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

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

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

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

Price Per Carat (2005) . a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor. girdle and pavilion.5 carats must have an actual weight of between . that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York. In ancient times.800 6.5º crown. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations.204 carat.600 8. or "seed of the carob". A diamond that has a specified carat weight of .000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line.VS1 Carat Size</ 0. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place.600 12. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales.0 carat 1.99 carat diamond for its better price. See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison.495 carats and .5 carat 2. 40º pavilion.10 carat diamond for its better cut. a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing.600 6.500 15. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut.5 carat 1. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat. It is for this reason that an even 1.750 30.504 carats. clarity and weight.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration. or to buy a 1. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between . a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only.195 and . and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight." If the carat weight is shown as ".Grade: F Colorless .00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a . 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity . Occasionally. it must be accurate to the second decimal place. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32.0 carat 3.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thermal Properties of Diamonds Diamond is a good conductor of heat. meaning that a diamond is 4 times "harder" than sapphire. Additionally.© AGS Labs Hexagonal (Graphite) Platelet Inclusion . and therefore may be uninsurable by reputable insurance companies. most scratch resistant mineral on earth. Diamond Graphitization In extremely high temperature environments above 1700 ¡C. sapphire has a hardness rating of 9. making it seem cold. crystal twinning. Although diamond is the "hardest. Internally formed crystallographic graphite inclusions often create intense strain on the surrounding diamond. Unlike "hardness. and varying growth conditions of heat." which only denotes a diamond's high resistance to scratching. very thin girdles on brilliant cut diamonds are also prone to breakage." If you were to place a large enough diamond on your tongue it would draw heat away. Particular cuts of diamond are more prone to breakage along cleavage planes.Trace impurities.5 to 6. Hematite has a hardness of only 5. Carbon Inclusion . a diamond's "toughness" is only fair to good.© AGS Labs Diamond Toughness Within the fields of metallurgy and materials science. and "pound-force" per square-inch in US units of measurement." and therefore. The culet facet at the bottom of the pavilion. due to its ability to fracture along cleavage planes. its "toughness" rating is moderate. yet sapphire has a toughness rating of excellent. the term "toughness" describes the resistance of a given material to fracture when it is stressed or impacted. causing stress fractures or feathers. graphite can develop internally and on the diamond's surface. A material's toughness is measured in units of "joules" per cubic meter (J/m3) in the SI system. Many natural blue . By comparrison. is a facet specifically designed to resist breakage. with a Mohs scale rating of 10.5. acting as a "thermal conductor. but its toughness rating is also excellent. pressure and space can also affect the final shape of a formed crystal.

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

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

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

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

000 to $500. and weighed a modest 0. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil.03 carats.000 in 1987. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits. . Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. greyish-green. The color change effect is temporary. pure green hues.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). It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities. Intense. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926. On thing is certain. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color.000 per carat.95carats. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation. and the De Young Red weighing 5.90 carats. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13.' discovered during the 18th century. as in the one-of-a-kind 5.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green. Warren Hancock. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness [9]. or a combination of the two. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities. Green diamonds can range from $ Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems.

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

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

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

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. Nevada. 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. and is reproduced with their permission.Carbon piqué inclusions are sometimes removed by diamond enhancements such as laser drilling. which can leave their own types of unique inclusions. All of the microscopic diamond carbon inclusion photography on this page was generously contributed by the AGSL gemological testing laboratory in Las Vegas.

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




Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.

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



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

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



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

Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .

when a tube or tunnel is generated in the crystalizing diamond by an internal cavity that was once liquid filled.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.



Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .

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

Garnet Inclusions within Diamond .





Garnet fragment on Diamond Girdle .

Grossularite Garnet Inclusions in Diamond .

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

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


Internal Graining with Cloud Inclusion .

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


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

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

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


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

Natural Comet Inclusion .

Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud .

Tabular Reflection in Diamond .

Included Garnet Twins within Diamond .

Included Dalmatian Garnet .

Cloud Inclusion .

Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers .

Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light .

Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion .

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. Knot diamond inclusions can potentially be the cause of man-made drag-line inclusions.Natural External Diamond Inclusions or Blemishes Knots An inclusion that penetrates the surface.




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





The lizard-skin effect is caused by an orange-peel texture. 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.Lizard Skin A bumpy or wavy 'orange-peel' textured pattern on the polished surface of a diamond. made up of a bumpy or wavy pattern on the polished surface of a diamond. .


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

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

Human Caused Surface Blemishes Abrasion (Abr) A tightly grouped series of nicks along the sharp edge of facet junctions. creating a whitish fuzzy edge as opposed to a sharp edge. 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. fringing. chips.

during cutting and/or polishing the diamond. .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. 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. Drag Lines Created when a rough particle is dragged along the surface. the overheating of a facet causes a burn mark.



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

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




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

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

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

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

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

. in Gemesis Cultured Diamonds Gemesis is located in Sarasota. Massachusetts grows colorless (D to M) diamonds. Chatham's pricing ranges from $6.500 to $9. Tairus produces rough sizes from . Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite Cubic Zirconia Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. and each stone is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. and stones are cut to order. princess. While a synthetic diamond is a man-made recreation of an actual carbon-based diamond. which they claim is the closest thing to mother nature. with clarity grades from IF to Chatham Created Diamonds Chatham Gems is a San Francisco based company that grows only fancy-colored diamonds in colors ranging from champagne and canary yellow to pink and midnight blue. Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is the most familiar type of diamond simulant on the market.30 carats to 3 carats.).Apollo Diamond.25 carats to 1 carat. Ltd. To insure easy identification as a man-made product. each Gemesis cut stone over . Florida.3 on the Mohs scale. of Bangkok Thailand. carbonate fluid solution that is similar to diamond-bearing metamorphic rock.500 per carat (2004 est. The toughness of Cubic Zirconia is rated as good. emerald. while diamond has a hardness of 10. www. and CZ has a hardness of only 8.25 carats is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. www.gemesis. . using a proprietary variation of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) technique. and each cut stone is laser inscribed with the Apollo company logo and serial number. and some fancy colored diamonds.chatham. Apollo Diamond's cut stones are available in round brilliant. and rose cuts. and like To the average consumer.apollodiamond. Cubic Zirconia (Zirconium Oxide ZrO2) has a completely different chemical structure. www. The Split Sphere system crystalizes the carbon seed in an Tairus Created Gems Tairus Created Gems is a Russian company that grows fancy-colored diamonds in their proprietary "Split Sphere" system. Apollo Diamonds are cut and polished in sizes ranging from . Tairus Created Gems are sold exclusively through Tairus Thailand Co. Gemesis only grows fancy-colored diamonds. inc.

CZ vs Diamond . For instance. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce. the greater dispersive power. Due to their low cost and consistency. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing. 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 colorless (white) versions. Using Visual Optics To Detect CZ The Hodgkinson "Visual Optics" technique was developed in the mid-1970s by Alan Hodgkinson as a method of detecting natural diamonds and diamond simulants. etc. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1. Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond . and CZs can be made in any "color grade. Natural diamonds attract grease.800 . The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit. Zirconium oxide powder is heated. . The 1. Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored. 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. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible. Once the mixture has cooled.2. CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds. or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR). Diamond's RI is 2. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left).In 1973.) in a totally dark room. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease. Unlike most natural diamonds. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below).170. a CZ is optically flawless. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting.80 to 2.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light.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. candle.17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2.41 (RI).417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator. but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye.

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 Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. and diamond at 0. etc. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond.) in a dark room. Moissanite. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight. Moissanite has an RI of 2. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. center) near Winslow. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent. while diamond has a hardness of 10. Moissanite has a hardness of 9. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998.69. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index.417. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ.670.060. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion.65 to 2. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. Henri Moissan (above.044. candle. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. found only in iron-nickel meteorites. Arizona. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite.104 as compared to CZ at 0. . a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond.25 on the Mohs scale.A small. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. when examining the gem through the kite facets. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0. left) who won the Nobel Prize in 1906 for his discovery of a new mineral (moissanite6H) found within meteorite fragments of the ancient Barringer meteor crater (above. is classified as an element rather than a compound.

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

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

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

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

5% to 43. and Proportions.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut. Eppler & Scan D. A perfect blending of facet symmetry. . etc.' 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. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. Symmetry. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42. and overall height of 57.5%.7%. As with all human endeavors. and crown/pavilion angles. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. Ideal Scope. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%.N. H&A Viewer. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). more brilliance and fire.4%.6% and overall height of 57. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant". invented in 1929.. crown height of 14.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed. Since then." (Scandinavian standard.7%.N. very small to small In the 1970s. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design. The "Scan D. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. To quantify a diamond's cut quality. Tolkowsky. facet ratios. crown height of 14.

with the two largest stones. Barion Cut .asscher. Here is a collection of just a few of the many "signature" diamond cuts that have been produced over the last 100 years. The Asscher brothers cut the famous 3. and it still survives in some form today. mathematicians. and their modest brilliance and light return. The cut has a deep pavilion and a high crown. it is put in front of the ultimate arbiter of quality . and the culet is Einstein's theory of relativity. (more facets. Every conceivable cutting theory is tried. the Cullinan 1 and Cullinan 2 being set into the crown and sceptre of the British Crown Jewels.106 carat Cullinan Diamond into eleven gem stones. One thing is for sure . Popular in Art Deco jewelry of the period.) and when suitably scrutinized by the gem trade. but some like the Barion Cut have disappeared into obscurity. www. Tolkowsky came up with a "brilliant" idea almost 90 years ago.the consumer. Diamonds: Patented Signature Diamond Cuts Notable Patented & Proprietary Diamond Cuts Since the early 1900s there has been a proliferation of elaborate diamond cuts that have been developed by master gem cutters. scientists. cut proportions. cut corners and a small table. less facets. and number of facets.Producers split hairs over cut angle. or the widely marketed Leo cut which is a modified round-brilliant sold by Leo Schachter Diamonds. the Asscher diamond cut has a squarish octagonal shape with a step cut. Asscher Cut The Asscher Cut was developed by Abraham and Joseph Asscher of the Royal Asscher Diamond Company of Amsterdam in 1902.each trying to improve on the tried-and-true Old European cuts. but at the end of the day it may simply come down to consumer preference and/or marketing. Some have gone on to become household names such as the Asscher cut. and entrepreneurs .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Domain Cecil Rhodes Cecil Rhodes (1853—1902) is the undisputed father of the modern diamond industry. A. De Beers and Kimberley Central were the two largest mining interests in South Africa at the time. Domain Barney Barnato During the same period that Cecil Rhodes was building De Beers Consolidated Mines.. Amid all of this turmoil and chaos. Rhodes started out selling ice cream to the diamond-diggers and service workers. Domain Thomas M. diamond speculator and fellow Englishman named Barney Barnato (1852—1897) was buying up pieces of the Big Hole in Kimberley to form the Kimberley Central Mine. in Northern Cape. D. he was able to build a monopolistic empire through skill and cunning. As a young lad from England. mysteriously falling overboard on a ship passage back to England. he began his business interests in South Africa by servicing the "ant hill" of humanity that was descending on Kimberley during the diamond rush of the late 1800s. Photo: Pub. and in 1910 the 'Union of South Africa' was created. In exchange. Cecil Rhodes' De Beers empire was started on a farm owned by two Boer settlers and brothers." In 1906. One of the richest men in the world. Photo: Pub. Photo: Pub. The African nation of Rhodesia was named after him (now the Republic of Zimbabwe). no heirs to his empire. and later selling steam-powered water pumps to drain the open-pit mines of Kimberley. 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 prospector. a curious discovery was being made along the banks of the Orange River. Barnato was given appointed to 'life governor' and temporary controlling interest in De Beers [6]..' Cecil Rhodes died a single man with no children and. N. and J. Rhodes made several aborted attempt to gain control over Barnato's interest in Kimberley Central Mine. but was eventually successful in convincing Barnato to merge with De Beers. although Rhodes did not start out with an interest in diamonds. With the help of the Rothschild bank in London. Cullinan . As founder of De Beers. Barnato died several years later. De Beer.the "mineral revolution. self-government was restored.

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

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

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

president José Eduardo dos Santos is preventing democratic elections from taking place. only hinting at their possibility in 2007 or 2008. China. employing 22.000 workers. both domestically and internationally. Vijaydimon is a DTC sightholder with offices in Belgium. Botswana has held regular elections and has been one of the more stable governments in southern Africa. Bangkok. Bombay. with one of the fastest per-capita income growth rates in the world. is receiving broad support from the South Africa. and Tel Aviv.W. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah.Vijaydimon (Belgium) and B Vijaykumar (India) . dos Santos. Kabbah. and the end to South African apartheid in 1994. created a program for capacity-building of 'small and medium-sized enterprise' (SME) development. After winning a disicive re-election victory in 2006. & Mogae Starting with Botswana's independence in 1966. Vijaydimon also purchases rough diamonds from Canada's Diavik Mine and Argyle (Rio Tinto) and Russia [21]. Surat. Kabila. The last democratic election in Angola was in 1992. and the United States. left). Botswana is a relatively wealthy African country. many of the ex-colonial nations of Sub-Saharan Africa are starting to emerge as powerful and legitimate forces in the diamond industry. Domain N. is making great strides in stabilizing the country after years of strife. The company has cutting factories in Antwerp. UAE. Palanpur. Mandela. Singapore. On a somewhat darker note. working in cooperation with the government of Sierra Leone. all who have signed multi-million dollar trade deals. the political situation in Angola has begun to normalize. President Festus Mogae was elected for a second term in 2004. Diamonds and the African Nationals Photos: Public Domain Kabila. At the age of 29. After years of fighting between the PMLA and UNITA. Diamonds and the Americans Photo: Pub. Ayer & Son . Angola and from mining magnates. who was a major general in the army. Hong Kong. the 'United Nations Industrial Development Orginization' (UNIDO). succeeded his father (Laurent-Désiré Kabila) as president the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC) after his assassination in January 2001. and enjoys broad support. into a global position with nearly $1 Billion a year in sales. In a post-conflict reconstruction effort. Joseph Kabila (above. The president of Sierra Leone. India. Thailand.

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

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

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

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

and gives you the option of having your diamond returned in a tamper-proof sealed container to insure that a given certificate and the accompanying diamond belong together. The AGS Gemological Laboratories was established in 1996 to provide state-of-the-art diamond grading and appraisal services to the jewelry industry. Diamond Grading AGS Diamond Quality Report (DQD) AGS Gemological Laboratory Background Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Aditionally. the HRD lab also uses state-of-the-art technology to test for subtle and hard to recognize enhancements such as HPHT. Shipley. 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. mathematicians.As well as testing for synthetic diamonds." The AGS Cut Grading system was developed through of years of research by gemologists." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors. AGS is considered the premier diamond-grading laboratory. having the most rigid grading standards. and to set a higher standard of business ethics and professional practices in the jewelry industry. as well as the most comprehensive system for grading the all-important 'cut' The American Gem Society was founded in 1934 by Robert M. and Proportions. along with a consortium of independent jewelers. In 2004 AGS added a new category referred to as "Light Performance" but to retained the "Triple Zero" monicker for diamonds with a perfect score. Symmetry." is not an appraisal of monetary value. certificates issued after January 1. The AGS specializes in diamond testing and evaluation. creator of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). The AGS Diamond Quality Document uses a unique and proprietary 0 to 10 grading system that is simpler for the consumer to understand than the GIA's grading nomenclature. Today. and optical physicists. and does not evaluate other types of colored gemstones. vs. and s ratings. 2005 can be viewed online. . HRD uses complex watermarking to prevent copying or falsifying their reports. AGSL Certificate The AGSL was the first gem lab to grade a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. To insure the security of their documents. but rather a comprehensive quality evaluation. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). 'Polish' and 'Symmetry' were merged into one category called "Finish. An AGS report. as opposed to GIA's vvs. A diamond's clarity is also graded on a simple numeric scale from 0 to 10. referred to as a "Diamond Quality Document" or "DQD.

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

0 to 1. AGS Diamond Grading System On the inside fold of an AGS Diamond Quality grading report there is a legend explaining the unique AGS nomenclature with comparisons to GIA's grading system.7.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint . 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 .5 to 4. the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering.0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light . 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. .1. relative facet angles.0 to 7.5 to 3. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram." 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. AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond.3. and individual facet ratios. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless . where facets intersect with each-other. all measured in three spacial dimensions." or "ideal" rating.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light .AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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