Interview: Opinions of a Female Diamond Polisher
In light of International Women’s Day, I decided to interview one of our own female diamond polishers: Soudabeh. I was curious how she, as a woman, experiences diamond polishing, considering diamond polishing is often regarded as a male occupation.
For how long have you been a diamond polisher at Royal Coster Diamonds?
“I started three years ago at Royal Coster Diamonds. The first months as a trainee, I learned how to polish the 57 facets on a brilliant. After one year, I earned my diamond polishing certificate. In my second year, I started learning how to work with rough diamonds and transform them into polished ones. My training is not done yet. It takes four to six years to become a master polisher and I’m learning how to work with different types of rough diamonds.”
When did you know you wanted to become a diamond polisher?
“Before I started working at Royal Coster Diamonds, I was actually studying HBO Gemology. However, that study only focused on the inside of the stones and how to identify gemstones. But I think no gemstone can exist without polishing. After polishing, the stone becomes alive. That’s when I realized I want to be a polisher of the gemstones instead of only dealing with them internally.”
How did you learn to master the craft of diamond polishing?
“Not long ago, I developed the skills of how to work with every rough diamonds. I am learning that from my Coster Master Polisher. I learned a new method of polishing that suited me even better and now my creations are even more beautiful. By now I also know how to repair stones and repolish old cuts or broken diamonds.”
What is the most beautiful diamond you’ve ever polished?
“It’s not per se the most beautiful diamond, but there was a very special one. I was asked to polish a really small diamond: when I was done, the diamond was about 1 point (0.01 carat). For me, that was really special because it was a very precise job. I had to work with an 18x magnifying loupe to make sure I put all the 57 facets correctly on this tiny brilliant.”
Do you have a signature when you polish a diamond, something that shows you polished it?
“Well, every diamond polisher has a signature. You have the standard, but everyone has their own exact interpretation of how to polish a diamond in the most beautiful way. Therefore, you can vary within one brilliant actually. It is all in the shape of the facets. The angles remain the same, but the shape can be a bit different. However, the changes are so small, only trained eyes can see these signatures and only when they’ve seen those signatures before. But my Master Polisher can see immediately which diamonds I polished and which I didn’t.”
What is your favorite diamond cut and why?
“My favorites are the brilliant with 57 facets and the Royal 201 with 201 facets. These are the best cuts ever in my opinion. A brilliant shows the optical properties of a diamond in the best way and the Royal 201 is even shinier!”
Which diamond would you recommend for a traditional solitaire engagement ring in terms of carat, clarity, color, and cut?
“That would be the Royal 201 diamond cut, because it’s the shiniest one. In terms of carat: the bigger the better, right? (laughs) For me, personally, between 1 or 2 carat is a great size. The clarity is not that important to me. Each clarity we have, even up to Pique 3, would be okay for me. I find a good color way more valuable. I’d die for a River color! If the color is good, the rest matters less to me.”
What is your favorite setting for an engagement ring?
“A traditional solitaire ring with four prongs. I love simplicity.”
Do you have any tips for people who want to become a diamond polisher?
“It is all about the passion and patience. First, check if you have them both. If you can answer that with a yes, you can check out the job in a Diamond Workshop at Royal Coster. After a workshop, you can continue learning by going to a special school for diamond polishing in Antwerp. But you can also learn it on the job, just like me. But passion is really the most important thing in diamond polishing.”
Book a Masterclass
If you want to learn everything about the craft of diamond polishing and polish a diamond yourself as well, the Diamond Masterclass is the perfect experience for you.