A diamond’s life began in the depths of the earth, hundreds of millions of years ago naturally forming under precise conditions of extreme heat and pressure, in a carbon-rich environment.
The diamond’s transition to the surface of the earth is typically within the context of natural volcanic explosions. Though many diamonds exist hundreds of miles underground, the precise conditions that are necessary to bring them within our reach are infrequent. This is what makes the gems so rare and precious.
Diamonds are recovered from long dead volcanic “pipes”, or in streams, riverbeds, the seashore’s sands, onshore and offshore, to where they have been carried over time by erosion, using various mining methods. Though diamonds may be found simply on the ground in various places round the world (most famously the sands of Namibia), mining diamonds typically involves giant excavations (“pits”) and has become an extremely expensive and highly mechanized operation.
Most diamonds (90%+) are not of gem quality and are used in industrial applications for cutting and drilling, as they are the hardest material known to man. Miners sort the gem quality diamonds into categories, based on size, quality, shape and color. Classifying a diamond takes years of skill and experience, with experts using a loupe, a tenfold magnification lens. Today, advanced technology is also applied, for a higher level of accuracy and control over the process.
Manufacturers apply advanced-technology, pioneered by Sarine, to analyze the most profitable way to cut and polish the rough diamond. The process entails high-speed analyses of thousands of possible solutions and tradeoffs between size (carat weight), Clarity and Cut to decide how to best utilize the rough diamond. This produces maximum return on the manufacturer’s investment with diamonds of the highest value. The planning process used to involve great skill and understanding of diamonds, but most of the art has been replaced with the advance in technology for the internal scanning of the rough diamond for inclusions (Sarine’s Galaxy™/ Solaris™ family of products), its accurate geometrical scanning and the complicated mathematical algorithms for the solution of the multi-dimensional optimization formula (Sarine’s DiaExpert™ systems).
Cutting & Polishing
The first stages of processing include sawing the rough diamond into portions, each of which will contain a single polished diamond. This is typically done by lasers with various levels of sophistication, Sarine’s Quazer™ being one of, if not the most, sophisticated of these in the market. Once this process is complete, each diamond is shaped into its final form – round, square, triangle, baguette, etc., either by bruting (lathing), by laser or by hand. Once shaped, the diamond is polished and faceted. Though still done mostly manually, modern technology such as Sarine’s Instructor™software has been implemented in manufacturing plants for quality control. This has allowed a greater level of accuracy in polishing, achieving much higher levels of facet alignment and joining angles.
Upon completion of the polished gem, the diamond is carefully set into a jewelry piece, allowing its beauty to be properly framed and presented. There are many jewelry settings to choose from; vintage or avant-garde, platinum or gold. A diamond should be chosen in accordance with personal taste and lifestyle, as it is a precious and valuable gift for your loved one. Just make certain the diamond is purchased from a reputable jeweler, with whom you feel confident.