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The story of diamonds is, to use the metaphor, a tale of fire and "ice." Forged through immense heat and pressure over millions, or hundreds of millions of years, diamonds start their humble existence as simple, elemental carbon; the basic building block of all life in earth. We attempt to demystify these enigmatic little stones, by explaining their scientific reason for being, as well as were they are mined, how they are mined, and the history of the diamond trade, or 'diamond pipeline.' Diamonds are both elemental, and complex. As such, there is a lot of technical jargon associated with them. Shopping for a diamond can be very confusing to the newbie, but we have endeavored to make it as simple and interesting as humanly possible. You shouldn't need extraordinary brilliance to understand scintillation or refraction. Enjoy!
All About Diamonds
Diamond Basics The "4 Cs" of Diamonds - Cut The "4 C's" of Diamonds - Carat The "Four C's" of Diamonds - Clarity The "Four Cs" of Diamonds - Color Diamond Chemistry Optical Properties of Diamond Fancy Colored Diamonds Diamond Inclusion Library Diamond Enhancements Synthetics & Simulants Synthetic Diamonds Cubic Zirconia Moissanite Diamond Cuts Diamond Cutting Ideal Cut Modern Round Brilliant Patented Signature Diamond Cuts Old European Diamond Cuts Uncut Raw Diamonds in Jewelry The Diamond Market The Diamond Pipeline Diamond Bourses The Diamond Trade's Key Players Diamond Pricing - Price Comparison Charts Diamond Certification
AGS Diamond Grading Report Independent Diamond Testing Laboratories Diamond Mining & Mine Technology Diamond Mining Technology Diamond Geology & Kimberlites Full List of Worldwide Diamond Mines Artisanal Diamond Mining & Conflict Diamonds Worldwide Diamond Mining Regions Australian Diamond Mines Borneo's Landak Diamond Mines Botswana Diamond Mines Brazilian Diamond Mines Canadian Diamond Mines India's Golconda Diamond Mines Namibia Russian Diamond Mines South African Diamond Mines US Diamond Mines Conflict Diamonds Angola Diamond Mines Congo (DRC) Diamond Mines Liberia Diamond Mines Sierra Leone Diamond Mines Zimbabwe's Chiadzwa Marange Diamond Fields Diamond History & Cutting Regions Historical Diamond Cuts & Cutting History Historical Diamond Cutting Regions Diamond Cutting in Amsterdam Diamond Cutting in Antwerp Diamond Cutting in Belgium Diamond Cutting in Guangzhou, China Diamond Cutting in Gujarat, India Diamond Cutting in Idar-Oberstein, Germany Diamond Terminology Glossary - Gemology
The 4 Cs of Diamonds: Cut
The 4 C's Diamond Grading System
1. 2. 3. 4. Cut Carat Clarity Color
More than 100 million diamonds are sold in the United States each year, yet most consumers know very little about the product they are purchasing, and how that product is valued. The '4 Cs' represent the four main variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics. As a consumer, your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the '4 Cs' diamond grading system. If you are purchasing an expensive stone it will also be critical for you to learn how to read and understand the details of a GIA (Gemological Institute of America) 'Diamond Dossier,' AGL report, or AGS (American Gem Society) 'Diamond Certificate,' or Sarin 'Diamond Grading Report' (see full list of independent testing laboratories, below). You will also want to familiarize yourself with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines on jeweler conduct and consumer awareness. This knowledge will help be invaluable when you are comparison shopping for diamonds.
Diamond Cut Quality When jewelers judge the quality of a diamond cut, or "make", they often rate "Cut" as the most important of the "4 Cs." The way a diamond is cut is primarily dependent upon the original shape of the rough stone, location of the inclusions and flaws to be eliminated, the preservation of the weight, and the popularity of certain shapes. Don't confuse a diamond's "cut" with it's "shape". Shape refers only to the outward appearance of the diamond (Fig. 5 below), and not how it is faceted. The Importance of Cut Quality When a diamond has a high quality cut (ideal cut), incident light will enter the stone through the table and crown, traveling toward the pavilion where it reflects from one side to the other before bouncing back out of the diamond's table toward the observer's eye (see Fig. 1 below). This phenomenon is referred to as "light return" (Fig. 2 below) which affects a diamond's brightness, brilliance, and dispersion. Any light-leakage caused by poor symmetry and/or cut proportions (off-make) will adversely affect the quality of light return. The "Shallow Cut" and "Deep Cut" examples in Fig. 1 show how light that enters through the table of a Modern Round Brilliant diamond reaches the pavilion facets and then leaks out from the sides or bottom of the diamond rather than reflecting back to the eye through the table. Less light reflected back to the eye means less "Brilliance". In the "Ideal Cut" example, most of the light entering through the table is reflected back towards the observer from the pavilion facets.
Keep in mind that the variance in proportions between an "Ideal Cut" (ideal make) and a "Fair, Poor, Shallow or Deep Cut" may be difficult to discern to the novice observer, although there will be a lack of brilliance, scintillation, and fire. Cut quality is divided into several grades listed below.
Ideal Cut Premium Cut Very Good / Fine Cut
3 . Poor Diamond Faceting and Symmetry Due to the mathmatics involved in light refraction. This can also result in the undesirable creation of extra facets beyond the required 58. 80. Other variations of the "Modern Round Brilliant" include the "Ideal Brilliant" which was invented by Johnson and Roesch in 1929. The crown will have 33 facets. when one incorrect facet angle can throw off the symmetry of the entire stone. a Round Brilliant cut that does not have the proper proportions and symmetry (off-make) will have noticeably less brilliance. Fig. Common cutting problems can occur during the faceting process. 64. 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. 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. Fig. pavilion and crown angle) and did not provide a subjective ranking of how good the cut was. the "Cut" quality of the "4 Cs" was the most difficult part for a consumer to understand when selecting a good diamond because a GIA or AGS certificate did not show the important measurements influencing cut (i.Good Cut Fair Cut Poor Cut Cut Proportions In the past. All of that has changed with the AGS Cut Grading system and GIA's new "Cut Grading System". 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. Only a trained eye could see the quality of a good cut. and the pavillion will have 25 facets. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. The chart below shows several common problems to look for. or 96 facets which are not counted in the total number of facets (58). and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972.e.
out through the table." was invented by Ken Shigetomi and Kazumi Okuda in 1984. N. In order for a diamond to receive a "Triple-0" grading. there is a balance between "brilliance" and "fire". or a Scan D. and its later incarnation. AGS Triple-0 Certification The American Gem Society (AGS) is the industry leader in laboratory testing of round gems for cut grade and quality. Fig. The IdealScope was invented by Kazumi Okuda in the 1970's. Hearts and Arrows Diamonds A perfectly proportioned ideal cut that is cut to the exacting specifications of a Tolkowsky Cut. which gives out much more fire than a real diamond. all three categories of cut (Polish. GIA vs AGS Cut Grading GIA's new cut-grading system is based on averages that are rounded-up to predict 'light performance. as two stones could be cut from one crystal. Eppler Cut (European Standard). The round brilliant cut is preferred when the crystal is an octahedron. Asymmetrical raw crystals such as macles are usually cut in a "Fancy" style. A well executed round brilliant cut should reflect the maximum amount light from the interior pavilion facets. Emerald . A Triple-0 diamond can also be called a "Triple Ideal Cut" or "AGS-Ideal Zero" diamond. The shape of the diamond cut is heavily dependent upon the original shape of the rough stone. Several basic diamond shapes (Fig. 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. Fancy Diamond Cuts The shape of the cut is a matter of personal taste and preference. 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. The "Ideal" designation is an AGS term that is not found on an GIA report.For a Modern Round Brilliant cut (Tolkowsky Brilliant). Proportion) must meet the "ideal" criteria. the "FireScope. making the diamond appear white when viewed from the top. The GIA will give a symmetry demerit for what it calls "non-standard brillianteering" which some manufacturers use to 'improve' on the standardized Tolkowsky-type cuts. Symetry. 4 Perfectly formed Hearts and Arrows patterns with eight hearts AND eight arrows (above. left) are only found in diamonds that meet the American Gem Society Laboratories' "0" Ideal Cut specifications. Takanori Tamura. the quality of the cutter's execution of that shape is of primary importance. Cut (Scandinavian Standard) will display a "Hearts and Arrows" pattern when observed through a IdealScope (arrows only). or a H & A Viewer gemscope (FireScope). However.' while AGS uses a more exacting combination of proportional facet ratios along with raytracing metrics to calculate light return. 5) are listed below.
As a consumer. Cut 2. CARAT Balancing Cut and Weight A diamond or gemstone's "Carat" designation is a measurement of both the size and weight of the stone. and a 2 carat diamond is 200 points. a 1/2 carat diamond would be 50 points. Carat 3. Therefor. Clarity 4. "Princess" (square outline). When a single piece of jewelry has multiple stones." "Briolette" (a form of Rose cut). "Marquise" or "Navette" (little boat).2 grams (200 milligrams or 3. a 3/4 carat diamond is 75 points. the total mass of all diamonds or gemstones is referred to as "Total Carat Weight" or "T. Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. The "fancy cuts" are generally not held to the same strict standards as Round Brilliants. and the Pear.W. your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the "4 C's" diamond grading system.C. The 4 C's of Diamonds: Carat (Weight) The 4 C's Diamond Grading System 1. One "Carat" is a unit of mass that is equal to 0.007 ounce. A carat can also be divided into "points" with one carat being equal to 100 points. and with each point being 2 milligrams in weight. Color Carat weight is one of the 4 C's.086 grains) or 0. 5 Popular fancy cuts include the "Baguette" (bread loaf).Heart Marquise Oval Pear Princess Radiant Round Trillion (not shown at diagram) Fig. "Heart." .
In ancient times. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor.195 and . or to buy a 1. Price Per Carat (2005) .5 carat 1. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight.10 carat diamond for its better cut. it must be accurate to the second decimal place.5 carat 2. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1.600 12. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line.500 15.5º crown." If the carat weight is shown as ". A diamond that has a specified carat weight of .600 8. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place.800 6.Grade: F Colorless .0 carat 3.20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between .504 carats. or "seed of the carob".204 carat. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond. See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a . girdle and pavilion. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration. Occasionally. 40º pavilion. It is for this reason that an even 1.495 carats and . clarity and weight. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity . as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above.750 30. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown.600 6.VS1 Carat Size</ 0. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone.99 carat diamond for its better price.0 carat 1.5 carats must have an actual weight of between . a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight.
or break the surface.Inclusions large and obvious. may weaken the diamond structurally. thus minimizing any negative impact of the inclusion. and flaws GIA Clarity Grading System The chart below explains the GIA grading system for inclusions and imperfections. fractures. it may be possible to hide certain inclusions behind the setting of the diamond (depending on where the inclusion is located). Clarity 4. . and/or on the surface of the stone. . Considerations in grading the clarity of a diamond include the type of stone. On the other hand. As a consumer. The term "Clarity" refers to the presence or absence of tiny imperfections (inclusions) within the stone."Very Very Small" inclusions.not naked eye VS-2 ."Small" or "Slight" Inclusions or "Imperfections" may be "eye clean" SI-2 ."Very Small" inclusions visible at 10 x mag. Cut 2. it is important to learn and understand the clarity designations found within the "Four C's" diamond grading system. darker inclusions will tend to create the most significant drop in clarity grade. Carat 3. Diamond Clarity Designations FL . reflect the appearance of inclusions within the stone when viewed from above at 10x magnification Higher magnifications and viewing from other angles are also used during the grading process."Very Small" inclusions VS1 is better grade than VS2 SI-1 . light or pale inclusions may show greater relief."Flawless" no inclusions at 10 x magnification IF . with large Inclusions. Inclusions that are near to. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond."Small" or "Slight" Inclusions or "Imperfections" visible to naked eye SI-3 . In "colorless" diamonds.The Four C's Diamond Grading System 1.Imperfect. VVS1 better than VVS2 VS-1 . In fancy-colored diamonds. point size and the location of inclusions.small blemishes VVS-1 . little or no brilliance I1 to I3 . ."Very Very Small" inclusions hard to see at 10 x magnification VVS-2 . therefore reducing its value significantly. making them more apparent. CLARITY All of the grades of diamond clarity shown in the table below. Color Clarity is one of the Four C's. causing a greater drop in grade."Internally Flawless" no inclusions at 10 x mag.
much like repairing a crack in your car's windshield.Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation. therefor it is essential to inform anyone working on a setting if the diamond is fracture-filled.A percussion mark caused by impact." According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides. Cavities . Such diamonds are sometimes called "fracture filled diamonds".Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet. The GIA will not grade fracture-filled diamonds. fringing. or feathers along the outer edge of girdle. Pinpoints . Pique . There is a significant price discount for fracture-filled diamonds.Minute crystals within the diamond that appear white. Internal Diamond Inclusions Carbon . Chips .A natural indentation that was not removed by polishing. Laser Drilling Laser drilling involves using a laser to burn a tunnel or hole to a carbon inclusion. a diamond must be within one clarity grade of its advertised amount at the time of sale. in part because the treatment isn't permanent. Feathers . Clouds . haze.Tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts). Filled Fractures . According to Fred Cuellar in his book How to Buy a Diamond. Internal Graining . followed by acid washing to remove the coloring agent.Irregular crystal growth causing internal distortions.An inclusion that penetrates the surface.An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing. and reputable filling companies will use filling agents which show an orange or pink flash of color. so they can use greater care while working on the piece.Dislodged pinpoint inclusions at the surface. appearing as a raised area. waviness. chips. According to FTC guidelines. Grain Center .Fractures that have been artificially filled. he or she could legally sell it as a VVS-2." . Knots . Indented Naturals .Fine cracks.Concentrated area of crystal growth that appear light or dark.Cloudy grouping of tiny pinpoints that may not resolve at 10X Magnification. If a jeweler sells a diamond that has an actual grade of VS-1.Rutile-like needle inclusions.Inclusions resulting from crystal twining during growth. The heat generated by a blowtorch used to work on settings can cause damage. Bruising . Pits . Surface Graining . The treatment is considered permanent and both the GIA and AGS will issue grades for laser drilled diamonds.Cleavage planes or internal fractures that have the appearance of feathers. Diamond Fracture Filling Diamond clarity is sometimes enhanced by filling fractures. Needles . vendors should disclose this enhancement. "One out of every three diamonds sold in the United States is laser-drilled.Diamond Clarity Grade Inflation A fairly common practice in the jewelry trade is grade-inflation or "grade bumping.Garnet or other Included gem stones Twinning Wisps . External Diamond Inclusions Bearded Girdles . The drilling process leave tiny telltale shafts or tunnels that are visible under magnification. Reputable companies often provide for repeat treatments if heat causes damage to the filling. The final clarity grade will be the grade that is assigned after treatment.
The color chart in Fig.light yellow or brown Fig.Surface burning from heat buildup during polishing. Q. U. T. Cut 2. 1 explains the GIA grading system for clear (not fancy-colored) stones. O. 1 . Neither the GIA nor the AGS (American Gemological Society).faint yellow or brown N. P. the Gemological Institute of America uses a scale of "D" to "Z" in which "D" is totally colorless and "Z" is yellow. COLOR Most all natural diamonds contain small quantities of nitrogen atoms that displacing the carbon atoms within the crystal's lattice structure. absorbing some of the blue spectrum. Z . Scratches . The Four Cs of Diamonds: Color The Four Cs Diamond Grading System 1. Y.Grinding Wheel Marks of scratches from contact with other diamonds. it will be beneficial to learn and understand some of the basic parameters for diamond color grading. thereby making the diamond appear yellow.very light yellow or brown S. Diamonds of this low grade would be inappropriate for jewelry. Carat 3.Whitish haziness along the junction of facets caused by wear. a Sarin Diamond Color Grading report is the state-of-the-art color measuring standard. E. H. V.near colorless K. F .Small chips at facet junctions. Clarity 4. the yellower the stone will appear. The designation of SI-3 was popularized by the EGL (European Gemological Laboratory) grading office. At present. "SI-3" is a grade sometimes used in the diamond industry. Diamond Color Designations D. Color Color is one of the Four Cs representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. I. Burn Marks . These nitrogen impurities are evenly dispersed throughout the stone.colorless (white) G. As a consumer. assign this grade. the most reputable well known US labs.Human Caused Surface Blemishes Abrasions . M . J . X. In determining the color rating of a diamond. Nicks . The higher the amount of nitrogen atoms. R . W. L.
" "whiter than white." are named after the famous Golconda Diamond Mines located in the state of Hyderabad. 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. India. and D5). D2. D-Flawless . as in our Fig. it is extremely benificial to know if your 'F' is a strong 'F. GIA-GEM. IGI. most gem labs do not currently provide color-typing data in their reports and certificates. For the consumer. Fig. D3. and not by looking at the top of the stone." or "D+. Using a Sarin Diamond Colorimeter DC3000 (aka Gran Colorimeter). 3 example below.Due to a diamond's high brilliance. jewelers and gem labs can accurately provide a 'color typing' printout of a diamond's color grading that is compatible with AGS.The Holy Grail . 2). D4. Each classification is divided into five sub-classifications (D1.' or a borderline 'G. Fig.' Unfortunatly. color grading should be determined by examining the stone through the side of the pavilion (Fig. and dispersion of light (fire) when looking through the table or crown. sometimes referred to as "white diamonds. and HRD grading scales. 2 Sarin Color Typing is a relatively new sub-classification of the D through Z gading scale. Color grading by 'visual-observation is performed against a Master CZ Colored Grading Set. These colorless stones.
For diamonds with a color grading of D through H (colorless). Diamonds: Chemistry & Structural Properties Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Structural Properties of Diamond . Even with microscopic inclusions. as the blue fluorescence will cancel out some of the yellow. Only around 600 D-flawless roughs are cut into gems weighing between 1 and 2 carats during a given year.Diamond Formation . they tend to fluoresce as blue. When diamonds are viewed under a UV light-source. Ultra-violet light is a component of natural sunlight and artificial 4800k to 5000k color-proofing light. diamonds with a poorer color grading (I through K).000 D-color diamonds weighing over half a carat are found each year. fluorescence can negatively impact the value of the stone by 3% to 20%. fluorescence could increase the value by 0% to 2% buy improving the color (or lack thereof).Large D-flawless diamonds (those weighing more than 2 carats) are some of the rarest minerals on earth. On the other hand. and strong. Fluorescence is graded as none. See Color in Gemstones for more information. diamonds with a visible tint may be preffered. faint. murky appearance when compared to a non-fluorescing diamond. medium. Skin Tone and Settings While some may prefer a very transparent D to F range. Diamond Fluorescence Approximatly 1/3 (35%) of all diamonds have a tendency to fluoresce when exposed to ultra-violet (UV) light. This fluorescent effect can be beneficial to a diamond that has a yellow tint. others may prefer a "warmer" color found in a G to J range to compliment their skin tone. fewer than 5." but the diamond will have a dull. making the diamond appear "colorless. In some settings with various combinations of other stones. so this effect will be more apparent under natural daylight than under artificial incandescent light. according to the GIA.
Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical. Under the continental crust. with a variety of trace minerals. diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation. ." referring to its incredible hardness. At these depths.52." and "unconquerable. Deep within the earth's crust there are regions that have a high enough temperature (900¼C to 1400¼C) and pressure (5 to 6 GPa) that it is thermodynamically possible for liquified carbon to form into diamonds." "untamable. Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness. igneous rock composed of garnet. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" . Therefore.42. and a specific gravity of 3. phlogopite." is derived from the Greek adamas. a refractive index of 2. olivine. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale. which resemble a champagne flute.044. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe. with the principle allotrope being graphite." which is also known as "adamant. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km). The name "diamond. Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures.200 degrees Celsius). A diamond is a transparent. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon. ultramafic. Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2. or "invincible. and differentiates it from simple graphite.Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time. and pyroxene.
A Type 2-A diamond has a hardness value of 167 GPa (±6) when scratched with an ultrahard fullerite tip. with the end byproduct of the combustion being carbonic-acid gas. Experimentation during the late 18th century demonstrated that diamonds were made of carbon. A diamond's incredible hardness was the subject of curiosity dating back to the Roman empire. and therefore. it is termed as "subhedral. a currently hypothetical material. is nearly as hard as diamond. Diamond Crystal Habit Diamonds have a characteristic crystalline structure." when found in a crystalline form that is structurally similar to diamond. although in nature. or carbon dioxide." This means that diamond crystals usually "grow" in an orderly and symmetrical arrangement." or "anhedral. although the reason for its combustion was not understood at the time. When a gemstone has an irregular external shape or asymmetrical arrangement of its crystal facets." . octahedral. The material "boron nitride. The natural crystal form. above). Additionally. The external shape of the crystal. or dodecahedral. and crystal habit of a diamond is octahedral (photo. whether it is cubic. beta carbon nitride. may also be as hard or harder than diamond. and a hardness value of 231 GPa (±5) when scratched with a diamond tip. by igniting a diamond in an oxygen atmosphere. perfectly formed crystals are rare. a predictable crystal growth pattern known as its "crystal habit. where it was shown to combust in scientific experiments. does not always reflect the internal arrangement of its atoms.
most scratch resistant mineral on earth. and "pound-force" per square-inch in US units of measurement. Hematite has a hardness of only 5. very thin girdles on brilliant cut diamonds are also prone to breakage. due to its ability to fracture along cleavage planes." which only denotes a diamond's high resistance to scratching. Particular cuts of diamond are more prone to breakage along cleavage planes. and therefore may be uninsurable by reputable insurance companies. is a facet specifically designed to resist breakage. causing stress fractures or feathers. sapphire has a hardness rating of 9. The culet facet at the bottom of the pavilion. with a Mohs scale rating of 10. yet sapphire has a toughness rating of excellent. making it seem cold.Trace impurities.© AGS Labs Hexagonal (Graphite) Platelet Inclusion . Although diamond is the "hardest. Many natural blue . a diamond's "toughness" is only fair to good. Carbon Inclusion . crystal twinning. and varying growth conditions of heat.© AGS Labs Diamond Toughness Within the fields of metallurgy and materials science. its "toughness" rating is moderate. A material's toughness is measured in units of "joules" per cubic meter (J/m3) in the SI system. Thermal Properties of Diamonds Diamond is a good conductor of heat. By comparrison. the term "toughness" describes the resistance of a given material to fracture when it is stressed or impacted. Unlike "hardness." and therefore. acting as a "thermal conductor." If you were to place a large enough diamond on your tongue it would draw heat away. Internally formed crystallographic graphite inclusions often create intense strain on the surrounding diamond. Diamond Graphitization In extremely high temperature environments above 1700 ¡C. pressure and space can also affect the final shape of a formed crystal. graphite can develop internally and on the diamond's surface. but its toughness rating is also excellent. Additionally. meaning that a diamond is 4 times "harder" than sapphire.5 to 6.5.
The term adamantine describes the way light interacts with the surface of a crystal.Insulators or Semiconductors Diamond is a relatively good electrical insulator. or brilliance. Optical Properties of Diamond: Type I & Type II Diamonds Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Surface Luster of Diamond Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Electromagnetic Properties of Diamond . The word luster traces its origins back to the Latin word lux. or having the hardness or luster of a diamond. Natural blue diamonds containing boron atoms. or longer-wavelength photons. which are in fact semiconductors.nearly five times greater than pure copper. with the exception of natural blue diamonds. are known as p-type semiconductors.diamonds contain boron atoms which replace carbon atoms within the crystal matrix. and synthetic diamonds that are doped with boron. Purified synthetic diamond can have the highest thermal conductivity (2000-2500 W/m-K) of any solid material at room temperature . and generally implies radiance. to prevent silicon and other semiconducting materials from overheating. inflexible. Fluorescence in Diamonds Fluorescence is an optical phenomenon in which a diamond's molecules absorb high-energy photons. . increasing thermal conductance.com The surface luster (or "lustre") of diamond is described as adamantine. gloss. If an n-type semiconductor can be synthesized. Due to diamond's high thermal conductance. electronic circuits could be manufactured from diamonds in the future . it is used in the manufacturing of semiconductors. giving off a somewhat greasy sheen. meaning "light". re-emitting them as lower-energy. which means unyielding.
Diamond Refraction & Coloration Diamonds are "singly refractive. and some of the finest historical gemstones such as the Cullinan and Koh-i-Noor are both Type IIa diamonds. These Nitrogen impurities found in Type I diamonds are evenly dispersed throughout the gemstone. These rare diamonds have a lower nitrogen content. a natural diamond may contains both Type 1-A and Type 1-B material.417. greenish or yellow fluorescence when exposed to the X-ray wavelength. If the nitrogen atoms are grouped in clusters they do not necessarily affect the diamond's overall color. and are classified as Type 1-B. Typically. show no fluorescence. Man-made synthetic diamonds containing nitrogen are classified as Type 1-B. Type II Diamond Formation Certain diamonds were formed under extremely high pressure for longer time periods. Diamond can exhibit pseudochromatic coloration giving the appearance of "color" without having any actual color in the mineral itself. Natural blue Type II diamonds containing scattered boron impurities within their crystal matrix are good conductors of electricity. Type I & Type II Diamonds As many as 99% of all natural diamonds are classified as Type I. and appear dark when exposed to ultra-violet light or X-rays. and they are classified as Type 1-A. Some diamond varieties.© AGS Labs Type IIa diamonds are very rare. absorbing some of the blue spectrum. they can give the stone a yellow tint. due primarily to certain structural anomalies arising from "plastic deformation" which occurred during their formation. Some Type IIa diamonds can be found with pink. Type II diamonds do not contain any detectable nitrogen. All Type 1 diamonds have nitrogen atoms as their main impurity. classifying them as Type IIb diamonds. which replace some carbon atoms within the crystal lattice structure. . This illusion of color is caused by the varying optics effects created by spectral dispersion. or "fire. 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. or brown coloration. permitting the passage and reflectance of blue light. thereby allowing the passage of short-wave ultra-violet (SWUV) light through the stone. Cloud Inclusion Under UV . If the nitrogen atoms are dispersed evenly throughout the crystal. while Type II diamonds that lack boron impurities are classified as Type IIa. red. particularly Canadian diamonds. and thereby making the diamond appear yellow. making them appear 'colorless' (D). and contain nitrogen atoms as an impurity. These Type IIa diamonds have a near-perfect crystal structure making them highly transparent and colorless.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." with a refractive index of 2. and give off a bluish-white." and refraction. with very high thermal conductivity.© AGS Labs Type I UV Fluorescence .
the intensity of the color in the diamond can plays a significant role in its value. However. and therefor colorless. and their color is due to trace impurities of nitrogen and/or hydrogen (yellow. Once thought to be of little value.Diamond Refraction & Light Dispersion Diamonds can also exhibit allochromatic coloration which is caused by chromophores from the nitrogen trace impurities found within crystalline structure. or yellow diamond may have a relatively low value when compared to a colorless diamond. Yellow. while chemically "pure" diamonds are basically transparent. blue. pink. boron (blue diamonds). certain fancy-colored diamonds such as pink (Condé). red. It is this nitrogen component that produces the color of fancy yellow diamonds. yellow. The value of a Fancy Color Diamond can surpass that of colorless diamonds if the intensity of the color is high and the color is rare. Green & Cognac Fancy Colored Diamond Diamonds can occur in all colors of the spectrum. . steel grey. Fancy Colored Diamonds: Pink. green. In this case. red diamonds). it enters the realm of a "Fancy Color" diamond. Colorless diamonds would normally be priced much higher than yellow diamonds. and black. radiation exposure (green diamonds) or irregular growth patterns within the crystal (pink. However. orange. All colored diamonds contain certain specific impurities and/or structural defects that cause their coloration. Diamond Color & Composition Diamonds can occur in a wide variety of colors: colorless or white. fancy pink diamonds can command very high prices as they have become increasingly popular. Blue. blue (Hope Diamond). green. when a diamond's color is more intense than the "Z" grading. brown. Fancy Diamond Color Hues A fancy brown (or Fancy Cognac). green (Ocean Dream). brown diamonds). and red (Hancock Diamond) are particularly valuable.
and was cut into a 128. left). Pink Diamonds The pink color within these rare diamonds is due to irregular crystal growth patterns.Brown diamonds. sold at a greater discount.S to Z Fancy Light .Highest Saturation One of the largest. Pink diamonds are similar to pink sapphire in color.Pink (Reddish-pink) 1 is darkest 1BP to 8BP . yet considerably more expensive. having a pure magenta color with deep saturation.' found in Kimberly. Fancy Pink/Brown Diamond Color (Hue) Designations 1PP to 8PP .Start of 'Fancy' Fancy Fancy Dark Fancy Intense Fancy Deep Fancy Vivid . 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. hue.N to R Light . Only 1% to 2% of the diamonds produced at the Argyle Mine are high-quality pink specimens.M Very Light .Champagne 3 is darkest C8 to C1 . . and value (darkness) using nine classifications ranging from 'Faint' to 'Vivid. One of the world's only major sources for rare pink diamonds is the Argyle Mine in Australia.' GIA 'Fancy Yellow' Diamond Color Saturation Designations Faint . This Chameleon-like phenomenon was first documented by the GIA in the early 1940s. bright light). An 1P designation would have less blue and more brownish-red. and most valuable Fancy Yellow diamonds in the world is the 'Tiffany Diamond. have become more commonplace as Australian colored diamonds have gained in popularity.54 carat cushion cut with an estimated value in the millions of dollars. lighting color temperatures (incandescent. The rough stone weighed 287. which are generally less appreciated than other fancy colors and therefor.Cognac 8 is darkest Chameleon Diamonds There is a very rare olive-grayish color-changing diamond called "Chameleon Diamond" (below.Pink (Magenta-pink) 1 is darkest 1P to 8P . As the numbers go lower (8PP) the color is paler. which changes hue from grayish-blue or olive-green to yellowish-green or straw-yellow under different lighting conditions (darkness. daylight) and ambient temperature changes. halogen. South Africa in 1878. causing microscopic imperfections within the lattice structure. 1PP is the highest quality designation for Pink Diamond. The GIA grades fancy diamond color by quantifying the saturation.Pink (Brownish-pink) 1 is darkest PC3 to PC1 .42 carats.
The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green.03 carats. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat. and the De Young Red weighing 5. Warren Hancock. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities.com) The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. Green diamonds can range from $35. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa. Intense. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation.90 carats.' discovered during the 18th century.com) Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems. greyish-green.Green Chameleon Diamonds Fancy Pink Diamond Color Grading Chameleon diamonds can be forced to temporarily change to a yellowish-green color by exposing them to heat (150º C to 250º C). On thing is certain.000 per carat.000 in 1987.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness . and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits. or a combination of the two. 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.000 to $500. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926. pure green hues. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. The color change effect is temporary. . Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color. and weighed a modest 0.95carats.
or human caused.L. representing the four main variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. Inclusions which are visible to the naked eye are referred to as piquŽ. and so-called "piquŽ diamonds" fall into the GIA grading range of I1 to I3 (CIBJO grade P1 to P3). or absence of tiny imperfections known as "inclusions. These impurities absorb the blue end of the light spectrum. or on the surface of the cut stone. and beautifully photographed by their Director of Gem Services. F grades. It is for this reason that manufacturers of synthetic diamonds tend to specialize in fancy colors. All of the microscopic inclusion photographs on this page were generously contributed by the A. and can be naturally occuring.G.S.com) Fancy Colored Synthetic Diamonds Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless D. and man-made imperfections—that can be found in raw and cut diamonds. E. Inclusions which are not visible to the naked eye (eye clean) fall into the GIA range of "IF" (Internally Flawless) to "SI2" (Small Inclusions).com Clarity is one of the Four C's of diamond grading. This section contains a compendium of photography depicting all of the various types of diamond inclusions—both naturally occurring." These inclusions can occur within the stone.com) Enhanced Blue & Yellow Diamonds (© AfricaGems. Nevada. gemological testing laboratory in Las Vegas. Diamond Inclusion Library: Inclusion Photos Over 100 High-Resolution Diamond Photos! All Contents: Copyright © 2010 AllAboutGemstones. making the stone appear yellowish. most synthetic diamonds will have a slightly yellowish hue due to nitrogen impurities that are dispersed throughout the crystal lattice structure during the growth phase.Reddish Brown Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. . The term "clarity" refers to the presence. Joe Vanells.
Black or dark material found within a diamond's internal fracture planes can also be particles or crystallographic inclusions of graphite. .Internal Diamond Inclusion Photos Carbon Tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts). ferropericlase. pyrrhotite and pentlandite. pyrrhotite and pentlandite. Black material found within internal fracture planes can also be crystallographic inclusions of graphite. PiquŽ Carbon Inclusion Photos Internal Carbon Pique Diamond Inclusion Photography Piqué are tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts) within diamonds. ferropericlase.
Microscopic Carbon Picque Inclusions Hexagonal Platelet Inclusion in Trillion Cut Diamond .
which can leave their own types of unique inclusions. Internal cloud inclusions may not resolve as pinpoints at 10X . Nevada. Clouds (Cld) A dense grouping of tiny pinpoints that create a cloudy zone which may not resolve as individual pinpoints at 10X Magnification.Carbon piqué inclusions are sometimes removed by diamond enhancements such as laser drilling. All of the microscopic diamond carbon inclusion photography on this page was generously contributed by the AGSL gemological testing laboratory in Las Vegas. and is reproduced with their permission. 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.
which cause internal stress fractures during crystal growth. Feather inclusions can be accompanied by internal graining and/or twinning wisp inclusions. Common around included crystals. Feather inclusions are common around included crystals such as garnet. .Feathers (Ftr) Cleavage planes or internal stress fractures that have the appearance of feathers. 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 caused by stress fractures around included garnet crystal.
This is especially true if the fracture breeches the stone's surface. diamonds with significant stress fractures and feather should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner as this could cause the diamond to shatter. As a result. .Pronounced stress fractures and feather inclusions can potentially weaken the stone. and the stress inclusion occurs along the gem's natural cleavage plane. making it susceptible to fracturing when exposed to thermal or physical shock.
. and haze within a cut diamond. Grain Center Inclusion Photos Internal Grain Center Diamond Inclusion Photography Internal Grain Center (IntGr) inclusions (aka internal graining) are caused by irregular diamond crystal growth which creates internal distortions.Grain Center (GrCnt) A concentrated area of crystal growth that can appear light or dark. waviness.
Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .
Growth Tubes Imperfection formed during crystal growth. Growth Tube Inclusion Photos Internal Growth Tubes Inclusion Photography Internal Growth Tube inclusions are natural Imperfections that are created during diamond formation. . when a tube or tunnel is generated in the crystalizing diamond by an internal cavity that was once liquid filled. when a tube is generated by a formerly liquid filled cavity.
Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .
spinel. calcite. Included Crystals Inclusion Photos Internal Included Crystals in Diamond Included Crystal inclusions are whole crystals or tiny included gem fragments of undigested crystals such as garnet.Included Crystals (Xtl) Included and undigested gemstones or fragments of garnet. Green chrome diopside Inclusion within a Diamond . spinel. or silica. iron oxides. iron oxides. silica or other gem stone inclusions. olivine. diopside. olivine. diopside. calcite.
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 .
Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) Internal pathway caused by laser-drilling to remove large inclusions. Internal Laser Drilling Inclusion Photos Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) Inclusion Photography Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) inclusions are man-made internal flaws that resulted from laser-drilling that was done to remove large piquŽ carbon inclusions in a rough stone. the drilled passage may not breach the cut diamond's surface. and where pathway does not breach the cut diamond's surface. With internal laser-drilling inclusions. .
Needles (Ndl) Rutile-like needle-shaped inclusions. Needle Inclusion Photos Needle Inclusion Photography Internal Needles (Ndl) or needle inclusions are naturally occurring rutile-like needle shaped inclusions within the diamond. .
.Pinpoints (Pp) Minute crystals within the diamond that appear white. Large groupings of small pinpoints can create a cloud inclusion effect. Large groupings of small pinpoints can create a cloud effect. Pinpoint Inclusion Photos Pinpoints (Pp) Inclusion Photography Internal Pinpoints (Pp). or Pinpoint Inclusions are minute included crystals within the diamond that appear white under magnification.
resulting from crystal twining during the growth process. Can be accompanied by graining and strain. Twinning Wisp Inclusion Photos Twinning Wisps Inclusion Photography Twinning Wisp inclusions are naturally-occurring structural defects with a diamond. Twinning Wisp inclusions can be accompanied by internal graining and/or strain feathers.Twinning Wisps Inclusions and defects resulting from crystal-twining during crystal growth. .
showing the strange and beautiful world of microscopic diamond inclusions. .Odds & Ends: Microscopic Diamond Inclusion Beauty Photos Microscopic Diamond Inclusion Photography This is an assortment of spectacular diamond-inclusion photography taken by Joe Vanells.
Natural Comet Inclusion .
Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud .
Tabular Reflection in Diamond .
Included Garnet Twins within Diamond .
Included Dalmatian Garnet .
Cloud Inclusion .
Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers .
Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light .
Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion .
Knot Inclusion Photos Photography of Diamond Inclusion Knots Knot inclusions are naturally occurring external inclusions or imperfections that penetrate the surface (convex). appearing as a raised area.Natural External Diamond Inclusions or Blemishes Knots An inclusion that penetrates the surface. Knot diamond inclusions can potentially be the cause of man-made drag-line inclusions. . appearing as a raised area on the diamond's surface.
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.
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. 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. .
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 (SGr) Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation. Surface Graining Inclusion Photos Diamond Surface Graining (SGr) Photography Surface Graining (SGr) is a natural imperfection or inclusion that creates visible surface lines which are caused by irregular crystallization during diamond formation. .
chips. fringing.Human Caused Surface Blemishes Abrasion (Abr) A tightly grouped series of nicks along the sharp edge of facet junctions. creating a whitish fuzzy edge as opposed to a sharp edge. Bruising (Br) A percussion mark or hole caused by impact and surrounded by tiny feathers. or feathers along the outer edge of girdle. . Bearded Girdle (BG) Fine cracks.
during cutting and/or polishing the diamond. . or caught by a included crystal. 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. Cavities (Cv) An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing. Chips Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet.Burn Marks Created during polishing. Drag Lines Created when a rough particle is dragged along the surface. or when abrasive material is caught by an included crystal such as garnet during the polishing of a diamond. the overheating of a facet causes a burn mark.
Filled Fractures Fractures or feathers that have been artificially filled to enhance clarity. and remove cloudiness. .Extra Facet (EF) An asymmetrical and irregularly placed facet that is not part of the original faceting scheme. 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.
markings. marking. and inscriptions. or inscribing the external surface of a cut diamond.Laser Etching or Markings Careless or inadvertent laser etchings. Laser Etching Photos Diamond Laser Etching Inscription Photography Laser etching inclusions are surface blemishes and imperfections that are created when careless or inadvertent markings or inscriptions are made while laser etching. .
Polish Lines (PL) Fine parallel surface groves resulting from the polishing process. Scratch (S) A fine whitish line that can be curved or straight." whitish film on the surface of a facet caused by excessive heat during polishing. Diamond Enhancements: Laser Drilling & Fracture Filling . Polish Marks (PM) Also known as "Wheel Marks.
A trained gemologist should be able to identify most traditional "enhancements" made to a particular stone. much like you would repair a crack in a car's windshield glass. in accordance with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines for the gem trade. These techniques do not eliminate the imperfection.© 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.Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Enhanced Diamonds Diamond "enhancements" are specific treatments performed on cut. Unfilled Fractures around Garnet Inclusion . Minor diamond inclusions or surface imperfections which are not visible to the naked eye ("VVS1" to "SI2") can be disguised." 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. but instead attempt to hide their visual effect. Such diamonds are sometimes then branded as "fracture filled diamonds. which are designed to improve the visual or gemological characteristics of the stone.© AGS Lab Telltale Signs of Fracture Filling . altered. or treatments to give a fancy color to a off-white diamond. or removed by employing several invasive techniques from fracture filling to laser drilling. . Diamond Fracture Filling Diamond clarity is sometimes improved and enhanced by filling tiny fractures or feathers with molten glass. There are also heating treatments to improve a white diamond's color grade. but not necessarily increase its value. polished natural diamonds.
© AGS Lab Laser Drilling Tubes . Laser Drilling of Diamonds Laser drilling involves the use of a laser to burn a tunnel or hole down to any dark carbon inclusions or piquŽ. The final clarity grade will be the grade that is assigned after treatment. the heat generated by a blowtorch used to work on settings can cause damage to the filling material. so that the jeweler can use greater care while working on the piece. followed by acid washing to remove the coloring agent. Due to its low melting-point. referred to as the HTHP process.© AfricaGems. It is therefor essential to inform anyone working on a setting where the diamond has been fracture-filled.There should always be a significant price discount for any diamond that has been fracture-filled. and the diamonds are tested to ensure that no trace levels of radiation remain. The drilling process leave tiny telltale shafts or tunnels that are visible under high magnification (see photos below). Diamonds treated with HTHP have their molecular altered so that intense.com Radiation treatments are completely safe. According to Fred Cuellar in his book How to Buy a Diamond. Reputable filling companies will often provide repeat treatments if heat causes damage to the filling.com Color Enhanced Diamonds .© AfricaGems. "One out of every three diamonds sold in the United States is laser-drilled. Natural Fancy Diamonds . "vivid" blue and yellow colors result. or subjecting the diamond to intense pressure and temperature. These enhancements are achieved using low levels of radiation (irradiation)." Diamond Color Treatment Color enhancement of diamonds in done to increase the color intensity of so-called "fancy" colored diamonds. and both the GIA and AGS will issue grades for laser drilled diamonds. . Signs of Laser Drilling . in part because the treatment isn't permanent.© AGS Lab The laser-drilling treatment is considered permanent. and the GIA will not even grade a fracture-filled diamond.
by H. they are increasingly used in fine jewelry as their quality increases. The process. tiny fragments of synthetic diamond were created by heating charcoal. the crucible and its contents were rapidly cooled by immersing them into cold water. With Moissan's process. there are two main processes for creating lab diamonds: the High-Temperature High-Pressure or "HTHP" method.© AGS Labs Synthetic Yellow Chatham Diamond . or carbon to an extremely high temperature (4000º C) in a cast iron crucible.com The process of creating man-made diamonds (aka cultured diamonds. the intense heat would render the crucible and its carbon contents into a molten liquid mass. Although synthetic diamonds were originally conceived as a substitute for natural industrial-grade diamonds. which created enough pressure to crystallize the molten carbon into tiny diamond fragments. . The first practical commercial application of Moissan's process was developed in 1954. These man-made synthetic diamonds are a laboratory-grown simulation of the natural gemstone. known as the HTHP (high-temperature. lab diamonds) was first conceived by French chemist Henri Moissan in 1892.© AGS Labs Today. Synthetic Diamond under Fluorescent . high-pressure) "belt press" process was used for synthesizing industrial-grade diamonds. This abrupt cooling caused the rapid shrinkage of the molten iron crucible. and the Chemical Vapor Deposition or "CVD" method.Tracy Hall for the General Electric Company.Synthetic Diamonds & Man-Made Diamond Simulants Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite The First Synthetic Diamonds Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Using an electric furnace constructed with blocks of lime. yet they have the identical carbon-based chemical properties of natural diamond. and has been steadily improved upon throughout the last 50 years. Once the desired temperature had been achieved.
The vaporized carbon gases are energized using microwave energy. most of these lesser simulants fell by the wayside. or by measuring UV fluorescence with a DiamondView tester. Thrilliant Synthetic Spinel (1920-1947) Corundolite. Diamonaire. A cultured synthetic diamond will have the identical cleavage. ultraviolet. and surface luster as its natural diamond counterpart.High-Temperature High-Pressure (HTHP) The "High-Temperature High-Pressure" (HTHP) technique. also known as "GE POL. Geminaire In the early 1900's. hardness." also known as "simulated diamonds" or "fake diamonds" are man-made gemstones that look like. Common diamond simulants include: Cubic Zirconia (CZ) (1976-) Czarite. Synthetic diamonds can be detected using infrared. Diamond Essence. making the stone appear yellowish. Lustergem. Jourado Diamond. or X-ray spectroscopy. the diamond's entire growth process takes several days to complete. Diamonite. Radient Yttrium Aluminum Garnet (YAG) (1970-1975) Diamone." uses a four-anvil 'tetrahedral press. a seed or substrate material is placed into the growth camber. and Moissanite in 1998. most synthetic diamonds will have a slightly yellowish hue due to nitrogen impurities that are dispersed through out the crystal lattice structure during the growth phase. Synthetic Diamond Color & Optics Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless form. Java Gem. the HTHP diamond's growth process can take 7 to 10 days to complete. With CVD. light dispersion. synthetic diamonds may contain small inclusions. In the late 1940's Diamondite gave way to Synthetic Rutile which was popular until the advent of YAG in the early 1970's. and a combination of heat and pressure are applied to the seed in a process that attempts to replicate the natural conditions for diamond-formation. produced using the Verneuil (flame-fusion) Process. A diamond seed is placed into a growth camber. or "simulate" the appearance of natural diamonds. Fabulite Synthetic Rutile (1946-1955) Diamothyst. or "deposited" onto the substrate in successive layers. which attracts the gas to the substrate.' or six-anvil 'cubic press' to create the necessary pressure. and a combination of heat and pressure are applied while a vaporized carbon-plasma that is combined with hydrogen is applied. Like natural diamond. Using Chemical Vapor Deposition. refractive index. Magalux. ranging in clarity from IF to SI or I. Synthetic Diamond Manufacturers Apollo Diamonds . colorless synthetic sapphire (aka Diamondite) was a popular diamond simulant. and uses a lowerpressure growth environment than the earlier HTHP method. Titangem Synthetic Sapphire (1900-1947) Diamondette. making them difficult to differentiate from natural diamonds. Rutania. Synthetic diamonds can also be treated with the HTHP process to alter the optical properties of the stones. Diamondite. Phianite Gadolinium Gallium Garnet (GGG) (1972-1975) Strontium Titanate (ST) (1955 . Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) The "Chemical Vapor Deposition" (CVD) method was developed during the 1980s. Diamonte. specific gravity.1970) Diagem. Diamond Simulants Diamond "simulants. but are not a carbonbased compound having a natural diamond's crystalline structure. These impurities absorb the blue end of the light spectrum. With the advent of Cubic Zirconia in the mid 1970's. Unlike their natural diamond counterparts. Rainbow Diamond.
Cubic Zirconia (Zirconium Oxide ZrO2) has a completely different chemical structure. While a synthetic diamond is a man-made recreation of an actual carbon-based diamond.com To the average consumer. and some fancy colored diamonds. The Split Sphere system crystalizes the carbon seed in an alkaline. and like Chatham.apollodiamond. and CZ has a hardness of only 8. princess.Apollo Diamond. Apollo Diamond's cut stones are available in round brilliant. www. carbonate fluid solution that is similar to diamond-bearing metamorphic rock. which they claim is the closest thing to mother nature. The toughness of Cubic Zirconia is rated as good.. and each cut stone is laser inscribed with the Apollo company logo and serial number. Apollo Diamonds are cut and polished in sizes ranging from .). . while diamond has a hardness of 10. inc. of Bangkok Thailand. and rose cuts.chatham. using a proprietary variation of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) technique.com Gemesis Cultured Diamonds Gemesis is located in Sarasota.com Tairus Created Gems Tairus Created Gems is a Russian company that grows fancy-colored diamonds in their proprietary "Split Sphere" system.com Chatham Created Diamonds Chatham Gems is a San Francisco based company that grows only fancy-colored diamonds in colors ranging from champagne and canary yellow to pink and midnight blue.gemesis. Ltd.25 carats is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. each Gemesis cut stone over . To insure easy identification as a man-made product. and stones are cut to order. Massachusetts grows colorless (D to M) diamonds. Chatham's pricing ranges from $6.500 to $9.30 carats to 3 carats. emerald. Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is the most familiar type of diamond simulant on the market. Tairus Created Gems are sold exclusively through Tairus Thailand Co. Tairus produces rough sizes from .500 per carat (2004 est. in Boston.3 on the Mohs scale. Gemesis only grows fancy-colored diamonds. and each stone is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number.25 carats to 1 carat. www. with clarity grades from IF to SI. Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite Cubic Zirconia Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. www. Florida.
and CZs can be made in any "color grade. Diamond's RI is 2. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing. Natural diamonds attract grease. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight.In 1973. the greater dispersive power. . Once the mixture has cooled. CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. 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.17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2.41 (RI). CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds.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. Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored. or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond . or colorless (white) versions. You can also Inspect the facet edges with a 10x loupe to look for any chipping or slightly rounded (not sharp) facet edges that are telltale signs of Cubic Zirconia.) in a totally dark room. The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below)." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR). 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. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. a CZ is optically flawless.170. Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left). although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce. Zirconium oxide powder is heated. Unlike most natural diamonds. etc.800 . but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye. The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease. CZ vs Diamond . candle. For instance. Due to their low cost and consistency.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator.80 to 2.2. The 1.
and diamond at 0. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective.060.104 as compared to CZ at 0. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. center) near Winslow. . Moissanite has an RI of 2.25 on the Mohs scale.417. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion. 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.65 to 2. found only in iron-nickel meteorites. is classified as an element rather than a compound. Henri Moissan (above. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0.69. Arizona. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. when examining the gem through the kite facets. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.A small. candle. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2.com Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. while diamond has a hardness of 10.044. etc. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond.670. left) who won the Nobel Prize in 1906 for his discovery of a new mineral (moissanite6H) found within meteorite fragments of the ancient Barringer meteor crater (above. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. Moissanite has a hardness of 9. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting.) in a dark room. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ. Moissanite. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index.
You can also Inspect the facet edges with a 10x loupe to look for any chipping or slightly rounded or soft (not sharp) edges that are telltale signs of Simulants." and the rough stone must be cut with the grain. A similarly sharp. diamonds were valued primarily for their luster and hardness. due to its high refractive index. The Modern Round Brilliant cut (below) is the culmination of several hundred years of experimentation and development.A small." At the time. caused by primary reflections from the pavilion and CZ's low RI. Diamonds: Modern Diamond Cutting Diamond Cutting Background One of the hardest substances on earth. Like wood. diamond is singly refractive Refractive Index: Moissanite has a refractive index of 2. The first improvements on nature's design involved a polishing of the crystal faces. Cutting a Rough Diamond . although it can be easily cleaved or fractured due to its defined cleavage planes. Table Cut diamonds appeared black to the eye. diamonds were used in their natural octahedral state.417 Moissanite is double refractive (anisotropic) while a natural diamond is singly refractive (isotropic). rather than against it. Moissanite vs Diamond . Diamond cutting can be traced back to the late Middle Ages. most diamonds have some inclusions Moissanite vs Diamond . diamond has a "grain. Diamond's RI is 2. Prior to this time. creating the "Table Cut. but significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its high RI. only a diamond is hard enough to cut other diamonds. detailed and sharply focused pattern caused by secondary reflections will be seen when observing a diamond. which was called the "Point Cut.Detectable With Testing Double Refraction: Moissanite is double refractive.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." As further refinement progressed. Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be more diffused.670. one half of the crystal would be cut off.
rounding the rough diamond into a conical shape. Diamonds: Ideal Cut . then pressing it against a revolving cast iron disk. Due to its atomic structure. 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. on a scaife. Each step is critical to the final outcome. During this faceting stage the angles of each facet must be cut to an exacting standard in order to yield maximum brilliancy. The steps are: Marking Cleaving Sawing Bruting (Girdling) Faceting Marking: A rough stone is marked prior to cleaving or sawing to determine the direction of the grain and cleavage. then a "brillianteer" will cut and polish the remaining 40 facets. This step is also referred to as "rounding. A rough stone is cleaved if there are conspicuous defects and/or inclusions which would prevent it from being made into a single gemstone. Bruting: The rough is placed in a chuck on a lathe. As the saw blade rotates it continues to pickup or "recharge" itself with diamond dust which is the cutting agent. the "blocker" or "lapper" will cut the first 18 main facets.Cutting a raw diamond into a faceted and polished gem-quality stone is a multi-step process. Asymmetrical crystals such as macles are used primarily for fancy cuts. Cubic shapes are ideal for a square Princess or Radiant cut. Cleaving is a critical step as a mistake by the "cleaver" could fracture. The cutting (also called "placing") and polishing of each facet is accomplished by attaching the stone to a dop stick with cement. a diamond can be cleaved in four directions parallel to each of the four octahedron crystal faces. and maintain symmetry. eliminate waste." Faceting: To facet a round brilliant. Cleaving: Cleaving refers to splitting a stone along its grain by striking it. or shatter the stone. It can take several hours for the saw blade to cut through a 1k rough diamond.Modern Round Brilliant Diamond . Sawing: A stone-cutting saw is a thin disk made of phosphor bronze. a second diamond mounted on a dop is pressed against it. Cleavage is the tendency of crystalline materials to split along defined cleavage plane. and bypass any inclusions or imperfections. The natural shape of the rough stone will also be a major factor in deciding how to cut the stone. High-tech computerized helium and oxygen analyzers are now used to evaluate a stone prior to cutting. or lap that has been "charged" with diamond dust. While the rough stone rotates on the diamond lathe.
it would be cost effective to sacrifice some carat weight in order to finish with two "Ideal" cuts. a cutter must make a cost-benefit analysis as to how to maximize the cut stone's value. but in order to do this. on the other hand. Reconciling Cut & Weight Retention If the rough stone has a colorless D through F rating and has very few inclusions.weight retention. compromises would have to be made. elimination of any inclusions.com When deciding how to cut a rough diamond. 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 . This is accomplished by reconciling three key factors . cut proportions. If. An octehedral rough diamond will yield two round brilliant cut stones (see diagram below).Ideal Cut vs Standard Cut Diamond Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. it may be better to aim for a higher carat weight utilizing a "Standard" cut. and the amount of internal inclusions will play an important part in the decisions as to how to maximize yield. The objective is always to maximize carat weight. The clarity of the stone. the rough stone has some coloration and/or is heavily included.
The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem. it is the most efficient cut for maximizing yield. you will see that there are 8 "star" facets. it is the best cut for showcasing a high-quality stone's fire and brilliance. The Modern Round Brilliant Cut The modern "Round Brilliant Cut" (below) was developed by Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. An "Ideal Cut". the cutting and polishing of a diamonds resulted in a loss of as much as 50% of the stone's total weight. and one "table" facet on the top of the stone for a total of 58 facets. This cut is also known as the "Tolkowsky Cut" and "Tolkowsky Brilliant. etc. This is primarily due to the fact that this cut has yet to be improved on for two reasons: 1. 16 "lower girdle" facets. hearts." Even with modern techniques. 16 "upper girdle" facets. "Premium Cut" or "Modern Round Brilliant" (Tolkowsky Round Brilliant) diamond as shown in the diagrams above would have the following basic proportions according to the AGS: . 8 "kite" facets. as two stones could be cut from one crystal. This is why it is very rare to see flawless stones cut into fancy cuts such as emeralds. The round brilliant cut is beneficial when the crystal is an octahedron. 8 "pavilion" facets. 1 "culet" facet on the bottom. 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. and 2.
.5%.7%. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. Eppler & Scan D.' 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.4%. As with all human endeavors. and crown/pavilion angles. facet ratios. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish.7%.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35. Symmetry. Ideal Scope. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios. To quantify a diamond's cut quality. . H&A Viewer. invented in 1929. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. Since then. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%." (Scandinavian standard.6% and overall height of 57. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). more brilliance and fire. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. Tolkowsky.5% to 43. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer.N. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed.N. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57. crown height of 14.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. very small to small In the 1970s. crown height of 14. and overall height of 57. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts. etc. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut. The "Scan D. and Proportions. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant". A perfect blending of facet symmetry.
less facets. the Asscher diamond cut has a squarish octagonal shape with a step cut. the Cullinan 1 and Cullinan 2 being set into the crown and sceptre of the British Crown Jewels. (more facets. www. The cut has a deep pavilion and a high crown. cut corners and a small table. but some like the Barion Cut have disappeared into obscurity.like Einstein's theory of relativity. and number of facets. etc. with the two largest stones.) and when suitably scrutinized by the gem trade. Asscher Cut The Asscher Cut was developed by Abraham and Joseph Asscher of the Royal Asscher Diamond Company of Amsterdam in 1902. Diamonds: Patented Signature Diamond Cuts Notable Patented & Proprietary Diamond Cuts Since the early 1900s there has been a proliferation of elaborate diamond cuts that have been developed by master gem cutters.Producers split hairs over cut angle. Here is a collection of just a few of the many "signature" diamond cuts that have been produced over the last 100 years. it is put in front of the ultimate arbiter of quality . scientists. and it still survives in some form today. but at the end of the day it may simply come down to consumer preference and/or marketing.the consumer. and entrepreneurs . The Asscher brothers cut the famous 3. and the culet is square.asscher. or the widely marketed Leo cut which is a modified round-brilliant sold by Leo Schachter Diamonds.each trying to improve on the tried-and-true Old European cuts. Popular in Art Deco jewelry of the period. Some have gone on to become household names such as the Asscher cut.106 carat Cullinan Diamond into eleven gem stones. cut proportions.nl Barion Cut . One thing is for sure . mathematicians. Tolkowsky came up with a "brilliant" idea almost 90 years ago. and their modest brilliance and light return. Every conceivable cutting theory is tried.
or the company website. modified rectangular (baguette) cut that was developed by Baroka Creations. Barocut diamonds are promoted and sold exclusively through the Baroka Creations catalog.baroka. and creates a high amount of waste. Barocut The Barocut® diamond cut is a patented. The Eternal Cut has a total of 81 facets.de Eternal Cut The Eternal Cut diamond was designed and patented by master Israeli diamond cutter. Gabi Tolkowsky.freiesleben. adding up to 50% to the cost when compared to a Round Brilliant cut diamond. and a 'softer' briliance than a traditional round brilliant cut. creating a unique 'flower petal' pattern surrounding the cutlet. parting ways in 2002 to again become Garrard.com Context Cut The Context Cut is a square cut that was developed by Dr. The Context Cut design was based on an earlier patented design by Bernd Munsteiner from the early 1960s. and in all diamond colors and/or clarity grades. with star-shaped cross facets cut diagonally into the pavilion. www. or to increase light-dispersion. The Context Cut is used to cut colored gemstones by Julius Petsch of Idar-Oberstein. The name "Barion" or "Barion cut" was never trademarked. www. 23 more than a modern Round Brilliant cut.com . Inc. Ulrich Freiesleben of Germany in the early 1980s then patented and trademarked in 1997. Germany. of New York in 2000. www. Marce Tolkowsky. nephew to the inventor of the Modern Round Brilliant cut. not including the 16 girdle facets. and its patent has expired. The Barocut is available in sizes from 20 points to 3 carats. The Context Cut consists of two back-to-back pyramids (an octahedron). The cutting process requires a high-quality rough. Barocut stones are also sold in tapered shapes. merged with the jewelry firm Asprey. The Context Cut follows a rough diamond crystal's natural octahedral shape. and a total of 81 facets.garrard. It is sold exclusively through the 270 year old firm of Garrard & Company in London. forming a square shape when viewed from the top. and was the forerunner to the princess cut. The Eternal Cut is being sold exclusively at Garrard's main London store and Harvey Nichols stores in Great Britain. In 1998. to become Asprey & Garrard. The Barocut is also called a "two heart diamond" due to the illusion of two mirrored hearts meeting at the culet.The Barion square cut (aka Barion square cushion cut) was invented by Basil Watermeyer of South Africa in 1971. The Barion square cut diamond has a 4-fold mirror-image symmetry. Garrard & Co. A Barocut diamond has a total of 77 facets. The cut has a total of 8 facets plus a girdle. 81 facets on the cut corner (cushion) version.
Fire-Rose. oval. . off-color stones.com Leo Cut The Leo® Diamond.com Flower Cut The 'Flower Cut' series was created by Gabi Tolkowsky in 1986. Other than the traditional round brilliant shape. emerald. (aka Leo Schachter Diamond). The Dahlia is a 12 sided oval shape with 63 facets. The Flanders Brilliant has 33 crown facets and 28 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets. Sunflower and Zinnia cut.com www. marquise. designed to maximize the brilliance and color of diamonds while increasing their yield. is a patented symmetrical round cut created by Leo Schachter Diamonds. The Zinnia is a round fancy shape with 73 facets. maximizing the amount of light returned back as scintillation. The Sunflower has 43 facets in unusual. the Gabrielle has a total of 105 facets. The Fire-Rose is a hexagonal shape designed to produce higher yields. angular shapes.flanders-cuts. www. Unveiled at the Las Vegas Gem Show in 2001. The Flower Cut is actually a series of five fancy cut shapes: the Dahlia. and the cut was named after the Flanders region of Belgium (Antwerp) where the cut was first preformed in 1987.nationaldiamond. Marigold. that is suited to a relatively flat rough.gabriellediamonds. The Leo diamond cut has a total of 66 facets. which is 47 more than a traditional 'Tolkowsky' round brilliant cut. The Marigold is an octagon shape with 73 facets. www. The Flower Cuts employ unconventional cutting angles and dimensions. The cut is distributed by the National Diamond Syndicate (NDS) of Chicago. 48 of which are clustered around the culet to increase fire. The Gabrielle Diamond The Gabrielle® Cut is a modified brilliant cut (triple brilliant cut) that was created by DeBeers desinger/consultant Gabriel Tolkowsky in 2000. The Flower Cuts were never patented or trademarked by De Beers in order to increase their popularity and use. LLC.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. the Gabrielle Cut is available in carre. and pear shapes. heart. adding greater brilliance and fire than standard brilliant cuts. The Flanders Fire-Brilliant was developed by Flanders Cut International of Antwerp in 1983. who was commissioned by De Beers to create new cuts as a way of marketing unusual. 8 more facets than the Round Brilliant cut's 58.
and all Original Radiant Cut diamonds weigh at least 0. small table.' and each diamond comes with a "Return of Light Certificate.diamondaires. RCDC launched the 'Original Radiant Cut' diamond brand In 2002." The Leo Diamond is marketed through the Kay Jeweler chain.com Lucida Cut The Lucida (TM) Cut is a patented diamond cut that was created by Tiffany & Company in 1999. a highstep crown (similar to the Asscher Cut). and three-stone rings.tiffany. and the table is a bowed out rectangle. It was the first emerald shaped diamond cut to have brilliance and fire similar to that of a round brilliant diamond. eternity bands. The pavilion is similar to a Barion cut.com Quadrillion Cut The Quadrillion® Cut (aka Squarillion Cut) is a modified square princess cut that was developed by Israel Itzkowitz and Betzalel Ambar in the late 1970s. The Lucida diamond cut is a modified square or rectangular (Marquise) cut with truncated corners. and was patented and trademarked by Bez Ambar Jewelers of Los Angeles in 1980.70 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. Upon the expiration of the patent. www. There are 25 crown facets and 36 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets (not including 8 girdle facets).The Leo diamond cut is the first to be certified for fire and brilliance as measured by a 'BrillianceScope. There are a total of 49 facets. The Lucida is sold exclusively through Tiffany's retail chain. www. and a total of has 50 facets. Bez Ambar Radiant Cut The Radiant Cut is a modified emerald cut shape that was developed.com Starburst Cut . Prior to the Quadrillion. the Radiant Cut became a fully accepted diamond shape in the jewelry business. www. brilliant-style faceted pavilion (similar to a Cushion Cut). 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.radiantcut. sold in solitaire engagement/wedding bands. square shaped diamonds were stepcut limiting their brilliance.
www. of New York in 1978. making the hue of fancy yellow diamonds more intense.com The faceting of diamonds has come a long way in the last 700 years. With the realization that only a diamond could cut another diamond. but the pavilion is completely different.com Trilliant Cut The Trilliant Cut (aka Trielle. with weight losses in the fifty percent range. Harry Winston. The Trilliant has the Schoenflies point group symmetry of a round brilliant. and the natural octahedral symmetry of the rough stone's closed isometric form.early 1300s The "point cut" (below left) is one of the first symmetrically faceted diamond cuts. Nieman Marcus and Tiffany. There are two variations of this cut: the Curved cut used for solitary stones. The pavilion has two differently sized sets triangular facets with a large triangular table. The crown of the Starburst Cut is similar to that of the radiant cut. Trillion) is a triangular cut designed and trademarked by the Henry Meyer Diamond Company of New York in 1962. fire. The Trilliant trademark has since lapsed. 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. Old Mine Cut Evolution of the Faceted Diamond & Colored Gem Article Copyright © 2008 AllAboutGemstones. but that has not always been easy as these little chunks of elemental carbon are harder that anything that could be found to cut them. The Trilliant cut gives a high brilliance. . The Starburst cut was created to bring out the highest amount of color to fancy yellow diamonds. Still. and Uncurved cut used for accent stones.The Starburst Cut was patented and trademarked by the Louis Glick Diamond Corp. reworked into the shape of a trillion (triangle). and the Trilliant is now a generic term for a triangular brilliant cut. brilliance. Starburst Cuts are mounted and sold directly through Cartier. From this point forward it was a race to see who could design the perfect faceted cut which would bring out the maximum fire. Old European Gem Cuts: Point.louisglick. The "table cut" (below. Point Cut . There are 49 crown facets and 40 pavilion facets. and scintillation when cut to the correct proportions. The starburst faceting pattern is designed to focus color near the top of a stone. The Trilliant Cut has a total of 31 facets. for a total of 89 kite and star shaped facets. craftsmen have attempted to "improve" on nature. and the career of the "diamantaire" (diamond cutter/polisher) was born. Trillian. Old eight. The point cut design is dictated by the natural shape of an octahedral rough diamond. and light return from the stone. this led to the invention of the first gem cutting machines (precursor to the "lap" or "Facetron") in the 1300s. the precursor for the "design" of the first faceted diamond lay within the rough stone itself. The Starburst cut is especially suitable for a octahedral rough. Since the day that humans first discovered 'adamas' (diamonds). right) was created by cutting off some of the top half of the point cut's octahedron to create a table.
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 "briolette cut" is a modified "double Dutch rose cut" with one of the hemispheres being elongated. resulting in a smaller table.Single Cut ." "crowned rose cut. The culet is usually large enough to be visible when viewed through the table. The single cut may or may not have a culet at the bottom. eight bezel or crown facets. The "senaille cut" is a rose cut with irregular or non-symmetrical faceting. Rose & Briolette Cut. The briolette cut was designed primarily for use in a pendant or as a dangling bauble in a crown. and eight pavilion facets. Also called the "cushion cut".1700s The "old mine" cut is the earliest form of the "brilliant cut" diamond. The crown is typically tall. Old Mine Cut . it has a cushioned or rounded girdle shape. This Old Mine cut is basically square with gently rounded corners and "brilliant" style facets.late 1300s Invented in the late 14th century. ." and the Full Holland cut. an octagonal table. the "old single cut" (aka "old eight cut") diamond has the addition of corner facets to create an octagonal girdle.1500s Invented in the mid 16th century. 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." "Dutch cut.
As with its predecessor the "point cut" over 600 years earlier. the Modern Round Brilliant cut is beneficial when the crystal is an octahedron (diagram above).1900s The "modern round brilliant cut" (below) was developed by Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. the cutting and polishing of a diamonds resulted in a loss of as much as 50% of the stone's total weight.1800s The "Old European" cut was the forerunner of the modern round brilliant cut. This cut is also known as the "Tolkowsky Cut" and "Tolkowsky brilliant." Even with modern techniques. The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem. and very tall overall depth. Eight Cut & Swiss Cut The "eight cut" is primarily used for small stones when a brilliant cut would be impractical. The Modern Round Brilliant Cut . a heavy crown. eight facets at the pavilion. and an octagon-shaped table for a total of 17 facets (18 if a culet is used). Like the modern round brilliant. The eight cut is similar to the "single cut" in that there are eight four-sided trapezoidal facets at the crown. as two stones can be cut from one crystal with a minimum amount of waste. the old European diamond has a circular girdle. The Old European diamond cut has a very small table.Old European Cut . .
which combines ("aggregating") supplies of rough diamonds from multiple sources into one wholesale market (#2). Gaborone.000 categories based on size. or secondary mining producers in Canada and Russia to De Beers' Diamond Trading Company (DTC) in London." The 'Diamond Pipeline' Rough diamonds are sent directly from De Beers mining operations in Africa (#1). The Diamond Trade: The 'Diamond Pipeline' Rough Diamond Producers Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. then divided by human or automated sorters into individual lots called "boxes. 16 isosceles triangle facets on the crown and 16 facets on the pavilion. silver or platinum.A "Swiss cut" is a compromise between an eight cut and a brilliant cut. with a total of 33 facets (34 if a culet is used). Rio Tinto. Trans Hex. color and quality. The rough stones are separated into 16." The DTC is part of the DeBeers Group supply-chain known as the Central Selling Organization (CSO). 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. There is a limited market for the resale of diamonds that are less than "investment grade. there is usually a substantial mark-up in the retail sale price of diamonds. BHP Billiton and a hand-full of other companies which use their cartel power to control the supply of diamonds on the wholesale market (diamond pipeline). thereby controlling and stabilizing prices. for sorting and resale. Kimberley and Windhoek. .com The trade in gem-grade rough diamonds is primarily controlled by the De Beers. Unlike precious metals such as gold.
reclaiming their "A Diamond Is Forever" moniker. Additionally. through their Diamond Promotion Service (DPS) and Diamond Information Centres (DIC) marketing divisions.000. they are sold to retailers or direct to the customer. and Thailand. (see DeBeers' Adiamondisforever. De Beers and the Future De Beers' (CSO's) control over the wholesale diamond market has diminished due to increased market penetration. and independent diamond producers in Canada. A 'sight' can have a value of between $500. The diamonds are then re-sold from the cutting and polishing (manufacturing) centers to wholesalers (Diamond Bourses). diamonds have underperformed since 1987 when compared to the "luxury goods" market or global GDP. De Beers. Ramat Gan. Rough diamonds are cut in various geographic regions according to tradition and the skill-sets of the labor force. cutters.20 carats or less) in Mumbai (Bombay) and Surat. and the breakaway from CSO's cartel by the Argyle Diamond Mine in Australia. The sightholder then transports the box of rough diamonds back to diamantaire firms (cutting and polishing factories) located around the world (#4). where De Beers sells the "boxes" to its select group ("supplier of choice") of 125 "sightholders" (#3) or diamond manufacturers. Tel Aviv.000 USD. Other major cutting centers are located in Johannesburg. Many Sightholders are also cutters. De Beers (DTC) sets the price of each box in advance.com website). India cuts the vast majority of small stones (. and retailers . to take advantage of market fluctuations. As a reaction to their decrease in market share. and New York. which are increasing in popularity and consumer acceptance. Russia and elswhere. has launched an aggressive branding and marketing campaign. or to jewelry manufacturers (#5) around the world. while large stones are primarily cut in Antwerp.De Beers Sightholders The DTC holds a sale called a "site" or "sight" ten times per year in London and Johannesburg. . De Beers is also facing increasing pressure from the manufactures of synthetic diamonds. Once the diamonds are set into jewelry. Both traders and manufacturers may sell diamonds "upstream" and "downstream" through the diamond pipeline . China. determining the quantity and quality that each site-holder will receive.000 to $2.
and Rijfstraat. Moscow. Almost 85% of the world's rough diamonds. Belgium but there are also Diamond Bourses in Israel.com The word "Bourse" refers to a private stock.500 diamond dealers (diamantbedrijven) are ensconced in small. Europe. Forevermark diamonds will be available through sightholder/retailers in the U. 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. The Council has approximately 70 members representing jewelers. the WDC has observers from the governments of Belgium. Within Antwerp's diamond district. are sold in Antwerp every year. Hoveniersstraat. traders and manufacturer/producers. and Shanghai. and about half of the polished diamonds. and will com with a certificate of authenticity. Schupstraat. also known as the "World Diamond Center" or Diamantenzentrum. the European Union and the United Nations to rid the diamond Industry of conflict diamonds. China. In addition to its members. or commodities exchange similar to the NYSE. De Beers is hoping that the combination of branding and security will increase consumer demand. London. and India (2007). The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base. heavily guarded geographic area surrounded by three main streets. Hong Kong. The Council began in July 2000 after a joint meeting of the WFDB and its international headquarters are in New York City. The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates .Forevermark Diamonds As a way of staving off the onslaught of secondary diamond markets. KPCS originated in May 2000 during a meeting of South African diamond producing states in Kimberley.S. some 1. the DTC has developed new inscription technologies to "invisibly" mark the table facet of polished diamonds with a "Forevermark" trademark. and preventing the inherent product misidentification that will follow. cut and uncut diamonds. and the city is the hub of the global diamond trading industry (diamanthandel). South Africa. The largest diamond trading center in the world is located in Antwerp. Israel and South Africa and works with 35 independent Governments.. This mark is only visible via a point-of-sale electronic viewer. Diamond Industry Trade Organizations World Diamond Council The World Diamond Council (aka: International Diamond Council) was established by the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) to find ways to reduce the number of conflict diamonds entering the diamond market. The Diamond Trade: Diamond Bourses of Antwerp Diamond Bourses Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Diamond Bourses are basically trading exchanges for loose. Asia. NY . 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 . As of 2006. bond. .
Most transactions conducted within the Bourses done with cash and a handshake. and both are still in operation today. Around $16+ billion in polished diamonds pass through Antwerp's diamond bourses each year. and disputes are handled by an internal arbitration process. In Antwerp's 'Diamond Center' (Diamantenzentrum) today. 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. and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) was founded in 1947.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. making it the largest diamond-trading center in the world . friendship and trust . uncut diamonds was the Antwerpsche Diamantkring (Antwerp Diamond Ring) . and repatriation of Antwerp following the end of WWII. bisected by Hoveniersstraat street. Beurs voor Diamanthandel . an by-laws that govern business practices. Both bourse were founded by Hasidim diamantairs. ethics and morality. which was established in the same year that the 1930 World Expo was held in Antwerp. there are around 4000 diamond-cutters (diamantaire) working in the several-square-block diamond district.Photo: Wiki Public The first trading exchange to deal exclusively with rough. The Diamond High Council (HRD) . These first trading exchanges mainly dealt with the wholesaling of cut stones. the Antwerpsche Diamantkring was reopened. Control over the diamond trade is maintained through the WFDB's Constitution containing a series of rules. founded in 1893—and the Beurs voor Diamanthande (at Pelikaanstraat 78) founded in 1904 . regulations. After the liberation.
who were in search of the "quiet sweet life. and Limpopo (Venetia Diamond Mine). Flemish. 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.' During the 1830s and 1840s. 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. Gauteng (Premier Diamond Mine).The HRD (Hoge Raad voor Diamant) Diamond High Council is a non-profit industry organization designed to promote and represent the Antwerp diamond trade. and fully annexed the Cape Colony in 1806 . coming for .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.' 'Limpopo. or German Protestant backgrounds. ending with the inclusion of all Boer territories into British colonies." Three of South Africa's richest diamond mines are in Northern Cape (Kimberley Diamond Mine). The First Boer War (1880—1881) began with the Transvaal (Limpopo) Boers declaring independence from Great Britain. there was a mass exodus (the Great Trek) northward to 'Northern Cape. They settled in the 'Cape of Good Hope' on Africa's southern most tip. The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base. Diamonds and the British The Second Wave of Europeans Needing a stopping-off point on the sea-route to Australia and India. Afrikaners (aka Boers or farmers) were religious refugees from the Netherlands and other parts of northern Europe during the mid 1600s to late 1700s.000 Zulu warriors attacking 470 Boer settlers. under the Treaty of Vereeniging.' After the devastating Zulu defeat. but 3000 Zulus were killed in what became known as the 'Battle of Blood River. England seized the Cape of Good Hope from the Dutch East India Company in 1797. Afrikaners who participated in the migration northward became known as the 'Trekboer' or Voortrekkers. most with Dutch Calvinist. with 10. which at the time was administered by the 'Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie' or 'Dutch East India Company. This led to a new wave of emigrants and adventurer-seekers from England. There was not a single Boer fatality.' 'Gauteng. The Boers resisted British encroachments into their territory until the Second 'Anglo' Boer War (1899— 1902). and this eventually lead to all-out war. The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates .' and the 'Orange Free State' provinces to escape hostilities with the native 'Xhosa tribe' from which Nelson Mandela decended.
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. De Beer. D. diamond speculator and fellow Englishman named Barney Barnato (1852—1897) was buying up pieces of the Big Hole in Kimberley to form the Kimberley Central Mine. A. Domain Cecil Rhodes Cecil Rhodes (1853—1902) is the undisputed father of the modern diamond industry. Photo: Pub. and later selling steam-powered water pumps to drain the open-pit mines of Kimberley. Amid all of this turmoil and chaos. Barnato was given appointed to 'life governor' and temporary controlling interest in De Beers . Domain Barney Barnato During the same period that Cecil Rhodes was building De Beers Consolidated Mines. In exchange. but was eventually successful in convincing Barnato to merge with De Beers. One of the richest men in the world. Barnato died several years later. and in 1910 the 'Union of South Africa' was created. The African nation of Rhodesia was named after him (now the Republic of Zimbabwe). Photo: Pub. although Rhodes did not start out with an interest in diamonds. Domain Thomas M. and J. a prospector. Rhodes started out selling ice cream to the diamond-diggers and service workers.the "mineral revolution.' Cecil Rhodes died a single man with no children and.. N. As a young lad from England. As founder of De Beers. Rhodes made several aborted attempt to gain control over Barnato's interest in Kimberley Central Mine. With the help of the Rothschild bank in London. no heirs to his empire. mysteriously falling overboard on a ship passage back to England. 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. self-government was restored. a curious discovery was being made along the banks of the Orange River." In 1906. Cecil Rhodes' De Beers empire was started on a farm owned by two Boer settlers and brothers. Cullinan . De Beers and Kimberley Central were the two largest mining interests in South Africa at the time. in Northern Cape. he was able to build a monopolistic empire through skill and cunning.. Photo: Pub.
Sir Thomas Major Cullinan (1860—1936) was the founder of one of Africa's richest diamond mines, the 'Premier Diamond Mine,' 30 kilometers east of Pretoria, in Gauteng province, South Africa. Although Cullinan was already a successful building contractor in Johannesburg, he was also an amateur geologist who had heard about alluvial diamonds being found along a stream near the old 'Cornelis Minnaar Farm' in upper Gauteng. Cullinan was interested in purchasing the farm, which had already changed hands several times, but the present owner, Willem Prinsloo (who had purchased the land for £570 in 1861) was not interested in selling. Shortly after the close Anglo Boer War (1898—1902), Willem Prinsloo's widow agreed to sell the land to Cullinan for £52,000, and the 'Transvaal Premier Diamond Mining Company LTD' was officially registered on the December 1, 1902 . On January 25th 1905, a 3,106 carat diamond was found at the mine, which remains the largest diamond ever found in the world. When news of Premier's success hit the board room of De Beers, several aborted attempts were made to purchase the mine, but Cullinan had no intention of selling . In 1914, WW1 broke out in Europe, and diamond prices began to spiral. Layoffs at the mine caused enough friction that by August, mining operations were suspended. The Premier Mine had resumed production by January 1916, but in need of cash, Cullinan sold a major stake in the mine to the Transvaal government. Frank Oats, who was now the chairman of De Beers, was able to convince the Transvaal government to sell its controlling interest in 1917, and De Beers once again enjoyed a monopoly on South African diamonds.
Diamonds and the Ashkenazi, Sephardi and Hasidic Jews
There is perhaps no other ethnic group that is so inextricably intertwined with the diamond trade, than the jews. In an odd twist of fate, it may be Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama's discovery of a searoute to India around Africa's Cape of Good Hope in 1488, that set the stage for the Jewish/diamond connection. Da Gama's discovery opened up a direct diamond-trading route from India's Malabar Coast and the island of Borneo, to Portugal and on the Netherlands. With Lisbon now at the forefront of the European diamond trade, many Portuguese Sephardi businessmen opened cutting houses, and quickly gained a dominant roll in the diamond-polishing industry. The Sephardi were Jews who originated from Spain and Portugal (the Iberian Peninsula), many practicing a secret adherence to Judaism known as "Crypto-Judaism," while professing other faiths. Jews who practiced their religion in the open were expelled from Spain and Portugal, when the Catholic Monarchs issued the "Alhambra Decree" in 1492 (1497 for Portugal), fleeing to Morocco, the Ottoman Empire, Antwerp and Amsterdam. When the first Jewish emigrants (Ashkenazi) came to Antwerp in the 1200s, they were welcomed, but when the Black Plague swept across Antwerp in the mid 1300s, the Jews were one of the scapegoats. Although Amsterdam's Dutch were relatively tolerant when it came to religious freedom, in 1585 Antwerp came under Spanish rule, and the Jews (this time Sephardic), were once again the focus of scrutiny. With the Spanish Inquisition in high gear, Jews were now persecuted for conducting trade with the Ottoman Empire, or for being 'pseudo-Christian.' In the 1600s, wealthy Jewish diamond-traders now living in the Netherlands, financed the 'Dutch East India Company' and its exploration of new trade routes to India, but the British were beginning to see opportunity in the diamond trade, creating new competition for the Jewish/Dutch. Prior to being granted 'civil equality' in 1796, Amsterdam's Jews were not allowed to join trade guilds, leaving the unregulated diamond industry as one of the only means of employment. By the late 18th century, many of Amsterdam's Jews were working in the diamond trade, and many of these 'Sephardi refugees' had maintained connections with Portuguese traders who now had a monopoly on the trade of raw diamonds from India. By the early 1700s, India's mines were nearing exhaustion, but a new discovery in Brazil helped to reinvigorate the diamond trade. By this time, British naval superiority proved to be a great advantage, and the 'British East India Company' was born. The European center for the diamond trade now began to move away from Amsterdam, as Jewish traders set up shop in London. The cut stones were sold to the nobility and royalty of Europe, using the Hofjude (Court Jews) as purchasing agents to select the stones from the London diamond merchants.
Photo: Pub. Domain
The Pshevorsk Hasidic Dynasty Hasidic Judaism was founded by Polish (now Ukrainian) Rabbi 'Ba'al Shem Tov', aka 'Israel ben Eliezer' (1698—1760) in a time when European Jews were facing increasing hostility and pressure from the "Cossacks' Uprising" in Ukraine. The Hasidic movement is a sub-group of the theologically conservative Haredi or Charedi Judaism, aka Ultra-Orthodox Judaism. The movement was seen as a way of turning inward towards a 'deeper spiritualism and mysticism.' Hasidism spread westward, making its way to western Europe in the 1800s. The Hasidic movement in Antwerp began with Rabbi Moshe of Pshevorsk, who authored 'Ohr Pnei Moshe' in 1805 . The Pshevorsk is a small sub-Hasidic movement based in Antwerp, Belgium, with their hub at the study hall (beth midrash), 'Beth Yitzchok' at Mercatorstraat 56. With the discovery of vast diamond reserves in South Africa during the late 1800s, concern over a glut in the diamond market spread throughout London's diamond merchants. A group of wealthy Jewish dealers pooled their resources to form "the syndicate," which was created to soak up all of the excess capacity being created by South Africa. Today, Antwerp and London's diamond trade is largely controlled by the Hasidic Jewish community, although Indian influence is on the rise in recent years. Many of these Hasidic entrepreneurs are nameless by choice, preferring to maintain their anonymity, but they have been the driving force behind the multi-billion dollar diamond industry for hundreds of years.
Photo: Pub. Domain
Alfred Beit Alfred Beit (1853—1906) was born into a prominent Jewish family in Hamburg, Germany. Beit worked for the diamond firm of Jules Porges and Co. in Amsterdam before emigrating to 'Cape Colony' in 1875 during the Kimberley diamond-rush . Beit was part of a group of financiers, including Cecil Rhodes, who gained control of the diamond-mining claims in the Central Mine, Dutoitspan Mine, and De Beers Mine, thereby 'consolodating' the South African mining industry. becoming a 'life-governor' of De Beers Consolidated Mines. He was also the director of the Beira Railway Company, British South Africa Company, Rand Mines, and the Rhodesia Railways. Beit, along with partner Cecil Rhodes, financed the 1895 'Jameson Raid' which was an attempt to trigger an unsuccessful coup in the South African Republic of Transvaal. The Royal School of Mines, at the Imperial College London has a large memorial to Beit, in recognition of the Beit trust's bequeathment to the university, and to educational institutions in Britain, Germany South Africa, and Zimbabwe (Rhodesia).
Photo: Pub. Domain
Sir Ernest Oppenheimer Ernest Oppenheimer (1880—1957) was born in Friedberg, Germany to a large Jewish family, and with several brothers working for "the syndicate," Ernest was well positioned for his future vocation. He began his career at age 17, working for the diamond brokerage firm, Dunkelsbuhler & Company in London. Oppenheimer created the concept of "single-channel marketing" over 100 years ago, by funneling the world's supply of diamonds through a single clearing house. Oppenheimer gained control of Namibia's diamond mines, forming the Anglo American mining conglomerate. This gave him the financing and power to gain the chairmanship of De Beers. Today, Oppenheimer's Anglo American operates a fleet of diamond recovery ships off the coast of Namibia and South Africa under the umbrella of De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited (DBCM), and Central Holdings Limited (CHL), an Oppenheimer family holding company, and in partnership with Namdeb.
Photo: Pub. Domain
Nicky Oppenheimer Ernest's grandson, Nicky Oppenheimer (born 1945) studied philosophy at Oxford as a young man, and is now the chairman of the De Beers Diamond Mining Company and its subsidiary Diamond Trading Company. The Oppenheimer family and Anglo American maintains a 45% stake in De Beers today. Africa's richest man, and #134 on the Forbes list of the world's richest people, Nicky Oppenheimer is worth an estimated $4.5 billion. Under new legislation, passed by the African National Congress, Nicky Oppenheimer was forced to sell a 26% share of De Beers to the South African 'Black Economic Empowerment' group (BEE). This was the first major ownership change for De Beers in over a century. Of the legislation Oppenheimer said: "De Beers is here to make a profit, but we must benefit the people and communities where we operate."
Photo: Pub. Domain
Lev Leviev The Lev Leviev Group, created by Israeli national, Lev Leviev (born 1956 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan) is the worlds largest cutter and polisher (diamantaire) of rough diamonds, with factories in Armenia, India, Israel, and the Ukraine. The Lev Leviev Group also owns mining interests in Namibia's offshore dredging operations. Through his personal relationship to Vladimir Putin and other Russian heads of
Mr. to purchasing a 51% stake in Safdico (South African Diamond Corp. selling to the rich and famous from Elizabeth Taylor and Donald Trump.). Lev Leviev lives in B'nei Brak.state.5 billion dollars . a DeBeers sightholder in Johannesburg." the Leviev Group has found willing partners in several countries including Angola's ASCORP after De Beers' exit in 2001. Lev Leviev has formed a partnership with the ex Soviet state-owned diamond firm. and one of the most successful diamond merchants in modern history. found on August 22. with his wife and their nine children. which gives him access to some of the finest uncut diamonds coming out of South Africa. Tretiakovsky Proezd in Moscow.5 billion (#278 Forbes List). Dubai." a compendium and history of his most famous jewels. New York's Madison Avenue. Raised by his grandparents. in 1992. By circumventing the De Beers supply chain. It will ultimately be cut into an estimated 20 or so 'D-flawless' stones ranging from 75 carats to 1 carat in size." and the "king of bling" by Forbes magazine . Leviev's net-worth is estimated at $2. Graff has co-authored (with Vanessa von Zitzewitz) "The Most Fabulous Jewels in the World. Graff has been dubbed the "king of diamonds. Russia. Alrosa now sells direct to cutting factories throughout Russia. Domain Laurence Graff Laurence Graff (1938—) is a DeBeers sightholder. Using this model of "local control. Laurence Graff was born into a Jewish orthodox family in London's poorer 'East End' district. Monte Carlo. ALROSA produces 100% of Russia's rough diamond output and approximately 20% of the world's rough diamonds . The Hindustani Diamond Cutters Photo: dnavin. One of his most notable acquisitions was the 603 carat "Lesotho Promise diamond. formed by Decree 158C of the Russian Federation.com Gujarat's Indian Diamantaires . now called ALROSA (Almazy-Rossii-Sakha) . Hotel de Paris' salon privé in Paris. and has satellite locations in Wafi City. 2006 at the Letseng diamond mine in the tiny Kingdom of Lesotho in the center of the Republic of South Africa. Photo: Pub. All House of Graff stones have a laser-inscribed girdle with the 'Graff' logo and GIA number. and on board the luxury residential ship The World ResidenSea. Graff's strategy of "vertically integration" has been to control every angle of the diamond pipeline. founder of the House of Graff in the heart of London's posh New Bond Street. to Larry Ellison. Israel. which are now owned by Lev Leviev. and the largest rough unearthed in this century. from wholesale and retail. House of Graff is also located on London's Sloane Street. Graff's net worth is estimated at 2. Lesotho Promise is the 15th largest diamond ever found.
and De Beers India. Shree Ramkrishna Exports.com Dilip Mehta Indian diamantaire. and Israelis didn't want to work with . Several other divisions of the Rosy Blue Group. from Hong Kong to Israel. the Indians would not be giving up their rightful heritage as diamantaires. improve perceptions. Harshad Mehta ("Diamond King of the world") is one of the founders of Rosy Blue." The Bharat Diamond Bourse in Mumbai. a minister to the Indian king. they were able to gain an increasingly larger share of the wholesale diamond trade. The Indian communities' share has grown to around 60%. started out thirty years ago by purchasing cheaper stones that the Dutch Hasidim. D. to elevate quality standards. based upon eternal. The Sanskrit word for 'diamond' was vajra. .above). Mehta. and although India's famous "Diamonds of Golconda" were mined-out hundreds of years ago. Gujarat. and exports several billion dollars worth of gems per year. and to develop an "understanding of the world market. displacing the Hasidim as the dominant force in the industry . and is currently a Senior Partner and head of the UAE division.Diamonds made their first reluctant appearance in human history over 2400 years ago. Sanghavi Exports. propelling their twin companies. and were written about in an ancient Sanskrit manuscript called the "The Lesson of Profit" Arthasastra (c. and Vijaydimon are family owned operations run by Jains with the common surnames of Jhavari." The Indians would go on to enjoy a singular reign over the diamond-rich dominion—known as Hindustan—for another two thousand years. or "thunderbolt. Gitanjali Gems. M. both college dropouts. It is estimated that India cuts. Mumbai. Companies like Bhavani Gems. Chandragupta. with diamond cutting factories located in Borivali. and Surat's 'Special Economic Zone' . By slowly developing markets. with $1. universal truths. heighten awareness of ethical business practices. Domain Bharat & Vijay Shah Bharat and Vijay Shah came from a family of jewelers going back three generations. Much of India's diamond trade is controlled by a handful of wealthy families in Gujarat. Venus Jewels. India (born 1949). Jainism is an ancient Indian religious sect believing in the 'Jain' philosophy. Suresh & Co. (HDC). is the CEO of the 'Rosy Blue Group' which is currently one of the world's largest diamond companies. is the newest addition to India's arsenal of global marketing tools to promote exports. and the DTC has demonstrated Gujarat's power in the diamond cutting/polishing arena by increasing India's take of its 125 sightholder contracts to nearly 50 in 2006.7 billion in annual sales . The brothers. This vast fortune is shared by some 300 to 500 Gujaratis families from Palanpur on the GujaratRajasthan border . Of the $26 billion per year diamond revenues that flow through Antwerp. Navinchandra & Co (board of directors . Dilip Mehta of Mumbai. The Indo Argyle Diamond Council (IADC) formed in 1994 as a consortium of Indian jewelry manufacturers and cutting houses. 320 BC) by Kautiliya. Photo: rosyblue. are headed and staffed by Mehta family members. Photo: Pub. the Hindustan Diamond Company Ltd. polishes. Gitanjali Gems is one of the largest manufacturers of diamonds and diamond jewelry in India. and Shah.
president José Eduardo dos Santos is preventing democratic elections from taking place. Vijaydimon also purchases rough diamonds from Canada's Diavik Mine and Argyle (Rio Tinto) and Russia . In a post-conflict reconstruction effort. Palanpur.Vijaydimon (Belgium) and B Vijaykumar (India) . employing 22. The company has cutting factories in Antwerp. the political situation in Angola has begun to normalize. and the United States. and Tel Aviv.000 workers. UAE. both domestically and internationally. with one of the fastest per-capita income growth rates in the world. The president of Sierra Leone. Domain N. and the end to South African apartheid in 1994. who was a major general in the army. is receiving broad support from the South Africa. succeeded his father (Laurent-Désiré Kabila) as president the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC) after his assassination in January 2001. Diamonds and the African Nationals Photos: Public Domain Kabila. Kabila. Singapore. China. Mandela. Diamonds and the Americans Photo: Pub. Bangkok. and enjoys broad support. is making great strides in stabilizing the country after years of strife. & Mogae Starting with Botswana's independence in 1966. Thailand. Ayer & Son . Angola and from mining magnates. At the age of 29. The last democratic election in Angola was in 1992. all who have signed multi-million dollar trade deals. On a somewhat darker note. Surat. dos Santos. only hinting at their possibility in 2007 or 2008. Hong Kong. Kabbah. into a global position with nearly $1 Billion a year in sales. Bombay. Joseph Kabila (above. working in cooperation with the government of Sierra Leone. Botswana has held regular elections and has been one of the more stable governments in southern Africa.W. left). After winning a disicive re-election victory in 2006. India. the 'United Nations Industrial Development Orginization' (UNIDO). many of the ex-colonial nations of Sub-Saharan Africa are starting to emerge as powerful and legitimate forces in the diamond industry. President Festus Mogae was elected for a second term in 2004. After years of fighting between the PMLA and UNITA. created a program for capacity-building of 'small and medium-sized enterprise' (SME) development. Vijaydimon is a DTC sightholder with offices in Belgium. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. Botswana is a relatively wealthy African country.
"A diamond is forever" is the legendary saying that was created by America's first advertising agency. The stone was cut in Paris. Domain Hollywood in 1949 Coming just on the heels of the immortal "a diamond is forever" campaign. who was known for his jewelry expertise. the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine. aka "the King of Diamonds. Tiffany was able to purchase significant gems from such renowned estates as: the 'jewel-mad' Duke of Brunswick. Styne moved to Hollywood where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn. producing the 128. After attending Chicago Musical College. which started out as 'Tiffany & Young' of New York City in 1837.' staring Audrey Hepburn. Jule Styne." was the co-founder of Tiffany & Co. One of Tiffany's most notable diamond acquisitions was a 287. this time from playwriter. and featuring the memorable scene in which Holly gazes longingly into Tiffany's window display. Photo: Pub. The 'Tiffany & Co. and the diamond industry was particularly hard hit. De Beers and the diamond industry got another shot in the arm. and the subsequent overthrowing of King Louis-Philippe of France in 1848. Domain Charles Lewis Tiffany Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812—1902). Ayer & Son. the values of ostentatious gems and jewelry dropped precipitously. N.' brand was catapulted into the stratosphere by the 1961 movie 'Breakfast at Tiffany's. Photo: Pub. specializing in one-of-a-kind baubles for New York's newly-minted industrialists and 'robber-barons. A 19. for resale in America. The Great Depression had taken a heavy toll on luxury goods during the 1930s. Sir Francis "Piggy" Beekman.72 carat cushion-cut diamond (one of the "Diamonds of Golconda") was mounted by Tiffany." by Jean Schlumberger in the 1960s.W. Harry Frederick Oppenheimer enlisted the help of N. Ayer in 1938.' which was adapted to film in 1953. and from the Spanish Crown Jewels . gems and jewelry from the estates of the European aristocracy. The movie version featured Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend." after here charecter. was originally a 'fancy goods' emporium.' The stone was set into a garish jewelry piece called "Bird on a Rock. purchased diamonds. Prince Esterhazy of Hungary. and a series of diamond-related slogans were introduced into the American lexicon. After the French revolution in 1799. De Beers president. and Tiffany seized on the opportunity. The Tiffany is still selling luxury jewelry in their trademarked 'Tiffany Blue Box. Styne wrote the score for the 1949 Broadway musical 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. and sold to Nanaline Duke (now in the Doris Duke Collection).54 carat 'The Tiffany Diamond. In 1948 the famous "A diamond is forever" slogan was introduced. Tiffany & Young.W.' at the flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. Charles Tiffany. Jule Styne (born Julius Kerwin Stein) was born in London. . Lorelei receives a diamond tiara from her suitor.' During the 1800s.42 carat rough flawless-yellow diamond from the 'Compagnie Français de Diamant du Cap' (Kimberley mine) in 1877. the public's tolerance towards nobility was at a low point. With financial shockwaves caused by the French economy's collapse in 1847. located at 259 Broadway.
appraisal report. The Consumer Last. and their willingness to purchase the concept of "foreverness. 2006 Hollywood in 2006 Blood Diamond is the latest incarnation of Hollywood's fascination with diamond. or "cert" may be your only assurance that you are getting exactly what you paid for." there would be no "diamond trade. the World Diamond Council placed ten full-page ads in newspapers around the county.Photo: © Warner Bros. Diamonds are tested for . grading report. In a preemptive strike against any negative publicity that the movie would generate. as writer Charles Leavitt takes us through the dark underbelly of the diamond trade. Through interviews with human-rights organizations like Doctors Without Borders and Global Witness. the glamor is laid bare." 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. Were it not for intrepid consumers. Leavitt weaves a tale of Sierra Leone's impoverished "diamond diggers." and the terrible working conditions that these workers must endure. This time. a diamond certificates. certificate of authenticity. but not least. the unsung hero in the diamond trade. we have the faceless American consumer.
Mumbai. GIA Certificate A GIA (Gemological Institute of America) report provides detailed information about the dimensions. . and is the largest independent gem certification and appraisal institute in the United States.the basics (cut dimensions and proportions. and carat weight) and they are also tested for traces of gem enhancement. Shipley in 1931. which can be substantially different. shape and cut of a stone. wether the stone is natural or synthetic. Tokyo. Certificates of Authenticity. Toronto. there is very little (visible) difference between a FL stone and a IF or VVS-1 stone . The IGI offers Identification Reports. and Attestations of Origin. Appraisal Reports. Antwerp. If you are purchasing an "investment grade" diamond it is essential to have a detailed cert from a reputable gemological laboratory that specializes in diamonds . the same year that Shipley published his groundbreaking book titled 'Gemology. tone. with operations in New York City.not only for resale. clarity.' GIA's world headquarters are located in Carlsbad. color. 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. Although even a lay-person may be able to tell the difference between a triple-zero diamond and a cheap. but for insurance appraisal as well. Dubai and Hong Kong.other than the price. poorly cut SI-3 grade stone. carat weight. with offices around the globe. and saturation of a colored stone. and of corse. California. Bangkok. The GIA was founded by Robert M. and wether they are synthetic. Los Angeles. IGI Certificate The International Gemological Institute (IGI) is the oldest institute of its kind in Antwerp. GIA reports also cover any treatments or enhancements that have been done. founded in 1975.
Cut. color. and the graders can not know the identity of the owner. and finish. and Fluorescence. Shape. jewellery design and gemology. HRD also offers gemelogical training and continuing education courses in diamond grading. weight. mesurments. as well as quantifying the standard parameters of Clarity. Color. All diamonds are examined anonymously. with "Triple Excellent" being the highest overall designation. . HRD uses the "Hearts and Arrows" measuring system which was developed by HRD Antwerp scientists. Carat Weight. origin (colored gems).The IGI lab grades diamonds as well as colored gemstones along several basic criteria which include: shape and cut. Belgium issues quality reports for loose (unmounted) polished diamonds according to ISO 17025 international standards for gemelogical testing laboratories. HRD Antwerp Diamond Certificate The certificates department of HRD Antwerp in Antwerpen. HRD's refined Cut Grading system measures each of the three parameters (proportions. the sorting of rough diamonds. clarity. polish and symmetry) using a scale ranging from Excellent to Fair.
AGS grades diamond color on a numeric sliding scale that is similar to GIA's alphabetical scale. HRD uses complex watermarking to prevent copying or falsifying their reports." is not an appraisal of monetary value. the HRD lab also uses state-of-the-art technology to test for subtle and hard to recognize enhancements such as HPHT. and to set a higher standard of business ethics and professional practices in the jewelry industry. referred to as a "Diamond Quality Document" or "DQD. as well as the most comprehensive system for grading the all-important 'cut' parameters. Aditionally. mathematicians. 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. Symmetry. AGSL Certificate The AGSL was the first gem lab to grade a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. Shipley. 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. as opposed to GIA's vvs. Today. but rather a comprehensive quality evaluation. The AGS Gemological Laboratories was established in 1996 to provide state-of-the-art diamond grading and appraisal services to the jewelry industry.com The American Gem Society was founded in 1934 by Robert M. 'Polish' and 'Symmetry' were merged into one category called "Finish. A diamond's clarity is also graded on a simple numeric scale from 0 to 10.As well as testing for synthetic diamonds. and does not evaluate other types of colored gemstones. 2005 can be viewed online. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor)." The AGS Cut Grading system was developed through of years of research by gemologists. The mission of the AGS is to increase consumer awareness. To insure the security of their documents. . creator of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). AGS is considered the premier diamond-grading laboratory." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors. In 2004 AGS added a new category referred to as "Light Performance" but to retained the "Triple Zero" monicker for diamonds with a perfect score. and Proportions. along with a consortium of independent jewelers. and optical physicists. having the most rigid grading standards. vs. and s ratings. Diamond Grading AGS Diamond Quality Report (DQD) AGS Gemological Laboratory Background Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. The AGS specializes in diamond testing and evaluation. An AGS report. certificates issued after January 1.
In 2004 AGS added a new category that is referred to as "Light Performance. mathematicians. Proportions & Light Performance The AGSL was the first gem lab to grade a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. Symmetry. leakage and light spread." The AGS Cut grading system was developed through years of research by gemologists. Each parameter is given a numeric grade from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). contrast. and Proportions. . 'Polish' and 'Symmetry' were merged into one category called "Finish. dispersion.Cut Grade: Finish. The ray-tracing program measures the quantity of the light being returned to the viewer by quantifying brightness. and optical physicists." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors." but to retained the "Triple Zero" monicker for diamonds with a perfect score. 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.
5.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003.0 to 1.5 to 4. 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. 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 7.0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless . relative facet angles. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram. in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above).0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint ." or "ideal" rating. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles. where facets intersect with each-other.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light . the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.3. and individual facet ratios." 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. all measured in three spacial dimensions.5 to 3. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless .1.7. AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond.0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light .' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero.
Pricing for a diamond grading report is based on carat weight. Additionally. and can only be accessed by tunneling underground and creating underground "rooms" or "stopes" that are supported by timber pillars or standing rock. 2. AGS will also provide analysis of a manufacturers 'cut performance' by analyzing a sample stone's Sarin file. while a shaft is . minerals. Accessing the underground ore is achieved via a horizontal passageway called a "decline. AGSL reports will also grade cut quality for emerald.com Diamonds and other precious and semi-precious gemstones are extracted from the earth using five basic mining techniques. These diamond extraction methods vary depending on how the minerals are deposited within the earth. AGS will only evaluate loose. which are used by non-contact measuring-device manufacturers such as Sarin Technologies. and will soon be offering cut evaluations for other fancy shapes. and ore bodies that are in situ. and OGI Systems. As of 2005. AGS offers laser inscription services as well. Dubai. OctoNus Software. 5.Extraction Methods Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. unmounted diamonds. India and Israel. left) refers to various techniques used to extract gems." A decline is a spiral (corkscrew) tunnel which circles the ore deposit. Diamonds: Gem & Diamond Mining Technology Photos: Public Domain Diamond & Gem Mining . 3. 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. the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA). The AGS supplies 'facet arrangement' templates corresponding to their cutgrading system. 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. 4. Obtaining an AGS Report AGS is a 'trade-industry' testing laboratory that will only evaluate diamonds sent from jewelers or manufacturers. princess. and octagon step-cut diamonds. so that the cutter can improve the light performance of their cut stones. and the peripheral damage that will be done to the surrounding environment. The principle methods of diamond extraction are: 1.Triple-0 Round Brilliant Setting 'American Star Diamond' 13." or a by a vertical "shaft. through AGS offices in Antwerp.42 Carat D.
also known as "sand-bank mining" (top of page. and is a derivative form of open-cast mining used to extract minerals from the surface of the earth without the use of tunneling. CAT-tracked underwater mining vehicles) move across the sea floor pumping gravel up to an offshore vessel. Marine Mining Marine mining technology only became commercially viable in the early 1990s. Placer Mining Placer diamond mining.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. therefore.vertical tunnel used for ore haulage. or sand) that is unsuitable for tunneling. or large conical sieves. right) with bare hands. and have a specific gravity that is higher than that of common minerals. or hand digging (artisanal mining). While on board. Artisanal diamond mining is a form of "subsistence based" non-mechanized mining that is used in poorer countries throughout the world. at a maximum depth of 500 feet. rock or sedimentary soil.Photo: USGS Alluvial Diamond . Open Pit Mining Open-pit diamond mining. and access to the ore. center) is a method of extracting rock and minerals from the earth by removal from a machine-dug open pit or burrow. Marine diamond mining employs both "vertical" and "horizontal" techniques to extract diamonds from offshore placer deposits. Laborers who work in artisanal diamond mining are called "diamond diggers" (below left). Open pit mines are typically used when mineral deposits are found close to the surface or along defined kimberlite pipes. and or colluvial secondary deposits. gravel. the gravels are separated and sorted into three sizes. they tend to concentrate in alluvial deposits in the same way that gold placers develop. Artisanal Mining Artisanal diamond mining (aka "small-scale mining") involves nothing more that digging and sifting through mud or gravel river-bank alluvial deposits (above. eluvial. Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . machinery. mechanized surface excavating equipment. Excavation is accomplished using water pressure (hydraulic mining). . or sort material according to size. highly resistant to weathering. right) is used for extracting diamonds and minerals from alluvial. with the middle size being a candidate for final sorting. Small "pit lakes" tend to form at the bottom of open-pit mines as a result of groundwater intrusion. running adjacent to the ore. Horizontal mining employs the use of Seabed Crawlers (remotely controlled. shovels. also known as "open-cast mining" (top of page. 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. Gems are separated from waste material using various sifting and sorting techniques such as cone screens. or pans. box screens. A decline is typically used for mining personnel. Diamonds and most gemstones are hard. which concentrate the heavier gems at the bottom.
right). and diamonds approaches the earth's surface it begins to form an underground structure (pipe) that is shaped like a champagne-flute. yet only about 1 in every 200 kimberlite pipes contain gem-quality diamonds. diamonds are carried to the surface of the earth by volcanic activity. As this molten mixture of magma (molten rock). garnet. minerals. serpentine. and Liberia. phlogopite.North Cape" below). Kimberlite is a diamondiferous igneous-rock matrix composed of carbonate. left). with a variety of trace minerals. Kimberlite pipes can lie directly underneath shallow lakes formed in the inactive volcanic calderas or craters. Kimberlite pipes are the most significant source of diamonds. These pipes are called "kimberlites" or "kimberlite pipes" (see diagram below).Artisanal diamond mining is used throughout west Africa. It is also used extensivly in Angola. right). pyroxene. Artisanal diamond mining accounts for 90% of Sierra Leone's diamond exports and is the country's second largest employer after subsistence farming. the Congo (DROC). Most kimberlite is called "blue-ground" kimberlite (above. Many kimberlite pipes also produce alluvial diamond placer deposits. Kimberlites are found as "dikes" and "volcanic pipes" which underlie and are the source for rare and relatively small volcanoes or "maars" (above. Diamonds: Diamond Geology Diamond Geology & Kimberlites Kimberlite Pipes Diamonds form at a depth greater than 93 miles (150 kilometers) beneath the earth's surface. in conflict zones where mechanized mining is impractical and unsafe. Kimberlite occurs in the zone of the Earth's crust in vertical structures known as kimberlite pipes (above. . olivine. The name "Kimberlite" was derived from the South African town of Kimberly where the first diamonds were found in this type of rock conglomeration (see section on "Kimberley . rock fragments. left) or "yellow-ground" kimberlite and can be found worldwide. Diamond bearing kimberlite in some parts of South Africa is black in color (above. and upper mantle rock. After their formation.
impact breccia. The world's largest known gem quality alluvial diamond deposits are located along the Namib Desert coastline of southwestern Africa. These dried 'lakes' receive river water during seasonal flooding which transports large amounts of sediment held in suspension. or different in composition to the fragments themselves. The Argyle pipe is a diatreme. Diamondiferous material tends to concentrate in and around 'oxbow lakes. .Photo: Public Domain Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . usually from kimberlite deposits.Photo: Public Domain Lamproite Pipes Lamproite pipes produce diamonds to a lesser extent than kimberlite pipes. Breccia is a rock composed of angular fragments of several minerals or rocks in a matrix. and tectonic breccia. left) and marine gravels of the south-western coastline of Africa represent the some of the world's largest placer diamond deposits.Open Pit Mine . sedimentary breccia. Alluvial diamond deposits are usually located within river terrace gravels that have been transported from their location of origin. 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." that may be similar. including: hydrothermal breccia. This results in a martini-glass shaped diamondiferous deposit as opposed to kimberlite's champagne flute shape. Alluvial (Placer) Diamond Deposits The location of alluvial (secondary or placer) diamond deposits is controlled by the surrounding topography. Lamproite pipes are created in a similar manner to kimberlite pipes. resulting in a broader cone of eviscerated rock at the surface. There are several types of breccia which are categorized based on their geological origin. except that boiling water and volatile compounds contained in the magma act corrosively on the overlying rock.Photo: NASA The alluvial terrace gravels (below. igneous breccia. The Argyle diamond mine in Western Australia is one of the first commercial open-cast diamond mines that is dug along an olivine lamproite pipe.' which are created by abandoned river meanders." and along the Orange River near Alexander Bay. Alluvial Diamonds from Africa . or "cementing material. known as the Sperrgebiet or "forbidden territory.
Diamonds in marine areas are typically trapped in bedrock depressions such as gullies. The diamonds within these deposits were transported from deeply-eroded diamondiferous kimberlites or. from olivine lamproites formed during the Cretaceous or Permo-Triassic period. channels or other trapsites for diamondiferous deposits.000 years ago).Photo: Wiki Diamond-Bearing 'Diamondiferous' Gravel Many of these alluvial diamond deposits occur in Pleistocene and Holocene successions (1. Westward draining river systems transported these diamonds to Africa's continental coastline for final deposition within on-shore marine terrace gravels. in central South Africa and Botswana.8k. depressions.8 million to 10. including Angola's two largest diamonds at 105. but were not deposited on land. Diamonds that were transported downstream.9k and 101. potholes.Namibia's placer diamond deposits are between 40 and 80 million years old. to a lesser extent. Alluvial Terrace Gravels .com . Diamond Mines of the World: Active Diamond Mines List of Active Diamond Mines All Contents Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. carried from their primary origination point on the Kaapvaal Craton. Some of the largest and highest gemquality diamonds produced from alluvial placer diamond mining have come from this region. 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. made their way to the sea bed just offshore.
Namdeb Namib Gov. map Borneo Cempaka/Riam Kanan. 1. map Cullinan Diamond Mine: Open Pit/Hard Rock diamond mine owned by De Beers. Kimberlite pipe. Trans Hex. 75% De Beers ownership. 2. map Canada North West Territories (NWT) 1. 4. map Koidu Open Pit Mines: Kimberlite open-pit mines just south of Koidu. map Forminière Diamond Mine: Alluvial mine located on the River Tshikapa. map Orange River (Daberas) Mines: Orange River alluvium. 1. 3. the Kimberley Open Pits closed in 2005. 1. Israel.Currently there are eleven major 'diamond producing' nations. Argyle Diamond Mine: Largest producer in world. map Marine Mining: Namco Mining operates a dredging fleet off the west coast of Namibia. 4. map Williamson Diamond Mine: (aka Mwadui mine) Open Pit mine. 3. map Orapa Diamond Mine: (resting place for lions) Largest/oldest of four . Owned by Endiama (40%) & Trans Hex (35%). map River Ranch Diamond Mine: Open Pit & Underground mine. 2. map Elizabeth Bay Mine: Open-cast mine in Namib desert. 3. map Finsch Diamond Mine: Finsch is an open-pit mine near Lime Acres. Open-pit mine De Beers operated. map . Catoca Diamond Mine: Fourth largest diamond mine in world. There are also several African nations with ongoing off-shore dredging/vacuming operations. These lists also contains new project explorations. Endiama (50%). map Kimberley Diamond Mine: Started in 1871. 1. map The Oaks Diamond Mine: In Limpopo province. mostly industrial grade. De Beers / Botswana. map Baken Diamond Mine: Located along Orange River in North Cape. 2. 5.closed. located in NWT. map Venetia Diamond Mine: Limpopo. Lubilash) Alluvial river mines in Kasaï. map Ekati Diamond Mine: Canada's first diamond mining operation. map Letlhakane Diamond Mine: ("little reeds") second oldest of four . links to satellite images of the mines (where available). south of Lüderitz. Rio Tinto. produces over 40% of world's gem-quality diamonds. 75% De Beers ownership. 2. 3. map Letseng Diamond Mine: Open-cast mine in Maluti Mountains 70 km from Mokhotlong. and a host of other counties with operational and/or historic alluvial. map Koffiefontein Diamond Mine: The Koffiefontein mine opened in 1870. map Damtshaa Diamond Mine: (water for a tortoise) New open pit mine. 1. MIBA. South Kalimantan 1. 1. 4. 2. Diavik Diamond Mine: The Diavik diamond mine is located in the NWT. De Beers/Botswana. 1. 7. 2. Cempaka Diamond Mines: Alluvials mined by indigenous artisanal Kalimantan miners. So Africa. mining operator info. De Beers operated. in Kasaï . Waldman Resources. Closed in 2006. mining industry inside news. 6. 2. map Fucauma Diamond Mine: Newly constructed. map Botswana Congo (DROC or RDC) Lesotho Namibia Sierra Leone South Africa Tanzania Zimbabwe Australia East Kimberley 1. Active Mines | Inactive Mines | Future Exploration | Mining Companies Africa Angola 1. 75% De Beers ownership map Murowa Diamond Mine: Open Pit & Underground mine. and hard rock diamond mines.De Beers / Botswana. map Koidu-Sefadu Mines: Subsistence digging in alluvium pits west of Koidu. Odebrecht (50%). 1. 2. map Bakwanga Mine: (aka Bushimaïe.DeBeers/Botswana. Luzamba Diamond Mine: Angola's largest alluvial mine. open pit. Luarica Diamond Mine: Owned by Endiama (38%) & Trans Hex (32%). 3. map Magna Egoli Mine: Largest mechanized mine in Sierra Leone. and any relevant geographic data. map Jwaneng Diamond Mine: (place of small stones) richest mine in world. Namdeb.
Alrosa. and Sytykan. 4. Mirna Mine: Largest diamond deposit in Russia and one of the largest in the world. 5. 2.India Madhya Pradesh 1. map Anabar GOK Mine: The norther most location of Russia's diomond mines. map Udachnaya (Udachny) Pipe Mine: One of the deepest diamond mines in the world. map Jubilee (Yubileinaya) Mine: Newer open-pit kimberlite mine near Udachny. Jubilee. 3. map . Panna Diamond Mine: Alluvial mine in state of Madhya Pradesh. map Russia Siberia 1. Aikhal GOK Mine: Three open-pit kimberlite pipe mines: Aikhal.
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