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How Are Diamonds Cut?

Posted on Dec 22, 2015 by Lisa Garber

Diamond cutting is an art of immense precision and skill. It is the practice that turns a rough stone into a faceted gem. It is an extremely difficult task requiring highly specialized tools and equipment. The cut of a diamond plays a crucial role in creating the captivating effect that makes them among the most prized gemstones.

A diamond that is correctly cut will have a beautiful symmetric shape and interact with light in a way that makes the stone glimmer radiantly. So how are diamonds cut?

The Rough Diamond

A diamond will be in its rough state when the cutter first receives it. The rough diamond will go through several stages of cutting before it becomes ready for the jeweler. There are two primary ways of doing this.

Cleaving: This is when a rough diamond is cut down to a workable size. The cutter does this by cleaving it along the weakest point, which is known as the tetrahedral plane. A special mold holds the stone in place while a groove is carved along the weak point. A fine blade is then inserted into the groove and struck with a hammer, cutting the diamond in two.

Sawing: If there is no weak plane on a stone, the cutter will opt to saw it instead. A very fast rotating blade made of phosphor bronze is used to cut the stone into two pieces. In some instances, the cutter will opt to use a laser instead of sawing. While this method takes significantly longer, it is a very precise method of cutting.

How Are Diamonds Cut After They Are Cleaved?

Once the rough diamond is cleaved, the finer work begins that will give the stone its shape. This is where experience and artistry become crucial.

Polishing: This is actually part of the cutting process. A specialized spinning tool is used to cut the facets into the stone. This is where a diamond will become one of many cut types, the most popular being round brilliant and princess cut.

Final Touches and Inspection: Before the stone is ready for the jeweler, it goes through the final phases. This involves a thorough cleaning with special acids and a close examination of the properties to ensure it is of high enough quality to hit the fine jewelry market.

Ready for Market

At Galicia Fine Jewelers, we only work with the most skilled and professional cutters to ensure every diamond we sell is of exceedingly high quality. If you want to see some of the beautiful custom designs we create, stop by our showroom conveniently located in the Scottsdale Quarter. 

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