Their History, Sources, Qualities and Benefits



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  About Me

  My Books

  Buy My Books

  Book Quizzes

  Q & Answers

  Contact Info


  Other Books
























  About Me

  My Books

  Buy My Books

  Book Quizzes

  Q & Answers

  Contact Info


  Other Books




Diamonds includes chapters on:

  • What a diamond is — its significance from antiquity to the present day and what it represents from different perspectives

  • The process and history of mining diamonds — the locations (both modern and historical) as well as the techniques used to mine diamonds

  • The evolution of diamond cutting — how a diamond is cut and polished and the key cuts and shapes to know

  • Diamond jewelry through the ages — how diamonds have been used in jewelry from pre-Georgian times till today

  • Diamond price factors

  • Man-made diamonds

  • The remarkable benefits of diamonds

Diamonds will be a welcome guide for anyone who has felt their romance and power. It will also be a useful resource for professionals in the jewelry trade. Click here for sample pages.

Author: Renée Newman

Publisher: Firefly Books Ltd.

ISBN-13: 978-0-2281-0331-8

US$49.95, Hardcover with jacket, 272 pages, 380 photos plus maps, diagrams, tables, glossary and index, 9" x 11"

Publication date: November 17, 2021

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Social media comments & reviews in publications:

"This book is a fascinating read. It has information and images I’ve never seen anywhere. I thought I knew a lot about the subject, but the book has taught this old dog some new tricks. If you are a jeweler, gemologist, designer, appraiser, buy or sell diamonds, love or hate diamonds, buy this book, period. This is the most interesting book on diamonds I’ve ever read."

Peter Indorf of Peter Indorf Designs

“I cannot wait to sit down with @reneenewmangg 's new book which I received today. A very comprehensive look at all things diamond, with beautiful colour images and diagrams. So glad I managed to get mine on pre-order!” Sammantha Maclachlan, gemologist and appraiser

"I have my copies and it is an outstanding work; deserving of an award!"

Diane Caldwell, gemologist and appraiser


"Having read a couple of chapters I’d say it’s well researched, well laid-out and filled with great illustrations. My favourite book on diamonds for sure!"

James Evans, gemologist and founder of Lustre Gemmology

"This book is comprehensive and just so informative. It is beautiful to look at as well. I have ordered 8 copies so far, They make excellent gifts."

Paula Crevoshay, Jewelry artist, designer and painter


"the book I wish I would have had five years ago when I started at Rapaport."

Sonia Esther Soltani, Editor in Chief, Rapaport, posted on her Facebook page


A comprehensive new book from gemology expert Renée Newman covers every facet of this beloved gem, making it a perfect read for newcomers and veterans alike.

Gemologist Renée Newman is well-known in the trade for her practical handbooks. Her manuals on how to buy gemstones, pearls and diamond rings are classic references for industry members and keen collectors. Her latest publication is Diamonds: Their History, Sources, Qualities and Benefits, and it would not be hyperbole to call this book the bible for diamond knowledge. The coffee-table-size volume takes the reader on a fascinating journey covering the symbolic power of diamonds through the ages, the various mining levels, provenance, the evolution of cutting, and jewelry styles. It also tackles issues such as pricing, ethics and lab-grown diamonds. And to make sure she’s left no stone unturned, she closes her exhaustive guide with the emotional significance of these sparkling gems. Diamonds is the gift every newcomer to the industry should receive or buy for themselves. It’s also an essential read for consumers who want to make informed choices.

    Rapaport Magazine Reviewed by Sonia Esther Soltani, Editor in Chief

Sonia's interview with me following her review can be read at:


This coffee-table book from gemologist Newman (Diamond Handbook: A Practical Guide to Diamond Evaluation) covers diamond lore, mining and processing, and more. With detailed, larger-than-life photographs, along with maps and illustrations, Newman explores cuts (rose, brilliant, emerald), jewelry styles (Victorian, art deco, modern), and pricing considerations. Newman mentions only briefly the social and environmental impacts of diamond mining, and in a generally positive light (for instance, she describes De Beers's GemFair program as connecting "artisanal and small-scale miners to the global market through digital technology and assurance of ethical working standards")... Brilliant, oversize images of loose stones at all stages and in custom-made jewelry will draw gem buffs, jewelry makers, collectors, and historians.

    Library Journal, reviewed by Maggie Knapp


This could be the shortest book review ever. If you are interested in anything and everything about diamonds you need this book. Period.
    Renée Newman is a highly respected Graduate Gemologist and author of several acclaimed guides to gems and jewelry, including previous books on diamonds. But this latest book goes well beyond anything she has previously published on the King of Gems. She begins with a clear explanation of what a diamond is, starting with its use as a drill bit in India in the fifth century BCE and into modern times with a well-illustrated history of diamonds in jewelry. The chemical structure that distinguishes super-hard diamond from its super-soft cousin graphite is covered well. Also explained well are the atomic inclusions that create colored diamonds. Then the countries where diamonds are found are examined in roughly chronological order and with the very latest information, maps, and illustrations, many of them full page.
    Cutting and polishing diamonds took a while to get started-- not until about the mid-1300’s-- because of diamond’s extreme hardness. The evolution of diamond cutting is covered, all the way from primitive point cuts and table cuts, though the ubiquitous 58-facet brilliant cut, and on to today’s modern cuts. Again, superb illustrations and clear writing make everything easy to understand, and the various cuts are beautifully shown in jewelry from all periods.
    The evolution of diamond jewelry is treated in its own chapter, along with romantic histories, gorgeous photographs, and brief explanations of the different periods and styles. This chapter will be of immense interest to ASJRA members.
    The tricky subject of diamond pricing is covered in a dedicated chapter with a thorough (and thoroughly illustrated) discussion, especially of color and cut. Next is an in-depth treatment of laboratory-grown or synthetic diamonds, from Henry Moisson’s pioneering experiments up to the very latest of today’s commercial techniques.
    Of course diamonds have uses other than in jewelry, and a brief chapter at the end of the book covers these as well. However, this is principally a book about diamond jewelry and will be of prime interest to jewelry aficionados and historians. The writing is crystal clear, the numerous illustrations are superb, and the information provided is absolutely up-to-the-minute. Whether your interest in diamonds is casual or intense, you need this book.

   ASJRA (Association for the Study of Jewelry & Related Arts) Newsletter, reviewed by Eric J. Hoffman of


In Diamonds, written with competence and enthusiasm by Renée Newman, a graduate gemologist and author of many trade-level handbooks on gemstones, the reader will be transported into a fascinating journey in the world of this precious stone.

    This Guide is a treasure of knowledge about all the aspects of these valuable stones. From history to mining, terminology, cutting and evaluating diamonds to the romantic stories of some of the most precious ones, the book which features hundreds of photos, maps and diagrams is a mine of information. One of the chapters is dedicated to the laboratory-grown diamonds that were firstly called synthetic diamonds. However, this term sounds fake so it’s preferable to identify them as laboratory grown. In fact, they have the same crystal structure and chemical formula as natural diamonds i.e.carbon. The last chapter highlights the diamond’s remarkable benefits: non-toxic and biocompatible, resistant to chemicals and radiation, excellent heat conductor, excellent electrical insulator and semiconductor, resistant to high temperatures, exceptional transparency and of course most of all, unparalleled beauty and emotional significance.

    celebreMagazine, article by Laura Astrologo Porché. To read the full article and see the accompanying photos go to:

Renée Newman, author of more than a dozen guides to various aspects of of gems and jewelry, has successfully presented in an understandable form virtually everything one might want to know about diamonds other than how to get the money to buy them. Like her previous books, this one is wonderfully illustrated with carefully chosen photographs and informative, understandable text written at a level those not professionally immersed in the diamond trade can easily understand.

   The book's eight chapters begin appropriately with "What is a Diamond." The chapter contains twelve sections that discuss diamond in terms of its many uses, symbolisms, ornamental and jewelry value, and basic physical properties. Chapter 2 contains 40 pages devoted to where diamonds are found. Sixteen countries are discussed. Location maps and photographs of mines and characteristic stones are included. Timelines of Canadian, South African, and Russian diamond mine openings and closures are quite interesting and lend significant perspective to their important sections. Diamond mining and processing are covered in the next chapter, which includes sections on alluvial, marine, open-pit, and underground operations and a good discussion of diamond sorting. Chapter 4 is a fascinating description of the evolution of diamond cutting developed through the discussion of eleven fundamental cuts.

 This is followed by a companion chapter dealing with the evolution of diamond jewelry, starting with the Georgian period (1714—1837) and ending with the modern era (from 1970 onward). The chapter is beautifully illustrated with dozens of photographs of remarkable jewelry items. Chapter 6 is an excellent discussion of diamond pricing. Factors covered include weight, clarity, cutting quality and style, transparency, and, increasingly important, treatment status. Comparative illustrations of cut stones of varying quality enhance the discussion as does the Gemological Institute of America's colored diamond classification diagram. The final three sections include creation issues (natural versus manmade), grading reports, and nonquality factors. Laboratory-grown diamonds are discussed in Chapter 7. The final chapter reviews diamond's many benefits, focusing primarily on physical properties. The chapter's nine sections discussions of hardness, resistance to chemicals and radiation heat conductivity, exceptional transparency, overall beauty and even emotional significance. The book closes with a glossary, bibliography, acknowledgments, and an index.

 Although many books on diamonds have appeared during the past 40 years, Diamonds is perhaps the best from the standpoint of inclusiveness, understandability and illustrations. There is something here for everyone, and mineral collectors will especially like the sorting tray illustrations on pages 94 and 95. (Note: Wives and girlfriends must not be allowed to see the chapter on jewelry.) This wonderful book is, of course, well edited, printed and bound. I strongly recommend it for a place on your bookshelf.

 Rocks & Minerals  reviewed  by Dr. Robert B. Cook, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama


The first thing you notice and appreciate about Renée Newman’s new book Diamonds: Their History, Sources, Qualities, and Benefits is the remarkable photo illustration that graces the cover: a group of five absolutely delicious-looking diamond rings. This photo is the perfect reminder of just how wonderful and aweinspiring diamonds can be, from the icy colorless gems to the candy-like fancies. But this is not just another coffee table book full of incredible images of impossibly expensive baubles (although, those are quite lovely!). In 272 glossy pages, Ms. Newman invites us to consider everything there is to know about diamonds, from their formation deep in the earth, to their mining by man and machine, and on to their eventual use in both industrial and entirely frivolous applications.

     Organized into an economical eight chapters, Diamonds takes the reader on a journey through the science and history of this amazing mineral.

     Just as in her previous books, Ms. Newman adopts a neutral and straightforward tone in her narrative. The explanations are clear, concise, and not overly technical. While the book covers a huge range of subjects, many of them quite complicated, Ms. Newman knows just how much space should be allotted to each and does not get bogged down in any one area. For instance, her survey of historical and present-day diamond sources is a terrific primer on the topic and gives up-to-date information about the various mining concerns and their output all over the world. This is a theme that could fill volumes, with the fine details of proprietorship, funding, and yield shifting constantly, but Ms. Newman handles everything in a very readable and uncomplicated way. I learned quite a bit that I did not know about historical diamond sources, such as Golconda, and much that I have missed out on about contemporary mines in far-flung locales.

     One excellent benefit of reading Diamonds cover-to-cover is all of the many questions it raises in the mind of the reader for later exploration. Whether you are most intrigued by ancient jewelry fashions or high-tech production of CVD gems, there is plenty of food for thought and an exhaustive bibliography to explore. Ms. Newman also cites the opinions and work of top experts in the field of gemology, as well as dealers and designers whose professions rely on diamond’s appeal. Many of these names will be familiar to NAJA’s membership, including diamond dealer Michael Goldstein, who weighs in on antique makes, and researcher Branko Deljanin, whose work on synthetic diamonds is cited.

     Reading Diamonds is a pleasure, but the photos and illustrations serve to perfectly enhance the text. In particular, Ms. Newman highlights early diamond cuts and jewelry, which are often overlooked in books devoted to more brilliant bling. Not every jewel depicted is beyond the reach of the average jewelry appraiser, either, and she makes a point of illustrating contemporary fashions from the likes of De Beers’ Lightbox. These pieces are budgetfriendly, utilize lab-grown diamonds, and are becoming increasingly more common in jewelry boxes around the world.

     Diamonds: Their History, Sources, Qualities, and Benefits is a beautiful book, both in its many photographs and illustrations and in its content. It gives the reader an excellent overview of the many facets of diamonds: historical, technical, industrial, decorative, and symbolic. The accessible text provides a bounty of information to the novice and fresh insights to the expert, all while working its nimble way from topic to topic. Renée Newman’s impressive body of work boasts a brand new star in this lovely book!

    The Jewelry Appraiser (published by National Association of Jewelry Appraisers) Reviewed by Caitlin St John, GIA GG


This book stands out for two reasons: the exceptional quality of photography and the depth of research. This book is a must for jewellery lovers and collectors, with in-depth descriptions of and photos representative of several design epochs from Georgian to modern.
    This book delves deeply into the topics covered and has short stories of some of the famous people in the industry from Cecil Rhodes to Harry Winston, and film stars including Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor, all of whom made diamonds essential.

    The history of styles of diamond cutting and diamond-set jewellery through periods since antiquity, and the trends in the previous century are covered in detail. Each of these several epochs is illustrated with exceptional photos of classic pieces. Modern diamond cutting is explained step-by-step in a high-tech Indian factory, and introduces the technology for which I lodged patents. I could not fault these explanations as it was the first time that I have read in-depth and accurately detailed descriptions.
    An excellent book for the coffee table, and for diamond and jewellery collectors. At 272 pages including and index and detailed bibliography, the book is a great resource for students. Image quality is unsurpassed and the detailed research is flawless

 Australian Gemmologist (a.k.a. A G Journal) Garry Holloway  Bsc FGAA DipDT Registered Valuer


Renée Newman is well known as the author of a range of reference books and guides on gems and jewels that have been received with much acclaim. This new book on diamonds is conceived both for the general public (but not just as a 'coffee-table book') and for professionals who are looking for quick information . . .

    All in all, this splendid volume is comprehensive, with a treasure trove of up-to-date data, and is easily readable. It will appeal to many different kinds of readers, from diamond loving laypersons to professionals in the diamond trade to scientists. And, it is sold for a moderate price. I concur with the sentiments of another reviewer of this book (Peter Indorf): "If you are a jeweler, gemologist, designer, appraiser, buy or sell diamonds, love or hate diamonds, buy this book, period."

   Journal of Gemmology, Reviewed by Dr. Rolf Tatje, Duisburg, Germany


Journalist Diana Jarrett interviewed me for an article in Southern Jewelry News
In it she wrote, “Newman is an industry pillar with her no-nonsense writing . . . Diamond fans will be glad to discover [that Diamonds] is not simply a mashup of previously published content.”

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: What Is a Diamond? . . . 10

          10  A Practical Tool

          12  A Good Luck Charm with Magical Powers

  13  A Symbol of Power & Wealth

  19  An Ornamental Gemstone

  23  A Poker Chip or Plaything

  24  A Mineral Composed of Carbon with a Unique Crystal Structure

  31  A Direct Sample of the Interior of the Earth

  33  A Source of Income

  33  An Insatiable Obsession

  34  A Form of Portable Wealth

  35  Symbol of Love and Commitment


Chapter 2: Where Are Diamonds Found? . . . 38

          40  India

          44  Borneo

          46  Brazil

          49  South Africa

          57  Namibia

          58  Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

          59  Angola

          60  Sierra Leone

          61  Tanzania

          62  Botswana

          64  Zimbabwe

          64  Lesotho

          66  USA

          67  Russia

          72  Australia

          74  Canada


Chapter 3: Diamond Mining and Processing . . . 78

          78  Alluvial Mining

          81  Marine Mining

          82  Open-Pit Mining

          86  Underground Mining

          92  Diamond Sorting


Chapter 4: The Evolution of Diamond Cutting . . . 96

          97  Crystal Structure and Cutting

        100  The Cutting Process

        104  Machine Advancements in Cutting

        106  The Development of Diamond Cuts

        106       Point Cut

        107       Table Cut

        110       Rose Cut

        112       Single Cut

        113       Double Cut (Mazarin Cut)

        113       Triple Cut (Brilliant Cut, Old Mine Cut)

        116       Old European Cut

        119       Modern Round Brilliant Cut

        124       Mixed Cuts

        127       Step Cut and Emerald Cut

        129       Slice Cut


Chapter 5: The Evolution of Diamond Jewelry . . . 132

        132   Early Diamond Jewelry

        138   Period Jewelry (European and American)

        139       Georgian

        144       Victorian

        151       Art Nouveau

        154       Arts and Crafts

        154       Edwardian

        158       Art Deco

        163       Retro

        158       Mid-Century

        172       Modern


Chapter 6: How Are Diamonds Priced? . . . 184

        185  Color

        192  Carat Weight

        196  Cut Quality

        199  Cutting Style and Shape

        201  Clarity

        202  Transparency

        205  Treatment Status

        208  Creator

        209  Diamond Grading Reports

        210  Non-Quality Factors that Can Affect Prices


Chapter 7: Laboratory-Grown Diamonds . . . 212

        213  Terminology for Laboratory-Grown Diamonds

        213  HPHT-Grown Versus CVD-Grown Diamonds

        218  Timeline of Lab-Grown Diamond Development

        224  Lab-Grown Diamond Jewelry


Chapter 8: Diamond’s Remarkable Benefits . . . 228

        229  Superior Hardness

        232  Nontoxic and Biocompatible

        232  Resistance to Chemicals and Radiation

        233  Excellent Heat Conductor

        233  Excellent Electrical Insulator and Semiconductor

        235  Resistance to High Temperatures

        237  Exceptional Transparency

        237  Unmatched Beauty

        245  Emotional Significance


        246  Glossary

        258  Bibliography

        265  Acknowledgements

        267  Index        


Newman Gem & Jewelry Series Book Links

Diamond Ring Buying Guide, Details & Reviews

Diamond Handbook, Details & Reviews

Gemstone Buying Guide, Details & Reviews

Gem & Jewelry Pocket Guide, Details & Reviews

Gold, Platinum, Palladium, Silver & Other Jewelry Metals

Pearl Buying Guide, Details & Reviews

Jewelry Handbook, Details & Reviews

Ruby, Sapphire & Emerald Buying Guide, Details & Reviews

Osteoporosis Prevention, Details & Reviews

Exotic Gems, Volume 1, Details & Reviews

Exotic Gems, Volume 2, Details & Reviews

Exotic Gems, Volume 3, Detail & Reviews

Exotic Gems, Volume 4, Details

Rare Gemstones, Details & Reviews