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■ ^ The ONLY-^ 

Or> Dia^iorvds laThc Worlds 






A PRACTICAL hand book of references, containing definit- 
ions of lapidary’s terms, colors, characteristics, localities 
of precious gems, methods of mining, etc. 

Showing in a tabulated form, the chemical composition, crys¬ 
tallography, lustre, hardness and describing methods of testing, 
mineralogical characteristics and a brief history of the famous 
diamonds of the world, including the zodiacal signs of precious 
gems, etc. 

A new light on an old subject, tabulated, concise, authorita¬ 
tive. A handy manual for every person interested in diamonds. 






Tiyr Y idea in compiling this little book is to make it a “Self- 
Educational * 1 work for the General Public, as well as 
for the jewelers 3 dealers, etc. There are many people in all 
parts of the world who are purchasing diamonds every day, who 
know very little* and some, absolutely nothing about these 
gems; one reason for this, dealers not being over anxious to 
educate the public on diamonds, the other reason is, it is almost 
impossible to get any information, in the form of a book, that is 
easily understood and having all the points one should know 
without having to make a long study to be able to judge for 
themselves. The diamond is in a class all by itself. 

While there are some very fine works put up for the jeweler, 
expert, or diamond cutter, these are either on the cutting, history , 
crystallograph}^ or mining, and do not take in the diamond in 
general; hence I have published this book, taking in all these 
subjects in a condensed form, with the idea that it will be a 
condensed book of facts and essential points one should know 
on the diamond. 

It is not the authors intention to give much of a history on 
diamonds in this work, but rather the actual diamond, its cut¬ 
tings, colors, imperfections and the most important points of 
these gems. 

There are some deceitful practices used in selling diamonds, 
by a few unreliable dealers, and as the manufacturing of better 


imitations is making it harder to tell a diamond without scientific 
tests and knowledge, a purchaser should have all of the essential 
points on these gems, in order to make a good selection. 

If the reader will carefully follow this book through from be¬ 
ginning to the end, you can rely on your own judgment and 
will not have to take the 1 ‘other fellow’s** word for what you 
are getting. 

Yours very truly, 

(Klpntider $3. <£tj tshx. 

Diamond Expert. 



Characteristics and Localities of the Diamond , ,11 

Section of Diamond Bearing Ground , , 14 

Diamond Mining , * . * . -15 

Crystalline Form of Diamonds , , - 17 

Diamond Cutting and Finishing , , . ,18 

The Lapidary’s Work-Shop , . , 21 

Lapidary’s Terms - , , . * ,25 

Various Colors of Diamonds . . . 26 


A Few Rare Colors . . . , . ,28 

Weights and Measurments * , , 29 

The Diamond Guage 30 

The Refractometer , , * . . , 31 

Imperfections , , ■ * * * ,32 


Proportions and Depths - . - , 36 

The Facets 37 

Refraction and Double Refraction of Perfect and Imperfect 

Proportioned Diamonds . - , * • 38 




Dead Weight ...... 

The Artificial Coloring of Diamonds 
The Heal Value of the Diamond 
The Care of a Diamond . 

How to Clean Diamonds . 

Duties on Diamonds and Imitations 

The Zodiacal Signs of Precious Gems 

Birth Stones ...... 

European Crowns ..... 

A Brief History of the World’s Famous Diamonds 
The Regent or Pitt 

The Shah. 

The Mattan .... 

The Orloff ..... 

The Jagersfontein Excelsior 

The Star of the South 

The Hope Blue Diamond 

The Great Mogul . . * , 

The Koh-i-noor .... 

The Cullinan .... 

* m 


Characteristics and Localities of the Diamond. 

Diamonds are natural carbon, or a pure crystalline form of 
Icarbon, of which bort is the imperfect and carbonado the crypto, 
supposed to have been crystallized by the heat of the earth or of 
a volcanic origin. Partly crystallized particles of carbon have 
been found in the ground where meteors have fallen; this show¬ 
ing that intense heat will crystallize carbon. It is supposed in the 
iformation of the earth that particles of carbon, being subjected 
to a very high degree of heat, became crystallized, turning from 
!a black color to a white crystalline form of carbon, or a diamond. 
The various colors of diamonds are caused by the different de¬ 
grees of heat, to which the stone has been exposed. Hence a 
strata of ground bearing a yellow or brown grade of diamonds, 
happened to be in a different zone of heat than one lying next to 
it and bearing a white grade. 

Diamonds are found in the blue ground or clay which is found 
in great quantities in South Africa, but is not limited alone here, 
and has been found in the German Colonies in Southwest Africa, 
which, so far, have failed to reveal any diamonds. Many years 
are required and spent in finding of the blue ground, bearing 
diamonds. However, the Germans in their African Colonies 




have established diamond mines and produce a good quality of 

In May, 1908, a diamond was found east of the Luderitz Bay! 
and after a thorough search more stones were found in this same 
locality. The diamond here occurs in soil consisting of from 70 
to 80 per cent red dune sand and from 20 to 30 per cent fine col¬ 
ored gravel. It seems the diamond is dependent upon this colored 
gravel, for wherever this is absent, there are no diamonds found. 

The depth of the diamond bearing deposits vary from six 
inches to one foot About 650 carats are taken out daily from 
this locality, and about 500,000 carats are mined every year. The 
stones are very small here, but their quality is excellent. One of 
the oldest mines was in Borneo; in the year 1738 diamonds to the 
value of two millions three hundred thousand dollars were mined 
in this locality. 

A diamond was found at Kimberly in 1905 with a small garnet 
in it. This stone weighed about 114 carats, and the garnet was 
estimated to weigh about half a carat. This tends to support the 
old theory that diamonds grow like onions, layer by layer. 

The first stones in Brazil were found in the year 1729. Bra¬ 
zilian diamonds are classed as the best stones ever mined. The 
famous “blue white” grade of diamonds come from this locality. 
The largest diamond ever found in Brazil weighed 254J^ carats 
in the rough. This is the famous “Star of the South.” 

So rare are diamonds that only one carat of diamonds is found 
in every 39,999 pounds of the blue ground, and it takes about 
2,000 carats to make a pound. This means that only one pound 
of rough diamonds is secured from every 60,000,000 pounds of 



;blue ground bearing diamonds. This portion is gradually becom¬ 
ing smaller as the mines increase in depth. Of the diamonds 
[mined, weighing less than one-half a carat, only six per cent can 
:be cut so as to be “flawless and perfect.” About sixty per cent 
.are thin flat stones, or are broken, cracked or full of carbon spots 
and other imperfections. The majority of this class are split and 
made into little stones; the balance are fit for mechanical pur¬ 
poses only, or for pounding into dust with which to grind and 
ipolish other diamonds. 

Some of the more important diamond districts in Brazil were 
Diamantina, Mogul, Grao, Bagagem, Yoyax and Matto Grosso, 
[of which the combined productions amounted to about 40,000 
carats in the year 1900, At present South Africa is the world's 
; greatest diamond field, and supplies nine-tenths of the cornmer- 
i dal world. The four most important mines are near Kimberly, 
namely: The Kimberly, The De Beers, The Bultfontein, and the 
Wesselton. The first diamond in South Africa was found in 
1867, and had a weight of about 21 carats. 

The mineral in which the diamond occurs in South Africa is 
known as the blue ground or blue clay, and consists of a breccia 
filled with volcanic mud from below. These pipes or funnels 
have a diameter of about one thousand yards, and in the blue 
ground which they contain the diamond is found in company 
with the garnet, augite, other stones and minerals. 

The Jagersfontein mine, of the Orange Free State, in the year 
1909 yielded rough diamonds to the value of $1,778,495. The 
i Premier mine in 1909 produced diamonds to the value of $5,278,- 
! 348 (not including the “Cullman Diamond”), in the rough, and 











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since the discovery of this famous mine, is credited with a total 
valued production of about $24,000,000. 

The degrees of hardness in the diamond may be classified as 
follows: crystalline hardness, 10 specific gravity 3.48 to 3.52; car¬ 
bonado hardness, 3.14 to 3.41. Diamonds will burn in oxygen 
under an intense heat to a form of dioxide carbon, without 

Diamonds were first discovered in India, and furnished the sole 
supply of the world until the Portuguese found them in Brazil 
in the year 1728. 

These diamond bearing mines are really extinct craters or vol¬ 
canoes, and are filled with this blue ground, which is nothing 
more nor less than lava. These craters are large holes in the solid 
rock. The lava has at one time been forced up from the interior 
of the earth. 

Pure steel contains myriads of microscopic diamonds or carbon 
crystals. The diamond acquires positive electricity by friction 
and is a non-conductor of electricity; infusible but volatilized by 
long-continued heat; transparent and translucent. 

Diamond Mining. 

By the use of automatic machinery, the blue ground is dumped 
on a depositing floor and exposed to the sun and rain, which dis¬ 
integrates same. This is also done sometimes by the use of auto- 



matic machinery instead of disintegrating in the air. One of the 
modern methods of separating diamonds is known as the “Grease 
Separator” method, which has proven so valuable and economical 
that this system has been installed with considerable success in 
many of the up-to-date mines. This consists of various tables 
made of corrugated iron, with transverse grooves about three- 
eighths of an inch deep, which are continually vibrating. The 
grooves are filled with tallow, and as the muddy water passes 
over them, the diamonds adhere to the grease. At intervals the 
tables are cleaned with rubber scrapers, the grease is melted, to 
be used over again, aifd the diamonds, having been precipitated 
to the bottoms of the kettles, are cleaned and assorted. 

Sometimes the blue ground is put into a washing machine, 
where the diamonds are separated and sifted through various 
sizes of sieves by forcing water over them, the force of the water 
automatically dropping the diamonds through these sieves. After 
the stones are collected from this machine, they are sent to a 
large assorting room, where they are graded and classified in the 
rough as to their shape, weight, size, colors, etc. 

Crystalline form of diamonds, showing the diamond in the 
rough, coming from the ground in their natural state and after 
being ran through the various washing machines in this manner 
of mining. They are sent in this form to the diamond cutters, 
where they are ground, polished and finished for the market, 
The diamond is one of the most perfectly crystallized of minerals, 
and almost every single stone is bounded by more or less regular 
faces, and are generally found to be formed into cube, octahedron, 
rhombic, dodecahedron, tetrahedron and hexa-octahedron shapes. 



This valuable blue ground is protected by an immense in- 
closure having high fences around it, and is also roofed over with 
a fine wire netting. Sometimes this is charged heavily by elec¬ 
tricity, to prevent the natives at work in the inside from throw¬ 
ing the diamonds to accomplices on the outside. The natives who 
are employed in the mines are not allowed at any time outside 
this enclosure until their term of contract has expired, when they 
are stripped naked and, after being held for a few days, are 
allowed to depart. They have been known to swallow the smaller 

Diamond Cutting and Finishing. 

The art of cutting stones is quite old, in fact, it is thought to 
have been first practiced in India, but it is also reported that there 
was a diamond cutter in Nuremberg, Germany, about the four¬ 
teenth century. In the fifteenth century, diamond cutters were 
well known in France, who, by a different combination of the 
facets, obtained a peculiar effect for each individual stone, thus 
producing the Brilliant, Rose, Marquis, Pear Shape, and other 
fancy cuts. 

The rough native form of crystalline diamonds has little or no 
brilliancy, and until after the stone is formed and shaped by the 
cutter’s hands, it does not commence to show any powers of re¬ 
fraction. This brilliancy can be increased by the addition of a 
greater number of facets, in other words, a diamond’s refractory 
powers can be increased by finer cutting of the angles or facets 
on the prism. The cuttings, proportions, shape and color of the 


Brilliant cut with 

stone are the factors which produce the actual commercial value 
of the cut diamond when finished. 

Almost all diamonds of the present time are cut round or 
“Brilliant,” this being the most desirable cut today, but which, in 
many cases, necessitates a sacrifice of size and brilliancy. This 
brilliant cut was first produced with the crown 
of the stone cut considerably higher than the 
present flat crown; these were called “The Old 
Mine Cut,” but cutters of the present time are 
shaping the upper half of the diamond more 
shallow, making the table of the stone, which is 
a regular octagon, much larger in proportion. 

A perfect Brilliant cut consists of 58 facets, 32 
facets above the girdle and 25 facets on the pavilion, and the 
table. This brilliant cut is sometimes improved by the addition 
of 8 star facets up to 64. 

The Twentieth Century Brilliant Rose cut consists of 88 facets, 
but this is now cut with only 80 facets. The Marquise Brilliant 
cut has 72 facets, the Crowned Rose cut is ap¬ 
plied to small diamonds and consists of 24 

A well-proportioned rose cut is one-half its 
diameter in thickness. Some other cuts are 
The Huitapan or double cut, the 24 facets or 
single brilliant, the Cabachon or Carbuncle cut, 
which is applied to oval-shaped stones having 
a flat or slightly curved base, and is either flat, convex, or double 
convex, that is arched. It may be on both sides or only on one. 

Brilliant cut with Star 
Facets in place 
ol the Table 

i 1 A,UH 



This cut is particularly applied to semi-transparent gems, such 
as the opal, moonstone, etc. There are three 
forms of this cut, the single, double, and mixed 
cabachons cuts. The Trap or Step cut and the 
Table cut are both applied to stones having a 
flat surface. The Rose cut is bounded on the 
under side by one single large face, which 
forms the base for the whole stone, the lower 
portion being entirely absent, forming a pyram¬ 
idal shape. The facets are cut into a multiple of six, and are 
arranged in groups of two, the Star facets and the Cross facets 
only, in this form of cutting, 

A diamond possessing great bril¬ 
liancy can be spoiled by imperfect cut¬ 
ting. Showing the top view of an im¬ 
perfect stone, one can readily see at a 
glance that this is an imperfect cut, 
and while this stone may be of a good 
color and of the right proportions, this 
off-cutting will greatly decrease the 
value of the gem, but it can be mount¬ 
ed so that this will not show unless 
upon a close examination of the set¬ 

No. I. Skill Facets. No. 4. Templets or Bezils, 

No, 2. Quoins or Lozenges. No, 5* Cross or Skew Facets. 

No. 3. Star Facets. 

A diamond chip is an uncut piece, chipped or cut from a larger 
stone, but small stones may be cut the same as regular stones. 

Imperfect Cutting. 



so do not confuse the “chip” with the small cut diamond. The 
name “melee” is applied to the smaller cut stones; these are gen¬ 
erally used to fill hi around larger stones for a border, and are 
mostly imperfect or diamond chips, A large diamond of good 
color, say, a stone weighing about three carats, may become 
badly nicked or scratched by rough handling, or it may not be 
perfectly cut relative to the edges, etc. On stones of this size 
and grade it wilt pay to have this diamond polished, the nicks 
and scratches taken out of it, and a nice fine polish ground on 
the facets, or if the girdle is roughly finished in places, as a great 
many stones are turned out, in order to get the weight, a little 
attention given to this point by some first-class lapidary, which 
can be done at a very small cost, will give the stone considerable 
more life. 

The Lapidary's Work-Shop. 

What would impress a visitor most forcibly upon entering a 
modern lapidary's work-shop is the extreme simplicity and almost 
primitiveness of the tools and instruments in use. 

This is the keynote to the art of cutting and polishing the dia¬ 
mond, for the work is essentially a matter of skill and judgment. 
In the cutting and polishing of the diamond, the most delicate 
manipulation is required, as the least particle taken off needlessly, 
or the slightest error in judgment, may mean considerable dimi¬ 
nution in the value of the stone. To a first-class diamond cutter, 
every stone is an individual study. The polishing of a diamond 
is a laborious process, requiring the greatest accuracy. 

Diamonds are taken from the mines in all sorts of shapes 



and sizes. The first process in cutting a stone is to reduce the 
rough native form of crystalline diamonds to an eight-sided 
figure, or an “octahedron,” This is done by the process of 
cleaving, the rough sides being split away by hand with a knife¬ 
like instrument called a “cleaver,” The octahedron is now ce¬ 
mented into the end of a revolving spindle and, as it revolves, 
another diamond is held so that the comers of the revolving 
stone touches it 

The stone on the spindle gradually is shaped round. This 
process is the “cutting” of a diamond. The process of putting 
on the facets is called the “polishing,” The polisher imbeds 
the diamond into a lead holder or shank, which is done by heat¬ 
ing the lead and inserting the diamond into the molten metal, 
leaving only a small portion exposed. The stone thus held in 
the shank is pressed against the surface of a steel wheel, revolv¬ 
ing horizontally at a speed of 2,500 revolutions per minute. The 
surface of this wheel is covered with a mixture of diamond dust 
and olive oik 

Only one facet can be ground on at a time, and for every facet 
the diamond must be removed from the shank and the lead re¬ 
heated for a new insertion. The first facet ground is the large 
top one, or the table of the diamond, then the eight large facets 
around the edge and eight small facets around the edge of the 
table are now ground on, which divides the eight large facets 
around the girdle of the stone into sixteen smaller ones. 

The top or crown of the diamond is now complete. The bot¬ 
tom of the stone is polished in the same way, but with only 
twenty-five facets in the present round brilliant cut. The dia- 



mond itself does not revolve in the process of polishing the 
facets, but is held firmly in the shank by the lead. 

The ancient way of grinding was a wheel or disk, revolving at 
a high rate of speed, on which the diamond was held by hand 
by the polisher. 

The diamond cutter gets his angles, and so many seconds being 
allowed to each angle or facet, this being timed by a w r atch, he 
first using a coarse diamond dust mixed with olive oil, gradually 
mixing finer and finer, until the polish is obtained which finishes 
the diamond for the market 

The grinding of a large diamond requires from three days to 
a year, according to the hardness and direction of the grain of 
the crystal and how much time the cutter wants to spend on the 
finishing touches of the stone- The cuttings from diamonds are 
saved, the chips or melee, as the smaller stones are called, which, 
being too small for commercial use, are ground into diamond 
dust, which is used to grind and polish other stones; hence 
the saying, “Diamond Cuts Diamond.” 

Besides the general form of cutting, diamonds are sometimes 
cut into a single cut brilliant stone, not having full complement 
of facets, which does not, however, necessitate a lack of bril¬ 
liancy, It is sometimes necessary to divide a rough diamond 
into halves, or to remove a small projecting corner from a large 
stone. This is done by the process of “cleavage,” which is the 
natural tendency of the diamond to divide along certain planes 
parallel to the facets of the octahedron, this being the actual 
grain of the diamond. 



The diamond cleaver must have an extensive knowledge of 
crystallography in order to be successful in his line. There are 
only a few diamond cleavers in the world, and they earn from 
$8,000 to $12,000 per year* 

The wages of men who cut and polish diamonds, skilled labor¬ 
ers of the highest type, run from $40.00 to $200.00 per week* 
There are about 500 members of the “American Diamond Cut¬ 
ters 5 Protective Association/ 5 and they have an iron-clad agree¬ 
ment providing that only sons or brothers of men now at work 
at the trade may be apprenticed to it 

A well-formed diamond loses almost half of its original weight 
in the cutting* Thin cleavage or slice-lrke pieces of diamonds 
are sometimes polished and, with one very large facet on either 
side, surrounded with a few small facets at the edge* 

Almost all of the diamond grinding and cutting is done at 
Amsterdam, Holland; England ranking next* However, Ameri¬ 
cans are getting so that, with the aid of modern machinery, they 
can compete with Eastern countries for skill and cheapness of 



Lapidary's Terms. 

The following represents the technical parts of the cut dia¬ 
mond, as used by the lapidary. 




A—THE TABLE, that plane which is formed by the truncature of the 
upper pyramid. 

B— 1 THE CULBT, or apex of the diamond. 

C —THE PAVILION, or lower half of the diamond from the girdle 
down (meaning tent shape). This forms two-thirds portion of the 

D— THE GIRDLE, or edge of the diamond. 

E—THE BISEL, or Crown, that space which lies between the girdle and 
the table. This amounts to one-third portion of the whole diamond 

F y G—THE FACETS, or angles, which reflect the light on the prism. 

The Table and Culet are regular octagons. 



Various Colors of Diamonds, 

A Tabulated Scale of the various colors of diamonds, relative 
to their commercial value* 

The following classification of colors will give a good idea of 
the various colors of diamonds, and will also determine to a 
great extent the actual value of the stone* The color of the 
diamond being one of its most essential qualifications places the 
gem in its right commercial standing and value. This distinction 
should be very finely drawn, 


Brown stones having a strong brown tinge. These have the lowest 
commercial value. 


Slightly brown, well cut diamonds of this class often appear white, 
especially when mounted or viewed from the surface. A marked 
brown color, however, is revealed on close examining* 


Yellow stones possessing a decided straw color* These are next in 
value to the brown diamond, 


A faint straw color distinguishes diamonds in this division, like those 
slightly brown, when mounted, they are frequently mistaken for a 
white grade of stone, especially in their clearness and brilliancy. 


Commonly called commercial white diamonds. These have a clear white 
color and when perfectly cut they are very brilliant. Although a 
number of unmounted stones will show a variation of colors in this 
grade of crystal, these are frequently sold as “white” and sometimes 



as “pure white*’ or even “blue white” to persons whose eyes are not 
trained to the various colors of diamonds. The word “commercial” 
is used to cover almost any color o£ the diamond and is simply a 
term to “cover a multitude of sins” by unreliable dealers. 

PURE WHITE. (Crystal White.) 

A clear water white* which by many is regarded as blue white. Blue 
is the notable feature of this grade. When mounted or viewed from 
the surface, these stones often show a steel blue tinge. When cor¬ 
rectly proportioned and cut, their brilliancy exceeds any of the lower 

BLUE WHITE. (lagersfontein.) 

These will show a decided blue color under a strong light. In the 
daylight this stone shows the blue tint to a certain extent, but arti¬ 
ficial light will greatly intensify this color. Blue stones of this grade 
are cut from the blue white grade of crystal, generally of the finest 
water, the smaller blue stones coming mostly from the Brazilian 
mines. When light is allowed to pass through them, they will show 
a beautiful dear blue tinge. The greatest brilliancy possible is ob¬ 
tained in this and the following grade of blue-white diamonds. 


These are diamonds of the finest water and can be obtained from 
but a few dealers. To a discriminating buyer, this grade is the most 
attractive. Every stone should be a real gem in color. The finishing 
of this grade of diamonds is given extra care and attention. All 
points are carefully finished in order to get the greatest refraction 
from the diamond possible. This is the deepest shade of blue white 
stones possible to obtain. 




These are very rare. They are the hardest known substance in 
existence and have the specific hardness no other gem has. Their 
brilliancy is not great, but their value lies chiefly in the commercial 
use they are put to in the cutting of other diamonds. 

A Few Rare Colors. 

Fine canary, rich brown, green (Emerald), red or pink, 
orange, opalescent, and a few other unusual colors are sometimes 
found in the diamond, but, as a rule, they are not in demand, and 
their value is placed only on the rarity of these colors, and for this 
reason one should first determine the actual color of the gem in 
comparing one or more diamonds. 

A diamond having a yellow or brown color can be drawn by 
an electric furnace (about 1,200 degrees Centigrade), of great 
heat to almost a pure white color. 

In examining a diamond to ascertain its color, always do so 
in a good light It is impossible to tell the actual color of any 
diamond in the night time under artificial light, as the confusion 
of the colors prevents one from looking through the crystal with¬ 
out absorbing the rays of light the gem is refracting under this 
artificial light. Daylight is the only good light to tell the actual 
color of the gem, and through various scientific tests it has been 
discovered that the NORTHERN light is the only correct light 
for this purpose. 



Weights and Measurements* 

The average size of diamonds*—While this scale will not hold 
accurate in all cases, as a stone may be a deep cut with a small 
surface, ora large top and a very shallow lower portion (a spread 
stone), this will hold true in the average run of good-proportioned 


diamonds. Diamonds were originally weighed by a “Karat” 
seed, which is found in South Africa. This was before the 
coinage of money in ancient times, when shells, teeth, etc., were 
used in place of money. The karat seed being taken for a stand- 



ard of measurement, they are supposed to weigh exactly the 
same, one carat diamond having the weight of one karat seed. 

The Diamond Guage, 

Showing, with the dia¬ 
mond guage, how the top 
and bottom of a diamond 
can be measured while in 
the setting, and with a cal¬ 
culator, the weight of a 
stone in its original mount¬ 
ing can be figured within a 
fraction of a carat, when 
scales for this purpose are 
not available. The calcu¬ 
lator is a scale which is 
used with the guage and 
the weight of the stone is 
figured, not only from its 
dimensions, but from the 
weight of the edges, as a 
diamond having a heavy edge will weigh seven per cent 
heavier than one finished with a fine light edge, and both stones 
being the same breadth and depth. 




The Refractometer, 

"The refractometer is an instrument used in determining the 
actual absorption of light during its passage through the dia¬ 
mond. This instrument is used after the diamond is cut and pol¬ 
ished, on account of the rough diamond being scratched and hav¬ 
ing a broken surface and having little refractory powers until 
after it is cut and polished* 

"A characteristic of the transparent diamond is the extent to 
which a ray of light is refracted upon entering and leaving the 
gem. It would never do to contemplate cutting a diamond into 
a prism and measuring the refraction and double refraction of 
light in the usual way, hence the mode of procedure is to select 
two facets which form suitable angles, and then carefully paint 
over the remaining parts of the diamond; the ray of light can 
then be traced through these two facets and by this means the 
refraction and double refraction of the diamond may be meas¬ 

“The refractometer consists of an cye-piece containing a gradu¬ 
ated scale, through which can be seen a hemispherical glass lens* 
The diamond, after previously being moistened by a drop of some 
liquid possessing a higher power of refraction than itself, upon 
the plane surface of the hemisphere; a shadow may then be ob¬ 
served over one-half the field of view, its edge crossing the exact 
refractive index of the stone/' 

By the use of this instrument the actual brilliancy of any dia- 
| mond can be measured to an accuracy. Every diamond is a multi- 



reflector, and light taken in at the table is reflected back by the 
facets at the bottom of the stone; hence the proper angles of 
reflection depend greatly upon the shape and proportions of each 
individual cut diamond. 


In examining a diamond, if possible, use a jeweler’s lens, 
as some imperfections cannot be seen with the naked eye. A lens 
will show you many small flaws that otherwise would not he 

Imperfections:—Showing where to look for flaws and various 
imperfections found in the diamond. There are several of the 
general run of imperfections represented in this cut, as found in 
the diamond as cut at the present time, and the following descrip¬ 
tion will give an idea what each of these flaws will do towards 
diminishing the value of the stone. There are very few “perfect” 
diamonds being turned out from the cutters’ hands today, as 
the importers and jobbers do not care to spend too much time on 
the individual stone, inasmuch as the time spent in finishing a 
perfect diamond represents considerable expenditure on each 
stone, and in finishing a diamond as it should be there is consid¬ 
erable loss of “weight.” 

Some diamonds will be found to contain only one of the fol¬ 
lowing mentioned flaws, while others may contain several of 
them, but few diamonds are free from small imperfections of 
some description. Examine a stone carefully for any of the fol¬ 
lowing described imperfections. 



A Rough edge on the girdle of the diamond. You will notice that 
the edge of the diamond is unevenly finished, the diamond cutter not 
allowing sufficient time to be spent on this point to be nicely and 
properly finished. This stone can be set so that this imperfection in 
the finishing of the girdle will come directly under a prong or bezil 
of the setting and cannot be seen in a mounted diamond. Ft is al¬ 
ways a safe plan in selecting a stone of any great value to examine 
it UNMOUNTED, so that any imperfections of the edge, if any, 
cannot be covered up in any manner by the mounting. The settings 
of some styles of mountings can also cover up the shape of the stone 
so that it will be impossible to fell if the gem is a perfectly round 
cut. A good many cutters allow the diamond to come out in this 
manner in order to make the stone weigh more* This will cast a 
shadow through the center of the stone, causing considerable loss of 



B A scratch on top of the stone, which is liable to be found in this 
place on any diamond, inasmuch as the top or table being the most 
exposed part and while diamonds are the hardest known gem, they 
can be scratched if rubbed against a stone or brick wall, etc,, or any 
other rough handling* A great many persons not being familiar with 
the characteristics of the diamond want to see if it will “cut glass. 1 ' 
Of course a diamond will do this, as its hardness is much greater, 
but this manner of testing is very poor and is apt to take the stone’s 
fine polish off or cause a nick if caught with the grain of any of the 
facets* A diamond will sometimes also be found to be scratched on 
the side of the crown. Always examine thoroughly the stone for 
any of these scratches. However, these can be polished out, but 
if a deep scratch, this will mean that one of the facets will have to 
be ground down, making it out of line with the remaining facets. 

C A small nick in the girdle of the diamond, which may possibly be 
covered by a prong or bezil of the mounting. A diamond is often 
nicked by careless diamond setters on the edge, on account of the 
girdle being brittle or a very light finish. 

D The whole edge of the stone is left finished too heavy, the dia¬ 
mond cutter not spending sufficient time on it to finish it as it should 
be turned out with a nice smooth, fine finish in all places. This is 
a very important and essential point to take into consideration as this 
thick edge will not only mean a dead weight but will cast a shadow 
through all of the facets. (See Dead Weight of Diamonds, page 89.) 

E A feather in the crystal which can probably be seen with the naked 
eye upon a close examination* This gets its name from looking like 
a “feather” and is really a milky flake in the stone which cannot be 
cut away, formed in the crystalling of the carbon* These flaws vary 
in size from a small speck to one that can be readily seen with the 



naked eye. This will give the diamond an appearance of being hazy 
and lifeless, if of arty size. 

F A fracture. These are generally found to be near the edge of the 
stone. A fracture is a diamond having been shivered either by a 
blow or carelessness in cutting or setting. These are found in the 
natural stone as well and will give the stone an appearance of being 
dead and hazy. A fracture of any size will greatly diminish the 
actual value of the stone. Fractures are found in minerals in direc¬ 
tions where no cleavage may be found. These may be classified as 

No. 1. An even fracture, if the faces are on a plane without 

No. 2, An uneven fracture. 

No. 3. Conchordal fractures—showing conchordal surfaces. 

No. 4. Splintry fractures—showing small splintered parts. 

G Carbon spots. These are black specks in the diamond and are 
generally found in the top and lower half of the stone in pairs. How¬ 
ever, one of these specks may be cut out in shaping the rough stone. 
Their size varies from a very fine spot to one that can be readily 
seen without the aid of a strong lens. It is a peculiar fact that these 
carbon spots are generally found in pairs in the diamond. 

A diamond may also contain a bubble, caused by air forming 
in the carbon in crystallizing, or streaks or colors from gray to a 
dark brown. The lower part or culet of a diamond can be cov¬ 
ered up in a mounting, not allowing sufficient light to pass 
through the gem, thus preventing its full strength of brilliancy 
from properly showing. A diamond set in this manner cannot 
refract properly in accordance with the ways that it was origin- 

- V.-'. .• *1 JlWjil, .’‘'.V'- 



ally cut for, as the diamond cutter not only has to figure what 
shape he is going to get out of the rough stone, but how the rays 
of light will refract after the cutting of the prism, and if the 
lower part of the diamond is covered up by the mounting, the 
stone will have a dead and lifeless appearance and will not have 
the refractory powers it should show, as the cutter took this into 
consideration when he figured the cutting of the diamond. 

A stone can also be set in this manner in order to give the back 
of same a flase plating of tin foil or platinum, the backing pro¬ 
tecting it and preventing this being seen. This is sometimes done 
by unreliable dealers to give a dead stone great life and brilliancy. 
(See artificial coloring of diamonds, page 40) 

Proportions and Depths. 

A diamond to be perfectly proportioned should be an ample 
three-fifths (3/5) deep as it is broad. The selection of a dia¬ 
mond should be based upon this fact. A too deeply cut diamond 
has less brilliancy in proportion than one cut too shallow or 
spread. Sometimes a diamond is cut very shallow in order to get 
the greatest possible “spread,” this being all that can be possibly 
cut from the rough stone, and is very deceiving to the eye. This 
gives the stone an appearance of being much heavier than it really 
is. These are called “spread” stones. Many people want a deep 
stone, supposing that the greater the depth the greater its bril¬ 
liancy. This is an error: the diamond will lose its lustre in pro¬ 
portion to this unnecessary and useless depth. A perfect cut 
diamond should be perfectly cut round; if not, the facets do not 
bear the correct relation to one another. 



The Facets. 

The facets on any diamond should be mathematically correct. 
The proportion and relative angles of the facets should be figured 
to a perfection, with the one object in view, development of the 
maximum light refraction, in order to obtain the greatest possible 
refraction from the gem. 

Some cutters, in order to save time, will allow the facets to be 
cut uneven. This will not be noticed unless upon a very close 
examination under a strong lens. If the angles are unevenly cut, 
it will be impossible to get a perfectly round shaped stone. 

In the process of grinding, owing to the fact that the diamond 
lias a different degree of hardness, in different directions, the 
grinding of the facets can be accomplished with comparative ease 
in some directions, while in others the process is extremely long. 
To avoid injury to the stone the diamond must be ground with 
the grain, and for this reason many diamonds are not cut with 
perfection as to the grinding of the facets. 

Showing the edges of the diamond as various diamond cutters 
allow the stone to come out finished. The girdle of any dia¬ 
mond should be evenly finished and nicely polished, smooth in all 
places. However, a great many cutters do not spend sufficient 
time on this point, not giving the proper time and care to the 
edges. There are several reasons for this. Diamonds being sold 
by the weight, it is to the jobber's benefit not to cut away too 
much of the stone, as the finishing of the edge of a diamond 
is a delicate manipulation, requiring much time and accuracy. 





This brings the cost of cutting to a very expensive proposition, 
so the importer would have to get more for the stone* 

These points should be taken into careful consideration in 
the selection of a diamond, and have a great deal to do with de¬ 
termining the actual value of the gem. 

Dead Weight. 

The cut at left shows the dead weight of a 
diamond having too thick an edge. The black 
lines show just how much of this part of the 
diamond is useless and has no brilliancy, just 
as thick as the edge is, just so much of the dia¬ 
mond is useless weight. This will amount to 
considerable weight in a stone of any great 
size. The percentage of dead weight in a dia¬ 
mond, relative to the edges, is seven per cent. 

In comparing two diamonds of the same di¬ 
mensions, one having a coarse and heavy edge, 
and the other a fine light edge, the diamond 
with the coarse heavy edge will weigh just seven per cent more 
than the one with the fine light edge, and both of these stones 
will measure the same regarding the breadth 
and depth of these two stones. 

A diamond having a thick edge will also cast 
a shadow through all of the facets; this will 
not only confuse the colors of the stone, but 
Dead Weight w j|i cause a loss of actual refraction of the 
gem, from 7 to 10 per cent, as measured by the refractometer, 



The color, proportions, imperfections and brilliancy of the 
diamond determine its actual value, not only to the wearer, but 
to the importer and dealer as well, who buy the stones in their 
natural state at the mines before cutting. 

Showing two poorly proportioned stones. The top 
of one is cut high, an Old Mine Cut, and the other 
stone is cut too deep in proportion to its surface. 
The greatest possible brilliancy is obtained from 
a stone with the table two-fifths of the spread (this 
being the diameter through the girdle), and the 
spread almost twice the thickness, measuring the 
diameter from top to the bottom or apex of the 
stone, with the thickness divided one-third above 
the edge and two-thirds below the edge of the 
stone. These proportions will give the greatest spread, and 
the least possible weight. 

The Artificial Coloring of Diamonds. 

A yellow or canary colored diamond can be made to look per¬ 
fectly white or even blue by dipping same into a cup of alcohol 
containing a few drops of India ink, or by applying an indelible 
pencil to the back of the diamond until the right color is obtained. 

This practice is sometimes used by unreliable people to give a 
white grade of stones the desired blue tinge. It is always a safe 
plan to dip a diamond into a solution of muriatic acid before 
examining, as this will eat off any foreign substance or plating 
and artificial coloring the stone may have on the back of it, this 


being invisible to the eye when properly put on, 
not hurt the diamond. 

The artificial coloring of diamonds was first practiced early in 
India. The original method was to dip the rough crystal in a 
solution of coloring matter and after letting same soak thor- 
oughly through the stone, place it into another bath of fixing 
matter, but the diamond being a non-porous substance, this meth¬ 
od is not as successful as on other porous minerals, like the opal, 

The Real Value of The Diamond. 

The diamond's chief value to the wearer lies in its beauty, and 
it is essential that the purchaser take this into consideration. It 
is frequently found that the smaller of two diamonds is prefer¬ 
able, one having the lustre and the other the weight. The small¬ 
er diamond is more desirable at the same price, and for this rea¬ 
son a smaller stone may be the same price as a larger stone, but 
being a very much better grade and having much more brilliancy. 

The splendid individual beauty of the diamond is due in a 
great measure to the universal esteem in which it is held. When 
well-proportioned and polished, its refractory powers are won¬ 
derful, unlike those of any other mineral. 

The endurance of the diamond gives it a place among the sub¬ 
stantial investments of today. Many famous gems have an un¬ 
known age, their exact origin being unknown, and still they re¬ 
tain their original color and brilliancy. The increasing value of 
the diamond is due in a great measure to the growing apprecia¬ 
tion of its beauty and the fact that it is inimitable. 



The French have been working on the crystallizing of carbon 
for some years, in hopes they will eventually be able to manufac¬ 
ture diamonds by intense heat, but so far have failed to produce 
stones of any size with a commercial success. It wili be impos¬ 
sible to manufacture a diamond having the original color and 
brilliancy of a natural diamond, in any size, for some time to 

The following method of manufacturing diamonds has been 
used by the French with considerable success: A crucible is first 
filled with a very soft grade of iron and brought to the point of 
fusion by intense heat, and at the critical point, sugar of carbon 
is immersed into its center. The whole fused mass of metal is 
then plunged into an ice cold water tank, which forms a hard 
shell on the outside. The metal is then taken from the bath and 
exposed to the air. The iron mass remaining molten on the in¬ 
side, expands with considerable force, and as it gradually be¬ 
comes solid, the enclosed carbonic gas which is generated changes 
in the cooling, into minute carbon crystals, but these tiny crystals 
thus formed are too small for commercial use, and as the dia¬ 
monds are dislodged by treating the iron encasement with vari¬ 
ous acids, the stones soon crumble to dust after being exposed to 
the air for a short time. 

The Care of a Diamond. 

A great many people often wash their hands in water and soap 
without first removing their diamonds. If the stone is set in a 
delicate mounting this practice will cause the diamond to become 
loose in time. 

Dip the setting into a cup of alcohol, then drying same in a 
box of jeweler's sawdust, which can be obtained from any jew¬ 
eler at a small cost, shake well in this, and then with a small 
brush remove the particles of sawdust which will ding to the set¬ 
ting. Be very careful not to force the stone in the mounting in 
any way. 

Duties on Diamonds and Imitations. 

Rough or uncut diamonds, not advanced in condition or value 
from their natural state by cleaving, splitting, cutting, or other 

process, including glaziers' and engravers' diamonds, not set, also 
diamond dust and miners' diamonds, are admitted to the United 

States FREE . 

On drilled or undrilled, hut not set or strung, cut and suitable 
for use in the manufacture of jewelry, a duty of TEN per cent 
is imposed. 

On imitations of precious stones, including doublets, artificial 
or so-called synthetic or reconstructed rubies or other precious 
stones, a duty of TWENTY per cent is imposed. 

All articles commonly or commercially known as jewjelry, 
whether set or not set with diamonds, or other gems, or imita¬ 
tions thereof, a duty of SIXTY per cent is imposed. 




Any imitation of the diamond will show more or less a black 
shadow in the center of the table. This shadow is always notice 
able in imitations, especially glass. The culet of the stone can be 
seen very plainly and clearly in a genuine diamond, while in imi¬ 
tations it will show up more or less indistinct and hazy, and a 
black spot will be noticed in the center of the stone. 

The diamond is quite transparent to the X-Ray light, while 
glass or other imitations are opaque. There has never been an 
imitation, with the exception of the diamond doublet, which a 
person with good eyesight could not detect the difference between 
a real stone and a cheap imitation, in a good light. No other 
substance has the wonderful refractory powers of the diamond. 

The name “paste” imitations comes from cementing slice-like 
pieces of diamonds over glass or some other false bottom, with 
an invisible cement paste. In this manner the doublet is made. 
A reconstructed ruby is the fusing of powdered rubies by an in¬ 
tense heat into one solid ruby again. On account of the great 
hardness of the diamond this cannot be done with commercial 

One of the best imitations of the diamond is the white sapphire. 
These are very hard and take a good polish. Their color is blue 
in the natural state. This, however, is drawn out by an intense 
heat to a white crystal. They are cut and sold like regular dia¬ 
monds, but have no great value. 



The Zodiacal Signs of Precious Gems* 

The twelve apostles were represented symbolically by precious 
stones; these were called the “Apostle Gems.” 

























Almost all of the original fiction regarding precious gems comes 
from the European countries, credulity of the Jews* The dia¬ 
mond is a symbol of purity, supposed to preserve the peace and 
prevent storms; also an emblem of innocence, frees from en¬ 
chantment, and denotes repentance* The month of April is its 
birth stone. The Greeks gave the diamond the name of “ada¬ 
mant,” signifying the “indomitable*” The following gems are 
recorded as sympathizing with what the ancients termed the 
“Seven Planets.” 











































The present crown of Great Britain was wrought for Queen 
Victoria, with jewels taken from old crowns and other royal in¬ 
signia. It contained four large pear-shaped pearls, 273 small 
pearls, 147 table cut diamonds, 1,273 rose cut diamonds, 1,363 



brilliant cut diamonds, 5 rubies, 11 emeralds, one large ruby and 
one large sapphire. 

The large ruby has a sadly tragic history. It was at one time 
in the possession of one of the great kings of Granada, whom 
Pedro the Cruel invited to his palace and basely murdered through 

greed of this gem. 
sapphire was ob- 
signet of Edward, 
This crown is the 
the European state 
weighed only two 
ounces. Its value 
600,000. The Pope 
sion two crowns 
000, one of which 
poleon to Pius 
ed the largest em- 
The other was the 
bella of Spain to 
weighs three 
ued at $1,000,000. 

The enormous 
tained from the 
The Conf e s s o r. 
largest of any of 
crowns, and 
pounds, seven 
is placed at $1,- 
has in his posses- 
valued at $2,500,- 
was the gift of Na- 
VII., and contain- 
erald in the world, 
gift of Queen Isa- 
Pius IV. This 
pounds, and is val- 

Indian mythology attributes the discovery of the pearl to Vish¬ 
nu, who searched the seas for many years for these ornaments 
to bedeck his daughter. Among the ancients the pearl was dedi¬ 
cated to Venus and was held sacred to beauty and love. Cali¬ 
gula and Nero ornamented their buskins and strewed the furni¬ 
ture of their salons with pearls. Caligula adorned his horse 
with a collar of pearls, while the Empress Lollia Paulina, wife 



of Caligula, wore a set of ornaments consisting of pearls and 
emeralds valued at $1,488,000. 

The pink Madagascar Beryl is a new gem, and has just reached 
this country. This new beryl is different in color and luster from 
any of the semi-precious stones. The hue is a deliacte pink, and 
the transparent appearance and its hardness give it a peculiar 
sparkling beauty. 

A Brief History of the World’s Famous Diamonds. 

The Regent or Pitt. 

This diamond was found in the year 1701 in the Parteal 
mines on the Kistna, and weighed 410 carats 
in the rough. It was cut round or oval, which 
reduced it to 136 carats in its finished state. 
This diamond shone resplendent in the sword 
hilt of Napoleon on the occasion of his mar¬ 
riage to Josephine, and again in his headgear 
The i 3 e 6 B carats. Pltt ' at his marriage to Marie Louise. 

The Shah. 

This famous diamond appeared in the year 1749, and is of the 
finest water, being a Table cut. When this stone was first found 
it was almost in a perfect state, having no flaws; in fact, three 
of the original facets of the 
stone were used as originally 
found in the cutting. 

The Shah has the distinction 
no other of the famous dia¬ 
monds have, of being engraved 
on- the table of the stone with the following names of three Per- 


sian rulers, who have owned this diamond at various times. 
These appear in the following order in Arabo-Persian characters. 




This diamond has been cut twice, reducing it to 86 carats. 

The Mattan. 

This diamond was found 1 in the year 1787 in* the Landak 
Mines, near the western coast of Borneo, and had a weight of 
367 carats. It has so far remained in its natural state, never 
having been cut. 

The Mattan, 
367 carats. 



The Orloff . 

This diamond is now owned by Russia, and is sometimes called 
the “Sceptre Gem,” It is of a splendid color, having a weight 
of 195 carats. It is said to have been used at one time as an eye 
in an idol in one of the largest Brahmin temples, but was stolen 
from here by a French soldier, after killing three of the native 

Tbe Orloff, 
las cm rati. 

The Jagersfontetn Excelsior , 

This diamond originally weighed 971^4 carats in the rough. 
It appeared in the year 1881, and was supposed to have been 
found in the famous Cape Diamond Fields of South Africa, 
This diamond was recently cut up into ten smaller stones, 
weighing from fourteen to sixty-eight carats, six pear-shaped 
drops and four Marquise Brilliants. More than 50 per cent of 



The Star of the South. 

This diamond was found in the year 1853 by a negro slave in 
the mines of the Providence Minas, Zeraes, Brazil, and weighed 
254^ carats in the rough, but was reduced to 125 carats in the 

The Star of the South. 
125 carats* 

The Hope Blue Diamond * 

This diamond appeared in the year 1792; and had a weight of 
6 7 j / 2 carats in the rough, but was reduced by cleavage and formed 
into two brilliants, the largest stone weighing 44j/£ carats* It 
is often called the “Hoodoo” diamond, on account of the many 
unfortunate accidents that have befallen its owners from the 
first to the last. 

Jean Tavernier, who stole it from a Hindu god, was tom to 
pieces by wild dogs. Marie Antoinette, who begged for it and 
got it, was beheaded. King Louis XIV., who once owned it, was 
also beheaded. Princess de Lambale, who wore it, was slain by 
a French mob. William Fals recut it, and died ruined. His son 
Hendrik stole it from his father, and died a suicide. Henry 
Thomas Hope, who bought it, suffered misfortune for years, and 


Lord Francis Hope, his grandson, became a bankrupt, and also 
lost his wife. Simon Frankel, a New York broker, once bought 
it, and was in financial trouble for years to follow. Jacques Colet, 
another owner, went mad and ended his life, and Prince Ivan 
Kanitovski was killed by revolutionists. 

The Sultan Abdul Hamid bought it, and was dethroned, while 
the man who sold it to him fell from a precipice with his wife 
and child. The man who guarded it for the Sultan was hanged 
by a mob, and Selim Habid, who finally bought it from Abdul 
Hamid, was drowned in the wreck of the Steamer Le Seyne, off 

This diamond is now in the possession of M. Rosenau, of 

Hope Blue Diamond. 
41 1-2 carats. 

The Great Mogul 

The date of origin of The Great Mogul is unknown. It is 
supposed to have been found between the years 1630 and 1650. 
This diamond gets its name from the original owner, “Shaw- 
Jehan,” the founder of the so-called Mogul Dynasty, in Hin¬ 



This famous diamond weighed 7S7 J /2 carats in the rough. It 
w>as supposed to have been originally found in the Kollur Mine, 
on The Kostna. It is very high on one side and it cut "‘Rose 
Cut/ 1 The lower edge is slightly cracked, but its color is of the 
finest water, having a rosy tint. It now weighs 280 carats in its 
finished state. 

The Koh-i-noor. 

(Meaning Mountain of Light.) 

This diamond appeared in the year 1739 and was first owned 
by NADIR SHAH, commonly spoken of as the conqueror of 
the Mogul Empire, 

In 1813 it was traded to the RAJAH of LAHORE, who in 
turn sold it to the East India company about 1851, who presented 
it to Queen Victoria, 



In 1852 this diamond was again re-cut into an improved form 
of the brilliant cut, which reduced it to 106 carats. It has been 
cut three different times. 

The Koh-i-noor is not a perfect gem, as generally supposed; in 
fact, its color is of a slightly greyish tint, and it contains several 

The Koh-i-noor. 
"Iadi* cut . 11 

The Cullinan Diamond. 

Largest Diamond in the World Weighs 3,024 Carats. Valued 

at $45,000,000. 

The Cullinan, or Premier, diamond was found January 26, 
1905, in the Transvaal colony. South Africa, by Fred Wells, 
the manager of the Premier mines. 

It exceeds in size, weight and purity all of the famous dia¬ 
monds ever mined. Its dimensions were four by two and one- 
half inches, and its color is extremely pure and free from flaws; 
in fact, it is said to resemble a piece of clear, transparent ice. 




This diamond was split into three brilliants and presented to King 
Edward shortly before he died 
It is reported that another stone of a pure white flawless 
color has just been found at this same mine, weighing 191 carats. 
It is said to be two inches long and three-fourths of an inch 
thick, tapering from one and a quarter to three-fourths of an 
inch. It is estimated to be worth $150,000 in the rough. 

All European countries own one or more of these famous 
diamonds, with the exception of France, which had theirs stolen 
some time ago. The history of these famous gems reads like a 
tale from the Arabian Nights, Wars have been fought over 
them; empires have fallen; lives been yielded up; intrigue and 
bloodshed have been an inevitable part of their history. 

I* fotit.