Gemology: Trigons- They May Appear on your Diamond’s Certificate!

You may have noticed that the diamond is the world’s most popular gem, with quite an emotional stigma attached to it, brought about by the large crown jewels worn by royalty and the modern day jewelry industry dating back hundreds of years. Scientifically, the diamond is one of the earth’s most fascinating gems and triangles are an important part of a diamond’s billion-year formation, in the form of trigons.


Trigons in a diamond macle (rough diamond)

Diamonds are tetrahedral in molecular structure, octahedral in shape, and all of them will contain trigons which prove that they are what they say they are- natural and not man-made. Trigons show that it is in fact carbon from below the earth’s surface that has been chemically etched over billions of years. Trigons have been formed to act as band-aids; when there is a disruption in the diamond’s formation, they themselves form around inclusions (the impurities that most diamonds other than internally flawless diamonds contain), and will usually be found in no more than 10% of the diamond’s overall structure.

The fact that they are specifically triangular and appear etched into the diamond itself is amazing, visually they are overlapping triangles usually in a negative direction to a rough diamond’s octahedral face, which have slightly rounded edges (due to the the formation of the diamond deep within the earth’s mantle).

If you happen to buy a diamond with “natural” or “trigon” listed on its laboratory certificate, which has not been polished off, you will be witness to this phenomenon of mother nature.

Diamond certificate information containing “natural”, or trigon on the stone’s girdle.

All modern diamond cuts have a triangular cone-like pavilion. This is the lower two-thirds of the diamond where the light is reflected from the pavilion angles into the upper part of the diamond above the girdle (the girdle being its own characteristic and the circumference of the diamond) which is the crown. Trilliant and trillion-cut refers to a triangle-shaped diamond, when viewed from above, which has been cut as an equilateral triangle to maximize brilliance. The final shape is a triangle, but the diamond’s cut is made up of many of the facets which are triangles of all types from isosceles to obtuse to equilateral.

Trillion or trilliant side-stones, diamonds which triangular complimenting a round center stone.

This cut is important to the diamond industry as it is one of the “fancy cuts” that uses a less desirable piece of diamond rough, one that may be too shallow for a deeper cut and would therefore be better suited for side-stones or fashion jewelry and will sell at a much lower price than a round brilliant diamond.

Through the study of trigons as identifiers of a natural diamonds, but also as possible clues about the formation of our planet, we can learn a lot and continue to establish relationships and correlations in scientific studies. For centuries people have been fascinated by diamonds, not necessarily knowing why, adding to the mystique of one of the hardest and purest substances on earth and in space.



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