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

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

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

a 3/4 carat diamond is 75 points.Heart Marquise Oval Pear Princess Radiant Round Trillion (not shown at diagram) Fig. 5 Popular fancy cuts include the "Baguette" (bread loaf). "Marquise" or "Navette" (little boat). The "fancy cuts" are generally not held to the same strict standards as Round Brilliants. CARAT Balancing Cut and Weight A diamond or gemstone's "Carat" designation is a measurement of both the size and weight of the stone. Cut 2. As a consumer. Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics. and with each point being 2 milligrams in weight. and the Pear. Therefor. and a 2 carat diamond is 200 points." "Briolette" (a form of Rose cut). A carat can also be divided into "points" with one carat being equal to 100 points.007 ounce. Clarity 4." . Carat 3.086 grains) or 0. "Princess" (square outline).2 grams (200 milligrams or 3. The 4 C's of Diamonds: Carat (Weight) The 4 C's Diamond Grading System 1. the total mass of all diamonds or gemstones is referred to as "Total Carat Weight" or "T. a 1/2 carat diamond would be 50 points. "Heart. your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the "4 C's" diamond grading system.W. When a single piece of jewelry has multiple stones.C. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. Color Carat weight is one of the 4 C's. One "Carat" is a unit of mass that is equal to 0.

Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a . or to buy a 1.800 6." If the carat weight is shown as ".5 carat 2. it must be accurate to the second decimal place. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of . FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. In ancient times. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat.600 8. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat.504 carats.204 carat. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity .VS1 Carat Size</ 0. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York.750 30. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight.5 carats must have an actual weight of between . a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions. or "seed of the carob".000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone.10 carat diamond for its better cut. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond. It is for this reason that an even 1.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between .600 12.500 15.195 and .The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration.5 carat 1. girdle and pavilion.0 carat 3. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales.Grade: F Colorless .000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line.5º crown. a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight.600 6.99 carat diamond for its better price. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown. Occasionally. clarity and weight. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32. 40º pavilion. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place.495 carats and . See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison.0 carat 1. Price Per Carat (2005) . By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing.

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

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

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

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

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

pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic. with the principle allotrope being graphite. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe.52.044. and pyroxene. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km). Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms. The name "diamond. and differentiates it from simple graphite." 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. a refractive index of 2. .42. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" [2]. olivine. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical. phlogopite." "untamable.200 degrees Celsius). and a specific gravity of 3. or "invincible. A diamond is a transparent.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1. with a variety of trace minerals. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon." which is also known as "adamant. Under the continental crust.Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time. Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures. ultramafic." and "unconquerable. 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. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes." referring to its incredible hardness. igneous rock composed of garnet." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine. which resemble a champagne flute. Therefore. At these depths. diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

. Green diamonds can range from $35. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness [9].95carats. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant. Warren Hancock. The color change effect is temporary. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926. The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems.000 per carat. On thing is certain.90 carats. and weighed a modest 0.000 to $500. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems.000 in 1987. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil. Intense.Green Chameleon Diamonds Fancy Pink Diamond Color Grading Chameleon diamonds can be forced to temporarily change to a yellowish-green color by exposing them to heat (150º C to 250º C). and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize.03 carats. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner. or a combination of the two. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits. and the De Young Red weighing 5. pure green hues. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13.' discovered during the 18th century. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply.

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

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

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

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. which can leave their own types of unique inclusions. Internal cloud inclusions may not resolve as pinpoints at 10X . Nevada. and is reproduced with their permission. All of the microscopic diamond carbon inclusion photography on this page was generously contributed by the AGSL gemological testing laboratory in Las Vegas.Carbon piqué inclusions are sometimes removed by diamond enhancements such as laser drilling.

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




Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.

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



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

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



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

Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .

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



Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .

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

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


. 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.

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

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


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

Natural Comet Inclusion .

Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud .

Tabular Reflection in Diamond .

Included Garnet Twins within Diamond .

Included Dalmatian Garnet .

Cloud Inclusion .

Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers .

Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light .

Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion .

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




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





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


.Natural (N) A raised portion of the rough diamond's original surface structure that remains visible on the surface of a polished stone. 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. and remain visible on the surface of a polished stone.

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.Pits Dislodged pinpoint inclusions at the surface. .

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. chips.Human Caused Surface Blemishes Abrasion (Abr) A tightly grouped series of nicks along the sharp edge of facet junctions. fringing. or feathers along the outer edge of girdle.

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



. 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.Extra Facet (EF) An asymmetrical and irregularly placed facet that is not part of the original faceting scheme. Filled Fractures Fractures or feathers that have been artificially filled to enhance clarity. This microscopic photograph shows the telltale orange or pink flash of a filled fracture enhancement within a cut diamond. and remove cloudiness.

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




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

but instead attempt to hide their visual effect. 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. but not necessarily increase its value. or treatments to give a fancy color to a off-white diamond.Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Enhanced Diamonds Diamond "enhancements" are specific treatments performed on cut. much like you would repair a crack in a car's windshield glass. which are designed to improve the visual or gemological characteristics of the stone. altered. 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 .© 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." 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. . or removed by employing several invasive techniques from fracture filling to laser drilling. in accordance with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines for the gem trade. These techniques do not eliminate the imperfection. polished natural diamonds.© AGS Lab Telltale Signs of Fracture Filling . A trained gemologist should be able to identify most traditional "enhancements" made to a particular stone. Such diamonds are sometimes then branded as "fracture filled diamonds.

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

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

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

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

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.170. or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond.) in a totally dark room." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR). CZ vs Diamond . etc. Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond . Once the mixture has cooled.41 (RI). Unlike most natural diamonds. 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. or colorless (white) versions. Zirconium oxide powder is heated. For instance.17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left). although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce.In 1973.2.80 to 2. Natural diamonds attract grease. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting. and CZs can be made in any "color grade. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight. CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1. 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 1.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. Diamond's RI is 2. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease. Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond. 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.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator. a CZ is optically flawless.800 . then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible. The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit. candle. the greater dispersive power. . Due to their low cost and consistency. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below).

is classified as an element rather than a compound.A small. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. etc.044. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. candle. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0. found only in iron-nickel Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused.060. Moissanite. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI.417. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. when examining the gem through the kite facets. Henri Moissan (above.25 on the Mohs scale.) in a dark room. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite.104 as compared to CZ at 0. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond. Moissanite has a hardness of 9. . and diamond at 0. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ. Arizona. while diamond has a hardness of 10. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. 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 has an RI of 2. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. 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.65 to 2. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research.69. center) near Winslow.

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. diamonds were valued primarily for their luster and hardness. The first improvements on nature's design involved a polishing of the crystal faces. Table Cut diamonds appeared black to the eye." As further refinement progressed. diamond has a "grain. Prior to this time. Cutting a Rough Diamond . Diamond's RI is 2. most diamonds have some inclusions Moissanite vs Diamond . detailed and sharply focused pattern caused by secondary reflections will be seen when observing a diamond. Diamond cutting can be traced back to the late Middle Ages.417 Moissanite is double refractive (anisotropic) while a natural diamond is singly refractive (isotropic). but significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its high RI. rather than against it. You can also Inspect the facet edges with a 10x loupe to look for any chipping or slightly rounded or soft (not sharp) edges that are telltale signs of Simulants." and the rough stone must be cut with the grain. Moissanite vs Diamond .Detectable With Testing Double Refraction: Moissanite is double refractive. Diamonds: Modern Diamond Cutting Diamond Cutting Background One of the hardest substances on earth. diamond is singly refractive Refractive Index: Moissanite has a refractive index of 2. only a diamond is hard enough to cut other diamonds. A similarly sharp. caused by primary reflections from the pavilion and CZ's low RI. creating the "Table Cut. due to its high refractive index. although it can be easily cleaved or fractured due to its defined cleavage planes. which was called the "Point Cut." At the time. one half of the crystal would be cut off. Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be more diffused.670. The Modern Round Brilliant cut (below) is the culmination of several hundred years of experimentation and development. diamonds were used in their natural octahedral state. Like wood.A small.

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

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

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

AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. . Eppler & Scan D. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a 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. A perfect blending of facet symmetry. Since then. very small to small In the 1970s. crown height of 14. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42. and overall height of 57. To quantify a diamond's cut quality. etc. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap.4%. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios. Tolkowsky. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.5%.7%.6% and overall height of 57. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design. facet ratios.. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect. and Proportions. crown height of 14. and crown/pavilion angles. The "Scan D. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope. Ideal Scope. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed.N.N. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant"." (Scandinavian standard. more brilliance and fire.5% to 43.7%. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts. As with all human endeavors. H&A Viewer. Symmetry.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35. invented in 1929. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%.

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

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

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

The Lucida diamond cut is marketed as a wedding cut.' and each diamond comes with a "Return of Light Starburst Cut . www. patented and trademarked by Henry Grossbard of the Radiant Cut Diamond Company (RCDC) in 1977. brilliant-style faceted pavilion (similar to a Cushion Cut). eternity bands. a highstep crown (similar to the Asscher Cut). Lucida Cut The Lucida (TM) Cut is a patented diamond cut that was created by Tiffany & Company in 1999.70 carats and come with a GIA Certificate and an "Original Radiant Cut Diamond Certificate" guarantying that the stone meets the ideal proportions as designed by Henry Grossbard. Upon the expiration of the patent. It was the first emerald shaped diamond cut to have brilliance and fire similar to that of a round brilliant diamond. There are a total of 49 facets. www. The pavilion is similar to a Barion cut. and a total of has 50 facets. The Lucida is sold exclusively through Tiffany's retail chain. RCDC launched the 'Original Radiant Cut' diamond brand In 2002. There are 25 crown facets and 36 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets (not including 8 girdle facets). small table. and was patented and trademarked by Bez Ambar Jewelers of Los Angeles in 1980." The Leo Diamond is marketed through the Kay Jeweler chain. and three-stone rings. Prior to the Quadrillion.The Leo diamond cut is the first to be certified for fire and brilliance as measured by a 'BrillianceScope. the Radiant Cut became a fully accepted diamond shape in the jewelry business. square shaped diamonds were stepcut limiting their brilliance. sold in solitaire engagement/wedding bands. and all Original Radiant Cut diamonds weigh at least 0. 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 Quadrillion Cut The Quadrillion® Cut (aka Squarillion Cut) is a modified square princess cut that was developed by Israel Itzkowitz and Betzalel Ambar in the late 1970s. The Lucida diamond cut is a modified square or rectangular (Marquise) cut with truncated corners. and the table is a bowed out rectangle.radiantcut. Bez Ambar Radiant Cut The Radiant Cut is a modified emerald cut shape that was

and scintillation when cut to the correct proportions. The Trilliant Cut has a total of 31 facets. the precursor for the "design" of the first faceted diamond lay within the rough stone itself. and the career of the "diamantaire" (diamond cutter/polisher) was born. 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. fire.early 1300s The "point cut" (below left) is one of the first symmetrically faceted diamond cuts. The crown of the Starburst Cut is similar to that of the radiant cut. There are 49 crown facets and 40 pavilion facets. and Uncurved cut used for accent stones. The Starburst cut is especially suitable for a octahedral rough. Trillian. The point cut design is dictated by the natural shape of an octahedral rough diamond. Starburst Cuts are mounted and sold directly through Cartier. . brilliance. craftsmen have attempted to "improve" on nature. The "table cut" (below. Point Cut . with weight losses in the fifty percent range. Since the day that humans first discovered 'adamas' (diamonds). The pavilion has two differently sized sets triangular facets with a large triangular table. Still. Nieman Marcus and Tiffany. 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.louisglick. The Starburst cut was created to bring out the highest amount of color to fancy yellow Trilliant Cut The Trilliant Cut (aka Trielle. and the Trilliant is now a generic term for a triangular brilliant cut.The Starburst Cut was patented and trademarked by the Louis Glick Diamond Corp. making the hue of fancy yellow diamonds more intense. but that has not always been easy as these little chunks of elemental carbon are harder that anything that could be found to cut them. The Trilliant trademark has since lapsed. this led to the invention of the first gem cutting machines (precursor to the "lap" or "Facetron") in the 1300s. There are two variations of this cut: the Curved cut used for solitary stones. Old European Gem Cuts: Point. The starburst faceting pattern is designed to focus color near the top of a stone. of New York in 1978. but the pavilion is completely The faceting of diamonds has come a long way in the last 700 years. Old eight. and the natural octahedral symmetry of the rough stone's closed isometric form. right) was created by cutting off some of the top half of the point cut's octahedron to create a table. www. Old Mine Cut Evolution of the Faceted Diamond & Colored Gem Article Copyright © 2008 AllAboutGemstones. reworked into the shape of a trillion (triangle). Trillion) is a triangular cut designed and trademarked by the Henry Meyer Diamond Company of New York in 1962. Harry Winston. The Trilliant cut gives a high brilliance. The Trilliant has the Schoenflies point group symmetry of a round brilliant. With the realization that only a diamond could cut another diamond. and light return from the stone.

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

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

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

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

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

and disputes are handled by an internal arbitration process. In Antwerp's 'Diamond Center' (Diamantenzentrum) today. and repatriation of Antwerp following the end of WWII. founded in 1893—and the Beurs voor Diamanthande (at Pelikaanstraat 78) founded in 1904 [1]. friendship and trust [2]. Around $16+ billion in polished diamonds pass through Antwerp's diamond bourses each year. the Antwerpsche Diamantkring was reopened. These first trading exchanges mainly dealt with the wholesaling of cut stones. After the liberation. ethics and morality. there are around 4000 diamond-cutters (diamantaire) working in the several-square-block diamond district. Most transactions conducted within the Bourses done with cash and a handshake. and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) was founded in 1947. and both are still in operation today. regulations. which was established in the same year that the 1930 World Expo was held in Antwerp. The Diamond High Council (HRD) . uncut diamonds was the Antwerpsche Diamantkring (Antwerp Diamond Ring) [2]. an by-laws that govern business practices. Beurs voor Diamanthandel . making it the largest diamond-trading center in the world [3].Photo: Wiki Public The first trading exchange to deal exclusively with rough. Members of the Diamond Bourses operate within a system based on mutual trust and each member pledges to uphold the traditions and principles of consideration.Antwerp's Diamond District Two of the oldest Diamond Bourse (Bourse van de diamant or diamantenbšrsen) in Antwerp were the 'Diamond Club of Antwerp' (Diamantclub van Antwerpen—at Pelikaanstraat 62. Control over the diamond trade is maintained through the WFDB's Constitution containing a series of rules. bisected by Hoveniersstraat street. Both bourse were founded by Hasidim diamantairs.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. all measured in three spacial dimensions. and individual facet ratios.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless .3.0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light .0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless . relative facet angles.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light .0 to 1. where facets intersect with each-other.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero. in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above). 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.5 to 4. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram.5 to 3." or "ideal" rating.1.0 to 7." 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.7.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint .5. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. 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. . AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond.

Dubai. minerals." A decline is a spiral (corkscrew) tunnel which circles the ore deposit. so that the cutter can improve the light performance of their cut stones. These diamond extraction methods vary depending on how the minerals are deposited within the earth. OctoNus Software. AGS will also provide analysis of a manufacturers 'cut performance' by analyzing a sample stone's Sarin file.Triple-0 Round Brilliant Setting 'American Star Diamond' 13. Pricing for a diamond grading report is based on carat weight. AGS will only evaluate loose. and can only be accessed by tunneling underground and creating underground "rooms" or "stopes" that are supported by timber pillars or standing rock. and OGI Systems. the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA).com Diamonds and other precious and semi-precious gemstones are extracted from the earth using five basic mining techniques. 2. Accessing the underground ore is achieved via a horizontal passageway called a "decline. which are used by non-contact measuring-device manufacturers such as Sarin Technologies. As of 2005. the stability of the material that surrounds that desired gem or mineral. 4.42 Carat D. AGS offers laser inscription services as well." or a by a vertical "shaft. and will soon be offering cut evaluations for other fancy shapes. while a shaft is . princess. and octagon step-cut diamonds. 3. unmounted diamonds. AGSL reports will also grade cut quality for emerald. and ore bodies that are in situ. through AGS offices in Antwerp. India and Israel. Flawless Other Services Supplied by AGS The AGS will soon be entering into an alliance/partnership with one of the premier testing labs of colored gemstones. The AGS supplies 'facet arrangement' templates corresponding to their cutgrading system. 5. Diamonds: Gem & Diamond Mining Technology Photos: Public Domain Diamond & Gem Mining .Extraction Methods Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. The principle methods of diamond extraction are: 1. Additionally. left) refers to various techniques used to extract gems. 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. Artisanal Mining Hard Rock Mining Marine Mining Open Pit Mining Placer Mining Hard-Rock Diamond Mining The term "hard-rock mining" (top of page.

also known as "open-cast mining" (top of page. Open pit mines are typically used when mineral deposits are found close to the surface or along defined kimberlite pipes. shovels. mechanized surface excavating equipment. or hand digging (artisanal mining). therefore. gravel. which concentrate the heavier gems at the bottom. Excavation is accomplished using water pressure (hydraulic mining).Photo: USGS Alluvial Diamond . and have a specific gravity that is higher than that of common minerals. . While on board. Marine Mining Marine mining technology only became commercially viable in the early 1990s. Gems are separated from waste material using various sifting and sorting techniques such as cone screens. highly resistant to weathering. they tend to concentrate in alluvial deposits in the same way that gold placers develop. the gravels are separated and sorted into three sizes. Laborers who work in artisanal diamond mining are called "diamond diggers" (below left). Marine diamond mining employs both "vertical" and "horizontal" techniques to extract diamonds from offshore placer deposits.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. also known as "sand-bank mining" (top of page. right) with bare hands. or pans. Horizontal mining employs the use of Seabed Crawlers (remotely controlled. Diamonds and most gemstones are hard. with the middle size being a candidate for final sorting. and is a derivative form of open-cast mining used to extract minerals from the surface of the earth without the use of tunneling. and or colluvial secondary deposits. Placer Mining Placer diamond mining. center) is a method of extracting rock and minerals from the earth by removal from a machine-dug open pit or burrow. A decline is typically used for mining personnel. rock or sedimentary soil. and access to the ore. or sand) that is unsuitable for tunneling. at a maximum depth of 500 feet. or large conical sieves. Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . Small "pit lakes" tend to form at the bottom of open-pit mines as a result of groundwater intrusion. right) is used for extracting diamonds and minerals from alluvial. or sort material according to size. Artisanal diamond mining is a form of "subsistence based" non-mechanized mining that is used in poorer countries throughout the world. machinery. box screens. CAT-tracked underwater mining vehicles) move across the sea floor pumping gravel up to an offshore vessel. Artisanal Mining Artisanal diamond mining (aka "small-scale mining") involves nothing more that digging and sifting through mud or gravel river-bank alluvial deposits (above. eluvial. Vertical marine mining uses a 6 to 7 meter diameter drill head to cut into the seabed and suck up the diamond bearing material from the sea bed. running adjacent to the ore. Open Pit Mining Open-pit diamond mining.vertical tunnel used for ore haulage.

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

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

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

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

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

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