A Day in the Life of a Diamond Cutter

He is entranced by a diamond, every aspect. It’s proportioned facets, inclusions, and magnificent varying color draws him in. He has an innate ability for detail and with that an unparalleled concentration. He is an artist, and he wants to create. He was destined to become a diamond cutter.

 He is getting ready to cut a rough diamond. The pressure is on. His most important objectives are keeping the diamond as heavy as possible, keeping in mind what shapes are more popular among consumers, and taking in every flaw and inclusion that may impede his cutting.

 He turns the rough stone in his hands. Its shape may lend itself to becoming a certain cut. Round? Oval? The image gets clearer and clearer as he focuses, and he decides it should be a round. He cuts a small window into the stone and takes a look at all the inclusions and flaws. He knows he has to try his best to excise them all.

 He knows that a diamonds beauty depends on the ability to reflect light, the cut can make all the difference so he runs all the options.  A 3 dimensional computer model scans the rough stone and photographs the inclusions, finding the optimal way to cut the stone. Round, exactly what he thought. After long hours of inspection and deliberation he is ready to create a work of art.

 He is prepared for no less than perfection, and the weeks or months it could take to cut the diamond, but he enjoys it. The 8-10 hour workdays are grueling, yes, but he likes creating art, he likes the finish product, a beautiful faceted sparkling diamond.

 On his wheel he wipes olive oil and diamond dust, which cuts the diamond. The ceramic glue holds the diamond in place. He remembers what he’s doing is called lapidary, though he rarely uses that word anymore. He remembers sitting in the classroom at The American Institute of Diamond Cutting as they explain the meaning of this word, the art of cutting a diamond. It didn’t take long for him to pass through the beginning, intermediate, and advanced programs. 9 months to be exact, each with a $5,600 price tag. He remembers his apprenticeship, the many hours it took before he was even allowed to touch a 1 carat, but he won’t make a mistake on this diamond, he can’t make a mistake.

 He touches the diamond to the wheel and pulls it back quickly, examines the diamond through an eyepiece, and then repeats the process over again and again. Soon the diamond starts to round out. A day passes and soon he has cut and polished 18 facets on the diamond, making sure that they are in exact order and size to get that fire from the diamond. The next day he has finished placing and polishing the remaining 40 facets, totaling 58 gorgeous symmetrical facets, a round ideal cut diamond. This diamond was particularly fussy when he tried to cut it, but every diamond is unique, and to cut a diamond as beautiful as this one it usually took him between 20-40 hours, well worth it.

 Dropping the polished diamond in acid it cleans off all the residue, and the diamond comes back beyond expectation. He sighs, stares lovingly at his piece of art, and relinquishes it out into the world, where he knows it will sell quickly. He breathes for a moment a little easier, until another rough diamond is ready to be molded into a work of art.

 

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