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How Are Diamonds Cut?

Q Report Team
November 29,2021 -12 min read

When miners extract diamonds from the earth, the rough stones look nothing like the luminous sparkly gems you see showcased in jewellery stores. In the hands of expert diamond cutters, however, a rough stone transforms into an other-worldly wonder. Since diamonds are made of the world’s hardest material, only a diamond has the strength to mechanically cut another diamond. Today, lasers are sometimes used for cuts, but they’re usually limited in their functionality.

So what does that process look like? When you understand how diamonds are cut, you gain a new appreciation for the stones set in engagement rings, bracelets and earrings.

In this article, we’ll show you what really goes on behind the scenes. How do diamond cutters take a diamond-in-the-rough and transform it into a beautiful gem? There are five main steps, as follows:


1. Making Plans for the Rough Diamond

A flawlessly cut diamond begins with impeccable planning; this is the most critical step to get right. While planning can be time-consuming, it helps determine the final value of the finished product.

Today, most diamond cutters use software to help them configure the best possible shapes for each rough stone, based on things like inclusions within the stone. This process helps minimise waste and maximise the yield of each rough diamond. A Sarine machine generates accurate measurements and produces the best arrangements for the cuts.

Sometimes, several diamonds are cut from one rough stone. Even for complicated configurations, the computer software formulates 3D models that show the cutter the optimal ways to proceed.


2. Cleaving and Sawing

With the cuts planned out by the software, the cutter is ready for cleaving and sawing. The cleaving process splits the rough into separate pieces. At this point, the cutter can work on the pieces separately and fully use the rough.

This stage also involves mechanical sawing. In the case of oddly shaped roughs, lasers might be employed for a contactless solution.


3. Mechanical Bruting

Once the diamond is split, the cutter uses bruting to round the edges of the rough stones. Some people refer to this process as ‘girdling.’ Here’s how it works: the cutter places two diamonds on a spinning axle across from each other. Then, the machine turns them in opposite directions as they grind against each other, resulting in a rough girdle finish.

The Complete Guide to Jewellery Insurance Guide

4. Polishing the Facets

With the rough diamond shaped into a round form, the next step is to create and form the diamond’s facets. The cutter puts the rough on a rotating arm and polishes the rough with a spinning wheel. The wheel smooths out the facets and causes them to reflect light.

Polishing involves two further steps: 

  • Blocking
  • Brillianteering

The cutter adds eight pavilion mains, eight crowns, one culet, and one table during the blocking process. The primary purpose of blocking is to create a template for the next phase.

The brillianteering stage adds the remaining facets (ending up with a total of 57). The brillianteer then puts the finishing touches on the cutting--this is where the fire and brilliance of the diamond are determined.


5. Inspecting the Polished Stone

The last step in the diamond-cutting process is inspection. After all the work of planning, cleaving, sawing, bruting and polishing, this is the stage where the diamond is checked for quality. The manufacturer will have asked for certain specifications, and if the stone doesn’t meet them, it’s sent back to the polishers for touching up.


Grading for Quality Assurance

That’s it for cutting, but there’s usually one more step before a diamond is shipped to a jeweller for setting in a ring, pendant or luxury watch

Diamonds are usually sent to one of the top gemological labs (such as the GIA or AGS) for a grading report. Experts at the lab measure and grade the diamond on carat weight, cut quality, colour and clarity. Diamond grading not only increases the value of the diamond but also helps consumers buy gemstones with confidence.


Insuring Your Diamonds

Each diamond is one-of-a-kind. It formed millions of years ago, deep within the earth’s crust, and it took an incredible journey up to the surface where it was mined and then turned into a dazzling sparkler.

When you purchase one of these treasured gemstones, protect it with Q Report insurance. Whether your diamond has ended up in a stunning engagement ring or a sophisticated bracelet, it should be worn and enjoyed. And you’ll feel more comfortable wearing it when you know it’s protected for damage, theft and loss.

To get a free quote for our specialised jewellery insurance, just fill out this form. You’ll be surprised how inexpensive it is to protect the things you love.

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