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Carved Diamonds

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Photo: Robert Weldon/GIA, Courtesy of Samir Doshi.

11.52 carat diamond carving of Munisuvrat Swami. The swami is a revered ascetic in Hindu culture.

Why do you rarely (if ever) see carvings made of diamond?  Because it’s hard. Really, really, hard. Diamond comes from the Greek word adamas meaning invincible. Diamond is the hardest substance on Earth, and only a diamond can cut a diamond.
Today’s diamonds are cut and polished into sparkling, multi-faceted gemstones using a combination of lasers, mechanical saws and laps coated with diamond powder. A faceted diamond can be created in less than a day, thanks to modern technology.

A figure of Jesus hanging on a cross carved into diamond.

In comparison, these unique sculptures, with their notches and curves, were done largely by hand. Samir Doshi, diamond carver and sculptor of K9 Jewells in Mumbai, carves gem quality and non-gem quality diamonds using a combination of proprietary tools — similar to the hand-held tools of traditional diamond cutters — and a minimal use of lasers. It’s a labor-intensive process; each carving took a year or more to complete. The two-headed horse below is 4.07 carats and done entirely by hand without the use of a laser.