It is both a skill and an art to transform a rough diamond into a cut gem that is then mounted into a jewelery setting. Cutting and polishing a diamond is a multi-stage process that requires a specialized set of tools combined with the knowledge and experience of a diamond cutter.
When a diamond is first mined from the Earth, it is in a rough state. Diamond manufactures will analyze the gem in terms of their return on investment. They will decide if the stone can be cut and then sold quickly. Their goal is to maximize value. As part of the evaluation, they will determine what type of cut to use. Factors involved in this decision include the current popularity of certain cuts and the amount of weight retained by each type of cut. Weight retention analysis is used to determine if the rough diamond will be cut and polished as one stone or if it will be divided into multiple stones. And should multiple stones result, what is the relationship in size of each stone. Even with modern tools and techniques, there is still a significant loss in weight when the diamond is cut. It can be as much as fifty percent during this process known as cleaving or sawing.
The final step in preparing the diamond is called polishing. This stage is broken down into three sub-steps. They are blocking, faceting or “brillianteering” and, finally, polishing. At the end of this stage, the cut and polished diamond is ready for its final inspection.
During the final evaluation of the cut diamond, it is cleaned using acids and examined to determine if the final product meets the color and quality standards set by the manufacturer. Once the diamond is approved, the manufacturer finally has a jewellery quality gem.