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.

Proposed next steps:

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We can complement the research by identifying the 3-4 major market players in the diamond industry, their share in manufacturing, location and how their products are different from others'.
We also recommend continued research to identify 2-3 trends as determined by industry experts in the diamond cutting and polishing process that are addressing increase of yields, reduction of wastage, and reduction of the average costs in the diamond manufacturing process.