This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
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
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. Other variations of the "Modern Round Brilliant" include the "Ideal Brilliant" which was invented by Johnson and Roesch in 1929. 64. 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. 80. 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. All of that has changed with the AGS Cut Grading system and GIA's new "Cut Grading System". Fig. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972.e. Fig. Common cutting problems can occur during the faceting process. 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. a Round Brilliant cut that does not have the proper proportions and symmetry (off-make) will have noticeably less brilliance. 3 . Poor Diamond Faceting and Symmetry Due to the mathmatics involved in light refraction. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. when one incorrect facet angle can throw off the symmetry of the entire stone.Good Cut Fair Cut Poor Cut Cut Proportions In the past. The chart below shows several common problems to look for. The crown will have 33 facets. or 96 facets which are not counted in the total number of facets (58). This can also result in the undesirable creation of extra facets beyond the required 58. Only a trained eye could see the quality of a good cut. and the pavillion will have 25 facets. pavilion and crown angle) and did not provide a subjective ranking of how good the cut was.
AGS Triple-0 Certification The American Gem Society (AGS) is the industry leader in laboratory testing of round gems for cut grade and quality. The "Ideal" designation is an AGS term that is not found on an GIA report. Fancy Diamond Cuts The shape of the cut is a matter of personal taste and preference. In order for a diamond to receive a "Triple-0" grading. the quality of the cutter's execution of that shape is of primary importance. which gives out much more fire than a real diamond. The IdealScope was invented by Kazumi Okuda in the 1970's. out through the table. as two stones could be cut from one crystal.For a Modern Round Brilliant cut (Tolkowsky Brilliant). A diamond cut for too much fire will look like cubic zirconia. left) are only found in diamonds that meet the American Gem Society Laboratories' "0" Ideal Cut specifications. However. there is a balance between "brilliance" and "fire". A Triple-0 diamond can also be called a "Triple Ideal Cut" or "AGS-Ideal Zero" diamond. Several basic diamond shapes (Fig. The first official H & A "EightStar" diamond was cut in 1985 by Kioyishi Higuchi for Japanese businessman and FireScope manufacturer. the "FireScope. 5) are listed below. or a Scan D.' while AGS uses a more exacting combination of proportional facet ratios along with raytracing metrics to calculate light return. Symetry. making the diamond appear white when viewed from the top. Eppler Cut (European Standard). 4 Perfectly formed Hearts and Arrows patterns with eight hearts AND eight arrows (above. Cut (Scandinavian Standard) will display a "Hearts and Arrows" pattern when observed through a IdealScope (arrows only). and its later incarnation." was invented by Ken Shigetomi and Kazumi Okuda in 1984. Emerald . The round brilliant cut is preferred when the crystal is an octahedron. Proportion) must meet the "ideal" criteria. The shape of the diamond cut is heavily dependent upon the original shape of the rough stone. all three categories of cut (Polish. 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. Fig. N. Asymmetrical raw crystals such as macles are usually cut in a "Fancy" style. Takanori Tamura. Hearts and Arrows Diamonds A perfectly proportioned ideal cut that is cut to the exacting specifications of a Tolkowsky Cut. A cut with inferior proportions will produce a stone that appears dark at the center (due to light leaking out of the pavilion) and in some extreme cases the ring settings may show through the top of the diamond as shadows. or a H & A Viewer gemscope (FireScope). 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.
086 grains) or 0. The "fancy cuts" are generally not held to the same strict standards as Round Brilliants. "Marquise" or "Navette" (little boat).Heart Marquise Oval Pear Princess Radiant Round Trillion (not shown at diagram) Fig. A carat can also be divided into "points" with one carat being equal to 100 points. The 4 C's of Diamonds: Carat (Weight) The 4 C's Diamond Grading System 1. "Heart. representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. and with each point being 2 milligrams in weight.C. When a single piece of jewelry has multiple stones." "Briolette" (a form of Rose cut).W. Therefor. Both rough and cut diamonds are separated and graded based on these four characteristics. CARAT Balancing Cut and Weight A diamond or gemstone's "Carat" designation is a measurement of both the size and weight of the stone. Color Carat weight is one of the 4 C's.2 grams (200 milligrams or 3. and a 2 carat diamond is 200 points. One "Carat" is a unit of mass that is equal to 0." . and the Pear. your first step in shopping for a diamond should be to learn and understand the "4 C's" diamond grading system. the total mass of all diamonds or gemstones is referred to as "Total Carat Weight" or "T.007 ounce. Carat 3. Cut 2. a 3/4 carat diamond is 75 points. Clarity 4. 5 Popular fancy cuts include the "Baguette" (bread loaf). a 1/2 carat diamond would be 50 points. "Princess" (square outline). As a consumer.
The Four C's of Diamonds: Clarity . By sacrificing cut proportions and symmetry. it must be accurate to the second decimal place. that is published by the Rapaport Group of New York.500 15. many one carat diamonds are the result of compromising cut quality to increase carat weight." If the carat weight is shown as ". Note: Your screen resolution may alter the reproduction size of the chart above. See the chart above for a millimeter to carat size comparison. a larger apparent "size" for a given carat weight. carob seeds were used to counterbalance scales.195 and . It is for this reason that an even 1.99 carat diamond for its better price. 58% table and 1% girdle are maintained. or "seed of the carob". "If the diamond's weight is described in decimal parts of a carat.750 30.10 carat diamond for its better cut.5º crown. In ancient times. 40º pavilion. A diamond that has a specified carat weight of .5 carats must have an actual weight of between .0 carat 3. and as a benchmark weight due to their predictably uniform weight. The spread is the ratio between diameter and three principle geometric components of the crown. girdle and pavilion.0 carat 1.00 carat diamond may be a poorly cut stone. a stone cutter will need to make compromises by accepting imperfect proportions and/or symmetry in order to avoid noticeable inclusions. or to buy a 1.000 Total Cost (USD)</ Rapaport Diamond Report Diamond prices do not increase in a steady line.The word "Carat" is derived from the Greek word keration.204 carat. A Diamond's Spread Think of the "spread" as the apparent size of a diamond. clarity and weight. Since the per-carat price of diamond is much higher when the stone is over one carat. a diamond can have a larger diameter and therefor. A given diamond will have a 'zero spread penalty' if the correct 'ideal cut' symmetry of a 32. The "Rapaport Diamond Report" is a weekly diamond price list based on cut.5 carat 2. Price Per Carat (2005) .600 8.Grade: F Colorless . as each jump past a even carat weight can mean a significant jump in pricing.5 carat 1. the figure should be accurate to the last decimal place.495 carats and .20 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between . or to preserve the carat rating of the rough stone.600 6. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to purchase a .000 Cost Per Carat (USD)</ 1. Occasionally.800 6.600 12.VS1 Carat Size</ 0. FTC Guidelines on Diamond Weight According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides on Decimal Representations. If the carat weight is shown as one decimal place.504 carats. This carat/millimeter sizing chart is meant for comparison purposes only.
with large Inclusions."Very Very Small" inclusions hard to see at 10 x magnification VVS-2 ."Small" or "Slight" Inclusions or "Imperfections" visible to naked eye SI-3 . and flaws GIA Clarity Grading System The chart below explains the GIA grading system for inclusions and imperfections. and/or on the surface of the stone. Inclusions that are near to. darker inclusions will tend to create the most significant drop in clarity grade. . CLARITY All of the grades of diamond clarity shown in the table below. therefore reducing its value significantly.Imperfect."Flawless" no inclusions at 10 x magnification IF . Carat 3. The term "Clarity" refers to the presence or absence of tiny imperfections (inclusions) within the stone. light or pale inclusions may show greater relief. Considerations in grading the clarity of a diamond include the type of stone. may weaken the diamond structurally.The Four C's Diamond Grading System 1. Cut 2. On the other hand."Internally Flawless" no inclusions at 10 x mag."Very Small" inclusions VS1 is better grade than VS2 SI-1 . thus minimizing any negative impact of the inclusion. As a consumer. making them more apparent. point size and the location of inclusions."Very Very Small" inclusions. Color Clarity is one of the Four C's. reflect the appearance of inclusions within the stone when viewed from above at 10x magnification Higher magnifications and viewing from other angles are also used during the grading process. Clarity 4. it may be possible to hide certain inclusions behind the setting of the diamond (depending on where the inclusion is located). Diamond Clarity Designations FL ."Small" or "Slight" Inclusions or "Imperfections" may be "eye clean" SI-2 ."Very Small" inclusions visible at 10 x mag. . it is important to learn and understand the clarity designations found within the "Four C's" diamond grading system.small blemishes VVS-1 . representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. little or no brilliance I1 to I3 . In "colorless" diamonds. fractures.Inclusions large and obvious. or break the surface. In fancy-colored diamonds. . VVS1 better than VVS2 VS-1 .not naked eye VS-2 . causing a greater drop in grade.
External Diamond Inclusions Bearded Girdles .Tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts)." According to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Jewelry Guides. According to Fred Cuellar in his book How to Buy a Diamond. therefor it is essential to inform anyone working on a setting if the diamond is fracture-filled. Reputable companies often provide for repeat treatments if heat causes damage to the filling. Such diamonds are sometimes called "fracture filled diamonds".Cleavage planes or internal fractures that have the appearance of feathers. According to FTC guidelines. Laser Drilling Laser drilling involves using a laser to burn a tunnel or hole to a carbon inclusion.An inclusion that penetrates the surface. Diamond Fracture Filling Diamond clarity is sometimes enhanced by filling fractures.An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing. Chips . chips. The treatment is considered permanent and both the GIA and AGS will issue grades for laser drilled diamonds. much like repairing a crack in your car's windshield.Cloudy grouping of tiny pinpoints that may not resolve at 10X Magnification. fringing. vendors should disclose this enhancement.Fine cracks.Inclusions resulting from crystal twining during growth. Feathers . so they can use greater care while working on the piece.Irregular crystal growth causing internal distortions. Filled Fractures .Visible surface lines caused by irregular crystallization during formation. Bruising . Surface Graining ." . Pits . Cavities . Grain Center .Rutile-like needle inclusions. "One out of every three diamonds sold in the United States is laser-drilled. Internal Graining . Internal Diamond Inclusions Carbon . The heat generated by a blowtorch used to work on settings can cause damage. The GIA will not grade fracture-filled diamonds. or feathers along the outer edge of girdle. Needles . waviness. followed by acid washing to remove the coloring agent. appearing as a raised area. a diamond must be within one clarity grade of its advertised amount at the time of sale.Fractures that have been artificially filled. The drilling process leave tiny telltale shafts or tunnels that are visible under magnification. There is a significant price discount for fracture-filled diamonds.A percussion mark caused by impact. he or she could legally sell it as a VVS-2.A natural indentation that was not removed by polishing. Clouds . in part because the treatment isn't permanent. Knots .Concentrated area of crystal growth that appear light or dark. and reputable filling companies will use filling agents which show an orange or pink flash of color. haze.Minute crystals within the diamond that appear white. Pique .Garnet or other Included gem stones Twinning Wisps .Diamond Clarity Grade Inflation A fairly common practice in the jewelry trade is grade-inflation or "grade bumping.Dislodged pinpoint inclusions at the surface. Pinpoints . Indented Naturals . If a jeweler sells a diamond that has an actual grade of VS-1. The final clarity grade will be the grade that is assigned after treatment.Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet.
colorless (white) G. As a consumer. thereby making the diamond appear yellow.Human Caused Surface Blemishes Abrasions . The designation of SI-3 was popularized by the EGL (European Gemological Laboratory) grading office. O. Burn Marks .Grinding Wheel Marks of scratches from contact with other diamonds. H. V. Cut 2. J . Carat 3. assign this grade. E.Small chips at facet junctions. COLOR Most all natural diamonds contain small quantities of nitrogen atoms that displacing the carbon atoms within the crystal's lattice structure. R . L. a Sarin Diamond Color Grading report is the state-of-the-art color measuring standard. 1 . Y. the most reputable well known US labs. U. Diamonds of this low grade would be inappropriate for jewelry. Nicks . W. At present. F . Z . Scratches . the Gemological Institute of America uses a scale of "D" to "Z" in which "D" is totally colorless and "Z" is yellow. "SI-3" is a grade sometimes used in the diamond industry.light yellow or brown Fig. T.near colorless K. Q.very light yellow or brown S. Clarity 4. Diamond Color Designations D. X. 1 explains the GIA grading system for clear (not fancy-colored) stones. Color Color is one of the Four Cs representing the four variables that are used to calculate the quality and value of a diamond. The color chart in Fig. In determining the color rating of a diamond. Neither the GIA nor the AGS (American Gemological Society). M . The higher the amount of nitrogen atoms. These nitrogen impurities are evenly dispersed throughout the stone. it will be beneficial to learn and understand some of the basic parameters for diamond color grading. absorbing some of the blue spectrum.Surface burning from heat buildup during polishing. P.Whitish haziness along the junction of facets caused by wear. the yellower the stone will appear. The Four Cs of Diamonds: Color The Four Cs Diamond Grading System 1.faint yellow or brown N. I.
" "whiter than white. India. Fig. color grading should be determined by examining the stone through the side of the pavilion (Fig. and not by looking at the top of the stone. GIA-GEM." are named after the famous Golconda Diamond Mines located in the state of Hyderabad. 2 Sarin Color Typing is a relatively new sub-classification of the D through Z gading scale. it is extremely benificial to know if your 'F' is a strong 'F.' Unfortunatly. 3 Golconda Diamonds Type IIa diamonds (aka Golconda Diamonds) are colorless stones containing negligible amounts nitrogen or boron impurities to absorb the blue end of the color spectrum. and dispersion of light (fire) when looking through the table or crown. and D5). Fig. sometimes referred to as "white diamonds. D3. 3 example below. Using a Sarin Diamond Colorimeter DC3000 (aka Gran Colorimeter). and HRD grading scales. most gem labs do not currently provide color-typing data in their reports and certificates." or "D+. D-Flawless . jewelers and gem labs can accurately provide a 'color typing' printout of a diamond's color grading that is compatible with AGS.' or a borderline 'G. D4.Due to a diamond's high brilliance. For the consumer. Color grading by 'visual-observation is performed against a Master CZ Colored Grading Set. IGI. as in our Fig. 2). Each classification is divided into five sub-classifications (D1. These colorless stones.The Holy Grail . D2.
000 D-color diamonds weighing over half a carat are found each year. according to the GIA.Diamond Formation . Only around 600 D-flawless roughs are cut into gems weighing between 1 and 2 carats during a given year. they tend to fluoresce as blue. See Color in Gemstones for more information. as the blue fluorescence will cancel out some of the yellow." but the diamond will have a dull. Diamonds: Chemistry & Structural Properties Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Structural Properties of Diamond . faint. On the other hand. fluorescence can negatively impact the value of the stone by 3% to 20%.Large D-flawless diamonds (those weighing more than 2 carats) are some of the rarest minerals on earth. others may prefer a "warmer" color found in a G to J range to compliment their skin tone. Skin Tone and Settings While some may prefer a very transparent D to F range. In some settings with various combinations of other stones. diamonds with a poorer color grading (I through K). medium. diamonds with a visible tint may be preffered. Even with microscopic inclusions. Fluorescence is graded as none. This fluorescent effect can be beneficial to a diamond that has a yellow tint. and strong. fluorescence could increase the value by 0% to 2% buy improving the color (or lack thereof). Diamond Fluorescence Approximatly 1/3 (35%) of all diamonds have a tendency to fluoresce when exposed to ultra-violet (UV) light. For diamonds with a color grading of D through H (colorless). murky appearance when compared to a non-fluorescing diamond. making the diamond appear "colorless. so this effect will be more apparent under natural daylight than under artificial incandescent light. Ultra-violet light is a component of natural sunlight and artificial 4800k to 5000k color-proofing light. fewer than 5. When diamonds are viewed under a UV light-source.
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. When diamonds are not located within a "kimberlite pipe." which is also known as "adamant. they are found in alluvial stream-beds known or "secondary deposits." and "unconquerable. Long periods of exposure to these higher pressures and temperatures allow diamond crystals to grow larger than under land masses." referring to its incredible hardness. At these depths.42. phlogopite.044. a refractive index of 2. pressure is roughly 5 gigapascals and the temperature is around 2. Under the continental crust.52. . Diamond formation under oceanic crust takes place at greater depths due to lower surface temperatures. Diamond Crystal Structure & Hardness The unique chemical and molecular structure of crystalline diamond is what gives this gemstone its hardness. The word "allotrope" or "allotropy" specifically refers to the structural chemical bond between atoms. ultramafic. optically isotropic crystal with a high dispersion of 0." and excavated via a hard-rock or open pit mine. in the diamond-stable conditions defined by the "graphite-diamond equilibrium boundary" .Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits are exposed to high pressure and high temperature for prolonged periods of time." Diamond-bearing kimberlite is an ultrapotassic.200 degrees Fahrenheit (1. Basic Physical Properties of Diamond Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material on earth. Kimberlite occurs in the Earth's crust in vertical. igneous rock composed of garnet. Diamond is one of several allotropes of carbon. diamond formation within the oceanic crust requires a higher pressure for formation." "untamable. upwardly-thrusting structures known as kimberlite pipes. olivine. with a variety of trace minerals. and pyroxene. which resemble a champagne flute. with the principle allotrope being graphite. or "invincible. and a specific gravity of 3." is derived from the Greek adamas. Therefore. A diamond is a transparent.200 degrees Celsius). and differentiates it from simple graphite. with a relative hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale. diamonds form at depths of between 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 120 miles (200 km). The name "diamond.
although the reason for its combustion was not understood at the time. perfectly formed crystals are rare. Diamond Crystal Habit Diamonds have a characteristic crystalline structure. and crystal habit of a diamond is octahedral (photo. it is termed as "subhedral. is nearly as hard as diamond." This means that diamond crystals usually "grow" in an orderly and symmetrical arrangement. When a gemstone has an irregular external shape or asymmetrical arrangement of its crystal facets." or "anhedral. and a hardness value of 231 GPa (±5) when scratched with a diamond tip. a currently hypothetical material. Additionally. above). beta carbon nitride.A Type 2-A diamond has a hardness value of 167 GPa (±6) when scratched with an ultrahard fullerite tip. or carbon dioxide. with the end byproduct of the combustion being carbonic-acid gas. by igniting a diamond in an oxygen atmosphere. does not always reflect the internal arrangement of its atoms. The external shape of the crystal. octahedral. A diamond's incredible hardness was the subject of curiosity dating back to the Roman empire. where it was shown to combust in scientific experiments. whether it is cubic. The natural crystal form." when found in a crystalline form that is structurally similar to diamond. and therefore. may also be as hard or harder than diamond. or dodecahedral. Experimentation during the late 18th century demonstrated that diamonds were made of carbon. a predictable crystal growth pattern known as its "crystal habit. although in nature. The material "boron nitride." .
and varying growth conditions of heat. sapphire has a hardness rating of 9. and "pound-force" per square-inch in US units of measurement.5 to 6. Hematite has a hardness of only 5. making it seem cold. Although diamond is the "hardest. Particular cuts of diamond are more prone to breakage along cleavage planes. causing stress fractures or feathers. crystal twinning." and therefore. graphite can develop internally and on the diamond's surface. Additionally. Thermal Properties of Diamonds Diamond is a good conductor of heat. By comparrison. Internally formed crystallographic graphite inclusions often create intense strain on the surrounding diamond. A material's toughness is measured in units of "joules" per cubic meter (J/m3) in the SI system.© AGS Labs Hexagonal (Graphite) Platelet Inclusion . and therefore may be uninsurable by reputable insurance companies. pressure and space can also affect the final shape of a formed crystal. Many natural blue .© AGS Labs Diamond Toughness Within the fields of metallurgy and materials science. the term "toughness" describes the resistance of a given material to fracture when it is stressed or impacted. yet sapphire has a toughness rating of excellent. most scratch resistant mineral on earth. is a facet specifically designed to resist breakage. with a Mohs scale rating of 10. The culet facet at the bottom of the pavilion. acting as a "thermal conductor." which only denotes a diamond's high resistance to scratching.5. Unlike "hardness. but its toughness rating is also excellent. a diamond's "toughness" is only fair to good." If you were to place a large enough diamond on your tongue it would draw heat away.Trace impurities. Carbon Inclusion . due to its ability to fracture along cleavage planes. very thin girdles on brilliant cut diamonds are also prone to breakage. meaning that a diamond is 4 times "harder" than sapphire. its "toughness" rating is moderate. Diamond Graphitization In extremely high temperature environments above 1700 ¡C.
The term adamantine describes the way light interacts with the surface of a crystal. Fluorescence in Diamonds Fluorescence is an optical phenomenon in which a diamond's molecules absorb high-energy photons. .nearly five times greater than pure copper.com The surface luster (or "lustre") of diamond is described as adamantine. Electromagnetic Properties of Diamond . gloss. with the exception of natural blue diamonds.diamonds contain boron atoms which replace carbon atoms within the crystal matrix. which are in fact semiconductors. are known as p-type semiconductors. to prevent silicon and other semiconducting materials from overheating. and generally implies radiance.Insulators or Semiconductors Diamond is a relatively good electrical insulator. or longer-wavelength photons. If an n-type semiconductor can be synthesized. giving off a somewhat greasy sheen. increasing thermal conductance. inflexible. it is used in the manufacturing of semiconductors. Due to diamond's high thermal conductance. 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. Purified synthetic diamond can have the highest thermal conductivity (2000-2500 W/m-K) of any solid material at room temperature . meaning "light". and synthetic diamonds that are doped with boron. re-emitting them as lower-energy. which means unyielding. Natural blue diamonds containing boron atoms. or brilliance. The word luster traces its origins back to the Latin word lux. electronic circuits could be manufactured from diamonds in the future . or having the hardness or luster of a diamond.
Natural blue Type II diamonds containing scattered boron impurities within their crystal matrix are good conductors of electricity. absorbing some of the blue spectrum. and thereby making the diamond appear yellow. while Type II diamonds that lack boron impurities are classified as Type IIa. or "fire.417. classifying them as Type IIb diamonds. These Type IIa diamonds have a near-perfect crystal structure making them highly transparent and colorless. 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. Type II diamonds do not contain any detectable nitrogen." with a refractive index of 2. greenish or yellow fluorescence when exposed to the X-ray wavelength. making them appear 'colorless' (D). red. and appear dark when exposed to ultra-violet light or X-rays. they can give the stone a yellow tint. Type I & Type II Diamonds As many as 99% of all natural diamonds are classified as Type I." and refraction. and are classified as Type 1-B. or brown coloration. Cloud Inclusion Under UV . show no fluorescence. These Nitrogen impurities found in Type I diamonds are evenly dispersed throughout the gemstone. a natural diamond may contains both Type 1-A and Type 1-B material. . and some of the finest historical gemstones such as the Cullinan and Koh-i-Noor are both Type IIa diamonds. thereby allowing the passage of short-wave ultra-violet (SWUV) light through the stone. and give off a bluish-white. permitting the passage and reflectance of blue light.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. Diamond can exhibit pseudochromatic coloration giving the appearance of "color" without having any actual color in the mineral itself. due primarily to certain structural anomalies arising from "plastic deformation" which occurred during their formation. 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. This illusion of color is caused by the varying optics effects created by spectral dispersion. Typically.© AGS Labs Type IIa diamonds are very rare. and contain nitrogen atoms as an impurity. and they are classified as Type 1-A.© AGS Labs Type I UV Fluorescence . particularly Canadian diamonds. If the nitrogen atoms are grouped in clusters they do not necessarily affect the diamond's overall color. If the nitrogen atoms are dispersed evenly throughout the crystal. Man-made synthetic diamonds containing nitrogen are classified as Type 1-B. Diamond Refraction & Coloration Diamonds are "singly refractive. All Type 1 diamonds have nitrogen atoms as their main impurity. Some diamond varieties. Some Type IIa diamonds can be found with pink. with very high thermal conductivity. These rare diamonds have a lower nitrogen content.
boron (blue diamonds). Yellow. radiation exposure (green diamonds) or irregular growth patterns within the crystal (pink. yellow. while chemically "pure" diamonds are basically transparent. Fancy Colored Diamonds: Pink. 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. or yellow diamond may have a relatively low value when compared to a colorless diamond. However. It is this nitrogen component that produces the color of fancy yellow diamonds. and therefor colorless. steel grey. and red (Hancock Diamond) are particularly valuable. fancy pink diamonds can command very high prices as they have become increasingly popular. when a diamond's color is more intense than the "Z" grading. Colorless diamonds would normally be priced much higher than yellow diamonds. All colored diamonds contain certain specific impurities and/or structural defects that cause their coloration. blue. certain fancy-colored diamonds such as pink (Condé). orange. and their color is due to trace impurities of nitrogen and/or hydrogen (yellow. blue (Hope Diamond).Diamond Refraction & Light Dispersion Diamonds can also exhibit allochromatic coloration which is caused by chromophores from the nitrogen trace impurities found within crystalline structure. red diamonds). green (Ocean Dream). it enters the realm of a "Fancy Color" diamond. green. red. green. and black. Green & Cognac Fancy Colored Diamond Diamonds can occur in all colors of the spectrum. brown. . Once thought to be of little value. brown diamonds). However. In this case. Blue. pink. the intensity of the color in the diamond can plays a significant role in its value. Fancy Diamond Color Hues A fancy brown (or Fancy Cognac). Diamond Color & Composition Diamonds can occur in a wide variety of colors: colorless or white.
Pink Diamonds The pink color within these rare diamonds is due to irregular crystal growth patterns. bright light).Pink (Brownish-pink) 1 is darkest PC3 to PC1 . have become more commonplace as Australian colored diamonds have gained in popularity. and most valuable Fancy Yellow diamonds in the world is the 'Tiffany Diamond.M Very Light . yet considerably more expensive. An 1P designation would have less blue and more brownish-red. sold at a greater discount. hue.Cognac 8 is darkest Chameleon Diamonds There is a very rare olive-grayish color-changing diamond called "Chameleon Diamond" (below.Brown diamonds.Champagne 3 is darkest C8 to C1 .' found in Kimberly. . Only 1% to 2% of the diamonds produced at the Argyle Mine are high-quality pink specimens. As the numbers go lower (8PP) the color is paler.S to Z Fancy Light . having a pure magenta color with deep saturation. causing microscopic imperfections within the lattice structure. 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. The GIA grades fancy diamond color by quantifying the saturation. and was cut into a 128. 1PP is the highest quality designation for Pink Diamond. lighting color temperatures (incandescent.' GIA 'Fancy Yellow' Diamond Color Saturation Designations Faint . Pink diamonds are similar to pink sapphire in color. halogen. daylight) and ambient temperature changes.N to R Light . One of the world's only major sources for rare pink diamonds is the Argyle Mine in Australia. Fancy Pink/Brown Diamond Color (Hue) Designations 1PP to 8PP .Highest Saturation One of the largest.42 carats.Pink (Reddish-pink) 1 is darkest 1BP to 8BP .Pink (Magenta-pink) 1 is darkest 1P to 8P . This Chameleon-like phenomenon was first documented by the GIA in the early 1940s. left). which are generally less appreciated than other fancy colors and therefor. The rough stone weighed 287. and value (darkness) using nine classifications ranging from 'Faint' to 'Vivid. which changes hue from grayish-blue or olive-green to yellowish-green or straw-yellow under different lighting conditions (darkness. South Africa in 1878.Start of 'Fancy' Fancy Fancy Dark Fancy Intense Fancy Deep Fancy Vivid .54 carat cushion cut with an estimated value in the millions of dollars.
Green diamonds can range from $35. or a combination of the two. The Hancock Red sold at Christie's auction house for a staggering $926. Other famous reds are the Moussaieff Diamond weighing 13. 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.90 carats. Primary sources are in southcentral Africa. Pricing in today's market is in the range of $1 million dollars per carat.' discovered during the 18th century.000 to $500. as in the one-of-a-kind 5.000 per carat. The most famous red diamond (the Hancock Red) was found in Brazil. 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. Intense.000 in 1987. greyish-green. Warren Hancock. There are fewer than twenty known specimens of "natural" red diamond. The first red diamond to be found was the 1 carat 'Halphen Red. the specific color most valued by a given consumer is largely influenced by current styling trends and personal taste. Most 'green' diamonds are actually a yellowish-green. .03 carats. On thing is certain. It is believed that the color changing effect is due to a higher than normal amount of hydrogen impurities. pure green hues. Deep Orange Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems.95carats. Irradiation can artificially induce a green color in diamonds. It was cut into a round brilliant named after its owner. or short-term storage (up to 24 hours) in total darkness . The color change effect is temporary. and the De Young Red weighing 5. and will totally reverse itself when conditions re-stabilize. and weighed a modest 0. and are typically found in alluvial secondary deposits. Green Diamonds Green diamonds owe their hue to millions of years of exposure to naturally occurring gamma and/or neutron radiation.com) Green/Brown Chameleon Diamond (© AfricaGems. as the tastes and preferences of the consumer shift in priorities.com) The Elusive Red Diamond Perhaps the rarest diamond color of all is the elusive Red Diamond.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).
All of the microscopic inclusion photographs on this page were generously contributed by the A. 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.G. Inclusions which are visible to the naked eye are referred to as piquŽ.com Clarity is one of the Four C's of diamond grading. and man-made imperfections—that can be found in raw and cut diamonds. It is for this reason that manufacturers of synthetic diamonds tend to specialize in fancy colors.Reddish Brown Diamond (photo: © AfricaGems. Joe Vanells. 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 beautifully photographed by their Director of Gem Services. or absence of tiny imperfections known as "inclusions. F grades.com) Fancy Colored Synthetic Diamonds Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless D. Inclusions which are not visible to the naked eye (eye clean) fall into the GIA range of "IF" (Internally Flawless) to "SI2" (Small Inclusions). or human caused. 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. Diamond Inclusion Library: Inclusion Photos Over 100 High-Resolution Diamond Photos! All Contents: Copyright © 2010 AllAboutGemstones. or on the surface of the cut stone.S. Nevada.com) Enhanced Blue & Yellow Diamonds (© AfricaGems. The term "clarity" refers to the presence.L. making the stone appear yellowish." These inclusions can occur within the stone. . E. and so-called "piquŽ diamonds" fall into the GIA grading range of I1 to I3 (CIBJO grade P1 to P3). and can be naturally occuring.
pyrrhotite and pentlandite. . Black or dark material found within a diamond's internal fracture planes can also be particles or crystallographic inclusions of graphite. ferropericlase. pyrrhotite and pentlandite.Internal Diamond Inclusion Photos Carbon Tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts). ferropericlase. PiquŽ Carbon Inclusion Photos Internal Carbon Pique Diamond Inclusion Photography Piqué are tiny black spots caused by undigested carbon inclusions (natts) within diamonds. Black material found within internal fracture planes can also be crystallographic inclusions of graphite.
Microscopic Carbon Picque Inclusions Hexagonal Platelet Inclusion in Trillion Cut Diamond .
Cloud Inclusion Photos Diamond Internal Cloud Inclusion Photography Cloud Inclusions (Cld) within a diamond are caused by a tightly packed grouping of tiny pinpoints that resemble clouds or cloudiness.Carbon piqué inclusions are sometimes removed by diamond enhancements such as laser drilling. Internal cloud inclusions may not resolve as pinpoints at 10X . which can leave their own types of unique inclusions. Clouds (Cld) A dense grouping of tiny pinpoints that create a cloudy zone which may not resolve as individual pinpoints at 10X Magnification. and is reproduced with their permission. All of the microscopic diamond carbon inclusion photography on this page was generously contributed by the AGSL gemological testing laboratory in Las Vegas. Nevada.
.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.
Feathers (Ftr) Cleavage planes or internal stress fractures that have the appearance of feathers. Feather inclusions can be accompanied by internal graining and/or twinning wisp inclusions. . which cause internal stress fractures during crystal growth. Feather inclusions are common around included crystals such as garnet. 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. Common around included crystals.
Feather inclusions caused by stress fractures around included garnet crystal. .
diamonds with significant stress fractures and feather should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner as this could cause the diamond to shatter. This is especially true if the fracture breeches the stone's surface. and the stress inclusion occurs along the gem's natural cleavage plane. making it susceptible to fracturing when exposed to thermal or physical shock. .Pronounced stress fractures and feather inclusions can potentially weaken the stone. As a result.
Grain Center (GrCnt) A concentrated area of crystal growth that can appear light or dark. . and haze within a cut diamond. waviness. Grain Center Inclusion Photos Internal Grain Center Diamond Inclusion Photography Internal Grain Center (IntGr) inclusions (aka internal graining) are caused by irregular diamond crystal growth which creates internal distortions.
Internal Trigons Grain Center Inclusions .
Growth Tubes Imperfection formed during crystal growth. when a tube is generated by a formerly liquid filled cavity. when a tube or tunnel is generated in the crystalizing diamond by an internal cavity that was once liquid filled. Growth Tube Inclusion Photos Internal Growth Tubes Inclusion Photography Internal Growth Tube inclusions are natural Imperfections that are created during diamond formation. .
Comet-Like Growth Tube Inclusions under UV Light .
diopside. iron oxides. olivine. silica or other gem stone inclusions. olivine. or silica. iron oxides.Included Crystals (Xtl) Included and undigested gemstones or fragments of garnet. spinel. spinel. diopside. Included Crystals Inclusion Photos Internal Included Crystals in Diamond Included Crystal inclusions are whole crystals or tiny included gem fragments of undigested crystals such as garnet. calcite. Green chrome diopside Inclusion within a Diamond . calcite.
Garnet Inclusions within Diamond .
Garnet fragment on Diamond Girdle .
Grossularite Garnet Inclusions in Diamond .
Internal Graining (IntGr) Irregular crystal growth causing internal distortions, waviness, and/or haze. Can be accompanied by internal strain. Internal Graining Inclusion Photos
Internal Graining Diamond Inclusion Photography
Internal Graining (IntGr) inclusions are caused by irregular crystal growth which creates internal distortions, waviness, or haze. Internal Graining imperfections may be accompanied by internal strain such as feather Inclusions.
Internal Graining with Cloud Inclusion .
Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) Internal pathway caused by laser-drilling to remove large inclusions. and where pathway does not breach the cut diamond's surface. Internal Laser Drilling Inclusion Photos Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) Inclusion Photography Internal Laser Drilling (LDH) inclusions are man-made internal flaws that resulted from laser-drilling that was done to remove large piquŽ carbon inclusions in a rough stone. With internal laser-drilling inclusions. . the drilled passage may not breach the cut diamond's surface.
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.Pinpoints (Pp) Minute crystals within the diamond that appear white. Pinpoint Inclusion Photos Pinpoints (Pp) Inclusion Photography Internal Pinpoints (Pp). or Pinpoint Inclusions are minute included crystals within the diamond that appear white under magnification. . Large groupings of small pinpoints can create a cloud effect.
Twinning Wisp Inclusion Photos Twinning Wisps Inclusion Photography Twinning Wisp inclusions are naturally-occurring structural defects with a diamond. .Twinning Wisps Inclusions and defects resulting from crystal-twining during crystal growth. resulting from crystal twining during the growth process. Can be accompanied by graining and strain. Twinning Wisp inclusions can be accompanied by internal graining and/or strain feathers.
Odds & Ends: Microscopic Diamond Inclusion Beauty Photos Microscopic Diamond Inclusion Photography This is an assortment of spectacular diamond-inclusion photography taken by Joe Vanells. . showing the strange and beautiful world of microscopic diamond inclusions.
Natural Comet Inclusion .
Darkfield Illumination of Feather and Maltese Cloud .
Tabular Reflection in Diamond .
Included Garnet Twins within Diamond .
Included Dalmatian Garnet .
Cloud Inclusion .
Octahedron Inclusion with Angular Strain Feathers .
Cloud Inclusion Under UV Light .
Strain Feather 'Crashing Wave' Daimond Inclusion .
Knot diamond inclusions can potentially be the cause of man-made drag-line inclusions. .Natural External Diamond Inclusions or Blemishes Knots An inclusion that penetrates the surface. appearing as a raised area on the diamond's surface. appearing as a raised area. Knot Inclusion Photos Photography of Diamond Inclusion Knots Knot inclusions are naturally occurring external inclusions or imperfections that penetrate the surface (convex).
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. . 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.
Lizard Skin Inclusion Photos Lizard Skin Diamond Surface Blemish Photography A "lizard skin" surface blemish is a man-made external diamond imperfection that is created during polishing. . The lizard-skin effect is caused by an orange-peel texture. made up of a bumpy or wavy pattern on the polished surface of a diamond.Lizard Skin A bumpy or wavy 'orange-peel' textured pattern on the polished surface of a diamond.
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. .
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. .Pits Dislodged pinpoint inclusions at the surface.
Bruising (Br) A percussion mark or hole caused by impact and surrounded by tiny feathers. creating a whitish fuzzy edge as opposed to a sharp edge. .Human Caused Surface Blemishes Abrasion (Abr) A tightly grouped series of nicks along the sharp edge of facet junctions. chips. or feathers along the outer edge of girdle. fringing. Bearded Girdle (BG) Fine cracks.
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. the overheating of a facet causes a burn mark. during cutting and/or polishing the diamond.Burn Marks Created during polishing. . Chips Damage usually occurring on the sharp edge of a facet. or caught by a included crystal. Drag Lines Created when a rough particle is dragged along the surface. or when abrasive material is caught by an included crystal such as garnet during the polishing of a diamond. Cavities (Cv) An indentation resulting from a feather or damage during polishing.
Filled Fractures Fractures or feathers that have been artificially filled to enhance clarity. . and remove cloudiness. This microscopic photograph shows the telltale orange or pink flash of a filled fracture enhancement within a cut diamond. Filled Fracture Photos Internal Fracture Filling Inclusion Photography Fracture-filling Inclusions are man-made diamond enhancements that are the result of natural cleavage-plane stress fractures or feathers which have been artificially filled with molten glass to enhance clarity.Extra Facet (EF) An asymmetrical and irregularly placed facet that is not part of the original faceting scheme.
and inscriptions. marking. markings. . 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.Laser Etching or Markings Careless or inadvertent laser etchings.
Polish Lines (PL) Fine parallel surface groves resulting from the polishing process. Diamond Enhancements: Laser Drilling & Fracture Filling ." whitish film on the surface of a facet caused by excessive heat during polishing. Polish Marks (PM) Also known as "Wheel Marks. Scratch (S) A fine whitish line that can be curved or straight.
Unfilled Fractures around Garnet Inclusion . There are also heating treatments to improve a white diamond's color grade. which are designed to improve the visual or gemological characteristics of the stone. in accordance with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines for the gem trade. altered. polished natural diamonds. Minor diamond inclusions or surface imperfections which are not visible to the naked eye ("VVS1" to "SI2") can be disguised. or removed by employing several invasive techniques from fracture filling to laser drilling. . but instead attempt to hide their visual effect. These techniques do not eliminate the imperfection.© AGS Lab Diamonds that have been altered or enhanced by Fracture Filling and/or Laser Drilling should always be labeled and their "improvements" identified to the potential consumer. A trained gemologist should be able to identify most traditional "enhancements" made to a particular stone." 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. much like you would repair a crack in a car's windshield glass. or treatments to give a fancy color to a off-white diamond.© AGS Lab Telltale Signs of Fracture Filling . Such diamonds are sometimes then branded as "fracture filled diamonds. Diamond Fracture Filling Diamond clarity is sometimes improved and enhanced by filling tiny fractures or feathers with molten glass. but not necessarily increase its value.Diamond Chemistry | Optical Properties of Diamond | Diamond Enhancement Enhanced Diamonds Diamond "enhancements" are specific treatments performed on cut.
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. The drilling process leave tiny telltale shafts or tunnels that are visible under high magnification (see photos below). in part because the treatment isn't permanent. These enhancements are achieved using low levels of radiation (irradiation). 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.com Color Enhanced Diamonds . . Reputable filling companies will often provide repeat treatments if heat causes damage to the filling. Due to its low melting-point.© AGS Lab The laser-drilling treatment is considered permanent. referred to as the HTHP process. followed by acid washing to remove the coloring agent. Natural Fancy Diamonds .© AfricaGems. or subjecting the diamond to intense pressure and temperature. "One out of every three diamonds sold in the United States is laser-drilled. "vivid" blue and yellow colors result. and the diamonds are tested to ensure that no trace levels of radiation remain. Signs of Laser Drilling . so that the jeweler can use greater care while working on the piece.© AGS Lab Laser Drilling Tubes .© AfricaGems. and the GIA will not even grade a fracture-filled diamond. According to Fred Cuellar in his book How to Buy a Diamond. the heat generated by a blowtorch used to work on settings can cause damage to the filling material. Diamonds treated with HTHP have their molecular altered so that intense.There should always be a significant price discount for any diamond that has been fracture-filled.com Radiation treatments are completely safe. The final clarity grade will be the grade that is assigned after treatment." Diamond Color Treatment Color enhancement of diamonds in done to increase the color intensity of so-called "fancy" colored diamonds.
lab diamonds) was first conceived by French chemist Henri Moissan in 1892. tiny fragments of synthetic diamond were created by heating charcoal. With Moissan's process. known as the HTHP (high-temperature. yet they have the identical carbon-based chemical properties of natural diamond. and the Chemical Vapor Deposition or "CVD" method. 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. . the crucible and its contents were rapidly cooled by immersing them into cold water. The process.com The process of creating man-made diamonds (aka cultured diamonds. there are two main processes for creating lab diamonds: the High-Temperature High-Pressure or "HTHP" method. Although synthetic diamonds were originally conceived as a substitute for natural industrial-grade diamonds. These man-made synthetic diamonds are a laboratory-grown simulation of the natural gemstone. Once the desired temperature had been achieved. they are increasingly used in fine jewelry as their quality increases. 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. Synthetic Diamond under Fluorescent . The first practical commercial application of Moissan's process was developed in 1954.Tracy Hall for the General Electric Company.© AGS Labs Synthetic Yellow Chatham Diamond .© AGS Labs Today.Synthetic Diamonds & Man-Made Diamond Simulants Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite The First Synthetic Diamonds Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. This abrupt cooling caused the rapid shrinkage of the molten iron crucible. the intense heat would render the crucible and its carbon contents into a molten liquid mass. by H.
1970) Diagem. light dispersion. Phianite Gadolinium Gallium Garnet (GGG) (1972-1975) Strontium Titanate (ST) (1955 . Diamonaire. Synthetic diamonds can also be treated with the HTHP process to alter the optical properties of the stones. but are not a carbonbased compound having a natural diamond's crystalline structure. Diamonte. hardness. Magalux. ultraviolet. Geminaire In the early 1900's. or X-ray spectroscopy. Diamondite. synthetic diamonds may contain small inclusions. A diamond seed is placed into a growth camber. Unlike their natural diamond counterparts. Fabulite Synthetic Rutile (1946-1955) Diamothyst. or "simulate" the appearance of natural diamonds. Using Chemical Vapor Deposition. Synthetic Diamond Color & Optics Unlike natural diamond which can occur in completely colorless form. 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. colorless synthetic sapphire (aka Diamondite) was a popular diamond simulant. most of these lesser simulants fell by the wayside. which attracts the gas to the substrate. Rainbow Diamond. the diamond's entire growth process takes several days to complete. most synthetic diamonds will have a slightly yellowish hue due to nitrogen impurities that are dispersed through out the crystal lattice structure during the growth phase. specific gravity. Diamonite. or "deposited" onto the substrate in successive layers. Synthetic diamonds can be detected using infrared. Diamond Essence. Like natural diamond. and surface luster as its natural diamond counterpart. making them difficult to differentiate from natural diamonds." also known as "simulated diamonds" or "fake diamonds" are man-made gemstones that look like. Java Gem. The vaporized carbon gases are energized using microwave energy. Thrilliant Synthetic Spinel (1920-1947) Corundolite. ranging in clarity from IF to SI or I. In the late 1940's Diamondite gave way to Synthetic Rutile which was popular until the advent of YAG in the early 1970's.High-Temperature High-Pressure (HTHP) The "High-Temperature High-Pressure" (HTHP) technique. A cultured synthetic diamond will have the identical cleavage. also known as "GE POL. Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) The "Chemical Vapor Deposition" (CVD) method was developed during the 1980s. Titangem Synthetic Sapphire (1900-1947) Diamondette. Jourado Diamond. Radient Yttrium Aluminum Garnet (YAG) (1970-1975) Diamone. Lustergem. With the advent of Cubic Zirconia in the mid 1970's. and uses a lowerpressure growth environment than the earlier HTHP method. and a combination of heat and pressure are applied while a vaporized carbon-plasma that is combined with hydrogen is applied. a seed or substrate material is placed into the growth camber. Common diamond simulants include: Cubic Zirconia (CZ) (1976-) Czarite. refractive index. Rutania.' or six-anvil 'cubic press' to create the necessary pressure. produced using the Verneuil (flame-fusion) Process. and Moissanite in 1998. Synthetic Diamond Manufacturers Apollo Diamonds . With CVD. the HTHP diamond's growth process can take 7 to 10 days to complete. These impurities absorb the blue end of the light spectrum. Diamond Simulants Diamond "simulants. making the stone appear yellowish." uses a four-anvil 'tetrahedral press. or by measuring UV fluorescence with a DiamondView tester.
). Tairus produces rough sizes from .apollodiamond.500 to $9.25 carats is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number.chatham. The Split Sphere system crystalizes the carbon seed in an alkaline. The toughness of Cubic Zirconia is rated as good. Cubic Zirconia (Zirconium Oxide ZrO2) has a completely different chemical structure.com To the average consumer. www. Chatham's pricing ranges from $6. and like Chatham. carbonate fluid solution that is similar to diamond-bearing metamorphic rock. and CZ has a hardness of only 8. Gemesis only grows fancy-colored diamonds. www. which they claim is the closest thing to mother nature. Tairus Created Gems are sold exclusively through Tairus Thailand Co. and each cut stone is laser inscribed with the Apollo company logo and serial number. Florida. To insure easy identification as a man-made product. Apollo Diamonds are cut and polished in sizes ranging from . princess.com Chatham Created Diamonds Chatham Gems is a San Francisco based company that grows only fancy-colored diamonds in colors ranging from champagne and canary yellow to pink and midnight blue. While a synthetic diamond is a man-made recreation of an actual carbon-based diamond. Synthetic Diamonds | Cubic Zirconia | Moissanite Cubic Zirconia Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.25 carats to 1 carat.3 on the Mohs scale.. and some fancy colored diamonds. Ltd. while diamond has a hardness of 10. and stones are cut to order. and each stone is laser inscribed with the company name and serial number. . Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is the most familiar type of diamond simulant on the market.com Gemesis Cultured Diamonds Gemesis is located in Sarasota.30 carats to 3 carats. each Gemesis cut stone over .gemesis. inc.500 per carat (2004 est. Massachusetts grows colorless (D to M) diamonds. of Bangkok Thailand. using a proprietary variation of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) technique. with clarity grades from IF to SI.Apollo Diamond. www. and rose cuts.com Tairus Created Gems Tairus Created Gems is a Russian company that grows fancy-colored diamonds in their proprietary "Split Sphere" system. Apollo Diamond's cut stones are available in round brilliant. emerald. in Boston.
Cubic Zirconia can be made in both colored. 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.170. Once the mixture has cooled. For instance. then gradually allowed to cool in the crucible. Due to their low cost and consistency. the outer shell is broken off (photo below right) and the interior core of the "run" is used to make the final cut stones. When holding the crown or table of a stone close to your eye while squinting. the greater dispersive power. candle. You must be at least 10 feet from the light source when observing. most natural diamonds have some inclusions Color: CZ can take on a gray tone when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods CZ vs Diamond . The patterns will be very different for each type of stone (see samples below). etc. . or colorless (white) versions. CZ vs Diamond . while a Cubic Zirconia will repel grease. you would look towards a single pinpoint of light (pen flashlight." but this name was never used outside of the Soviet Union (USSR). and CZs can be made in any "color grade. Diamond's RI is 2. although D-colorless versions are more expensive to produce. 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. Unlike most natural diamonds.41 (RI).17 refractive index (RI) of Cubic Zirconia is lower than a diamond's 2. but there are visual differences that can be detected with the untrained eye. Natural diamonds attract grease. 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 color-grading sets are used to do a comparative color analysis of natural diamonds.800 .Detectable With Testing Fluorescence : Under shortwave UV light. Zirconium oxide powder is heated. Soviet scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow perfected the technique of manufacturing cubic zirconia via the "Skull Crucible" process (photo below left). Photos: Larry P Kelley Identifying Cubic Zirconia A trained gemologist will easily be able to distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic CZ diamond.80 to 2.In 1973. The original name for cubic zirconia was "Jewel Fianit. CZ typically luminesces a greenish yellow color Refractive Index: Cubic Zirconia refractive index of 1. or "prismatic" effect of CZ creates an abnormally high amount of fire when compared to natural diamond.417 Thermal Conductivity: CZ is a thermal insulator.) in a totally dark room.2.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. The 1.
found only in iron-nickel meteorites.65 to 2. center) near Winslow. Moissanite was named after French chemist Dr. rendering a thermal conductivity test ineffective. Identifying Moissanite Due to the anisotropic (doubly refractive) quality of Moissanite. CZ's has a low RI compared to Moissanite or diamond.104 as compared to CZ at 0. etc. sharply focused pattern seen in natural diamond is caused by secondary reflections due to a diamond's high refractive index. Henri Moissan (above. 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.044. Colorless synthetic Moissanite has the appearance of colorless diamond and is more difficult to detect than CZ. Moissanite is doubly refractive and the refractive index of Moissanite is 2. Moissanite.670.060. when examining the gem through the kite facets. Moissanite has a very high dispersion index of 0.com Gem-grade Moissanite (Silicon Carbide or Carborundum). a doubled image of the opposite facet edges will be visible. while diamond has a hardness of 10. is classified as an element rather than a compound. Synthetic Moissanite has a thermal conductivity that is very similar to diamond. while Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be diffused. A significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its similarly high RI. Arizona. you look at a single point of light (pen flashlight.417. and diamond at 0.25 on the Mohs scale. By holding the table or crown very close to your eye while squinting. Hodgkinson's 'Visual Optics' Detection The Hodgkinson technique (aka Visual Optics) was discovered by Alan Hodgkinson with Gem-A in the mid-1970s as a method for differentiating natural diamond from colorless gemstones and simulants. Moissanite Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. being caused by primary reflections bouncing off of the inside surface of the pavilion.) in a dark room. candle. . The Toughness of Moissanite is Excellent. was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. Diamond is isotropic (singly refractive) with a refractive index (RI) of 2. Moissanite has a hardness of 9. manufactured by C3 and Cree Research.69. Moissanite has an RI of 2.A small. The refraction patterns are distinctly different from material to material.
Diamond cutting can be traced back to the late Middle Ages.Detectable With Testing Double Refraction: Moissanite is double refractive." At the time. Moissanite vs Diamond . Prior to this time.670. diamond is singly refractive Refractive Index: Moissanite has a refractive index of 2. Cubic Zirconia's pattern will be more diffused. caused by primary reflections from the pavilion and CZ's low RI. due to its high refractive index. only a diamond is hard enough to cut other diamonds. 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. creating the "Table Cut. Table Cut diamonds appeared black to the eye. diamonds were used in their natural octahedral state. Diamond's RI is 2. but significantly larger pattern will be visible in Moissanite due to its high RI. Like wood." As further refinement progressed. diamonds were valued primarily for their luster and hardness. most diamonds have some inclusions Moissanite vs Diamond . diamond has a "grain. rather than against it. Diamonds: Modern Diamond Cutting Diamond Cutting Background One of the hardest substances on earth. A similarly sharp. one half of the crystal would be cut off. detailed and sharply focused pattern caused by secondary reflections will be seen when observing a diamond. The first improvements on nature's design involved a polishing of the crystal faces.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. which was called the "Point Cut. although it can be easily cleaved or fractured due to its defined cleavage planes. The Modern Round Brilliant cut (below) is the culmination of several hundred years of experimentation and development." and the rough stone must be cut with the grain.417 Moissanite is double refractive (anisotropic) while a natural diamond is singly refractive (isotropic).A small. Cutting a Rough Diamond .
the "blocker" or "lapper" will cut the first 18 main facets. on a scaife. During this faceting stage the angles of each facet must be cut to an exacting standard in order to yield maximum brilliancy. eliminate waste. 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. While the rough stone rotates on the diamond lathe. a second diamond mounted on a dop is pressed against it. and maintain symmetry. Due to its atomic structure. rounding the rough diamond into a conical shape. Bruting: The rough is placed in a chuck on a lathe. or lap that has been "charged" with diamond dust. 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. Cleavage is the tendency of crystalline materials to split along defined cleavage plane. It can take several hours for the saw blade to cut through a 1k rough diamond. then pressing it against a revolving cast iron disk.Cutting a raw diamond into a faceted and polished gem-quality stone is a multi-step process. or shatter the stone. High-tech computerized helium and oxygen analyzers are now used to evaluate a stone prior to cutting. Diamonds: Ideal Cut . The cutting (also called "placing") and polishing of each facet is accomplished by attaching the stone to a dop stick with cement. Cubic shapes are ideal for a square Princess or Radiant cut." Faceting: To facet a round brilliant. a diamond can be cleaved in four directions parallel to each of the four octahedron crystal faces. As the saw blade rotates it continues to pickup or "recharge" itself with diamond dust which is the cutting agent. Sawing: A stone-cutting saw is a thin disk made of phosphor bronze. Cleaving: Cleaving refers to splitting a stone along its grain by striking it. then a "brillianteer" will cut and polish the remaining 40 facets.Modern Round Brilliant Diamond . and bypass any inclusions or imperfections. The natural shape of the rough stone will also be a major factor in deciding how to cut the stone. A rough stone is cleaved if there are conspicuous defects and/or inclusions which would prevent it from being made into a single gemstone. Asymmetrical crystals such as macles are used primarily for fancy cuts. Each step is critical to the final outcome. This step is also referred to as "rounding. Cleaving is a critical step as a mistake by the "cleaver" could fracture.
com When deciding how to cut a rough diamond. a cutter must make a cost-benefit analysis as to how to maximize the cut stone's value. This is accomplished by reconciling three key factors . The objective is always to maximize carat weight. 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 . but in order to do this. compromises would have to be made. elimination of any inclusions. the rough stone has some coloration and/or is heavily included. cut proportions.Ideal Cut vs Standard Cut Diamond Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.weight retention. An octehedral rough diamond will yield two round brilliant cut stones (see diagram below). on the other hand. Reconciling Cut & Weight Retention If the rough stone has a colorless D through F rating and has very few inclusions. If. it would be cost effective to sacrifice some carat weight in order to finish with two "Ideal" cuts. and the amount of internal inclusions will play an important part in the decisions as to how to maximize yield. it may be better to aim for a higher carat weight utilizing a "Standard" cut. The clarity of the stone.
The round brilliant cut is beneficial when the crystal is an octahedron. An "Ideal Cut". "Premium Cut" or "Modern Round Brilliant" (Tolkowsky Round Brilliant) diamond as shown in the diagrams above would have the following basic proportions according to the AGS: . 16 "upper girdle" facets. you will see that there are 8 "star" facets." Even with modern techniques. and one "table" facet on the top of the stone for a total of 58 facets. This is why it is very rare to see flawless stones cut into fancy cuts such as emeralds. In the diagram of a "Round Cut" diamond (above and below). as two stones could be cut from one crystal. 1 "culet" facet on the bottom. etc. 8 "pavilion" facets. This cut is also known as the "Tolkowsky Cut" and "Tolkowsky Brilliant. hearts. the cutting and polishing of a diamonds resulted in a loss of as much as 50% of the stone's total weight. The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem. This is primarily due to the fact that this cut has yet to be improved on for two reasons: 1. it is the most efficient cut for maximizing yield. The Modern Round Brilliant Cut The modern "Round Brilliant Cut" (below) was developed by Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. it is the best cut for showcasing a high-quality stone's fire and brilliance. 8 "kite" facets.Pavilion Symmetry Girdle Symmetry Ideal Ideal Deep Pavilion Thick Girdle When dealing with a near-perfect (or flawless) stone the cut that is generally preferred is the classic "round brilliant" cut. 16 "lower girdle" facets. and 2.
Symmetry. and crown/pavilion angles. Tolkowsky. Ideal Scope. more brilliance and fire. Bruce Harding developed new mathematical models for gem design. Sarin Diamension and/or FireTrace. and the "Eulitz Brilliant" invented in 1972. and facet angles will yield a perfect 'Hearts & Arrows' Diamond pattern when viewed through a H&A Viewer." (Scandinavian standard.N. and overall height of 57. and Proportions.4%. facet ratios. Eppler & Scan D. very small to small In the 1970s.7%. but does not measure or quantify relative facet angles and/or individual facet ratios. H&A Viewer. or Scandinavian Diamond Nomenclature) diamond cut has a table width of 57. As with all human endeavors.' 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. several groups have used computer models and specialized scopes to design new diamond cuts.. gem labs will use a variety of equipment such as a BrilliantScope. etc. .5% to 43.Table Size: 53% to 57% of the diameter Total Depth: 58% to 63% of diameter Crown Angle: 34 to 35.5 degrees Pavilion Depth: 42. there is a constant attempt to 'build a better mousetrap.5%. Variations on the Tolkowsky Brilliant (diagram below) are the "Eppler" (European Practical Fine Cut.6% and overall height of 57.5% Girdle Thickness: medium to slightly thick Culet: pointed. To quantify a diamond's cut quality. or Feinschliff der Praxis) with a table width of 56%. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). Since then. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to where facets intersect.N. The "Scan D.7%. crown height of 14. When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading. Other variations of the MRB include the "Ideal Brilliant". A perfect blending of facet symmetry. invented in 1929. AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The AGSL grades a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. the "Parker Brilliant" invented in 1951. crown height of 14.
nl Barion Cut . cut proportions. One thing is for sure . the Cullinan 1 and Cullinan 2 being set into the crown and sceptre of the British Crown Jewels. Every conceivable cutting theory is tried. but at the end of the day it may simply come down to consumer preference and/or marketing. and their modest brilliance and light return. mathematicians. and it still survives in some form today. with the two largest stones. and entrepreneurs . and number of facets. but some like the Barion Cut have disappeared into obscurity.asscher. The cut has a deep pavilion and a high crown.each trying to improve on the tried-and-true Old European cuts. scientists. Here is a collection of just a few of the many "signature" diamond cuts that have been produced over the last 100 years. www. Popular in Art Deco jewelry of the period. and the culet is square.the consumer. less facets. it is put in front of the ultimate arbiter of quality . the Asscher diamond cut has a squarish octagonal shape with a step cut. or the widely marketed Leo cut which is a modified round-brilliant sold by Leo Schachter Diamonds.like Einstein's theory of relativity. The Asscher brothers cut the famous 3. cut corners and a small table. etc. Tolkowsky came up with a "brilliant" idea almost 90 years ago. Some have gone on to become household names such as the Asscher cut.106 carat Cullinan Diamond into eleven gem stones.Producers split hairs over cut angle. (more facets. 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. Asscher Cut The Asscher Cut was developed by Abraham and Joseph Asscher of the Royal Asscher Diamond Company of Amsterdam in 1902.) and when suitably scrutinized by the gem trade.
not including the 16 girdle facets. and a 'softer' briliance than a traditional round brilliant cut. and a total of 81 facets. parting ways in 2002 to again become Garrard.com .The Barion square cut (aka Barion square cushion cut) was invented by Basil Watermeyer of South Africa in 1971. to become Asprey & Garrard. and its patent has expired. and creates a high amount of waste. or the company website. The cut has a total of 8 facets plus a girdle. It is sold exclusively through the 270 year old firm of Garrard & Company in London. with star-shaped cross facets cut diagonally into the pavilion.de Eternal Cut The Eternal Cut diamond was designed and patented by master Israeli diamond cutter. Ulrich Freiesleben of Germany in the early 1980s then patented and trademarked in 1997. adding up to 50% to the cost when compared to a Round Brilliant cut diamond. and in all diamond colors and/or clarity grades. or to increase light-dispersion. Marce Tolkowsky. www.garrard. The Context Cut consists of two back-to-back pyramids (an octahedron). The Barocut is also called a "two heart diamond" due to the illusion of two mirrored hearts meeting at the culet. The Eternal Cut has a total of 81 facets. merged with the jewelry firm Asprey. www. 23 more than a modern Round Brilliant cut. The Eternal Cut is being sold exclusively at Garrard's main London store and Harvey Nichols stores in Great Britain. The Context Cut is used to cut colored gemstones by Julius Petsch of Idar-Oberstein. Garrard & Co. of New York in 2000. and was the forerunner to the princess cut. Barocut The Barocut® diamond cut is a patented. The Barion square cut diamond has a 4-fold mirror-image symmetry. creating a unique 'flower petal' pattern surrounding the cutlet. Barocut diamonds are promoted and sold exclusively through the Baroka Creations catalog. www. A Barocut diamond has a total of 77 facets. 81 facets on the cut corner (cushion) version. Inc.com Context Cut The Context Cut is a square cut that was developed by Dr.baroka. The Context Cut follows a rough diamond crystal's natural octahedral shape. The cutting process requires a high-quality rough. Gabi Tolkowsky. nephew to the inventor of the Modern Round Brilliant cut. The name "Barion" or "Barion cut" was never trademarked. modified rectangular (baguette) cut that was developed by Baroka Creations. The Context Cut design was based on an earlier patented design by Bernd Munsteiner from the early 1960s. forming a square shape when viewed from the top. In 1998. Barocut stones are also sold in tapered shapes.freiesleben. Germany. The Barocut is available in sizes from 20 points to 3 carats.
oval. The Dahlia is a 12 sided oval shape with 63 facets. The Flower Cuts employ unconventional cutting angles and dimensions. The Sunflower has 43 facets in unusual. the Gabrielle has a total of 105 facets. The Flower Cut is actually a series of five fancy cut shapes: the Dahlia. and the cut was named after the Flanders region of Belgium (Antwerp) where the cut was first preformed in 1987. The Gabrielle Diamond The Gabrielle® Cut is a modified brilliant cut (triple brilliant cut) that was created by DeBeers desinger/consultant Gabriel Tolkowsky in 2000. The Flanders Fire-Brilliant was developed by Flanders Cut International of Antwerp in 1983. heart. Fire-Rose. The Zinnia is a round fancy shape with 73 facets. is a patented symmetrical round cut created by Leo Schachter Diamonds. marquise. that is suited to a relatively flat rough. which is 47 more than a traditional 'Tolkowsky' round brilliant cut. emerald. and pear shapes.com Flower Cut The 'Flower Cut' series was created by Gabi Tolkowsky in 1986. (aka Leo Schachter Diamond). The Leo diamond cut has a total of 66 facets. the Gabrielle Cut is available in carre. www. LLC. off-color stones.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. designed to maximize the brilliance and color of diamonds while increasing their yield.gabriellediamonds. Other than the traditional round brilliant shape.flanders-cuts. who was commissioned by De Beers to create new cuts as a way of marketing unusual. www.com www. Unveiled at the Las Vegas Gem Show in 2001. The cut is distributed by the National Diamond Syndicate (NDS) of Chicago. 48 of which are clustered around the culet to increase fire. adding greater brilliance and fire than standard brilliant cuts.nationaldiamond. The Fire-Rose is a hexagonal shape designed to produce higher yields. The Flanders Brilliant has 33 crown facets and 28 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets. angular shapes. The Flower Cuts were never patented or trademarked by De Beers in order to increase their popularity and use.com Leo Cut The Leo® Diamond. Sunflower and Zinnia cut. Marigold. maximizing the amount of light returned back as scintillation. 8 more facets than the Round Brilliant cut's 58. The Marigold is an octagon shape with 73 facets. .
a highstep crown (similar to the Asscher Cut). There are 25 crown facets and 36 pavilion facets for a total of 61 facets (not including 8 girdle facets).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. and three-stone rings. sold in solitaire engagement/wedding bands.radiantcut." The Leo Diamond is marketed through the Kay Jeweler chain. RCDC launched the 'Original Radiant Cut' diamond brand In 2002. Prior to the Quadrillion. patented and trademarked by Henry Grossbard of the Radiant Cut Diamond Company (RCDC) in 1977. www. eternity bands. and all Original Radiant Cut diamonds weigh at least 0. www. brilliant-style faceted pavilion (similar to a Cushion Cut). The pavilion is similar to a Barion cut. and the table is a bowed out rectangle. Upon the expiration of the patent. and was patented and trademarked by Bez Ambar Jewelers of Los Angeles in 1980. small table. The Lucida diamond cut is marketed as a wedding cut.diamondaires. and a total of has 50 facets. There are a total of 49 facets.com Lucida Cut The Lucida (TM) Cut is a patented diamond cut that was created by Tiffany & Company in 1999.' and each diamond comes with a "Return of Light Certificate. 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.com Starburst Cut . Bez Ambar Radiant Cut The Radiant Cut is a modified emerald cut shape that was developed. The Lucida is sold exclusively through Tiffany's retail chain. It was the first emerald shaped diamond cut to have brilliance and fire similar to that of a round brilliant diamond.The Leo diamond cut is the first to be certified for fire and brilliance as measured by a 'BrillianceScope.tiffany. the Radiant Cut became a fully accepted diamond shape in the jewelry business. square shaped diamonds were stepcut limiting their brilliance.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 Lucida diamond cut is a modified square or rectangular (Marquise) cut with truncated corners.
The pavilion has two differently sized sets triangular facets with a large triangular table.com Trilliant Cut The Trilliant Cut (aka Trielle. Starburst Cuts are mounted and sold directly through Cartier. Old European Gem Cuts: Point. The starburst faceting pattern is designed to focus color near the top of a stone. With the realization that only a diamond could cut another diamond.early 1300s The "point cut" (below left) is one of the first symmetrically faceted diamond cuts. The Trilliant trademark has since lapsed. www. and Uncurved cut used for accent stones. From this point forward it was a race to see who could design the perfect faceted cut which would bring out the maximum fire. . The Trilliant cut gives a high brilliance. The Starburst cut was created to bring out the highest amount of color to fancy yellow diamonds. and the Trilliant is now a generic term for a triangular brilliant cut. The point cut design is dictated by the natural shape of an octahedral rough diamond.com The faceting of diamonds has come a long way in the last 700 years. The Trilliant Cut has a total of 31 facets. but that has not always been easy as these little chunks of elemental carbon are harder that anything that could be found to cut them. Old eight. and the career of the "diamantaire" (diamond cutter/polisher) was born. right) was created by cutting off some of the top half of the point cut's octahedron to create a table. this led to the invention of the first gem cutting machines (precursor to the "lap" or "Facetron") in the 1300s. Old Mine Cut Evolution of the Faceted Diamond & Colored Gem Article Copyright © 2008 AllAboutGemstones. brilliance. craftsmen have attempted to "improve" on nature. There are 49 crown facets and 40 pavilion facets. There are two variations of this cut: the Curved cut used for solitary stones. reworked into the shape of a trillion (triangle).louisglick. of New York in 1978. for a total of 89 kite and star shaped facets. and scintillation when cut to the correct proportions. 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. fire. Point Cut .The Starburst Cut was patented and trademarked by the Louis Glick Diamond Corp. the precursor for the "design" of the first faceted diamond lay within the rough stone itself. The Trilliant has the Schoenflies point group symmetry of a round brilliant. and the natural octahedral symmetry of the rough stone's closed isometric form. Still. Since the day that humans first discovered 'adamas' (diamonds). The Starburst cut is especially suitable for a octahedral rough. The "table cut" (below. Harry Winston. The crown of the Starburst Cut is similar to that of the radiant cut. Nieman Marcus and Tiffany. and light return from the stone. Trillion) is a triangular cut designed and trademarked by the Henry Meyer Diamond Company of New York in 1962. but the pavilion is completely different. making the hue of fancy yellow diamonds more intense. Trillian. with weight losses in the fifty percent range.
The culet is usually large enough to be visible when viewed through the table. resulting in a smaller table. The Rose cut can form a single hemisphere for a total of 24 facets or it can be two back-to-back hemispheres (Double Dutch rose) forming a total of 48 facets. The crown is typically tall.late 1300s Invented in the late 14th century. eight bezel or crown facets. the "old single cut" (aka "old eight cut") diamond has the addition of corner facets to create an octagonal girdle. The single cut may or may not have a culet at the bottom. Rose & Briolette Cut." "Dutch cut." "crowned rose cut.1700s The "old mine" cut is the earliest form of the "brilliant cut" diamond. it has a cushioned or rounded girdle shape." and the Full Holland cut. The briolette was the precursor to the "pendeloque cut" which is a pear-shaped modification of the round brilliant cut. an octagonal table. The "senaille cut" is a rose cut with irregular or non-symmetrical faceting. The "briolette cut" is a modified "double Dutch rose cut" with one of the hemispheres being elongated. . Old Mine Cut . the "rose cut" is also known by the the "Antwerp rose. and eight pavilion facets. This Old Mine cut is basically square with gently rounded corners and "brilliant" style facets.Single Cut . Also called the "cushion cut".1500s Invented in the mid 16th century. The briolette cut was designed primarily for use in a pendant or as a dangling bauble in a crown.
the cutting and polishing of a diamonds resulted in a loss of as much as 50% of the stone's total weight. as two stones can be cut from one crystal with a minimum amount of waste. The Modern Round Brilliant Cut . As with its predecessor the "point cut" over 600 years earlier." Even with modern techniques. The Old European diamond cut has a very small table. Eight Cut & Swiss Cut The "eight cut" is primarily used for small stones when a brilliant cut would be impractical. the old European diamond has a circular girdle. eight facets at the pavilion. This cut is also known as the "Tolkowsky Cut" and "Tolkowsky brilliant. and very tall overall depth. the Modern Round Brilliant cut is beneficial when the crystal is an octahedron (diagram above). .Old European Cut . The eight cut is similar to the "single cut" in that there are eight four-sided trapezoidal facets at the crown. a heavy crown. and an octagon-shaped table for a total of 17 facets (18 if a culet is used).1800s The "Old European" cut was the forerunner of the modern round brilliant cut. Like the modern round brilliant. The round brilliant cut was a partial solution to this problem.1900s The "modern round brilliant cut" (below) was developed by Belgian diamond-cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919.
The Diamond Trade: The 'Diamond Pipeline' Rough Diamond Producers Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.com The trade in gem-grade rough diamonds is primarily controlled by the De Beers. The rough stones are separated into 16. . There is a limited market for the resale of diamonds that are less than "investment grade." The 'Diamond Pipeline' Rough diamonds are sent directly from De Beers mining operations in Africa (#1). for sorting and resale. color and quality.A "Swiss cut" is a compromise between an eight cut and a brilliant cut. or secondary mining producers in Canada and Russia to De Beers' Diamond Trading Company (DTC) in London. 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). 16 isosceles triangle facets on the crown and 16 facets on the pavilion. Gaborone. Trans Hex.000 categories based on size. there is usually a substantial mark-up in the retail sale price of diamonds. then divided by human or automated sorters into individual lots called "boxes. which combines ("aggregating") supplies of rough diamonds from multiple sources into one wholesale market (#2). thereby controlling and stabilizing prices." The DTC is part of the DeBeers Group supply-chain known as the Central Selling Organization (CSO). silver or platinum. 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. Kimberley and Windhoek. Rio Tinto. with a total of 33 facets (34 if a culet is used). Unlike precious metals such as gold.
Tel Aviv.20 carats or less) in Mumbai (Bombay) and Surat. China. Once the diamonds are set into jewelry. De Beers and the Future De Beers' (CSO's) control over the wholesale diamond market has diminished due to increased market penetration. and independent diamond producers in Canada. through their Diamond Promotion Service (DPS) and Diamond Information Centres (DIC) marketing divisions. De Beers is also facing increasing pressure from the manufactures of synthetic diamonds.000 to $2. . Ramat Gan.com website).De Beers Sightholders The DTC holds a sale called a "site" or "sight" ten times per year in London and Johannesburg. The diamonds are then re-sold from the cutting and polishing (manufacturing) centers to wholesalers (Diamond Bourses). where De Beers sells the "boxes" to its select group ("supplier of choice") of 125 "sightholders" (#3) or diamond manufacturers. A 'sight' can have a value of between $500. The sightholder then transports the box of rough diamonds back to diamantaire firms (cutting and polishing factories) located around the world (#4). Both traders and manufacturers may sell diamonds "upstream" and "downstream" through the diamond pipeline . reclaiming their "A Diamond Is Forever" moniker. and Thailand. De Beers (DTC) sets the price of each box in advance. and retailers . which are increasing in popularity and consumer acceptance. to take advantage of market fluctuations. (see DeBeers' Adiamondisforever. and New York. Additionally. Russia and elswhere. or to jewelry manufacturers (#5) around the world.000. and the breakaway from CSO's cartel by the Argyle Diamond Mine in Australia.000 USD. As a reaction to their decrease in market share. has launched an aggressive branding and marketing campaign. cutters. Rough diamonds are cut in various geographic regions according to tradition and the skill-sets of the labor force. India cuts the vast majority of small stones (. De Beers. Other major cutting centers are located in Johannesburg. while large stones are primarily cut in Antwerp. diamonds have underperformed since 1987 when compared to the "luxury goods" market or global GDP. Many Sightholders are also cutters. they are sold to retailers or direct to the customer. determining the quantity and quality that each site-holder will receive.
and Shanghai.Forevermark Diamonds As a way of staving off the onslaught of secondary diamond markets. As of 2006. Diamond Bourses are basically trading exchanges for loose. and about half of the polished diamonds. Hoveniersstraat. The largest diamond trading center in the world is located in Antwerp. This mark is only visible via a point-of-sale electronic viewer. The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base. The Diamond High Council (HRD) The HRD (Hoge Raad voor Diamant) Diamond High Council is a non-profit industry organization designed to promote and represent the Antwerp diamond trade. The Diamond Trade: Diamond Bourses of Antwerp Diamond Bourses Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. China. are sold in Antwerp every year. and preventing the inherent product misidentification that will follow.500 diamond dealers (diamantbedrijven) are ensconced in small. the WDC has observers from the governments of Belgium. Israel and South Africa and works with 35 independent Governments.. NY . Schupstraat. the European Union and the United Nations to rid the diamond Industry of conflict diamonds. Forevermark diamonds will be available through sightholder/retailers in the U. The Council began in July 2000 after a joint meeting of the WFDB and its international headquarters are in New York City. and Rijfstraat. KPCS originated in May 2000 during a meeting of South African diamond producing states in Kimberley. cut and uncut diamonds. Hong Kong. or commodities exchange similar to the NYSE. some 1. Within Antwerp's diamond district. the DTC has developed new inscription technologies to "invisibly" mark the table facet of polished diamonds with a "Forevermark" trademark. and the city is the hub of the global diamond trading industry (diamanthandel).com The word "Bourse" refers to a private stock. The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates . and will com with a certificate of authenticity. Europe. bond. In addition to its members. and India (2007). Asia. Almost 85% of the world's rough diamonds. 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. .S. The Council has approximately 70 members representing jewelers. Moscow. 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 . Belgium but there are also Diamond Bourses in Israel. South Africa. traders and manufacturer/producers. also known as the "World Diamond Center" or Diamantenzentrum. De Beers is hoping that the combination of branding and security will increase consumer demand. heavily guarded geographic area surrounded by three main streets. London.
making it the largest diamond-trading center in the world . regulations. founded in 1893—and the Beurs voor Diamanthande (at Pelikaanstraat 78) founded in 1904 . and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) was founded in 1947. In Antwerp's 'Diamond Center' (Diamantenzentrum) today. Around $16+ billion in polished diamonds pass through Antwerp's diamond bourses each year. Beurs voor Diamanthandel . and repatriation of Antwerp following the end of WWII. uncut diamonds was the Antwerpsche Diamantkring (Antwerp Diamond Ring) . friendship and trust . and disputes are handled by an internal arbitration process. ethics and morality. which was established in the same year that the 1930 World Expo was held in Antwerp.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. bisected by Hoveniersstraat street. Control over the diamond trade is maintained through the WFDB's Constitution containing a series of rules. Both bourse were founded by Hasidim diamantairs. The Diamond High Council (HRD) . and both are still in operation today. there are around 4000 diamond-cutters (diamantaire) working in the several-square-block diamond district. an by-laws that govern business practices.Photo: Wiki Public The first trading exchange to deal exclusively with rough. These first trading exchanges mainly dealt with the wholesaling of cut stones. Most transactions conducted within the Bourses done with cash and a handshake. the Antwerpsche Diamantkring was reopened. After the liberation. 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.
The Voortrekkers had to contend with the native Zulu tribe over land they wished to settle on.' During the 1830s and 1840s.' 'Limpopo. The Boers resisted British encroachments into their territory until the Second 'Anglo' Boer War (1899— 1902).The HRD (Hoge Raad voor Diamant) Diamond High Council is a non-profit industry organization designed to promote and represent the Antwerp diamond trade. The First Boer War (1880—1881) began with the Transvaal (Limpopo) Boers declaring independence from Great Britain. coming for . The research arm of the HRD works in conjunction with Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen (Antwerp University RUCA) to increase the diamond knowledge-base. with 10.000 Zulu warriors attacking 470 Boer settlers. the Zule's King Dingane agreed to a treaty allowing the Voortrekkers to settle in what would be called the Natalia Republic or Boer republics. and this eventually lead to all-out war. Afrikaners who participated in the migration northward became known as the 'Trekboer' or Voortrekkers.' After the devastating Zulu defeat. England seized the Cape of Good Hope from the Dutch East India Company in 1797.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. They settled in the 'Cape of Good Hope' on Africa's southern most tip. ending with the inclusion of all Boer territories into British colonies. most with Dutch Calvinist. which at the time was administered by the 'Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie' or 'Dutch East India Company. Diamonds and the British The Second Wave of Europeans Needing a stopping-off point on the sea-route to Australia and India. Afrikaners (aka Boers or farmers) were religious refugees from the Netherlands and other parts of northern Europe during the mid 1600s to late 1700s. There was not a single Boer fatality. there was a mass exodus (the Great Trek) northward to 'Northern Cape.' 'Gauteng. and fully annexed the Cape Colony in 1806 . or German Protestant backgrounds. This led to a new wave of emigrants and adventurer-seekers from England.' and the 'Orange Free State' provinces to escape hostilities with the native 'Xhosa tribe' from which Nelson Mandela decended. Gauteng (Premier Diamond Mine). who were in search of the "quiet sweet life." Three of South Africa's richest diamond mines are in Northern Cape (Kimberley Diamond Mine). and Limpopo (Venetia Diamond Mine). Flemish. The HRD Certificates Department was founded in 1976 to meet an increased demand for quality diamond certificates . The Diamond Trade: History & Culture of the Key Players Article Copyright © 2006 AllAboutGemstones. but 3000 Zulus were killed in what became known as the 'Battle of Blood River. under the Treaty of Vereeniging.
Barnato died several years later.. and J. The African nation of Rhodesia was named after him (now the Republic of Zimbabwe). no heirs to his empire. Cecil Rhodes' De Beers empire was started on a farm owned by two Boer settlers and brothers. In exchange. Rhodes made several aborted attempt to gain control over Barnato's interest in Kimberley Central Mine. Barnato was given appointed to 'life governor' and temporary controlling interest in De Beers . mysteriously falling overboard on a ship passage back to England. De Beers and Kimberley Central were the two largest mining interests in South Africa at the time. 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. Photo: Pub. Domain Thomas M. D. but was eventually successful in convincing Barnato to merge with De Beers. self-government was restored. 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. Domain Barney Barnato During the same period that Cecil Rhodes was building De Beers Consolidated Mines. Photo: Pub.the "mineral revolution. a prospector. although Rhodes did not start out with an interest in diamonds. A. De Beer. he was able to build a monopolistic empire through skill and cunning. One of the richest men in the world. a curious discovery was being made along the banks of the Orange River.. and in 1910 the 'Union of South Africa' was created. As a young lad from England. N. Photo: Pub. With the help of the Rothschild bank in London. in Northern Cape." In 1906. As founder of De Beers. Cullinan . and later selling steam-powered water pumps to drain the open-pit mines of Kimberley. 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.' Cecil Rhodes died a single man with no children and. Domain Cecil Rhodes Cecil Rhodes (1853—1902) is the undisputed father of the modern diamond industry. Rhodes started out selling ice cream to the diamond-diggers and service workers. Amid all of this turmoil and chaos.
Sir Thomas Major Cullinan (1860—1936) was the founder of one of Africa's richest diamond mines, the 'Premier Diamond Mine,' 30 kilometers east of Pretoria, in Gauteng province, South Africa. Although Cullinan was already a successful building contractor in Johannesburg, he was also an amateur geologist who had heard about alluvial diamonds being found along a stream near the old 'Cornelis Minnaar Farm' in upper Gauteng. Cullinan was interested in purchasing the farm, which had already changed hands several times, but the present owner, Willem Prinsloo (who had purchased the land for £570 in 1861) was not interested in selling. Shortly after the close Anglo Boer War (1898—1902), Willem Prinsloo's widow agreed to sell the land to Cullinan for £52,000, and the 'Transvaal Premier Diamond Mining Company LTD' was officially registered on the December 1, 1902 . On January 25th 1905, a 3,106 carat diamond was found at the mine, which remains the largest diamond ever found in the world. When news of Premier's success hit the board room of De Beers, several aborted attempts were made to purchase the mine, but Cullinan had no intention of selling . In 1914, WW1 broke out in Europe, and diamond prices began to spiral. Layoffs at the mine caused enough friction that by August, mining operations were suspended. The Premier Mine had resumed production by January 1916, but in need of cash, Cullinan sold a major stake in the mine to the Transvaal government. Frank Oats, who was now the chairman of De Beers, was able to convince the Transvaal government to sell its controlling interest in 1917, and De Beers once again enjoyed a monopoly on South African diamonds.
Diamonds and the Ashkenazi, Sephardi and Hasidic Jews
There is perhaps no other ethnic group that is so inextricably intertwined with the diamond trade, than the jews. In an odd twist of fate, it may be Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama's discovery of a searoute to India around Africa's Cape of Good Hope in 1488, that set the stage for the Jewish/diamond connection. Da Gama's discovery opened up a direct diamond-trading route from India's Malabar Coast and the island of Borneo, to Portugal and on the Netherlands. With Lisbon now at the forefront of the European diamond trade, many Portuguese Sephardi businessmen opened cutting houses, and quickly gained a dominant roll in the diamond-polishing industry. The Sephardi were Jews who originated from Spain and Portugal (the Iberian Peninsula), many practicing a secret adherence to Judaism known as "Crypto-Judaism," while professing other faiths. Jews who practiced their religion in the open were expelled from Spain and Portugal, when the Catholic Monarchs issued the "Alhambra Decree" in 1492 (1497 for Portugal), fleeing to Morocco, the Ottoman Empire, Antwerp and Amsterdam. When the first Jewish emigrants (Ashkenazi) came to Antwerp in the 1200s, they were welcomed, but when the Black Plague swept across Antwerp in the mid 1300s, the Jews were one of the scapegoats. Although Amsterdam's Dutch were relatively tolerant when it came to religious freedom, in 1585 Antwerp came under Spanish rule, and the Jews (this time Sephardic), were once again the focus of scrutiny. With the Spanish Inquisition in high gear, Jews were now persecuted for conducting trade with the Ottoman Empire, or for being 'pseudo-Christian.' In the 1600s, wealthy Jewish diamond-traders now living in the Netherlands, financed the 'Dutch East India Company' and its exploration of new trade routes to India, but the British were beginning to see opportunity in the diamond trade, creating new competition for the Jewish/Dutch. Prior to being granted 'civil equality' in 1796, Amsterdam's Jews were not allowed to join trade guilds, leaving the unregulated diamond industry as one of the only means of employment. By the late 18th century, many of Amsterdam's Jews were working in the diamond trade, and many of these 'Sephardi refugees' had maintained connections with Portuguese traders who now had a monopoly on the trade of raw diamonds from India. By the early 1700s, India's mines were nearing exhaustion, but a new discovery in Brazil helped to reinvigorate the diamond trade. By this time, British naval superiority proved to be a great advantage, and the 'British East India Company' was born. The European center for the diamond trade now began to move away from Amsterdam, as Jewish traders set up shop in London. The cut stones were sold to the nobility and royalty of Europe, using the Hofjude (Court Jews) as purchasing agents to select the stones from the London diamond merchants.
Photo: Pub. Domain
The Pshevorsk Hasidic Dynasty Hasidic Judaism was founded by Polish (now Ukrainian) Rabbi 'Ba'al Shem Tov', aka 'Israel ben Eliezer' (1698—1760) in a time when European Jews were facing increasing hostility and pressure from the "Cossacks' Uprising" in Ukraine. The Hasidic movement is a sub-group of the theologically conservative Haredi or Charedi Judaism, aka Ultra-Orthodox Judaism. The movement was seen as a way of turning inward towards a 'deeper spiritualism and mysticism.' Hasidism spread westward, making its way to western Europe in the 1800s. The Hasidic movement in Antwerp began with Rabbi Moshe of Pshevorsk, who authored 'Ohr Pnei Moshe' in 1805 . The Pshevorsk is a small sub-Hasidic movement based in Antwerp, Belgium, with their hub at the study hall (beth midrash), 'Beth Yitzchok' at Mercatorstraat 56. With the discovery of vast diamond reserves in South Africa during the late 1800s, concern over a glut in the diamond market spread throughout London's diamond merchants. A group of wealthy Jewish dealers pooled their resources to form "the syndicate," which was created to soak up all of the excess capacity being created by South Africa. Today, Antwerp and London's diamond trade is largely controlled by the Hasidic Jewish community, although Indian influence is on the rise in recent years. Many of these Hasidic entrepreneurs are nameless by choice, preferring to maintain their anonymity, but they have been the driving force behind the multi-billion dollar diamond industry for hundreds of years.
Photo: Pub. Domain
Alfred Beit Alfred Beit (1853—1906) was born into a prominent Jewish family in Hamburg, Germany. Beit worked for the diamond firm of Jules Porges and Co. in Amsterdam before emigrating to 'Cape Colony' in 1875 during the Kimberley diamond-rush . Beit was part of a group of financiers, including Cecil Rhodes, who gained control of the diamond-mining claims in the Central Mine, Dutoitspan Mine, and De Beers Mine, thereby 'consolodating' the South African mining industry. becoming a 'life-governor' of De Beers Consolidated Mines. He was also the director of the Beira Railway Company, British South Africa Company, Rand Mines, and the Rhodesia Railways. Beit, along with partner Cecil Rhodes, financed the 1895 'Jameson Raid' which was an attempt to trigger an unsuccessful coup in the South African Republic of Transvaal. The Royal School of Mines, at the Imperial College London has a large memorial to Beit, in recognition of the Beit trust's bequeathment to the university, and to educational institutions in Britain, Germany South Africa, and Zimbabwe (Rhodesia).
Photo: Pub. Domain
Sir Ernest Oppenheimer Ernest Oppenheimer (1880—1957) was born in Friedberg, Germany to a large Jewish family, and with several brothers working for "the syndicate," Ernest was well positioned for his future vocation. He began his career at age 17, working for the diamond brokerage firm, Dunkelsbuhler & Company in London. Oppenheimer created the concept of "single-channel marketing" over 100 years ago, by funneling the world's supply of diamonds through a single clearing house. Oppenheimer gained control of Namibia's diamond mines, forming the Anglo American mining conglomerate. This gave him the financing and power to gain the chairmanship of De Beers. Today, Oppenheimer's Anglo American operates a fleet of diamond recovery ships off the coast of Namibia and South Africa under the umbrella of De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited (DBCM), and Central Holdings Limited (CHL), an Oppenheimer family holding company, and in partnership with Namdeb.
Photo: Pub. Domain
Nicky Oppenheimer Ernest's grandson, Nicky Oppenheimer (born 1945) studied philosophy at Oxford as a young man, and is now the chairman of the De Beers Diamond Mining Company and its subsidiary Diamond Trading Company. The Oppenheimer family and Anglo American maintains a 45% stake in De Beers today. Africa's richest man, and #134 on the Forbes list of the world's richest people, Nicky Oppenheimer is worth an estimated $4.5 billion. Under new legislation, passed by the African National Congress, Nicky Oppenheimer was forced to sell a 26% share of De Beers to the South African 'Black Economic Empowerment' group (BEE). This was the first major ownership change for De Beers in over a century. Of the legislation Oppenheimer said: "De Beers is here to make a profit, but we must benefit the people and communities where we operate."
Photo: Pub. Domain
Lev Leviev The Lev Leviev Group, created by Israeli national, Lev Leviev (born 1956 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan) is the worlds largest cutter and polisher (diamantaire) of rough diamonds, with factories in Armenia, India, Israel, and the Ukraine. The Lev Leviev Group also owns mining interests in Namibia's offshore dredging operations. Through his personal relationship to Vladimir Putin and other Russian heads of
" and the "king of bling" by Forbes magazine . One of his most notable acquisitions was the 603 carat "Lesotho Promise diamond. Graff's net worth is estimated at 2. found on August 22. Using this model of "local control. Raised by his grandparents. and one of the most successful diamond merchants in modern history. Alrosa now sells direct to cutting factories throughout Russia. to purchasing a 51% stake in Safdico (South African Diamond Corp.com Gujarat's Indian Diamantaires . in 1992. Graff has been dubbed the "king of diamonds.5 billion dollars . and the largest rough unearthed in this century. All House of Graff stones have a laser-inscribed girdle with the 'Graff' logo and GIA number. Dubai. Graff's strategy of "vertically integration" has been to control every angle of the diamond pipeline. from wholesale and retail. Graff has co-authored (with Vanessa von Zitzewitz) "The Most Fabulous Jewels in the World. Lesotho Promise is the 15th largest diamond ever found." the Leviev Group has found willing partners in several countries including Angola's ASCORP after De Beers' exit in 2001. Monte Carlo. Hotel de Paris' salon privé in Paris. Domain Laurence Graff Laurence Graff (1938—) is a DeBeers sightholder. House of Graff is also located on London's Sloane Street.state. now called ALROSA (Almazy-Rossii-Sakha) . a DeBeers sightholder in Johannesburg. The Hindustani Diamond Cutters Photo: dnavin." a compendium and history of his most famous jewels. Laurence Graff was born into a Jewish orthodox family in London's poorer 'East End' district. Tretiakovsky Proezd in Moscow.5 billion (#278 Forbes List). 2006 at the Letseng diamond mine in the tiny Kingdom of Lesotho in the center of the Republic of South Africa. and on board the luxury residential ship The World ResidenSea. Mr. Leviev's net-worth is estimated at $2. with his wife and their nine children. It will ultimately be cut into an estimated 20 or so 'D-flawless' stones ranging from 75 carats to 1 carat in size. selling to the rich and famous from Elizabeth Taylor and Donald Trump. founder of the House of Graff in the heart of London's posh New Bond Street. ALROSA produces 100% of Russia's rough diamond output and approximately 20% of the world's rough diamonds . Israel. which gives him access to some of the finest uncut diamonds coming out of South Africa. Russia. and has satellite locations in Wafi City. Photo: Pub. New York's Madison Avenue. to Larry Ellison. which are now owned by Lev Leviev.). Lev Leviev lives in B'nei Brak. formed by Decree 158C of the Russian Federation. By circumventing the De Beers supply chain. Lev Leviev has formed a partnership with the ex Soviet state-owned diamond firm.
The Sanskrit word for 'diamond' was vajra. and Vijaydimon are family owned operations run by Jains with the common surnames of Jhavari. Venus Jewels. Jainism is an ancient Indian religious sect believing in the 'Jain' philosophy.above). Photo: rosyblue. improve perceptions. Navinchandra & Co (board of directors . to elevate quality standards.7 billion in annual sales . a minister to the Indian king. with diamond cutting factories located in Borivali. It is estimated that India cuts. universal truths. and De Beers India. Gujarat. Mehta. Suresh & Co. 320 BC) by Kautiliya. heighten awareness of ethical business practices. M. Chandragupta. India (born 1949). started out thirty years ago by purchasing cheaper stones that the Dutch Hasidim. polishes. The Indian communities' share has grown to around 60%. and is currently a Senior Partner and head of the UAE division. the Indians would not be giving up their rightful heritage as diamantaires. from Hong Kong to Israel. This vast fortune is shared by some 300 to 500 Gujaratis families from Palanpur on the GujaratRajasthan border . 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.Diamonds made their first reluctant appearance in human history over 2400 years ago. based upon eternal. By slowly developing markets. Shree Ramkrishna Exports.com Dilip Mehta Indian diamantaire. Domain Bharat & Vijay Shah Bharat and Vijay Shah came from a family of jewelers going back three generations. both college dropouts. Several other divisions of the Rosy Blue Group." The Indians would go on to enjoy a singular reign over the diamond-rich dominion—known as Hindustan—for another two thousand years. Photo: Pub. or "thunderbolt. are headed and staffed by Mehta family members. the Hindustan Diamond Company Ltd. (HDC). and Israelis didn't want to work with . D. Mumbai. Sanghavi Exports. propelling their twin companies. The Indo Argyle Diamond Council (IADC) formed in 1994 as a consortium of Indian jewelry manufacturers and cutting houses. and to develop an "understanding of the world market. and although India's famous "Diamonds of Golconda" were mined-out hundreds of years ago. Gitanjali Gems is one of the largest manufacturers of diamonds and diamond jewelry in India. and Surat's 'Special Economic Zone' . displacing the Hasidim as the dominant force in the industry . is the CEO of the 'Rosy Blue Group' which is currently one of the world's largest diamond companies. and Shah. Companies like Bhavani Gems. Harshad Mehta ("Diamond King of the world") is one of the founders of Rosy Blue. Dilip Mehta of Mumbai. with $1." The Bharat Diamond Bourse in Mumbai. and were written about in an ancient Sanskrit manuscript called the "The Lesson of Profit" Arthasastra (c. . Gitanjali Gems. is the newest addition to India's arsenal of global marketing tools to promote exports. Much of India's diamond trade is controlled by a handful of wealthy families in Gujarat. 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. and exports several billion dollars worth of gems per year. The brothers.
Botswana is a relatively wealthy African country. created a program for capacity-building of 'small and medium-sized enterprise' (SME) development. At the age of 29. On a somewhat darker note. In a post-conflict reconstruction effort. into a global position with nearly $1 Billion a year in sales. succeeded his father (Laurent-Désiré Kabila) as president the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC) after his assassination in January 2001. Hong Kong.W.Vijaydimon (Belgium) and B Vijaykumar (India) . Angola and from mining magnates. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. Singapore. India. is making great strides in stabilizing the country after years of strife. with one of the fastest per-capita income growth rates in the world. working in cooperation with the government of Sierra Leone. the 'United Nations Industrial Development Orginization' (UNIDO). both domestically and internationally. dos Santos. China. Bangkok. the political situation in Angola has begun to normalize. left). Vijaydimon also purchases rough diamonds from Canada's Diavik Mine and Argyle (Rio Tinto) and Russia . employing 22. Surat. Botswana has held regular elections and has been one of the more stable governments in southern Africa.000 workers. The company has cutting factories in Antwerp. Diamonds and the Americans Photo: Pub. After winning a disicive re-election victory in 2006. all who have signed multi-million dollar trade deals. Mandela. The president of Sierra Leone. The last democratic election in Angola was in 1992. Ayer & Son . Bombay. who was a major general in the army. and Tel Aviv. Palanpur. Diamonds and the African Nationals Photos: Public Domain Kabila. Domain N. Vijaydimon is a DTC sightholder with offices in Belgium. and the United States. Thailand. and the end to South African apartheid in 1994. & Mogae Starting with Botswana's independence in 1966. After years of fighting between the PMLA and UNITA. President Festus Mogae was elected for a second term in 2004. many of the ex-colonial nations of Sub-Saharan Africa are starting to emerge as powerful and legitimate forces in the diamond industry. president José Eduardo dos Santos is preventing democratic elections from taking place. Kabbah. only hinting at their possibility in 2007 or 2008. Kabila. and enjoys broad support. is receiving broad support from the South Africa. UAE. Joseph Kabila (above.
Charles Tiffany. The stone was cut in Paris. the values of ostentatious gems and jewelry dropped precipitously.W."A diamond is forever" is the legendary saying that was created by America's first advertising agency. Photo: Pub. Sir Francis "Piggy" Beekman.' which was adapted to film in 1953. Domain Hollywood in 1949 Coming just on the heels of the immortal "a diamond is forever" campaign.' at the flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street.' The stone was set into a garish jewelry piece called "Bird on a Rock. and the diamond industry was particularly hard hit. After the French revolution in 1799. for resale in America. this time from playwriter. Tiffany & Young. After attending Chicago Musical College. De Beers president. The Great Depression had taken a heavy toll on luxury goods during the 1930s.72 carat cushion-cut diamond (one of the "Diamonds of Golconda") was mounted by Tiffany." by Jean Schlumberger in the 1960s. A 19. Photo: Pub. and Tiffany seized on the opportunity. Styne wrote the score for the 1949 Broadway musical 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.W. Domain Charles Lewis Tiffany Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812—1902). producing the 128. and featuring the memorable scene in which Holly gazes longingly into Tiffany's window display." after here charecter. One of Tiffany's most notable diamond acquisitions was a 287. Styne moved to Hollywood where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn.54 carat 'The Tiffany Diamond. and a series of diamond-related slogans were introduced into the American lexicon. Ayer & Son. Jule Styne. specializing in one-of-a-kind baubles for New York's newly-minted industrialists and 'robber-barons. the public's tolerance towards nobility was at a low point.' staring Audrey Hepburn. The 'Tiffany & Co. located at 259 Broadway. Harry Frederick Oppenheimer enlisted the help of N. and the subsequent overthrowing of King Louis-Philippe of France in 1848. purchased diamonds. Lorelei receives a diamond tiara from her suitor. and sold to Nanaline Duke (now in the Doris Duke Collection). Tiffany was able to purchase significant gems from such renowned estates as: the 'jewel-mad' Duke of Brunswick.' During the 1800s. the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine.' brand was catapulted into the stratosphere by the 1961 movie 'Breakfast at Tiffany's." was the co-founder of Tiffany & Co. gems and jewelry from the estates of the European aristocracy. With financial shockwaves caused by the French economy's collapse in 1847. was originally a 'fancy goods' emporium. Prince Esterhazy of Hungary.42 carat rough flawless-yellow diamond from the 'Compagnie Français de Diamant du Cap' (Kimberley mine) in 1877. De Beers and the diamond industry got another shot in the arm. which started out as 'Tiffany & Young' of New York City in 1837. and from the Spanish Crown Jewels . The Tiffany is still selling luxury jewelry in their trademarked 'Tiffany Blue Box. N. aka "the King of Diamonds. Jule Styne (born Julius Kerwin Stein) was born in London. . In 1948 the famous "A diamond is forever" slogan was introduced. Ayer in 1938. The movie version featured Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend. who was known for his jewelry expertise.
or "cert" may be your only assurance that you are getting exactly what you paid for. Were it not for intrepid consumers. we have the faceless American consumer. the unsung hero in the diamond trade. certificate of authenticity. In a preemptive strike against any negative publicity that the movie would generate." there would be no "diamond trade. grading report. appraisal report. 2006 Hollywood in 2006 Blood Diamond is the latest incarnation of Hollywood's fascination with diamond. and their willingness to purchase the concept of "foreverness. Through interviews with human-rights organizations like Doctors Without Borders and Global Witness." 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. Diamonds are tested for . the glamor is laid bare." and the terrible working conditions that these workers must endure. the World Diamond Council placed ten full-page ads in newspapers around the county. Leavitt weaves a tale of Sierra Leone's impoverished "diamond diggers. as writer Charles Leavitt takes us through the dark underbelly of the diamond trade. The Consumer Last. a diamond certificates.Photo: © Warner Bros. but not least. This time.
and carat weight) and they are also tested for traces of gem enhancement. carat weight. Appraisal Reports. Los Angeles. and saturation of a colored stone. and is the largest independent gem certification and appraisal institute in the United States. but for insurance appraisal as well. which can be substantially different. California. Although even a lay-person may be able to tell the difference between a triple-zero diamond and a cheap. Dubai and Hong Kong. Tokyo. with operations in New York City.not only for resale. clarity. 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 same year that Shipley published his groundbreaking book titled 'Gemology. . Toronto. Shipley in 1931. and of corse. there is very little (visible) difference between a FL stone and a IF or VVS-1 stone . Mumbai. Antwerp. shape and cut of a stone. and wether they are synthetic.other than the price. founded in 1975.' GIA's world headquarters are located in Carlsbad. color. wether the stone is natural or synthetic.the basics (cut dimensions and proportions. The GIA was founded by Robert M. Certificates of Authenticity. IGI Certificate The International Gemological Institute (IGI) is the oldest institute of its kind in Antwerp. with offices around the globe. The IGI offers Identification Reports. and Attestations of Origin. poorly cut SI-3 grade stone. GIA Certificate A GIA (Gemological Institute of America) report provides detailed information about the dimensions. GIA reports also cover any treatments or enhancements that have been done. tone. 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 . Bangkok.
with "Triple Excellent" being the highest overall designation. Cut. Carat Weight.The IGI lab grades diamonds as well as colored gemstones along several basic criteria which include: shape and cut. HRD's refined Cut Grading system measures each of the three parameters (proportions. HRD also offers gemelogical training and continuing education courses in diamond grading. origin (colored gems). Shape. the sorting of rough diamonds. clarity. Color. and the graders can not know the identity of the owner. All diamonds are examined anonymously. and finish. and Fluorescence. as well as quantifying the standard parameters of Clarity. Belgium issues quality reports for loose (unmounted) polished diamonds according to ISO 17025 international standards for gemelogical testing laboratories. . HRD uses the "Hearts and Arrows" measuring system which was developed by HRD Antwerp scientists. jewellery design and gemology. mesurments. weight. polish and symmetry) using a scale ranging from Excellent to Fair. HRD Antwerp Diamond Certificate The certificates department of HRD Antwerp in Antwerpen. color.
as opposed to GIA's vvs. and to set a higher standard of business ethics and professional practices in the jewelry industry. and optical physicists. AGS grades diamond color on a numeric sliding scale that is similar to GIA's alphabetical scale. 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. but rather a comprehensive quality evaluation.com The American Gem Society was founded in 1934 by Robert M. Today. 2005 can be viewed online. having the most rigid grading standards. and does not evaluate other types of colored gemstones. certificates issued after January 1. AGSL Certificate The AGSL was the first gem lab to grade a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish. vs. creator of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Shipley. The mission of the AGS is to increase consumer awareness. HRD uses complex watermarking to prevent copying or falsifying their reports." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors. Symmetry. Aditionally. mathematicians. and Proportions. A diamond's clarity is also graded on a simple numeric scale from 0 to 10. The AGS Gemological Laboratories was established in 1996 to provide state-of-the-art diamond grading and appraisal services to the jewelry industry. referred to as a "Diamond Quality Document" or "DQD. 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. AGS is considered the premier diamond-grading laboratory. as well as the most comprehensive system for grading the all-important 'cut' parameters. To insure the security of their documents. An AGS report." The AGS Cut Grading system was developed through of years of research by gemologists. 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 s ratings." is not an appraisal of monetary value. along with a consortium of independent jewelers. Diamond Grading AGS Diamond Quality Report (DQD) AGS Gemological Laboratory Background Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. the HRD lab also uses state-of-the-art technology to test for subtle and hard to recognize enhancements such as HPHT.As well as testing for synthetic diamonds. Each parameter is given a 'grade' from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). The AGS specializes in diamond testing and evaluation. . 'Polish' and 'Symmetry' were merged into one category called "Finish.
leakage and light spread. dispersion." but to retained the "Triple Zero" monicker for diamonds with a perfect score.Cut Grade: Finish. 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. 'Polish' and 'Symmetry' were merged into one category called "Finish." and "Proportions" was renamed "Proportion Factors. and Proportions. Each parameter is given a numeric grade from 0 (Ideal) to 10 (Poor). Symmetry. and optical physicists. In 2004 AGS added a new category that is referred to as "Light Performance. The ray-tracing program measures the quantity of the light being returned to the viewer by quantifying brightness. contrast. . mathematicians. Proportions & Light Performance The AGSL was the first gem lab to grade a diamond's cut quality using three parameters: Polish." The AGS Cut grading system was developed through years of research by gemologists.
in conjunction with proprietary AGS mapping software (similar to a Sarin or OGI scan) to create the line diagram shown on the report (above).0 (GIA Equivalent: N to R) Light . When all three parameters are in perfect harmony the diamond is given a "Triple 0" or "Triple Ideal" grading.0 to 1.3. In the upper left corner of the document there is a unique AGS reference number that can be used when contacting AGS with questions about your report. The AGSL grades a diamond's symmetry and proportions according to the accuracy of crown/pavilion angles. and individual facet ratios.AGS Triple Ideal or 'Triple 0' Grade The gold-standard for a diamond's AGS cut-grade is the "triple zero.5 to 3. the 'inert' and/or 'faint' fluorescence designations (lower left corner of document) have been replaced by a single term 'negligible.' meaning "not significant or important enough to be worth considering.5 (GIA Equivalent: K to M) Very Light .5 to Fancy (GIA Equivalent: S to Z) Diamond Fluorescence As of 2003. ." or "ideal" rating. AGS uses a 3D-scan of the actual diamond. AGS Diamond Grading System On the inside fold of an AGS Diamond Quality grading report there is a legend explaining the unique AGS nomenclature with comparisons to GIA's grading system.5.5 to 4. AGS Diamond Color Saturation Designations Colorless .0 to 7.0 (GIA Equivalent: G to J) Faint .0 (GIA Equivalent: D to F) Near Colorless .1. where facets intersect with each-other.7." 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. as well as the symbols used to identify inclusion or internal flaw types that are 'mapped' and marked on the 'Proportions' diagram. relative facet angles. all measured in three spacial dimensions.
princess. Artisanal Mining Hard Rock Mining Marine Mining Open Pit Mining Placer Mining Hard-Rock Diamond Mining The term "hard-rock mining" (top of page. and OGI Systems. As of 2005. The AGS supplies 'facet arrangement' templates corresponding to their cutgrading system." or a by a vertical "shaft.Triple-0 Round Brilliant Setting 'American Star Diamond' 13.42 Carat D. 2. These diamond extraction methods vary depending on how the minerals are deposited within the earth. Diamonds: Gem & Diamond Mining Technology Photos: Public Domain Diamond & Gem Mining . The principle methods of diamond extraction are: 1. AGS will also provide analysis of a manufacturers 'cut performance' by analyzing a sample stone's Sarin file. while a shaft is . OctoNus Software. left) refers to various techniques used to extract gems. minerals. which are used by non-contact measuring-device manufacturers such as Sarin Technologies. AGS will only evaluate loose. the stability of the material that surrounds that desired gem or mineral. AGS offers laser inscription services as well. AGSL reports will also grade cut quality for emerald. and ore bodies that are in situ. Accessing the underground ore is achieved via a horizontal passageway called a "decline. through AGS offices in Antwerp. and can only be accessed by tunneling underground and creating underground "rooms" or "stopes" that are supported by timber pillars or standing rock.com Diamonds and other precious and semi-precious gemstones are extracted from the earth using five basic mining techniques. so that the cutter can improve the light performance of their cut stones. Obtaining an AGS Report AGS is a 'trade-industry' testing laboratory that will only evaluate diamonds sent from jewelers or manufacturers. the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA). unmounted diamonds. Pricing for a diamond grading report is based on carat weight." A decline is a spiral (corkscrew) tunnel which circles the ore deposit. Flawless Other Services Supplied by AGS The AGS will soon be entering into an alliance/partnership with one of the premier testing labs of colored gemstones. 4. India and Israel. Additionally. and the peripheral damage that will be done to the surrounding environment. and will soon be offering cut evaluations for other fancy shapes. and octagon step-cut diamonds.Extraction Methods Article Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones. Dubai. 5. 3.
and is a derivative form of open-cast mining used to extract minerals from the surface of the earth without the use of tunneling. center) is a method of extracting rock and minerals from the earth by removal from a machine-dug open pit or burrow. Artisanal diamond mining is a form of "subsistence based" non-mechanized mining that is used in poorer countries throughout the world. with the middle size being a candidate for final sorting. right) with bare hands. Small "pit lakes" tend to form at the bottom of open-pit mines as a result of groundwater intrusion. running adjacent to the ore. machinery. or hand digging (artisanal mining). and have a specific gravity that is higher than that of common minerals. and or colluvial secondary deposits. While on board. or sort material according to size. Diamonds and most gemstones are hard. also known as "open-cast mining" (top of page. rock or sedimentary soil. Marine Mining Marine mining technology only became commercially viable in the early 1990s.Smithsonian Museum Open pit mining is used when the surface material (overburden) covering the deposit is relatively thin and/or the desired minerals are imbedded within structurally unstable earth (cinder. therefore. which concentrate the heavier gems at the bottom. highly resistant to weathering. they tend to concentrate in alluvial deposits in the same way that gold placers develop. Excavation is accomplished using water pressure (hydraulic mining). 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. CAT-tracked underwater mining vehicles) move across the sea floor pumping gravel up to an offshore vessel. or large conical sieves. 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. gravel. Open Pit Mining Open-pit diamond mining. also known as "sand-bank mining" (top of page. Marine diamond mining employs both "vertical" and "horizontal" techniques to extract diamonds from offshore placer deposits. or sand) that is unsuitable for tunneling. A decline is typically used for mining personnel. Placer Mining Placer diamond mining. Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . Open pit mines are typically used when mineral deposits are found close to the surface or along defined kimberlite pipes. at a maximum depth of 500 feet. box screens.vertical tunnel used for ore haulage. Gems are separated from waste material using various sifting and sorting techniques such as cone screens. . Horizontal mining employs the use of Seabed Crawlers (remotely controlled. and access to the ore.Photo: USGS Alluvial Diamond . mechanized surface excavating equipment. eluvial. the gravels are separated and sorted into three sizes. or pans. shovels. Laborers who work in artisanal diamond mining are called "diamond diggers" (below left). right) is used for extracting diamonds and minerals from alluvial.
Diamond bearing kimberlite in some parts of South Africa is black in color (above. Many kimberlite pipes also produce alluvial diamond placer deposits. As this molten mixture of magma (molten rock). 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 . and upper mantle rock. Kimberlite occurs in the zone of the Earth's crust in vertical structures known as kimberlite pipes (above. Kimberlites are found as "dikes" and "volcanic pipes" which underlie and are the source for rare and relatively small volcanoes or "maars" (above. serpentine.Artisanal diamond mining is used throughout west Africa. .North Cape" below). yet only about 1 in every 200 kimberlite pipes contain gem-quality diamonds. right). with a variety of trace minerals. Kimberlite pipes are the most significant source of diamonds. left). pyroxene. rock fragments. It is also used extensivly in Angola. left) or "yellow-ground" kimberlite and can be found worldwide. garnet. Kimberlite pipes can lie directly underneath shallow lakes formed in the inactive volcanic calderas or craters. diamonds are carried to the surface of the earth by volcanic activity. minerals. After their formation. Artisanal diamond mining accounts for 90% of Sierra Leone's diamond exports and is the country's second largest employer after subsistence farming. the Congo (DROC). Diamonds: Diamond Geology Diamond Geology & Kimberlites Kimberlite Pipes Diamonds form at a depth greater than 93 miles (150 kilometers) beneath the earth's surface. and diamonds approaches the earth's surface it begins to form an underground structure (pipe) that is shaped like a champagne-flute. Kimberlite is a diamondiferous igneous-rock matrix composed of carbonate. right). Most kimberlite is called "blue-ground" kimberlite (above. in conflict zones where mechanized mining is impractical and unsafe. phlogopite. and Liberia. These pipes are called "kimberlites" or "kimberlite pipes" (see diagram below). olivine.
including: hydrothermal breccia. The world's largest known gem quality alluvial diamond deposits are located along the Namib Desert coastline of southwestern Africa. known as the Sperrgebiet or "forbidden territory. usually from kimberlite deposits." and along the Orange River near Alexander Bay. Diamondiferous material tends to concentrate in and around 'oxbow lakes. The Argyle pipe is a diatreme. This results in a martini-glass shaped diamondiferous deposit as opposed to kimberlite's champagne flute shape. or "cementing material. and tectonic breccia. or different in composition to the fragments themselves.Photo: Public Domain Lamproite Pipes Lamproite pipes produce diamonds to a lesser extent than kimberlite pipes.' which are created by abandoned river meanders.Photo: NASA The alluvial terrace gravels (below. sedimentary breccia." that may be similar. Breccia is a rock composed of angular fragments of several minerals or rocks in a matrix. 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. resulting in a broader cone of eviscerated rock at the surface. 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. except that boiling water and volatile compounds contained in the magma act corrosively on the overlying rock. igneous breccia. Alluvial Diamonds from Africa . These dried 'lakes' receive river water during seasonal flooding which transports large amounts of sediment held in suspension.Open Pit Mine . Lamproite pipes are created in a similar manner to kimberlite pipes. Alluvial (Placer) Diamond Deposits The location of alluvial (secondary or placer) diamond deposits is controlled by the surrounding topography. . There are several types of breccia which are categorized based on their geological origin. Alluvial diamond deposits are usually located within river terrace gravels that have been transported from their location of origin.Photo: Public Domain Diamonds in Kimberlite Matrix . left) and marine gravels of the south-western coastline of Africa represent the some of the world's largest placer diamond deposits.
Alluvial diamond mining in Angola takes place along a meandering stretch of the Cuango River floodplain which is also along the south-western coastline of Africa. Diamonds in marine areas are typically trapped in bedrock depressions such as gullies. including Angola's two largest diamonds at 105. from olivine lamproites formed during the Cretaceous or Permo-Triassic period. Diamonds that were transported downstream. channels or other trapsites for diamondiferous deposits.8 million to 10. Alluvial Terrace Gravels . Diamond Mines of the World: Active Diamond Mines List of Active Diamond Mines All Contents Copyright © 2009 AllAboutGemstones.000 years ago).9k and 101. potholes.Namibia's placer diamond deposits are between 40 and 80 million years old. depressions. made their way to the sea bed just offshore.8k.Photo: Wiki Diamond-Bearing 'Diamondiferous' Gravel Many of these alluvial diamond deposits occur in Pleistocene and Holocene successions (1. The diamonds within these deposits were transported from deeply-eroded diamondiferous kimberlites or. but were not deposited on land. carried from their primary origination point on the Kaapvaal Craton. Some of the largest and highest gemquality diamonds produced from alluvial placer diamond mining have come from this region.com . Westward draining river systems transported these diamonds to Africa's continental coastline for final deposition within on-shore marine terrace gravels. in central South Africa and Botswana. to a lesser extent.
MIBA. map Koffiefontein Diamond Mine: The Koffiefontein mine opened in 1870. These lists also contains new project explorations. Diavik Diamond Mine: The Diavik diamond mine is located in the NWT. map Bakwanga Mine: (aka Bushimaïe. map Finsch Diamond Mine: Finsch is an open-pit mine near Lime Acres. De Beers operated. 3. map River Ranch Diamond Mine: Open Pit & Underground mine. open pit. South Kalimantan 1. map Letseng Diamond Mine: Open-cast mine in Maluti Mountains 70 km from Mokhotlong.DeBeers/Botswana. map Ekati Diamond Mine: Canada's first diamond mining operation. and any relevant geographic data. map Jwaneng Diamond Mine: (place of small stones) richest mine in world. map Koidu-Sefadu Mines: Subsistence digging in alluvium pits west of Koidu. 1. 5. map Baken Diamond Mine: Located along Orange River in North Cape. map Orange River (Daberas) Mines: Orange River alluvium. 1. 1. map Kimberley Diamond Mine: Started in 1871. map Magna Egoli Mine: Largest mechanized mine in Sierra Leone. and a host of other counties with operational and/or historic alluvial. 2. map Borneo Cempaka/Riam Kanan. 1.De Beers / Botswana. mining operator info. map Damtshaa Diamond Mine: (water for a tortoise) New open pit mine. Cempaka Diamond Mines: Alluvials mined by indigenous artisanal Kalimantan miners. 7. 2. So Africa. Namdeb Namib Gov. Active Mines | Inactive Mines | Future Exploration | Mining Companies Africa Angola 1. 6. located in NWT. south of Lüderitz. 3. 4. map Marine Mining: Namco Mining operates a dredging fleet off the west coast of Namibia. Closed in 2006. 2. Catoca Diamond Mine: Fourth largest diamond mine in world. De Beers / Botswana. Israel. Waldman Resources. 2. produces over 40% of world's gem-quality diamonds. 2. map Fucauma Diamond Mine: Newly constructed. Argyle Diamond Mine: Largest producer in world. 2. map Forminière Diamond Mine: Alluvial mine located on the River Tshikapa. map Botswana Congo (DROC or RDC) Lesotho Namibia Sierra Leone South Africa Tanzania Zimbabwe Australia East Kimberley 1. 75% De Beers ownership. There are also several African nations with ongoing off-shore dredging/vacuming operations. 1. Trans Hex. Endiama (50%). 4. map The Oaks Diamond Mine: In Limpopo province. 3. and hard rock diamond mines. map Elizabeth Bay Mine: Open-cast mine in Namib desert. 4. 2. 3. in Kasaï . map . 3.Currently there are eleven major 'diamond producing' nations. links to satellite images of the mines (where available). map Williamson Diamond Mine: (aka Mwadui mine) Open Pit mine. map Koidu Open Pit Mines: Kimberlite open-pit mines just south of Koidu. Owned by Endiama (40%) & Trans Hex (35%). De Beers/Botswana. 75% De Beers ownership. 1. map Cullinan Diamond Mine: Open Pit/Hard Rock diamond mine owned by De Beers. Namdeb. mining industry inside news. map Venetia Diamond Mine: Limpopo. map Letlhakane Diamond Mine: ("little reeds") second oldest of four . Odebrecht (50%). 1. 1. 75% De Beers ownership map Murowa Diamond Mine: Open Pit & Underground mine. Rio Tinto. Luarica Diamond Mine: Owned by Endiama (38%) & Trans Hex (32%). Luzamba Diamond Mine: Angola's largest alluvial mine. Kimberlite pipe. map Orapa Diamond Mine: (resting place for lions) Largest/oldest of four . 2. map Canada North West Territories (NWT) 1. Lubilash) Alluvial river mines in Kasaï.closed. the Kimberley Open Pits closed in 2005. Open-pit mine De Beers operated. mostly industrial grade.
3. 5. 2. Aikhal GOK Mine: Three open-pit kimberlite pipe mines: Aikhal. Jubilee.India Madhya Pradesh 1. map Anabar GOK Mine: The norther most location of Russia's diomond mines. and Sytykan. Panna Diamond Mine: Alluvial mine in state of Madhya Pradesh. map Jubilee (Yubileinaya) Mine: Newer open-pit kimberlite mine near Udachny. 4. map Russia Siberia 1. map . map Udachnaya (Udachny) Pipe Mine: One of the deepest diamond mines in the world. Mirna Mine: Largest diamond deposit in Russia and one of the largest in the world. Alrosa.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.