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The art of Diamond cutting



The most important aspect of a polished diamond is the quality of the diamond "cut". The cut of a diamond is the one thing which is entirely manipulated by the diamond cutter and will determine the visual beauty of the diamond. A well cut diamond will have tremendous brilliance regardless of its color and clarity grades. Conversely, a poorly cut stone will appear dull and lifeless even if it has a top diamond color and diamond clarity grade. For all diamond shapes, the diamond cutter has two objectives which will often conflict: to save the greatest possible amount of the weight of the rough diamond (so as to allow for a larger and more expensive polished diamond) and to create a diamond which is brilliant and valued in the marketplace.

Poorly proportioned stones retain more weight while the best proportions will demand greater loss of weight. Therefore, faceting a diamond for maximum weight retention means that the diamond cutter will sacrifice less of the diamond rough but will end up with a diamond of poor brilliance and significant light leakage. Faceting a diamond for maximum brilliance means that the diamond cutter will sacrifice more carat weight in the rough in order to create a visually stunning polished diamond. Our expert selection of Ideal Cut Hearts and Arrows Diamonds have all been crafted to achieve maximum beauty and brilliance, with no regard whatsoever for weight retention.

Cutting Process

The stunning ideal cut diamond your wife has in her engagement ring looks nothing like that when it gets mined from way beneath the surface of the earth.

There are a few basic steps that are required in order to transform a piece of diamond rough into a 58 faceted (polished) round brilliant diamond. These steps require a tremendous amount of skill and patience on the part of the diamond cutter. Many difficult calculations and decisions must be made by the cutter before the work begins.

Planning/Marking

The initial step is to choose the shape and size of the final diamond (s) which will be created from a particular piece of diamond rough. This can be a very complicated decision, since it can involve tradeoffs to avoid inclusions which will make the diamond (s) smaller but less included and possibly more valuable. Once a decision is made the diamond rough is marked accordingly.

Cleaving/Sawing

Diamonds can be cleaved or sawn. The expert must decide which option to choose. Cleaving the diamond only takes a few seconds. It involves a chisel and hammer and it must be done with the grain of the diamond otherwise the stone will break in a way that will ruin it.

Most diamonds are sawn. The sawing process involves a special blade coated with diamond dust which spins at high speed to gradually cut through the stone. There is also a relatively new laser technology that is used to saw rough diamonds. Once this part has been done, the diamond is sent back for checking and then passed to the next phase called bruting.

Bruting

Bruting is the process of giving the rough diamond its basic round shape. During the bruting stage, one diamond is forced against another on a special rotating wheel. This is the only way to actually form the shape of the diamond; by having it manipulated by a second diamond.

Polishing/Faceting

Polishing is the very last step of the diamond cutting process. In this phase, the final proportions are applied to the rough diamond through a series of stages. In the initial blocking stage, the diamond cutter carves 18 facets into the diamond upon which all of the other facets will be built. This is a very crucial stage since it will have a huge impact on the final cut quality of the diamond. In the next stage, the diamond is given to a girdle polisher who creates facets on the girdle of the stone. Finally, in the brillianteering stage the diamond is given to an expert who polishes the final facets into the stone. The degree of precision with which the remaining portions of the diamond are cut, will have a great impact on the beauty and brilliance of the finished product.

Barry Gutwein, President of ExcelDiamonds is a third generation master diamond cutter with 30 years of hands-on bench experience in the evaluation, cutting and polishing of diamonds.



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