SAQA All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.
SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Understand the characteristics of gem diamonds 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
253855  Understand the characteristics of gem diamonds 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Mining and Minerals 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
-  
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 06 - Manufacturing, Engineering and Technology Fabrication and Extraction 
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined  Regular  Level 3  NQF Level 03  10 
REGISTRATION STATUS REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE SAQA DECISION NUMBER
Reregistered  2018-07-01  2023-06-30  SAQA 06120/18 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This unit standard replaces: 
US ID Unit Standard Title Pre-2009 NQF Level NQF Level Credits Replacement Status
10497  Describe and identify the characteristics of diamond gemstones  Level 2  NQF Level 02  10  Complete 

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD 
This unit standard is useful for people who are required to examine diamond gemstones for the purpose of sorting, marking, cutting, bruting or polishing.

Learners credited with this unit standard are able to:
  • Identify different crystal forms and explain their key features and peculiarities.
  • Identify different diamond types and describe colour properties and treatments in diamonds.
  • Explain the physical properties of diamonds, identify types of inclusion and their treatment in relation to polishing diamond gemstones.
  • Identify synthetic diamonds and simulants and distinguish their key features from those of diamond gemstones.

    The skills, knowledge and understanding demonstrated within this unit standard are essential for social and economic transformation and contribute to the upliftment and economic growth of the mining and minerals sector, particularly in the aspect of beneficiation.

    This unit standard is intended to promote general skills, knowledge and understanding of processing of diamond gemstones in the mining and minerals sector in order to ensure knowledgeable and informed workers. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    It is assumed that learners are already competent in:
  • Communications and Mathematical literacy at NQF Level 1. 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    The scope and context applies to the conversion of rough diamond gemstones into cut and polished diamond gemstones for sale into local and international markets. 

    Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Identify different crystal forms and explain their key features and peculiarities. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The types of crystalline forms are identified and their key features are identified and described. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Key features must include:
  • Number of faces, corners and edges.
  • The grains and planes.
  • The structure.
  • The morphology.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The peculiarities of different crystal forms are described and problems encountered in polishing gemstones are explained. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    The problems encountered must include:
  • Distorted crystals.
  • Flats.
  • Twinned crystals.
  • Repeated twins.
  • Maccles.
  • Layered aggregate diamonds.
  • Twinning lines.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Identify different diamond types and describe the colour effects and treatments in diamonds. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Different diamond types are identified and their distinguishing features are described. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Different diamond types must include:
  • Type 1 diamonds.
  • Type 2 diamonds.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The factors affecting the colour of diamonds are described and their effect on gemstones is explained. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Factors affecting colour must include:
  • Irradiation.
  • Luminescence.
  • Fluorescence phenomenon.
  • Nitrogen.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The colour treatments for diamond gemstones are identified and their application is described in terms of the effect they have on the colour of different diamond types. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Explain the physical properties of diamonds, identify types of inclusion and their treatment in relation to polishing diamond gemstones. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The mechanical properties of diamonds are described and the effect they have on the polishing of gemstones is explained. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Mechanical properties must include:
  • Density (specific gravity).
  • Hardness.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The chemical properties of diamonds are described and techniques for removal of impurities through chemical treatment are explained. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The optical properties of diamonds are described and the effect on brilliance and lustre is explained. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Optical properties must include:
  • The refraction of light (Refractive index).
  • The reflection of light.
  • Dispersion.
  • Fluorescence.
  • Transparency to x-rays.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The thermal properties of diamonds are described and the consequences of heat in polishing diamonds are explained. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The inclusions that may occur in diamonds are described and identified. Their causes, effect on polishing and the quality of gemstones and their treatment for polishing are explained. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Inclusions must include:
  • Gletzes.
  • Naat.
  • Cross-grain.
  • Holes.
  • Flaws.
  • Impurities.
  • Naturals.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Identify synthetic diamonds and simulants and distinguish their key features from those of diamond gemstones. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The process of diamond synthesis and the production of synthetic diamonds are described in broad terms. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The important identifying features of gem quality synthetic diamonds are identified and contrasted to diamond gemstones. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Synthetic diamonds produced for industrial applications are identified and their uses explained. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Methods to identify simulants are described and they are distinguished from diamond gemstones. 


    UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • Anyone assessing a learner or moderating the assessment of a learner against this unit standard must be registered as an assessor with the relevant Education, Training, Quality, Assurance (ETQA) Body, or with an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA.
  • Any institution offering learning that will enable the achievement of this unit standard must be accredited as a provider with the relevant Education, Training, Quality, Assurance (ETQA) Body, or with an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA.
  • Assessment and moderation of assessment will be overseen by the relevant Education, Training, Quality, Assurance (ETQA) Body, or with an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA, according to the ETQA's policies and guidelines for assessment and moderation.
  • Moderation must include both internal and external moderation of assessments, unless ETQA policies specify otherwise.
  • Anyone wishing to be assessed against this unit standard may apply to be assessed by any assessment agency, assessor or provider institution that is accredited by the relevant ETQA. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE 
    The following embedded knowledge is addressed in an integrated way in the unit standard.

    Knowledge relating to the nature of diamond gemstones:
  • Identification of different features and impurities in gemstones.
  • Understanding of the potential impact the impurity may have on the value of the diamond.
  • Understanding the importance of examination with the correct tools and equipment.
  • Implications of non-conformances, their consequences and mitigating actions.

    Occupational Health, Safety and Environmental issues:
  • Significant hazards and risks related to protection of the eyesight their consequences and mitigating actions.
  • Safety measures related to care of equipment and product.

    Safeguarding of equipment:
  • Realising the risk and potential damage that can be caused through poor use of equipment.
  • Codes of practice for issue, handling and return of equipment.
  • Upholding the security of diamond gemstones.

    Communication:
  • Reporting finding of examinations.
  • Communicating with relevant personnel.
  • Liaison with associated operations and personnel. 

  • UNIT STANDARD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARD LINKAGES 
    N/A 


    Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO): 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO IDENTIFYING 
    Identify and solve problems and make decisions using critical and creative thinking.

    Note: The ability of the candidate to identify the nature of impurities or properties of the gemstone to assess and take appropriate action. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO WORKING 
    Work effectively with others as members of a team, group, organisation or community.

    Note: The ability and willingness of the learner to interact with various other workers e.g. the supervisor, colleagues, marker in order to ensure consistent adherence to production and quality requirements. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO ORGANISING 
    Organise and manage themselves and their activities responsibly and effectively.

    Note: The ability of the candidate to indicate what methods, tools and procedures to follow and to communicate to fellow workers his/her intentions and the assistance required. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO COLLECTING 
    Collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate information.

    Note: The ability of the learner to analyse, record and report the information from the examination of the gemstone in order to ensure consistent adherence to production and quality requirements. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO SCIENCE 
    Use science and technology effectively and critically showing responsibility towards the environment and health of others.

    Note: The ability of the learner to determine the correct impurities to safeguard the integrity of the stone and accuracy of information in accordance with production and occupational health and safety requirements. 

    UNIT STANDARD ASSESSOR CRITERIA 
    N/A 

    REREGISTRATION HISTORY 
    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this unit standard was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 

    UNIT STANDARD NOTES 
    This unit standard replaces unit standard 10497, "Describe and identify the characteristics of diamond gemstones", Level 3, 10 credits.

    Terminology:

    Specified Requirements:

    Specified requirements include legal and site-specific requirements and are contained in one or more of the following documents:

    Legal:
  • The Bargaining Council for the Diamond Cutting Industry Main Agreement.
  • Regulations of the Diamonds Act, No 56 of 1986, as amended.
  • The Occupational Health and Safety Act, No 85 of 1993.
  • SABS and other accredited standards and quality assurance measures.
  • The glossary of terms about the terminology of the industry issued by the Bargaining Council for the Diamond Cutting Industry.

    Site-specific:
  • Workplace rules and procedures regarding the issue and custody of diamonds and equipment.
  • Occupational Health and Safety risk management programme.
  • Managerial Instructions.
  • User manuals supplied by equipment manufacturers.
  • Working Guides, tariff agreements, policies and procedures.
  • Equipment and materials specifications.

    Unit Standard Justification:

    Level:

    Attribute; Level; Justification:
  • Skills; Level 3; Some variety but established properties need to be identified.
  • Procedures; Level 3; Significant choice.
  • Context; Level 3; Range of known contexts occurs.
  • Knowledge; Level 3; Broad knowledge of the structure of diamond gemstones is required.
  • Information processing; Level 3; Interpretation of available information is required.
  • Problem Solving; Level 3; A range of known problems and the appropriate treatment thereof is required.
  • Orientation of activities; Level 2; Directed.
  • Application of responsibility; Level 2.5; Under general supervision.
  • Orientation of scope of responsibility; Level 2.5; Significant responsibility for the quantity and quality of output.

    Average Level = 25/9 = 2.777.
    Actual Level Assigned = 3.

    Credits:

    Total hours required by the learner to achieve the required outcome:

    Activity: Hours:
  • Classroom Teaching: 30 Hours.
  • On-The-Job Training: 10 Hours.
  • Mentoring required: 20 Hours.
  • Other (Home study): 40 Hours.

    Total = 100 Hours.

    Credits achieved = 100/10 = 10.0.
    Credits assigned = 10. 

  • QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Core  59851   National Certificate: Diamond Processing  Level 3  NQF Level 03  Reregistered  2023-06-30  MQA 
    Core  64249   Further Education and Training Certificate: Diamond Design and Evaluation  Level 4  NQF Level 04  Reregistered  2023-06-30  MQA 
    Elective  64909   National Certificate: Small Scale Mining  Level 2  NQF Level 02  Reregistered  2023-06-30  MQA 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    1. DE BEERS SIGHTHOLDER SALES SOUTH AFRICA PROPRIETARY LIMITED 
    2. DIAMOND EDUCATION COLLEGE CC 
    3. HARRY OPPENHEIMER DIAMOND TRAINING SCHOOL NPC 
    4. MINTEK 
    5. Rustenburg Platinum Mines - Union Section 
    6. SIYANDA BAKGATLA PLATINUM MINE 
    7. THE KIMBERLEY INTERNATIONAL DIAMONDAND JEWELLERY ACADEMY 
    8. ZUREL PRIVATE COLLEGE 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.