All About Gemstones: Diamonds

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

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

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

The 4 Cs of Diamonds: Cut

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Princess" (square outline).2 grams (200 milligrams or 3. Therefor.Heart Marquise Oval Pear Princess Radiant Round Trillion (not shown at diagram) Fig. The "fancy cuts" are generally not held to the same strict standards as Round Brilliants. The 4 C's of Diamonds: Carat (Weight) The 4 C's Diamond Grading System 1. 5 Popular fancy cuts include the "Baguette" (bread loaf). A carat can also be divided into "points" with one carat being equal to 100 points. Cut 2. Clarity 4. representing the four 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.W.C. When a single piece of jewelry has multiple stones. One "Carat" is a unit of mass that is equal to 0." "Briolette" (a form of Rose cut)." . "Marquise" or "Navette" (little boat). and with each point being 2 milligrams in weight. a 3/4 carat diamond is 75 points. Carat 3.007 ounce.086 grains) or 0. "Heart. CARAT Balancing Cut and Weight A diamond or gemstone's "Carat" designation is a measurement of both the size and weight of the stone. Color Carat weight is one of the 4 C's. and a 2 carat diamond is 200 points. the total mass of all diamonds or gemstones is referred to as "Total Carat Weight" or "T. and the Pear. your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the "4 C's" diamond grading system. As a consumer. a 1/2 carat diamond would be 50 points.

By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry.750 30. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between . See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison. In ancient times. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place.99 carat diamond for its better price. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1.5 carat 2. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above.0 carat 3.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor.204 carat. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown.Grade: F Colorless . This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only. or "seed of the carob". FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. or to buy a 1.5º crown.10 carat diamond for its better cut. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of . that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a . The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity . Price Per Carat (2005) . a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone.600 8. It is for this reason that an even 1. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions. clarity and weight.VS1 Carat Size</ 0.600 6.495 carats and . Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone.600 12. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place.800 6. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing. 40º pavilion.5 carats must have an actual weight of between . The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut. it must be accurate to the second decimal place. girdle and pavilion.0 carat 1.5 carat 1.195 and ." If the carat weight is shown as ". "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat. Occasionally.504 carats. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight.500 15.

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

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

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

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

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

ultramafic. and pyroxene. and differentiates it from simple graphite. a refractive index of 2. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe. phlogopite. A diamond is a transparent. or "invincible. Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures. At these depths. The name "diamond." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine." which is also known as "adamant. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes.044." and "unconquerable. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km). diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation. with the principle allotrope being graphite. and a specific gravity of 3.42. Therefore. with a variety of trace minerals. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2." referring to its incredible hardness. Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" [2]. ." "untamable. 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. igneous rock composed of garnet." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic.200 degrees Celsius). Under the continental crust. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical." is derived from the Greek adamas. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms.52. Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness.Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time. which resemble a champagne flute. olivine.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner.03 carats.' discovered during the 18th century. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds.Green Chameleon Diamonds Fancy Pink Diamond Color Grading Chameleon diamonds can be forced to temporarily change to a yellowish-green color by exposing them to heat (150º C to 250º C). or a combination of the two. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926. and weighed a modest 0. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds. . and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat.95carats. pure green hues.000 in 1987. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness [9].000 to $500. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13. Warren Hancock. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems. The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green. Intense. On thing is certain. Green diamonds can range from $35. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities.90 carats.000 per carat. and the De Young Red weighing 5. The color change effect is temporary.

All of the microscopic inclusion photographs on this page were generously contributed by the A. .G. These impurities absorb the blue end of the light Fancy Colored Synthetic Diamonds Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless D. It is for this reason that manufacturers of synthetic diamonds tend to specialize in fancy colors. This section contains a compendium of photography depicting all of the various types of diamond inclusions—both naturally occurring. representing the four main variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. E. F grades. Diamond Inclusion Library: Inclusion Photos Over 100 High-Resolution Diamond Photos! All Contents: Copyright © 2010 AllAboutGemstones. and man-made imperfections—that can be found in raw and cut diamonds. and beautifully photographed by their Director of Gem Services. or absence of tiny imperfections known as "inclusions. 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. or human caused. making the stone appear yellowish. gemological testing laboratory in Las Vegas. Joe Vanells. and so-called "piquŽ diamonds" fall into the GIA grading range of I1 to I3 (CIBJO grade P1 to P3)." These inclusions can occur within the stone. Inclusions which are visible to the naked eye are referred to as piquŽ.com) Enhanced Blue & Yellow Diamonds (© AfricaGems. and can be naturally Clarity is one of the Four C's of diamond grading. or on the surface of the cut stone.Reddish Brown Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. Nevada.L. 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.S.

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

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. Internal cloud inclusions may not resolve as pinpoints at 10X . Clouds (Cld) A dense grouping of tiny pinpoints that create a cloudy zone which may not resolve as individual pinpoints at 10X Magnification. and is reproduced with their permission. which can leave their own types of unique inclusions. Nevada.Carbon piqué inclusions are sometimes removed by diamond enhancements such as laser drilling. 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.

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




Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.

Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.

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



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

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



Grain Center (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. waviness. . and haze within a cut diamond.

Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .

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



Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .

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

Garnet Inclusions within Diamond .





Garnet fragment on Diamond Girdle .

Grossularite Garnet Inclusions in Diamond .

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

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


Internal Graining with Cloud Inclusion .

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


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

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

. resulting from crystal twining during the growth process. 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.


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 .

Natural External Diamond Inclusions or Blemishes Knots An inclusion that penetrates the surface. appearing as a raised area on the diamond's surface. appearing as a raised area. . 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.




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





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


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

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

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

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



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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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. Zirconium oxide powder is heated. candle. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible. You can also Inspect the facet edges with a 10x loupe to look for any chipping or slightly rounded (not sharp) facet edges that are telltale signs of Cubic Zirconia. or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting. The 1. the greater dispersive power.2.17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2. Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond. For instance. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond . CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1.Detectable to the Naked Eye Light Dispersion: Greater prismatic effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire Lack of Flaws: CZ is virtually flawless. or colorless (white) versions.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator. The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR).800 .170. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight. Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored. CZ vs Diamond . You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing.41 (RI). Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left). . and CZs can be made in any "color grade. Due to their low cost and consistency. Diamond's RI is 2. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease. 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. a CZ is optically flawless. CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds.) in a totally dark room.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. etc. but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye. Unlike most natural diamonds. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce. Natural diamonds attract grease. Once the mixture has cooled. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones.In 1973.80 to 2. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below).

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. when examining the gem through the kite facets. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0. found only in iron-nickel meteorites.104 as compared to CZ at 0.69. center) near Winslow. Moissanite. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. Moissanite has a hardness of 9. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused.044. 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. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. candle. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent.65 to 2. Moissanite has an RI of 2. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2.670. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. etc. is classified as an element rather than a compound. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI.060. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. Arizona. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ. Henri Moissan (above.A small.417. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index.) in a dark room. and diamond at 0. while diamond has a hardness of 10. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight. . Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond.25 on the Mohs scale. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.

Detectable With Testing Double Refraction: Moissanite is double refractive. The first improvements on nature's design involved a polishing of the crystal faces. diamond is singly refractive Refractive Index: Moissanite has a refractive index of 2. Table Cut diamonds appeared black to the eye. rather than against it. Moissanite vs Diamond . Like wood. creating the "Table Cut.670. Diamonds: Modern Diamond Cutting Diamond Cutting Background One of the hardest substances on earth. caused by primary reflections from the pavilion and CZ's low RI. diamonds were valued primarily for their luster and hardness. which was called the "Point Cut. detailed and sharply focused pattern caused by secondary reflections will be seen when observing a diamond." and the rough stone must be cut with the grain. most diamonds have some inclusions Moissanite vs Diamond .A small. diamonds were used in their natural octahedral state. diamond has a "grain. although it can be easily cleaved or fractured due to its defined cleavage planes. Prior to this time. one half of the crystal would be cut off.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. 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." As further refinement progressed. The Modern Round Brilliant cut (below) is the culmination of several hundred years of experimentation and development. Diamond cutting can be traced back to the late Middle Ages. Diamond's RI is 2.417 Moissanite is double refractive (anisotropic) while a natural diamond is singly refractive (isotropic)." At the time. only a diamond is hard enough to cut other diamonds. Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be more diffused. A similarly sharp. due to its high refractive index. Cutting a Rough Diamond . but significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its high RI.

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

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

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

. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios. invented in 1929.5% to 43. H&A Viewer. Since then. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut.' and there has been numerous attempts to improve on this tried-and-true formula with the introduction of new signature diamond cuts that claim to have a higher light return. and overall height of 57.7%. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect. very small to small In the 1970s. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer. To quantify a diamond's cut quality. ." (Scandinavian standard.6% and overall height of 57. crown height of 14. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design.4%.5%. crown height of 14. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope. and Proportions. Tolkowsky. Symmetry. and crown/pavilion angles. As with all human endeavors.N. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. Ideal Scope. more brilliance and fire. etc. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts. A perfect blending of facet symmetry.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. Eppler & Scan D. The "Scan D. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant".7%.N. facet ratios. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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." Even with modern techniques. The Modern Round Brilliant Cut .Old European 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. . the old European diamond has a circular girdle. eight facets at the pavilion. Like the modern round brilliant.1900s The "modern round brilliant cut" (below) was developed by Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. 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 Old European diamond cut has a very small table. As with its predecessor the "point cut" over 600 years earlier. and very tall overall depth. The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem. a heavy crown. as two stones can be cut from one crystal with a minimum amount of waste.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sir Thomas Major Cullinan (1860—1936) was the founder of one of Africa's richest diamond mines, the 'Premier Diamond Mine,' 30 kilometers east of Pretoria, in Gauteng province, South Africa. Although Cullinan was already a successful building contractor in Johannesburg, he was also an amateur geologist who had heard about alluvial diamonds being found along a stream near the old 'Cornelis Minnaar Farm' in upper Gauteng. Cullinan was interested in purchasing the farm, which had already changed hands several times, but the present owner, Willem Prinsloo (who had purchased the land for £570 in 1861) was not interested in selling. Shortly after the close Anglo Boer War (1898—1902), Willem Prinsloo's widow agreed to sell the land to Cullinan for £52,000, and the 'Transvaal Premier Diamond Mining Company LTD' was officially registered on the December 1, 1902 [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

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

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

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

Photo: Pub. and the diamond industry was particularly hard hit. The 'Tiffany & Co.W.54 carat 'The Tiffany Diamond."A diamond is forever" is the legendary saying that was created by America's first advertising agency. and the subsequent overthrowing of King Louis-Philippe of France in 1848. Sir Francis "Piggy" Beekman. The movie version featured Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend. With financial shockwaves caused by the French economy's collapse in 1847.' at the flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. Styne wrote the score for the 1949 Broadway musical 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. and sold to Nanaline Duke (now in the Doris Duke Collection). Domain Charles Lewis Tiffany Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812—1902). N. purchased diamonds. Prince Esterhazy of Hungary. the values of ostentatious gems and jewelry dropped precipitously. .' brand was catapulted into the stratosphere by the 1961 movie 'Breakfast at Tiffany's.42 carat rough flawless-yellow diamond from the 'Compagnie Français de Diamant du Cap' (Kimberley mine) in 1877. The Tiffany is still selling luxury jewelry in their trademarked 'Tiffany Blue Box. and a series of diamond-related slogans were introduced into the American lexicon. Jule Styne.' The stone was set into a garish jewelry piece called "Bird on a Rock. and from the Spanish Crown Jewels [27].' staring Audrey Hepburn. Lorelei receives a diamond tiara from her suitor. was originally a 'fancy goods' emporium. One of Tiffany's most notable diamond acquisitions was a 287. gems and jewelry from the estates of the European aristocracy. for resale in America. Styne moved to Hollywood where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn. Jule Styne (born Julius Kerwin Stein) was born in London. The stone was cut in Paris. the public's tolerance towards nobility was at a low point. De Beers president. De Beers and the diamond industry got another shot in the arm.' During the 1800s. A 19. located at 259 Broadway. Charles Tiffany.' which was adapted to film in 1953. Harry Frederick Oppenheimer enlisted the help of N." after here charecter. After the French revolution in 1799. Domain Hollywood in 1949 Coming just on the heels of the immortal "a diamond is forever" campaign. the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine. Ayer & Son. Tiffany & Young. this time from playwriter. and Tiffany seized on the opportunity. who was known for his jewelry expertise. Tiffany was able to purchase significant gems from such renowned estates as: the 'jewel-mad' Duke of Brunswick. aka "the King of Diamonds. Photo: Pub. After attending Chicago Musical College.W." by Jean Schlumberger in the 1960s. The Great Depression had taken a heavy toll on luxury goods during the 1930s. which started out as 'Tiffany & Young' of New York City in 1837. producing the 128.72 carat cushion-cut diamond (one of the "Diamonds of Golconda") was mounted by Tiffany. and featuring the memorable scene in which Holly gazes longingly into Tiffany's window display. specializing in one-of-a-kind baubles for New York's newly-minted industrialists and 'robber-barons. In 1948 the famous "A diamond is forever" slogan was introduced." was the co-founder of Tiffany & Co. Ayer in 1938.

appraisal report. Diamonds are tested for . a diamond certificates. This time. certificate of authenticity. 2006 Hollywood in 2006 Blood Diamond is the latest incarnation of Hollywood's fascination with diamond. as writer Charles Leavitt takes us through the dark underbelly of the diamond trade. The Consumer Last. or "cert" may be your only assurance that you are getting exactly what you paid for." and the terrible working conditions that these workers must endure. and their willingness to purchase the concept of "foreverness. Leavitt weaves a tale of Sierra Leone's impoverished "diamond diggers.Photo: © Warner Bros. In a preemptive strike against any negative publicity that the movie would generate. Were it not for intrepid consumers." 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. Through interviews with human-rights organizations like Doctors Without Borders and Global Witness. grading report. the unsung hero in the diamond trade. the World Diamond Council placed ten full-page ads in newspapers around the county. the glamor is laid bare. but not least. we have the faceless American consumer.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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