How Diamonds are Cut

While a rough diamond may be nature’s gift to earth, a cut and polished gemstone only comes to be when it has been carefully cut with the necessary tools, equipment, and knowledge. The cutting process is what transforms a rough stone into the faceted gem we recognize as a diamond. Though diamonds are loved for their perfection, they are not found in this state. A great deal of hard work needs to be done in order to produce a sparkling diamond from among any and all flaws within a rough stone. In addition to abolishing inclusions, the cutting process’s purpose is to create a shape for the stone, perfectly angled facets, and a high-quality smooth cut.

 

A Leibish & Co. rough colorless and yellow diamond

A Leibish & Co. rough colorless and yellow diamond

 

How Diamonds are Made

Diamonds may be unearthed in mines dug in order to uncover these treasures that have been hiding for millions of years, but in order to achieve the final product, nature and man must team up. An experienced diamond cutter has to cut the diamond in the most professional and logical way possible. In order to do so, many aspects need to be considered from utilizing as much of the diamond as possible to creating the most profitable polished gems. Needless to say, all of this must be done as quickly as possible. Starting from a diamond saw or laser, and eventually moving on to a polishing wheel is how this incredibly hard mineral is cut.

 

Marking the stone in preparation for cutting

Marking the stone in preparation for cutting


After a plan has been created and the rough stone has been cleaved (split into two pieces) or sawed, the diamond will go through the bruting stage where the cutter starts on its shape.

 

The Cut of a Diamond

Creating the ideal diamond cut, which will contribute to the diamond’s overall value, requires several elements. Firstly, a plan must be put in place to result in a satisfactory product. Special machines are used to analyze the diamond to see where and how to cut the stone. Secondly, when thinking of how to maximize the diamond’s value, cutting the rough into one stone, two stones, or more needs to be considered as well the weight of each stone. When cutting color diamonds there are different concerns to bear in mind. The angle of the facets themselves as well as the exact location of the cut can actually have a direct affect on the color of the stone, especially when cut into certain shapes. This is why a radiant shape, for example, which is often easier for the cutter to promote the color, is seen more often with color diamonds. Depending on the achievable results, the cutter will determine when and where to sacrifice a stone’s size in order to improve its color or clarity. Time is an inseparable part of the cutting process as well since making the process shorter can potentially enable the owner to see profits sooner. Important decisions need to be made when debating between a profitable sale and a potentially higher quality stone with a longer cutting process.

Fancy Intense Yellow Radiant Diamond Wedding Set (2.56Ct TW)

Fancy Intense Yellow Radiant Diamond Wedding Set (2.56Ct TW)

 

Purpose of Diamond Cuts

Although the term “cut” is often used interchangeably with the shape of the diamond, they are not one and the same. Nevertheless, they are both important aspects of the diamond and both need to be addressed properly. Diamonds are indeed cut into shapes such as round brilliants, pears, radiant, cushions, ovals, and more. However, this alone does not determine the cut, but rather, the way in which it is done. Some cuts such as the round brilliant demand an incredible amount of precision as it incorporates many facets. This is why it is the most popular shape for colorless diamonds. Other shapes, like the emerald, require special cutting techniques to create the “steps” that are part of a finished emerald diamond’s appearance. Furthermore, the facets should be as smooth and perfectly straight as possible. This is part of the difference between a poor, fair, good, or excellent cut.

The polishing step is where the finishing touches are done, before it is inspected for the last time. At this point the diamond is thoroughly washed in special substances and is deemed either worthy or unworthy of manufacturer standards.

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