When diamonds are originally mined from the earth, they are found in a wide variety of sizes and shapes. In order to be used for jewelry, these must be cut to take advantage of the particular stone’s features and polished for grading and setting. You may wonder just who cuts diamonds from the natural stones (called roughs) to ready these for jewelry.
Diamond Cutting is a Profession
Professional diamond cutters cut diamonds. This profession requires a great deal of skill and training and is difficult to master. Cutters are specially trained and use specific tools to cut and polish this especially hard stone, then shaping and polishing it into a piece suitable for jewelry.
Locations of Diamond Cutters
The majority of diamonds are cut in just a few places across the world. In the United States, New York City is the only major diamond cutting location. The majority of uncut diamonds are cut in India and China, but there are a few cutters in other places, particularly in Belgium and the Netherlands. As you can imagine, these locations are also where most of the training takes place for new cutters.
What Process is Used By a Professional Who Cuts Diamonds?
Diamond cutting requires three basic steps to take the rough stone to a jewelry ready piece.
- Planning – This is the step where the diamond cutter determines how the stone can best be used. The objective of the planning stage is to determine how to cut the stone to take the best advantage of the diamond’s natural facets and to get the most value from the stone. The cutter will make a 3D model of the diamond to allow examination of the facets from multiple angles and to help see the diamond’s imperfections and color. Using this information, he will determine the number of stones the diamond can be separated into, as well as the specific shape, carat weight, and cut of each stone.
- Cleaving or Sawing – This is the process of separating the rough diamond into pieces to be finished into separate stones. When a diamond saw or laser is used, the process is called sawing. When a blade struck with a hammer is used to separate the diamond into pieces, it is referred to as cleaving.
- Bruting – Bruting involves placing two diamonds on spinning axles that turn in opposite directions. The two diamonds grind against each other, shaping each. At this point in the process, the diamonds are usually being shaped into round diamonds.
- Polishing – This is the process of faceting the diamond and cutting it into fancy shapes if required. Once this process is completed, the diamond is given its final polish.
- Final Inspection – During this process, the diamond is cleaned in acid and then inspected. This process determines the quality of the cut, as well as ascertaining the color and clarity classification.
Professionals who cut diamonds go through a long and complex training process. Only the very best craftsmen cut diamonds for the world’s most respected diamond houses.
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