All About Gemstones: Diamonds

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

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

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

The 4 Cs of Diamonds: Cut

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

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

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

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

a Round Brilliant cut that does not have the proper proportions and symmetry (off-make) will have noticeably less brilliance. All of that has changed with the AGS Cut Grading system and GIA's new "Cut Grading System". Fig. This can also result in the undesirable creation of extra facets beyond the required 58. 64.e. 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. Poor Diamond Faceting and Symmetry Due to the mathmatics involved in light refraction. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. or 96 facets which are not counted in the total number of facets (58). The chart below shows several common problems to look for. Only a trained eye could see the quality of a good cut. An Ideal Cut or Premium Cut "Round Brilliant" diamond has the following basic proportions according to the AGS: Table Size: 53% to 60% of the diameter Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35 degrees Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Facets: 58 (57 if the culet is excluded) Polish & Symmetry: very good to excellent The girdle on a Modern Round Brilliant can have 32. 3 . 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 crown will have 33 facets. 80. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. Other variations of the "Modern Round Brilliant" include the "Ideal Brilliant" which was invented by Johnson and Roesch in 1929. when one incorrect facet angle can throw off the symmetry of the entire stone.Good Cut Fair Cut Poor Cut Cut Proportions In the past. and the pavillion will have 25 facets. Common cutting problems can occur during the faceting process. pavilion and crown angle) and did not provide a subjective ranking of how good the cut was. the "Cut" quality of the "4 Cs" was the most difficult part for a consumer to understand when selecting a good diamond because a GIA or AGS certificate did not show the important measurements influencing cut (i. Fig.

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

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

10 carat diamond for its better cut.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line.800 6. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a .VS1 Carat Size</ 0.495 carats and .5 carats must have an actual weight of between .0 carat 1. 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. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of . that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond. clarity and weight.Grade: F Colorless . as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry. 40º pavilion. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only. a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight.0 carat 3. or to buy a 1.600 12. it must be accurate to the second decimal place. Occasionally. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone.5 carat 2.600 6." If the carat weight is shown as ". and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight.195 and . A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32.750 30. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity . a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor. Price Per Carat (2005) .000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1. In ancient times.504 carats. See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between .204 carat. girdle and pavilion.5 carat 1.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight. or "seed of the carob". It is for this reason that an even 1.500 15. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown.600 8.5º crown.99 carat diamond for its better price.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained.

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

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

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

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

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

optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0." "untamable." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic. a refractive index of 2. and differentiates it from simple graphite." which is also known as "adamant. At these depths.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1. or "invincible. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes. A diamond is a transparent." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine." referring to its incredible hardness. ultramafic. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses." and "unconquerable.Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time.52. Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness. diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" [2]. olivine. Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth. Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms. and pyroxene. . with a variety of trace minerals. The name "diamond. Deep within the earth's crust there are regions that have a high enough temperature (900¼C to 1400¼C) and pressure (5 to 6 GPa) that it is thermodynamically possible for liquified carbon to form into diamonds. and a specific gravity of 3.044. Therefore.42. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km). Under the continental crust. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical. phlogopite." is derived from the Greek adamas. which resemble a champagne flute. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon. igneous rock composed of garnet.200 degrees Celsius). pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits. with the principle allotrope being graphite.

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

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

which are in fact semiconductors. Electromagnetic Properties of Diamond . Natural blue diamonds containing boron atoms. to prevent silicon and other semiconducting materials from overheating. The term adamantine describes the way light interacts with the surface of a crystal. inflexible. giving off a somewhat greasy sheen. and generally implies radiance. If an n-type semiconductor can be synthesized. it is used in the manufacturing of semiconductors. Purified synthetic diamond can have the highest thermal conductivity (2000-2500 W/m-K) of any solid material at room temperature .Insulators or Semiconductors Diamond is a relatively good electrical insulator. .nearly five times greater than pure The surface luster (or "lustre") of diamond is described as contain boron atoms which replace carbon atoms within the crystal matrix. increasing thermal conductance. are known as p-type semiconductors. gloss. or having the hardness or luster of a diamond. and synthetic diamonds that are doped with boron. The word luster traces its origins back to the Latin word lux. with the exception of natural blue diamonds. Fluorescence in Diamonds Fluorescence is an optical phenomenon in which a diamond's molecules absorb high-energy photons. Optical Properties of Diamond: Type I & Type II Diamonds Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Surface Luster of Diamond Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. meaning "light". electronic circuits could be manufactured from diamonds in the future [8]. Due to diamond's high thermal conductance. or longer-wavelength photons. which means unyielding. or brilliance. re-emitting them as lower-energy.

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

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

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

000 to $500.000 in 1987. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply. The color change effect is temporary. pure green Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems. greyish-green.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant. Warren Hancock. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness [9].03 carats. and the De Young Red weighing 5. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities. Green diamonds can range from $35. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds. or a combination of the two. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond.' discovered during the 18th century. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation.000 per carat. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red. Intense.95carats. and weighed a modest 0. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green. On thing is certain. .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).90 carats. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color.

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

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

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

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

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.

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



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

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. making it susceptible to fracturing when exposed to thermal or physical shock. and the stress inclusion occurs along the gem's natural cleavage plane.Pronounced stress fractures and feather inclusions can potentially weaken the stone.



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

Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .

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



Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .

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

Garnet Inclusions within Diamond .





Garnet fragment on Diamond Girdle .

Grossularite Garnet Inclusions in Diamond .

Internal Graining (IntGr) Irregular crystal growth causing internal distortions, waviness, and/or haze. Can be accompanied by internal strain. Internal Graining Inclusion Photos

Internal Graining Diamond Inclusion Photography
Internal Graining (IntGr) inclusions are caused by irregular crystal growth which creates internal distortions, waviness, or haze. Internal Graining imperfections may be accompanied by internal strain such as feather Inclusions.


Internal Graining with Cloud Inclusion .

With internal laser-drilling inclusions. the drilled passage may not breach the cut diamond's surface. . and where pathway does not breach the cut diamond's surface.Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) Internal pathway caused by laser-drilling to remove large inclusions. Internal Laser Drilling Inclusion Photos Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) Inclusion Photography Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) inclusions are man-made internal flaws that resulted from laser-drilling that was done to remove large piquŽ carbon inclusions in a rough stone.


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

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

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


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

Natural Comet Inclusion .

Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud .

Tabular Reflection in Diamond .

Included Garnet Twins within Diamond .

Included Dalmatian Garnet .

Cloud Inclusion .

Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers .

Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light .

Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion .

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




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.





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


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.Natural (N) A raised portion of the rough diamond's original surface structure that remains visible on the surface of a polished stone. .

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

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

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



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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

2. . or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond. etc. CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1.17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease. The 1.800 . Zirconium oxide powder is heated. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below). but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. 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. The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit. Natural diamonds attract grease. You can also Inspect the facet edges with a 10x loupe to look for any chipping or slightly rounded (not sharp) facet edges that are telltale signs of Cubic Zirconia.80 to 2.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator. a CZ is optically flawless. Once the mixture has cooled.In 1973. CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds. Using Visual Optics To Detect CZ The Hodgkinson "Visual Optics" technique was developed in the mid-1970s by Alan Hodgkinson as a method of detecting natural diamonds and diamond simulants. CZ vs Diamond . then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond . Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. Diamond's RI is 2. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce.41 (RI). When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting. Due to their low cost and consistency. or colorless (white) versions. For instance.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.170. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing.) in a totally dark room. Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond. and CZs can be made in any "color grade. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR). Unlike most natural diamonds. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left). candle. the greater dispersive power.

center) near Winslow. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. 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. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. found only in iron-nickel meteorites.A small. Henri Moissan (above. when examining the gem through the kite facets. and diamond at 0. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. candle.104 as compared to CZ at 0. is classified as an element rather than a compound. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. Moissanite has a hardness of 9.060. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0.417.69.670. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. 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. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ.25 on the Mohs scale. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond. while diamond has a hardness of 10. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index.044.65 to 2. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. Arizona. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent.) in a dark room. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. Moissanite. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. . Moissanite has an RI of 2. Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum).

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

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

it would be cost effective to sacrifice some carat weight in order to finish with two "Ideal" When deciding how to cut a rough diamond. The objective is always to maximize carat weight. Reconciling Cut & Weight Retention If the rough stone has a colorless D through F rating and has very few inclusions. The clarity of the stone. the rough stone has some coloration and/or is heavily included. compromises would have to be made. on the other hand. If. it may be better to aim for a higher carat weight utilizing a "Standard" cut. a cutter must make a cost-benefit analysis as to how to maximize the cut stone's value. An octehedral rough diamond will yield two round brilliant cut stones (see diagram below).Ideal Cut vs Standard Cut Diamond Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.weight retention. but in order to do this. elimination of any inclusions. This is accomplished by reconciling three key factors . and the amount of internal inclusions will play an important part in the decisions as to how to maximize yield. cut proportions. 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 why it is very rare to see flawless stones cut into fancy cuts such as emeralds." Even with modern techniques. as two stones could be cut from one crystal. The round brilliant cut is beneficial when the crystal is an octahedron. This cut is also known as the "Tolkowsky Cut" and "Tolkowsky Brilliant. and one "table" facet on the top of the stone for a total of 58 facets. it is the most efficient cut for maximizing yield. the cutting and polishing of a diamonds resulted in a loss of as much as 50% of the stone's total weight. The Modern Round Brilliant Cut The modern "Round Brilliant Cut" (below) was developed by Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. etc. "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: . In the diagram of a "Round Cut" diamond (above and below). 8 "pavilion" facets. it is the best cut for showcasing a high-quality stone's fire and brilliance. This is primarily due to the fact that this cut has yet to be improved on for two reasons: 1. 16 "upper girdle" facets. The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem. 8 "kite" facets. you will see that there are 8 "star" facets. 16 "lower girdle" facets.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. hearts. An "Ideal Cut". 1 "culet" facet on the bottom. and 2.

facet ratios. very small to small In the 1970s.' 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%. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts. invented in 1929. and crown/pavilion angles. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. The "Scan D. H&A Viewer. Symmetry. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut. etc. A perfect blending of facet symmetry. Since then. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. .N. Ideal Scope.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. crown height of 14. and overall height of 57." (Scandinavian standard. Eppler & Scan D. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design.5%. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope.7%.N. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951.5% to 43. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). and Proportions.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57. crown height of 14. more brilliance and fire. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant". To quantify a diamond's cut quality.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed.4%.7%.6% and overall height of 57. Tolkowsky. As with all human endeavors.

like Einstein's theory of relativity. mathematicians. the Asscher diamond cut has a squarish octagonal shape with a step cut. cut corners and a small table. or the widely marketed Leo cut which is a modified round-brilliant sold by Leo Schachter Diamonds. etc. less facets.each trying to improve on the tried-and-true Old European cuts. The Asscher brothers cut the famous 3. (more facets. scientists. One thing is for sure . and their modest brilliance and light return. and entrepreneurs . and the culet is square. Tolkowsky came up with a "brilliant" idea almost 90 years ago. www. but at the end of the day it may simply come down to consumer preference and/or marketing.the consumer. but some like the Barion Cut have disappeared into obscurity. Popular in Art Deco jewelry of the period. Here is a collection of just a few of the many "signature" diamond cuts that have been produced over the last 100 years. Every conceivable cutting theory is tried. Some have gone on to become household names such as the Asscher cut. with the two largest stones. Asscher Cut The Asscher Cut was developed by Abraham and Joseph Asscher of the Royal Asscher Diamond Company of Amsterdam in 1902. and it still survives in some form today.106 carat Cullinan Diamond into eleven gem stones.Producers split hairs over cut angle. and number of facets. 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 Barion Cut .asscher. it is put in front of the ultimate arbiter of quality .) and when suitably scrutinized by the gem trade. cut proportions. Context Cut The Context Cut is a square cut that was developed by Dr. and was the forerunner to the princess cut. Ulrich Freiesleben of Germany in the early 1980s then patented and trademarked in 1997. not including the 16 girdle facets.The Barion square cut (aka Barion square cushion cut) was invented by Basil Watermeyer of South Africa in 1971. forming a square shape when viewed from the top.freiesleben. The Context Cut follows a rough diamond crystal's natural octahedral shape. or the company website. The Eternal Cut has a total of 81 facets. Barocut The Barocut® diamond cut is a patented. The name "Barion" or "Barion cut" was never trademarked. In 1998. to become Asprey & Garrard. The Context Cut is used to cut colored gemstones by Julius Petsch of Idar-Oberstein. Garrard & Co. or to increase light-dispersion. 81 facets on the cut corner (cushion) version. Barocut diamonds are promoted and sold exclusively through the Baroka Creations catalog. and a total of 81 facets. of New York in 2000. with star-shaped cross facets cut diagonally into the pavilion. nephew to the inventor of the Modern Round Brilliant cut.garrard. www. The cut has a total of 8 facets plus a girdle. and creates a high amount of waste. and its patent has expired. modified rectangular (baguette) cut that was developed by Baroka Creations. parting ways in 2002 to again become Garrard. The Barion square cut diamond has a 4-fold mirror-image symmetry. merged with the jewelry firm Asprey. Germany. adding up to 50% to the cost when compared to a Round Brilliant cut diamond. The Barocut is available in sizes from 20 points to 3 Eternal Cut The Eternal Cut diamond was designed and patented by master Israeli diamond cutter. Barocut stones are also sold in tapered shapes. The Context Cut consists of two back-to-back pyramids (an octahedron). 23 more than a modern Round Brilliant cut. A Barocut diamond has a total of 77 facets. Gabi . www. and in all diamond colors and/or clarity grades. The Barocut is also called a "two heart diamond" due to the illusion of two mirrored hearts meeting at the culet. It is sold exclusively through the 270 year old firm of Garrard & Company in London. and a 'softer' briliance than a traditional round brilliant cut. The Context Cut design was based on an earlier patented design by Bernd Munsteiner from the early 1960s. The Eternal Cut is being sold exclusively at Garrard's main London store and Harvey Nichols stores in Great Britain. www.baroka. Marce Tolkowsky. The cutting process requires a high-quality rough. creating a unique 'flower petal' pattern surrounding the cutlet.

The Flanders Brilliant has 33 crown facets and 28 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets. and the cut was named after the Flanders region of Belgium (Antwerp) where the cut was first preformed in 1987. The Flower Cuts were never patented or trademarked by De Beers in order to increase their popularity and use. heart. The Marigold is an octagon shape with 73 facets. the Gabrielle Cut is available in carre.gabriellediamonds. who was commissioned by De Beers to create new cuts as a way of marketing unusual. www. The Fire-Rose is a hexagonal shape designed to produce higher yields. which is 47 more than a traditional 'Tolkowsky' round brilliant cut. Marigold. Fire-Rose. designed to maximize the brilliance and color of diamonds while increasing their yield. The Dahlia is a 12 sided oval shape with 63 facets. the Gabrielle has a total of 105 facets. The Zinnia is a round fancy shape with 73 facets. and pear shapes. The Sunflower has 43 facets in unusual. 48 of which are clustered around the culet to increase fire. adding greater brilliance and fire than standard brilliant cuts. The Flower Cut is actually a series of five fancy cut shapes: the Dahlia. The Gabrielle Diamond The Gabrielle® Cut is a modified brilliant cut (triple brilliant cut) that was created by DeBeers desinger/consultant Gabriel Tolkowsky in 2000. is a patented symmetrical round cut created by Leo Schachter Diamonds. oval. Other than the traditional round brilliant shape. (aka Leo Schachter Diamond). .Flanders Brilliant Cut The Flanders Brilliant Cut (aka Fire Brilliant) is a modified Radiant or Princess cut with truncated corners that form an octagon with brilliant faceting. The cut is distributed by the National Diamond Syndicate (NDS) of www. that is suited to a relatively flat rough. 8 more facets than the Round Brilliant cut's Leo Cut The Leo® Diamond. Unveiled at the Las Vegas Gem Show in 2001. Sunflower and Zinnia cut. Flower Cut The 'Flower Cut' series was created by Gabi Tolkowsky in 1986. www. marquise. The Flanders Fire-Brilliant was developed by Flanders Cut International of Antwerp in 1983. angular shapes. maximizing the amount of light returned back as scintillation.flanders-cuts. The Flower Cuts employ unconventional cutting angles and dimensions. emerald.nationaldiamond. The Leo diamond cut has a total of 66 facets. off-color stones.

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

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

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

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

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

000 USD. to take advantage of market fluctuations. The diamonds are then re-sold from the cutting and polishing (manufacturing) centers to wholesalers (Diamond Bourses). and retailers [5]. De Beers and the Future De Beers' (CSO's) control over the wholesale diamond market has diminished due to increased market penetration. A 'sight' can have a value of between $500. cutters. . De Beers. Both traders and manufacturers may sell diamonds "upstream" and "downstream" through the diamond pipeline [8]. (see DeBeers' Adiamondisforever. De Beers is also facing increasing pressure from the manufactures of synthetic diamonds. China. they are sold to retailers or direct to the customer.000. website). diamonds have underperformed since 1987 when compared to the "luxury goods" market or global GDP. 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. or to jewelry manufacturers (#5) around the world. Other major cutting centers are located in Johannesburg. Tel Aviv.000 to $2.20 carats or less) in Mumbai (Bombay) and Surat. has launched an aggressive branding and marketing campaign. The sightholder then transports the box of rough diamonds back to diamantaire firms (cutting and polishing factories) located around the world (#4). where De Beers sells the "boxes" to its select group ("supplier of choice") of 125 "sightholders" (#3) or diamond manufacturers. India cuts the vast majority of small stones (.De Beers Sightholders The DTC holds a sale called a "site" or "sight" ten times per year in London and Johannesburg. and New York. and Thailand. and the breakaway from CSO's cartel by the Argyle Diamond Mine in Australia. Many Sightholders are also cutters. which are increasing in popularity and consumer acceptance. De Beers (DTC) sets the price of each box in advance. and independent diamond producers in Canada. determining the quantity and quality that each site-holder will receive. Russia and elswhere. Ramat Gan. As a reaction to their decrease in market share. Once the diamonds are set into jewelry. while large stones are primarily cut in Antwerp. through their Diamond Promotion Service (DPS) and Diamond Information Centres (DIC) marketing divisions.

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

Photo: Wiki Public The first trading exchange to deal exclusively with rough.Antwerp's Diamond District Two of the oldest Diamond Bourse (Bourse van de diamant or diamantenbšrsen) in Antwerp were the 'Diamond Club of Antwerp' (Diamantclub van Antwerpen—at Pelikaanstraat 62. These first trading exchanges mainly dealt with the wholesaling of cut stones. After the liberation. and disputes are handled by an internal arbitration process. the Antwerpsche Diamantkring was reopened. making it the largest diamond-trading center in the world [3]. and repatriation of Antwerp following the end of WWII. uncut diamonds was the Antwerpsche Diamantkring (Antwerp Diamond Ring) [2]. bisected by Hoveniersstraat street. friendship and trust [2]. Members of the Diamond Bourses operate within a system based on mutual trust and each member pledges to uphold the traditions and principles of consideration. Most transactions conducted within the Bourses done with cash and a handshake. Control over the diamond trade is maintained through the WFDB's Constitution containing a series of rules. ethics and morality. Both bourse were founded by Hasidim diamantairs. In Antwerp's 'Diamond Center' (Diamantenzentrum) today. The Diamond High Council (HRD) . there are around 4000 diamond-cutters (diamantaire) working in the several-square-block diamond district. and both are still in operation today. Beurs voor Diamanthandel . Around $16+ billion in polished diamonds pass through Antwerp's diamond bourses each year. and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) was founded in 1947. founded in 1893—and the Beurs voor Diamanthande (at Pelikaanstraat 78) founded in 1904 [1]. an by-laws that govern business practices. regulations. which was established in the same year that the 1930 World Expo was held in Antwerp.

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

Photo: Pub. As a young lad from England. Amid all of this turmoil and chaos. Cullinan . Domain Barney Barnato During the same period that Cecil Rhodes was building De Beers Consolidated Mines. although Rhodes did not start out with an interest in diamonds. mysteriously falling overboard on a ship passage back to England. N. As founder of De Beers. Domain Cecil Rhodes Cecil Rhodes (1853—1902) is the undisputed father of the modern diamond industry. and in 1910 the 'Union of South Africa' was created.' Cecil Rhodes died a single man with no children and.the "mineral revolution. Rhodes made several aborted attempt to gain control over Barnato's interest in Kimberley Central Mine. a prospector. In exchange. no heirs to his empire. self-government was restored. With the help of the Rothschild bank in London. in Northern Cape. and J. One of the richest men in the world. D. and later selling steam-powered water pumps to drain the open-pit mines of Kimberley. 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." In 1906. Domain Thomas M. A. but was eventually successful in convincing Barnato to merge with De Beers. Rhodes started out selling ice cream to the diamond-diggers and service workers. Cecil Rhodes' De Beers empire was started on a farm owned by two Boer settlers and brothers. Photo: Pub. Photo: Pub. De Beer.. Barnato was given appointed to 'life governor' and temporary controlling interest in De Beers [6]. Barnato died several years later. a curious discovery was being made along the banks of the Orange River. diamond speculator and fellow Englishman named Barney Barnato (1852—1897) was buying up pieces of the Big Hole in Kimberley to form the Kimberley Central Mine. De Beers and Kimberley Central were the two largest mining interests in South Africa at the time. he began his business interests in South Africa by servicing the "ant hill" of humanity that was descending on Kimberley during the diamond rush of the late 1800s.. The African nation of Rhodesia was named after him (now the Republic of Zimbabwe). he was able to build a monopolistic empire through skill and cunning.

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

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

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

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

both domestically and internationally. Angola and from mining magnates. into a global position with nearly $1 Billion a year in sales. the 'United Nations Industrial Development Orginization' (UNIDO). Surat. Hong Kong. Kabbah. created a program for capacity-building of 'small and medium-sized enterprise' (SME) development. the political situation in Angola has begun to normalize. After winning a disicive re-election victory in 2006. and Tel Aviv. At the age of 29. Botswana has held regular elections and has been one of the more stable governments in southern Africa. Diamonds and the African Nationals Photos: Public Domain Kabila. President Festus Mogae was elected for a second term in 2004. Domain N. left). employing 22. Thailand.W. The company has cutting factories in Antwerp. Botswana is a relatively wealthy African country. and the end to South African apartheid in 1994.000 workers.Vijaydimon (Belgium) and B Vijaykumar (India) . Bangkok. India. On a somewhat darker note. Bombay. Palanpur. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. Singapore. many of the ex-colonial nations of Sub-Saharan Africa are starting to emerge as powerful and legitimate forces in the diamond industry. and the United States. & Mogae Starting with Botswana's independence in 1966. Mandela. working in cooperation with the government of Sierra Leone. The last democratic election in Angola was in 1992. Joseph Kabila (above. all who have signed multi-million dollar trade deals. Vijaydimon is a DTC sightholder with offices in Belgium. Vijaydimon also purchases rough diamonds from Canada's Diavik Mine and Argyle (Rio Tinto) and Russia [21]. After years of fighting between the PMLA and UNITA. Ayer & Son . Kabila. dos Santos. UAE. is making great strides in stabilizing the country after years of strife. Diamonds and the Americans Photo: Pub. The president of Sierra Leone. who was a major general in the army. succeeded his father (Laurent-Désiré Kabila) as president the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC) after his assassination in January 2001. In a post-conflict reconstruction effort. China. with one of the fastest per-capita income growth rates in the world. president José Eduardo dos Santos is preventing democratic elections from taking place. only hinting at their possibility in 2007 or 2008. is receiving broad support from the South Africa. and enjoys broad support.

and featuring the memorable scene in which Holly gazes longingly into Tiffany's window display. specializing in one-of-a-kind baubles for New York's newly-minted industrialists and 'robber-barons."A diamond is forever" is the legendary saying that was created by America's first advertising agency. and the diamond industry was particularly hard hit. which started out as 'Tiffany & Young' of New York City in 1837.72 carat cushion-cut diamond (one of the "Diamonds of Golconda") was mounted by Tiffany. Jule Styne (born Julius Kerwin Stein) was born in London. One of Tiffany's most notable diamond acquisitions was a 287. Tiffany & Young. Photo: Pub.' staring Audrey Hepburn. The movie version featured Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend." after here charecter. . the values of ostentatious gems and jewelry dropped precipitously. the public's tolerance towards nobility was at a low point. Domain Hollywood in 1949 Coming just on the heels of the immortal "a diamond is forever" campaign.' During the 1800s. this time from playwriter. In 1948 the famous "A diamond is forever" slogan was introduced. and from the Spanish Crown Jewels [27]. Sir Francis "Piggy" Beekman. and the subsequent overthrowing of King Louis-Philippe of France in 1848. Jule Styne. After attending Chicago Musical College. purchased diamonds. producing the 128. Photo: Pub. The Great Depression had taken a heavy toll on luxury goods during the 1930s. gems and jewelry from the estates of the European aristocracy. Prince Esterhazy of Hungary. Charles Tiffany.' at the flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. Ayer in 1938. Styne wrote the score for the 1949 Broadway musical 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.54 carat 'The Tiffany Diamond. who was known for his jewelry expertise. With financial shockwaves caused by the French economy's collapse in 1847. located at 259 Broadway. the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine. aka "the King of Diamonds. was originally a 'fancy goods' emporium. Styne moved to Hollywood where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn. The stone was cut in Paris." was the co-founder of Tiffany & Co. for resale in America." by Jean Schlumberger in the 1960s. Domain Charles Lewis Tiffany Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812—1902). and Tiffany seized on the opportunity.' brand was catapulted into the stratosphere by the 1961 movie 'Breakfast at Tiffany's. and a series of diamond-related slogans were introduced into the American lexicon. Lorelei receives a diamond tiara from her suitor.42 carat rough flawless-yellow diamond from the 'Compagnie Français de Diamant du Cap' (Kimberley mine) in 1877. A 19. De Beers president.' which was adapted to film in 1953.W. Ayer & Son. The 'Tiffany & Co. De Beers and the diamond industry got another shot in the arm. Tiffany was able to purchase significant gems from such renowned estates as: the 'jewel-mad' Duke of Brunswick. After the French revolution in 1799.' The stone was set into a garish jewelry piece called "Bird on a Rock.W. The Tiffany is still selling luxury jewelry in their trademarked 'Tiffany Blue Box. N. Harry Frederick Oppenheimer enlisted the help of N. and sold to Nanaline Duke (now in the Doris Duke Collection).

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

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

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

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

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

relative facet angles.0 to 1. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light .3.0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless .7.5. . all measured in three spacial dimensions.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light . AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond." or "ideal" rating.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering. where facets intersect with each-other. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless .5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint ." 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. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles.1. In the upper left corner of the document there is a unique AGS reference number that can be used when contacting AGS with questions about your report. and individual facet ratios. in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above). as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram.5 to 3.5 to 4.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero.0 to 7. the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible. 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.

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

which concentrate the heavier gems at the bottom. Marine Mining Marine mining technology only became commercially viable in the early 1990s. 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. rock or sedimentary soil. or sand) that is unsuitable for tunneling. and is a derivative form of open-cast mining used to extract minerals from the surface of the earth without the use of tunneling. A decline is typically used for mining personnel. Open pit mines are typically used when mineral deposits are found close to the surface or along defined kimberlite pipes. gravel. Marine diamond mining employs both "vertical" and "horizontal" techniques to extract diamonds from offshore placer deposits. box screens. right) with bare hands. right) is used for extracting diamonds and minerals from alluvial. highly resistant to weathering. at a maximum depth of 500 feet. machinery. or sort material according to size. Gems are separated from waste material using various sifting and sorting techniques such as cone screens. and have a specific gravity that is higher than that of common minerals. Laborers who work in artisanal diamond mining are called "diamond diggers" (below left). therefore. also known as "sand-bank mining" (top of page. with the middle size being a candidate for final sorting. Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . Small "pit lakes" tend to form at the bottom of open-pit mines as a result of groundwater intrusion. Artisanal diamond mining is a form of "subsistence based" non-mechanized mining that is used in poorer countries throughout the world. . eluvial. shovels. or pans. Open Pit Mining Open-pit diamond mining. or hand digging (artisanal mining). mechanized surface excavating equipment. and access to the ore. running adjacent to the ore. and or colluvial secondary deposits. center) is a method of extracting rock and minerals from the earth by removal from a machine-dug open pit or burrow. or large conical sieves. Diamonds and most gemstones are hard.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. Excavation is accomplished using water pressure (hydraulic mining). they tend to concentrate in alluvial deposits in the same way that gold placers develop. also known as "open-cast mining" (top of page. Artisanal Mining Artisanal diamond mining (aka "small-scale mining") involves nothing more that digging and sifting through mud or gravel river-bank alluvial deposits (above. While on board. the gravels are separated and sorted into three sizes. Placer Mining Placer diamond mining.vertical tunnel used for ore haulage. CAT-tracked underwater mining vehicles) move across the sea floor pumping gravel up to an offshore vessel.Photo: USGS Alluvial Diamond . Horizontal mining employs the use of Seabed Crawlers (remotely controlled.

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

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

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

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

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

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