All About Gemstones: Diamonds

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

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

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

The 4 Cs of Diamonds: Cut

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

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

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

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

pavilion and crown angle) and did not provide a subjective ranking of how good the cut was. Common cutting problems can occur during the faceting process. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. the "Cut" quality of the "4 Cs" was the most difficult part for a consumer to understand when selecting a good diamond because a GIA or AGS certificate did not show the important measurements influencing cut (i. Fig.e. or 96 facets which are not counted in the total number of facets (58). 3 . when one incorrect facet angle can throw off the symmetry of the entire stone. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. and the pavillion will have 25 facets.Good Cut Fair Cut Poor Cut Cut Proportions In the past. 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. Poor Diamond Faceting and Symmetry Due to the mathmatics involved in light refraction. The chart below shows several common problems to look for. Only a trained eye could see the quality of a good cut. 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. Other variations of the "Modern Round Brilliant" include the "Ideal Brilliant" which was invented by Johnson and Roesch in 1929. a Round Brilliant cut that does not have the proper proportions and symmetry (off-make) will have noticeably less brilliance. The crown will have 33 facets. This can also result in the undesirable creation of extra facets beyond the required 58. All of that has changed with the AGS Cut Grading system and GIA's new "Cut Grading System". 64. 80. An Ideal Cut or Premium Cut "Round Brilliant" diamond has the following basic proportions according to the AGS: Table Size: 53% to 60% of the diameter Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35 degrees Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Facets: 58 (57 if the culet is excluded) Polish & Symmetry: very good to excellent The girdle on a Modern Round Brilliant can have 32. Fig.

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

and with each point being 2 milligrams in weight. The "fancy cuts" are generally not held to the same strict standards as Round Brilliants. When a single piece of jewelry has multiple stones. Therefor. Clarity 4." "Briolette" (a form of Rose cut). Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics.Heart Marquise Oval Pear Princess Radiant Round Trillion (not shown at diagram) Fig. and a 2 carat diamond is 200 points. "Heart. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. As a consumer. Color Carat weight is one of the 4 C's. the total mass of all diamonds or gemstones is referred to as "Total Carat Weight" or "T. "Princess" (square outline). a 3/4 carat diamond is 75 points. and the Pear." . 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 3.007 ounce. A carat can also be divided into "points" with one carat being equal to 100 points. 5 Popular fancy cuts include the "Baguette" (bread loaf). One "Carat" is a unit of mass that is equal to 0. 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. Carat 3. "Marquise" or "Navette" (little boat).C. The 4 C's of Diamonds: Carat (Weight) The 4 C's Diamond Grading System 1. Cut 2.W.086 grains) or 0.

FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations.600 12. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a . a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight.500 15. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone.10 carat diamond for its better cut. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales. girdle and pavilion. See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight.504 carats. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between . many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place.5 carats must have an actual weight of between .0 carat 3. In ancient times.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York. Occasionally. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions.5º crown.800 6. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity . A diamond that has a specified carat weight of ." If the carat weight is shown as ". or "seed of the carob". it must be accurate to the second decimal place. clarity and weight.99 carat diamond for its better price. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing.600 6. 40º pavilion. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat. or to buy a 1. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place.750 30. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond. It is for this reason that an even 1.0 carat 1. Price Per Carat (2005) .VS1 Carat Size</ 0.600 8.195 and . The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above.5 carat 1.495 carats and .5 carat 2.Grade: F Colorless . "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat.204 carat. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only.

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

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

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

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

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

diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation." is derived from the Greek adamas. Therefore. A diamond is a transparent. with a variety of trace minerals.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1. Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth. olivine. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical. Under the continental crust.044." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic. ultramafic. Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" [2]. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0.42. which resemble a champagne flute. and a specific gravity of 3. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon. The name "diamond. and pyroxene." referring to its incredible hardness. and differentiates it from simple graphite. ." "untamable." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms.Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits. 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. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km). When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe." and "unconquerable. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses." which is also known as "adamant.52. a refractive index of 2. igneous rock composed of garnet. with the principle allotrope being graphite. phlogopite. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes. Deep within the earth's crust there are regions that have a high enough temperature (900¼C to 1400¼C) and pressure (5 to 6 GPa) that it is thermodynamically possible for liquified carbon to form into diamonds.200 degrees Celsius). At these depths. or "invincible.

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

sapphire has a hardness rating of 9. its "toughness" rating is moderate. crystal twinning.© AGS Labs Diamond Toughness Within the fields of metallurgy and materials science. the term "toughness" describes the resistance of a given material to fracture when it is stressed or impacted. Particular cuts of diamond are more prone to breakage along cleavage planes.Trace impurities." If you were to place a large enough diamond on your tongue it would draw heat away. Although diamond is the "hardest. acting as a "thermal conductor. meaning that a diamond is 4 times "harder" than sapphire. a diamond's "toughness" is only fair to good. Many natural blue . and "pound-force" per square-inch in US units of measurement. Carbon Inclusion . Hematite has a hardness of only 5.5 to 6.5. Unlike "hardness. and therefore may be uninsurable by reputable insurance companies. By comparrison. pressure and space can also affect the final shape of a formed crystal. yet sapphire has a toughness rating of excellent. making it seem cold. Thermal Properties of Diamonds Diamond is a good conductor of heat. with a Mohs scale rating of 10. causing stress fractures or feathers. A material's toughness is measured in units of "joules" per cubic meter (J/m3) in the SI system." and therefore. due to its ability to fracture along cleavage planes.© AGS Labs Hexagonal (Graphite) Platelet Inclusion ." which only denotes a diamond's high resistance to scratching. most scratch resistant mineral on earth. Internally formed crystallographic graphite inclusions often create intense strain on the surrounding diamond. and varying growth conditions of heat. very thin girdles on brilliant cut diamonds are also prone to breakage. Diamond Graphitization In extremely high temperature environments above 1700 ¡C. but its toughness rating is also excellent. The culet facet at the bottom of the pavilion. graphite can develop internally and on the diamond's surface. Additionally. is a facet specifically designed to resist breakage.

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

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

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

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

90 carats. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926.000 in 1987. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat.000 to $500. Intense. . as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste. Green diamonds can range from $35. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits.03 carats. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness [9]. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color. pure green hues. and weighed a modest 0.000 per carat. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13.' discovered during the 18th century. and the De Young Red weighing 5. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems. Warren Hancock. On thing is certain. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil.95carats.Green Chameleon Diamonds Fancy Pink Diamond Color Grading Chameleon diamonds can be forced to temporarily change to a yellowish-green color by exposing them to heat (150º C to 250º C). The color change effect is temporary.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa. or a combination of the two. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner. greyish-green. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond.

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

pyrrhotite and pentlandite. Black or dark material found within a diamond's internal fracture planes can also be particles or 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). pyrrhotite and pentlandite. ferropericlase. Black material found within internal fracture planes can also be crystallographic inclusions of graphite. .

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

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

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




Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.

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



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

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



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. .Grain Center (GrCnt) A concentrated area of crystal growth that can appear light or dark. waviness. and haze within a cut diamond.

Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .

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



Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .

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

Garnet Inclusions within Diamond .





Garnet fragment on Diamond Girdle .

Grossularite Garnet Inclusions in Diamond .

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

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


Internal Graining with Cloud Inclusion .

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


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

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

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


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

Natural Comet Inclusion .

Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud .

Tabular Reflection in Diamond .

Included Garnet Twins within Diamond .

Included Dalmatian Garnet .

Cloud Inclusion .

Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers .

Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light .

Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion .

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




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





made up of a bumpy or wavy pattern on the polished surface of a 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.


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

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

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

or when abrasive material is caught by an included crystal such as garnet during the polishing of a diamond. the overheating of a facet causes a burn mark. .Burn Marks Created during polishing. or caught by a included crystal. during cutting and/or polishing the diamond. Chips Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet. Cavities (Cv) An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing. Drag Lines Created when a rough particle is dragged along the surface. 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.



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

marking.Laser Etching or Markings Careless or inadvertent laser etchings. Laser Etching Photos Diamond Laser Etching Inscription Photography Laser etching inclusions are surface blemishes and imperfections that are created when careless or inadvertent markings or inscriptions are made while laser etching. or inscribing the external surface of a cut diamond. and inscriptions. . markings.




Scratch (S) A fine whitish line that can be curved or straight." 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. Diamond Enhancements: Laser Drilling & Fracture Filling . Polish Marks (PM) Also known as "Wheel Marks.

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

© AGS Lab Laser Drilling Tubes . Reputable filling companies will often provide repeat treatments if heat causes damage to the filling. and both the GIA and AGS will issue grades for laser drilled diamonds. and the GIA will not even grade a fracture-filled diamond. Signs of Laser Drilling .There should always be a significant price discount for any diamond that has been fracture-filled. "One out of every three diamonds sold in the United States is laser-drilled. Natural Fancy Diamonds . These enhancements are achieved using low levels of radiation (irradiation). 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. in part because the treatment isn't permanent. According to Fred Cuellar in his book How to Buy a Diamond.© AGS Lab The laser-drilling treatment is considered permanent. . The final clarity grade will be the grade that is assigned after treatment. The drilling process leave tiny telltale shafts or tunnels that are visible under high magnification (see photos below). "vivid" blue and yellow colors result. or subjecting the diamond to intense pressure and temperature. Due to its low melting-point. followed by acid washing to remove the coloring agent.© AfricaGems. the heat generated by a blowtorch used to work on settings can cause damage to the filling material. Diamonds treated with HTHP have their molecular altered so that Color Enhanced Diamonds .© AfricaGems." 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 Radiation treatments are completely safe. It is therefor essential to inform anyone working on a setting where the diamond has been fracture-filled. Laser Drilling of Diamonds Laser drilling involves the use of a laser to burn a tunnel or hole down to any dark carbon inclusions or piquŽ.

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

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

using a proprietary variation of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) technique.apollodiamond. in Boston.30 carats to 3 carats. with clarity grades from IF to To the average consumer. The Split Sphere system crystalizes the carbon seed in an alkaline. Cubic Zirconia (Zirconium Oxide ZrO2) has a completely different chemical structure. Gemesis only grows fancy-colored diamonds. www. emerald. Tairus produces rough sizes from .3 on the Mohs scale. inc. Apollo Diamonds are cut and polished in sizes ranging from . each Gemesis cut stone over .). while diamond has a hardness of 10. and stones are cut to order. Chatham's pricing ranges from $6. and each cut stone is laser inscribed with the Apollo company logo and serial number.500 to $9. Massachusetts grows colorless (D to M) diamonds.500 per carat (2004 est.25 carats is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. carbonate fluid solution that is similar to diamond-bearing metamorphic rock. Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite Cubic Zirconia Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. To insure easy identification as a man-made product. The toughness of Cubic Zirconia is rated as good.chatham. . and like Chatham Created Diamonds Chatham Gems is a San Francisco based company that grows only fancy-colored diamonds in colors ranging from champagne and canary yellow to pink and midnight blue..Apollo Diamond. Florida.25 carats to 1 carat. Apollo Diamond's cut stones are available in round Tairus Created Gems Tairus Created Gems is a Russian company that grows fancy-colored diamonds in their proprietary "Split Sphere" system. and CZ has a hardness of only 8. and rose cuts. and some fancy colored diamonds. of Bangkok Thailand. While a synthetic diamond is a man-made recreation of an actual carbon-based diamond. Ltd. Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is the most familiar type of diamond simulant on the market. and each stone is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. Tairus Created Gems are sold exclusively through Tairus Thailand Co. Gemesis Cultured Diamonds Gemesis is located in Sarasota. which they claim is the closest thing to mother nature. www. princess.

41 (RI). The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight. the greater dispersive power. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below). a CZ is optically flawless. Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR). Diamond's RI is 2. candle.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible. Using Visual Optics To Detect CZ The Hodgkinson "Visual Optics" technique was developed in the mid-1970s by Alan Hodgkinson as a method of detecting natural diamonds and diamond simulants. etc. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left).17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2.In 1973. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. Zirconium oxide powder is heated. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing.80 to 2. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce. Due to their low cost and consistency.800 . Unlike most natural diamonds.) in a totally dark room.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. or colorless (white) versions. CZ vs Diamond . and CZs can be made in any "color grade. Once the mixture has cooled. Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored.170. but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye. For instance.2. The 1. 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. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond . Natural diamonds attract grease. .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. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease. You can also Inspect the facet edges with a 10x loupe to look for any chipping or slightly rounded (not sharp) facet edges that are telltale signs of Cubic Zirconia. or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond. CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1. CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds.

25 on the Mohs scale.69. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion.044. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. and diamond at Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond.) in a dark room. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. Moissanite has a hardness of 9. is classified as an element rather than a compound. while diamond has a hardness of 10. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. 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. etc. center) near Winslow. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight.060. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0. Moissanite. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent.A small. found only in iron-nickel meteorites.417. 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. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. Henri Moissan (above.104 as compared to CZ at 0.65 to 2. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. when examining the gem through the kite facets. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. Moissanite has an RI of 2.670. Arizona. candle. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. .

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

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

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

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

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

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

and in all diamond colors and/or clarity grades. 23 more than a modern Round Brilliant cut. It is sold exclusively through the 270 year old firm of Garrard & Company in London. Marce Tolkowsky. creating a unique 'flower petal' pattern surrounding the cutlet. parting ways in 2002 to again become Garrard. or the company website. and creates a high amount of waste. Garrard & Co. The Eternal Cut is being sold exclusively at Garrard's main London store and Harvey Nichols stores in Great Britain. Barocut stones are also sold in tapered shapes. and a 'softer' briliance than a traditional round brilliant cut. The Barion square cut diamond has a 4-fold mirror-image symmetry. not including the 16 girdle facets. forming a square shape when viewed from the top. with star-shaped cross facets cut diagonally into the Eternal Cut The Eternal Cut diamond was designed and patented by master Israeli diamond cutter. Barocut diamonds are promoted and sold exclusively through the Baroka Creations catalog. to become Asprey & Garrard. The cut has a total of 8 facets plus a girdle.baroka. or to increase light-dispersion. . A Barocut diamond has a total of 77 facets. and was the forerunner to the princess cut.freiesleben. The Context Cut is used to cut colored gemstones by Julius Petsch of Idar-Oberstein. www. of New York in Context Cut The Context Cut is a square cut that was developed by Dr. merged with the jewelry firm Asprey. The Eternal Cut has a total of 81 facets. modified rectangular (baguette) cut that was developed by Baroka Creations. Barocut The Barocut® diamond cut is a patented. The Context Cut follows a rough diamond crystal's natural octahedral shape.The Barion square cut (aka Barion square cushion cut) was invented by Basil Watermeyer of South Africa in 1971. The Barocut is available in sizes from 20 points to 3 carats. The Barocut is also called a "two heart diamond" due to the illusion of two mirrored hearts meeting at the culet. The Context Cut design was based on an earlier patented design by Bernd Munsteiner from the early 1960s. nephew to the inventor of the Modern Round Brilliant cut. Gabi Tolkowsky. In 1998. 81 facets on the cut corner (cushion) version. and its patent has expired. The cutting process requires a high-quality rough. Ulrich Freiesleben of Germany in the early 1980s then patented and trademarked in 1997. 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. www. Inc. and a total of 81 facets. The Context Cut consists of two back-to-back pyramids (an octahedron).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

. and in 1910 the 'Union of South Africa' was created. although Rhodes did not start out with an interest in diamonds. Amid all of this turmoil and chaos.the "mineral revolution. De Beer. 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. In exchange. he was able to build a monopolistic empire through skill and cunning. Around 1873 the De Beer brothers sold out to a group of mining syndicates who later merged with Cecil Rhodes' pumping company to form 'De Beers Consolidated Mines. A. The African nation of Rhodesia was named after him (now the Republic of Zimbabwe). Photo: Pub. a prospector. and later selling steam-powered water pumps to drain the open-pit mines of Kimberley.. Barnato died several years later. in Northern Cape. no heirs to his empire. Rhodes started out selling ice cream to the diamond-diggers and service workers. diamond speculator and fellow Englishman named Barney Barnato (1852—1897) was buying up pieces of the Big Hole in Kimberley to form the Kimberley Central Mine. a curious discovery was being made along the banks of the Orange River. self-government was restored. Barnato was given appointed to 'life governor' and temporary controlling interest in De Beers [6]. Domain Cecil Rhodes Cecil Rhodes (1853—1902) is the undisputed father of the modern diamond industry. Photo: Pub. but was eventually successful in convincing Barnato to merge with De Beers. One of the richest men in the world. Cullinan . As a young lad from England. Rhodes made several aborted attempt to gain control over Barnato's interest in Kimberley Central Mine. and J. Domain Thomas M. De Beers and Kimberley Central were the two largest mining interests in South Africa at the time. Photo: Pub. With the help of the Rothschild bank in London." In 1906. N. As founder of De Beers. D. Cecil Rhodes' De Beers empire was started on a farm owned by two Boer settlers and brothers. Domain Barney Barnato During the same period that Cecil Rhodes was building De Beers Consolidated Mines. mysteriously falling overboard on a ship passage back to England.' Cecil Rhodes died a single man with no children and.

Sir Thomas Major Cullinan (1860—1936) was the founder of one of Africa's richest diamond mines, the 'Premier Diamond Mine,' 30 kilometers east of Pretoria, in Gauteng province, South Africa. Although Cullinan was already a successful building contractor in Johannesburg, he was also an amateur geologist who had heard about alluvial diamonds being found along a stream near the old 'Cornelis Minnaar Farm' in upper Gauteng. Cullinan was interested in purchasing the farm, which had already changed hands several times, but the present owner, Willem Prinsloo (who had purchased the land for £570 in 1861) was not interested in selling. Shortly after the close Anglo Boer War (1898—1902), Willem Prinsloo's widow agreed to sell the land to Cullinan for £52,000, and the 'Transvaal Premier Diamond Mining Company LTD' was officially registered on the December 1, 1902 [23]. On January 25th 1905, a 3,106 carat diamond was found at the mine, which remains the largest diamond ever found in the world. When news of Premier's success hit the board room of De Beers, several aborted attempts were made to purchase the mine, but Cullinan had no intention of selling [6]. In 1914, WW1 broke out in Europe, and diamond prices began to spiral. Layoffs at the mine caused enough friction that by August, mining operations were suspended. The Premier Mine had resumed production by January 1916, but in need of cash, Cullinan sold a major stake in the mine to the Transvaal government. Frank Oats, who was now the chairman of De Beers, was able to convince the Transvaal government to sell its controlling interest in 1917, and De Beers once again enjoyed a monopoly on South African diamonds.

Diamonds and the Ashkenazi, Sephardi and Hasidic Jews
There is perhaps no other ethnic group that is so inextricably intertwined with the diamond trade, than the jews. In an odd twist of fate, it may be Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama's discovery of a searoute to India around Africa's Cape of Good Hope in 1488, that set the stage for the Jewish/diamond connection. Da Gama's discovery opened up a direct diamond-trading route from India's Malabar Coast and the island of Borneo, to Portugal and on the Netherlands. With Lisbon now at the forefront of the European diamond trade, many Portuguese Sephardi businessmen opened cutting houses, and quickly gained a dominant roll in the diamond-polishing industry. The Sephardi were Jews who originated from Spain and Portugal (the Iberian Peninsula), many practicing a secret adherence to Judaism known as "Crypto-Judaism," while professing other faiths. Jews who practiced their religion in the open were expelled from Spain and Portugal, when the Catholic Monarchs issued the "Alhambra Decree" in 1492 (1497 for Portugal), fleeing to Morocco, the Ottoman Empire, Antwerp and Amsterdam. When the first Jewish emigrants (Ashkenazi) came to Antwerp in the 1200s, they were welcomed, but when the Black Plague swept across Antwerp in the mid 1300s, the Jews were one of the scapegoats. Although Amsterdam's Dutch were relatively tolerant when it came to religious freedom, in 1585 Antwerp came under Spanish rule, and the Jews (this time Sephardic), were once again the focus of scrutiny. With the Spanish Inquisition in high gear, Jews were now persecuted for conducting trade with the Ottoman Empire, or for being 'pseudo-Christian.' In the 1600s, wealthy Jewish diamond-traders now living in the Netherlands, financed the 'Dutch East India Company' and its exploration of new trade routes to India, but the British were beginning to see opportunity in the diamond trade, creating new competition for the Jewish/Dutch. Prior to being granted 'civil equality' in 1796, Amsterdam's Jews were not allowed to join trade guilds, leaving the unregulated diamond industry as one of the only means of employment. By the late 18th century, many of Amsterdam's Jews were working in the diamond trade, and many of these 'Sephardi refugees' had maintained connections with Portuguese traders who now had a monopoly on the trade of raw diamonds from India. By the early 1700s, India's mines were nearing exhaustion, but a new discovery in Brazil helped to reinvigorate the diamond trade. By this time, British naval superiority proved to be a great advantage, and the 'British East India Company' was born. The European center for the diamond trade now began to move away from Amsterdam, as Jewish traders set up shop in London. The cut stones were sold to the nobility and royalty of Europe, using the Hofjude (Court Jews) as purchasing agents to select the stones from the London diamond merchants.

Photo: Pub. Domain

The Pshevorsk Hasidic Dynasty Hasidic Judaism was founded by Polish (now Ukrainian) Rabbi 'Ba'al Shem Tov', aka 'Israel ben Eliezer' (1698—1760) in a time when European Jews were facing increasing hostility and pressure from the "Cossacks' Uprising" in Ukraine. The Hasidic movement is a sub-group of the theologically conservative Haredi or Charedi Judaism, aka Ultra-Orthodox Judaism. The movement was seen as a way of turning inward towards a 'deeper spiritualism and mysticism.' Hasidism spread westward, making its way to western Europe in the 1800s. The Hasidic movement in Antwerp began with Rabbi Moshe of Pshevorsk, who authored 'Ohr Pnei Moshe' in 1805 [26]. The Pshevorsk is a small sub-Hasidic movement based in Antwerp, Belgium, with their hub at the study hall (beth midrash), 'Beth Yitzchok' at Mercatorstraat 56. With the discovery of vast diamond reserves in South Africa during the late 1800s, concern over a glut in the diamond market spread throughout London's diamond merchants. A group of wealthy Jewish dealers pooled their resources to form "the syndicate," which was created to soak up all of the excess capacity being created by South Africa. Today, Antwerp and London's diamond trade is largely controlled by the Hasidic Jewish community, although Indian influence is on the rise in recent years. Many of these Hasidic entrepreneurs are nameless by choice, preferring to maintain their anonymity, but they have been the driving force behind the multi-billion dollar diamond industry for hundreds of years.

Photo: Pub. Domain

Alfred Beit Alfred Beit (1853—1906) was born into a prominent Jewish family in Hamburg, Germany. Beit worked for the diamond firm of Jules Porges and Co. in Amsterdam before emigrating to 'Cape Colony' in 1875 during the Kimberley diamond-rush [25]. Beit was part of a group of financiers, including Cecil Rhodes, who gained control of the diamond-mining claims in the Central Mine, Dutoitspan Mine, and De Beers Mine, thereby 'consolodating' the South African mining industry. becoming a 'life-governor' of De Beers Consolidated Mines. He was also the director of the Beira Railway Company, British South Africa Company, Rand Mines, and the Rhodesia Railways. Beit, along with partner Cecil Rhodes, financed the 1895 'Jameson Raid' which was an attempt to trigger an unsuccessful coup in the South African Republic of Transvaal. The Royal School of Mines, at the Imperial College London has a large memorial to Beit, in recognition of the Beit trust's bequeathment to the university, and to educational institutions in Britain, Germany South Africa, and Zimbabwe (Rhodesia).

Photo: Pub. Domain

Sir Ernest Oppenheimer Ernest Oppenheimer (1880—1957) was born in Friedberg, Germany to a large Jewish family, and with several brothers working for "the syndicate," Ernest was well positioned for his future vocation. He began his career at age 17, working for the diamond brokerage firm, Dunkelsbuhler & Company in London. Oppenheimer created the concept of "single-channel marketing" over 100 years ago, by funneling the world's supply of diamonds through a single clearing house. Oppenheimer gained control of Namibia's diamond mines, forming the Anglo American mining conglomerate. This gave him the financing and power to gain the chairmanship of De Beers. Today, Oppenheimer's Anglo American operates a fleet of diamond recovery ships off the coast of Namibia and South Africa under the umbrella of De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited (DBCM), and Central Holdings Limited (CHL), an Oppenheimer family holding company, and in partnership with Namdeb.

Photo: Pub. Domain

Nicky Oppenheimer Ernest's grandson, Nicky Oppenheimer (born 1945) studied philosophy at Oxford as a young man, and is now the chairman of the De Beers Diamond Mining Company and its subsidiary Diamond Trading Company. The Oppenheimer family and Anglo American maintains a 45% stake in De Beers today. Africa's richest man, and #134 on the Forbes list of the world's richest people, Nicky Oppenheimer is worth an estimated $4.5 billion. Under new legislation, passed by the African National Congress, Nicky Oppenheimer was forced to sell a 26% share of De Beers to the South African 'Black Economic Empowerment' group (BEE). This was the first major ownership change for De Beers in over a century. Of the legislation Oppenheimer said: "De Beers is here to make a profit, but we must benefit the people and communities where we operate."

Photo: Pub. Domain

Lev Leviev The Lev Leviev Group, created by Israeli national, Lev Leviev (born 1956 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan) is the worlds largest cutter and polisher (diamantaire) of rough diamonds, with factories in Armenia, India, Israel, and the Ukraine. The Lev Leviev Group also owns mining interests in Namibia's offshore dredging operations. Through his personal relationship to Vladimir Putin and other Russian heads of

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

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

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

Lorelei receives a diamond tiara from her suitor.' at the flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. Sir Francis "Piggy" Beekman.54 carat 'The Tiffany Diamond. and Tiffany seized on the opportunity. N. the values of ostentatious gems and jewelry dropped precipitously."A diamond is forever" is the legendary saying that was created by America's first advertising agency. Domain Hollywood in 1949 Coming just on the heels of the immortal "a diamond is forever" campaign." by Jean Schlumberger in the 1960s. the public's tolerance towards nobility was at a low point.' staring Audrey Hepburn. for resale in America." after here charecter. Ayer & Son. With financial shockwaves caused by the French economy's collapse in 1847. In 1948 the famous "A diamond is forever" slogan was introduced. . Tiffany & Young. purchased diamonds. Prince Esterhazy of Hungary. Photo: Pub. the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine. who was known for his jewelry expertise.72 carat cushion-cut diamond (one of the "Diamonds of Golconda") was mounted by Tiffany. Styne wrote the score for the 1949 Broadway musical 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Ayer in 1938. and from the Spanish Crown Jewels [27]. and the diamond industry was particularly hard hit. De Beers president. producing the 128. The movie version featured Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend.' The stone was set into a garish jewelry piece called "Bird on a Rock. specializing in one-of-a-kind baubles for New York's newly-minted industrialists and 'robber-barons. located at 259 Broadway. and a series of diamond-related slogans were introduced into the American lexicon. this time from playwriter. Jule Styne. was originally a 'fancy goods' emporium. Jule Styne (born Julius Kerwin Stein) was born in London. The stone was cut in Paris. and sold to Nanaline Duke (now in the Doris Duke Collection). The 'Tiffany & Co. The Tiffany is still selling luxury jewelry in their trademarked 'Tiffany Blue Box.W. Charles Tiffany. After the French revolution in 1799. Harry Frederick Oppenheimer enlisted the help of N. and the subsequent overthrowing of King Louis-Philippe of France in 1848. and featuring the memorable scene in which Holly gazes longingly into Tiffany's window display.' brand was catapulted into the stratosphere by the 1961 movie 'Breakfast at Tiffany's. Styne moved to Hollywood where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn. A 19.' During the 1800s. One of Tiffany's most notable diamond acquisitions was a 287. aka "the King of Diamonds.' which was adapted to film in 1953. Domain Charles Lewis Tiffany Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812—1902). Photo: Pub. The Great Depression had taken a heavy toll on luxury goods during the 1930s. After attending Chicago Musical College." was the co-founder of Tiffany & Co.W. gems and jewelry from the estates of the European aristocracy. which started out as 'Tiffany & Young' of New York City in 1837.42 carat rough flawless-yellow diamond from the 'Compagnie Français de Diamant du Cap' (Kimberley mine) in 1877. De Beers and the diamond industry got another shot in the arm. Tiffany was able to purchase significant gems from such renowned estates as: the 'jewel-mad' Duke of Brunswick.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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