4 C’s

Diamonds, by nature of their unique characteristics, can be evaluated much more precisely than other gems. Their extreme hardness allows ...
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3rd Century, Roman "Pointed" Diamond Ring. © The Trustees of the British Museum.

A History Of Diamond Cutting

This article gives an overview of the history of diamond cutting. For detailed descriptions of the different diamond cuts see ...
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6.79 Carat French-Cut Diamond, Angeled View.

Adamantine Luster

Adamantine is the term used to describe the luster exhibited by diamonds and gems with a Refractive Index of 1.9 - 2.5. The root word adamant ...
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A contemporary shot of the Agra.

Agra Diamond

Like many historical diamonds, the Agra’s saga is a familiar combination of fact and legend, leaving the reader with the challenging ...
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Shah Jahan ca. 1620

Akbar Shah Diamond

Unfortunately, the history of famous diamonds is not without its list of casualties. In this category are those magnificent stones that somehow ...
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 The term allochromatic is used in reference to gem materials that derive their color from elements that are not an ...
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The Archduke Joseph Diamond

Archduke Joseph Diamond

This stone enjoys the distinction of being the twelfth largest “perfect” diamond in the world. Named for a military man of ...
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Arcot Diamonds Set in a Brooch.


ARCOTS – A Pair of Diamonds These two exceptionally beautiful pear-shaped diamonds began their travels from the Nawab of Arcot ...
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Asscher-Cut Diamond Ring.

Asscher Cut

In 1902 the Dutch diamond cutter Joseph Asscher developed the cut that would carry his name on into the future ...
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Art Deco Baguette Diamond Ring.

Baguette Cut

The baguette cut represents an elongated, rectangular table cut. The modern version, as in the ring on the right, was (re)introduced ...
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Banjarmasin Diamond. Courtesy of the Rijksmuseum, The Netherlands.

Banjarmasin Diamond

One could rightfully call this stone the Rodney Dangerfield of diamonds. Almost from the moment of its discovery, this diamond has ...
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The Beau Sancy.

Beau Sancy

This diamond's name is taken from its first recorded French owner, Nicolas Harlay de Sancy, a fancier of fine gems who ...
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Brilliant-Cut Diamond Ring.

Brilliant Cut

Diamonds as We Know Them When we think of a diamond, most of us will form an image in our ...
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Mid-Nineteenth Century Fuschia Design Diamond Brooch with en Tremblant Stems Suspending Detachable Briolette Cut Diamonds. Photo Courtesy of Christie's.

Briolette Cut

Edwardian Garland Motif Pendant Suspending a Briolette Cut Diamond. Briolettes are drop shaped, multi faceted stones. They are unique in ...
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2008 sketch of the Golden Fleece (of the Color Adornment) Showing the "French Blue" Diamond.

Brunswick Blue

To paraphrase Charles Dickens, this is a tale of two diamonds. Purportedly cut from the same stone that produced the Hope Diamond, ...
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Diamond Bruting Machine - Rounding 2 Diamonds by Grinding them Together as They Spin.


Bruting is a process in diamond cutting that establishes the girdle outline. Once the height and width of the diamond are determined, it is ...
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Carbon is a chemical element on the periodic table. Carbon is the 15th most abundant element in the earth's crust ...
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DefinitionThe ability of a material to split along a certain plane or planes with weak atomic bonding. A crystal structure ...
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Minnie Palmer

Cleveland Diamond

If ever fate has lent a hand in determining the course of a diamond's story, it is this one. Just a ...
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The Nine Most Important Cullinan Diamonds. Top Row: II, I and III. Bottom Row: VI, VIII, IV, V, VII and IX.

Cullinan Diamond

It was the late afternoon of January 25, 1905. Employees at the Premier Diamond Mine in the British African colony ...
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Antique Cushion-Cut Diamond Ring.

Cushion Cut

Cushion cut is a sexy and romantic name for a squarish ("cushionesque") antique brilliant-cut diamond, sometimes referred to as an ...
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Darya-e-Noor Diamond.

Darya-ye-Noor Diamond

Darya-ye-Noor Diamond. Darya-ye-Noor, translating “river of light” or “sea of light”, is the product of an undocumented – but what ...
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Asscher-Cut Diamond Ring.


Diamonds are valued for their incredible brilliance and hardness. Diamonds are chemically pure carbon, identical to the graphite used for ...
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6 Loose Diamonds in Different Cuts.

Diamond Cutting & Grading

Diamond CutsMain Article  Gems & Gemology: The Quarterly Journal of the Gemological Institute of America Diamond Cutting & Grading: Summer 1936, ...
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The Dresden Green Diamond in its Setting.

Dresden Green

The Dresden Green Diamond in its Setting. Labeled as the greatest example of a naturally green colored diamond, the Dresden Green ...
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Emerald-Cut Diamond Ring

Emerald Cut

The Emerald Cut is a rectangular step cut design which means it has horizontal facets which differ in angles of ...
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The Emperor Maximillian Diamond Weighing 39.55 Carats. Photo Courtesy of Christie's.

Emperor Maximilian & Maximilian Diamonds

Although these two diamonds are often spoken about in the same breath, no two stones could be more different – ...
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Empress Eugenie (1853-1871)

Eugénie Diamond

Believed to be of Brazilian origin, this much-traveled diamond has not only changed hands many times, it’s also one of the few ...
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7.41 Carat European-Cut Diamond Drop Earrings

European Cut

Diamonds cut in the later 19th and early 20th-century cutting houses are called 'Old European Cuts', a term which indicates ...
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69.68 ct. Excelsior I, G-VS2. Photo Courtesy of

Excelsior Diamond

June 30, 1893, appeared to be just another day at the Jagersfontein Mine in South Africa until a worker, performing ...
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The Crown is Comprised of the Table, Main, Star and Girdle Facets.


Definition A facet is a flat, planar surface ground onto a gemstone or diamond. Facets can be produced in many shapes and sizes ...
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Synthetic Rutile Showing a High Amount of Dispersion. Image courtesy of Jeffrey Hunt.


Synthetic Rutile Showing a High Amount of Dispersion. Image Courtesy of Jeffrey HuntA popular term used to describe the flashes ...
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A Replica of the Florentine Diamond.

Florentine Diamond

Studying the history of this diamond is an exercise that will challenge even the most talented detective. Almost everything about this diamond’s ...
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6.79 Carat French-Cut Diamond, Top View.

French Cut

Art Deco French-Cut Diamond Straightline Bracelet.The term "French Cut" does not refer to the country of origin, rather It refers ...
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Gadolinium Gallium Garnet aka GGG


Gadolinium Gallium Garnet. A synthetic gemstone used as an early diamond substitute. GGG is manufactured by the Czochralski method and ...
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Crown, Girdle, Pavilion


Crown, Girdle, PavilionThe band on a faceted stone, around the widest circumference, which creates the separation of the crown and ...
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Golden Jubilee Diamond.

Golden Jubilee

If you record size as the number one trait in judging the importance of a diamond then this stone would top your ...
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Early Drawing of the Great Mogul Diamond.

Great Mogul Diamond

This is the kind of story that would make a great Indiana Jones movie – solving the mystery of the ...
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Warren Hastings

Hastings Diamond

If ever there was a famous diamond named for a certified scoundrel, it’s the Hastings Diamond. Using this gem as a tool ...
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Swedish Heart-Shaped Diamond Ring.

Heart Shape

Heart-Shaped Diamonds.Main Article   ...
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Portrait of Queen Wilhelmina (1898)

Holland Diamond (Stuart)

This is the story of a diamond whose beginnings and early history are unknown, a casualty of lost or poor documentation. It ...
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The Hope diamond. Image Courtesy of The Smithsonian Institute.

Hope Diamond

Thievery, royalty, revolution, gambling, eccentricity, mystery and curses are all part of the spectacular and storied past that is the ...
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Hortensia Diamond, 20.53 Carats, Pink.

Hortensia Diamond

It seems each famous diamond has some kind of mystery attached to it, usually involving the location of its discovery, the identity ...
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HPHT Diamond Diagram.


HPHT treatment stands for high pressure - high-temperature treatment. This method of diamond enhancement, invented in the late 1960's, started to be applied commercially ...
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Idols-Eye Diamond.

Idol’s Eye Diamond

Like many of its contemporaries, the Idol’s Eye diamond possesses an early history that combines a rich mixture of legend, myth, mystery, ...
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Kazanjian Red Diamond. ©Tino Hammid, Los Angeles

Kazanjian Red

Kazanjian Red Diamond.©Tino Hammid, Los AngelesThis stone belongs to an extremely small – and select - group of diamonds. It ...
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The Koh-i-noor Set in the Coronation Crown for Queen Mary (Wife of King George VI) Mother of Queen Elizabeth II. (Reuters Photo)

Koh-i-Noor Diamond

The Fabled Koh-i-Noor Diamond Like other famous gems, the Koh-i-Noor diamond has its share of mystery, intrigue, and curses attached to its ...
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Large Scale Synthetic Star Ruby and Platinum Diamond Ring

Laboratory Grown

Gemstones that are produced by man are generally termed "laboratory grown". These can be synthetics or other inorganic minerals that have no ...
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Laser Drilled Diamond.

Laser Drilling

Laser Drilled Diamond. The Drill Channels you See are Not All Individual Channels, for the Most Part, They are Reflections.Image ...
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Louis II de Bourbon aka le Grand Condé

Le Grand Condé

Louis II de Bourbon - aka le Grand Condé If there was an award for the most gaps in a ...
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Art Deco Lozenge Shape Diamond and Sapphire Ring.

Lozenge Shape

A lozenge-shaped diamond is one that is rhomboid in outline. This geometric outline is also known as "diamond" shaped, but ...
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Natural Diamond Macle, by Rob Lavinsky, – CC-BY-SA-3.0


Diamond Macle.Macle is a gemological term referring to triangular shaped twinned crystals of diamond rough. Macles are usually quite flat but are ...
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Marquise-Cut Diamond.

Marquise Cut

The Marquise Cut (a.k.a. the Navette Cut after the Latin 'navalis', meaning boat-shaped) can be traced back to Paris around ...
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The Mazarin I: the Sancy


This diamond story is an unusual one. In most instances, a name is attached to one or perhaps two diamonds but in ...
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Pink, Yellow and Light Brown Diamond Melée. Photo Courtesy of Bonhams.


The term melée is used to indicate very small cut stones, usually used as side stones around a bigger center ...
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Mirror of Portugal

Owners of this stone ranged from the tenacious to the hapless, the romantic to the cunning. This diamond helped persuade a Queen ...
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Mounting on Moor

"Mounting on moor" refers to the tinting of diamonds on the pavilion to create a more uniform color and to hide dark ...
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Around the Same Time Diamond Cutting Began in Europe the Indians Started Fashioning Diamonds. Who Influenced Who Here Isn't Clear but it is a Fact that the Designs Produced Differ a Lot From Each Other. The Best Known Indian Cut is the Mughal Cut, Accurately Described by J.B. Tavernier in his Book 'Six Voyages'.

Mughal Cut

Around the Same Time, Diamond Cutting Began in Europe the Indians Started Fashioning Diamonds. Who Influenced Who Here Isn't Clear ...
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1,109-Carat Diamond, Lesedi La Rona, from the Lucara Mine, Botswana. Photo Courtesy of the New York Times.


A Naif is the outer surface of an unpolished and uncut diamond. When cutting a diamond a small bit of this ...
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A Side View 13a, Top View 13b, and Bottom View 13c of the Nassak Diamond as of 1904


This particular stone could be the reason for the cliché “diamond in the rough.” During its early history, this stone ...
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Trigons on the Face of a Natural Diamond. Photo Courtesy of Gump Stump, Wikipedia.


A natural is a bit of the naif or outer skin of a diamond that remains after cutting and polishing. A natural on ...
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Victorian Navette Shaped Pearl and Diamond Ring.


Navette is another term to describe a marquise shaped gemstone or jewelry contour. Pointed at both ends with equally curved sides, the ...
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The Orlov diamond in the Russian Imperial Sceptre Image courtesy of Elkan Weinberg.

Orlov Diamond

Perhaps there is no famous diamond with a more disputed history than that of the Orlov. Through the passage of ...
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Oval Fancy Deep Brownish Yellowish Orange. Diamond with Two Pair of Marquise-Cut Side Stones.

Oval Shape

Oval Diamond Three Stone Ring.Main Article   ...
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Antique French Enamel and Paste Silver Gilt Necklace.


Example of a Paste Sapphire Imitation. Notice the Rounded Facet Edges Which Tell Us the Stone Wasn't Cut, but Cast ...
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Vauxhall Paste Ring. Circa 17th Century. Photo Courtesy of the Museum of London.

Paste Jewelry

Paste jewelry is costume jewelry, mainly set with colored and/or colorless glass. During the eighteenth century with the vogue for faceted gems and diamonds, the demand ...
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Crown, Girdle, Pavilion


Crown, Girdle, Pavilion.The pavilion is the part of a gemstone below the girdle ...
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Pear-Shaped Diamond.

Pear Shape

Pear-shape refers to the shape of a faceted gemstone that comes to a point at one end and is rounded at the opposite ...
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Louis-Jean Marie de Bourbon, (16 November, 1725 – 4 March, 1793)


It is a diamond not as well known as its contemporaries. It is somewhat of an anomaly, for through its rich French ...
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George Pigot (4 March 1719 – 11 May 1777)

Pigot Diamond

With apologies to Charles Dickens, this diamond’s story could be entitled the “Tale of Two Diamonds” for its history diverges ...
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Tortoiseshell Pique Pin.


Pique is a technique in which gold or silver is inlaid in tortoiseshell and sometimes ivory or mother-of-pearl. Another meaning is the French word for an inclusion in a diamond. Victorian Pique Brooch ...
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3rd Century, Roman "Pointed" Diamond Ring. © The Trustees of the British Museum.

Point Cut

Natural PointsA Natural Octahedronby Rob Lavinsky, – CC-BY-SA-3.0 Diamonds crystallize in various forms of which the octahedral and dodecahedral ...
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Princess Cut

Being one of the more modern diamond cuts the Princess Cut is often indicated as being a square brilliant but this is ...
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Queen of Holland Diamond. Photo Courtesy of Mouawad.

Queen of Holland

As diamonds go this one is pretty impressive, not only because of its size but because of its renowned quality ...
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Radiant-Cut Diamond.

Radiant Cut

Radiant-Cut Diamond.Main Article   ...
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Regent Diamond.

Regent Diamond

This magnificent gem has generated enough fodder to churn out a series of pulp fiction novels. Its travel through history is intertwined ...
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French Antique Silver, Enamel and Paste Necklace


Rhinestone is the name given to rock crystal which is faceted to imitate diamond. It is also a name for ...
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Georgian Floral Motif Diamond Engagement Ring.

Rose Cut

Rose-Cut Diamonds: Their Beauty and AllureEarly "diamond cuts" were essentially diamonds altered with only minor changes and a light polishing before being ...
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5 Petal Rosette Composed of Diamonds Cut to Form this Shape.


Rosettes are floral depictions built up out of several diamonds. They were used to make the most out of small ...
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Sancy Diamond Part of the Crown Jewels of France on Display at the Louvre.

Sancy Diamond

Sancy Diamond - Part of the Crown Jewels of France on Display at the Louvre.Diamonds tend to be described in such ...
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Round Brilliant-Cut Exhibiting Scintillation.


Scintillation is the term that describes the flashes of light reflected off the facets of a gemstone as it moves. Victorian Cluster Ring with ...
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A Stamp (From the Former Soviet Union) Depicting the Shah Diamond.

Shah Diamond

Imagine a diamond where the reader is not faced with the challenge of trying to separate fact from fiction when researching ...
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Shah Jahan Diamond. Photo Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Resides in the al-Sabah Collection, Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah, Kuwait.

Shah Jahan Table-Cut

By any gemological standard, the Shah Jahan Table-Cut Diamond is one impressive stone. Like many of its contemporaries, this diamond has gone ...
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Shield Cut

Shield Cut

The term shield cut, as suggested by Tillander, indicates all historical triangular cuts. The basic blueprint comes from half an ...
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A New Single Cut.

Single Cut

Old Single Cut An Old Single Cut; a Square Table Cut with Faceted Corners.The Old Single Cut is a variation ...
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Specific Gravity

Specific Gravity is the ratio of the weight of a substance to the weight of an equal volume of water ...
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Swiss Cut

Swiss Cut

Swiss cut diamonds are the late 19th-century predecessor to the 20th century Single Cut. Their crowns are built up out of a table facet, ...
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Synthetic Diamonds In the Lab.

Synthetic Diamond

Video Presentation on Diamond SynthesisGems & Gemology: The Quarterly Journal of the Gemological Institute of America. Synthetic Diamond: March-April 1935, Synthetic ...
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Art Deco Synthetic Cabochon Sapphire Ring

Synthetic Gemstone

Synthetic gemstones are artificially created gemstones that have the same chemical build up as their natural counterparts. They therefore harbour the same ...
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Table Cut

The term 'table cut' is used to indicate all types of cuts that have a table facet. Cuts that fall ...
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The Crown is Comprised of the Table, Main, Star and Girdle Facets.

Table Facet

The Crown is Comprised of the Table, Main, Star and Girdle Facets.The table is the largest facet on the crown of a gemstone. This horizontal ...
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68.09 ct. Taylor-Burton Diamond, Suspended from an Oscar Heyman & Bros. Necklace. Currently Owned by Mouawad.

Taylor-Burton Diamond

68.09 ct. Taylor-Burton Diamond, Suspended from an Oscar Heyman & Bros. Necklace. Currently Owned by Mouawad. This diamond is a stone whose ...
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Growth process in which a twin crystal is produced. Often seen as fine parallel lines ...
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Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond.


The Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond.Image Courtesy of Christie's Images, 2008 It’s that rare diamond that could match its color to the blue-blood of its ...
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Yttrium Aluminum Garnet - YAG


Yttrium Aluminum Garnet - YAG ...
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