Diamond is nature’s hardest material, consisting of carbon. Throughout history, the diamond has taken its place in people’s lives as a symbol of power, splendor, and love. It adds great value to the dance with the light and takes it to a different point from precious stones. Diamond is not used in its raw state, so it must be processed. Diamond jewelers process the diamond. In doing so, they need various tools and equipment.
The tools and equipment used by diamond jewelers are diamond magnifier, tweezers, cleaning cloth, diamond measuring instruments (diamond boy and Leveridge gauge), fluorescent lamp + sample diamonds, a full set of diamonds, grading paper, dimensional analysis projector, microscope, and thermal conductivity meter for diamonds and their imitations. In this article, I will give detailed information about diamond jewelers’ tools and instruments.
Main Tools Used by Diamond Jewelers
Diamond jewelers use several tools in order to process diamonds. These are listed below:
- Diamond magnifier
- Cleaning cloth
- Diamond measuring tools (diamond boy and Leveridge gauge)
- Fluorescent lamp + sample diamonds
- A full set of diamonds
- Grading paper
- Dimensional analysis projector
- Thermal conductivity meter for diamonds and their imitations
Most jewelers insist on using a magnifying glass at the lowest 10x setting. It is the simplest property to look for in a diamond loupe to determine the degree of clarity of a diamond. Diamond magnifiers are also used to evaluate the finishing touch of a diamond.
The tweezers are made of stainless steel and are designed to hold and lift diamonds.
The most suitable cloth for cleaning diamonds is an antistatic cloth. Cleaning a diamond with a duster is an important step when determining the degree of clarity because dust can stick to diamonds very easily.
Diamond gauges (diamond boy and Leveridge gauge)
The diamond gauge (diamond boy) is an instrument that has been used since ancient times to measure the radius and height of single diamonds. Gauge eyes go to 1%-100% of a millimeter. The other measuring device (Leveridge gauge) is an invaluable tool for jewelers to determine the value of diamonds. This tool is specifically designed to calculate the arch radius and height of mounted diamonds of all shapes and sizes. It can also be used for single diamonds. A chart is also needed with this instrument to convert measurements to weights.
To analyze the stones and determine the color ratio, a daylight lamp with fluorescent tubes that absorb cold or even light is used, along with a diamond magnifier.
Fluorescent lamp + sample diamonds
A daylight lamp sourced from long-wave ultraviolet light for luminescence testing. A black ultraviolet filter is attached to the top of the lamp to aid in radiation analysis. Samples of radiant diamonds are placed on this filter and the stones to be analyzed are compared with sample diamonds in terms of luminosity.
A full set of diamonds
A set of diamonds whose color, degree of clarity, height, and weight are well known are used as standard stones when grading the color of diamonds. These diamonds may not be luminescent but must weigh at least 0.25ct, and the color must meet international standards.
This paper is an ultra white special paper that can be folded. It is used when grading the color of diamonds.
Dimensional analysis projector
This instrument is an optical instrument for measuring brilliant-cut dimensions. It is a system of mirrors and lenses that reflect the silhouette of the diamond to be cut on a screen. In the GIA ratio microscope, a display with a Tolkowsky ratio diagram is used as standard. Another European standard screen is used. Table radius, crown and cone height, average height, and belt thickness can be read from vertical, horizontal, and diagonal scales.
A binocular directly illuminated microscope is perhaps the most important instrument used in gemology. The average power of the microscope is calculated by multiplying the power of the eyepieces by the power of the objective. For example, a 4x lens with a 5x eyepiece magnifies 20 times. Binocular microscopes (with two eyepieces) usually include prisms, as the image is upright. Binocular viewing provides a stereoscopic image that allows depth perception.
In particular, it is used to determine whether the object being looked at is an appendix or on the surface of the stone. For almost any purpose, 10x to 40x magnification is sufficient. The higher the magnification, the shorter the focal distance, and therefore the harder it is to illuminate the stones fully. Many of these problems can be overcome by using lenses, as with a microscope.
In this way, the microscope generally provides a greater focal distance, greater depth, and width of field than a diamond loupe. The magnification of the lenses determines the length of the microscope tube and the power of the eyepieces.
Conductivity meter for diamonds and their imitations
This instrument is a battery-operated instrument that measures thermal conductivity. Since diamond is the most heat-conducting stone among known precious stones, conductivity measuring instrument distinguishes diamonds from imitations.
In diamond classification, it is very important to know the exact weight of the diamond. Because even a difference of 0.01 carats means a 20% decrease in the price of the diamond. It is possible to measure the weight precisely using an electronic scale. These instruments are called direct-indicator scales and can display weights less than 0.001ct.
One of the lighting methods used to see the inner features of a diamond is diffuse lighting. The light must come vertically from behind the stone, first entering the stone through a white towel or piece of frosted white glass. Surface dirt is very often mistaken for internal imperfections, so the diamond should always be thoroughly cleaned by rubbing vigorously with a silk cloth or lint-free towel.
If the diamond is stuck somewhere and it is not possible to clean it in this way, it is necessary to clean it with alcohol. A faceted stone should be thoroughly examined by the table part first, as this large surface gives the best view of the interior of the stone. However, the diamond should still be inspected from all sides for any cracks that are not visible from the table portion.
Measuring Instruments Used by Diamond Jewelers
- Steel ruler
The ruler is made of spring steel, which can be bent, and has a millimetric measurement distribution. It is used to measure the parts to be machined.
The caliper is a universal working tool. It is a small simple slider with millimetric units required for measuring lengths. It is used to measure exterior, interior, and depths. In addition, the accuracy of the angles and parallelism can be checked with this tool. Measurements with a length of 1/10 mm can be read on the sliding arm.
- Spring Caliper
This caliper is used to easily and quickly measure the thickness of materials bounded by parallel planes, such as sheets or flat bars. Self-locking due to spring when it comes to stop and measuring point makes this type of caliper useful.
It is another measurement tool that can measure metal and wire thicknesses at the rate of 1% of a millimeter. Consisting of two parts, one end of the tool is fixed and U-shaped. The other end is a rod driven by a micrometric screw. The ends of the U-shaped section in contact with the moving rod are straight and parallel to each other. The indicator is at zero when the tips are in contact.
It is used when measuring distances between objects or transferring designed jewelry measurements to metal. Thanks to its pointed ends, parallel lines or circles can be drawn on the metal. It is used as an auxiliary tool in measuring the inner and outer lengths of parallel lines. Long, short and spiked compasses are available.
- Ring Size Mandrel
It is a conical rod made of iron or copper alloy, with a graduated top. Each degree represents a ring size. This rating is normally based on the circumference of the ring. Rarely, the diameter of the ring can also be taken as a basis. The measuring range usually starts at 41 mm and ends at 76 mm. The same measurement can start at 1 mm and end at 36 mm.
- Ring Measuring Ring
This tool consists of rings arranged in order from small to large, placed in a large circle. The rings are numbered sequentially from 1 to 36. The circumference is given in mm. The circumference of the smallest ring is 41 mm, and the largest is 76 mm. The ring measuring ring is used to measure finger sizes.
The miter is used when measuring and drawing ninety-degree angles.
- Stone Sieve and Scale
A stone sieve is used to separate stones according to their sizes. It is in the form of discs with holes on them. The dimensions of the holes vary in millimeters in each disc.
Hand Tools Used on the Bench by Diamond Jewelers
Diamond jeweler’s bench is made of wood so that one or more people can work. The height of the bench is usually 80 cm from the ground, and there is a half-moon-shaped recess at the level to be worked. In the middle of this recess, there is a wooden wedge called ‘tongue’. In order to prevent metal dust from spilling on the floor, there is a drawer or a piece of leather attached to that recess at the bottom of the half-moon-shaped recess. Let’s get to know the hand tools used on the bench by diamond jewelers.
It is a gas-powered tool used in heat treatments such as annealing and welding metal. It has different heads that can be changed according to the heat treatment to be applied. The gas adjustment throttle within the torch allows adjusting the gas coming out of the torch mouth. In this way, the size and hardness of the flame can be adjusted. Double inlet torches have an air inlet as well as a gas inlet. While the gas allows the flame to form, it helps to adjust the degree of hardness of the flame in the air.
- Rock wool
It is a material that has heat insulation and is used to make heat treatments on it. The thermal insulation feature of rock wool protects the countertop from heat and ensures that the temperature of the metal subjected to heat treatment is maintained. There are two types, paper, and stone rock wool. Usually, its size is 15×25 cm. Today, besides rock wool, fire brick or ceramic welding stands are used.
It is a tool similar to tweezers for holding small pieces of metal, precious stones, and similar objects. It was made in different ways for different purposes. The weld pair is normally pointed and serves to hold small workpieces, especially parts during the welding process. It is spring-loaded double self-clamping, with rounded ends and a heat-insulating handguard made of fiber. With the spring couple, working parts that need to be inserted into the fire can be attached.
The ends of the pair of stones are wider and rounded, with ribs inside, and are used to hold jewels. The ends of the pair of rings can be in the form of hooks passing through the ring, or they can be in the form of a circular form that wraps around the outer circumference of the ring. It ensures that the ring is kept stable during welding.
- Saw Arm and Bristles
The saw arm consists of a U-shaped body and a wooden handle for attaching saw blades. In the adjustable saw arm, the U-shaped part is narrowed and the broken bristles can be reused. It allows the shape drawn on the metal to be cut and discharged. Saw bristles are produced from special hardened steels. If it is too hard, it will break quickly. If it is soft, it will blunt. During cutting, burrs enter between the teeth, making cutting difficult, so wax that provides lubrication is used. Saw blades are selected according to the metal thickness and desired precision.
Scissors are tools used to cut metal. Scissors are available according to the thickness of the metal to be cut. Sheet Metal Scissors are used for cutting metal parts up to 1mm thick. Straight lines or slightly curved figures on metal are cut with sheet metal shears. It is also used in soldering cuts. Figure Scissors are used for cutting round figures, while the size of the diameter depends on the size of the scissors and the material thickness.
Side Scissors are specially used for cutting 3 mm thick wires. Steel wires with a thickness of approximately 11/2 mm can be cut with side scissors, which are made of a special alloy. The Arm Scissors allow large pieces approximately 3mm thick to be cut in a straight line.
They are tools used for cutting operations, whose cutting capacity is determined by the thickest diameter steel wire that can be cut. The Casting Chisel is used to separate the cast parts from the cast wood, while the side cutter is used to cut various wires. The inclination of the rim planes of the chisels relative to the handle is important.
Tools used to hold, pull, bend and bend a wire or sheet. It is made of quenched steel. The forms at the ends of the pliers differ according to their usage areas. There are toothed and toothless varieties. Flat pliers, half-round pliers, nose pliers, cylindrical nose pliers, parallel pliers, and ring holding pliers are the most commonly used pliers in jewelry.
Geared tools made of high-value or chrome-alloyed steel, used to remove roughness or stripes on metal or to shape metal. Files consist of two parts, the threaded file part, and the tail part. Optionally, a handle can be attached to the tail part. The file can be single row and double row toothed. Tooth length is the number of teeth per inch or 1 cm in length. Files are classified according to their tooth shape as coarse, coarse, semi-coarse, fine, and very fine.
Hand files are used for materials that need to be processed a lot and for large areas. Forming files; It is used in normal-sized pieces, mostly in silverwork. Needle files are used for small parts and small surfaces. Files can be flat, herringbone, triangular, round, etc. Different varieties are available. The most suitable file should be used according to the surface and shape to be filed.
It is a tool consisting of a wooden handle and a metalhead, used in fixing the plates, shaping the metal, creating different appearances on the metal surface, and pegging.
- Wooden Mallet
It is used to form and straighten ring rings on the mandrel, and to straighten metal plates and wires. It consists of a wooden cylinder and a wooden handle. The purpose of being wooden is to be able to exert force on the metal without damaging the metal.
The brush used on the bench is used for sweeping the hands, work table, and skin (drawer) after sawing. Its shape is similar to a paintbrush. Wild rabbit’s feet could be used in this process because it is hairy and does not shed, but it is not common today. The wire brush is used for cleaning the burned residue on metal, polishing the metal after acid, making silver gilding. The washing brush is a type of brush with fine bristles used for cleaning polish dirt after polishing.
Brief History of Hand Tools Used by Mankind
Hand tools are human-powered tools made to meet various needs. Neither can there be a tool without a human nor a human without a tool, both emerged at the same time. Being highly developed beings, human beings have been instrumentalized by working with natural objects, and objects that have become human have also been used in this way. The pre-human being, which later developed into a human being, was able to show such a development because it had a special organ, that is, the hand, with which it could hold and grasp objects.
The ‘hand’ is the main organ of culture, the initiator of humanization. Man’s finding that some tools are more useful than others, that one tool can be used in place of another, gradually revealed that the inadequate tool at hand can be put into a more effective form, that is, a tool need not be taken from nature as it is, but can be given a form.
In the beginning, when man was collecting, he saw that a sharp-edged stone took on the function of his own teeth and nails to cut, shred and crush the caught prey. Stones are tools that can be understood through experimentation, where they can be used for any purpose. Two things emerge at the end of this hands-on thinking. The first is that certain stones are more useful than others, and one can choose between the things that nature offers to man, so over time, the search for stones according to the purpose predominates. Another is; that it is not necessary to expect it from nature because nature can be corrected.
People produced tools to meet human needs from the first age to the new stone age. With the new stone and bronze age, people who have settled down in a settled life have begun to attach importance to ornamentation because they have completed their basic needs. At first, people who decorated by using what they found from nature without changing them, later realized that they could make what they got from nature even more beautiful and produced new hand tools to make them.
In the Bronze Age, he changed the shape of the objects he took from nature by piercing and beating and made them more attractive by polishing. By developing these, they began to obtain better products. They developed different methods by searching for beauty. One of these methods is to fasten the two parts together with the help of fire. People used to mix the materials they found from nature and apply them to the metal in order to attach the metals to each other. Then they kept these metals on fire and made them unite. Thus, the first source was found.
With the discovery of oil, new tools to repel the flame, as we call it today, produced torches. With the developing technology, although the hand tools produced have changed in form, their main materials have always remained the same. As a matter of fact, while sanding was done as the stones are found in nature in the past, today the stones are used by changing their form.
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