Diamond Cutting has been a long and often wondered about practise. It entails cutting a diamond from its rough state into the faceted gems you see in shops to day. It is an extremely difficult and lengthy process that requires specialized tools, equipment, and techniques.
The first group of people dedicated to the process was formed in 1375 in Germany. They were the first group to focus on the quality of ‘cut’. The term ‘cut’ means two distinct things in the field of Diamond Cutting. It relates to both the shape of the final form, and also the specific quality of the cut in the shape itself. Cutting a diamond requires other, diamond-coated surfaces.
Diamond Cutting, due to its aforementioned difficulty is concentrated in a few cities around the world. It mainly takes place in Surat, India, and the Chinese cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen. In terms of trading however the main cities where this takes place are Antwerp, Tel Aviv, Dubai and New York City.
Even today with the most modern and technologically advanced techniques, diamonds will lose around 50% of their mass when they’re cut. This means that cutters will sometimes compromise and accept lower proportions and symmetry in order to avoid inclusions and to preserve the diamond’s weight. This is because a diamond’s weight is one of the most important factors of the overall value of the diamond.
One of the most important steps in diamond cutting is the cleaving stage. This is where stones that are of a suitable size for cutting are placed in a holder, or quick drying cement. A groove is then cut into the diamond using another diamond. Finally a steel wedge is placed into the groove and then hit with a hammer in order to make the cut. This is a very important part of the process, as one miscalculation can mean that the diamond could shatter.