All About Gemstones: Diamonds

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

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

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

The 4 Cs of Diamonds: Cut

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

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

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

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

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

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

2 grams (200 milligrams or 3. One "Carat" is a unit of mass that is equal to 0. and with each point being 2 milligrams in weight." "Briolette" (a form of Rose cut).086 grains) or 0. Cut 2. Color Carat weight is one of the 4 C's. and a 2 carat diamond is 200 points. Therefor. The "fancy cuts" are generally not held to the same strict standards as Round Brilliants. As a consumer. and the Pear. your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the "4 C's" diamond grading system. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. When a single piece of jewelry has multiple stones. Clarity 4. "Heart. "Princess" (square outline). Carat 3.007 ounce. A carat can also be divided into "points" with one carat being equal to 100 points. CARAT Balancing Cut and Weight A diamond or gemstone's "Carat" designation is a measurement of both the size and weight of the stone. a 3/4 carat diamond is 75 points. the total mass of all diamonds or gemstones is referred to as "Total Carat Weight" or "T. 5 Popular fancy cuts include the "Baguette" (bread loaf). The 4 C's of Diamonds: Carat (Weight) The 4 C's Diamond Grading System 1. a 1/2 carat diamond would be 50 points. Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics." .Heart Marquise Oval Pear Princess Radiant Round Trillion (not shown at diagram) Fig. "Marquise" or "Navette" (little boat).W.C.

It is for this reason that an even 1.600 8. it must be accurate to the second decimal place. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a .195 and .495 carats and . Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above.600 12. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained.204 carat.500 15. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only. See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry.800 6.10 carat diamond for its better cut. In ancient times.600 6.5 carats must have an actual weight of between .000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place.750 30. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity . Price Per Carat (2005) .504 carats.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone. or to buy a 1. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat. a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone.5 carat 2.0 carat 1.VS1 Carat Size</ 0. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place. or "seed of the carob". 40º pavilion.99 carat diamond for its better price.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight. clarity and weight.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown. girdle and pavilion. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales.5º crown." If the carat weight is shown as ".20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between .5 carat 1.Grade: F Colorless . that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York. Occasionally. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of . A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32.0 carat 3.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

meaning "light". Optical Properties of Diamond: Type I & Type II Diamonds Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Surface Luster of Diamond Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Natural blue diamonds containing boron atoms. Electromagnetic Properties of Diamond . If an n-type semiconductor can be synthesized. and generally implies radiance. with the exception of natural blue diamonds. or longer-wavelength photons. . Due to diamond's high thermal conductance. and synthetic diamonds that are doped with boron. increasing thermal conductance. giving off a somewhat greasy sheen. electronic circuits could be manufactured from diamonds in the future [8]. which are in fact semiconductors.Insulators or Semiconductors Diamond is a relatively good electrical insulator. re-emitting them as lower-energy. which means unyielding. Fluorescence in Diamonds Fluorescence is an optical phenomenon in which a diamond's molecules absorb high-energy photons. Purified synthetic diamond can have the highest thermal conductivity (2000-2500 W/m-K) of any solid material at room temperature . are known as p-type semiconductors. or contain boron atoms which replace carbon atoms within the crystal matrix. or having the hardness or luster of a diamond. to prevent silicon and other semiconducting materials from The surface luster (or "lustre") of diamond is described as adamantine.nearly five times greater than pure copper. The term adamantine describes the way light interacts with the surface of a crystal. inflexible. it is used in the manufacturing of semiconductors. The word luster traces its origins back to the Latin word lux. gloss.

Typically. making them appear 'colorless' (D). Some Type IIa diamonds can be found with pink. and thereby making the diamond appear yellow. greenish or yellow fluorescence when exposed to the X-ray wavelength. permitting the passage and reflectance of blue light." and refraction. Diamond Refraction & Coloration Diamonds are "singly refractive. particularly Canadian diamonds. This illusion of color is caused by the varying optics effects created by spectral dispersion. absorbing some of the blue spectrum. Diamond can exhibit pseudochromatic coloration giving the appearance of "color" without having any actual color in the mineral itself. they can give the stone a yellow tint.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. and appear dark when exposed to ultra-violet light or X-rays. Some diamond varieties. Man-made synthetic diamonds containing nitrogen are classified as Type 1-B. Natural blue Type II diamonds containing scattered boron impurities within their crystal matrix are good conductors of electricity. and are classified as Type 1-B. and give off a bluish-white. Type II Diamond Formation Certain diamonds were formed under extremely high pressure for longer time periods. Type II diamonds do not contain any detectable nitrogen. and they are classified as Type 1-A. These rare diamonds have a lower nitrogen content. 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. Type I & Type II Diamonds As many as 99% of all natural diamonds are classified as Type I. show no fluorescence.© AGS Labs Type IIa diamonds are very rare. These Type IIa diamonds have a near-perfect crystal structure making them highly transparent and colorless. or "fire. If the nitrogen atoms are dispersed evenly throughout the crystal. . a natural diamond may contains both Type 1-A and Type 1-B material." with a refractive index of 2.417. due primarily to certain structural anomalies arising from "plastic deformation" which occurred during their formation. thereby allowing the passage of short-wave ultra-violet (SWUV) light through the stone. which replace some carbon atoms within the crystal lattice structure. All Type 1 diamonds have nitrogen atoms as their main impurity. red. These Nitrogen impurities found in Type I diamonds are evenly dispersed throughout the gemstone. and some of the finest historical gemstones such as the Cullinan and Koh-i-Noor are both Type IIa diamonds. If the nitrogen atoms are grouped in clusters they do not necessarily affect the diamond's overall color. while Type II diamonds that lack boron impurities are classified as Type IIa. Cloud Inclusion Under UV . classifying them as Type IIb diamonds. or brown coloration. with very high thermal conductivity.© AGS Labs Type I UV Fluorescence . and contain nitrogen atoms as an impurity.

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

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

and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. and the De Young Red weighing 5. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness [9]. On thing is certain. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant. pure green hues. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat.000 in 1987.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). greyish-green. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste.000 per carat. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation. . The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil. and weighed a modest 0. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13.03 carats. The color change effect is temporary. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. Intense. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926. Green diamonds can range from $35.000 to $500. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities.90 carats. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color.95carats.' discovered during the 18th century. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits. or a combination of the The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities. Warren Hancock. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds.

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

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

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

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

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




Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.

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



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

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.Pronounced stress fractures and feather inclusions can potentially weaken the stone. diamonds with significant stress fractures and feather should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner as this could cause the diamond to shatter. .



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

Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .

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



Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .

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

Garnet Inclusions within Diamond .





Garnet fragment on Diamond Girdle .

Grossularite Garnet Inclusions in Diamond .

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

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


Internal Graining with Cloud Inclusion .

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. the drilled passage may not breach the cut diamond's surface. .Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) Internal pathway caused by laser-drilling to remove large inclusions. With internal laser-drilling inclusions.


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

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

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

Cloud Inclusion .

Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers .

Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light .

Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion .

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




and were not fully removed during the stone's cutting or polishing process. .Indented Natural (IndN) A naturally occurring indentation in the crystal that was not removed during cutting or polishing. 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.





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


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

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

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

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



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

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




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

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

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

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

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

30 carats to 3 carats. To the average consumer. and CZ has a hardness of only 8. Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is the most familiar type of diamond simulant on the market. Cubic Zirconia (Zirconium Oxide ZrO2) has a completely different chemical structure. in Boston. inc. and rose Gemesis Cultured Diamonds Gemesis is located in Sarasota. Massachusetts grows colorless (D to M) diamonds. princess. Florida.25 carats to 1 carat.25 carats is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. Apollo Diamonds are cut and polished in sizes ranging from .gemesis.500 to $9. www. . and like Chatham. Apollo Diamond's cut stones are available in round brilliant.Apollo Diamond. and each stone is laser inscribed with the company name and serial Chatham Created Diamonds Chatham Gems is a San Francisco based company that grows only fancy-colored diamonds in colors ranging from champagne and canary yellow to pink and midnight blue.500 per carat (2004 est. of Bangkok Thailand.chatham. each Gemesis cut stone over . Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite Cubic Zirconia Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. and some fancy colored diamonds.apollodiamond. and stones are cut to order.).3 on the Mohs scale. and each cut stone is laser inscribed with the Apollo company logo and serial number. carbonate fluid solution that is similar to diamond-bearing metamorphic rock. Tairus produces rough sizes from .com Tairus Created Gems Tairus Created Gems is a Russian company that grows fancy-colored diamonds in their proprietary "Split Sphere" system. using a proprietary variation of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) technique. which they claim is the closest thing to mother nature. To insure easy identification as a man-made product. www. Chatham's pricing ranges from $6. Gemesis only grows fancy-colored diamonds. Tairus Created Gems are sold exclusively through Tairus Thailand Co. The toughness of Cubic Zirconia is rated as good. Ltd. while diamond has a hardness of 10. While a synthetic diamond is a man-made recreation of an actual carbon-based diamond. The Split Sphere system crystalizes the carbon seed in an alkaline.. with clarity grades from IF to SI. www.

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. Natural diamonds attract grease. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible. Once the mixture has cooled. Zirconium oxide powder is heated.In 1973. 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. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below). Due to their low cost and consistency. . Unlike most natural diamonds. 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. CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds. CZ vs Diamond . or colorless (white) versions. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left).41 (RI). For instance.) in a totally dark room. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing. CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting.170. etc.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator. the greater dispersive power.17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2. Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond. and CZs can be made in any "color grade. The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR). Diamond's RI is 2.80 to 2. The 1. 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. candle. a CZ is optically flawless.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.800 . most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond . but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye.2.

Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ. and diamond at 0. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. Henri Moissan (above. 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. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. Moissanite has a hardness of 9.A small. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. Moissanite. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond.417. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. etc. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. while diamond has a hardness of 10.104 as compared to CZ at 0. when examining the gem through the kite facets. 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.) in a dark room. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). candle. found only in iron-nickel meteorites.044.060. .25 on the Mohs scale. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI.65 to 2. Arizona. Moissanite has an RI of 2. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent.670. center) near Winslow. is classified as an element rather than a compound.69.

Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be more diffused.A small. 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." and the rough stone must be cut with the grain. The Modern Round Brilliant cut (below) is the culmination of several hundred years of experimentation and development. Prior to this time. although it can be easily cleaved or fractured due to its defined cleavage planes. diamond is singly refractive Refractive Index: Moissanite has a refractive index of 2." As further refinement progressed. diamond has a "grain.Detectable With Testing Double Refraction: Moissanite is double refractive. which was called the "Point Cut. A similarly sharp. only a diamond is hard enough to cut other diamonds. but significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its high RI. 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. rather than against it. Cutting a Rough Diamond . caused by primary reflections from the pavilion and CZ's low RI. one half of the crystal would be cut off.417 Moissanite is double refractive (anisotropic) while a natural diamond is singly refractive (isotropic).670.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. Table Cut diamonds appeared black to the eye. most diamonds have some inclusions Moissanite vs Diamond ." At the time. The first improvements on nature's design involved a polishing of the crystal faces. Diamond cutting can be traced back to the late Middle Ages. due to its high refractive index. Diamond's RI is 2. Moissanite vs Diamond . Like wood. diamonds were used in their natural octahedral state. Diamonds: Modern Diamond Cutting Diamond Cutting Background One of the hardest substances on earth. creating the "Table Cut.

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

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

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

Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut.7%. and overall height of 57. To quantify a diamond's cut quality. Since then. invented in 1929. and crown/pavilion angles. A perfect blending of facet symmetry. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. . The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect.7%. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts. crown height of 14. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. As with all human endeavors. Ideal Scope.. crown height of 14.6% and overall height of 57. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design.' and there has been numerous attempts to improve on this tried-and-true formula with the introduction of new signature diamond cuts that claim to have a higher light return. H&A Viewer. Tolkowsky." (Scandinavian standard.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35. Symmetry. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951.5%. and Proportions. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope.4%. Eppler & Scan D.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42.5% to 43. facet ratios. very small to small In the 1970s. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant".N.N. more brilliance and fire.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). The "Scan D. etc. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace.

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

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

marquise. heart. The Gabrielle Diamond The Gabrielle® Cut is a modified brilliant cut (triple brilliant cut) that was created by DeBeers desinger/consultant Gabriel Tolkowsky in 2000. Sunflower and Zinnia cut. designed to maximize the brilliance and color of diamonds while increasing their yield. and pear shapes. The Flanders Brilliant has 33 crown facets and 28 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets. The Flanders Fire-Brilliant was developed by Flanders Cut International of Antwerp in 1983. 8 more facets than the Round Brilliant cut's 58. The Flower Cut is actually a series of five fancy cut shapes: the Dahlia.gabriellediamonds. and the cut was named after the Flanders region of Belgium (Antwerp) where the cut was first preformed in 1987. Fire-Rose. oval. LLC. that is suited to a relatively flat rough. who was commissioned by De Beers to create new cuts as a way of marketing unusual. Marigold. Unveiled at the Las Vegas Gem Show in 2001. Leo Cut The Leo® Diamond. maximizing the amount of light returned back as scintillation. The Marigold is an octagon shape with 73 facets. the Gabrielle Cut is available in carre. The Flower Cuts were never patented or trademarked by De Beers in order to increase their popularity and use. The Fire-Rose is a hexagonal shape designed to produce higher yields. which is 47 more than a traditional 'Tolkowsky' round brilliant cut.nationaldiamond.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. Other than the traditional round brilliant shape.flanders-cuts. off-color stones. (aka Leo Schachter Diamond). angular shapes. adding greater brilliance and fire than standard brilliant cuts. The Zinnia is a round fancy shape with 73 facets. is a patented symmetrical round cut created by Leo Schachter Diamonds. .com Flower Cut The 'Flower Cut' series was created by Gabi Tolkowsky in 1986. The Leo diamond cut has a total of 66 www. www. The Flower Cuts employ unconventional cutting angles and dimensions. The Sunflower has 43 facets in unusual. The cut is distributed by the National Diamond Syndicate (NDS) of Chicago. emerald. the Gabrielle has a total of 105 facets. The Dahlia is a 12 sided oval shape with 63 facets. 48 of which are clustered around the culet to increase fire.

RCDC launched the 'Original Radiant Cut' diamond brand In 2002. and was patented and trademarked by Bez Ambar Jewelers of Los Angeles in 1980. Bez Ambar Radiant Cut The Radiant Cut is a modified emerald cut shape that was developed. The pavilion is similar to a Barion cut. a highstep crown (similar to the Asscher Cut). sold in solitaire engagement/wedding bands. There are 25 crown facets and 36 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets (not including 8 girdle facets). 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." The Leo Diamond is marketed through the Kay Jeweler chain. small table. Prior to the Quadrillion.' and each diamond comes with a "Return of Light Certificate. It was the first emerald shaped diamond cut to have brilliance and fire similar to that of a round brilliant diamond. www. 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.The Leo diamond cut is the first to be certified for fire and brilliance as measured by a ' Starburst Cut . and three-stone The Lucida is sold exclusively through Tiffany's retail chain.diamondaires. and a total of has 50 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.radiantcut. and all Original Radiant Cut diamonds weigh at least 0. and the table is a bowed out rectangle. www. The Lucida diamond cut is a modified square or rectangular (Marquise) cut with truncated corners. eternity bands. Upon the expiration of the patent. There are a total of 49 facets. The Lucida diamond cut is marketed as a wedding cut. square shaped diamonds were stepcut limiting their brilliance. patented and trademarked by Henry Grossbard of the Radiant Cut Diamond Company (RCDC) in 1977.

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

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

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

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

Other major cutting centers are located in Johannesburg. China. while large stones are primarily cut in Antwerp. India cuts the vast majority of small stones (. The diamonds are then re-sold from the cutting and polishing (manufacturing) centers to wholesalers (Diamond Bourses). As a reaction to their decrease in market share. Tel Aviv.000 USD. A 'sight' can have a value of between $ website). and retailers [5]. . or to jewelry manufacturers (#5) around the world. De Beers is also facing increasing pressure from the manufactures of synthetic diamonds.De Beers Sightholders The DTC holds a sale called a "site" or "sight" ten times per year in London and Johannesburg. where De Beers sells the "boxes" to its select group ("supplier of choice") of 125 "sightholders" (#3) or diamond manufacturers. and Thailand. reclaiming their "A Diamond Is Forever" moniker. through their Diamond Promotion Service (DPS) and Diamond Information Centres (DIC) marketing divisions. Once the diamonds are set into jewelry. to take advantage of market fluctuations. they are sold to retailers or direct to the customer. The sightholder then transports the box of rough diamonds back to diamantaire firms (cutting and polishing factories) located around the world (#4). and the breakaway from CSO's cartel by the Argyle Diamond Mine in Australia. cutters. Additionally. Ramat Gan. determining the quantity and quality that each site-holder will receive. De Beers. has launched an aggressive branding and marketing campaign. and New York. and independent diamond producers in Canada. Russia and elswhere.000.000 to $2. diamonds have underperformed since 1987 when compared to the "luxury goods" market or global GDP. De Beers and the Future De Beers' (CSO's) control over the wholesale diamond market has diminished due to increased market penetration. De Beers (DTC) sets the price of each box in advance. Rough diamonds are cut in various geographic regions according to tradition and the skill-sets of the labor force. Many Sightholders are also cutters. (see DeBeers' Adiamondisforever. Both traders and manufacturers may sell diamonds "upstream" and "downstream" through the diamond pipeline [8].20 carats or less) in Mumbai (Bombay) and Surat. which are increasing in popularity and consumer acceptance.

Forevermark Diamonds As a way of staving off the onslaught of secondary diamond markets. Schupstraat. and the city is the hub of the global diamond trading industry (diamanthandel). South Africa. and Shanghai.500 diamond dealers (diamantbedrijven) are ensconced in small. some 1. In addition to its members. also known as the "World Diamond Center" or Diamantenzentrum. The Kimberley Process The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme or KPCS is designed to prevent conflict diamonds (aka "blood diamonds") entering into the mainstream rough diamond market [5]. Israel and South Africa and works with 35 independent Governments. heavily guarded geographic area surrounded by three main streets. and will com with a certificate of authenticity. The word "Bourse" refers to a private stock. Moscow. traders and manufacturer/producers. and preventing the inherent product misidentification that will follow. cut and uncut diamonds. Asia. the WDC has observers from the governments of Belgium. This mark is only visible via a point-of-sale electronic viewer. Hong Kong. Diamond Bourses are basically trading exchanges for loose. KPCS originated in May 2000 during a meeting of South African diamond producing states in Kimberley. The largest diamond trading center in the world is located in Antwerp. The Diamond High Council (HRD) The HRD (Hoge Raad voor Diamant) Diamond High Council is a non-profit industry organization designed to promote and represent the Antwerp diamond trade. the DTC has developed new inscription technologies to "invisibly" mark the table facet of polished diamonds with a "Forevermark" trademark. . London. are sold in Antwerp every year.. The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates [9]. 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 Rijfstraat. NY [4]. The Council has approximately 70 members representing jewelers. Forevermark diamonds will be available through sightholder/retailers in the U. and about half of the polished diamonds. The Council began in July 2000 after a joint meeting of the WFDB and its international headquarters are in New York City. Within Antwerp's diamond district. As of 2006. Belgium but there are also Diamond Bourses in Israel. Hoveniersstraat. and India (2007). or commodities exchange similar to the NYSE. Almost 85% of the world's rough diamonds. The Diamond Trade: Diamond Bourses of Antwerp Diamond Bourses Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. De Beers is hoping that the combination of branding and security will increase consumer demand. The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base. China.S. the European Union and the United Nations to rid the diamond Industry of conflict diamonds. bond.

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

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

self-government was restored. N. mysteriously falling overboard on a ship passage back to England. Domain Barney Barnato During the same period that Cecil Rhodes was building De Beers Consolidated Mines. in Northern Cape. no heirs to his empire. Rhodes made several aborted attempt to gain control over Barnato's interest in Kimberley Central Mine. Photo: Pub.' Cecil Rhodes died a single man with no children and. Domain Thomas M. 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. Cecil Rhodes' De Beers empire was started on a farm owned by two Boer settlers and brothers. although Rhodes did not start out with an interest in diamonds. D. A. De Beers and Kimberley Central were the two largest mining interests in South Africa at the time. As founder of De Beers. Domain Cecil Rhodes Cecil Rhodes (1853—1902) is the undisputed father of the modern diamond industry. In exchange. With the help of the Rothschild bank in London. and later selling steam-powered water pumps to drain the open-pit mines of Kimberley. he began his business interests in South Africa by servicing the "ant hill" of humanity that was descending on Kimberley during the diamond rush of the late 1800s. Barnato was given appointed to 'life governor' and temporary controlling interest in De Beers [6]. and in 1910 the 'Union of South Africa' was created.the "mineral revolution. As a young lad from England. Amid all of this turmoil and chaos. but was eventually successful in convincing Barnato to merge with De Beers. Cullinan .. a prospector. he was able to build a monopolistic empire through skill and cunning. Photo: Pub. One of the richest men in the world. and J. Rhodes started out selling ice cream to the diamond-diggers and service workers. 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. De Beer. The African nation of Rhodesia was named after him (now the Republic of Zimbabwe). Photo: Pub. a curious discovery was being made along the banks of the Orange River." In 1906. Barnato died several years later..

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

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and individual facet ratios. in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above). where facets intersect with each-other.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light . The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles. . all measured in three spacial dimensions.3.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint .7.0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless .5.0 to 1.1. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram." or "ideal" rating." Document Security Each AGS grading document is marked with a hologram (dark circle at lower right of report) and watermarking or embossing to prevent fraudulent duplication. relative facet angles.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero. 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.0 to 7. AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond. 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 .0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light .5 to 4.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering.5 to 3.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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