All About Gemstones: Diamonds

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

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

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

The 4 Cs of Diamonds: Cut

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

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

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

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

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

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

" "Briolette" (a form of Rose cut). and a 2 carat diamond is 200 points. The "fancy cuts" are generally not held to the same strict standards as Round Brilliants. 5 Popular fancy cuts include the "Baguette" (bread loaf). the total mass of all diamonds or gemstones is referred to as "Total Carat Weight" or "T. One "Carat" is a unit of mass that is equal to 0.086 grains) or 0.C. your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the "4 C's" diamond grading system. "Marquise" or "Navette" (little boat). CARAT Balancing Cut and Weight A diamond or gemstone's "Carat" designation is a measurement of both the size and weight of the stone. and the Pear." .2 grams (200 milligrams or 3. Therefor.W.007 ounce. "Princess" (square outline). and with each point being 2 milligrams in weight. a 1/2 carat diamond would be 50 points. The 4 C's of Diamonds: Carat (Weight) The 4 C's Diamond Grading System 1. a 3/4 carat diamond is 75 points. A carat can also be divided into "points" with one carat being equal to 100 points. Cut 2. As a consumer. When a single piece of jewelry has multiple stones. Color Carat weight is one of the 4 C's. Clarity 4. "Heart. Carat 3.Heart Marquise Oval Pear Princess Radiant Round Trillion (not shown at diagram) Fig. Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond.

750 30. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor.5 carats must have an actual weight of between .504 carats.600 8.VS1 Carat Size</ 0. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations.10 carat diamond for its better cut. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions. 40º pavilion. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of .Grade: F Colorless . a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight. it must be accurate to the second decimal place. Price Per Carat (2005) . carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place.5 carat 1. See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity .99 carat diamond for its better price.600 6.500 15. girdle and pavilion.5º crown." If the carat weight is shown as ".204 carat. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat. Occasionally.600 12. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between . many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place.195 and . It is for this reason that an even 1.495 carats and . clarity and weight.5 carat 2. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a .0 carat 3.800 6.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York. or "seed of the carob".The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above. or to buy a 1. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone. In ancient times. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1.0 carat 1.

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

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

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

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

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

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. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2. with a variety of trace minerals. igneous rock composed of garnet. and differentiates it from simple graphite. A diamond is a transparent. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1. olivine. Under the continental crust.200 degrees Celsius). and pyroxene. a refractive index of 2. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes. Therefore. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km). The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic.42. with the principle allotrope being graphite. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe.52. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon." "untamable. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale.044. . The name "diamond. ultramafic. phlogopite. and a specific gravity of 3. which resemble a champagne flute. Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses." which is also known as "adamant. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine." is derived from the Greek adamas." and "unconquerable. Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness. diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation. or "invincible. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" [2]. At these depths." referring to its incredible hardness. Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures.Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time.

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

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

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

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

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

The rough stone weighed 287.54 carat cushion cut with an estimated value in the millions of dollars. daylight) and ambient temperature changes. and was cut into a 128. halogen. left).Cognac 8 is darkest Chameleon Diamonds There is a very rare olive-grayish color-changing diamond called "Chameleon Diamond" (below. . 1PP is the highest quality designation for Pink Diamond.M Very Light .Pink (Magenta-pink) 1 is darkest 1P to 8P . South Africa in 1878. Only 1% to 2% of the diamonds produced at the Argyle Mine are high-quality pink specimens.' GIA 'Fancy Yellow' Diamond Color Saturation Designations Faint .' found in Kimberly. One of the world's only major sources for rare pink diamonds is the Argyle Mine in Australia. yet considerably more expensive. lighting color temperatures (incandescent. having a pure magenta color with deep saturation. As the numbers go lower (8PP) the color is paler. bright light). have become more commonplace as Australian colored diamonds have gained in popularity. and value (darkness) using nine classifications ranging from 'Faint' to 'Vivid.Brown diamonds. which changes hue from grayish-blue or olive-green to yellowish-green or straw-yellow under different lighting conditions (darkness. Fancy Yellow Diamonds (Canary Yellow) Fancy yellow diamonds owe their color the presence of nitrogen impurities which absorb the blue end of the color spectrum.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.42 carats. and most valuable Fancy Yellow diamonds in the world is the 'Tiffany Diamond.Pink (Brownish-pink) 1 is darkest PC3 to PC1 . Fancy Pink/Brown Diamond Color (Hue) Designations 1PP to 8PP . which are generally less appreciated than other fancy colors and therefor. sold at a greater discount. Pink diamonds are similar to pink sapphire in color. This Chameleon-like phenomenon was first documented by the GIA in the early 1940s.S to Z Fancy Light .Champagne 3 is darkest C8 to C1 . causing microscopic imperfections within the lattice structure. The GIA grades fancy diamond color by quantifying the saturation.Highest Saturation One of the largest.N to R Light . An 1P designation would have less blue and more brownish-red.Pink (Reddish-pink) 1 is darkest 1BP to 8BP . hue.

greyish-green.90 carats.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant. Warren Hancock. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply. and weighed a modest 0.95carats. .03 carats. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red. as in the one-of-a-kind 5.000 to $500. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds.000 in 1987. Intense. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness [9].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). Primary sources are in southcentral Africa. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond. On thing is certain. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. The color change effect is temporary. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat.000 per carat. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste.' discovered during the 18th century. Green diamonds can range from $35. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems. or a combination of the The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. and the De Young Red weighing 5. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits. pure green hues. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926.

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

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

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

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

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




Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.

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



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

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



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

Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .

when a tube is generated by a formerly liquid filled cavity. .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. 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 .

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

Garnet Inclusions within Diamond .





Garnet fragment on Diamond Girdle .

Grossularite Garnet Inclusions in Diamond .

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

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


Internal Graining with Cloud Inclusion .

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


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.

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

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


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

Natural Comet Inclusion .

Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud .

Tabular Reflection in Diamond .

Included Garnet Twins within Diamond .

Included Dalmatian Garnet .

Cloud Inclusion .

Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers .

Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light .

Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion .

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




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





. 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.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.


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

Surface Graining 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. . Surface Graining (SGr) Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation.Pits Dislodged pinpoint inclusions at the surface.

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

. Cavities (Cv) An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing. Drag Lines Created when a rough particle is dragged along the surface. or when abrasive material is caught by an included crystal such as garnet during the polishing of a diamond. Chips Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet. the overheating of a facet causes a burn mark. Drag Line Photos Diamond Surface Drag Lines Photography Drag Lines are human-caused surface imperfections and blemishes that are created when a loose rough particle is dragged along the surface. or caught by a included crystal. during cutting and/or polishing the diamond.Burn Marks Created during polishing.



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. Filled Fractures Fractures or feathers that have been artificially filled to enhance clarity.

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




Scratch (S) A fine whitish line that can be curved or straight.Polish Lines (PL) Fine parallel surface groves resulting from the polishing process. 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.

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

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

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

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

using a proprietary variation of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) technique. Ltd. and like Chatham. in Boston. Cubic Zirconia (Zirconium Oxide ZrO2) has a completely different chemical structure. of Bangkok Thailand. and CZ has a hardness of only 8.25 carats to 1 carat. each Gemesis cut stone over . To insure easy identification as a man-made product. carbonate fluid solution that is similar to diamond-bearing metamorphic rock. emerald. www. princess. while diamond has a hardness of To the average consumer. Gemesis only grows fancy-colored diamonds. Tairus produces rough sizes from .). Florida. Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite Cubic Zirconia Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.Apollo Diamond. Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is the most familiar type of diamond simulant on the market. and each stone is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. and some fancy colored diamonds. www. with clarity grades from IF to SI. Chatham's pricing ranges from $6. www. The Split Sphere system crystalizes the carbon seed in an alkaline.chatham.3 on the Mohs scale. Massachusetts grows colorless (D to M) diamonds. Apollo Diamond's cut stones are available in round brilliant..30 carats to 3 carats. and stones are cut to Tairus Created Gems Tairus Created Gems is a Russian company that grows fancy-colored diamonds in their proprietary "Split Sphere" Gemesis Cultured Diamonds Gemesis is located in Sarasota. inc.apollodiamond. 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.gemesis. While a synthetic diamond is a man-made recreation of an actual carbon-based diamond. which they claim is the closest thing to mother nature. Tairus Created Gems are sold exclusively through Tairus Thailand Co. The toughness of Cubic Zirconia is rated as good. and rose cuts. .500 per carat (2004 est.500 to $ 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. Apollo Diamonds are cut and polished in sizes ranging from .

Once the mixture has cooled.80 to 2. a CZ is optically flawless. or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible. Diamond's RI is 2. the greater dispersive power.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.2. natural diamond is a thermal conductor Weight: Cubic Zirconia is heavier than diamond in a given size Another method for distinguishing Cubic Zirconia from diamond is to mark the stone with a grease pencil or felt-tipped pen. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. or colorless (white) versions. CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1.17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing.800 . candle. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left).In 1973. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease. . Natural diamonds attract grease. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight. The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit. 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. etc. Due to their low cost and consistency. The 1. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below).417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator. 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. and CZs can be made in any "color grade. Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR). Zirconium oxide powder is heated. but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye.41 (RI). CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. For instance. Unlike most natural diamonds. Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting.) in a totally dark room. CZ vs Diamond .170. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond .

manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. when examining the gem through the kite facets. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.65 to 2. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. while diamond has a hardness of 10.A small. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. candle. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 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.69.104 as compared to CZ at 0. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. is classified as an element rather than a compound.670. Moissanite has an RI of 2.060. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). . Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond.25 on the Mohs scale. Arizona. and diamond at 0.) in a dark room. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. center) near Winslow. Moissanite has a hardness of 9. found only in iron-nickel meteorites. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. etc. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion.044. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. Hodgkinson's 'Visual Optics' Detection The Hodgkinson technique (aka Visual Optics) was discovered by Alan Hodgkinson with Gem-A in the mid-1970s as a method for differentiating natural diamond from colorless gemstones and simulants. Henri Moissan (above. Moissanite.417. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material.

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

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

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

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

Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. very small to small In the 1970s.7%. H&A Viewer. more brilliance and fire..5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed. Ideal Scope. The "Scan D.N. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant". To quantify a diamond's cut quality. A perfect blending of facet symmetry. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts. etc. Symmetry. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios.6% and overall height of 57.' 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. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor)." (Scandinavian standard. invented in 1929. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. facet ratios. Since then. and Proportions. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35.7%. and crown/pavilion angles.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42. Eppler & Scan D. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. crown height of 14. and overall height of 57. crown height of 14.5%. .N. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. As with all human endeavors.4%.5% to 43. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace. Tolkowsky.

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

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

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

and the table is a bowed out rectangle. www. The Lucida diamond cut is marketed as a wedding cut.The Leo diamond cut is the first to be certified for fire and brilliance as measured by a 'BrillianceScope. and three-stone rings. Lucida Cut The Lucida (TM) Cut is a patented diamond cut that was created by Tiffany & Company in 1999. The Lucida diamond cut is a modified square or rectangular (Marquise) cut with truncated" The Leo Diamond is marketed through the Kay Jeweler chain. and a total of has 50 facets. RCDC launched the 'Original Radiant Cut' diamond brand In 2002. There are 25 crown facets and 36 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets (not including 8 girdle facets). Prior to the Quadrillion. eternity Starburst Cut . It was the first emerald shaped diamond cut to have brilliance and fire similar to that of a round brilliant diamond. The Lucida is sold exclusively through Tiffany's retail chain.diamondaires. a highstep crown (similar to the Asscher Cut). sold in solitaire engagement/wedding bands. small table. patented and trademarked by Henry Grossbard of the Radiant Cut Diamond Company (RCDC) in 1977. square shaped diamonds were stepcut limiting their brilliance. brilliant-style faceted pavilion (similar to a Cushion Cut).com Quadrillion Cut The Quadrillion® Cut (aka Squarillion Cut) is a modified square princess cut that was developed by Israel Itzkowitz and Betzalel Ambar in the late 1970s. and all Original Radiant Cut diamonds weigh at least 0.radiantcut. www.' and each diamond comes with a "Return of Light Certificate. the Radiant Cut became a fully accepted diamond shape in the jewelry business. Bez Ambar Radiant Cut The Radiant Cut is a modified emerald cut shape that was developed. There are a total of 49 facets. Upon the expiration of the patent.70 carats and come with a GIA Certificate and an "Original Radiant Cut Diamond Certificate" guarantying that the stone meets the ideal proportions as designed by Henry Grossbard. The Quadrillion was the result of three years of optical research to create a square diamond cut that can claim a similar brilliance to a round diamond. The pavilion is similar to a Barion cut. and was patented and trademarked by Bez Ambar Jewelers of Los Angeles in 1980.

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

1700s The "old mine" cut is the earliest form of the "brilliant cut" diamond. The single cut may or may not have a culet at the bottom. This Old Mine cut is basically square with gently rounded corners and "brilliant" style facets." "crowned rose cut. it has a cushioned or rounded girdle shape. The briolette cut was designed primarily for use in a pendant or as a dangling bauble in a crown.late 1300s Invented in the late 14th century." and the Full Holland cut. The briolette was the precursor to the "pendeloque cut" which is a pear-shaped modification of the round brilliant cut. Also called the "cushion cut". The crown is typically tall. Old Mine Cut . The culet is usually large enough to be visible when viewed through the table. Rose & Briolette Cut. The "senaille cut" is a rose cut with irregular or non-symmetrical faceting.Single Cut . an octagonal table. . The "briolette cut" is a modified "double Dutch rose cut" with one of the hemispheres being elongated. eight bezel or crown facets. and eight pavilion facets. The Rose cut can form a single hemisphere for a total of 24 facets or it can be two back-to-back hemispheres (Double Dutch rose) forming a total of 48 facets." "Dutch cut.1500s Invented in the mid 16th century. the "old single cut" (aka "old eight cut") diamond has the addition of corner facets to create an octagonal girdle. the "rose cut" is also known by the the "Antwerp rose. resulting in a smaller table.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: Pub. although Rhodes did not start out with an interest in diamonds. but was eventually successful in convincing Barnato to merge with De Beers. N. 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." In 1906. and in 1910 the 'Union of South Africa' was created. Barnato died several years later. Rhodes started out selling ice cream to the diamond-diggers and service workers. and J. Barnato was given appointed to 'life governor' and temporary controlling interest in De Beers [6]. With the help of the Rothschild bank in London. Cullinan . Domain Cecil Rhodes Cecil Rhodes (1853—1902) is the undisputed father of the modern diamond industry. self-government was restored. In exchange. A. As founder of De Beers. De Beer.' Cecil Rhodes died a single man with no children and. The African nation of Rhodesia was named after him (now the Republic of Zimbabwe). Cecil Rhodes' De Beers empire was started on a farm owned by two Boer settlers and brothers. a prospector. in Northern Cape... Rhodes made several aborted attempt to gain control over Barnato's interest in Kimberley Central Mine. Domain Thomas M. no heirs to his empire. and later selling steam-powered water pumps to drain the open-pit mines of Kimberley. 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. D. Around 1873 the De Beer brothers sold out to a group of mining syndicates who later merged with Cecil Rhodes' pumping company to form 'De Beers Consolidated Mines. Photo: Pub. Photo: Pub. As a young lad from England. mysteriously falling overboard on a ship passage back to England. Domain Barney Barnato During the same period that Cecil Rhodes was building De Beers Consolidated Mines. he was able to build a monopolistic empire through skill and cunning. De Beers and Kimberley Central were the two largest mining interests in South Africa at the time. a curious discovery was being made along the banks of the Orange River. Amid all of this turmoil and chaos. One of the richest men in the world.the "mineral revolution.

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

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

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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

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

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

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

72 carat cushion-cut diamond (one of the "Diamonds of Golconda") was mounted by Tiffany. the values of ostentatious gems and jewelry dropped precipitously. Harry Frederick Oppenheimer enlisted the help of N. and featuring the memorable scene in which Holly gazes longingly into Tiffany's window display. this time from playwriter." was the co-founder of Tiffany & Co. and from the Spanish Crown Jewels [27]. Styne wrote the score for the 1949 Broadway musical 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. The Tiffany is still selling luxury jewelry in their trademarked 'Tiffany Blue Box. Lorelei receives a diamond tiara from her suitor. and a series of diamond-related slogans were introduced into the American lexicon. Domain Hollywood in 1949 Coming just on the heels of the immortal "a diamond is forever" campaign. Domain Charles Lewis Tiffany Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812—1902). After attending Chicago Musical College.W. located at 259 Broadway." by Jean Schlumberger in the 1960s. and the diamond industry was particularly hard hit. the public's tolerance towards nobility was at a low point. The movie version featured Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend. De Beers and the diamond industry got another shot in the arm. Sir Francis "Piggy" Beekman. The stone was cut in Paris. aka "the King of Diamonds. who was known for his jewelry expertise. and Tiffany seized on the opportunity.W. and sold to Nanaline Duke (now in the Doris Duke Collection). Jule Styne (born Julius Kerwin Stein) was born in London. which started out as 'Tiffany & Young' of New York City in 1837. Tiffany & Young. Ayer in 1938.' at the flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine. Jule Styne. for resale in America." after here charecter. The Great Depression had taken a heavy toll on luxury goods during the 1930s. A 19.' The stone was set into a garish jewelry piece called "Bird on a Rock. One of Tiffany's most notable diamond acquisitions was a 287. Charles Tiffany.' which was adapted to film in 1953. and the subsequent overthrowing of King Louis-Philippe of France in 1848."A diamond is forever" is the legendary saying that was created by America's first advertising agency. was originally a 'fancy goods' emporium. Photo: Pub.' During the 1800s. With financial shockwaves caused by the French economy's collapse in 1847. De Beers president. gems and jewelry from the estates of the European aristocracy.' brand was catapulted into the stratosphere by the 1961 movie 'Breakfast at Tiffany's. .42 carat rough flawless-yellow diamond from the 'Compagnie Français de Diamant du Cap' (Kimberley mine) in 1877. specializing in one-of-a-kind baubles for New York's newly-minted industrialists and 'robber-barons. Tiffany was able to purchase significant gems from such renowned estates as: the 'jewel-mad' Duke of Brunswick. Ayer & Son.' staring Audrey Hepburn. Styne moved to Hollywood where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn.54 carat 'The Tiffany Diamond. After the French revolution in 1799. producing the 128. Photo: Pub. purchased diamonds. In 1948 the famous "A diamond is forever" slogan was introduced. N. The 'Tiffany & Co. Prince Esterhazy of Hungary.

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

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

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

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

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

7. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles. relative facet angles.3. .0 to 1. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless ." 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.0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless . In the upper left corner of the document there is a unique AGS reference number that can be used when contacting AGS with questions about your report. and individual facet ratios.5 to 4. the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible. AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond. where facets intersect with each-other. 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.1.5 to 3." or "ideal" rating.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering.0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light .5. in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above).AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero. all measured in three spacial dimensions.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint .5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003.0 to 7. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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