Note from the Publisher: Art of the Cutter

Our business is and will always be about people. Technology is advancing. Are we?

April 3, 2023  |  Martin Rapaport

Natural rough diamonds come in a variety of shapes. The challenge for the cutter is to imagine the polished diamond inside the rough. Sometimes a large rough diamond offers the opportunity to cut more than one polished from one piece of rough.

The decision of what to cut from the rough is often complicated by the location of inclusions and the desire to maintain an optimal weight. For example, the owner might have to decide whether to avoid certain inclusions in the rough and produce a 3.05-carat, D, SI2 instead of a pear-shaped, 2.51-carat D, VS1.

Sarine technology has turned the imagining of what the rough has to offer into a science with three-dimensional alternatives that map inclusions. The decision about which shape to produce so as to maximize profits transcends the cutter’s skills. The owner must consider numerous factors such as market prices and liquidity. Is consumer demand for pears greater than for ovals? How important is the 3-carat size for ovals? How many pears are already in inventory?

Artificial intelligence will advance the role of technology in business and in some instances replace the subjective creative decision-making we call art. Computers will calculate the shape, quality, size, inventory position, and price differentials, and tell us what to do.

The lesson here is that there is more to diamond cutting than meets the eye. This is true about everything in the diamond business. The secret to our success lies in our ability to integrate all the factors required for success. It’s not just market conditions.

How are we treating the people that work with us? Do we understand and care about our customers? Are we socially responsible relative to the environment? Where is our rough coming from?

Our business is and will always be about people. Ourselves and the people we work with and work for. It will be about our passion for what we do and how we do it. Technology is advancing. Are we?


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