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

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

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

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

0 carat 1. a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of .500 15." If the carat weight is shown as ".0 carat 3.600 6.VS1 Carat Size</ 0. Price Per Carat (2005) . See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison.600 12. Occasionally.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity .10 carat diamond for its better cut.495 carats and .5º crown.195 and . FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry. or to buy a 1. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone. In ancient times. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight.504 carats. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions. clarity and weight.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration.600 8.5 carat 1.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between . If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor.800 6. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat. 40º pavilion. it must be accurate to the second decimal place.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing. girdle and pavilion. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone.204 carat. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only.750 30. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York.99 carat diamond for its better price.5 carats must have an actual weight of between .Grade: F Colorless . The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut. It is for this reason that an even 1. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a .5 carat 2. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight. or "seed of the carob". A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond.

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

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

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

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

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

Under the continental crust. olivine." is derived from the Greek adamas. with the principle allotrope being graphite." and "unconquerable." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic. Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe.200 degrees Celsius). pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits.42. Deep within the earth's crust there are regions that have a high enough temperature (900¼C to 1400¼C) and pressure (5 to 6 GPa) that it is thermodynamically possible for liquified carbon to form into diamonds." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine.52. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes. Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses. At these depths." "untamable. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon. or "invincible. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km). The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms. with a variety of trace minerals. a refractive index of 2. Therefore. . and a specific gravity of 3. which resemble a champagne flute. A diamond is a transparent. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" [2].044. The name "diamond. and differentiates it from simple graphite. and pyroxene. ultramafic." referring to its incredible hardness. igneous rock composed of garnet.Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time. phlogopite. Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical." which is also known as "adamant. diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond.90 carats. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13. Warren Hancock. Intense. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply. On thing is certain.000 to $500. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color. The color change effect is temporary. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926. and the De Young Red weighing 5. Green diamonds can range from $35.95carats.000 per carat. . as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. pure green hues.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).03 carats. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness [9]. or a combination of the two.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant. greyish-green. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red.' discovered during the 18th century. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits. and weighed a modest 0. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat.

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

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

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

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

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.

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



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

This is especially true if the fracture breeches the stone's surface. . making it susceptible to fracturing when exposed to thermal or physical shock.Pronounced stress fractures and feather inclusions can potentially weaken the stone. and the stress inclusion occurs along the gem's natural cleavage plane. As a result. 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 .

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



Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .

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

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


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

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

Can be accompanied by graining and strain. Twinning Wisp inclusions can be accompanied by internal graining and/or strain feathers. . 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.Twinning Wisps Inclusions and defects resulting from crystal-twining during crystal growth.


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

Natural Comet Inclusion .

Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud .

Tabular Reflection in Diamond .

Included Garnet Twins within Diamond .

Included Dalmatian Garnet .

Cloud Inclusion .

Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers .

Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light .

Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion .

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




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





.Lizard Skin A bumpy or wavy 'orange-peel' textured pattern on the polished surface of a diamond. 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.


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

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

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

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



This microscopic photograph shows the telltale orange or pink flash of a filled fracture enhancement within a cut diamond. . Filled Fracture Photos Internal Fracture Filling Inclusion Photography Fracture-filling Inclusions are man-made diamond enhancements that are the result of natural cleavage-plane stress fractures or feathers which have been artificially filled with molten glass to enhance clarity. 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.

markings. 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. or inscribing the external surface of a cut diamond. and inscriptions.Laser Etching or Markings Careless or inadvertent laser etchings.




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

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

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

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

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

com Chatham Created Diamonds Chatham Gems is a San Francisco based company that grows only fancy-colored diamonds in colors ranging from champagne and canary yellow to pink and midnight blue. Apollo Diamond's cut stones are available in round brilliant. of Bangkok Thailand. with clarity grades from IF to SI.25 carats to 1 carat. carbonate fluid solution that is similar to diamond-bearing metamorphic Tairus Created Gems Tairus Created Gems is a Russian company that grows fancy-colored diamonds in their proprietary "Split Sphere" To the average consumer. Ltd. Tairus produces rough sizes from . To insure easy identification as a man-made product.500 to $9. while diamond has a hardness of 10.).. Apollo Diamonds are cut and polished in sizes ranging from . Cubic Zirconia (Zirconium Oxide ZrO2) has a completely different chemical structure. Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite Cubic Zirconia Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. and like Chatham. www.gemesis. each Gemesis cut stone over . Gemesis only grows fancy-colored Gemesis Cultured Diamonds Gemesis is located in Sarasota. and some fancy colored diamonds.3 on the Mohs scale.30 carats to 3 carats. www. and stones are cut to order. inc. in Boston. princess. and each cut stone is laser inscribed with the Apollo company logo and serial number. Chatham's pricing ranges from $6. Massachusetts grows colorless (D to M) diamonds.apollodiamond. Tairus Created Gems are sold exclusively through Tairus Thailand Co. emerald.chatham. The toughness of Cubic Zirconia is rated as good. . Florida. using a proprietary variation of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) technique. Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is the most familiar type of diamond simulant on the market.Apollo Diamond. which they claim is the closest thing to mother nature. and rose cuts. While a synthetic diamond is a man-made recreation of an actual carbon-based diamond. www. and CZ has a hardness of only 8.25 carats is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. The Split Sphere system crystalizes the carbon seed in an alkaline.500 per carat (2004 est. and each stone is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number.

although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce. etc. but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye.17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2. natural diamond is a thermal conductor Weight: Cubic Zirconia is heavier than diamond in a given size Another method for distinguishing Cubic Zirconia from diamond is to mark the stone with a grease pencil or felt-tipped pen. The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit.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.41 (RI).In 1973.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below). You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond .800 .417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator. CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease. the greater dispersive power." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR). For instance. Zirconium oxide powder is heated. Unlike most natural diamonds. CZ vs Diamond . Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored.170. a CZ is optically flawless. candle. 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. or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond. Once the mixture has cooled. The 1.80 to 2. Due to their low cost and consistency. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left). or colorless (white) versions. . Natural diamonds attract grease. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible. and CZs can be made in any "color grade.) in a totally dark room. CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds.2. Diamond's RI is 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. 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.

when examining the gem through the kite facets. center) near Winslow. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. candle. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. found only in iron-nickel meteorites. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. 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.060. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material.104 as compared to CZ at 0. Moissanite.044.417. .) in a dark room. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight. 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.A small. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. Henri Moissan (above.65 to 2. is classified as an element rather than a compound. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent. Moissanite has an RI of 2. Moissanite has a hardness of 9.25 on the Mohs scale. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused.69. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. etc. while diamond has a hardness of 10. and diamond at 0.670. left) who won the Nobel Prize in 1906 for his discovery of a new mineral (moissanite6H) found within meteorite fragments of the ancient Barringer meteor crater (above.

The first improvements on nature's design involved a polishing of the crystal faces. A similarly sharp. Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be more diffused. diamonds were used in their natural octahedral state." At the time." As further refinement progressed." and the rough stone must be cut with the grain. Moissanite vs Diamond . The Modern Round Brilliant cut (below) is the culmination of several hundred years of experimentation and development. caused by primary reflections from the pavilion and CZ's low RI. Diamond's RI is 2.670. creating the "Table Cut.Detectable to the Naked Eye Dispersion Pattern: Secondary patterns of dispersion due to double refraction Color: Moissanite has a slight yellow color and does not come in grades better than 'J' Lack of Flaws: Moissanite is virtually flawless. You can also Inspect the facet edges with a 10x loupe to look for any chipping or slightly rounded or soft (not sharp) edges that are telltale signs of Simulants.Detectable With Testing Double Refraction: Moissanite is double refractive. Like wood. although it can be easily cleaved or fractured due to its defined cleavage planes. due to its high refractive index.417 Moissanite is double refractive (anisotropic) while a natural diamond is singly refractive (isotropic).A small. which was called the "Point Cut. Cutting a Rough Diamond . Diamonds: Modern Diamond Cutting Diamond Cutting Background One of the hardest substances on earth. most diamonds have some inclusions Moissanite vs Diamond . Prior to this time. diamond is singly refractive Refractive Index: Moissanite has a refractive index of 2. detailed and sharply focused pattern caused by secondary reflections will be seen when observing a diamond. Diamond cutting can be traced back to the late Middle Ages. Table Cut diamonds appeared black to the eye. but significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its high RI. only a diamond is hard enough to cut other diamonds. one half of the crystal would be cut off. rather than against it. diamonds were valued primarily for their luster and hardness. diamond has a "grain.

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

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

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

several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts. The "Scan D.5%. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57.N.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42.7%. Tolkowsky.6% and overall height of 57. Since then. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant". AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. crown height of 14. Eppler & Scan D. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace. more brilliance and fire. etc. crown height of 14. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%." (Scandinavian standard.N. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope. Ideal Scope. and Proportions.5% to 43. and overall height of 57. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design. very small to small In the 1970s. . and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. As with all human endeavors. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios.4%. invented in 1929. To quantify a diamond's cut quality. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. A perfect blending of facet symmetry. H&A Viewer.7%.' 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. facet ratios. Symmetry. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35.. and crown/pavilion angles.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

there are around 4000 diamond-cutters (diamantaire) working in the several-square-block diamond district. and disputes are handled by an internal arbitration process. and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) was founded in 1947. Beurs voor Diamanthandel . the Antwerpsche Diamantkring was reopened. an by-laws that govern business practices. uncut diamonds was the Antwerpsche Diamantkring (Antwerp Diamond Ring) [2]. which was established in the same year that the 1930 World Expo was held in Antwerp. 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 both are still in operation today. Around $16+ billion in polished diamonds pass through Antwerp's diamond bourses each year. bisected by Hoveniersstraat street. friendship and trust [2]. The Diamond High Council (HRD) . regulations.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. After the liberation. and repatriation of Antwerp following the end of WWII. ethics and morality. founded in 1893—and the Beurs voor Diamanthande (at Pelikaanstraat 78) founded in 1904 [1]. making it the largest diamond-trading center in the world [3]. Both bourse were founded by Hasidim diamantairs. In Antwerp's 'Diamond Center' (Diamantenzentrum) today. These first trading exchanges mainly dealt with the wholesaling of cut stones.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Each parameter is given a numeric grade from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). The ray-tracing program measures the quantity of the light being returned to the viewer by quantifying brightness. and Proportions. In 2004 AGS added a new category that is referred to as "Light Performance. Symmetry. dispersion. 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." The AGS Cut grading system was developed through years of research by gemologists." 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.Cut Grade: Finish. . and optical physicists." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors. contrast. 'Polish' and 'Symmetry' were merged into one category called "Finish. leakage and light spread. mathematicians.

0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light .7. . as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram. where facets intersect with each-other." or "ideal" rating.3. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. relative facet angles. all measured in three spacial dimensions.0 to 1.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero. the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light .0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint . and individual facet ratios.0 to 7. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles.5. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless . AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond. AGS Diamond Grading System On the inside fold of an AGS Diamond Quality grading report there is a legend explaining the unique AGS nomenclature with comparisons to GIA's grading system.1.5 to 4. 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. in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above).0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless ." Document Security Each AGS grading document is marked with a hologram (dark circle at lower right of report) and watermarking or embossing to prevent fraudulent duplication.5 to 3.

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

mechanized surface excavating equipment. 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. rock or sedimentary soil. and have a specific gravity that is higher than that of common minerals. which concentrate the heavier gems at the bottom. CAT-tracked underwater mining vehicles) move across the sea floor pumping gravel up to an offshore vessel. the gravels are separated and sorted into three sizes. Diamonds and most gemstones are hard. Marine diamond mining employs both "vertical" and "horizontal" techniques to extract diamonds from offshore placer deposits. eluvial. gravel. they tend to concentrate in alluvial deposits in the same way that gold placers develop. Excavation is accomplished using water pressure (hydraulic mining). Artisanal Mining Artisanal diamond mining (aka "small-scale mining") involves nothing more that digging and sifting through mud or gravel river-bank alluvial deposits (above. box screens. highly resistant to weathering. Open Pit Mining Open-pit diamond mining. Gems are separated from waste material using various sifting and sorting techniques such as cone screens. or sand) that is unsuitable for tunneling. Horizontal mining employs the use of Seabed Crawlers (remotely controlled. or large conical sieves. 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 .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. right) with bare hands. right) is used for extracting diamonds and minerals from alluvial. A decline is typically used for mining personnel. and is a derivative form of open-cast mining used to extract minerals from the surface of the earth without the use of tunneling. Marine Mining Marine mining technology only became commercially viable in the early 1990s. also known as "open-cast mining" (top of page. center) is a method of extracting rock and minerals from the earth by removal from a machine-dug open pit or burrow. Open pit mines are typically used when mineral deposits are found close to the surface or along defined kimberlite pipes. and or colluvial secondary deposits. . shovels. at a maximum depth of 500 feet. or hand digging (artisanal mining). or sort material according to size. therefore. machinery. Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix .vertical tunnel used for ore haulage. running adjacent to the ore. with the middle size being a candidate for final sorting. Laborers who work in artisanal diamond mining are called "diamond diggers" (below left). While on board. Placer Mining Placer diamond mining. Small "pit lakes" tend to form at the bottom of open-pit mines as a result of groundwater intrusion. or pans. and access to the ore. also known as "sand-bank mining" (top of page.

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

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

in central South Africa and Botswana. from olivine lamproites formed during the Cretaceous or Permo-Triassic period. 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. channels or other trapsites for diamondiferous deposits.8 million to 10. Diamonds that were transported . carried from their primary origination point on the Kaapvaal Craton. including Angola's two largest diamonds at 105.Namibia's placer diamond deposits are between 40 and 80 million years old. The diamonds within these deposits were transported from deeply-eroded diamondiferous kimberlites or. 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. potholes. made their way to the sea bed just offshore.000 years ago).9k and 101. depressions.Photo: Wiki Diamond-Bearing 'Diamondiferous' Gravel Many of these alluvial diamond deposits occur in Pleistocene and Holocene successions (1. Alluvial Terrace Gravels . 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. Diamond Mines of the World: Active Diamond Mines List of Active Diamond Mines All Contents Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Diamonds in marine areas are typically trapped in bedrock depressions such as gullies.

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

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

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