If you would ever come across a diamond in the rough, you would probably not even look at it twice. But if the same piece of brilliance was presented to you in all its shine, you would find it hard to put it down. This charm manifests only due to its characteristic beauty; beauty that can be handcrafted to perfection.
Diamonds have always been considered as a mark of purity, durability and luxury. From the ancients Greeks to the modern day, many are enamoured by its scintillating beauty and sparkle. Greeks believed that diamonds were tears of God and shards of Stars. Experts suggest that diamonds were first found in India in 800 BC and Alexander the Great brought the first diamonds to Europe in 327 BC from India.
The significance of diamonds as an epitome of love dates back to 1447 when Archduke Maximilian of Austria gave Mary of Burgundy a diamond ring as ‘promise of marriage‘. This tradition can be traced back to the middle ages and roman times. In fact, Italians believed diamonds could sustain harmony between couples and from there came the tradition of setting a diamond in wedding rings.
Diamonds are known to make a long arduous journey before they reach your jewellery box. The story of a diamond begins 100-200 miles below the Earth's surface. Diamonds were formed billions of years ago due to extensive heat and pressure on carbon crystals. Subsequently, volcanic activity forced diamonds up Earth's surface through pipes or openings in the Earth. Some of them made their way to river beds, streams and seas but the majority of diamonds settled back into the Kimberlite pipes. It is said that the first diamonds were found as glittering pebbles near the course of an ancient river.
Once the diamonds are found, the process to obtain them can be long and cumbersome. It is said that it takes more than 250 tonnes of ore to produce just 1 carat of rough diamond. The ore goes through different stages of blasting, crushing and processing to procure the diamonds.
Now that the rough diamonds have been released from the ore, they go through sorting and classification according to their shape, size, quality and colour. Before they're passed on to diamond cutters, expert sorters scan these rough pieces under X-rays which enables them to detect and sort them for their natural characteristics.
The diamonds are then brought to life by master craftsmen who transform the rough diamonds to a sparkling expression of deep emotion. Using meticulous and laborious cutting methods, its brilliance is revealed. The cutter uses cleaving, sawing or laser cutting to separate the original rough into smaller, workable pieces. The bruter grinds the stone’s edges for that remarkable outline. Faceting trails next where 18 facets of the table, pavilion, culet and bezel are cut and polished then the next 40 facets – star facets, upper and lower girdle facets follow suit. Although, most of the polishing work is computerized, some of the work is still done by hand to bring out its true shine. The best cutting process brings out maximum brilliance and most carat weight. An ideal cut and polished diamond, even if small in size, will stand out more than a poorly cut big diamond. In fact, Mumbai is one of the key diamond cutting and trading centres in the world.
The finished gem is then boiled in acids to get rid of all dust and oil. The diamonds are now ready to go out into the world and be set into finished pieces of jewellery. They are sold to either wholesalers, who work as middlemen to sell the manufacturer's goods to the retailer or sold directly to the retailer by the manufacturer.
From jewellery showrooms and retailers, it slowly makes way into hearts of buyers as eternal memories and moments of joy.