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 Beyond the clarity grading terms, other considerations include the type, size and location of the "inclusion". Inclusions near or on the surface may weaken the diamond structurally. Depending on where the inclusion occurs in the cut diamond and how it is to be used, it may be possible to hide the inclusion behind the setting.
 
Laser "drilling" involves using a laser to burn a hole to a colored inclusion, followed by acid washing to remove the coloring agent. The clarity grade is the grade after the treatment. The treatment is considered permanent and both the GIA and AGS will issue grades for laser drilled diamonds. Reputable vendors should disclose that laser drilling has been used.
 
Clarity can also be "enhanced" by filling the fracture much like a car windshield crack can be treated. Such diamonds are sometimes called "fracture filled diamonds". Reputable vendors must disclose this filling and reputable filling companies use filling agents which show a flash of color, commonly orange or pink, when viewed closely. There is a significant price discount for fracture-filled diamonds. The GIA will not grade fracture-filled diamonds, in part because the treatment isn't as permanent as diamond. Reputable companies often provide for repeat treatments if heat causes damage to the filling. The heat required to cause damage is that of a blowtorch used to work on settings, and it is essential to inform anyone working on a setting if the diamond is fracture-filled, so they can apply cooling agents to the diamond and use greater care while working on it.
 
Color
Jewelers set diamonds in groups of similar colors.
 
Jewelers set diamonds in groups of similar colors.
 The Gemological Institute of America uses as "D" to "Z" scale for color where "D" is colorless and "Z" is yellow:
  • colorless: D, E, F
  • near colorless: G, H, I, J
  • faint yellow or brown: K, L, M
  • very light yellow or brown: N, O, P, Q, R
  • light yellow or brown: S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z
 
Colorless diamonds are priced higher than yellow diamonds. However, when a diamond's color is more intense than the "Z" grading, it enters the realm of "Fancy Color". In this case, the intensity of the color in the diamond plays a major role in its value. The value of a Fancy Color Diamond may far surpass that of colorless diamonds, if the intensity of the color is high and the color is rare. A diamond may come in all colors of the rainbow.
 
Yellow color is caused by nitrogen atoms trapped in the crystal.

A fancy brown diamond may have low value, relative to colorless diamond. However, a fancy pink or blue diamond will command higher prices. Fancy-colored diamonds such as the deep blue Hope Diamond are particularly valuable.

 
Brown rather than yellow as the color became more common as Australian diamonds entered the market and is generally less appreciated by consumers and sold at a greater discount if the color is readily visible.

80% of the diamonds produced are poorer quality (discolored, less transparent) diamonds called bort which are used as industrial diamonds, where their extreme hardness is useful in cutting and grinding otherwise intractable materials (including other diamonds). Lately, gas-phase deposition processes have been devised that allow thin diamond films to be grown on some surfaces, greatly increasing the durability of some machine tools.

While the prices are higher for colorless diamonds, the exact color most valued by a consumer is a matter of personal preference, with some preferring the very transparent D-F range, while others prefer the "warmer" colors in the G-J range and still others prefer a clearly visible tint.

 
Sources
 
Historically diamonds were found in alluvial deposits in southern India which are now worked out. Most diamond deposits are in Africa, notably in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, the Republic of the Congo and Sierra Leone. Revolutionary groups in some of those countries have taken control of diamond mines, using the conflict diamonds to finance their operations. In response to public concerns that their diamond purchases were contributing to war and human rights abuses in central Africa, the diamond industry and diamond-trading nations introduced the Kimberley Process aimed at ensuring that conflict diamonds do not becoming intermixed with the diamonds not controlled by such rebel groups.
 
There are also commercial deposits in the Northwest Territories of Canada, the Russian Arctic, Brazil and in Northern and Western Australia. Occasionally diamonds have been found in glacial deposits in Wisconsin and Indiana. The Wisconsin finds can be explained by recent Canadian discoveries, but the diamonds found in Indiana must have come from an as yet undiscovered source in Quebec as the movement of ice was from northeast to southwest. There is also a diamond mine at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas. Tiny nanometre-sized diamonds, often called nanodiamonds, are also found as presolar grains in primitive meteorites.
 
Diamonds have been manufactured synthetically for over fifty years, and very recently companies began marketing them to the public as jewelry and in technology. For more information see Synthetic diamond.
 
A city of major importance in diamond trade is Antwerp, Belgium. It is estimated that nearly 90% of the world's rough diamonds, 50% of cut diamonds, and 40% of industrial diamonds trade hands in Antwerp. The industry is represented by the Diamond High Council (HRD). Before Antwerp the port city of Bruges saw most diamond trade, holding its position since the 13th century. Toward the 15th century Bruges declined, its port choked with silt.

Antwerp had been the world centre of diamond trade since the 16th century, until the city's 1585 capture by the Spanish. Amsterdam then supplanted Antwerp as a trading centre, until the latter's resurgence beginning in the 19th century.

 
Symbolism of diamonds
 
It is said the Greeks believed diamonds were tears of the gods; the Romans believed they were splinters of fallen stars. Many long dead cultures have sought the divine or the mystical in diamond, thereby explaining its specialities.

Perhaps the earliest symbolic use of diamonds was as the eyes of Hindu devotional statues. The diamonds themselves were thought to be endowments from the gods and were therefore cherished. The point at which diamonds assumed their divine status is not known, but early texts indicate they were recognized in India since at least 400 BC.

In western culture, diamonds are the traditional emblem of fearlessness and virtue. Although rarely seen in jewellery prior to the Baroque period, early examples of betrothal jewels incorporating diamonds include the Bridal Crown of Blanche (ca. 1370-1380) and the Heftlein brooch of Vienna (ca. 1430-1440), a pictorial piece depicting a wedding couple.

Today, diamonds are used to symbolize eternity and love, being often seen adorning engagement rings. This modern tradition can be directly traced to the marketing campaigns of De Beers, starting in 1938. These campaigns have included measures such as:

  • showing diamonds as wedding gifts in popular romantic movies
  • publishing stories in magazines and newspapers which would emphasize the romantic value of diamonds and associate them with celebrities
  • employing fashion designers and other trendsetters to promote the trend on radio and, later, television
  • enlisting the Royal Family of the United Kingdom to directly promote diamonds.
 
This campaign was described by De Beers' PR agency N. W. Ayer as "a new form of advertising which has been widely imitated ever since" with "no brand name to be impressed on the public mind. There was simply an idea -- the eternal emotional value surrounding the diamond." Indeed, the campaign succeeded in reviving the American diamond market, which had been weakened by "competitive luxuries", and in opening new markets where none had existed before. In Japan, for example, diamonds were successfully promoted as a western symbol of status, which coincided with Japan's cultural opening after World War II. Japan, which had no diamond tradition before the De Beers campaign, is today the second largest market for retail diamonds.
 
The slogan "A Diamond is Forever", invented by N.W. Ayer, is one of the most successful slogans in marketing history. Its purpose is to prevent the creation of a secondary market by dissuading women from selling the diamonds they have received and by discouraging them from buying diamonds which other women have owned. The consequence of this is that retailers can sell diamonds at a high price without competition from a secondary market and to allow DeBeers to maintain control of the diamond trade at the wholesale level.
 
The diamond engagement ring is, however, not an original invention of De Beers. It can be traced to the marriage of Maximilian I (then Archduke of Austria) to Mary of Burgundy in 1477. While the act did much to advance the Habsburg empire, it did little to make the diamond ring a widely encountered expression of betrothal.
 
The inception of the engagement ring itself can be tied to the Fourth Lateran Council presided over by Pope Innocent III in 1215. Innocent declared a longer waiting period between betrothal and marriage; plain rings of gold, silver or iron were used earliest. Gems were more than baubles; they were important and reassuring status symbols to the aristocracy. Laws were passed to preserve a visible division of social rank, ensuring only the privileged wore florid jewels. As time passed and laws relaxed, diamonds and other gems became obtainable to the middle class.
 
The diamond is considered the birthstone for people born in April.

The LifeGem company further taps modern symbolism by offering to synthetically convert the carbonized remains of people or pets into "memorial diamonds." However, many people still feel very uncomfortable at the thought of wearing the carbonized remains of people as jewelry.

 
Related terms
 
A 'schlenter' is Australian or South African mining slang for 'fake', that is, an imitation diamond.
 
Famous diamond cutters
 
  • Gabriel Tolkowsky - A famous diamond cutter, who cut two of the world's largest diamonds, the Centenary Diamond and the Golden Jubilee Diamond. He has also attempted to copyright and/or patent various diamond designs.
 
Famous stones
 
1) The Allnatt Diamond
2) Centenary Diamond
3) Cullinan Diamond
4) The Deepdene
5) Dresden Green Diamond
6) Eugenie Blue Diamond
7) The Golden Jubilee
8) Great Chrysanthemum Diamond
9) The Heart of Eternity Diamond
10) Hope Diamond
11) Hortensia Diamond
12) Idol's Eye
13) Koh-i-Noor
14) Millennium Star
15) The Moussaieff Red Diamond
16) The Ocean Dream Diamond
17) The Orloff
18) Portuguese Diamond
19) Premier Rose Diamond
20) The Pumpkin Diamond
21) The Regent Diamond
22) Star of Africa
23) The Steinmetz Pink Diamond
24) The Taylor-Burton Diamond
25) The Tiffany Yellow Diamond
26) The Sancy
27) Vargas
 
and an unusual case:
 
  • BPM 37093, a degenerate star in the constellation Centaurus, which contains the largest known diamond in the universe: 1×1034 carats (2&1033 grams) and 4,000 km in diameter.
 
See Also
 
External links
 
Labs, Cut, and General Links
 
  • OctoNus Software (http://www.cutstudy.com) has posted several diamond cut studies, by various authors. OctoNus, Moscow State University, Bruce Harding, and others have posted work there.
  • Adamas Gemological Laboratory (http://www.gis.net/~adamas) makes spectrophotometer machines that measure the color of gems. The machines can be programmed to distinguish natural, artificial, and color-enhanced gems.
 
Chemistry and Artificial Diamonds
 
  • NanoDiamond (http://nanoDiamond.info/) - nanotubes arranged in a diamond formation yielding a very high strength-to-weight ratio material.
 
Natural Sources and Marketing
 
  • Edward Jay Epstein: "Have You Ever Tried To Sell a Diamond? (http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/82feb/8202diamond1.htm) (subscription required)" The Atlantic Monthly, February 1982. About the history of the De Beers cartel, the modern marketing "invention" of diamonds, the market in diamonds and the problem of maintaining artificial scarcity; later collected in his book The Rise and Fall of Diamonds ISBN 0671412892
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Allnatt Diamond Centenary Diamond Cullinan Diamond The Deepdene Dresden Green Diamond The Golden Jubilee The Heart of Eternity Diamond Hope Diamond Hortensia Diamond Idol's Eye Koh-i-Noor The Moussaieff Red Diamond The Ocean Dream Diamond The Orloff Portuguese Diamond Premier Rose Diamond The Pumpkin Diamond The Regent Diamond Star of Africa The Steinmetz Pink Diamond The Taylor-Burton Diamond The Tiffany Yellow Diamond The Sancy Vargas Synthetic diamond Conflict diamond

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