All About Gemstones: Diamonds

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

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

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

The 4 Cs of Diamonds: Cut

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

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

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

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

or 96 facets which are not counted in the total number of facets (58). 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. Fig. the "Cut" quality of the "4 Cs" was the most difficult part for a consumer to understand when selecting a good diamond because a GIA or AGS certificate did not show the important measurements influencing cut (i. 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. Other variations of the "Modern Round Brilliant" include the "Ideal Brilliant" which was invented by Johnson and Roesch in 1929. Only a trained eye could see the quality of a good cut. The chart below shows several common problems to look for. Poor Diamond Faceting and Symmetry Due to the mathmatics involved in light refraction. Fig. when one incorrect facet angle can throw off the symmetry of the entire stone. The crown will have 33 facets. This can also result in the undesirable creation of extra facets beyond the required 58. Common cutting problems can occur during the faceting process. pavilion and crown angle) and did not provide a subjective ranking of how good the cut was. 3 . All of that has changed with the AGS Cut Grading system and GIA's new "Cut Grading System". and the pavillion will have 25 facets. 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.e. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951.Good Cut Fair Cut Poor Cut Cut Proportions In the past. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. 80. a Round Brilliant cut that does not have the proper proportions and symmetry (off-make) will have noticeably less brilliance. 64.

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

representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. A carat can also be divided into "points" with one carat being equal to 100 points.086 grains) or 0. "Marquise" or "Navette" (little boat).W. Clarity 4.C. your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the "4 C's" diamond grading system.2 grams (200 milligrams or 3. the total mass of all diamonds or gemstones is referred to as "Total Carat Weight" or "T. and with each point being 2 milligrams in weight. Cut 2. "Princess" (square outline)." . and a 2 carat diamond is 200 points. a 3/4 carat diamond is 75 points. Therefor. a 1/2 carat diamond would be 50 points. CARAT Balancing Cut and Weight A diamond or gemstone's "Carat" designation is a measurement of both the size and weight of the stone. The 4 C's of Diamonds: Carat (Weight) The 4 C's Diamond Grading System 1. Carat 3.007 ounce. Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics. When a single piece of jewelry has multiple stones. and the Pear.Heart Marquise Oval Pear Princess Radiant Round Trillion (not shown at diagram) Fig. As a consumer. "Heart. 5 Popular fancy cuts include the "Baguette" (bread loaf). One "Carat" is a unit of mass that is equal to 0. Color Carat weight is one of the 4 C's." "Briolette" (a form of Rose cut). The "fancy cuts" are generally not held to the same strict standards as Round Brilliants.

5 carat 2. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of . or "seed of the carob". Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above.800 6." If the carat weight is shown as ". "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a .600 12. Occasionally.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat.VS1 Carat Size</ 0.600 6.495 carats and .750 30.0 carat 3. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between . girdle and pavilion.504 carats. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone.5 carats must have an actual weight of between . By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry.600 8.10 carat diamond for its better cut.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration.Grade: F Colorless . it must be accurate to the second decimal place. Price Per Carat (2005) . If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York.99 carat diamond for its better price.204 carat. or to buy a 1.5º crown. clarity and weight. See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison.0 carat 1. a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight.5 carat 1. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity .195 and . as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions. It is for this reason that an even 1. 40º pavilion. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only. In ancient times.500 15.

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

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

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

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

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

. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" [2]. A diamond is a transparent." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic.200 degrees Celsius)." referring to its incredible hardness. At these depths.52. Therefore. phlogopite. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms." which is also known as "adamant. Under the continental crust. a refractive index of 2. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km). diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2." "untamable. igneous rock composed of garnet." is derived from the Greek adamas. Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes. Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures.Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time. with the principle allotrope being graphite." and "unconquerable. with a variety of trace minerals. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine. The name "diamond. Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits. ultramafic. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale. 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. and differentiates it from simple graphite. and pyroxene. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1. which resemble a champagne flute.42.044. olivine. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe. or "invincible. and a specific gravity of 3.

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

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

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

These Nitrogen impurities found in Type I diamonds are evenly dispersed throughout the gemstone. or "fire. particularly Canadian diamonds. and give off a bluish-white. and appear dark when exposed to ultra-violet light or X-rays. show no fluorescence. and contain nitrogen atoms as an impurity. Natural blue Type II diamonds containing scattered boron impurities within their crystal matrix are good conductors of electricity. This illusion of color is caused by the varying optics effects created by spectral dispersion. Type II diamonds do not contain any detectable nitrogen. Type I & Type II Diamonds As many as 99% of all natural diamonds are classified as Type I. and are classified as Type 1-B. Cloud Inclusion Under UV . Diamond Refraction & Coloration Diamonds are "singly refractive. they can give the stone a yellow tint. Type II Diamond Formation Certain diamonds were formed under extremely high pressure for longer time periods.© AGS Labs Type I UV Fluorescence . and they are classified as Type 1-A. with very high thermal conductivity. classifying them as Type IIb diamonds.417. and thereby making the diamond appear yellow. while Type II diamonds that lack boron impurities are classified as Type IIa. These rare diamonds have a lower nitrogen content. These Type IIa diamonds have a near-perfect crystal structure making them highly transparent and colorless. due primarily to certain structural anomalies arising from "plastic deformation" which occurred during their formation. and some of the finest historical gemstones such as the Cullinan and Koh-i-Noor are both Type IIa diamonds. Some Type IIa diamonds can be found with pink. If the nitrogen atoms are dispersed evenly throughout the crystal. Some diamond varieties. 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. . If the nitrogen atoms are grouped in clusters they do not necessarily affect the diamond's overall color." with a refractive index of 2. Man-made synthetic diamonds containing nitrogen are classified as Type 1-B. 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. which replace some carbon atoms within the crystal lattice structure.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. red. Typically. greenish or yellow fluorescence when exposed to the X-ray wavelength. making them appear 'colorless' (D). permitting the passage and reflectance of blue light. or brown coloration. a natural diamond may contains both Type 1-A and Type 1-B material. All Type 1 diamonds have nitrogen atoms as their main impurity." and refraction. thereby allowing the passage of short-wave ultra-violet (SWUV) light through the stone.© AGS Labs Type IIa diamonds are very rare.

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

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

Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat. greyish-green. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness [9]. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. and weighed a modest 0. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities.000 in 1987. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color.' discovered during the 18th century. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits. and the De Young Red weighing 5. Green diamonds can range from $35.90 carats. Warren Hancock. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. The color change effect is temporary. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds. On thing is certain.03 carats.95carats. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13. or a combination of the two. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. pure green hues. Intense.Green Chameleon Diamonds Fancy Pink Diamond Color Grading Chameleon diamonds can be forced to temporarily change to a yellowish-green color by exposing them to heat (150º C to 250º C).000 to $500. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant. . The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red.000 per carat.

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

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

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

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

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




Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.

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



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

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



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

Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .

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



Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .

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

Internal Laser Drilling Inclusion Photos Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) Inclusion Photography Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) inclusions are man-made internal flaws that resulted from laser-drilling that was done to remove large piquŽ carbon inclusions in a rough stone. .Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) Internal pathway caused by laser-drilling to remove large inclusions. 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.


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

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

Twinning Wisp Inclusion Photos Twinning Wisps Inclusion Photography Twinning Wisp inclusions are naturally-occurring structural defects with a diamond. Can be accompanied by graining and strain. 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.


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). appearing as a raised area on the diamond's surface. Knot diamond inclusions can potentially be the cause of man-made drag-line inclusions.Natural External Diamond Inclusions or Blemishes Knots An inclusion that penetrates the surface. appearing as a raised area.




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





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


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

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

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

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



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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

670.65 to 2. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ. . a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. Moissanite. Moissanite has an RI of 2. Arizona.104 as compared to CZ at 0. 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 ( Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). Moissanite has a hardness of 9.060.25 on the Mohs scale.69. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent. candle. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. etc. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight.417. and diamond at 0. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. 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. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0. found only in iron-nickel meteorites.044. while diamond has a hardness of 10. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. when examining the gem through the kite facets. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.A small. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. center) near Winslow. Henri Moissan (above. is classified as an element rather than a compound.) in a dark room.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

sold in solitaire engagement/wedding bands. The Lucida diamond cut is marketed as a wedding cut.diamondaires. Upon the expiration of the patent. There are a total of 49 facets. small table. patented and trademarked by Henry Grossbard of the Radiant Cut Diamond Company (RCDC) in 1977. and all Original Radiant Cut diamonds weigh at least Quadrillion Cut The Quadrillion® Cut (aka Squarillion Cut) is a modified square princess cut that was developed by Israel Itzkowitz and Betzalel Ambar in the late 1970s. The Lucida is sold exclusively through Tiffany's retail chain." The Leo Diamond is marketed through the Kay Jeweler chain. a highstep crown (similar to the Asscher Cut).70 carats and come with a GIA Certificate and an "Original Radiant Cut Diamond Certificate" guarantying that the stone meets the ideal proportions as designed by Henry Grossbard. the Radiant Cut became a fully accepted diamond shape in the jewelry business. eternity bands. and three-stone rings. www.The Leo diamond cut is the first to be certified for fire and brilliance as measured by a 'BrillianceScope. and the table is a bowed out Lucida Cut The Lucida (TM) Cut is a patented diamond cut that was created by Tiffany & Company in 1999. and a total of has 50 facets. There are 25 crown facets and 36 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets (not including 8 girdle facets). The pavilion is similar to a Barion cut.radiantcut. www.' and each diamond comes with a "Return of Light Starburst Cut . www. 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. Bez Ambar Radiant Cut The Radiant Cut is a modified emerald cut shape that was developed. It was the first emerald shaped diamond cut to have brilliance and fire similar to that of a round brilliant diamond. Prior to the Quadrillion. and was patented and trademarked by Bez Ambar Jewelers of Los Angeles in 1980. RCDC launched the 'Original Radiant Cut' diamond brand In 2002. square shaped diamonds were stepcut limiting their brilliance. brilliant-style faceted pavilion (similar to a Cushion Cut). The Lucida diamond cut is a modified square or rectangular (Marquise) cut with truncated corners.

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

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

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

which combines ("aggregating") supplies of rough diamonds from multiple sources into one wholesale market (#2). There is a limited market for the resale of diamonds that are less than "investment grade. there is usually a substantial mark-up in the retail sale price of diamonds. Trans Hex. The rough stones are separated into 16.000 categories based on size. color and quality. Gaborone. 16 isosceles triangle facets on the crown and 16 facets on the pavilion. silver or platinum. Kimberley and Windhoek." The 'Diamond Pipeline' Rough diamonds are sent directly from De Beers mining operations in Africa (#1). .A "Swiss cut" is a compromise between an eight cut and a brilliant cut. for sorting and resale. 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. then divided by human or automated sorters into individual lots called "boxes. Unlike precious metals such as gold. The Diamond Trade: The 'Diamond Pipeline' Rough Diamond Producers Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones." The DTC is part of the DeBeers Group supply-chain known as the Central Selling Organization (CSO). Rio The trade in gem-grade rough diamonds is primarily controlled by the De Beers. or secondary mining producers in Canada and Russia to De Beers' Diamond Trading Company (DTC) in London. with a total of 33 facets (34 if a culet is used). BHP Billiton and a hand-full of other companies which use their cartel power to control the supply of diamonds on the wholesale market (diamond pipeline).

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

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

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

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

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

Sir Thomas Major Cullinan (1860—1936) was the founder of one of Africa's richest diamond mines, the 'Premier Diamond Mine,' 30 kilometers east of Pretoria, in Gauteng province, South Africa. Although Cullinan was already a successful building contractor in Johannesburg, he was also an amateur geologist who had heard about alluvial diamonds being found along a stream near the old 'Cornelis Minnaar Farm' in upper Gauteng. Cullinan was interested in purchasing the farm, which had already changed hands several times, but the present owner, Willem Prinsloo (who had purchased the land for £570 in 1861) was not interested in selling. Shortly after the close Anglo Boer War (1898—1902), Willem Prinsloo's widow agreed to sell the land to Cullinan for £52,000, and the 'Transvaal Premier Diamond Mining Company LTD' was officially registered on the December 1, 1902 [23]. On January 25th 1905, a 3,106 carat diamond was found at the mine, which remains the largest diamond ever found in the world. When news of Premier's success hit the board room of De Beers, several aborted attempts were made to purchase the mine, but Cullinan had no intention of selling [6]. In 1914, WW1 broke out in Europe, and diamond prices began to spiral. Layoffs at the mine caused enough friction that by August, mining operations were suspended. The Premier Mine had resumed production by January 1916, but in need of cash, Cullinan sold a major stake in the mine to the Transvaal government. Frank Oats, who was now the chairman of De Beers, was able to convince the Transvaal government to sell its controlling interest in 1917, and De Beers once again enjoyed a monopoly on South African diamonds.

Diamonds and the Ashkenazi, Sephardi and Hasidic Jews
There is perhaps no other ethnic group that is so inextricably intertwined with the diamond trade, than the jews. In an odd twist of fate, it may be Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama's discovery of a searoute to India around Africa's Cape of Good Hope in 1488, that set the stage for the Jewish/diamond connection. Da Gama's discovery opened up a direct diamond-trading route from India's Malabar Coast and the island of Borneo, to Portugal and on the Netherlands. With Lisbon now at the forefront of the European diamond trade, many Portuguese Sephardi businessmen opened cutting houses, and quickly gained a dominant roll in the diamond-polishing industry. The Sephardi were Jews who originated from Spain and Portugal (the Iberian Peninsula), many practicing a secret adherence to Judaism known as "Crypto-Judaism," while professing other faiths. Jews who practiced their religion in the open were expelled from Spain and Portugal, when the Catholic Monarchs issued the "Alhambra Decree" in 1492 (1497 for Portugal), fleeing to Morocco, the Ottoman Empire, Antwerp and Amsterdam. When the first Jewish emigrants (Ashkenazi) came to Antwerp in the 1200s, they were welcomed, but when the Black Plague swept across Antwerp in the mid 1300s, the Jews were one of the scapegoats. Although Amsterdam's Dutch were relatively tolerant when it came to religious freedom, in 1585 Antwerp came under Spanish rule, and the Jews (this time Sephardic), were once again the focus of scrutiny. With the Spanish Inquisition in high gear, Jews were now persecuted for conducting trade with the Ottoman Empire, or for being 'pseudo-Christian.' In the 1600s, wealthy Jewish diamond-traders now living in the Netherlands, financed the 'Dutch East India Company' and its exploration of new trade routes to India, but the British were beginning to see opportunity in the diamond trade, creating new competition for the Jewish/Dutch. Prior to being granted 'civil equality' in 1796, Amsterdam's Jews were not allowed to join trade guilds, leaving the unregulated diamond industry as one of the only means of employment. By the late 18th century, many of Amsterdam's Jews were working in the diamond trade, and many of these 'Sephardi refugees' had maintained connections with Portuguese traders who now had a monopoly on the trade of raw diamonds from India. By the early 1700s, India's mines were nearing exhaustion, but a new discovery in Brazil helped to reinvigorate the diamond trade. By this time, British naval superiority proved to be a great advantage, and the 'British East India Company' was born. The European center for the diamond trade now began to move away from Amsterdam, as Jewish traders set up shop in London. The cut stones were sold to the nobility and royalty of Europe, using the Hofjude (Court Jews) as purchasing agents to select the stones from the London diamond merchants.

Photo: Pub. Domain

The Pshevorsk Hasidic Dynasty Hasidic Judaism was founded by Polish (now Ukrainian) Rabbi 'Ba'al Shem Tov', aka 'Israel ben Eliezer' (1698—1760) in a time when European Jews were facing increasing hostility and pressure from the "Cossacks' Uprising" in Ukraine. The Hasidic movement is a sub-group of the theologically conservative Haredi or Charedi Judaism, aka Ultra-Orthodox Judaism. The movement was seen as a way of turning inward towards a 'deeper spiritualism and mysticism.' Hasidism spread westward, making its way to western Europe in the 1800s. The Hasidic movement in Antwerp began with Rabbi Moshe of Pshevorsk, who authored 'Ohr Pnei Moshe' in 1805 [26]. The Pshevorsk is a small sub-Hasidic movement based in Antwerp, Belgium, with their hub at the study hall (beth midrash), 'Beth Yitzchok' at Mercatorstraat 56. With the discovery of vast diamond reserves in South Africa during the late 1800s, concern over a glut in the diamond market spread throughout London's diamond merchants. A group of wealthy Jewish dealers pooled their resources to form "the syndicate," which was created to soak up all of the excess capacity being created by South Africa. Today, Antwerp and London's diamond trade is largely controlled by the Hasidic Jewish community, although Indian influence is on the rise in recent years. Many of these Hasidic entrepreneurs are nameless by choice, preferring to maintain their anonymity, but they have been the driving force behind the multi-billion dollar diamond industry for hundreds of years.

Photo: Pub. Domain

Alfred Beit Alfred Beit (1853—1906) was born into a prominent Jewish family in Hamburg, Germany. Beit worked for the diamond firm of Jules Porges and Co. in Amsterdam before emigrating to 'Cape Colony' in 1875 during the Kimberley diamond-rush [25]. Beit was part of a group of financiers, including Cecil Rhodes, who gained control of the diamond-mining claims in the Central Mine, Dutoitspan Mine, and De Beers Mine, thereby 'consolodating' the South African mining industry. becoming a 'life-governor' of De Beers Consolidated Mines. He was also the director of the Beira Railway Company, British South Africa Company, Rand Mines, and the Rhodesia Railways. Beit, along with partner Cecil Rhodes, financed the 1895 'Jameson Raid' which was an attempt to trigger an unsuccessful coup in the South African Republic of Transvaal. The Royal School of Mines, at the Imperial College London has a large memorial to Beit, in recognition of the Beit trust's bequeathment to the university, and to educational institutions in Britain, Germany South Africa, and Zimbabwe (Rhodesia).

Photo: Pub. Domain

Sir Ernest Oppenheimer Ernest Oppenheimer (1880—1957) was born in Friedberg, Germany to a large Jewish family, and with several brothers working for "the syndicate," Ernest was well positioned for his future vocation. He began his career at age 17, working for the diamond brokerage firm, Dunkelsbuhler & Company in London. Oppenheimer created the concept of "single-channel marketing" over 100 years ago, by funneling the world's supply of diamonds through a single clearing house. Oppenheimer gained control of Namibia's diamond mines, forming the Anglo American mining conglomerate. This gave him the financing and power to gain the chairmanship of De Beers. Today, Oppenheimer's Anglo American operates a fleet of diamond recovery ships off the coast of Namibia and South Africa under the umbrella of De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited (DBCM), and Central Holdings Limited (CHL), an Oppenheimer family holding company, and in partnership with Namdeb.

Photo: Pub. Domain

Nicky Oppenheimer Ernest's grandson, Nicky Oppenheimer (born 1945) studied philosophy at Oxford as a young man, and is now the chairman of the De Beers Diamond Mining Company and its subsidiary Diamond Trading Company. The Oppenheimer family and Anglo American maintains a 45% stake in De Beers today. Africa's richest man, and #134 on the Forbes list of the world's richest people, Nicky Oppenheimer is worth an estimated $4.5 billion. Under new legislation, passed by the African National Congress, Nicky Oppenheimer was forced to sell a 26% share of De Beers to the South African 'Black Economic Empowerment' group (BEE). This was the first major ownership change for De Beers in over a century. Of the legislation Oppenheimer said: "De Beers is here to make a profit, but we must benefit the people and communities where we operate."

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

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

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

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

42 carat rough flawless-yellow diamond from the 'Compagnie Français de Diamant du Cap' (Kimberley mine) in 1877. Harry Frederick Oppenheimer enlisted the help of N. Ayer & Son." after here charecter.54 carat 'The Tiffany Diamond. and sold to Nanaline Duke (now in the Doris Duke Collection). The stone was cut in Paris.' staring Audrey Hepburn. Photo: Pub. After attending Chicago Musical College. Ayer in 1938.W." was the co-founder of Tiffany & Co.' brand was catapulted into the stratosphere by the 1961 movie 'Breakfast at Tiffany's."A diamond is forever" is the legendary saying that was created by America's first advertising agency. Lorelei receives a diamond tiara from her suitor. producing the 128. and the subsequent overthrowing of King Louis-Philippe of France in 1848. aka "the King of Diamonds. The 'Tiffany & Co. One of Tiffany's most notable diamond acquisitions was a 287. In 1948 the famous "A diamond is forever" slogan was introduced. the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine. and from the Spanish Crown Jewels [27]. Charles Tiffany. Sir Francis "Piggy" Beekman. and Tiffany seized on the opportunity. specializing in one-of-a-kind baubles for New York's newly-minted industrialists and 'robber-barons. Domain Hollywood in 1949 Coming just on the heels of the immortal "a diamond is forever" campaign. Styne moved to Hollywood where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn. and a series of diamond-related slogans were introduced into the American lexicon. Prince Esterhazy of Hungary. which started out as 'Tiffany & Young' of New York City in 1837. . The movie version featured Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend.' During the 1800s. The Great Depression had taken a heavy toll on luxury goods during the 1930s.W. Domain Charles Lewis Tiffany Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812—1902). and featuring the memorable scene in which Holly gazes longingly into Tiffany's window display." by Jean Schlumberger in the 1960s. the public's tolerance towards nobility was at a low point.' at the flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street.72 carat cushion-cut diamond (one of the "Diamonds of Golconda") was mounted by Tiffany. The Tiffany is still selling luxury jewelry in their trademarked 'Tiffany Blue Box. Jule Styne (born Julius Kerwin Stein) was born in London. With financial shockwaves caused by the French economy's collapse in 1847. gems and jewelry from the estates of the European aristocracy. De Beers president. Tiffany was able to purchase significant gems from such renowned estates as: the 'jewel-mad' Duke of Brunswick. located at 259 Broadway.' which was adapted to film in 1953. this time from playwriter. Jule Styne. for resale in America. N. was originally a 'fancy goods' emporium. De Beers and the diamond industry got another shot in the arm. Photo: Pub. A 19. the values of ostentatious gems and jewelry dropped precipitously. purchased diamonds. who was known for his jewelry expertise. Styne wrote the score for the 1949 Broadway musical 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Tiffany & Young. and the diamond industry was particularly hard hit.' The stone was set into a garish jewelry piece called "Bird on a Rock. After the French revolution in 1799.

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

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

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

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

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

" Document Security Each AGS grading document is marked with a hologram (dark circle at lower right of report) and watermarking or embossing to prevent fraudulent duplication.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light . .5 to 3.5. AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003. the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible.3. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram. all measured in three spacial dimensions.0 to 1. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless .7. in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above).1. 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.0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light . 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 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint .' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering.0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless .0 to 7. and individual facet ratios. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles.5 to 4. relative facet angles. where facets intersect with each-other." or "ideal" rating.

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

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

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

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

including Angola's two largest diamonds at 105. potholes.8 million to 10. Diamonds that were transported downstream. channels or other trapsites for diamondiferous deposits. Diamonds in marine areas are typically trapped in bedrock depressions such as gullies. made their way to the sea bed just offshore. carried from their primary origination point on the Kaapvaal Craton.Namibia's placer diamond deposits are between 40 and 80 million years old. Some of the largest and highest gemquality diamonds produced from alluvial placer diamond mining have come from this region. The diamonds within these deposits were transported from deeply-eroded diamondiferous kimberlites or. Westward draining river systems transported these diamonds to Africa's continental coastline for final deposition within on-shore marine terrace gravels.8k.9k and 101.Photo: Wiki Diamond-Bearing 'Diamondiferous' Gravel Many of these alluvial diamond deposits occur in Pleistocene and Holocene successions (1.000 years ago). but were not deposited on land. Alluvial Terrace Gravels . from olivine lamproites formed during the Cretaceous or Permo-Triassic period. in central South Africa and . depressions. Diamond Mines of the World: Active Diamond Mines List of Active Diamond Mines All Contents Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. to a lesser extent. 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.

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

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

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