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

Other variations of the "Modern Round Brilliant" include the "Ideal Brilliant" which was invented by Johnson and Roesch in 1929. The chart below shows several common problems to look for. 64. 3 . and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. The crown will have 33 facets. the "Cut" quality of the "4 Cs" was the most difficult part for a consumer to understand when selecting a good diamond because a GIA or AGS certificate did not show the important measurements influencing cut (i. and the pavillion will have 25 facets. Common cutting problems can occur during the faceting process. a Round Brilliant cut that does not have the proper proportions and symmetry (off-make) will have noticeably less brilliance. when one incorrect facet angle can throw off the symmetry of the entire stone. or 96 facets which are not counted in the total number of facets (58). Poor Diamond Faceting and Symmetry Due to the mathmatics involved in light refraction. Fig. All of that has changed with the AGS Cut Grading system and GIA's new "Cut Grading System". 2 The proportion and symmetry of the cuts as well as the quality of the polish are factors in determining the overall quality of the cut. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. 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. Only a trained eye could see the quality of a good cut. 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. Fig.e. pavilion and crown angle) and did not provide a subjective ranking of how good the cut was. This can also result in the undesirable creation of extra facets beyond the required 58. 80.Good Cut Fair Cut Poor Cut Cut Proportions In the past.

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

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

5 carat 2. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place.0 carat 3. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone. Price Per Carat (2005) .750 30. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown. girdle and pavilion.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between .000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor.495 carats and . FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone.VS1 Carat Size</ 0." If the carat weight is shown as ". In ancient times.5º crown. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing. Occasionally.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration.600 8.800 6.5 carat 1. or "seed of the carob".500 15.99 carat diamond for its better price. it must be accurate to the second decimal place. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat.600 6. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32.204 carat. clarity and weight. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place.600 12. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line.Grade: F Colorless . See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison. 40º pavilion. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of . It is for this reason that an even 1.504 carats.195 and . Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a . a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight.5 carats must have an actual weight of between .0 carat 1. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity . or to buy a 1. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only.10 carat diamond for its better cut.

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

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

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

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

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

" which is also known as "adamant.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine. Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness. or "invincible. olivine. 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. A diamond is a transparent. phlogopite. which resemble a champagne flute. a refractive index of 2. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0. At these depths. with a variety of trace minerals. and differentiates it from simple graphite. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2." is derived from the Greek adamas. and pyroxene." referring to its incredible hardness.200 degrees Celsius)." and "unconquerable. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms. Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures. The name "diamond. and a specific gravity of 3.044. Therefore. . diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km). in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" [2]. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon. diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation. Under the continental crust. ultramafic. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses.52. igneous rock composed of garnet.Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time. Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth.42. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe." "untamable. with the principle allotrope being graphite.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.

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



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

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



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

Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .

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



Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .

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

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


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

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

. 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. resulting from crystal twining during the growth process.Twinning Wisps Inclusions and defects resulting from crystal-twining during crystal growth.


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

Natural Comet Inclusion .

Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud .

Tabular Reflection in Diamond .

Included Garnet Twins within Diamond .

Included Dalmatian Garnet .

Cloud Inclusion .

Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers .

Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light .

Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion .

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




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





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

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

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



. This microscopic photograph shows the telltale orange or pink flash of a filled fracture enhancement within a cut diamond. Filled Fracture Photos Internal Fracture Filling Inclusion Photography Fracture-filling Inclusions are man-made diamond enhancements that are the result of natural cleavage-plane stress fractures or feathers which have been artificially filled with molten glass to enhance clarity. 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.

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

CZ vs Diamond . Using Visual Optics To Detect CZ The Hodgkinson "Visual Optics" technique was developed in the mid-1970s by Alan Hodgkinson as a method of detecting natural diamonds and diamond simulants. The 1. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible.41 (RI).In 1973. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting. Diamond's RI is 2. and CZs can be made in any "color grade.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left). or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond.) in a totally dark room. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight. Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond.80 to 2. Once the mixture has cooled.800 . or colorless (white) versions. Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored.Detectable to the Naked Eye Light Dispersion: Greater prismatic effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire Lack of Flaws: CZ is virtually flawless. etc. The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit. candle. 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.2. the greater dispersive power.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator. Zirconium oxide powder is heated. CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds. Natural diamonds attract grease. a CZ is optically flawless. CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1. . while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease. Due to their low cost and consistency. For instance." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR). Unlike most natural diamonds. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below). 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.17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2. but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye.170. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond .

Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ. Moissanite has a hardness of 9.104 as compared to CZ at 0. 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.69. Moissanite.044. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. left) who won the Nobel Prize in 1906 for his discovery of a new mineral (moissanite6H) found within meteorite fragments of the ancient Barringer meteor crater (above. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum).25 on the Mohs scale.417. when examining the gem through the kite facets.A small. . Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. Moissanite has an RI of 2. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. candle. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998.65 to 2. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. etc. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. and diamond at 0. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. found only in iron-nickel meteorites. Henri Moissan (above.670. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research.060. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index.) in a dark room. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. center) near Winslow. Arizona. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. while diamond has a hardness of 10. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight. is classified as an element rather than a compound.

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

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

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

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

Eppler & Scan D. H&A Viewer. and crown/pavilion angles. Tolkowsky.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35.N. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios. very small to small In the 1970s. The "Scan D. As with all human endeavors. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design. crown height of 14. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant".7%.5%. Symmetry. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%. and Proportions. . Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts.N. To quantify a diamond's cut quality. Ideal Scope.' and there has been numerous attempts to improve on this tried-and-true formula with the introduction of new signature diamond cuts that claim to have a higher light return. and overall height of 57. Since then. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope.4%. invented in 1929.5% to 43. more brilliance and fire. crown height of 14. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish.. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42.6% and overall height of 57. etc. facet ratios. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading." (Scandinavian standard. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect. A perfect blending of facet symmetry.7%.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lesotho Promise is the 15th largest diamond ever found. a DeBeers sightholder in Johannesburg. Lev Leviev lives in B'nei Brak." and the "king of bling" by Forbes magazine [28]. It will ultimately be cut into an estimated 20 or so 'D-flawless' stones ranging from 75 carats to 1 carat in Gujarat's Indian Diamantaires . and has satellite locations in Wafi City. selling to the rich and famous from Elizabeth Taylor and Donald Trump. Graff has co-authored (with Vanessa von Zitzewitz) "The Most Fabulous Jewels in the World. founder of the House of Graff in the heart of London's posh New Bond Street. 2006 at the Letseng diamond mine in the tiny Kingdom of Lesotho in the center of the Republic of South Africa. now called ALROSA (Almazy-Rossii-Sakha) [7]. to purchasing a 51% stake in Safdico (South African Diamond Corp. By circumventing the De Beers supply chain. Lev Leviev has formed a partnership with the ex Soviet state-owned diamond firm. found on August 22. Leviev's net-worth is estimated at $2. Photo: Pub. Graff's strategy of "vertically integration" has been to control every angle of the diamond pipeline. Domain Laurence Graff Laurence Graff (1938—) is a DeBeers sightholder. The Hindustani Diamond Cutters Photo: dnavin. Mr.). Laurence Graff was born into a Jewish orthodox family in London's poorer 'East End' district. from wholesale and retail. One of his most notable acquisitions was the 603 carat "Lesotho Promise diamond. with his wife and their nine children.state. Using this model of "local control. Raised by his grandparents. House of Graff is also located on London's Sloane Street. to Larry Ellison. Israel. and one of the most successful diamond merchants in modern history. which are now owned by Lev Leviev. formed by Decree 158C of the Russian Federation. and on board the luxury residential ship The World ResidenSea.5 billion (#278 Forbes List). New York's Madison Avenue. Alrosa now sells direct to cutting factories throughout Russia." a compendium and history of his most famous jewels. Russia." the Leviev Group has found willing partners in several countries including Angola's ASCORP after De Beers' exit in 2001. Graff's net worth is estimated at 2.5 billion dollars [28]. Hotel de Paris' salon privé in Paris. and the largest rough unearthed in this century. in 1992. All House of Graff stones have a laser-inscribed girdle with the 'Graff' logo and GIA number. ALROSA produces 100% of Russia's rough diamond output and approximately 20% of the world's rough diamonds [9]. Dubai. which gives him access to some of the finest uncut diamonds coming out of South Africa. Graff has been dubbed the "king of diamonds. Monte Carlo. Tretiakovsky Proezd in Moscow.

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

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

" was the co-founder of Tiffany & Co. this time from playwriter. producing the 128. who was known for his jewelry expertise. With financial shockwaves caused by the French economy's collapse in 1847. The movie version featured Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend. which started out as 'Tiffany & Young' of New York City in 1837.' During the 1800s. and the diamond industry was particularly hard hit. the values of ostentatious gems and jewelry dropped precipitously. was originally a 'fancy goods' emporium. Ayer in 1938.42 carat rough flawless-yellow diamond from the 'Compagnie Français de Diamant du Cap' (Kimberley mine) in 1877. De Beers president. Tiffany was able to purchase significant gems from such renowned estates as: the 'jewel-mad' Duke of Brunswick. and from the Spanish Crown Jewels [27]. located at 259 Broadway. Ayer & Son.' The stone was set into a garish jewelry piece called "Bird on a Rock."A diamond is forever" is the legendary saying that was created by America's first advertising agency.W. aka "the King of Diamonds. After attending Chicago Musical College.54 carat 'The Tiffany Diamond.' at the flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street." by Jean Schlumberger in the 1960s. purchased diamonds. N. Domain Hollywood in 1949 Coming just on the heels of the immortal "a diamond is forever" campaign.' which was adapted to film in 1953. De Beers and the diamond industry got another shot in the arm. Lorelei receives a diamond tiara from her suitor. Jule Styne. and the subsequent overthrowing of King Louis-Philippe of France in 1848. and Tiffany seized on the opportunity. and a series of diamond-related slogans were introduced into the American lexicon. The Tiffany is still selling luxury jewelry in their trademarked 'Tiffany Blue Box. In 1948 the famous "A diamond is forever" slogan was introduced. Jule Styne (born Julius Kerwin Stein) was born in London. A 19.' brand was catapulted into the stratosphere by the 1961 movie 'Breakfast at Tiffany's. Photo: Pub. The Great Depression had taken a heavy toll on luxury goods during the 1930s. the public's tolerance towards nobility was at a low point. Charles Tiffany. Styne moved to Hollywood where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn. gems and jewelry from the estates of the European aristocracy. Photo: Pub. and featuring the memorable scene in which Holly gazes longingly into Tiffany's window display. The stone was cut in Paris. the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine. Harry Frederick Oppenheimer enlisted the help of N. After the French revolution in 1799. and sold to Nanaline Duke (now in the Doris Duke Collection).' staring Audrey Hepburn." after here charecter. . One of Tiffany's most notable diamond acquisitions was a 287. Prince Esterhazy of Hungary. Tiffany & Young.72 carat cushion-cut diamond (one of the "Diamonds of Golconda") was mounted by Tiffany. for resale in America.W. Domain Charles Lewis Tiffany Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812—1902). The 'Tiffany & Co. Sir Francis "Piggy" Beekman. Styne wrote the score for the 1949 Broadway musical 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. specializing in one-of-a-kind baubles for New York's newly-minted industrialists and 'robber-barons.

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

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

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

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

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

0 to 7. AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond.0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light .7. relative facet angles.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light . and individual facet ratios.3. AGS Diamond Grading System On the inside fold of an AGS Diamond Quality grading report there is a legend explaining the unique AGS nomenclature with comparisons to GIA's grading system.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering. all measured in three spacial dimensions.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero.0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless .5.5 to 3. in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above).0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint . AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless . 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." 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.1.5 to 4. where facets intersect with each-other. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram. . the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003." or "ideal" rating.0 to 1.

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

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.vertical tunnel used for ore haulage. 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. gravel. with the middle size being a candidate for final sorting. also known as "sand-bank mining" (top of page. they tend to concentrate in alluvial deposits in the same way that gold placers develop. or sort material according to size. Artisanal diamond mining is a form of "subsistence based" non-mechanized mining that is used in poorer countries throughout the world. therefore. or large conical sieves. Gems are separated from waste material using various sifting and sorting techniques such as cone screens. center) is a method of extracting rock and minerals from the earth by removal from a machine-dug open pit or burrow. or pans. Open Pit Mining Open-pit diamond mining. and access to the ore. or hand digging (artisanal mining). machinery. which concentrate the heavier gems at the bottom. at a maximum depth of 500 feet. Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . 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. also known as "open-cast mining" (top of page. CAT-tracked underwater mining vehicles) move across the sea floor pumping gravel up to an offshore vessel. Open pit mines are typically used when mineral deposits are found close to the surface or along defined kimberlite pipes. eluvial. Diamonds and most gemstones are hard. right) is used for extracting diamonds and minerals from alluvial. shovels. Placer Mining Placer diamond mining. and have a specific gravity that is higher than that of common minerals. the gravels are separated and sorted into three sizes. running adjacent to the ore. While on board. Small "pit lakes" tend to form at the bottom of open-pit mines as a result of groundwater intrusion. highly resistant to weathering. mechanized surface excavating equipment. . and or colluvial secondary deposits. Laborers who work in artisanal diamond mining are called "diamond diggers" (below left). Horizontal mining employs the use of Seabed Crawlers (remotely controlled. Marine Mining Marine mining technology only became commercially viable in the early 1990s. Marine diamond mining employs both "vertical" and "horizontal" techniques to extract diamonds from offshore placer deposits. box screens. A decline is typically used for mining personnel. right) with bare hands. Excavation is accomplished using water pressure (hydraulic mining).Photo: USGS Alluvial Diamond . rock or sedimentary soil. or sand) that is unsuitable for tunneling. 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 diamond mining accounts for 90% of Sierra Leone's diamond exports and is the country's second largest employer after subsistence farming. It is also used extensivly in Angola. . minerals. Diamond bearing kimberlite in some parts of South Africa is black in color (above. left) or "yellow-ground" kimberlite and can be found worldwide. yet only about 1 in every 200 kimberlite pipes contain gem-quality diamonds. right). diamonds are carried to the surface of the earth by volcanic activity. Kimberlite pipes can lie directly underneath shallow lakes formed in the inactive volcanic calderas or craters. Kimberlite is a diamondiferous igneous-rock matrix composed of carbonate. olivine. As this molten mixture of magma (molten rock). Kimberlite pipes are the most significant source of diamonds. left). with a variety of trace minerals. Kimberlites are found as "dikes" and "volcanic pipes" which underlie and are the source for rare and relatively small volcanoes or "maars" (above. After their formation. right). These pipes are called "kimberlites" or "kimberlite pipes" (see diagram below). pyroxene. Many kimberlite pipes also produce alluvial diamond placer deposits.North Cape" below).Artisanal diamond mining is used throughout west Africa. and upper mantle rock. Diamonds: Diamond Geology Diamond Geology & Kimberlites Kimberlite Pipes Diamonds form at a depth greater than 93 miles (150 kilometers) beneath the earth's surface. garnet. serpentine. the Congo (DROC). and diamonds approaches the earth's surface it begins to form an underground structure (pipe) that is shaped like a champagne-flute. in conflict zones where mechanized mining is impractical and unsafe. 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 . Kimberlite occurs in the zone of the Earth's crust in vertical structures known as kimberlite pipes (above. phlogopite. rock fragments. and Liberia. Most kimberlite is called "blue-ground" kimberlite (above.

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

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

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

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

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