The Art of Diamond Cutting second edition with Updated Prices
The Diamond Institute, Inc.

The Art of Diamond Cutting", Introduction

Most laymen firmly believe that diamond cutting is steeped in mystery and that its secrets are
passed down through families, from one generation to the next. But with some explanation, the
"secrets" of this seemingly enigmatic art will be revealed. There are six separate disciplines in the
fashioning of a diamond: designing, cleaving, sawing, bruting, cross-working, and brillianteering.
The last four require a full apprenticeship. Since the departments remained strictly within their
own boundaries, they failed to integrate and thus failed to gain the knowledge necessary to extract
the secrets from the hardest and potentially brightest of all gemstones.

Today almost 99 percent of all diamond workers are semiskilled and haven't served any formal
apprenticeship in one of the four diamond cutting disciplines that require it. While these workers
are needed for round brilliant production, they are only taught to cut a few facet angles. Sawing
and bruting have also been simplified, so it is almost impossible for any of these workers to learn
the overall skills associated with diamond cutting.

There are many excellent colored-stone faceters who have perfected the art of gem cutting, both
on the amateur and semiprofessional level. These gifted and self-taught individuals are well suited
to diamond cutting, since they already possess the basic skills of facet alignment, meet-point
faceting, and symmetry.

Amateur and semiprofessional colored-stone faceters have a natural inherent ability that enables
them to explore new frontiers while continually striving to perfect their craft. They constantly
experiment with different materials, angles, and polishing techniques in order to improve upon
what they achieved on the last stone they cut. Most are self-taught and learned their skills through
trial and error, magazines, books, etc. Nonetheless, to such individuals, faceting a diamond is the
zenith to which they can aspire, so one can take courage from the following statement: Once a
bench, tang, and dop system are in place, all that is needed to complete a standard round brilliant
diamond is to follow the procedure in this book, which covers the ABC's of diamond cutting. For
more advanced designs and skills, the book Diamond Cutting by Basil Watermeyer is a follow up
for colored-stone faceters who want to become diamond cutters.

The whole idea behind this book is to encourage the colored-stone-faceter to use his skills in a
rewarding and profitable venture; that is, those with the initiative to further their craft can garner
great financial rewards. Experienced colored-stone faceters know that it only takes a little courage
and the knowledge that repetition is the mother of perfection.

Availibility of rough diamonds for the individual and low-volume buyer is one of the first questions
to consider. Rough is obtainable, but just as important to supply is its cost. In order to guide the
diamond cutter in this critical area, the Michelsen Rough Diamond Index was developed. This
complements the existing Michelsen Gemstone Index, which is a wholesale pricing guide. Using
both, the diamond cutter can determine not only the cost of the rough, but what the finished
product can sell for. The Michelsen Rough Diamond Index covers grading criteria for shape,
color, clarity, weight, and price, which serve the diamond cutter as an excellent reference tool for
purchasing rough and also for management of inventory, profit, and cost control.

Another consideration is the cost of tools and equipment Benches can be built and selective
purchasing of tools will keep costs down. Other tools can be acquired as the range of diamond
designs expands. Sawing and bruting can be handled by supportive firms that specialize in the
fields. All fancy designs are shaped by faceting techniques which dispense with bruting. Though
some shapes can be bruted, it will eventually lead to bearding of the girdle in medium to larger

While we have tried to cover all necessary aspects of diamond cutting, a warning might be
necessary here: A number of diamond cutting schools might spring up at this early stage of
development, so always consider what area of diamond cutting you wish to enter, the older, more
traditional or the new vision sector. Only those gem cutters who have succeeded in today's new
specialty diamond cutting will be qualified to run such training schools; otherwise, this brave new
industry sector will slip into oblivion.

The transition from colored-stone faceter to diamond cutter is much simpler than one can imagine,
and the following chapters will reveal the disciplines, techniques, and special skills needed to know
and understand the diamond crystal. How good a diamond cutter the reader becomes is purely a
matter of application. The challenge to discover and unleash a diamond's full potential of fire,
beauty, and financial rewards are all here to discover. By incorporating our new vision techniques,
greater weight retention is possible from selected sizes. About 70 percent of all rough-diamond
shapes have a potential for fancies, so it is important to understand the rough crystal and the
correct application of the appropriate design. The technique of selling brilliant-cut fancy designs
with all the attributes of the round brilliant is simple if you share your profits, gained through
greater weight retention, with the consumer, whereby creating more demand for the unique.
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The award-winning book Diamond Cutting, by Basil Watermeyer, fourth edition, covers the total
spectrum of diamond cutting from the correct selection of tools to the finest details of techniques
and designs. References to appropriate chapters are given at the back of this book.
Copyright© 2010 The Diamond Institute,INC. Spokane, WA 99210 all rights reserved