November 2016

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Diamond Cutting: How Technology is Used

Diamonds are the hardest known substance on Earth, which makes diamond cutting a challenge. Diamond cutting is a crucial part of the diamond production process, transforming the diamond from its original rough form extracted from the mine, to the brilliant, sparkling gem you find adorning some of the most desirable jewelry in the world. Diamond cutting is a skill that requires great precision and there are a relatively small number of master craftsmen throughout the world. The process through which a diamond is transformed from rough to radiant is long, but it yields both beautiful and valuable results.

Before Diamond Cutting Begins

When a diamond is first discovered, it is far from ready for processing into a salable gem. Nine out of every ten diamonds are shipped to India for the diamond cutting process to begin. Upon arrival, the diamond is first assessed by experts using special anti-vibration technology and extremely high magnification, to determine its classification and possible yield. The planning stage then begins in which the diamond is assessed via 3D rough planning computer simulation technology, such as the Sarine Galaxy™ and Advisor™. This technology, groundbreaking in the way it transformed the rough planning process worldwide, enables experts to optimize the polished yield that can be extracted from the rough, with automated and highly accurate results.

The Step-By-Step Diamond Cutting Process

 Diamond cutting is carried out by cleaving the diamond with a steel blade or a laser, such as the Sarine Quazer 3 or by sawing it. Generally the rough diamond is placed in a wax or cement mold to hold it in place, and then cleaved along its tetrahedral plane, which is its weakest point. If there is no point of weakness, then sawing is used instead. The process of cutting a diamond has changed throughout time, as newer and better technology has become available. The first product that changed the way diamonds were handled was a scaif, developed in the 1400s. This was used to cut facets into diamonds, and showed off a diamond’s true beauty for the first time. Using this machinery, diamond cutting was transformed to allow for complex diamond shapes, cuts and designs never before seen.

Once the stone has been analyzed and cleaved, it must be bruted, or girdled, in one of three ways. The most common is when the cut diamonds are set opposite each other on spinning axles that turn in opposite directions so that the opposing diamonds grind against each other, breaking each other down into a smooth and round shape. Diamonds can also be bruted using lasers, or by grinding them against a copper disk set with diamond dust that acts like a piece of sandpaper. The final step is polishing, followed by a final inspection, which sometimes involves cleaning the diamond in acid in order to obtain a clear view.

The Final Product

Once the diamond cutting and polishing processes are complete, the diamond is ready for grading and trading. Diamonds are weighed, graded, and sold to wholesalers, beginning the journey in the world of diamond trade. Finally, the diamond will find its way to a retail or online store, and eventually into a finished piece of jewelry loved by its owner. Thanks in large part to this long process, diamonds remain not only one of the most beautiful, but also one of the most valuable stones in the jewelry world.


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