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The Surprising Science Behind Diamond Cutting

Q Report Team
Updated on October 06, 2022
4 min read

A natural diamond is as rich in history as it is in beauty. From the moment the rough stone is ethically unearthed to the final treasure that awaits within the proposal box––a journey unfolds.

 

The History of Diamond Cutting

As the timeline of diamond cutting goes, diamonds are believed to have been first discovered in India, where they were kept as loose unpolished stones––vastly different to today's extraordinary creations. 

Fast forward thousands of years of technological development, combined with artistry, and you have the world's most expertly crafted diamonds ready to adorn your soon-to-be-wed left hand.

A far cry from the first diamond cut known aptly as 'The Point Cut' and led by the first artisans known to specialise in diamond cutting and polishing––the Diamantaire of Nuremberg, Germany, in the 1300s. 

 

The Importance of 'The Cut'

The cut of a diamond determines how much light the stone reflects—making it one of, if not the most important element of the 4Cs, the International Diamond Grading System's universal method for assessing the quality of any diamond. 

The purpose of a diamond is to sparkle––poorly cut, and it will be the opposite, lack lustre, making the colour, clarity and carat irrelevant. 

Let's look at how the world's diamond engineers get these rough rocks to sparkle like the illuminating lights of the Eiffel Tower.

 

The Science of Diamond Cutting 

 

Inclusion Mapping

Inclusion mapping is the first stage of the diamond-cutting process. It must undergo rough planning before being cut to maximise the quality and profitable return of the rough diamond.

Inclusion mapping requires state-of-the-art technology. Sarine Diamond Technologies is a worldwide leader in developing and manufacturing advanced systems for diamond production.

Using technology such as the Sarine Galaxy®, diamond engineers can scan the rough stone and create a map that accurately identifies all inclusions within the stone, regardless of their type, size, and location.

 

Cutting Plan

The next step is constructing a cutting plan to garner the best-polished diamond from the original rough stone––a process carried out by specialised technology such as the Sarine Advisor®.

Combining the ascertained inclusion scanning information and 3D analysis of the rough stone can provide multiple cutting options that promise to deliver maximum value based on carat, cut and clarity. 

 

Shaping and Sawing

Once the diamond engineer has decided upon the final cutting plan, the rough stone is cut and shaped into round segments. Ready to begin the final stage of polishing.

According to research from the University of Cambridge, a diamond is essentially a composition of electrons and carbon atoms. Together, a strong chemical bond is formed, resulting in a highly rigid tetrahedral crystal––making a diamond one of the most complex substances on Earth.

For this reason, the sawing of a diamond is not an easy task to master. The Quazer® by Sarine is another technological advancement that delivers accurate cutting instruction with delicate precision. The tool utilises a green laser to maximise accuracy––an essential given that the slightest deviation from the required sawing line can result in the shattering or cracking of the rough stone.

 

Polishing

While being cut, diamonds are susceptible to surface blemishes; although minor, they are considered a flaw. Such flaws can obstruct the reflection of light, dulling its sparkle. For this reason, polishing a diamond is one of the final steps in the diamond-cutting process and demands a high level of attention to detail.

When smoothing the surface manually, diamonds are polished with diamond dust and other abrasive agents––allowing the light to enter and exit the stone without intrusion.

Advances in technology have seen an alternative option with Sarine's Instructor®, computerised software that enables the diamond engineer to measure and assess the diamond throughout the polishing journey.

 

Inscribing 

Inscribing a diamond is a process in itself––one that begins by locating a position on the girdle where a skilled artisan will use state-of-the-art technology to engrave a personalised message or, more commonly, the certification number.

A certification number allows buyers to verify the number inscribed on their diamond against its grading certificate.

However, inscribing text the size of a few microns requires precision and a specialised magnification scope if you want to see it. The inscription is delivered via a laser beam that etches the inscription on the girdle of the diamond. 

 

Shine Bright Like a Diamond

Understanding the science behind diamond cutting can help you make critical decisions when purchasing your engagement ring. You want to ensure an optimal cut that reflects the light to its fullest.

Once you have found your ring, ensure its protection with Q Report Jewellery Insurance. After all that hard work, you want to wear it heartfully, knowing it's protected from theft, damage and loss.

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