From Underground to Your Ring: The Journey of a Diamond

From Underground to Your Ring: The Journey of a Diamond

Walk into any fine jewelry store and you’re surrounded by blindingly bright diamonds in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and settings. But where do all those diamonds come from? 

From mining to the rings, necklaces, and earrings you see on display, let’s take a look at the journey of a diamond. 


While diamonds form nearly 90 miles below the earth’s surface, volcanic activity pushes them up, making them easier to mine. In places like Canada, Russia, Africa, and Brazil, diamonds are mined from river beds, old volcanos, and even sand.

Tons of rock and sand are moved for just a few carats, making diamonds rare and extremely valuable.

Sorting & Processing

While there are many different diamond processing methods, it is most common for diamonds to be sent to a processing plant for cleaning and sorting. 

Once the gorgeous diamonds are revealed, many are sent to the Central Selling Organization in London for sorting by weight, color, and clarity. Experts there decide the best way to cut each diamond to maximize value and really showcase its beauty. 


Diamond is the hardest material and, therefore, can only be cut by another diamond. Using specialized tools, expertise, and technique, diamonds are cut into many of the popular shapes you see today, including princess, round, oval, and marquise.

There are five steps to cutting a diamond:

  • Planning: Professionals use computers with the latest technology to carefully plan how each diamond will be cut.
  • Cleaving: The process of cutting one diamond into many smaller pieces to be shaped.
  • Bruiting: The diamond is shaped into its specific cut during a vigorous and lengthy process.
  • Polishing: This step gives the diamond its shine! Without polishing, the diamond would look like dull glass.
  • Inspection: An inspector assigns value to the diamond according to GIA standards.


If you’ve ever been diamond shopping, you have likely heard of the 4 Cs – Carat, Cut, Color, and Clarity. 

During inspections, these values are assessed in order to give the diamond its official certification grade. In the U.S., the standards for grading are set by the Gemological Institute of America. This final grade appears on the paperwork attached to the diamond.


After a diamond receives its certification, it’s time to sell to manufacturers who go on to create bracelets, earrings, necklaces, rings, and more!

It’s a long process to get a diamond from the ground to a sparkling piece to be admired and cherished. If you want to learn more about specifically where and how your diamond was acquired, you can ask your jeweler.

Custom Diamond Jewelry near Frederick, MD

At Gold Thumb Jewelry, we work hard to curate the best diamonds on the market. Browse through a variety of diamond rings in many sizes, colors, and cuts. Don’t see what you are looking for? We are happy to design and manufacture a custom piece of your choosing. Come in today to celebrate your next milestone with diamond jewelry!

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