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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
80. All of that has changed with the AGS Cut Grading system and GIA's new "Cut Grading System". 64.Good Cut Fair Cut Poor Cut Cut Proportions In the past. when one incorrect facet angle can throw off the symmetry of the entire stone. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. the "Cut" quality of the "4 Cs" was the most difficult part for a consumer to understand when selecting a good diamond because a GIA or AGS certificate did not show the important measurements influencing cut (i. pavilion and crown angle) and did not provide a subjective ranking of how good the cut was. Only a trained eye could see the quality of a good cut. The crown will have 33 facets. and the pavillion will have 25 facets. Fig. Common cutting problems can occur during the faceting process.e. 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. 3 . A poorly cut diamond with facets cut just a few degrees from the optimal ratio will result in a stone that lacks gemmy quality because the "brilliance" and "fire" of a diamond largely depends on the angle of the facets in relation to each other. Poor Diamond Faceting and Symmetry Due to the mathmatics involved in light refraction. This can also result in the undesirable creation of extra facets beyond the required 58. Other variations of the "Modern Round Brilliant" include the "Ideal Brilliant" which was invented by Johnson and Roesch in 1929. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. Fig. 2 The proportion and symmetry of the cuts as well as the quality of the polish are factors in determining the overall quality of the cut. or 96 facets which are not counted in the total number of facets (58). a Round Brilliant cut that does not have the proper proportions and symmetry (off-make) will have noticeably less brilliance. The chart below shows several common problems to look for.
' while AGS uses a more exacting combination of proportional facet ratios along with raytracing metrics to calculate light return. Asymmetrical raw crystals such as macles are usually cut in a "Fancy" style. In order for a diamond to receive a "Triple-0" grading. Fancy Diamond Cuts The shape of the cut is a matter of personal taste and preference. as two stones could be cut from one crystal. which gives out much more fire than a real diamond. there is a balance between "brilliance" and "fire". Fig. left) are only found in diamonds that meet the American Gem Society Laboratories' "0" Ideal Cut specifications. or a Scan D. AGS Triple-0 Certification The American Gem Society (AGS) is the industry leader in laboratory testing of round gems for cut grade and quality. all three categories of cut (Polish. 5) are listed below. The "Ideal" designation is an AGS term that is not found on an GIA report. the "FireScope. Eppler Cut (European Standard). However. Hearts and Arrows Diamonds A perfectly proportioned ideal cut that is cut to the exacting specifications of a Tolkowsky Cut. Symetry. A diamond cut for too much fire will look like cubic zirconia. Takanori Tamura. Proportion) must meet the "ideal" criteria. 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. the quality of the cutter's execution of that shape is of primary importance.For a Modern Round Brilliant cut (Tolkowsky Brilliant). The shape of the diamond cut is heavily dependent upon the original shape of the rough stone. The round brilliant cut is preferred when the crystal is an octahedron. making the diamond appear white when viewed from the top. A Triple-0 diamond can also be called a "Triple Ideal Cut" or "AGS-Ideal Zero" diamond. 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. Cut (Scandinavian Standard) will display a "Hearts and Arrows" pattern when observed through a IdealScope (arrows only). GIA vs AGS Cut Grading GIA's new cut-grading system is based on averages that are rounded-up to predict 'light performance. A well executed round brilliant cut should reflect the maximum amount light from the interior pavilion facets. The IdealScope was invented by Kazumi Okuda in the 1970's." was invented by Ken Shigetomi and Kazumi Okuda in 1984. N. or a H & A Viewer gemscope (FireScope). and its later incarnation. out through the table. The first official H & A "EightStar" diamond was cut in 1985 by Kioyishi Higuchi for Japanese businessman and FireScope manufacturer. 4 Perfectly formed Hearts and Arrows patterns with eight hearts AND eight arrows (above. Emerald .
007 ounce. Cut 2. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond.Heart Marquise Oval Pear Princess Radiant Round Trillion (not shown at diagram) Fig. and with each point being 2 milligrams in weight. The "fancy cuts" are generally not held to the same strict standards as Round Brilliants.W. When a single piece of jewelry has multiple stones. "Marquise" or "Navette" (little boat).C.2 grams (200 milligrams or 3. the total mass of all diamonds or gemstones is referred to as "Total Carat Weight" or "T." ." "Briolette" (a form of Rose cut). As a consumer. The 4 C's of Diamonds: Carat (Weight) The 4 C's Diamond Grading System 1.086 grains) or 0. Color Carat weight is one of the 4 C's. Therefor. and the Pear. A carat can also be divided into "points" with one carat being equal to 100 points. Clarity 4. a 3/4 carat diamond is 75 points. Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics. and a 2 carat diamond is 200 points. "Heart. 5 Popular fancy cuts include the "Baguette" (bread loaf). Carat 3. CARAT Balancing Cut and Weight A diamond or gemstone's "Carat" designation is a measurement of both the size and weight of the stone. "Princess" (square outline). One "Carat" is a unit of mass that is equal to 0. your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the "4 C's" diamond grading system. a 1/2 carat diamond would be 50 points.
or "seed of the carob".0 carat 1. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales.VS1 Carat Size</ 0.800 6.99 carat diamond for its better price. or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone.504 carats.0 carat 3.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration.Grade: F Colorless .20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between . FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of . The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown.600 8.204 carat. a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight.10 carat diamond for its better cut. it must be accurate to the second decimal place. clarity and weight. Occasionally. In ancient times." If the carat weight is shown as ".5 carat 1.500 15. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor.5 carat 2. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a . and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight.750 30. The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity .5 carats must have an actual weight of between . that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut. It is for this reason that an even 1. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat. "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place. girdle and pavilion. By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions. 40º pavilion.5º crown. Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above. as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing.000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1. Price Per Carat (2005) .00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone.600 6. See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison. or to buy a 1.495 carats and .195 and .600 12. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place.
Inclusions that are near to."Very Small" inclusions visible at 10 x mag. darker inclusions will tend to create the most significant drop in clarity grade.The Four C's Diamond Grading System 1. thus minimizing any negative impact of the inclusion. In "colorless" diamonds. Carat 3. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. As a consumer. fractures. CLARITY All of the grades of diamond clarity shown in the table below. causing a greater drop in grade."Small" or "Slight" Inclusions or "Imperfections" visible to naked eye SI-3 . it may be possible to hide certain inclusions behind the setting of the diamond (depending on where the inclusion is located)."Internally Flawless" no inclusions at 10 x mag. VVS1 better than VVS2 VS-1 . light or pale inclusions may show greater relief. . Color Clarity is one of the Four C's."Very Very Small" inclusions.Inclusions large and obvious. and/or on the surface of the stone. reflect the appearance of inclusions within the stone when viewed from above at 10x magnification Higher magnifications and viewing from other angles are also used during the grading process.Imperfect. . Clarity 4.not naked eye VS-2 . Considerations in grading the clarity of a diamond include the type of stone. little or no brilliance I1 to I3 . The term "Clarity" refers to the presence or absence of tiny imperfections (inclusions) within the stone."Small" or "Slight" Inclusions or "Imperfections" may be "eye clean" SI-2 . it is important to learn and understand the clarity designations found within the "Four C's" diamond grading system. Cut 2. and flaws GIA Clarity Grading System The chart below explains the GIA grading system for inclusions and imperfections. . Diamond Clarity Designations FL .small blemishes VVS-1 . with large Inclusions. therefore reducing its value significantly. In fancy-colored diamonds. point size and the location of inclusions. may weaken the diamond structurally. On the other hand."Very Very Small" inclusions hard to see at 10 x magnification VVS-2 ."Very Small" inclusions VS1 is better grade than VS2 SI-1 ."Flawless" no inclusions at 10 x magnification IF . or break the surface. making them more apparent.
Fine cracks. There is a significant price discount for fracture-filled diamonds. appearing as a raised area." According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides.An inclusion that penetrates the surface. and reputable filling companies will use filling agents which show an orange or pink flash of color. Grain Center . Cavities . Pinpoints . haze. The final clarity grade will be the grade that is assigned after treatment. Filled Fractures . so they can use greater care while working on the piece. The heat generated by a blowtorch used to work on settings can cause damage. Reputable companies often provide for repeat treatments if heat causes damage to the filling. in part because the treatment isn't permanent. External Diamond Inclusions Bearded Girdles . vendors should disclose this enhancement. waviness." . Pique . Feathers . fringing. or feathers along the outer edge of girdle.An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing.Inclusions resulting from crystal twining during growth.Dislodged pinpoint inclusions at the surface. he or she could legally sell it as a VVS-2. The drilling process leave tiny telltale shafts or tunnels that are visible under magnification. Needles . followed by acid washing to remove the coloring agent. Surface Graining .A percussion mark caused by impact.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 .A natural indentation that was not removed by polishing. Internal Diamond Inclusions Carbon . "One out of every three diamonds sold in the United States is laser-drilled.Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet.Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation.Irregular crystal growth causing internal distortions. Internal Graining . The GIA will not grade fracture-filled diamonds.Fractures that have been artificially filled.Tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts). chips.Minute crystals within the diamond that appear white. Bruising .Cloudy grouping of tiny pinpoints that may not resolve at 10X Magnification. Diamond Fracture Filling Diamond clarity is sometimes enhanced by filling fractures. Such diamonds are sometimes called "fracture filled diamonds".Concentrated area of crystal growth that appear light or dark. Chips . a diamond must be within one clarity grade of its advertised amount at the time of sale. If a jeweler sells a diamond that has an actual grade of VS-1. much like repairing a crack in your car's windshield. therefor it is essential to inform anyone working on a setting if the diamond is fracture-filled.Rutile-like needle inclusions. According to Fred Cuellar in his book How to Buy a Diamond. Laser Drilling Laser drilling involves using a laser to burn a tunnel or hole to a carbon inclusion.Cleavage planes or internal fractures that have the appearance of feathers. Pits . According to FTC guidelines. Indented Naturals . Clouds . The treatment is considered permanent and both the GIA and AGS will issue grades for laser drilled diamonds. Knots .
Diamond Color Designations D. L. W.colorless (white) G. Nicks .Surface burning from heat buildup during polishing. I. P. it will be beneficial to learn and understand some of the basic parameters for diamond color grading. "SI-3" is a grade sometimes used in the diamond industry. At present. COLOR Most all natural diamonds contain small quantities of nitrogen atoms that displacing the carbon atoms within the crystal's lattice structure. O. Neither the GIA nor the AGS (American Gemological Society). Clarity 4. In determining the color rating of a diamond. H. Y. Carat 3. The Four Cs of Diamonds: Color The Four Cs Diamond Grading System 1.Grinding Wheel Marks of scratches from contact with other diamonds. Cut 2. a Sarin Diamond Color Grading report is the state-of-the-art color measuring standard. thereby making the diamond appear yellow. The higher the amount of nitrogen atoms.light yellow or brown Fig.faint yellow or brown N. M . As a consumer. Scratches . 1 . Burn Marks . Diamonds of this low grade would be inappropriate for jewelry. absorbing some of the blue spectrum. T. The designation of SI-3 was popularized by the EGL (European Gemological Laboratory) grading office.Human Caused Surface Blemishes Abrasions . Z . 1 explains the GIA grading system for clear (not fancy-colored) stones. the Gemological Institute of America uses a scale of "D" to "Z" in which "D" is totally colorless and "Z" is yellow.Small chips at facet junctions. U. The color chart in Fig. Q. X.near colorless K. assign this grade. the most reputable well known US labs. E. R . J . F .Whitish haziness along the junction of facets caused by wear. V. the yellower the stone will appear. Color Color is one of the Four Cs representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. These nitrogen impurities are evenly dispersed throughout the stone.very light yellow or brown S.
Each classification is divided into five sub-classifications (D1. D-Flawless . D4. Using a Sarin Diamond Colorimeter DC3000 (aka Gran Colorimeter). jewelers and gem labs can accurately provide a 'color typing' printout of a diamond's color grading that is compatible with AGS. and not by looking at the top of the stone.The Holy Grail . D3. Color grading by 'visual-observation is performed against a Master CZ Colored Grading Set. 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.' Unfortunatly. as in our Fig. 2 Sarin Color Typing is a relatively new sub-classification of the D through Z gading scale. For the consumer. Fig. D2." or "D+. GIA-GEM. and D5). sometimes referred to as "white diamonds. and HRD grading scales.' or a borderline 'G. India. most gem labs do not currently provide color-typing data in their reports and certificates. IGI. and dispersion of light (fire) when looking through the table or crown. color grading should be determined by examining the stone through the side of the pavilion (Fig. 3 example below." are named after the famous Golconda Diamond Mines located in the state of Hyderabad. Fig. it is extremely benificial to know if your 'F' is a strong 'F. These colorless stones." "whiter than white.Due to a diamond's high brilliance. 2).
Even with microscopic inclusions. Only around 600 D-flawless roughs are cut into gems weighing between 1 and 2 carats during a given year. and strong. On the other hand.000 D-color diamonds weighing over half a carat are found each year. For diamonds with a color grading of D through H (colorless). they tend to fluoresce as blue. as the blue fluorescence will cancel out some of the yellow. Ultra-violet light is a component of natural sunlight and artificial 4800k to 5000k color-proofing light. Diamond Fluorescence Approximatly 1/3 (35%) of all diamonds have a tendency to fluoresce when exposed to ultra-violet (UV) light. making the diamond appear "colorless. diamonds with a poorer color grading (I through K). fewer than 5. This fluorescent effect can be beneficial to a diamond that has a yellow tint. When diamonds are viewed under a UV light-source. according to the GIA.Diamond Formation . so this effect will be more apparent under natural daylight than under artificial incandescent light. fluorescence can negatively impact the value of the stone by 3% to 20%." but the diamond will have a dull. In some settings with various combinations of other stones. See Color in Gemstones for more information. murky appearance when compared to a non-fluorescing diamond. Diamonds: Chemistry & Structural Properties Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Structural Properties of Diamond . Skin Tone and Settings While some may prefer a very transparent D to F range. Fluorescence is graded as none. faint. others may prefer a "warmer" color found in a G to J range to compliment their skin tone. medium.Large D-flawless diamonds (those weighing more than 2 carats) are some of the rarest minerals on earth. diamonds with a visible tint may be preffered. fluorescence could increase the value by 0% to 2% buy improving the color (or lack thereof).
in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" . At these depths. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1." "untamable.Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time. Therefore. The name "diamond. and a specific gravity of 3." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic." and "unconquerable. A diamond is a transparent. and pyroxene. Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses. phlogopite.200 degrees Celsius). which resemble a champagne flute. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms. olivine. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits.42. 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. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0. .044. Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical. Under the continental crust. with the principle allotrope being graphite. a refractive index of 2." which is also known as "adamant. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe. and differentiates it from simple graphite. 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. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km). or "invincible.52." referring to its incredible hardness. ultramafic." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine. with a variety of trace minerals. diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation." is derived from the Greek adamas.
or dodecahedral. may also be as hard or harder than diamond. above). Experimentation during the late 18th century demonstrated that diamonds were made of carbon." This means that diamond crystals usually "grow" in an orderly and symmetrical arrangement." when found in a crystalline form that is structurally similar to diamond." or "anhedral. with the end byproduct of the combustion being carbonic-acid gas. it is termed as "subhedral. whether it is cubic." . or carbon dioxide. where it was shown to combust in scientific experiments. a currently hypothetical material. and a hardness value of 231 GPa (±5) when scratched with a diamond tip.A Type 2-A diamond has a hardness value of 167 GPa (±6) when scratched with an ultrahard fullerite tip. does not always reflect the internal arrangement of its atoms. by igniting a diamond in an oxygen atmosphere. Diamond Crystal Habit Diamonds have a characteristic crystalline structure. beta carbon nitride. although the reason for its combustion was not understood at the time. A diamond's incredible hardness was the subject of curiosity dating back to the Roman empire. The material "boron nitride. is nearly as hard as diamond. a predictable crystal growth pattern known as its "crystal habit. The natural crystal form. The external shape of the crystal. When a gemstone has an irregular external shape or asymmetrical arrangement of its crystal facets. and therefore. octahedral. although in nature. and crystal habit of a diamond is octahedral (photo. perfectly formed crystals are rare. Additionally.
" and therefore. and varying growth conditions of heat.© AGS Labs Hexagonal (Graphite) Platelet Inclusion . Additionally. crystal twinning. A material's toughness is measured in units of "joules" per cubic meter (J/m3) in the SI system. the term "toughness" describes the resistance of a given material to fracture when it is stressed or impacted. with a Mohs scale rating of 10. its "toughness" rating is moderate. By comparrison. and "pound-force" per square-inch in US units of measurement. Diamond Graphitization In extremely high temperature environments above 1700 ¡C. yet sapphire has a toughness rating of excellent. The culet facet at the bottom of the pavilion." which only denotes a diamond's high resistance to scratching." If you were to place a large enough diamond on your tongue it would draw heat away. acting as a "thermal conductor. very thin girdles on brilliant cut diamonds are also prone to breakage. Particular cuts of diamond are more prone to breakage along cleavage planes. Thermal Properties of Diamonds Diamond is a good conductor of heat.Trace impurities. Internally formed crystallographic graphite inclusions often create intense strain on the surrounding diamond. due to its ability to fracture along cleavage planes.5. meaning that a diamond is 4 times "harder" than sapphire. pressure and space can also affect the final shape of a formed crystal. Although diamond is the "hardest. Hematite has a hardness of only 5. but its toughness rating is also excellent.5 to 6. a diamond's "toughness" is only fair to good.© AGS Labs Diamond Toughness Within the fields of metallurgy and materials science. most scratch resistant mineral on earth. sapphire has a hardness rating of 9. making it seem cold. Carbon Inclusion . graphite can develop internally and on the diamond's surface. Unlike "hardness. is a facet specifically designed to resist breakage. causing stress fractures or feathers. and therefore may be uninsurable by reputable insurance companies. Many natural blue .
or having the hardness or luster of a diamond. meaning "light". The word luster traces its origins back to the Latin word lux. or longer-wavelength photons. it is used in the manufacturing of semiconductors. inflexible. giving off a somewhat greasy sheen.Insulators or Semiconductors Diamond is a relatively good electrical insulator.com The surface luster (or "lustre") of diamond is described as adamantine. Purified synthetic diamond can have the highest thermal conductivity (2000-2500 W/m-K) of any solid material at room temperature . 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. Natural blue diamonds containing boron atoms. The term adamantine describes the way light interacts with the surface of a crystal. increasing thermal conductance. re-emitting them as lower-energy. electronic circuits could be manufactured from diamonds in the future . and synthetic diamonds that are doped with boron. which are in fact semiconductors.nearly five times greater than pure copper. If an n-type semiconductor can be synthesized. . which means unyielding. Due to diamond's high thermal conductance. or brilliance. are known as p-type semiconductors. with the exception of natural blue diamonds.diamonds contain boron atoms which replace carbon atoms within the crystal matrix. and generally implies radiance. Fluorescence in Diamonds Fluorescence is an optical phenomenon in which a diamond's molecules absorb high-energy photons. Electromagnetic Properties of Diamond . to prevent silicon and other semiconducting materials from overheating. gloss.
These Nitrogen impurities found in Type I diamonds are evenly dispersed throughout the gemstone.Long Wave/Short Wave UV Cabinet Diamond Fluorescence Under UV Light Diamond types that exhibit the phenomenon of fluorescence radiate or glow in a variety of colors when exposed to long wave ultra-violet light. and thereby making the diamond appear yellow. Man-made synthetic diamonds containing nitrogen are classified as Type 1-B. particularly Canadian diamonds. and some of the finest historical gemstones such as the Cullinan and Koh-i-Noor are both Type IIa diamonds. These Type IIa diamonds have a near-perfect crystal structure making them highly transparent and colorless. This illusion of color is caused by the varying optics effects created by spectral dispersion. while Type II diamonds that lack boron impurities are classified as Type IIa. If the nitrogen atoms are dispersed evenly throughout the crystal." with a refractive index of 2. If the nitrogen atoms are grouped in clusters they do not necessarily affect the diamond's overall color. There are also two subcategories (a and b) within each diamond 'type' (either Type I or Type II) that are based on a stone's electrical conductivity. Type I & Type II Diamonds As many as 99% of all natural diamonds are classified as Type I. and they are classified as Type 1-A. and contain nitrogen atoms as an impurity. thereby allowing the passage of short-wave ultra-violet (SWUV) light through the stone. classifying them as Type IIb diamonds. with very high thermal conductivity. due primarily to certain structural anomalies arising from "plastic deformation" which occurred during their formation. making them appear 'colorless' (D). or brown coloration. Cloud Inclusion Under UV . Natural blue Type II diamonds containing scattered boron impurities within their crystal matrix are good conductors of electricity.© AGS Labs Type I UV Fluorescence . red. Diamond can exhibit pseudochromatic coloration giving the appearance of "color" without having any actual color in the mineral itself. show no fluorescence. and are classified as Type 1-B. they can give the stone a yellow tint. and appear dark when exposed to ultra-violet light or X-rays. or "fire. Some diamond varieties. Some Type IIa diamonds can be found with pink. which replace some carbon atoms within the crystal lattice structure. . Type II Diamond Formation Certain diamonds were formed under extremely high pressure for longer time periods. Diamond Refraction & Coloration Diamonds are "singly refractive. a natural diamond may contains both Type 1-A and Type 1-B material. and give off a bluish-white. All Type 1 diamonds have nitrogen atoms as their main impurity.© AGS Labs Type IIa diamonds are very rare. Typically.417. absorbing some of the blue spectrum. Type II diamonds do not contain any detectable nitrogen. greenish or yellow fluorescence when exposed to the X-ray wavelength. These rare diamonds have a lower nitrogen content. permitting the passage and reflectance of blue light." and refraction.
radiation exposure (green diamonds) or irregular growth patterns within the crystal (pink. In this case. Colorless diamonds would normally be priced much higher than yellow diamonds. and therefor colorless. blue. and red (Hancock Diamond) are particularly valuable. Diamond Color & Composition Diamonds can occur in a wide variety of colors: colorless or white. Blue. green. green. Fancy Colored Diamonds: Pink. Once thought to be of little value. red diamonds). However. brown diamonds). fancy pink diamonds can command very high prices as they have become increasingly popular. Fancy Diamond Color Hues A fancy brown (or Fancy Cognac). steel grey. while chemically "pure" diamonds are basically transparent.Diamond Refraction & Light Dispersion Diamonds can also exhibit allochromatic coloration which is caused by chromophores from the nitrogen trace impurities found within crystalline structure. However. boron (blue diamonds). All colored diamonds contain certain specific impurities and/or structural defects that cause their coloration. yellow. it enters the realm of a "Fancy Color" diamond. red. and black. Yellow. blue (Hope Diamond). when a diamond's color is more intense than the "Z" grading. or yellow diamond may have a relatively low value when compared to a colorless diamond. certain fancy-colored diamonds such as pink (Condé). and their color is due to trace impurities of nitrogen and/or hydrogen (yellow. the intensity of the color in the diamond can plays a significant role in its value. green (Ocean Dream). It is this nitrogen component that produces the color of fancy yellow diamonds. 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. pink. orange. Green & Cognac Fancy Colored Diamond Diamonds can occur in all colors of the spectrum. . brown.
54 carat cushion cut with an estimated value in the millions of dollars.Champagne 3 is darkest C8 to C1 . . causing microscopic imperfections within the lattice structure. The GIA grades fancy diamond color by quantifying the saturation. which changes hue from grayish-blue or olive-green to yellowish-green or straw-yellow under different lighting conditions (darkness. 1PP is the highest quality designation for Pink Diamond.42 carats.' GIA 'Fancy Yellow' Diamond Color Saturation Designations Faint . hue.Highest Saturation One of the largest. One of the world's only major sources for rare pink diamonds is the Argyle Mine in Australia. and value (darkness) using nine classifications ranging from 'Faint' to 'Vivid. left). The rough stone weighed 287. lighting color temperatures (incandescent.Pink (Reddish-pink) 1 is darkest 1BP to 8BP . and most valuable Fancy Yellow diamonds in the world is the 'Tiffany Diamond. Pink diamonds are similar to pink sapphire in color.Start of 'Fancy' Fancy Fancy Dark Fancy Intense Fancy Deep Fancy Vivid . bright light). Pink Diamonds The pink color within these rare diamonds is due to irregular crystal growth patterns.Pink (Magenta-pink) 1 is darkest 1P to 8P . sold at a greater discount.Cognac 8 is darkest Chameleon Diamonds There is a very rare olive-grayish color-changing diamond called "Chameleon Diamond" (below. yet considerably more expensive.M Very Light . 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.' found in Kimberly. This Chameleon-like phenomenon was first documented by the GIA in the early 1940s. and was cut into a 128.S to Z Fancy Light . have become more commonplace as Australian colored diamonds have gained in popularity. Only 1% to 2% of the diamonds produced at the Argyle Mine are high-quality pink specimens.N to R Light . As the numbers go lower (8PP) the color is paler.Pink (Brownish-pink) 1 is darkest PC3 to PC1 . daylight) and ambient temperature changes. South Africa in 1878. halogen.Brown diamonds. Fancy Pink/Brown Diamond Color (Hue) Designations 1PP to 8PP . An 1P designation would have less blue and more brownish-red. which are generally less appreciated than other fancy colors and therefor. having a pure magenta color with deep saturation.
Warren Hancock.000 per carat.com) Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat. Intense. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities.95carats.' discovered during the 18th century. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner.03 carats. or a combination of the two. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa. Diamond Fashion Trends While prices will undoubtedly remain predictably higher for colorless diamonds and certain rare fancycolored diamonds. Exposure to direct sunlight will bring out an olive-green color. so will the market prices of sought-after commodities that are in limited supply.51 carat blue-green 'Ocean Green Diamond' or the 41 carat apple-colored 'Dresden Green Diamond' are virtually non-existant. pure green hues. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste.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). Green diamonds can range from $35.000 in 1987. The color change effect is temporary. as in the one-of-a-kind 5. and weighed a modest 0. On thing is certain.90 carats. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize.000 to $500. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness . Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits.com) The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond. and the De Young Red weighing 5. greyish-green. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. . The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926.
All of the microscopic inclusion photographs on this page were generously contributed by the A. making the stone appear yellowish. or absence of tiny imperfections known as "inclusions. and beautifully photographed by their Director of Gem Services. Inclusions which are visible to the naked eye are referred to as piquŽ.G. and man-made imperfections—that can be found in raw and cut diamonds. F grades. 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. Nevada. E. . Joe Vanells.com) Enhanced Blue & Yellow Diamonds (© AfricaGems. Inclusions which are not visible to the naked eye (eye clean) fall into the GIA range of "IF" (Internally Flawless) to "SI2" (Small Inclusions). It is for this reason that manufacturers of synthetic diamonds tend to specialize in fancy colors.S." These inclusions can occur within the stone.com) Fancy Colored Synthetic Diamonds Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless D.L. Diamond Inclusion Library: Inclusion Photos Over 100 High-Resolution Diamond Photos! All Contents: Copyright © 2010 AllAboutGemstones. and can be naturally occuring.com Clarity is one of the Four C's of diamond grading.Reddish Brown Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. or human caused. representing the four main variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. These impurities absorb the blue end of the light spectrum. and so-called "piquŽ diamonds" fall into the GIA grading range of I1 to I3 (CIBJO grade P1 to P3). or on the surface of the cut stone. gemological testing laboratory in Las Vegas. This section contains a compendium of photography depicting all of the various types of diamond inclusions—both naturally occurring. The term "clarity" refers to the presence.
Internal Diamond Inclusion Photos Carbon Tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts). ferropericlase. ferropericlase. pyrrhotite and pentlandite. Black or dark material found within a diamond's internal fracture planes can also be particles or crystallographic inclusions of graphite. PiquŽ Carbon Inclusion Photos Internal Carbon Pique Diamond Inclusion Photography Piqué are tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts) within diamonds. . Black material found within internal fracture planes can also be crystallographic inclusions of graphite. pyrrhotite and pentlandite.
Microscopic Carbon Picque Inclusions Hexagonal Platelet Inclusion in Trillion Cut Diamond .
Internal cloud inclusions may not resolve as pinpoints at 10X . Nevada. which can leave their own types of unique inclusions. 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. 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.
.Magnification. These pinpoint cloud inclusions can have a dramatic effect on the clarity and brilliance of a faceted diamond as they interfere with the refraction of light within the stone.
Diamond Cloud Inclusion under UV Light.
Cloud Inclusion under Long-Wave Light.
Cloud Inclusion under Fluorescent Light.
Feather inclusions are common around included crystals such as garnet. Common around included crystals. Feather inclusions can be accompanied by internal graining and/or twinning wisp inclusions. . 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. which cause internal stress fractures during crystal growth.Feathers (Ftr) Cleavage planes or internal stress fractures that have the appearance of feathers.
.Feather inclusions caused by stress fractures around included garnet crystal.
making it susceptible to fracturing when exposed to thermal or physical shock. As a result. . This is especially true if the fracture breeches the stone's surface.Pronounced stress fractures and feather inclusions can potentially weaken the stone. and the stress inclusion occurs along the gem's natural cleavage plane. diamonds with significant stress fractures and feather should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner as this could cause the diamond to shatter.
and haze within a cut diamond. waviness. .Grain Center (GrCnt) A concentrated area of crystal growth that can appear light or dark. Grain Center Inclusion Photos Internal Grain Center Diamond Inclusion Photography Internal Grain Center (IntGr) inclusions (aka internal graining) are caused by irregular diamond crystal growth which creates internal distortions.
Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .
when a tube or tunnel is generated in the crystalizing diamond by an internal cavity that was once liquid filled. .Growth Tubes Imperfection formed during crystal growth. Growth Tube Inclusion Photos Internal Growth Tubes Inclusion Photography Internal Growth Tube inclusions are natural Imperfections that are created during diamond formation. when a tube is generated by a formerly liquid filled cavity.
Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .
Green chrome diopside Inclusion within a Diamond . 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. olivine. diopside. silica or other gem stone inclusions. spinel. calcite. diopside.Included Crystals (Xtl) Included and undigested gemstones or fragments of garnet. spinel. olivine. iron oxides. or silica. iron oxides. 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 .
. With internal laser-drilling inclusions. Internal Laser Drilling Inclusion Photos Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) Inclusion Photography Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) inclusions are man-made internal flaws that resulted from laser-drilling that was done to remove large piquŽ carbon inclusions in a rough stone. and where pathway does not breach the cut diamond's surface. the drilled passage may not breach the cut diamond's surface.Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) Internal pathway caused by laser-drilling to remove large inclusions.
. Needle Inclusion Photos Needle Inclusion Photography Internal Needles (Ndl) or needle inclusions are naturally occurring rutile-like needle shaped inclusions within the diamond.Needles (Ndl) Rutile-like needle-shaped inclusions.
. Large groupings of small pinpoints can create a cloud inclusion effect. or Pinpoint Inclusions are minute included crystals within the diamond that appear white under magnification. Large groupings of small pinpoints can create a cloud effect.Pinpoints (Pp) Minute crystals within the diamond that appear white. Pinpoint Inclusion Photos Pinpoints (Pp) Inclusion Photography Internal Pinpoints (Pp).
. resulting from crystal twining during the growth process.Twinning Wisps Inclusions and defects resulting from crystal-twining during crystal growth. Twinning Wisp Inclusion Photos Twinning Wisps Inclusion Photography Twinning Wisp inclusions are naturally-occurring structural defects with a diamond. Twinning Wisp inclusions can be accompanied by internal graining and/or strain feathers. Can be accompanied by graining and strain.
showing the strange and beautiful world of microscopic diamond inclusions. .Odds & Ends: Microscopic Diamond Inclusion Beauty Photos Microscopic Diamond Inclusion Photography This is an assortment of spectacular diamond-inclusion photography taken by Joe Vanells.
Natural Comet Inclusion .
Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud .
Tabular Reflection in Diamond .
Included Garnet Twins within Diamond .
Included Dalmatian Garnet .
Cloud Inclusion .
Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers .
Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light .
Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion .
.Natural External Diamond Inclusions or Blemishes Knots An inclusion that penetrates the surface. Knot diamond inclusions can potentially be the cause of man-made drag-line inclusions. appearing as a raised area on the diamond's surface. Knot Inclusion Photos Photography of Diamond Inclusion Knots Knot inclusions are naturally occurring external inclusions or imperfections that penetrate the surface (convex). appearing as a raised area.
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. and were not fully removed during the stone's cutting or polishing process. .
Lizard Skin Inclusion Photos Lizard Skin Diamond Surface Blemish Photography A "lizard skin" surface blemish is a man-made external diamond imperfection that is created during polishing. made up of a bumpy or wavy pattern on the polished surface of a diamond. The lizard-skin effect is caused by an orange-peel texture.Lizard Skin A bumpy or wavy 'orange-peel' textured pattern on the polished surface of a diamond. .
Natural (N) A raised portion of the rough diamond's original surface structure that remains visible on the surface of a polished stone. . and remain visible on the surface of a polished stone. Natural Inclusion Photos Natural Diamond Inclusion Photography Natural inclusions (aka Naturals) are naturally-occurring raised portions of the rough diamond's original surface structure that were not removed during the polishing process.
Pits Dislodged pinpoint inclusions at the surface. . Surface Graining Inclusion Photos Diamond Surface Graining (SGr) Photography Surface Graining (SGr) is a natural imperfection or inclusion that creates visible surface lines which are caused by irregular crystallization during diamond formation. Surface Graining (SGr) Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation.
creating a whitish fuzzy edge as opposed to a sharp edge. Bearded Girdle (BG) Fine cracks. chips. Bruising (Br) A percussion mark or hole caused by impact and surrounded by tiny feathers. . or feathers along the outer edge of girdle.Human Caused Surface Blemishes Abrasion (Abr) A tightly grouped series of nicks along the sharp edge of facet junctions. fringing.
or when abrasive material is caught by an included crystal such as garnet during the polishing of a diamond. Drag Line Photos Diamond Surface Drag Lines Photography Drag Lines are human-caused surface imperfections and blemishes that are created when a loose rough particle is dragged along the surface. Cavities (Cv) An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing.Burn Marks Created during polishing. during cutting and/or polishing the diamond. the overheating of a facet causes a burn mark. Drag Lines Created when a rough particle is dragged along the surface. . or caught by a included crystal. Chips Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet.
. This microscopic photograph shows the telltale orange or pink flash of a filled fracture enhancement within a cut diamond.Extra Facet (EF) An asymmetrical and irregularly placed facet that is not part of the original faceting scheme. and remove cloudiness. Filled Fracture Photos Internal Fracture Filling Inclusion Photography Fracture-filling Inclusions are man-made diamond enhancements that are the result of natural cleavage-plane stress fractures or feathers which have been artificially filled with molten glass to enhance clarity. Filled Fractures Fractures or feathers that have been artificially filled to enhance clarity.
markings. and inscriptions. marking.Laser Etching or Markings Careless or inadvertent laser etchings. Laser Etching Photos Diamond Laser Etching Inscription Photography Laser etching inclusions are surface blemishes and imperfections that are created when careless or inadvertent markings or inscriptions are made while laser etching. . or inscribing the external surface of a cut diamond.
" whitish film on the surface of a facet caused by excessive heat during polishing.Polish Lines (PL) Fine parallel surface groves resulting from the polishing process. Scratch (S) A fine whitish line that can be curved or straight. Diamond Enhancements: Laser Drilling & Fracture Filling . Polish Marks (PM) Also known as "Wheel Marks.
There are also heating treatments to improve a white diamond's color grade. altered. which are designed to improve the visual or gemological characteristics of the stone. These techniques do not eliminate the imperfection. .Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Enhanced Diamonds Diamond "enhancements" are specific treatments performed on cut. Diamond Fracture Filling Diamond clarity is sometimes improved and enhanced by filling tiny fractures or feathers with molten glass. Minor diamond inclusions or surface imperfections which are not visible to the naked eye ("VVS1" to "SI2") can be disguised.© 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. polished natural diamonds.© AGS Lab Telltale Signs of Fracture Filling . or removed by employing several invasive techniques from fracture filling to laser drilling." 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. Unfilled Fractures around Garnet Inclusion . A trained gemologist should be able to identify most traditional "enhancements" made to a particular stone. but instead attempt to hide their visual effect. in accordance with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines for the gem trade. Such diamonds are sometimes then branded as "fracture filled diamonds. but not necessarily increase its value. or treatments to give a fancy color to a off-white diamond. much like you would repair a crack in a car's windshield glass.
com Color Enhanced Diamonds . According to Fred Cuellar in his book How to Buy a Diamond.© AGS Lab The laser-drilling treatment is considered permanent. and both the GIA and AGS will issue grades for laser drilled diamonds. It is therefor essential to inform anyone working on a setting where the diamond has been fracture-filled. "One out of every three diamonds sold in the United States is laser-drilled.© AGS Lab Laser Drilling Tubes . The drilling process leave tiny telltale shafts or tunnels that are visible under high magnification (see photos below). and the diamonds are tested to ensure that no trace levels of radiation remain. .com Radiation treatments are completely safe. referred to as the HTHP process. Diamonds treated with HTHP have their molecular altered so that intense. The final clarity grade will be the grade that is assigned after treatment. Signs of Laser Drilling . so that the jeweler can use greater care while working on the piece. or subjecting the diamond to intense pressure and temperature. and the GIA will not even grade a fracture-filled diamond. Natural Fancy Diamonds . in part because the treatment isn't permanent. Reputable filling companies will often provide repeat treatments if heat causes damage to the filling. followed by acid washing to remove the coloring agent. 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. "vivid" blue and yellow colors result. These enhancements are achieved using low levels of radiation (irradiation).© AfricaGems. Due to its low melting-point." Diamond Color Treatment Color enhancement of diamonds in done to increase the color intensity of so-called "fancy" colored diamonds.There should always be a significant price discount for any diamond that has been fracture-filled.© AfricaGems. the heat generated by a blowtorch used to work on settings can cause damage to the filling material.
. by H. and the Chemical Vapor Deposition or "CVD" method. These man-made synthetic diamonds are a laboratory-grown simulation of the natural gemstone. high-pressure) "belt press" process was used for synthesizing industrial-grade diamonds. which created enough pressure to crystallize the molten carbon into tiny diamond fragments. Although synthetic diamonds were originally conceived as a substitute for natural industrial-grade diamonds. they are increasingly used in fine jewelry as their quality increases.© AGS Labs Today. Once the desired temperature had been achieved. The first practical commercial application of Moissan's process was developed in 1954. there are two main processes for creating lab diamonds: the High-Temperature High-Pressure or "HTHP" method. known as the HTHP (high-temperature.Tracy Hall for the General Electric Company. the crucible and its contents were rapidly cooled by immersing them into cold water.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. lab diamonds) was first conceived by French chemist Henri Moissan in 1892. tiny fragments of synthetic diamond were created by heating charcoal. yet they have the identical carbon-based chemical properties of natural diamond. This abrupt cooling caused the rapid shrinkage of the molten iron crucible. Synthetic Diamond under Fluorescent . With Moissan's process. and has been steadily improved upon throughout the last 50 years. Using an electric furnace constructed with blocks of lime. or carbon to an extremely high temperature (4000º C) in a cast iron crucible. The process.Synthetic Diamonds & Man-Made Diamond Simulants Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite The First Synthetic Diamonds Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.© AGS Labs Synthetic Yellow Chatham Diamond .
Fabulite Synthetic Rutile (1946-1955) Diamothyst. 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. light dispersion. Diamond Essence. Diamond Simulants Diamond "simulants. and surface luster as its natural diamond counterpart.' or six-anvil 'cubic press' to create the necessary pressure. making them difficult to differentiate from natural diamonds. Rutania. Radient Yttrium Aluminum Garnet (YAG) (1970-1975) Diamone. hardness. but are not a carbonbased compound having a natural diamond's crystalline structure. Diamonite. Rainbow Diamond. Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) The "Chemical Vapor Deposition" (CVD) method was developed during the 1980s. which attracts the gas to the substrate. Diamonte." also known as "simulated diamonds" or "fake diamonds" are man-made gemstones that look like. Geminaire In the early 1900's. Phianite Gadolinium Gallium Garnet (GGG) (1972-1975) Strontium Titanate (ST) (1955 . refractive index.1970) Diagem. the diamond's entire growth process takes several days to complete. produced using the Verneuil (flame-fusion) Process. With CVD. Synthetic Diamond Manufacturers Apollo Diamonds . Magalux. Common diamond simulants include: Cubic Zirconia (CZ) (1976-) Czarite. Java Gem. also known as "GE POL. In the late 1940's Diamondite gave way to Synthetic Rutile which was popular until the advent of YAG in the early 1970's. or X-ray spectroscopy. or by measuring UV fluorescence with a DiamondView tester. The vaporized carbon gases are energized using microwave energy. synthetic diamonds may contain small inclusions. a seed or substrate material is placed into the growth camber. and a combination of heat and pressure are applied while a vaporized carbon-plasma that is combined with hydrogen is applied. Titangem Synthetic Sapphire (1900-1947) Diamondette. ranging in clarity from IF to SI or I. 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. Diamonaire. specific gravity. the HTHP diamond's growth process can take 7 to 10 days to complete. These impurities absorb the blue end of the light spectrum. ultraviolet. or "simulate" the appearance of natural diamonds. A diamond seed is placed into a growth camber. most of these lesser simulants fell by the wayside. Using Chemical Vapor Deposition. Synthetic diamonds can be detected using infrared. and Moissanite in 1998. or "deposited" onto the substrate in successive layers. With the advent of Cubic Zirconia in the mid 1970's. A cultured synthetic diamond will have the identical cleavage. and uses a lowerpressure growth environment than the earlier HTHP method. making the stone appear yellowish. Like natural diamond. Unlike their natural diamond counterparts." uses a four-anvil 'tetrahedral press.High-Temperature High-Pressure (HTHP) The "High-Temperature High-Pressure" (HTHP) technique. Thrilliant Synthetic Spinel (1920-1947) Corundolite. Synthetic Diamond Color & Optics Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless form. Jourado Diamond. Synthetic diamonds can also be treated with the HTHP process to alter the optical properties of the stones. colorless synthetic sapphire (aka Diamondite) was a popular diamond simulant. Lustergem. Diamondite.
princess.3 on the Mohs scale.com Tairus Created Gems Tairus Created Gems is a Russian company that grows fancy-colored diamonds in their proprietary "Split Sphere" system.Apollo Diamond.30 carats to 3 carats. The Split Sphere system crystalizes the carbon seed in an alkaline. Apollo Diamond's cut stones are available in round brilliant. carbonate fluid solution that is similar to diamond-bearing metamorphic rock.).com Gemesis Cultured Diamonds Gemesis is located in Sarasota. using a proprietary variation of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) technique. and some fancy colored diamonds. Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite Cubic Zirconia Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.25 carats is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number.com To the average consumer. www. www. each Gemesis cut stone over .. The toughness of Cubic Zirconia is rated as good.500 to $9. emerald. Gemesis only grows fancy-colored diamonds.chatham.apollodiamond.500 per carat (2004 est. with clarity grades from IF to SI.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. Ltd.25 carats to 1 carat. Florida. Apollo Diamonds are cut and polished in sizes ranging from . Tairus Created Gems are sold exclusively through Tairus Thailand Co. and stones are cut to order. and CZ has a hardness of only 8. Cubic Zirconia (Zirconium Oxide ZrO2) has a completely different chemical structure. Tairus produces rough sizes from . and like Chatham. www. inc. To insure easy identification as a man-made product. . Massachusetts grows colorless (D to M) diamonds. of Bangkok Thailand. which they claim is the closest thing to mother nature. Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is the most familiar type of diamond simulant on the market. while diamond has a hardness of 10. and each stone is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number.gemesis. and each cut stone is laser inscribed with the Apollo company logo and serial number. in Boston. While a synthetic diamond is a man-made recreation of an actual carbon-based diamond. and rose cuts. Chatham's pricing ranges from $6.
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. etc. or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond. Once the mixture has cooled. Diamond's RI is 2.2. while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease. CZ color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds.800 .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.In 1973. .170. Natural diamonds attract grease. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left). For instance.) in a totally dark room. the greater dispersive power. or colorless (white) versions. Due to their low cost and consistency. CZ vs Diamond . although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce. but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. Unlike most natural diamonds. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting. Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond. The 1.41 (RI).17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2. candle. a CZ is optically flawless. 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.80 to 2. natural diamond is a thermal conductor Weight: Cubic Zirconia is heavier than diamond in a given size Another method for distinguishing Cubic Zirconia from diamond is to mark the stone with a grease pencil or felt-tipped pen. CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1. and CZs can be made in any "color grade. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond . Zirconium oxide powder is heated. 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). The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight.Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing.
By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion.com Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). center) near Winslow. Moissanite has an RI of 2. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. when examining the gem through the kite facets. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ.104 as compared to CZ at 0. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond. Moissanite has a hardness of 9. found only in iron-nickel meteorites. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material. Arizona.670. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.65 to 2. and diamond at 0. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight.) in a dark room.25 on the Mohs scale. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0.060.417. a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. while diamond has a hardness of 10.69. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. 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. candle.A small. 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. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. is classified as an element rather than a compound. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. Henri Moissan (above. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. Moissanite. The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent. . Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond.044. etc.
Like wood. Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be more diffused. rather than against it. The first improvements on nature's design involved a polishing of the crystal faces. caused by primary reflections from the pavilion and CZ's low RI. Table Cut diamonds appeared black to the eye.Detectable With Testing Double Refraction: Moissanite is double refractive. detailed and sharply focused pattern caused by secondary reflections will be seen when observing a diamond. but significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its high RI. creating the "Table Cut.Detectable to the Naked Eye Dispersion Pattern: Secondary patterns of dispersion due to double refraction Color: Moissanite has a slight yellow color and does not come in grades better than 'J' Lack of Flaws: Moissanite is virtually flawless. Diamond cutting can be traced back to the late Middle Ages. which was called the "Point Cut. Moissanite vs Diamond . diamond has a "grain. due to its high refractive index. Diamond's RI is 2.417 Moissanite is double refractive (anisotropic) while a natural diamond is singly refractive (isotropic). The Modern Round Brilliant cut (below) is the culmination of several hundred years of experimentation and development. only a diamond is hard enough to cut other diamonds. diamonds were valued primarily for their luster and hardness. most diamonds have some inclusions Moissanite vs Diamond ." At the time. Cutting a Rough Diamond ." As further refinement progressed.A small.670." and the rough stone must be cut with the grain. A similarly sharp. Prior to this time. 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. one half of the crystal would be cut off. diamond is singly refractive Refractive Index: Moissanite has a refractive index of 2. diamonds were used in their natural octahedral state. Diamonds: Modern Diamond Cutting Diamond Cutting Background One of the hardest substances on earth. although it can be easily cleaved or fractured due to its defined cleavage planes.
During this faceting stage the angles of each facet must be cut to an exacting standard in order to yield maximum brilliancy. then pressing it against a revolving cast iron disk. 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.Modern Round Brilliant Diamond . and maintain symmetry. Each step is critical to the final outcome. 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. Due to its atomic structure. then a "brillianteer" will cut and polish the remaining 40 facets. As the saw blade rotates it continues to pickup or "recharge" itself with diamond dust which is the cutting agent.Cutting a raw diamond into a faceted and polished gem-quality stone is a multi-step process. Cleavage is the tendency of crystalline materials to split along defined cleavage plane. Cleaving is a critical step as a mistake by the "cleaver" could fracture. Asymmetrical crystals such as macles are used primarily for fancy cuts. Cleaving: Cleaving refers to splitting a stone along its grain by striking it. Sawing: A stone-cutting saw is a thin disk made of phosphor bronze. or shatter the stone. eliminate waste. Cubic shapes are ideal for a square Princess or Radiant cut. Diamonds: Ideal Cut . a second diamond mounted on a dop is pressed against it." Faceting: To facet a round brilliant. It can take several hours for the saw blade to cut through a 1k rough diamond. A rough stone is cleaved if there are conspicuous defects and/or inclusions which would prevent it from being made into a single gemstone. 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. This step is also referred to as "rounding. on a scaife. Bruting: The rough is placed in a chuck on a lathe. The natural shape of the rough stone will also be a major factor in deciding how to cut the stone. rounding the rough diamond into a conical shape. or lap that has been "charged" with diamond dust. and bypass any inclusions or imperfections. High-tech computerized helium and oxygen analyzers are now used to evaluate a stone prior to cutting. While the rough stone rotates on the diamond lathe. the "blocker" or "lapper" will cut the first 18 main facets.
but in order to do this. Parameters Ideal Cut Standard (Premium) Cut Rough Material Loss Finished Stones Cutting Time Crown Symmetry Greater Loss Lower Carat Weight 2 to 4 Days Ideal Higher Yield Higher Carat Weight 1 to 2 Days Shallow Crown . An octehedral rough diamond will yield two round brilliant cut stones (see diagram below).com When deciding how to cut a rough diamond. it would be cost effective to sacrifice some carat weight in order to finish with two "Ideal" cuts. The objective is always to maximize carat weight. Reconciling Cut & Weight Retention If the rough stone has a colorless D through F rating and has very few inclusions. it may be better to aim for a higher carat weight utilizing a "Standard" cut. compromises would have to be made. The clarity of the stone. This is accomplished by reconciling three key factors . cut proportions. elimination of any inclusions.weight retention. on the other hand. the rough stone has some coloration and/or is heavily included. a cutter must make a cost-benefit analysis as to how to maximize the cut stone's value. If. and the amount of internal inclusions will play an important part in the decisions as to how to maximize yield.Ideal Cut vs Standard Cut Diamond Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.
8 "kite" facets. hearts. and 2. the cutting and polishing of a diamonds resulted in a loss of as much as 50% of the stone's total weight. 8 "pavilion" facets. 1 "culet" facet on the bottom. it is the best cut for showcasing a high-quality stone's fire and brilliance. The round brilliant cut is beneficial when the crystal is an octahedron. and one "table" facet on the top of the stone for a total of 58 facets." Even with modern techniques. you will see that there are 8 "star" facets. This is primarily due to the fact that this cut has yet to be improved on for two reasons: 1. In the diagram of a "Round Cut" diamond (above and below). it is the most efficient cut for maximizing yield. "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: . as two stones could be cut from one crystal. An "Ideal Cut". 16 "upper girdle" facets. This is why it is very rare to see flawless stones cut into fancy cuts such as emeralds. etc. The Modern Round Brilliant Cut The modern "Round Brilliant Cut" (below) was developed by Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem.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. 16 "lower girdle" facets. This cut is also known as the "Tolkowsky Cut" and "Tolkowsky Brilliant.
and Proportions. As with all human endeavors. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish.7%. H&A Viewer. Eppler & Scan D. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant". crown height of 14. A perfect blending of facet symmetry.N. To quantify a diamond's cut quality. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. very small to small In the 1970s.5% to 43.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35.7%. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts. etc.6% and overall height of 57. and crown/pavilion angles. facet ratios. . or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57." (Scandinavian standard. invented in 1929. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect.5%. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. more brilliance and fire. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). Ideal Scope. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut.' and there has been numerous attempts to improve on this tried-and-true formula with the introduction of new signature diamond cuts that claim to have a higher light return. Tolkowsky. crown height of 14.N. Since then. The "Scan D. and overall height of 57. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design.4%.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42. Symmetry..
nl Barion Cut . and their modest brilliance and light return. The Asscher brothers cut the famous 3. The cut has a deep pavilion and a high crown. Here is a collection of just a few of the many "signature" diamond cuts that have been produced over the last 100 years. scientists. and entrepreneurs .like Einstein's theory of relativity. Every conceivable cutting theory is tried.asscher. mathematicians.Producers split hairs over cut angle. etc. (more facets. and number of facets. with the two largest stones.each trying to improve on the tried-and-true Old European cuts. it is put in front of the ultimate arbiter of quality . but at the end of the day it may simply come down to consumer preference and/or marketing.) and when suitably scrutinized by the gem trade. 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. or the widely marketed Leo cut which is a modified round-brilliant sold by Leo Schachter Diamonds. Popular in Art Deco jewelry of the period. cut proportions. the Cullinan 1 and Cullinan 2 being set into the crown and sceptre of the British Crown Jewels.the consumer. but some like the Barion Cut have disappeared into obscurity.106 carat Cullinan Diamond into eleven gem stones. and it still survives in some form today. cut corners and a small table. less facets. Tolkowsky came up with a "brilliant" idea almost 90 years ago. www. the Asscher diamond cut has a squarish octagonal shape with a step cut. and the culet is square. One thing is for sure . Some have gone on to become household names such as the Asscher cut. Asscher Cut The Asscher Cut was developed by Abraham and Joseph Asscher of the Royal Asscher Diamond Company of Amsterdam in 1902.
The Context Cut is used to cut colored gemstones by Julius Petsch of Idar-Oberstein. Garrard & Co. 81 facets on the cut corner (cushion) version. The Context Cut design was based on an earlier patented design by Bernd Munsteiner from the early 1960s. and creates a high amount of waste. The Eternal Cut is being sold exclusively at Garrard's main London store and Harvey Nichols stores in Great Britain. adding up to 50% to the cost when compared to a Round Brilliant cut diamond.com Context Cut The Context Cut is a square cut that was developed by Dr. and in all diamond colors and/or clarity grades. not including the 16 girdle facets. The cutting process requires a high-quality rough. Ulrich Freiesleben of Germany in the early 1980s then patented and trademarked in 1997. www. The cut has a total of 8 facets plus a girdle. parting ways in 2002 to again become Garrard. creating a unique 'flower petal' pattern surrounding the cutlet. The Context Cut consists of two back-to-back pyramids (an octahedron).baroka. www. In 1998. or to increase light-dispersion.de Eternal Cut The Eternal Cut diamond was designed and patented by master Israeli diamond cutter. with star-shaped cross facets cut diagonally into the pavilion. A Barocut diamond has a total of 77 facets. Barocut stones are also sold in tapered shapes.com . of New York in 2000. The Barion square cut diamond has a 4-fold mirror-image symmetry. Barocut The Barocut® diamond cut is a patented. and a total of 81 facets. Gabi Tolkowsky. Barocut diamonds are promoted and sold exclusively through the Baroka Creations catalog. forming a square shape when viewed from the top. The Barocut is also called a "two heart diamond" due to the illusion of two mirrored hearts meeting at the culet. Inc.The Barion square cut (aka Barion square cushion cut) was invented by Basil Watermeyer of South Africa in 1971.garrard. Germany. and its patent has expired. www. nephew to the inventor of the Modern Round Brilliant cut. merged with the jewelry firm Asprey. and a 'softer' briliance than a traditional round brilliant cut. to become Asprey & Garrard. The name "Barion" or "Barion cut" was never trademarked. The Eternal Cut has a total of 81 facets. or the company website. The Barocut is available in sizes from 20 points to 3 carats. 23 more than a modern Round Brilliant cut. and was the forerunner to the princess cut. It is sold exclusively through the 270 year old firm of Garrard & Company in London.freiesleben. modified rectangular (baguette) cut that was developed by Baroka Creations. The Context Cut follows a rough diamond crystal's natural octahedral shape. Marce Tolkowsky.
who was commissioned by De Beers to create new cuts as a way of marketing unusual. The cut is distributed by the National Diamond Syndicate (NDS) of Chicago. heart.nationaldiamond. www. 48 of which are clustered around the culet to increase fire.flanders-cuts. marquise. The Sunflower has 43 facets in unusual. Fire-Rose.com Flower Cut The 'Flower Cut' series was created by Gabi Tolkowsky in 1986. designed to maximize the brilliance and color of diamonds while increasing their yield.com www. off-color stones. . LLC. emerald. oval. Unveiled at the Las Vegas Gem Show in 2001.gabriellediamonds. the Gabrielle Cut is available in carre. The Flower Cuts employ unconventional cutting angles and dimensions.com Leo Cut The Leo® Diamond.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. is a patented symmetrical round cut created by Leo Schachter Diamonds. angular shapes. maximizing the amount of light returned back as scintillation. The Gabrielle Diamond The Gabrielle® Cut is a modified brilliant cut (triple brilliant cut) that was created by DeBeers desinger/consultant Gabriel Tolkowsky in 2000. Marigold. The Flanders Fire-Brilliant was developed by Flanders Cut International of Antwerp in 1983. adding greater brilliance and fire than standard brilliant cuts. www. The Flanders Brilliant has 33 crown facets and 28 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets. The Flower Cut is actually a series of five fancy cut shapes: the Dahlia. Sunflower and Zinnia cut. that is suited to a relatively flat rough. which is 47 more than a traditional 'Tolkowsky' round brilliant cut. and the cut was named after the Flanders region of Belgium (Antwerp) where the cut was first preformed in 1987. and pear shapes. 8 more facets than the Round Brilliant cut's 58. (aka Leo Schachter Diamond). The Flower Cuts were never patented or trademarked by De Beers in order to increase their popularity and use. The Fire-Rose is a hexagonal shape designed to produce higher yields. Other than the traditional round brilliant shape. The Zinnia is a round fancy shape with 73 facets. the Gabrielle has a total of 105 facets. The Marigold is an octagon shape with 73 facets. The Dahlia is a 12 sided oval shape with 63 facets. The Leo diamond cut has a total of 66 facets.
square shaped diamonds were stepcut limiting their brilliance. The pavilion is similar to a Barion cut. and was patented and trademarked by Bez Ambar Jewelers of Los Angeles in 1980.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. www.com Lucida Cut The Lucida (TM) Cut is a patented diamond cut that was created by Tiffany & Company in 1999.tiffany.radiantcut. Prior to the Quadrillion. brilliant-style faceted pavilion (similar to a Cushion Cut). and the table is a bowed out rectangle. Upon the expiration of the patent. a highstep crown (similar to the Asscher Cut). There are a total of 49 facets. 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. RCDC launched the 'Original Radiant Cut' diamond brand In 2002. Bez Ambar Radiant Cut The Radiant Cut is a modified emerald cut shape that was developed. sold in solitaire engagement/wedding bands. and a total of has 50 facets. The Lucida is sold exclusively through Tiffany's retail chain. The Lucida diamond cut is marketed as a wedding cut. patented and trademarked by Henry Grossbard of the Radiant Cut Diamond Company (RCDC) in 1977.diamondaires." The Leo Diamond is marketed through the Kay Jeweler chain. It was the first emerald shaped diamond cut to have brilliance and fire similar to that of a round brilliant diamond. www. and three-stone rings. eternity bands.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. the Radiant Cut became a fully accepted diamond shape in the jewelry business. The Lucida diamond cut is a modified square or rectangular (Marquise) cut with truncated corners. There are 25 crown facets and 36 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets (not including 8 girdle facets).' and each diamond comes with a "Return of Light Certificate. and all Original Radiant Cut diamonds weigh at least 0. www. small table.The Leo diamond cut is the first to be certified for fire and brilliance as measured by a 'BrillianceScope.com Starburst Cut .
Since the day that humans first discovered 'adamas' (diamonds). 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. The pavilion has two differently sized sets triangular facets with a large triangular table. and scintillation when cut to the correct proportions. . Old European Gem Cuts: Point. and Uncurved cut used for accent stones. The point cut design is dictated by the natural shape of an octahedral rough diamond.louisglick. The crown of the Starburst Cut is similar to that of the radiant cut. right) was created by cutting off some of the top half of the point cut's octahedron to create a table.com The faceting of diamonds has come a long way in the last 700 years. Point Cut . The Trilliant has the Schoenflies point group symmetry of a round brilliant. Old eight. making the hue of fancy yellow diamonds more intense. the precursor for the "design" of the first faceted diamond lay within the rough stone itself. of New York in 1978. Trillian.early 1300s The "point cut" (below left) is one of the first symmetrically faceted diamond cuts. fire. The Trilliant trademark has since lapsed. There are two variations of this cut: the Curved cut used for solitary stones. Nieman Marcus and Tiffany. The Starburst cut was created to bring out the highest amount of color to fancy yellow diamonds. The "table cut" (below. The Trilliant Cut has a total of 31 facets. Starburst Cuts are mounted and sold directly through Cartier.com Trilliant Cut The Trilliant Cut (aka Trielle. From this point forward it was a race to see who could design the perfect faceted cut which would bring out the maximum fire. with weight losses in the fifty percent range. With the realization that only a diamond could cut another diamond. Harry Winston. The Starburst cut is especially suitable for a octahedral rough. and the Trilliant is now a generic term for a triangular brilliant cut. and the career of the "diamantaire" (diamond cutter/polisher) was born.The Starburst Cut was patented and trademarked by the Louis Glick Diamond Corp. but the pavilion is completely different. and light return from the stone. Old Mine Cut Evolution of the Faceted Diamond & Colored Gem Article Copyright © 2008 AllAboutGemstones. for a total of 89 kite and star shaped facets. Still. 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. www. reworked into the shape of a trillion (triangle). There are 49 crown facets and 40 pavilion facets. brilliance. The Trilliant cut gives a high brilliance. The starburst faceting pattern is designed to focus color near the top of a stone. and the natural octahedral symmetry of the rough stone's closed isometric form. Trillion) is a triangular cut designed and trademarked by the Henry Meyer Diamond Company of New York in 1962. craftsmen have attempted to "improve" on nature. this led to the invention of the first gem cutting machines (precursor to the "lap" or "Facetron") in the 1300s.
eight bezel or crown facets." "crowned rose cut. Also called the "cushion cut". it has a cushioned or rounded girdle shape.1500s Invented in the mid 16th century. and eight pavilion facets." and the Full Holland cut. The "briolette cut" is a modified "double Dutch rose cut" with one of the hemispheres being elongated. The culet is usually large enough to be visible when viewed through the table. Rose & Briolette Cut.Single Cut . the "old single cut" (aka "old eight cut") diamond has the addition of corner facets to create an octagonal girdle. resulting in a smaller table.late 1300s Invented in the late 14th century. The "senaille cut" is a rose cut with irregular or non-symmetrical faceting. . The single cut may or may not have a culet at the bottom. This Old Mine cut is basically square with gently rounded corners and "brilliant" style facets. The briolette was the precursor to the "pendeloque cut" which is a pear-shaped modification of the round brilliant cut.1700s The "old mine" cut is the earliest form of the "brilliant cut" diamond. The crown is typically tall. the "rose cut" is also known by the the "Antwerp rose. The briolette cut was designed primarily for use in a pendant or as a dangling bauble in a crown. The Rose cut can form a single hemisphere for a total of 24 facets or it can be two back-to-back hemispheres (Double Dutch rose) forming a total of 48 facets. an octagonal table. Old Mine Cut ." "Dutch cut.
eight facets at the pavilion. The Old European diamond cut has a very small table.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. the old European diamond has a circular girdle. Eight Cut & Swiss Cut The "eight cut" is primarily used for small stones when a brilliant cut would be impractical. . a heavy crown. 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. The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem." Even with modern techniques. the Modern Round Brilliant cut is beneficial when the crystal is an octahedron (diagram above). This cut is also known as the "Tolkowsky Cut" and "Tolkowsky brilliant.1800s The "Old European" cut was the forerunner of the modern round brilliant cut. and an octagon-shaped table for a total of 17 facets (18 if a culet is used). The Modern Round Brilliant Cut .Old European Cut . As with its predecessor the "point cut" over 600 years earlier. as two stones can be cut from one crystal with a minimum amount of waste. and very tall overall depth.
" The 'Diamond Pipeline' Rough diamonds are sent directly from De Beers mining operations in Africa (#1). Unlike precious metals such as gold. 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. Gaborone. thereby controlling and stabilizing prices. or secondary mining producers in Canada and Russia to De Beers' Diamond Trading Company (DTC) in London. Rio Tinto. There is a limited market for the resale of diamonds that are less than "investment grade. 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). with a total of 33 facets (34 if a culet is used). there is usually a substantial mark-up in the retail sale price of diamonds. .A "Swiss cut" is a compromise between an eight cut and a brilliant cut." The DTC is part of the DeBeers Group supply-chain known as the Central Selling Organization (CSO). The Diamond Trade: The 'Diamond Pipeline' Rough Diamond Producers Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Kimberley and Windhoek. Trans Hex. which combines ("aggregating") supplies of rough diamonds from multiple sources into one wholesale market (#2).com The trade in gem-grade rough diamonds is primarily controlled by the De Beers. 16 isosceles triangle facets on the crown and 16 facets on the pavilion. then divided by human or automated sorters into individual lots called "boxes. for sorting and resale. The rough stones are separated into 16.000 categories based on size. silver or platinum. color and quality.
As a reaction to their decrease in market share. reclaiming their "A Diamond Is Forever" moniker. and independent diamond producers in Canada.000. The sightholder then transports the box of rough diamonds back to diamantaire firms (cutting and polishing factories) located around the world (#4). De Beers is also facing increasing pressure from the manufactures of synthetic diamonds. . De Beers. (see DeBeers' Adiamondisforever.20 carats or less) in Mumbai (Bombay) and Surat. and retailers . diamonds have underperformed since 1987 when compared to the "luxury goods" market or global GDP.000 USD. to take advantage of market fluctuations. Tel Aviv.De Beers Sightholders The DTC holds a sale called a "site" or "sight" ten times per year in London and Johannesburg.com website).000 to $2. determining the quantity and quality that each site-holder will receive. where De Beers sells the "boxes" to its select group ("supplier of choice") of 125 "sightholders" (#3) or diamond manufacturers. Other major cutting centers are located in Johannesburg. which are increasing in popularity and consumer acceptance. China. Once the diamonds are set into jewelry. Rough diamonds are cut in various geographic regions according to tradition and the skill-sets of the labor force. Many Sightholders are also cutters. cutters. De Beers (DTC) sets the price of each box in advance. or to jewelry manufacturers (#5) around the world. while large stones are primarily cut in Antwerp. Ramat Gan. Additionally. India cuts the vast majority of small stones (. A 'sight' can have a value of between $500. Both traders and manufacturers may sell diamonds "upstream" and "downstream" through the diamond pipeline . and New York. they are sold to retailers or direct to the customer. and the breakaway from CSO's cartel by the Argyle Diamond Mine in Australia. through their Diamond Promotion Service (DPS) and Diamond Information Centres (DIC) marketing divisions. De Beers and the Future De Beers' (CSO's) control over the wholesale diamond market has diminished due to increased market penetration. The diamonds are then re-sold from the cutting and polishing (manufacturing) centers to wholesalers (Diamond Bourses). and Thailand. Russia and elswhere. has launched an aggressive branding and marketing campaign.
and India (2007). and the city is the hub of the global diamond trading industry (diamanthandel). De Beers is hoping that the combination of branding and security will increase consumer demand. The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates . The Council has approximately 70 members representing jewelers. and will com with a certificate of authenticity. London. Hoveniersstraat. Diamond Bourses are basically trading exchanges for loose. and preventing the inherent product misidentification that will follow. are sold in Antwerp every year. Asia. Belgium but there are also Diamond Bourses in Israel. Europe. Forevermark diamonds will be available through sightholder/retailers in the U.com The word "Bourse" refers to a private stock.Forevermark Diamonds As a way of staving off the onslaught of secondary diamond markets. Within Antwerp's diamond district.. some 1. or commodities exchange similar to the NYSE. . South Africa. 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. KPCS originated in May 2000 during a meeting of South African diamond producing states in Kimberley. bond. and Shanghai. Schupstraat. The Diamond Trade: Diamond Bourses of Antwerp Diamond Bourses Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. The largest diamond trading center in the world is located in Antwerp. and Rijfstraat. This mark is only visible via a point-of-sale electronic viewer. cut and uncut diamonds. Moscow. The Council began in July 2000 after a joint meeting of the WFDB and its international headquarters are in New York City.500 diamond dealers (diamantbedrijven) are ensconced in small. 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 . the DTC has developed new inscription technologies to "invisibly" mark the table facet of polished diamonds with a "Forevermark" trademark. the WDC has observers from the governments of Belgium. and about half of the polished diamonds. traders and manufacturer/producers. China. NY .S. also known as the "World Diamond Center" or Diamantenzentrum. Israel and South Africa and works with 35 independent Governments. heavily guarded geographic area surrounded by three main streets. In addition to its members. the European Union and the United Nations to rid the diamond Industry of conflict diamonds. As of 2006. 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. Almost 85% of the world's rough diamonds. Hong Kong. The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base.
there are around 4000 diamond-cutters (diamantaire) working in the several-square-block diamond district.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. friendship and trust . regulations. founded in 1893—and the Beurs voor Diamanthande (at Pelikaanstraat 78) founded in 1904 . the Antwerpsche Diamantkring was reopened. Control over the diamond trade is maintained through the WFDB's Constitution containing a series of rules. In Antwerp's 'Diamond Center' (Diamantenzentrum) today. making it the largest diamond-trading center in the world . ethics and morality. and disputes are handled by an internal arbitration process. Around $16+ billion in polished diamonds pass through Antwerp's diamond bourses each year. bisected by Hoveniersstraat street. Both bourse were founded by Hasidim diamantairs. which was established in the same year that the 1930 World Expo was held in Antwerp. and both are still in operation today. uncut diamonds was the Antwerpsche Diamantkring (Antwerp Diamond Ring) . an by-laws that govern business practices. After the liberation. Beurs voor Diamanthandel . and repatriation of Antwerp following the end of WWII. These first trading exchanges mainly dealt with the wholesaling of cut stones.Photo: Wiki Public The first trading exchange to deal exclusively with rough. Most transactions conducted within the Bourses done with cash and a handshake. The Diamond High Council (HRD) . Members of the Diamond Bourses operate within a system based on mutual trust and each member pledges to uphold the traditions and principles of consideration. and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) was founded in 1947.
which at the time was administered by the 'Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie' or 'Dutch East India Company. The Diamond Trade: History & Culture of the Key Players Article Copyright © 2006 AllAboutGemstones. ending with the inclusion of all Boer territories into British colonies. Afrikaners who participated in the migration northward became known as the 'Trekboer' or Voortrekkers.' During the 1830s and 1840s. England seized the Cape of Good Hope from the Dutch East India Company in 1797. most with Dutch Calvinist. Diamonds and the British The Second Wave of Europeans Needing a stopping-off point on the sea-route to Australia and India." Three of South Africa's richest diamond mines are in Northern Cape (Kimberley Diamond Mine).000 Zulu warriors attacking 470 Boer settlers. or German Protestant backgrounds. there was a mass exodus (the Great Trek) northward to 'Northern Cape. The Boers resisted British encroachments into their territory until the Second 'Anglo' Boer War (1899— 1902). This led to a new wave of emigrants and adventurer-seekers from England. with 10. There was not a single Boer fatality. They settled in the 'Cape of Good Hope' on Africa's southern most tip. under the Treaty of Vereeniging.' and the 'Orange Free State' provinces to escape hostilities with the native 'Xhosa tribe' from which Nelson Mandela decended. coming for . but 3000 Zulus were killed in what became known as the 'Battle of Blood River. Flemish.The HRD (Hoge Raad voor Diamant) Diamond High Council is a non-profit industry organization designed to promote and represent the Antwerp diamond trade.' 'Gauteng. Afrikaners (aka Boers or farmers) were religious refugees from the Netherlands and other parts of northern Europe during the mid 1600s to late 1700s. Gauteng (Premier Diamond Mine). and Limpopo (Venetia Diamond Mine).' 'Limpopo. the Zule's King Dingane agreed to a treaty allowing the Voortrekkers to settle in what would be called the Natalia Republic or Boer republics. The First Boer War (1880—1881) began with the Transvaal (Limpopo) Boers declaring independence from Great Britain.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.' After the devastating Zulu defeat. The Voortrekkers had to contend with the native Zulu tribe over land they wished to settle on. The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base. who were in search of the "quiet sweet life. The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates . and fully annexed the Cape Colony in 1806 . and this eventually lead to all-out war.
Photo: Pub. Domain Thomas M. Rhodes made several aborted attempt to gain control over Barnato's interest in Kimberley Central Mine. N.' Cecil Rhodes died a single man with no children and. a prospector.the "mineral revolution. although Rhodes did not start out with an interest in diamonds. mysteriously falling overboard on a ship passage back to England. One of the richest men in the world. he was able to build a monopolistic empire through skill and cunning. but was eventually successful in convincing Barnato to merge with De Beers. In exchange. Cecil Rhodes' De Beers empire was started on a farm owned by two Boer settlers and brothers. As a young lad from England. Domain Barney Barnato During the same period that Cecil Rhodes was building De Beers Consolidated Mines. 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. D.. no heirs to his empire. in Northern Cape. De Beers and Kimberley Central were the two largest mining interests in South Africa at the time. With the help of the Rothschild bank in London. self-government was restored. Photo: Pub. Rhodes started out selling ice cream to the diamond-diggers and service workers. and J. The African nation of Rhodesia was named after him (now the Republic of Zimbabwe). Photo: Pub. Barnato was given appointed to 'life governor' and temporary controlling interest in De Beers . Cullinan . and later selling steam-powered water pumps to drain the open-pit mines of Kimberley. Amid all of this turmoil and chaos. A. As founder of De Beers.. Around 1873 the De Beer brothers sold out to a group of mining syndicates who later merged with Cecil Rhodes' pumping company to form 'De Beers Consolidated Mines. a curious discovery was being made along the banks of the Orange River. Barnato died several years later. and in 1910 the 'Union of South Africa' was created." In 1906. De Beer. Domain Cecil Rhodes Cecil Rhodes (1853—1902) is the undisputed father of the modern diamond industry. 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.
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.
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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
with his wife and their nine children. 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. and on board the luxury residential ship The World ResidenSea. which gives him access to some of the finest uncut diamonds coming out of South Africa. Graff has co-authored (with Vanessa von Zitzewitz) "The Most Fabulous Jewels in the World. a DeBeers sightholder in Johannesburg. Monte Carlo. Graff's net worth is estimated at 2. to purchasing a 51% stake in Safdico (South African Diamond Corp." the Leviev Group has found willing partners in several countries including Angola's ASCORP after De Beers' exit in 2001. New York's Madison Avenue.state. Russia. Lev Leviev has formed a partnership with the ex Soviet state-owned diamond firm. Tretiakovsky Proezd in Moscow. Israel." a compendium and history of his most famous jewels." and the "king of bling" by Forbes magazine . and one of the most successful diamond merchants in modern history. It will ultimately be cut into an estimated 20 or so 'D-flawless' stones ranging from 75 carats to 1 carat in size. Domain Laurence Graff Laurence Graff (1938—) is a DeBeers sightholder. now called ALROSA (Almazy-Rossii-Sakha) . Mr. from wholesale and retail. Dubai. By circumventing the De Beers supply chain. Lev Leviev lives in B'nei Brak. 2006 at the Letseng diamond mine in the tiny Kingdom of Lesotho in the center of the Republic of South Africa. House of Graff is also located on London's Sloane Street. which are now owned by Lev Leviev. formed by Decree 158C of the Russian Federation. Graff has been dubbed the "king of diamonds. selling to the rich and famous from Elizabeth Taylor and Donald Trump. found on August 22. One of his most notable acquisitions was the 603 carat "Lesotho Promise diamond. and has satellite locations in Wafi City. and the largest rough unearthed in this century. Raised by his grandparents.5 billion dollars . Laurence Graff was born into a Jewish orthodox family in London's poorer 'East End' district. Leviev's net-worth is estimated at $2. ALROSA produces 100% of Russia's rough diamond output and approximately 20% of the world's rough diamonds . Lesotho Promise is the 15th largest diamond ever found. Alrosa now sells direct to cutting factories throughout Russia. to Larry Ellison.). All House of Graff stones have a laser-inscribed girdle with the 'Graff' logo and GIA number. Using this model of "local control. The Hindustani Diamond Cutters Photo: dnavin. Photo: Pub. in 1992. Hotel de Paris' salon privé in Paris.com Gujarat's Indian Diamantaires .5 billion (#278 Forbes List).
Much of India's diamond trade is controlled by a handful of wealthy families in Gujarat. Domain Bharat & Vijay Shah Bharat and Vijay Shah came from a family of jewelers going back three generations. The Sanskrit word for 'diamond' was vajra." The Bharat Diamond Bourse in Mumbai. This vast fortune is shared by some 300 to 500 Gujaratis families from Palanpur on the GujaratRajasthan border . polishes. and to develop an "understanding of the world market. and Shah.Diamonds made their first reluctant appearance in human history over 2400 years ago. and although India's famous "Diamonds of Golconda" were mined-out hundreds of years ago. 320 BC) by Kautiliya. is the newest addition to India's arsenal of global marketing tools to promote exports. Dilip Mehta of Mumbai. and were written about in an ancient Sanskrit manuscript called the "The Lesson of Profit" Arthasastra (c. improve perceptions. heighten awareness of ethical business practices. the Hindustan Diamond Company Ltd. Of the $26 billion per year diamond revenues that flow through Antwerp. they were able to gain an increasingly larger share of the wholesale diamond trade. The brothers. with $1.7 billion in annual sales . the Indians would not be giving up their rightful heritage as diamantaires. Harshad Mehta ("Diamond King of the world") is one of the founders of Rosy Blue. with diamond cutting factories located in Borivali. (HDC). to elevate quality standards. Photo: Pub. . both college dropouts. Mumbai. Gitanjali Gems is one of the largest manufacturers of diamonds and diamond jewelry in India. D. Jainism is an ancient Indian religious sect believing in the 'Jain' philosophy. started out thirty years ago by purchasing cheaper stones that the Dutch Hasidim. and exports several billion dollars worth of gems per year. Navinchandra & Co (board of directors . Sanghavi Exports. and Israelis didn't want to work with . and Surat's 'Special Economic Zone' . Suresh & Co. is the CEO of the 'Rosy Blue Group' which is currently one of the world's largest diamond companies. and is currently a Senior Partner and head of the UAE division. from Hong Kong to Israel. M. Photo: rosyblue. Gitanjali Gems." The Indians would go on to enjoy a singular reign over the diamond-rich dominion—known as Hindustan—for another two thousand years. Mehta. universal truths. By slowly developing markets. 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.com Dilip Mehta Indian diamantaire. Venus Jewels. Chandragupta.above). Shree Ramkrishna Exports. The Indo Argyle Diamond Council (IADC) formed in 1994 as a consortium of Indian jewelry manufacturers and cutting houses. propelling their twin companies. are headed and staffed by Mehta family members. or "thunderbolt. India (born 1949). Several other divisions of the Rosy Blue Group. and Vijaydimon are family owned operations run by Jains with the common surnames of Jhavari. and De Beers India. The Indian communities' share has grown to around 60%. a minister to the Indian king. Gujarat. displacing the Hasidim as the dominant force in the industry . based upon eternal. It is estimated that India cuts. Companies like Bhavani Gems.
China. only hinting at their possibility in 2007 or 2008. who was a major general in the army. Thailand. On a somewhat darker note. After years of fighting between the PMLA and UNITA. dos Santos. Botswana has held regular elections and has been one of the more stable governments in southern Africa. President Festus Mogae was elected for a second term in 2004. At the age of 29. Diamonds and the Americans Photo: Pub. employing 22. The company has cutting factories in Antwerp. all who have signed multi-million dollar trade deals.000 workers. succeeded his father (Laurent-Désiré Kabila) as president the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC) after his assassination in January 2001. In a post-conflict reconstruction effort. Palanpur. and Tel Aviv. is receiving broad support from the South Africa.W. Ayer & Son . The president of Sierra Leone. the 'United Nations Industrial Development Orginization' (UNIDO). is making great strides in stabilizing the country after years of strife. many of the ex-colonial nations of Sub-Saharan Africa are starting to emerge as powerful and legitimate forces in the diamond industry. Botswana is a relatively wealthy African country. After winning a disicive re-election victory in 2006. into a global position with nearly $1 Billion a year in sales. Diamonds and the African Nationals Photos: Public Domain Kabila. working in cooperation with the government of Sierra Leone. created a program for capacity-building of 'small and medium-sized enterprise' (SME) development. Vijaydimon is a DTC sightholder with offices in Belgium. with one of the fastest per-capita income growth rates in the world. Joseph Kabila (above. the political situation in Angola has begun to normalize. Mandela. and the United States. Surat. and the end to South African apartheid in 1994. left). Domain N. Bombay. Hong Kong. both domestically and internationally. Vijaydimon also purchases rough diamonds from Canada's Diavik Mine and Argyle (Rio Tinto) and Russia . & Mogae Starting with Botswana's independence in 1966. and enjoys broad support. Angola and from mining magnates. The last democratic election in Angola was in 1992. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. Kabila. Singapore. president José Eduardo dos Santos is preventing democratic elections from taking place. Kabbah. Bangkok. UAE.Vijaydimon (Belgium) and B Vijaykumar (India) . India.
Lorelei receives a diamond tiara from her suitor. aka "the King of Diamonds. .' brand was catapulted into the stratosphere by the 1961 movie 'Breakfast at Tiffany's. and from the Spanish Crown Jewels . Sir Francis "Piggy" Beekman. this time from playwriter. and featuring the memorable scene in which Holly gazes longingly into Tiffany's window display. The movie version featured Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend. With financial shockwaves caused by the French economy's collapse in 1847. The Tiffany is still selling luxury jewelry in their trademarked 'Tiffany Blue Box. Ayer in 1938. Jule Styne. located at 259 Broadway.W. and the diamond industry was particularly hard hit. which started out as 'Tiffany & Young' of New York City in 1837. De Beers president.W. Styne wrote the score for the 1949 Broadway musical 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Charles Tiffany. Harry Frederick Oppenheimer enlisted the help of N. specializing in one-of-a-kind baubles for New York's newly-minted industrialists and 'robber-barons. purchased diamonds. The stone was cut in Paris. After the French revolution in 1799. the values of ostentatious gems and jewelry dropped precipitously. and the subsequent overthrowing of King Louis-Philippe of France in 1848. The Great Depression had taken a heavy toll on luxury goods during the 1930s. The 'Tiffany & Co.42 carat rough flawless-yellow diamond from the 'Compagnie Français de Diamant du Cap' (Kimberley mine) in 1877.' at the flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. After attending Chicago Musical College. Domain Hollywood in 1949 Coming just on the heels of the immortal "a diamond is forever" campaign. One of Tiffany's most notable diamond acquisitions was a 287. Tiffany & Young. De Beers and the diamond industry got another shot in the arm."A diamond is forever" is the legendary saying that was created by America's first advertising agency.' During the 1800s. and sold to Nanaline Duke (now in the Doris Duke Collection). and Tiffany seized on the opportunity. Styne moved to Hollywood where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn." after here charecter.' staring Audrey Hepburn. N. Jule Styne (born Julius Kerwin Stein) was born in London.' The stone was set into a garish jewelry piece called "Bird on a Rock. who was known for his jewelry expertise. A 19. Prince Esterhazy of Hungary. Domain Charles Lewis Tiffany Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812—1902). Photo: Pub. Ayer & Son. the public's tolerance towards nobility was at a low point.' which was adapted to film in 1953. producing the 128. Photo: Pub. Tiffany was able to purchase significant gems from such renowned estates as: the 'jewel-mad' Duke of Brunswick." by Jean Schlumberger in the 1960s. In 1948 the famous "A diamond is forever" slogan was introduced. gems and jewelry from the estates of the European aristocracy." was the co-founder of Tiffany & Co. was originally a 'fancy goods' emporium. for resale in America.54 carat 'The Tiffany Diamond. and a series of diamond-related slogans were introduced into the American lexicon. the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine.72 carat cushion-cut diamond (one of the "Diamonds of Golconda") was mounted by Tiffany.
Leavitt weaves a tale of Sierra Leone's impoverished "diamond diggers. the glamor is laid bare. but not least. appraisal report. the World Diamond Council placed ten full-page ads in newspapers around the county. we have the faceless American consumer. 2006 Hollywood in 2006 Blood Diamond is the latest incarnation of Hollywood's fascination with diamond." there would be no "diamond trade. Through interviews with human-rights organizations like Doctors Without Borders and Global Witness.Photo: © Warner Bros." Diamond Grading: Diamond Certificates (Certs) Gemological Laboratory Certification Why do you need a laboratory certification for your diamond? Although it may seem like a needless expense. as writer Charles Leavitt takes us through the dark underbelly of the diamond trade. This time. certificate of authenticity. the unsung hero in the diamond trade. The Consumer Last. and their willingness to purchase the concept of "foreverness. grading report. or "cert" may be your only assurance that you are getting exactly what you paid for. In a preemptive strike against any negative publicity that the movie would generate." and the terrible working conditions that these workers must endure. Were it not for intrepid consumers. Diamonds are tested for . a diamond certificates.
shape and cut of a stone. and Attestations of Origin. tone. 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. The IGI offers Identification Reports.the basics (cut dimensions and proportions. and carat weight) and they are also tested for traces of gem enhancement. which can be substantially different. IGI Certificate The International Gemological Institute (IGI) is the oldest institute of its kind in Antwerp.' GIA's world headquarters are located in Carlsbad. Dubai and Hong Kong. GIA reports also cover any treatments or enhancements that have been done. . and is the largest independent gem certification and appraisal institute in the United States. Certificates of Authenticity. clarity. with offices around the globe. Although even a lay-person may be able to tell the difference between a triple-zero diamond and a cheap. there is very little (visible) difference between a FL stone and a IF or VVS-1 stone . Appraisal Reports. poorly cut SI-3 grade stone. 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 . Shipley in 1931. The GIA was founded by Robert M. Toronto. carat weight. Mumbai. and of corse. Tokyo. California. wether the stone is natural or synthetic.not only for resale.other than the price. founded in 1975. Bangkok. and saturation of a colored stone. color. the same year that Shipley published his groundbreaking book titled 'Gemology. and wether they are synthetic. Los Angeles. with operations in New York City. Antwerp. GIA Certificate A GIA (Gemological Institute of America) report provides detailed information about the dimensions. but for insurance appraisal as well.
All diamonds are examined anonymously. and the graders can not know the identity of the owner. color.The IGI lab grades diamonds as well as colored gemstones along several basic criteria which include: shape and cut. with "Triple Excellent" being the highest overall designation. Shape. HRD's refined Cut Grading system measures each of the three parameters (proportions. origin (colored gems). and Fluorescence. HRD Antwerp Diamond Certificate The certificates department of HRD Antwerp in Antwerpen. Cut. clarity. and finish. as well as quantifying the standard parameters of Clarity. the sorting of rough diamonds. mesurments. jewellery design and gemology. weight. Carat Weight. Belgium issues quality reports for loose (unmounted) polished diamonds according to ISO 17025 international standards for gemelogical testing laboratories. polish and symmetry) using a scale ranging from Excellent to Fair. HRD also offers gemelogical training and continuing education courses in diamond grading. Color. . HRD uses the "Hearts and Arrows" measuring system which was developed by HRD Antwerp scientists.
creator of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). 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. 2005 can be viewed online.As well as testing for synthetic diamonds. and optical physicists. Symmetry. 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." 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. The AGS Gemological Laboratories was established in 1996 to provide state-of-the-art diamond grading and appraisal services to the jewelry industry. AGS grades diamond color on a numeric sliding scale that is similar to GIA's alphabetical scale. The AGS specializes in diamond testing and evaluation. having the most rigid grading standards. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). HRD uses complex watermarking to prevent copying or falsifying their reports.com The American Gem Society was founded in 1934 by Robert M. Diamond Grading AGS Diamond Quality Report (DQD) AGS Gemological Laboratory Background Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. certificates issued after January 1. To insure the security of their documents. The AGS Diamond Quality Document uses a unique and proprietary 0 to 10 grading system that is simpler for the consumer to understand than the GIA's grading nomenclature." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors. The mission of the AGS is to increase consumer awareness. and Proportions. Today. A diamond's clarity is also graded on a simple numeric scale from 0 to 10. and does not evaluate other types of colored gemstones. 'Polish' and 'Symmetry' were merged into one category called "Finish. along with a consortium of independent jewelers. Shipley. AGSL Certificate The AGSL was the first gem lab to grade a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. AGS is considered the premier diamond-grading laboratory." The AGS Cut Grading system was developed through of years of research by gemologists. Aditionally. as well as the most comprehensive system for grading the all-important 'cut' parameters. as opposed to GIA's vvs. mathematicians. but rather a comprehensive quality evaluation. vs. and s ratings. In 2004 AGS added a new category referred to as "Light Performance" but to retained the "Triple Zero" monicker for diamonds with a perfect score. An AGS report. .
'Polish' and 'Symmetry' were merged into one category called "Finish. dispersion." The AGS Cut grading system was developed through years of research by gemologists. The ray-tracing program measures the quantity of the light being returned to the viewer by quantifying brightness. In 2004 AGS added a new category that is referred to as "Light Performance. and Proportions. contrast. Proportions & Light Performance The AGSL was the first gem lab to grade a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. Each parameter is given a numeric grade from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). Symmetry. 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. mathematicians." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors. . and optical physicists. leakage and light spread." but to retained the "Triple Zero" monicker for diamonds with a perfect score.Cut Grade: Finish.
3.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering.5. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless .AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero.0 to 1. AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint .1. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram. . all measured in three spacial dimensions.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light .5 to 3." Document Security Each AGS grading document is marked with a hologram (dark circle at lower right of report) and watermarking or embossing to prevent fraudulent duplication.7. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above).5 to 4.5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003. and individual facet ratios." or "ideal" rating. 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 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light .0 to 7. relative facet angles. the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible.0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless . where facets intersect with each-other. 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 will only evaluate loose. and will soon be offering cut evaluations for other fancy shapes. princess. Flawless Other Services Supplied by AGS The AGS will soon be entering into an alliance/partnership with one of the premier testing labs of colored gemstones. OctoNus Software. Pricing for a diamond grading report is based on carat weight." A decline is a spiral (corkscrew) tunnel which circles the ore deposit. AGS will also provide analysis of a manufacturers 'cut performance' by analyzing a sample stone's Sarin file. Additionally. minerals. and octagon step-cut diamonds. AGSL reports will also grade cut quality for emerald. 4. the stability of the material that surrounds that desired gem or mineral. which are used by non-contact measuring-device manufacturers such as Sarin Technologies. the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA). Dubai. These diamond extraction methods vary depending on how the minerals are deposited within the earth. through AGS offices in Antwerp. unmounted diamonds. As of 2005. while a shaft is .Extraction Methods Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.42 Carat D. and can only be accessed by tunneling underground and creating underground "rooms" or "stopes" that are supported by timber pillars or standing rock. The principle methods of diamond extraction are: 1.com Diamonds and other precious and semi-precious gemstones are extracted from the earth using five basic mining techniques." or a by a vertical "shaft. 2. and ore bodies that are in situ. left) refers to various techniques used to extract gems. AGS offers laser inscription services as well. Diamonds: Gem & Diamond Mining Technology Photos: Public Domain Diamond & Gem Mining . Artisanal Mining Hard Rock Mining Marine Mining Open Pit Mining Placer Mining Hard-Rock Diamond Mining The term "hard-rock mining" (top of page. Obtaining an AGS Report AGS is a 'trade-industry' testing laboratory that will only evaluate diamonds sent from jewelers or manufacturers. The AGS supplies 'facet arrangement' templates corresponding to their cutgrading system. 3. India and Israel. so that the cutter can improve the light performance of their cut stones. and OGI Systems. Accessing the underground ore is achieved via a horizontal passageway called a "decline. 5. and the peripheral damage that will be done to the surrounding environment.Triple-0 Round Brilliant Setting 'American Star Diamond' 13.
Diamonds and most gemstones are hard. and or colluvial secondary deposits. also known as "sand-bank mining" (top of page. with the middle size being a candidate for final sorting. shovels. Small "pit lakes" tend to form at the bottom of open-pit mines as a result of groundwater intrusion. 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. rock or sedimentary soil. . gravel. or sort material according to size. and have a specific gravity that is higher than that of common minerals. right) with bare hands. Placer Mining Placer diamond mining. or pans. at a maximum depth of 500 feet. or large conical sieves. Laborers who work in artisanal diamond mining are called "diamond diggers" (below left). 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. Marine Mining Marine mining technology only became commercially viable in the early 1990s. they tend to concentrate in alluvial deposits in the same way that gold placers develop. or sand) that is unsuitable for tunneling. Open pit mines are typically used when mineral deposits are found close to the surface or along defined kimberlite pipes. box screens. 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. running adjacent to the ore. Gems are separated from waste material using various sifting and sorting techniques such as cone screens. therefore. machinery. A decline is typically used for mining personnel.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. Artisanal diamond mining is a form of "subsistence based" non-mechanized mining that is used in poorer countries throughout the world. Excavation is accomplished using water pressure (hydraulic mining). While on board. the gravels are separated and sorted into three sizes. highly resistant to weathering.vertical tunnel used for ore haulage. CAT-tracked underwater mining vehicles) move across the sea floor pumping gravel up to an offshore vessel. or hand digging (artisanal mining). mechanized surface excavating equipment. Horizontal mining employs the use of Seabed Crawlers (remotely controlled. which concentrate the heavier gems at the bottom. also known as "open-cast mining" (top of page. Open Pit Mining Open-pit diamond mining. eluvial.Photo: USGS Alluvial Diamond . Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . right) is used for extracting diamonds and minerals from alluvial. Marine diamond mining employs both "vertical" and "horizontal" techniques to extract diamonds from offshore placer deposits. and is a derivative form of open-cast mining used to extract minerals from the surface of the earth without the use of tunneling.
left) or "yellow-ground" kimberlite and can be found worldwide. and upper mantle rock. Kimberlite pipes can lie directly underneath shallow lakes formed in the inactive volcanic calderas or craters. rock fragments. As this molten mixture of magma (molten rock). the Congo (DROC). phlogopite. and diamonds approaches the earth's surface it begins to form an underground structure (pipe) that is shaped like a champagne-flute. in conflict zones where mechanized mining is impractical and unsafe. diamonds are carried to the surface of the earth by volcanic activity. After their formation. serpentine. garnet. right). Diamond bearing kimberlite in some parts of South Africa is black in color (above. right).Artisanal diamond mining is used throughout west Africa. Kimberlites are found as "dikes" and "volcanic pipes" which underlie and are the source for rare and relatively small volcanoes or "maars" (above. left). yet only about 1 in every 200 kimberlite pipes contain gem-quality diamonds. Artisanal diamond mining accounts for 90% of Sierra Leone's diamond exports and is the country's second largest employer after subsistence farming. Most kimberlite is called "blue-ground" kimberlite (above. with a variety of trace minerals. Diamonds: Diamond Geology Diamond Geology & Kimberlites Kimberlite Pipes Diamonds form at a depth greater than 93 miles (150 kilometers) beneath the earth's surface. olivine. pyroxene. These pipes are called "kimberlites" or "kimberlite pipes" (see diagram below). The name "Kimberlite" was derived from the South African town of Kimberly where the first diamonds were found in this type of rock conglomeration (see section on "Kimberley . It is also used extensivly in Angola. Kimberlite is a diamondiferous igneous-rock matrix composed of carbonate. and Liberia. Many kimberlite pipes also produce alluvial diamond placer deposits. minerals.North Cape" below). Kimberlite occurs in the zone of the Earth's crust in vertical structures known as kimberlite pipes (above. Kimberlite pipes are the most significant source of diamonds. .
known as the Sperrgebiet or "forbidden territory. resulting in a broader cone of eviscerated rock at the surface. or different in composition to the fragments themselves. This results in a martini-glass shaped diamondiferous deposit as opposed to kimberlite's champagne flute shape." and along the Orange River near Alexander Bay. . sedimentary breccia. igneous breccia. Breccia is a rock composed of angular fragments of several minerals or rocks in a matrix.' which are created by abandoned river meanders. Alluvial Diamonds from Africa . Alluvial (Placer) Diamond Deposits The location of alluvial (secondary or placer) diamond deposits is controlled by the surrounding topography. or "cementing material. Lamproite pipes are created in a similar manner to kimberlite pipes.Photo: Public Domain Lamproite Pipes Lamproite pipes produce diamonds to a lesser extent than kimberlite pipes. 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. 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. impact breccia.Photo: NASA The alluvial terrace gravels (below. The Argyle pipe is a diatreme. The world's largest known gem quality alluvial diamond deposits are located along the Namib Desert coastline of southwestern Africa. including: hydrothermal breccia.Open Pit Mine ." that may be similar. Alluvial diamond deposits are usually located within river terrace gravels that have been transported from their location of origin. left) and marine gravels of the south-western coastline of Africa represent the some of the world's largest placer diamond deposits. usually from kimberlite deposits. and tectonic breccia.Photo: Public Domain Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . 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. These dried 'lakes' receive river water during seasonal flooding which transports large amounts of sediment held in suspension. Diamondiferous material tends to concentrate in and around 'oxbow lakes.
channels or other trapsites for diamondiferous deposits. to a lesser extent.8 million to 10. Diamonds in marine areas are typically trapped in bedrock depressions such as gullies. Alluvial Terrace Gravels . 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. Some of the largest and highest gemquality diamonds produced from alluvial placer diamond mining have come from this region.000 years ago). including Angola's two largest diamonds at 105. from olivine lamproites formed during the Cretaceous or Permo-Triassic period. The diamonds within these deposits were transported from deeply-eroded diamondiferous kimberlites or.9k and 101. Diamond Mines of the World: Active Diamond Mines List of Active Diamond Mines All Contents Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. in central South Africa and Botswana.com .Namibia's placer diamond deposits are between 40 and 80 million years old. but were not deposited on land.Photo: Wiki Diamond-Bearing 'Diamondiferous' Gravel Many of these alluvial diamond deposits occur in Pleistocene and Holocene successions (1. depressions. carried from their primary origination point on the Kaapvaal Craton. potholes. Westward draining river systems transported these diamonds to Africa's continental coastline for final deposition within on-shore marine terrace gravels.8k. Diamonds that were transported downstream. made their way to the sea bed just offshore.
map River Ranch Diamond Mine: Open Pit & Underground mine. map Letseng Diamond Mine: Open-cast mine in Maluti Mountains 70 km from Mokhotlong. 6.closed. map Koidu Open Pit Mines: Kimberlite open-pit mines just south of Koidu. Open-pit mine De Beers operated. De Beers operated. Closed in 2006. 3. MIBA. South Kalimantan 1. and any relevant geographic data. Catoca Diamond Mine: Fourth largest diamond mine in world. 4. produces over 40% of world's gem-quality diamonds. There are also several African nations with ongoing off-shore dredging/vacuming operations. Namdeb Namib Gov. Waldman Resources.Currently there are eleven major 'diamond producing' nations. 1. Cempaka Diamond Mines: Alluvials mined by indigenous artisanal Kalimantan miners. map Orapa Diamond Mine: (resting place for lions) Largest/oldest of four . in Kasaï . map Williamson Diamond Mine: (aka Mwadui mine) Open Pit mine. Owned by Endiama (40%) & Trans Hex (35%). 3. Israel. 2. 1. Namdeb. 2. 4. Kimberlite pipe. south of Lüderitz. 75% De Beers ownership. So Africa. map Marine Mining: Namco Mining operates a dredging fleet off the west coast of Namibia. 2. 2. 2. map Letlhakane Diamond Mine: ("little reeds") second oldest of four . map Baken Diamond Mine: Located along Orange River in North Cape. 2. 3. map Borneo Cempaka/Riam Kanan. map . open pit. Endiama (50%).DeBeers/Botswana. Luarica Diamond Mine: Owned by Endiama (38%) & Trans Hex (32%). 3. map Ekati Diamond Mine: Canada's first diamond mining operation. 1. map Damtshaa Diamond Mine: (water for a tortoise) New open pit mine. map Venetia Diamond Mine: Limpopo. and a host of other counties with operational and/or historic alluvial. map Bakwanga Mine: (aka Bushimaïe. 1. the Kimberley Open Pits closed in 2005. map Orange River (Daberas) Mines: Orange River alluvium. mining operator info. map Koffiefontein Diamond Mine: The Koffiefontein mine opened in 1870. These lists also contains new project explorations. map Fucauma Diamond Mine: Newly constructed. map Finsch Diamond Mine: Finsch is an open-pit mine near Lime Acres. map Koidu-Sefadu Mines: Subsistence digging in alluvium pits west of Koidu. 1. located in NWT. map Jwaneng Diamond Mine: (place of small stones) richest mine in world. 1. 5. 4. map Forminière Diamond Mine: Alluvial mine located on the River Tshikapa. 7. Argyle Diamond Mine: Largest producer in world.De Beers / Botswana. map Elizabeth Bay Mine: Open-cast mine in Namib desert. map Botswana Congo (DROC or RDC) Lesotho Namibia Sierra Leone South Africa Tanzania Zimbabwe Australia East Kimberley 1. and hard rock diamond mines. Diavik Diamond Mine: The Diavik diamond mine is located in the NWT. Active Mines | Inactive Mines | Future Exploration | Mining Companies Africa Angola 1. 2. Trans Hex. 75% De Beers ownership. Lubilash) Alluvial river mines in Kasaï. mining industry inside news. 75% De Beers ownership map Murowa Diamond Mine: Open Pit & Underground mine. map Canada North West Territories (NWT) 1. 2. mostly industrial grade. Luzamba Diamond Mine: Angola's largest alluvial mine. map Kimberley Diamond Mine: Started in 1871. De Beers / Botswana. map Magna Egoli Mine: Largest mechanized mine in Sierra Leone. links to satellite images of the mines (where available). Odebrecht (50%). 1. Rio Tinto. De Beers/Botswana. map Cullinan Diamond Mine: Open Pit/Hard Rock diamond mine owned by De Beers. map The Oaks Diamond Mine: In Limpopo province. 3. 1.
Alrosa. Mirna Mine: Largest diamond deposit in Russia and one of the largest in the world. map Russia Siberia 1. Aikhal GOK Mine: Three open-pit kimberlite pipe mines: Aikhal. map Udachnaya (Udachny) Pipe Mine: One of the deepest diamond mines in the world. 5. map Jubilee (Yubileinaya) Mine: Newer open-pit kimberlite mine near Udachny. Panna Diamond Mine: Alluvial mine in state of Madhya Pradesh. 4. map Anabar GOK Mine: The norther most location of Russia's diomond mines. 2. map .India Madhya Pradesh 1. Jubilee. and Sytykan. 3.