All About Diamonds | Diamond | Gemstone

All About Gemstones: Diamonds

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

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

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

The 4 Cs of Diamonds: Cut

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

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

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

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

Only a trained eye could see the quality of a good cut. 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. or 96 facets which are not counted in the total number of facets (58). pavilion and crown angle) and did not provide a subjective ranking of how good the cut was. a Round Brilliant cut that does not have the proper proportions and symmetry (off-make) will have noticeably less brilliance.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 pavillion will have 25 facets. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. 3 . and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. 80. Fig. Common cutting problems can occur during the faceting process. 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. Fig. 64. 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. 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. All of that has changed with the AGS Cut Grading system and GIA's new "Cut Grading System". This can also result in the undesirable creation of extra facets beyond the required 58. Poor Diamond Faceting and Symmetry Due to the mathmatics involved in light refraction. Other variations of the "Modern Round Brilliant" include the "Ideal Brilliant" which was invented by Johnson and Roesch in 1929.e.

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

your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the "4 C's" diamond grading system.Heart Marquise Oval Pear Princess Radiant Round Trillion (not shown at diagram) Fig. a 1/2 carat diamond would be 50 points. When a single piece of jewelry has multiple stones.C. Therefor. a 3/4 carat diamond is 75 points. "Princess" (square outline)." "Briolette" (a form of Rose cut). A carat can also be divided into "points" with one carat being equal to 100 points. The 4 C's of Diamonds: Carat (Weight) The 4 C's Diamond Grading System 1. "Marquise" or "Navette" (little boat).W. Color Carat weight is one of the 4 C's. Cut 2.086 grains) or 0.007 ounce. 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. Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics. and the Pear. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. and with each point being 2 milligrams in weight. Carat 3. 5 Popular fancy cuts include the "Baguette" (bread loaf).2 grams (200 milligrams or 3. As a consumer." . Clarity 4. and a 2 carat diamond is 200 points. The "fancy cuts" are generally not held to the same strict standards as Round Brilliants. the total mass of all diamonds or gemstones is referred to as "Total Carat Weight" or "T. One "Carat" is a unit of mass that is equal to 0.

a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a . 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone. or "seed of the carob". It is for this reason that an even 1.0 carat 3. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line.Grade: F Colorless . that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York. clarity and weight. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions.99 carat diamond for its better price.10 carat diamond for its better cut. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry. 40º pavilion." If the carat weight is shown as ". Occasionally.495 carats and .800 6. See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight.600 8. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of .204 carat.600 12. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between .750 30.0 carat 1.5 carat 2.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone.5 carats must have an actual weight of between . If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations.VS1 Carat Size</ 0. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond. girdle and pavilion.5 carat 1.504 carats.500 15. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat.5º crown. it must be accurate to the second decimal place. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity . or to buy a 1.600 6.195 and . The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut. Price Per Carat (2005) . In ancient times.

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

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

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

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

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

The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses. with the principle allotrope being graphite. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes." and "unconquerable. Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0. with a variety of trace minerals." which is also known as "adamant." "untamable. igneous rock composed of garnet. . A diamond is a transparent. Under the continental crust." is derived from the Greek adamas. Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe.52. At these depths. Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth. phlogopite." referring to its incredible hardness.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1. The name "diamond. and pyroxene.Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine. ultramafic. which resemble a champagne flute. or "invincible. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km). in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" [2]." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic. and differentiates it from simple graphite. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical.200 degrees Celsius).044. and a specific gravity of 3. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2.42. Deep within the earth's crust there are regions that have a high enough temperature (900¼C to 1400¼C) and pressure (5 to 6 GPa) that it is thermodynamically possible for liquified carbon to form into diamonds. a refractive index of 2. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon. Therefore. olivine. diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale.

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

By comparrison." and therefore. the term "toughness" describes the resistance of a given material to fracture when it is stressed or impacted.© AGS Labs Diamond Toughness Within the fields of metallurgy and materials science. Diamond Graphitization In extremely high temperature environments above 1700 ¡C. Unlike "hardness. and "pound-force" per square-inch in US units of measurement. sapphire has a hardness rating of 9.5 to 6. causing stress fractures or feathers. Hematite has a hardness of only 5. crystal twinning. Particular cuts of diamond are more prone to breakage along cleavage planes. yet sapphire has a toughness rating of excellent. its "toughness" rating is moderate. Thermal Properties of Diamonds Diamond is a good conductor of heat. but its toughness rating is also excellent. with a Mohs scale rating of 10. Additionally." If you were to place a large enough diamond on your tongue it would draw heat away. due to its ability to fracture along cleavage planes. most scratch resistant mineral on earth. Although diamond is the "hardest. Many natural blue . making it seem cold. Internally formed crystallographic graphite inclusions often create intense strain on the surrounding diamond.Trace impurities. Carbon Inclusion . a diamond's "toughness" is only fair to good. A material's toughness is measured in units of "joules" per cubic meter (J/m3) in the SI system. is a facet specifically designed to resist breakage.© AGS Labs Hexagonal (Graphite) Platelet Inclusion . very thin girdles on brilliant cut diamonds are also prone to breakage. and varying growth conditions of heat. The culet facet at the bottom of the pavilion." which only denotes a diamond's high resistance to scratching. graphite can develop internally and on the diamond's surface. acting as a "thermal conductor. meaning that a diamond is 4 times "harder" than sapphire. pressure and space can also affect the final shape of a formed crystal.5. and therefore may be uninsurable by reputable insurance companies.

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

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

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

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

03 carats. . greyish-green. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. and the De Young Red weighing 5. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color. Green diamonds can range from $35.000 per carat. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner.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). The color change effect is temporary. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste.000 in 1987. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant. On thing is certain. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities. and weighed a modest 0.95carats. or a combination of the two. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation.' discovered during the 18th century. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa.90 carats. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness [9]. Warren Hancock. Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat.000 to $500. pure green hues. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities.

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

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

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

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

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




Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.

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

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



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. waviness.Grain Center (GrCnt) A concentrated area of crystal growth that can appear light or dark.

Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .

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



Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .

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

Garnet Inclusions within Diamond .





Garnet fragment on Diamond Girdle .

Grossularite Garnet Inclusions in Diamond .

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

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


Internal Graining with Cloud Inclusion .

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


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

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

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. .Twinning Wisps Inclusions and defects resulting from crystal-twining during crystal growth.


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

Natural Comet Inclusion .

Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud .

Tabular Reflection in Diamond .

Included Garnet Twins within Diamond .

Included Dalmatian Garnet .

Cloud Inclusion .

Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers .

Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light .

Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion .

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




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





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


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

.Pits Dislodged pinpoint inclusions at the surface. Surface Graining (SGr) Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation. 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.

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

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. Chips Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet. Drag Lines Created when a 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. Cavities (Cv) An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing.Burn Marks Created during polishing. or caught by a included crystal. during cutting and/or polishing the diamond. . the overheating of a facet causes a burn mark.



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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight.17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2. For instance.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator. 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.800 . or colorless (white) versions. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below). The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit. Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored.170.) in a totally dark room. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond . CZ vs Diamond .41 (RI). Due to their low cost and consistency." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR). .Detectable to the Naked Eye Light Dispersion: Greater prismatic effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire Lack of Flaws: CZ is virtually flawless. You 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. and CZs can be made in any "color grade. etc. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left). while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye. Natural diamonds attract grease. Zirconium oxide powder is heated. 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.In 1973. 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.2. The 1. the greater dispersive power. Once the mixture has cooled. candle. CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. a CZ is optically flawless.80 to 2. Diamond's RI is 2. Unlike most natural diamonds. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce.

Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. . candle. and diamond at 0. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index.25 on the Mohs scale. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0. is classified as an element rather than a compound. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2.65 to 2.A small. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. Moissanite has a hardness of 9. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. found only in iron-nickel meteorites.) in a dark room. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998.044. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. Arizona. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. left) who won the Nobel Prize in 1906 for his discovery of a new mineral (moissanite6H) found within meteorite fragments of the ancient Barringer meteor crater (above. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent.417. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite.69. while diamond has a hardness of 10. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). Hodgkinson's 'Visual Optics' Detection The Hodgkinson technique (aka Visual Optics) was discovered by Alan Hodgkinson with Gem-A in the mid-1970s as a method for differentiating natural diamond from colorless gemstones and simulants. Moissanite. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI.060. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. when examining the gem through the kite facets. center) near Winslow. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight.104 as compared to CZ at 0. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. Henri Moissan (above. etc.670. Moissanite has an RI of 2.

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

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

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

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

and overall height of 57. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.N. .N.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed." (Scandinavian standard. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios.6% and overall height of 57.. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. To quantify a diamond's cut quality. more brilliance and fire. A perfect blending of facet symmetry.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace.5%. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%. and crown/pavilion angles. The "Scan D. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. H&A Viewer.' 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. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. Eppler & Scan D.5% to 43. Symmetry. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut.7%. and Proportions. very small to small In the 1970s. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant". Ideal Scope. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). Since then. etc. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish.7%.4%. invented in 1929. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design. Tolkowsky. facet ratios. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope. crown height of 14. As with all human endeavors. crown height of 14.

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

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

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

" The Leo Diamond is marketed through the Kay Jeweler chain. and the table is a bowed out rectangle. square shaped diamonds were stepcut limiting their Lucida Cut The Lucida (TM) Cut is a patented diamond cut that was created by Tiffany & Company in 1999. www. and all Original Radiant Cut diamonds weigh at least sold in solitaire engagement/wedding bands. and a total of has 50 facets.The Leo diamond cut is the first to be certified for fire and brilliance as measured by a 'BrillianceScope. The Lucida is sold exclusively through Tiffany's retail chain. eternity Starburst Cut . The Lucida diamond cut is a modified square or rectangular (Marquise) cut with truncated 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. RCDC launched the 'Original Radiant Cut' diamond brand In 2002. and three-stone rings. The Lucida diamond cut is marketed as a wedding cut. Upon the expiration of the patent. and was patented and trademarked by Bez Ambar Jewelers of Los Angeles in 1980. patented and trademarked by Henry Grossbard of the Radiant Cut Diamond Company (RCDC) in 1977.diamondaires. www. It was the first emerald shaped diamond cut to have brilliance and fire similar to that of a round brilliant diamond.70 carats and come with a GIA Certificate and an "Original Radiant Cut Diamond Certificate" guarantying that the stone meets the ideal proportions as designed by Henry Grossbard. the Radiant Cut became a fully accepted diamond shape in the jewelry business. www. Prior to the Quadrillion. brilliant-style faceted pavilion (similar to a Cushion Cut).' and each diamond comes with a "Return of Light Certificate. small table. a highstep crown (similar to the Asscher Cut). The pavilion is similar to a Barion cut. Bez Ambar Radiant Cut The Radiant Cut is a modified emerald cut shape that was developed. The Quadrillion was the result of three years of optical research to create a square diamond cut that can claim a similar brilliance to a round diamond. There are 25 crown facets and 36 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets (not including 8 girdle facets). There are a total of 49 facets.

The Trilliant cut gives a high brilliance. and the natural octahedral symmetry of the rough stone's closed isometric form.louisglick. brilliance. with weight losses in the fifty percent range. The Trilliant has the Schoenflies point group symmetry of a round brilliant. right) was created by cutting off some of the top half of the point cut's octahedron to create a table. There are 49 crown facets and 40 pavilion facets. Old European Gem Cuts: Point. and Uncurved cut used for accent stones. The Trilliant trademark has since lapsed. Nieman Marcus and Tiffany. of New York in Trilliant Cut The Trilliant Cut (aka Trielle. craftsmen have attempted to "improve" on nature. and scintillation when cut to the correct proportions. Since the day that humans first discovered 'adamas' (diamonds). The Starburst cut was created to bring out the highest amount of color to fancy yellow diamonds. Old Mine Cut Evolution of the Faceted Diamond & Colored Gem Article Copyright © 2008 AllAboutGemstones. Old eight.early 1300s The "point cut" (below left) is one of the first symmetrically faceted diamond The faceting of diamonds has come a long way in the last 700 years. The starburst faceting pattern is designed to focus color near the top of a stone. fire. Trillian. The crown of the Starburst Cut is similar to that of the radiant cut. Starburst Cuts are mounted and sold directly through Cartier. Trillion) is a triangular cut designed and trademarked by the Henry Meyer Diamond Company of New York in 1962. Still. There are two variations of this cut: the Curved cut used for solitary stones. the precursor for the "design" of the first faceted diamond lay within the rough stone itself. and light return from the stone.The Starburst Cut was patented and trademarked by the Louis Glick Diamond Corp. The "table cut" (below. . The point cut design is dictated by the natural shape of an octahedral rough diamond. and the career of the "diamantaire" (diamond cutter/polisher) was born. and the Trilliant is now a generic term for a triangular brilliant cut. www. From this point forward it was a race to see who could design the perfect faceted cut which would bring out the maximum fire. for a total of 89 kite and star shaped facets. The pavilion has two differently sized sets triangular facets with a large triangular table. reworked into the shape of a trillion (triangle). With the realization that only a diamond could cut another diamond. making the hue of fancy yellow diamonds more intense. this led to the invention of the first gem cutting machines (precursor to the "lap" or "Facetron") in the 1300s. but that has not always been easy as these little chunks of elemental carbon are harder that anything that could be found to cut them. but the pavilion is completely different. The Trilliant Cut has a total of 31 facets. The Starburst cut is especially suitable for a octahedral rough. 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. Point Cut . Harry Winston.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

" 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. and individual facet ratios.3.5. in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above). AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light . When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. .0 to 7. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless .5 to 4." or "ideal" rating. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram. all measured in three spacial dimensions. the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles. In the upper left corner of the document there is a unique AGS reference number that can be used when contacting AGS with questions about your report.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero.7.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint . 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.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering. relative facet angles.0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless .1. where facets intersect with each-other.0 to 1.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003.5 to 3.0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light .

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

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

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

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

including Angola's two largest diamonds at 105. potholes. channels or other trapsites for diamondiferous deposits. Diamond Mines of the World: Active Diamond Mines List of Active Diamond Mines All Contents Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Westward draining river systems transported these diamonds to Africa's continental coastline for final deposition within on-shore marine terrace gravels. 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.8 million to 10. but were not deposited on land.8k. Alluvial Terrace Gravels . Diamonds in marine areas are typically trapped in bedrock depressions such as .Namibia's placer diamond deposits are between 40 and 80 million years old. made their way to the sea bed just offshore. The diamonds within these deposits were transported from deeply-eroded diamondiferous kimberlites or. carried from their primary origination point on the Kaapvaal Craton. in central South Africa and Botswana. to a lesser extent. Diamonds that were transported downstream.Photo: Wiki Diamond-Bearing 'Diamondiferous' Gravel Many of these alluvial diamond deposits occur in Pleistocene and Holocene successions (1.000 years ago).9k and 101. depressions. from olivine lamproites formed during the Cretaceous or Permo-Triassic period. Some of the largest and highest gemquality diamonds produced from alluvial placer diamond mining have come from this region.

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

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

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