There is still no precise evidence to prove how, when and where the diamond cutting first began or who made the first attempt to cut diamonds. However, we can definitely put together the probable episodes to create a chronological order of the events from the times when simple diamond cutting tools were used until the times when cutting edge technologies have forayed.
As it turns out, diamonds were initially not cut at all. Diamonds in the early stages of its discoveries were used in their original or natural octahedral shape. In fact, those diamonds that were not naturally of octahedral shape were not used at all. Not much was done to the diamonds. At the most they would be polished to improve the shine of the diamond’s face. There were some diamond cutters who took the trouble of cutting the very rough diamonds into the desired octahedral ones. This cut was referred to as the point cut.
The 14th century gave birth to numerous diamond polishers in Nurnberg and by the 15th century the point cut was upgraded. Diamond cutters started removing most of the octahedral shape to form the table cut. They also went on to introduce the culet. Consequently, four facets were added. The diamonds back then were not cut to attain the maximum fire or brilliance.
In the 15th century, a Flemish polisher Lodewyk van Berquen unveiled the symmetrical facets. He is credited today for the creation of the pear-shaped stone that comprises of triangular facets on both sides. Then the rose cut or rosette cut, believed to have been imported from India, came into the scene. The brilliant cut first appeared in the 17th century. The early brilliant cut consisted of 17 facets on the crown which later increased to 33 facets by a Venetian polisher, Vincent Peruzzi. Next came the European diamond cut, that boast of a shallow pavilion and a round shape with an arrangement of facets that is far different. This turned out to be the forerunner of the modern round brilliant cut diamonds.
With the onset of the 20th century, one could see a revolutionary change in technology wherein an improvement in diamond cutting technology was also very much evident. The extensive research done by Marcel Tolkowsky paved the way for the developments of the modern diamond cuts. The diamond industry soon bloomed and eventually came to what we see it today. Today, diamond cutters use cutting edge technology, computer and lasers, to give the much needed fire and brilliance that the diamonds are so famous for.