Transforming a Diamond
The breathtaking allure that emanates from a diamond is all down to the diamond cut. Form the diamond facets precisely and you’ll end up with a dazzling gem stone, make an error of even 1mm and you could end up with an empty and lifeless stone. It takes experience to learn how to cut a diamond in the optimal way; definitely not a task anybody can be trusted with.
Not everyone who comes across a rough diamond in the earth’s surface would recognize its importance. The diamond’s beauty is hidden, which just goes to show how you should never judge by appearances. It’s no simple matter taking a “rock” and transforming it into something of incredible beauty; it takes expertise and much passion, qualities all good diamond cutters possess.
The Diamond Cutting Process
The cutting process takes place in several stages, first the diamond must be examined and the best diamond cut determined. The gem must then be cleaved or sawed and then bruted and polished and finally the gem will have a final inspection. Let’s take a look at each stage in turn.
3D images are generated by a computer so that diamond cutters can determine the best angle for cutting the gem. The types of diamond cut must all be decided on; some diamonds are more suited to a brilliant diamond cut, which will result in either a round, oval, marquise, or a pear shape. Alternatively, a step cut may be used resulting in an emerald, asscher or baguette shape. The final option is a mixed cut which leads to a princess shaped diamond. The size and shape of the rough stone will determine which cut to use and the best shape to achieve.
Cleaving or sawing the diamond is carried out using cutting tools, such as blades, saws and lasers. A large rough stone may be split into two or more gem stones. The diamond cutter will attempt to avoid having large inclusions in the stone. A decision has to be made about whether to achieve a higher carat weight and leave in some inclusions or to cut more of the diamond to achieve a better diamond clarity. The diamond dust is kept for use in many other industries; in fact the saws used to cut the rough stone actually use diamond dust. Since the properties of diamonds are so useful nothing is wasted.
Another term for bruiting is girdling, it’s at this stage that the rough diamond begins to take on a real shape. It is first formed into a conical shape which will then be worked on further. The tools used in the bruting stage are the lathe and dop. Some diamond cutters use digital imaging in the bruting process to analyze the desired dimensions and determine the speed of rotation. The loupe is used to examine the stone’s attributes so that it’s beauty can be fully utilized.
The polishing stage includes both faceting the diamond and then polishing the facets. The dop is used to position the diamond at the correct angle. The diamond is then ground against a blade whilst spinning it with diamond powder and a lubrication like oil or lanolin. The facets must be formed with precision so that the light can refract efficiently around the facets before reflection out of the diamond. Poorly formed facets will result in a dull and empty stone. The facets are then polished using a polishing wheel and polishing pads and any coarse marks are removed. Ultra fine polishing will bring out all the light reflecting properties of the diamond, the ultimate cause of diamond beauty.
The last stage in the process is the final evaluation of the finished diamond. If any problems are spotted the gem will be re-polished. The diamond can then be sent to a grading lab to be assessed on the quality of its cut, color and clarity. The only way you can be sure that a diamond is of the stated quality is if it comes with a certificate from an independent grading lab.
Diamonds for jewelry
Once a diamond has been expertly cut, it has got to be displayed so that it can be shown off in all its glory. Diamond jewelry is the answer. Diamond pendants are a great way to showcase a solitaire gem. Of course, really precious diamonds are fantastic for engagement rings where they can be used to show your loved one just how much you value them. When you think about it, it’s really incredible, a rough, dull stone transformed by an expert diamond cut into a dazzling gem worthy of being the center piece of an engagement ring. Never underestimate hidden beauty!
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