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.
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
The chart below shows several common problems to look for. Poor Diamond Faceting and Symmetry Due to the mathmatics involved in light refraction. 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. Only a trained eye could see the quality of a good cut. 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. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951.
Fig. This can also result in the undesirable creation of extra facets beyond the required 58. 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. 80. and the pavillion will have 25 facets. when one incorrect facet angle can throw off the symmetry of the entire stone. 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. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. All of that has changed with the AGS Cut Grading system and GIA's new "Cut Grading System". or 96 facets which are not counted in the total number of facets (58).Good Cut Fair Cut Poor Cut
Cut Proportions In the past. 3
.e. The crown will have 33 facets. 64. Common cutting problems can occur during the faceting process. 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. a Round Brilliant cut that does not have the proper proportions and symmetry (off-make) will have noticeably less brilliance.
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. N. all three categories of cut (Polish. and its later incarnation." was invented by Ken Shigetomi and Kazumi Okuda in 1984. Takanori Tamura. However. 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.
Fancy Diamond Cuts
The shape of the cut is a matter of personal taste and preference.
AGS Triple-0 Certification
The American Gem Society (AGS) is the industry leader in laboratory testing of round gems for cut grade and quality. making the diamond appear white when viewed from the top.
GIA vs AGS Cut Grading
GIA's new cut-grading system is based on averages that are rounded-up to predict 'light performance. A Triple-0 diamond can also be called a "Triple Ideal Cut" or "AGS-Ideal Zero" diamond. 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. 4
Perfectly formed Hearts and Arrows patterns with eight hearts AND eight arrows (above. Symetry. or a H & A Viewer gemscope (FireScope). the quality of the cutter's execution of that shape is of primary importance. there is a balance between "brilliance" and "fire". The round brilliant cut is preferred when the crystal is an octahedron. 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). as two stones could be cut from one crystal. A well executed round brilliant cut should reflect the maximum amount light from the interior pavilion facets.
. or a Scan D. out through the table. 5) are listed below.
Hearts and Arrows Diamonds
A perfectly proportioned ideal cut that is cut to the exacting specifications of a Tolkowsky Cut. Proportion) must meet the "ideal" criteria. A diamond cut for too much fire will look like cubic zirconia. In order for a diamond to receive a "Triple-0" grading.For a Modern Round Brilliant cut (Tolkowsky Brilliant).' while AGS uses a more exacting combination of proportional facet ratios along with raytracing metrics to calculate light return.
Fig. Eppler Cut (European Standard). which gives out much more fire than a real diamond. left) are only found in diamonds that meet the American Gem Society Laboratories' "0" Ideal Cut specifications. The IdealScope was invented by Kazumi Okuda in the 1970's. The "Ideal" designation is an AGS term that is not found on an GIA report. Several basic diamond shapes (Fig.
The 4 C's of Diamonds: Carat (Weight)
The 4 C's Diamond Grading System
Popular fancy cuts include the "Baguette" (bread loaf). The "fancy cuts" are generally not held to the same strict standards as Round Brilliants. As a consumer. and a 2 carat diamond is 200 points. and with each point being 2 milligrams in weight. Cut 2. Carat 3.
Balancing Cut and Weight A diamond or gemstone's "Carat" designation is a measurement of both the size and weight of the stone. When a single piece of jewelry has multiple stones. the total mass of all diamonds or gemstones is referred to as "Total Carat Weight" or "T. A carat can also be divided into "points" with one carat being equal to 100 points. Therefor."
. your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the "4 C's" diamond grading system. "Princess" (square outline).2 grams (200 milligrams or 3. Color Carat weight is one of the 4 C's.W. and the Pear.C. Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics. "Marquise" or "Navette" (little boat).086 grains) or 0." "Briolette" (a form of Rose cut). "Heart.007 ounce. a 1/2 carat diamond would be 50 points. One "Carat" is a unit of mass that is equal to 0. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. a 3/4 carat diamond is 75 points.Heart Marquise Oval Pear Princess Radiant Round Trillion (not shown at diagram)
" If the carat weight is shown as ". a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York. or "seed of the carob". a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions.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 32.195 and . It is for this reason that an even 1.5 carats must have an actual weight of between . If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing.
The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity
. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut. See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat.99 carat diamond for its better price. In ancient times. girdle and pavilion.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone.5 carat 1. clarity and weight.
Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above.10 carat diamond for its better cut. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight. or to buy a 1. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. it must be accurate to the second decimal place. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales.204 carat.500 15.600 12. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond. Price Per Carat (2005) . and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only.0 carat 1. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry. 40º pavilion.495 carats and .Grade: F Colorless .5º crown.VS1 Carat Size</ 0.0 carat 3.504 carats.600 8. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of . 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration.800 6.
Occasionally.000 Total Cost (USD)</
Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone.5 carat 2.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1.600 6. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a .750 30. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor.
point size and the location of inclusions.
."Very Small" inclusions visible at 10 x mag."Small" or "Slight" Inclusions or "Imperfections" may be "eye clean" SI-2 .Imperfect. it may be possible to hide certain inclusions behind the setting of the diamond (depending on where the inclusion is located). Clarity 4. making them more apparent. and/or on the surface of the stone."Very Very Small" inclusions hard to see at 10 x magnification VVS-2 . fractures."Very Small" inclusions VS1 is better grade than VS2 SI-1 . Color Clarity is one of the Four C's. . and flaws
GIA Clarity Grading System
The chart below explains the GIA grading system for inclusions and imperfections. As a consumer. In "colorless" diamonds. causing a greater drop in grade. The term "Clarity" refers to the presence or absence of tiny imperfections (inclusions) within the stone.The Four C's Diamond Grading System
1. VVS1 better than VVS2 VS-1 ."Flawless" no inclusions at 10 x magnification IF . Carat 3. On the other hand."Internally Flawless" no inclusions at 10 x mag.small blemishes VVS-1 . light or pale inclusions may show greater relief. In fancy-colored diamonds. with large Inclusions. Diamond Clarity Designations
FL . little or no brilliance I1 to I3 . or break the surface. Cut 2. it is important to learn and understand the clarity designations found within the "Four C's" diamond grading system.not naked eye VS-2 . . Inclusions that are near to.Inclusions large and obvious. Considerations in grading the clarity of a diamond include the type of stone."Small" or "Slight" Inclusions or "Imperfections" visible to naked eye SI-3 . representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond."Very Very Small" inclusions. thus minimizing any negative impact of the inclusion. darker inclusions will tend to create the most significant drop in clarity grade.
All of the grades of diamond clarity shown in the table below. may weaken the diamond structurally. therefore reducing its value significantly. 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.
According to Fred Cuellar in his book How to Buy a Diamond. Knots . appearing as a raised area.Fractures that have been artificially filled. Internal Graining .
External Diamond Inclusions
Bearded Girdles . a diamond must be within one clarity grade of its advertised amount at the time of sale. There is a significant price discount for fracture-filled diamonds. If a jeweler sells a diamond that has an actual grade of VS-1. Internal Diamond Inclusions
Carbon . fringing.Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet. Grain Center .Rutile-like needle inclusions. Indented Naturals .Concentrated area of crystal growth that appear light or dark.Fine cracks. The GIA will not grade fracture-filled diamonds. Pinpoints . haze. Chips . chips. Such diamonds are sometimes called "fracture filled diamonds". The treatment is considered permanent and both the GIA and AGS will issue grades for laser drilled diamonds. waviness.
Laser drilling involves using a laser to burn a tunnel or hole to a carbon inclusion. Surface Graining . The final clarity grade will be the grade that is assigned after treatment. vendors should disclose this enhancement.
Diamond Fracture Filling
Diamond clarity is sometimes enhanced by filling fractures. "One out of every three diamonds sold in the United States is laser-drilled. Feathers . or feathers along the outer edge of girdle."
.Irregular crystal growth causing internal distortions. Needles . so they can use greater care while working on the piece.Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation. According to FTC guidelines. Cavities . Pits . Pique . The heat generated by a blowtorch used to work on settings can cause damage. Bruising .Tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts).A percussion mark caused by impact. much like repairing a crack in your car's windshield. in part because the treatment isn't permanent.Inclusions resulting from crystal twining during growth.Minute crystals within the diamond that appear white. Reputable companies often provide for repeat treatments if heat causes damage to the filling.Garnet or other Included gem stones Twinning Wisps ." According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides.Dislodged pinpoint inclusions at the surface. The drilling process leave tiny telltale shafts or tunnels that are visible under magnification. therefor it is essential to inform anyone working on a setting if the diamond is fracture-filled.Cloudy grouping of tiny pinpoints that may not resolve at 10X Magnification. Filled Fractures .A natural indentation that was not removed by polishing.Diamond Clarity Grade Inflation
A fairly common practice in the jewelry trade is grade-inflation or "grade bumping.Cleavage planes or internal fractures that have the appearance of feathers. followed by acid washing to remove the coloring agent.An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing.An inclusion that penetrates the surface. and reputable filling companies will use filling agents which show an orange or pink flash of color. he or she could legally sell it as a VVS-2. Clouds .
Small chips at facet junctions. H.
"SI-3" is a grade sometimes used in the diamond industry. Nicks . X. V. 1 explains the GIA grading system for clear (not fancy-colored) stones.
Most all natural diamonds contain small quantities of nitrogen atoms that displacing the carbon atoms within the crystal's lattice structure. Z . As a consumer. F . assign this grade.colorless (white) G.light yellow or brown Fig.
The Four Cs of Diamonds: Color
The Four Cs Diamond Grading System
1.near colorless K. The color chart in Fig. These nitrogen impurities are evenly dispersed throughout the stone.very light yellow or brown S. absorbing some of the blue spectrum. thereby making the diamond appear yellow. a Sarin Diamond Color Grading report is the state-of-the-art color measuring standard. Carat 3. U. W. P. The designation of SI-3 was popularized by the EGL (European Gemological Laboratory) grading office. the Gemological Institute of America uses a scale of "D" to "Z" in which "D" is totally colorless and "Z" is yellow. I. M . The higher the amount of nitrogen atoms.Whitish haziness along the junction of facets caused by wear.faint yellow or brown N. the most reputable well known US labs. Cut 2. Scratches .Surface burning from heat buildup during polishing. the yellower the stone will appear. Y. Diamond Color Designations D. J . Clarity 4. In determining the color rating of a diamond. T. Diamonds of this low grade would be inappropriate for jewelry.Human Caused Surface Blemishes
Abrasions . E.Grinding Wheel Marks of scratches from contact with other diamonds. Burn Marks . 1
. Q. At present. Neither the GIA nor the AGS (American Gemological Society). R . O. it will be beneficial to learn and understand some of the basic parameters for diamond color grading. Color Color is one of the Four Cs representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. L.
" or "D+.' Unfortunatly. D2. For the consumer. D4.The Holy Grail
Sarin Color Typing
is a relatively new sub-classification of the D through Z gading scale. Using a Sarin Diamond Colorimeter DC3000 (aka Gran Colorimeter). it is extremely benificial to know if your 'F' is a strong 'F.' or a borderline 'G. 3 example below. color grading should be determined by examining the stone through the side of the pavilion (Fig. most gem labs do not currently provide color-typing data in their reports and certificates. 2).Due to a diamond's high brilliance. jewelers and gem labs can accurately provide a 'color typing' printout of a diamond's color grading that is compatible with AGS. GIA-GEM. India.
D-Flawless . D3. and dispersion of light (fire) when looking through the table or crown. sometimes referred to as "white diamonds. Fig. 3
Type IIa diamonds (aka Golconda Diamonds) are colorless stones containing negligible amounts nitrogen or boron impurities to absorb the blue end of the color spectrum." "whiter than white. Each classification is divided into five sub-classifications (D1. These colorless stones. as in our Fig. and D5). and HRD grading scales. IGI." are named after the famous Golconda Diamond Mines located in the state of Hyderabad. Color grading by 'visual-observation is performed against a Master CZ Colored Grading Set. Fig. and not by looking at the top of the stone.
See Color in Gemstones for more information. making the diamond appear "colorless. and strong. medium. others may prefer a "warmer" color found in a G to J range to compliment their skin tone. This fluorescent effect can be beneficial to a diamond that has a yellow tint. In some settings with various combinations of other stones. as the blue fluorescence will cancel out some of the yellow. Skin Tone and Settings While some may prefer a very transparent D to F range. according to the GIA.
Approximatly 1/3 (35%) of all diamonds have a tendency to fluoresce when exposed to ultra-violet (UV) light. diamonds with a visible tint may be preffered. Even with microscopic inclusions. fewer than 5. diamonds with a poorer color grading (I through K). they tend to fluoresce as blue. Ultra-violet light is a component of natural sunlight and artificial 4800k to 5000k color-proofing light. Fluorescence is graded as none. fluorescence could increase the value by 0% to 2% buy improving the color (or lack thereof)." but the diamond will have a dull. When diamonds are viewed under a UV light-source.
Diamonds: Chemistry & Structural Properties
| Optical Properties of Diamond
| Diamond Enhancement
Structural Properties of Diamond .Diamond Formation
For diamonds with a color grading of D through H (colorless).000 D-color diamonds weighing over half a carat are found each year. fluorescence can negatively impact the value of the stone by 3% to 20%. so this effect will be more apparent under natural daylight than under artificial incandescent light.Large D-flawless diamonds (those weighing more than 2 carats) are some of the rarest minerals on earth. murky appearance when compared to a non-fluorescing diamond. faint. Only around 600 D-flawless roughs are cut into gems weighing between 1 and 2 carats during a given year. On the other hand.
a refractive index of 2." is derived from the Greek adamas. which resemble a champagne flute.52. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" . they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits.Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe. Therefore. and a specific gravity of 3. A diamond is a transparent. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses.42. with the principle allotrope being graphite. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical. diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation. Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine.
Basic Physical Properties of Diamond
Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth. and pyroxene. 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. ultramafic. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km).
Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness
The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2. At these depths. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms. with a variety of trace minerals. phlogopite. Under the continental crust.044. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0. igneous rock composed of garnet.
. olivine." and "unconquerable." referring to its incredible hardness. The name "diamond." "untamable.200 degrees Celsius)."
Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic. or "invincible. and differentiates it from simple graphite." which is also known as "adamant.
Additionally. or carbon dioxide. The natural crystal form. perfectly formed crystals are rare. although in nature. whether it is cubic. above). Experimentation during the late 18th century demonstrated that diamonds were made of carbon." This means that diamond crystals usually "grow" in an orderly and symmetrical arrangement.A Type 2-A diamond has a hardness value of 167 GPa (±6) when scratched with an ultrahard fullerite tip. does not always reflect the internal arrangement of its atoms. and therefore. A diamond's incredible hardness was the subject of curiosity dating back to the Roman empire. and crystal habit of a diamond is octahedral (photo. may also be as hard or harder than diamond. and a hardness value of 231 GPa (±5) when scratched with a diamond tip. where it was shown to combust in scientific experiments." when found in a crystalline form that is structurally similar to diamond. although the reason for its combustion was not understood at the time. When a gemstone has an irregular external shape or asymmetrical arrangement of its crystal facets. is nearly as hard as diamond. beta carbon nitride."
. a predictable crystal growth pattern known as its "crystal habit. with the end byproduct of the combustion being carbonic-acid gas. octahedral. a currently hypothetical material. by igniting a diamond in an oxygen atmosphere.
The external shape of the crystal. The material "boron nitride. or dodecahedral." or "anhedral. it is termed as "subhedral.
Diamond Crystal Habit
Diamonds have a characteristic crystalline structure.
" which only denotes a diamond's high resistance to scratching. with a Mohs scale rating of 10. meaning that a diamond is 4 times "harder" than sapphire. Hematite has a hardness of only 5. yet sapphire has a toughness rating of excellent. and varying growth conditions of heat.© AGS Labs
Within the fields of metallurgy and materials science. By comparrison.5 to 6. making it seem cold. graphite can develop internally and on the diamond's surface. sapphire has a hardness rating of 9. Internally formed crystallographic graphite inclusions often create intense strain on the surrounding diamond. but its toughness rating is also excellent. Unlike "hardness. most scratch resistant mineral on earth." If you were to place a large enough diamond on your tongue it would draw heat away. its "toughness" rating is moderate. Although diamond is the "hardest. Particular cuts of diamond are more prone to breakage along cleavage planes. Additionally. The culet facet at the bottom of the pavilion. A material's toughness is measured in units of "joules" per cubic meter (J/m3) in the SI system. and therefore may be uninsurable by reputable insurance companies. Many natural blue
. acting as a "thermal conductor.5.
Carbon Inclusion . very thin girdles on brilliant cut diamonds are also prone to breakage.
Thermal Properties of Diamonds
Diamond is a good conductor of heat. causing stress fractures or feathers. a diamond's "toughness" is only fair to good.Trace impurities.© AGS Labs
Hexagonal (Graphite) Platelet Inclusion . crystal twinning.
In extremely high temperature environments above 1700 ¡C. the term "toughness" describes the resistance of a given material to fracture when it is stressed or impacted. and "pound-force" per square-inch in US units of measurement." and therefore. due to its ability to fracture along cleavage planes. is a facet specifically designed to resist breakage. pressure and space can also affect the final shape of a formed crystal.
Electromagnetic Properties of Diamond .com The surface luster (or "lustre") of diamond is described as adamantine.diamonds contain boron atoms which replace carbon atoms within the crystal matrix.nearly five times greater than pure copper. If an n-type semiconductor can be synthesized. or longer-wavelength photons.
Optical Properties of Diamond: Type I & Type II Diamonds
| Optical Properties of Diamond
| Diamond Enhancement
Surface Luster of Diamond
Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. giving off a somewhat greasy sheen. which are in fact semiconductors. inflexible. or brilliance.Insulators or Semiconductors
Diamond is a relatively good electrical insulator. are known as p-type semiconductors. to prevent silicon and other semiconducting materials from overheating. The word luster traces its origins back to the Latin word lux. The term adamantine describes the way light interacts with the surface of a crystal. or having the hardness or luster of a diamond. it is used in the manufacturing of semiconductors. Natural blue diamonds containing boron atoms. and generally implies radiance. and synthetic diamonds that are doped with boron. Purified synthetic diamond can have the highest thermal conductivity (2000-2500 W/m-K) of any solid material at room temperature . with the exception of natural blue diamonds. electronic circuits could be manufactured from diamonds in the future . which means unyielding.
. meaning "light".
Fluorescence in Diamonds
Fluorescence is an optical phenomenon in which a diamond's molecules absorb high-energy photons. Due to diamond's high thermal conductance. gloss. increasing thermal conductance. re-emitting them as lower-energy.
a natural diamond may contains both Type 1-A and Type 1-B material. which replace some carbon atoms within the crystal lattice structure. Typically." with a refractive index of 2.
Cloud Inclusion Under UV . red.417. and contain nitrogen atoms as an impurity.
Diamond Refraction & Coloration
Diamonds are "singly refractive. This illusion of color is caused by the varying optics effects created by spectral dispersion. Some Type IIa diamonds can be found with pink.
Type I & Type II Diamonds
As many as 99% of all natural diamonds are classified as Type I. These rare diamonds have a lower nitrogen content. These Nitrogen impurities found in Type I diamonds are evenly dispersed throughout the gemstone. greenish or yellow fluorescence when exposed to the X-ray wavelength. thereby allowing the passage of short-wave ultra-violet (SWUV) light through the stone. 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.
. and give off a bluish-white. or brown coloration. they can give the stone a yellow tint. Diamond can exhibit pseudochromatic coloration giving the appearance of "color" without having any actual color in the mineral itself. 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. absorbing some of the blue spectrum. due primarily to certain structural anomalies arising from "plastic deformation" which occurred during their formation. show no fluorescence. permitting the passage and reflectance of blue light." and refraction. and are classified as Type 1-B. Some diamond varieties.
Type II Diamond Formation
Certain diamonds were formed under extremely high pressure for longer time periods.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. with very high thermal conductivity. If the nitrogen atoms are grouped in clusters they do not necessarily affect the diamond's overall color.© AGS Labs
Type I UV Fluorescence . classifying them as Type IIb diamonds. making them appear 'colorless' (D). while Type II diamonds that lack boron impurities are classified as Type IIa. and appear dark when exposed to ultra-violet light or X-rays. and they are classified as Type 1-A. If the nitrogen atoms are dispersed evenly throughout the crystal. These Type IIa diamonds have a near-perfect crystal structure making them highly transparent and colorless. Type II diamonds do not contain any detectable nitrogen. or "fire. Natural blue Type II diamonds containing scattered boron impurities within their crystal matrix are good conductors of electricity. particularly Canadian diamonds.© AGS Labs
Type IIa diamonds are very rare. Man-made synthetic diamonds containing nitrogen are classified as Type 1-B. and thereby making the diamond appear yellow.
Blue. green. while chemically "pure" diamonds are basically transparent.Diamond Refraction & Light Dispersion
Diamonds can also exhibit allochromatic coloration which is caused by chromophores from the nitrogen trace impurities found within crystalline structure. In this case. brown diamonds). The value of a Fancy Color Diamond can surpass that of colorless diamonds if the intensity of the color is high and the color is rare. green (Ocean Dream). when a diamond's color is more intense than the "Z" grading. fancy pink diamonds can command very high prices as they have become increasingly popular. or yellow diamond may have a relatively low value when compared to a colorless diamond. yellow. Colorless diamonds would normally be priced much higher than yellow diamonds. Green & Cognac
Fancy Colored Diamond
Diamonds can occur in all colors of the spectrum. green.
. and red (Hancock Diamond) are particularly valuable. blue. brown. and their color is due to trace impurities of nitrogen and/or hydrogen (yellow. it enters the realm of a "Fancy Color" diamond. Once thought to be of little value. pink. boron (blue diamonds).
Fancy Colored Diamonds: Pink. red.
Diamond Color & Composition
Diamonds can occur in a wide variety of colors: colorless or white. certain fancy-colored diamonds such as pink (Condé). radiation exposure (green diamonds) or irregular growth patterns within the crystal (pink. However. the intensity of the color in the diamond can plays a significant role in its value. blue (Hope Diamond). It is this nitrogen component that produces the color of fancy yellow diamonds. Yellow. red diamonds). However. orange. steel grey. All colored diamonds contain certain specific impurities and/or structural defects that cause their coloration. and therefor colorless.
Fancy Diamond Color Hues
A fancy brown (or Fancy Cognac). and black.
The rough stone weighed 287.
The pink color within these rare diamonds is due to irregular crystal growth patterns. and was cut into a 128. left). yet considerably more expensive.Highest Saturation
One of the largest. which changes hue from grayish-blue or olive-green to yellowish-green or straw-yellow under different lighting conditions (darkness.M Very Light .42 carats.54 carat cushion cut with an estimated value in the millions of dollars. and most valuable Fancy Yellow diamonds in the world is the 'Tiffany Diamond. The GIA grades fancy diamond color by quantifying the saturation. lighting color temperatures (incandescent. Fancy Pink/Brown Diamond Color (Hue) Designations
1PP to 8PP . An 1P designation would have less blue and more brownish-red. hue. halogen.
.Pink (Reddish-pink) 1 is darkest 1BP to 8BP .Champagne 3 is darkest C8 to C1 . South Africa in 1878.Pink (Brownish-pink) 1 is darkest PC3 to PC1 . having a pure magenta color with deep saturation. Only 1% to 2% of the diamonds produced at the Argyle Mine are high-quality pink specimens.Brown diamonds. As the numbers go lower (8PP) the color is paler.Cognac 8 is darkest
There is a very rare olive-grayish color-changing diamond called "Chameleon Diamond" (below.N to R Light . One of the world's only major sources for rare pink diamonds is the Argyle Mine in Australia.Pink (Magenta-pink) 1 is darkest 1P to 8P .'
GIA 'Fancy Yellow' Diamond Color Saturation Designations
Faint . sold at a greater discount. daylight) and ambient temperature changes. bright light).Start of 'Fancy' Fancy Fancy Dark Fancy Intense Fancy Deep Fancy Vivid . causing microscopic imperfections within the lattice structure. Pink diamonds are similar to pink sapphire in color. have become more commonplace as Australian colored diamonds have gained in popularity.S to Z Fancy Light . This Chameleon-like phenomenon was first documented by the GIA in the early 1940s.
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. and value (darkness) using nine classifications ranging from 'Faint' to 'Vivid. which are generally less appreciated than other fancy colors and therefor. 1PP is the highest quality designation for Pink Diamond.' found in Kimberly.
It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits. and weighed a modest 0.
. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply. and the De Young Red weighing 5. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner.
Diamond Fashion Trends
While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red.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). and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant. greyish-green.com)
The Elusive Red Diamond
Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond.000 per carat.95carats. The color change effect is temporary. Warren Hancock.
Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13.com)
Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness . Green diamonds can range from $35. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926.
Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation.000 to $500. Intense. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil.03 carats. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green.000 in 1987. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond.90 carats. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat. On thing is certain. or a combination of the two. pure green hues.' discovered during the 18th century. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa.
and man-made imperfections—that can be found in raw and cut diamonds. Joe Vanells. most synthetic diamonds will have a slightly yellowish hue due to nitrogen impurities that are dispersed throughout the crystal lattice structure during the growth phase.
Diamond Inclusion Library: Inclusion Photos
Over 100 High-Resolution Diamond Photos!
All Contents: Copyright © 2010 AllAboutGemstones. representing the four main variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. and beautifully photographed by their Director of Gem Services. F grades. All of the microscopic inclusion photographs on this page were generously contributed by the A." These inclusions can occur within the stone. gemological testing laboratory in Las Vegas. making the stone appear yellowish.
.G. This section contains a compendium of photography depicting all of the various types of diamond inclusions—both naturally occurring. Nevada. Inclusions which are visible to the naked eye are referred to as piquŽ. or on the surface of the cut stone.com)
Enhanced Blue & Yellow Diamonds (© AfricaGems.com)
Fancy Colored Synthetic Diamonds
Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless D. or human caused. and so-called "piquŽ diamonds" fall into the GIA grading range of I1 to I3 (CIBJO grade P1 to P3). Inclusions which are not visible to the naked eye (eye clean) fall into the GIA range of "IF" (Internally Flawless) to "SI2" (Small Inclusions). E.Reddish Brown Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems.L. It is for this reason that manufacturers of synthetic diamonds tend to specialize in fancy colors.com Clarity is one of the Four C's of diamond grading.S. or absence of tiny imperfections known as "inclusions. These impurities absorb the blue end of the light spectrum. and can be naturally occuring. The term "clarity" refers to the presence.
Internal Diamond Inclusion Photos
Carbon Tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts). Black or dark material found within a diamond's internal fracture planes can also be particles or crystallographic inclusions of graphite. Black material found within internal fracture planes can also be crystallographic inclusions of graphite.
. pyrrhotite and pentlandite. 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. ferropericlase.
Microscopic Carbon Picque Inclusions
Hexagonal Platelet Inclusion in Trillion Cut Diamond
which can leave their own types of unique inclusions. All of the microscopic diamond carbon inclusion photography on this page was generously contributed by the AGSL gemological testing laboratory in Las Vegas. Clouds (Cld) A dense grouping of tiny pinpoints that create a cloudy zone which may not resolve as individual pinpoints at 10X Magnification.Carbon piqué inclusions are sometimes removed by diamond enhancements such as laser drilling. 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. Internal cloud inclusions may not resolve as pinpoints at 10X
. Nevada. and is reproduced with their permission.
Magnification. These pinpoint cloud inclusions can have a dramatic effect on the clarity and brilliance of a faceted diamond as they interfere with the refraction of light within the stone.
Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.
Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.
Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.
. Common around included crystals. Feather Inclusion Photos
Internal Diamond Feather Inclusion Photography
Feather inclusions (Ftr) are caused by cleavage planes or internal stress fractures that have the appearance of wispy feathers. which cause internal stress fractures during crystal growth.Feathers (Ftr) Cleavage planes or internal stress fractures that have the appearance of feathers. Feather inclusions can be accompanied by internal graining and/or twinning wisp inclusions. Feather inclusions are common around included crystals such as garnet.
.Feather inclusions caused by stress fractures around included garnet crystal.
diamonds with significant stress fractures and feather should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner as this could cause the diamond to shatter.Pronounced stress fractures and feather inclusions can potentially weaken the stone.
. As a result. making it susceptible to fracturing when exposed to thermal or physical shock. This is especially true if the fracture breeches the stone's surface. and the stress inclusion occurs along the gem's natural cleavage plane.
and haze within a cut diamond. waviness.Grain Center (GrCnt) A concentrated area of crystal growth that can appear light or dark. Grain Center Inclusion Photos
Internal Grain Center Diamond Inclusion Photography
Internal Grain Center (IntGr) inclusions (aka internal graining) are caused by irregular diamond crystal growth which creates internal distortions.
Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions
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
iron oxides. or silica. olivine. olivine. spinel. calcite. silica or other gem stone inclusions.Included Crystals (Xtl) Included and undigested gemstones or fragments of garnet. diopside. diopside. calcite. iron oxides. 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.
Green chrome diopside Inclusion within a Diamond
Garnet Inclusions within Diamond
Garnet fragment on Diamond Girdle
Grossularite Garnet Inclusions in Diamond
Internal Graining (IntGr) Irregular crystal growth causing internal distortions, waviness, and/or haze. Can be accompanied by internal strain. Internal Graining Inclusion Photos
Internal Graining Diamond Inclusion Photography
Internal Graining (IntGr) inclusions are caused by irregular crystal growth which creates internal distortions, waviness, or haze. Internal Graining imperfections may be accompanied by internal strain such as feather Inclusions.
Internal Graining with Cloud Inclusion
. With internal laser-drilling inclusions. and where pathway does 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. the drilled passage may not breach the cut diamond's surface.
Needle Inclusion Photos
Needle Inclusion Photography
Internal Needles (Ndl) or needle inclusions are naturally occurring rutile-like needle shaped inclusions within the diamond.Needles (Ndl) Rutile-like needle-shaped inclusions.
Pinpoints (Pp) Minute crystals within the diamond that appear white. Pinpoint Inclusion Photos
Pinpoints (Pp) Inclusion Photography
Internal Pinpoints (Pp). or Pinpoint Inclusions are minute included crystals within the diamond that appear white under magnification.
. Large groupings of small pinpoints can create a cloud 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.Twinning Wisps Inclusions and defects resulting from crystal-twining during crystal growth. Twinning Wisp Inclusion Photos
Twinning Wisps Inclusion Photography
Twinning Wisp inclusions are naturally-occurring structural defects with a diamond. Can be accompanied by graining and strain.
. resulting from crystal twining during the growth process.
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
Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers
Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light
Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion
Knot diamond inclusions can potentially be the cause of man-made drag-line inclusions.Natural External Diamond Inclusions or Blemishes
Knots An inclusion that penetrates the surface. appearing as a raised area.
. Knot Inclusion Photos
Photography of Diamond Inclusion Knots
Knot inclusions are naturally occurring external inclusions or imperfections that penetrate the surface (convex). appearing as a raised area on the diamond's surface.
Indented Natural (IndN) A naturally occurring indentation in the crystal that was not removed during cutting or polishing. and were not fully removed during the stone's cutting or polishing process. 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.
made up of a bumpy or wavy pattern on the polished surface of a diamond. The lizard-skin effect is caused by an orange-peel texture.
.Lizard Skin A bumpy or wavy 'orange-peel' textured pattern on the polished surface of a diamond. 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.
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.
Surface Graining (SGr) Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation.
.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.
or feathers along the outer edge of girdle. chips. Bearded Girdle (BG) Fine cracks. creating a whitish fuzzy edge as opposed to a sharp edge.Human Caused Surface Blemishes
Abrasion (Abr) A tightly grouped series of nicks along the sharp edge of facet junctions. Bruising (Br) A percussion mark or hole caused by impact and surrounded by tiny feathers. fringing.
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. Cavities (Cv) An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing. the overheating of a facet causes a burn mark. Drag Lines Created when a rough particle is dragged along the surface.Burn Marks Created during polishing.
. or when abrasive material is caught by an included crystal such as garnet during the polishing of a diamond. during cutting and/or polishing the diamond. or caught by a included crystal. Chips Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet.
Filled Fractures Fractures or feathers that have been artificially filled to enhance clarity.Extra Facet (EF) An asymmetrical and irregularly placed facet that is not part of the original faceting scheme. This microscopic photograph shows the telltale orange or pink flash of a filled fracture enhancement within a cut diamond.
. Filled Fracture Photos
Internal Fracture Filling Inclusion Photography
Fracture-filling Inclusions are man-made diamond enhancements that are the result of natural cleavage-plane stress fractures or feathers which have been artificially filled with molten glass to enhance clarity. and remove cloudiness.
and inscriptions. Laser Etching Photos
Diamond Laser Etching Inscription Photography
Laser etching inclusions are surface blemishes and imperfections that are created when careless or inadvertent markings or inscriptions are made while laser etching. or inscribing the external surface of a cut diamond.Laser Etching or Markings Careless or inadvertent laser etchings. marking. markings.
" whitish film on the surface of a facet caused by excessive heat during polishing.
Diamond Enhancements: Laser Drilling & Fracture Filling
.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.
or treatments to give a fancy color to a off-white diamond. but instead attempt to hide their visual effect.
Unfilled Fractures around Garnet Inclusion .
Diamond Fracture Filling
Diamond clarity is sometimes improved and enhanced by filling tiny fractures or feathers with molten glass.Diamond Chemistry
| Optical Properties of Diamond
| Diamond Enhancement
Diamond "enhancements" are specific treatments performed on cut. in accordance with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines for the gem trade.© AGS Lab
Telltale Signs of Fracture Filling .
There are also heating treatments to improve a white diamond's color grade. which are designed to improve the visual or gemological characteristics of the stone." Reputable filling companies will always use filling agents which show an orange or pink flash of color when viewed under a microscope with certain controlled lighting conditions.© 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. much like you would repair a crack in a car's windshield glass. polished natural diamonds. or removed by employing several invasive techniques from fracture filling to laser drilling. Minor diamond inclusions or surface imperfections which are not visible to the naked eye ("VVS1" to "SI2") can be disguised. A trained gemologist should be able to identify most traditional "enhancements" made to a particular stone. altered. but not necessarily increase its value. These techniques do not eliminate the imperfection.
. Such diamonds are sometimes then branded as "fracture filled diamonds.
The final clarity grade will be the grade that is assigned after treatment. in part because the treatment isn't permanent.
Diamond Color Treatment
Color enhancement of diamonds in done to increase the color intensity of so-called "fancy" colored diamonds.com
Color Enhanced Diamonds . It is therefor essential to inform anyone working on a setting where the diamond has been fracture-filled. The drilling process leave tiny telltale shafts or tunnels that are visible under high magnification (see photos below). and the GIA will not even grade a fracture-filled diamond.© AfricaGems. Diamonds treated with HTHP have their molecular altered so that intense. followed by acid washing to remove the coloring agent. and both the GIA and AGS will issue grades for laser drilled diamonds.© AfricaGems.There should always be a significant price discount for any diamond that has been fracture-filled.© AGS Lab
Laser Drilling Tubes . According to Fred Cuellar in his book How to Buy a Diamond. "One out of every three diamonds sold in the United States is laser-drilled. referred to as the HTHP process. These enhancements are achieved using low levels of radiation (irradiation).com
Radiation treatments are completely safe. and the diamonds are tested to ensure that no trace levels of radiation remain.
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. Due to its low melting-point. Reputable filling companies will often provide repeat treatments if heat causes damage to the filling. or subjecting the diamond to intense pressure and temperature. so that the jeweler can use greater care while working on the piece. "vivid" blue and yellow colors result.
Signs of Laser Drilling .© AGS Lab
The laser-drilling treatment is considered permanent. the heat generated by a blowtorch used to work on settings can cause damage to the filling material.
Natural Fancy Diamonds .
Using an electric furnace constructed with blocks of lime. Although synthetic diamonds were originally conceived as a substitute for natural industrial-grade diamonds. yet they have the identical carbon-based chemical properties of natural diamond.
. which created enough pressure to crystallize the molten carbon into tiny diamond fragments. These man-made synthetic diamonds are a laboratory-grown simulation of the natural gemstone. there are two main processes for creating lab diamonds: the High-Temperature High-Pressure or "HTHP" method. tiny fragments of synthetic diamond were created by heating charcoal.com The process of creating man-made diamonds (aka cultured diamonds.Tracy Hall for the General Electric Company. high-pressure) "belt press" process was used for synthesizing industrial-grade diamonds. and has been steadily improved upon throughout the last 50 years. the intense heat would render the crucible and its carbon contents into a molten liquid mass. lab diamonds) was first conceived by French chemist Henri Moissan in 1892. the crucible and its contents were rapidly cooled by immersing them into cold water. The first practical commercial application of Moissan's process was developed in 1954.© AGS Labs
Synthetic Yellow Chatham Diamond . by H. and the Chemical Vapor Deposition or "CVD" method. With Moissan's process. Once the desired temperature had been achieved.Synthetic Diamonds & Man-Made Diamond Simulants
| Cubic Zirconia
The First Synthetic Diamonds
Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. This abrupt cooling caused the rapid shrinkage of the molten iron crucible. The process.
Synthetic Diamond under Fluorescent . or carbon to an extremely high temperature (4000º C) in a cast iron crucible. known as the HTHP (high-temperature. they are increasingly used in fine jewelry as their quality increases.© AGS Labs
Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD)
The "Chemical Vapor Deposition" (CVD) method was developed during the 1980s. or "deposited" onto the substrate in successive layers. Geminaire
In the early 1900's. produced using the Verneuil (flame-fusion) Process. a seed or substrate material is placed into the growth camber. Diamonite. colorless synthetic sapphire (aka Diamondite) was a popular diamond simulant. With CVD.' or six-anvil 'cubic press' to create the necessary pressure. Magalux. Like natural diamond. Jourado Diamond. and Moissanite in 1998.
Diamond "simulants. Fabulite Synthetic Rutile (1946-1955) Diamothyst. but are not a carbonbased compound having a natural diamond's crystalline structure. or "simulate" the appearance of natural diamonds." uses a four-anvil 'tetrahedral press. Diamond Essence. ultraviolet. also known as "GE POL. Unlike their natural diamond counterparts. specific gravity. most synthetic diamonds will have a slightly yellowish hue due to nitrogen impurities that are dispersed through out the crystal lattice structure during the growth phase. or by measuring UV fluorescence with a DiamondView tester. A diamond seed is placed into a growth camber. the HTHP diamond's growth process can take 7 to 10 days to complete.
Synthetic Diamond Color & Optics
Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless form. and uses a lowerpressure growth environment than the earlier HTHP method. With the advent of Cubic Zirconia in the mid 1970's. Java Gem. Titangem Synthetic Sapphire (1900-1947) Diamondette. Diamonte. The vaporized carbon gases are energized using microwave energy. most of these lesser simulants fell by the wayside. Diamondite. In the late 1940's Diamondite gave way to Synthetic Rutile which was popular until the advent of YAG in the early 1970's. refractive index. Radient Yttrium Aluminum Garnet (YAG) (1970-1975) Diamone. Synthetic diamonds can be detected using infrared.High-Temperature High-Pressure (HTHP)
The "High-Temperature High-Pressure" (HTHP) technique. and surface luster as its natural diamond counterpart. 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. light dispersion. These impurities absorb the blue end of the light spectrum. Lustergem.1970) Diagem. hardness.
Synthetic Diamond Manufacturers
. Using Chemical Vapor Deposition. making the stone appear yellowish. or X-ray spectroscopy. Phianite Gadolinium Gallium Garnet (GGG) (1972-1975) Strontium Titanate (ST) (1955 . Diamonaire. ranging in clarity from IF to SI or I. Rainbow Diamond. making them difficult to differentiate from natural diamonds. synthetic diamonds may contain small inclusions. and a combination of heat and pressure are applied while a vaporized carbon-plasma that is combined with hydrogen is applied. which attracts the gas to the substrate. the diamond's entire growth process takes several days to complete. Rutania. Thrilliant Synthetic Spinel (1920-1947) Corundolite." also known as "simulated diamonds" or "fake diamonds" are man-made gemstones that look like. Synthetic diamonds can also be treated with the HTHP process to alter the optical properties of the stones. Common diamond simulants include:
Cubic Zirconia (CZ) (1976-) Czarite. A cultured synthetic diamond will have the identical cleavage.
www.25 carats is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. The Split Sphere system crystalizes the carbon seed in an alkaline. and some fancy colored diamonds. princess. using a proprietary variation of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) technique. The toughness of Cubic Zirconia is rated as good.chatham.Apollo Diamond. emerald. To insure easy identification as a man-made product.25 carats to 1 carat. Florida. each Gemesis cut stone over .gemesis. and stones are cut to order. inc.com Gemesis Cultured Diamonds Gemesis is located in Sarasota. Tairus produces rough sizes from . and each stone is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number.apollodiamond.com To the average consumer. and rose cuts.500 to $9. Chatham's pricing ranges from $6. Apollo Diamond's cut stones are available in round brilliant.30 carats to 3 carats. Apollo Diamonds are cut and polished in sizes ranging from . which they claim is the closest thing to mother nature. with clarity grades from IF to SI.3 on the Mohs scale. and like Chatham. www.com Tairus Created Gems Tairus Created Gems is a Russian company that grows fancy-colored diamonds in their proprietary "Split Sphere" system.). in Boston.500 per carat (2004 est. and CZ has a hardness of only 8. Cubic Zirconia (Zirconium Oxide ZrO2) has a completely different chemical structure. Tairus Created Gems are sold exclusively through Tairus Thailand Co.com Chatham Created Diamonds Chatham Gems is a San Francisco based company that grows only fancy-colored diamonds in colors ranging from champagne and canary yellow to pink and midnight blue. and each cut stone is laser inscribed with the Apollo company logo and serial number. Ltd. Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is the most familiar type of diamond simulant on the market. carbonate fluid solution that is similar to diamond-bearing metamorphic rock. while diamond has a hardness of 10.
| Cubic Zirconia
Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. of Bangkok Thailand.. While a synthetic diamond is a man-made recreation of an actual carbon-based diamond. Massachusetts grows colorless (D to M) diamonds. Gemesis only grows fancy-colored diamonds. www.
most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods
CZ vs Diamond . CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight. but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye. Due to their low cost and consistency.
Photos: Larry P Kelley
Identifying Cubic Zirconia
A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond.In 1973. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. Unlike most natural diamonds. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce. Once the mixture has cooled. CZ vs Diamond . The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below). 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.800 .
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. etc.
. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease. CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds. For instance. and CZs can be made in any "color grade.41 (RI).) in a totally dark room. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting.Detectable With Testing
Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored. or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond.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. a CZ is optically flawless. Natural diamonds attract grease.80 to 2. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible.17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2. the greater dispersive power." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR). The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit.2.170. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing. The 1. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left). or colorless (white) versions. Diamond's RI is 2. Zirconium oxide powder is heated. candle.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator. natural diamond is a thermal conductor Weight: Cubic Zirconia is heavier than diamond in a given size
Another method for distinguishing Cubic Zirconia from diamond is to mark the stone with a grease pencil or felt-tipped pen.
The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0.25 on the Mohs scale. candle. Moissanite has an RI of 2. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ.65 to 2. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index.
Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. Arizona. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond. found only in iron-nickel meteorites. 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.417. Moissanite. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. while diamond has a hardness of 10.com Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). Moissanite has a hardness of 9.) in a dark room.044.69.A small. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused.060.670.
. etc. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr.
Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. Henri Moissan (above.104 as compared to CZ at 0. 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. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. when examining the gem through the kite facets. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent. is classified as an element rather than a compound. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. center) near Winslow. and diamond at 0.
Diamonds: Modern Diamond Cutting
Diamond Cutting Background
One of the hardest substances on earth. but significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its high RI.417
Moissanite is double refractive (anisotropic) while a natural diamond is singly refractive (isotropic). 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. The Modern Round Brilliant cut (below) is the culmination of several hundred years of experimentation and development. diamond has a "grain. Like wood.A small. caused by primary reflections from the pavilion and CZ's low RI. diamonds were used in their natural octahedral state. Moissanite vs Diamond . due to its high refractive index." and the rough stone must be cut with the grain. rather than against it. Diamond cutting can be traced back to the late Middle Ages.Detectable With Testing
Double Refraction: Moissanite is double refractive. A similarly sharp. which was called the "Point Cut.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. Prior to this time. creating the "Table Cut.670. only a diamond is hard enough to cut other diamonds. The first improvements on nature's design involved a polishing of the crystal faces. one half of the crystal would be cut off. Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be more diffused. Table Cut diamonds appeared black to the eye.
Cutting a Rough Diamond
." At the time. most diamonds have some inclusions
Moissanite vs Diamond ." As further refinement progressed. diamond is singly refractive Refractive Index: Moissanite has a refractive index of 2. although it can be easily cleaved or fractured due to its defined cleavage planes. Diamond's RI is 2. diamonds were valued primarily for their luster and hardness. detailed and sharply focused pattern caused by secondary reflections will be seen when observing a diamond.
on a scaife. During this faceting stage the angles of each facet must be cut to an exacting standard in order to yield maximum brilliancy. Sawing: A stone-cutting saw is a thin disk made of phosphor bronze.
Cleaving: Cleaving refers to splitting a stone along its grain by striking it. Asymmetrical crystals such as macles are used primarily for fancy cuts. 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." Faceting: To facet a round brilliant. A rough stone is cleaved if there are conspicuous defects and/or inclusions which would prevent it from being made into a single gemstone. or lap that has been "charged" with diamond dust. The natural shape of the rough stone will also be a major factor in deciding how to cut the stone. eliminate waste. This step is also referred to as "rounding. As the saw blade rotates it continues to pickup or "recharge" itself with diamond dust which is the cutting agent. then pressing it against a revolving cast iron disk.Modern Round Brilliant Diamond
.Cutting a raw diamond into a faceted and polished gem-quality stone is a multi-step process. a second diamond mounted on a dop is pressed against it. Cubic shapes are ideal for a square Princess or Radiant cut. It can take several hours for the saw blade to cut through a 1k rough diamond. The steps are: Marking Cleaving Sawing Bruting (Girdling) Faceting Marking: A rough stone is marked prior to cleaving or sawing to determine the direction of the grain and cleavage. Due to its atomic structure.
Diamonds: Ideal Cut . a diamond can be cleaved in four directions parallel to each of the four octahedron crystal faces. Cleaving is a critical step as a mistake by the "cleaver" could fracture. Bruting: The rough is placed in a chuck on a lathe. Cleavage is the tendency of crystalline materials to split along defined cleavage plane. the "blocker" or "lapper" will cut the first 18 main facets. 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. and maintain symmetry. or shatter the stone. While the rough stone rotates on the diamond lathe. rounding the rough diamond into a conical shape. then a "brillianteer" will cut and polish the remaining 40 facets. High-tech computerized helium and oxygen analyzers are now used to evaluate a stone prior to cutting. Each step is critical to the final outcome.
Reconciling Cut & Weight Retention
If the rough stone has a colorless D through F rating and has very few inclusions.com When deciding how to cut a rough diamond. cut proportions. compromises would have to be made.
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
. If. and the amount of internal inclusions will play an important part in the decisions as to how to maximize yield. it may be better to aim for a higher carat weight utilizing a "Standard" cut. An octehedral rough diamond will yield two round brilliant cut stones (see diagram below). but in order to do this. 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. the rough stone has some coloration and/or is heavily included. it would be cost effective to sacrifice some carat weight in order to finish with two "Ideal" cuts.weight retention. The clarity of the stone. The objective is always to maximize carat weight. elimination of any inclusions. This is accomplished by reconciling three key factors . on the other hand.
you will see that there are 8 "star" facets. and one "table" facet on the top of the stone for a total of 58 facets.
The Modern Round Brilliant Cut
The modern "Round Brilliant Cut" (below) was developed by Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. etc. and 2. it is the best cut for showcasing a high-quality stone's fire and brilliance.
An "Ideal Cut". 16 "lower girdle" facets. hearts.
In the diagram of a "Round Cut" diamond (above and below). This is why it is very rare to see flawless stones cut into fancy cuts such as emeralds. 16 "upper girdle" facets." Even with modern techniques. it is the most efficient cut for maximizing yield. 8 "pavilion" facets. The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem. This is primarily due to the fact that this cut has yet to be improved on for two reasons: 1. the cutting and polishing of a diamonds resulted in a loss of as much as 50% of the stone's total weight.Pavilion Symmetry Girdle Symmetry
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. as two stones could be cut from one crystal. The round brilliant cut is beneficial when the crystal is an octahedron. This cut is also known as the "Tolkowsky Cut" and "Tolkowsky Brilliant. 8 "kite" facets. "Premium Cut" or "Modern Round Brilliant" (Tolkowsky Round Brilliant) diamond as shown in the diagrams above would have the following basic proportions according to the AGS:
As with all human endeavors. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951.
AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade
The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. crown height of 14.
Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut. crown height of 14. and Proportions.6% and overall height of 57. The "Scan D." (Scandinavian standard. Ideal Scope. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. Symmetry. invented in 1929. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios. etc. Eppler & Scan D. Since then. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). very small to small In the 1970s.7%. H&A Viewer.5%.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. and overall height of 57.4%.
. facet ratios. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42. and crown/pavilion angles. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant".5% to 43.N. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer.
To quantify a diamond's cut quality. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57.' and there has been numerous attempts to improve on this tried-and-true formula with the introduction of new signature diamond cuts that claim to have a higher light return. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope. more brilliance and fire..N. A perfect blending of facet symmetry.7%.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace.
Every conceivable cutting theory is tried. and it still survives in some form today. The cut has a deep pavilion and a high crown. the Cullinan 1 and Cullinan 2 being set into the crown and sceptre of the British Crown Jewels. and number of facets. the Asscher diamond cut has a squarish octagonal shape with a step cut. mathematicians. www. (more facets. etc.Producers split hairs over cut angle. Popular in Art Deco jewelry of the period. One thing is for sure . scientists. but some like the Barion Cut have disappeared into obscurity.like Einstein's theory of relativity.each trying to improve on the tried-and-true Old European cuts. Some have gone on to become household names such as the Asscher cut. The Asscher brothers cut the famous 3.) and when suitably scrutinized by the gem trade. cut proportions. it is put in front of the ultimate arbiter of quality .106 carat Cullinan Diamond into eleven gem stones. but at the end of the day it may simply come down to consumer preference and/or marketing.the consumer.
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. less facets.
Asscher Cut The Asscher Cut was developed by Abraham and Joseph Asscher of the Royal Asscher Diamond Company of Amsterdam in 1902. or the widely marketed Leo cut which is a modified round-brilliant sold by Leo Schachter Diamonds. cut corners and a small table.nl
. and the culet is square. and entrepreneurs . Here is a collection of just a few of the many "signature" diamond cuts that have been produced over the last 100 years. with the two largest stones. and their modest brilliance and light return.asscher. Tolkowsky came up with a "brilliant" idea almost 90 years ago.
and creates a high amount of waste. The Eternal Cut has a total of 81 facets. It is sold exclusively through the 270 year old firm of Garrard & Company in London. The name "Barion" or "Barion cut" was never trademarked. The Context Cut consists of two back-to-back pyramids (an octahedron). Barocut stones are also sold in tapered shapes. 81 facets on the cut corner (cushion) version. Ulrich Freiesleben of Germany in the early 1980s then patented and trademarked in 1997. and a 'softer' briliance than a traditional round brilliant cut. www. nephew to the inventor of the Modern Round Brilliant cut. and a total of 81 facets. www.baroka. The cut has a total of 8 facets plus a girdle. Garrard & Co. The Context Cut is used to cut colored gemstones by Julius Petsch of Idar-Oberstein.com
Context Cut The Context Cut is a square cut that was developed by Dr. www. or the company website. to become Asprey & Garrard. not including the 16 girdle facets. Germany. The Barocut is available in sizes from 20 points to 3 carats. and in all diamond colors and/or clarity grades. A Barocut diamond has a total of 77 facets.
Barocut The Barocut® diamond cut is a patented.com
. Barocut diamonds are promoted and sold exclusively through the Baroka Creations catalog. 23 more than a modern Round Brilliant cut. The Eternal Cut is being sold exclusively at Garrard's main London store and Harvey Nichols stores in Great Britain. The Context Cut design was based on an earlier patented design by Bernd Munsteiner from the early 1960s. and its patent has expired. In 1998. adding up to 50% to the cost when compared to a Round Brilliant cut diamond. The Barion square cut diamond has a 4-fold mirror-image symmetry. with star-shaped cross facets cut diagonally into the pavilion.garrard. parting ways in 2002 to again become Garrard. merged with the jewelry firm Asprey.de
Eternal Cut The Eternal Cut diamond was designed and patented by master Israeli diamond cutter. forming a square shape when viewed from the top. of New York in 2000. The cutting process requires a high-quality rough.The Barion square cut (aka Barion square cushion cut) was invented by Basil Watermeyer of South Africa in 1971. modified rectangular (baguette) cut that was developed by Baroka Creations. or to increase light-dispersion. and was the forerunner to the princess cut. The Barocut is also called a "two heart diamond" due to the illusion of two mirrored hearts meeting at the culet. Inc. The Context Cut follows a rough diamond crystal's natural octahedral shape. Gabi Tolkowsky. Marce Tolkowsky.freiesleben. creating a unique 'flower petal' pattern surrounding the cutlet.
maximizing the amount of light returned back as scintillation. www. and pear shapes. that is suited to a relatively flat rough. angular shapes.com
Flower Cut The 'Flower Cut' series was created by Gabi Tolkowsky in 1986. Other than the traditional round brilliant shape. heart. The Dahlia is a 12 sided oval shape with 63 facets.Flanders Brilliant Cut The Flanders Brilliant Cut (aka Fire Brilliant) is a modified Radiant or Princess cut with truncated corners that form an octagon with brilliant faceting. The Flanders Fire-Brilliant was developed by Flanders Cut International of Antwerp in 1983. Sunflower and Zinnia cut. who was commissioned by De Beers to create new cuts as a way of marketing unusual.
. The Marigold is an octagon shape with 73 facets. The Flower Cuts employ unconventional cutting angles and dimensions. The Fire-Rose is a hexagonal shape designed to produce higher yields.gabriellediamonds.
The Gabrielle Diamond The Gabrielle® Cut is a modified brilliant cut (triple brilliant cut) that was created by DeBeers desinger/consultant Gabriel Tolkowsky in 2000. The Flower Cuts were never patented or trademarked by De Beers in order to increase their popularity and use. marquise. The Flower Cut is actually a series of five fancy cut shapes: the Dahlia. oval. and the cut was named after the Flanders region of Belgium (Antwerp) where the cut was first preformed in 1987.nationaldiamond. (aka Leo Schachter Diamond). The Sunflower has 43 facets in unusual.com
Leo Cut The Leo® Diamond. is a patented symmetrical round cut created by Leo Schachter Diamonds. off-color stones. the Gabrielle has a total of 105 facets. LLC.com www. emerald. Unveiled at the Las Vegas Gem Show in 2001. adding greater brilliance and fire than standard brilliant cuts. Marigold. The Flanders Brilliant has 33 crown facets and 28 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets. Fire-Rose. 48 of which are clustered around the culet to increase fire. www.flanders-cuts. 8 more facets than the Round Brilliant cut's 58. which is 47 more than a traditional 'Tolkowsky' round brilliant cut. designed to maximize the brilliance and color of diamonds while increasing their yield. the Gabrielle Cut is available in carre. The Leo diamond cut has a total of 66 facets. The Zinnia is a round fancy shape with 73 facets. The cut is distributed by the National Diamond Syndicate (NDS) of Chicago.
diamondaires. www. Bez Ambar
Radiant Cut The Radiant Cut is a modified emerald cut shape that was developed. and was patented and trademarked by Bez Ambar Jewelers of Los Angeles in 1980. The pavilion is similar to a Barion cut.radiantcut. Prior to the Quadrillion.The Leo diamond cut is the first to be certified for fire and brilliance as measured by a 'BrillianceScope. There are 25 crown facets and 36 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets (not including 8 girdle facets). small table. and a total of has 50 facets. www. The Lucida is sold exclusively through Tiffany's retail chain. sold in solitaire engagement/wedding bands. There are a total of 49 facets.com
Lucida Cut The Lucida (TM) Cut is a patented diamond cut that was created by Tiffany & Company in 1999.70 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.tiffany. eternity bands. The Lucida diamond cut is a modified square or rectangular (Marquise) cut with truncated corners. and the table is a bowed out rectangle. and all Original Radiant Cut diamonds weigh at least 0. patented and trademarked by Henry Grossbard of the Radiant Cut Diamond Company (RCDC) in 1977. the Radiant Cut became a fully accepted diamond shape in the jewelry business. brilliant-style faceted pavilion (similar to a Cushion Cut). 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.com
. www. and three-stone rings.' and each diamond comes with a "Return of Light Certificate. The Lucida diamond cut is marketed as a wedding cut. square shaped diamonds were stepcut limiting their brilliance. It was the first emerald shaped diamond cut to have brilliance and fire similar to that of a round brilliant diamond." The Leo Diamond is marketed through the Kay Jeweler chain. a highstep crown (similar to the Asscher Cut). Upon the expiration of the patent. RCDC launched the 'Original Radiant Cut' diamond brand In 2002.com
Quadrillion Cut The Quadrillion® Cut (aka Squarillion Cut) is a modified square princess cut that was developed by Israel Itzkowitz and Betzalel Ambar in the late 1970s.
Old Mine Cut
Evolution of the Faceted Diamond & Colored Gem
Article Copyright © 2008 AllAboutGemstones. The Trilliant has the Schoenflies point group symmetry of a round brilliant. Still. this led to the invention of the first gem cutting machines (precursor to the "lap" or "Facetron") in the 1300s.
Old European Gem Cuts: Point. Trillian. fire. reworked into the shape of a trillion (triangle). and the natural octahedral symmetry of the rough stone's closed isometric form. Nieman Marcus and Tiffany. Harry Winston. The Starburst cut is especially suitable for a octahedral rough. brilliance. and the Trilliant is now a generic term for a triangular brilliant cut. and Uncurved cut used for accent stones. with weight losses in the fifty percent range. Starburst Cuts are mounted and sold directly through Cartier.The Starburst Cut was patented and trademarked by the Louis Glick Diamond Corp. The starburst faceting pattern is designed to focus color near the top of a stone. www. From this point forward it was a race to see who could design the perfect faceted cut which would bring out the maximum fire.early 1300s
The "point cut" (below left) is one of the first symmetrically faceted diamond cuts. but the pavilion is completely different. The Trilliant Cut has a total of 31 facets. and the career of the "diamantaire" (diamond cutter/polisher) was born. right) was created by cutting off some of the top half of the point cut's octahedron to create a table. the precursor for the "design" of the first faceted diamond lay within the rough stone itself. The Starburst cut was created to bring out the highest amount of color to fancy yellow diamonds.com
Trilliant Cut The Trilliant Cut (aka Trielle. 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.com The faceting of diamonds has come a long way in the last 700 years. There are 49 crown facets and 40 pavilion facets. and light return from the stone. but that has not always been easy as these little chunks of elemental carbon are harder that anything that could be found to cut them. The point cut design is dictated by the natural shape of an octahedral rough diamond. There are two variations of this cut: the Curved cut used for solitary stones.
Point Cut . and scintillation when cut to the correct proportions. making the hue of fancy yellow diamonds more intense. The Trilliant cut gives a high brilliance. of New York in 1978. Trillion) is a triangular cut designed and trademarked by the Henry Meyer Diamond Company of New York in 1962. The Trilliant trademark has since lapsed. Since the day that humans first discovered 'adamas' (diamonds). The pavilion has two differently sized sets triangular facets with a large triangular table. Old eight. for a total of 89 kite and star shaped facets. The crown of the Starburst Cut is similar to that of the radiant cut. With the realization that only a diamond could cut another diamond.louisglick.
. The "table cut" (below. craftsmen have attempted to "improve" on nature.
Single Cut ." "Dutch cut." "crowned rose cut.1500s
Invented in the mid 16th century. The culet is usually large enough to be visible when viewed through the table.late 1300s
Invented in the late 14th century. the "rose cut" is also known by the the "Antwerp rose. The briolette cut was designed primarily for use in a pendant or as a dangling bauble in a crown. Also called the "cushion cut".
Rose & Briolette Cut. The "briolette cut" is a modified "double Dutch rose cut" with one of the hemispheres being elongated. it has a cushioned or rounded girdle shape." and the Full Holland cut. The briolette was the precursor to the "pendeloque cut" which is a pear-shaped modification of the round brilliant cut. The Rose cut can form a single hemisphere for a total of 24 facets or it can be two back-to-back hemispheres (Double Dutch rose) forming a total of 48 facets. and eight pavilion facets. This Old Mine cut is basically square with gently rounded corners and "brilliant" style facets. resulting in a smaller table. The crown is typically tall. an octagonal 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.
Old Mine Cut .
The "senaille cut" is a rose cut with irregular or non-symmetrical faceting. The single cut may or may not have a culet at the bottom. eight bezel or crown facets.
The Old European diamond cut has a very small table. the cutting and polishing of a diamonds resulted in a loss of as much as 50% of the stone's total weight. The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem. the old European diamond has a circular girdle. eight facets at the pavilion. This cut is also known as the "Tolkowsky Cut" and "Tolkowsky brilliant.Old European Cut . The eight cut is similar to the "single cut" in that there are eight four-sided trapezoidal facets at the crown. and an octagon-shaped table for a total of 17 facets (18 if a culet is used). as two stones can be cut from one crystal with a minimum amount of waste.
The Modern Round Brilliant Cut .1800s
The "Old European" cut was the forerunner of the modern round brilliant cut. the Modern Round Brilliant cut is beneficial when the crystal is an octahedron (diagram above). Like the modern round brilliant." Even with modern techniques.1900s
The "modern round brilliant cut" (below) was developed by Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. and very tall overall depth.
Eight Cut & Swiss Cut
The "eight cut" is primarily used for small stones when a brilliant cut would be impractical.
As with its predecessor the "point cut" over 600 years earlier. a heavy crown.
thereby controlling and stabilizing prices. with a total of 33 facets (34 if a culet is used)."
The 'Diamond Pipeline'
Rough diamonds are sent directly from De Beers mining operations in Africa (#1). which combines ("aggregating") supplies of rough diamonds from multiple sources into one wholesale market (#2). Kimberley and Windhoek.com The trade in gem-grade rough diamonds is primarily controlled by the De Beers. or secondary mining producers in Canada and Russia to De Beers' Diamond Trading Company (DTC) in London." The DTC is part of the DeBeers Group supply-chain known as the Central Selling Organization (CSO).000 categories based on size. for sorting and resale. color and quality. Rio Tinto. 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). Trans Hex.
The Diamond Trade: The 'Diamond Pipeline'
Rough Diamond Producers
Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.
. Unlike precious metals such as gold. There is a limited market for the resale of diamonds that are less than "investment grade. there is usually a substantial mark-up in the retail sale price of diamonds. 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. then divided by human or automated sorters into individual lots called "boxes. The rough stones are separated into 16.A "Swiss cut" is a compromise between an eight cut and a brilliant cut. Gaborone. 16 isosceles triangle facets on the crown and 16 facets on the pavilion. silver or platinum.
to take advantage of market fluctuations. and independent diamond producers in Canada. A 'sight' can have a value of between $500. through their Diamond Promotion Service (DPS) and Diamond Information Centres (DIC) marketing divisions.com website). The diamonds are then re-sold from the cutting and polishing (manufacturing) centers to wholesalers (Diamond Bourses). has launched an aggressive branding and marketing campaign. Additionally. which are increasing in popularity and consumer acceptance. Other major cutting centers are located in Johannesburg. De Beers (DTC) sets the price of each box in advance. China. Once the diamonds are set into jewelry. they are sold to retailers or direct to the customer. India cuts the vast majority of small stones (. Ramat Gan. Many Sightholders are also cutters. The sightholder then transports the box of rough diamonds back to diamantaire firms (cutting and polishing factories) located around the world (#4). and retailers .000.000 USD. (see DeBeers' Adiamondisforever. Both traders and manufacturers may sell diamonds "upstream" and "downstream" through the diamond pipeline . diamonds have underperformed since 1987 when compared to the "luxury goods" market or global GDP.
. cutters. while large stones are primarily cut in Antwerp. De Beers. and the breakaway from CSO's cartel by the Argyle Diamond Mine in Australia.20 carats or less) in Mumbai (Bombay) and Surat. and Thailand. Rough diamonds are cut in various geographic regions according to tradition and the skill-sets of the labor force.De Beers Sightholders
The DTC holds a sale called a "site" or "sight" ten times per year in London and Johannesburg. determining the quantity and quality that each site-holder will receive. where De Beers sells the "boxes" to its select group ("supplier of choice") of 125 "sightholders" (#3) or diamond manufacturers. Russia and elswhere. or to jewelry manufacturers (#5) around the world. reclaiming their "A Diamond Is Forever" moniker. Tel Aviv. and New York.
De Beers and the Future
De Beers' (CSO's) control over the wholesale diamond market has diminished due to increased market penetration. De Beers is also facing increasing pressure from the manufactures of synthetic diamonds. As a reaction to their decrease in market share.000 to $2.
. Hoveniersstraat. bond. some 1. De Beers is hoping that the combination of branding and security will increase consumer demand.500 diamond dealers (diamantbedrijven) are ensconced in small.
The Diamond Trade: Diamond Bourses of Antwerp
Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. The Council began in July 2000 after a joint meeting of the WFDB and its international headquarters are in New York City. Almost 85% of the world's rough diamonds. or commodities exchange similar to the NYSE. Hong Kong. traders and manufacturer/producers. Moscow.Forevermark Diamonds
As a way of staving off the onslaught of secondary diamond markets. Within Antwerp's diamond district. cut and uncut diamonds. the WDC has observers from the governments of Belgium. 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. Europe. and preventing the inherent product misidentification that will follow. Belgium but there are also Diamond Bourses in Israel. The Council has approximately 70 members representing jewelers. and will com with a certificate of authenticity. 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 .
Diamond Industry Trade Organizations
World Diamond Council The World Diamond Council (aka: International Diamond Council) was established by the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) to find ways to reduce the number of conflict diamonds entering the diamond market. and about half of the polished diamonds. Schupstraat. heavily guarded geographic area surrounded by three main streets.com The word "Bourse" refers to a private stock.S. South Africa. the DTC has developed new inscription technologies to "invisibly" mark the table facet of polished diamonds with a "Forevermark" trademark. This mark is only visible via a point-of-sale electronic viewer.. China. Forevermark diamonds will be available through sightholder/retailers in the U. and Shanghai. are sold in Antwerp every year. London. KPCS originated in May 2000 during a meeting of South African diamond producing states in Kimberley. Asia. The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates . and India (2007). In addition to its members. As of 2006. also known as the "World Diamond Center" or Diamantenzentrum. NY . and Rijfstraat. Diamond Bourses are basically trading exchanges for loose. the European Union and the United Nations to rid the diamond Industry of conflict diamonds. The largest diamond trading center in the world is located in Antwerp. Israel and South Africa and works with 35 independent Governments. The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base. and the city is the hub of the global diamond trading industry (diamanthandel).
making it the largest diamond-trading center in the world . an by-laws that govern business practices. Control over the diamond trade is maintained through the WFDB's Constitution containing a series of rules. After the liberation. friendship and trust .Photo: Wiki Public
The first trading exchange to deal exclusively with rough. and repatriation of Antwerp following the end of WWII. and disputes are handled by an internal arbitration process. ethics and morality. the Antwerpsche Diamantkring was reopened. founded in 1893—and the Beurs voor Diamanthande (at Pelikaanstraat 78) founded in 1904 .
Beurs voor Diamanthandel . Most transactions conducted within the Bourses done with cash and a handshake.
In Antwerp's 'Diamond Center' (Diamantenzentrum) today. uncut diamonds was the Antwerpsche Diamantkring (Antwerp Diamond Ring) . and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) was founded in 1947. Both bourse were founded by Hasidim diamantairs. 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. Around $16+ billion in polished diamonds pass through Antwerp's diamond bourses each year. and both are still in operation today. These first trading exchanges mainly dealt with the wholesaling of cut stones. regulations. 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. bisected by Hoveniersstraat street.
The Diamond High Council (HRD)
The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base. who were in search of the "quiet sweet life.000 Zulu warriors attacking 470 Boer settlers. The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates . which at the time was administered by the 'Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie' or 'Dutch East India Company. This led to a new wave of emigrants and adventurer-seekers from England. the Zule's King Dingane agreed to a treaty allowing the Voortrekkers to settle in what would be called the Natalia Republic or Boer republics. and Limpopo (Venetia Diamond Mine). there was a mass exodus (the Great Trek) northward to 'Northern Cape. coming for
. Flemish. and this eventually lead to all-out war. The Voortrekkers had to contend with the native Zulu tribe over land they wished to settle on.' and the 'Orange Free State' provinces to escape hostilities with the native 'Xhosa tribe' from which Nelson Mandela decended. There was not a single Boer fatality." Three of South Africa's richest diamond mines are in Northern Cape (Kimberley Diamond Mine).' 'Limpopo. 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. The First Boer War (1880—1881) began with the Transvaal (Limpopo) Boers declaring independence from Great Britain.The HRD (Hoge Raad voor Diamant) Diamond High Council is a non-profit industry organization designed to promote and represent the Antwerp diamond trade. under the Treaty of Vereeniging.com
Diamonds and the Afrikaners
The Afrikaners & British Diamonds and the Jews The Hindustani Diamond Cutters The African Nationals The Americans
Photos: Public Domain
The Boers Historically.' 'Gauteng. but 3000 Zulus were killed in what became known as the 'Battle of Blood River. most with Dutch Calvinist.' After the devastating Zulu defeat. with 10.
Diamonds and the British
The Second Wave of Europeans Needing a stopping-off point on the sea-route to Australia and India. England seized the Cape of Good Hope from the Dutch East India Company in 1797. Afrikaners who participated in the migration northward became known as the 'Trekboer' or Voortrekkers. Afrikaners (aka Boers or farmers) were religious refugees from the Netherlands and other parts of northern Europe during the mid 1600s to late 1700s. and fully annexed the Cape Colony in 1806 .
The Diamond Trade: History & Culture of the Key Players
Article Copyright © 2006 AllAboutGemstones.' During the 1830s and 1840s. or German Protestant backgrounds. Gauteng (Premier Diamond Mine). The Boers resisted British encroachments into their territory until the Second 'Anglo' Boer War (1899— 1902).
De Beers and Kimberley Central were the two largest mining interests in South Africa at the time. Amid all of this turmoil and chaos.
Photo: Pub. 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. mysteriously falling overboard on a ship passage back to England. De Beer. and J. Cecil Rhodes' De Beers empire was started on a farm owned by two Boer settlers and brothers." In 1906. Rhodes started out selling ice cream to the diamond-diggers and service workers. Domain
Cecil Rhodes Cecil Rhodes (1853—1902) is the undisputed father of the modern diamond industry. he was able to build a monopolistic empire through skill and cunning.
Photo: Pub. and in 1910 the 'Union of South Africa' was created. in Northern Cape. The African nation of Rhodesia was named after him (now the Republic of Zimbabwe). Barnato was given appointed to 'life governor' and temporary controlling interest in De Beers . 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. D. N. A. although Rhodes did not start out with an interest in diamonds. As founder of De Beers. Barnato died several years later. self-government was restored. a prospector. but was eventually successful in convincing Barnato to merge with De Beers. a curious discovery was being made along the banks of the Orange River. and later selling steam-powered water pumps to drain the open-pit mines of Kimberley. no heirs to his empire.
Photo: Pub. Cullinan
. 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. One of the richest men in the world. As a young lad from England. Domain
Barney Barnato During the same period that Cecil Rhodes was building De Beers Consolidated Mines. Domain
Thomas M. In exchange... 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.' Cecil Rhodes died a single man with no children and.the "mineral revolution.
Sir Thomas Major Cullinan (1860—1936) was the founder of one of Africa's richest diamond mines, the 'Premier Diamond Mine,' 30 kilometers east of Pretoria, in Gauteng province, South Africa. Although Cullinan was already a successful building contractor in Johannesburg, he was also an amateur geologist who had heard about alluvial diamonds being found along a stream near the old 'Cornelis Minnaar Farm' in upper Gauteng. Cullinan was interested in purchasing the farm, which had already changed hands several times, but the present owner, Willem Prinsloo (who had purchased the land for £570 in 1861) was not interested in selling. Shortly after the close Anglo Boer War (1898—1902), Willem Prinsloo's widow agreed to sell the land to Cullinan for £52,000, and the 'Transvaal Premier Diamond Mining Company LTD' was officially registered on the December 1, 1902 . On January 25th 1905, a 3,106 carat diamond was found at the mine, which remains the largest diamond ever found in the world. When news of Premier's success hit the board room of De Beers, several aborted attempts were made to purchase the mine, but Cullinan had no intention of selling . In 1914, WW1 broke out in Europe, and diamond prices began to spiral. Layoffs at the mine caused enough friction that by August, mining operations were suspended. The Premier Mine had resumed production by January 1916, but in need of cash, Cullinan sold a major stake in the mine to the Transvaal government. Frank Oats, who was now the chairman of De Beers, was able to convince the Transvaal government to sell its controlling interest in 1917, and De Beers once again enjoyed a monopoly on South African diamonds.
Diamonds and the Ashkenazi, Sephardi and Hasidic Jews
There is perhaps no other ethnic group that is so inextricably intertwined with the diamond trade, than the jews. In an odd twist of fate, it may be Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama's discovery of a searoute to India around Africa's Cape of Good Hope in 1488, that set the stage for the Jewish/diamond connection. Da Gama's discovery opened up a direct diamond-trading route from India's Malabar Coast and the island of Borneo, to Portugal and on the Netherlands. With Lisbon now at the forefront of the European diamond trade, many Portuguese Sephardi businessmen opened cutting houses, and quickly gained a dominant roll in the diamond-polishing industry. The Sephardi were Jews who originated from Spain and Portugal (the Iberian Peninsula), many practicing a secret adherence to Judaism known as "Crypto-Judaism," while professing other faiths. Jews who practiced their religion in the open were expelled from Spain and Portugal, when the Catholic Monarchs issued the "Alhambra Decree" in 1492 (1497 for Portugal), fleeing to Morocco, the Ottoman Empire, Antwerp and Amsterdam. When the first Jewish emigrants (Ashkenazi) came to Antwerp in the 1200s, they were welcomed, but when the Black Plague swept across Antwerp in the mid 1300s, the Jews were one of the scapegoats. Although Amsterdam's Dutch were relatively tolerant when it came to religious freedom, in 1585 Antwerp came under Spanish rule, and the Jews (this time Sephardic), were once again the focus of scrutiny. With the Spanish Inquisition in high gear, Jews were now persecuted for conducting trade with the Ottoman Empire, or for being 'pseudo-Christian.' In the 1600s, wealthy Jewish diamond-traders now living in the Netherlands, financed the 'Dutch East India Company' and its exploration of new trade routes to India, but the British were beginning to see opportunity in the diamond trade, creating new competition for the Jewish/Dutch. Prior to being granted 'civil equality' in 1796, Amsterdam's Jews were not allowed to join trade guilds, leaving the unregulated diamond industry as one of the only means of employment. By the late 18th century, many of Amsterdam's Jews were working in the diamond trade, and many of these 'Sephardi refugees' had maintained connections with Portuguese traders who now had a monopoly on the trade of raw diamonds from India. By the early 1700s, India's mines were nearing exhaustion, but a new discovery in Brazil helped to reinvigorate the diamond trade. By this time, British naval superiority proved to be a great advantage, and the 'British East India Company' was born. The European center for the diamond trade now began to move away from Amsterdam, as Jewish traders set up shop in London. The cut stones were sold to the nobility and royalty of Europe, using the Hofjude (Court Jews) as purchasing agents to select the stones from the London diamond merchants.
Photo: Pub. Domain
The Pshevorsk Hasidic Dynasty Hasidic Judaism was founded by Polish (now Ukrainian) Rabbi 'Ba'al Shem Tov', aka 'Israel ben Eliezer' (1698—1760) in a time when European Jews were facing increasing hostility and pressure from the "Cossacks' Uprising" in Ukraine. The Hasidic movement is a sub-group of the theologically conservative Haredi or Charedi Judaism, aka Ultra-Orthodox Judaism. The movement was seen as a way of turning inward towards a 'deeper spiritualism and mysticism.' Hasidism spread westward, making its way to western Europe in the 1800s. The Hasidic movement in Antwerp began with Rabbi Moshe of Pshevorsk, who authored 'Ohr Pnei Moshe' in 1805 . The Pshevorsk is a small sub-Hasidic movement based in Antwerp, Belgium, with their hub at the study hall (beth midrash), 'Beth Yitzchok' at Mercatorstraat 56. With the discovery of vast diamond reserves in South Africa during the late 1800s, concern over a glut in the diamond market spread throughout London's diamond merchants. A group of wealthy Jewish dealers pooled their resources to form "the syndicate," which was created to soak up all of the excess capacity being created by South Africa. Today, Antwerp and London's diamond trade is largely controlled by the Hasidic Jewish community, although Indian influence is on the rise in recent years. Many of these Hasidic entrepreneurs are nameless by choice, preferring to maintain their anonymity, but they have been the driving force behind the multi-billion dollar diamond industry for hundreds of years.
Photo: Pub. Domain
Alfred Beit Alfred Beit (1853—1906) was born into a prominent Jewish family in Hamburg, Germany. Beit worked for the diamond firm of Jules Porges and Co. in Amsterdam before emigrating to 'Cape Colony' in 1875 during the Kimberley diamond-rush . Beit was part of a group of financiers, including Cecil Rhodes, who gained control of the diamond-mining claims in the Central Mine, Dutoitspan Mine, and De Beers Mine, thereby 'consolodating' the South African mining industry. becoming a 'life-governor' of De Beers Consolidated Mines. He was also the director of the Beira Railway Company, British South Africa Company, Rand Mines, and the Rhodesia Railways. Beit, along with partner Cecil Rhodes, financed the 1895 'Jameson Raid' which was an attempt to trigger an unsuccessful coup in the South African Republic of Transvaal. The Royal School of Mines, at the Imperial College London has a large memorial to Beit, in recognition of the Beit trust's bequeathment to the university, and to educational institutions in Britain, Germany South Africa, and Zimbabwe (Rhodesia).
Photo: Pub. Domain
Sir Ernest Oppenheimer Ernest Oppenheimer (1880—1957) was born in Friedberg, Germany to a large Jewish family, and with several brothers working for "the syndicate," Ernest was well positioned for his future vocation. He began his career at age 17, working for the diamond brokerage firm, Dunkelsbuhler & Company in London. Oppenheimer created the concept of "single-channel marketing" over 100 years ago, by funneling the world's supply of diamonds through a single clearing house. Oppenheimer gained control of Namibia's diamond mines, forming the Anglo American mining conglomerate. This gave him the financing and power to gain the chairmanship of De Beers. Today, Oppenheimer's Anglo American operates a fleet of diamond recovery ships off the coast of Namibia and South Africa under the umbrella of De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited (DBCM), and Central Holdings Limited (CHL), an Oppenheimer family holding company, and in partnership with Namdeb.
Photo: Pub. Domain
Nicky Oppenheimer Ernest's grandson, Nicky Oppenheimer (born 1945) studied philosophy at Oxford as a young man, and is now the chairman of the De Beers Diamond Mining Company and its subsidiary Diamond Trading Company. The Oppenheimer family and Anglo American maintains a 45% stake in De Beers today. Africa's richest man, and #134 on the Forbes list of the world's richest people, Nicky Oppenheimer is worth an estimated $4.5 billion. Under new legislation, passed by the African National Congress, Nicky Oppenheimer was forced to sell a 26% share of De Beers to the South African 'Black Economic Empowerment' group (BEE). This was the first major ownership change for De Beers in over a century. Of the legislation Oppenheimer said: "De Beers is here to make a profit, but we must benefit the people and communities where we operate."
Photo: Pub. Domain
Lev Leviev The Lev Leviev Group, created by Israeli national, Lev Leviev (born 1956 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan) is the worlds largest cutter and polisher (diamantaire) of rough diamonds, with factories in Armenia, India, Israel, and the Ukraine. The Lev Leviev Group also owns mining interests in Namibia's offshore dredging operations. Through his personal relationship to Vladimir Putin and other Russian heads of
Tretiakovsky Proezd in Moscow." a compendium and history of his most famous jewels. Russia. Domain
Laurence Graff Laurence Graff (1938—) is a DeBeers sightholder. Lev Leviev lives in B'nei Brak. which gives him access to some of the finest uncut diamonds coming out of South Africa. Lev Leviev has formed a partnership with the ex Soviet state-owned diamond firm. and on board the luxury residential ship The World ResidenSea. with his wife and their nine children. now called ALROSA (Almazy-Rossii-Sakha) . to purchasing a 51% stake in Safdico (South African Diamond Corp. Raised by his grandparents. found on August 22. Hotel de Paris' salon privé in Paris.com
Gujarat's Indian Diamantaires
. Using this model of "local control." and the "king of bling" by Forbes magazine . Laurence Graff was born into a Jewish orthodox family in London's poorer 'East End' district. Israel. Lesotho Promise is the 15th largest diamond ever found.state. It will ultimately be cut into an estimated 20 or so 'D-flawless' stones ranging from 75 carats to 1 carat in size. in 1992. Graff's strategy of "vertically integration" has been to control every angle of the diamond pipeline. and has satellite locations in Wafi City. and one of the most successful diamond merchants in modern history. a DeBeers sightholder in Johannesburg. Dubai. By circumventing the De Beers supply chain. Leviev's net-worth is estimated at $2. All House of Graff stones have a laser-inscribed girdle with the 'Graff' logo and GIA number.
The Hindustani Diamond Cutters
Photo: Pub. and the largest rough unearthed in this century. ALROSA produces 100% of Russia's rough diamond output and approximately 20% of the world's rough diamonds . Graff's net worth is estimated at 2. from wholesale and retail.).5 billion (#278 Forbes List). founder of the House of Graff in the heart of London's posh New Bond Street. Alrosa now sells direct to cutting factories throughout Russia. Graff has co-authored (with Vanessa von Zitzewitz) "The Most Fabulous Jewels in the World. 2006 at the Letseng diamond mine in the tiny Kingdom of Lesotho in the center of the Republic of South Africa. Monte Carlo. Mr. One of his most notable acquisitions was the 603 carat "Lesotho Promise diamond.5 billion dollars . New York's Madison Avenue. House of Graff is also located on London's Sloane Street. to Larry Ellison. formed by Decree 158C of the Russian Federation." the Leviev Group has found willing partners in several countries including Angola's ASCORP after De Beers' exit in 2001. Graff has been dubbed the "king of diamonds. which are now owned by Lev Leviev. selling to the rich and famous from Elizabeth Taylor and Donald Trump.
320 BC) by Kautiliya. both college dropouts. are headed and staffed by Mehta family members.com
Dilip Mehta Indian diamantaire. or "thunderbolt. Dilip Mehta of Mumbai. The Sanskrit word for 'diamond' was vajra. with diamond cutting factories located in Borivali. Companies like Bhavani Gems. India (born 1949). heighten awareness of ethical business practices. and Surat's 'Special Economic Zone' .
Photo: rosyblue. polishes.
Photo: Pub. D. Harshad Mehta ("Diamond King of the world") is one of the founders of Rosy Blue. and is currently a Senior Partner and head of the UAE division. they were able to gain an increasingly larger share of the wholesale diamond trade. and Vijaydimon are family owned operations run by Jains with the common surnames of Jhavari.
. It is estimated that India cuts. M. Shree Ramkrishna Exports. improve perceptions. Of the $26 billion per year diamond revenues that flow through Antwerp. Venus Jewels. propelling their twin companies. Much of India's diamond trade is controlled by a handful of wealthy families in Gujarat. displacing the Hasidim as the dominant force in the industry . started out thirty years ago by purchasing cheaper stones that the Dutch Hasidim. and were written about in an ancient Sanskrit manuscript called the "The Lesson of Profit" Arthasastra (c. universal truths. and exports several billion dollars worth of gems per year. and De Beers India. and although India's famous "Diamonds of Golconda" were mined-out hundreds of years ago. The Indian communities' share has grown to around 60%." The Indians would go on to enjoy a singular reign over the diamond-rich dominion—known as Hindustan—for another two thousand years. By slowly developing markets. 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.Diamonds made their first reluctant appearance in human history over 2400 years ago. and to develop an "understanding of the world market. Sanghavi Exports. This vast fortune is shared by some 300 to 500 Gujaratis families from Palanpur on the GujaratRajasthan border . Gitanjali Gems is one of the largest manufacturers of diamonds and diamond jewelry in India. Several other divisions of the Rosy Blue Group. Domain
Bharat & Vijay Shah Bharat and Vijay Shah came from a family of jewelers going back three generations.above). is the CEO of the 'Rosy Blue Group' which is currently one of the world's largest diamond companies. based upon eternal. Gujarat. Chandragupta. from Hong Kong to Israel. is the newest addition to India's arsenal of global marketing tools to promote exports. a minister to the Indian king.7 billion in annual sales . (HDC). and Shah. Gitanjali Gems. Navinchandra & Co (board of directors . with $1. the Hindustan Diamond Company Ltd. Suresh & Co. and Israelis didn't want to work with . the Indians would not be giving up their rightful heritage as diamantaires. The brothers." The Bharat Diamond Bourse in Mumbai. Mehta. The Indo Argyle Diamond Council (IADC) formed in 1994 as a consortium of Indian jewelry manufacturers and cutting houses. Mumbai. to elevate quality standards. Jainism is an ancient Indian religious sect believing in the 'Jain' philosophy.
& Mogae Starting with Botswana's independence in 1966. Bangkok. Mandela. succeeded his father (Laurent-Désiré Kabila) as president the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC) after his assassination in January 2001. In a post-conflict reconstruction effort. Hong Kong.Vijaydimon (Belgium) and B Vijaykumar (India) . India. Botswana is a relatively wealthy African country. At the age of 29.
Diamonds and the African Nationals
Photos: Public Domain
Kabila. working in cooperation with the government of Sierra Leone. Vijaydimon also purchases rough diamonds from Canada's Diavik Mine and Argyle (Rio Tinto) and Russia . and enjoys broad support. with one of the fastest per-capita income growth rates in the world. Surat. and the end to South African apartheid in 1994. the political situation in Angola has begun to normalize. Thailand. and Tel Aviv. and the United States. is receiving broad support from the South Africa. After winning a disicive re-election victory in 2006. into a global position with nearly $1 Billion a year in sales. all who have signed multi-million dollar trade deals. The president of Sierra Leone.
Diamonds and the Americans
Photo: Pub. Kabbah. After years of fighting between the PMLA and UNITA. employing 22. Botswana has held regular elections and has been one of the more stable governments in southern Africa. left). dos Santos. Palanpur.W. Domain
N. Angola and from mining magnates. The company has cutting factories in Antwerp. president José Eduardo dos Santos is preventing democratic elections from taking place. Ayer & Son
. is making great strides in stabilizing the country after years of strife. Singapore. President Festus Mogae was elected for a second term in 2004. UAE. who was a major general in the army.000 workers. both domestically and internationally. Vijaydimon is a DTC sightholder with offices in Belgium. only hinting at their possibility in 2007 or 2008. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. China. On a somewhat darker note. the 'United Nations Industrial Development Orginization' (UNIDO). created a program for capacity-building of 'small and medium-sized enterprise' (SME) development. Bombay. Joseph Kabila (above. Kabila. many of the ex-colonial nations of Sub-Saharan Africa are starting to emerge as powerful and legitimate forces in the diamond industry. The last democratic election in Angola was in 1992.
Photo: Pub. Lorelei receives a diamond tiara from her suitor. and featuring the memorable scene in which Holly gazes longingly into Tiffany's window display. Tiffany was able to purchase significant gems from such renowned estates as: the 'jewel-mad' Duke of Brunswick." by Jean Schlumberger in the 1960s. Domain
Charles Lewis Tiffany Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812—1902). Domain
Hollywood in 1949 Coming just on the heels of the immortal "a diamond is forever" campaign.' brand was catapulted into the stratosphere by the 1961 movie 'Breakfast at Tiffany's. and the diamond industry was particularly hard hit." after here charecter. the values of ostentatious gems and jewelry dropped precipitously."A diamond is forever" is the legendary saying that was created by America's first advertising agency. Charles Tiffany. The Tiffany is still selling luxury jewelry in their trademarked 'Tiffany Blue Box. producing the 128.
. and Tiffany seized on the opportunity. De Beers and the diamond industry got another shot in the arm. and sold to Nanaline Duke (now in the Doris Duke Collection). Prince Esterhazy of Hungary. The 'Tiffany & Co. Styne wrote the score for the 1949 Broadway musical 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Ayer in 1938. The movie version featured Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend.' which was adapted to film in 1953. Jule Styne (born Julius Kerwin Stein) was born in London. and from the Spanish Crown Jewels . Styne moved to Hollywood where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn.W.' During the 1800s. this time from playwriter. gems and jewelry from the estates of the European aristocracy. The stone was cut in Paris.' The stone was set into a garish jewelry piece called "Bird on a Rock. which started out as 'Tiffany & Young' of New York City in 1837. N. The Great Depression had taken a heavy toll on luxury goods during the 1930s.W. the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine.54 carat 'The Tiffany Diamond. Sir Francis "Piggy" Beekman. In 1948 the famous "A diamond is forever" slogan was introduced. purchased diamonds. the public's tolerance towards nobility was at a low point. A 19. Harry Frederick Oppenheimer enlisted the help of N. was originally a 'fancy goods' emporium. With financial shockwaves caused by the French economy's collapse in 1847.
Photo: Pub. and a series of diamond-related slogans were introduced into the American lexicon.' staring Audrey Hepburn. After attending Chicago Musical College. for resale in America.' at the flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. and the subsequent overthrowing of King Louis-Philippe of France in 1848. Jule Styne.42 carat rough flawless-yellow diamond from the 'Compagnie Français de Diamant du Cap' (Kimberley mine) in 1877. who was known for his jewelry expertise. De Beers president. After the French revolution in 1799. Tiffany & Young. located at 259 Broadway. Ayer & Son." was the co-founder of Tiffany & Co.72 carat cushion-cut diamond (one of the "Diamonds of Golconda") was mounted by Tiffany. One of Tiffany's most notable diamond acquisitions was a 287. specializing in one-of-a-kind baubles for New York's newly-minted industrialists and 'robber-barons. aka "the King of Diamonds.
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. but not least. appraisal report. grading report.Photo: © Warner Bros. Diamonds are tested for
." and the terrible working conditions that these workers must endure. Were it not for intrepid consumers. we have the faceless American consumer." there would be no "diamond trade. or "cert" may be your only assurance that you are getting exactly what you paid for. as writer Charles Leavitt takes us through the dark underbelly of the diamond trade. Through interviews with human-rights organizations like Doctors Without Borders and Global Witness. In a preemptive strike against any negative publicity that the movie would generate. the World Diamond Council placed ten full-page ads in newspapers around the county.
The Consumer Last. certificate of authenticity. and their willingness to purchase the concept of "foreverness. the glamor is laid bare. Leavitt weaves a tale of Sierra Leone's impoverished "diamond diggers. a diamond certificates. the unsung hero in the diamond trade. This time. 2006
Hollywood in 2006 Blood Diamond is the latest incarnation of Hollywood's fascination with diamond.
wether the stone is natural or synthetic. and carat weight) and they are also tested for traces of gem enhancement. and Attestations of Origin. shape and cut of a stone.the basics (cut dimensions and proportions. Dubai and Hong Kong. with operations in New York City. poorly cut SI-3 grade stone.
The GIA was founded by Robert M. 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 . carat weight. Mumbai. Appraisal Reports. color. tone. Los Angeles. but for insurance appraisal as well. there is very little (visible) difference between a FL stone and a IF or VVS-1 stone .
A GIA (Gemological Institute of America) report provides detailed information about the dimensions. Toronto. Bangkok. and saturation of a colored stone.
. Tokyo. and of corse. the same year that Shipley published his groundbreaking book titled 'Gemology.
The International Gemological Institute (IGI) is the oldest institute of its kind in Antwerp. Certificates of Authenticity. which can be substantially different.other than the price.' GIA's world headquarters are located in Carlsbad. Although even a lay-person may be able to tell the difference between a triple-zero diamond and a cheap. Shipley in 1931. GIA reports also cover any treatments or enhancements that have been done. with offices around the globe. Although GIA's diamond grading methodology is the industry standard they are also known for their "colored stone grading system" used to quantify the hue. California. and wether they are synthetic. The IGI offers Identification Reports.not only for resale. and is the largest independent gem certification and appraisal institute in the United States. Antwerp. clarity. founded in 1975.
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. Shape. as well as quantifying the standard parameters of Clarity. All diamonds are examined anonymously. clarity. color. polish and symmetry) using a scale ranging from Excellent to Fair. Belgium issues quality reports for loose (unmounted) polished diamonds according to ISO 17025 international standards for gemelogical testing laboratories. the sorting of rough diamonds. and the graders can not know the identity of the owner. and Fluorescence. Cut. HRD also offers gemelogical training and continuing education courses in diamond grading. origin (colored gems).
HRD uses the "Hearts and Arrows" measuring system which was developed by HRD Antwerp scientists. and finish.
HRD Antwerp Diamond Certificate
The certificates department of HRD Antwerp in Antwerpen. jewellery design and gemology. HRD's refined Cut Grading system measures each of the three parameters (proportions. Color. weight. Carat Weight.
An AGS report. vs. and optical physicists.
Diamond Grading AGS Diamond Quality Report (DQD)
AGS Gemological Laboratory Background
Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. The mission of the AGS is to increase consumer awareness. and does not evaluate other types of colored gemstones. and to set a higher standard of business ethics and professional practices in the jewelry industry. 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. along with a consortium of independent jewelers." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors." The AGS Cut Grading system was developed through of years of research by gemologists. HRD uses complex watermarking to prevent copying or falsifying their reports.As well as testing for synthetic diamonds. Aditionally. The AGS Gemological Laboratories was established in 1996 to provide state-of-the-art diamond grading and appraisal services to the jewelry industry. Today.
. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). the HRD lab also uses state-of-the-art technology to test for subtle and hard to recognize enhancements such as HPHT. 2005 can be viewed online. AGS is considered the premier diamond-grading laboratory. To insure the security of their documents. and s ratings.com The American Gem Society was founded in 1934 by Robert M. as well as the most comprehensive system for grading the all-important 'cut' parameters. creator of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). and Proportions. but rather a comprehensive quality evaluation. AGS grades diamond color on a numeric sliding scale that is similar to GIA's alphabetical scale. A diamond's clarity is also graded on a simple numeric scale from 0 to 10. referred to as a "Diamond Quality Document" or "DQD. having the most rigid grading standards. 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. certificates issued after January 1. Shipley. mathematicians." is not an appraisal of monetary value.
The AGSL was the first gem lab to grade a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. Symmetry. 'Polish' and 'Symmetry' were merged into one category called "Finish. as opposed to GIA's vvs. and gives you the option of having your diamond returned in a tamper-proof sealed container to insure that a given certificate and the accompanying diamond belong together. The AGS specializes in diamond testing and evaluation.
contrast. leakage and light spread. and Proportions. 'Polish' and 'Symmetry' were merged into one category called "Finish.Cut Grade: Finish.
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. Symmetry. Each parameter is given a numeric grade from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). In 2004 AGS added a new category that is referred to as "Light Performance." but to retained the "Triple Zero" monicker for diamonds with a perfect score. dispersion. mathematicians. The ray-tracing program measures the quantity of the light being returned to the viewer by quantifying brightness." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors.
. and optical physicists. Proportions & Light Performance
The AGSL was the first gem lab to grade a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish." The AGS Cut grading system was developed through years of research by gemologists.
AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond.0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light . When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint .5.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering.5 to 4. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram.0 to 7.0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless ." or "ideal" rating.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z)
As of 2003. relative facet angles.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade
The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero. and individual facet ratios."
Each AGS grading document is marked with a hologram (dark circle at lower right of report) and watermarking or embossing to prevent fraudulent duplication. 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.
AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations
Colorless .1. the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible. in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above).5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light .0 to 1.
AGS Diamond Grading System
On the inside fold of an AGS Diamond Quality grading report there is a legend explaining the unique AGS nomenclature with comparisons to GIA's grading system. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles.
. where facets intersect with each-other.5 to 3.3.7. all measured in three spacial dimensions.
Accessing the underground ore is achieved via a horizontal passageway called a "decline. unmounted diamonds. which are used by non-contact measuring-device manufacturers such as Sarin Technologies.Extraction Methods
Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. left) refers to various techniques used to extract gems. These diamond extraction methods vary depending on how the minerals are deposited within the earth. The principle methods of diamond extraction are:
1. and octagon step-cut diamonds." A decline is a spiral (corkscrew) tunnel which circles the ore deposit.42 Carat D. and ore bodies that are in situ. while a shaft is
.com 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. through AGS offices in Antwerp. AGSL reports will also grade cut quality for emerald. As of 2005. the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA). Pricing for a diamond grading report is based on carat weight. and can only be accessed by tunneling underground and creating underground "rooms" or "stopes" that are supported by timber pillars or standing rock. 3. 2. AGS will also provide analysis of a manufacturers 'cut performance' by analyzing a sample stone's Sarin file. 5. Dubai. AGS offers laser inscription services as well. Additionally.Triple-0 Round Brilliant Setting
'American Star Diamond' 13. and OGI Systems. The AGS supplies 'facet arrangement' templates corresponding to their cutgrading system." or a by a vertical "shaft. 4. the stability of the material that surrounds that desired gem or mineral. OctoNus Software. and the peripheral damage that will be done to the surrounding environment. minerals.
Diamonds: Gem & Diamond Mining Technology
Photos: Public Domain
Diamond & Gem Mining . AGS will only evaluate loose. so that the cutter can improve the light performance of their cut stones. Flawless
Other Services Supplied by AGS
The AGS will soon be entering into an alliance/partnership with one of the premier testing labs of colored gemstones. Artisanal Mining Hard Rock Mining Marine Mining Open Pit Mining Placer Mining
Hard-Rock Diamond Mining The term "hard-rock mining" (top of page. princess.
Obtaining an AGS Report
AGS is a 'trade-industry' testing laboratory that will only evaluate diamonds sent from jewelers or manufacturers. India and Israel.
Placer Mining Placer diamond mining. the gravels are separated and sorted into three sizes. and or colluvial secondary deposits. machinery. running adjacent to the ore. Laborers who work in artisanal diamond mining are called "diamond diggers" (below left). eluvial. also known as "sand-bank mining" (top of page. Gems are separated from waste material using various sifting and sorting techniques such as cone screens. at a maximum depth of 500 feet. Open Pit Mining Open-pit diamond mining. or sort material according to size. Marine diamond mining employs both "vertical" and "horizontal" techniques to extract diamonds from offshore placer deposits. 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. and have a specific gravity that is higher than that of common minerals. highly resistant to weathering. center) is a method of extracting rock and minerals from the earth by removal from a machine-dug open pit or burrow. gravel. A decline is typically used for mining personnel. which concentrate the heavier gems at the bottom.
. 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. right) with bare hands. with the middle size being a candidate for final sorting. and is a derivative form of open-cast mining used to extract minerals from the surface of the earth without the use of tunneling. CAT-tracked underwater mining vehicles) move across the sea floor pumping gravel up to an offshore vessel.vertical tunnel used for ore haulage. shovels. Horizontal mining employs the use of Seabed Crawlers (remotely controlled. right) is used for extracting diamonds and minerals from alluvial. or pans. or hand digging (artisanal mining). Marine Mining Marine mining technology only became commercially viable in the early 1990s. Artisanal diamond mining is a form of "subsistence based" non-mechanized mining that is used in poorer countries throughout the world. also known as "open-cast mining" (top of page.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. rock or sedimentary soil. mechanized surface excavating equipment. or large conical sieves. or sand) that is unsuitable for tunneling. they tend to concentrate in alluvial deposits in the same way that gold placers develop. Open pit mines are typically used when mineral deposits are found close to the surface or along defined kimberlite pipes. Small "pit lakes" tend to form at the bottom of open-pit mines as a result of groundwater intrusion. Excavation is accomplished using water pressure (hydraulic mining).Photo: USGS
Alluvial Diamond . box screens. While on board. and access to the ore.
Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . Diamonds and most gemstones are hard. therefore.
and upper mantle rock. olivine. and diamonds approaches the earth's surface it begins to form an underground structure (pipe) that is shaped like a champagne-flute. As this molten mixture of magma (molten rock). left) or "yellow-ground" kimberlite and can be found worldwide. Diamond bearing kimberlite in some parts of South Africa is black in color (above. in conflict zones where mechanized mining is impractical and unsafe. the Congo (DROC). Kimberlite occurs in the zone of the Earth's crust in vertical structures known as kimberlite pipes (above.
. Kimberlites are found as "dikes" and "volcanic pipes" which underlie and are the source for rare and relatively small volcanoes or "maars" (above. phlogopite. right). These pipes are called "kimberlites" or "kimberlite pipes" (see diagram below). garnet. rock fragments. right). The name "Kimberlite" was derived from the South African town of Kimberly where the first diamonds were found in this type of rock conglomeration (see section on "Kimberley . minerals. Kimberlite pipes are the most significant source of diamonds. and Liberia. with a variety of trace minerals. diamonds are carried to the surface of the earth by volcanic activity.Artisanal diamond mining is used throughout west Africa.
Kimberlite is a diamondiferous igneous-rock matrix composed of carbonate. serpentine. After their formation. Kimberlite pipes can lie directly underneath shallow lakes formed in the inactive volcanic calderas or craters. left). yet only about 1 in every 200 kimberlite pipes contain gem-quality diamonds.
Diamonds: Diamond Geology
Diamond Geology & Kimberlites
Kimberlite Pipes Diamonds form at a depth greater than 93 miles (150 kilometers) beneath the earth's surface. Artisanal diamond mining accounts for 90% of Sierra Leone's diamond exports and is the country's second largest employer after subsistence farming. Many kimberlite pipes also produce alluvial diamond placer deposits. pyroxene. It is also used extensivly in Angola. Most kimberlite is called "blue-ground" kimberlite (above.North Cape" below).
including: hydrothermal breccia.
Alluvial Diamonds from Africa . and tectonic breccia.Photo: Public Domain
Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . or different in composition to the fragments themselves.Photo: Public Domain
Lamproite Pipes Lamproite pipes produce diamonds to a lesser extent than kimberlite pipes.Photo: NASA
The alluvial terrace gravels (below. Alluvial (Placer) Diamond Deposits The location of alluvial (secondary or placer) diamond deposits is controlled by the surrounding topography. The Argyle pipe is a diatreme. 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. impact breccia. known as the Sperrgebiet or "forbidden territory. There are several types of breccia which are categorized based on their geological origin.
. or "cementing material. Lamproite pipes are created in a similar manner to kimberlite pipes.Open Pit Mine .' which are created by abandoned river meanders. The world's largest known gem quality alluvial diamond deposits are located along the Namib Desert coastline of southwestern Africa. Alluvial diamond deposits are usually located within river terrace gravels that have been transported from their location of origin. sedimentary breccia. Breccia is a rock composed of angular fragments of several minerals or rocks in a matrix." and along the Orange River near Alexander Bay. resulting in a broader cone of eviscerated rock at the surface. These dried 'lakes' receive river water during seasonal flooding which transports large amounts of sediment held in suspension. usually from kimberlite deposits. This results in a martini-glass shaped diamondiferous deposit as opposed to kimberlite's champagne flute shape. 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. Diamondiferous material tends to concentrate in and around 'oxbow lakes. left) and marine gravels of the south-western coastline of Africa represent the some of the world's largest placer diamond deposits. except that boiling water and volatile compounds contained in the magma act corrosively on the overlying rock. igneous breccia." that may be similar.
The diamonds within these deposits were transported from deeply-eroded diamondiferous kimberlites or.9k and 101. including Angola's two largest diamonds at 105. potholes.com
.Namibia's placer diamond deposits are between 40 and 80 million years old.Photo: Wiki
Diamond-Bearing 'Diamondiferous' Gravel
Many of these alluvial diamond deposits occur in Pleistocene and Holocene successions (1.8k. channels or other trapsites for diamondiferous deposits. depressions. Westward draining river systems transported these diamonds to Africa's continental coastline for final deposition within on-shore marine terrace gravels. Some of the largest and highest gemquality diamonds produced from alluvial placer diamond mining have come from this region. Diamonds that were transported downstream. to a lesser extent.
Alluvial Terrace Gravels . but were not deposited on land. 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). carried from their primary origination point on the Kaapvaal Craton.
Diamond Mines of the World: Active Diamond Mines
List of Active Diamond Mines
All Contents Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. in central South Africa and Botswana. from olivine lamproites formed during the Cretaceous or Permo-Triassic period.8 million to 10. made their way to the sea bed just offshore. Diamonds in marine areas are typically trapped in bedrock depressions such as gullies.
2. map Baken Diamond Mine: Located along Orange River in North Cape. map The Oaks Diamond Mine: In Limpopo province. Namdeb. map Fucauma Diamond Mine: Newly constructed. Kimberlite pipe. south of Lüderitz. the Kimberley Open Pits closed in 2005. 1. De Beers / Botswana. 2. map Kimberley Diamond Mine: Started in 1871. 4. 2. 5. map Jwaneng Diamond Mine: (place of small stones) richest mine in world. map
North West Territories (NWT)
1. 2. Catoca Diamond Mine: Fourth largest diamond mine in world. map Orange River (Daberas) Mines: Orange River alluvium. map Koidu Open Pit Mines: Kimberlite open-pit mines just south of Koidu.closed. in Kasaï . map Bakwanga Mine: (aka Bushimaïe. Namdeb Namib Gov. and a host of other counties with operational and/or historic alluvial. 1. 7. De Beers operated. map Damtshaa Diamond Mine: (water for a tortoise) New open pit mine. Endiama (50%). map Finsch Diamond Mine: Finsch is an open-pit mine near Lime Acres. 1. map Letlhakane Diamond Mine: ("little reeds") second oldest of four . 1. South Kalimantan
1. map Williamson Diamond Mine: (aka Mwadui mine) Open Pit mine. Odebrecht (50%). 1.DeBeers/Botswana. Lubilash) Alluvial river mines in Kasaï. 4. 4. and hard rock diamond mines.
These lists also contains new project explorations.
| Inactive Mines
| Future Exploration
| Mining Companies
1. map Elizabeth Bay Mine: Open-cast mine in Namib desert. Trans Hex.Currently there are eleven major 'diamond producing' nations. Cempaka Diamond Mines: Alluvials mined by indigenous artisanal Kalimantan miners. Owned by Endiama (40%) & Trans Hex (35%). open pit. 1. 75% De Beers ownership. Waldman Resources. 3. Luzamba Diamond Mine: Angola's largest alluvial mine. 1. map Cullinan Diamond Mine: Open Pit/Hard Rock diamond mine owned by De Beers. produces over 40% of world's gem-quality diamonds. map Ekati Diamond Mine: Canada's first diamond mining operation.De Beers / Botswana. Argyle Diamond Mine: Largest producer in world. map
. 6. 3. map Marine Mining: Namco Mining operates a dredging fleet off the west coast of Namibia. map Forminière Diamond Mine: Alluvial mine located on the River Tshikapa. So Africa. Open-pit mine De Beers operated. map Letseng Diamond Mine: Open-cast mine in Maluti Mountains 70 km from Mokhotlong. mining operator info. and any relevant geographic data. map
Congo (DROC or RDC) Lesotho Namibia
1. map Koidu-Sefadu Mines: Subsistence digging in alluvium pits west of Koidu. Closed in 2006. Israel. 2. Diavik Diamond Mine: The Diavik diamond mine is located in the NWT. map River Ranch Diamond Mine: Open Pit & Underground mine. 75% De Beers ownership. Rio Tinto. 2. 2. 3. mining industry inside news. mostly industrial grade. 2. map Orapa Diamond Mine: (resting place for lions) Largest/oldest of four . 3. map Koffiefontein Diamond Mine: The Koffiefontein mine opened in 1870. map Magna Egoli Mine: Largest mechanized mine in Sierra Leone. 75% De Beers ownership map Murowa Diamond Mine: Open Pit & Underground mine. located in NWT. Luarica Diamond Mine: Owned by Endiama (38%) & Trans Hex (32%). 1. MIBA. map Venetia Diamond Mine: Limpopo. map
Cempaka/Riam Kanan. There are also several African nations with ongoing off-shore dredging/vacuming operations. 3. links to satellite images of the mines (where available). De Beers/Botswana.
4. Mirna Mine: Largest diamond deposit in Russia and one of the largest in the world. map Anabar GOK Mine: The norther most location of Russia's diomond mines. map Udachnaya (Udachny) Pipe Mine: One of the deepest diamond mines in the world.India
. map Jubilee (Yubileinaya) Mine: Newer open-pit kimberlite mine near Udachny. and Sytykan. map
1. 3. Alrosa. Aikhal GOK Mine: Three open-pit kimberlite pipe mines: Aikhal. 5. 2. Panna Diamond Mine: Alluvial mine in state of Madhya Pradesh. Jubilee.