Did you ever wonder how your diamond was cut and polished in order to sparkle the way it does? That’s the domain of the diamond cutter, who can take a rough misshapen stone and turn it into a brilliant work of art, or several of them.
What exactly does the artist/cutter do to achieve this aim?
Look Before You Cut
Like the carpenter, the diamond cutter should have the motto, “Measure twice, cut once.”
Nowadays, the cutter has the benefit of computer imaging to aid him in finding the best places to cut up the rough stone. You see, the uncut diamond has flaws – places where the stone may be fractured, or a dark spot – due to imperfect formation over millions of years. So the gigantic job of the cutter is to determine how the stone should be cut so as to maximize its wholesale or retail value.
The difference between a poor cut and and a good cut can be thousands of dollars of value, so there’s a lot riding on the judgment and ability of the cutter.
Once the decision has been made about where to cut, now the diamond cutter must employ his tools: tiny saws and lasers, the likes of which you have probably never seen, a jeweler’s loupe of powerful magnification, and all the other tools necessary to hold the gemstone steady while this is happening. This guy must have nerves made of… steel?
Now for the Faceting
Those little flat places on your diamond? Those are called facets. Their job is to reflect light like a pane of glass, but also to allow light to enter the diamond and bounce around, or refract the light, and send it back out looking sparkly. This is why their cut must be so exact. The round brilliant cut that is most popular has 57 or 58 facets in total, to give you some idea of how long this is going to take, with even more precision tools. Obviously, poorly cut facets won’t yield the brilliance we are after.
Different strokes for different folks, as we used to say. The cutter has to have several types of cuts in his bag of tricks, because naturally not everyone wants their diamond to be cut the same way. Some rough stones may lend themselves to a certain type of cut better than others. So that is also part of the diamond cutter’s decision-making process when measuring and cutting the gemstone.
Cut properly, the facets will enhance the stone’s beauty. An improper cut will greatly reduce the beauty, and hence the value of the finished product.
Polishing Is Important
All these facets now must be polished in order to ensure the light can enter and exit the stone with maximum brilliance. Special polishing tools are now used to accomplish this purpose. And if you thought your dental hygienist had a polisher, well, let’s just say your average diamond cutter is light-years ahead of that.
Now when you look at your diamond, or go shopping for one, you will have a new appreciation of that bling!