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Diamond Cutter
Diamond cutters and other workers in the diamond industry cut and polish rough diamonds in such a way as to reflect maximum light.

Diamond cutting involves a number of stages and each stage requires a specialized tradesman to do the job:

Diamond cutters and other workers in the diamond industry cut and polish rough diamonds in such a way as to reflect maximum light.

Diamond cutting involves a number of stages and each stage requires a specialized tradesman to do the job:

Sorter: Diamonds are first sorted by diamond sorters into various shapes, sizes, colours and qualities.

Marker / Designer: Diamond markers' skills are    similar to those of architects. Markers and designers decide what the final diamonds will look like when completed.

Polisher: There are an infinite number of ways in which a diamond may be polished and the decision as to how the diamond should be marked will be based on an attempt to maximize the value of the finished product.

Diamond Sawyer: Sawyers saw the diamond using copper discs spread with diamond powder and oil. Sawyers set stones in holders containing plaster. Stones are then placed in sawing machines and the lines on the diamonds are    carefully aligned with saw-blades.

Diamond Cutter: Cutters create perfectly round diamonds with the optimum diameter. Industrial diamonds are used to cut diamonds. Diamond cutters receive diamonds from sawyers to start the second phase of finishing off the rough diamond.

Cross Worker: Cross workers lay the foundation of the diamond and follow instructions to obtain the optimum value for finished products. The work is done on a polishing disc covered with diamond powder. The diamond is held in a clamp and 18 facets are polished one by one.

Brillianteer: The last process of refining the rough diamond is to polish it. The sharp edges of the top and eight angles are cut away so that in the end the brilliantly shaped diamond will have 58 facets which reflect light to give it its characteristic brilliance.

Nearly all diamond-cutting factories are located in the Witwatersrand area, resulting in these artisans living in or moving to that area.

Satisfying Aspects
- working with your hands
- doing precise and detailed work
- pleasant work setting and working conditions
- working with objects of beauty and value

Demanding aspects
- the possibility of eyestrain resulting from a lot of detailed work
- the total concentration required when working with tiny objects
- no contact with the public
- sitting for long periods of time, or doing a lot of standing work once one is more experienced

A diamond industry worker should:
- be patient and careful:
- be accurate and precise;
- concentrate on detail for long periods;
- be reliable and honest;
- have good spatial perception;
- enjoy using their hands;
- have excellent eyesight;
- have hand and finger dexterity;
- have good eye-hand coordination;
- have mechanical skills.

School Subjects
Grade 9 Certificate.
Grade 10 Certificate (Polisher and Cutter).

Compulsory Subjects: None
Recommended Subjects: None

There are three ways to qualify as a registered artisan:

1. An apprenticeship is a 4-year contract between company and apprentice, comprising a 12-week theoretical training, which includes 4 subjects at national exam level.

2. A learnership is a structured learning programme that leads to a qualification in a certain field. The learnership programme includes a theoretical and a practical component. It usually takes about a year to complete. The training takes place on-site (on the premises of the organisation). This has the advantage that the learner gets on-the-job experience whilst training.

3. FET colleges offer theoretical training to prospective artisans via the new National Certificate Vocational (NCV). During this 3-year programme (levels 2 to 4), learners complete a school-leaving certificate (this NCV) similar to the
new National Senior Certificate (NSC) in schools. They are also exposed to a practical workshop component.

All learners are required to complete a practical internship under the supervision of an experienced artisan. As an alternative to doing the full qualification, a learner can apply to do a skills programme at a FET College. Skills programmes are short practical hands-on courses.

For more information about qualifications and skills programmes, contact your nearest FET College. FET Colleges are accredited and funded by a SETA (Sector Education and Training Authority) such as MERSETA or CHIETA. They also receive bursary funding through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) for the NCV programme.

The Diamond Education College and the Harry Oppenheimer Diamond Training School offer courses in this field.

- diamond cutting factories
- jewellers

Diamond Education College
Suite 607, 6th Floor
SA Diamond Centre
225 Main Street
Johannesburg, 2001
Tel: (011) 334-5917 Fax: (011) 334-5917
Email -

Master Diamond Cutters’ Association
Private Bag X1
Excom, 2023.
Tel. (011) 334-1930 .