The most precious, most loved and most desired stone in the whole world is the diamond. It is a fascinating natural object, which undergoes a massive transformation to attain its final beautiful look from its natural state.
Interesting Trivia: When found in nature, diamonds do not look much different from the thousands of different stones we find all around us. It takes a discerning eye to recognize a diamond in the rough.
When found deep in the bowels of the earth, or in the alluvial soil left behind by rivers, majority of rough diamonds look extremely ordinary and unattractive. Whether or not there is a high quality gem grade diamond lying inside its heart is tough to know when looking at a freshly mined rough diamond. Before a diamond can be considered as ready to grace your special someone’s jewelry piece, it needs to go through a lengthy and pain staking process.
In this article, we are going to take a glance at the various steps and processes these sparklers go through before their inner fire and brilliance become fully apparent. Broadly, we can segregate the overall process into five sub-processes:
- Quality Inspection
Let us take a look at each of these processes in brief to understand them better:
- Planning: As with any other product, a diamond’s journey from rough to polished starts with planning. Did you know that every rough diamond can be cut in multiple ways to create a polished gem stone? However, only one particular design plan yields best color, clarity and carat weight. Therefore, planning calls for understanding all of these aspects and designing the diamond to get the best possible outcome. This is perhaps the most time consuming step and involves both manual and machine aided planning. Sometimes, rough diamonds are planned, then taken through the cleaving process partially and then re-planned based on the outcome of cleaving. For large high value stones, the planning and partial cleaving process is repeated several times until final plans are decided.
- Cleaving: So the diamond has been planned. As the name itself suggests, the next step involves cutting or splitting the diamond into two or more parts. This is done along the split lines marked during the planning stage. It throws further light on the inherent beauty and qualities of the stone and get the diamond ready for the actual cutting and polishing stages. Either a diamond lined machine saw or a more modernistic laser machine is used to cleave the diamond precisely.
- Bruting: A strange sounding name for a process – brutingis where the diamond actually gets its shape. The process normally involves using a second diamond or a diamond impregnated bruting wheel to give the diamond under design its shape. After all, only a diamond can cut a diamond. Of course, this job can only be done by specially trained artisans as even a slight error can permanently destroy the stone or reduce its value significantly.
- Polishing: This is the stage that gives the entire process its name – diamond polishing. In fact, this process involves two sub-stages – blocking and brillianteering.And we also get to hear a new term here – brillianteering. It’s actually a combination of two words brilliant and engineering. In blocking, the background or base for brillianteering is created. Pavilions, crowns, culets and some of the facets are crafted at this stage.
The final surface polishing is done in the brillianteering sub-stage. During this process, majority of the facets are polished onto the stone and its inherent brilliance and reflective abilities are fully brought to the fore. Only the most skilled and experienced artisans are allowed to handle the diamond at this stage.
- Quality Inspection: As with any product, diamond processing also ends with a quality inspection. This is where expert craftsmen and inspector check the stone for any manufacturing errors. Every facet, every pavilion and crown is thoroughly inspected. Any minor blemishes or errors are sent back for corrections. Only stones that meet exacting specifications set out at the start of the planning process are accepted as finally polished diamonds ready for the market.
Hard Fact: While the entire process might sound quite simple, it might take a rough diamond anywhere from 20 days to several years to reach its final fully polished state. For example, the world famous Cullinan Diamond took more than 4 years to be completed.
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