The Diamond Process: From Deep Underground to Your Favorite Ring
When you think of diamonds, you probably think of beautiful engagement rings, necklaces, royalty, and glamor. However, what many people don’t know is how a diamond is found, dug, and transformed into your favorite piece of jewelry.
Both rare and beautiful, diamonds go through a rigorous process before it’s set and sold. On average, it can take five months for a diamond to be processed from deep underground to a beautiful diamond ring. So, how does a diamond turn from dull rock to a beautiful piece of jewelry? Read below to learn more about the diamond process and how diamonds are found and transformed into your favorite ring.
Mining for Diamonds
Diamonds are found in many places throughout the world including Canada, South Africa, Russia, and Brazil. Thus, each location extracts diamonds quite differently. Some locations sift through rocks and stones in river beds, some mine old volcanos, and others simply dig deep in sand by machinery or by hand. Tons of rock are moved for only a few carats—which is why diamonds are so rare and valuable.
While diamonds are formed more than 90 miles below the earth’s surface, volcanic activity carries them up—making mining more achievable. Once boulders are broken down, they are then brought to the surface and taken by truck to a processing plants. Here, access rock and dirt are removed so experts can view exactly the size and clarity of the diamond.
Fun Fact: Only about 20% of diamonds can be polished, shaped, and used for jewelry. These selected diamonds go on to be processed while the other 80% are send off to be used in manufacturing.
Sorting & Processing Diamonds
Before a diamond is processed, a diamond may look like a dull piece of glass. There are several different diamond processing methods used worldwide; however, most diamonds are taken from the mine to a processing plant for cleaning and sorting. A large amount of diamonds are shipped to the Central Selling Organization, or CSO, in London. Here, diamonds are sorted into categories according to weight, color, and clarity. Then, experts decide how the diamond should be cut so that it’s value is maximized and it doesn’t lose clarity.
There are many centers throughout the world which cut diamonds—some popular cuts include Princess, Cushion, Round, Oval, and Marquise. Diamond cutting is an extreme art which requires specialized tools, knowledge, and technique. As we mentioned, a diamond is the hardest material known to man, which is why only a diamond can be used to cut another diamond. With technological advances, lasers are also used in today’s time to help shape and give it it’s final touches.
There are five main steps in cutting a diamond:
- Planning – An expert will carefully plan how the diamond will be cut using computers and the latest technology.
- Cleaving – This is the process where diamonds are used to cut one diamond into multiple pieces.
- Bruiting – This step is where the diamond is shaped into a specific cut. This process is the most intensive and takes the most time to perfect.
- Polishing – Without the polishing phase, a diamond would be dull and not shine.
- Inspecting – The last step in this process in the final inspection. An expert will use specific magnifying glasses to review its cut and value.
Diamonds which go through this rigorous process will have paperwork to go along with it. In the final inspection, the diamond is graded based on the 4C’s and receives its official certification grade. In the U.S., the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) sets the standards for the grading.
Once the diamond is complete, diamonds can then be sold to manufacturers, dealers, retailers, and collectors which are then sold for engagement rings, necklaces, bracelets, and more. Many local diamond retailers, like Brittany’s Fine Jewelry, personally inspect each diamond before it is sold in-store.
As you can see, diamonds go through a very long journey before one can wear it and show off its sparkle. To learn more about diamonds and how it was transformed, ask your local jeweler. If you’re in the Gainesville, Florida area, contact Brittany’s Fine Jewelry for an abundance of certified quality diamonds.