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For many people, the saying 'diamonds are a girl's best friend' is absolutely true, but is anybody ever talking about rough diamonds when they utter that iconic phrase? When we think of diamond jewelry, our thoughts are of brilliant diamonds, colored diamonds, and fancy diamonds cut and set into precious metal. 

We don't give much thought to it but are probably all aware that the stunning piece of jewelry on your wrist, neck, finger, or ear has gone through a painstaking, expert process to get to its final stage.  But, how much do you know about how those diamonds are made and fitted into beautiful jewelry? 

Let's take a look at how a rough stone is transformed into a beautiful diamond to take center stage in a stunning piece of jewelry.

Step 1. Diamond Mining

The process begins deep within the crust of the Earth, where the action of extreme heat and pressure works on carbon to form natural diamonds - this process can take millions of years.  There are diamond mines located across various parts of the world including Africa, Canada and Australia with Russia being the largest producer. Miners set about extracting the heaps of diamond-bearing ore from these mines either in open casts or underground block caves.

Step 2. Sorting And Grading

The ore is then processed to extract the diamonds. How depends on the particular mine and its own operations. Once the rough diamonds are free from the ore, they are sorted into groups based on factors like shape, size, color and quality. This is a process referred to as diamond grading and it is the first indicator as to what the potential value of each individual rough stone is going to be.

The smallest stones will be used as pavé stones - small diamond accents in jewelry. Diamonds with poor color or too many flaws will be graded for industrial use. At number 10 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, diamond is the earth's hardest natural material and has many uses.

Step 3. Planning

After grading, each rough diamond is carefully examined by expert gemologists and experienced diamond cutters. In the modern landscape, specialized software is used to plan out the optimal ways that the stones can be cut and shaped, maximizing the beauty and importantly, minimizing any potential waste.

Each stone is assessed to see which feature will produce greater value -  it might be extra sparkle or potential for a superior color grade. The stone shape may lean itself to fancy shapes rather than a typical round brilliant cut. It is up to the expert artisans to maximize each stone's potential. 

Step 4. Sawing Or Cleaving

The first step in shaping a rough diamond involves sawing or cleaving it into much smaller pieces. This is achieved by cutting along the natural cleavage planes of a stone, which are weak points in the structure of the formed crystal. This helps to create smaller, much more manageable pieces with which to work.

Step 5. Bruting

The next stage is bruting, and this is the process of shaping the diamond into the desired round or oval shape. It is completed by rotating the stone against a strong spinning wheel that is known as a bruting machine. With careful precision, the diamond begins to take on its basic shape.

Step 6. Faceting

Faceting is regarded as one of the most critical and skilled parts of the diamond-cutting process. In this stage, highly trained diamond cutters use a cutting wheel to create the multiple facets that appear on the diamond's surface. The facets are what give the diamond its brilliance and sparkle. The number of facets that are made at this point will have already been determined during the planning stage.

Step 7. Polishing

Once faceted, the stone goes through the all-important polishing stage to remove any remaining imperfections, and also to enhance the luster of the stone. Polishing requires meticulous attention with a great deal of care and precision.

Step 8. Inspection

When all the stages are complete, the finished diamond is thoroughly inspected by an experienced gemologist with the aim of ensuring that it meets all of the desired quality standards. The inspection will include things like checking for any remaining flaws, measuring the final carat weight and assessing the overall visual appearance and color.

Step 9. Certification

Once the stone has passed its inspection, it is normally sent to a reputable gemological lab where it receives its certification. The lab will assess the quality of the diamond and issue a certificate that includes factual details about the 4 Cs, clarity, cut, carat weight and color.

Step 10. Setting

After certification, the diamond is ready to be set into a piece of jewelry. Many diamonds will end up being the center stone of an engagement ring.  A skilled jeweler will carefully design and craft the setting to best showcase the beauty of the diamond, while also importantly ensuring its security. 

Step 11. Final Inspection

Once the setting is completed, the engagement ring will undergo a final inspection to ensure that each diamond and any other colored gemstones are securely set and that the overall piece meets all of the expected quality standards.

Step 12. Presentation

Finally, the dazzling diamond ring is ready to be presented, first to the paying customer, and second to the person who is being proposed to! Engagement rings are a wonderful symbol of love and commitment, and as you can see, are a culmination of some of the most painstaking and expert processes in the world of jewelry.

The key thing to remember across the entirety of this process is that the perfect engagement ring is going to be different for everybody; it very much depends on your personal style. The solitaire diamond classic engagement ring with a band of white gold is the most popular choice but there is an incredible array of diamond and gemstone rings of contemporary or timeless design. 

From choice of precious metal to diamond setting to price range to intricate detailing and more, your own stunning engagement ring and/or wedding band should always be made from the wide range of physical properties that you desire the most. And, should the perfect choice not be found, there's the option of choosing a loose stone and taking advantage of a bespoke ring design service. 

If you are seeking engagement ring designs that still contain alluring diamonds at a slightly more affordable price, then there is always the world of lab-grown diamonds to consider. Lab-created diamonds are identical to natural stones in their physical and optical properties, so you should have no reservations about opting for a still very elegant choice that won't look out of place in any jewelry collection.

At Global Rings, we offer a fabulous range of engagement rings and also a custom design service and we're happy to advise on any aspect of choosing the perfect item of bridal jewelry. 

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