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

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

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

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

Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line. Price Per Carat (2005) .600 6. girdle and pavilion.750 30. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. or to buy a 1. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight.195 and . a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight." If the carat weight is shown as ".600 12. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of .00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a . The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity . as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight.5 carat 2.204 carat. Occasionally.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between . A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place.600 8. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York.500 15. It is for this reason that an even 1. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor. it must be accurate to the second decimal place. 40º pavilion.0 carat 3. clarity and weight.10 carat diamond for its better cut. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond. or "seed of the carob".VS1 Carat Size</ 0. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place.99 carat diamond for its better price. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained.504 carats. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration.0 carat 1.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1. In ancient times.Grade: F Colorless .5 carats must have an actual weight of between . The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales.495 carats and . See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat.5º crown.800 6.5 carat 1.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

a diamond's "toughness" is only fair to good. A material's toughness is measured in units of "joules" per cubic meter (J/m3) in the SI system. Unlike "hardness. and varying growth conditions of heat. Particular cuts of diamond are more prone to breakage along cleavage planes. The culet facet at the bottom of the pavilion. very thin girdles on brilliant cut diamonds are also prone to breakage. due to its ability to fracture along cleavage planes. yet sapphire has a toughness rating of excellent. is a facet specifically designed to resist breakage. pressure and space can also affect the final shape of a formed crystal.© AGS Labs Diamond Toughness Within the fields of metallurgy and materials science. Although diamond is the "hardest. most scratch resistant mineral on earth.5 to 6. Thermal Properties of Diamonds Diamond is a good conductor of heat. with a Mohs scale rating of 10. meaning that a diamond is 4 times "harder" than sapphire. By comparrison." If you were to place a large enough diamond on your tongue it would draw heat away.© AGS Labs Hexagonal (Graphite) Platelet Inclusion ." and therefore. and "pound-force" per square-inch in US units of measurement. acting as a "thermal conductor. Carbon Inclusion . the term "toughness" describes the resistance of a given material to fracture when it is stressed or impacted. Hematite has a hardness of only 5. its "toughness" rating is moderate.Trace impurities. making it seem cold. crystal twinning. Internally formed crystallographic graphite inclusions often create intense strain on the surrounding diamond. Diamond Graphitization In extremely high temperature environments above 1700 ¡C. causing stress fractures or feathers. sapphire has a hardness rating of 9. Many natural blue . Additionally. graphite can develop internally and on the diamond's surface." which only denotes a diamond's high resistance to scratching.5. but its toughness rating is also excellent. and therefore may be uninsurable by reputable insurance companies. contain boron atoms which replace carbon atoms within the crystal matrix. meaning "light". or longer-wavelength photons. re-emitting them as lower-energy. or brilliance. inflexible. Electromagnetic Properties of Diamond . are known as p-type The surface luster (or "lustre") of diamond is described as adamantine. increasing thermal conductance. Due to diamond's high thermal conductance. with the exception of natural blue diamonds. which are in fact semiconductors. .nearly five times greater than pure copper. and generally implies radiance. 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. to prevent silicon and other semiconducting materials from overheating. The term adamantine describes the way light interacts with the surface of a crystal. and synthetic diamonds that are doped with boron. The word luster traces its origins back to the Latin word lux. Purified synthetic diamond can have the highest thermal conductivity (2000-2500 W/m-K) of any solid material at room temperature .Insulators or Semiconductors Diamond is a relatively good electrical insulator. Fluorescence in Diamonds Fluorescence is an optical phenomenon in which a diamond's molecules absorb high-energy photons. If an n-type semiconductor can be synthesized. Natural blue diamonds containing boron atoms. giving off a somewhat greasy sheen. electronic circuits could be manufactured from diamonds in the future [8]. it is used in the manufacturing of semiconductors. which means unyielding. or having the hardness or luster of a diamond.

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

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

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

as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green. pure green hues. Warren Hancock. greyish-green. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. Intense.03 carats. The color change effect is temporary. . and weighed a modest 0. and are typically found in alluvial secondary Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness [9]. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926.95carats. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds.000 per carat.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation. On thing is The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond.000 to $500. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond. and the De Young Red weighing 5. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil.000 in 1987.' discovered during the 18th century. Green diamonds can range from $35. or a combination of the two. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa.Green Chameleon Diamonds Fancy Pink Diamond Color Grading Chameleon diamonds can be forced to temporarily change to a yellowish-green color by exposing them to heat (150º C to 250º C).90 carats. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13.

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

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

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

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

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




Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.

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



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

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



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

Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .

Growth Tubes Imperfection formed during crystal growth. when a tube is generated by a formerly liquid filled cavity. . 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 .

silica or other gem stone inclusions. diopside.Included Crystals (Xtl) Included and undigested gemstones or fragments of garnet. spinel. Included Crystals Inclusion Photos Internal Included Crystals in Diamond Included Crystal inclusions are whole crystals or tiny included gem fragments of undigested crystals such as garnet. calcite. olivine. olivine. spinel. Green chrome diopside Inclusion within a Diamond . or silica. iron oxides. iron oxides. calcite. diopside.

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 .

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


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

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

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


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

Natural Comet Inclusion .

Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud .

Tabular Reflection in Diamond .

Included Garnet Twins within Diamond .

Included Dalmatian Garnet .

Cloud Inclusion .

Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers .

Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light .

Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion .

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




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.





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


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

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

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

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



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

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




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

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

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

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

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

Cubic Zirconia (Zirconium Oxide ZrO2) has a completely different chemical structure.3 on the Mohs Tairus Created Gems Tairus Created Gems is a Russian company that grows fancy-colored diamonds in their proprietary "Split Sphere" To the average consumer. Ltd. in Boston.25 carats is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. each Gemesis cut stone over . and rose cuts. using a proprietary variation of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) technique..25 carats to 1 carat. inc. which they claim is the closest thing to mother nature. Chatham's pricing ranges from $6.30 carats to 3 carats. carbonate fluid solution that is similar to diamond-bearing metamorphic rock. . Gemesis only grows fancy-colored diamonds. Tairus Created Gems are sold exclusively through Tairus Thailand Co.apollodiamond.).500 to $9.Apollo Diamond. princess.chatham. and like Chatham. Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is the most familiar type of diamond simulant on the market. and CZ has a hardness of only 8. The toughness of Cubic Zirconia is rated as good. www. while diamond has a hardness of 10. Apollo Diamonds are cut and polished in sizes ranging from . of Bangkok 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. emerald. and each stone is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. Tairus produces rough sizes from . The Split Sphere system crystalizes the carbon seed in an alkaline.gemesis. www. Florida. and stones are cut to order. and some fancy colored diamonds. with clarity grades from IF to SI.500 per carat (2004 est. www. To insure easy identification as a man-made product. Massachusetts grows colorless (D to M) diamonds. and each cut stone is laser inscribed with the Apollo company logo and serial number. Apollo Diamond's cut stones are available in round brilliant. Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite Cubic Zirconia Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. While a synthetic diamond is a man-made recreation of an actual carbon-based Gemesis Cultured Diamonds Gemesis is located in Sarasota.

For instance. Zirconium oxide powder is heated. candle. a CZ is optically flawless. or colorless (white) versions. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond . etc. and CZs can be made in any "color grade.) in a totally dark room. 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. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease. The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit. but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye. Once the mixture has cooled.41 (RI). Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored. .In 1973. 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. Diamond's RI is 2. or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight.170. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below).2. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting. Unlike most natural diamonds. the greater dispersive power." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR). CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds.80 to 2.Detectable to the Naked Eye Light Dispersion: Greater prismatic effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire Lack of Flaws: CZ is virtually flawless. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing. Due to their low cost and consistency. Natural diamonds attract grease. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left). Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond. CZ vs Diamond .800 . The 1. CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1. Using Visual Optics To Detect CZ The Hodgkinson "Visual Optics" technique was developed in the mid-1970s by Alan Hodgkinson as a method of detecting natural diamonds and diamond simulants.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light.17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce.

Moissanite has an RI of 2. and diamond at 0. etc. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. found only in iron-nickel meteorites.A small.417. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. when examining the gem through the kite facets. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible.25 on the Mohs scale. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. Arizona.) in a dark room. .69. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent.670. left) who won the Nobel Prize in 1906 for his discovery of a new mineral (moissanite6H) found within meteorite fragments of the ancient Barringer meteor crater (above. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). while diamond has a hardness of 10. Moissanite.060. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. Henri Moissan (above. candle. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0.044. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. center) near Winslow. 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.104 as compared to CZ at 0. is classified as an element rather than a compound. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight.65 to 2. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. Moissanite has a hardness of 9. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ.

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

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

but in order to do When deciding how to cut a rough diamond. and the amount of internal inclusions will play an important part in the decisions as to how to maximize yield. elimination of any inclusions. compromises would have to be made. a cutter must make a cost-benefit analysis as to how to maximize the cut stone's value.Ideal Cut vs Standard Cut Diamond Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. An octehedral rough diamond will yield two round brilliant cut stones (see diagram below). on the other hand. The objective is always to maximize carat weight. the rough stone has some coloration and/or is heavily included. Reconciling Cut & Weight Retention If the rough stone has a colorless D through F rating and has very few inclusions. The clarity of the stone. cut proportions. If.weight retention. This is accomplished by reconciling three key factors . it may be better to aim for a higher carat weight utilizing a "Standard" cut. it would be cost effective to sacrifice some carat weight in order to finish with two "Ideal" cuts. Parameters Ideal Cut Standard (Premium) Cut Rough Material Loss Finished Stones Cutting Time Crown Symmetry Greater Loss Lower Carat Weight 2 to 4 Days Ideal Higher Yield Higher Carat Weight 1 to 2 Days Shallow Crown .

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

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

) and when suitably scrutinized by the gem trade. Tolkowsky came up with a "brilliant" idea almost 90 years ago. but some like the Barion Cut have disappeared into obscurity. cut corners and a small table. and entrepreneurs .the consumer.Producers split hairs over cut angle. Some have gone on to become household names such as the Asscher cut. Every conceivable cutting theory is tried. and number of facets. and their modest brilliance and light return. the Asscher diamond cut has a squarish octagonal shape with a step cut. Popular in Art Deco jewelry of the Einstein's theory of relativity. and the culet is square. the Cullinan 1 and Cullinan 2 being set into the crown and sceptre of the British Crown Jewels. etc.asscher. and it still survives in some form today. The Asscher brothers cut the famous 3. cut proportions. (more facets. with the two largest stones. but at the end of the day it may simply come down to consumer preference and/or marketing. scientists. it is put in front of the ultimate arbiter of quality .106 carat Cullinan Diamond into eleven gem stones. less facets. One thing is for sure . The cut has a deep pavilion and a high crown. Asscher Cut The Asscher Cut was developed by Abraham and Joseph Asscher of the Royal Asscher Diamond Company of Amsterdam in Barion Cut . Here is a collection of just a few of the many "signature" diamond cuts that have been produced over the last 100 years. or the widely marketed Leo cut which is a modified round-brilliant sold by Leo Schachter Diamonds.each trying to improve on the tried-and-true Old European cuts. mathematicians. 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. www. Eternal Cut The Eternal Cut diamond was designed and patented by master Israeli diamond . Garrard & Co. The Eternal Cut is being sold exclusively at Garrard's main London store and Harvey Nichols stores in Great Britain. The name "Barion" or "Barion cut" was never trademarked. forming a square shape when viewed from the top. and a total of 81 facets. In 1998. or to increase light-dispersion. with star-shaped cross facets cut diagonally into the pavilion. Barocut stones are also sold in tapered shapes. The Context Cut is used to cut colored gemstones by Julius Petsch of Idar-Oberstein. A Barocut diamond has a total of 77 facets. creating a unique 'flower petal' pattern surrounding the Context Cut The Context Cut is a square cut that was developed by Dr. merged with the jewelry firm Asprey. nephew to the inventor of the Modern Round Brilliant cut. Barocut diamonds are promoted and sold exclusively through the Baroka Creations catalog.The Barion square cut (aka Barion square cushion cut) was invented by Basil Watermeyer of South Africa in 1971. The Eternal Cut has a total of 81 facets. Gabi Tolkowsky. The Barocut is available in sizes from 20 points to 3 carats. Barocut The Barocut® diamond cut is a patented. and was the forerunner to the princess cut. The cutting process requires a high-quality rough. Ulrich Freiesleben of Germany in the early 1980s then patented and trademarked in 1997. to become Asprey & Garrard. The Context Cut design was based on an earlier patented design by Bernd Munsteiner from the early 1960s. www. 81 facets on the cut corner (cushion) version. Marce Tolkowsky. www. and its patent has expired.garrard. of New York in 2000. The Context Cut consists of two back-to-back pyramids (an octahedron). modified rectangular (baguette) cut that was developed by Baroka Creations. The Context Cut follows a rough diamond crystal's natural octahedral shape. The Barion square cut diamond has a 4-fold mirror-image symmetry. Inc. parting ways in 2002 to again become Garrard. or the company website. www. adding up to 50% to the cost when compared to a Round Brilliant cut diamond. not including the 16 girdle facets. and a 'softer' briliance than a traditional round brilliant cut. and creates a high amount of waste. It is sold exclusively through the 270 year old firm of Garrard & Company in London. 23 more than a modern Round Brilliant cut. The Barocut is also called a "two heart diamond" due to the illusion of two mirrored hearts meeting at the culet.baroka. and in all diamond colors and/or clarity grades. The cut has a total of 8 facets plus a girdle.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

founder of the House of Graff in the heart of London's posh New Bond Street. in 1992. from wholesale and retail." a compendium and history of his most famous jewels. Lev Leviev has formed a partnership with the ex Soviet state-owned diamond firm. Leviev's net-worth is estimated at $2.5 billion dollars [28]. selling to the rich and famous from Elizabeth Taylor and Donald Trump. Laurence Graff was born into a Jewish orthodox family in London's poorer 'East End' district. Alrosa now sells direct to cutting factories throughout Russia. Tretiakovsky Proezd in Moscow.state. One of his most notable acquisitions was the 603 carat "Lesotho Promise diamond. Domain Laurence Graff Laurence Graff (1938—) is a DeBeers sightholder. which gives him access to some of the finest uncut diamonds coming out of South Africa. ALROSA produces 100% of Russia's rough diamond output and approximately 20% of the world's rough diamonds [9]. It will ultimately be cut into an estimated 20 or so 'D-flawless' stones ranging from 75 carats to 1 carat in size. Graff's net worth is estimated at 2. and one of the most successful diamond merchants in modern history. and on board the luxury residential ship The World ResidenSea. Gujarat's Indian Diamantaires . now called ALROSA (Almazy-Rossii-Sakha) [7]. House of Graff is also located on London's Sloane Street. Graff has been dubbed the "king of diamonds. with his wife and their nine children. By circumventing the De Beers supply chain. New York's Madison Avenue. and has satellite locations in Wafi City.5 billion (#278 Forbes List). Lev Leviev lives in B'nei Brak. Raised by his grandparents. which are now owned by Lev Leviev. to purchasing a 51% stake in Safdico (South African Diamond Corp. formed by Decree 158C of the Russian Federation. The Hindustani Diamond Cutters Photo: dnavin. Russia. Graff's strategy of "vertically integration" has been to control every angle of the diamond pipeline. Monte Carlo. Dubai. a DeBeers sightholder in Johannesburg. Graff has co-authored (with Vanessa von Zitzewitz) "The Most Fabulous Jewels in the World. Using this model of "local control. 2006 at the Letseng diamond mine in the tiny Kingdom of Lesotho in the center of the Republic of South Africa." and the "king of bling" by Forbes magazine [28]. and the largest rough unearthed in this century. Photo: Pub.). Mr. found on August 22. Hotel de Paris' salon privé in Paris." the Leviev Group has found willing partners in several countries including Angola's ASCORP after De Beers' exit in 2001. to Larry Ellison. All House of Graff stones have a laser-inscribed girdle with the 'Graff' logo and GIA number. Lesotho Promise is the 15th largest diamond ever found.

both college dropouts. Jainism is an ancient Indian religious sect believing in the 'Jain' philosophy. improve perceptions. Photo: rosyblue. Sanghavi Exports. propelling their twin companies. and De Beers India. Suresh & Co. is the CEO of the 'Rosy Blue Group' which is currently one of the world's largest diamond companies. and although India's famous "Diamonds of Golconda" were mined-out hundreds of years ago. heighten awareness of ethical business practices. and Israelis didn't want to work with [19]. It is estimated that India cuts. a minister to the Indian king. Gitanjali Gems is one of the largest manufacturers of diamonds and diamond jewelry in India. . This vast fortune is shared by some 300 to 500 Gujaratis families from Palanpur on the GujaratRajasthan border [15]. and Vijaydimon are family owned operations run by Jains with the common surnames of Jhavari. Domain Bharat & Vijay Shah Bharat and Vijay Shah came from a family of jewelers going back three generations. are headed and staffed by Mehta family members. Harshad Mehta ("Diamond King of the world") is one of the founders of Rosy Blue. The brothers. and to develop an "understanding of the world market. they were able to gain an increasingly larger share of the wholesale diamond trade." The Indians would go on to enjoy a singular reign over the diamond-rich dominion—known as Hindustan—for another two thousand years.Diamonds made their first reluctant appearance in human history over 2400 years ago. Several other divisions of the Rosy Blue Group. polishes. or "thunderbolt. and Surat's 'Special Economic Zone' [12]. to elevate quality standards.above). and the DTC has demonstrated Gujarat's power in the diamond cutting/polishing arena by increasing India's take of its 125 sightholder contracts to nearly 50 in 2006. The Indian communities' share has grown to around 60%. D. is the newest addition to India's arsenal of global marketing tools to promote exports. Companies like Bhavani Gems. universal truths. Gitanjali Gems. Of the $26 billion per year diamond revenues that flow through Antwerp. India (born 1949)." The Bharat Diamond Bourse in Mumbai. from Hong Kong to Dilip Mehta Indian diamantaire. Photo: Pub. with $1. based upon eternal.7 billion in annual sales [17]. Navinchandra & Co (board of directors . Much of India's diamond trade is controlled by a handful of wealthy families in Gujarat. and exports several billion dollars worth of gems per year. and were written about in an ancient Sanskrit manuscript called the "The Lesson of Profit" Arthasastra (c. The Sanskrit word for 'diamond' was vajra. started out thirty years ago by purchasing cheaper stones that the Dutch Hasidim. Venus Jewels. displacing the Hasidim as the dominant force in the industry [14]. the Indians would not be giving up their rightful heritage as diamantaires. Shree Ramkrishna Exports. By slowly developing markets. (HDC). The Indo Argyle Diamond Council (IADC) formed in 1994 as a consortium of Indian jewelry manufacturers and cutting houses. Mumbai. and Shah. and is currently a Senior Partner and head of the UAE division. 320 BC) by Kautiliya. M. Chandragupta. the Hindustan Diamond Company Ltd. Gujarat. Mehta. Dilip Mehta of Mumbai. with diamond cutting factories located in Borivali.

Vijaydimon is a DTC sightholder with offices in Belgium. and enjoys broad support. India. The last democratic election in Angola was in 1992. succeeded his father (Laurent-Désiré Kabila) as president the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC) after his assassination in January 2001. Mandela. into a global position with nearly $1 Billion a year in sales. In a post-conflict reconstruction effort. On a somewhat darker note. Hong Kong. working in cooperation with the government of Sierra Leone. Joseph Kabila (above. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. many of the ex-colonial nations of Sub-Saharan Africa are starting to emerge as powerful and legitimate forces in the diamond industry. with one of the fastest per-capita income growth rates in the world. At the age of 29. and the United States. is receiving broad support from the South Africa. Palanpur. is making great strides in stabilizing the country after years of strife. Singapore. President Festus Mogae was elected for a second term in 2004. both domestically and internationally. & Mogae Starting with Botswana's independence in 1966. and Tel Aviv. Kabila. China. Bangkok. UAE. created a program for capacity-building of 'small and medium-sized enterprise' (SME) development. and the end to South African apartheid in 1994. Kabbah.Vijaydimon (Belgium) and B Vijaykumar (India) . Ayer & Son . Vijaydimon also purchases rough diamonds from Canada's Diavik Mine and Argyle (Rio Tinto) and Russia [21]. Botswana is a relatively wealthy African country. Bombay. president José Eduardo dos Santos is preventing democratic elections from taking place. After years of fighting between the PMLA and UNITA. left). Thailand. Angola and from mining magnates. Domain N. Diamonds and the Americans Photo: Pub. all who have signed multi-million dollar trade deals. the 'United Nations Industrial Development Orginization' (UNIDO). The president of Sierra Leone. who was a major general in the army. Botswana has held regular elections and has been one of the more stable governments in southern Africa.W. only hinting at their possibility in 2007 or 2008.000 workers. After winning a disicive re-election victory in 2006. dos Santos. Surat. The company has cutting factories in Antwerp. Diamonds and the African Nationals Photos: Public Domain Kabila. employing 22. the political situation in Angola has begun to normalize.

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

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

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

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

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

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

7.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light .0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint .0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless .5 to 4.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003. and individual facet ratios. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless . relative facet angles.3." 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.1.0 to 1. In the upper left corner of the document there is a unique AGS reference number that can be used when contacting AGS with questions about your report.5 to 3. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram.5.0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light ." or "ideal" rating.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles.0 to 7. where facets intersect with each-other. . in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above). When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering. 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. AGS Diamond Grading System On the inside fold of an AGS Diamond Quality grading report there is a legend explaining the unique AGS nomenclature with comparisons to GIA's grading system. all measured in three spacial dimensions.

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. AGSL reports will also grade cut quality for emerald. Dubai. Diamonds: Gem & Diamond Mining Technology Photos: Public Domain Diamond & Gem Mining . and ore bodies that are in situ. and OGI Systems." or a by a vertical "shaft. princess.Extraction Methods Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. India and Diamonds and other precious and semi-precious gemstones are extracted from the earth using five basic mining techniques. and will soon be offering cut evaluations for other fancy shapes. and octagon step-cut diamonds. the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA). and can only be accessed by tunneling underground and creating underground "rooms" or "stopes" that are supported by timber pillars or standing rock.Triple-0 Round Brilliant Setting 'American Star Diamond' 13. 2. so that the cutter can improve the light performance of their cut stones. Pricing for a diamond grading report is based on carat weight. AGS will only evaluate loose. while a shaft is . 4. The principle methods of diamond extraction are: 1. AGS will also provide analysis of a manufacturers 'cut performance' by analyzing a sample stone's Sarin file. Additionally. unmounted diamonds. Obtaining an AGS Report AGS is a 'trade-industry' testing laboratory that will only evaluate diamonds sent from jewelers or manufacturers. and the peripheral damage that will be done to the surrounding environment. As of 2005. These diamond extraction methods vary depending on how the minerals are deposited within the earth. 3. OctoNus Software. 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 AGS supplies 'facet arrangement' templates corresponding to their cutgrading system. Accessing the underground ore is achieved via a horizontal passageway called a "decline." A decline is a spiral (corkscrew) tunnel which circles the ore deposit. the stability of the material that surrounds that desired gem or mineral. minerals. which are used by non-contact measuring-device manufacturers such as Sarin Technologies. 5.42 Carat D. left) refers to various techniques used to extract gems. through AGS offices in Antwerp. AGS offers laser inscription services as well.

mechanized surface excavating equipment. and or colluvial secondary deposits. and have a specific gravity that is higher than that of common minerals. Open Pit Mining Open-pit diamond mining. right) with bare hands. or pans. Laborers who work in artisanal diamond mining are called "diamond diggers" (below left). box screens. center) is a method of extracting rock and minerals from the earth by removal from a machine-dug open pit or burrow. highly resistant to weathering. and is a derivative form of open-cast mining used to extract minerals from the surface of the earth without the use of tunneling.Photo: USGS Alluvial Diamond . Marine diamond mining employs both "vertical" and "horizontal" techniques to extract diamonds from offshore placer deposits. Artisanal diamond mining is a form of "subsistence based" non-mechanized mining that is used in poorer countries throughout the world. CAT-tracked underwater mining vehicles) move across the sea floor pumping gravel up to an offshore vessel. shovels. Diamonds and most gemstones are hard. or sand) that is unsuitable for tunneling. or hand digging (artisanal mining). 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. also known as "sand-bank mining" (top of page. eluvial. . Gems are separated from waste material using various sifting and sorting techniques such as cone screens. Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . therefore. and access to the ore.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. A decline is typically used for mining personnel. or large conical sieves. running adjacent to the ore. Excavation is accomplished using water pressure (hydraulic mining). Horizontal mining employs the use of Seabed Crawlers (remotely controlled. also known as "open-cast mining" (top of page. which concentrate the heavier gems at the bottom. with the middle size being a candidate for final sorting. the gravels are separated and sorted into three sizes. gravel. Open pit mines are typically used when mineral deposits are found close to the surface or along defined kimberlite pipes.vertical tunnel used for ore haulage. machinery. rock or sedimentary soil. right) is used for extracting diamonds and minerals from alluvial. Placer Mining Placer diamond mining. they tend to concentrate in alluvial deposits in the same way that gold placers develop. Small "pit lakes" tend to form at the bottom of open-pit mines as a result of groundwater intrusion. Marine Mining Marine mining technology only became commercially viable in the early 1990s. at a maximum depth of 500 feet. Vertical marine mining uses a 6 to 7 meter diameter drill head to cut into the seabed and suck up the diamond bearing material from the sea bed. or sort material according to size. While on board.

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

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

Diamond Mines of the World: Active Diamond Mines List of Active Diamond Mines All Contents Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.8k. Westward draining river systems transported these diamonds to Africa's continental coastline for final deposition within on-shore marine terrace gravels. Alluvial Terrace Gravels .Photo: Wiki Diamond-Bearing 'Diamondiferous' Gravel Many of these alluvial diamond deposits occur in Pleistocene and Holocene successions (1. potholes. The diamonds within these deposits were transported from deeply-eroded diamondiferous kimberlites or. but were not deposited on land. Diamonds that were transported downstream. in central South Africa and Botswana. made their way to the sea bed just offshore. channels or other trapsites for diamondiferous deposits. Diamonds in marine areas are typically trapped in bedrock depressions such as gullies. to a lesser extent. Some of the largest and highest gemquality diamonds produced from alluvial placer diamond mining have come from this region. 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.000 years ago). including Angola's two largest diamonds at 105.Namibia's placer diamond deposits are between 40 and 80 million years old. . carried from their primary origination point on the Kaapvaal Craton.8 million to 10.9k and 101. from olivine lamproites formed during the Cretaceous or Permo-Triassic period.

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

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