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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.
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
The crown will have 33 facets. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951.e. 3 . 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. This can also result in the undesirable creation of extra facets beyond the required 58. Other variations of the "Modern Round Brilliant" include the "Ideal Brilliant" which was invented by Johnson and Roesch in 1929. Fig. a Round Brilliant cut that does not have the proper proportions and symmetry (off-make) will have noticeably less brilliance. and the pavillion will have 25 facets. 64. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. 80. or 96 facets which are not counted in the total number of facets (58). 2 The proportion and symmetry of the cuts as well as the quality of the polish are factors in determining the overall quality of the cut. pavilion and crown angle) and did not provide a subjective ranking of how good the cut was. the "Cut" quality of the "4 Cs" was the most difficult part for a consumer to understand when selecting a good diamond because a GIA or AGS certificate did not show the important measurements influencing cut (i. Only a trained eye could see the quality of a good cut. All of that has changed with the AGS Cut Grading system and GIA's new "Cut Grading System".Good Cut Fair Cut Poor Cut Cut Proportions In the past. Fig. when one incorrect facet angle can throw off the symmetry of the entire stone. The chart below shows several common problems to look for. Poor Diamond Faceting and Symmetry Due to the mathmatics involved in light refraction. 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. Common cutting problems can occur during the faceting process.
or a H & A Viewer gemscope (FireScope). or a Scan D. 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. The round brilliant cut is preferred when the crystal is an octahedron. The IdealScope was invented by Kazumi Okuda in the 1970's. as two stones could be cut from one crystal. the "FireScope. A well executed round brilliant cut should reflect the maximum amount light from the interior pavilion facets. Asymmetrical raw crystals such as macles are usually cut in a "Fancy" style. In order for a diamond to receive a "Triple-0" grading. the quality of the cutter's execution of that shape is of primary importance. Symetry. The "Ideal" designation is an AGS term that is not found on an GIA report. GIA vs AGS Cut Grading GIA's new cut-grading system is based on averages that are rounded-up to predict 'light performance. However." was invented by Ken Shigetomi and Kazumi Okuda in 1984. 4 Perfectly formed Hearts and Arrows patterns with eight hearts AND eight arrows (above. all three categories of cut (Polish. The first official H & A "EightStar" diamond was cut in 1985 by Kioyishi Higuchi for Japanese businessman and FireScope manufacturer. making the diamond appear white when viewed from the top. Takanori Tamura. 5) are listed below. A cut with inferior proportions will produce a stone that appears dark at the center (due to light leaking out of the pavilion) and in some extreme cases the ring settings may show through the top of the diamond as shadows. The shape of the diamond cut is heavily dependent upon the original shape of the rough stone. Fancy Diamond Cuts The shape of the cut is a matter of personal taste and preference. N. which gives out much more fire than a real diamond.' while AGS uses a more exacting combination of proportional facet ratios along with raytracing metrics to calculate light return.For a Modern Round Brilliant cut (Tolkowsky Brilliant). Eppler Cut (European Standard). left) are only found in diamonds that meet the American Gem Society Laboratories' "0" Ideal Cut specifications. Proportion) must meet the "ideal" criteria. Cut (Scandinavian Standard) will display a "Hearts and Arrows" pattern when observed through a IdealScope (arrows only). and its later incarnation. there is a balance between "brilliance" and "fire". AGS Triple-0 Certification The American Gem Society (AGS) is the industry leader in laboratory testing of round gems for cut grade and quality. Fig. Several basic diamond shapes (Fig. The GIA will give a symmetry demerit for what it calls "non-standard brillianteering" which some manufacturers use to 'improve' on the standardized Tolkowsky-type cuts. Emerald . A diamond cut for too much fire will look like cubic zirconia. out through the table.
" . When a single piece of jewelry has multiple stones.C. "Princess" (square outline). CARAT Balancing Cut and Weight A diamond or gemstone's "Carat" designation is a measurement of both the size and weight of the stone.2 grams (200 milligrams or 3. The 4 C's of Diamonds: Carat (Weight) The 4 C's Diamond Grading System 1. and the Pear. Clarity 4. the total mass of all diamonds or gemstones is referred to as "Total Carat Weight" or "T. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. and a 2 carat diamond is 200 points. The "fancy cuts" are generally not held to the same strict standards as Round Brilliants. Therefor. "Marquise" or "Navette" (little boat). A carat can also be divided into "points" with one carat being equal to 100 points. Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics. Color Carat weight is one of the 4 C's. 5 Popular fancy cuts include the "Baguette" (bread loaf).Heart Marquise Oval Pear Princess Radiant Round Trillion (not shown at diagram) Fig. a 3/4 carat diamond is 75 points." "Briolette" (a form of Rose cut). One "Carat" is a unit of mass that is equal to 0. Cut 2. As a consumer.W.086 grains) or 0.007 ounce. and with each point being 2 milligrams in weight. a 1/2 carat diamond would be 50 points. your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the "4 C's" diamond grading system. "Heart. Carat 3.
The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration. In ancient times. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing.10 carat diamond for its better cut. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut. clarity and weight. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place.750 30. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions.600 6. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a .5º crown. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above.195 and . By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry. It is for this reason that an even 1. Price Per Carat (2005) .600 8. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor. 40º pavilion.5 carat 2.5 carat 1.600 12.500 15.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone. girdle and pavilion. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity .Grade: F Colorless . or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of . and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight.5 carats must have an actual weight of between . A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond. a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat.0 carat 1.495 carats and . See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison.504 carats. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations.800 6. or to buy a 1.0 carat 3. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown.VS1 Carat Size</ 0. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales. or "seed of the carob".204 carat. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York.99 carat diamond for its better price. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1." If the carat weight is shown as ". the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place. it must be accurate to the second decimal place. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat. Occasionally.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between .
point size and the location of inclusions.The Four C's Diamond Grading System 1. light or pale inclusions may show greater relief. thus minimizing any negative impact of the inclusion."Small" or "Slight" Inclusions or "Imperfections" may be "eye clean" SI-2 . . little or no brilliance I1 to I3 . Inclusions that are near to. In fancy-colored diamonds. making them more apparent. In "colorless" diamonds."Very Very Small" inclusions. The term "Clarity" refers to the presence or absence of tiny imperfections (inclusions) within the stone. fractures. Carat 3. Color Clarity is one of the Four C's. therefore reducing its value significantly."Small" or "Slight" Inclusions or "Imperfections" visible to naked eye SI-3 . representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. it is important to learn and understand the clarity designations found within the "Four C's" diamond grading system.not naked eye VS-2 ."Flawless" no inclusions at 10 x magnification IF . CLARITY All of the grades of diamond clarity shown in the table below."Very Very Small" inclusions hard to see at 10 x magnification VVS-2 . Clarity 4. and/or on the surface of the stone. 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."Internally Flawless" no inclusions at 10 x mag. On the other hand."Very Small" inclusions visible at 10 x mag. Diamond Clarity Designations FL . it may be possible to hide certain inclusions behind the setting of the diamond (depending on where the inclusion is located). VVS1 better than VVS2 VS-1 . may weaken the diamond structurally.small blemishes VVS-1 .Inclusions large and obvious. Considerations in grading the clarity of a diamond include the type of stone."Very Small" inclusions VS1 is better grade than VS2 SI-1 . .Imperfect. causing a greater drop in grade. . As a consumer. or break the surface. with large Inclusions. and flaws GIA Clarity Grading System The chart below explains the GIA grading system for inclusions and imperfections. darker inclusions will tend to create the most significant drop in clarity grade. Cut 2.
According to Fred Cuellar in his book How to Buy a Diamond. Pinpoints .Dislodged pinpoint inclusions at the surface. If a jeweler sells a diamond that has an actual grade of VS-1.An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing. Such diamonds are sometimes called "fracture filled diamonds". Diamond Fracture Filling Diamond clarity is sometimes enhanced by filling fractures. The drilling process leave tiny telltale shafts or tunnels that are visible under magnification.Cleavage planes or internal fractures that have the appearance of feathers. Pique . or feathers along the outer edge of girdle. Clouds .Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet.Tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts). Surface Graining . Reputable companies often provide for repeat treatments if heat causes damage to the filling. The final clarity grade will be the grade that is assigned after treatment.Minute crystals within the diamond that appear white.A natural indentation that was not removed by polishing.Concentrated area of crystal growth that appear light or dark.Cloudy grouping of tiny pinpoints that may not resolve at 10X Magnification. and reputable filling companies will use filling agents which show an orange or pink flash of color.Inclusions resulting from crystal twining during growth.A percussion mark caused by impact. Cavities . vendors should disclose this enhancement. Grain Center . appearing as a raised area. The GIA will not grade fracture-filled diamonds. haze. Internal Diamond Inclusions Carbon . followed by acid washing to remove the coloring agent. The heat generated by a blowtorch used to work on settings can cause damage. a diamond must be within one clarity grade of its advertised amount at the time of sale. Laser Drilling Laser drilling involves using a laser to burn a tunnel or hole to a carbon inclusion." . Chips . so they can use greater care while working on the piece.Fine cracks.An inclusion that penetrates the surface. much like repairing a crack in your car's windshield. Indented Naturals .Diamond Clarity Grade Inflation A fairly common practice in the jewelry trade is grade-inflation or "grade bumping. The treatment is considered permanent and both the GIA and AGS will issue grades for laser drilled diamonds. Pits . There is a significant price discount for fracture-filled diamonds. therefor it is essential to inform anyone working on a setting if the diamond is fracture-filled. in part because the treatment isn't permanent. chips.Irregular crystal growth causing internal distortions. fringing. "One out of every three diamonds sold in the United States is laser-drilled. Filled Fractures . Feathers .Fractures that have been artificially filled. he or she could legally sell it as a VVS-2. According to FTC guidelines. Knots ." According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides. Bruising . External Diamond Inclusions Bearded Girdles .Garnet or other Included gem stones Twinning Wisps . waviness. Internal Graining . Needles .Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation.Rutile-like needle inclusions.
the Gemological Institute of America uses a scale of "D" to "Z" in which "D" is totally colorless and "Z" is yellow. The Four Cs of Diamonds: Color The Four Cs Diamond Grading System 1. thereby making the diamond appear yellow. W. J . 1 explains the GIA grading system for clear (not fancy-colored) stones.near colorless K. the yellower the stone will appear. At present. F .very light yellow or brown S. L. "SI-3" is a grade sometimes used in the diamond industry. Z . it will be beneficial to learn and understand some of the basic parameters for diamond color grading.Surface burning from heat buildup during polishing. M . assign this grade. Y. These nitrogen impurities are evenly dispersed throughout the stone. Clarity 4. Q. P. a Sarin Diamond Color Grading report is the state-of-the-art color measuring standard. The color chart in Fig. The higher the amount of nitrogen atoms. X.Grinding Wheel Marks of scratches from contact with other diamonds. Burn Marks . 1 .Whitish haziness along the junction of facets caused by wear. absorbing some of the blue spectrum. T. R . Diamond Color Designations D. Color Color is one of the Four Cs representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. Diamonds of this low grade would be inappropriate for jewelry.light yellow or brown Fig. As a consumer.Small chips at facet junctions. Nicks .faint yellow or brown N. U. I. the most reputable well known US labs.colorless (white) G. In determining the color rating of a diamond. COLOR Most all natural diamonds contain small quantities of nitrogen atoms that displacing the carbon atoms within the crystal's lattice structure. Cut 2. H. Scratches . O. The designation of SI-3 was popularized by the EGL (European Gemological Laboratory) grading office. Carat 3.Human Caused Surface Blemishes Abrasions . Neither the GIA nor the AGS (American Gemological Society). E. V.
India. it is extremely benificial to know if your 'F' is a strong 'F. 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. and not by looking at the top of the stone. Each classification is divided into five sub-classifications (D1." or "D+. D3.Due to a diamond's high brilliance." "whiter than white." are named after the famous Golconda Diamond Mines located in the state of Hyderabad. and HRD grading scales. GIA-GEM. and D5). color grading should be determined by examining the stone through the side of the pavilion (Fig. Color grading by 'visual-observation is performed against a Master CZ Colored Grading Set. Fig. 3 example below. 2 Sarin Color Typing is a relatively new sub-classification of the D through Z gading scale. These colorless stones. D4. jewelers and gem labs can accurately provide a 'color typing' printout of a diamond's color grading that is compatible with AGS.' or a borderline 'G. as in our Fig. 2). Fig. D-Flawless . Using a Sarin Diamond Colorimeter DC3000 (aka Gran Colorimeter).The Holy Grail .' Unfortunatly. IGI. and dispersion of light (fire) when looking through the table or crown. sometimes referred to as "white diamonds. most gem labs do not currently provide color-typing data in their reports and certificates. D2. For the consumer.
diamonds with a poorer color grading (I through K). Skin Tone and Settings While some may prefer a very transparent D to F range. fluorescence could increase the value by 0% to 2% buy improving the color (or lack thereof). Ultra-violet light is a component of natural sunlight and artificial 4800k to 5000k color-proofing light. Only around 600 D-flawless roughs are cut into gems weighing between 1 and 2 carats during a given year. Diamonds: Chemistry & Structural Properties Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Structural Properties of Diamond . and strong. so this effect will be more apparent under natural daylight than under artificial incandescent light. according to the GIA. fewer than 5. murky appearance when compared to a non-fluorescing diamond.Large D-flawless diamonds (those weighing more than 2 carats) are some of the rarest minerals on earth. On the other hand.Diamond Formation . When diamonds are viewed under a UV light-source. fluorescence can negatively impact the value of the stone by 3% to 20%. For diamonds with a color grading of D through H (colorless). Fluorescence is graded as none. Diamond Fluorescence Approximatly 1/3 (35%) of all diamonds have a tendency to fluoresce when exposed to ultra-violet (UV) light. diamonds with a visible tint may be preffered. others may prefer a "warmer" color found in a G to J range to compliment their skin tone. See Color in Gemstones for more information. Even with microscopic inclusions. medium." but the diamond will have a dull. they tend to fluoresce as blue. as the blue fluorescence will cancel out some of the yellow. In some settings with various combinations of other stones. making the diamond appear "colorless. This fluorescent effect can be beneficial to a diamond that has a yellow tint.000 D-color diamonds weighing over half a carat are found each year. faint.
optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0. 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. At these depths.044. ultramafic. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2." and "unconquerable.Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time." referring to its incredible hardness. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses." is derived from the Greek adamas. Therefore. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km). in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" . or "invincible." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine. A diamond is a transparent. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms. Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness. phlogopite. igneous rock composed of garnet. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits." "untamable. olivine. and differentiates it from simple graphite. Under the continental crust. with a variety of trace minerals. Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth. diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale. Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures. The name "diamond.42. and pyroxene.52. with the principle allotrope being graphite. which resemble a champagne flute.200 degrees Celsius).200 degrees Fahrenheit (1. and a specific gravity of 3." which is also known as "adamant. a refractive index of 2. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes. ." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic.
and crystal habit of a diamond is octahedral (photo. a predictable crystal growth pattern known as its "crystal habit. and a hardness value of 231 GPa (±5) when scratched with a diamond tip. may also be as hard or harder than diamond. a currently hypothetical material. perfectly formed crystals are rare. although the reason for its combustion was not understood at the time. or carbon dioxide. is nearly as hard as diamond." when found in a crystalline form that is structurally similar to diamond." This means that diamond crystals usually "grow" in an orderly and symmetrical arrangement. The natural crystal form. above). by igniting a diamond in an oxygen atmosphere. When a gemstone has an irregular external shape or asymmetrical arrangement of its crystal facets. beta carbon nitride. does not always reflect the internal arrangement of its atoms. and therefore. Additionally. The external shape of the crystal. it is termed as "subhedral. A diamond's incredible hardness was the subject of curiosity dating back to the Roman empire. Experimentation during the late 18th century demonstrated that diamonds were made of carbon. or dodecahedral. The material "boron nitride. with the end byproduct of the combustion being carbonic-acid gas. Diamond Crystal Habit Diamonds have a characteristic crystalline structure. whether it is cubic.A Type 2-A diamond has a hardness value of 167 GPa (±6) when scratched with an ultrahard fullerite tip. octahedral. where it was shown to combust in scientific experiments." . although in nature." or "anhedral.
most scratch resistant mineral on earth. very thin girdles on brilliant cut diamonds are also prone to breakage. Although diamond is the "hardest. Additionally." which only denotes a diamond's high resistance to scratching. and "pound-force" per square-inch in US units of measurement. is a facet specifically designed to resist breakage.© AGS Labs Hexagonal (Graphite) Platelet Inclusion . The culet facet at the bottom of the pavilion. its "toughness" rating is moderate. Hematite has a hardness of only 5. the term "toughness" describes the resistance of a given material to fracture when it is stressed or impacted. Many natural blue ." If you were to place a large enough diamond on your tongue it would draw heat away. By comparrison.5. and varying growth conditions of heat.5 to 6. making it seem cold. crystal twinning. graphite can develop internally and on the diamond's surface. A material's toughness is measured in units of "joules" per cubic meter (J/m3) in the SI system. acting as a "thermal conductor." and therefore.Trace impurities.© AGS Labs Diamond Toughness Within the fields of metallurgy and materials science. a diamond's "toughness" is only fair to good. sapphire has a hardness rating of 9. Carbon Inclusion . pressure and space can also affect the final shape of a formed crystal. and therefore may be uninsurable by reputable insurance companies. Thermal Properties of Diamonds Diamond is a good conductor of heat. but its toughness rating is also excellent. due to its ability to fracture along cleavage planes. Internally formed crystallographic graphite inclusions often create intense strain on the surrounding diamond. causing stress fractures or feathers. Diamond Graphitization In extremely high temperature environments above 1700 ¡C. yet sapphire has a toughness rating of excellent. Particular cuts of diamond are more prone to breakage along cleavage planes. Unlike "hardness. with a Mohs scale rating of 10. meaning that a diamond is 4 times "harder" than sapphire.
which means unyielding. electronic circuits could be manufactured from diamonds in the future . meaning "light". Natural blue diamonds containing boron atoms. it is used in the manufacturing of semiconductors. giving off a somewhat greasy sheen. and generally implies radiance. 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. re-emitting them as lower-energy. Electromagnetic Properties of Diamond . to prevent silicon and other semiconducting materials from overheating. increasing thermal conductance.diamonds contain boron atoms which replace carbon atoms within the crystal matrix. are known as p-type semiconductors. with the exception of natural blue diamonds. inflexible.nearly five times greater than pure copper.Insulators or Semiconductors Diamond is a relatively good electrical insulator. gloss. . The word luster traces its origins back to the Latin word lux. The term adamantine describes the way light interacts with the surface of a crystal. and synthetic diamonds that are doped with boron. or brilliance. which are in fact semiconductors.com The surface luster (or "lustre") of diamond is described as adamantine. or longer-wavelength photons. Fluorescence in Diamonds Fluorescence is an optical phenomenon in which a diamond's molecules absorb high-energy photons. or having the hardness or luster of a diamond. Due to diamond's high thermal conductance. Purified synthetic diamond can have the highest thermal conductivity (2000-2500 W/m-K) of any solid material at room temperature . If an n-type semiconductor can be synthesized.
while Type II diamonds that lack boron impurities are classified as Type IIa. If the nitrogen atoms are dispersed evenly throughout the crystal. a natural diamond may contains both Type 1-A and Type 1-B material. permitting the passage and reflectance of blue light. Type II Diamond Formation Certain diamonds were formed under extremely high pressure for longer time periods. they can give the stone a yellow tint. Man-made synthetic diamonds containing nitrogen are classified as Type 1-B.© AGS Labs Type IIa diamonds are very rare. classifying them as Type IIb diamonds. and thereby making the diamond appear yellow. thereby allowing the passage of short-wave ultra-violet (SWUV) light through the stone. and are classified as Type 1-B. particularly Canadian diamonds. Type II diamonds do not contain any detectable nitrogen. red. This illusion of color is caused by the varying optics effects created by spectral dispersion. and some of the finest historical gemstones such as the Cullinan and Koh-i-Noor are both Type IIa diamonds. Cloud Inclusion Under UV . and appear dark when exposed to ultra-violet light or X-rays. These rare diamonds have a lower nitrogen content. If the nitrogen atoms are grouped in clusters they do not necessarily affect the diamond's overall color. All Type 1 diamonds have nitrogen atoms as their main impurity. Type I & Type II Diamonds As many as 99% of all natural diamonds are classified as Type I. These Nitrogen impurities found in Type I diamonds are evenly dispersed throughout the gemstone. with very high thermal conductivity. making them appear 'colorless' (D). show no fluorescence. which replace some carbon atoms within the crystal lattice structure. . Natural blue Type II diamonds containing scattered boron impurities within their crystal matrix are good conductors of electricity. There are also two subcategories (a and b) within each diamond 'type' (either Type I or Type II) that are based on a stone's electrical conductivity. Some diamond varieties. Some Type IIa diamonds can be found with pink.© AGS Labs Type I UV Fluorescence . Diamond Refraction & Coloration Diamonds are "singly refractive." and refraction. or "fire. and contain nitrogen atoms as an impurity. and give off a bluish-white. greenish or yellow fluorescence when exposed to the X-ray wavelength. and they are classified as Type 1-A.417. due primarily to certain structural anomalies arising from "plastic deformation" which occurred during their formation. absorbing some of the blue spectrum." with a refractive index of 2.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. Typically. Diamond can exhibit pseudochromatic coloration giving the appearance of "color" without having any actual color in the mineral itself. or brown coloration. These Type IIa diamonds have a near-perfect crystal structure making them highly transparent and colorless.
the intensity of the color in the diamond can plays a significant role in its value. when a diamond's color is more intense than the "Z" grading. while chemically "pure" diamonds are basically transparent. Fancy Colored Diamonds: Pink. brown diamonds). green. and their color is due to trace impurities of nitrogen and/or hydrogen (yellow. In this case. and red (Hancock Diamond) are particularly valuable. fancy pink diamonds can command very high prices as they have become increasingly popular. Green & Cognac Fancy Colored Diamond Diamonds can occur in all colors of the spectrum. blue. it enters the realm of a "Fancy Color" diamond.Diamond Refraction & Light Dispersion Diamonds can also exhibit allochromatic coloration which is caused by chromophores from the nitrogen trace impurities found within crystalline structure. However. and black. pink. or yellow diamond may have a relatively low value when compared to a colorless diamond. It is this nitrogen component that produces the color of fancy yellow diamonds. All colored diamonds contain certain specific impurities and/or structural defects that cause their coloration. Blue. brown. red diamonds). blue (Hope Diamond). radiation exposure (green diamonds) or irregular growth patterns within the crystal (pink. green. boron (blue diamonds). green (Ocean Dream). Fancy Diamond Color Hues A fancy brown (or Fancy Cognac). Diamond Color & Composition Diamonds can occur in a wide variety of colors: colorless or white. red. yellow. . The value of a Fancy Color Diamond can surpass that of colorless diamonds if the intensity of the color is high and the color is rare. However. orange. certain fancy-colored diamonds such as pink (Condé). and therefor colorless. Once thought to be of little value. steel grey. Yellow. Colorless diamonds would normally be priced much higher than yellow diamonds.
having a pure magenta color with deep saturation.M Very Light .Pink (Brownish-pink) 1 is darkest PC3 to PC1 . halogen. . left).42 carats. which are generally less appreciated than other fancy colors and therefor. 1PP is the highest quality designation for Pink Diamond. Fancy Pink/Brown Diamond Color (Hue) Designations 1PP to 8PP . The rough stone weighed 287. An 1P designation would have less blue and more brownish-red.Brown diamonds.' GIA 'Fancy Yellow' Diamond Color Saturation Designations Faint .54 carat cushion cut with an estimated value in the millions of dollars. hue. One of the world's only major sources for rare pink diamonds is the Argyle Mine in Australia. South Africa in 1878. Pink Diamonds The pink color within these rare diamonds is due to irregular crystal growth patterns.Pink (Reddish-pink) 1 is darkest 1BP to 8BP .Start of 'Fancy' Fancy Fancy Dark Fancy Intense Fancy Deep Fancy Vivid .Champagne 3 is darkest C8 to C1 .S to Z Fancy Light .N to R Light . As the numbers go lower (8PP) the color is paler. Only 1% to 2% of the diamonds produced at the Argyle Mine are high-quality pink specimens. have become more commonplace as Australian colored diamonds have gained in popularity. This Chameleon-like phenomenon was first documented by the GIA in the early 1940s. and value (darkness) using nine classifications ranging from 'Faint' to 'Vivid. and most valuable Fancy Yellow diamonds in the world is the 'Tiffany Diamond.Cognac 8 is darkest Chameleon Diamonds There is a very rare olive-grayish color-changing diamond called "Chameleon Diamond" (below. lighting color temperatures (incandescent. daylight) and ambient temperature changes. bright light).Pink (Magenta-pink) 1 is darkest 1P to 8P . The GIA grades fancy diamond color by quantifying the saturation.Highest Saturation One of the largest. Pink diamonds are similar to pink sapphire in color. sold at a greater discount. yet considerably more expensive.' found in Kimberly. Fancy Yellow Diamonds (Canary Yellow) Fancy yellow diamonds owe their color the presence of nitrogen impurities which absorb the blue end of the color spectrum. which changes hue from grayish-blue or olive-green to yellowish-green or straw-yellow under different lighting conditions (darkness. and was cut into a 128. causing microscopic imperfections within the lattice structure.
and the De Young Red weighing 5. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds. or a combination of the two. Green diamonds can range from $35.com) The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste.03 carats. .51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds.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). Intense. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond. pure green hues. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green.000 to $500.000 per carat. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities.90 carats. The color change effect is temporary.000 in 1987. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13. Warren Hancock. On thing is certain. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply.' discovered during the 18th century.95carats. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness . The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems.com) Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. greyish-green. and weighed a modest 0.
This section contains a compendium of photography depicting all of the various types of diamond inclusions—both naturally occurring. F grades. or absence of tiny imperfections known as "inclusions.G. or human caused. The term "clarity" refers to the presence. .com) Enhanced Blue & Yellow Diamonds (© AfricaGems. and beautifully photographed by their Director of Gem Services.com Clarity is one of the Four C's of diamond grading. or on the surface of the cut stone. All of the microscopic inclusion photographs on this page were generously contributed by the A. Inclusions which are not visible to the naked eye (eye clean) fall into the GIA range of "IF" (Internally Flawless) to "SI2" (Small Inclusions)." These inclusions can occur within the stone. gemological testing laboratory in Las Vegas. These impurities absorb the blue end of the light spectrum.L.Reddish Brown Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. E. Inclusions which are visible to the naked eye are referred to as piquŽ. and so-called "piquŽ diamonds" fall into the GIA grading range of I1 to I3 (CIBJO grade P1 to P3). Diamond Inclusion Library: Inclusion Photos Over 100 High-Resolution Diamond Photos! All Contents: Copyright © 2010 AllAboutGemstones. Joe Vanells. representing the four main variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. Nevada. and man-made imperfections—that can be found in raw and cut diamonds. making the stone appear yellowish. most synthetic diamonds will have a slightly yellowish hue due to nitrogen impurities that are dispersed throughout the crystal lattice structure during the growth phase. and can be naturally occuring. It is for this reason that manufacturers of synthetic diamonds tend to specialize in fancy colors.com) Fancy Colored Synthetic Diamonds Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless D.S.
Black material found within internal fracture planes can also be crystallographic inclusions of graphite. PiquŽ Carbon Inclusion Photos Internal Carbon Pique Diamond Inclusion Photography Piqué are tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts) within diamonds. ferropericlase.Internal Diamond Inclusion Photos Carbon Tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts). ferropericlase. pyrrhotite and pentlandite. . Black or dark material found within a diamond's internal fracture planes can also be particles or crystallographic inclusions of graphite. pyrrhotite and pentlandite.
Microscopic Carbon Picque Inclusions Hexagonal Platelet Inclusion in Trillion Cut Diamond .
and is reproduced with their permission. which can leave their own types of unique inclusions.Carbon piqué inclusions are sometimes removed by diamond enhancements such as laser drilling. Nevada. All of the microscopic diamond carbon inclusion photography on this page was generously contributed by the AGSL gemological testing laboratory in Las Vegas. Internal cloud inclusions may not resolve as pinpoints at 10X . Cloud Inclusion Photos Diamond Internal Cloud Inclusion Photography Cloud Inclusions (Cld) within a diamond are caused by a tightly packed grouping of tiny pinpoints that resemble clouds or cloudiness. Clouds (Cld) A dense grouping of tiny pinpoints that create a cloudy zone which may not resolve as individual pinpoints at 10X Magnification.
Magnification. . These pinpoint cloud inclusions can have a dramatic effect on the clarity and brilliance of a faceted diamond as they interfere with the refraction of light within the stone.
Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.
Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.
Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.
. Feather inclusions can be accompanied by internal graining and/or twinning wisp inclusions. Common around included crystals. which cause internal stress fractures during crystal growth. Feather Inclusion Photos Internal Diamond Feather Inclusion Photography Feather inclusions (Ftr) are caused by cleavage planes or internal stress fractures that have the appearance of wispy feathers. Feather inclusions are common around included crystals such as garnet.Feathers (Ftr) Cleavage planes or internal stress fractures that have the appearance of feathers.
.Feather inclusions caused by stress fractures around included garnet crystal.
and the stress inclusion occurs along the gem's natural cleavage plane. diamonds with significant stress fractures and feather should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner as this could cause the diamond to shatter. making it susceptible to fracturing when exposed to thermal or physical shock.Pronounced stress fractures and feather inclusions can potentially weaken the stone. This is especially true if the fracture breeches the stone's surface. . As a result.
and haze within a cut diamond. waviness.Grain Center (GrCnt) A concentrated area of crystal growth that can appear light or dark. . 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.
Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .
Growth Tubes Imperfection formed during crystal growth. Growth Tube Inclusion Photos Internal Growth Tubes Inclusion Photography Internal Growth Tube inclusions are natural Imperfections that are created during diamond formation. when a tube is generated by a formerly liquid filled cavity. when a tube or tunnel is generated in the crystalizing diamond by an internal cavity that was once liquid filled. .
Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .
iron oxides. spinel. calcite. or silica. iron oxides. Included Crystals Inclusion Photos Internal Included Crystals in Diamond Included Crystal inclusions are whole crystals or tiny included gem fragments of undigested crystals such as garnet. diopside. spinel. Green chrome diopside Inclusion within a Diamond .Included Crystals (Xtl) Included and undigested gemstones or fragments of garnet. olivine. calcite. olivine. silica or other gem stone inclusions. diopside.
Garnet Inclusions within Diamond .
Garnet fragment on Diamond Girdle .
Grossularite Garnet Inclusions in Diamond .
Internal Graining (IntGr) Irregular crystal growth causing internal distortions, waviness, and/or haze. Can be accompanied by internal strain. Internal Graining Inclusion Photos
Internal Graining Diamond Inclusion Photography
Internal Graining (IntGr) inclusions are caused by irregular crystal growth which creates internal distortions, waviness, or haze. Internal Graining imperfections may be accompanied by internal strain such as feather Inclusions.
Internal Graining with Cloud Inclusion .
With internal laser-drilling inclusions. . Internal Laser Drilling Inclusion Photos Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) Inclusion Photography Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) inclusions are man-made internal flaws that resulted from laser-drilling that was done to remove large piquŽ carbon inclusions in a rough stone. and where pathway does not breach the cut diamond's surface. the drilled passage may not breach the cut diamond's surface.Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) Internal pathway caused by laser-drilling to remove large inclusions.
.Needles (Ndl) Rutile-like needle-shaped inclusions. Needle Inclusion Photos Needle Inclusion Photography Internal Needles (Ndl) or needle inclusions are naturally occurring rutile-like needle shaped inclusions within the diamond.
Large groupings of small pinpoints can create a cloud inclusion effect. or Pinpoint Inclusions are minute included crystals within the diamond that appear white under magnification.Pinpoints (Pp) Minute crystals within the diamond that appear white. Pinpoint Inclusion Photos Pinpoints (Pp) Inclusion Photography Internal Pinpoints (Pp). . Large groupings of small pinpoints can create a cloud effect.
Twinning Wisps Inclusions and defects resulting from crystal-twining during crystal growth. Can be accompanied by graining and strain. Twinning Wisp inclusions can be accompanied by internal graining and/or strain feathers. resulting from crystal twining during the growth process. Twinning Wisp Inclusion Photos Twinning Wisps Inclusion Photography Twinning Wisp inclusions are naturally-occurring structural defects with a diamond. .
. showing the strange and beautiful world of microscopic diamond inclusions.Odds & Ends: Microscopic Diamond Inclusion Beauty Photos Microscopic Diamond Inclusion Photography This is an assortment of spectacular diamond-inclusion photography taken by Joe Vanells.
Natural Comet Inclusion .
Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud .
Tabular Reflection in Diamond .
Included Garnet Twins within Diamond .
Included Dalmatian Garnet .
Cloud Inclusion .
Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers .
Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light .
Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion .
Knot diamond inclusions can potentially be the cause of man-made drag-line inclusions. . Knot Inclusion Photos Photography of Diamond Inclusion Knots Knot inclusions are naturally occurring external inclusions or imperfections that penetrate the surface (convex).Natural External Diamond Inclusions or Blemishes Knots An inclusion that penetrates the surface. appearing as a raised area on the diamond's surface. appearing as a raised area.
Indented Natural (IndN) A naturally occurring indentation in the crystal that was not removed during cutting or polishing. . and were not fully removed during the stone's cutting or polishing process. Indented Natural Inclusion Photos Indented Natural (IndN) Diamond Inclusion Photography Indented Natural (IndN) inclusions (indented naturals) are external imperfections that are caused by naturally-occurring recessed (concave) indentations that penetrate the surface of a rough diamond.
Lizard Skin A bumpy or wavy 'orange-peel' textured pattern on the polished surface of a diamond. Lizard Skin Inclusion Photos Lizard Skin Diamond Surface Blemish Photography A "lizard skin" surface blemish is a man-made external diamond imperfection that is created during polishing. 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 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.Natural (N) A raised portion of the rough diamond's original surface structure that remains visible on the surface of a polished stone.
Pits Dislodged pinpoint inclusions at the surface. . Surface Graining Inclusion Photos Diamond Surface Graining (SGr) Photography Surface Graining (SGr) is a natural imperfection or inclusion that creates visible surface lines which are caused by irregular crystallization during diamond formation. Surface Graining (SGr) Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation.
creating a whitish fuzzy edge as opposed to a sharp edge. .Human Caused Surface Blemishes Abrasion (Abr) A tightly grouped series of nicks along the sharp edge of facet junctions. Bearded Girdle (BG) Fine cracks. Bruising (Br) A percussion mark or hole caused by impact and surrounded by tiny feathers. or feathers along the outer edge of girdle. fringing. chips.
Burn Marks Created during polishing. or caught by a included crystal. . during cutting and/or polishing the diamond. Drag Line Photos Diamond Surface Drag Lines Photography Drag Lines are human-caused surface imperfections and blemishes that are created when a loose rough particle is dragged along the surface. Chips Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet. the overheating of a facet causes a burn mark. Cavities (Cv) An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing. 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.
This microscopic photograph shows the telltale orange or pink flash of a filled fracture enhancement within a cut diamond. .Extra Facet (EF) An asymmetrical and irregularly placed facet that is not part of the original faceting scheme. and remove cloudiness. Filled Fracture Photos Internal Fracture Filling Inclusion Photography Fracture-filling Inclusions are man-made diamond enhancements that are the result of natural cleavage-plane stress fractures or feathers which have been artificially filled with molten glass to enhance clarity. Filled Fractures Fractures or feathers that have been artificially filled to enhance clarity.
Laser Etching Photos Diamond Laser Etching Inscription Photography Laser etching inclusions are surface blemishes and imperfections that are created when careless or inadvertent markings or inscriptions are made while laser etching. . or inscribing the external surface of a cut diamond. and inscriptions.Laser Etching or Markings Careless or inadvertent laser etchings. marking. markings.
" 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. Polish Marks (PM) Also known as "Wheel Marks. Diamond Enhancements: Laser Drilling & Fracture Filling . Scratch (S) A fine whitish line that can be curved or straight.
© 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. Minor diamond inclusions or surface imperfections which are not visible to the naked eye ("VVS1" to "SI2") can be disguised. . but not necessarily increase its value. These techniques do not eliminate the imperfection. or removed by employing several invasive techniques from fracture filling to laser drilling. or treatments to give a fancy color to a off-white diamond. which are designed to improve the visual or gemological characteristics of the stone." Reputable filling companies will always use filling agents which show an orange or pink flash of color when viewed under a microscope with certain controlled lighting conditions. much like you would repair a crack in a car's windshield glass. Unfilled Fractures around Garnet Inclusion . altered. in accordance with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines for the gem trade. Such diamonds are sometimes then branded as "fracture filled diamonds.Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Enhanced Diamonds Diamond "enhancements" are specific treatments performed on cut. but instead attempt to hide their visual effect. Diamond Fracture Filling Diamond clarity is sometimes improved and enhanced by filling tiny fractures or feathers with molten glass. There are also heating treatments to improve a white diamond's color grade.© AGS Lab Telltale Signs of Fracture Filling . polished natural diamonds. A trained gemologist should be able to identify most traditional "enhancements" made to a particular stone.
The final clarity grade will be the grade that is assigned after treatment. followed by acid washing to remove the coloring agent. "One out of every three diamonds sold in the United States is laser-drilled.© AfricaGems.© AGS Lab The laser-drilling treatment is considered permanent. Due to its low melting-point. Reputable filling companies will often provide repeat treatments if heat causes damage to the filling. Natural Fancy Diamonds .com Radiation treatments are completely safe. and both the GIA and AGS will issue grades for laser drilled diamonds. These enhancements are achieved using low levels of radiation (irradiation). "vivid" blue and yellow colors result. It is therefor essential to inform anyone working on a setting where the diamond has been fracture-filled. Diamonds treated with HTHP have their molecular altered so that intense.© AGS Lab Laser Drilling Tubes . According to Fred Cuellar in his book How to Buy a Diamond. in part because the treatment isn't permanent. and the diamonds are tested to ensure that no trace levels of radiation remain. so that the jeweler can use greater care while working on the piece. and the GIA will not even grade a fracture-filled diamond. Signs of Laser Drilling . 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.© AfricaGems.com Color Enhanced Diamonds .There should always be a significant price discount for any diamond that has been fracture-filled." Diamond Color Treatment Color enhancement of diamonds in done to increase the color intensity of so-called "fancy" colored diamonds. referred to as the HTHP process. or subjecting the diamond to intense pressure and temperature. . the heat generated by a blowtorch used to work on settings can cause damage to the filling material. The drilling process leave tiny telltale shafts or tunnels that are visible under high magnification (see photos below).
Once the desired temperature had been achieved.© AGS Labs Synthetic Yellow Chatham Diamond .© AGS Labs Today. and has been steadily improved upon throughout the last 50 years.Synthetic Diamonds & Man-Made Diamond Simulants Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite The First Synthetic Diamonds Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. they are increasingly used in fine jewelry as their quality increases.com The process of creating man-made diamonds (aka cultured diamonds. lab diamonds) was first conceived by French chemist Henri Moissan in 1892. the intense heat would render the crucible and its carbon contents into a molten liquid mass. or carbon to an extremely high temperature (4000º C) in a cast iron crucible. known as the HTHP (high-temperature. Although synthetic diamonds were originally conceived as a substitute for natural industrial-grade diamonds. yet they have the identical carbon-based chemical properties of natural diamond. by H. and the Chemical Vapor Deposition or "CVD" method. This abrupt cooling caused the rapid shrinkage of the molten iron crucible. high-pressure) "belt press" process was used for synthesizing industrial-grade diamonds. . The process. Using an electric furnace constructed with blocks of lime. Synthetic Diamond under Fluorescent . tiny fragments of synthetic diamond were created by heating charcoal. the crucible and its contents were rapidly cooled by immersing them into cold water. which created enough pressure to crystallize the molten carbon into tiny diamond fragments. The first practical commercial application of Moissan's process was developed in 1954. These man-made synthetic diamonds are a laboratory-grown simulation of the natural gemstone. With Moissan's process. there are two main processes for creating lab diamonds: the High-Temperature High-Pressure or "HTHP" method.Tracy Hall for the General Electric Company.
refractive index. or "simulate" the appearance of natural diamonds. but are not a carbonbased compound having a natural diamond's crystalline structure. Diamondite. Diamonite.1970) Diagem. Diamond Simulants Diamond "simulants. most of these lesser simulants fell by the wayside. Titangem Synthetic Sapphire (1900-1947) Diamondette. Lustergem. A cultured synthetic diamond will have the identical cleavage. the diamond's entire growth process takes several days to complete. Magalux. making the stone appear yellowish. Diamonaire. or "deposited" onto the substrate in successive layers. Diamonte. The vaporized carbon gases are energized using microwave energy. also known as "GE POL. light dispersion. or X-ray spectroscopy. hardness. specific gravity. Synthetic diamonds can be detected using infrared. and uses a lowerpressure growth environment than the earlier HTHP method. produced using the Verneuil (flame-fusion) Process. Diamond Essence. Fabulite Synthetic Rutile (1946-1955) Diamothyst. Rainbow Diamond. Radient Yttrium Aluminum Garnet (YAG) (1970-1975) Diamone. most synthetic diamonds will have a slightly yellowish hue due to nitrogen impurities that are dispersed through out the crystal lattice structure during the growth phase. Synthetic Diamond Color & Optics Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless form. Synthetic Diamond Manufacturers Apollo Diamonds . Common diamond simulants include: Cubic Zirconia (CZ) (1976-) Czarite. the HTHP diamond's growth process can take 7 to 10 days to complete. Geminaire In the early 1900's. Rutania. synthetic diamonds may contain small inclusions. With CVD. These impurities absorb the blue end of the light spectrum.' or six-anvil 'cubic press' to create the necessary pressure." also known as "simulated diamonds" or "fake diamonds" are man-made gemstones that look like. and a combination of heat and pressure are applied while a vaporized carbon-plasma that is combined with hydrogen is applied. ultraviolet. A diamond seed is placed into a growth camber. which attracts the gas to the substrate. 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. ranging in clarity from IF to SI or I.High-Temperature High-Pressure (HTHP) The "High-Temperature High-Pressure" (HTHP) technique. and Moissanite in 1998. Phianite Gadolinium Gallium Garnet (GGG) (1972-1975) Strontium Titanate (ST) (1955 . Unlike their natural diamond counterparts. With the advent of Cubic Zirconia in the mid 1970's. and surface luster as its natural diamond counterpart. Thrilliant Synthetic Spinel (1920-1947) Corundolite. Using Chemical Vapor Deposition. making them difficult to differentiate from natural diamonds. Jourado Diamond. Synthetic diamonds can also be treated with the HTHP process to alter the optical properties of the stones. colorless synthetic sapphire (aka Diamondite) was a popular diamond simulant. or by measuring UV fluorescence with a DiamondView tester. a seed or substrate material is placed into the growth camber. Java Gem. Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) The "Chemical Vapor Deposition" (CVD) method was developed during the 1980s. In the late 1940's Diamondite gave way to Synthetic Rutile which was popular until the advent of YAG in the early 1970's. Like natural diamond." uses a four-anvil 'tetrahedral press.
. carbonate fluid solution that is similar to diamond-bearing metamorphic rock. Gemesis only grows fancy-colored diamonds.com Tairus Created Gems Tairus Created Gems is a Russian company that grows fancy-colored diamonds in their proprietary "Split Sphere" system.25 carats is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. Florida. using a proprietary variation of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) technique. each Gemesis cut stone over .com To the average consumer. princess. Cubic Zirconia (Zirconium Oxide ZrO2) has a completely different chemical structure. and stones are cut to order. and rose cuts. www. of Bangkok Thailand.500 to $9. which they claim is the closest thing to mother nature. While a synthetic diamond is a man-made recreation of an actual carbon-based diamond. and some fancy colored diamonds.500 per carat (2004 est. www. Chatham's pricing ranges from $6. while diamond has a hardness of 10. in Boston. and CZ has a hardness of only 8.Apollo Diamond. Ltd. and like Chatham. The Split Sphere system crystalizes the carbon seed in an alkaline.25 carats to 1 carat. Apollo Diamonds are cut and polished in sizes ranging from .com Gemesis Cultured Diamonds Gemesis is located in Sarasota. The toughness of Cubic Zirconia is rated as good.gemesis. Apollo Diamond's cut stones are available in round brilliant.com Chatham Created Diamonds Chatham Gems is a San Francisco based company that grows only fancy-colored diamonds in colors ranging from champagne and canary yellow to pink and midnight blue.chatham.3 on the Mohs scale. with clarity grades from IF to SI. Tairus Created Gems are sold exclusively through Tairus Thailand Co. inc.). Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite Cubic Zirconia Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.apollodiamond.30 carats to 3 carats. Massachusetts grows colorless (D to M) diamonds. www. Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is the most familiar type of diamond simulant on the market. Tairus produces rough sizes from . and each stone is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. To insure easy identification as a man-made product. and each cut stone is laser inscribed with the Apollo company logo and serial number. emerald. .
Diamond's RI is 2. a CZ is optically flawless. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease.800 . CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of 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. the greater dispersive power. etc. Unlike most natural diamonds.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator. and CZs can be made in any "color grade.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. The 1. CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing. For instance. but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible.80 to 2.In 1973. Natural diamonds attract grease. Zirconium oxide powder is heated. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR). . Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond. candle. or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond. or colorless (white) versions. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left). When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting.2. The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit. 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. 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.) in a totally dark room. Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below). Due to their low cost and consistency.17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2. natural diamond is a thermal conductor Weight: Cubic Zirconia is heavier than diamond in a given size Another method for distinguishing Cubic Zirconia from diamond is to mark the stone with a grease pencil or felt-tipped pen.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light.41 (RI).170. CZ vs Diamond .
670. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight. and diamond at 0. Moissanite. Moissanite has a hardness of 9. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. . The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent.060.104 as compared to CZ at 0. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2.) in a dark room. Henri Moissan (above. when examining the gem through the kite facets.69. center) near Winslow. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ.25 on the Mohs scale. found only in iron-nickel meteorites. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. Arizona.044. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material.A small. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond. while diamond has a hardness of 10. left) who won the Nobel Prize in 1906 for his discovery of a new mineral (moissanite6H) found within meteorite fragments of the ancient Barringer meteor crater (above. is classified as an element rather than a compound. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr.65 to 2. Moissanite has an RI of 2. candle. etc.417. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. 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.com Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum).
Like wood. The Modern Round Brilliant cut (below) is the culmination of several hundred years of experimentation and development. but significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its high RI. rather than against it. detailed and sharply focused pattern caused by secondary reflections will be seen when observing a diamond. caused by primary reflections from the pavilion and CZ's low RI. Table Cut diamonds appeared black to the eye.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. which was called the "Point Cut. most diamonds have some inclusions Moissanite vs Diamond .417 Moissanite is double refractive (anisotropic) while a natural diamond is singly refractive (isotropic).Detectable With Testing Double Refraction: Moissanite is double refractive. although it can be easily cleaved or fractured due to its defined cleavage planes." As further refinement progressed. Diamonds: Modern Diamond Cutting Diamond Cutting Background One of the hardest substances on earth. diamonds were valued primarily for their luster and hardness. The first improvements on nature's design involved a polishing of the crystal faces. Cutting a Rough Diamond .670. creating the "Table Cut. Diamond cutting can be traced back to the late Middle Ages." At the time. Prior to this time. diamonds were used in their natural octahedral state. Diamond's RI is 2. You can also Inspect the facet edges with a 10x loupe to look for any chipping or slightly rounded or soft (not sharp) edges that are telltale signs of Simulants. A similarly sharp. Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be more diffused.A small. only a diamond is hard enough to cut other diamonds. due to its high refractive index. diamond has a "grain. diamond is singly refractive Refractive Index: Moissanite has a refractive index of 2. Moissanite vs Diamond ." and the rough stone must be cut with the grain. one half of the crystal would be cut off.
Each step is critical to the final outcome. Due to its atomic structure. a second diamond mounted on a dop is pressed against it. Asymmetrical crystals such as macles are used primarily for fancy cuts. During this faceting stage the angles of each facet must be cut to an exacting standard in order to yield maximum brilliancy. Bruting: The rough is placed in a chuck on a lathe.Cutting a raw diamond into a faceted and polished gem-quality stone is a multi-step process. or shatter the stone. Sawing: A stone-cutting saw is a thin disk made of phosphor bronze. on a scaife. The natural shape of the rough stone will also be a major factor in deciding how to cut the stone. This step is also referred to as "rounding. Cleavage is the tendency of crystalline materials to split along defined cleavage plane. While the rough stone rotates on the diamond lathe. As the saw blade rotates it continues to pickup or "recharge" itself with diamond dust which is the cutting agent." Faceting: To facet a round brilliant. rounding the rough diamond into a conical shape. Cleaving: Cleaving refers to splitting a stone along its grain by striking it. or lap that has been "charged" with diamond dust. and maintain symmetry. High-tech computerized helium and oxygen analyzers are now used to evaluate a stone prior to cutting. Cubic shapes are ideal for a square Princess or Radiant cut. 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. and bypass any inclusions or imperfections. a diamond can be cleaved in four directions parallel to each of the four octahedron crystal faces. the "blocker" or "lapper" will cut the first 18 main facets. The cutting (also called "placing") and polishing of each facet is accomplished by attaching the stone to a dop stick with cement. eliminate waste. Diamonds: Ideal Cut . A rough stone is cleaved if there are conspicuous defects and/or inclusions which would prevent it from being made into a single gemstone. It can take several hours for the saw blade to cut through a 1k rough diamond. The steps are: Marking Cleaving Sawing Bruting (Girdling) Faceting Marking: A rough stone is marked prior to cleaving or sawing to determine the direction of the grain and cleavage. then pressing it against a revolving cast iron disk. Cleaving is a critical step as a mistake by the "cleaver" could fracture.Modern Round Brilliant Diamond .
The clarity of the stone. If. Reconciling Cut & Weight Retention If the rough stone has a colorless D through F rating and has very few inclusions.Ideal Cut vs Standard Cut Diamond Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. it would be cost effective to sacrifice some carat weight in order to finish with two "Ideal" cuts. the rough stone has some coloration and/or is heavily included. on the other hand. cut proportions. An octehedral rough diamond will yield two round brilliant cut stones (see diagram below).com When deciding how to cut a rough diamond. This is accomplished by reconciling three key factors . The objective is always to maximize carat weight. compromises would have to be made. a cutter must make a cost-benefit analysis as to how to maximize the cut stone's value.weight retention. 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 . but in order to do this. elimination of any inclusions. and the amount of internal inclusions will play an important part in the decisions as to how to maximize yield. it may be better to aim for a higher carat weight utilizing a "Standard" cut.
" Even with modern techniques. 16 "upper girdle" facets. This is why it is very rare to see flawless stones cut into fancy cuts such as emeralds. 8 "pavilion" facets. as two stones could be cut from one crystal. An "Ideal Cut". hearts. and one "table" facet on the top of the stone for a total of 58 facets. In the diagram of a "Round Cut" diamond (above and below). the cutting and polishing of a diamonds resulted in a loss of as much as 50% of the stone's total weight. and 2.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. This cut is also known as the "Tolkowsky Cut" and "Tolkowsky Brilliant. 8 "kite" facets. it is the most efficient cut for maximizing yield. it is the best cut for showcasing a high-quality stone's fire and brilliance. The Modern Round Brilliant Cut The modern "Round Brilliant Cut" (below) was developed by Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. etc. 1 "culet" facet on the bottom. The round brilliant cut is beneficial when the crystal is an octahedron. The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem. you will see that there are 8 "star" 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: . 16 "lower girdle" facets. This is primarily due to the fact that this cut has yet to be improved on for two reasons: 1.
Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope. Eppler & Scan D. . or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed. facet ratios. crown height of 14. crown height of 14. and overall height of 57.N. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35.6% and overall height of 57.4%. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. The "Scan D. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design. Symmetry. invented in 1929.5%. Since then. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). very small to small In the 1970s. As with all human endeavors.' 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. more brilliance and fire. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant". Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut. and Proportions.. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57.5% to 43. Ideal Scope. H&A Viewer. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. To quantify a diamond's cut quality. etc. and crown/pavilion angles. A perfect blending of facet symmetry.7%. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect.7%.N.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. Tolkowsky." (Scandinavian standard.
Some have gone on to become household names such as the Asscher cut.nl Barion Cut . and entrepreneurs .the consumer. less facets. but at the end of the day it may simply come down to consumer preference and/or marketing.like Einstein's theory of relativity. it is put in front of the ultimate arbiter of quality . and it still survives in some form today. Asscher Cut The Asscher Cut was developed by Abraham and Joseph Asscher of the Royal Asscher Diamond Company of Amsterdam in 1902. cut corners and a small table. Here is a collection of just a few of the many "signature" diamond cuts that have been produced over the last 100 years.) and when suitably scrutinized by the gem trade. with the two largest stones. cut proportions. Every conceivable cutting theory is tried. Popular in Art Deco jewelry of the period. or the widely marketed Leo cut which is a modified round-brilliant sold by Leo Schachter Diamonds. One thing is for sure . The cut has a deep pavilion and a high crown. and their modest brilliance and light return. the Cullinan 1 and Cullinan 2 being set into the crown and sceptre of the British Crown Jewels. Tolkowsky came up with a "brilliant" idea almost 90 years ago. www.each trying to improve on the tried-and-true Old European cuts. The Asscher brothers cut the famous 3. scientists. mathematicians. 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. the Asscher diamond cut has a squarish octagonal shape with a step cut. and number of facets. and the culet is square.asscher.106 carat Cullinan Diamond into eleven gem stones. etc. but some like the Barion Cut have disappeared into obscurity.Producers split hairs over cut angle. (more facets.
nephew to the inventor of the Modern Round Brilliant cut. The Context Cut consists of two back-to-back pyramids (an octahedron). merged with the jewelry firm Asprey. www. adding up to 50% to the cost when compared to a Round Brilliant cut diamond. The name "Barion" or "Barion cut" was never trademarked.baroka. and a 'softer' briliance than a traditional round brilliant cut. Gabi Tolkowsky. A Barocut diamond has a total of 77 facets. Marce Tolkowsky. with star-shaped cross facets cut diagonally into the pavilion. The Eternal Cut is being sold exclusively at Garrard's main London store and Harvey Nichols stores in Great Britain. The Context Cut design was based on an earlier patented design by Bernd Munsteiner from the early 1960s. 81 facets on the cut corner (cushion) version. The Eternal Cut has a total of 81 facets. of New York in 2000. The Context Cut is used to cut colored gemstones by Julius Petsch of Idar-Oberstein. and was the forerunner to the princess cut. The Barocut is available in sizes from 20 points to 3 carats. Inc. The Barocut is also called a "two heart diamond" due to the illusion of two mirrored hearts meeting at the culet.freiesleben. The Context Cut follows a rough diamond crystal's natural octahedral shape. or to increase light-dispersion. Garrard & Co.com Context Cut The Context Cut is a square cut that was developed by Dr. modified rectangular (baguette) cut that was developed by Baroka Creations.The Barion square cut (aka Barion square cushion cut) was invented by Basil Watermeyer of South Africa in 1971. and its patent has expired. to become Asprey & Garrard.garrard.de Eternal Cut The Eternal Cut diamond was designed and patented by master Israeli diamond cutter. In 1998. or the company website.com . Barocut diamonds are promoted and sold exclusively through the Baroka Creations catalog. parting ways in 2002 to again become Garrard. The cutting process requires a high-quality rough. 23 more than a modern Round Brilliant cut. not including the 16 girdle facets. It is sold exclusively through the 270 year old firm of Garrard & Company in London. creating a unique 'flower petal' pattern surrounding the cutlet. Barocut stones are also sold in tapered shapes. Germany. Barocut The Barocut® diamond cut is a patented. www. www. Ulrich Freiesleben of Germany in the early 1980s then patented and trademarked in 1997. The cut has a total of 8 facets plus a girdle. forming a square shape when viewed from the top. and a total of 81 facets. The Barion square cut diamond has a 4-fold mirror-image symmetry. and in all diamond colors and/or clarity grades. and creates a high amount of waste.
that is suited to a relatively flat rough. angular shapes. who was commissioned by De Beers to create new cuts as a way of marketing unusual. the Gabrielle Cut is available in carre. www.com www. which is 47 more than a traditional 'Tolkowsky' round brilliant cut.com Flower Cut The 'Flower Cut' series was created by Gabi Tolkowsky in 1986. The Flower Cuts employ unconventional cutting angles and dimensions. The Sunflower has 43 facets in unusual. and pear shapes. is a patented symmetrical round cut created by Leo Schachter Diamonds. The Flanders Fire-Brilliant was developed by Flanders Cut International of Antwerp in 1983. off-color stones. 8 more facets than the Round Brilliant cut's 58. (aka Leo Schachter Diamond). www. oval. Marigold. Unveiled at the Las Vegas Gem Show in 2001. The Leo diamond cut has a total of 66 facets. LLC. . 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. emerald. the Gabrielle has a total of 105 facets. The Flower Cuts were never patented or trademarked by De Beers in order to increase their popularity and use. The cut is distributed by the National Diamond Syndicate (NDS) of Chicago. adding greater brilliance and fire than standard brilliant cuts.nationaldiamond.gabriellediamonds. The Flanders Brilliant has 33 crown facets and 28 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets. Other than the traditional round brilliant shape. and the cut was named after the Flanders region of Belgium (Antwerp) where the cut was first preformed in 1987.flanders-cuts. heart. The Flower Cut is actually a series of five fancy cut shapes: the Dahlia. The Fire-Rose is a hexagonal shape designed to produce higher yields.com Leo Cut The Leo® Diamond. The Marigold is an octagon shape with 73 facets. Sunflower and Zinnia cut. marquise. 48 of which are clustered around the culet to increase fire.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. Fire-Rose. The Zinnia is a round fancy shape with 73 facets. designed to maximize the brilliance and color of diamonds while increasing their yield. maximizing the amount of light returned back as scintillation.
and was patented and trademarked by Bez Ambar Jewelers of Los Angeles in 1980." The Leo Diamond is marketed through the Kay Jeweler chain.tiffany.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. eternity bands. The Lucida diamond cut is a modified square or rectangular (Marquise) cut with truncated corners.com Starburst Cut .' and each diamond comes with a "Return of Light Certificate. a highstep crown (similar to the Asscher Cut). brilliant-style faceted pavilion (similar to a Cushion Cut). Prior to the Quadrillion.diamondaires. www.radiantcut. The Quadrillion was the result of three years of optical research to create a square diamond cut that can claim a similar brilliance to a round diamond. The pavilion is similar to a Barion cut. The Lucida is sold exclusively through Tiffany's retail chain. sold in solitaire engagement/wedding bands.com Lucida Cut The Lucida (TM) Cut is a patented diamond cut that was created by Tiffany & Company in 1999. www. It was the first emerald shaped diamond cut to have brilliance and fire similar to that of a round brilliant diamond. the Radiant Cut became a fully accepted diamond shape in the jewelry business. and all Original Radiant Cut diamonds weigh at least 0. There are 25 crown facets and 36 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets (not including 8 girdle facets). patented and trademarked by Henry Grossbard of the Radiant Cut Diamond Company (RCDC) in 1977. There are a total of 49 facets.com Quadrillion Cut The Quadrillion® Cut (aka Squarillion Cut) is a modified square princess cut that was developed by Israel Itzkowitz and Betzalel Ambar in the late 1970s. small table. The Lucida diamond cut is marketed as a wedding cut. and three-stone rings. square shaped diamonds were stepcut limiting their brilliance. and the table is a bowed out rectangle. Bez Ambar Radiant Cut The Radiant Cut is a modified emerald cut shape that was developed. www. and a total of has 50 facets.The Leo diamond cut is the first to be certified for fire and brilliance as measured by a 'BrillianceScope. RCDC launched the 'Original Radiant Cut' diamond brand In 2002.
craftsmen have attempted to "improve" on nature. There are 49 crown facets and 40 pavilion facets. Trillian. Still. Starburst Cuts are mounted and sold directly through Cartier. The Trilliant has the Schoenflies point group symmetry of a round brilliant. 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.early 1300s The "point cut" (below left) is one of the first symmetrically faceted diamond cuts. The starburst faceting pattern is designed to focus color near the top of a stone. Nieman Marcus and Tiffany. Old Mine Cut Evolution of the Faceted Diamond & Colored Gem Article Copyright © 2008 AllAboutGemstones. and the Trilliant is now a generic term for a triangular brilliant cut.louisglick. and the natural octahedral symmetry of the rough stone's closed isometric form. with weight losses in the fifty percent range. . There are two variations of this cut: the Curved cut used for solitary stones. the precursor for the "design" of the first faceted diamond lay within the rough stone itself. With the realization that only a diamond could cut another diamond. of New York in 1978.The Starburst Cut was patented and trademarked by the Louis Glick Diamond Corp. The crown of the Starburst Cut is similar to that of the radiant cut. Point Cut . The Starburst cut is especially suitable for a octahedral rough. The "table cut" (below. Harry Winston. fire. but that has not always been easy as these little chunks of elemental carbon are harder that anything that could be found to cut them. this led to the invention of the first gem cutting machines (precursor to the "lap" or "Facetron") in the 1300s. The Trilliant cut gives a high brilliance. The Trilliant trademark has since lapsed. brilliance. www. for a total of 89 kite and star shaped facets. and light return from the stone. The pavilion has two differently sized sets triangular facets with a large triangular table. Trillion) is a triangular cut designed and trademarked by the Henry Meyer Diamond Company of New York in 1962. reworked into the shape of a trillion (triangle). right) was created by cutting off some of the top half of the point cut's octahedron to create a table. From this point forward it was a race to see who could design the perfect faceted cut which would bring out the maximum fire. The Trilliant Cut has a total of 31 facets. and Uncurved cut used for accent stones. The Starburst cut was created to bring out the highest amount of color to fancy yellow diamonds. Old eight.com The faceting of diamonds has come a long way in the last 700 years. Since the day that humans first discovered 'adamas' (diamonds).com Trilliant Cut The Trilliant Cut (aka Trielle. but the pavilion is completely different. and scintillation when cut to the correct proportions. Old European Gem Cuts: Point. and the career of the "diamantaire" (diamond cutter/polisher) was born. making the hue of fancy yellow diamonds more intense. The point cut design is dictated by the natural shape of an octahedral rough diamond.
The "briolette cut" is a modified "double Dutch rose cut" with one of the hemispheres being elongated." and the Full Holland cut.Single Cut ." "crowned rose cut. the "rose cut" is also known by the the "Antwerp rose.1500s Invented in the mid 16th century. The "senaille cut" is a rose cut with irregular or non-symmetrical faceting. This Old Mine cut is basically square with gently rounded corners and "brilliant" style facets.late 1300s Invented in the late 14th century. The briolette cut was designed primarily for use in a pendant or as a dangling bauble in a crown. Rose & Briolette Cut. resulting in a smaller table. Old Mine Cut ." "Dutch cut. . The culet is usually large enough to be visible when viewed through the table. Also called the "cushion cut". eight bezel or crown facets. The crown is typically tall.1700s The "old mine" cut is the earliest form of the "brilliant cut" diamond. The briolette was the precursor to the "pendeloque cut" which is a pear-shaped modification of the round brilliant cut. the "old single cut" (aka "old eight cut") diamond has the addition of corner facets to create an octagonal girdle. an octagonal table. The single cut may or may not have a culet at the bottom. 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. and eight pavilion facets.
Eight Cut & Swiss Cut The "eight cut" is primarily used for small stones when a brilliant cut would be impractical. The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem. and very tall overall depth. As with its predecessor the "point cut" over 600 years earlier. eight facets at the pavilion. .Old European Cut . and an octagon-shaped table for a total of 17 facets (18 if a culet is used).1800s The "Old European" cut was the forerunner of the modern round brilliant cut. the Modern Round Brilliant cut is beneficial when the crystal is an octahedron (diagram above). a heavy crown." Even with modern techniques. the cutting and polishing of a diamonds resulted in a loss of as much as 50% of the stone's total weight. This cut is also known as the "Tolkowsky Cut" and "Tolkowsky brilliant. The eight cut is similar to the "single cut" in that there are eight four-sided trapezoidal facets at the crown. The Modern Round Brilliant Cut . Like the modern round brilliant. The Old European diamond cut has a very small table. the old European diamond has a circular girdle.1900s The "modern round brilliant cut" (below) was developed by Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. as two stones can be cut from one crystal with a minimum amount of waste.
The rough stones are separated into 16. Rio Tinto. . or secondary mining producers in Canada and Russia to De Beers' Diamond Trading Company (DTC) in London. which combines ("aggregating") supplies of rough diamonds from multiple sources into one wholesale market (#2). Unlike precious metals such as gold. Trans Hex. silver or platinum. for sorting and resale. thereby controlling and stabilizing prices. 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). 16 isosceles triangle facets on the crown and 16 facets on the pavilion.com The trade in gem-grade rough diamonds is primarily controlled by the De Beers.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. there is usually a substantial mark-up in the retail sale price of diamonds. color and quality." The DTC is part of the DeBeers Group supply-chain known as the Central Selling Organization (CSO). then divided by human or automated sorters into individual lots called "boxes. 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. Kimberley and Windhoek.000 categories based on size." The 'Diamond Pipeline' Rough diamonds are sent directly from De Beers mining operations in Africa (#1). with a total of 33 facets (34 if a culet is used). There is a limited market for the resale of diamonds that are less than "investment grade. Gaborone.
De Beers. Once the diamonds are set into jewelry. and independent diamond producers in Canada. and Thailand. Russia and elswhere. and retailers . . Additionally. while large stones are primarily cut in Antwerp.000 USD.000. determining the quantity and quality that each site-holder will receive. which are increasing in popularity and consumer acceptance.20 carats or less) in Mumbai (Bombay) and Surat. De Beers and the Future De Beers' (CSO's) control over the wholesale diamond market has diminished due to increased market penetration. diamonds have underperformed since 1987 when compared to the "luxury goods" market or global GDP. De Beers (DTC) sets the price of each box in advance. and the breakaway from CSO's cartel by the Argyle Diamond Mine in Australia. reclaiming their "A Diamond Is Forever" moniker. Both traders and manufacturers may sell diamonds "upstream" and "downstream" through the diamond pipeline . Other major cutting centers are located in Johannesburg. Many Sightholders are also cutters. (see DeBeers' Adiamondisforever. they are sold to retailers or direct to the customer.com website). The diamonds are then re-sold from the cutting and polishing (manufacturing) centers to wholesalers (Diamond Bourses). to take advantage of market fluctuations. Rough diamonds are cut in various geographic regions according to tradition and the skill-sets of the labor force. The sightholder then transports the box of rough diamonds back to diamantaire firms (cutting and polishing factories) located around the world (#4). and New York. where De Beers sells the "boxes" to its select group ("supplier of choice") of 125 "sightholders" (#3) or diamond manufacturers. Ramat Gan. cutters. or to jewelry manufacturers (#5) around the world. has launched an aggressive branding and marketing campaign. A 'sight' can have a value of between $500.000 to $2. Tel Aviv. China. De Beers is also facing increasing pressure from the manufactures of synthetic diamonds. India cuts the vast majority of small stones (. through their Diamond Promotion Service (DPS) and Diamond Information Centres (DIC) marketing divisions. As a reaction to their decrease in market share.De Beers Sightholders The DTC holds a sale called a "site" or "sight" ten times per year in London and Johannesburg.
South Africa. 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. London. China. The Council began in July 2000 after a joint meeting of the WFDB and its international headquarters are in New York City. The largest diamond trading center in the world is located in Antwerp. and India (2007). and the city is the hub of the global diamond trading industry (diamanthandel). Asia. Schupstraat. or commodities exchange similar to the NYSE. traders and manufacturer/producers. The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base. . 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 . are sold in Antwerp every year. De Beers is hoping that the combination of branding and security will increase consumer demand. Hoveniersstraat. In addition to its members. Forevermark diamonds will be available through sightholder/retailers in the U. and about half of the polished diamonds.Forevermark Diamonds As a way of staving off the onslaught of secondary diamond markets. 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. NY . and Shanghai.500 diamond dealers (diamantbedrijven) are ensconced in small. Hong Kong. and will com with a certificate of authenticity. bond. As of 2006. the European Union and the United Nations to rid the diamond Industry of conflict diamonds. Belgium but there are also Diamond Bourses in Israel. The Council has approximately 70 members representing jewelers. heavily guarded geographic area surrounded by three main streets. also known as the "World Diamond Center" or Diamantenzentrum. and preventing the inherent product misidentification that will follow. Israel and South Africa and works with 35 independent Governments. This mark is only visible via a point-of-sale electronic viewer. The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates .S. Almost 85% of the world's rough diamonds. Moscow.. the WDC has observers from the governments of Belgium. The Diamond Trade: Diamond Bourses of Antwerp Diamond Bourses Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. and Rijfstraat. Europe. some 1. KPCS originated in May 2000 during a meeting of South African diamond producing states in Kimberley. cut and uncut diamonds. Diamond Bourses are basically trading exchanges for loose. Within Antwerp's diamond district.com The word "Bourse" refers to a private stock. the DTC has developed new inscription technologies to "invisibly" mark the table facet of polished diamonds with a "Forevermark" trademark.
Control over the diamond trade is maintained through the WFDB's Constitution containing a series of rules. In Antwerp's 'Diamond Center' (Diamantenzentrum) today. Around $16+ billion in polished diamonds pass through Antwerp's diamond bourses each year. regulations. Both bourse were founded by Hasidim diamantairs. the Antwerpsche Diamantkring was reopened. and disputes are handled by an internal arbitration process. and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) was founded in 1947. Most transactions conducted within the Bourses done with cash and a handshake. there are around 4000 diamond-cutters (diamantaire) working in the several-square-block diamond district. These first trading exchanges mainly dealt with the wholesaling of cut stones. making it the largest diamond-trading center in the world . and both are still in operation today. founded in 1893—and the Beurs voor Diamanthande (at Pelikaanstraat 78) founded in 1904 . The Diamond High Council (HRD) . 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. bisected by Hoveniersstraat street. Beurs voor Diamanthandel .Photo: Wiki Public The first trading exchange to deal exclusively with rough. friendship and trust . After the liberation. and repatriation of Antwerp following the end of WWII.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. an by-laws that govern business practices. uncut diamonds was the Antwerpsche Diamantkring (Antwerp Diamond Ring) . which was established in the same year that the 1930 World Expo was held in Antwerp. ethics and morality.
under the Treaty of Vereeniging. there was a mass exodus (the Great Trek) northward to 'Northern Cape. who were in search of the "quiet sweet life. Afrikaners who participated in the migration northward became known as the 'Trekboer' or Voortrekkers. and this eventually lead to all-out war. The Boers resisted British encroachments into their territory until the Second 'Anglo' Boer War (1899— 1902). or German Protestant backgrounds. The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates .' During the 1830s and 1840s. The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base.' and the 'Orange Free State' provinces to escape hostilities with the native 'Xhosa tribe' from which Nelson Mandela decended. with 10. They settled in the 'Cape of Good Hope' on Africa's southern most tip. The First Boer War (1880—1881) began with the Transvaal (Limpopo) Boers declaring independence from Great Britain. which at the time was administered by the 'Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie' or 'Dutch East India Company. coming for . There was not a single Boer fatality.000 Zulu warriors attacking 470 Boer settlers. Afrikaners (aka Boers or farmers) were religious refugees from the Netherlands and other parts of northern Europe during the mid 1600s to late 1700s. most with Dutch Calvinist. and fully annexed the Cape Colony in 1806 . Flemish.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.The HRD (Hoge Raad voor Diamant) Diamond High Council is a non-profit industry organization designed to promote and represent the Antwerp diamond trade. ending with the inclusion of all Boer territories into British colonies.' After the devastating Zulu defeat. and Limpopo (Venetia Diamond Mine). Diamonds and the British The Second Wave of Europeans Needing a stopping-off point on the sea-route to Australia and India. This led to a new wave of emigrants and adventurer-seekers from England." Three of South Africa's richest diamond mines are in Northern Cape (Kimberley Diamond Mine). the Zule's King Dingane agreed to a treaty allowing the Voortrekkers to settle in what would be called the Natalia Republic or Boer republics. England seized the Cape of Good Hope from the Dutch East India Company in 1797. The Voortrekkers had to contend with the native Zulu tribe over land they wished to settle on.' 'Gauteng. but 3000 Zulus were killed in what became known as the 'Battle of Blood River.' 'Limpopo. Gauteng (Premier Diamond Mine). The Diamond Trade: History & Culture of the Key Players Article Copyright © 2006 AllAboutGemstones.
and later selling steam-powered water pumps to drain the open-pit mines of Kimberley. Cecil Rhodes' De Beers empire was started on a farm owned by two Boer settlers and brothers. In exchange.' Cecil Rhodes died a single man with no children and. Domain Cecil Rhodes Cecil Rhodes (1853—1902) is the undisputed father of the modern diamond industry. The African nation of Rhodesia was named after him (now the Republic of Zimbabwe).. As founder of De Beers. Domain Barney Barnato During the same period that Cecil Rhodes was building De Beers Consolidated Mines. De Beer. Rhodes started out selling ice cream to the diamond-diggers and service workers. he was able to build a monopolistic empire through skill and cunning. 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.. a prospector. and J. Barnato died several years later. D. Photo: Pub. Photo: Pub. N. mysteriously falling overboard on a ship passage back to England. Photo: Pub. no heirs to his empire. in Northern Cape. Rhodes made several aborted attempt to gain control over Barnato's interest in Kimberley Central Mine. 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. Domain Thomas M. With the help of the Rothschild bank in London.the "mineral revolution. De Beers and Kimberley Central were the two largest mining interests in South Africa at the time. and in 1910 the 'Union of South Africa' was created. Barnato was given appointed to 'life governor' and temporary controlling interest in De Beers . A." In 1906. 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. One of the richest men in the world. a curious discovery was being made along the banks of the Orange River. Cullinan . although Rhodes did not start out with an interest in diamonds. self-government was restored. Amid all of this turmoil and chaos. As a young lad from England.
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 . 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 . 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 . 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 . 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
Monte Carlo. now called ALROSA (Almazy-Rossii-Sakha) . and has satellite locations in Wafi City. By circumventing the De Beers supply chain. The Hindustani Diamond Cutters Photo: dnavin. New York's Madison Avenue. Israel. Russia. formed by Decree 158C of the Russian Federation. Graff has been dubbed the "king of diamonds.com Gujarat's Indian Diamantaires . Tretiakovsky Proezd in Moscow. to purchasing a 51% stake in Safdico (South African Diamond Corp. and one of the most successful diamond merchants in modern history. Alrosa now sells direct to cutting factories throughout Russia. and on board the luxury residential ship The World ResidenSea. Raised by his grandparents." a compendium and history of his most famous jewels. All House of Graff stones have a laser-inscribed girdle with the 'Graff' logo and GIA number." and the "king of bling" by Forbes magazine . Lev Leviev lives in B'nei Brak. House of Graff is also located on London's Sloane Street. with his wife and their nine children. founder of the House of Graff in the heart of London's posh New Bond Street. Domain Laurence Graff Laurence Graff (1938—) is a DeBeers sightholder. Photo: Pub. Graff has co-authored (with Vanessa von Zitzewitz) "The Most Fabulous Jewels in the World. which are now owned by Lev Leviev. Graff's net worth is estimated at 2. One of his most notable acquisitions was the 603 carat "Lesotho Promise diamond. Dubai. Hotel de Paris' salon privé in Paris. Lesotho Promise is the 15th largest diamond ever found. selling to the rich and famous from Elizabeth Taylor and Donald Trump. Leviev's net-worth is estimated at $2.5 billion (#278 Forbes List). It will ultimately be cut into an estimated 20 or so 'D-flawless' stones ranging from 75 carats to 1 carat in size.5 billion dollars . Mr. Graff's strategy of "vertically integration" has been to control every angle of the diamond pipeline. which gives him access to some of the finest uncut diamonds coming out of South Africa. 2006 at the Letseng diamond mine in the tiny Kingdom of Lesotho in the center of the Republic of South Africa. Laurence Graff was born into a Jewish orthodox family in London's poorer 'East End' district. to Larry Ellison.state. from wholesale and retail. in 1992. a DeBeers sightholder in Johannesburg. and the largest rough unearthed in this century.). Lev Leviev has formed a partnership with the ex Soviet state-owned diamond firm. ALROSA produces 100% of Russia's rough diamond output and approximately 20% of the world's rough diamonds . Using this model of "local control." the Leviev Group has found willing partners in several countries including Angola's ASCORP after De Beers' exit in 2001. found on August 22.
Sanghavi Exports. Navinchandra & Co (board of directors . Domain Bharat & Vijay Shah Bharat and Vijay Shah came from a family of jewelers going back three generations. and to develop an "understanding of the world market. Jainism is an ancient Indian religious sect believing in the 'Jain' philosophy.Diamonds made their first reluctant appearance in human history over 2400 years ago. It is estimated that India cuts. and although India's famous "Diamonds of Golconda" were mined-out hundreds of years ago. a minister to the Indian king." The Indians would go on to enjoy a singular reign over the diamond-rich dominion—known as Hindustan—for another two thousand years. Gitanjali Gems is one of the largest manufacturers of diamonds and diamond jewelry in India. polishes. Venus Jewels. to elevate quality standards. is the newest addition to India's arsenal of global marketing tools to promote exports. Suresh & Co. The Sanskrit word for 'diamond' was vajra. universal truths. is the CEO of the 'Rosy Blue Group' which is currently one of the world's largest diamond companies. Several other divisions of the Rosy Blue Group. and is currently a Senior Partner and head of the UAE division. with diamond cutting factories located in Borivali. Harshad Mehta ("Diamond King of the world") is one of the founders of Rosy Blue. The brothers. By slowly developing markets. Photo: rosyblue. and Shah. the Indians would not be giving up their rightful heritage as diamantaires. (HDC). are headed and staffed by Mehta family members. The Indo Argyle Diamond Council (IADC) formed in 1994 as a consortium of Indian jewelry manufacturers and cutting houses. improve perceptions. propelling their twin companies.com Dilip Mehta Indian diamantaire. D. from Hong Kong to Israel." The Bharat Diamond Bourse in Mumbai. both college dropouts. The Indian communities' share has grown to around 60%. . and Vijaydimon are family owned operations run by Jains with the common surnames of Jhavari. they were able to gain an increasingly larger share of the wholesale diamond trade. with $1. and De Beers India. the Hindustan Diamond Company Ltd. Shree Ramkrishna Exports. and the DTC has demonstrated Gujarat's power in the diamond cutting/polishing arena by increasing India's take of its 125 sightholder contracts to nearly 50 in 2006. Much of India's diamond trade is controlled by a handful of wealthy families in Gujarat.7 billion in annual sales . based upon eternal.above). Gitanjali Gems. or "thunderbolt. and Israelis didn't want to work with . Mehta. India (born 1949). heighten awareness of ethical business practices. Of the $26 billion per year diamond revenues that flow through Antwerp. started out thirty years ago by purchasing cheaper stones that the Dutch Hasidim. 320 BC) by Kautiliya. Dilip Mehta of Mumbai. and were written about in an ancient Sanskrit manuscript called the "The Lesson of Profit" Arthasastra (c. displacing the Hasidim as the dominant force in the industry . and Surat's 'Special Economic Zone' . Chandragupta. Photo: Pub. Companies like Bhavani Gems. M. This vast fortune is shared by some 300 to 500 Gujaratis families from Palanpur on the GujaratRajasthan border . and exports several billion dollars worth of gems per year. Mumbai. Gujarat.
all who have signed multi-million dollar trade deals.Vijaydimon (Belgium) and B Vijaykumar (India) . with one of the fastest per-capita income growth rates in the world. Vijaydimon also purchases rough diamonds from Canada's Diavik Mine and Argyle (Rio Tinto) and Russia . Hong Kong. The company has cutting factories in Antwerp. many of the ex-colonial nations of Sub-Saharan Africa are starting to emerge as powerful and legitimate forces in the diamond industry. Diamonds and the African Nationals Photos: Public Domain Kabila. created a program for capacity-building of 'small and medium-sized enterprise' (SME) development. succeeded his father (Laurent-Désiré Kabila) as president the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC) after his assassination in January 2001. who was a major general in the army. Botswana has held regular elections and has been one of the more stable governments in southern Africa. Joseph Kabila (above. is receiving broad support from the South Africa. president José Eduardo dos Santos is preventing democratic elections from taking place. Thailand. only hinting at their possibility in 2007 or 2008. After winning a disicive re-election victory in 2006. Palanpur. Mandela. The last democratic election in Angola was in 1992. the political situation in Angola has begun to normalize. Bangkok. Surat. and Tel Aviv. Singapore. is making great strides in stabilizing the country after years of strife. employing 22. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. On a somewhat darker note. UAE. President Festus Mogae was elected for a second term in 2004. Diamonds and the Americans Photo: Pub. Kabila. into a global position with nearly $1 Billion a year in sales. and the end to South African apartheid in 1994. Botswana is a relatively wealthy African country. working in cooperation with the government of Sierra Leone. At the age of 29. Ayer & Son . Domain N. both domestically and internationally.000 workers. In a post-conflict reconstruction effort. left). & Mogae Starting with Botswana's independence in 1966. The president of Sierra Leone. India. and enjoys broad support. dos Santos. Vijaydimon is a DTC sightholder with offices in Belgium. Kabbah. China.W. Angola and from mining magnates. the 'United Nations Industrial Development Orginization' (UNIDO). After years of fighting between the PMLA and UNITA. and the United States. Bombay.
' staring Audrey Hepburn. located at 259 Broadway. Tiffany & Young.' The stone was set into a garish jewelry piece called "Bird on a Rock." by Jean Schlumberger in the 1960s. Lorelei receives a diamond tiara from her suitor. The Great Depression had taken a heavy toll on luxury goods during the 1930s. Jule Styne. aka "the King of Diamonds." after here charecter. gems and jewelry from the estates of the European aristocracy. and the diamond industry was particularly hard hit. Tiffany was able to purchase significant gems from such renowned estates as: the 'jewel-mad' Duke of Brunswick. for resale in America. Harry Frederick Oppenheimer enlisted the help of N. The stone was cut in Paris.' which was adapted to film in 1953. In 1948 the famous "A diamond is forever" slogan was introduced. producing the 128. and from the Spanish Crown Jewels . Photo: Pub. Ayer in 1938. The Tiffany is still selling luxury jewelry in their trademarked 'Tiffany Blue Box.W. and the subsequent overthrowing of King Louis-Philippe of France in 1848. was originally a 'fancy goods' emporium. Domain Hollywood in 1949 Coming just on the heels of the immortal "a diamond is forever" campaign. Jule Styne (born Julius Kerwin Stein) was born in London. . and sold to Nanaline Duke (now in the Doris Duke Collection). specializing in one-of-a-kind baubles for New York's newly-minted industrialists and 'robber-barons. who was known for his jewelry expertise.72 carat cushion-cut diamond (one of the "Diamonds of Golconda") was mounted by Tiffany. Prince Esterhazy of Hungary. and featuring the memorable scene in which Holly gazes longingly into Tiffany's window display. De Beers and the diamond industry got another shot in the arm. One of Tiffany's most notable diamond acquisitions was a 287. With financial shockwaves caused by the French economy's collapse in 1847. and Tiffany seized on the opportunity. Domain Charles Lewis Tiffany Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812—1902). the values of ostentatious gems and jewelry dropped precipitously.42 carat rough flawless-yellow diamond from the 'Compagnie Français de Diamant du Cap' (Kimberley mine) in 1877. Styne moved to Hollywood where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn." was the co-founder of Tiffany & Co. purchased diamonds. this time from playwriter. which started out as 'Tiffany & Young' of New York City in 1837."A diamond is forever" is the legendary saying that was created by America's first advertising agency. Charles Tiffany.W. the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine. After the French revolution in 1799. De Beers president. and a series of diamond-related slogans were introduced into the American lexicon. Ayer & Son. N. The 'Tiffany & Co.' brand was catapulted into the stratosphere by the 1961 movie 'Breakfast at Tiffany's.' During the 1800s. Sir Francis "Piggy" Beekman. A 19. The movie version featured Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend. Photo: Pub. the public's tolerance towards nobility was at a low point.' at the flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. After attending Chicago Musical College.54 carat 'The Tiffany Diamond. Styne wrote the score for the 1949 Broadway musical 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
the glamor is laid bare. we have the faceless American consumer." 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. Diamonds are tested for . appraisal report. the unsung hero in the diamond trade. In a preemptive strike against any negative publicity that the movie would generate. or "cert" may be your only assurance that you are getting exactly what you paid for. the World Diamond Council placed ten full-page ads in newspapers around the county. as writer Charles Leavitt takes us through the dark underbelly of the diamond trade. 2006 Hollywood in 2006 Blood Diamond is the latest incarnation of Hollywood's fascination with diamond." and the terrible working conditions that these workers must endure. The Consumer Last. and their willingness to purchase the concept of "foreverness. Through interviews with human-rights organizations like Doctors Without Borders and Global Witness. a diamond certificates. grading report. Were it not for intrepid consumers." there would be no "diamond trade. Leavitt weaves a tale of Sierra Leone's impoverished "diamond diggers. but not least. This time.Photo: © Warner Bros. certificate of authenticity.
' GIA's world headquarters are located in Carlsbad. Bangkok. Mumbai. Although even a lay-person may be able to tell the difference between a triple-zero diamond and a cheap. The GIA was founded by Robert M. and wether they are synthetic. California. which can be substantially different. Antwerp. IGI Certificate The International Gemological Institute (IGI) is the oldest institute of its kind in Antwerp. poorly cut SI-3 grade stone. Appraisal Reports.the basics (cut dimensions and proportions. color. Tokyo. founded in 1975.not only for resale. GIA Certificate A GIA (Gemological Institute of America) report provides detailed information about the dimensions. The IGI offers Identification Reports. Dubai and Hong Kong. . GIA reports also cover any treatments or enhancements that have been done. shape and cut of a stone. with offices around the globe. 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 . the same year that Shipley published his groundbreaking book titled 'Gemology. and is the largest independent gem certification and appraisal institute in the United States. and of corse. carat weight. there is very little (visible) difference between a FL stone and a IF or VVS-1 stone . Certificates of Authenticity. with operations in New York City. 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.other than the price. and carat weight) and they are also tested for traces of gem enhancement. tone. Toronto. but for insurance appraisal as well. Shipley in 1931. clarity. Los Angeles. wether the stone is natural or synthetic. and Attestations of Origin. and saturation of a colored stone.
Shape. HRD Antwerp Diamond Certificate The certificates department of HRD Antwerp in Antwerpen. Color. polish and symmetry) using a scale ranging from Excellent to Fair. Belgium issues quality reports for loose (unmounted) polished diamonds according to ISO 17025 international standards for gemelogical testing laboratories. color. and the graders can not know the identity of the owner. origin (colored gems). All diamonds are examined anonymously. and finish. jewellery design and gemology. as well as quantifying the standard parameters of Clarity. Cut. HRD uses the "Hearts and Arrows" measuring system which was developed by HRD Antwerp scientists. HRD's refined Cut Grading system measures each of the three parameters (proportions.The IGI lab grades diamonds as well as colored gemstones along several basic criteria which include: shape and cut. weight. HRD also offers gemelogical training and continuing education courses in diamond grading. Carat Weight. the sorting of rough diamonds. clarity. with "Triple Excellent" being the highest overall designation. mesurments. . and Fluorescence.
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. An AGS report. as well as the most comprehensive system for grading the all-important 'cut' parameters." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors. Today. Symmetry.As well as testing for synthetic diamonds. Aditionally. but rather a comprehensive quality evaluation. AGSL Certificate The AGSL was the first gem lab to grade a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. The AGS Diamond Quality Document uses a unique and proprietary 0 to 10 grading system that is simpler for the consumer to understand than the GIA's grading nomenclature. and optical physicists. 'Polish' and 'Symmetry' were merged into one category called "Finish. vs. mathematicians." is not an appraisal of monetary value.com The American Gem Society was founded in 1934 by Robert M. as opposed to GIA's vvs. 2005 can be viewed online." The AGS Cut Grading system was developed through of years of research by gemologists. Diamond Grading AGS Diamond Quality Report (DQD) AGS Gemological Laboratory Background Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). AGS grades diamond color on a numeric sliding scale that is similar to GIA's alphabetical scale. 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. having the most rigid grading standards. and to set a higher standard of business ethics and professional practices in the jewelry industry. The AGS specializes in diamond testing and evaluation. and s ratings. and does not evaluate other types of colored gemstones. The AGS Gemological Laboratories was established in 1996 to provide state-of-the-art diamond grading and appraisal services to the jewelry industry. creator of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). the HRD lab also uses state-of-the-art technology to test for subtle and hard to recognize enhancements such as HPHT. referred to as a "Diamond Quality Document" or "DQD. along with a consortium of independent jewelers. To insure the security of their documents. A diamond's clarity is also graded on a simple numeric scale from 0 to 10. HRD uses complex watermarking to prevent copying or falsifying their reports. and Proportions. AGS is considered the premier diamond-grading laboratory. Shipley. certificates issued after January 1. . The mission of the AGS is to increase consumer awareness.
The ray-tracing program measures the quantity of the light being returned to the viewer by quantifying brightness. Symmetry.Cut Grade: Finish." The AGS Cut grading system was developed through years of research by gemologists. and optical physicists. . contrast. leakage and light spread. mathematicians." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors. Each parameter is given a numeric grade from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). 'Polish' and 'Symmetry' were merged into one category called "Finish." but to retained the "Triple Zero" monicker for diamonds with a perfect score. dispersion. and Proportions. In 2004 AGS added a new category that is referred to as "Light Performance. Proportions & Light Performance The AGSL was the first gem lab to grade a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. 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.
AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003. where facets intersect with each-other. 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. all measured in three spacial dimensions.0 to 1.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero.5 to 3.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint .0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless .7. .0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light ." 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. the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless . and individual facet ratios.0 to 7. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light . 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. relative facet angles.5." or "ideal" rating.5 to 4.3.1.
2. Pricing for a diamond grading report is based on carat weight. India and Israel. Flawless Other Services Supplied by AGS The AGS will soon be entering into an alliance/partnership with one of the premier testing labs of colored gemstones. Diamonds: Gem & Diamond Mining Technology Photos: Public Domain Diamond & Gem Mining . and the peripheral damage that will be done to the surrounding environment. while a shaft is . the stability of the material that surrounds that desired gem or mineral. The principle methods of diamond extraction are: 1.com Diamonds and other precious and semi-precious gemstones are extracted from the earth using five basic mining techniques. through AGS offices in Antwerp. and can only be accessed by tunneling underground and creating underground "rooms" or "stopes" that are supported by timber pillars or standing rock." A decline is a spiral (corkscrew) tunnel which circles the ore deposit. and octagon step-cut diamonds." or a by a vertical "shaft. and will soon be offering cut evaluations for other fancy shapes.42 Carat D. As of 2005. 4. unmounted diamonds. OctoNus Software. Obtaining an AGS Report AGS is a 'trade-industry' testing laboratory that will only evaluate diamonds sent from jewelers or manufacturers. 5.Extraction Methods Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Additionally. and ore bodies that are in situ. princess. 3. which are used by non-contact measuring-device manufacturers such as Sarin Technologies. Accessing the underground ore is achieved via a horizontal passageway called a "decline. AGS will also provide analysis of a manufacturers 'cut performance' by analyzing a sample stone's Sarin file. Dubai. AGS offers laser inscription services as well. the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA). Artisanal Mining Hard Rock Mining Marine Mining Open Pit Mining Placer Mining Hard-Rock Diamond Mining The term "hard-rock mining" (top of page. left) refers to various techniques used to extract gems. so that the cutter can improve the light performance of their cut stones. and OGI Systems. These diamond extraction methods vary depending on how the minerals are deposited within the earth.Triple-0 Round Brilliant Setting 'American Star Diamond' 13. AGSL reports will also grade cut quality for emerald. AGS will only evaluate loose. minerals. The AGS supplies 'facet arrangement' templates corresponding to their cutgrading system.
Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . Marine Mining Marine mining technology only became commercially viable in the early 1990s. or large conical sieves. Open Pit Mining Open-pit diamond mining. Diamonds and most gemstones are hard. 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. they tend to concentrate in alluvial deposits in the same way that gold placers develop. gravel. center) is a method of extracting rock and minerals from the earth by removal from a machine-dug open pit or burrow. or sort material according to size. right) is used for extracting diamonds and minerals from alluvial. and have a specific gravity that is higher than that of common minerals. running adjacent to the ore. mechanized surface excavating equipment. highly resistant to weathering. right) with bare hands. with the middle size being a candidate for final sorting. Placer Mining Placer diamond mining. also known as "open-cast mining" (top of page. Laborers who work in artisanal diamond mining are called "diamond diggers" (below left). A decline is typically used for mining personnel. also known as "sand-bank mining" (top of page. Excavation is accomplished using water pressure (hydraulic mining).vertical tunnel used for ore haulage. eluvial. Horizontal mining employs the use of Seabed Crawlers (remotely controlled. shovels. Artisanal diamond mining is a form of "subsistence based" non-mechanized mining that is used in poorer countries throughout the world. Gems are separated from waste material using various sifting and sorting techniques such as cone screens. at a maximum depth of 500 feet. which concentrate the heavier gems at the bottom. or pans. .Smithsonian Museum Open pit mining is used when the surface material (overburden) covering the deposit is relatively thin and/or the desired minerals are imbedded within structurally unstable earth (cinder. While on board. rock or sedimentary soil. CAT-tracked underwater mining vehicles) move across the sea floor pumping gravel up to an offshore vessel. Open pit mines are typically used when mineral deposits are found close to the surface or along defined kimberlite pipes. and is a derivative form of open-cast mining used to extract minerals from the surface of the earth without the use of tunneling. Small "pit lakes" tend to form at the bottom of open-pit mines as a result of groundwater intrusion.Photo: USGS Alluvial Diamond . therefore. and access to the ore. and or colluvial secondary deposits. 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. or hand digging (artisanal mining). box screens. the gravels are separated and sorted into three sizes. Marine diamond mining employs both "vertical" and "horizontal" techniques to extract diamonds from offshore placer deposits. machinery. or sand) that is unsuitable for tunneling.
garnet. and diamonds approaches the earth's surface it begins to form an underground structure (pipe) that is shaped like a champagne-flute. Artisanal diamond mining accounts for 90% of Sierra Leone's diamond exports and is the country's second largest employer after subsistence farming. Many kimberlite pipes also produce alluvial diamond placer deposits. right). olivine. 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 . Kimberlite is a diamondiferous igneous-rock matrix composed of carbonate. phlogopite. yet only about 1 in every 200 kimberlite pipes contain gem-quality diamonds. left) or "yellow-ground" kimberlite and can be found worldwide. pyroxene. diamonds are carried to the surface of the earth by volcanic activity. Kimberlite pipes are the most significant source of diamonds.Artisanal diamond mining is used throughout west Africa. right). left). Kimberlites are found as "dikes" and "volcanic pipes" which underlie and are the source for rare and relatively small volcanoes or "maars" (above. and upper mantle rock. . After their formation. and Liberia. serpentine. Diamond bearing kimberlite in some parts of South Africa is black in color (above. Most kimberlite is called "blue-ground" kimberlite (above. minerals. These pipes are called "kimberlites" or "kimberlite pipes" (see diagram below). Diamonds: Diamond Geology Diamond Geology & Kimberlites Kimberlite Pipes Diamonds form at a depth greater than 93 miles (150 kilometers) beneath the earth's surface. with a variety of trace minerals. rock fragments. Kimberlite occurs in the zone of the Earth's crust in vertical structures known as kimberlite pipes (above. Kimberlite pipes can lie directly underneath shallow lakes formed in the inactive volcanic calderas or craters. the Congo (DROC). As this molten mixture of magma (molten rock). in conflict zones where mechanized mining is impractical and unsafe.North Cape" below). It is also used extensivly in Angola.
including: hydrothermal breccia. . sedimentary breccia. This results in a martini-glass shaped diamondiferous deposit as opposed to kimberlite's champagne flute shape.Photo: Public Domain Lamproite Pipes Lamproite pipes produce diamonds to a lesser extent than kimberlite pipes. igneous breccia. These dried 'lakes' receive river water during seasonal flooding which transports large amounts of sediment held in suspension. Breccia is a rock composed of angular fragments of several minerals or rocks in a matrix. usually from kimberlite deposits. impact breccia. or "cementing material. 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. resulting in a broader cone of eviscerated rock at the surface. or breccia-filled volcanic pipe that is formed by gas or volatile explosive magma which has breached the surface to form a "tuff" (consolidated volcanic ash) cone. Lamproite pipes are created in a similar manner to kimberlite pipes." 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. The world's largest known gem quality alluvial diamond deposits are located along the Namib Desert coastline of southwestern Africa.Photo: Public Domain Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . known as the Sperrgebiet or "forbidden territory. Diamondiferous material tends to concentrate in and around 'oxbow lakes. and tectonic breccia. The Argyle pipe is a diatreme. Alluvial Diamonds from Africa .Photo: NASA The alluvial terrace gravels (below. or different in composition to the fragments themselves.Open Pit Mine . except that boiling water and volatile compounds contained in the magma act corrosively on the overlying rock. left) and marine gravels of the south-western coastline of Africa represent the some of the world's largest placer diamond deposits. Alluvial (Placer) Diamond Deposits The location of alluvial (secondary or placer) diamond deposits is controlled by the surrounding topography. Alluvial diamond deposits are usually located within river terrace gravels that have been transported from their location of origin." that may be similar.
000 years ago). 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. Diamond Mines of the World: Active Diamond Mines List of Active Diamond Mines All Contents Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. The diamonds within these deposits were transported from deeply-eroded diamondiferous kimberlites or. carried from their primary origination point on the Kaapvaal Craton. in central South Africa and Botswana. from olivine lamproites formed during the Cretaceous or Permo-Triassic period. channels or other trapsites for diamondiferous deposits. Some of the largest and highest gemquality diamonds produced from alluvial placer diamond mining have come from this region.8k. Alluvial Terrace Gravels . made their way to the sea bed just offshore. Diamonds that were transported downstream.9k and 101.8 million to 10. but were not deposited on land. depressions. to a lesser extent.Photo: Wiki Diamond-Bearing 'Diamondiferous' Gravel Many of these alluvial diamond deposits occur in Pleistocene and Holocene successions (1.com . including Angola's two largest diamonds at 105. potholes.Namibia's placer diamond deposits are between 40 and 80 million years old. Westward draining river systems transported these diamonds to Africa's continental coastline for final deposition within on-shore marine terrace gravels. Diamonds in marine areas are typically trapped in bedrock depressions such as gullies.
South Kalimantan 1. mostly industrial grade. map Canada North West Territories (NWT) 1. Cempaka Diamond Mines: Alluvials mined by indigenous artisanal Kalimantan miners. Luzamba Diamond Mine: Angola's largest alluvial mine. Closed in 2006.DeBeers/Botswana. map Venetia Diamond Mine: Limpopo. 3. 2. map Koidu-Sefadu Mines: Subsistence digging in alluvium pits west of Koidu. map . map Letseng Diamond Mine: Open-cast mine in Maluti Mountains 70 km from Mokhotlong. 2. map Jwaneng Diamond Mine: (place of small stones) richest mine in world. 1. 1. map Cullinan Diamond Mine: Open Pit/Hard Rock diamond mine owned by De Beers. 75% De Beers ownership. map Borneo Cempaka/Riam Kanan. Odebrecht (50%). Namdeb Namib Gov. in Kasaï . 75% De Beers ownership map Murowa Diamond Mine: Open Pit & Underground mine. 2. 3. map Orange River (Daberas) Mines: Orange River alluvium. map Marine Mining: Namco Mining operates a dredging fleet off the west coast of Namibia. links to satellite images of the mines (where available). map Finsch Diamond Mine: Finsch is an open-pit mine near Lime Acres. map Elizabeth Bay Mine: Open-cast mine in Namib desert. 2. 1. De Beers / Botswana. 4. map Fucauma Diamond Mine: Newly constructed. mining operator info. Endiama (50%). Owned by Endiama (40%) & Trans Hex (35%). Waldman Resources. Trans Hex. 2. 1.closed. map Bakwanga Mine: (aka Bushimaïe. Namdeb. 75% De Beers ownership. 2. 4. map Williamson Diamond Mine: (aka Mwadui mine) Open Pit mine. and any relevant geographic data. map Koffiefontein Diamond Mine: The Koffiefontein mine opened in 1870. 4. 2. located in NWT. Catoca Diamond Mine: Fourth largest diamond mine in world. 1. south of Lüderitz. Rio Tinto. map Damtshaa Diamond Mine: (water for a tortoise) New open pit mine. open pit. De Beers operated. Lubilash) Alluvial river mines in Kasaï. MIBA. These lists also contains new project explorations. and hard rock diamond mines. map Orapa Diamond Mine: (resting place for lions) Largest/oldest of four . Open-pit mine De Beers operated. map Letlhakane Diamond Mine: ("little reeds") second oldest of four . Argyle Diamond Mine: Largest producer in world. Luarica Diamond Mine: Owned by Endiama (38%) & Trans Hex (32%). map Kimberley Diamond Mine: Started in 1871. mining industry inside news. 1. Active Mines | Inactive Mines | Future Exploration | Mining Companies Africa Angola 1. 5. map Ekati Diamond Mine: Canada's first diamond mining operation. So Africa. 3.De Beers / Botswana. 1. 7. map River Ranch Diamond Mine: Open Pit & Underground mine. There are also several African nations with ongoing off-shore dredging/vacuming operations. De Beers/Botswana. the Kimberley Open Pits closed in 2005. map Koidu Open Pit Mines: Kimberlite open-pit mines just south of Koidu. 1. and a host of other counties with operational and/or historic alluvial. map Magna Egoli Mine: Largest mechanized mine in Sierra Leone. Israel. 3. produces over 40% of world's gem-quality diamonds. map Forminière Diamond Mine: Alluvial mine located on the River Tshikapa. map Baken Diamond Mine: Located along Orange River in North Cape. Kimberlite pipe.Currently there are eleven major 'diamond producing' nations. 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. 3. Diavik Diamond Mine: The Diavik diamond mine is located in the NWT. 6. 2.
Alrosa. map Udachnaya (Udachny) Pipe Mine: One of the deepest diamond mines in the world. Aikhal GOK Mine: Three open-pit kimberlite pipe mines: Aikhal. 2. 4.India Madhya Pradesh 1. map Jubilee (Yubileinaya) Mine: Newer open-pit kimberlite mine near Udachny. 5. Jubilee. Panna Diamond Mine: Alluvial mine in state of Madhya Pradesh. map Russia Siberia 1. map . 3. and Sytykan. 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.
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