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

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

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

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

and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight.0 carat 3. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place. In ancient times. See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of . or "seed of the carob". By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat. Occasionally.10 carat diamond for its better cut.Grade: F Colorless . carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between .00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone. a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight.5º crown. girdle and pavilion. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone.99 carat diamond for its better price.800 6. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a . it must be accurate to the second decimal place. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained.VS1 Carat Size</ 0. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight.0 carat 1. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only.5 carat 1. or to buy a 1. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration.204 carat.750 30. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat.500 15.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1. It is for this reason that an even 1.600 8. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32. 40º pavilion." If the carat weight is shown as ". 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.600 6. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing.5 carats must have an actual weight of between .5 carat 2.195 and .504 carats. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line.600 12. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity .495 carats and . FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. Price Per Carat (2005) . clarity and weight.

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

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

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

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

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

When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic." referring to its incredible hardness." and "unconquerable. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes. igneous rock composed of garnet.044. Deep within the earth's crust there are regions that have a high enough temperature (900¼C to 1400¼C) and pressure (5 to 6 GPa) that it is thermodynamically possible for liquified carbon to form into diamonds. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon. a refractive index of 2. Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth." which is also known as "adamant.200 degrees Celsius). and differentiates it from simple graphite. olivine. and a specific gravity of 3. Therefore. Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness. with the principle allotrope being graphite. .42. diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation. which resemble a champagne flute. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km). with a variety of trace minerals. or "invincible. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical. The name "diamond. Under the continental crust." is derived from the Greek adamas." "untamable. Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures. phlogopite. and pyroxene. ultramafic.52. A diamond is a transparent. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" [2].Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1. At these depths. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms.

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

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

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

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

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

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

' discovered during the 18th century. greyish-green. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits. Green diamonds can range from $35. and weighed a modest 0. or a combination of the two. and the De Young Red weighing 5. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness [9].90 carats. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red. Intense. 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). Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems.000 in 1987. The color change effect is temporary. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13.95carats. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner.000 per carat. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities. as in the one-of-a-kind 5.03 carats. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities.000 to $500. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $ The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat. Warren Hancock. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa. . pure green hues.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant.

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

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

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

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

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




Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.

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



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

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



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

Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .

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



Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .

Included Crystals (Xtl) Included and undigested gemstones or fragments of garnet. olivine. spinel. spinel. calcite. calcite. diopside. Included Crystals Inclusion Photos Internal Included Crystals in Diamond Included Crystal inclusions are whole crystals or tiny included gem fragments of undigested crystals such as garnet. or silica. Green chrome diopside Inclusion within a Diamond . silica or other gem stone inclusions. iron oxides. iron oxides. diopside. 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. Internal Laser Drilling Inclusion Photos Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) Inclusion Photography Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) inclusions are man-made internal flaws that resulted from laser-drilling that was done to remove large piquŽ carbon inclusions in a rough stone. .Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) Internal pathway caused by laser-drilling to remove large inclusions. and where pathway does not breach the cut diamond's surface. the drilled passage may not breach the cut diamond's surface.


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

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

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


. 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 .

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




Indented Natural (IndN) A naturally occurring indentation in the crystal that was not removed during cutting or polishing. . Indented Natural Inclusion Photos Indented Natural (IndN) Diamond Inclusion Photography Indented Natural (IndN) inclusions (indented naturals) are external imperfections that are caused by naturally-occurring recessed (concave) indentations that penetrate the surface of a rough diamond. 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. The lizard-skin effect is caused by an orange-peel texture.Lizard Skin A bumpy or wavy 'orange-peel' textured pattern on the polished surface of a diamond. .


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

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

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

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



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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing. and CZs can be made in any "color grade. Due to their low cost and consistency. CZ vs Diamond . 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. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left).80 to 2. Once the mixture has cooled. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below). Zirconium oxide powder is heated.2.41 (RI). candle. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight.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. You can also Inspect the facet edges with a 10x loupe to look for any chipping or slightly rounded (not sharp) facet edges that are telltale signs of Cubic Zirconia.17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2. but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye. or colorless (white) versions. or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond. Diamond's RI is 2.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond . Using Visual Optics To Detect CZ The Hodgkinson "Visual Optics" technique was developed in the mid-1970s by Alan Hodgkinson as a method of detecting natural diamonds and diamond simulants.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting. a CZ is optically flawless.In 1973. . For instance. Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored. Natural diamonds attract grease.) in a totally dark room. etc. CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease.800 . the greater dispersive power.170. Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR). Unlike most natural diamonds. The 1.

.com Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). when examining the gem through the kite facets.060. 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. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. Moissanite has an RI of 2. etc. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ. Moissanite has a hardness of 9. Arizona. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting.417. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998.044. center) near Winslow. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. candle. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material.670.65 to 2. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research.104 as compared to CZ at 0. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight. Moissanite.25 on the Mohs scale. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. is classified as an element rather than a compound. 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.) in a dark room. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion.69. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. while diamond has a hardness of 10. found only in iron-nickel meteorites. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. and diamond at 0. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI.A small. Henri Moissan (above.

670.A small. The first improvements on nature's design involved a polishing of the crystal faces. A similarly sharp.Detectable With Testing Double Refraction: Moissanite is double refractive. diamonds were valued primarily for their luster and hardness. most diamonds have some inclusions Moissanite vs Diamond .Detectable to the Naked Eye Dispersion Pattern: Secondary patterns of dispersion due to double refraction Color: Moissanite has a slight yellow color and does not come in grades better than 'J' Lack of Flaws: Moissanite is virtually flawless. but significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its high RI." and the rough stone must be cut with the grain. only a diamond is hard enough to cut other diamonds. detailed and sharply focused pattern caused by secondary reflections will be seen when observing a diamond. diamond has a "grain. Diamond cutting can be traced back to the late Middle Ages. Cutting a Rough Diamond . one half of the crystal would be cut off. Table Cut diamonds appeared black to the eye.417 Moissanite is double refractive (anisotropic) while a natural diamond is singly refractive (isotropic). rather than against it. Like wood. diamond is singly refractive Refractive Index: Moissanite has a refractive index of 2. Moissanite vs Diamond . Prior to this time. although it can be easily cleaved or fractured due to its defined cleavage planes. diamonds were used in their natural octahedral state. The Modern Round Brilliant cut (below) is the culmination of several hundred years of experimentation and development. Diamond's RI is 2. caused by primary reflections from the pavilion and CZ's low RI. which was called the "Point Cut. due to its high refractive index." At the time. Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be more diffused. You can also Inspect the facet edges with a 10x loupe to look for any chipping or slightly rounded or soft (not sharp) edges that are telltale signs of Simulants. Diamonds: Modern Diamond Cutting Diamond Cutting Background One of the hardest substances on earth." As further refinement progressed. creating the "Table Cut.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sir Thomas Major Cullinan (1860—1936) was the founder of one of Africa's richest diamond mines, the 'Premier Diamond Mine,' 30 kilometers east of Pretoria, in Gauteng province, South Africa. Although Cullinan was already a successful building contractor in Johannesburg, he was also an amateur geologist who had heard about alluvial diamonds being found along a stream near the old 'Cornelis Minnaar Farm' in upper Gauteng. Cullinan was interested in purchasing the farm, which had already changed hands several times, but the present owner, Willem Prinsloo (who had purchased the land for £570 in 1861) was not interested in selling. Shortly after the close Anglo Boer War (1898—1902), Willem Prinsloo's widow agreed to sell the land to Cullinan for £52,000, and the 'Transvaal Premier Diamond Mining Company LTD' was officially registered on the December 1, 1902 [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. found on August 22." 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 Gujarat's Indian Diamantaires . and on board the luxury residential ship The World ResidenSea. Monte Carlo. 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.state. Graff has been dubbed the "king of diamonds. One of his most notable acquisitions was the 603 carat "Lesotho Promise diamond. Leviev's net-worth is estimated at $2. ALROSA produces 100% of Russia's rough diamond output and approximately 20% of the world's rough diamonds [9]. Lesotho Promise is the 15th largest diamond ever found. Using this model of "local control. which are now owned by Lev Leviev. in 1992. a DeBeers sightholder in Johannesburg. Tretiakovsky Proezd in Moscow." and the "king of bling" by Forbes magazine [28]. and one of the most successful diamond merchants in modern history. 2006 at the Letseng diamond mine in the tiny Kingdom of Lesotho in the center of the Republic of South Africa. All House of Graff stones have a laser-inscribed girdle with the 'Graff' logo and GIA number. Graff's net worth is estimated at 2. Dubai. to Larry Ellison. with his wife and their nine children. Domain Laurence Graff Laurence Graff (1938—) is a DeBeers sightholder. and the largest rough unearthed in this century. formed by Decree 158C of the Russian Federation. Russia.5 billion (#278 Forbes List). selling to the rich and famous from Elizabeth Taylor and Donald Trump. Photo: Pub. Alrosa now sells direct to cutting factories throughout Russia. By circumventing the De Beers supply chain. Lev Leviev has formed a partnership with the ex Soviet state-owned diamond firm. It will ultimately be cut into an estimated 20 or so 'D-flawless' stones ranging from 75 carats to 1 carat in size.).5 billion dollars [28]. New York's Madison Avenue. Laurence Graff was born into a Jewish orthodox family in London's poorer 'East End' district. Graff has co-authored (with Vanessa von Zitzewitz) "The Most Fabulous Jewels in the World. The Hindustani Diamond Cutters Photo: dnavin. and has satellite locations in Wafi City. Mr. Hotel de Paris' salon privé in Paris." a compendium and history of his most famous jewels. to purchasing a 51% stake in Safdico (South African Diamond Corp. now called ALROSA (Almazy-Rossii-Sakha) [7]. from wholesale and retail. Raised by his grandparents. Graff's strategy of "vertically integration" has been to control every angle of the diamond pipeline. Israel.

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

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

' which was adapted to film in 1953. Ayer in 1938. and Tiffany seized on the opportunity.' brand was catapulted into the stratosphere by the 1961 movie 'Breakfast at Tiffany's. Lorelei receives a diamond tiara from her suitor. Sir Francis "Piggy" Beekman. and sold to Nanaline Duke (now in the Doris Duke Collection). With financial shockwaves caused by the French economy's collapse in 1847. The 'Tiffany & Co.' During the 1800s. gems and jewelry from the estates of the European aristocracy. Charles Tiffany. the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine. and from the Spanish Crown Jewels [27]. . specializing in one-of-a-kind baubles for New York's newly-minted industrialists and 'robber-barons. Styne wrote the score for the 1949 Broadway musical 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. who was known for his jewelry expertise. Jule Styne (born Julius Kerwin Stein) was born in London. located at 259 Broadway. the values of ostentatious gems and jewelry dropped precipitously. After the French revolution in 1799. A 19.54 carat 'The Tiffany Diamond. Jule Styne. and the subsequent overthrowing of King Louis-Philippe of France in 1848. Tiffany & Young. N. The movie version featured Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend.72 carat cushion-cut diamond (one of the "Diamonds of Golconda") was mounted by Tiffany. Prince Esterhazy of Hungary. was originally a 'fancy goods' emporium. this time from playwriter. the public's tolerance towards nobility was at a low point. and the diamond industry was particularly hard hit. Domain Charles Lewis Tiffany Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812—1902). Photo: Pub."A diamond is forever" is the legendary saying that was created by America's first advertising agency. The Tiffany is still selling luxury jewelry in their trademarked 'Tiffany Blue Box. After attending Chicago Musical College. producing the 128. which started out as 'Tiffany & Young' of New York City in 1837." by Jean Schlumberger in the 1960s. Domain Hollywood in 1949 Coming just on the heels of the immortal "a diamond is forever" campaign." was the co-founder of Tiffany & Co. Harry Frederick Oppenheimer enlisted the help of N.42 carat rough flawless-yellow diamond from the 'Compagnie Français de Diamant du Cap' (Kimberley mine) in 1877. Ayer & Son. One of Tiffany's most notable diamond acquisitions was a 287. The stone was cut in Paris. De Beers and the diamond industry got another shot in the arm." after here charecter. and featuring the memorable scene in which Holly gazes longingly into Tiffany's window display. Styne moved to Hollywood where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn. Tiffany was able to purchase significant gems from such renowned estates as: the 'jewel-mad' Duke of Brunswick. aka "the King of Diamonds.W. In 1948 the famous "A diamond is forever" slogan was introduced. purchased diamonds.' staring Audrey Hepburn.W.' The stone was set into a garish jewelry piece called "Bird on a Rock. De Beers president. Photo: Pub.' at the flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. The Great Depression had taken a heavy toll on luxury goods during the 1930s. for resale in America. and a series of diamond-related slogans were introduced into the American lexicon.

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

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

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

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

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

relative facet angles." 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.3. where facets intersect with each-other.7. and individual facet ratios.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint .0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light . AGS Diamond Grading System On the inside fold of an AGS Diamond Quality grading report there is a legend explaining the unique AGS nomenclature with comparisons to GIA's grading system.5 to 3.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003. 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. all measured in three spacial dimensions.0 to 1.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero. in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above).5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light . . as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless . When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond." or "ideal" rating.5. the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible.0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless .0 to 7. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles.5 to 4.1.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering.

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

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

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

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

Some of the largest and highest gemquality diamonds produced from alluvial placer diamond mining have come from this . to a lesser extent. Diamond Mines of the World: Active Diamond Mines List of Active Diamond Mines All Contents Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.8k. Westward draining river systems transported these diamonds to Africa's continental coastline for final deposition within on-shore marine terrace gravels. Diamonds in marine areas are typically trapped in bedrock depressions such as gullies.Photo: Wiki Diamond-Bearing 'Diamondiferous' Gravel Many of these alluvial diamond deposits occur in Pleistocene and Holocene successions (1. Diamonds that were transported downstream. from olivine lamproites formed during the Cretaceous or Permo-Triassic period. depressions. The diamonds within these deposits were transported from deeply-eroded diamondiferous kimberlites or. but were not deposited on land.000 years ago). made their way to the sea bed just offshore. in central South Africa and Botswana. including Angola's two largest diamonds at 105.9k and 101. carried from their primary origination point on the Kaapvaal Craton.Namibia's placer diamond deposits are between 40 and 80 million years old.8 million to 10. 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. channels or other trapsites for diamondiferous deposits. Alluvial Terrace Gravels . potholes.

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

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