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A clear, flawless, transparent diamond is completely converted to carbon dioxide; any impurities will be left as ash.
Jewelers must be careful when molding the metal in a diamond ring. Consequently, pyrotechnic compositions based on synthetic diamond powder can be prepared.
The resulting sparks are of the usual red-orange color, comparable to charcoal, but show a very linear trajectory which is explained by their high density.
Diamond has a wide bandgap of 5. This means that pure diamond should transmit visible light and appear as a clear colorless crystal.
Colors in diamond originate from lattice defects and impurities. The diamond crystal lattice is exceptionally strong, and only atoms of nitrogen , boron and hydrogen can be introduced into diamond during the growth at significant concentrations up to atomic percents.
Transition metals nickel and cobalt , which are commonly used for growth of synthetic diamond by high-pressure high-temperature techniques, have been detected in diamond as individual atoms; the maximum concentration is 0.
Virtually any element can be introduced to diamond by ion implantation. Nitrogen is by far the most common impurity found in gem diamonds and is responsible for the yellow and brown color in diamonds.
Boron is responsible for the blue color. Plastic deformation is the cause of color in some brown  and perhaps pink and red diamonds.
Colored diamonds contain impurities or structural defects that cause the coloration, while pure or nearly pure diamonds are transparent and colorless.
Most diamond impurities replace a carbon atom in the crystal lattice , known as a carbon flaw. The most common impurity, nitrogen, causes a slight to intense yellow coloration depending upon the type and concentration of nitrogen present.
Diamonds of a different color, such as blue, are called fancy colored diamonds and fall under a different grading scale.
In , the Wittelsbach Diamond , a Diamonds cut glass, but this does not positively identify a diamond because other materials, such as quartz, also lie above glass on the Mohs scale and can also cut it.
Diamonds can scratch other diamonds, but this can result in damage to one or both stones. Hardness tests are infrequently used in practical gemology because of their potentially destructive nature.
Diamonds also possess an extremely high refractive index and fairly high dispersion. Taken together, these factors affect the overall appearance of a polished diamond and most diamantaires still rely upon skilled use of a loupe magnifying glass to identify diamonds "by eye".
Diamonds are extremely rare, with concentrations of at most parts per billion in source rock. Loose diamonds are also found along existing and ancient shorelines , where they tend to accumulate because of their size and density.
Most diamonds come from the Earth's mantle , and most of this section discusses those diamonds. However, there are other sources. Some blocks of the crust, or terranes , have been buried deep enough as the crust thickened so they experienced ultra-high-pressure metamorphism.
These have evenly distributed microdiamonds that show no sign of transport by magma. In addition, when meteorites strike the ground, the shock wave can produce high enough temperatures and pressures for microdiamonds and nanodiamonds to form.
A common misconception is that diamonds are formed from highly compressed coal. Coal is formed from buried prehistoric plants, and most diamonds that have been dated are far older than the first land plants.
It is possible that diamonds can form from coal in subduction zones , but diamonds formed in this way are rare, and the carbon source is more likely carbonate rocks and organic carbon in sediments, rather than coal.
Diamonds are far from evenly distributed over the Earth. A rule of thumb known as Clifford's rule states that they are almost always found in kimberlites on the oldest part of cratons , the stable cores of continents with typical ages of 2.
The Argyle diamond mine in Australia , the largest producer of diamonds by weight in the world, is located in a mobile belt , also known as an orogenic belt ,  a weaker zone surrounding the central craton that has undergone compressional tectonics.
Instead of kimberlite, the host rock is lamproite. Lamproites with diamonds that are not economically viable are also found in the United States, India and Australia.
Kimberlites can be found in narrow 1 to 4 meters dikes and sills, and in pipes with diameters that range from about 75 m to 1. Fresh rock is dark bluish green to greenish gray, but after exposure rapidly turns brown and crumbles.
They are a mixture of xenocrysts and xenoliths minerals and rocks carried up from the lower crust and mantle , pieces of surface rock, altered minerals such as serpentine , and new minerals that crystallized during the eruption.
The texture varies with depth. The composition forms a continuum with carbonatites , but the latter have too much oxygen for carbon to exist in a pure form.
Instead, it is locked up in the mineral calcite Ca C O 3. All three of the diamond-bearing rocks kimberlite, lamproite and lamprophyre lack certain minerals melilite and kalsilite that are incompatible with diamond formation.
In kimberlite, olivine is large and conspicuous, while lamproite has Ti- phlogopite and lamprophyre has biotite and amphibole.
They are all derived from magma types that erupt rapidly from small amounts of melt, are rich in volatiles and magnesium oxide , and are less oxidizing than more common mantle melts such as basalt.
These characteristics allow the melts to carry diamonds to the surface before they dissolve. Kimberlite pipes can be difficult to find. They weather quickly within a few years after exposure and tend to have lower topographic relief than surrounding rock.
If they are visible in outcrops, the diamonds are never visible because they are so rare. In any case, kimberlites are often covered with vegetation, sediments, soils or lakes.
In modern searches, geophysical methods such as aeromagnetic surveys , electrical resistivity and gravimetry , help identify promising regions to explore.
This is aided by isotopic dating and modeling of the geological history. Then surveyors must go to the area and collect samples, looking for kimberlite fragments or indicator minerals.
The latter have compositions that reflect the conditions where diamonds form, such as extreme melt depletion or high pressures in eclogites.
However, indicator minerals can be misleading; a better approach is geothermobarometry , where the compositions of minerals are analyzed as if they were in equilibrium with mantle minerals.
Finding kimberlites requires persistence, and only a small fraction contain diamonds that are commercially viable.
The only major discoveries since about have been in Canada. Since existing mines have lifetimes of as little as 25 years, there could be a shortage of new diamonds in the future.
Diamonds are dated by analyzing inclusions using the decay of radioactive isotopes. Depending on the elemental abundances, one can look at the decay of rubidium to strontium , samarium to neodymium , uranium to lead , argon to argon , or rhenium to osmium.
Those found in kimberlites have ages ranging from 1 to 3. The kimberlites themselves are much younger. Most of them have ages between tens of millions and million years old, although there are some older exceptions Argyle, Premier and Wawa.
Thus, the kimberlites formed independently of the diamonds and served only to transport them to the surface. The reason for the lack of older kimberlites is unknown, but it suggests there was some change in mantle chemistry or tectonics.
No kimberlite has erupted in human history. Such depths occur below cratons in mantle keels , the thickest part of the lithosphere.
These regions have high enough pressure and temperature to allow diamonds to form and they are not convecting, so diamonds can be stored for billions of years until a kimberlite eruption samples them.
Host rocks in a mantle keel include harzburgite and lherzolite , two type of peridotite. The most dominant rock type in the upper mantle , peridotite is an igneous rock consisting mostly of the minerals olivine and pyroxene ; it is low in silica and high in magnesium.
However, diamonds in peridotite rarely survive the trip to the surface. They formed in eclogite but are distinguished from diamonds of shallower origin by inclusions of majorite a form of garnet with excess silicon.
Diamond is thermodynamically stable at high pressures and temperatures, with the phase transition from graphite occurring at greater temperatures as the pressure increases.
Thus, the deeper origin of some diamonds may reflect unusual growth environments. In the first known natural samples of a phase of ice called Ice VII were found as inclusions in diamond samples.
The mantle has roughly one billion gigatonnes of carbon for comparison, the atmosphere-ocean system has about 44, gigatonnes.
It can also be altered by surface processes like photosynthesis. This variability implies that they are not formed from carbon that is primordial having resided in the mantle since the Earth formed.
Instead, they are the result of tectonic processes, although given the ages of diamonds not necessarily the same tectonic processes that act in the present.
Diamonds in the mantle form through a metasomatic process where a C-O-H-N-S fluid or melt dissolves minerals in a rock and replaces them with new minerals.
Diamonds form from this fluid either by reduction of oxidized carbon e. Using probes such as polarized light, photoluminescence and cathodoluminescence , a series of growth zones can be identified in diamonds.
The characteristic pattern in diamonds from the lithosphere involves a nearly concentric series of zones with very thin oscillations in luminescence and alternating episodes where the carbon is resorbed by the fluid and then grown again.
Diamonds from below the lithosphere have a more irregular, almost polycrystalline texture, reflecting the higher temperatures and pressures as well as the transport of the diamonds by convection.
Geological evidence supports a model in which kimberlite magma rises at 4—20 meters per second, creating an upward path by hydraulic fracturing of the rock.
As the pressure decreases, a vapor phase exsolves from the magma, and this helps to keep the magma fluid. Then, at lower pressures, the rock is eroded, forming a pipe and producing fragmented rock breccia.
As the eruption wanes, there is pyroclastic phase and then metamorphism and hydration produces serpentinites. Although diamonds on Earth are rare, they are very common in space.
In meteorites , about three percent of the carbon is in the form of nanodiamonds , having diameters of a few nanometers. Sufficiently small diamonds can form in the cold of space because their lower surface energy makes them more stable than graphite.
The isotopic signatures of some nanodiamonds indicate they were formed outside the Solar System in stars. High pressure experiments predict that large quantities of diamonds condense from methane into a "diamond rain" on the ice giant planets Uranus and Neptune.
Diamonds may exist in carbon-rich stars, particularly white dwarfs. One theory for the origin of carbonado , the toughest form of diamond, is that it originated in a white dwarf or supernova.
The most familiar uses of diamonds today are as gemstones used for adornment , and as industrial abrasives for cutting hard materials.
The markets for gem-grade and industrial-grade diamonds value diamonds differently. The dispersion of white light into spectral colors is the primary gemological characteristic of gem diamonds.
In the 20th century, experts in gemology developed methods of grading diamonds and other gemstones based on the characteristics most important to their value as a gem.
Four characteristics, known informally as the four Cs , are now commonly used as the basic descriptors of diamonds: these are its mass in carats a carat being equal to 0.
A large, flawless diamond is known as a paragon. A large trade in gem-grade diamonds exists. Although most gem-grade diamonds are sold newly polished, there is a well-established market for resale of polished diamonds e.
Secondary alluvial diamond deposits, on the other hand, tend to be fragmented amongst many different operators because they can be dispersed over many hundreds of square kilometers e.
The De Beers company, as the world's largest diamond mining company, holds a dominant position in the industry, and has done so since soon after its founding in by the British businessman Cecil Rhodes.
De Beers is currently the world's largest operator of diamond production facilities mines and distribution channels for gem-quality diamonds.
As a part of reducing its influence, De Beers withdrew from purchasing diamonds on the open market in and ceased, at the end of , purchasing Russian diamonds mined by the largest Russian diamond company Alrosa.
Further down the supply chain, members of The World Federation of Diamond Bourses WFDB act as a medium for wholesale diamond exchange, trading both polished and rough diamonds.
Once purchased by Sightholders which is a trademark term referring to the companies that have a three-year supply contract with DTC , diamonds are cut and polished in preparation for sale as gemstones 'industrial' stones are regarded as a by-product of the gemstone market; they are used for abrasives.
Recently, diamond cutting centers have been established in China, India, Thailand , Namibia and Botswana. The recent expansion of this industry in India, employing low cost labor, has allowed smaller diamonds to be prepared as gems in greater quantities than was previously economically feasible.
Diamonds prepared as gemstones are sold on diamond exchanges called bourses. There are 28 registered diamond bourses in the world.
Diamonds can be sold already set in jewelry, or sold unset "loose". Mined rough diamonds are converted into gems through a multi-step process called "cutting".
Diamonds are extremely hard, but also brittle and can be split up by a single blow. Therefore, diamond cutting is traditionally considered as a delicate procedure requiring skills, scientific knowledge, tools and experience.
Its final goal is to produce a faceted jewel where the specific angles between the facets would optimize the diamond luster, that is dispersion of white light, whereas the number and area of facets would determine the weight of the final product.
For example, the diamond might be intended for display or for wear, in a ring or a necklace, singled or surrounded by other gems of certain color and shape.
Some of them are special, produced by certain companies, for example, Phoenix , Cushion , Sole Mio diamonds, etc. The most time-consuming part of the cutting is the preliminary analysis of the rough stone.
It needs to address a large number of issues, bears much responsibility, and therefore can last years in case of unique diamonds.
The following issues are considered:. After initial cutting, the diamond is shaped in numerous stages of polishing. Unlike cutting, which is a responsible but quick operation, polishing removes material by gradual erosion and is extremely time consuming.
The associated technique is well developed; it is considered as a routine and can be performed by technicians. Those flaws are concealed through various diamond enhancement techniques, such as repolishing, crack filling, or clever arrangement of the stone in the jewelry.
Remaining non-diamond inclusions are removed through laser drilling and filling of the voids produced.
And the firm created new markets in countries where no diamond tradition had existed before. Ayer's marketing included product placement , advertising focused on the diamond product itself rather than the De Beers brand, and associations with celebrities and royalty.
Without advertising the De Beers brand, De Beers was advertising its competitors' diamond products as well,  but this was not a concern as De Beers dominated the diamond market throughout the 20th century.
De Beers still advertises diamonds, but the advertising now mostly promotes its own brands, or licensed product lines, rather than completely "generic" diamond products.
Brown-colored diamonds constituted a significant part of the diamond production, and were predominantly used for industrial purposes. They were seen as worthless for jewelry not even being assessed on the diamond color scale.
After the development of Argyle diamond mine in Australia in , and marketing, brown diamonds have become acceptable gems.
Industrial diamonds are valued mostly for their hardness and thermal conductivity, making many of the gemological characteristics of diamonds, such as the 4 Cs , irrelevant for most applications.
The boundary between gem-quality diamonds and industrial diamonds is poorly defined and partly depends on market conditions for example, if demand for polished diamonds is high, some lower-grade stones will be polished into low-quality or small gemstones rather than being sold for industrial use.
Within the category of industrial diamonds, there is a sub-category comprising the lowest-quality, mostly opaque stones, which are known as bort.
Industrial use of diamonds has historically been associated with their hardness, which makes diamond the ideal material for cutting and grinding tools.
As the hardest known naturally occurring material, diamond can be used to polish, cut, or wear away any material, including other diamonds.
Common industrial applications of this property include diamond-tipped drill bits and saws, and the use of diamond powder as an abrasive.
Less expensive industrial-grade diamonds, known as bort, with more flaws and poorer color than gems, are used for such purposes.
Specialized applications include use in laboratories as containment for high-pressure experiments see diamond anvil cell , high-performance bearings , and limited use in specialized windows.
The high thermal conductivity of diamond makes it suitable as a heat sink for integrated circuits in electronics. The mining and distribution of natural diamonds are subjects of frequent controversy such as concerns over the sale of blood diamonds or conflict diamonds by African paramilitary groups.
Only a very small fraction of the diamond ore consists of actual diamonds. The ore is crushed, during which care is required not to destroy larger diamonds, and then sorted by density.
Today, diamonds are located in the diamond-rich density fraction with the help of X-ray fluorescence , after which the final sorting steps are done by hand.
Before the use of X-rays became commonplace,  the separation was done with grease belts; diamonds have a stronger tendency to stick to grease than the other minerals in the ore.
Historically, diamonds were found only in alluvial deposits in Guntur and Krishna district of the Krishna River delta in Southern India.
Diamond extraction from primary deposits kimberlites and lamproites started in the s after the discovery of the Diamond Fields in South Africa.
Most of these mines are located in Canada, Zimbabwe, Angola, and one in Russia. In the U. The Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas is open to the public, and is the only mine in the world where members of the public can dig for diamonds.
In some of the more politically unstable central African and west African countries, revolutionary groups have taken control of diamond mines , using proceeds from diamond sales to finance their operations.
Diamonds sold through this process are known as conflict diamonds or blood diamonds. In response to public concerns that their diamond purchases were contributing to war and human rights abuses in central and western Africa, the United Nations , the diamond industry and diamond-trading nations introduced the Kimberley Process in This is done by requiring diamond-producing countries to provide proof that the money they make from selling the diamonds is not used to fund criminal or revolutionary activities.
Although the Kimberley Process has been moderately successful in limiting the number of conflict diamonds entering the market, some still find their way in.
This is a stringent tracking system of diamonds and helps protect the "conflict free" label of Canadian diamonds.
Synthetic diamonds are diamonds manufactured in a laboratory, as opposed to diamonds mined from the Earth. The gemological and industrial uses of diamond have created a large demand for rough stones.
This demand has been satisfied in large part by synthetic diamonds, which have been manufactured by various processes for more than half a century.
However, in recent years it has become possible to produce gem-quality synthetic diamonds of significant size. The majority of commercially available synthetic diamonds are yellow and are produced by so-called high-pressure high-temperature HPHT processes.
Other colors may also be reproduced such as blue, green or pink, which are a result of the addition of boron or from irradiation after synthesis.
Another popular method of growing synthetic diamond is chemical vapor deposition CVD. The growth occurs under low pressure below atmospheric pressure.
It involves feeding a mixture of gases typically 1 to 99 methane to hydrogen into a chamber and splitting them to chemically active radicals in a plasma ignited by microwaves , hot filament , arc discharge , welding torch or laser.
A diamond simulant is a non-diamond material that is used to simulate the appearance of a diamond, and may be referred to as diamante.
Cubic zirconia is the most common. The gemstone moissanite silicon carbide can be treated as a diamond simulant, though more costly to produce than cubic zirconia.
Both are produced synthetically. Diamond enhancements are specific treatments performed on natural or synthetic diamonds usually those already cut and polished into a gem , which are designed to better the gemological characteristics of the stone in one or more ways.
These include laser drilling to remove inclusions, application of sealants to fill cracks, treatments to improve a white diamond's color grade, and treatments to give fancy color to a white diamond.
Coatings are increasingly used to give a diamond simulant such as cubic zirconia a more "diamond-like" appearance. One such substance is diamond-like carbon —an amorphous carbonaceous material that has some physical properties similar to those of the diamond.
Advertising suggests that such a coating would transfer some of these diamond-like properties to the coated stone, hence enhancing the diamond simulant.
Techniques such as Raman spectroscopy should easily identify such a treatment. Early diamond identification tests included a scratch test relying on the superior hardness of diamond.
This test is destructive, as a diamond can scratch another diamond, and is rarely used nowadays. Instead, diamond identification relies on its superior thermal conductivity.
Electronic thermal probes are widely used in the gemological centers to separate diamonds from their imitations.
These probes consist of a pair of battery-powered thermistors mounted in a fine copper tip. One thermistor functions as a heating device while the other measures the temperature of the copper tip: if the stone being tested is a diamond, it will conduct the tip's thermal energy rapidly enough to produce a measurable temperature drop.
This test takes about two to three seconds. Whereas the thermal probe can separate diamonds from most of their simulants, distinguishing between various types of diamond, for example synthetic or natural, irradiated or non-irradiated, etc.
Those techniques are also used for some diamonds simulants, such as silicon carbide, which pass the thermal conductivity test.
Optical techniques can distinguish between natural diamonds and synthetic diamonds. They can also identify the vast majority of treated natural diamonds.
Laboratories use techniques such as spectroscopy, microscopy and luminescence under shortwave ultraviolet light to determine a diamond's origin. Several methods for identifying synthetic diamonds can be performed, depending on the method of production and the color of the diamond.
CVD diamonds can usually be identified by an orange fluorescence. Screening devices based on diamond type detection can be used to make a distinction between diamonds that are certainly natural and diamonds that are potentially synthetic.
Those potentially synthetic diamonds require more investigation in a specialized lab. Occasionally, large thefts of diamonds take place.
The gang broke through a perimeter fence and raided the cargo hold of a Swiss-bound plane. The gang have since been arrested and large amounts of cash and diamonds recovered.
The identification of stolen diamonds presents a set of difficult problems. Rough diamonds will have a distinctive shape depending on whether their source is a mine or from an alluvial environment such as a beach or river—alluvial diamonds have smoother surfaces than those that have been mined.
Determining the provenance of cut and polished stones is much more complex. The Kimberley Process was developed to monitor the trade in rough diamonds and prevent their being used to fund violence.
Before exporting, rough diamonds are certificated by the government of the country of origin. Some countries, such as Venezuela, are not party to the agreement.
The Kimberley Process does not apply to local sales of rough diamonds within a country. Diamonds may be etched by laser with marks invisible to the naked eye.
Lazare Kaplan , a US-based company, developed this method. However, whatever is marked on a diamond can readily be removed. Diamonds have been treasured as gemstones since their use as religious icons in ancient India.
Their usage in engraving tools also dates to early human history. In , the French scientist Antoine Lavoisier used a lens to concentrate the rays of the sun on a diamond in an atmosphere of oxygen , and showed that the only product of the combustion was carbon dioxide , proving that diamond is composed of carbon.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the mineral. For the gemstone, see Diamond gemstone. Allotrope of carbon often used as a gemstone and an abrasive.
The slightly misshapen octahedral shape of this rough diamond crystal in matrix is typical of the mineral. Its lustrous faces also indicate that this crystal is from a primary deposit.
Main article: Material properties of diamond. See also: Crystallographic defects in diamond. Main article: Diamond color. Main article: Extraterrestrial diamonds.
A round brilliant cut diamond set in a ring. Main article: Diamond gemstone. Main articles: Diamond cutting and Diamond cut.
See also: List of diamond mines and Exploration diamond drilling. Play media. Main articles: Kimberley Process , Blood diamond , and Child labour in the diamond industry.
Main article: Synthetic diamond. Main article: Diamond simulant. Main article: Diamond enhancement. Minerals portal.
Retrieved July 7, In Delhaes, Pierre ed. Graphite and precursors. Noyes Publications. In Paoletti, A.
The physics of diamond. IOS Press. Chemical Thermodynamics. University Science Books. Popular Science. Retrieved October 31, In Yang, Guowei ed.
Pan Stanford Pub. Physical Review Letters. Bibcode : PhRvL.. January 23, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Bibcode : PNAS.. Discovery News.
Retrieved January 16, Nature Physics. Bibcode : NatPh Materials science. Tata McGraw-Hill Pub. David Solid state physics.
Holt, Rinehart and Winston. In Radovic, Ljubisa R. Chemistry and physics of carbon. Marcel Dekker. Gems: Their sources, descriptions and identification 5th ed.
Great Britain: Butterworth-Heinemann. May 30, Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences. Diamond and Related Materials.
Bibcode : DRM Astrophysical Journal. Bibcode : ApJ National Science Foundation. January 8, Retrieved October 28, Dominion Jewelers.
Retrieved Properties, Growth and Applications of Diamond. Institution of Engineering and Technology.
Innovative superhard materials and sustainable coatings for advanced manufacturing. Handbook of ceramic grinding and polishing. William Andrew.
The nature of diamonds. Cambridge University Press. The most common impurity, nitrogen , replaces a small proportion of carbon atoms in a diamond's structure and causes a yellowish to brownish tint.
The GIA has developed a rating system for color in white diamonds, from D to Z with D being "colorless" and Z having a bright yellow coloration , which has been widely adopted in the industry and is universally recognized, superseding several older systems.
The GIA system uses a benchmark set of natural diamonds of known color grade, along with standardized and carefully controlled lighting conditions.
Diamonds with higher color grades are rarer, in higher demand, and therefore more expensive, than lower color grades.
Oddly enough, diamonds graded Z are also rare, and the bright yellow color is also highly valued. N—Y usually appear light yellow or brown.
In contrast to yellow or brown hues, diamonds of other colors are more rare and valuable. While even a pale pink or blue hue may increase the value of a diamond, more intense coloration is usually considered more desirable and commands the highest prices.
A variety of impurities and structural imperfections cause different colors in diamonds, including yellow, pink, blue, red, green, brown, and other hues.
Black diamond's natural form is known as Carbonado , the toughest form of the diamond which is porous and difficult to cut.
Black diamonds are natural, man-made, treated black diamonds. Some black diamonds are expensive than other types of black diamonds because of the quality, durability, production cost, and few other factors.
Intense yellow coloration is considered one of the fancy colors, and is separate from the color grades of white diamonds.
Gemologists have developed rating systems for fancy colored diamonds, but they are not in common use because of the relative rarity of such diamonds.
Diamond cutting is the art and science of creating a gem-quality diamond out of mined rough. The cut of a diamond describes the manner in which a diamond has been shaped and polished from its beginning form as a rough stone to its final gem proportions.
The cut of a diamond describes the quality of workmanship and the angles to which a diamond is cut. Often diamond cut is confused with "shape".
There are mathematical guidelines for the angles and length ratios at which the diamond is supposed to be cut in order to reflect the maximum amount of light.
Round brilliant diamonds, the most common, are guided by these specific guidelines, though fancy cut stones are not able to be as accurately guided by mathematical specifics.
The techniques for cutting diamonds have been developed over hundreds of years, with perhaps the greatest achievements made in by mathematician and gem enthusiast Marcel Tolkowsky.
He developed the round brilliant cut by calculating the ideal shape to return and scatter light when a diamond is viewed from above.
The modern round brilliant has 57 facets polished faces , counting 33 on the crown the top half , and 24 on the pavilion the lower half.
The girdle is the thin middle part. The function of the crown is to refract light into various colors and the pavilion's function to reflect light back through the top of the diamond.
The culet is the tiny point or facet at the bottom of the diamond. This should be a negligible diameter, otherwise light leaks out of the bottom.
Tolkowsky's calculations included neither a culet nor a girdle. However, a girdle is required in reality in order to prevent the diamond from easily chipping in the setting.
The thick part of the girdle is normally about 1. The further the diamond's characteristics are from the Tolkowsky's ideal, the less light will be reflected.
However, there is a small range in which the diamond can be considered "ideal". Tolkowsky's calculations can be repeated for a narrow range of pavilion angles.
Such calculations show a slightly larger table percentage, and a trade-off between pavilion angle and crown angle. Today, because of the relative importance of carat weight among buyers, many diamonds are often intentionally cut poorly to increase carat weight.
There is a financial premium for a diamond that weighs the desirable 1. Neither of these changes makes the diamond appear any larger, and both greatly reduce the sparkle of the diamond.
A poorly cut 1. The depth percentage is the overall quickest indication of the quality of the cut of a round brilliant.
Another quick indication is the overall diameter. Typically a round brilliant 1. Mathematically, the diameter in millimeters of a round brilliant should approximately equal to 6.
Diamonds do not show all of their beauty as rough stones; instead, they must be cut and polished to exhibit the characteristic fire and brilliance that diamond gemstones are known for.
Diamonds are cut into a variety of shapes that are generally designed to accentuate these features. Diamonds which are not cut into a round brilliant shape are known as "fancy cuts.
Newer cuts that have been introduced into the jewelry industry are the "cushion" "radiant" similar to princess cuts, but with rounded edges instead of square edges and Asscher cuts.
Many fancy colored diamonds are now being cut according to these new styles. Generally speaking, these "fancy cuts" are not held to the same strict standards as Tolkowsky-derived round brilliants and there are less specific mathematical guidelines of angles which determine a well-cut stone.
Cuts are influenced heavily by fashion: the baguette cut—which accentuates a diamond's luster and downplays its fire—was popular during the Art Deco period, whereas the princess cut — which accentuates a diamond's fire rather than its luster — is currently gaining popularity.
The princess cut is also popular amongst diamond cutters: of all the cuts, it wastes the least of the original crystal.
The past decades have seen the development of new diamond cuts, often based on a modification of an existing cut. Some of these include extra facets.
These newly developed cuts are viewed by many as more of an attempt at brand differentiation by diamond sellers, than actual improvements to the state of the art.
The quality of a diamond's cut is widely considered the most important of the four Cs in determining the beauty of a diamond; indeed, it is commonly acknowledged that a well-cut diamond can appear to be of greater carat weight, and have clarity and color appear to be of better grade than they actually are.
The skill with which a diamond is cut determines its ability to reflect and refract light. In addition to carrying the most importance to a diamond's quality as a gemstone, the cut is also the most difficult to quantitatively judge.
A number of factors, including proportion, polish, symmetry , and the relative angles of various facets, are determined by the quality of the cut and can affect the performance of a diamond.
A diamond with facets cut only a few degrees out of alignment can result in a poorly performing stone. For a round brilliant cut, there is a balance between "brilliance" and "fire".
When a diamond is cut for too much "fire", it looks like a cubic zirconia , which gives off much more "fire" than real diamond. A well-executed round brilliant cut should reflect light upwards and make the diamond appear white when viewed from the top.
An inferior cut will produce a stone that appears dark at the center and in extreme cases the setting may be seen through the top of the diamond as shadows.
Several different theories on the "ideal" proportions of a diamond have been and continue to be advocated by various owners of patents on machines to view how well a diamond is cut.
These advocate a shift away from grading cut by the use of various angles and proportions toward measuring the performance of a cut stone.
A number of specially modified viewers and machines have been developed toward this end. Hearts and Arrows viewers test for the " hearts and arrows " characteristic pattern observable in stones exhibiting high symmetry and particular cut angles.
Closely related to Hearts and Arrows viewers is the ASET which tests for light leakage, light return, and proportions.
Detractors, however, see these machines as marketing tools rather than scientific ones. The GIA has developed a set of criteria for grading the cut of round brilliant stones that is now the standard in the diamond industry and is called Facetware.
The process of shaping a rough diamond into a polished gemstone is both an art and a science. The choice of cut is often decided by the original shape of the rough stone, location of the inclusions and flaws to be eliminated, the preservation of the weight, popularity of certain shapes amongst consumers and many other considerations.
Oddly shaped crystals such as macles are more likely to be cut in a fancy cut —that is, a cut other than the round brilliant—which the particular crystal shape lends itself to.
Since the per carat price of diamond shifts around key milestones such as 1. Some jewelry experts advise consumers to buy a 0.
In the gem trade, the term light performance is used to describe how well a polished diamond will return light to the viewer. There are three light properties which are described in relation to light performance: brilliance, fire, and scintillation.
Brilliance refers to the white light reflections from the external and internal facet surfaces. Fire refers to the spectral colors which are produced as a result of the diamond dispersing the white light.
Scintillation refers to the small flashes of light that are seen when the diamond, light source or the viewer is moved. A diamond that is cut and polished to produce a high level of these qualities is said to be high in light performance.
The setting diamonds are placed in also affect the performance of light through a diamond. The three most commonly used settings are: Prong, Bezel, and Channel.
Prong settings are the most popular setting for diamond jewelry. The prong setting consists of four or six 'claws' that cradle the diamond, allowing the maximum amount of light to enter from all angles, allowing the diamonds to appear larger and more brilliant.
In bezel settings the diamond or gemstone is completely surrounded by a rim of metal, which can be molded into any shape to accommodate the stone.
Used to set earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and rings, bezel settings can have open or closed backs, and generally can be molded to allow a lot of light to pass through.
Channel settings set the stones right next to each other with no metal separating them. This setting is mostly used in wedding and anniversary bands.
The outer ridge is then worked over the edges of the stones to create a smooth exterior surface. This also protects the girdle area of the stone.
About a third of all diamonds will glow under ultraviolet light, usually a blue color, which may be noticeable under a black light or strong sunlight.
Other colors diamonds can fluoresce are green , yellow , and red , but are very rare and are sometimes a combination of the colors such as blue-green or orange.
Some diamonds with "very strong" fluorescence can have a "milky" or "oily" look to them, but they are also very rare and are termed "over-blues.
Cleanliness significantly affects a diamond's beauty. A clean diamond is more brilliant and fiery than the same diamond when it is "dirty".
Dirt or grease on the top of a diamond reduces its luster. Water, dirt, or grease on the bottom of a diamond interferes with the diamond's brilliance and fire.
Even a thin film absorbs some light that could have been reflected to the viewer. Colored dye or smudges can affect the perceived color of a diamond.
Historically, some jewelers' stones were misgraded because of smudges on the girdle, or dye on the culet. Current practice is to clean a diamond thoroughly before grading its color.
Maintaining a clean diamond can sometimes be difficult as jewelry settings can obstruct cleaning, and oils, grease, and other hydrophobic materials adhere well to a diamond.
Many jewelers use steam cleaners. Some jewelers provide their customers with ammonia -based cleaning kits; ultrasonic cleaners are also popular.
Historically, it has been claimed that diamonds possess several supernatural powers:. Because of their extraordinary physical properties , diamonds have been used symbolically since near the time of their first discovery.
Perhaps the earliest symbolic use of diamonds was as the eyes of Hindu devotional statues. Vajra is the word for diamond and ayudham means weapon in Sanskrit.
Another name for it was Agira which means fire or the sun. In fact there are 14 names counted to be given to a diamond in traditional Hinduism.
The oldest dated printed book in the world is called the Diamond Sutra , a Chinese text dating from and was found in the Mogao Caves. Sutras are most used to describe the teachings of Buddha.
In this case the title of the Sutra refers not to the diamond itself but to a 'diamond blade that will cut through worldly illusion to illuminate what is real and everlasting'.
Jewel imagery forms a central part of Buddhism: the triple-jewel represents 'Buddha', his teachings 'Dharma' and the spiritual community 'Shangha'.
The book presently resides in the British Library. Many cultures use divine intervention to explain the origin and creation of gemstones, and diamonds were no exception to this.
In Greek mythology for example it was the youth on the island of Crete that disturbed Zeus and who were then as a form of punishment transformed into the adamas.
Philosophers however had a more naturalistic approach to explain the origin of gems: Plato for example believed gemstones were a consequence of fermentation in the stars, where a diamond actually formed the kernel of gold-bearing mass.
In later times, Robert Boyle actually believed that gems including a diamond were formed of clear, transparent water, and that their colors and characteristics were derived from their metallic spirit.
The diamond is the birthstone for people born in the month of April, and is also used as the symbol of a sixty-year anniversary , such as a Diamond Jubilee see hierarchy of precious substances.
In a system of heraldry by gemstone occasionally used in the past for the arms of nobles, diamond was used to represent the color sable, or black.
The origin of the custom to use diamonds in rings, and more recently, in engagement rings , can be traced back to the Middle Ages and even the Romans.
The Romans valued the diamond entirely on account of the supernatural powers they ascribed to it. Pliny wrote that a diamond baffles poison, keeps off insanity, and dispels vain fears.
On this account it was recommended as the stone to be set in wedding or espousal rings—not on account of its beauty therefore, which was described by Isidore of Seville as a small stone devoid of beauty.
In more recent times a Parisian Oracle of mystic subjects, the Baron d'Orchamps, announced the diamond, if worn on the left hand warded off evil influences and attracted good fortune and since he had fashionable clients the word spread and the wearing of the diamond on the left hand became in itself a fashion.
One of the first occurrences of the diamond engagement or wedding ring can be traced back to the marriage of Maximilian I then Archduke of Austria to Mary of Burgundy in The popularity of the diamond ring as an engagement ring for a much wider audience can be traced directly to the marketing campaigns of De Beers , starting in In the early 20th century, a chairman of De Beers optimistically predicted that the diamond trade would prosper "so long as men are foolish and women are vain.
Today, the round brilliant is still the most popular diamond shape for an engagement ring. More than 60 percent of diamonds on the market are brilliants.
The increase in online sales are disrupting the market for diamonds by bringing greater transparency to an industry that has traditionally relied on opacity.
In some of the politically unstable central African and west African countries, revolutionary groups have taken control of diamond mines , using proceeds from diamond sales to finance their operations.
Diamonds sold through this process are known as conflict diamonds or blood diamonds. Major diamond trading corporations continue to fund and fuel these conflicts by doing business with armed groups.
In response to public concerns that their diamond purchases were contributing to war and human rights abuses in central Africa and West Africa , the United Nations , the diamond industry and diamond-trading nations introduced the Kimberley Process in , which is aimed at ensuring that conflict diamonds do not become intermixed with the diamonds not controlled by such rebel groups, by providing documentation and certification of diamond exports from producing countries to ensure that the proceeds of sale are not being used to fund criminal or revolutionary activities.
This is a very stringent tracking system of diamonds and helps protect the 'conflict free' label of Canadian diamonds.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the singular, see 4C disambiguation. See also: Diamond mining in India. See also: Big Hole and De Beers.
Main article: Diamond clarity. Main article: Diamond color. Main article: Diamond cut. Main article: Diamond cutting. Main article: Jewellery cleaning.
Main article: Engagement ring. Main article: Blood diamond. Caley and J. A chief product of Naxos has long been a high grade of amorphous corundum which was used as an abrasive.
Richards, Ohio State University, , page They further discuss his referral to the adamas coming from the "east" through Armenian traders, but they show this was actually based on an erroneous interpretation of Theophrastus.
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