Diamonds are a timeless classic commodity whose market yields many career and investment opportunities. Becoming a diamond cutter not only enables you to cut diamonds, but also pursue careers in sales, wholesale and retail marketing, as well as diamond and jewelry business ownership. Diamond cutting, which involves cleaving, bruting (shaping and smoothing the rough stone) and faceting, takes many hours of instruction and sometimes years of experience to achieve professional-level gemstone cuts. Becoming a certified diamond cutter involves completing an accredited diamond-cutting training program, such as the American Institute of Diamond Cutting or the Gemological Institute of America, and earning a certificate. Graduates can then pursue full-time or part-time entry-level diamond cutting positions, internships or apprenticeships.
Apply to the diamond-cutting certification program of your choice. Institutions may vary in their course schedule and tuition rates, but diamond-cutting certification programs usually span from seven to 20 weeks. Tuition typically ranges from $2,000 to $5,000 as of the date of publication, which usually covers practice diamonds and equipment operating costs.
Complete each section of the training. Diamond certification programs usually include courses that cover diamond grading, the 4 Cs (carat, color, cut and clarity), operation of cutting and faceting equipment, appraisals and diamond industry terminology. Certificates are awarded when students can successfully shape and facet diamonds into a particular cut and can demonstrates basic skills in repairing damaged diamonds.
Seek professional diamond cutting opportunities to further your skills and earn a living. Certified diamond-cutting graduates can pursue a number of career opportunities, including wholesale and retail sales, rough-diamond brokering, consulting, diamond-cutting production and self-employment as a diamond cutter, consultant or broker. Some may simply pursue diamond cutting as a hobby, despite the time and cost of certification.
Students are advised to enroll in each certification program as early as possible due to limited space. Diamond certification programs admit students once annually by the first week of January.
Diamond cutting can be extremely costly to learn, especially given mistakes in shaping and cutting each stone. When practicing cutting, take caution not to cut too much off the diamond; faceting mishaps can cost thousands of dollars, potentially adding to training costs.