Diamonds –From Rough to PolishedA diamond is just a sparkling little colorless rock that looks pretty in an engagement ring, or set into apendant or pair of earrings. So why is it the center of every engagement, the symbol for all thingsvaluable and precious, and the proverbial girl’s best friend? How is a rough diamond made into asparkling gem? Why do we buy diamonds anyway?The difference between a piece of rough diamond and a finished jewel is a time-consuming process ofcutting and polishing. The secrets of diamond cutting have been honed over generations, passed downin the small circles of knowledgeable diamond experts. When you buy a certified loose diamond, youhold a piece of that secret knowledge and expert craftsmanship in your hand. A rough diamond crystal has none of the sparkle and brilliance of a cut diamondCutting diamonds is unlike cutting any other gem because of the unique hardness and value of thediamond. Diamond cutting requires special knowledge, tools and techniques, and is done in only a fewcities worldwide. Antwerp, Belgium is one major diamond cutting center, as well as Surat, India. Cutdiamonds are also manufactured in New York City and Tel Aviv, Israel. When you buy diamonds, youare purchasing a piece of that globe-circling tradition.The first step of diamond cutting is planning. The diamond cutter analyzes the rough diamond withcomputer imaging technology and with his own highly trained eyes to determine how the loose diamondwill be cut. He tries to plan a diamond shape that will maximize the size of the finished stone andminimize waste, as well as a popular shape that will sell quickly. Any inclusions or imperfections arenotes and incorporated into the 3-D computer model, so the cutter can cut the stone in a way thatexcises or hides the imperfections
Computer imaging helps the cutter plan the ideal cut for each crystal Nothing replaces the painstaking process of examining each stone by handDuring the planning process, the cutter evaluates the yield and weight retention of the diamond. Hisgoal is to extract maximum value from each piece of rough. This means that he looks for the best wayto create a finished gem on the basis of its per carat value. For example, by one plan a 2.00 carat roughdiamond may produce two gems of .50ct each when finished. Planning differently might yield diamondsof .70ct and 30ct. If the value of the latter combination is more than the former, then that is what hisplan will be. Clarity characteristics or inclusions in the rough stone will also factor in to the plan ascertain approaches might exclude some flaws thereby increasing the value of the finished diamond.The natural shape of the diamond crystal will also impact what shape diamond is cut. Octahedroncrystals are usually cut in round or square brilliant cuts, while odd shaped crystals such as macles willoften be cut into fancy shapes like emerald or radiant.Despite the cutter’s skill and precision and the advanced technology used, the cutting of a diamondalways results in the loss of about half the weight of the original rough diamond. The planning stage ofdiamond cutting always involves critical decisions balancing cut quality against carat weight. Certaincarat weights are considered special such as 1.00, 1.50 and 2.00. You will often see liberties taken with
cut quality of stones right at these “magic marks”. To perfect the cut often means dropping belowthem and therefore losing some per carat value. This is because diamond per carat value is a geometricprogression as the diamond gets bigger in size and rarer in nature. For example, where a 1.00 ctdiamond is worth X , a 2.00 ct diamond may be work 3X. So the price per carat increases for the samequality as the diamond increases in size, compounding the total value of larger diamonds.The next stage of diamond cutting is cleaving or sawing. This involves the use of a diamond-edged sawor laser to carefully cut the diamond into the specified pieces. Because of the diamond’s naturalhardness, the saw must be edged with actual diamonds in order to cut through the rough stone.The diamond then undergoes the process of bruting. Two diamonds are set on spinning axles and madeto grind against each other, to shape each diamond into its destined round shape. Next is the crucialstep of brillianteering—the delicate and all-important placement and cutting of the facets. This step isone of the most important in determining the light performance and brilliance of the finished diamond.Finally, the diamond is polished—facets are cut into the stone and the cut surfaces are polished to amirror finish.Of course, after the diamond is cut and polished, it is thoroughly inspected. The loose diamond iscleaned in acids to ensure that not a speck of dust remains, and then it is examined to see if it meetsthe quality standards of the manufacturer. Not all manufacturing facilities are alike—some hold eachdiamond to the highest standards of excellence, while others focus on mass-producing diamondscheaply. Cut diamonds are sorted before being packaged and sent to wholesale marketsOnce inspected, the diamond is sent to grading facilities and labs to be officially weighed and measureas well as graded for color, clarity, cut and cut quality. Each certified diamond is given a unique reportnumber. Some retailers buy diamonds for their own inventory while others are brokers who selldiamonds that are loaned to them on consignment.Finally, the diamond arrives into your hand, either loose or possibly set into a brilliant engagementring. The many facets act as tiny mirrors creating a sparkling display of light. The end result is amesmerizing tribute to ancient knowledge and modern technology, and an eternal symbol of love anddevotion.
A truly well-cut diamond has un-matched brilliance and fireFrom http://www.whiteflash.com/about-diamonds/diamond-education/diamonds-from-rough-to-polished-884.htm