The People Who Cut Diamonds

We always see showcases of large, beautiful, sparkling diamonds and glimmering rings, but what goes into making these? This week we’re taking a look into the people who cut the diamonds.

What are they called?

This is probably the most confusing part. The process of gemcutting is called “lapidary”. A person who cuts gems is called a gemcutter or a “lapidary”. That’s right, a Lapidary does Lapidary. Thanks English.

Luckily, English diction also allows for the term “lapidarist,” which is easier to remember. Or you can just call them gemcutters as most people do. Lapidarist is often used as a general term whereas gemcutters, oddly enough, specialize in diamonds.

What Do They Do?

To put it simply, they cut, grind and polish. As you can imagine, they mainly work with diamonds but in olden times they worked a lot with gemstones such as Jade.

Most of the work that gemcutters do these days is done by motorized machinery. We previously discussed diamond saws, and in general diamond cutting they use a motorized diamond saw (circular blade) and drop the diamond on top of it, then examine it by microscope. Gemcutters are well trained in looking for flaws and knowing the exact direction to cut the diamond in. A lot of the technique is in knowing where the seams in the diamond are and a mistake could potentially crack the diamond entirely if you hit a fissure improperly.

What if I want to be a gemcutter?

There are tons of college majors for jewelers and metalworkers, and gemcutting typically falls in that category. As most of the technique is in reading machinery now then you’ll need to do the research on that, but if you want to get in the profession then practice on a cheap gemstone such as quartz. There’s also the United States Faceter’s Guild which, of course, you’d need to know faceting for.

Learning to properly read the machinery and start cutting quartz can be a bit taxing, so I highly suggest at least finding a basics class to take before jumping in.

Want a diamond that’s properly cut? Give us a call at (720) 560-3548 or schedule an appointment!