The Complete Diamond Guide

Diamond Consumer Information

As provided and validated by various gemmological organizations, laboratories and the "World Jewelry Confederation CIBJO"

Care

At least 13 factors affect diamond value, including fluorescence, table percentage, symmetry and other crucial details.
The most important factors when determining the quality of a diamond are known as the 4Cs.These are the diamond’s carat weight, its cut, its colour and its clarity.
The key thing to note is that no one C is more significant than another. A particular combination of the 4 Cs can be chosen to suit a particular budget, occasion, design or jewellery piece.

Treatment

Color: stone can be bombarded (i.e. irradiated) by either atomic or subatomic particles; these particles damage the diamond’s internal structure, which may change the color. The longer the bombardment, the more intense the color. Color: The most recent and sophisticated development in diamond colour improvement is to treat brownish coloured diamonds to improve their colour. The colour change is to either colourless or fancy yellow/green depending on the starting material.

Color

Diamonds are found in almost every colour of the rainbow, but white-coloured diamonds remain the most popular.
There are more than 20 subtle grades of colour, identified in alphabetical order from D-Z.
Variations are so slight that colours must be graded by an expert under controlled lighting conditions and compared against a master set for accuracy.
Those at the upper end of the scale will be more expensive, as they are rarer. However, they are difficult to discern with the naked eye

Clarity

Naturally-occurring features – known as inclusions – provide a special fingerprint within the stone. Usually invisible to the naked eye, these tiny marks are minerals or fractures which appeared while the diamonds were forming in the earth
The number, type, colour, size and position of these inclusions can affect the value of a diamond
Many can only be seen by a 10-power magnification loupe or stronger
Flawless diamonds are rarer and thus more expensive. Small inclusions do not affect the beauty of brilliance of the diamond however

Cut

Cut is the shape and cutting style of a diamond.
The cut, polish and proportions of a diamond will determine its appearance.
The shape of a diamond is a matter of personal taste, with the round brilliant cut the most popular. Other shapes are the asscher, cushion, emerald, heart, pear, marquise, oval, princess and trilliant

Diamond References in Antique Gemological Books

Synthetic Diamonds

Professor Hershey on Synthetic Diamond experiments
De Beers Ernest Oppenheimer early responses on the rise of synthetic diamonds
One of the earliest articles on HPHT synthetic diamonds by Sir Charles Parson (1893)

Diamond Mines in India and Brazil

Mined Diamonds India:
Edwin Streeter on Indian Diamonds
British geologist Valentine Ball on Diamond Mines
Catelle on Indian Diamond Mines
Tavernier on Golconda Diamond Mines
Diamond Mines Brazil:
Brazilian Diamonds Overview

Irradiation effect Diamond Color

Sir William Crookes was the discoverer of Thallium, identified the first sample of Helium, worked with Faraday and wrote a great book on Diamonds. He was the first to note the effects of Irridiation on Diamond Color in 1904

Diamond Mining in South Africa

Gardner Williams was a General Manager of De Beers. His 1000+ page epic work extensively describes the history of South Africa, its diamond mines, mining, cultures, towns and work conditions.
Diamond Mines of South Africa Vol. I
Diamond Mines of South Africa Vol. II
Early article on the South African Diamond Matrix: Kimberlite
Catelle also dedicated a large chapter to “South African Diamonds” in his classic on Diamonds.
Famous British jeweler Edwin Streeter (who competed with the Rothschildts for the rights of the famous Burma Ruby mines) extensively wrote about Diamonds in South Africa as well.
More recent history in Hershey’s Book of the Diamonds

Arkansas Diamond Mine

Arkansas Diamond Mine
Arkansas Diamond Mine USGS 1908

Famous Diamonds (Koh-i-Noor, Hope Diamond, Cullinan Diamond etc.)

Famous Diamonds Review Works:
The Classic: Edwin Streeters’s Great (Famous) Diamonds of the World
Mrs. Orpen wrote a standard work with additional Stories about Famous Diamonds
Go here for short summaries on “Famous Diamonds” (see table of contents of this book)
Koh-I-Noor, Hope Blue Diamond:
Famous French traveller (who brought back the Hope Diamond) Tavernier wrote about the “Koh-I-Noor
Famous Indian Moghul Babur writes about the Great Diamond: the “Koh-i-Noor”

Diamond References before 1800

Nicols on Diamonds (1652). (Sinkankas wrote “landmark gemology”; “attempt to scheme of classification”, “large section on Diamonds” , “gem enhancements which are still pertinent today”.
Samuel Chapuzeau on Diamonds (1667) He reduces the number of “hear-say” localities of Diamonds to 5 in total in the “East Indies” including the famous mines of Golkonda.
Robert Boyle’s Experiments on Diamonds (1664)
Theophrastus on diamonds (as gemstone and as carving tool) in “History of Stones” (315 BC)
Georg Agricola (considered the “father of Mineralogy”) wrote “De Natura Fosslium, diamond chapter (1655)
Al-Biruni (973 – 1048) one of Islam’s foremost scientists on Diamonds
Diamonds Mines Borneo Indonesia
Edwin Streeter on Borneo Diamond Mines
Tavernier travelled to Borneo and writes about Diamond Mines

Diamond Lore and Superstition

In the 1500’s it was believed in India that Diamond dust was a poison (and read how it was proven not to be !) whereas in Europe it was believed Diamonds protected against the plague (and read the hilarious reasons why !)

FAMOUS DIAMONDS

Famous Diamonds Overview works

Famous Diamonds Review Works:
The Classic: Edwin Streeters’s Great (Famous) Diamonds of the World
Mrs. Orpen wrote a standard work with additional Stories about Famous Diamonds
Go here for short summaries on “Famous Diamonds” (see table of contents of this book)

Koh-I-Noor

Several writers have a chapter on the “Koh-i-Noor”: Short Overview, Streeter and Orpen
Famous French traveller (who brought back the Hope Diamond) Tavernier wrote about the “Koh-I-Noor
Famous Indian Moghul Babur writes about the Great Diamond: the “Koh-i-Noor”

Hope Diamond

Hope Diamond: Streeter who supposedly bought part of the original Tavernier Blue diamond, that together with another stone in Geneva would and the Hope diamond would add up to the original blue diamond that was sold to Louis IX by Tavernier.
Also Orpen and Hershey ‘s short factsheet
Kunz on the sale of the Hope to Frankel

List of Famous Diamonds

Braganza Diamond
Nizam Diamond
Matan Diamond
Great Mogul Diamond
Stewart Diamond
Star of the South Diamond
Du Toit I Diamond
Great Table Diamond
Regent Diamond
Jagersfontijn Diamond
Orlof Diamond

Cullinan Diamond

When was the Cullinan Diamond found ? How was it cut ? Read the whole Cullinan Diamond history here.
Photo Uncut Cullinan
Photo 9 largest cut stones

DIAMOND MINING:

Africa Diamond Mining — Other

1911 Belgian Kongo, included colored Diamonds

Diamond Mining — India

Streeter on India
Geologist Val. Ball on Diamond Mines
Catelle on Indian Diamonds
Tavernier on Golconda Diamond Mines

Diamond Mining — Borneo Indonesia

Edwin Streeter on Borneo Diamond Mines
Tavernier travelled to Borneo and writes about Diamond Mines

List of Diamond Mines

Wikipedia’s list of diamond mines in the world.

Diamond Mining — South Africa

Gardner Williams was a General Manager of De Beers. His 1000+ page epic work extensively describes the history of South Africa, its diamond mines, mining, cultures, towns and work conditions.
Diamond Mines of South Africa Vol. I
Diamond Mines of South Africa Vol. II
Early article on Diamond Matrix, Kimberlite
Wikipedia on the Cullinan Mine, the Koffiefonteyn Mine and the Kimberley Mine.
Catelle also dedicated a large chapter to “South African Diamonds” in his classic on Diamonds.
Famous British jeweler Edwin Streeter (who competed with the Rothschildts for the rights of the famous Burma Ruby mines) extensively wrote about Diamonds in South Africa as well.
More recent history in Hershey’s Book of the Diamonds

Diamond Mining — Brazil

Brazilian Diamonds Overview

Diamond Mining — Arkansas USA

Arkansas Diamond Mine
Arkansas Diamond Mine USGS 1908

Other gemstone guides:

As provided and validated by various gemmological organizations, laboratories and the World Jewelry Confederation CIBJO