough temperature (900¼C to 1400¼C) and pressure (5 to 6 GPa) that it is thermodynamically possible for liquified carbon to form into diamonds." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic." "untamable. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms. with the principle allotrope being graphite. olivine. Therefore. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon. diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation.Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine. Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures.52.
or carbon dioxide. A diamond's incredible hardness was the subject of curiosity dating back to the Roman empire. Experimentation during the late 18th century demonstrated that diamonds were made of carbon. is nearly as hard as diamond. Diamond Crystal Habit Diamonds have a characteristic crystalline structure. and crystal habit of a diamond is octahedral (photo. perfectly formed crystals are rare. or dodecahedral. where it was shown to combust in scientific experiments. it is termed as "subhedral. The material "boron nitride. and a hardness value of 231 GPa (±5) when scratched with a diamond tip. a currently hypothetical material. by igniting a diamond in an oxygen atmosphere. The external shape of the crystal." when found in a crystalline form that is structurally similar to diamond. does not always reflect the internal arrangement of its atoms. octahedral." This means that diamond crystals usually "grow" in an orderly and symmetrical arrangement. although the reason for its combustion was not understood at the time. a predictable crystal growth pattern known as its "crystal habit. Additionally." or "anhedral. and therefore. 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. although in nature. The natural crystal form.A Type 2-A diamond has a hardness value of 167 GPa (±6) when scratched with an ultrahard fullerite tip. beta carbon nitride. above). whether it is cubic. may also be as hard or harder than diamond." .
its "toughness" rating is moderate. and varying growth conditions of heat.© AGS Labs Diamond Toughness Within the fields of metallurgy and materials science.Trace impurities." which only denotes a diamond's high resistance to scratching." and therefore. sapphire has a hardness rating of 9. and "pound-force" per square-inch in US units of measurement. causing stress fractures or feathers.5. Unlike "hardness. Hematite has a hardness of only 5. meaning that a diamond is 4 times "harder" than sapphire. most scratch resistant mineral on earth. with a Mohs scale rating of 10. Particular cuts of diamond are more prone to breakage along cleavage planes. Diamond Graphitization In extremely high temperature environments above 1700 ¡C. the term "toughness" describes the resistance of a given material to fracture when it is stressed or impacted. a diamond's "toughness" is only fair to good. Thermal Properties of Diamonds Diamond is a good conductor of heat. graphite can develop internally and on the diamond's surface. due to its ability to fracture along cleavage planes. yet sapphire has a toughness rating of excellent." If you were to place a large enough diamond on your tongue it would draw heat away.5 to 6. A material's toughness is measured in units of "joules" per cubic meter (J/m3) in the SI system. Although diamond is the "hardest. is a facet specifically designed to resist breakage. and therefore may be uninsurable by reputable insurance companies. pressure and space can also affect the final shape of a formed crystal. Many natural blue . acting as a "thermal conductor. The culet facet at the bottom of the pavilion. crystal twinning. Carbon Inclusion . but its toughness rating is also excellent. Additionally. By comparrison. very thin girdles on brilliant cut diamonds are also prone to breakage. Internally formed crystallographic graphite inclusions often create intense strain on the surrounding diamond. making it seem cold.© AGS Labs Hexagonal (Graphite) Platelet Inclusion .
or brilliance. Natural blue diamonds containing boron atoms. increasing thermal conductance. are known as p-type semiconductors. If an n-type semiconductor can be synthesized. to prevent silicon and other semiconducting materials from overheating. which are in fact semiconductors. The term adamantine describes the way light interacts with the surface of a crystal. it is used in the manufacturing of semiconductors. giving off a somewhat greasy sheen. and synthetic diamonds that are doped with boron. . The word luster traces its origins back to the Latin word lux. 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. Fluorescence in Diamonds Fluorescence is an optical phenomenon in which a diamond's molecules absorb high-energy photons. Purified synthetic diamond can have the highest thermal conductivity (2000-2500 W/m-K) of any solid material at room temperature .Insulators or Semiconductors Diamond is a relatively good electrical insulator.com The surface luster (or "lustre") of diamond is described as adamantine. which means unyielding.diamonds contain boron atoms which replace carbon atoms within the crystal matrix. gloss. or longer-wavelength photons. with the exception of natural blue diamonds. meaning "light". re-emitting them as lower-energy. Electromagnetic Properties of Diamond . inflexible.nearly five times greater than pure copper. or having the hardness or luster of a diamond. Due to diamond's high thermal conductance. electronic circuits could be manufactured from diamonds in the future . and generally implies radiance.
This illusion of color is caused by the varying optics effects created by spectral dispersion. and some of the finest historical gemstones such as the Cullinan and Koh-i-Noor are both Type IIa diamonds. 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. Man-made synthetic diamonds containing nitrogen are classified as Type 1-B. and contain nitrogen atoms as an impurity. Diamond can exhibit pseudochromatic coloration giving the appearance of "color" without having any actual color in the mineral itself. absorbing some of the blue spectrum. These Nitrogen impurities found in Type I diamonds are evenly dispersed throughout the gemstone." and refraction. they can give the stone a yellow tint. Type I & Type II Diamonds As many as 99% of all natural diamonds are classified as Type I. which replace some carbon atoms within the crystal lattice structure. particularly Canadian diamonds. If the nitrogen atoms are grouped in clusters they do not necessarily affect the diamond's overall color. red. Some Type IIa diamonds can be found with pink. and appear dark when exposed to ultra-violet light or X-rays. while Type II diamonds that lack boron impurities are classified as Type IIa. classifying them as Type IIb diamonds. with very high thermal conductivity. Some diamond varieties. These Type IIa diamonds have a near-perfect crystal structure making them highly transparent and colorless.Long Wave/Short Wave UV Cabinet Diamond Fluorescence Under UV Light Diamond types that exhibit the phenomenon of fluorescence radiate or glow in a variety of colors when exposed to long wave ultra-violet light. Diamond Refraction & Coloration Diamonds are "singly refractive. Type II Diamond Formation Certain diamonds were formed under extremely high pressure for longer time periods. Typically. due primarily to certain structural anomalies arising from "plastic deformation" which occurred during their formation. and are classified as Type 1-B. greenish or yellow fluorescence when exposed to the X-ray wavelength. making them appear 'colorless' (D). Cloud Inclusion Under UV . a natural diamond may contains both Type 1-A and Type 1-B material. If the nitrogen atoms are dispersed evenly throughout the crystal. thereby allowing the passage of short-wave ultra-violet (SWUV) light through the stone.417. These rare diamonds have a lower nitrogen content. Natural blue Type II diamonds containing scattered boron impurities within their crystal matrix are good conductors of electricity. and thereby making the diamond appear yellow. and they are classified as Type 1-A. or brown coloration. Type II diamonds do not contain any detectable nitrogen. and give off a bluish-white.© AGS Labs Type I UV Fluorescence . or "fire. All Type 1 diamonds have nitrogen atoms as their main impurity.© AGS Labs Type IIa diamonds are very rare. permitting the passage and reflectance of blue light." with a refractive index of 2. show no fluorescence. .
red diamonds). However. . the intensity of the color in the diamond can plays a significant role in its value. and therefor colorless. boron (blue diamonds). steel grey. and black. and red (Hancock Diamond) are particularly valuable. However. brown diamonds). Yellow. green. blue. green. The value of a Fancy Color Diamond can surpass that of colorless diamonds if the intensity of the color is high and the color is rare. Green & Cognac Fancy Colored Diamond Diamonds can occur in all colors of the spectrum. while chemically "pure" diamonds are basically transparent. brown.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. yellow. It is this nitrogen component that produces the color of fancy yellow diamonds. orange. Blue. or yellow diamond may have a relatively low value when compared to a colorless diamond. green (Ocean Dream). red. All colored diamonds contain certain specific impurities and/or structural defects that cause their coloration. Colorless diamonds would normally be priced much higher than yellow diamonds. radiation exposure (green diamonds) or irregular growth patterns within the crystal (pink. certain fancy-colored diamonds such as pink (Condé). it enters the realm of a "Fancy Color" diamond. when a diamond's color is more intense than the "Z" grading. Fancy Colored Diamonds: Pink. and their color is due to trace impurities of nitrogen and/or hydrogen (yellow. In this case. Diamond Color & Composition Diamonds can occur in a wide variety of colors: colorless or white. fancy pink diamonds can command very high prices as they have become increasingly popular. Fancy Diamond Color Hues A fancy brown (or Fancy Cognac). pink. blue (Hope Diamond).
Pink (Brownish-pink) 1 is darkest PC3 to PC1 . . The GIA grades fancy diamond color by quantifying the saturation.Pink (Magenta-pink) 1 is darkest 1P to 8P . South Africa in 1878. sold at a greater discount.Cognac 8 is darkest Chameleon Diamonds There is a very rare olive-grayish color-changing diamond called "Chameleon Diamond" (below. As the numbers go lower (8PP) the color is paler.' GIA 'Fancy Yellow' Diamond Color Saturation Designations Faint . yet considerably more expensive. Fancy Pink/Brown Diamond Color (Hue) Designations 1PP to 8PP . hue.N to R Light .54 carat cushion cut with an estimated value in the millions of dollars.42 carats. One of the world's only major sources for rare pink diamonds is the Argyle Mine in Australia. halogen. having a pure magenta color with deep saturation. lighting color temperatures (incandescent. Pink diamonds are similar to pink sapphire in color. This Chameleon-like phenomenon was first documented by the GIA in the early 1940s. which are generally less appreciated than other fancy colors and therefor. and value (darkness) using nine classifications ranging from 'Faint' to 'Vivid. which changes hue from grayish-blue or olive-green to yellowish-green or straw-yellow under different lighting conditions (darkness. have become more commonplace as Australian colored diamonds have gained in popularity.Brown diamonds.S to Z Fancy Light .Pink (Reddish-pink) 1 is darkest 1BP to 8BP . daylight) and ambient temperature changes. The rough stone weighed 287. 1PP is the highest quality designation for Pink Diamond. 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.Highest Saturation One of the largest. bright light).Champagne 3 is darkest C8 to C1 . and was cut into a 128. causing microscopic imperfections within the lattice structure. and most valuable Fancy Yellow diamonds in the world is the 'Tiffany Diamond. An 1P designation would have less blue and more brownish-red. Pink Diamonds The pink color within these rare diamonds is due to irregular crystal growth patterns. left).Start of 'Fancy' Fancy Fancy Dark Fancy Intense Fancy Deep Fancy Vivid .' found in Kimberly.M Very Light . Only 1% to 2% of the diamonds produced at the Argyle Mine are high-quality pink specimens.
or a combination of the two. and weighed a modest 0. greyish-green. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities. .03 carats. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits. and the De Young Red weighing 5.000 to $500. Warren Hancock. Green diamonds can range from $35. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa.com) The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond.com) Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green.' discovered during the 18th century. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply. Intense. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat.000 per carat. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color.000 in 1987. pure green hues.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant.95carats.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). or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness . It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation.90 carats. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13. The color change effect is temporary. On thing is certain.
" These inclusions can occur within the stone. and beautifully photographed by their Director of Gem Services. This section contains a compendium of photography depicting all of the various types of diamond inclusions—both naturally occurring. These impurities absorb the blue end of the light spectrum. E.com) Fancy Colored Synthetic Diamonds Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless D. or absence of tiny imperfections known as "inclusions. making the stone appear yellowish. Inclusions which are not visible to the naked eye (eye clean) fall into the GIA range of "IF" (Internally Flawless) to "SI2" (Small Inclusions). or human caused. Inclusions which are visible to the naked eye are referred to as piquŽ.com Clarity is one of the Four C's of diamond grading. F grades.L. All of the microscopic inclusion photographs on this page were generously contributed by the A.com) Enhanced Blue & Yellow Diamonds (© AfricaGems. Nevada.Reddish Brown Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. and so-called "piquŽ diamonds" fall into the GIA grading range of I1 to I3 (CIBJO grade P1 to P3).S. Joe Vanells. It is for this reason that manufacturers of synthetic diamonds tend to specialize in fancy colors. and can be naturally occuring. The term "clarity" refers to the presence. representing the four main variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. or on the surface of the cut stone. gemological testing laboratory in Las Vegas. and man-made imperfections—that can be found in raw and cut diamonds. 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. Diamond Inclusion Library: Inclusion Photos Over 100 High-Resolution Diamond Photos! All Contents: Copyright © 2010 AllAboutGemstones. .G.
. Black material found within internal fracture planes can also be crystallographic inclusions of graphite. ferropericlase. ferropericlase. pyrrhotite and pentlandite. 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. Black or dark material found within a diamond's internal fracture planes can also be particles or crystallographic inclusions of graphite.Internal Diamond Inclusion Photos Carbon Tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts).
Microscopic Carbon Picque Inclusions Hexagonal Platelet Inclusion in Trillion Cut Diamond .
Nevada. and is reproduced with their permission. Internal cloud inclusions may not resolve as pinpoints at 10X . All of the microscopic diamond carbon inclusion photography on this page was generously contributed by the AGSL gemological testing laboratory in Las Vegas.Carbon piqué inclusions are sometimes removed by diamond enhancements such as laser drilling. which can leave their own types of unique inclusions. 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. Clouds (Cld) A dense grouping of tiny pinpoints that create a cloudy zone which may not resolve as individual pinpoints at 10X Magnification.
Magnification. These pinpoint cloud inclusions can have a dramatic effect on the clarity and brilliance of a faceted diamond as they interfere with the refraction of light within the stone. .
Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.
Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.
Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.
which cause internal stress fractures during crystal growth.Feathers (Ftr) Cleavage planes or internal stress fractures that have the appearance of feathers. Common around included crystals. Feather inclusions can be accompanied by internal graining and/or twinning wisp inclusions. . Feather inclusions are common around included crystals such as garnet. Feather Inclusion Photos Internal Diamond Feather Inclusion Photography Feather inclusions (Ftr) are caused by cleavage planes or internal stress fractures that have the appearance of wispy feathers.
Feather inclusions caused by stress fractures around included garnet crystal. .
As a result. This is especially true if the fracture breeches the stone's surface. diamonds with significant stress fractures and feather should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner as this could cause the diamond to shatter. making it susceptible to fracturing when exposed to thermal or physical shock. .Pronounced stress fractures and feather inclusions can potentially weaken the stone. and the stress inclusion occurs along the gem's natural cleavage plane.
Grain Center (GrCnt) A concentrated area of crystal growth that can appear light or dark. and haze within a cut diamond. Grain Center Inclusion Photos Internal Grain Center Diamond Inclusion Photography Internal Grain Center (IntGr) inclusions (aka internal graining) are caused by irregular diamond crystal growth which creates internal distortions. . waviness.
Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .
. Growth Tube Inclusion Photos Internal Growth Tubes Inclusion Photography Internal Growth Tube inclusions are natural Imperfections that are created during diamond formation. when a tube or tunnel is generated in the crystalizing diamond by an internal cavity that was once liquid filled. when a tube is generated by a formerly liquid filled cavity.Growth Tubes Imperfection formed during crystal growth.
Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .
olivine.Included Crystals (Xtl) Included and undigested gemstones or fragments of garnet. spinel. silica or other gem stone inclusions. iron oxides. calcite. diopside. Included Crystals Inclusion Photos Internal Included Crystals in Diamond Included Crystal inclusions are whole crystals or tiny included gem fragments of undigested crystals such as garnet. or silica. iron oxides. Green chrome diopside Inclusion within a Diamond . calcite. spinel. olivine. diopside.
Garnet Inclusions within Diamond .
Garnet fragment on Diamond Girdle .
Grossularite Garnet Inclusions in Diamond .
Internal Graining (IntGr) Irregular crystal growth causing internal distortions, waviness, and/or haze. Can be accompanied by internal strain. Internal Graining Inclusion Photos
Internal Graining Diamond Inclusion Photography
Internal Graining (IntGr) inclusions are caused by irregular crystal growth which creates internal distortions, waviness, or haze. Internal Graining imperfections may be accompanied by internal strain such as feather Inclusions.
Internal Graining with Cloud Inclusion .
the drilled passage may not breach the cut diamond's surface. and where pathway does not breach the cut diamond's surface. With internal laser-drilling inclusions.Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) Internal pathway caused by laser-drilling to remove large inclusions. . Internal Laser Drilling Inclusion Photos Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) Inclusion Photography Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) inclusions are man-made internal flaws that resulted from laser-drilling that was done to remove large piquŽ carbon inclusions in a rough stone.
Needles (Ndl) Rutile-like needle-shaped inclusions. Needle Inclusion Photos Needle Inclusion Photography Internal Needles (Ndl) or needle inclusions are naturally occurring rutile-like needle shaped inclusions within the diamond. .
Pinpoints (Pp) Minute crystals within the diamond that appear white. Large groupings of small pinpoints can create a cloud effect. . Large groupings of small pinpoints can create a cloud inclusion effect. Pinpoint Inclusion Photos Pinpoints (Pp) Inclusion Photography Internal Pinpoints (Pp). or Pinpoint Inclusions are minute included crystals within the diamond that appear white under magnification.
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. resulting from crystal twining during the growth process. 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. .
. showing the strange and beautiful world of microscopic diamond inclusions.Odds & Ends: Microscopic Diamond Inclusion Beauty Photos Microscopic Diamond Inclusion Photography This is an assortment of spectacular diamond-inclusion photography taken by Joe Vanells.
Natural Comet Inclusion .
Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud .
Tabular Reflection in Diamond .
Included Garnet Twins within Diamond .
Included Dalmatian Garnet .
Cloud Inclusion .
Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers .
Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light .
Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion .
Knot Inclusion Photos Photography of Diamond Inclusion Knots Knot inclusions are naturally occurring external inclusions or imperfections that penetrate the surface (convex). Knot diamond inclusions can potentially be the cause of man-made drag-line inclusions.Natural External Diamond Inclusions or Blemishes Knots An inclusion that penetrates the surface. appearing as a raised area on the diamond's surface. . appearing as a raised area.
and were not fully removed during the stone's cutting or polishing process. Indented Natural Inclusion Photos Indented Natural (IndN) Diamond Inclusion Photography Indented Natural (IndN) inclusions (indented naturals) are external imperfections that are caused by naturally-occurring recessed (concave) indentations that penetrate the surface of a rough diamond. .Indented Natural (IndN) A naturally occurring indentation in the crystal that was not removed during cutting or polishing.
The lizard-skin effect is caused by an orange-peel texture. . Lizard Skin Inclusion Photos Lizard Skin Diamond Surface Blemish Photography A "lizard skin" surface blemish is a man-made external diamond imperfection that is created during polishing. made up of a bumpy or wavy pattern on the polished surface of a diamond.Lizard Skin A bumpy or wavy 'orange-peel' textured pattern on the polished surface of a diamond.
.Natural (N) A raised portion of the rough diamond's original surface structure that remains visible on the surface of a polished stone. and remain visible on the surface of a polished stone. Natural Inclusion Photos Natural Diamond Inclusion Photography Natural inclusions (aka Naturals) are naturally-occurring raised portions of the rough diamond's original surface structure that were not removed during the polishing process.
Surface Graining (SGr) Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation. . Surface Graining Inclusion Photos Diamond Surface Graining (SGr) Photography Surface Graining (SGr) is a natural imperfection or inclusion that creates visible surface lines which are caused by irregular crystallization during diamond formation.Pits Dislodged pinpoint inclusions at the surface.
Human Caused Surface Blemishes Abrasion (Abr) A tightly grouped series of nicks along the sharp edge of facet junctions. . Bruising (Br) A percussion mark or hole caused by impact and surrounded by tiny feathers. creating a whitish fuzzy edge as opposed to a sharp edge. fringing. or feathers along the outer edge of girdle. Bearded Girdle (BG) Fine cracks. chips.
Burn Marks Created during polishing. during cutting and/or polishing the diamond. or caught by a included crystal. Chips Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet. 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. Drag Lines Created when a rough particle is dragged along the surface. . or when abrasive material is caught by an included crystal such as garnet during the polishing of a diamond. the overheating of a facet causes a burn mark. Cavities (Cv) An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing.
Filled Fractures Fractures or feathers that have been artificially filled to enhance clarity. and remove cloudiness. 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.
marking. .Laser Etching or Markings Careless or inadvertent laser etchings. and inscriptions. 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. markings. or inscribing the external surface of a cut diamond.
Scratch (S) A fine whitish line that can be curved or straight. Diamond Enhancements: Laser Drilling & Fracture Filling . Polish Marks (PM) Also known as "Wheel Marks.Polish Lines (PL) Fine parallel surface groves resulting from the polishing process." whitish film on the surface of a facet caused by excessive heat during polishing.
There are also heating treatments to improve a white diamond's color grade. These techniques do not eliminate the imperfection.© AGS Lab Telltale Signs of Fracture Filling .© 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. but instead attempt to hide their visual effect. Such diamonds are sometimes then branded as "fracture filled diamonds.Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Enhanced Diamonds Diamond "enhancements" are specific treatments performed on cut. or removed by employing several invasive techniques from fracture filling to laser drilling. which are designed to improve the visual or gemological characteristics of the stone." 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. Diamond Fracture Filling Diamond clarity is sometimes improved and enhanced by filling tiny fractures or feathers with molten glass. much like you would repair a crack in a car's windshield glass. but not necessarily increase its value. Unfilled Fractures around Garnet Inclusion . . altered. polished natural diamonds. or treatments to give a fancy color to a off-white diamond. in accordance with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines for the gem trade. A trained gemologist should be able to identify most traditional "enhancements" made to a particular stone. Minor diamond inclusions or surface imperfections which are not visible to the naked eye ("VVS1" to "SI2") can be disguised.
and both the GIA and AGS will issue grades for laser drilled diamonds. referred to as the HTHP process. Reputable filling companies will often provide repeat treatments if heat causes damage to the filling.There should always be a significant price discount for any diamond that has been fracture-filled. or subjecting the diamond to intense pressure and temperature. Diamonds treated with HTHP have their molecular altered so that intense. "vivid" blue and yellow colors result. the heat generated by a blowtorch used to work on settings can cause damage to the filling material.© AGS Lab The laser-drilling treatment is considered permanent.com Color Enhanced Diamonds .© AfricaGems." Diamond Color Treatment Color enhancement of diamonds in done to increase the color intensity of so-called "fancy" colored diamonds. . According to Fred Cuellar in his book How to Buy a Diamond. Signs of Laser Drilling . Due to its low melting-point. The drilling process leave tiny telltale shafts or tunnels that are visible under high magnification (see photos below).com Radiation treatments are completely safe. and the diamonds are tested to ensure that no trace levels of radiation remain. Natural Fancy Diamonds . and the GIA will not even grade a fracture-filled diamond. in part because the treatment isn't permanent.© AGS Lab Laser Drilling Tubes . followed by acid washing to remove the coloring agent. It is therefor essential to inform anyone working on a setting where the diamond has been fracture-filled. These enhancements are achieved using low levels of radiation (irradiation). so that the jeweler can use greater care while working on the piece. "One out of every three diamonds sold in the United States is laser-drilled. The final clarity grade will be the grade that is assigned after treatment.© AfricaGems. 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.
. known as the HTHP (high-temperature. lab diamonds) was first conceived by French chemist Henri Moissan in 1892. The process. Although synthetic diamonds were originally conceived as a substitute for natural industrial-grade diamonds. These man-made synthetic diamonds are a laboratory-grown simulation of the natural gemstone.© AGS Labs Synthetic Yellow Chatham Diamond . yet they have the identical carbon-based chemical properties of natural diamond.Synthetic Diamonds & Man-Made Diamond Simulants Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite The First Synthetic Diamonds Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. and has been steadily improved upon throughout the last 50 years. which created enough pressure to crystallize the molten carbon into tiny diamond fragments. the intense heat would render the crucible and its carbon contents into a molten liquid mass.com The process of creating man-made diamonds (aka cultured diamonds. Once the desired temperature had been achieved. high-pressure) "belt press" process was used for synthesizing industrial-grade diamonds. or carbon to an extremely high temperature (4000º C) in a cast iron crucible.© AGS Labs Today. tiny fragments of synthetic diamond were created by heating charcoal. there are two main processes for creating lab diamonds: the High-Temperature High-Pressure or "HTHP" method. Using an electric furnace constructed with blocks of lime. This abrupt cooling caused the rapid shrinkage of the molten iron crucible. the crucible and its contents were rapidly cooled by immersing them into cold water. and the Chemical Vapor Deposition or "CVD" method. With Moissan's process. Synthetic Diamond under Fluorescent . by H. they are increasingly used in fine jewelry as their quality increases. The first practical commercial application of Moissan's process was developed in 1954.Tracy Hall for the General Electric Company.
Thrilliant Synthetic Spinel (1920-1947) Corundolite. or by measuring UV fluorescence with a DiamondView tester. The vaporized carbon gases are energized using microwave energy. synthetic diamonds may contain small inclusions. In the late 1940's Diamondite gave way to Synthetic Rutile which was popular until the advent of YAG in the early 1970's. 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. Synthetic diamonds can be detected using infrared. Magalux. refractive index. Common diamond simulants include: Cubic Zirconia (CZ) (1976-) Czarite. Lustergem. Synthetic Diamond Manufacturers Apollo Diamonds . A diamond seed is placed into a growth camber. Titangem Synthetic Sapphire (1900-1947) Diamondette. or X-ray spectroscopy. Unlike their natural diamond counterparts. the HTHP diamond's growth process can take 7 to 10 days to complete. Jourado Diamond. ultraviolet. These impurities absorb the blue end of the light spectrum.1970) Diagem. Fabulite Synthetic Rutile (1946-1955) Diamothyst. most of these lesser simulants fell by the wayside. Rainbow Diamond. a seed or substrate material is placed into the growth camber. Geminaire In the early 1900's. Radient Yttrium Aluminum Garnet (YAG) (1970-1975) Diamone. Phianite Gadolinium Gallium Garnet (GGG) (1972-1975) Strontium Titanate (ST) (1955 . Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) The "Chemical Vapor Deposition" (CVD) method was developed during the 1980s. Diamonte. Diamonite.High-Temperature High-Pressure (HTHP) The "High-Temperature High-Pressure" (HTHP) technique. hardness. Diamonaire. the diamond's entire growth process takes several days to complete. and uses a lowerpressure growth environment than the earlier HTHP method. produced using the Verneuil (flame-fusion) Process. which attracts the gas to the substrate. With the advent of Cubic Zirconia in the mid 1970's. Like natural diamond. Rutania." uses a four-anvil 'tetrahedral press. Synthetic Diamond Color & Optics Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless form. making them difficult to differentiate from natural diamonds. and a combination of heat and pressure are applied while a vaporized carbon-plasma that is combined with hydrogen is applied. light dispersion. With CVD. specific gravity. or "deposited" onto the substrate in successive layers. Java Gem.' or six-anvil 'cubic press' to create the necessary pressure. also known as "GE POL. making the stone appear yellowish. Diamondite. most synthetic diamonds will have a slightly yellowish hue due to nitrogen impurities that are dispersed through out the crystal lattice structure during the growth phase. Synthetic diamonds can also be treated with the HTHP process to alter the optical properties of the stones. ranging in clarity from IF to SI or I. Diamond Simulants Diamond "simulants. A cultured synthetic diamond will have the identical cleavage. or "simulate" the appearance of natural diamonds. Using Chemical Vapor Deposition. but are not a carbonbased compound having a natural diamond's crystalline structure. and surface luster as its natural diamond counterpart. and Moissanite in 1998." also known as "simulated diamonds" or "fake diamonds" are man-made gemstones that look like. Diamond Essence. colorless synthetic sapphire (aka Diamondite) was a popular diamond simulant.
Ltd.com Tairus Created Gems Tairus Created Gems is a Russian company that grows fancy-colored diamonds in their proprietary "Split Sphere" system.com To the average consumer. and rose cuts. using a proprietary variation of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) technique. Florida.25 carats is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. in Boston. Gemesis only grows fancy-colored diamonds.Apollo Diamond.25 carats to 1 carat. and some fancy colored diamonds. which they claim is the closest thing to mother nature. Apollo Diamonds are cut and polished in sizes ranging from .. princess. and CZ has a hardness of only 8. The toughness of Cubic Zirconia is rated as good. Chatham's pricing ranges from $6. Tairus produces rough sizes from .gemesis. Cubic Zirconia (Zirconium Oxide ZrO2) has a completely different chemical structure. .). Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite Cubic Zirconia Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.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 each cut stone is laser inscribed with the Apollo company logo and serial number. carbonate fluid solution that is similar to diamond-bearing metamorphic rock. while diamond has a hardness of 10. While a synthetic diamond is a man-made recreation of an actual carbon-based diamond. Apollo Diamond's cut stones are available in round brilliant. of Bangkok Thailand.com Gemesis Cultured Diamonds Gemesis is located in Sarasota.apollodiamond. www.chatham. To insure easy identification as a man-made product. inc. Massachusetts grows colorless (D to M) diamonds.500 to $9. www. and each stone is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. emerald. Tairus Created Gems are sold exclusively through Tairus Thailand Co.500 per carat (2004 est. each Gemesis cut stone over . The Split Sphere system crystalizes the carbon seed in an alkaline.30 carats to 3 carats. and like Chatham. and stones are cut to order. www.3 on the Mohs scale. Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is the most familiar type of diamond simulant on the market. with clarity grades from IF to SI.
etc.800 . although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing. or colorless (white) versions.80 to 2. CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds. the greater dispersive power. or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left). and CZs can be made in any "color grade. The 1. Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. Zirconium oxide powder is heated. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible. For instance. CZ vs Diamond . The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below). but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye. 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. CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1. Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond. Once the mixture has cooled.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.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight.) in a totally dark room.2. The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit. candle." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR). Diamond's RI is 2. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting. Natural diamonds attract grease. Unlike most natural diamonds. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond .Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. Due to their low cost and consistency. . a CZ is optically flawless.In 1973.17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2.170.41 (RI). 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. 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.
center) near Winslow. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. candle. Arizona. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. Moissanite has a hardness of 9. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. while diamond has a hardness of 10. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998.) in a dark room. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. Henri Moissan (above. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0.69.044.25 on the Mohs scale.65 to 2. Moissanite. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. 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. 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. when examining the gem through the kite facets. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ.104 as compared to CZ at 0. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index.670. found only in iron-nickel meteorites. is classified as an element rather than a compound. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. and diamond at 0. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent.417. Moissanite has an RI of 2.060. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. etc. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. . By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite.A small.com Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum).
although it can be easily cleaved or fractured due to its defined cleavage planes. Diamond's RI is 2. Moissanite vs Diamond . A similarly sharp. Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be more diffused.A small." and the rough stone must be cut with the grain. Like wood.417 Moissanite is double refractive (anisotropic) while a natural diamond is singly refractive (isotropic). Diamonds: Modern Diamond Cutting Diamond Cutting Background One of the hardest substances on earth.Detectable to the Naked Eye Dispersion Pattern: Secondary patterns of dispersion due to double refraction Color: Moissanite has a slight yellow color and does not come in grades better than 'J' Lack of Flaws: Moissanite is virtually flawless. diamonds were valued primarily for their luster and hardness. Cutting a Rough Diamond . due to its high refractive index. Table Cut diamonds appeared black to the eye. detailed and sharply focused pattern caused by secondary reflections will be seen when observing a diamond. caused by primary reflections from the pavilion and CZ's low RI. Diamond cutting can be traced back to the late Middle Ages.670. which was called the "Point Cut." At the time. The Modern Round Brilliant cut (below) is the culmination of several hundred years of experimentation and development. but significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its high RI. creating the "Table Cut. most diamonds have some inclusions Moissanite vs Diamond . only a diamond is hard enough to cut other diamonds. one half of the crystal would be cut off. rather than against it. Prior to this time. The first improvements on nature's design involved a polishing of the crystal faces. diamond is singly refractive Refractive Index: Moissanite has a refractive index of 2. You can also Inspect the facet edges with a 10x loupe to look for any chipping or slightly rounded or soft (not sharp) edges that are telltale signs of Simulants. diamonds were used in their natural octahedral state." As further refinement progressed.Detectable With Testing Double Refraction: Moissanite is double refractive. diamond has a "grain.
Cleaving: Cleaving refers to splitting a stone along its grain by striking it. As the saw blade rotates it continues to pickup or "recharge" itself with diamond dust which is the cutting agent. the "blocker" or "lapper" will cut the first 18 main facets. It can take several hours for the saw blade to cut through a 1k rough diamond. Cleavage is the tendency of crystalline materials to split along defined cleavage plane. a second diamond mounted on a dop is pressed against it. then pressing it against a revolving cast iron disk. or lap that has been "charged" with diamond dust. The cutting (also called "placing") and polishing of each facet is accomplished by attaching the stone to a dop stick with cement. Sawing: A stone-cutting saw is a thin disk made of phosphor bronze. 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. During this faceting stage the angles of each facet must be cut to an exacting standard in order to yield maximum brilliancy. A rough stone is cleaved if there are conspicuous defects and/or inclusions which would prevent it from being made into a single gemstone.Cutting a raw diamond into a faceted and polished gem-quality stone is a multi-step process." Faceting: To facet a round brilliant. eliminate waste. This step is also referred to as "rounding. or shatter the stone. While the rough stone rotates on the diamond lathe. Due to its atomic structure. then a "brillianteer" will cut and polish the remaining 40 facets. and maintain symmetry.Modern Round Brilliant Diamond . 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. Cleaving is a critical step as a mistake by the "cleaver" could fracture. Each step is critical to the final outcome. and bypass any inclusions or imperfections. The natural shape of the rough stone will also be a major factor in deciding how to cut the stone. on a scaife. Diamonds: Ideal Cut . Asymmetrical crystals such as macles are used primarily for fancy cuts. High-tech computerized helium and oxygen analyzers are now used to evaluate a stone prior to cutting. Cubic shapes are ideal for a square Princess or Radiant cut. a diamond can be cleaved in four directions parallel to each of the four octahedron crystal faces. rounding the rough diamond into a conical shape. Bruting: The rough is placed in a chuck on a lathe.
elimination of any inclusions.Ideal Cut vs Standard Cut Diamond Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. The clarity of the stone. Reconciling Cut & Weight Retention If the rough stone has a colorless D through F rating and has very few inclusions.com When deciding how to cut a rough diamond. compromises would have to be made. An octehedral rough diamond will yield two round brilliant cut stones (see diagram below). 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 . and the amount of internal inclusions will play an important part in the decisions as to how to maximize yield. but in order to do this. the rough stone has some coloration and/or is heavily included. If. on the other hand. it would be cost effective to sacrifice some carat weight in order to finish with two "Ideal" cuts. This is accomplished by reconciling three key factors .weight retention. cut proportions. it may be better to aim for a higher carat weight utilizing a "Standard" cut. The objective is always to maximize carat weight. a cutter must make a cost-benefit analysis as to how to maximize the cut stone's value.
it is the most efficient cut for maximizing yield. 8 "pavilion" facets. 16 "upper girdle" facets. 1 "culet" facet on the bottom. "Premium Cut" or "Modern Round Brilliant" (Tolkowsky Round Brilliant) diamond as shown in the diagrams above would have the following basic proportions according to the AGS: . The round brilliant cut is beneficial when the crystal is an octahedron. it is the best cut for showcasing a high-quality stone's fire and brilliance. hearts. In the diagram of a "Round Cut" diamond (above and below). This cut is also known as the "Tolkowsky Cut" and "Tolkowsky Brilliant. The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem. This is primarily due to the fact that this cut has yet to be improved on for two reasons: 1. 8 "kite" facets. and one "table" facet on the top of the stone for a total of 58 facets. the cutting and polishing of a diamonds resulted in a loss of as much as 50% of the stone's total weight. 16 "lower girdle" facets. and 2." Even with modern techniques.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. you will see that there are 8 "star" facets. etc. An "Ideal Cut". The Modern Round Brilliant Cut The modern "Round Brilliant Cut" (below) was developed by Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. as two stones could be cut from one crystal. This is why it is very rare to see flawless stones cut into fancy cuts such as emeralds.
.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant". Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. more brilliance and fire. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor).5%. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. Tolkowsky. etc. very small to small In the 1970s.N. . crown height of 14. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect. invented in 1929.7%.6% and overall height of 57.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design. 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." (Scandinavian standard. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57.7%. The "Scan D. Symmetry. and overall height of 57. Ideal Scope.4%. facet ratios. Eppler & Scan D. A perfect blending of facet symmetry. H&A Viewer. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%. and Proportions.N.5% to 43. As with all human endeavors. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. To quantify a diamond's cut quality. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. crown height of 14.' 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. and crown/pavilion angles. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. Since then.
and the culet is square.Producers split hairs over cut angle.106 carat Cullinan Diamond into eleven gem stones. it is put in front of the ultimate arbiter of quality . Tolkowsky came up with a "brilliant" idea almost 90 years ago. cut corners and a small table.) 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. or the widely marketed Leo cut which is a modified round-brilliant sold by Leo Schachter Diamonds.asscher. the Cullinan 1 and Cullinan 2 being set into the crown and sceptre of the British Crown Jewels. Every conceivable cutting theory is tried.each trying to improve on the tried-and-true Old European cuts. The Asscher brothers cut the famous 3. and it still survives in some form today. but at the end of the day it may simply come down to consumer preference and/or marketing. and their modest brilliance and light return. (more facets. mathematicians. Diamonds: Patented Signature Diamond Cuts Notable Patented & Proprietary Diamond Cuts Since the early 1900s there has been a proliferation of elaborate diamond cuts that have been developed by master gem cutters. etc. the Asscher diamond cut has a squarish octagonal shape with a step cut.the consumer. with the two largest stones. less facets. One thing is for sure . www. cut proportions. The cut has a deep pavilion and a high crown. and entrepreneurs . but some like the Barion Cut have disappeared into obscurity. Popular in Art Deco jewelry of the period. Some have gone on to become household names such as the Asscher cut. scientists.like Einstein's theory of relativity. Asscher Cut The Asscher Cut was developed by Abraham and Joseph Asscher of the Royal Asscher Diamond Company of Amsterdam in 1902.nl Barion Cut . and number of facets.
www. www. to become Asprey & Garrard. The Barocut is also called a "two heart diamond" due to the illusion of two mirrored hearts meeting at the culet. The Barion square cut diamond has a 4-fold mirror-image symmetry. It is sold exclusively through the 270 year old firm of Garrard & Company in London. merged with the jewelry firm Asprey. parting ways in 2002 to again become Garrard. Marce Tolkowsky. The Context Cut is used to cut colored gemstones by Julius Petsch of Idar-Oberstein. forming a square shape when viewed from the top. and in all diamond colors and/or clarity grades. Gabi Tolkowsky. and was the forerunner to the princess cut. www. Ulrich Freiesleben of Germany in the early 1980s then patented and trademarked in 1997. nephew to the inventor of the Modern Round Brilliant cut.com Context Cut The Context Cut is a square cut that was developed by Dr. In 1998. 23 more than a modern Round Brilliant cut. The cut has a total of 8 facets plus a girdle. The Eternal Cut has a total of 81 facets. Germany.com . creating a unique 'flower petal' pattern surrounding the cutlet. with star-shaped cross facets cut diagonally into the pavilion. The Context Cut consists of two back-to-back pyramids (an octahedron). or to increase light-dispersion.de Eternal Cut The Eternal Cut diamond was designed and patented by master Israeli diamond cutter. Inc. Garrard & Co. Barocut stones are also sold in tapered shapes. The name "Barion" or "Barion cut" was never trademarked. A Barocut diamond has a total of 77 facets.garrard. adding up to 50% to the cost when compared to a Round Brilliant cut diamond. The cutting process requires a high-quality rough. and a 'softer' briliance than a traditional round brilliant cut. or the company website. modified rectangular (baguette) cut that was developed by Baroka Creations. The Context Cut design was based on an earlier patented design by Bernd Munsteiner from the early 1960s.freiesleben. and its patent has expired. and creates a high amount of waste. and a total of 81 facets. 81 facets on the cut corner (cushion) version.The Barion square cut (aka Barion square cushion cut) was invented by Basil Watermeyer of South Africa in 1971.baroka. not including the 16 girdle facets. The Context Cut follows a rough diamond crystal's natural octahedral shape. Barocut diamonds are promoted and sold exclusively through the Baroka Creations catalog. Barocut The Barocut® diamond cut is a patented. of New York in 2000. The Barocut is available in sizes from 20 points to 3 carats. The Eternal Cut is being sold exclusively at Garrard's main London store and Harvey Nichols stores in Great Britain.
The Fire-Rose is a hexagonal shape designed to produce higher yields. Marigold.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. www.nationaldiamond. and the cut was named after the Flanders region of Belgium (Antwerp) where the cut was first preformed in 1987. Unveiled at the Las Vegas Gem Show in 2001. 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. angular shapes. that is suited to a relatively flat rough. is a patented symmetrical round cut created by Leo Schachter Diamonds. the Gabrielle has a total of 105 facets. maximizing the amount of light returned back as scintillation.gabriellediamonds. which is 47 more than a traditional 'Tolkowsky' round brilliant cut.flanders-cuts.com www. 48 of which are clustered around the culet to increase fire. (aka Leo Schachter Diamond). heart. www. emerald. LLC. Other than the traditional round brilliant shape. The Marigold is an octagon shape with 73 facets. The Sunflower has 43 facets in unusual. The Zinnia is a round fancy shape with 73 facets. The Flower Cut is actually a series of five fancy cut shapes: the Dahlia.com Leo Cut The Leo® Diamond. who was commissioned by De Beers to create new cuts as a way of marketing unusual. Fire-Rose. oval. The Flanders Fire-Brilliant was developed by Flanders Cut International of Antwerp in 1983. and pear shapes. The Flanders Brilliant has 33 crown facets and 28 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets. The Flower Cuts employ unconventional cutting angles and dimensions. the Gabrielle Cut is available in carre. . 8 more facets than the Round Brilliant cut's 58. The Leo diamond cut has a total of 66 facets. The Dahlia is a 12 sided oval shape with 63 facets. The Flower Cuts were never patented or trademarked by De Beers in order to increase their popularity and use.com Flower Cut The 'Flower Cut' series was created by Gabi Tolkowsky in 1986. off-color stones. Sunflower and Zinnia cut. adding greater brilliance and fire than standard brilliant cuts. designed to maximize the brilliance and color of diamonds while increasing their yield. marquise. The cut is distributed by the National Diamond Syndicate (NDS) of Chicago.
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. sold in solitaire engagement/wedding bands. and was patented and trademarked by Bez Ambar Jewelers of Los Angeles in 1980. www. the Radiant Cut became a fully accepted diamond shape in the jewelry business. The Lucida diamond cut is marketed as a wedding cut. and a total of has 50 facets.diamondaires. The Lucida diamond cut is a modified square or rectangular (Marquise) cut with truncated corners. patented and trademarked by Henry Grossbard of the Radiant Cut Diamond Company (RCDC) in 1977. square shaped diamonds were stepcut limiting their brilliance. and three-stone rings.tiffany.' and each diamond comes with a "Return of Light Certificate.com Starburst Cut .radiantcut. eternity bands. Upon the expiration of the patent. RCDC launched the 'Original Radiant Cut' diamond brand In 2002. There are 25 crown facets and 36 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets (not including 8 girdle facets). small table.The Leo diamond cut is the first to be certified for fire and brilliance as measured by a 'BrillianceScope. The pavilion is similar to a Barion cut. The Lucida is sold exclusively through Tiffany's retail chain. 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.com Lucida Cut The Lucida (TM) Cut is a patented diamond cut that was created by Tiffany & Company in 1999. www. and the table is a bowed out rectangle. and all Original Radiant Cut diamonds weigh at least 0. www. a highstep crown (similar to the Asscher Cut). Bez Ambar Radiant Cut The Radiant Cut is a modified emerald cut shape that was developed.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. There are a total of 49 facets. Prior to the Quadrillion. brilliant-style faceted pavilion (similar to a Cushion Cut). It was the first emerald shaped diamond cut to have brilliance and fire similar to that of a round brilliant diamond." The Leo Diamond is marketed through the Kay Jeweler chain.
for a total of 89 kite and star shaped facets. but the pavilion is completely different. The Starburst cut is especially suitable for a octahedral rough. The Trilliant cut gives a high brilliance. There are 49 crown facets and 40 pavilion facets. reworked into the shape of a trillion (triangle). and the natural octahedral symmetry of the rough stone's closed isometric form. Since the day that humans first discovered 'adamas' (diamonds).The Starburst Cut was patented and trademarked by the Louis Glick Diamond Corp. www. Trillion) is a triangular cut designed and trademarked by the Henry Meyer Diamond Company of New York in 1962.com Trilliant Cut The Trilliant Cut (aka Trielle. and the Trilliant is now a generic term for a triangular brilliant cut. Still. Nieman Marcus and Tiffany. The starburst faceting pattern is designed to focus color near the top of a stone. The crown of the Starburst Cut is similar to that of the radiant cut. right) was created by cutting off some of the top half of the point cut's octahedron to create a table. Point Cut . fire. making the hue of fancy yellow diamonds more intense. with weight losses in the fifty percent range. . Harry Winston.com The faceting of diamonds has come a long way in the last 700 years. Starburst Cuts are mounted and sold directly through Cartier. There are two variations of this cut: the Curved cut used for solitary stones. Old Mine Cut Evolution of the Faceted Diamond & Colored Gem Article Copyright © 2008 AllAboutGemstones. Old European Gem Cuts: Point. this led to the invention of the first gem cutting machines (precursor to the "lap" or "Facetron") in the 1300s. but that has not always been easy as these little chunks of elemental carbon are harder that anything that could be found to cut them. The Trilliant Cut has a total of 31 facets. The point cut design is dictated by the natural shape of an octahedral rough diamond. 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 Trilliant trademark has since lapsed.early 1300s The "point cut" (below left) is one of the first symmetrically faceted diamond cuts. and light return from the stone. of New York in 1978. and scintillation when cut to the correct proportions. From this point forward it was a race to see who could design the perfect faceted cut which would bring out the maximum fire. Trillian. With the realization that only a diamond could cut another diamond. brilliance. The Trilliant has the Schoenflies point group symmetry of a round brilliant. Old eight. craftsmen have attempted to "improve" on nature. The "table cut" (below. The pavilion has two differently sized sets triangular facets with a large triangular table. The Starburst cut was created to bring out the highest amount of color to fancy yellow diamonds.louisglick. and the career of the "diamantaire" (diamond cutter/polisher) was born. the precursor for the "design" of the first faceted diamond lay within the rough stone itself. and Uncurved cut used for accent stones.
The "senaille cut" is a rose cut with irregular or non-symmetrical faceting.1700s The "old mine" cut is the earliest form of the "brilliant cut" diamond. it has a cushioned or rounded girdle shape. This Old Mine cut is basically square with gently rounded corners and "brilliant" style facets. eight bezel or crown facets. The briolette cut was designed primarily for use in a pendant or as a dangling bauble in a crown.Single Cut .1500s Invented in the mid 16th century. . The crown is typically tall. the "rose cut" is also known by the the "Antwerp rose. 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. an octagonal table." "crowned rose cut. Also called the "cushion cut".late 1300s Invented in the late 14th century. resulting in a smaller table." and the Full Holland cut. Old Mine Cut . The single cut may or may not have a culet at the bottom. and eight pavilion facets. The culet is usually large enough to be visible when viewed through the table." "Dutch cut. Rose & Briolette Cut. The "briolette cut" is a modified "double Dutch rose cut" with one of the hemispheres being elongated. the "old single cut" (aka "old eight cut") diamond has the addition of corner facets to create an octagonal girdle. The briolette was the precursor to the "pendeloque cut" which is a pear-shaped modification of the round brilliant cut.
The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem. The Modern Round Brilliant Cut . The eight cut is similar to the "single cut" in that there are eight four-sided trapezoidal facets at the crown. and an octagon-shaped table for a total of 17 facets (18 if a culet is used). Eight Cut & Swiss Cut The "eight cut" is primarily used for small stones when a brilliant cut would be impractical. the old European diamond has a circular girdle. the cutting and polishing of a diamonds resulted in a loss of as much as 50% of the stone's total weight. As with its predecessor the "point cut" over 600 years earlier.1800s The "Old European" cut was the forerunner of the modern round brilliant cut. The Old European diamond cut has a very small table. as two stones can be cut from one crystal with a minimum amount of waste. eight facets at the pavilion. This cut is also known as the "Tolkowsky Cut" and "Tolkowsky brilliant.1900s The "modern round brilliant cut" (below) was developed by Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919." Even with modern techniques. Like the modern round brilliant. . a heavy crown.Old European Cut . and very tall overall depth. the Modern Round Brilliant cut is beneficial when the crystal is an octahedron (diagram above).
. Rio Tinto. there is usually a substantial mark-up in the retail sale price of diamonds. The rough stones are separated into 16." The DTC is part of the DeBeers Group supply-chain known as the Central Selling Organization (CSO).A "Swiss cut" is a compromise between an eight cut and a brilliant cut.000 categories based on size.com The trade in gem-grade rough diamonds is primarily controlled by the De Beers. which combines ("aggregating") supplies of rough diamonds from multiple sources into one wholesale market (#2). then divided by human or automated sorters into individual lots called "boxes. with a total of 33 facets (34 if a culet is used). or secondary mining producers in Canada and Russia to De Beers' Diamond Trading Company (DTC) in London. silver or platinum. thereby controlling and stabilizing prices. 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. Unlike precious metals such as gold. Trans Hex. for sorting and resale. Gaborone. There is a limited market for the resale of diamonds that are less than "investment grade." The 'Diamond Pipeline' Rough diamonds are sent directly from De Beers mining operations in Africa (#1). 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). color and quality. Kimberley and Windhoek. 16 isosceles triangle facets on the crown and 16 facets on the pavilion. The Diamond Trade: The 'Diamond Pipeline' Rough Diamond Producers Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.
De Beers is also facing increasing pressure from the manufactures of synthetic diamonds. Many Sightholders are also cutters. through their Diamond Promotion Service (DPS) and Diamond Information Centres (DIC) marketing divisions. or to jewelry manufacturers (#5) around the world.De Beers Sightholders The DTC holds a sale called a "site" or "sight" ten times per year in London and Johannesburg. cutters. diamonds have underperformed since 1987 when compared to the "luxury goods" market or global GDP. Rough diamonds are cut in various geographic regions according to tradition and the skill-sets of the labor force. and New York. De Beers and the Future De Beers' (CSO's) control over the wholesale diamond market has diminished due to increased market penetration. to take advantage of market fluctuations. Both traders and manufacturers may sell diamonds "upstream" and "downstream" through the diamond pipeline . Other major cutting centers are located in Johannesburg. Tel Aviv. determining the quantity and quality that each site-holder will receive. The diamonds are then re-sold from the cutting and polishing (manufacturing) centers to wholesalers (Diamond Bourses). (see DeBeers' Adiamondisforever. while large stones are primarily cut in Antwerp. and Thailand. As a reaction to their decrease in market share. where De Beers sells the "boxes" to its select group ("supplier of choice") of 125 "sightholders" (#3) or diamond manufacturers. .com website).000. and retailers . reclaiming their "A Diamond Is Forever" moniker. Once the diamonds are set into jewelry. Additionally.000 USD. China. A 'sight' can have a value of between $500. they are sold to retailers or direct to the customer. De Beers (DTC) sets the price of each box in advance. which are increasing in popularity and consumer acceptance. De Beers.000 to $2.20 carats or less) in Mumbai (Bombay) and Surat. India cuts the vast majority of small stones (. Ramat Gan. and independent diamond producers in Canada. Russia and elswhere. has launched an aggressive branding and marketing campaign. and the breakaway from CSO's cartel by the Argyle Diamond Mine in Australia. The sightholder then transports the box of rough diamonds back to diamantaire firms (cutting and polishing factories) located around the world (#4).
also known as the "World Diamond Center" or Diamantenzentrum. bond. This mark is only visible via a point-of-sale electronic viewer.S. the DTC has developed new inscription technologies to "invisibly" mark the table facet of polished diamonds with a "Forevermark" trademark. the European Union and the United Nations to rid the diamond Industry of conflict diamonds. . Diamond Bourses are basically trading exchanges for loose. China.500 diamond dealers (diamantbedrijven) are ensconced in small. heavily guarded geographic area surrounded by three main streets. The largest diamond trading center in the world is located in Antwerp.com The word "Bourse" refers to a private stock. The Council began in July 2000 after a joint meeting of the WFDB and its international headquarters are in New York City. and about half of the polished diamonds. and Shanghai. Israel and South Africa and works with 35 independent Governments. cut and uncut diamonds. Schupstraat. The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base. some 1. De Beers is hoping that the combination of branding and security will increase consumer demand. Diamond Industry Trade Organizations World Diamond Council The World Diamond Council (aka: International Diamond Council) was established by the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) to find ways to reduce the number of conflict diamonds entering the diamond market. Almost 85% of the world's rough diamonds. NY . or commodities exchange similar to the NYSE. The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates .. 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. Europe. South Africa. and will com with a certificate of authenticity. In addition to its members. are sold in Antwerp every year. and India (2007). Hong Kong. Hoveniersstraat. Asia.Forevermark Diamonds As a way of staving off the onslaught of secondary diamond markets. and preventing the inherent product misidentification that will follow. Belgium but there are also Diamond Bourses in Israel. Moscow. Within Antwerp's diamond district. KPCS originated in May 2000 during a meeting of South African diamond producing states in Kimberley. and the city is the hub of the global diamond trading industry (diamanthandel). and Rijfstraat. Forevermark diamonds will be available through sightholder/retailers in the U. The Diamond Trade: Diamond Bourses of Antwerp Diamond Bourses Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. London. As of 2006. the WDC has observers from the governments of Belgium. The Council has approximately 70 members representing jewelers. traders and manufacturer/producers. 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 .
which was established in the same year that the 1930 World Expo was held in Antwerp. and both are still in operation today. ethics and morality. regulations. The Diamond High Council (HRD) . In Antwerp's 'Diamond Center' (Diamantenzentrum) today. uncut diamonds was the Antwerpsche Diamantkring (Antwerp Diamond Ring) . Beurs voor Diamanthandel .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. bisected by Hoveniersstraat street. friendship and trust . and repatriation of Antwerp following the end of WWII. there are around 4000 diamond-cutters (diamantaire) working in the several-square-block diamond district. and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) was founded in 1947. Most transactions conducted within the Bourses done with cash and a handshake.Photo: Wiki Public The first trading exchange to deal exclusively with rough. Members of the Diamond Bourses operate within a system based on mutual trust and each member pledges to uphold the traditions and principles of consideration. making it the largest diamond-trading center in the world . the Antwerpsche Diamantkring was reopened. founded in 1893—and the Beurs voor Diamanthande (at Pelikaanstraat 78) founded in 1904 . After the liberation. These first trading exchanges mainly dealt with the wholesaling of cut stones. Around $16+ billion in polished diamonds pass through Antwerp's diamond bourses each year. and disputes are handled by an internal arbitration process. Both bourse were founded by Hasidim diamantairs. an by-laws that govern business practices. Control over the diamond trade is maintained through the WFDB's Constitution containing a series of rules.
with 10.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. Flemish.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 Voortrekkers had to contend with the native Zulu tribe over land they wished to settle on. or German Protestant backgrounds.' 'Gauteng.' and the 'Orange Free State' provinces to escape hostilities with the native 'Xhosa tribe' from which Nelson Mandela decended.000 Zulu warriors attacking 470 Boer settlers. under the Treaty of Vereeniging. but 3000 Zulus were killed in what became known as the 'Battle of Blood River. 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 First Boer War (1880—1881) began with the Transvaal (Limpopo) Boers declaring independence from Great Britain. there was a mass exodus (the Great Trek) northward to 'Northern Cape. and fully annexed the Cape Colony in 1806 ." Three of South Africa's richest diamond mines are in Northern Cape (Kimberley Diamond Mine). and this eventually lead to all-out war.' 'Limpopo. They settled in the 'Cape of Good Hope' on Africa's southern most tip. who were in search of the "quiet sweet life. The Boers resisted British encroachments into their territory until the Second 'Anglo' Boer War (1899— 1902).' After the devastating Zulu defeat. Gauteng (Premier Diamond Mine). ending with the inclusion of all Boer territories into British colonies.' During the 1830s and 1840s. The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base. Diamonds and the British The Second Wave of Europeans Needing a stopping-off point on the sea-route to Australia and India. which at the time was administered by the 'Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie' or 'Dutch East India Company. 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. England seized the Cape of Good Hope from the Dutch East India Company in 1797. This led to a new wave of emigrants and adventurer-seekers from England. The Diamond Trade: History & Culture of the Key Players Article Copyright © 2006 AllAboutGemstones. most with Dutch Calvinist. The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates . There was not a single Boer fatality. coming for . and Limpopo (Venetia Diamond Mine). Afrikaners who participated in the migration northward became known as the 'Trekboer' or Voortrekkers.
Domain Thomas M. De Beers and Kimberley Central were the two largest mining interests in South Africa at the time. Photo: Pub.the "mineral revolution. but was eventually successful in convincing Barnato to merge with De Beers. De Beer. Rhodes started out selling ice cream to the diamond-diggers and service workers.. With the help of the Rothschild bank in London. Cecil Rhodes' De Beers empire was started on a farm owned by two Boer settlers and brothers." In 1906. a prospector.. no heirs to his empire. Rhodes made several aborted attempt to gain control over Barnato's interest in Kimberley Central Mine. Cullinan . One of the richest men in the world. although Rhodes did not start out with an interest in diamonds. Amid all of this turmoil and chaos. he was able to build a monopolistic empire through skill and cunning. and J. Domain Cecil Rhodes Cecil Rhodes (1853—1902) is the undisputed father of the modern diamond industry. 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.' Cecil Rhodes died a single man with no children and. In exchange. 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. As founder of De Beers. a curious discovery was being made along the banks of the Orange River. Photo: Pub. Barnato was given appointed to 'life governor' and temporary controlling interest in De Beers . As a young lad from England. and later selling steam-powered water pumps to drain the open-pit mines of Kimberley. and in 1910 the 'Union of South Africa' was created. A. Domain Barney Barnato During the same period that Cecil Rhodes was building De Beers Consolidated Mines. D. self-government was restored. N. The African nation of Rhodesia was named after him (now the Republic of Zimbabwe). Photo: Pub. he began his business interests in South Africa by servicing the "ant hill" of humanity that was descending on Kimberley during the diamond rush of the late 1800s. in Northern Cape. mysteriously falling overboard on a ship passage back to England.
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 . 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 . In 1914, WW1 broke out in Europe, and diamond prices began to spiral. Layoffs at the mine caused enough friction that by August, mining operations were suspended. The Premier Mine had resumed production by January 1916, but in need of cash, Cullinan sold a major stake in the mine to the Transvaal government. Frank Oats, who was now the chairman of De Beers, was able to convince the Transvaal government to sell its controlling interest in 1917, and De Beers once again enjoyed a monopoly on South African diamonds.
Diamonds and the Ashkenazi, Sephardi and Hasidic Jews
There is perhaps no other ethnic group that is so inextricably intertwined with the diamond trade, than the jews. In an odd twist of fate, it may be Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama's discovery of a searoute to India around Africa's Cape of Good Hope in 1488, that set the stage for the Jewish/diamond connection. Da Gama's discovery opened up a direct diamond-trading route from India's Malabar Coast and the island of Borneo, to Portugal and on the Netherlands. With Lisbon now at the forefront of the European diamond trade, many Portuguese Sephardi businessmen opened cutting houses, and quickly gained a dominant roll in the diamond-polishing industry. The Sephardi were Jews who originated from Spain and Portugal (the Iberian Peninsula), many practicing a secret adherence to Judaism known as "Crypto-Judaism," while professing other faiths. Jews who practiced their religion in the open were expelled from Spain and Portugal, when the Catholic Monarchs issued the "Alhambra Decree" in 1492 (1497 for Portugal), fleeing to Morocco, the Ottoman Empire, Antwerp and Amsterdam. When the first Jewish emigrants (Ashkenazi) came to Antwerp in the 1200s, they were welcomed, but when the Black Plague swept across Antwerp in the mid 1300s, the Jews were one of the scapegoats. Although Amsterdam's Dutch were relatively tolerant when it came to religious freedom, in 1585 Antwerp came under Spanish rule, and the Jews (this time Sephardic), were once again the focus of scrutiny. With the Spanish Inquisition in high gear, Jews were now persecuted for conducting trade with the Ottoman Empire, or for being 'pseudo-Christian.' In the 1600s, wealthy Jewish diamond-traders now living in the Netherlands, financed the 'Dutch East India Company' and its exploration of new trade routes to India, but the British were beginning to see opportunity in the diamond trade, creating new competition for the Jewish/Dutch. Prior to being granted 'civil equality' in 1796, Amsterdam's Jews were not allowed to join trade guilds, leaving the unregulated diamond industry as one of the only means of employment. By the late 18th century, many of Amsterdam's Jews were working in the diamond trade, and many of these 'Sephardi refugees' had maintained connections with Portuguese traders who now had a monopoly on the trade of raw diamonds from India. By the early 1700s, India's mines were nearing exhaustion, but a new discovery in Brazil helped to reinvigorate the diamond trade. By this time, British naval superiority proved to be a great advantage, and the 'British East India Company' was born. The European center for the diamond trade now began to move away from Amsterdam, as Jewish traders set up shop in London. The cut stones were sold to the nobility and royalty of Europe, using the Hofjude (Court Jews) as purchasing agents to select the stones from the London diamond merchants.
Photo: Pub. Domain
The Pshevorsk Hasidic Dynasty Hasidic Judaism was founded by Polish (now Ukrainian) Rabbi 'Ba'al Shem Tov', aka 'Israel ben Eliezer' (1698—1760) in a time when European Jews were facing increasing hostility and pressure from the "Cossacks' Uprising" in Ukraine. The Hasidic movement is a sub-group of the theologically conservative Haredi or Charedi Judaism, aka Ultra-Orthodox Judaism. The movement was seen as a way of turning inward towards a 'deeper spiritualism and mysticism.' Hasidism spread westward, making its way to western Europe in the 1800s. The Hasidic movement in Antwerp began with Rabbi Moshe of Pshevorsk, who authored 'Ohr Pnei Moshe' in 1805 . The Pshevorsk is a small sub-Hasidic movement based in Antwerp, Belgium, with their hub at the study hall (beth midrash), 'Beth Yitzchok' at Mercatorstraat 56. With the discovery of vast diamond reserves in South Africa during the late 1800s, concern over a glut in the diamond market spread throughout London's diamond merchants. A group of wealthy Jewish dealers pooled their resources to form "the syndicate," which was created to soak up all of the excess capacity being created by South Africa. Today, Antwerp and London's diamond trade is largely controlled by the Hasidic Jewish community, although Indian influence is on the rise in recent years. Many of these Hasidic entrepreneurs are nameless by choice, preferring to maintain their anonymity, but they have been the driving force behind the multi-billion dollar diamond industry for hundreds of years.
Photo: Pub. Domain
Alfred Beit Alfred Beit (1853—1906) was born into a prominent Jewish family in Hamburg, Germany. Beit worked for the diamond firm of Jules Porges and Co. in Amsterdam before emigrating to 'Cape Colony' in 1875 during the Kimberley diamond-rush . Beit was part of a group of financiers, including Cecil Rhodes, who gained control of the diamond-mining claims in the Central Mine, Dutoitspan Mine, and De Beers Mine, thereby 'consolodating' the South African mining industry. becoming a 'life-governor' of De Beers Consolidated Mines. He was also the director of the Beira Railway Company, British South Africa Company, Rand Mines, and the Rhodesia Railways. Beit, along with partner Cecil Rhodes, financed the 1895 'Jameson Raid' which was an attempt to trigger an unsuccessful coup in the South African Republic of Transvaal. The Royal School of Mines, at the Imperial College London has a large memorial to Beit, in recognition of the Beit trust's bequeathment to the university, and to educational institutions in Britain, Germany South Africa, and Zimbabwe (Rhodesia).
Photo: Pub. Domain
Sir Ernest Oppenheimer Ernest Oppenheimer (1880—1957) was born in Friedberg, Germany to a large Jewish family, and with several brothers working for "the syndicate," Ernest was well positioned for his future vocation. He began his career at age 17, working for the diamond brokerage firm, Dunkelsbuhler & Company in London. Oppenheimer created the concept of "single-channel marketing" over 100 years ago, by funneling the world's supply of diamonds through a single clearing house. Oppenheimer gained control of Namibia's diamond mines, forming the Anglo American mining conglomerate. This gave him the financing and power to gain the chairmanship of De Beers. Today, Oppenheimer's Anglo American operates a fleet of diamond recovery ships off the coast of Namibia and South Africa under the umbrella of De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited (DBCM), and Central Holdings Limited (CHL), an Oppenheimer family holding company, and in partnership with Namdeb.
Photo: Pub. Domain
Nicky Oppenheimer Ernest's grandson, Nicky Oppenheimer (born 1945) studied philosophy at Oxford as a young man, and is now the chairman of the De Beers Diamond Mining Company and its subsidiary Diamond Trading Company. The Oppenheimer family and Anglo American maintains a 45% stake in De Beers today. Africa's richest man, and #134 on the Forbes list of the world's richest people, Nicky Oppenheimer is worth an estimated $4.5 billion. Under new legislation, passed by the African National Congress, Nicky Oppenheimer was forced to sell a 26% share of De Beers to the South African 'Black Economic Empowerment' group (BEE). This was the first major ownership change for De Beers in over a century. Of the legislation Oppenheimer said: "De Beers is here to make a profit, but we must benefit the people and communities where we operate."
Photo: Pub. Domain
Lev Leviev The Lev Leviev Group, created by Israeli national, Lev Leviev (born 1956 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan) is the worlds largest cutter and polisher (diamantaire) of rough diamonds, with factories in Armenia, India, Israel, and the Ukraine. The Lev Leviev Group also owns mining interests in Namibia's offshore dredging operations. Through his personal relationship to Vladimir Putin and other Russian heads of
Leviev's net-worth is estimated at $2. It will ultimately be cut into an estimated 20 or so 'D-flawless' stones ranging from 75 carats to 1 carat in size. Graff's net worth is estimated at 2." a compendium and history of his most famous jewels. Photo: Pub.5 billion (#278 Forbes List). selling to the rich and famous from Elizabeth Taylor and Donald Trump. which are now owned by Lev Leviev.5 billion dollars . New York's Madison Avenue.com Gujarat's Indian Diamantaires . and on board the luxury residential ship The World ResidenSea. Israel. Monte Carlo. Raised by his grandparents. formed by Decree 158C of the Russian Federation.state. Alrosa now sells direct to cutting factories throughout Russia. Lesotho Promise is the 15th largest diamond ever found. 2006 at the Letseng diamond mine in the tiny Kingdom of Lesotho in the center of the Republic of South Africa. Lev Leviev lives in B'nei Brak. now called ALROSA (Almazy-Rossii-Sakha) . The Hindustani Diamond Cutters Photo: dnavin. Graff has been dubbed the "king of diamonds. Domain Laurence Graff Laurence Graff (1938—) is a DeBeers sightholder." and the "king of bling" by Forbes magazine . with his wife and their nine children. Russia. ALROSA produces 100% of Russia's rough diamond output and approximately 20% of the world's rough diamonds . and has satellite locations in Wafi City. to Larry Ellison. Graff has co-authored (with Vanessa von Zitzewitz) "The Most Fabulous Jewels in the World. One of his most notable acquisitions was the 603 carat "Lesotho Promise diamond. Tretiakovsky Proezd in Moscow.). Laurence Graff was born into a Jewish orthodox family in London's poorer 'East End' district. and the largest rough unearthed in this century. Graff's strategy of "vertically integration" has been to control every angle of the diamond pipeline. found on August 22. All House of Graff stones have a laser-inscribed girdle with the 'Graff' logo and GIA number." the Leviev Group has found willing partners in several countries including Angola's ASCORP after De Beers' exit in 2001. Dubai. in 1992. a DeBeers sightholder in Johannesburg. and one of the most successful diamond merchants in modern history. Mr. which gives him access to some of the finest uncut diamonds coming out of South Africa. founder of the House of Graff in the heart of London's posh New Bond Street. Hotel de Paris' salon privé in Paris. to purchasing a 51% stake in Safdico (South African Diamond Corp. Lev Leviev has formed a partnership with the ex Soviet state-owned diamond firm. from wholesale and retail. Using this model of "local control. House of Graff is also located on London's Sloane Street. By circumventing the De Beers supply chain.
320 BC) by Kautiliya. Sanghavi Exports. the Indians would not be giving up their rightful heritage as diamantaires. This vast fortune is shared by some 300 to 500 Gujaratis families from Palanpur on the GujaratRajasthan border ." The Indians would go on to enjoy a singular reign over the diamond-rich dominion—known as Hindustan—for another two thousand years. polishes. . started out thirty years ago by purchasing cheaper stones that the Dutch Hasidim. The brothers. propelling their twin companies. improve perceptions. Dilip Mehta of Mumbai. and to develop an "understanding of the world market. universal truths. with $1. Shree Ramkrishna Exports. The Sanskrit word for 'diamond' was vajra. and Vijaydimon are family owned operations run by Jains with the common surnames of Jhavari. and is currently a Senior Partner and head of the UAE division. Domain Bharat & Vijay Shah Bharat and Vijay Shah came from a family of jewelers going back three generations. Harshad Mehta ("Diamond King of the world") is one of the founders of Rosy Blue. to elevate quality standards. and although India's famous "Diamonds of Golconda" were mined-out hundreds of years ago. Gitanjali Gems. M. with diamond cutting factories located in Borivali. is the newest addition to India's arsenal of global marketing tools to promote exports.com Dilip Mehta Indian diamantaire.7 billion in annual sales . and Israelis didn't want to work with . is the CEO of the 'Rosy Blue Group' which is currently one of the world's largest diamond companies." The Bharat Diamond Bourse in Mumbai. Mehta. and were written about in an ancient Sanskrit manuscript called the "The Lesson of Profit" Arthasastra (c. D. (HDC). displacing the Hasidim as the dominant force in the industry .above). Photo: rosyblue. and exports several billion dollars worth of gems per year. the Hindustan Diamond Company Ltd. and Surat's 'Special Economic Zone' . a minister to the Indian king. Gitanjali Gems is one of the largest manufacturers of diamonds and diamond jewelry in India. India (born 1949). Jainism is an ancient Indian religious sect believing in the 'Jain' philosophy. Chandragupta. and De Beers India. they were able to gain an increasingly larger share of the wholesale diamond trade. heighten awareness of ethical business practices. Suresh & Co. are headed and staffed by Mehta family members. Of the $26 billion per year diamond revenues that flow through Antwerp. Navinchandra & Co (board of directors . based upon eternal. 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. both college dropouts. It is estimated that India cuts. Gujarat. and Shah. Much of India's diamond trade is controlled by a handful of wealthy families in Gujarat. By slowly developing markets. The Indian communities' share has grown to around 60%. Several other divisions of the Rosy Blue Group. Companies like Bhavani Gems. Venus Jewels.Diamonds made their first reluctant appearance in human history over 2400 years ago. or "thunderbolt. Mumbai. Photo: Pub. The Indo Argyle Diamond Council (IADC) formed in 1994 as a consortium of Indian jewelry manufacturers and cutting houses. from Hong Kong to Israel.
Vijaydimon (Belgium) and B Vijaykumar (India) . Bangkok. and enjoys broad support.000 workers. both domestically and internationally. The president of Sierra Leone. Kabila. Thailand. After years of fighting between the PMLA and UNITA. UAE. and Tel Aviv. After winning a disicive re-election victory in 2006. and the end to South African apartheid in 1994. Bombay. Hong Kong. employing 22. the 'United Nations Industrial Development Orginization' (UNIDO). created a program for capacity-building of 'small and medium-sized enterprise' (SME) development. many of the ex-colonial nations of Sub-Saharan Africa are starting to emerge as powerful and legitimate forces in the diamond industry. into a global position with nearly $1 Billion a year in sales. Singapore.W. and the United States. who was a major general in the army. Diamonds and the African Nationals Photos: Public Domain Kabila. president José Eduardo dos Santos is preventing democratic elections from taking place. with one of the fastest per-capita income growth rates in the world. left). China. Domain N. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. the political situation in Angola has begun to normalize. The last democratic election in Angola was in 1992. President Festus Mogae was elected for a second term in 2004. Angola and from mining magnates. Mandela. Palanpur. working in cooperation with the government of Sierra Leone. Kabbah. only hinting at their possibility in 2007 or 2008. is making great strides in stabilizing the country after years of strife. Botswana is a relatively wealthy African country. Ayer & Son . India. Botswana has held regular elections and has been one of the more stable governments in southern Africa. is receiving broad support from the South Africa. At the age of 29. all who have signed multi-million dollar trade deals. Diamonds and the Americans Photo: Pub. The company has cutting factories in Antwerp. & Mogae Starting with Botswana's independence in 1966. In a post-conflict reconstruction effort. succeeded his father (Laurent-Désiré Kabila) as president the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC) after his assassination in January 2001. Joseph Kabila (above. dos Santos. On a somewhat darker note. Vijaydimon is a DTC sightholder with offices in Belgium. Surat. Vijaydimon also purchases rough diamonds from Canada's Diavik Mine and Argyle (Rio Tinto) and Russia .
The stone was cut in Paris. A 19. Domain Charles Lewis Tiffany Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812—1902). The Great Depression had taken a heavy toll on luxury goods during the 1930s. Domain Hollywood in 1949 Coming just on the heels of the immortal "a diamond is forever" campaign. and from the Spanish Crown Jewels . In 1948 the famous "A diamond is forever" slogan was introduced." was the co-founder of Tiffany & Co.' at the flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. Jule Styne (born Julius Kerwin Stein) was born in London.' During the 1800s. for resale in America. and a series of diamond-related slogans were introduced into the American lexicon. Harry Frederick Oppenheimer enlisted the help of N. After attending Chicago Musical College." by Jean Schlumberger in the 1960s." after here charecter. specializing in one-of-a-kind baubles for New York's newly-minted industrialists and 'robber-barons. The movie version featured Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend. One of Tiffany's most notable diamond acquisitions was a 287. and the subsequent overthrowing of King Louis-Philippe of France in 1848. this time from playwriter. which started out as 'Tiffany & Young' of New York City in 1837. was originally a 'fancy goods' emporium. located at 259 Broadway.' staring Audrey Hepburn. purchased diamonds. Charles Tiffany. Ayer in 1938. Prince Esterhazy of Hungary.' brand was catapulted into the stratosphere by the 1961 movie 'Breakfast at Tiffany's. The 'Tiffany & Co. and featuring the memorable scene in which Holly gazes longingly into Tiffany's window display. and the diamond industry was particularly hard hit. Photo: Pub. Styne wrote the score for the 1949 Broadway musical 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. the public's tolerance towards nobility was at a low point."A diamond is forever" is the legendary saying that was created by America's first advertising agency. and sold to Nanaline Duke (now in the Doris Duke Collection). producing the 128. Lorelei receives a diamond tiara from her suitor.' The stone was set into a garish jewelry piece called "Bird on a Rock. Tiffany & Young.54 carat 'The Tiffany Diamond. and Tiffany seized on the opportunity. De Beers president. aka "the King of Diamonds. Styne moved to Hollywood where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn. Tiffany was able to purchase significant gems from such renowned estates as: the 'jewel-mad' Duke of Brunswick. the values of ostentatious gems and jewelry dropped precipitously. The Tiffany is still selling luxury jewelry in their trademarked 'Tiffany Blue Box.42 carat rough flawless-yellow diamond from the 'Compagnie Français de Diamant du Cap' (Kimberley mine) in 1877. who was known for his jewelry expertise.W. Sir Francis "Piggy" Beekman.72 carat cushion-cut diamond (one of the "Diamonds of Golconda") was mounted by Tiffany. Photo: Pub.' which was adapted to film in 1953. . With financial shockwaves caused by the French economy's collapse in 1847. the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine. De Beers and the diamond industry got another shot in the arm. Jule Styne. After the French revolution in 1799. Ayer & Son. gems and jewelry from the estates of the European aristocracy. N.W.
the glamor is laid bare. This time. The Consumer Last. Leavitt weaves a tale of Sierra Leone's impoverished "diamond diggers. Were it not for intrepid consumers." Diamond Grading: Diamond Certificates (Certs) Gemological Laboratory Certification Why do you need a laboratory certification for your diamond? Although it may seem like a needless expense. the unsung hero in the diamond trade. Diamonds are tested for ." and the terrible working conditions that these workers must endure." there would be no "diamond trade. the World Diamond Council placed ten full-page ads in newspapers around the county. or "cert" may be your only assurance that you are getting exactly what you paid for. Through interviews with human-rights organizations like Doctors Without Borders and Global Witness. as writer Charles Leavitt takes us through the dark underbelly of the diamond trade. grading report. a diamond certificates. In a preemptive strike against any negative publicity that the movie would generate. we have the faceless American consumer. and their willingness to purchase the concept of "foreverness. appraisal report.Photo: © Warner Bros. 2006 Hollywood in 2006 Blood Diamond is the latest incarnation of Hollywood's fascination with diamond. certificate of authenticity. but not least.
there is very little (visible) difference between a FL stone and a IF or VVS-1 stone . carat weight. the same year that Shipley published his groundbreaking book titled 'Gemology. clarity. and carat weight) and they are also tested for traces of gem enhancement. Although even a lay-person may be able to tell the difference between a triple-zero diamond and a cheap. GIA reports also cover any treatments or enhancements that have been done. and of corse. but for insurance appraisal as well. Although GIA's diamond grading methodology is the industry standard they are also known for their "colored stone grading system" used to quantify the hue. GIA Certificate A GIA (Gemological Institute of America) report provides detailed information about the dimensions. shape and cut of a stone. Antwerp. and saturation of a colored stone. Bangkok. The GIA was founded by Robert M. wether the stone is natural or synthetic. Certificates of Authenticity. tone. California. poorly cut SI-3 grade stone. with operations in New York City. with offices around the globe. Tokyo. founded in 1975. Toronto. Dubai and Hong Kong. color.not only for resale. The IGI offers Identification Reports.other than the price. and wether they are synthetic. Mumbai.' GIA's world headquarters are located in Carlsbad. 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 . Appraisal Reports. Shipley in 1931. IGI Certificate The International Gemological Institute (IGI) is the oldest institute of its kind in Antwerp.the basics (cut dimensions and proportions. and is the largest independent gem certification and appraisal institute in the United States. . Los Angeles. and Attestations of Origin. which can be substantially different.
polish and symmetry) using a scale ranging from Excellent to Fair.The IGI lab grades diamonds as well as colored gemstones along several basic criteria which include: shape and cut. Shape. HRD Antwerp Diamond Certificate The certificates department of HRD Antwerp in Antwerpen. All diamonds are examined anonymously. as well as quantifying the standard parameters of Clarity. weight. and Fluorescence. . HRD also offers gemelogical training and continuing education courses in diamond grading. clarity. the sorting of rough diamonds. and finish. Cut. Belgium issues quality reports for loose (unmounted) polished diamonds according to ISO 17025 international standards for gemelogical testing laboratories. mesurments. color. Carat Weight. HRD uses the "Hearts and Arrows" measuring system which was developed by HRD Antwerp scientists. Color. HRD's refined Cut Grading system measures each of the three parameters (proportions. origin (colored gems). with "Triple Excellent" being the highest overall designation. jewellery design and gemology. and the graders can not know the identity of the owner.
" is not an appraisal of monetary value. creator of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Diamond Grading AGS Diamond Quality Report (DQD) AGS Gemological Laboratory Background Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones." The AGS Cut Grading system was developed through of years of research by gemologists. Aditionally. HRD uses complex watermarking to prevent copying or falsifying their reports. To insure the security of their documents. vs. along with a consortium of independent jewelers. 'Polish' and 'Symmetry' were merged into one category called "Finish. the HRD lab also uses state-of-the-art technology to test for subtle and hard to recognize enhancements such as HPHT. and s ratings.As well as testing for synthetic diamonds. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). 2005 can be viewed online. Shipley. A diamond's clarity is also graded on a simple numeric scale from 0 to 10. but rather a comprehensive quality evaluation. certificates issued after January 1. AGSL Certificate The AGSL was the first gem lab to grade a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. The AGS specializes in diamond testing and evaluation. referred to as a "Diamond Quality Document" or "DQD. and Proportions. and to set a higher standard of business ethics and professional practices in the jewelry industry. 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. AGS is considered the premier diamond-grading laboratory. The AGS Diamond Quality Document uses a unique and proprietary 0 to 10 grading system that is simpler for the consumer to understand than the GIA's grading nomenclature. and optical physicists. and does not evaluate other types of colored gemstones. as opposed to GIA's vvs. AGS grades diamond color on a numeric sliding scale that is similar to GIA's alphabetical scale.com The American Gem Society was founded in 1934 by Robert M. 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. An AGS report. Today. mathematicians. Symmetry. . having the most rigid grading standards. The AGS Gemological Laboratories was established in 1996 to provide state-of-the-art diamond grading and appraisal services to the jewelry industry. The mission of the AGS is to increase consumer awareness." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors. as well as the most comprehensive system for grading the all-important 'cut' parameters.
'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. and Proportions. In 2004 AGS added a new category that is referred to as "Light Performance." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors. contrast. dispersion.Cut Grade: Finish. leakage and light spread. and optical physicists. mathematicians." 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." The AGS Cut grading system was developed through years of research by gemologists. Symmetry. The ray-tracing program measures the quantity of the light being returned to the viewer by quantifying brightness. . Each parameter is given a numeric grade from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor).
as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram.5.0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless .5 to 4.3.5 to 3. AGS Diamond Grading System On the inside fold of an AGS Diamond Quality grading report there is a legend explaining the unique AGS nomenclature with comparisons to GIA's grading system.0 to 7. .5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003. all measured in three spacial dimensions.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint . the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible. in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above). The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering.7." Document Security Each AGS grading document is marked with a hologram (dark circle at lower right of report) and watermarking or embossing to prevent fraudulent duplication." or "ideal" rating. and individual facet ratios.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero.0 to 1. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless .5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light . In the upper left corner of the document there is a unique AGS reference number that can be used when contacting AGS with questions about your report. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.1. relative facet angles. where facets intersect with each-other. AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond.0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light .
AGSL reports will also grade cut quality for emerald. These diamond extraction methods vary depending on how the minerals are deposited within the earth. the stability of the material that surrounds that desired gem or mineral. OctoNus Software. Obtaining an AGS Report AGS is a 'trade-industry' testing laboratory that will only evaluate diamonds sent from jewelers or manufacturers. and will soon be offering cut evaluations for other fancy shapes. The AGS supplies 'facet arrangement' templates corresponding to their cutgrading system.Extraction Methods Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Accessing the underground ore is achieved via a horizontal passageway called a "decline. through AGS offices in Antwerp. left) refers to various techniques used to extract gems. minerals. and can only be accessed by tunneling underground and creating underground "rooms" or "stopes" that are supported by timber pillars or standing rock. Dubai. As of 2005. Artisanal Mining Hard Rock Mining Marine Mining Open Pit Mining Placer Mining Hard-Rock Diamond Mining The term "hard-rock mining" (top of page. 3." or a by a vertical "shaft. AGS will also provide analysis of a manufacturers 'cut performance' by analyzing a sample stone's Sarin file. 2. while a shaft is . AGS will only evaluate loose. which are used by non-contact measuring-device manufacturers such as Sarin Technologies.com Diamonds and other precious and semi-precious gemstones are extracted from the earth using five basic mining techniques. princess. The principle methods of diamond extraction are: 1. and octagon step-cut diamonds. 5. AGS offers laser inscription services as well. Additionally. unmounted diamonds.42 Carat D." A decline is a spiral (corkscrew) tunnel which circles the ore deposit.Triple-0 Round Brilliant Setting 'American Star Diamond' 13. Diamonds: Gem & Diamond Mining Technology Photos: Public Domain Diamond & Gem Mining . India and Israel. the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA). and ore bodies that are in situ. so that the cutter can improve the light performance of their cut stones. and the peripheral damage that will be done to the surrounding environment. Pricing for a diamond grading report is based on carat weight. and OGI Systems. 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. 4.
therefore. and or colluvial secondary deposits. which concentrate the heavier gems at the bottom. or hand digging (artisanal mining). running adjacent to the ore. Marine diamond mining employs both "vertical" and "horizontal" techniques to extract diamonds from offshore placer deposits. highly resistant to weathering. they tend to concentrate in alluvial deposits in the same way that gold placers develop. CAT-tracked underwater mining vehicles) move across the sea floor pumping gravel up to an offshore vessel. also known as "open-cast mining" (top of page. right) with bare hands. Laborers who work in artisanal diamond mining are called "diamond diggers" (below left). eluvial. A decline is typically used for mining personnel. Vertical marine mining uses a 6 to 7 meter diameter drill head to cut into the seabed and suck up the diamond bearing material from the sea bed. and access to the ore. Gems are separated from waste material using various sifting and sorting techniques such as cone screens. gravel. box screens. right) is used for extracting diamonds and minerals from alluvial. center) is a method of extracting rock and minerals from the earth by removal from a machine-dug open pit or burrow. machinery. Marine Mining Marine mining technology only became commercially viable in the early 1990s. 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. and is a derivative form of open-cast mining used to extract minerals from the surface of the earth without the use of tunneling. at a maximum depth of 500 feet. or pans. rock or sedimentary soil. and have a specific gravity that is higher than that of common minerals.Photo: USGS Alluvial Diamond . Horizontal mining employs the use of Seabed Crawlers (remotely controlled. Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . Small "pit lakes" tend to form at the bottom of open-pit mines as a result of groundwater intrusion. or sand) that is unsuitable for tunneling. the gravels are separated and sorted into three sizes. with the middle size being a candidate for final sorting. Placer Mining Placer diamond mining. While on board. Artisanal diamond mining is a form of "subsistence based" non-mechanized mining that is used in poorer countries throughout the world. Diamonds and most gemstones are hard. . or sort material according to size.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. also known as "sand-bank mining" (top of page. Open pit mines are typically used when mineral deposits are found close to the surface or along defined kimberlite pipes. shovels. Open Pit Mining Open-pit diamond mining. mechanized surface excavating equipment. or large conical sieves.vertical tunnel used for ore haulage. Excavation is accomplished using water pressure (hydraulic mining).
the Congo (DROC). Kimberlite occurs in the zone of the Earth's crust in vertical structures known as kimberlite pipes (above. rock fragments. olivine. Kimberlite is a diamondiferous igneous-rock matrix composed of carbonate. and Liberia. right). and diamonds approaches the earth's surface it begins to form an underground structure (pipe) that is shaped like a champagne-flute. After their formation. Kimberlites are found as "dikes" and "volcanic pipes" which underlie and are the source for rare and relatively small volcanoes or "maars" (above. minerals. pyroxene. diamonds are carried to the surface of the earth by volcanic activity. Diamonds: Diamond Geology Diamond Geology & Kimberlites Kimberlite Pipes Diamonds form at a depth greater than 93 miles (150 kilometers) beneath the earth's surface. It is also used extensivly in Angola. and upper mantle rock. Diamond bearing kimberlite in some parts of South Africa is black in color (above. right). yet only about 1 in every 200 kimberlite pipes contain gem-quality diamonds. As this molten mixture of magma (molten rock). phlogopite. . left). Artisanal diamond mining accounts for 90% of Sierra Leone's diamond exports and is the country's second largest employer after subsistence farming. in conflict zones where mechanized mining is impractical and unsafe. Many kimberlite pipes also produce alluvial diamond placer deposits. serpentine. Kimberlite pipes can lie directly underneath shallow lakes formed in the inactive volcanic calderas or craters.Artisanal diamond mining is used throughout west Africa. garnet. left) or "yellow-ground" kimberlite and can be found worldwide. These pipes are called "kimberlites" or "kimberlite pipes" (see diagram below). Most kimberlite is called "blue-ground" kimberlite (above. 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 .North Cape" below). with a variety of trace minerals. Kimberlite pipes are the most significant source of diamonds.
Alluvial Diamonds from Africa . Alluvial diamond deposits are usually located within river terrace gravels that have been transported from their location of origin. left) and marine gravels of the south-western coastline of Africa represent the some of the world's largest placer diamond deposits." and along the Orange River near Alexander Bay. except that boiling water and volatile compounds contained in the magma act corrosively on the overlying rock. sedimentary breccia. resulting in a broader cone of eviscerated rock at the surface. Diamondiferous material tends to concentrate in and around 'oxbow lakes. Alluvial (Placer) Diamond Deposits The location of alluvial (secondary or placer) diamond deposits is controlled by the surrounding topography. known as the Sperrgebiet or "forbidden territory. or different in composition to the fragments themselves.Photo: Public Domain Lamproite Pipes Lamproite pipes produce diamonds to a lesser extent than kimberlite pipes." that may be similar.Photo: NASA The alluvial terrace gravels (below. or "cementing material. Breccia is a rock composed of angular fragments of several minerals or rocks in a matrix.' which are created by abandoned river meanders. usually from kimberlite deposits. igneous breccia. There are several types of breccia which are categorized based on their geological origin. This results in a martini-glass shaped diamondiferous deposit as opposed to kimberlite's champagne flute shape. including: hydrothermal breccia. The Argyle diamond mine in Western Australia is one of the first commercial open-cast diamond mines that is dug along an olivine lamproite pipe. The Argyle pipe is a diatreme. and tectonic breccia. impact breccia. . The world's largest known gem quality alluvial diamond deposits are located along the Namib Desert coastline of southwestern Africa. These dried 'lakes' receive river water during seasonal flooding which transports large amounts of sediment held in suspension.Open Pit Mine . or breccia-filled volcanic pipe that is formed by gas or volatile explosive magma which has breached the surface to form a "tuff" (consolidated volcanic ash) cone.Photo: Public Domain Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . Lamproite pipes are created in a similar manner to kimberlite pipes.
in central South Africa and Botswana.com .8k. including Angola's two largest diamonds at 105. Westward draining river systems transported these diamonds to Africa's continental coastline for final deposition within on-shore marine terrace gravels. Diamonds that were transported downstream. from olivine lamproites formed during the Cretaceous or Permo-Triassic period. Diamond Mines of the World: Active Diamond Mines List of Active Diamond Mines All Contents Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Diamonds in marine areas are typically trapped in bedrock depressions such as gullies.8 million to 10.Namibia's placer diamond deposits are between 40 and 80 million years old. made their way to the sea bed just offshore.9k and 101. potholes. carried from their primary origination point on the Kaapvaal Craton. but were not deposited on land.000 years ago). Some of the largest and highest gemquality diamonds produced from alluvial placer diamond mining have come from this region. Alluvial diamond mining in Angola takes place along a meandering stretch of the Cuango River floodplain which is also along the south-western coastline of Africa. Alluvial Terrace Gravels . to a lesser extent. depressions. channels or other trapsites for diamondiferous deposits.Photo: Wiki Diamond-Bearing 'Diamondiferous' Gravel Many of these alluvial diamond deposits occur in Pleistocene and Holocene successions (1. The diamonds within these deposits were transported from deeply-eroded diamondiferous kimberlites or.
2. 1. Namdeb. 1. Odebrecht (50%). mostly industrial grade. map Koffiefontein Diamond Mine: The Koffiefontein mine opened in 1870. located in NWT. mining industry inside news. map Borneo Cempaka/Riam Kanan. Rio Tinto.DeBeers/Botswana. south of Lüderitz. Kimberlite pipe. 1. 2. map Koidu Open Pit Mines: Kimberlite open-pit mines just south of Koidu. MIBA. produces over 40% of world's gem-quality diamonds. and any relevant geographic data. Namdeb Namib Gov. map Kimberley Diamond Mine: Started in 1871.closed. 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. Cempaka Diamond Mines: Alluvials mined by indigenous artisanal Kalimantan miners. map Venetia Diamond Mine: Limpopo. map Damtshaa Diamond Mine: (water for a tortoise) New open pit mine. mining operator info. 4. 75% De Beers ownership. 2. Argyle Diamond Mine: Largest producer in world. map Ekati Diamond Mine: Canada's first diamond mining operation. Owned by Endiama (40%) & Trans Hex (35%). 2. the Kimberley Open Pits closed in 2005. 2. Trans Hex. 1. Luzamba Diamond Mine: Angola's largest alluvial mine. 75% De Beers ownership map Murowa Diamond Mine: Open Pit & Underground mine. map Letlhakane Diamond Mine: ("little reeds") second oldest of four . map Elizabeth Bay Mine: Open-cast mine in Namib desert. map . 2. map Fucauma Diamond Mine: Newly constructed. map Jwaneng Diamond Mine: (place of small stones) richest mine in world. Lubilash) Alluvial river mines in Kasaï. Israel. De Beers / Botswana. Luarica Diamond Mine: Owned by Endiama (38%) & Trans Hex (32%). and hard rock diamond mines. map The Oaks Diamond Mine: In Limpopo province. map Orange River (Daberas) Mines: Orange River alluvium. map Orapa Diamond Mine: (resting place for lions) Largest/oldest of four . map River Ranch Diamond Mine: Open Pit & Underground mine. map Forminière Diamond Mine: Alluvial mine located on the River Tshikapa. 3. Active Mines | Inactive Mines | Future Exploration | Mining Companies Africa Angola 1. 1. map Cullinan Diamond Mine: Open Pit/Hard Rock diamond mine owned by De Beers. Catoca Diamond Mine: Fourth largest diamond mine in world. 1. 1. 75% De Beers ownership. map Magna Egoli Mine: Largest mechanized mine in Sierra Leone. 3. South Kalimantan 1. 2. map Canada North West Territories (NWT) 1. So Africa. 3. Closed in 2006. De Beers operated. 3. 5. map Bakwanga Mine: (aka Bushimaïe.Currently there are eleven major 'diamond producing' nations. map Baken Diamond Mine: Located along Orange River in North Cape. map Marine Mining: Namco Mining operates a dredging fleet off the west coast of Namibia. open pit. De Beers/Botswana.De Beers / Botswana. map Botswana Congo (DROC or RDC) Lesotho Namibia Sierra Leone South Africa Tanzania Zimbabwe Australia East Kimberley 1. 7. Endiama (50%). 4. There are also several African nations with ongoing off-shore dredging/vacuming operations. in Kasaï . Diavik Diamond Mine: The Diavik diamond mine is located in the NWT. map Williamson Diamond Mine: (aka Mwadui mine) Open Pit mine. 2. map Koidu-Sefadu Mines: Subsistence digging in alluvium pits west of Koidu. These lists also contains new project explorations. map Finsch Diamond Mine: Finsch is an open-pit mine near Lime Acres. 6. Open-pit mine De Beers operated. 3. 4. Waldman Resources. links to satellite images of the mines (where available). 1.
Aikhal GOK Mine: Three open-pit kimberlite pipe mines: Aikhal. and Sytykan. map Anabar GOK Mine: The norther most location of Russia's diomond mines.India Madhya Pradesh 1. 5. Alrosa. map . Mirna Mine: Largest diamond deposit in Russia and one of the largest in the world. 3. 4. map Udachnaya (Udachny) Pipe Mine: One of the deepest diamond mines in the world. 2. map Jubilee (Yubileinaya) Mine: Newer open-pit kimberlite mine near Udachny. Panna Diamond Mine: Alluvial mine in state of Madhya Pradesh. map Russia Siberia 1. Jubilee.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?