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
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

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

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

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

Grade: F Colorless .0 carat 3. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between . or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place.600 12.0 carat 1. or "seed of the carob". A diamond that has a specified carat weight of .495 carats and . A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight.5 carat 1. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat.600 8. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat.VS1 Carat Size</ 0.5 carat 2.600 6.5º crown. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. clarity and weight. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place. In ancient times. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry.500 15. a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight.10 carat diamond for its better cut. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions.504 carats. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight.750 30. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut.99 carat diamond for its better price. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32." If the carat weight is shown as ".00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity .5 carats must have an actual weight of between .195 and . Occasionally. See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1. Price Per Carat (2005) .204 carat. girdle and pavilion.800 6. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a . 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained. or to buy a 1. 40º pavilion. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line. It is for this reason that an even 1. it must be accurate to the second decimal place. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor.

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

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

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

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

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

Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses.200 degrees Celsius). pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2. a refractive index of 2. and differentiates it from simple graphite.52. Under the continental crust. At these depths. Therefore." referring to its incredible hardness. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon.42. igneous rock composed of garnet. phlogopite. and pyroxene. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0. . or "invincible. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale. with a variety of trace minerals. A diamond is a transparent. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits. olivine. diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms.044.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1." "untamable. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km). The name "diamond." which is also known as "adamant. 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.Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time. Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine. which resemble a champagne flute. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes." and "unconquerable. Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic. with the principle allotrope being graphite. and a specific gravity of 3. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" [2]. ultramafic." is derived from the Greek adamas.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.

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

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

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

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

Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .

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

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Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .

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

Garnet Inclusions within Diamond .

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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.

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Internal Graining with Cloud Inclusion .

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

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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. .

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

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

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

Natural Comet Inclusion .

Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud .

Tabular Reflection in Diamond .

Included Garnet Twins within Diamond .

Included Dalmatian Garnet .

Cloud Inclusion .

Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers .

Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light .

Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion .

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

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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. .

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The lizard-skin effect is caused by an orange-peel texture. Lizard Skin Inclusion Photos Lizard Skin Diamond Surface Blemish Photography A "lizard skin" surface blemish is a man-made external diamond imperfection that is created during polishing. 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.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

. Massachusetts grows colorless (D to M) diamonds. Apollo Diamond's cut stones are available in round brilliant.com To the average consumer. Chatham's pricing ranges from $6. of Bangkok Thailand.). with clarity grades from IF to SI. and CZ has a hardness of only 8.30 carats to 3 carats. www.Apollo Diamond. Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite Cubic Zirconia Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. and stones are cut to order. Ltd. using a proprietary variation of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) technique. www.gemesis.chatham.3 on the Mohs scale. and some fancy colored diamonds. carbonate fluid solution that is similar to diamond-bearing metamorphic rock. Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is the most familiar type of diamond simulant on the market. Apollo Diamonds are cut and polished in sizes ranging from .com Chatham Created Diamonds Chatham Gems is a San Francisco based company that grows only fancy-colored diamonds in colors ranging from champagne and canary yellow to pink and midnight blue. while diamond has a hardness of 10.apollodiamond.25 carats is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. While a synthetic diamond is a man-made recreation of an actual carbon-based diamond. and rose cuts. Florida.. each Gemesis cut stone over . www. emerald.25 carats to 1 carat.500 per carat (2004 est.500 to $9.com Tairus Created Gems Tairus Created Gems is a Russian company that grows fancy-colored diamonds in their proprietary "Split Sphere" system. inc. The toughness of Cubic Zirconia is rated as good. To insure easy identification as a man-made product. in Boston. Tairus produces rough sizes from .com Gemesis Cultured Diamonds Gemesis is located in Sarasota. Tairus Created Gems are sold exclusively through Tairus Thailand Co. The Split Sphere system crystalizes the carbon seed in an alkaline. Gemesis only grows fancy-colored diamonds. and like Chatham. and each stone is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. and each cut stone is laser inscribed with the Apollo company logo and serial number. Cubic Zirconia (Zirconium Oxide ZrO2) has a completely different chemical structure. princess. which they claim is the closest thing to mother nature.

or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond. Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond. Due to their low cost and consistency. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible.170. but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight. or colorless (white) versions. The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit. 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. . and CZs can be made in any "color grade. Unlike most natural diamonds. candle. Zirconium oxide powder is heated." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR). a CZ is optically flawless. You can also Inspect the facet edges with a 10x loupe to look for any chipping or slightly rounded (not sharp) facet edges that are telltale signs of Cubic Zirconia.) in a totally dark room. CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce. Natural diamonds attract grease.In 1973. etc. Once the mixture has cooled. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease.80 to 2. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing.800 . the greater dispersive power.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds. The 1.41 (RI).2. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below). Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left). CZ vs Diamond .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. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond . Diamond's RI is 2.17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator. For instance. Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored. Using Visual Optics To Detect CZ The Hodgkinson "Visual Optics" technique was developed in the mid-1970s by Alan Hodgkinson as a method of detecting natural diamonds and diamond simulants. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones.

The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. is classified as an element rather than a compound. Arizona.A small. candle. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. Hodgkinson's 'Visual Optics' Detection The Hodgkinson technique (aka Visual Optics) was discovered by Alan Hodgkinson with Gem-A in the mid-1970s as a method for differentiating natural diamond from colorless gemstones and simulants. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0.com Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum).25 on the Mohs scale.69. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. Moissanite has an RI of 2. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight. etc.) in a dark room. Moissanite has a hardness of 9. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective.104 as compared to CZ at 0. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. and diamond at 0. found only in iron-nickel meteorites. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. while diamond has a hardness of 10. Moissanite. Henri Moissan (above. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI.044. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index.670. 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. center) near Winslow.417. when examining the gem through the kite facets. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ.060. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond.65 to 2. .

Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be more diffused. Diamond cutting can be traced back to the late Middle Ages. but significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its high RI. Diamond's RI is 2.670. Like wood.A small. due to its high refractive index. The Modern Round Brilliant cut (below) is the culmination of several hundred years of experimentation and development. A similarly sharp.417 Moissanite is double refractive (anisotropic) while a natural diamond is singly refractive (isotropic). which was called the "Point Cut.Detectable With Testing Double Refraction: Moissanite is double refractive. Moissanite vs Diamond .Detectable to the Naked Eye Dispersion Pattern: Secondary patterns of dispersion due to double refraction Color: Moissanite has a slight yellow color and does not come in grades better than 'J' Lack of Flaws: Moissanite is virtually flawless. creating the "Table Cut. diamonds were valued primarily for their luster and hardness." At the time. diamond is singly refractive Refractive Index: Moissanite has a refractive index of 2. rather than against it." As further refinement progressed. one half of the crystal would be cut off. Prior to this time. although it can be easily cleaved or fractured due to its defined cleavage planes. Table Cut diamonds appeared black to the eye." and the rough stone must be cut with the grain. Cutting a Rough Diamond . detailed and sharply focused pattern caused by secondary reflections will be seen when observing a diamond. diamonds were used in their natural octahedral state. caused by primary reflections from the pavilion and CZ's low RI. most diamonds have some inclusions Moissanite vs Diamond . The first improvements on nature's design involved a polishing of the crystal faces. only a diamond is hard enough to cut other diamonds. Diamonds: Modern Diamond Cutting Diamond Cutting Background One of the hardest substances on earth. 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. diamond has a "grain.

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

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

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

The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design. crown height of 14. and Proportions. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. As with all human endeavors. .6% and overall height of 57.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57. Ideal Scope. To quantify a diamond's cut quality. etc.N. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%. very small to small In the 1970s. A perfect blending of facet symmetry.' 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. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972.." (Scandinavian standard. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish.5%. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace. The "Scan D.7%. Since then.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42. facet ratios. Tolkowsky.4%.7%. and crown/pavilion angles. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut. Symmetry. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). more brilliance and fire.N. Eppler & Scan D. crown height of 14. and overall height of 57. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios. invented in 1929. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant". H&A Viewer. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts.5% to 43.

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

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

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

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. www. There are a total of 49 facets. and three-stone rings.com Starburst Cut . The pavilion is similar to a Barion cut.com Lucida Cut The Lucida (TM) Cut is a patented diamond cut that was created by Tiffany & Company in 1999. eternity bands. a highstep crown (similar to the Asscher Cut). The Lucida diamond cut is a modified square or rectangular (Marquise) cut with truncated corners. brilliant-style faceted pavilion (similar to a Cushion Cut). Prior to the Quadrillion. The Lucida is sold exclusively through Tiffany's retail chain. patented and trademarked by Henry Grossbard of the Radiant Cut Diamond Company (RCDC) in 1977. and all Original Radiant Cut diamonds weigh at least 0. Upon the expiration of the patent. small table. and a total of has 50 facets. sold in solitaire engagement/wedding bands.com Quadrillion Cut The Quadrillion® Cut (aka Squarillion Cut) is a modified square princess cut that was developed by Israel Itzkowitz and Betzalel Ambar in the late 1970s. RCDC launched the 'Original Radiant Cut' diamond brand In 2002.tiffany. It was the first emerald shaped diamond cut to have brilliance and fire similar to that of a round brilliant diamond. and the table is a bowed out rectangle. The Quadrillion was the result of three years of optical research to create a square diamond cut that can claim a similar brilliance to a round diamond." The Leo Diamond is marketed through the Kay Jeweler chain.radiantcut. the Radiant Cut became a fully accepted diamond shape in the jewelry business. www. There are 25 crown facets and 36 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets (not including 8 girdle facets). square shaped diamonds were stepcut limiting their brilliance.' and each diamond comes with a "Return of Light Certificate.diamondaires.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. www. and was patented and trademarked by Bez Ambar Jewelers of Los Angeles in 1980. Bez Ambar Radiant Cut The Radiant Cut is a modified emerald cut shape that was developed.

Old European Gem Cuts: Point. Nieman Marcus and Tiffany. reworked into the shape of a trillion (triangle). The pavilion has two differently sized sets triangular facets with a large triangular table. with weight losses in the fifty percent range. of New York in 1978. The point cut design is dictated by the natural shape of an octahedral rough diamond. The Trilliant Cut has a total of 31 facets. The starburst faceting pattern is designed to focus color near the top of a stone. the precursor for the "design" of the first faceted diamond lay within the rough stone itself. Since the day that humans first discovered 'adamas' (diamonds). and the natural octahedral symmetry of the rough stone's closed isometric form. There are two variations of this cut: the Curved cut used for solitary stones. but at each stage of advancement the pioneers of 'brillianting' diamonds have made great strides in bringing out the magic that is inherent in these gifts from nature.early 1300s The "point cut" (below left) is one of the first symmetrically faceted diamond cuts. Old Mine Cut Evolution of the Faceted Diamond & Colored Gem Article Copyright © 2008 AllAboutGemstones. and the Trilliant is now a generic term for a triangular brilliant cut. The Trilliant trademark has since lapsed. but that has not always been easy as these little chunks of elemental carbon are harder that anything that could be found to cut them. The Starburst cut was created to bring out the highest amount of color to fancy yellow diamonds.com The faceting of diamonds has come a long way in the last 700 years. The Starburst cut is especially suitable for a octahedral rough. and light return from the stone. The Trilliant has the Schoenflies point group symmetry of a round brilliant.The Starburst Cut was patented and trademarked by the Louis Glick Diamond Corp. Starburst Cuts are mounted and sold directly through Cartier. Harry Winston. and scintillation when cut to the correct proportions. but the pavilion is completely different. making the hue of fancy yellow diamonds more intense. The crown of the Starburst Cut is similar to that of the radiant cut.com Trilliant Cut The Trilliant Cut (aka Trielle. Trillian. From this point forward it was a race to see who could design the perfect faceted cut which would bring out the maximum fire. craftsmen have attempted to "improve" on nature. Trillion) is a triangular cut designed and trademarked by the Henry Meyer Diamond Company of New York in 1962. www. . this led to the invention of the first gem cutting machines (precursor to the "lap" or "Facetron") in the 1300s. Still.louisglick. fire. right) was created by cutting off some of the top half of the point cut's octahedron to create a table. With the realization that only a diamond could cut another diamond. brilliance. The "table cut" (below. There are 49 crown facets and 40 pavilion facets. and Uncurved cut used for accent stones. and the career of the "diamantaire" (diamond cutter/polisher) was born. for a total of 89 kite and star shaped facets. The Trilliant cut gives a high brilliance. Old eight. Point Cut .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

Photo: Pub. Domain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

where facets intersect with each-other. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram. 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.7.5 to 4. all measured in three spacial dimensions.0 to 7.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering. . relative facet angles.5 to 3. 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. AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond." 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. in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above).0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless .0 to 1.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light . When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. and individual facet ratios. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles.1.3.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003." or "ideal" rating. the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible.5.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint . AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless .0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light .

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

also known as "sand-bank mining" (top of page. Marine Mining Marine mining technology only became commercially viable in the early 1990s. Artisanal diamond mining is a form of "subsistence based" non-mechanized mining that is used in poorer countries throughout the world.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. right) is used for extracting diamonds and minerals from alluvial. Placer Mining Placer diamond mining. Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . Gems are separated from waste material using various sifting and sorting techniques such as cone screens. or sort material according to size. Horizontal mining employs the use of Seabed Crawlers (remotely controlled. Excavation is accomplished using water pressure (hydraulic mining). they tend to concentrate in alluvial deposits in the same way that gold placers develop. . mechanized surface excavating equipment. gravel. with the middle size being a candidate for final sorting. Open Pit Mining Open-pit diamond mining. running adjacent to the ore. Small "pit lakes" tend to form at the bottom of open-pit mines as a result of groundwater intrusion. Open pit mines are typically used when mineral deposits are found close to the surface or along defined kimberlite pipes. center) is a method of extracting rock and minerals from the earth by removal from a machine-dug open pit or burrow. CAT-tracked underwater mining vehicles) move across the sea floor pumping gravel up to an offshore vessel. and have a specific gravity that is higher than that of common minerals. 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. Diamonds and most gemstones are hard. highly resistant to weathering. machinery. and is a derivative form of open-cast mining used to extract minerals from the surface of the earth without the use of tunneling. or hand digging (artisanal mining). therefore. or large conical sieves. eluvial. at a maximum depth of 500 feet. Marine diamond mining employs both "vertical" and "horizontal" techniques to extract diamonds from offshore placer deposits. and or colluvial secondary deposits. shovels. rock or sedimentary soil. Laborers who work in artisanal diamond mining are called "diamond diggers" (below left). or pans. and access to the ore. While on board.Photo: USGS Alluvial Diamond . which concentrate the heavier gems at the bottom. or sand) that is unsuitable for tunneling. also known as "open-cast mining" (top of page. the gravels are separated and sorted into three sizes. Vertical marine mining uses a 6 to 7 meter diameter drill head to cut into the seabed and suck up the diamond bearing material from the sea bed. A decline is typically used for mining personnel. box screens. right) with bare hands.vertical tunnel used for ore haulage.

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

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

Alluvial diamond mining in Angola takes place along a meandering stretch of the Cuango River floodplain which is also along the south-western coastline of Africa. to a lesser extent.com .Namibia's placer diamond deposits are between 40 and 80 million years old.8 million to 10.000 years ago).Photo: Wiki Diamond-Bearing 'Diamondiferous' Gravel Many of these alluvial diamond deposits occur in Pleistocene and Holocene successions (1. The diamonds within these deposits were transported from deeply-eroded diamondiferous kimberlites or. carried from their primary origination point on the Kaapvaal Craton. Alluvial Terrace Gravels . potholes. but were not deposited on land. from olivine lamproites formed during the Cretaceous or Permo-Triassic period. depressions. made their way to the sea bed just offshore. including Angola's two largest diamonds at 105. Westward draining river systems transported these diamonds to Africa's continental coastline for final deposition within on-shore marine terrace gravels. Some of the largest and highest gemquality diamonds produced from alluvial placer diamond mining have come from this region. Diamond Mines of the World: Active Diamond Mines List of Active Diamond Mines All Contents Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.8k. channels or other trapsites for diamondiferous deposits.9k and 101. Diamonds in marine areas are typically trapped in bedrock depressions such as gullies. in central South Africa and Botswana. Diamonds that were transported downstream.

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

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

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