Antwerp diamond factory visit showcases craftsmanship
ANTWERP, January 28, 2013 – A visit to an Antwerp diamond factory showcased the precision of craftsmanship involved in converting rough stones into superbly cut and polished gems.
A Jewellery Outlook correspondent visited the factory of S. Muller and Sons in the Antwerp diamond district during the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair, which runs from January 27 to 29, 2013.
During the visit, around 12 highly skilled craftsmen were cutting and polishing diamonds, working with some of the latest equipment at benches with gemstones typically ranging from 0.50 to 10 carats.
Many of the stones are sourced in online tenders.
Each stone presents its own challenges, depending on its features, according to Jean-Claude Muller, who runs the company with the support of his sons-in-law.
The factory processes some 50 gemstones a week. Cutting and polishing a stone can take on average some 10 days, but a bigger stone can take several weeks.
The craftsmen showed infinite patience as they cut the stones and honed the facets.
When the stones are ready, they are appraised by an in-house gemologist and later sent for certification by a recognised body such as the GIA.
“The stone needs to be perfect when it leaves the factory,” said Rudy Somers, one of Muller’s senior craftsmen.