Noble Fine Jewellery

Diamond Polishing: Going Behind The Scenes in the Workshop

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.

Diamond Technology

Diamonds & Technology

The diamond world has advanced dramatically thanks to the technology and science we now have available for studying the stones and understanding the potential of what lies beneath its rough exterior. 

To believe that only a generation ago, none of this was possible and our polishers were doing everything by hand is just incredible. 

Today, each stone is scanned and analysed to establish where the finished gemstone can be outlined. We have to consider how much polished diamond can we get from the rough (is it better to have one large stone or two smaller?) and how quickly it will take to polish and get them ready for us to use in our jewellery pieces. 

And with this Zimmi Diamond (and in fact, all coloured diamonds), we also need to consider what is the best cut to accentuate and intensify the intense yellow colour.

Preparing for Diamond cutting

Each rough diamond has a cutting or cleaving plan that is marked up to show the facets and angles the polisher wants to achieve. There are no guarantees that the stone will not shatter or be destroyed during this process which is done with a diamond saw or laser.

Regardless of the science and technology that has been done, success here also comes down to the skill and expertise of the polisher who will be able to navigate this process and establish the rough shape and size of the final gemstone before it goes to final polishing.

Diamond Cutting
Diamond Polishing

Diamond Polishing

It can take many many hours on the polishing table to begin revealing the beauty underneath. Here we can see the essence of the Zimmi Diamond beginning to show itself after several hours in on the diamond polishing wheel.

In order to polish the stone, the Zimmi is held in a bracket at a specific angle to introduce the facets (or sides) of the stone. It is then placed on the diamond disc which uses a paste made from diamond dust – hence the phrase ‘diamond cut diamonds’ – to create the first of the 57 sides (or facets) that our stone will eventually have.

Quality Control

A diamond polisher is constantly reviewing their work to ensure there are no marks or abrasions left on the stones. It is essential that all 57 facets are equal and symmetrical as the value of the stone and the final look of the diamond is only guaranteed with this level of detail and constant monitoring during every step of the polishing process. Using these loupes to magnify the stone surface x10 (there are higher magnifications available for diamond polishers) allows us to check the finished effect.

Diamond Quality
Diamond Cutting Disc

Behind the scenes

While a polishing studio may be a world away from the glamour and style of the diamond jeweller’s atelier, here is where the magic happens – where the diamonds are transformed from the rough and unpolished rocks that surfaced from the depths of the earth ready to be transformed forever. Here is the polisher’s wheel that will use the paste made with diamond dust to achieve a strong enough buffer against the rough diamond surface.

Getting There​

After months of preparation and polishing, the gemstone is starting to emerge. There is more to be done with the facets and bringing out the natural yellow colour but just this process alone has opened my eyes to the patience and skill that is required to get to this point – elements that I do not claim I have! But understanding the whole journey a diamond makes from the depths of the earth to my clients final jewellery piece is something that I feel will only make me a better jeweller and give me a deeper understanding of what is needed to make something so precious and eternal.

diamond polishing
polished diamond

The Finished Stone

My first polished diamond, and even more importantly for me… a Zimmi Diamond. It took me countless days to create this beauty and while I know one of our clients will love it just as much as I do (especially if it’s in one of our engagement rings!) – I can’t help but want to keep it for myself. But for now it is onto the next one…