The four Cs of diamond quality are carat, color, clarity and cut. Of these, cut is especially complex to grade, with many factors to deep in mind such as brilliance, scintillation and total depth. Diamond cuts can also be a challenge to accomplish. However, a skillful cut can elevate a diamond from humble to eye catching.
Mined diamonds can be divided into two broad categories, industrial and gem quality. Gem diamonds tend to be more aesthetically popular and contain fewer internal characteristics which may impact durability. Industrial diamonds may be visually unappealing or have characteristics that bring greater challenges to cutting. The distinction between these two types is fluid. If cut with enough skill, an industrial diamond can become gem quality.
Among the challenges of cutting diamonds is their hardness. The traits that make a diamond resistant to scratches also means specialized equipment and expertise is needed to fashion the stone. Despite their hardness, diamonds are more likely to break in some directions than others. Careless action can accidentally shatter a jewel. Adding to complications is certain inclusions, such as fractures, which can make cutting difficult.
Among the best-known diamonds that made the leap from industrial to gem quality are Fancy brown diamonds. For many years, their color was considered undesirable. In the 1970s, Australia’s Argyle mine unearthed a large number of small, hard to cut diamonds in this low demand hue. Gem diamonds command higher value than industrial, but the labor involved in making these stones jewelry quality was cost prohibitive in Australia.
The diamonds were sent to India, which already had diamond cutting centers. A skilled workforce combined with moderate labor costs helped give these diamonds the care needed to make them attractive. Along with a marketing campaign promoting the beauty of brown diamonds, the jewel took off in popularity.
One 6.4 gram stone was once designated as an industrial diamond. Between its unusual coloring and large amount of clarity characteristics, the Koi Diamond’s rough seemed undesirable and an unlikely choice for fashioning. Careful work was able to turn the gemstone’s quirks into assets, producing an unusual striped diamond with inclusions that emulate fish.
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