As a diamond jeweller and having married into family of diamond experts (my husband is a third-generation diamond trader), it comes as no surprise that I am always on a path to keep learning and challenging myself within the diamond world.
1. The Mining Process
My first lesson came many years ago when I discovered more about the mining process and how our diamonds – specifically Zimmi Diamonds – are ethically and sustainably sourced. Thanks to our family connections with the diamond mines in Sierra Leone, I have visited our family-leased operations several times and seen first-hand the stones being unearthed straight from the riverbeds of the Manu Delta and the positive impact diamond mining has on the whole community.
2. Value & Magic
And then there were the lessons I have learnt over the past seven years since I launched Noble Fine Jewellery about the diamond retail market and selling fine jewellery. The value and magic these stones hold having taken billions of years to form is still as exciting and thrilling as when I first began the business: how the different cuts and carats and clarities can transform a diamond completely and how they still remain one of the world’s most sought-after commodities.
3. Transformation Of A Rough Stone
However there is one vital and essential lesson that I have been fortunate enough to witness as a bespoke jeweller, but I have never been able to participate in: the transformation of a diamond from the rough stone we found in the riverbed to the stunning polished gem we sell in our finished pieces.
Thankfully earlier this year, I was able to take one of our Zimmi Diamonds through the cutting and polishing process. Working with the professionals and Antwerp’s amazing artisans, I was guided through every step of the process and could witness first-hand how painstaking and precise the polishing process needs to be.
The skill and craftsmanship required to ensure a diamond is revealed in the best of its glory, all the while feeling the immense pressure that at any time the diamond could shatter and all would be lost – makes something seemingly so straightforward become suddenly very dramatic.
4. The Process
For months, my days were spent at the polishing wheel in a secure workshop within the Antwerp Diamond District. Under intense bright lights surrounded by heavy tools and industrial equipment, a diamond polishing studio is a million miles away from the glamorous red velvet carpets I am used to when working with clients. The silence and the focus in the room is only broken by the high pitched scraping noise of the polishing wheel as it rotates at up to 2,500 rpm as the diamond dust tries to cut away the rough surface resulting in temperatures of up to 950C!
It is only now, several months (and a global pandemic) later that the polishing process is over and I feel I can share the story of our Zimmi Diamond. Taking it from the riverbeds right through to today, where it is sparkling and ready for sale. So let me take you right back to the beginning…