Research Outline

Diamond Cutting and Polishing


To understand the pricing of cutting diamonds.

Early Findings

  • Diamond cutting costs often depend on the location of processing. For example, in India it might only cost $10/carat but in the US, it's $100/carat. Another article gives costs of $50/carat in South Africa and $17/carat in China.
  • This is down to labor costs. As such, the majority of smaller stones (under 3 carats) are now cut in China and India. 92% of smaller diamonds are cut in India.
  • The cost of cutting is actually expected to drop further, as advanced software can now map out the most efficient way to cut a diamond, meaning laser cutting and polishing machines minimize human input.
  • Non-wholesale cutting costs are, understandably, much higher. For example, one small business in Texas charges $225/carat for smaller stones, $250/carat for 3-5 carats and any higher is pricing on request. "Economy" cutting is $135/carat for smaller.
  • Emerald is, though, one of the cheaper diamond cuts.
  • Of $100 in diamond value, only about $4 is attributed to the cutting process.