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Diamond Cutting  Shop

[Under Construction]


The Shop

I know that there are people out there that have an interest in the equipment we use in diamond and gem cutting.  So I am putting this page together to show the equipment we use.  Along with some explanations as to what the photos show and how the equipment is used.

The Rough and Sawing

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It all starts with the rough, small parcel of approximately 22cts.

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The cutter examines the rough and marks it for sawing.

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17.85 ct marked for sawing

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The diamond saw.

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A diamond being sawed.  The diamond saw is a very thin copper blade coated with diamond dust, its the orientation of the diamond in its cutting direction against the saw blade that allows the diamond to be sawn.  The cutting direction is perpendicular to the dodecahedral grain.

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17.85ct sawed in half.


The Girdling

The girdling process is the shaping of the diamond into its finished shape. This process  goes against the grain of the diamond and is done with the utmost care. The girdle of the diamond can also be faceted to get its final shape.

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This is the girdling machine, this is a single head unit that has the ability to off set the diamond, this allows the cutter to center the diamond as well as make other elliptical shapes.

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Here you see the girdling process, the diamond cemented on the dop spins at approximately 500 rpm, with a diamond being held in a girdling stick that does the shaping.  When your finished shaping the diamond it then goes to the cutting bench.


The Diamond Cutting Bench

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This diamond cutting bench is constructed of angle iron, with a 1" steel table.  The bench has to be substantial in order to spin the 12" cast iron lap at approximately 2500 rpms, without vibration.  Diamond cutting is a grinding process, the tools that are shown here allow the cutter to hold the diamond in position against the lap to grind and polish the facets into place.


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          Here is the cast iron lap with three stones running on it. The rings you see on the lap are cutting and polishing rings, the outer wide ring is for polishing and the inner thin rings are for cutting.

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My Diamond Cutting Bench at work.  The tangs and dops you see around the bench are used to hold the diamonds while being cut.

The Tangs and Dops

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These two tangs are for holding the diamond in the bottom position, which allows the cutter to place the 8 main pavilion facets.  The top tang is manual positioning and the bottom tang is automatic positioning

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Here you see the diamond set in the bottom tang and being measured for accurate angle.

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Here you see the diamonds on the left  being cut in bottom position.  Note that the dop is holding the diamond by the girdle edge.  The diamond on the right is being cut in top position or crown.  Note that the diamond is being held with pressure on the table of the diamond.

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The top tang is for cutting the girdle of the diamond and the bottom tang is for cutting the crown of the diamond.

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Here we are measuring the angle of the crown main facet.

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These tangs are used with dops the are on copper stalks, to make an adjustment with a dop on a copper stalk you simply bend the wire.  On our other dop and tangs we make an adjustment by turning a knob on the dop.  The top tang is for cutting and polishing the table or making the culet.  The wooden tang is the first tang used in diamond cutting, and used a variety of dops to do the cutting.

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Here are a variety of dops used with the tangs that take copper stalks.   Starting top left is a bottom dop, top dop, brass table dop, table dop and a girdle dop.  A cutter needs the variety of dops to cut a diamond,  there are also dops for certain shapes of diamonds.  The dops for pear, marquise and emerald cuts have different holding ability to help produce the finished shape.

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These are the measuring devices that we use to produce the finished diamond.  Starting at the top left we have a girdle marker this allows all facets to meet at the same point in the girdle, a 90 degree guage, a 41 degree gauge, an emerald cut gauge, star emerald cut gauge (38 to 45), crown star gauge (30 to 37), bottom gauge (41 to 42), and the butterfly bottom gauge (39 to 42).

All this equipment is used to produce one thing and that's BEAUTY.


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Send mail to gary@gem-info.com with questions or comments about this web site.
Last Update January 17, 2009