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The story of diamonds is, to use the metaphor, a tale of fire and "ice." Forged through immense heat and pressure over millions, or hundreds of millions of years, diamonds start their humble existence as simple, elemental carbon; the basic building block of all life in earth. We attempt to demystify these enigmatic little stones, by explaining their scientific reason for being, as well as were they are mined, how they are mined, and the history of the diamond trade, or 'diamond pipeline.' Diamonds are both elemental, and complex. As such, there is a lot of technical jargon associated with them. Shopping for a diamond can be very confusing to the newbie, but we have endeavored to make it as simple and interesting as humanly possible. You shouldn't need extraordinary brilliance to understand scintillation or refraction. Enjoy!
All About Diamonds
Diamond Basics The "4 Cs" of Diamonds - Cut The "4 C's" of Diamonds - Carat The "Four C's" of Diamonds - Clarity The "Four Cs" of Diamonds - Color Diamond Chemistry Optical Properties of Diamond Fancy Colored Diamonds Diamond Inclusion Library Diamond Enhancements Synthetics & Simulants Synthetic Diamonds Cubic Zirconia Moissanite Diamond Cuts Diamond Cutting Ideal Cut Modern Round Brilliant Patented Signature Diamond Cuts Old European Diamond Cuts Uncut Raw Diamonds in Jewelry The Diamond Market The Diamond Pipeline Diamond Bourses The Diamond Trade's Key Players Diamond Pricing - Price Comparison Charts Diamond Certification
AGS Diamond Grading Report Independent Diamond Testing Laboratories Diamond Mining & Mine Technology Diamond Mining Technology Diamond Geology & Kimberlites Full List of Worldwide Diamond Mines Artisanal Diamond Mining & Conflict Diamonds Worldwide Diamond Mining Regions Australian Diamond Mines Borneo's Landak Diamond Mines Botswana Diamond Mines Brazilian Diamond Mines Canadian Diamond Mines India's Golconda Diamond Mines Namibia Russian Diamond Mines South African Diamond Mines US Diamond Mines Conflict Diamonds Angola Diamond Mines Congo (DRC) Diamond Mines Liberia Diamond Mines Sierra Leone Diamond Mines Zimbabwe's Chiadzwa Marange Diamond Fields Diamond History & Cutting Regions Historical Diamond Cuts & Cutting History Historical Diamond Cutting Regions Diamond Cutting in Amsterdam Diamond Cutting in Antwerp Diamond Cutting in Belgium Diamond Cutting in Guangzhou, China Diamond Cutting in Gujarat, India Diamond Cutting in Idar-Oberstein, Germany Diamond Terminology Glossary - Gemology
The 4 Cs of Diamonds: Cut
The 4 C's Diamond Grading System
1. 2. 3. 4. Cut Carat Clarity Color
More than 100 million diamonds are sold in the United States each year, yet most consumers know very little about the product they are purchasing, and how that product is valued. The '4 Cs' represent the four main variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics. As a consumer, your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the '4 Cs' diamond grading system. If you are purchasing an expensive stone it will also be critical for you to learn how to read and understand the details of a GIA (Gemological Institute of America) 'Diamond Dossier,' AGL report, or AGS (American Gem Society) 'Diamond Certificate,' or Sarin 'Diamond Grading Report' (see full list of independent testing laboratories, below). You will also want to familiarize yourself with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines on jeweler conduct and consumer awareness. This knowledge will help be invaluable when you are comparison shopping for diamonds.
Diamond Cut Quality When jewelers judge the quality of a diamond cut, or "make", they often rate "Cut" as the most important of the "4 Cs." The way a diamond is cut is primarily dependent upon the original shape of the rough stone, location of the inclusions and flaws to be eliminated, the preservation of the weight, and the popularity of certain shapes. Don't confuse a diamond's "cut" with it's "shape". Shape refers only to the outward appearance of the diamond (Fig. 5 below), and not how it is faceted. The Importance of Cut Quality When a diamond has a high quality cut (ideal cut), incident light will enter the stone through the table and crown, traveling toward the pavilion where it reflects from one side to the other before bouncing back out of the diamond's table toward the observer's eye (see Fig. 1 below). This phenomenon is referred to as "light return" (Fig. 2 below) which affects a diamond's brightness, brilliance, and dispersion. Any light-leakage caused by poor symmetry and/or cut proportions (off-make) will adversely affect the quality of light return. The "Shallow Cut" and "Deep Cut" examples in Fig. 1 show how light that enters through the table of a Modern Round Brilliant diamond reaches the pavilion facets and then leaks out from the sides or bottom of the diamond rather than reflecting back to the eye through the table. Less light reflected back to the eye means less "Brilliance". In the "Ideal Cut" example, most of the light entering through the table is reflected back towards the observer from the pavilion facets.
Keep in mind that the variance in proportions between an "Ideal Cut" (ideal make) and a "Fair, Poor, Shallow or Deep Cut" may be difficult to discern to the novice observer, although there will be a lack of brilliance, scintillation, and fire. Cut quality is divided into several grades listed below.
Ideal Cut Premium Cut Very Good / Fine Cut
a Round Brilliant cut that does not have the proper proportions and symmetry (off-make) will have noticeably less brilliance. 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. and the pavillion will have 25 facets. This can also result in the undesirable creation of extra facets beyond the required 58. pavilion and crown angle) and did not provide a subjective ranking of how good the cut was.e. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. An Ideal Cut or Premium Cut "Round Brilliant" diamond has the following basic proportions according to the AGS: Table Size: 53% to 60% of the diameter Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35 degrees Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Facets: 58 (57 if the culet is excluded) Polish & Symmetry: very good to excellent The girdle on a Modern Round Brilliant can have 32. Fig. 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.Good Cut Fair Cut Poor Cut Cut Proportions In the past. Common cutting problems can occur during the faceting process. 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. 3 . The crown will have 33 facets. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. The chart below shows several common problems to look for. Poor Diamond Faceting and Symmetry Due to the mathmatics involved in light refraction. when one incorrect facet angle can throw off the symmetry of the entire stone. Other variations of the "Modern Round Brilliant" include the "Ideal Brilliant" which was invented by Johnson and Roesch in 1929. 64. Only a trained eye could see the quality of a good cut. All of that has changed with the AGS Cut Grading system and GIA's new "Cut Grading System". or 96 facets which are not counted in the total number of facets (58). 80. Fig.
In order for a diamond to receive a "Triple-0" grading. left) are only found in diamonds that meet the American Gem Society Laboratories' "0" Ideal Cut specifications. Proportion) must meet the "ideal" criteria.For a Modern Round Brilliant cut (Tolkowsky Brilliant). N." was invented by Ken Shigetomi and Kazumi Okuda in 1984. The "Ideal" designation is an AGS term that is not found on an GIA report.' while AGS uses a more exacting combination of proportional facet ratios along with raytracing metrics to calculate light return. The shape of the diamond cut is heavily dependent upon the original shape of the rough stone. which gives out much more fire than a real diamond. Cut (Scandinavian Standard) will display a "Hearts and Arrows" pattern when observed through a IdealScope (arrows only). Eppler Cut (European Standard). and its later incarnation. or a Scan D. Symetry. out through the table. However. as two stones could be cut from one crystal. Hearts and Arrows Diamonds A perfectly proportioned ideal cut that is cut to the exacting specifications of a Tolkowsky Cut. 5) are listed below. A diamond cut for too much fire will look like cubic zirconia. all three categories of cut (Polish. Takanori Tamura. The IdealScope was invented by Kazumi Okuda in the 1970's. or a H & A Viewer gemscope (FireScope). 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. A well executed round brilliant cut should reflect the maximum amount light from the interior pavilion facets. 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. GIA vs AGS Cut Grading GIA's new cut-grading system is based on averages that are rounded-up to predict 'light performance. the "FireScope. the quality of the cutter's execution of that shape is of primary importance. The first official H & A "EightStar" diamond was cut in 1985 by Kioyishi Higuchi for Japanese businessman and FireScope manufacturer. Fancy Diamond Cuts The shape of the cut is a matter of personal taste and preference. Emerald . AGS Triple-0 Certification The American Gem Society (AGS) is the industry leader in laboratory testing of round gems for cut grade and quality. making the diamond appear white when viewed from the top. Fig. there is a balance between "brilliance" and "fire". 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 round brilliant cut is preferred when the crystal is an octahedron. 4 Perfectly formed Hearts and Arrows patterns with eight hearts AND eight arrows (above. Several basic diamond shapes (Fig.
Therefor." . "Princess" (square outline). representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. Cut 2. Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics.086 grains) or 0.007 ounce. a 3/4 carat diamond is 75 points. the total mass of all diamonds or gemstones is referred to as "Total Carat Weight" or "T.W. "Marquise" or "Navette" (little boat). a 1/2 carat diamond would be 50 points. CARAT Balancing Cut and Weight A diamond or gemstone's "Carat" designation is a measurement of both the size and weight of the stone. 5 Popular fancy cuts include the "Baguette" (bread loaf). and the Pear.C. A carat can also be divided into "points" with one carat being equal to 100 points. Carat 3. The 4 C's of Diamonds: Carat (Weight) The 4 C's Diamond Grading System 1. Color Carat weight is one of the 4 C's.2 grams (200 milligrams or 3. "Heart.Heart Marquise Oval Pear Princess Radiant Round Trillion (not shown at diagram) Fig." "Briolette" (a form of Rose cut). The "fancy cuts" are generally not held to the same strict standards as Round Brilliants. your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the "4 C's" diamond grading system. and a 2 carat diamond is 200 points. One "Carat" is a unit of mass that is equal to 0. and with each point being 2 milligrams in weight. As a consumer. Clarity 4. When a single piece of jewelry has multiple stones.
5 carat 1. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing.495 carats and .600 12. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place.750 30.99 carat diamond for its better price.500 15. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a . or "seed of the carob". See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between . By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry.800 6. Price Per Carat (2005) .The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration. it must be accurate to the second decimal place.0 carat 3." If the carat weight is shown as ". Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut.204 carat.5º crown.504 carats.600 8. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32. girdle and pavilion.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of . This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only. In ancient times. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity . or to buy a 1. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions.5 carats must have an actual weight of between . a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor.195 and .000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1. clarity and weight.Grade: F Colorless .5 carat 2.VS1 Carat Size</ 0.10 carat diamond for its better cut.600 6. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained. It is for this reason that an even 1. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York. Occasionally. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight. 40º pavilion. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown.0 carat 1. a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight.
making them more apparent."Very Very Small" inclusions. On the other hand.small blemishes VVS-1 . Color Clarity is one of the Four C's. it is important to learn and understand the clarity designations found within the "Four C's" diamond grading system.The Four C's Diamond Grading System 1. therefore reducing its value significantly. may weaken the diamond structurally. and flaws GIA Clarity Grading System The chart below explains the GIA grading system for inclusions and imperfections. In "colorless" diamonds. Diamond Clarity Designations FL . As a consumer. fractures."Small" or "Slight" Inclusions or "Imperfections" may be "eye clean" SI-2 . CLARITY All of the grades of diamond clarity shown in the table below. Clarity 4.not naked eye VS-2 . Considerations in grading the clarity of a diamond include the type of stone."Internally Flawless" no inclusions at 10 x mag."Small" or "Slight" Inclusions or "Imperfections" visible to naked eye SI-3 . VVS1 better than VVS2 VS-1 . Inclusions that are near to. thus minimizing any negative impact of the inclusion. or break the surface. and/or on the surface of the stone. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. it may be possible to hide certain inclusions behind the setting of the diamond (depending on where the inclusion is located). causing a greater drop in grade. Carat 3. . with large Inclusions. The term "Clarity" refers to the presence or absence of tiny imperfections (inclusions) within the stone."Flawless" no inclusions at 10 x magnification IF .Imperfect."Very Small" inclusions visible at 10 x mag. little or no brilliance I1 to I3 ."Very Small" inclusions VS1 is better grade than VS2 SI-1 . light or pale inclusions may show greater relief.Inclusions large and obvious. darker inclusions will tend to create the most significant drop in clarity grade. 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."Very Very Small" inclusions hard to see at 10 x magnification VVS-2 . point size and the location of inclusions. In fancy-colored diamonds. Cut 2. . .
The GIA will not grade fracture-filled diamonds. so they can use greater care while working on the piece.Tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts). vendors should disclose this enhancement. According to Fred Cuellar in his book How to Buy a Diamond." According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides. The drilling process leave tiny telltale shafts or tunnels that are visible under magnification. Knots .Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet. According to FTC guidelines. chips.Diamond Clarity Grade Inflation A fairly common practice in the jewelry trade is grade-inflation or "grade bumping. much like repairing a crack in your car's windshield. External Diamond Inclusions Bearded Girdles .A percussion mark caused by impact.Dislodged pinpoint inclusions at the surface. Bruising .Concentrated area of crystal growth that appear light or dark. Surface Graining .Cloudy grouping of tiny pinpoints that may not resolve at 10X Magnification. or feathers along the outer edge of girdle. Cavities .Irregular crystal growth causing internal distortions.An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing. Laser Drilling Laser drilling involves using a laser to burn a tunnel or hole to a carbon inclusion. Such diamonds are sometimes called "fracture filled diamonds". he or she could legally sell it as a VVS-2. Internal Graining . The heat generated by a blowtorch used to work on settings can cause damage.Rutile-like needle inclusions.Fine cracks. Feathers .Fractures that have been artificially filled. Pits .An inclusion that penetrates the surface. Indented Naturals .Minute crystals within the diamond that appear white. a diamond must be within one clarity grade of its advertised amount at the time of sale. Internal Diamond Inclusions Carbon .Cleavage planes or internal fractures that have the appearance of feathers. followed by acid washing to remove the coloring agent.Inclusions resulting from crystal twining during growth. therefor it is essential to inform anyone working on a setting if the diamond is fracture-filled. If a jeweler sells a diamond that has an actual grade of VS-1.A natural indentation that was not removed by polishing. Chips . Clouds . There is a significant price discount for fracture-filled diamonds. appearing as a raised area. "One out of every three diamonds sold in the United States is laser-drilled. The final clarity grade will be the grade that is assigned after treatment. Reputable companies often provide for repeat treatments if heat causes damage to the filling. in part because the treatment isn't permanent. Pinpoints . Grain Center . Filled Fractures . waviness. The treatment is considered permanent and both the GIA and AGS will issue grades for laser drilled diamonds. haze.Garnet or other Included gem stones Twinning Wisps . Pique . Needles . Diamond Fracture Filling Diamond clarity is sometimes enhanced by filling fractures. fringing. and reputable filling companies will use filling agents which show an orange or pink flash of color.Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation." .
Burn Marks . The designation of SI-3 was popularized by the EGL (European Gemological Laboratory) grading office.Surface burning from heat buildup during polishing. U. Carat 3. The color chart in Fig. W.colorless (white) G. COLOR Most all natural diamonds contain small quantities of nitrogen atoms that displacing the carbon atoms within the crystal's lattice structure. As a consumer. H. Diamonds of this low grade would be inappropriate for jewelry. M .Whitish haziness along the junction of facets caused by wear. it will be beneficial to learn and understand some of the basic parameters for diamond color grading. Neither the GIA nor the AGS (American Gemological Society). the most reputable well known US labs. At present. Scratches . L. I. Nicks . the Gemological Institute of America uses a scale of "D" to "Z" in which "D" is totally colorless and "Z" is yellow. F . P. V. "SI-3" is a grade sometimes used in the diamond industry. Diamond Color Designations D. Clarity 4. Y. Q. E. thereby making the diamond appear yellow. These nitrogen impurities are evenly dispersed throughout the stone. O. The Four Cs of Diamonds: Color The Four Cs Diamond Grading System 1.Small chips at facet junctions.Human Caused Surface Blemishes Abrasions . Cut 2. The higher the amount of nitrogen atoms. assign this grade. absorbing some of the blue spectrum. X. In determining the color rating of a diamond. J . R . Z . T. a Sarin Diamond Color Grading report is the state-of-the-art color measuring standard. 1 explains the GIA grading system for clear (not fancy-colored) stones. Color Color is one of the Four Cs representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond.light yellow or brown Fig. the yellower the stone will appear.Grinding Wheel Marks of scratches from contact with other diamonds.faint yellow or brown N.very light yellow or brown S.near colorless K. 1 .
and dispersion of light (fire) when looking through the table or crown. color grading should be determined by examining the stone through the side of the pavilion (Fig. Fig. 2 Sarin Color Typing is a relatively new sub-classification of the D through Z gading scale. D3. D2. D-Flawless . Fig. Using a Sarin Diamond Colorimeter DC3000 (aka Gran Colorimeter).Due to a diamond's high brilliance. D4.The Holy Grail . India. as in our Fig. it is extremely benificial to know if your 'F' is a strong 'F. and HRD grading scales. sometimes referred to as "white diamonds. GIA-GEM. and D5). 3 example below." "whiter than white." or "D+. Color grading by 'visual-observation is performed against a Master CZ Colored Grading Set." are named after the famous Golconda Diamond Mines located in the state of Hyderabad.' Unfortunatly.' or a borderline 'G. 2). Each classification is divided into five sub-classifications (D1. For the consumer. 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. and not by looking at the top of the stone. These colorless stones. most gem labs do not currently provide color-typing data in their reports and certificates. IGI. jewelers and gem labs can accurately provide a 'color typing' printout of a diamond's color grading that is compatible with AGS.
See Color in Gemstones for more information. This fluorescent effect can be beneficial to a diamond that has a yellow tint. Only around 600 D-flawless roughs are cut into gems weighing between 1 and 2 carats during a given year. Diamond Fluorescence Approximatly 1/3 (35%) of all diamonds have a tendency to fluoresce when exposed to ultra-violet (UV) light. fluorescence can negatively impact the value of the stone by 3% to 20%. Even with microscopic inclusions. others may prefer a "warmer" color found in a G to J range to compliment their skin tone. Skin Tone and Settings While some may prefer a very transparent D to F range. Diamonds: Chemistry & Structural Properties Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Structural Properties of Diamond . as the blue fluorescence will cancel out some of the yellow. diamonds with a visible tint may be preffered. medium. Fluorescence is graded as none." but the diamond will have a dull.Diamond Formation . Ultra-violet light is a component of natural sunlight and artificial 4800k to 5000k color-proofing light. according to the GIA. fewer than 5. When diamonds are viewed under a UV light-source. On the other hand. In some settings with various combinations of other stones.Large D-flawless diamonds (those weighing more than 2 carats) are some of the rarest minerals on earth. For diamonds with a color grading of D through H (colorless). making the diamond appear "colorless. they tend to fluoresce as blue. so this effect will be more apparent under natural daylight than under artificial incandescent light. murky appearance when compared to a non-fluorescing diamond. and strong. diamonds with a poorer color grading (I through K). fluorescence could increase the value by 0% to 2% buy improving the color (or lack thereof).000 D-color diamonds weighing over half a carat are found each year. faint.
42. ultramafic. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon. diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine. or "invincible. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits. Under the continental crust." "untamable. and differentiates it from simple graphite." and "unconquerable.52. a refractive index of 2. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical.044.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses. Deep within the earth's crust there are regions that have a high enough temperature (900¼C to 1400¼C) and pressure (5 to 6 GPa) that it is thermodynamically possible for liquified carbon to form into diamonds. and a specific gravity of 3. The name "diamond. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe. which resemble a champagne flute. Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures. Therefore." which is also known as "adamant. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes.200 degrees Celsius)." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic. olivine." referring to its incredible hardness. and pyroxene. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km). igneous rock composed of garnet. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0." is derived from the Greek adamas. A diamond is a transparent. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms. . phlogopite. At these depths. Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth. with the principle allotrope being graphite. Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness. with a variety of trace minerals.Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" .
The material "boron nitride. does not always reflect the internal arrangement of its atoms. and a hardness value of 231 GPa (±5) when scratched with a diamond tip. When a gemstone has an irregular external shape or asymmetrical arrangement of its crystal facets. or carbon dioxide. A diamond's incredible hardness was the subject of curiosity dating back to the Roman empire." This means that diamond crystals usually "grow" in an orderly and symmetrical arrangement. Additionally. it is termed as "subhedral. perfectly formed crystals are rare. may also be as hard or harder than diamond. or dodecahedral." when found in a crystalline form that is structurally similar to diamond. where it was shown to combust in scientific experiments. with the end byproduct of the combustion being carbonic-acid gas. a currently hypothetical material. beta carbon nitride. Experimentation during the late 18th century demonstrated that diamonds were made of carbon. above)." . a predictable crystal growth pattern known as its "crystal habit. by igniting a diamond in an oxygen atmosphere. and crystal habit of a diamond is octahedral (photo. is nearly as hard as diamond. octahedral. although in nature. and therefore. The external shape of the crystal." or "anhedral. although the reason for its combustion was not understood at the time.A Type 2-A diamond has a hardness value of 167 GPa (±6) when scratched with an ultrahard fullerite tip. Diamond Crystal Habit Diamonds have a characteristic crystalline structure. whether it is cubic. The natural crystal form.
Hematite has a hardness of only 5. Diamond Graphitization In extremely high temperature environments above 1700 ¡C. graphite can develop internally and on the diamond's surface. and varying growth conditions of heat. yet sapphire has a toughness rating of excellent. most scratch resistant mineral on earth. Many natural blue . sapphire has a hardness rating of 9. and "pound-force" per square-inch in US units of measurement. Thermal Properties of Diamonds Diamond is a good conductor of heat. its "toughness" rating is moderate. pressure and space can also affect the final shape of a formed crystal. Although diamond is the "hardest. making it seem cold.© AGS Labs Hexagonal (Graphite) Platelet Inclusion .© AGS Labs Diamond Toughness Within the fields of metallurgy and materials science. Carbon Inclusion .5 to 6. and therefore may be uninsurable by reputable insurance companies. crystal twinning. very thin girdles on brilliant cut diamonds are also prone to breakage. A material's toughness is measured in units of "joules" per cubic meter (J/m3) in the SI system. but its toughness rating is also excellent. Unlike "hardness." which only denotes a diamond's high resistance to scratching. The culet facet at the bottom of the pavilion. By comparrison. Particular cuts of diamond are more prone to breakage along cleavage planes. a diamond's "toughness" is only fair to good.Trace impurities. acting as a "thermal conductor. Additionally." and therefore. causing stress fractures or feathers.5." If you were to place a large enough diamond on your tongue it would draw heat away. with a Mohs scale rating of 10. Internally formed crystallographic graphite inclusions often create intense strain on the surrounding diamond. due to its ability to fracture along cleavage planes. the term "toughness" describes the resistance of a given material to fracture when it is stressed or impacted. meaning that a diamond is 4 times "harder" than sapphire. is a facet specifically designed to resist breakage.
Optical Properties of Diamond: Type I & Type II Diamonds Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Surface Luster of Diamond Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. which means unyielding. Due to diamond's high thermal conductance. . to prevent silicon and other semiconducting materials from overheating. or having the hardness or luster of a diamond. Electromagnetic Properties of Diamond . electronic circuits could be manufactured from diamonds in the future . The word luster traces its origins back to the Latin word lux. giving off a somewhat greasy sheen. Natural blue diamonds containing boron atoms. Purified synthetic diamond can have the highest thermal conductivity (2000-2500 W/m-K) of any solid material at room temperature . The term adamantine describes the way light interacts with the surface of a crystal. or longer-wavelength photons.com The surface luster (or "lustre") of diamond is described as adamantine. inflexible. re-emitting them as lower-energy. increasing thermal conductance. Fluorescence in Diamonds Fluorescence is an optical phenomenon in which a diamond's molecules absorb high-energy photons. If an n-type semiconductor can be synthesized.Insulators or Semiconductors Diamond is a relatively good electrical insulator. which are in fact semiconductors. gloss.nearly five times greater than pure copper. and synthetic diamonds that are doped with boron. or brilliance. are known as p-type semiconductors. and generally implies radiance.diamonds contain boron atoms which replace carbon atoms within the crystal matrix. it is used in the manufacturing of semiconductors. with the exception of natural blue diamonds. meaning "light".
All Type 1 diamonds have nitrogen atoms as their main impurity." with a refractive index of 2. permitting the passage and reflectance of blue light. and are classified as Type 1-B. show no fluorescence. Cloud Inclusion Under UV . If the nitrogen atoms are grouped in clusters they do not necessarily affect the diamond's overall color. a natural diamond may contains both Type 1-A and Type 1-B material. and appear dark when exposed to ultra-violet light or X-rays. These rare diamonds have a lower nitrogen content. Type I & Type II Diamonds As many as 99% of all natural diamonds are classified as Type I. Typically. This illusion of color is caused by the varying optics effects created by spectral dispersion. classifying them as Type IIb diamonds. red. and contain nitrogen atoms as an impurity. There are also two subcategories (a and b) within each diamond 'type' (either Type I or Type II) that are based on a stone's electrical conductivity. or brown coloration. due primarily to certain structural anomalies arising from "plastic deformation" which occurred during their formation. which replace some carbon atoms within the crystal lattice structure. they can give the stone a yellow tint. Diamond Refraction & Coloration Diamonds are "singly refractive. . particularly Canadian diamonds. greenish or yellow fluorescence when exposed to the X-ray wavelength. and thereby making the diamond appear yellow. making them appear 'colorless' (D).417. Some diamond varieties. Type II Diamond Formation Certain diamonds were formed under extremely high pressure for longer time periods. with very high thermal conductivity. and give off a bluish-white. thereby allowing the passage of short-wave ultra-violet (SWUV) light through the stone.© AGS Labs Type I UV Fluorescence .© AGS Labs Type IIa diamonds are very rare." and refraction. These Type IIa diamonds have a near-perfect crystal structure making them highly transparent and colorless.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. Natural blue Type II diamonds containing scattered boron impurities within their crystal matrix are good conductors of electricity. Type II diamonds do not contain any detectable nitrogen. or "fire. These Nitrogen impurities found in Type I diamonds are evenly dispersed throughout the gemstone. Diamond can exhibit pseudochromatic coloration giving the appearance of "color" without having any actual color in the mineral itself. absorbing some of the blue spectrum. while Type II diamonds that lack boron impurities are classified as Type IIa. If the nitrogen atoms are dispersed evenly throughout the crystal. and some of the finest historical gemstones such as the Cullinan and Koh-i-Noor are both Type IIa diamonds. Man-made synthetic diamonds containing nitrogen are classified as Type 1-B. and they are classified as Type 1-A. Some Type IIa diamonds can be found with pink.
green (Ocean Dream). steel grey. Colorless diamonds would normally be priced much higher than yellow diamonds. the intensity of the color in the diamond can plays a significant role in its value. it enters the realm of a "Fancy Color" diamond. when a diamond's color is more intense than the "Z" grading. or yellow diamond may have a relatively low value when compared to a colorless diamond. Green & Cognac Fancy Colored Diamond Diamonds can occur in all colors of the spectrum. radiation exposure (green diamonds) or irregular growth patterns within the crystal (pink. pink. and red (Hancock Diamond) are particularly valuable. brown. Fancy Colored Diamonds: Pink. However. red. blue. Fancy Diamond Color Hues A fancy brown (or Fancy Cognac). green. blue (Hope Diamond). Yellow. fancy pink diamonds can command very high prices as they have become increasingly popular. In this case. green. 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. and therefor colorless. Once thought to be of little value. Blue. . while chemically "pure" diamonds are basically transparent. boron (blue diamonds). Diamond Color & Composition Diamonds can occur in a wide variety of colors: colorless or white. brown diamonds). It is this nitrogen component that produces the color of fancy yellow diamonds. and their color is due to trace impurities of nitrogen and/or hydrogen (yellow. and black.Diamond Refraction & Light Dispersion Diamonds can also exhibit allochromatic coloration which is caused by chromophores from the nitrogen trace impurities found within crystalline structure. red diamonds). All colored diamonds contain certain specific impurities and/or structural defects that cause their coloration. However. orange. yellow. certain fancy-colored diamonds such as pink (Condé).
Pink (Brownish-pink) 1 is darkest PC3 to PC1 .S to Z Fancy Light . and most valuable Fancy Yellow diamonds in the world is the 'Tiffany Diamond. and was cut into a 128.' found in Kimberly. The GIA grades fancy diamond color by quantifying the saturation. halogen.Cognac 8 is darkest Chameleon Diamonds There is a very rare olive-grayish color-changing diamond called "Chameleon Diamond" (below. having a pure magenta color with deep saturation. hue. yet considerably more expensive. As the numbers go lower (8PP) the color is paler. sold at a greater discount. 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. causing microscopic imperfections within the lattice structure.Champagne 3 is darkest C8 to C1 . Only 1% to 2% of the diamonds produced at the Argyle Mine are high-quality pink specimens. Pink diamonds are similar to pink sapphire in color. Fancy Pink/Brown Diamond Color (Hue) Designations 1PP to 8PP . 1PP is the highest quality designation for Pink Diamond. An 1P designation would have less blue and more brownish-red.Highest Saturation One of the largest.42 carats. daylight) and ambient temperature changes.Pink (Reddish-pink) 1 is darkest 1BP to 8BP . The rough stone weighed 287. which are generally less appreciated than other fancy colors and therefor. and value (darkness) using nine classifications ranging from 'Faint' to 'Vivid. South Africa in 1878. which changes hue from grayish-blue or olive-green to yellowish-green or straw-yellow under different lighting conditions (darkness.M Very Light . left). This Chameleon-like phenomenon was first documented by the GIA in the early 1940s.N to R Light .Start of 'Fancy' Fancy Fancy Dark Fancy Intense Fancy Deep Fancy Vivid . Pink Diamonds The pink color within these rare diamonds is due to irregular crystal growth patterns. One of the world's only major sources for rare pink diamonds is the Argyle Mine in Australia.' GIA 'Fancy Yellow' Diamond Color Saturation Designations Faint . .Pink (Magenta-pink) 1 is darkest 1P to 8P . bright light). lighting color temperatures (incandescent. have become more commonplace as Australian colored diamonds have gained in popularity.Brown diamonds.54 carat cushion cut with an estimated value in the millions of dollars.
Intense. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13. or a combination of the two. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa.000 in 1987. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color.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).com) Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems.95carats. pure green hues. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil. and the De Young Red weighing 5. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds. On thing is certain. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness . as in the one-of-a-kind 5. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant. and weighed a modest 0. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds.90 carats. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize.000 per carat.com) The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond.' discovered during the 18th century. The color change effect is temporary. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits. Green diamonds can range from $35. greyish-green. Warren Hancock. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities. . so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply.000 to $500. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation.03 carats.
Inclusions which are not visible to the naked eye (eye clean) fall into the GIA range of "IF" (Internally Flawless) to "SI2" (Small Inclusions). and man-made imperfections—that can be found in raw and cut diamonds. Diamond Inclusion Library: Inclusion Photos Over 100 High-Resolution Diamond Photos! All Contents: Copyright © 2010 AllAboutGemstones. making the stone appear yellowish. Joe Vanells. representing the four main variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. E. F grades. and beautifully photographed by their Director of Gem Services. 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. Inclusions which are visible to the naked eye are referred to as piquŽ. or on the surface of the cut stone. 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.G. and can be naturally occuring.com Clarity is one of the Four C's of diamond grading. gemological testing laboratory in Las Vegas. or human caused. The term "clarity" refers to the presence. It is for this reason that manufacturers of synthetic diamonds tend to specialize in fancy colors.S.Reddish Brown Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. This section contains a compendium of photography depicting all of the various types of diamond inclusions—both naturally occurring.com) Enhanced Blue & Yellow Diamonds (© AfricaGems.com) Fancy Colored Synthetic Diamonds Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless D." These inclusions can occur within the stone. Nevada. and so-called "piquŽ diamonds" fall into the GIA grading range of I1 to I3 (CIBJO grade P1 to P3).L. or absence of tiny imperfections known as "inclusions.
.Internal Diamond Inclusion Photos Carbon Tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts). PiquŽ Carbon Inclusion Photos Internal Carbon Pique Diamond Inclusion Photography Piqué are tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts) within diamonds. pyrrhotite and pentlandite. pyrrhotite and pentlandite. Black material found within internal fracture planes can also be crystallographic inclusions of graphite. Black or dark material found within a diamond's internal fracture planes can also be particles or crystallographic inclusions of graphite. ferropericlase. ferropericlase.
Microscopic Carbon Picque Inclusions Hexagonal Platelet Inclusion in Trillion Cut Diamond .
Clouds (Cld) A dense grouping of tiny pinpoints that create a cloudy zone which may not resolve as individual pinpoints at 10X Magnification.Carbon piqué inclusions are sometimes removed by diamond enhancements such as laser drilling. Nevada. All of the microscopic diamond carbon inclusion photography on this page was generously contributed by the AGSL gemological testing laboratory in Las Vegas. Cloud Inclusion Photos Diamond Internal Cloud Inclusion Photography Cloud Inclusions (Cld) within a diamond are caused by a tightly packed grouping of tiny pinpoints that resemble clouds or cloudiness. which can leave their own types of unique inclusions. and is reproduced with their permission. Internal cloud inclusions may not resolve as pinpoints at 10X .
. These pinpoint cloud inclusions can have a dramatic effect on the clarity and brilliance of a faceted diamond as they interfere with the refraction of light within the stone.Magnification.
Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.
Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.
Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.
Feather inclusions are common around included crystals such as garnet. which cause internal stress fractures during crystal growth. Feather Inclusion Photos Internal Diamond Feather Inclusion Photography Feather inclusions (Ftr) are caused by cleavage planes or internal stress fractures that have the appearance of wispy feathers.Feathers (Ftr) Cleavage planes or internal stress fractures that have the appearance of feathers. Common around included crystals. Feather inclusions can be accompanied by internal graining and/or twinning wisp inclusions. .
.Feather inclusions caused by stress fractures around included garnet crystal.
diamonds with significant stress fractures and feather should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner as this could cause the diamond to shatter. and the stress inclusion occurs along the gem's natural cleavage plane. making it susceptible to fracturing when exposed to thermal or physical shock.Pronounced stress fractures and feather inclusions can potentially weaken the stone. . This is especially true if the fracture breeches the stone's surface. As a result.
. 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.Grain Center (GrCnt) A concentrated area of crystal growth that can appear light or dark. and haze within a cut diamond.
Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .
Growth Tubes Imperfection formed during crystal growth. 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.
Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .
olivine. 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. spinel. calcite. silica or other gem stone inclusions. spinel. iron oxides. iron oxides. diopside. calcite.Included Crystals (Xtl) Included and undigested gemstones or fragments of garnet. olivine. Green chrome diopside Inclusion within a Diamond . or silica.
Garnet Inclusions within Diamond .
Garnet fragment on Diamond Girdle .
Grossularite Garnet Inclusions in Diamond .
Internal Graining (IntGr) Irregular crystal growth causing internal distortions, waviness, and/or haze. Can be accompanied by internal strain. Internal Graining Inclusion Photos
Internal Graining Diamond Inclusion Photography
Internal Graining (IntGr) inclusions are caused by irregular crystal growth which creates internal distortions, waviness, or haze. Internal Graining imperfections may be accompanied by internal strain such as feather Inclusions.
Internal Graining with Cloud Inclusion .
With internal laser-drilling inclusions. the drilled passage may not breach the cut diamond's surface. Internal Laser Drilling Inclusion Photos Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) Inclusion Photography Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) inclusions are man-made internal flaws that resulted from laser-drilling that was done to remove large piquŽ carbon inclusions in a rough stone. .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.
Needles (Ndl) Rutile-like needle-shaped inclusions. Needle Inclusion Photos Needle Inclusion Photography Internal Needles (Ndl) or needle inclusions are naturally occurring rutile-like needle shaped inclusions within the diamond. .
.Pinpoints (Pp) Minute crystals within the diamond that appear white. Pinpoint Inclusion Photos Pinpoints (Pp) Inclusion Photography Internal Pinpoints (Pp). or Pinpoint Inclusions are minute included crystals within the diamond that appear white under magnification. Large groupings of small pinpoints can create a cloud inclusion effect. Large groupings of small pinpoints can create a cloud effect.
Can be accompanied by graining and strain. Twinning Wisp inclusions can be accompanied by internal graining and/or strain feathers. resulting from crystal twining during the growth process.Twinning Wisps Inclusions and defects resulting from crystal-twining during crystal growth. . Twinning Wisp Inclusion Photos Twinning Wisps Inclusion Photography Twinning Wisp inclusions are naturally-occurring structural defects with a diamond.
. showing the strange and beautiful world of microscopic diamond inclusions.Odds & Ends: Microscopic Diamond Inclusion Beauty Photos Microscopic Diamond Inclusion Photography This is an assortment of spectacular diamond-inclusion photography taken by Joe Vanells.
Natural Comet Inclusion .
Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud .
Tabular Reflection in Diamond .
Included Garnet Twins within Diamond .
Included Dalmatian Garnet .
Cloud Inclusion .
Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers .
Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light .
Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion .
appearing as a raised area. Knot diamond inclusions can potentially be the cause of man-made drag-line inclusions. appearing as a raised area on the diamond's surface.Natural External Diamond Inclusions or Blemishes Knots An inclusion that penetrates the surface. . Knot Inclusion Photos Photography of Diamond Inclusion Knots Knot inclusions are naturally occurring external inclusions or imperfections that penetrate the surface (convex).
Indented Natural Inclusion Photos Indented Natural (IndN) Diamond Inclusion Photography Indented Natural (IndN) inclusions (indented naturals) are external imperfections that are caused by naturally-occurring recessed (concave) indentations that penetrate the surface of a rough diamond.Indented Natural (IndN) A naturally occurring indentation in the crystal that was not removed during cutting or polishing. . and were not fully removed during the stone's cutting or polishing process.
Lizard Skin A bumpy or wavy 'orange-peel' textured pattern on the polished surface of a diamond. Lizard Skin Inclusion Photos Lizard Skin Diamond Surface Blemish Photography A "lizard skin" surface blemish is a man-made external diamond imperfection that is created during polishing. The lizard-skin effect is caused by an orange-peel texture. . made up of a bumpy or wavy pattern on the polished surface of a diamond.
. 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. and remain 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.
fringing. Bruising (Br) A percussion mark or hole caused by impact and surrounded by tiny feathers. or feathers along the outer edge of girdle. creating a whitish fuzzy edge as opposed to a sharp edge.Human Caused Surface Blemishes Abrasion (Abr) A tightly grouped series of nicks along the sharp edge of facet junctions. chips. Bearded Girdle (BG) Fine cracks. .
during cutting and/or polishing the diamond. Drag Line Photos Diamond Surface Drag Lines Photography Drag Lines are human-caused surface imperfections and blemishes that are created when a loose rough particle is dragged along the surface. Chips Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet. or caught by a included crystal. . Cavities (Cv) An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing. or when abrasive material is caught by an included crystal such as garnet during the polishing of a diamond.Burn Marks Created during polishing. the overheating of a facet causes a burn mark. Drag Lines Created when a rough particle is dragged along the surface.
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. Filled Fracture Photos Internal Fracture Filling Inclusion Photography Fracture-filling Inclusions are man-made diamond enhancements that are the result of natural cleavage-plane stress fractures or feathers which have been artificially filled with molten glass to enhance clarity. This microscopic photograph shows the telltale orange or pink flash of a filled fracture enhancement within a cut diamond. .
Laser Etching or Markings Careless or inadvertent laser etchings. and inscriptions. marking. . markings. or inscribing the external surface of a cut diamond. Laser Etching Photos Diamond Laser Etching Inscription Photography Laser etching inclusions are surface blemishes and imperfections that are created when careless or inadvertent markings or inscriptions are made while laser etching.
Polish Lines (PL) Fine parallel surface groves resulting from the polishing process. 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 ." whitish film on the surface of a facet caused by excessive heat during polishing.
but not necessarily increase its value. in accordance with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines for the gem trade. but instead attempt to hide their visual effect.© AGS Lab Diamonds that have been altered or enhanced by Fracture Filling and/or Laser Drilling should always be labeled and their "improvements" identified to the potential consumer. There are also heating treatments to improve a white diamond's color grade. or treatments to give a fancy color to a off-white diamond. polished natural diamonds. Diamond Fracture Filling Diamond clarity is sometimes improved and enhanced by filling tiny fractures or feathers with molten glass.© AGS Lab Telltale Signs of Fracture Filling . or removed by employing several invasive techniques from fracture filling to laser drilling. altered. which are designed to improve the visual or gemological characteristics of the stone." Reputable filling companies will always use filling agents which show an orange or pink flash of color when viewed under a microscope with certain controlled lighting conditions. much like you would repair a crack in a car's windshield glass. Such diamonds are sometimes then branded as "fracture filled diamonds. Minor diamond inclusions or surface imperfections which are not visible to the naked eye ("VVS1" to "SI2") can be disguised. These techniques do not eliminate the imperfection. .Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Enhanced Diamonds Diamond "enhancements" are specific treatments performed on cut. A trained gemologist should be able to identify most traditional "enhancements" made to a particular stone. Unfilled Fractures around Garnet Inclusion .
It is therefor essential to inform anyone working on a setting where the diamond has been fracture-filled.© AGS Lab Laser Drilling Tubes . in part because the treatment isn't permanent." Diamond Color Treatment Color enhancement of diamonds in done to increase the color intensity of so-called "fancy" colored diamonds. and the GIA will not even grade a fracture-filled diamond. and both the GIA and AGS will issue grades for laser drilled diamonds. Signs of Laser Drilling . referred to as the HTHP process.There should always be a significant price discount for any diamond that has been fracture-filled. so that the jeweler can use greater care while working on the piece.© AfricaGems. The final clarity grade will be the grade that is assigned after treatment.com Color Enhanced Diamonds .© AGS Lab The laser-drilling treatment is considered permanent. or subjecting the diamond to intense pressure and temperature. Natural Fancy Diamonds . Reputable filling companies will often provide repeat treatments if heat causes damage to the filling. . followed by acid washing to remove the coloring agent. "vivid" blue and yellow colors result. The drilling process leave tiny telltale shafts or tunnels that are visible under high magnification (see photos below). the heat generated by a blowtorch used to work on settings can cause damage to the filling material.com Radiation treatments are completely safe. Diamonds treated with HTHP have their molecular altered so that intense. According to Fred Cuellar in his book How to Buy a Diamond. These enhancements are achieved using low levels of radiation (irradiation). and the diamonds are tested to ensure that no trace levels of radiation remain. Due to its low melting-point. Laser Drilling of Diamonds Laser drilling involves the use of a laser to burn a tunnel or hole down to any dark carbon inclusions or piquŽ.© AfricaGems. "One out of every three diamonds sold in the United States is laser-drilled.
and the Chemical Vapor Deposition or "CVD" method.Synthetic Diamonds & Man-Made Diamond Simulants Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite The First Synthetic Diamonds Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. The first practical commercial application of Moissan's process was developed in 1954. the intense heat would render the crucible and its carbon contents into a molten liquid mass. Using an electric furnace constructed with blocks of lime. yet they have the identical carbon-based chemical properties of natural diamond. tiny fragments of synthetic diamond were created by heating charcoal. These man-made synthetic diamonds are a laboratory-grown simulation of the natural gemstone. known as the HTHP (high-temperature. by H.© AGS Labs Today. This abrupt cooling caused the rapid shrinkage of the molten iron crucible. there are two main processes for creating lab diamonds: the High-Temperature High-Pressure or "HTHP" method.Tracy Hall for the General Electric Company. Once the desired temperature had been achieved. The process. lab diamonds) was first conceived by French chemist Henri Moissan in 1892. or carbon to an extremely high temperature (4000º C) in a cast iron crucible. Although synthetic diamonds were originally conceived as a substitute for natural industrial-grade diamonds. and has been steadily improved upon throughout the last 50 years. which created enough pressure to crystallize the molten carbon into tiny diamond fragments. With Moissan's process.© AGS Labs Synthetic Yellow Chatham Diamond . high-pressure) "belt press" process was used for synthesizing industrial-grade diamonds. the crucible and its contents were rapidly cooled by immersing them into cold water. they are increasingly used in fine jewelry as their quality increases. Synthetic Diamond under Fluorescent .com The process of creating man-made diamonds (aka cultured diamonds. .
Geminaire In the early 1900's. Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) The "Chemical Vapor Deposition" (CVD) method was developed during the 1980s. or "deposited" onto the substrate in successive layers. Diamonte." uses a four-anvil 'tetrahedral press. In the late 1940's Diamondite gave way to Synthetic Rutile which was popular until the advent of YAG in the early 1970's. Lustergem. Thrilliant Synthetic Spinel (1920-1947) Corundolite. The vaporized carbon gases are energized using microwave energy. synthetic diamonds may contain small inclusions. Common diamond simulants include: Cubic Zirconia (CZ) (1976-) Czarite. Diamonaire. Synthetic diamonds can also be treated with the HTHP process to alter the optical properties of the stones. With the advent of Cubic Zirconia in the mid 1970's. the diamond's entire growth process takes several days to complete. the HTHP diamond's growth process can take 7 to 10 days to complete. and Moissanite in 1998. Fabulite Synthetic Rutile (1946-1955) Diamothyst. making them difficult to differentiate from natural diamonds. or by measuring UV fluorescence with a DiamondView tester. A cultured synthetic diamond will have the identical cleavage. hardness. but are not a carbonbased compound having a natural diamond's crystalline structure. a seed or substrate material is placed into the growth camber. Radient Yttrium Aluminum Garnet (YAG) (1970-1975) Diamone. Using Chemical Vapor Deposition. Diamonite. refractive index. which attracts the gas to the substrate. Rutania. With CVD. and uses a lowerpressure growth environment than the earlier HTHP method. Titangem Synthetic Sapphire (1900-1947) Diamondette. Diamond Simulants Diamond "simulants. Java Gem. Phianite Gadolinium Gallium Garnet (GGG) (1972-1975) Strontium Titanate (ST) (1955 . Diamondite. light dispersion. ultraviolet. or "simulate" the appearance of natural diamonds. 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." also known as "simulated diamonds" or "fake diamonds" are man-made gemstones that look like. and a combination of heat and pressure are applied while a vaporized carbon-plasma that is combined with hydrogen is applied. produced using the Verneuil (flame-fusion) Process. also known as "GE POL. A diamond seed is placed into a growth camber. ranging in clarity from IF to SI or I. most of these lesser simulants fell by the wayside. specific gravity.' or six-anvil 'cubic press' to create the necessary pressure. Synthetic Diamond Manufacturers Apollo Diamonds . Unlike their natural diamond counterparts. Like natural diamond. colorless synthetic sapphire (aka Diamondite) was a popular diamond simulant. These impurities absorb the blue end of the light spectrum. and surface luster as its natural diamond counterpart. Rainbow Diamond.1970) Diagem. Diamond Essence. Synthetic diamonds can be detected using infrared. Magalux. making the stone appear yellowish. 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. Synthetic Diamond Color & Optics Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless form. or X-ray spectroscopy. Jourado Diamond.High-Temperature High-Pressure (HTHP) The "High-Temperature High-Pressure" (HTHP) technique.
gemesis. www. Tairus produces rough sizes from . and each cut stone is laser inscribed with the Apollo company logo and serial number.25 carats is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number.com Tairus Created Gems Tairus Created Gems is a Russian company that grows fancy-colored diamonds in their proprietary "Split Sphere" system. using a proprietary variation of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) technique. while diamond has a hardness of 10.chatham. princess. which they claim is the closest thing to mother nature. To insure easy identification as a man-made product. The Split Sphere system crystalizes the carbon seed in an alkaline. and like Chatham. and rose cuts.apollodiamond.com Gemesis Cultured Diamonds Gemesis is located in Sarasota.30 carats to 3 carats. carbonate fluid solution that is similar to diamond-bearing metamorphic rock. Apollo Diamond's cut stones are available in round brilliant. Apollo Diamonds are cut and polished in sizes ranging from . and CZ has a hardness of only 8. .3 on the Mohs scale. Ltd. Massachusetts grows colorless (D to M) diamonds. with clarity grades from IF to SI. inc. and stones are cut to order. The toughness of Cubic Zirconia is rated as good. www. Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is the most familiar type of diamond simulant on the market. in Boston. and each stone is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. each Gemesis cut stone over . and some fancy colored diamonds.com To the average consumer. Gemesis only grows fancy-colored diamonds. Chatham's pricing ranges from $6. Cubic Zirconia (Zirconium Oxide ZrO2) has a completely different chemical structure. emerald.500 to $9. www. Florida. of Bangkok Thailand.25 carats to 1 carat.Apollo Diamond. Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite Cubic Zirconia Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.com Chatham Created Diamonds Chatham Gems is a San Francisco based company that grows only fancy-colored diamonds in colors ranging from champagne and canary yellow to pink and midnight blue.500 per carat (2004 est. Tairus Created Gems are sold exclusively through Tairus Thailand Co.).. While a synthetic diamond is a man-made recreation of an actual carbon-based diamond.
candle. Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting. Zirconium oxide powder is heated. . Unlike most natural diamonds. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond .) in a totally dark room. For instance. 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. Once the mixture has cooled. The 1. Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond.80 to 2.17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left). or colorless (white) versions. etc.41 (RI). The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. natural diamond is a thermal conductor Weight: Cubic Zirconia is heavier than diamond in a given size Another method for distinguishing Cubic Zirconia from diamond is to mark the stone with a grease pencil or felt-tipped pen. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight.2. CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1. a CZ is optically flawless. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible. or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones.800 .417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator.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. Due to their low cost and consistency. and CZs can be made in any "color grade. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing.170. Natural diamonds attract grease. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below).In 1973. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease. CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds. the greater dispersive power. Diamond's RI is 2. CZ vs Diamond . 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. but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR).
rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective.com Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. Henri Moissan (above. . candle.) in a dark room. Moissanite has an RI of 2. is classified as an element rather than a compound.25 on the Mohs scale. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. 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. etc. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. Moissanite has a hardness of 9.69. Arizona. found only in iron-nickel meteorites. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite.060. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0.104 as compared to CZ at 0. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused.670. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. 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. when examining the gem through the kite facets.044.A small. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible.417. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. and diamond at 0. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond. while diamond has a hardness of 10. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. Moissanite. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index. center) near Winslow.65 to 2. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI.
A similarly sharp. Moissanite vs Diamond ." As further refinement progressed. diamonds were used in their natural octahedral state. Diamond cutting can be traced back to the late Middle Ages. Table Cut diamonds appeared black to the eye.670. although it can be easily cleaved or fractured due to its defined cleavage planes. which was called the "Point Cut. diamonds were valued primarily for their luster and hardness. rather than against it. The first improvements on nature's design involved a polishing of the crystal faces. Prior to this time." At the time. creating the "Table Cut. due to its high refractive index. most diamonds have some inclusions Moissanite vs Diamond . diamond is singly refractive Refractive Index: Moissanite has a refractive index of 2." and the rough stone must be cut with the grain. Cutting a Rough Diamond . detailed and sharply focused pattern caused by secondary reflections will be seen when observing a diamond.417 Moissanite is double refractive (anisotropic) while a natural diamond is singly refractive (isotropic). Diamond's RI is 2. Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be more diffused. one half of the crystal would be cut off. diamond has a "grain.Detectable With Testing Double Refraction: Moissanite is double refractive. only a diamond is hard enough to cut other diamonds. The Modern Round Brilliant cut (below) is the culmination of several hundred years of experimentation and development. caused by primary reflections from the pavilion and CZ's low RI. 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.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.A small. but significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its high RI. Like wood. Diamonds: Modern Diamond Cutting Diamond Cutting Background One of the hardest substances on earth.
High-tech computerized helium and oxygen analyzers are now used to evaluate a stone prior to cutting. then a "brillianteer" will cut and polish the remaining 40 facets. rounding the rough diamond into a conical shape. Cleaving is a critical step as a mistake by the "cleaver" could fracture. Asymmetrical crystals such as macles are used primarily for fancy cuts. or shatter the stone. As the saw blade rotates it continues to pickup or "recharge" itself with diamond dust which is the cutting agent. Cleavage is the tendency of crystalline materials to split along defined cleavage plane.Cutting a raw diamond into a faceted and polished gem-quality stone is a multi-step process. Each step is critical to the final outcome. 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. Bruting: The rough is placed in a chuck on a lathe. It can take several hours for the saw blade to cut through a 1k rough diamond. and maintain symmetry. Sawing: A stone-cutting saw is a thin disk made of phosphor bronze. A rough stone is cleaved if there are conspicuous defects and/or inclusions which would prevent it from being made into a single gemstone. Diamonds: Ideal Cut . eliminate waste. During this faceting stage the angles of each facet must be cut to an exacting standard in order to yield maximum brilliancy. Cleaving: Cleaving refers to splitting a stone along its grain by striking it. on a scaife. and bypass any inclusions or imperfections. or lap that has been "charged" with diamond dust. 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. Due to its atomic structure. Cubic shapes are ideal for a square Princess or Radiant cut." Faceting: To facet a round brilliant.Modern Round Brilliant Diamond . a second diamond mounted on a dop is pressed against it. This step is also referred to as "rounding. a diamond can be cleaved in four directions parallel to each of the four octahedron crystal faces. The cutting (also called "placing") and polishing of each facet is accomplished by attaching the stone to a dop stick with cement. The natural shape of the rough stone will also be a major factor in deciding how to cut the stone. While the rough stone rotates on the diamond lathe. then pressing it against a revolving cast iron disk.
elimination of any inclusions. This is accomplished by reconciling three key factors . If. 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. The objective is always to maximize carat weight.com When deciding how to cut a rough diamond.weight retention. Reconciling Cut & Weight Retention If the rough stone has a colorless D through F rating and has very few inclusions. on the other hand. The clarity of the stone. cut proportions.Ideal Cut vs Standard Cut Diamond Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. it may be better to aim for a higher carat weight utilizing a "Standard" cut. and the amount of internal inclusions will play an important part in the decisions as to how to maximize yield. An octehedral rough diamond will yield two round brilliant cut stones (see diagram below). Parameters Ideal Cut Standard (Premium) Cut Rough Material Loss Finished Stones Cutting Time Crown Symmetry Greater Loss Lower Carat Weight 2 to 4 Days Ideal Higher Yield Higher Carat Weight 1 to 2 Days Shallow Crown . a cutter must make a cost-benefit analysis as to how to maximize the cut stone's value. compromises would have to be made.
you will see that there are 8 "star" facets. it is the best cut for showcasing a high-quality stone's fire and brilliance. and 2. This cut is also known as the "Tolkowsky Cut" and "Tolkowsky Brilliant. This is why it is very rare to see flawless stones cut into fancy cuts such as emeralds. hearts. etc. it is the most efficient cut for maximizing yield. An "Ideal Cut". as two stones could be cut from one crystal. This is primarily due to the fact that this cut has yet to be improved on for two reasons: 1. In the diagram of a "Round Cut" diamond (above and below)." Even with modern techniques. The Modern Round Brilliant Cut The modern "Round Brilliant Cut" (below) was developed by Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem. 16 "upper girdle" facets. the cutting and polishing of a diamonds resulted in a loss of as much as 50% of the stone's total weight. 8 "pavilion" facets. and one "table" facet on the top of the stone for a total of 58 facets. 1 "culet" facet on the bottom. 8 "kite" facets.Pavilion Symmetry Girdle Symmetry Ideal Ideal Deep Pavilion Thick Girdle When dealing with a near-perfect (or flawless) stone the cut that is generally preferred is the classic "round brilliant" cut. The round brilliant cut is beneficial when the crystal is an octahedron. 16 "lower girdle" facets. "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: .
" (Scandinavian standard. To quantify a diamond's cut quality.N.N. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut. etc. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. invented in 1929. very small to small In the 1970s.5% to 43.7%. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design. Symmetry. and overall height of 57. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant". The "Scan D. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed.' 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. H&A Viewer. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%.7%. Ideal Scope. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.. and crown/pavilion angles. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. Since then.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer.5%. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect. A perfect blending of facet symmetry. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios. crown height of 14. .Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. As with all human endeavors. facet ratios. Eppler & Scan D.6% and overall height of 57. crown height of 14.4%. more brilliance and fire. Tolkowsky. 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. and Proportions.
like Einstein's theory of relativity. Here is a collection of just a few of the many "signature" diamond cuts that have been produced over the last 100 years.Producers split hairs over cut angle. scientists.) and when suitably scrutinized by the gem trade. and it still survives in some form today. and the culet is square. 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. Every conceivable cutting theory is tried. but at the end of the day it may simply come down to consumer preference and/or marketing. The cut has a deep pavilion and a high crown.106 carat Cullinan Diamond into eleven gem stones. the Asscher diamond cut has a squarish octagonal shape with a step cut. and entrepreneurs . or the widely marketed Leo cut which is a modified round-brilliant sold by Leo Schachter Diamonds. Some have gone on to become household names such as the Asscher cut. and number of facets. One thing is for sure . cut corners and a small table. The Asscher brothers cut the famous 3.each trying to improve on the tried-and-true Old European cuts. www. the Cullinan 1 and Cullinan 2 being set into the crown and sceptre of the British Crown Jewels. but some like the Barion Cut have disappeared into obscurity. Tolkowsky came up with a "brilliant" idea almost 90 years ago. Popular in Art Deco jewelry of the period.the consumer. with the two largest stones.asscher. cut proportions. less facets. Asscher Cut The Asscher Cut was developed by Abraham and Joseph Asscher of the Royal Asscher Diamond Company of Amsterdam in 1902. it is put in front of the ultimate arbiter of quality . mathematicians. etc. (more facets. and their modest brilliance and light return.nl Barion Cut .
www. forming a square shape when viewed from the top.de Eternal Cut The Eternal Cut diamond was designed and patented by master Israeli diamond cutter. modified rectangular (baguette) cut that was developed by Baroka Creations. In 1998. Barocut stones are also sold in tapered shapes. The Barocut is available in sizes from 20 points to 3 carats. and in all diamond colors and/or clarity grades. A Barocut diamond has a total of 77 facets. The cutting process requires a high-quality rough. to become Asprey & Garrard.freiesleben.com . not including the 16 girdle facets. parting ways in 2002 to again become Garrard. The name "Barion" or "Barion cut" was never trademarked.com Context Cut The Context Cut is a square cut that was developed by Dr. merged with the jewelry firm Asprey. with star-shaped cross facets cut diagonally into the pavilion. nephew to the inventor of the Modern Round Brilliant cut. Marce Tolkowsky. The Context Cut follows a rough diamond crystal's natural octahedral shape. of New York in 2000. The Eternal Cut is being sold exclusively at Garrard's main London store and Harvey Nichols stores in Great Britain. and was the forerunner to the princess cut. Gabi Tolkowsky. and a 'softer' briliance than a traditional round brilliant cut. www. Germany. and creates a high amount of waste. or the company website. and its patent has expired. The Context Cut consists of two back-to-back pyramids (an octahedron). Ulrich Freiesleben of Germany in the early 1980s then patented and trademarked in 1997.baroka. The Context Cut is used to cut colored gemstones by Julius Petsch of Idar-Oberstein. or to increase light-dispersion. The Context Cut design was based on an earlier patented design by Bernd Munsteiner from the early 1960s. The Eternal Cut has a total of 81 facets. Barocut diamonds are promoted and sold exclusively through the Baroka Creations catalog. The cut has a total of 8 facets plus a girdle. 23 more than a modern Round Brilliant cut. Barocut The Barocut® diamond cut is a patented. www.garrard. Inc. adding up to 50% to the cost when compared to a Round Brilliant cut diamond. The Barocut is also called a "two heart diamond" due to the illusion of two mirrored hearts meeting at the culet. and a total of 81 facets. It is sold exclusively through the 270 year old firm of Garrard & Company in London. creating a unique 'flower petal' pattern surrounding the cutlet. 81 facets on the cut corner (cushion) version. Garrard & Co.The Barion square cut (aka Barion square cushion cut) was invented by Basil Watermeyer of South Africa in 1971. The Barion square cut diamond has a 4-fold mirror-image symmetry.
maximizing the amount of light returned back as scintillation. The Zinnia is a round fancy shape with 73 facets. The Flanders Fire-Brilliant was developed by Flanders Cut International of Antwerp in 1983. The Fire-Rose is a hexagonal shape designed to produce higher yields. The Flower Cuts were never patented or trademarked by De Beers in order to increase their popularity and use.com www. emerald. designed to maximize the brilliance and color of diamonds while increasing their yield. Fire-Rose. marquise. The Sunflower has 43 facets in unusual. 8 more facets than the Round Brilliant cut's 58. off-color stones. Unveiled at the Las Vegas Gem Show in 2001.nationaldiamond. heart. Marigold. LLC. the Gabrielle has a total of 105 facets. which is 47 more than a traditional 'Tolkowsky' round brilliant cut. . Sunflower and Zinnia cut. the Gabrielle Cut is available in carre. Other than the traditional round brilliant shape. www. and pear shapes. adding greater brilliance and fire than standard brilliant cuts. who was commissioned by De Beers to create new cuts as a way of marketing unusual. The Leo diamond cut has a total of 66 facets.com Flower Cut The 'Flower Cut' series was created by Gabi Tolkowsky in 1986.com Leo Cut The Leo® Diamond.flanders-cuts. The Gabrielle Diamond The Gabrielle® Cut is a modified brilliant cut (triple brilliant cut) that was created by DeBeers desinger/consultant Gabriel Tolkowsky in 2000. The Flower Cuts employ unconventional cutting angles and dimensions. angular shapes. The Flanders Brilliant has 33 crown facets and 28 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets. The cut is distributed by the National Diamond Syndicate (NDS) of Chicago. is a patented symmetrical round cut created by Leo Schachter Diamonds.gabriellediamonds. www. 48 of which are clustered around the culet to increase fire. (aka Leo Schachter Diamond). The Dahlia is a 12 sided oval shape with 63 facets. that is suited to a relatively flat rough. oval.Flanders Brilliant Cut The Flanders Brilliant Cut (aka Fire Brilliant) is a modified Radiant or Princess cut with truncated corners that form an octagon with brilliant faceting. The Marigold is an octagon shape with 73 facets. The Flower Cut is actually a series of five fancy cut shapes: the Dahlia. and the cut was named after the Flanders region of Belgium (Antwerp) where the cut was first preformed in 1987.
The pavilion is similar to a Barion cut.' and each diamond comes with a "Return of Light Certificate.diamondaires.com Lucida Cut The Lucida (TM) Cut is a patented diamond cut that was created by Tiffany & Company in 1999. sold in solitaire engagement/wedding bands.com Quadrillion Cut The Quadrillion® Cut (aka Squarillion Cut) is a modified square princess cut that was developed by Israel Itzkowitz and Betzalel Ambar in the late 1970s. small table. Bez Ambar Radiant Cut The Radiant Cut is a modified emerald cut shape that was developed. The Lucida diamond cut is marketed as a wedding cut. The Lucida is sold exclusively through Tiffany's retail chain. patented and trademarked by Henry Grossbard of the Radiant Cut Diamond Company (RCDC) in 1977. and the table is a bowed out rectangle. the Radiant Cut became a fully accepted diamond shape in the jewelry business.radiantcut." The Leo Diamond is marketed through the Kay Jeweler chain. Upon the expiration of the patent. and was patented and trademarked by Bez Ambar Jewelers of Los Angeles in 1980.70 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. and three-stone rings. There are a total of 49 facets. The Lucida diamond cut is a modified square or rectangular (Marquise) cut with truncated corners.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. www.com Starburst Cut . and all Original Radiant Cut diamonds weigh at least 0. There are 25 crown facets and 36 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets (not including 8 girdle facets). www. brilliant-style faceted pavilion (similar to a Cushion Cut). RCDC launched the 'Original Radiant Cut' diamond brand In 2002. and a total of has 50 facets. eternity bands. square shaped diamonds were stepcut limiting their brilliance. a highstep crown (similar to the Asscher Cut). www. Prior to the Quadrillion. It was the first emerald shaped diamond cut to have brilliance and fire similar to that of a round brilliant diamond.tiffany.
Still. The point cut design is dictated by the natural shape of an octahedral rough diamond. 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. The Starburst cut is especially suitable for a octahedral rough. The starburst faceting pattern is designed to focus color near the top of a stone. making the hue of fancy yellow diamonds more intense. but the pavilion is completely different. The "table cut" (below. From this point forward it was a race to see who could design the perfect faceted cut which would bring out the maximum fire. Trillion) is a triangular cut designed and trademarked by the Henry Meyer Diamond Company of New York in 1962. Starburst Cuts are mounted and sold directly through Cartier. reworked into the shape of a trillion (triangle). The Starburst cut was created to bring out the highest amount of color to fancy yellow diamonds. with weight losses in the fifty percent range. brilliance. The Trilliant cut gives a high brilliance. but that has not always been easy as these little chunks of elemental carbon are harder that anything that could be found to cut them. . There are 49 crown facets and 40 pavilion facets. The Trilliant trademark has since lapsed.com The faceting of diamonds has come a long way in the last 700 years. The pavilion has two differently sized sets triangular facets with a large triangular table.The Starburst Cut was patented and trademarked by the Louis Glick Diamond Corp. the precursor for the "design" of the first faceted diamond lay within the rough stone itself. Trillian. and light return from the stone. Old eight. Nieman Marcus and Tiffany. craftsmen have attempted to "improve" on nature. The crown of the Starburst Cut is similar to that of the radiant cut. this led to the invention of the first gem cutting machines (precursor to the "lap" or "Facetron") in the 1300s. right) was created by cutting off some of the top half of the point cut's octahedron to create a table. Since the day that humans first discovered 'adamas' (diamonds). The Trilliant has the Schoenflies point group symmetry of a round brilliant. and scintillation when cut to the correct proportions. for a total of 89 kite and star shaped facets. of New York in 1978. Old European Gem Cuts: Point.early 1300s The "point cut" (below left) is one of the first symmetrically faceted diamond cuts. The Trilliant Cut has a total of 31 facets.louisglick. There are two variations of this cut: the Curved cut used for solitary stones. Old Mine Cut Evolution of the Faceted Diamond & Colored Gem Article Copyright © 2008 AllAboutGemstones. Harry Winston. www. and the career of the "diamantaire" (diamond cutter/polisher) was born. and the natural octahedral symmetry of the rough stone's closed isometric form.com Trilliant Cut The Trilliant Cut (aka Trielle. With the realization that only a diamond could cut another diamond. and the Trilliant is now a generic term for a triangular brilliant cut. Point Cut . fire. and Uncurved cut used for accent stones.
" and the Full Holland cut.late 1300s Invented in the late 14th century. The crown is typically tall. . it has a cushioned or rounded girdle shape. The "senaille cut" is a rose cut with irregular or non-symmetrical faceting. The briolette was the precursor to the "pendeloque cut" which is a pear-shaped modification of the round brilliant cut. and eight pavilion facets.Single Cut ." "Dutch cut. an octagonal table.1500s Invented in the mid 16th century. Also called the "cushion cut". the "old single cut" (aka "old eight cut") diamond has the addition of corner facets to create an octagonal girdle. Rose & Briolette Cut. This Old Mine cut is basically square with gently rounded corners and "brilliant" style facets. eight bezel or crown facets. The briolette cut was designed primarily for use in a pendant or as a dangling bauble in a crown. The "briolette cut" is a modified "double Dutch rose cut" with one of the hemispheres being elongated. the "rose cut" is also known by the the "Antwerp rose." "crowned rose cut.1700s The "old mine" cut is the earliest form of the "brilliant cut" diamond. 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. resulting in a smaller table. The single cut may or may not have a culet at the bottom. Old Mine Cut . The culet is usually large enough to be visible when viewed through the table.
Old European Cut . The Old European diamond cut has a very small table. This cut is also known as the "Tolkowsky Cut" and "Tolkowsky brilliant. and very tall overall depth. 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). the Modern Round Brilliant cut is beneficial when the crystal is an octahedron (diagram above). .1800s The "Old European" cut was the forerunner of the modern round brilliant cut. eight facets at the pavilion. as two stones can be cut from one crystal with a minimum amount of waste. As with its predecessor the "point cut" over 600 years earlier. Like the modern round brilliant.1900s The "modern round brilliant cut" (below) was developed by Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem. the old European diamond has a circular girdle." Even with modern techniques. The eight cut is similar to the "single cut" in that there are eight four-sided trapezoidal facets at the crown. The Modern Round Brilliant Cut . the cutting and polishing of a diamonds resulted in a loss of as much as 50% of the stone's total weight. a heavy crown.
Rio Tinto. with a total of 33 facets (34 if a culet is used). for sorting and resale. BHP Billiton and a hand-full of other companies which use their cartel power to control the supply of diamonds on the wholesale market (diamond pipeline). Gaborone. thereby controlling and stabilizing prices. which combines ("aggregating") supplies of rough diamonds from multiple sources into one wholesale market (#2).com The trade in gem-grade rough diamonds is primarily controlled by the De Beers.000 categories based on size. then divided by human or automated sorters into individual lots called "boxes. 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." The 'Diamond Pipeline' Rough diamonds are sent directly from De Beers mining operations in Africa (#1). there is usually a substantial mark-up in the retail sale price of diamonds. The rough stones are separated into 16. Kimberley and Windhoek. Unlike precious metals such as gold." The DTC is part of the DeBeers Group supply-chain known as the Central Selling Organization (CSO). There is a limited market for the resale of diamonds that are less than "investment grade. or secondary mining producers in Canada and Russia to De Beers' Diamond Trading Company (DTC) in London. silver or platinum. 16 isosceles triangle facets on the crown and 16 facets on the pavilion. . The Diamond Trade: The 'Diamond Pipeline' Rough Diamond Producers Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. color and quality. Trans Hex.A "Swiss cut" is a compromise between an eight cut and a brilliant cut.
and independent diamond producers in Canada.De Beers Sightholders The DTC holds a sale called a "site" or "sight" ten times per year in London and Johannesburg. to take advantage of market fluctuations. has launched an aggressive branding and marketing campaign. while large stones are primarily cut in Antwerp. Tel Aviv. Both traders and manufacturers may sell diamonds "upstream" and "downstream" through the diamond pipeline .20 carats or less) in Mumbai (Bombay) and Surat.com website). diamonds have underperformed since 1987 when compared to the "luxury goods" market or global GDP. The sightholder then transports the box of rough diamonds back to diamantaire firms (cutting and polishing factories) located around the world (#4). and retailers . and the breakaway from CSO's cartel by the Argyle Diamond Mine in Australia. As a reaction to their decrease in market share. Additionally. The diamonds are then re-sold from the cutting and polishing (manufacturing) centers to wholesalers (Diamond Bourses). . they are sold to retailers or direct to the customer. through their Diamond Promotion Service (DPS) and Diamond Information Centres (DIC) marketing divisions. A 'sight' can have a value of between $500. (see DeBeers' Adiamondisforever. De Beers is also facing increasing pressure from the manufactures of synthetic diamonds. reclaiming their "A Diamond Is Forever" moniker. Once the diamonds are set into jewelry. Russia and elswhere. Ramat Gan. or to jewelry manufacturers (#5) around the world. De Beers (DTC) sets the price of each box in advance. De Beers. and New York. which are increasing in popularity and consumer acceptance.000 USD.000. where De Beers sells the "boxes" to its select group ("supplier of choice") of 125 "sightholders" (#3) or diamond manufacturers.000 to $2. China. and Thailand. India cuts the vast majority of small stones (. determining the quantity and quality that each site-holder will receive. cutters. De Beers and the Future De Beers' (CSO's) control over the wholesale diamond market has diminished due to increased market penetration. Other major cutting centers are located in Johannesburg. Many Sightholders are also cutters. Rough diamonds are cut in various geographic regions according to tradition and the skill-sets of the labor force.
or commodities exchange similar to the NYSE. Schupstraat. traders and manufacturer/producers. London. As of 2006. and India (2007).com The word "Bourse" refers to a private stock. The Council has approximately 70 members representing jewelers. Israel and South Africa and works with 35 independent Governments. heavily guarded geographic area surrounded by three main streets. and will com with a certificate of authenticity. NY . are sold in Antwerp every year. The Council began in July 2000 after a joint meeting of the WFDB and its international headquarters are in New York City. the DTC has developed new inscription technologies to "invisibly" mark the table facet of polished diamonds with a "Forevermark" trademark. Moscow. Within Antwerp's diamond district. The largest diamond trading center in the world is located in Antwerp. and Rijfstraat. The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates . 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. The Diamond Trade: Diamond Bourses of Antwerp Diamond Bourses Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Almost 85% of the world's rough diamonds. Asia. and the city is the hub of the global diamond trading industry (diamanthandel). and about half of the polished diamonds. and Shanghai. the WDC has observers from the governments of Belgium. Forevermark diamonds will be available through sightholder/retailers in the U. De Beers is hoping that the combination of branding and security will increase consumer demand. some 1. The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base.500 diamond dealers (diamantbedrijven) are ensconced in small. Hong Kong. Hoveniersstraat. also known as the "World Diamond Center" or Diamantenzentrum.Forevermark Diamonds As a way of staving off the onslaught of secondary diamond markets. In addition to its members. Diamond Bourses are basically trading exchanges for loose. South Africa. Europe. . Belgium but there are also Diamond Bourses in Israel.S. bond. cut and uncut diamonds. and preventing the inherent product misidentification that will follow. This mark is only visible via a point-of-sale electronic viewer. the European Union and the United Nations to rid the diamond Industry of conflict diamonds.. The Kimberley Process The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme or KPCS is designed to prevent conflict diamonds (aka "blood diamonds") entering into the mainstream rough diamond market . 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. KPCS originated in May 2000 during a meeting of South African diamond producing states in Kimberley. China.
and disputes are handled by an internal arbitration process. The Diamond High Council (HRD) . regulations. and both are still in operation today. and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) was founded in 1947. 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. ethics and morality. and repatriation of Antwerp following the end of WWII. uncut diamonds was the Antwerpsche Diamantkring (Antwerp Diamond Ring) . friendship and trust . In Antwerp's 'Diamond Center' (Diamantenzentrum) today. bisected by Hoveniersstraat street. After the liberation. Most transactions conducted within the Bourses done with cash and a handshake. which was established in the same year that the 1930 World Expo was held in Antwerp. Around $16+ billion in polished diamonds pass through Antwerp's diamond bourses each year. the Antwerpsche Diamantkring was reopened. Beurs voor Diamanthandel .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. there are around 4000 diamond-cutters (diamantaire) working in the several-square-block diamond district. Control over the diamond trade is maintained through the WFDB's Constitution containing a series of rules. making it the largest diamond-trading center in the world . These first trading exchanges mainly dealt with the wholesaling of cut stones. an by-laws that govern business practices.Photo: Wiki Public The first trading exchange to deal exclusively with rough. founded in 1893—and the Beurs voor Diamanthande (at Pelikaanstraat 78) founded in 1904 . Both bourse were founded by Hasidim diamantairs.
most with Dutch Calvinist. the Zule's King Dingane agreed to a treaty allowing the Voortrekkers to settle in what would be called the Natalia Republic or Boer republics. England seized the Cape of Good Hope from the Dutch East India Company in 1797. which at the time was administered by the 'Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie' or 'Dutch East India Company." Three of South Africa's richest diamond mines are in Northern Cape (Kimberley Diamond Mine).The HRD (Hoge Raad voor Diamant) Diamond High Council is a non-profit industry organization designed to promote and represent the Antwerp diamond trade.000 Zulu warriors attacking 470 Boer settlers. The Boers resisted British encroachments into their territory until the Second 'Anglo' Boer War (1899— 1902). This led to a new wave of emigrants and adventurer-seekers from England. The Voortrekkers had to contend with the native Zulu tribe over land they wished to settle on. They settled in the 'Cape of Good Hope' on Africa's southern most tip. The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates . with 10. The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base. and Limpopo (Venetia Diamond Mine).com Diamonds and the Afrikaners The Afrikaners & British Diamonds and the Jews The Hindustani Diamond Cutters The African Nationals The Americans Photos: Public Domain The Boers Historically. Gauteng (Premier Diamond Mine).' 'Limpopo. coming for . Diamonds and the British The Second Wave of Europeans Needing a stopping-off point on the sea-route to Australia and India. The Diamond Trade: History & Culture of the Key Players Article Copyright © 2006 AllAboutGemstones. and fully annexed the Cape Colony in 1806 . under the Treaty of Vereeniging. Flemish.' After the devastating Zulu defeat.' 'Gauteng. The First Boer War (1880—1881) began with the Transvaal (Limpopo) Boers declaring independence from Great Britain.' and the 'Orange Free State' provinces to escape hostilities with the native 'Xhosa tribe' from which Nelson Mandela decended. but 3000 Zulus were killed in what became known as the 'Battle of Blood River. and this eventually lead to all-out war. who were in search of the "quiet sweet life. Afrikaners (aka Boers or farmers) were religious refugees from the Netherlands and other parts of northern Europe during the mid 1600s to late 1700s.' During the 1830s and 1840s. ending with the inclusion of all Boer territories into British colonies. Afrikaners who participated in the migration northward became known as the 'Trekboer' or Voortrekkers. or German Protestant backgrounds. there was a mass exodus (the Great Trek) northward to 'Northern Cape. There was not a single Boer fatality.
D. The African nation of Rhodesia was named after him (now the Republic of Zimbabwe). Domain Cecil Rhodes Cecil Rhodes (1853—1902) is the undisputed father of the modern diamond industry. a curious discovery was being made along the banks of the Orange River. Domain Barney Barnato During the same period that Cecil Rhodes was building De Beers Consolidated Mines. De Beers and Kimberley Central were the two largest mining interests in South Africa at the time. Rhodes started out selling ice cream to the diamond-diggers and service workers. Rhodes made several aborted attempt to gain control over Barnato's interest in Kimberley Central Mine. A. and J. 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. but was eventually successful in convincing Barnato to merge with De Beers. Cecil Rhodes' De Beers empire was started on a farm owned by two Boer settlers and brothers. As founder of De Beers. Photo: Pub. he began his business interests in South Africa by servicing the "ant hill" of humanity that was descending on Kimberley during the diamond rush of the late 1800s. in Northern Cape. Photo: Pub. he was able to build a monopolistic empire through skill and cunning. One of the richest men in the world. Cullinan . Barnato died several years later. Domain Thomas M. a prospector. and in 1910 the 'Union of South Africa' was created. 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.the "mineral revolution. mysteriously falling overboard on a ship passage back to England.' Cecil Rhodes died a single man with no children and. self-government was restored.. Amid all of this turmoil and chaos. Barnato was given appointed to 'life governor' and temporary controlling interest in De Beers . Photo: Pub.. no heirs to his empire. With the help of the Rothschild bank in London. and later selling steam-powered water pumps to drain the open-pit mines of Kimberley. De Beer. As a young lad from England. although Rhodes did not start out with an interest in diamonds. N." In 1906. In exchange.
Sir Thomas Major Cullinan (1860—1936) was the founder of one of Africa's richest diamond mines, the 'Premier Diamond Mine,' 30 kilometers east of Pretoria, in Gauteng province, South Africa. Although Cullinan was already a successful building contractor in Johannesburg, he was also an amateur geologist who had heard about alluvial diamonds being found along a stream near the old 'Cornelis Minnaar Farm' in upper Gauteng. Cullinan was interested in purchasing the farm, which had already changed hands several times, but the present owner, Willem Prinsloo (who had purchased the land for £570 in 1861) was not interested in selling. Shortly after the close Anglo Boer War (1898—1902), Willem Prinsloo's widow agreed to sell the land to Cullinan for £52,000, and the 'Transvaal Premier Diamond Mining Company LTD' was officially registered on the December 1, 1902 . On January 25th 1905, a 3,106 carat diamond was found at the mine, which remains the largest diamond ever found in the world. When news of Premier's success hit the board room of De Beers, several aborted attempts were made to purchase the mine, but Cullinan had no intention of selling . In 1914, WW1 broke out in Europe, and diamond prices began to spiral. Layoffs at the mine caused enough friction that by August, mining operations were suspended. The Premier Mine had resumed production by January 1916, but in need of cash, Cullinan sold a major stake in the mine to the Transvaal government. Frank Oats, who was now the chairman of De Beers, was able to convince the Transvaal government to sell its controlling interest in 1917, and De Beers once again enjoyed a monopoly on South African diamonds.
Diamonds and the Ashkenazi, Sephardi and Hasidic Jews
There is perhaps no other ethnic group that is so inextricably intertwined with the diamond trade, than the jews. In an odd twist of fate, it may be Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama's discovery of a searoute to India around Africa's Cape of Good Hope in 1488, that set the stage for the Jewish/diamond connection. Da Gama's discovery opened up a direct diamond-trading route from India's Malabar Coast and the island of Borneo, to Portugal and on the Netherlands. With Lisbon now at the forefront of the European diamond trade, many Portuguese Sephardi businessmen opened cutting houses, and quickly gained a dominant roll in the diamond-polishing industry. The Sephardi were Jews who originated from Spain and Portugal (the Iberian Peninsula), many practicing a secret adherence to Judaism known as "Crypto-Judaism," while professing other faiths. Jews who practiced their religion in the open were expelled from Spain and Portugal, when the Catholic Monarchs issued the "Alhambra Decree" in 1492 (1497 for Portugal), fleeing to Morocco, the Ottoman Empire, Antwerp and Amsterdam. When the first Jewish emigrants (Ashkenazi) came to Antwerp in the 1200s, they were welcomed, but when the Black Plague swept across Antwerp in the mid 1300s, the Jews were one of the scapegoats. Although Amsterdam's Dutch were relatively tolerant when it came to religious freedom, in 1585 Antwerp came under Spanish rule, and the Jews (this time Sephardic), were once again the focus of scrutiny. With the Spanish Inquisition in high gear, Jews were now persecuted for conducting trade with the Ottoman Empire, or for being 'pseudo-Christian.' In the 1600s, wealthy Jewish diamond-traders now living in the Netherlands, financed the 'Dutch East India Company' and its exploration of new trade routes to India, but the British were beginning to see opportunity in the diamond trade, creating new competition for the Jewish/Dutch. Prior to being granted 'civil equality' in 1796, Amsterdam's Jews were not allowed to join trade guilds, leaving the unregulated diamond industry as one of the only means of employment. By the late 18th century, many of Amsterdam's Jews were working in the diamond trade, and many of these 'Sephardi refugees' had maintained connections with Portuguese traders who now had a monopoly on the trade of raw diamonds from India. By the early 1700s, India's mines were nearing exhaustion, but a new discovery in Brazil helped to reinvigorate the diamond trade. By this time, British naval superiority proved to be a great advantage, and the 'British East India Company' was born. The European center for the diamond trade now began to move away from Amsterdam, as Jewish traders set up shop in London. The cut stones were sold to the nobility and royalty of Europe, using the Hofjude (Court Jews) as purchasing agents to select the stones from the London diamond merchants.
Photo: Pub. Domain
The Pshevorsk Hasidic Dynasty Hasidic Judaism was founded by Polish (now Ukrainian) Rabbi 'Ba'al Shem Tov', aka 'Israel ben Eliezer' (1698—1760) in a time when European Jews were facing increasing hostility and pressure from the "Cossacks' Uprising" in Ukraine. The Hasidic movement is a sub-group of the theologically conservative Haredi or Charedi Judaism, aka Ultra-Orthodox Judaism. The movement was seen as a way of turning inward towards a 'deeper spiritualism and mysticism.' Hasidism spread westward, making its way to western Europe in the 1800s. The Hasidic movement in Antwerp began with Rabbi Moshe of Pshevorsk, who authored 'Ohr Pnei Moshe' in 1805 . The Pshevorsk is a small sub-Hasidic movement based in Antwerp, Belgium, with their hub at the study hall (beth midrash), 'Beth Yitzchok' at Mercatorstraat 56. With the discovery of vast diamond reserves in South Africa during the late 1800s, concern over a glut in the diamond market spread throughout London's diamond merchants. A group of wealthy Jewish dealers pooled their resources to form "the syndicate," which was created to soak up all of the excess capacity being created by South Africa. Today, Antwerp and London's diamond trade is largely controlled by the Hasidic Jewish community, although Indian influence is on the rise in recent years. Many of these Hasidic entrepreneurs are nameless by choice, preferring to maintain their anonymity, but they have been the driving force behind the multi-billion dollar diamond industry for hundreds of years.
Photo: Pub. Domain
Alfred Beit Alfred Beit (1853—1906) was born into a prominent Jewish family in Hamburg, Germany. Beit worked for the diamond firm of Jules Porges and Co. in Amsterdam before emigrating to 'Cape Colony' in 1875 during the Kimberley diamond-rush . Beit was part of a group of financiers, including Cecil Rhodes, who gained control of the diamond-mining claims in the Central Mine, Dutoitspan Mine, and De Beers Mine, thereby 'consolodating' the South African mining industry. becoming a 'life-governor' of De Beers Consolidated Mines. He was also the director of the Beira Railway Company, British South Africa Company, Rand Mines, and the Rhodesia Railways. Beit, along with partner Cecil Rhodes, financed the 1895 'Jameson Raid' which was an attempt to trigger an unsuccessful coup in the South African Republic of Transvaal. The Royal School of Mines, at the Imperial College London has a large memorial to Beit, in recognition of the Beit trust's bequeathment to the university, and to educational institutions in Britain, Germany South Africa, and Zimbabwe (Rhodesia).
Photo: Pub. Domain
Sir Ernest Oppenheimer Ernest Oppenheimer (1880—1957) was born in Friedberg, Germany to a large Jewish family, and with several brothers working for "the syndicate," Ernest was well positioned for his future vocation. He began his career at age 17, working for the diamond brokerage firm, Dunkelsbuhler & Company in London. Oppenheimer created the concept of "single-channel marketing" over 100 years ago, by funneling the world's supply of diamonds through a single clearing house. Oppenheimer gained control of Namibia's diamond mines, forming the Anglo American mining conglomerate. This gave him the financing and power to gain the chairmanship of De Beers. Today, Oppenheimer's Anglo American operates a fleet of diamond recovery ships off the coast of Namibia and South Africa under the umbrella of De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited (DBCM), and Central Holdings Limited (CHL), an Oppenheimer family holding company, and in partnership with Namdeb.
Photo: Pub. Domain
Nicky Oppenheimer Ernest's grandson, Nicky Oppenheimer (born 1945) studied philosophy at Oxford as a young man, and is now the chairman of the De Beers Diamond Mining Company and its subsidiary Diamond Trading Company. The Oppenheimer family and Anglo American maintains a 45% stake in De Beers today. Africa's richest man, and #134 on the Forbes list of the world's richest people, Nicky Oppenheimer is worth an estimated $4.5 billion. Under new legislation, passed by the African National Congress, Nicky Oppenheimer was forced to sell a 26% share of De Beers to the South African 'Black Economic Empowerment' group (BEE). This was the first major ownership change for De Beers in over a century. Of the legislation Oppenheimer said: "De Beers is here to make a profit, but we must benefit the people and communities where we operate."
Photo: Pub. Domain
Lev Leviev The Lev Leviev Group, created by Israeli national, Lev Leviev (born 1956 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan) is the worlds largest cutter and polisher (diamantaire) of rough diamonds, with factories in Armenia, India, Israel, and the Ukraine. The Lev Leviev Group also owns mining interests in Namibia's offshore dredging operations. Through his personal relationship to Vladimir Putin and other Russian heads of
in 1992. Tretiakovsky Proezd in Moscow. to purchasing a 51% stake in Safdico (South African Diamond Corp. and on board the luxury residential ship The World ResidenSea.state.5 billion (#278 Forbes List). ALROSA produces 100% of Russia's rough diamond output and approximately 20% of the world's rough diamonds . Graff has co-authored (with Vanessa von Zitzewitz) "The Most Fabulous Jewels in the World. 2006 at the Letseng diamond mine in the tiny Kingdom of Lesotho in the center of the Republic of South Africa.com Gujarat's Indian Diamantaires . The Hindustani Diamond Cutters Photo: dnavin. to Larry Ellison. Lev Leviev has formed a partnership with the ex Soviet state-owned diamond firm. Hotel de Paris' salon privé in Paris. now called ALROSA (Almazy-Rossii-Sakha) . Raised by his grandparents." the Leviev Group has found willing partners in several countries including Angola's ASCORP after De Beers' exit in 2001. Mr. Graff's strategy of "vertically integration" has been to control every angle of the diamond pipeline. One of his most notable acquisitions was the 603 carat "Lesotho Promise diamond. which are now owned by Lev Leviev. By circumventing the De Beers supply chain. and has satellite locations in Wafi City. Graff has been dubbed the "king of diamonds." a compendium and history of his most famous jewels. Laurence Graff was born into a Jewish orthodox family in London's poorer 'East End' district. Lev Leviev lives in B'nei Brak. Russia. which gives him access to some of the finest uncut diamonds coming out of South Africa. selling to the rich and famous from Elizabeth Taylor and Donald Trump.5 billion dollars . Lesotho Promise is the 15th largest diamond ever found. Alrosa now sells direct to cutting factories throughout Russia. All House of Graff stones have a laser-inscribed girdle with the 'Graff' logo and GIA number. It will ultimately be cut into an estimated 20 or so 'D-flawless' stones ranging from 75 carats to 1 carat in size. a DeBeers sightholder in Johannesburg. Israel. Graff's net worth is estimated at 2. Monte Carlo. Photo: Pub. formed by Decree 158C of the Russian Federation. Leviev's net-worth is estimated at $2.). from wholesale and retail. and one of the most successful diamond merchants in modern history. with his wife and their nine children." and the "king of bling" by Forbes magazine . New York's Madison Avenue. founder of the House of Graff in the heart of London's posh New Bond Street. House of Graff is also located on London's Sloane Street. and the largest rough unearthed in this century. Using this model of "local control. found on August 22. Dubai. Domain Laurence Graff Laurence Graff (1938—) is a DeBeers sightholder.
based upon eternal. the Hindustan Diamond Company Ltd. (HDC). to elevate quality standards." The Bharat Diamond Bourse in Mumbai.above). By slowly developing markets. both college dropouts. and Israelis didn't want to work with . Photo: Pub.7 billion in annual sales . . with diamond cutting factories located in Borivali. polishes. the Indians would not be giving up their rightful heritage as diamantaires. Jainism is an ancient Indian religious sect believing in the 'Jain' philosophy. Gitanjali Gems is one of the largest manufacturers of diamonds and diamond jewelry in India. from Hong Kong to Israel. This vast fortune is shared by some 300 to 500 Gujaratis families from Palanpur on the GujaratRajasthan border . or "thunderbolt. improve perceptions." The Indians would go on to enjoy a singular reign over the diamond-rich dominion—known as Hindustan—for another two thousand years. and exports several billion dollars worth of gems per year. and Surat's 'Special Economic Zone' . Mehta. Domain Bharat & Vijay Shah Bharat and Vijay Shah came from a family of jewelers going back three generations. Navinchandra & Co (board of directors . are headed and staffed by Mehta family members.com Dilip Mehta Indian diamantaire. The Indo Argyle Diamond Council (IADC) formed in 1994 as a consortium of Indian jewelry manufacturers and cutting houses. heighten awareness of ethical business practices. and Vijaydimon are family owned operations run by Jains with the common surnames of Jhavari. Gujarat. Photo: rosyblue. Venus Jewels. The Indian communities' share has grown to around 60%. Much of India's diamond trade is controlled by a handful of wealthy families in Gujarat. and although India's famous "Diamonds of Golconda" were mined-out hundreds of years ago. and Shah. 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. a minister to the Indian king. Companies like Bhavani Gems. they were able to gain an increasingly larger share of the wholesale diamond trade. M. started out thirty years ago by purchasing cheaper stones that the Dutch Hasidim. Gitanjali Gems. Mumbai. is the CEO of the 'Rosy Blue Group' which is currently one of the world's largest diamond companies. D. Dilip Mehta of Mumbai. India (born 1949). and is currently a Senior Partner and head of the UAE division. Harshad Mehta ("Diamond King of the world") is one of the founders of Rosy Blue. The brothers. Several other divisions of the Rosy Blue Group. universal truths.Diamonds made their first reluctant appearance in human history over 2400 years ago. propelling their twin companies. Of the $26 billion per year diamond revenues that flow through Antwerp. Sanghavi Exports. Chandragupta. 320 BC) by Kautiliya. Shree Ramkrishna Exports. Suresh & Co. displacing the Hasidim as the dominant force in the industry . is the newest addition to India's arsenal of global marketing tools to promote exports. with $1. and were written about in an ancient Sanskrit manuscript called the "The Lesson of Profit" Arthasastra (c. and De Beers India. It is estimated that India cuts. and to develop an "understanding of the world market. The Sanskrit word for 'diamond' was vajra.
working in cooperation with the government of Sierra Leone. Diamonds and the African Nationals Photos: Public Domain Kabila. Thailand. Surat. the political situation in Angola has begun to normalize.Vijaydimon (Belgium) and B Vijaykumar (India) . President Festus Mogae was elected for a second term in 2004. dos Santos. Ayer & Son . is receiving broad support from the South Africa. is making great strides in stabilizing the country after years of strife. Singapore. Vijaydimon is a DTC sightholder with offices in Belgium. all who have signed multi-million dollar trade deals. In a post-conflict reconstruction effort. Kabbah. with one of the fastest per-capita income growth rates in the world. created a program for capacity-building of 'small and medium-sized enterprise' (SME) development. Kabila. Bangkok. Vijaydimon also purchases rough diamonds from Canada's Diavik Mine and Argyle (Rio Tinto) and Russia . On a somewhat darker note. and Tel Aviv. Palanpur. many of the ex-colonial nations of Sub-Saharan Africa are starting to emerge as powerful and legitimate forces in the diamond industry. After winning a disicive re-election victory in 2006. Domain N. Joseph Kabila (above. The company has cutting factories in Antwerp. Mandela. employing 22. & Mogae Starting with Botswana's independence in 1966. Botswana is a relatively wealthy African country. Angola and from mining magnates. China. Bombay. and the end to South African apartheid in 1994. succeeded his father (Laurent-Désiré Kabila) as president the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC) after his assassination in January 2001. and enjoys broad support. Diamonds and the Americans Photo: Pub. After years of fighting between the PMLA and UNITA. into a global position with nearly $1 Billion a year in sales. left). who was a major general in the army. Hong Kong. UAE. The president of Sierra Leone. and the United States. Botswana has held regular elections and has been one of the more stable governments in southern Africa. India. the 'United Nations Industrial Development Orginization' (UNIDO). The last democratic election in Angola was in 1992. only hinting at their possibility in 2007 or 2008. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. president José Eduardo dos Santos is preventing democratic elections from taking place. both domestically and internationally. At the age of 29.000 workers.W.
The stone was cut in Paris. In 1948 the famous "A diamond is forever" slogan was introduced. and sold to Nanaline Duke (now in the Doris Duke Collection).' at the flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. Tiffany was able to purchase significant gems from such renowned estates as: the 'jewel-mad' Duke of Brunswick. Domain Charles Lewis Tiffany Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812—1902). Jule Styne (born Julius Kerwin Stein) was born in London. and the subsequent overthrowing of King Louis-Philippe of France in 1848. and a series of diamond-related slogans were introduced into the American lexicon.' During the 1800s.' brand was catapulted into the stratosphere by the 1961 movie 'Breakfast at Tiffany's.' which was adapted to film in 1953. De Beers and the diamond industry got another shot in the arm. the public's tolerance towards nobility was at a low point. and the diamond industry was particularly hard hit. Photo: Pub. this time from playwriter. and from the Spanish Crown Jewels ."A diamond is forever" is the legendary saying that was created by America's first advertising agency. who was known for his jewelry expertise.42 carat rough flawless-yellow diamond from the 'Compagnie Français de Diamant du Cap' (Kimberley mine) in 1877. Ayer in 1938. purchased diamonds. Styne wrote the score for the 1949 Broadway musical 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Domain Hollywood in 1949 Coming just on the heels of the immortal "a diamond is forever" campaign. which started out as 'Tiffany & Young' of New York City in 1837." by Jean Schlumberger in the 1960s." was the co-founder of Tiffany & Co. The 'Tiffany & Co. producing the 128. Styne moved to Hollywood where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn.W. Tiffany & Young. specializing in one-of-a-kind baubles for New York's newly-minted industrialists and 'robber-barons. . Sir Francis "Piggy" Beekman. located at 259 Broadway. Jule Styne. was originally a 'fancy goods' emporium. De Beers president. Ayer & Son. One of Tiffany's most notable diamond acquisitions was a 287. The Tiffany is still selling luxury jewelry in their trademarked 'Tiffany Blue Box." after here charecter. aka "the King of Diamonds. Charles Tiffany. Prince Esterhazy of Hungary. the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine. the values of ostentatious gems and jewelry dropped precipitously.72 carat cushion-cut diamond (one of the "Diamonds of Golconda") was mounted by Tiffany. N. and featuring the memorable scene in which Holly gazes longingly into Tiffany's window display.' The stone was set into a garish jewelry piece called "Bird on a Rock. With financial shockwaves caused by the French economy's collapse in 1847. The movie version featured Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend. A 19. for resale in America. and Tiffany seized on the opportunity. Harry Frederick Oppenheimer enlisted the help of N. After the French revolution in 1799. The Great Depression had taken a heavy toll on luxury goods during the 1930s. Photo: Pub.W.54 carat 'The Tiffany Diamond.' staring Audrey Hepburn. gems and jewelry from the estates of the European aristocracy. After attending Chicago Musical College. Lorelei receives a diamond tiara from her suitor.
Through interviews with human-rights organizations like Doctors Without Borders and Global Witness. appraisal report. This time. as writer Charles Leavitt takes us through the dark underbelly of the diamond trade. the unsung hero in the diamond trade." and the terrible working conditions that these workers must endure." there would be no "diamond trade.Photo: © Warner Bros. the glamor is laid bare. or "cert" may be your only assurance that you are getting exactly what you paid for. grading report. Leavitt weaves a tale of Sierra Leone's impoverished "diamond diggers. The Consumer Last. and their willingness to purchase the concept of "foreverness. the World Diamond Council placed ten full-page ads in newspapers around the county. 2006 Hollywood in 2006 Blood Diamond is the latest incarnation of Hollywood's fascination with diamond. certificate of authenticity. we have the faceless American consumer." 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. Diamonds are tested for . In a preemptive strike against any negative publicity that the movie would generate. Were it not for intrepid consumers. a diamond certificates. but not least.
wether the stone is natural or synthetic. Certificates of Authenticity. 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 carat weight) and they are also tested for traces of gem enhancement. and of corse.not only for resale. The IGI offers Identification Reports. and is the largest independent gem certification and appraisal institute in the United States. Los Angeles. Although even a lay-person may be able to tell the difference between a triple-zero diamond and a cheap.other than the price. and saturation of a colored stone. Tokyo. clarity. but for insurance appraisal as well. poorly cut SI-3 grade stone. Mumbai. carat weight. Shipley in 1931. Toronto. there is very little (visible) difference between a FL stone and a IF or VVS-1 stone . Dubai and Hong Kong. GIA Certificate A GIA (Gemological Institute of America) report provides detailed information about the dimensions.the basics (cut dimensions and proportions. which can be substantially different. the same year that Shipley published his groundbreaking book titled 'Gemology. and Attestations of Origin. tone. and wether they are synthetic. with operations in New York City. GIA reports also cover any treatments or enhancements that have been done. founded in 1975. . with offices around the globe. color. Bangkok. 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. California. Antwerp. The GIA was founded by Robert M. Appraisal Reports. IGI Certificate The International Gemological Institute (IGI) is the oldest institute of its kind in Antwerp.' GIA's world headquarters are located in Carlsbad. shape and cut of a stone.
HRD also offers gemelogical training and continuing education courses in diamond grading. the sorting of rough diamonds. jewellery design and gemology. HRD uses the "Hearts and Arrows" measuring system which was developed by HRD Antwerp scientists. All diamonds are examined anonymously. color. weight. and finish. and the graders can not know the identity of the owner. as well as quantifying the standard parameters of Clarity. and Fluorescence. with "Triple Excellent" being the highest overall designation. origin (colored gems). HRD's refined Cut Grading system measures each of the three parameters (proportions. . HRD Antwerp Diamond Certificate The certificates department of HRD Antwerp in Antwerpen. polish and symmetry) using a scale ranging from Excellent to Fair. Belgium issues quality reports for loose (unmounted) polished diamonds according to ISO 17025 international standards for gemelogical testing laboratories. clarity. Color. Cut. mesurments. Carat Weight. Shape.The IGI lab grades diamonds as well as colored gemstones along several basic criteria which include: shape and cut.
" is not an appraisal of monetary value. Aditionally. Today. the HRD lab also uses state-of-the-art technology to test for subtle and hard to recognize enhancements such as HPHT. Diamond Grading AGS Diamond Quality Report (DQD) AGS Gemological Laboratory Background Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. creator of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). certificates issued after January 1. but rather a comprehensive quality evaluation. vs. To insure the security of their documents. The mission of the AGS is to increase consumer awareness. and Proportions. 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. An AGS report. and does not evaluate other types of colored gemstones. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). along with a consortium of independent jewelers. AGS is considered the premier diamond-grading laboratory. and to set a higher standard of business ethics and professional practices in the jewelry industry. and s ratings. AGSL Certificate The AGSL was the first gem lab to grade a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish.As well as testing for synthetic diamonds.com The American Gem Society was founded in 1934 by Robert M. AGS grades diamond color on a numeric sliding scale that is similar to GIA's alphabetical scale. A diamond's clarity is also graded on a simple numeric scale from 0 to 10. 'Polish' and 'Symmetry' were merged into one category called "Finish. 2005 can be viewed online. and optical physicists. Shipley. HRD uses complex watermarking to prevent copying or falsifying their reports. . referred to as a "Diamond Quality Document" or "DQD. as opposed to GIA's vvs. having the most rigid grading standards. Symmetry. The AGS specializes in diamond testing and evaluation." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors. mathematicians. The AGS Gemological Laboratories was established in 1996 to provide state-of-the-art diamond grading and appraisal services to the jewelry industry. The AGS 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." The AGS Cut Grading system was developed through of years of research by gemologists. In 2004 AGS added a new category referred to as "Light Performance" but to retained the "Triple Zero" monicker for diamonds with a perfect score. as well as the most comprehensive system for grading the all-important 'cut' parameters.
. dispersion. leakage and light spread. Each parameter is given a numeric grade from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). contrast." The AGS Cut grading system was developed through years of research by gemologists. and Proportions." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors. AGS uses the "Light Performance" designation to quantify 'light return' by using a ray-tracing software program to follow the path of light rays as they travel through the diamond." but to retained the "Triple Zero" monicker for diamonds with a perfect score. 'Polish' and 'Symmetry' were merged into one category called "Finish.Cut Grade: Finish. Proportions & Light Performance The AGSL was the first gem lab to grade a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. mathematicians. Symmetry. In 2004 AGS added a new category that is referred to as "Light Performance. and optical physicists. The ray-tracing program measures the quantity of the light being returned to the viewer by quantifying brightness.
" or "ideal" rating. . AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond." Document Security Each AGS grading document is marked with a hologram (dark circle at lower right of report) and watermarking or embossing to prevent fraudulent duplication. AGS Diamond 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. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles. relative facet angles. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless . and individual facet ratios.0 to 7.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003.5 to 18.104.22.168 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light .1.7.5 to 3.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint .AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero. the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram.0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless . in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above).0 to 1. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. where facets intersect with each-other. 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.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light .
princess. while a shaft is . and octagon step-cut diamonds. AGSL reports will also grade cut quality for emerald. unmounted diamonds. and ore bodies that are in situ. 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. so that the cutter can improve the light performance of their cut stones.Triple-0 Round Brilliant Setting 'American Star Diamond' 13. minerals. The AGS supplies 'facet arrangement' templates corresponding to their cutgrading system.42 Carat D. Obtaining an AGS Report AGS is a 'trade-industry' testing laboratory that will only evaluate diamonds sent from jewelers or manufacturers. AGS will also provide analysis of a manufacturers 'cut performance' by analyzing a sample stone's Sarin file. left) refers to various techniques used to extract gems. 4." A decline is a spiral (corkscrew) tunnel which circles the ore deposit. The principle methods of diamond extraction are: 1. AGS offers laser inscription services as well. Pricing for a diamond grading report is based on carat weight. 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. As of 2005. Additionally.com Diamonds and other precious and semi-precious gemstones are extracted from the earth using five basic mining techniques. OctoNus Software. and will soon be offering cut evaluations for other fancy shapes. the stability of the material that surrounds that desired gem or mineral. Diamonds: Gem & Diamond Mining Technology Photos: Public Domain Diamond & Gem Mining . the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA). Dubai. India and Israel. Artisanal Mining Hard Rock Mining Marine Mining Open Pit Mining Placer Mining Hard-Rock Diamond Mining The term "hard-rock mining" (top of page. which are used by non-contact measuring-device manufacturers such as Sarin Technologies. Accessing the underground ore is achieved via a horizontal passageway called a "decline. 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. 3. and OGI Systems. 2." or a by a vertical "shaft.Extraction Methods Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. 5.
right) with bare hands. Placer Mining Placer diamond mining. or sort material according to size. therefore. they tend to concentrate in alluvial deposits in the same way that gold placers develop. with the middle size being a candidate for final sorting. and or colluvial secondary deposits.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. Marine diamond mining employs both "vertical" and "horizontal" techniques to extract diamonds from offshore placer deposits. mechanized surface excavating equipment. Excavation is accomplished using water pressure (hydraulic mining). shovels. or pans. also known as "open-cast mining" (top of page. or hand digging (artisanal mining). center) is a method of extracting rock and minerals from the earth by removal from a machine-dug open pit or burrow. gravel. Horizontal mining employs the use of Seabed Crawlers (remotely controlled. 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. Open pit mines are typically used when mineral deposits are found close to the surface or along defined kimberlite pipes. box screens. or sand) that is unsuitable for tunneling. Artisanal diamond mining is a form of "subsistence based" non-mechanized mining that is used in poorer countries throughout the world. Small "pit lakes" tend to form at the bottom of open-pit mines as a result of groundwater intrusion. and access to the ore.vertical tunnel used for ore haulage. and have a specific gravity that is higher than that of common minerals. . highly resistant to weathering. and is a derivative form of open-cast mining used to extract minerals from the surface of the earth without the use of tunneling. which concentrate the heavier gems at the bottom. CAT-tracked underwater mining vehicles) move across the sea floor pumping gravel up to an offshore vessel. Gems are separated from waste material using various sifting and sorting techniques such as cone screens. Open Pit Mining Open-pit diamond mining. eluvial. running adjacent to the ore. or large conical sieves. Diamonds and most gemstones are hard. While on board.Photo: USGS Alluvial Diamond . the gravels are separated and sorted into three sizes. machinery. Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . also known as "sand-bank mining" (top of page. Marine Mining Marine mining technology only became commercially viable in the early 1990s. right) is used for extracting diamonds and minerals from alluvial. rock or sedimentary soil. Laborers who work in artisanal diamond mining are called "diamond diggers" (below left). 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. A decline is typically used for mining personnel. at a maximum depth of 500 feet.
Many kimberlite pipes also produce alluvial diamond placer deposits. garnet. the Congo (DROC). Kimberlite pipes are the most significant source of diamonds. . Kimberlite is a diamondiferous igneous-rock matrix composed of carbonate. As this molten mixture of magma (molten rock). yet only about 1 in every 200 kimberlite pipes contain gem-quality diamonds. 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 . Most kimberlite is called "blue-ground" kimberlite (above. serpentine. These pipes are called "kimberlites" or "kimberlite pipes" (see diagram below). right). and diamonds approaches the earth's surface it begins to form an underground structure (pipe) that is shaped like a champagne-flute. and upper mantle rock. Diamond bearing kimberlite in some parts of South Africa is black in color (above. in conflict zones where mechanized mining is impractical and unsafe. left). phlogopite. It is also used extensivly in Angola.North Cape" below). Artisanal diamond mining accounts for 90% of Sierra Leone's diamond exports and is the country's second largest employer after subsistence farming. with a variety of trace minerals. Diamonds: Diamond Geology Diamond Geology & Kimberlites Kimberlite Pipes Diamonds form at a depth greater than 93 miles (150 kilometers) beneath the earth's surface. 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 can lie directly underneath shallow lakes formed in the inactive volcanic calderas or craters. left) or "yellow-ground" kimberlite and can be found worldwide. Kimberlite occurs in the zone of the Earth's crust in vertical structures known as kimberlite pipes (above. right). minerals. pyroxene. and Liberia. diamonds are carried to the surface of the earth by volcanic activity. rock fragments. After their formation. olivine.Artisanal diamond mining is used throughout west Africa.
left) and marine gravels of the south-western coastline of Africa represent the some of the world's largest placer diamond deposits. resulting in a broader cone of eviscerated rock at the surface. Diamondiferous material tends to concentrate in and around 'oxbow lakes. Alluvial diamond deposits are usually located within river terrace gravels that have been transported from their location of origin. and tectonic breccia. igneous breccia.' which are created by abandoned river meanders. including: hydrothermal breccia. impact breccia.Photo: Public Domain Lamproite Pipes Lamproite pipes produce diamonds to a lesser extent than kimberlite pipes. known as the Sperrgebiet or "forbidden territory. There are several types of breccia which are categorized based on their geological origin." that may be similar. or different in composition to the fragments themselves. usually from kimberlite deposits." and along the Orange River near Alexander Bay. .Photo: Public Domain Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . or "cementing material. Breccia is a rock composed of angular fragments of several minerals or rocks in a matrix. Lamproite pipes are created in a similar manner to kimberlite pipes. except that boiling water and volatile compounds contained in the magma act corrosively on the overlying rock. 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. The world's largest known gem quality alluvial diamond deposits are located along the Namib Desert coastline of southwestern Africa. Alluvial (Placer) Diamond Deposits The location of alluvial (secondary or placer) diamond deposits is controlled by the surrounding topography. 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.Photo: NASA The alluvial terrace gravels (below. These dried 'lakes' receive river water during seasonal flooding which transports large amounts of sediment held in suspension. Alluvial Diamonds from Africa . The Argyle pipe is a diatreme.Open Pit Mine . This results in a martini-glass shaped diamondiferous deposit as opposed to kimberlite's champagne flute shape.
com . but were not deposited on land. carried from their primary origination point on the Kaapvaal Craton.8 million to 10. Westward draining river systems transported these diamonds to Africa's continental coastline for final deposition within on-shore marine terrace gravels.8k. to a lesser extent. Diamonds in marine areas are typically trapped in bedrock depressions such as gullies. Alluvial Terrace Gravels .000 years ago).9k and 101. depressions. 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. Some of the largest and highest gemquality diamonds produced from alluvial placer diamond mining have come from this region. including Angola's two largest diamonds at 105. Diamond Mines of the World: Active Diamond Mines List of Active Diamond Mines All Contents Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Diamonds that were transported downstream. made their way to the sea bed just offshore. channels or other trapsites for diamondiferous deposits.Namibia's placer diamond deposits are between 40 and 80 million years old. potholes. The diamonds within these deposits were transported from deeply-eroded diamondiferous kimberlites or. from olivine lamproites formed during the Cretaceous or Permo-Triassic period.Photo: Wiki Diamond-Bearing 'Diamondiferous' Gravel Many of these alluvial diamond deposits occur in Pleistocene and Holocene successions (1. in central South Africa and Botswana.
map Baken Diamond Mine: Located along Orange River in North Cape. map . 2. 6. map Koidu Open Pit Mines: Kimberlite open-pit mines just south of Koidu. De Beers operated. map Letseng Diamond Mine: Open-cast mine in Maluti Mountains 70 km from Mokhotlong. 1. 1. Waldman Resources. Namdeb Namib Gov. 2. Diavik Diamond Mine: The Diavik diamond mine is located in the NWT. 4. 2. map Jwaneng Diamond Mine: (place of small stones) richest mine in world. map Marine Mining: Namco Mining operates a dredging fleet off the west coast of Namibia. 75% De Beers ownership. De Beers / Botswana.De Beers / Botswana. 3.DeBeers/Botswana. 2. links to satellite images of the mines (where available). map Cullinan Diamond Mine: Open Pit/Hard Rock diamond mine owned by De Beers. 3. 3. map Williamson Diamond Mine: (aka Mwadui mine) Open Pit mine. 1. MIBA. Lubilash) Alluvial river mines in Kasaï. map Ekati Diamond Mine: Canada's first diamond mining operation. 2. 75% De Beers ownership. Trans Hex. Namdeb. and hard rock diamond mines. Endiama (50%). Israel. map Orange River (Daberas) Mines: Orange River alluvium. south of Lüderitz. South Kalimantan 1. in Kasaï . map Magna Egoli Mine: Largest mechanized mine in Sierra Leone. map Bakwanga Mine: (aka Bushimaïe. located in NWT. 4. Kimberlite pipe. Luzamba Diamond Mine: Angola's largest alluvial mine. 1. map The Oaks Diamond Mine: In Limpopo province.Currently there are eleven major 'diamond producing' nations. Active Mines | Inactive Mines | Future Exploration | Mining Companies Africa Angola 1. 2. Luarica Diamond Mine: Owned by Endiama (38%) & Trans Hex (32%). map Orapa Diamond Mine: (resting place for lions) Largest/oldest of four . Owned by Endiama (40%) & Trans Hex (35%). 1. map Letlhakane Diamond Mine: ("little reeds") second oldest of four . map Kimberley Diamond Mine: Started in 1871. map Koidu-Sefadu Mines: Subsistence digging in alluvium pits west of Koidu. There are also several African nations with ongoing off-shore dredging/vacuming operations. map Finsch Diamond Mine: Finsch is an open-pit mine near Lime Acres. map River Ranch Diamond Mine: Open Pit & Underground mine. map Venetia Diamond Mine: Limpopo. Cempaka Diamond Mines: Alluvials mined by indigenous artisanal Kalimantan miners. mining operator info. map Borneo Cempaka/Riam Kanan. Argyle Diamond Mine: Largest producer in world. map Koffiefontein Diamond Mine: The Koffiefontein mine opened in 1870.closed. De Beers/Botswana. Odebrecht (50%). 1. produces over 40% of world's gem-quality diamonds. 3. and a host of other counties with operational and/or historic alluvial. map Fucauma Diamond Mine: Newly constructed. 1. open pit. Catoca Diamond Mine: Fourth largest diamond mine in world. mostly industrial grade. Closed in 2006. 2. 4. These lists also contains new project explorations. Open-pit mine De Beers operated. map Canada North West Territories (NWT) 1. 5. So Africa. and any relevant geographic data. 75% De Beers ownership map Murowa Diamond Mine: Open Pit & Underground mine. Rio Tinto. map Elizabeth Bay Mine: Open-cast mine in Namib desert. mining industry inside news. map Forminière Diamond Mine: Alluvial mine located on the River Tshikapa. 3. 1. map Botswana Congo (DROC or RDC) Lesotho Namibia Sierra Leone South Africa Tanzania Zimbabwe Australia East Kimberley 1. 7. map Damtshaa Diamond Mine: (water for a tortoise) New open pit mine. 2. the Kimberley Open Pits closed in 2005.
and Sytykan. 4. map Russia Siberia 1. Jubilee. Mirna Mine: Largest diamond deposit in Russia and one of the largest in the world. 2. map . Panna Diamond Mine: Alluvial mine in state of Madhya Pradesh. Alrosa. 3. 5. map Jubilee (Yubileinaya) Mine: Newer open-pit kimberlite mine near Udachny. Aikhal GOK Mine: Three open-pit kimberlite pipe mines: Aikhal.India Madhya Pradesh 1. map Anabar GOK Mine: The norther most location of Russia's diomond mines. map Udachnaya (Udachny) Pipe Mine: One of the deepest diamond mines in the world.
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