A Look At How Diamonds Are Cut

You’ve probably heard it several times before: “diamonds are the hardest material on earth!” Well, before we dive into our topic we should debunk that. Diamonds are the hardest naturally-made material on earth and, yes, they’re extremely hard. However, there are 6 known substances that are actually harder than a diamond with Graphene being the hardest.

But enough about that; in this post we’re going to look at how a material as hard as diamond is cut. Cutting rubies is challenging enough and diamonds have over 50x the resistance to scratching that rubies do. So how do we cut them? By fighting fire with fire.

First, we create a tool by attaching small diamonds to the outside of saw. We call this a Diamond Blade (or Diamond Saw). Then we simply use the diamonds to cut the other diamonds. Though this method seems simple, it poses a lot of questions such as:

Wouldn’t the diamond blade also get cut by the diamond itself?

The short answer is yes, and diamond blades do go through wear and tear. However, as technology has advanced two things have happened:

  • Diamond Blades have been manufactured to use less diamond
  • Using the “grain,” we’ve learned how to prolong longevity

Diamonds have a grain just like wood and other materials due, though it’s caused by irregular crystallization. Diamond Saws take use of that grain to cut diamonds more efficiently (and an expert diamond cutter will know the proper technique). Because of that, we can preserve the diamonds on the blades for longer, allowing us to use less diamond in their production. Believe it or not, you can actually purchase a diamond saw for around $50. We can’t vouch for the quality at that price, however.
So how do we make diamond look so neat when they’re cut by other rough diamonds?

While diamonds are the material we use when cutting, we now also enlist the help of green lasers. Some recent technological breakthroughs regarding laser cutting have helped the process along since 2015, most of which takes place in Western India in a coastal town called Surat.

Surat is home to several technologically advanced factories and workshops where machines scan the diamond, determine the path and intensity for the laser and cut the diamond into a nearly perfect shape. Because of these advancements, the quality of diamonds has improved allowing for more clarity, better cuts and many other improvements.
So by now, you’re probably wondering: if diamonds cut diamonds and lasers didn’t exist back then…

How Did We Make The First Diamond Saw?

While humans were cutting diamonds as early as the 14th century using very imperfect methods such as Table Cutting (using naturally found diamond dust), the first blade was invented by a pharmacist. Using very small diamonds, he would set them in a mixture containing metal powder and olive oil and bind them to a steel core. The bond proved strong enough and man had its first electrical diamond weapon.

We specialize in helping customers find high quality diamonds that will radiate for decades to come. If you’re looking for an engagement ring, loose diamonds or other custom jewelry, then contact us or call us at (303) 385-8449.