The Delicate Process of Cutting and Polishing A Diamond
While most characteristics of a diamond are naturally occurring and cannot be controlled by man, the one major characteristic that can be controlled is the cut of the diamond. Cutting and polishing a diamond takes a great deal of craftsmanship, and is an artform that has taken centuries to perfect. The diamonds cut many years ago do not look anything like the diamonds we have now due to our steady increase in technological developments. With more and more precision, we can develop higher quality diamonds with more fire, brilliance, and scintillation. In fact, the most impressive technological breakthrough is our new ability to create lab-grown cultured diamonds that have the EXACT same chemical makeup and characteristics as normal diamonds, but much more environmentally friendly. You would never be able to tell the difference, check out Lark and Berry that sells cultured diamond jewelry and tell me it looks any different. Science, ladies and gentlemen… science.
Anyway, let’s set that aside for now to focus on a top level view of just how we are able to cut the hardest naturally occurring element in the world.
The first step, much like in anything else, is the planning stage. This step essentially entails taking a look at a rough diamond and trying to determine the most efficient way to cut this diamond. It is important to very closely examine the diamond noting any inclusions it may have and their location. Sometimes a large rough diamond can be cut into two smaller diamonds with higher clarity by avoiding some imperfections. Making these decisions can be aided with 3D scanning technology, but it is always intuition that must guide the hand.
Once the diamond has been marked, it is lowered onto a blade that is a fusion of copper and diamond dust and this blade cuts the rough diamond into the desired shape. Of course the diamond dust is necessary on this blade because diamond can only be cut by other diamonds.
BRUTING AND GIRDLING
In this stage, the diamond is set in what is commonly referred to as a “dopstick” with a very special kind of cement and two rough diamond rub together, and the friction from this rubbing wears down the corners until the diamond is a round shape, or whatever shape is desired.
Here, we set the diamond in what is known as a “tang” and lowered into a “scaife” which is essentially just a large wheel made of diamond dust and oil that spins at 3,000 revolutions per second. This machine polishes the four main crown facets and the four main pavillion facets. These facets are then divided again into another four facets on top and bottom.
BRUTING AND GIRDLING… AGAIN
The diamond is put through the same process to finalize that perfect round shape.
This is the final and best named stage in the process. In this stage, the remaining facets are polished into the stone and this is where the perfect shape is constructed that provides the optimal amount of light refraction to occur in the diamond. This is the stage that determines how much fire, brilliance, and scintillation there is in the diamond and it is this stage that takes the most amount of time to master and perfect until you can consistently obtain the perfect proportions and symmetry.
Then you set the diamond in a ring, an earring or a necklace, put it on the sales floor, and the rest is history. Diamonds are the hardest naturally occurring substance so when they say that “Diamonds are forever” they really mean it. Treasure your diamonds, and choose wisely!