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The story of diamonds is, to use the metaphor, a tale of fire and "ice." Forged through immense heat and pressure over millions, or hundreds of millions of years, diamonds start their humble existence as simple, elemental carbon; the basic building block of all life in earth. We attempt to demystify these enigmatic little stones, by explaining their scientific reason for being, as well as were they are mined, how they are mined, and the history of the diamond trade, or 'diamond pipeline.' Diamonds are both elemental, and complex. As such, there is a lot of technical jargon associated with them. Shopping for a diamond can be very confusing to the newbie, but we have endeavored to make it as simple and interesting as humanly possible. You shouldn't need extraordinary brilliance to understand scintillation or refraction. Enjoy!
All About Diamonds
Diamond Basics The "4 Cs" of Diamonds - Cut The "4 C's" of Diamonds - Carat The "Four C's" of Diamonds - Clarity The "Four Cs" of Diamonds - Color Diamond Chemistry Optical Properties of Diamond Fancy Colored Diamonds Diamond Inclusion Library Diamond Enhancements Synthetics & Simulants Synthetic Diamonds Cubic Zirconia Moissanite Diamond Cuts Diamond Cutting Ideal Cut Modern Round Brilliant Patented Signature Diamond Cuts Old European Diamond Cuts Uncut Raw Diamonds in Jewelry The Diamond Market The Diamond Pipeline Diamond Bourses The Diamond Trade's Key Players Diamond Pricing - Price Comparison Charts Diamond Certification
AGS Diamond Grading Report Independent Diamond Testing Laboratories Diamond Mining & Mine Technology Diamond Mining Technology Diamond Geology & Kimberlites Full List of Worldwide Diamond Mines Artisanal Diamond Mining & Conflict Diamonds Worldwide Diamond Mining Regions Australian Diamond Mines Borneo's Landak Diamond Mines Botswana Diamond Mines Brazilian Diamond Mines Canadian Diamond Mines India's Golconda Diamond Mines Namibia Russian Diamond Mines South African Diamond Mines US Diamond Mines Conflict Diamonds Angola Diamond Mines Congo (DRC) Diamond Mines Liberia Diamond Mines Sierra Leone Diamond Mines Zimbabwe's Chiadzwa Marange Diamond Fields Diamond History & Cutting Regions Historical Diamond Cuts & Cutting History Historical Diamond Cutting Regions Diamond Cutting in Amsterdam Diamond Cutting in Antwerp Diamond Cutting in Belgium Diamond Cutting in Guangzhou, China Diamond Cutting in Gujarat, India Diamond Cutting in Idar-Oberstein, Germany Diamond Terminology Glossary - Gemology
The 4 Cs of Diamonds: Cut
The 4 C's Diamond Grading System
1. 2. 3. 4. Cut Carat Clarity Color
More than 100 million diamonds are sold in the United States each year, yet most consumers know very little about the product they are purchasing, and how that product is valued. The '4 Cs' represent the four main variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics. As a consumer, your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the '4 Cs' diamond grading system. If you are purchasing an expensive stone it will also be critical for you to learn how to read and understand the details of a GIA (Gemological Institute of America) 'Diamond Dossier,' AGL report, or AGS (American Gem Society) 'Diamond Certificate,' or Sarin 'Diamond Grading Report' (see full list of independent testing laboratories, below). You will also want to familiarize yourself with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines on jeweler conduct and consumer awareness. This knowledge will help be invaluable when you are comparison shopping for diamonds.
Diamond Cut Quality When jewelers judge the quality of a diamond cut, or "make", they often rate "Cut" as the most important of the "4 Cs." The way a diamond is cut is primarily dependent upon the original shape of the rough stone, location of the inclusions and flaws to be eliminated, the preservation of the weight, and the popularity of certain shapes. Don't confuse a diamond's "cut" with it's "shape". Shape refers only to the outward appearance of the diamond (Fig. 5 below), and not how it is faceted. The Importance of Cut Quality When a diamond has a high quality cut (ideal cut), incident light will enter the stone through the table and crown, traveling toward the pavilion where it reflects from one side to the other before bouncing back out of the diamond's table toward the observer's eye (see Fig. 1 below). This phenomenon is referred to as "light return" (Fig. 2 below) which affects a diamond's brightness, brilliance, and dispersion. Any light-leakage caused by poor symmetry and/or cut proportions (off-make) will adversely affect the quality of light return. The "Shallow Cut" and "Deep Cut" examples in Fig. 1 show how light that enters through the table of a Modern Round Brilliant diamond reaches the pavilion facets and then leaks out from the sides or bottom of the diamond rather than reflecting back to the eye through the table. Less light reflected back to the eye means less "Brilliance". In the "Ideal Cut" example, most of the light entering through the table is reflected back towards the observer from the pavilion facets.
Keep in mind that the variance in proportions between an "Ideal Cut" (ideal make) and a "Fair, Poor, Shallow or Deep Cut" may be difficult to discern to the novice observer, although there will be a lack of brilliance, scintillation, and fire. Cut quality is divided into several grades listed below.
Ideal Cut Premium Cut Very Good / Fine Cut
80. a Round Brilliant cut that does not have the proper proportions and symmetry (off-make) will have noticeably less brilliance. 64. Fig. the "Cut" quality of the "4 Cs" was the most difficult part for a consumer to understand when selecting a good diamond because a GIA or AGS certificate did not show the important measurements influencing cut (i. pavilion and crown angle) and did not provide a subjective ranking of how good the cut was. All of that has changed with the AGS Cut Grading system and GIA's new "Cut Grading System". Common cutting problems can occur during the faceting process. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. The crown will have 33 facets. 3 . The chart below shows several common problems to look for. Poor Diamond Faceting and Symmetry Due to the mathmatics involved in light refraction. An Ideal Cut or Premium Cut "Round Brilliant" diamond has the following basic proportions according to the AGS: Table Size: 53% to 60% of the diameter Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35 degrees Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Facets: 58 (57 if the culet is excluded) Polish & Symmetry: very good to excellent The girdle on a Modern Round Brilliant can have 32. Other variations of the "Modern Round Brilliant" include the "Ideal Brilliant" which was invented by Johnson and Roesch in 1929. and the pavillion will have 25 facets. or 96 facets which are not counted in the total number of facets (58).e. when one incorrect facet angle can throw off the symmetry of the entire stone. Fig. Only a trained eye could see the quality of a good cut. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. This can also result in the undesirable creation of extra facets beyond the required 58.Good Cut Fair Cut Poor Cut Cut Proportions In the past. 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. 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.
The first official H & A "EightStar" diamond was cut in 1985 by Kioyishi Higuchi for Japanese businessman and FireScope manufacturer. Symetry. 5) are listed below." was invented by Ken Shigetomi and Kazumi Okuda in 1984. Cut (Scandinavian Standard) will display a "Hearts and Arrows" pattern when observed through a IdealScope (arrows only). the "FireScope. Fig. or a H & A Viewer gemscope (FireScope). or a Scan D. left) are only found in diamonds that meet the American Gem Society Laboratories' "0" Ideal Cut specifications. which gives out much more fire than a real diamond. A diamond cut for too much fire will look like cubic zirconia. all three categories of cut (Polish. In order for a diamond to receive a "Triple-0" grading. The "Ideal" designation is an AGS term that is not found on an GIA report. Takanori Tamura. The GIA will give a symmetry demerit for what it calls "non-standard brillianteering" which some manufacturers use to 'improve' on the standardized Tolkowsky-type cuts. The IdealScope was invented by Kazumi Okuda in the 1970's. out through the table. the quality of the cutter's execution of that shape is of primary importance. making the diamond appear white when viewed from the top.For a Modern Round Brilliant cut (Tolkowsky Brilliant). Hearts and Arrows Diamonds A perfectly proportioned ideal cut that is cut to the exacting specifications of a Tolkowsky Cut. there is a balance between "brilliance" and "fire". Several basic diamond shapes (Fig. Proportion) must meet the "ideal" criteria. A well executed round brilliant cut should reflect the maximum amount light from the interior pavilion facets. as two stones could be cut from one crystal. 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. The shape of the diamond cut is heavily dependent upon the original shape of the rough stone. and its later incarnation. Eppler Cut (European Standard). AGS Triple-0 Certification The American Gem Society (AGS) is the industry leader in laboratory testing of round gems for cut grade and quality. A Triple-0 diamond can also be called a "Triple Ideal Cut" or "AGS-Ideal Zero" diamond. 4 Perfectly formed Hearts and Arrows patterns with eight hearts AND eight arrows (above. Emerald . GIA vs AGS Cut Grading GIA's new cut-grading system is based on averages that are rounded-up to predict 'light performance.' while AGS uses a more exacting combination of proportional facet ratios along with raytracing metrics to calculate light return. However. The round brilliant cut is preferred when the crystal is an octahedron. Asymmetrical raw crystals such as macles are usually cut in a "Fancy" style. Fancy Diamond Cuts The shape of the cut is a matter of personal taste and preference. N.
Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics. "Heart. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. and a 2 carat diamond is 200 points. a 3/4 carat diamond is 75 points.C." . "Princess" (square outline). Therefor. 5 Popular fancy cuts include the "Baguette" (bread loaf). Carat 3.W. As a consumer. Cut 2.086 grains) or 0. Color Carat weight is one of the 4 C's.2 grams (200 milligrams or 3.Heart Marquise Oval Pear Princess Radiant Round Trillion (not shown at diagram) Fig.007 ounce. the total mass of all diamonds or gemstones is referred to as "Total Carat Weight" or "T. The "fancy cuts" are generally not held to the same strict standards as Round Brilliants. A carat can also be divided into "points" with one carat being equal to 100 points." "Briolette" (a form of Rose cut). Clarity 4. One "Carat" is a unit of mass that is equal to 0. a 1/2 carat diamond would be 50 points. The 4 C's of Diamonds: Carat (Weight) The 4 C's Diamond Grading System 1. CARAT Balancing Cut and Weight A diamond or gemstone's "Carat" designation is a measurement of both the size and weight of the stone. When a single piece of jewelry has multiple stones. and with each point being 2 milligrams in weight. and the Pear. your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the "4 C's" diamond grading system. "Marquise" or "Navette" (little boat).
Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a .20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between .750 30.Grade: F Colorless . A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond. Occasionally. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight.VS1 Carat Size</ 0.195 and .495 carats and .500 15.800 6.99 carat diamond for its better price. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place. In ancient times.0 carat 3. it must be accurate to the second decimal place.204 carat.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1.0 carat 1. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales. See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison. or "seed of the carob".10 carat diamond for its better cut.5º crown. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity . A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place.5 carats must have an actual weight of between . A diamond that has a specified carat weight of .600 6. a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above.600 12. or to buy a 1. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight." If the carat weight is shown as ". By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry. clarity and weight.5 carat 1.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only.600 8. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York. Price Per Carat (2005) . Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line. 40º pavilion. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration. It is for this reason that an even 1. girdle and pavilion.504 carats.5 carat 2.
. Cut 2. fractures. On the other hand. In "colorless" diamonds. In fancy-colored diamonds. CLARITY All of the grades of diamond clarity shown in the table below.small blemishes VVS-1 . 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. it may be possible to hide certain inclusions behind the setting of the diamond (depending on where the inclusion is located). Inclusions that are near to. point size and the location of inclusions."Internally Flawless" no inclusions at 10 x mag."Very Small" inclusions VS1 is better grade than VS2 SI-1 . Considerations in grading the clarity of a diamond include the type of stone. causing a greater drop in grade. darker inclusions will tend to create the most significant drop in clarity grade. As a consumer.The Four C's Diamond Grading System 1. making them more apparent. and flaws GIA Clarity Grading System The chart below explains the GIA grading system for inclusions and imperfections. light or pale inclusions may show greater relief.Imperfect. may weaken the diamond structurally. Diamond Clarity Designations FL . Color Clarity is one of the Four C's."Very Very Small" inclusions hard to see at 10 x magnification VVS-2 . VVS1 better than VVS2 VS-1 . Carat 3. thus minimizing any negative impact of the inclusion. . and/or on the surface of the stone."Small" or "Slight" Inclusions or "Imperfections" visible to naked eye SI-3 ."Flawless" no inclusions at 10 x magnification IF . Clarity 4. ."Very Small" inclusions visible at 10 x mag. little or no brilliance I1 to I3 . with large Inclusions."Very Very Small" inclusions. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond."Small" or "Slight" Inclusions or "Imperfections" may be "eye clean" SI-2 .not naked eye VS-2 . or break the surface. The term "Clarity" refers to the presence or absence of tiny imperfections (inclusions) within the stone. therefore reducing its value significantly. it is important to learn and understand the clarity designations found within the "Four C's" diamond grading system.Inclusions large and obvious.
A percussion mark caused by impact.Concentrated area of crystal growth that appear light or dark.An inclusion that penetrates the surface.A natural indentation that was not removed by polishing. he or she could legally sell it as a VVS-2. in part because the treatment isn't permanent. Diamond Fracture Filling Diamond clarity is sometimes enhanced by filling fractures." . Internal Diamond Inclusions Carbon .Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet.Fractures that have been artificially filled.Inclusions resulting from crystal twining during growth.Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation. Such diamonds are sometimes called "fracture filled diamonds". "One out of every three diamonds sold in the United States is laser-drilled. chips. External Diamond Inclusions Bearded Girdles . Surface Graining .Diamond Clarity Grade Inflation A fairly common practice in the jewelry trade is grade-inflation or "grade bumping.Irregular crystal growth causing internal distortions. Pique . Filled Fractures . Clouds . haze. waviness. much like repairing a crack in your car's windshield.Garnet or other Included gem stones Twinning Wisps . so they can use greater care while working on the piece. a diamond must be within one clarity grade of its advertised amount at the time of sale. Bruising . Internal Graining . or feathers along the outer edge of girdle. Pinpoints . Laser Drilling Laser drilling involves using a laser to burn a tunnel or hole to a carbon inclusion. Reputable companies often provide for repeat treatments if heat causes damage to the filling. Grain Center .Dislodged pinpoint inclusions at the surface. The heat generated by a blowtorch used to work on settings can cause damage.Cleavage planes or internal fractures that have the appearance of feathers. fringing. The treatment is considered permanent and both the GIA and AGS will issue grades for laser drilled diamonds.An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing. vendors should disclose this enhancement.Tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts). The GIA will not grade fracture-filled diamonds. The drilling process leave tiny telltale shafts or tunnels that are visible under magnification. According to FTC guidelines.Minute crystals within the diamond that appear white. Pits . Cavities . The final clarity grade will be the grade that is assigned after treatment. therefor it is essential to inform anyone working on a setting if the diamond is fracture-filled.Fine cracks. Feathers . Needles . According to Fred Cuellar in his book How to Buy a Diamond. Indented Naturals . If a jeweler sells a diamond that has an actual grade of VS-1. appearing as a raised area.Rutile-like needle inclusions. followed by acid washing to remove the coloring agent. There is a significant price discount for fracture-filled diamonds.Cloudy grouping of tiny pinpoints that may not resolve at 10X Magnification. and reputable filling companies will use filling agents which show an orange or pink flash of color. Chips . Knots ." According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides.
U.Grinding Wheel Marks of scratches from contact with other diamonds. H.Whitish haziness along the junction of facets caused by wear.Surface burning from heat buildup during polishing. thereby making the diamond appear yellow. Neither the GIA nor the AGS (American Gemological Society). W. the most reputable well known US labs. T. X. assign this grade.colorless (white) G. Cut 2. Scratches . O.near colorless K.faint yellow or brown N. As a consumer. E. the yellower the stone will appear. F .light yellow or brown Fig. The higher the amount of nitrogen atoms. Y. 1 . absorbing some of the blue spectrum. it will be beneficial to learn and understand some of the basic parameters for diamond color grading. "SI-3" is a grade sometimes used in the diamond industry. V. Burn Marks . L. Q.Small chips at facet junctions. Carat 3. These nitrogen impurities are evenly dispersed throughout the stone. I. Clarity 4. Color Color is one of the Four Cs representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. Diamond Color Designations D.very light yellow or brown S. Z . The designation of SI-3 was popularized by the EGL (European Gemological Laboratory) grading office. 1 explains the GIA grading system for clear (not fancy-colored) stones. P. the Gemological Institute of America uses a scale of "D" to "Z" in which "D" is totally colorless and "Z" is yellow.Human Caused Surface Blemishes Abrasions . M . J . The color chart in Fig. Diamonds of this low grade would be inappropriate for jewelry. The Four Cs of Diamonds: Color The Four Cs Diamond Grading System 1. In determining the color rating of a diamond. COLOR Most all natural diamonds contain small quantities of nitrogen atoms that displacing the carbon atoms within the crystal's lattice structure. At present. a Sarin Diamond Color Grading report is the state-of-the-art color measuring standard. Nicks . R .
Due to a diamond's high brilliance. jewelers and gem labs can accurately provide a 'color typing' printout of a diamond's color grading that is compatible with AGS. it is extremely benificial to know if your 'F' is a strong 'F. as in our Fig. Fig. 3 Golconda Diamonds Type IIa diamonds (aka Golconda Diamonds) are colorless stones containing negligible amounts nitrogen or boron impurities to absorb the blue end of the color spectrum. GIA-GEM. For the consumer." or "D+. Using a Sarin Diamond Colorimeter DC3000 (aka Gran Colorimeter). D-Flawless ." "whiter than white. and dispersion of light (fire) when looking through the table or crown. most gem labs do not currently provide color-typing data in their reports and certificates. Fig. 3 example below. India. 2 Sarin Color Typing is a relatively new sub-classification of the D through Z gading scale. D4. IGI. D3. and not by looking at the top of the stone.' or a borderline 'G. and D5). and HRD grading scales. Color grading by 'visual-observation is performed against a Master CZ Colored Grading Set.' Unfortunatly. color grading should be determined by examining the stone through the side of the pavilion (Fig. sometimes referred to as "white diamonds. 2).The Holy Grail . Each classification is divided into five sub-classifications (D1." are named after the famous Golconda Diamond Mines located in the state of Hyderabad. D2. These colorless stones.
For diamonds with a color grading of D through H (colorless). so this effect will be more apparent under natural daylight than under artificial incandescent light. as the blue fluorescence will cancel out some of the yellow. fluorescence can negatively impact the value of the stone by 3% to 20%. Even with microscopic inclusions. diamonds with a poorer color grading (I through K). medium. Diamond Fluorescence Approximatly 1/3 (35%) of all diamonds have a tendency to fluoresce when exposed to ultra-violet (UV) light. When diamonds are viewed under a UV light-source. Only around 600 D-flawless roughs are cut into gems weighing between 1 and 2 carats during a given year. Fluorescence is graded as none. making the diamond appear "colorless. Skin Tone and Settings While some may prefer a very transparent D to F range. others may prefer a "warmer" color found in a G to J range to compliment their skin tone.Diamond Formation . See Color in Gemstones for more information. they tend to fluoresce as blue. diamonds with a visible tint may be preffered. On the other hand. This fluorescent effect can be beneficial to a diamond that has a yellow tint. fewer than 5. faint." but the diamond will have a dull. Ultra-violet light is a component of natural sunlight and artificial 4800k to 5000k color-proofing light. fluorescence could increase the value by 0% to 2% buy improving the color (or lack thereof).Large D-flawless diamonds (those weighing more than 2 carats) are some of the rarest minerals on earth. according to the GIA.000 D-color diamonds weighing over half a carat are found each year. murky appearance when compared to a non-fluorescing diamond. In some settings with various combinations of other stones. Diamonds: Chemistry & Structural Properties Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Structural Properties of Diamond . and strong.
Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness. Under the continental crust." and "unconquerable.044." "untamable. olivine. which resemble a champagne flute." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine. Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures. and a specific gravity of 3.52. and differentiates it from simple graphite." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic. with a variety of trace minerals. ultramafic. 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. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km).Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time. with the principle allotrope being graphite. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical." referring to its incredible hardness. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes. igneous rock composed of garnet. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" . At these depths. a refractive index of 2.200 degrees Celsius). or "invincible. . Therefore. diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation. Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe. A diamond is a transparent. The name "diamond. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1." which is also known as "adamant. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale.42. and pyroxene. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0." is derived from the Greek adamas. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon. phlogopite. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits.
The material "boron nitride." or "anhedral. and therefore." This means that diamond crystals usually "grow" in an orderly and symmetrical arrangement. Diamond Crystal Habit Diamonds have a characteristic crystalline structure. with the end byproduct of the combustion being carbonic-acid gas. and crystal habit of a diamond is octahedral (photo. or dodecahedral. above). does not always reflect the internal arrangement of its atoms. a predictable crystal growth pattern known as its "crystal habit. Additionally. where it was shown to combust in scientific experiments. perfectly formed crystals are rare." when found in a crystalline form that is structurally similar to diamond. The natural crystal form.A Type 2-A diamond has a hardness value of 167 GPa (±6) when scratched with an ultrahard fullerite tip. may also be as hard or harder than diamond. or carbon dioxide. by igniting a diamond in an oxygen atmosphere. whether it is cubic. although in nature. A diamond's incredible hardness was the subject of curiosity dating back to the Roman empire. beta carbon nitride. a currently hypothetical material. although the reason for its combustion was not understood at the time. and a hardness value of 231 GPa (±5) when scratched with a diamond tip. is nearly as hard as diamond. The external shape of the crystal. Experimentation during the late 18th century demonstrated that diamonds were made of carbon." . When a gemstone has an irregular external shape or asymmetrical arrangement of its crystal facets. octahedral. it is termed as "subhedral.
Hematite has a hardness of only 5. Many natural blue . The culet facet at the bottom of the pavilion.© AGS Labs Hexagonal (Graphite) Platelet Inclusion . Although diamond is the "hardest.Trace impurities." If you were to place a large enough diamond on your tongue it would draw heat away. causing stress fractures or feathers.© AGS Labs Diamond Toughness Within the fields of metallurgy and materials science. and therefore may be uninsurable by reputable insurance companies. crystal twinning. sapphire has a hardness rating of 9. Internally formed crystallographic graphite inclusions often create intense strain on the surrounding diamond. Particular cuts of diamond are more prone to breakage along cleavage planes. Additionally. Thermal Properties of Diamonds Diamond is a good conductor of heat. most scratch resistant mineral on earth. due to its ability to fracture along cleavage planes." and therefore. graphite can develop internally and on the diamond's surface." which only denotes a diamond's high resistance to scratching. and "pound-force" per square-inch in US units of measurement. the term "toughness" describes the resistance of a given material to fracture when it is stressed or impacted. and varying growth conditions of heat. very thin girdles on brilliant cut diamonds are also prone to breakage. a diamond's "toughness" is only fair to good. meaning that a diamond is 4 times "harder" than sapphire. Diamond Graphitization In extremely high temperature environments above 1700 ¡C. making it seem cold. is a facet specifically designed to resist breakage. Carbon Inclusion . Unlike "hardness. its "toughness" rating is moderate.5. but its toughness rating is also excellent. pressure and space can also affect the final shape of a formed crystal. By comparrison. acting as a "thermal conductor. yet sapphire has a toughness rating of excellent.5 to 6. A material's toughness is measured in units of "joules" per cubic meter (J/m3) in the SI system. with a Mohs scale rating of 10.
giving off a somewhat greasy sheen. or having the hardness or luster of a diamond. which means unyielding. to prevent silicon and other semiconducting materials from overheating. Electromagnetic Properties of Diamond . with the exception of natural blue diamonds. electronic circuits could be manufactured from diamonds in the future . meaning "light". increasing thermal conductance. re-emitting them as lower-energy. and synthetic diamonds that are doped with boron. gloss. Natural blue diamonds containing boron atoms. Purified synthetic diamond can have the highest thermal conductivity (2000-2500 W/m-K) of any solid material at room temperature . .nearly five times greater than pure copper. inflexible. If an n-type semiconductor can be synthesized. are known as p-type semiconductors. The term adamantine describes the way light interacts with the surface of a crystal. it is used in the manufacturing of semiconductors. and generally implies radiance. which are in fact semiconductors. or longer-wavelength photons. or brilliance. 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. The word luster traces its origins back to the Latin word lux. Due to diamond's high thermal conductance.com The surface luster (or "lustre") of diamond is described as adamantine.diamonds contain boron atoms which replace carbon atoms within the crystal matrix.Insulators or Semiconductors Diamond is a relatively good electrical insulator. Fluorescence in Diamonds Fluorescence is an optical phenomenon in which a diamond's molecules absorb high-energy photons.
. with very high thermal conductivity. thereby allowing the passage of short-wave ultra-violet (SWUV) light through the stone. or "fire. Man-made synthetic diamonds containing nitrogen are classified as Type 1-B. Some Type IIa diamonds can be found with pink." with a refractive index of 2. If the nitrogen atoms are grouped in clusters they do not necessarily affect the diamond's overall color. they can give the stone a yellow tint. absorbing some of the blue spectrum. These Nitrogen impurities found in Type I diamonds are evenly dispersed throughout the gemstone. Type II Diamond Formation Certain diamonds were formed under extremely high pressure for longer time periods.© AGS Labs Type I UV Fluorescence . and appear dark when exposed to ultra-violet light or X-rays.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. and contain nitrogen atoms as an impurity. and thereby making the diamond appear yellow. Natural blue Type II diamonds containing scattered boron impurities within their crystal matrix are good conductors of electricity. Typically. red. and some of the finest historical gemstones such as the Cullinan and Koh-i-Noor are both Type IIa diamonds. while Type II diamonds that lack boron impurities are classified as Type IIa.© AGS Labs Type IIa diamonds are very rare. This illusion of color is caused by the varying optics effects created by spectral dispersion. due primarily to certain structural anomalies arising from "plastic deformation" which occurred during their formation. If the nitrogen atoms are dispersed evenly throughout the crystal. Type I & Type II Diamonds As many as 99% of all natural diamonds are classified as Type I." and refraction. making them appear 'colorless' (D).417. Cloud Inclusion Under UV . Some diamond varieties. Diamond can exhibit pseudochromatic coloration giving the appearance of "color" without having any actual color in the mineral itself. which replace some carbon atoms within the crystal lattice structure. a natural diamond may contains both Type 1-A and Type 1-B material. or brown coloration. Type II diamonds do not contain any detectable nitrogen. permitting the passage and reflectance of blue light. 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. greenish or yellow fluorescence when exposed to the X-ray wavelength. particularly Canadian diamonds. show no fluorescence. and they are classified as Type 1-A. classifying them as Type IIb diamonds. and are classified as Type 1-B. All Type 1 diamonds have nitrogen atoms as their main impurity. Diamond Refraction & Coloration Diamonds are "singly refractive. and give off a bluish-white. These Type IIa diamonds have a near-perfect crystal structure making them highly transparent and colorless. These rare diamonds have a lower nitrogen content.
Diamond Color & Composition Diamonds can occur in a wide variety of colors: colorless or white. Yellow. green (Ocean Dream). orange. It is this nitrogen component that produces the color of fancy yellow diamonds. yellow. However. and red (Hancock Diamond) are particularly valuable. while chemically "pure" diamonds are basically transparent. fancy pink diamonds can command very high prices as they have become increasingly popular. blue (Hope Diamond). certain fancy-colored diamonds such as pink (Condé). brown diamonds). radiation exposure (green diamonds) or irregular growth patterns within the crystal (pink. boron (blue diamonds). when a diamond's color is more intense than the "Z" grading. Once thought to be of little value. Blue. steel grey. pink. and therefor colorless. In this case. Fancy Diamond Color Hues A fancy brown (or Fancy Cognac). 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. However. and their color is due to trace impurities of nitrogen and/or hydrogen (yellow. blue. red. All colored diamonds contain certain specific impurities and/or structural defects that cause their coloration. Fancy Colored Diamonds: Pink. brown. the intensity of the color in the diamond can plays a significant role in its value. and black. it enters the realm of a "Fancy Color" diamond. red diamonds). Green & Cognac Fancy Colored Diamond Diamonds can occur in all colors of the spectrum. . or yellow diamond may have a relatively low value when compared to a colorless diamond. green.Diamond Refraction & Light Dispersion Diamonds can also exhibit allochromatic coloration which is caused by chromophores from the nitrogen trace impurities found within crystalline structure. Colorless diamonds would normally be priced much higher than yellow diamonds.
N to R Light . One of the world's only major sources for rare pink diamonds is the Argyle Mine in Australia.Brown diamonds. have become more commonplace as Australian colored diamonds have gained in popularity.M Very Light .Cognac 8 is darkest Chameleon Diamonds There is a very rare olive-grayish color-changing diamond called "Chameleon Diamond" (below.' found in Kimberly. sold at a greater discount. daylight) and ambient temperature changes. The rough stone weighed 287. As the numbers go lower (8PP) the color is paler. The GIA grades fancy diamond color by quantifying the saturation. having a pure magenta color with deep saturation. bright light).Pink (Magenta-pink) 1 is darkest 1P to 8P .Champagne 3 is darkest C8 to C1 .Start of 'Fancy' Fancy Fancy Dark Fancy Intense Fancy Deep Fancy Vivid . hue.Pink (Reddish-pink) 1 is darkest 1BP to 8BP . yet considerably more expensive.' GIA 'Fancy Yellow' Diamond Color Saturation Designations Faint . halogen. Pink Diamonds The pink color within these rare diamonds is due to irregular crystal growth patterns. which are generally less appreciated than other fancy colors and therefor. causing microscopic imperfections within the lattice structure. 1PP is the highest quality designation for Pink Diamond. left). Fancy Pink/Brown Diamond Color (Hue) Designations 1PP to 8PP . South Africa in 1878. and value (darkness) using nine classifications ranging from 'Faint' to 'Vivid.54 carat cushion cut with an estimated value in the millions of dollars. . which changes hue from grayish-blue or olive-green to yellowish-green or straw-yellow under different lighting conditions (darkness. 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. Pink diamonds are similar to pink sapphire in color. This Chameleon-like phenomenon was first documented by the GIA in the early 1940s.S to Z Fancy Light . An 1P designation would have less blue and more brownish-red. and was cut into a 128.Highest Saturation One of the largest. Only 1% to 2% of the diamonds produced at the Argyle Mine are high-quality pink specimens. lighting color temperatures (incandescent.42 carats. and most valuable Fancy Yellow diamonds in the world is the 'Tiffany Diamond.Pink (Brownish-pink) 1 is darkest PC3 to PC1 .
as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13.95carats. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil. greyish-green. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize.' discovered during the 18th century. and the De Young Red weighing 5. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply.com) Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems.03 carats. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner. or a combination of the two. . Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color. On thing is certain. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds. and weighed a modest 0. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green.000 to $500. pure green hues. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant.000 in 1987. The color change effect is temporary. Warren Hancock.000 per carat. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa.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). It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste. Green diamonds can range from $35.90 carats.com) The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness . There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. Intense.
Joe Vanells. This section contains a compendium of photography depicting all of the various types of diamond inclusions—both naturally occurring. and man-made imperfections—that can be found in raw and cut diamonds. gemological testing laboratory in Las Vegas. These impurities absorb the blue end of the light spectrum. representing the four main variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. Nevada. Inclusions which are visible to the naked eye are referred to as piquŽ. or absence of tiny imperfections known as "inclusions. Inclusions which are not visible to the naked eye (eye clean) fall into the GIA range of "IF" (Internally Flawless) to "SI2" (Small Inclusions).com Clarity is one of the Four C's of diamond grading. It is for this reason that manufacturers of synthetic diamonds tend to specialize in fancy colors. The term "clarity" refers to the presence. or on the surface of the cut stone. and so-called "piquŽ diamonds" fall into the GIA grading range of I1 to I3 (CIBJO grade P1 to P3). most synthetic diamonds will have a slightly yellowish hue due to nitrogen impurities that are dispersed throughout the crystal lattice structure during the growth phase.G.com) Enhanced Blue & Yellow Diamonds (© AfricaGems.Reddish Brown Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. or human caused. and beautifully photographed by their Director of Gem Services. All of the microscopic inclusion photographs on this page were generously contributed by the A." These inclusions can occur within the stone. making the stone appear yellowish. .L. F grades.com) Fancy Colored Synthetic Diamonds Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless D. E. and can be naturally occuring.S. Diamond Inclusion Library: Inclusion Photos Over 100 High-Resolution Diamond Photos! All Contents: Copyright © 2010 AllAboutGemstones.
pyrrhotite and pentlandite. ferropericlase. Black or dark material found within a diamond's internal fracture planes can also be particles or crystallographic inclusions of graphite. pyrrhotite and pentlandite. PiquŽ Carbon Inclusion Photos Internal Carbon Pique Diamond Inclusion Photography Piqué are tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts) within diamonds.Internal Diamond Inclusion Photos Carbon Tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts). Black material found within internal fracture planes can also be crystallographic inclusions of graphite. ferropericlase. .
Microscopic Carbon Picque Inclusions Hexagonal Platelet Inclusion in Trillion Cut Diamond .
All of the microscopic diamond carbon inclusion photography on this page was generously contributed by the AGSL gemological testing laboratory in Las Vegas. and is reproduced with their permission. Internal cloud inclusions may not resolve as pinpoints at 10X . which can leave their own types of unique inclusions. Nevada.Carbon piqué inclusions are sometimes removed by diamond enhancements such as laser drilling. Clouds (Cld) A dense grouping of tiny pinpoints that create a cloudy zone which may not resolve as individual pinpoints at 10X Magnification. 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.
. 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.Magnification.
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. which cause internal stress fractures during crystal growth. . Feather Inclusion Photos Internal Diamond Feather Inclusion Photography Feather inclusions (Ftr) are caused by cleavage planes or internal stress fractures that have the appearance of wispy feathers.Feathers (Ftr) Cleavage planes or internal stress fractures that have the appearance of feathers. Common around included crystals.
Feather inclusions caused by stress fractures around included garnet crystal. .
. and the stress inclusion occurs along the gem's natural cleavage plane. making it susceptible to fracturing when exposed to thermal or physical shock.Pronounced stress fractures and feather inclusions can potentially weaken the stone. diamonds with significant stress fractures and feather should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner as this could cause the diamond to shatter. As a result. This is especially true if the fracture breeches the stone's surface.
waviness.Grain Center (GrCnt) A concentrated area of crystal growth that can appear light or dark. . and haze within a cut diamond. Grain Center Inclusion Photos Internal Grain Center Diamond Inclusion Photography Internal Grain Center (IntGr) inclusions (aka internal graining) are caused by irregular diamond crystal growth which creates internal distortions.
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. .Growth Tubes Imperfection formed during crystal growth. when a tube is generated by a formerly liquid filled cavity.
Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .
calcite. olivine. diopside. calcite. spinel. Included Crystals Inclusion Photos Internal Included Crystals in Diamond Included Crystal inclusions are whole crystals or tiny included gem fragments of undigested crystals such as garnet. silica or other gem stone inclusions. iron oxides. olivine. spinel. iron oxides. Green chrome diopside Inclusion within a Diamond .Included Crystals (Xtl) Included and undigested gemstones or fragments of garnet. diopside. or silica.
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 .
. and where pathway does not breach the cut diamond's surface. Internal Laser Drilling Inclusion Photos Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) Inclusion Photography Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) inclusions are man-made internal flaws that resulted from laser-drilling that was done to remove large piquŽ carbon inclusions in a rough stone. 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. With internal laser-drilling inclusions.
. Needle Inclusion Photos Needle Inclusion Photography Internal Needles (Ndl) or needle inclusions are naturally occurring rutile-like needle shaped inclusions within the diamond.Needles (Ndl) Rutile-like needle-shaped inclusions.
Pinpoints (Pp) Minute crystals within the diamond that appear white. Pinpoint Inclusion Photos Pinpoints (Pp) Inclusion Photography Internal Pinpoints (Pp). . Large groupings of small pinpoints can create a cloud inclusion effect. Large groupings of small pinpoints can create a cloud effect. or Pinpoint Inclusions are minute included crystals within the diamond that appear white under magnification.
Twinning Wisps Inclusions and defects resulting from crystal-twining during crystal growth. . resulting from crystal twining during the growth process. Twinning Wisp Inclusion Photos Twinning Wisps Inclusion Photography Twinning Wisp inclusions are naturally-occurring structural defects with a diamond. Twinning Wisp inclusions can be accompanied by internal graining and/or strain feathers. Can be accompanied by graining and strain.
showing the strange and beautiful world of microscopic diamond inclusions.Odds & Ends: Microscopic Diamond Inclusion Beauty Photos Microscopic Diamond Inclusion Photography This is an assortment of spectacular diamond-inclusion photography taken by Joe Vanells. .
Natural Comet Inclusion .
Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud .
Tabular Reflection in Diamond .
Included Garnet Twins within Diamond .
Included Dalmatian Garnet .
Cloud Inclusion .
Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers .
Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light .
Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion .
Knot diamond inclusions can potentially be the cause of man-made drag-line inclusions. appearing as a raised area. appearing as a raised area on the diamond's surface.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). .
. Indented Natural Inclusion Photos Indented Natural (IndN) Diamond Inclusion Photography Indented Natural (IndN) inclusions (indented naturals) are external imperfections that are caused by naturally-occurring recessed (concave) indentations that penetrate the surface of a rough diamond.Indented Natural (IndN) A naturally occurring indentation in the crystal that was not removed during cutting or polishing. and were not fully removed during the stone's cutting or polishing process.
made up of a bumpy or wavy pattern on the polished surface of a diamond. .Lizard Skin A bumpy or wavy 'orange-peel' textured pattern on the polished surface of a diamond. The lizard-skin effect is caused by an orange-peel texture. Lizard Skin Inclusion Photos Lizard Skin Diamond Surface Blemish Photography A "lizard skin" surface blemish is a man-made external diamond imperfection that is created during polishing.
Natural (N) A raised portion of the rough diamond's original surface structure that remains visible on the surface of a polished stone. Natural Inclusion Photos Natural Diamond Inclusion Photography Natural inclusions (aka Naturals) are naturally-occurring raised portions of the rough diamond's original surface structure that were not removed during the polishing process. and remain visible on the surface of a polished stone. .
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. .
chips.Human Caused Surface Blemishes Abrasion (Abr) A tightly grouped series of nicks along the sharp edge of facet junctions. Bearded Girdle (BG) Fine cracks. . or feathers along the outer edge of girdle. creating a whitish fuzzy edge as opposed to a sharp edge. fringing. Bruising (Br) A percussion mark or hole caused by impact and surrounded by tiny feathers.
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. or caught by a included crystal. Drag Lines Created when a rough particle is dragged along the surface. during cutting and/or polishing the diamond. Cavities (Cv) An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing. Chips Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet.Burn Marks Created during polishing. . the overheating of a facet causes a burn mark. or when abrasive material is caught by an included crystal such as garnet during the polishing of a diamond.
Filled Fracture Photos Internal Fracture Filling Inclusion Photography Fracture-filling Inclusions are man-made diamond enhancements that are the result of natural cleavage-plane stress fractures or feathers which have been artificially filled with molten glass to enhance clarity. Filled Fractures Fractures or feathers that have been artificially filled to enhance clarity. This microscopic photograph shows the telltale orange or pink flash of a filled fracture enhancement within a cut diamond.Extra Facet (EF) An asymmetrical and irregularly placed facet that is not part of the original faceting scheme. and remove cloudiness. .
Laser Etching or Markings Careless or inadvertent laser etchings. marking. . Laser Etching Photos Diamond Laser Etching Inscription Photography Laser etching inclusions are surface blemishes and imperfections that are created when careless or inadvertent markings or inscriptions are made while laser etching. and inscriptions. markings. or inscribing the external surface of a cut diamond.
Polish Lines (PL) Fine parallel surface groves resulting from the polishing process. Polish Marks (PM) Also known as "Wheel Marks. Scratch (S) A fine whitish line that can be curved or straight." whitish film on the surface of a facet caused by excessive heat during polishing. Diamond Enhancements: Laser Drilling & Fracture Filling .
Such diamonds are sometimes then branded as "fracture filled diamonds. but not necessarily increase its value. but instead attempt to hide their visual effect. in accordance with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines for the gem trade. or removed by employing several invasive techniques from fracture filling to laser drilling. which are designed to improve the visual or gemological characteristics of the stone. or treatments to give a fancy color to a off-white diamond. altered.Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Enhanced Diamonds Diamond "enhancements" are specific treatments performed on cut. A trained gemologist should be able to identify most traditional "enhancements" made to a particular stone." Reputable filling companies will always use filling agents which show an orange or pink flash of color when viewed under a microscope with certain controlled lighting conditions. These techniques do not eliminate the imperfection. Unfilled Fractures around Garnet Inclusion . . Diamond Fracture Filling Diamond clarity is sometimes improved and enhanced by filling tiny fractures or feathers with molten glass. much like you would repair a crack in a car's windshield glass.© AGS Lab Telltale Signs of Fracture Filling . Minor diamond inclusions or surface imperfections which are not visible to the naked eye ("VVS1" to "SI2") can be disguised.© 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. There are also heating treatments to improve a white diamond's color grade. polished natural diamonds.
followed by acid washing to remove the coloring agent. It is therefor essential to inform anyone working on a setting where the diamond has been fracture-filled. or subjecting the diamond to intense pressure and temperature. According to Fred Cuellar in his book How to Buy a Diamond.com Radiation treatments are completely safe. Signs of Laser Drilling . Due to its low melting-point. The final clarity grade will be the grade that is assigned after treatment. "vivid" blue and yellow colors result. Reputable filling companies will often provide repeat treatments if heat causes damage to the filling. These enhancements are achieved using low levels of radiation (irradiation). . Laser Drilling of Diamonds Laser drilling involves the use of a laser to burn a tunnel or hole down to any dark carbon inclusions or piquŽ. and both the GIA and AGS will issue grades for laser drilled diamonds. so that the jeweler can use greater care while working on the piece.© AGS Lab The laser-drilling treatment is considered permanent. Natural Fancy Diamonds .There should always be a significant price discount for any diamond that has been fracture-filled. Diamonds treated with HTHP have their molecular altered so that intense.© AGS Lab Laser Drilling Tubes .© AfricaGems. "One out of every three diamonds sold in the United States is laser-drilled. referred to as the HTHP process.com Color Enhanced Diamonds . The drilling process leave tiny telltale shafts or tunnels that are visible under high magnification (see photos below). in part because the treatment isn't permanent." Diamond Color Treatment Color enhancement of diamonds in done to increase the color intensity of so-called "fancy" colored diamonds.© AfricaGems. the heat generated by a blowtorch used to work on settings can cause damage to the filling material. and the diamonds are tested to ensure that no trace levels of radiation remain. and the GIA will not even grade a fracture-filled diamond.
and the Chemical Vapor Deposition or "CVD" method. This abrupt cooling caused the rapid shrinkage of the molten iron crucible.com The process of creating man-made diamonds (aka cultured diamonds. known as the HTHP (high-temperature. Synthetic Diamond under Fluorescent . high-pressure) "belt press" process was used for synthesizing industrial-grade diamonds. Once the desired temperature had been achieved. Although synthetic diamonds were originally conceived as a substitute for natural industrial-grade diamonds. lab diamonds) was first conceived by French chemist Henri Moissan in 1892.© AGS Labs Today.Synthetic Diamonds & Man-Made Diamond Simulants Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite The First Synthetic Diamonds Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. which created enough pressure to crystallize the molten carbon into tiny diamond fragments. tiny fragments of synthetic diamond were created by heating charcoal. there are two main processes for creating lab diamonds: the High-Temperature High-Pressure or "HTHP" method. These man-made synthetic diamonds are a laboratory-grown simulation of the natural gemstone. or carbon to an extremely high temperature (4000º C) in a cast iron crucible. The process. and has been steadily improved upon throughout the last 50 years. the crucible and its contents were rapidly cooled by immersing them into cold water.Tracy Hall for the General Electric Company. they are increasingly used in fine jewelry as their quality increases. The first practical commercial application of Moissan's process was developed in 1954. With Moissan's process. .© AGS Labs Synthetic Yellow Chatham Diamond . the intense heat would render the crucible and its carbon contents into a molten liquid mass. yet they have the identical carbon-based chemical properties of natural diamond. by H. Using an electric furnace constructed with blocks of lime.
Synthetic Diamond Manufacturers Apollo Diamonds . or "deposited" onto the substrate in successive layers. and Moissanite in 1998. Unlike their natural diamond counterparts. the HTHP diamond's growth process can take 7 to 10 days to complete. Synthetic diamonds can be detected using infrared. Synthetic Diamond Color & Optics Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless form. making the stone appear yellowish. but are not a carbonbased compound having a natural diamond's crystalline structure. also known as "GE POL. Magalux. Common diamond simulants include: Cubic Zirconia (CZ) (1976-) Czarite. Phianite Gadolinium Gallium Garnet (GGG) (1972-1975) Strontium Titanate (ST) (1955 . most of these lesser simulants fell by the wayside. and surface luster as its natural diamond counterpart. Diamonaire. Lustergem. Thrilliant Synthetic Spinel (1920-1947) Corundolite. Synthetic diamonds can also be treated with the HTHP process to alter the optical properties of the stones. colorless synthetic sapphire (aka Diamondite) was a popular diamond simulant. Diamonite. ranging in clarity from IF to SI or I. Rainbow Diamond. The vaporized carbon gases are energized using microwave energy. With CVD. 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. Fabulite Synthetic Rutile (1946-1955) Diamothyst.High-Temperature High-Pressure (HTHP) The "High-Temperature High-Pressure" (HTHP) technique. Using Chemical Vapor Deposition." also known as "simulated diamonds" or "fake diamonds" are man-made gemstones that look like. 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. or by measuring UV fluorescence with a DiamondView tester. and a combination of heat and pressure are applied while a vaporized carbon-plasma that is combined with hydrogen is applied. Diamondite. Java Gem. Diamonte. In the late 1940's Diamondite gave way to Synthetic Rutile which was popular until the advent of YAG in the early 1970's. or "simulate" the appearance of natural diamonds. which attracts the gas to the substrate. Rutania. A cultured synthetic diamond will have the identical cleavage. Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) The "Chemical Vapor Deposition" (CVD) method was developed during the 1980s. hardness. specific gravity.1970) Diagem. refractive index. Diamond Essence. and uses a lowerpressure growth environment than the earlier HTHP method. synthetic diamonds may contain small inclusions. Like natural diamond. Diamond Simulants Diamond "simulants. Geminaire In the early 1900's. a seed or substrate material is placed into the growth camber. These impurities absorb the blue end of the light spectrum. the diamond's entire growth process takes several days to complete. Jourado Diamond. making them difficult to differentiate from natural diamonds. produced using the Verneuil (flame-fusion) Process. Titangem Synthetic Sapphire (1900-1947) Diamondette.' or six-anvil 'cubic press' to create the necessary pressure. A diamond seed is placed into a growth camber. Radient Yttrium Aluminum Garnet (YAG) (1970-1975) Diamone. ultraviolet." uses a four-anvil 'tetrahedral press. light dispersion. or X-ray spectroscopy. With the advent of Cubic Zirconia in the mid 1970's.
25 carats is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. Cubic Zirconia (Zirconium Oxide ZrO2) has a completely different chemical structure. and some fancy colored diamonds.). each Gemesis cut stone over .com Chatham Created Diamonds Chatham Gems is a San Francisco based company that grows only fancy-colored diamonds in colors ranging from champagne and canary yellow to pink and midnight blue. www. Apollo Diamonds are cut and polished in sizes ranging from . princess. Tairus Created Gems are sold exclusively through Tairus Thailand Co. and rose cuts. Ltd. Chatham's pricing ranges from $6. Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is the most familiar type of diamond simulant on the market.com To the average consumer. www. and stones are cut to order.apollodiamond. and like Chatham. Gemesis only grows fancy-colored diamonds. The Split Sphere system crystalizes the carbon seed in an alkaline. which they claim is the closest thing to mother nature. in Boston. and CZ has a hardness of only 8. using a proprietary variation of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) technique. The toughness of Cubic Zirconia is rated as good. Tairus produces rough sizes from . Florida. Apollo Diamond's cut stones are available in round brilliant. Massachusetts grows colorless (D to M) diamonds. .gemesis. www. inc. To insure easy identification as a man-made product. and each stone is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number.. while diamond has a hardness of 10.Apollo Diamond. with clarity grades from IF to SI.3 on the Mohs scale.25 carats to 1 carat.com Gemesis Cultured Diamonds Gemesis is located in Sarasota.500 per carat (2004 est. emerald.500 to $9. carbonate fluid solution that is similar to diamond-bearing metamorphic rock. Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite Cubic Zirconia Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. of Bangkok Thailand.com Tairus Created Gems Tairus Created Gems is a Russian company that grows fancy-colored diamonds in their proprietary "Split Sphere" system.chatham.30 carats to 3 carats. While a synthetic diamond is a man-made recreation of an actual carbon-based diamond. and each cut stone is laser inscribed with the Apollo company logo and serial number.
CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1. Using Visual Optics To Detect CZ The Hodgkinson "Visual Optics" technique was developed in the mid-1970s by Alan Hodgkinson as a method of detecting natural diamonds and diamond simulants.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. or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond. and CZs can be made in any "color grade." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR). then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible.In 1973. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing. CZ vs Diamond . The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit.80 to 2. Diamond's RI is 2. Zirconium oxide powder is heated. Unlike most natural diamonds. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting.41 (RI). but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye. Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond.170.17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2. . the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond . although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left).2.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator.) in a totally dark room.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. The 1.800 . Natural diamonds attract grease. 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. etc. Due to their low cost and consistency. or colorless (white) versions. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight. Once the mixture has cooled. a CZ is optically flawless. Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored. CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds. candle. 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. For instance. the greater dispersive power.
The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight. 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. . Hodgkinson's 'Visual Optics' Detection The Hodgkinson technique (aka Visual Optics) was discovered by Alan Hodgkinson with Gem-A in the mid-1970s as a method for differentiating natural diamond from colorless gemstones and simulants. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998.417. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. while diamond has a hardness of 10. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. Arizona.69. when examining the gem through the kite facets. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index. Henri Moissan (above.044. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. and diamond at 0. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. etc.104 as compared to CZ at 0.) in a dark room.060. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. Moissanite has a hardness of 9. Moissanite. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research.com Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. Moissanite has an RI of 2. found only in iron-nickel meteorites. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0.A small.65 to 2.670. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent. candle. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr.25 on the Mohs scale. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. center) near Winslow. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond. is classified as an element rather than a compound. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective.
Diamond's RI is 2. A similarly sharp. diamonds were used in their natural octahedral state. Cutting a Rough Diamond .670." As further refinement progressed. detailed and sharply focused pattern caused by secondary reflections will be seen when observing a diamond.Detectable to the Naked Eye Dispersion Pattern: Secondary patterns of dispersion due to double refraction Color: Moissanite has a slight yellow color and does not come in grades better than 'J' Lack of Flaws: Moissanite is virtually flawless." and the rough stone must be cut with the grain. most diamonds have some inclusions Moissanite vs Diamond . diamond has a "grain." At the time. but significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its high RI. Diamonds: Modern Diamond Cutting Diamond Cutting Background One of the hardest substances on earth. Diamond cutting can be traced back to the late Middle Ages.417 Moissanite is double refractive (anisotropic) while a natural diamond is singly refractive (isotropic). due to its high refractive index. Table Cut diamonds appeared black to the eye. caused by primary reflections from the pavilion and CZ's low RI. which was called the "Point Cut. although it can be easily cleaved or fractured due to its defined cleavage planes.Detectable With Testing Double Refraction: Moissanite is double refractive. creating the "Table Cut. Moissanite vs Diamond . Like wood. Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be more diffused.A small. The first improvements on nature's design involved a polishing of the crystal faces. Prior to this time. diamond is singly refractive Refractive Index: Moissanite has a refractive index of 2. rather than against it. 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. The Modern Round Brilliant cut (below) is the culmination of several hundred years of experimentation and development. only a diamond is hard enough to cut other diamonds. diamonds were valued primarily for their luster and hardness.
Cleaving is a critical step as a mistake by the "cleaver" could fracture. Each step is critical to the final outcome." Faceting: To facet a round brilliant. a diamond can be cleaved in four directions parallel to each of the four octahedron crystal faces. Due to its atomic structure. Sawing: A stone-cutting saw is a thin disk made of phosphor bronze. This step is also referred to as "rounding. The cutting (also called "placing") and polishing of each facet is accomplished by attaching the stone to a dop stick with cement. then pressing it against a revolving cast iron disk.Cutting a raw diamond into a faceted and polished gem-quality stone is a multi-step process. or lap that has been "charged" with diamond dust. As the saw blade rotates it continues to pickup or "recharge" itself with diamond dust which is the cutting agent. During this faceting stage the angles of each facet must be cut to an exacting standard in order to yield maximum brilliancy. 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. and maintain symmetry. It can take several hours for the saw blade to cut through a 1k rough diamond. Bruting: The rough is placed in a chuck on a lathe. a second diamond mounted on a dop is pressed against it. Cleaving: Cleaving refers to splitting a stone along its grain by striking it. and bypass any inclusions or imperfections. then a "brillianteer" will cut and polish the remaining 40 facets. eliminate waste. or shatter the stone. Cleavage is the tendency of crystalline materials to split along defined cleavage plane. High-tech computerized helium and oxygen analyzers are now used to evaluate a stone prior to cutting. on a scaife. Diamonds: Ideal Cut . the "blocker" or "lapper" will cut the first 18 main facets.Modern Round Brilliant Diamond . Cubic shapes are ideal for a square Princess or Radiant cut. The natural shape of the rough stone will also be a major factor in deciding how to cut the stone. While the rough stone rotates on the diamond lathe. An octahedron can be cut into one or two Round Brilliants but a square Princess cut will result in the least amount of waste due to the square shape of the stone. A rough stone is cleaved if there are conspicuous defects and/or inclusions which would prevent it from being made into a single gemstone. rounding the rough diamond into a conical shape. Asymmetrical crystals such as macles are used primarily for fancy cuts.
com When deciding how to cut a rough diamond. The objective is always to maximize carat weight. The clarity of the stone.Ideal Cut vs Standard Cut Diamond Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. cut proportions. the rough stone has some coloration and/or is heavily included. a cutter must make a cost-benefit analysis as to how to maximize the cut stone's value. If. elimination of any inclusions. it would be cost effective to sacrifice some carat weight in order to finish with two "Ideal" cuts. 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 . This is accomplished by reconciling three key factors . Reconciling Cut & Weight Retention If the rough stone has a colorless D through F rating and has very few inclusions. on the other hand. it may be better to aim for a higher carat weight utilizing a "Standard" cut. but in order to do this.weight retention. compromises would have to be made. An octehedral rough diamond will yield two round brilliant cut stones (see diagram below). and the amount of internal inclusions will play an important part in the decisions as to how to maximize yield.
16 "upper girdle" facets. 8 "pavilion" facets. The round brilliant cut is beneficial when the crystal is an octahedron.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. An "Ideal Cut". The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem. The Modern Round Brilliant Cut The modern "Round Brilliant Cut" (below) was developed by Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. This cut is also known as the "Tolkowsky Cut" and "Tolkowsky Brilliant." Even with modern techniques. it is the best cut for showcasing a high-quality stone's fire and brilliance. as two stones could be cut from one crystal. hearts. it is the most efficient cut for maximizing yield. 1 "culet" facet on the bottom. This is primarily due to the fact that this cut has yet to be improved on for two reasons: 1. In the diagram of a "Round Cut" diamond (above and below). the cutting and polishing of a diamonds resulted in a loss of as much as 50% of the stone's total weight. "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: . and one "table" facet on the top of the stone for a total of 58 facets. 16 "lower girdle" facets. etc. 8 "kite" facets. This is why it is very rare to see flawless stones cut into fancy cuts such as emeralds. you will see that there are 8 "star" facets. and 2.
Since then.6% and overall height of 57.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42. 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. and crown/pavilion angles. very small to small In the 1970s. The "Scan D. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. A perfect blending of facet symmetry. crown height of 14. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts. etc. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace.4%.5% to 43. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap.7%. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). Symmetry. and Proportions.7%. Tolkowsky. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios. To quantify a diamond's cut quality. H&A Viewer. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant".N. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect. Ideal Scope. more brilliance and fire. facet ratios. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57. Eppler & Scan D.' 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. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%.5%. and overall height of 57. . crown height of 14. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. invented in 1929.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer.N. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. As with all human endeavors." (Scandinavian standard.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed.
Asscher Cut The Asscher Cut was developed by Abraham and Joseph Asscher of the Royal Asscher Diamond Company of Amsterdam in 1902. Some have gone on to become household names such as the Asscher cut.Producers split hairs over cut angle.nl Barion Cut . (more facets. and their modest brilliance and light return. it is put in front of the ultimate arbiter of quality . cut proportions. mathematicians. Tolkowsky came up with a "brilliant" idea almost 90 years ago. Popular in Art Deco jewelry of the period. The Asscher brothers cut the famous 3. less facets. scientists.each trying to improve on the tried-and-true Old European cuts. One thing is for sure . www. and entrepreneurs . but at the end of the day it may simply come down to consumer preference and/or marketing.asscher.like Einstein's theory of relativity.) and when suitably scrutinized by the gem trade. Every conceivable cutting theory is tried. Here is a collection of just a few of the many "signature" diamond cuts that have been produced over the last 100 years. the Asscher diamond cut has a squarish octagonal shape with a step cut. but some like the Barion Cut have disappeared into obscurity. etc. cut corners and a small table.the consumer. or the widely marketed Leo cut which is a modified round-brilliant sold by Leo Schachter Diamonds. and number of facets.106 carat Cullinan Diamond into eleven gem stones. and the culet is square. the Cullinan 1 and Cullinan 2 being set into the crown and sceptre of the British Crown Jewels. 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. The cut has a deep pavilion and a high crown. with the two largest stones. and it still survives in some form today.
The Barion square cut diamond has a 4-fold mirror-image symmetry.com . The Barocut is available in sizes from 20 points to 3 carats. Garrard & Co. and a total of 81 facets. and in all diamond colors and/or clarity grades. www. or to increase light-dispersion.de Eternal Cut The Eternal Cut diamond was designed and patented by master Israeli diamond cutter. forming a square shape when viewed from the top. 23 more than a modern Round Brilliant cut. merged with the jewelry firm Asprey. www. Germany. Marce Tolkowsky.com Context Cut The Context Cut is a square cut that was developed by Dr. www. It is sold exclusively through the 270 year old firm of Garrard & Company in London. to become Asprey & Garrard. The Barocut is also called a "two heart diamond" due to the illusion of two mirrored hearts meeting at the culet. not including the 16 girdle facets. The Context Cut consists of two back-to-back pyramids (an octahedron). The name "Barion" or "Barion cut" was never trademarked. nephew to the inventor of the Modern Round Brilliant cut. modified rectangular (baguette) cut that was developed by Baroka Creations. The Context Cut design was based on an earlier patented design by Bernd Munsteiner from the early 1960s. The Context Cut follows a rough diamond crystal's natural octahedral shape. The Context Cut is used to cut colored gemstones by Julius Petsch of Idar-Oberstein.baroka. Gabi Tolkowsky. The Eternal Cut has a total of 81 facets. 81 facets on the cut corner (cushion) version. and creates a high amount of waste. A Barocut diamond has a total of 77 facets. Barocut stones are also sold in tapered shapes.The Barion square cut (aka Barion square cushion cut) was invented by Basil Watermeyer of South Africa in 1971. The cut has a total of 8 facets plus a girdle.freiesleben. Barocut The Barocut® diamond cut is a patented. and a 'softer' briliance than a traditional round brilliant cut. creating a unique 'flower petal' pattern surrounding the cutlet. of New York in 2000. and was the forerunner to the princess cut. parting ways in 2002 to again become Garrard. with star-shaped cross facets cut diagonally into the pavilion. and its patent has expired. Barocut diamonds are promoted and sold exclusively through the Baroka Creations catalog.garrard. In 1998. Ulrich Freiesleben of Germany in the early 1980s then patented and trademarked in 1997. Inc. or the company website. The cutting process requires a high-quality rough. The Eternal Cut is being sold exclusively at Garrard's main London store and Harvey Nichols stores in Great Britain. adding up to 50% to the cost when compared to a Round Brilliant cut diamond.
The cut is distributed by the National Diamond Syndicate (NDS) of Chicago. 48 of which are clustered around the culet to increase fire.com Leo Cut The Leo® Diamond. www. The Dahlia is a 12 sided oval shape with 63 facets. The Marigold is an octagon shape with 73 facets. The Flower Cuts were never patented or trademarked by De Beers in order to increase their popularity and use.com www.flanders-cuts. adding greater brilliance and fire than standard brilliant cuts. Sunflower and Zinnia cut. designed to maximize the brilliance and color of diamonds while increasing their yield. the Gabrielle Cut is available in carre. angular shapes. who was commissioned by De Beers to create new cuts as a way of marketing unusual. Fire-Rose. The Fire-Rose is a hexagonal shape designed to produce higher yields. The Flanders Brilliant has 33 crown facets and 28 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets. heart. Marigold. The Sunflower has 43 facets in unusual. 8 more facets than the Round Brilliant cut's 58. The Flanders Fire-Brilliant was developed by Flanders Cut International of Antwerp in 1983. that is suited to a relatively flat rough. . and pear shapes. The Flower Cuts employ unconventional cutting angles and dimensions. and the cut was named after the Flanders region of Belgium (Antwerp) where the cut was first preformed in 1987.gabriellediamonds.nationaldiamond. The Leo diamond cut has a total of 66 facets. Unveiled at the Las Vegas Gem Show in 2001. is a patented symmetrical round cut created by Leo Schachter Diamonds. oval.com Flower Cut The 'Flower Cut' series was created by Gabi Tolkowsky in 1986. The Flower Cut is actually a series of five fancy cut shapes: the Dahlia. www. emerald.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. LLC. marquise. off-color stones. The Zinnia is a round fancy shape with 73 facets. Other than the traditional round brilliant shape. maximizing the amount of light returned back as scintillation. which is 47 more than a traditional 'Tolkowsky' round brilliant cut. (aka Leo Schachter Diamond). the Gabrielle has a total of 105 facets. 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.
There are a total of 49 facets. www. square shaped diamonds were stepcut limiting their brilliance.tiffany. www. small table. brilliant-style faceted pavilion (similar to a Cushion Cut). sold in solitaire engagement/wedding bands.diamondaires. Prior to the Quadrillion. RCDC launched the 'Original Radiant Cut' diamond brand In 2002. and all Original Radiant Cut diamonds weigh at least 0.com Quadrillion Cut The Quadrillion® Cut (aka Squarillion Cut) is a modified square princess cut that was developed by Israel Itzkowitz and Betzalel Ambar in the late 1970s. and was patented and trademarked by Bez Ambar Jewelers of Los Angeles in 1980.The Leo diamond cut is the first to be certified for fire and brilliance as measured by a 'BrillianceScope. The Lucida diamond cut is marketed as a wedding cut. Upon the expiration of the patent.' and each diamond comes with a "Return of Light Certificate. and the table is a bowed out rectangle. and three-stone rings.com Lucida Cut The Lucida (TM) Cut is a patented diamond cut that was created by Tiffany & Company in 1999. a highstep crown (similar to the Asscher Cut). The Lucida diamond cut is a modified square or rectangular (Marquise) cut with truncated corners. eternity bands.com Starburst Cut . patented and trademarked by Henry Grossbard of the Radiant Cut Diamond Company (RCDC) in 1977. The pavilion is similar to a Barion cut. Bez Ambar Radiant Cut The Radiant Cut is a modified emerald cut shape that was developed. There are 25 crown facets and 36 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets (not including 8 girdle facets).70 carats and come with a GIA Certificate and an "Original Radiant Cut Diamond Certificate" guarantying that the stone meets the ideal proportions as designed by Henry Grossbard. 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. www. The Lucida is sold exclusively through Tiffany's retail chain. the Radiant Cut became a fully accepted diamond shape in the jewelry business. It was the first emerald shaped diamond cut to have brilliance and fire similar to that of a round brilliant diamond." The Leo Diamond is marketed through the Kay Jeweler chain. and a total of has 50 facets.radiantcut.
this led to the invention of the first gem cutting machines (precursor to the "lap" or "Facetron") in the 1300s. With the realization that only a diamond could cut another diamond. The "table cut" (below. Still. and Uncurved cut used for accent stones. The Trilliant Cut has a total of 31 facets. Old Mine Cut Evolution of the Faceted Diamond & Colored Gem Article Copyright © 2008 AllAboutGemstones. reworked into the shape of a trillion (triangle). of New York in 1978. The Trilliant cut gives a high brilliance. The pavilion has two differently sized sets triangular facets with a large triangular table. The Trilliant trademark has since lapsed. Trillian. for a total of 89 kite and star shaped facets. but the pavilion is completely different. Trillion) is a triangular cut designed and trademarked by the Henry Meyer Diamond Company of New York in 1962. and the natural octahedral symmetry of the rough stone's closed isometric form. brilliance. Old eight. 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.louisglick. the precursor for the "design" of the first faceted diamond lay within the rough stone itself.com Trilliant Cut The Trilliant Cut (aka Trielle. www.com The faceting of diamonds has come a long way in the last 700 years. and the career of the "diamantaire" (diamond cutter/polisher) was born. Point Cut . Starburst Cuts are mounted and sold directly through Cartier. fire. and light return from the stone. Nieman Marcus and Tiffany.The Starburst Cut was patented and trademarked by the Louis Glick Diamond Corp. with weight losses in the fifty percent range. The Starburst cut is especially suitable for a octahedral rough. 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. 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. Harry Winston. From this point forward it was a race to see who could design the perfect faceted cut which would bring out the maximum fire. There are two variations of this cut: the Curved cut used for solitary stones. There are 49 crown facets and 40 pavilion facets. making the hue of fancy yellow diamonds more intense. . The starburst faceting pattern is designed to focus color near the top of a stone. The crown of the Starburst Cut is similar to that of the radiant cut. The point cut design is dictated by the natural shape of an octahedral rough diamond. right) was created by cutting off some of the top half of the point cut's octahedron to create a table.early 1300s The "point cut" (below left) is one of the first symmetrically faceted diamond cuts. Since the day that humans first discovered 'adamas' (diamonds). The Starburst cut was created to bring out the highest amount of color to fancy yellow diamonds. and the Trilliant is now a generic term for a triangular brilliant cut.
The "senaille cut" is a rose cut with irregular or non-symmetrical faceting." "Dutch cut. Rose & Briolette Cut. The briolette was the precursor to the "pendeloque cut" which is a pear-shaped modification of the round brilliant cut. The culet is usually large enough to be visible when viewed through the table. the "rose cut" is also known by the the "Antwerp rose." "crowned rose cut.1500s Invented in the mid 16th century.1700s The "old mine" cut is the earliest form of the "brilliant cut" diamond. The "briolette cut" is a modified "double Dutch rose cut" with one of the hemispheres being elongated." and the Full Holland cut. Old Mine Cut . and eight pavilion facets. eight bezel or crown facets.Single Cut . The single cut may or may not have a culet at the bottom. Also called the "cushion cut". the "old single cut" (aka "old eight cut") diamond has the addition of corner facets to create an octagonal girdle. This Old Mine cut is basically square with gently rounded corners and "brilliant" style facets. an octagonal table. The crown is typically tall.late 1300s Invented in the late 14th century. 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. it has a cushioned or rounded girdle shape. resulting in a smaller table. . The briolette cut was designed primarily for use in a pendant or as a dangling bauble in a crown.
1900s The "modern round brilliant cut" (below) was developed by Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. Eight Cut & Swiss Cut The "eight cut" is primarily used for small stones when a brilliant cut would be impractical. The Old European diamond cut has a very small table. eight facets at the pavilion. The eight cut is similar to the "single cut" in that there are eight four-sided trapezoidal facets at the crown. Like the modern round brilliant. This cut is also known as the "Tolkowsky Cut" and "Tolkowsky brilliant. As with its predecessor the "point cut" over 600 years earlier. a heavy crown. The Modern Round Brilliant Cut . The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem.Old European Cut . and an octagon-shaped table for a total of 17 facets (18 if a culet is used)." Even with modern techniques. the Modern Round Brilliant cut is beneficial when the crystal is an octahedron (diagram above). the cutting and polishing of a diamonds resulted in a loss of as much as 50% of the stone's total weight. . as two stones can be cut from one crystal with a minimum amount of waste. and very tall overall depth. the old European diamond has a circular girdle.1800s The "Old European" cut was the forerunner of the modern round brilliant cut.
Trans Hex. There is a limited market for the resale of diamonds that are less than "investment grade.000 categories based on size." The 'Diamond Pipeline' Rough diamonds are sent directly from De Beers mining operations in Africa (#1). then divided by human or automated sorters into individual lots called "boxes. Kimberley and Windhoek. thereby controlling and stabilizing prices.A "Swiss cut" is a compromise between an eight cut and a brilliant cut. Gaborone. silver or platinum. there is usually a substantial mark-up in the retail sale price of diamonds.com The trade in gem-grade rough diamonds is primarily controlled by the De Beers. with a total of 33 facets (34 if a culet is used). Both the eight cut Swiss cut are still used today for small very diamonds and gems (smaller than 2mm carat weight) as would be used in pavé settings. which combines ("aggregating") supplies of rough diamonds from multiple sources into one wholesale market (#2). or secondary mining producers in Canada and Russia to De Beers' Diamond Trading Company (DTC) in London. 16 isosceles triangle facets on the crown and 16 facets on the pavilion. Unlike precious metals such as gold. BHP Billiton and a hand-full of other companies which use their cartel power to control the supply of diamonds on the wholesale market (diamond pipeline). color and quality. Rio Tinto. The rough stones are separated into 16." The DTC is part of the DeBeers Group supply-chain known as the Central Selling Organization (CSO). The Diamond Trade: The 'Diamond Pipeline' Rough Diamond Producers Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. . for sorting and resale.
A 'sight' can have a value of between $500. diamonds have underperformed since 1987 when compared to the "luxury goods" market or global GDP. Russia and elswhere.000 to $2. . Once the diamonds are set into jewelry. which are increasing in popularity and consumer acceptance. Tel Aviv. De Beers is also facing increasing pressure from the manufactures of synthetic diamonds. China. Other major cutting centers are located in Johannesburg. or to jewelry manufacturers (#5) around the world. they are sold to retailers or direct to the customer.De Beers Sightholders The DTC holds a sale called a "site" or "sight" ten times per year in London and Johannesburg. De Beers. Ramat Gan. and retailers . reclaiming their "A Diamond Is Forever" moniker. Rough diamonds are cut in various geographic regions according to tradition and the skill-sets of the labor force. while large stones are primarily cut in Antwerp. has launched an aggressive branding and marketing campaign. India cuts the vast majority of small stones (. and the breakaway from CSO's cartel by the Argyle Diamond Mine in Australia. The diamonds are then re-sold from the cutting and polishing (manufacturing) centers to wholesalers (Diamond Bourses). and independent diamond producers in Canada. where De Beers sells the "boxes" to its select group ("supplier of choice") of 125 "sightholders" (#3) or diamond manufacturers. Many Sightholders are also cutters. The sightholder then transports the box of rough diamonds back to diamantaire firms (cutting and polishing factories) located around the world (#4). De Beers and the Future De Beers' (CSO's) control over the wholesale diamond market has diminished due to increased market penetration. and New York.20 carats or less) in Mumbai (Bombay) and Surat.000. to take advantage of market fluctuations. De Beers (DTC) sets the price of each box in advance. through their Diamond Promotion Service (DPS) and Diamond Information Centres (DIC) marketing divisions. and Thailand.000 USD.com website). cutters. Both traders and manufacturers may sell diamonds "upstream" and "downstream" through the diamond pipeline . As a reaction to their decrease in market share. (see DeBeers' Adiamondisforever. Additionally. determining the quantity and quality that each site-holder will receive.
the European Union and the United Nations to rid the diamond Industry of conflict diamonds. Hong Kong. Israel and South Africa and works with 35 independent Governments. The Council has approximately 70 members representing jewelers. the DTC has developed new inscription technologies to "invisibly" mark the table facet of polished diamonds with a "Forevermark" trademark. 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.com The word "Bourse" refers to a private stock. 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. and India (2007). South Africa.S. and the city is the hub of the global diamond trading industry (diamanthandel). Europe. traders and manufacturer/producers. Schupstraat. are sold in Antwerp every year. NY . The Council began in July 2000 after a joint meeting of the WFDB and its international headquarters are in New York City. and about half of the polished diamonds. the WDC has observers from the governments of Belgium.500 diamond dealers (diamantbedrijven) are ensconced in small. The largest diamond trading center in the world is located in Antwerp. Hoveniersstraat. KPCS originated in May 2000 during a meeting of South African diamond producing states in Kimberley. also known as the "World Diamond Center" or Diamantenzentrum. Within Antwerp's diamond district. some 1. 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 . Asia. and Rijfstraat. Diamond Bourses are basically trading exchanges for loose. Forevermark diamonds will be available through sightholder/retailers in the U. .Forevermark Diamonds As a way of staving off the onslaught of secondary diamond markets. and preventing the inherent product misidentification that will follow. bond. Almost 85% of the world's rough diamonds. The Diamond Trade: Diamond Bourses of Antwerp Diamond Bourses Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. and will com with a certificate of authenticity. or commodities exchange similar to the NYSE. London. China. Belgium but there are also Diamond Bourses in Israel. cut and uncut diamonds. This mark is only visible via a point-of-sale electronic viewer. heavily guarded geographic area surrounded by three main streets. Moscow. In addition to its members. De Beers is hoping that the combination of branding and security will increase consumer demand. and Shanghai. As of 2006. The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base. The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates ..
friendship and trust . uncut diamonds was the Antwerpsche Diamantkring (Antwerp Diamond Ring) . Beurs voor Diamanthandel . 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. After the liberation.Antwerp's Diamond District Two of the oldest Diamond Bourse (Bourse van de diamant or diamantenbšrsen) in Antwerp were the 'Diamond Club of Antwerp' (Diamantclub van Antwerpen—at Pelikaanstraat 62. bisected by Hoveniersstraat street. The Diamond High Council (HRD) . founded in 1893—and the Beurs voor Diamanthande (at Pelikaanstraat 78) founded in 1904 . which was established in the same year that the 1930 World Expo was held in Antwerp. ethics and morality. In Antwerp's 'Diamond Center' (Diamantenzentrum) today. regulations. Control over the diamond trade is maintained through the WFDB's Constitution containing a series of rules. the Antwerpsche Diamantkring was reopened. Both bourse were founded by Hasidim diamantairs. making it the largest diamond-trading center in the world . and disputes are handled by an internal arbitration process. an by-laws that govern business practices.Photo: Wiki Public The first trading exchange to deal exclusively with rough. there are around 4000 diamond-cutters (diamantaire) working in the several-square-block diamond district. and repatriation of Antwerp following the end of WWII. Around $16+ billion in polished diamonds pass through Antwerp's diamond bourses each year. and both are still in operation today. These first trading exchanges mainly dealt with the wholesaling of cut stones. Most transactions conducted within the Bourses done with cash and a handshake. and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) was founded in 1947.
There was not a single Boer fatality.The HRD (Hoge Raad voor Diamant) Diamond High Council is a non-profit industry organization designed to promote and represent the Antwerp diamond trade.' After the devastating Zulu defeat.' 'Limpopo. but 3000 Zulus were killed in what became known as the 'Battle of Blood River. Afrikaners (aka Boers or farmers) were religious refugees from the Netherlands and other parts of northern Europe during the mid 1600s to late 1700s. coming for . who were in search of the "quiet sweet life. Gauteng (Premier Diamond Mine). ending with the inclusion of all Boer territories into British colonies.' During the 1830s and 1840s. there was a mass exodus (the Great Trek) northward to 'Northern Cape. 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.' 'Gauteng." Three of South Africa's richest diamond mines are in Northern Cape (Kimberley Diamond Mine). This led to a new wave of emigrants and adventurer-seekers from England. The First Boer War (1880—1881) began with the Transvaal (Limpopo) Boers declaring independence from Great Britain. with 10. and this eventually lead to all-out war. Afrikaners who participated in the migration northward became known as the 'Trekboer' or Voortrekkers. under the Treaty of Vereeniging. The Voortrekkers had to contend with the native Zulu tribe over land they wished to settle on. The Diamond Trade: History & Culture of the Key Players Article Copyright © 2006 AllAboutGemstones. The Boers resisted British encroachments into their territory until the Second 'Anglo' Boer War (1899— 1902). and fully annexed the Cape Colony in 1806 . or German Protestant backgrounds. which at the time was administered by the 'Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie' or 'Dutch East India Company.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. The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base. and Limpopo (Venetia Diamond Mine). most with Dutch Calvinist. They settled in the 'Cape of Good Hope' on Africa's southern most tip.' and the 'Orange Free State' provinces to escape hostilities with the native 'Xhosa tribe' from which Nelson Mandela decended. Diamonds and the British The Second Wave of Europeans Needing a stopping-off point on the sea-route to Australia and India. England seized the Cape of Good Hope from the Dutch East India Company in 1797. The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates . Flemish.000 Zulu warriors attacking 470 Boer settlers.
Photo: Pub. Photo: Pub. Rhodes started out selling ice cream to the diamond-diggers and service workers. and J." In 1906. and later selling steam-powered water pumps to drain the open-pit mines of Kimberley. Amid all of this turmoil and chaos. although Rhodes did not start out with an interest in diamonds. and in 1910 the 'Union of South Africa' was created. a curious discovery was being made along the banks of the Orange River. Barnato was given appointed to 'life governor' and temporary controlling interest in De Beers . Cullinan . With the help of the Rothschild bank in London. As a young lad from England. Domain Barney Barnato During the same period that Cecil Rhodes was building De Beers Consolidated Mines. De Beer. 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. no heirs to his empire. he was able to build a monopolistic empire through skill and cunning. he began his business interests in South Africa by servicing the "ant hill" of humanity that was descending on Kimberley during the diamond rush of the late 1800s. In exchange.. The African nation of Rhodesia was named after him (now the Republic of Zimbabwe).. in Northern Cape. Photo: Pub. Domain Thomas M. D.the "mineral revolution. self-government was restored.' Cecil Rhodes died a single man with no children and. a prospector. One of the richest men in the world. mysteriously falling overboard on a ship passage back to England. As founder of De Beers. A. Domain Cecil Rhodes Cecil Rhodes (1853—1902) is the undisputed father of the modern diamond industry. 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. Rhodes made several aborted attempt to gain control over Barnato's interest in Kimberley Central Mine. Cecil Rhodes' De Beers empire was started on a farm owned by two Boer settlers and brothers. Barnato died several years later. De Beers and Kimberley Central were the two largest mining interests in South Africa at the time. N. but was eventually successful in convincing Barnato to merge with De Beers.
Sir Thomas Major Cullinan (1860—1936) was the founder of one of Africa's richest diamond mines, the 'Premier Diamond Mine,' 30 kilometers east of Pretoria, in Gauteng province, South Africa. Although Cullinan was already a successful building contractor in Johannesburg, he was also an amateur geologist who had heard about alluvial diamonds being found along a stream near the old 'Cornelis Minnaar Farm' in upper Gauteng. Cullinan was interested in purchasing the farm, which had already changed hands several times, but the present owner, Willem Prinsloo (who had purchased the land for £570 in 1861) was not interested in selling. Shortly after the close Anglo Boer War (1898—1902), Willem Prinsloo's widow agreed to sell the land to Cullinan for £52,000, and the 'Transvaal Premier Diamond Mining Company LTD' was officially registered on the December 1, 1902 . On January 25th 1905, a 3,106 carat diamond was found at the mine, which remains the largest diamond ever found in the world. When news of Premier's success hit the board room of De Beers, several aborted attempts were made to purchase the mine, but Cullinan had no intention of selling . In 1914, WW1 broke out in Europe, and diamond prices began to spiral. Layoffs at the mine caused enough friction that by August, mining operations were suspended. The Premier Mine had resumed production by January 1916, but in need of cash, Cullinan sold a major stake in the mine to the Transvaal government. Frank Oats, who was now the chairman of De Beers, was able to convince the Transvaal government to sell its controlling interest in 1917, and De Beers once again enjoyed a monopoly on South African diamonds.
Diamonds and the Ashkenazi, Sephardi and Hasidic Jews
There is perhaps no other ethnic group that is so inextricably intertwined with the diamond trade, than the jews. In an odd twist of fate, it may be Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama's discovery of a searoute to India around Africa's Cape of Good Hope in 1488, that set the stage for the Jewish/diamond connection. Da Gama's discovery opened up a direct diamond-trading route from India's Malabar Coast and the island of Borneo, to Portugal and on the Netherlands. With Lisbon now at the forefront of the European diamond trade, many Portuguese Sephardi businessmen opened cutting houses, and quickly gained a dominant roll in the diamond-polishing industry. The Sephardi were Jews who originated from Spain and Portugal (the Iberian Peninsula), many practicing a secret adherence to Judaism known as "Crypto-Judaism," while professing other faiths. Jews who practiced their religion in the open were expelled from Spain and Portugal, when the Catholic Monarchs issued the "Alhambra Decree" in 1492 (1497 for Portugal), fleeing to Morocco, the Ottoman Empire, Antwerp and Amsterdam. When the first Jewish emigrants (Ashkenazi) came to Antwerp in the 1200s, they were welcomed, but when the Black Plague swept across Antwerp in the mid 1300s, the Jews were one of the scapegoats. Although Amsterdam's Dutch were relatively tolerant when it came to religious freedom, in 1585 Antwerp came under Spanish rule, and the Jews (this time Sephardic), were once again the focus of scrutiny. With the Spanish Inquisition in high gear, Jews were now persecuted for conducting trade with the Ottoman Empire, or for being 'pseudo-Christian.' In the 1600s, wealthy Jewish diamond-traders now living in the Netherlands, financed the 'Dutch East India Company' and its exploration of new trade routes to India, but the British were beginning to see opportunity in the diamond trade, creating new competition for the Jewish/Dutch. Prior to being granted 'civil equality' in 1796, Amsterdam's Jews were not allowed to join trade guilds, leaving the unregulated diamond industry as one of the only means of employment. By the late 18th century, many of Amsterdam's Jews were working in the diamond trade, and many of these 'Sephardi refugees' had maintained connections with Portuguese traders who now had a monopoly on the trade of raw diamonds from India. By the early 1700s, India's mines were nearing exhaustion, but a new discovery in Brazil helped to reinvigorate the diamond trade. By this time, British naval superiority proved to be a great advantage, and the 'British East India Company' was born. The European center for the diamond trade now began to move away from Amsterdam, as Jewish traders set up shop in London. The cut stones were sold to the nobility and royalty of Europe, using the Hofjude (Court Jews) as purchasing agents to select the stones from the London diamond merchants.
Photo: Pub. Domain
The Pshevorsk Hasidic Dynasty Hasidic Judaism was founded by Polish (now Ukrainian) Rabbi 'Ba'al Shem Tov', aka 'Israel ben Eliezer' (1698—1760) in a time when European Jews were facing increasing hostility and pressure from the "Cossacks' Uprising" in Ukraine. The Hasidic movement is a sub-group of the theologically conservative Haredi or Charedi Judaism, aka Ultra-Orthodox Judaism. The movement was seen as a way of turning inward towards a 'deeper spiritualism and mysticism.' Hasidism spread westward, making its way to western Europe in the 1800s. The Hasidic movement in Antwerp began with Rabbi Moshe of Pshevorsk, who authored 'Ohr Pnei Moshe' in 1805 . The Pshevorsk is a small sub-Hasidic movement based in Antwerp, Belgium, with their hub at the study hall (beth midrash), 'Beth Yitzchok' at Mercatorstraat 56. With the discovery of vast diamond reserves in South Africa during the late 1800s, concern over a glut in the diamond market spread throughout London's diamond merchants. A group of wealthy Jewish dealers pooled their resources to form "the syndicate," which was created to soak up all of the excess capacity being created by South Africa. Today, Antwerp and London's diamond trade is largely controlled by the Hasidic Jewish community, although Indian influence is on the rise in recent years. Many of these Hasidic entrepreneurs are nameless by choice, preferring to maintain their anonymity, but they have been the driving force behind the multi-billion dollar diamond industry for hundreds of years.
Photo: Pub. Domain
Alfred Beit Alfred Beit (1853—1906) was born into a prominent Jewish family in Hamburg, Germany. Beit worked for the diamond firm of Jules Porges and Co. in Amsterdam before emigrating to 'Cape Colony' in 1875 during the Kimberley diamond-rush . Beit was part of a group of financiers, including Cecil Rhodes, who gained control of the diamond-mining claims in the Central Mine, Dutoitspan Mine, and De Beers Mine, thereby 'consolodating' the South African mining industry. becoming a 'life-governor' of De Beers Consolidated Mines. He was also the director of the Beira Railway Company, British South Africa Company, Rand Mines, and the Rhodesia Railways. Beit, along with partner Cecil Rhodes, financed the 1895 'Jameson Raid' which was an attempt to trigger an unsuccessful coup in the South African Republic of Transvaal. The Royal School of Mines, at the Imperial College London has a large memorial to Beit, in recognition of the Beit trust's bequeathment to the university, and to educational institutions in Britain, Germany South Africa, and Zimbabwe (Rhodesia).
Photo: Pub. Domain
Sir Ernest Oppenheimer Ernest Oppenheimer (1880—1957) was born in Friedberg, Germany to a large Jewish family, and with several brothers working for "the syndicate," Ernest was well positioned for his future vocation. He began his career at age 17, working for the diamond brokerage firm, Dunkelsbuhler & Company in London. Oppenheimer created the concept of "single-channel marketing" over 100 years ago, by funneling the world's supply of diamonds through a single clearing house. Oppenheimer gained control of Namibia's diamond mines, forming the Anglo American mining conglomerate. This gave him the financing and power to gain the chairmanship of De Beers. Today, Oppenheimer's Anglo American operates a fleet of diamond recovery ships off the coast of Namibia and South Africa under the umbrella of De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited (DBCM), and Central Holdings Limited (CHL), an Oppenheimer family holding company, and in partnership with Namdeb.
Photo: Pub. Domain
Nicky Oppenheimer Ernest's grandson, Nicky Oppenheimer (born 1945) studied philosophy at Oxford as a young man, and is now the chairman of the De Beers Diamond Mining Company and its subsidiary Diamond Trading Company. The Oppenheimer family and Anglo American maintains a 45% stake in De Beers today. Africa's richest man, and #134 on the Forbes list of the world's richest people, Nicky Oppenheimer is worth an estimated $4.5 billion. Under new legislation, passed by the African National Congress, Nicky Oppenheimer was forced to sell a 26% share of De Beers to the South African 'Black Economic Empowerment' group (BEE). This was the first major ownership change for De Beers in over a century. Of the legislation Oppenheimer said: "De Beers is here to make a profit, but we must benefit the people and communities where we operate."
Photo: Pub. Domain
Lev Leviev The Lev Leviev Group, created by Israeli national, Lev Leviev (born 1956 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan) is the worlds largest cutter and polisher (diamantaire) of rough diamonds, with factories in Armenia, India, Israel, and the Ukraine. The Lev Leviev Group also owns mining interests in Namibia's offshore dredging operations. Through his personal relationship to Vladimir Putin and other Russian heads of
5 billion dollars . and one of the most successful diamond merchants in modern history. founder of the House of Graff in the heart of London's posh New Bond Street. selling to the rich and famous from Elizabeth Taylor and Donald Trump." a compendium and history of his most famous jewels. New York's Madison Avenue.com Gujarat's Indian Diamantaires . and has satellite locations in Wafi City. ALROSA produces 100% of Russia's rough diamond output and approximately 20% of the world's rough diamonds . By circumventing the De Beers supply chain." and the "king of bling" by Forbes magazine . which are now owned by Lev Leviev. and the largest rough unearthed in this century. All House of Graff stones have a laser-inscribed girdle with the 'Graff' logo and GIA number. Lev Leviev has formed a partnership with the ex Soviet state-owned diamond firm. The Hindustani Diamond Cutters Photo: dnavin. Using this model of "local control. formed by Decree 158C of the Russian Federation. now called ALROSA (Almazy-Rossii-Sakha) . One of his most notable acquisitions was the 603 carat "Lesotho Promise diamond. with his wife and their nine children. a DeBeers sightholder in Johannesburg. Leviev's net-worth is estimated at $2. Russia." the Leviev Group has found willing partners in several countries including Angola's ASCORP after De Beers' exit in 2001. to Larry Ellison. from wholesale and retail. Mr. It will ultimately be cut into an estimated 20 or so 'D-flawless' stones ranging from 75 carats to 1 carat in size. Graff's net worth is estimated at 2. Tretiakovsky Proezd in Moscow. Raised by his grandparents. Alrosa now sells direct to cutting factories throughout Russia. Laurence Graff was born into a Jewish orthodox family in London's poorer 'East End' district.state. Dubai. Monte Carlo. Lev Leviev lives in B'nei Brak.5 billion (#278 Forbes List). Domain Laurence Graff Laurence Graff (1938—) is a DeBeers sightholder. Graff has co-authored (with Vanessa von Zitzewitz) "The Most Fabulous Jewels in the World. Israel. House of Graff is also located on London's Sloane Street. Hotel de Paris' salon privé in Paris. Lesotho Promise is the 15th largest diamond ever found. in 1992. and on board the luxury residential ship The World ResidenSea. which gives him access to some of the finest uncut diamonds coming out of South Africa. found on August 22.). Graff has been dubbed the "king of diamonds. to purchasing a 51% stake in Safdico (South African Diamond Corp. Graff's strategy of "vertically integration" has been to control every angle of the diamond pipeline. Photo: Pub. 2006 at the Letseng diamond mine in the tiny Kingdom of Lesotho in the center of the Republic of South Africa.
Photo: Pub. and is currently a Senior Partner and head of the UAE division. Suresh & Co. Much of India's diamond trade is controlled by a handful of wealthy families in Gujarat. The brothers. The Indian communities' share has grown to around 60%. or "thunderbolt. (HDC). Photo: rosyblue.7 billion in annual sales . Gitanjali Gems. Gujarat. and Shah. the Indians would not be giving up their rightful heritage as diamantaires. a minister to the Indian king. Mehta. from Hong Kong to Israel. 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. Jainism is an ancient Indian religious sect believing in the 'Jain' philosophy. Chandragupta." The Bharat Diamond Bourse in Mumbai.Diamonds made their first reluctant appearance in human history over 2400 years ago. and were written about in an ancient Sanskrit manuscript called the "The Lesson of Profit" Arthasastra (c. with $1. heighten awareness of ethical business practices. with diamond cutting factories located in Borivali. are headed and staffed by Mehta family members. started out thirty years ago by purchasing cheaper stones that the Dutch Hasidim. Harshad Mehta ("Diamond King of the world") is one of the founders of Rosy Blue. and although India's famous "Diamonds of Golconda" were mined-out hundreds of years ago. Navinchandra & Co (board of directors . This vast fortune is shared by some 300 to 500 Gujaratis families from Palanpur on the GujaratRajasthan border . Venus Jewels. The Sanskrit word for 'diamond' was vajra. Several other divisions of the Rosy Blue Group. Companies like Bhavani Gems. Shree Ramkrishna Exports. and Surat's 'Special Economic Zone' . universal truths. to elevate quality standards. is the CEO of the 'Rosy Blue Group' which is currently one of the world's largest diamond companies. Dilip Mehta of Mumbai. improve perceptions.above). Domain Bharat & Vijay Shah Bharat and Vijay Shah came from a family of jewelers going back three generations. Mumbai. they were able to gain an increasingly larger share of the wholesale diamond trade. displacing the Hasidim as the dominant force in the industry . is the newest addition to India's arsenal of global marketing tools to promote exports. and De Beers India. polishes. The Indo Argyle Diamond Council (IADC) formed in 1994 as a consortium of Indian jewelry manufacturers and cutting houses. By slowly developing markets. Gitanjali Gems is one of the largest manufacturers of diamonds and diamond jewelry in India. propelling their twin companies. and to develop an "understanding of the world market." The Indians would go on to enjoy a singular reign over the diamond-rich dominion—known as Hindustan—for another two thousand years. both college dropouts. the Hindustan Diamond Company Ltd. and exports several billion dollars worth of gems per year. M. 320 BC) by Kautiliya. It is estimated that India cuts. . Of the $26 billion per year diamond revenues that flow through Antwerp.com Dilip Mehta Indian diamantaire. and Vijaydimon are family owned operations run by Jains with the common surnames of Jhavari. D. Sanghavi Exports. India (born 1949). based upon eternal. and Israelis didn't want to work with .
Vijaydimon is a DTC sightholder with offices in Belgium. left). Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. and enjoys broad support. Hong Kong.Vijaydimon (Belgium) and B Vijaykumar (India) . Diamonds and the Americans Photo: Pub. Thailand. India. The president of Sierra Leone. Ayer & Son . At the age of 29. and the United States. both domestically and internationally. Palanpur. is receiving broad support from the South Africa. many of the ex-colonial nations of Sub-Saharan Africa are starting to emerge as powerful and legitimate forces in the diamond industry. Surat. all who have signed multi-million dollar trade deals. only hinting at their possibility in 2007 or 2008. In a post-conflict reconstruction effort. Botswana is a relatively wealthy African country. created a program for capacity-building of 'small and medium-sized enterprise' (SME) development. Diamonds and the African Nationals Photos: Public Domain Kabila. into a global position with nearly $1 Billion a year in sales. Singapore. & Mogae Starting with Botswana's independence in 1966. the 'United Nations Industrial Development Orginization' (UNIDO). employing 22. Joseph Kabila (above. with one of the fastest per-capita income growth rates in the world. and Tel Aviv. President Festus Mogae was elected for a second term in 2004. Angola and from mining magnates. Mandela. dos Santos. The last democratic election in Angola was in 1992.000 workers. succeeded his father (Laurent-Désiré Kabila) as president the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC) after his assassination in January 2001. is making great strides in stabilizing the country after years of strife. Botswana has held regular elections and has been one of the more stable governments in southern Africa. Kabila. The company has cutting factories in Antwerp. working in cooperation with the government of Sierra Leone. who was a major general in the army. the political situation in Angola has begun to normalize.W. president José Eduardo dos Santos is preventing democratic elections from taking place. and the end to South African apartheid in 1994. Bombay. UAE. Kabbah. After years of fighting between the PMLA and UNITA. Bangkok. Domain N. On a somewhat darker note. Vijaydimon also purchases rough diamonds from Canada's Diavik Mine and Argyle (Rio Tinto) and Russia . China. After winning a disicive re-election victory in 2006.
After the French revolution in 1799.' brand was catapulted into the stratosphere by the 1961 movie 'Breakfast at Tiffany's. was originally a 'fancy goods' emporium.' at the flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. who was known for his jewelry expertise. The stone was cut in Paris.54 carat 'The Tiffany Diamond. the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine. N. gems and jewelry from the estates of the European aristocracy. De Beers president. Jule Styne (born Julius Kerwin Stein) was born in London.W. and the diamond industry was particularly hard hit."A diamond is forever" is the legendary saying that was created by America's first advertising agency. Domain Charles Lewis Tiffany Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812—1902). specializing in one-of-a-kind baubles for New York's newly-minted industrialists and 'robber-barons. In 1948 the famous "A diamond is forever" slogan was introduced. Sir Francis "Piggy" Beekman. Tiffany & Young. Tiffany was able to purchase significant gems from such renowned estates as: the 'jewel-mad' Duke of Brunswick. Domain Hollywood in 1949 Coming just on the heels of the immortal "a diamond is forever" campaign. this time from playwriter. the public's tolerance towards nobility was at a low point. located at 259 Broadway. The movie version featured Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend. Ayer & Son. Photo: Pub. Styne moved to Hollywood where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn. and Tiffany seized on the opportunity.42 carat rough flawless-yellow diamond from the 'Compagnie Français de Diamant du Cap' (Kimberley mine) in 1877. With financial shockwaves caused by the French economy's collapse in 1847. De Beers and the diamond industry got another shot in the arm. and sold to Nanaline Duke (now in the Doris Duke Collection). for resale in America.' During the 1800s. Ayer in 1938.' The stone was set into a garish jewelry piece called "Bird on a Rock. purchased diamonds. Lorelei receives a diamond tiara from her suitor. The 'Tiffany & Co. A 19. and the subsequent overthrowing of King Louis-Philippe of France in 1848. Photo: Pub.W. and a series of diamond-related slogans were introduced into the American lexicon. Charles Tiffany." after here charecter." was the co-founder of Tiffany & Co. and from the Spanish Crown Jewels . Jule Styne." by Jean Schlumberger in the 1960s. aka "the King of Diamonds. The Great Depression had taken a heavy toll on luxury goods during the 1930s. Prince Esterhazy of Hungary. Harry Frederick Oppenheimer enlisted the help of N. which started out as 'Tiffany & Young' of New York City in 1837. producing the 128.' which was adapted to film in 1953. One of Tiffany's most notable diamond acquisitions was a 287. and featuring the memorable scene in which Holly gazes longingly into Tiffany's window display. Styne wrote the score for the 1949 Broadway musical 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. . The Tiffany is still selling luxury jewelry in their trademarked 'Tiffany Blue Box.' staring Audrey Hepburn. the values of ostentatious gems and jewelry dropped precipitously. After attending Chicago Musical College.72 carat cushion-cut diamond (one of the "Diamonds of Golconda") was mounted by Tiffany.
the glamor is laid bare. 2006 Hollywood in 2006 Blood Diamond is the latest incarnation of Hollywood's fascination with diamond." there would be no "diamond trade. certificate of authenticity. Leavitt weaves a tale of Sierra Leone's impoverished "diamond diggers. as writer Charles Leavitt takes us through the dark underbelly of the diamond trade. Were it not for intrepid consumers.Photo: © Warner Bros. The Consumer Last." 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. appraisal report. Diamonds are tested for ." and the terrible working conditions that these workers must endure. Through interviews with human-rights organizations like Doctors Without Borders and Global Witness. grading report. or "cert" may be your only assurance that you are getting exactly what you paid for. we have the faceless American consumer. a diamond certificates. and their willingness to purchase the concept of "foreverness. the World Diamond Council placed ten full-page ads in newspapers around the county. the unsung hero in the diamond trade. This time. In a preemptive strike against any negative publicity that the movie would generate. but not least.
Bangkok.not only for resale. and saturation of a colored stone. Tokyo. 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. which can be substantially different. poorly cut SI-3 grade stone. and carat weight) and they are also tested for traces of gem enhancement. GIA reports also cover any treatments or enhancements that have been done. Although even a lay-person may be able to tell the difference between a triple-zero diamond and a cheap. Antwerp. Los Angeles. wether the stone is natural or synthetic.the basics (cut dimensions and proportions. shape and cut of a stone. Appraisal Reports. Certificates of Authenticity. GIA Certificate A GIA (Gemological Institute of America) report provides detailed information about the dimensions. founded in 1975. but for insurance appraisal as well. with operations in New York City. with offices around the globe. tone. and is the largest independent gem certification and appraisal institute in the United States. The GIA was founded by Robert M. . and wether they are synthetic. and of corse.other than the price. there is very little (visible) difference between a FL stone and a IF or VVS-1 stone . Toronto. color. and Attestations of Origin. Dubai and Hong Kong. the same year that Shipley published his groundbreaking book titled 'Gemology. carat weight. IGI Certificate The International Gemological Institute (IGI) is the oldest institute of its kind in Antwerp. Shipley in 1931. The IGI offers Identification Reports.' GIA's world headquarters are located in Carlsbad. Mumbai. California. clarity. If you are purchasing an "investment grade" diamond it is essential to have a detailed cert from a reputable gemological laboratory that specializes in diamonds .
Belgium issues quality reports for loose (unmounted) polished diamonds according to ISO 17025 international standards for gemelogical testing laboratories. weight. origin (colored gems). the sorting of rough diamonds.The IGI lab grades diamonds as well as colored gemstones along several basic criteria which include: shape and cut. Color. with "Triple Excellent" being the highest overall designation. jewellery design and gemology. as well as quantifying the standard parameters of Clarity. and the graders can not know the identity of the owner. All diamonds are examined anonymously. HRD also offers gemelogical training and continuing education courses in diamond grading. and finish. . Carat Weight. clarity. Shape. mesurments. color. HRD Antwerp Diamond Certificate The certificates department of HRD Antwerp in Antwerpen. polish and symmetry) using a scale ranging from Excellent to Fair. and Fluorescence. HRD's refined Cut Grading system measures each of the three parameters (proportions. HRD uses the "Hearts and Arrows" measuring system which was developed by HRD Antwerp scientists. Cut.
To insure the security of their documents. and Proportions." 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." The AGS Cut Grading system was developed through of years of research by gemologists. vs. The AGS Diamond Quality Document uses a unique and proprietary 0 to 10 grading system that is simpler for the consumer to understand than the GIA's grading nomenclature. and optical physicists. The AGS specializes in diamond testing and evaluation. creator of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Shipley. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). as well as the most comprehensive system for grading the all-important 'cut' parameters." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors. along with a consortium of independent jewelers. AGSL Certificate The AGSL was the first gem lab to grade a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. 'Polish' and 'Symmetry' were merged into one category called "Finish. referred to as a "Diamond Quality Document" or "DQD. 2005 can be viewed online. certificates issued after January 1. and does not evaluate other types of colored gemstones. AGS grades diamond color on a numeric sliding scale that is similar to GIA's alphabetical scale. A diamond's clarity is also graded on a simple numeric scale from 0 to 10. and s ratings. having the most rigid grading standards. AGS is considered the premier diamond-grading laboratory. the HRD lab also uses state-of-the-art technology to test for subtle and hard to recognize enhancements such as HPHT. but rather a comprehensive quality evaluation. mathematicians. Aditionally. 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.com The American Gem Society was founded in 1934 by Robert M.As well as testing for synthetic diamonds. Symmetry. . 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. HRD uses complex watermarking to prevent copying or falsifying their reports. Today. and to set a higher standard of business ethics and professional practices in the jewelry industry. The mission of the AGS is to increase consumer awareness. An AGS report. Diamond Grading AGS Diamond Quality Report (DQD) AGS Gemological Laboratory Background Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.
Proportions & Light Performance The AGSL was the first gem lab to grade a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. contrast. Each parameter is given a numeric grade from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). leakage and light spread." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors.Cut Grade: Finish. and Proportions. . and optical physicists. mathematicians." but to retained the "Triple Zero" monicker for diamonds with a perfect score. AGS uses the "Light Performance" designation to quantify 'light return' by using a ray-tracing software program to follow the path of light rays as they travel through the diamond. The ray-tracing program measures the quantity of the light being returned to the viewer by quantifying brightness. dispersion. Symmetry. 'Polish' and 'Symmetry' were merged into one category called "Finish." The AGS Cut grading system was developed through years of research by gemologists. In 2004 AGS added a new category that is referred to as "Light Performance.
3.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram.7. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles. AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond.5 to 4. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above). 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. all measured in three spacial dimensions.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light .5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering. 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. where facets intersect with each-other." or "ideal" rating.5. .0 to 1." 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. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless .0 to 7.5 to 3.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint . relative facet angles.0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light .1. and individual facet ratios.0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless . the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible.
the stability of the material that surrounds that desired gem or mineral. AGS offers laser inscription services as well. AGS will only evaluate loose. unmounted diamonds. 4. As of 2005. left) refers to various techniques used to extract gems. Accessing the underground ore is achieved via a horizontal passageway called a "decline.com Diamonds and other precious and semi-precious gemstones are extracted from the earth using five basic mining techniques. and ore bodies that are in situ. princess. and octagon step-cut diamonds. and will soon be offering cut evaluations for other fancy shapes. through AGS offices in Antwerp. 3. Obtaining an AGS Report AGS is a 'trade-industry' testing laboratory that will only evaluate diamonds sent from jewelers or manufacturers. AGSL reports will also grade cut quality for emerald. and the peripheral damage that will be done to the surrounding environment. Additionally. OctoNus Software. and can only be accessed by tunneling underground and creating underground "rooms" or "stopes" that are supported by timber pillars or standing rock. which are used by non-contact measuring-device manufacturers such as Sarin Technologies. while a shaft is .Extraction Methods Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. The principle methods of diamond extraction are: 1. 5. 2. and OGI Systems. Dubai. minerals. These diamond extraction methods vary depending on how the minerals are deposited within the earth. India and Israel." A decline is a spiral (corkscrew) tunnel which circles the ore deposit. AGS will also provide analysis of a manufacturers 'cut performance' by analyzing a sample stone's Sarin file. the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA). 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. Diamonds: Gem & Diamond Mining Technology Photos: Public Domain Diamond & Gem Mining .Triple-0 Round Brilliant Setting 'American Star Diamond' 13. The AGS supplies 'facet arrangement' templates corresponding to their cutgrading system. Pricing for a diamond grading report is based on carat weight." or a by a vertical "shaft. so that the cutter can improve the light performance of their cut stones.42 Carat D. Artisanal Mining Hard Rock Mining Marine Mining Open Pit Mining Placer Mining Hard-Rock Diamond Mining The term "hard-rock mining" (top of page.
. the gravels are separated and sorted into three sizes.Photo: USGS Alluvial Diamond . rock or sedimentary soil. also known as "open-cast mining" (top of page. or hand digging (artisanal mining).Smithsonian Museum Open pit mining is used when the surface material (overburden) covering the deposit is relatively thin and/or the desired minerals are imbedded within structurally unstable earth (cinder. which concentrate the heavier gems at the bottom. and access to the ore. they tend to concentrate in alluvial deposits in the same way that gold placers develop. Open Pit Mining Open-pit diamond mining. Diamonds and most gemstones are hard. machinery. highly resistant to weathering. gravel. and have a specific gravity that is higher than that of common minerals. at a maximum depth of 500 feet. A decline is typically used for mining personnel. box screens. eluvial. or large conical sieves. Horizontal mining employs the use of Seabed Crawlers (remotely controlled. also known as "sand-bank mining" (top of page. Small "pit lakes" tend to form at the bottom of open-pit mines as a result of groundwater intrusion. Marine Mining Marine mining technology only became commercially viable in the early 1990s. right) is used for extracting diamonds and minerals from alluvial. mechanized surface excavating equipment. or pans. or sort material according to size. right) with bare hands. Excavation is accomplished using water pressure (hydraulic mining). therefore. and or colluvial secondary deposits. and is a derivative form of open-cast mining used to extract minerals from the surface of the earth without the use of tunneling. Marine diamond mining employs both "vertical" and "horizontal" techniques to extract diamonds from offshore placer deposits. While on board. with the middle size being a candidate for final sorting. Laborers who work in artisanal diamond mining are called "diamond diggers" (below left). Gems are separated from waste material using various sifting and sorting techniques such as cone screens.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. or sand) that is unsuitable for tunneling. Placer Mining Placer diamond mining. CAT-tracked underwater mining vehicles) move across the sea floor pumping gravel up to an offshore vessel. 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. Artisanal diamond mining is a form of "subsistence based" non-mechanized mining that is used in poorer countries throughout the world. running adjacent to the ore. shovels. Open pit mines are typically used when mineral deposits are found close to the surface or along defined kimberlite pipes. center) is a method of extracting rock and minerals from the earth by removal from a machine-dug open pit or burrow.
It is also used extensivly in Angola. yet only about 1 in every 200 kimberlite pipes contain gem-quality diamonds. left). . Kimberlite pipes can lie directly underneath shallow lakes formed in the inactive volcanic calderas or craters.Artisanal diamond mining is used throughout west Africa. right). right). Kimberlites are found as "dikes" and "volcanic pipes" which underlie and are the source for rare and relatively small volcanoes or "maars" (above. left) or "yellow-ground" kimberlite and can be found worldwide. olivine. and upper mantle rock. in conflict zones where mechanized mining is impractical and unsafe.North Cape" below). Artisanal diamond mining accounts for 90% of Sierra Leone's diamond exports and is the country's second largest employer after subsistence farming. rock fragments. Many kimberlite pipes also produce alluvial diamond placer deposits. garnet. phlogopite. diamonds are carried to the surface of the earth by volcanic activity. 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 . After their formation. Kimberlite pipes are the most significant source of diamonds. pyroxene. and diamonds approaches the earth's surface it begins to form an underground structure (pipe) that is shaped like a champagne-flute. Diamonds: Diamond Geology Diamond Geology & Kimberlites Kimberlite Pipes Diamonds form at a depth greater than 93 miles (150 kilometers) beneath the earth's surface. As this molten mixture of magma (molten rock). Most kimberlite is called "blue-ground" kimberlite (above. the Congo (DROC). These pipes are called "kimberlites" or "kimberlite pipes" (see diagram below). serpentine. Kimberlite occurs in the zone of the Earth's crust in vertical structures known as kimberlite pipes (above. Diamond bearing kimberlite in some parts of South Africa is black in color (above. Kimberlite is a diamondiferous igneous-rock matrix composed of carbonate. minerals. and Liberia. with a variety of trace minerals.
Photo: Public Domain Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . There are several types of breccia which are categorized based on their geological origin. igneous breccia. This results in a martini-glass shaped diamondiferous deposit as opposed to kimberlite's champagne flute shape.Open Pit Mine . Alluvial diamond deposits are usually located within river terrace gravels that have been transported from their location of origin." that may be similar. left) and marine gravels of the south-western coastline of Africa represent the some of the world's largest placer diamond deposits. sedimentary breccia.' which are created by abandoned river meanders. The world's largest known gem quality alluvial diamond deposits are located along the Namib Desert coastline of southwestern Africa. including: hydrothermal breccia. The Argyle pipe is a diatreme. Alluvial Diamonds from Africa .Photo: NASA The alluvial terrace gravels (below. Breccia is a rock composed of angular fragments of several minerals or rocks in a matrix. Diamondiferous material tends to concentrate in and around 'oxbow lakes." and along the Orange River near Alexander Bay. . These dried 'lakes' receive river water during seasonal flooding which transports large amounts of sediment held in suspension. 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. usually from kimberlite deposits.Photo: Public Domain Lamproite Pipes Lamproite pipes produce diamonds to a lesser extent than kimberlite pipes. Alluvial (Placer) Diamond Deposits The location of alluvial (secondary or placer) diamond deposits is controlled by the surrounding topography. except that boiling water and volatile compounds contained in the magma act corrosively on the overlying rock. or different in composition to the fragments themselves. or "cementing material. resulting in a broader cone of eviscerated rock at the surface. impact breccia. and tectonic breccia. Lamproite pipes are created in a similar manner to kimberlite pipes. 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. known as the Sperrgebiet or "forbidden territory.
8k. channels or other trapsites for diamondiferous deposits. potholes. Diamonds that were transported downstream.com . Alluvial Terrace Gravels . including Angola's two largest diamonds at 105. in central South Africa and Botswana.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.9k and 101.000 years ago). to a lesser extent. from olivine lamproites formed during the Cretaceous or Permo-Triassic period. made their way to the sea bed just offshore. Westward draining river systems transported these diamonds to Africa's continental coastline for final deposition within on-shore marine terrace gravels. Some of the largest and highest gemquality diamonds produced from alluvial placer diamond mining have come from this region. Diamonds in marine areas are typically trapped in bedrock depressions such as gullies.8 million to 10. Diamond Mines of the World: Active Diamond Mines List of Active Diamond Mines All Contents Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. carried from their primary origination point on the Kaapvaal Craton. 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.Photo: Wiki Diamond-Bearing 'Diamondiferous' Gravel Many of these alluvial diamond deposits occur in Pleistocene and Holocene successions (1. depressions. but were not deposited on land.
1. 1. 4. produces over 40% of world's gem-quality diamonds. 3. map Ekati Diamond Mine: Canada's first diamond mining operation. Active Mines | Inactive Mines | Future Exploration | Mining Companies Africa Angola 1. Endiama (50%). 1. mining operator info. 4. 2. 7. Namdeb Namib Gov. Waldman Resources. the Kimberley Open Pits closed in 2005. Argyle Diamond Mine: Largest producer in world. map Orapa Diamond Mine: (resting place for lions) Largest/oldest of four . map Canada North West Territories (NWT) 1. De Beers / Botswana. 1. Cempaka Diamond Mines: Alluvials mined by indigenous artisanal Kalimantan miners. map Botswana Congo (DROC or RDC) Lesotho Namibia Sierra Leone South Africa Tanzania Zimbabwe Australia East Kimberley 1. De Beers/Botswana. Israel.closed. and any relevant geographic data. 75% De Beers ownership. Luzamba Diamond Mine: Angola's largest alluvial mine. Trans Hex. There are also several African nations with ongoing off-shore dredging/vacuming operations. map Damtshaa Diamond Mine: (water for a tortoise) New open pit mine. map River Ranch Diamond Mine: Open Pit & Underground mine. Kimberlite pipe. mining industry inside news. map Orange River (Daberas) Mines: Orange River alluvium. map Koffiefontein Diamond Mine: The Koffiefontein mine opened in 1870. map Kimberley Diamond Mine: Started in 1871. map Elizabeth Bay Mine: Open-cast mine in Namib desert. map Bakwanga Mine: (aka Bushimaïe. 75% De Beers ownership map Murowa Diamond Mine: Open Pit & Underground mine. 5. 2. 2. Lubilash) Alluvial river mines in Kasaï. 3. Luarica Diamond Mine: Owned by Endiama (38%) & Trans Hex (32%).Currently there are eleven major 'diamond producing' nations. 2. Rio Tinto. 3. map Baken Diamond Mine: Located along Orange River in North Cape. south of Lüderitz. and hard rock diamond mines. in Kasaï . South Kalimantan 1. 1. Owned by Endiama (40%) & Trans Hex (35%). 1. 2. 75% De Beers ownership. Open-pit mine De Beers operated. MIBA. 2. Diavik Diamond Mine: The Diavik diamond mine is located in the NWT. 6.DeBeers/Botswana. 1. map Forminière Diamond Mine: Alluvial mine located on the River Tshikapa. map Koidu-Sefadu Mines: Subsistence digging in alluvium pits west of Koidu. links to satellite images of the mines (where available). Namdeb. De Beers operated. Catoca Diamond Mine: Fourth largest diamond mine in world. So Africa. map Letlhakane Diamond Mine: ("little reeds") second oldest of four . These lists also contains new project explorations. map The Oaks Diamond Mine: In Limpopo province. map Marine Mining: Namco Mining operates a dredging fleet off the west coast of Namibia. located in NWT. open pit. 4. map Borneo Cempaka/Riam Kanan. map Letseng Diamond Mine: Open-cast mine in Maluti Mountains 70 km from Mokhotlong. map Finsch Diamond Mine: Finsch is an open-pit mine near Lime Acres. 3. map Williamson Diamond Mine: (aka Mwadui mine) Open Pit mine. Closed in 2006. 3. 2. 1. map Koidu Open Pit Mines: Kimberlite open-pit mines just south of Koidu. map Venetia Diamond Mine: Limpopo.De Beers / Botswana. 2. map Cullinan Diamond Mine: Open Pit/Hard Rock diamond mine owned by De Beers. map Fucauma Diamond Mine: Newly constructed. map Magna Egoli Mine: Largest mechanized mine in Sierra Leone. mostly industrial grade. map Jwaneng Diamond Mine: (place of small stones) richest mine in world. and a host of other counties with operational and/or historic alluvial. map . Odebrecht (50%).
4.India Madhya Pradesh 1. map . map Jubilee (Yubileinaya) Mine: Newer open-pit kimberlite mine near Udachny. map Anabar GOK Mine: The norther most location of Russia's diomond mines. Aikhal GOK Mine: Three open-pit kimberlite pipe mines: Aikhal. map Russia Siberia 1. 3. Alrosa. 5. and Sytykan. 2. map Udachnaya (Udachny) Pipe Mine: One of the deepest diamond mines in the world. Mirna Mine: Largest diamond deposit in Russia and one of the largest in the world. Panna Diamond Mine: Alluvial mine in state of Madhya Pradesh. Jubilee.
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