Barranca Diamond Logo

Development History of the Notched Rim Lapidary Diamond Blade

1935-1939
Richard Felker, a pharmacist develops the first diamond blade. Felker uses rudimentary tools to strike an edge in the rim of a steel core and then adds a mixture of natural diamonds, metal powders, and olive oil to create a wheel that will cut both natural and manmade stone products.

1941-1942
The US Government War Department contracts Richard Felker to use diamond blades to cut optical grade quartz for crystal frequency tuning controls in radio transceivers and other military applications.

1942-1945
German engineers pioneer the development of metal bonded natural diamond blades capable of cutting green concrete for construction of German autobahn highways. Felker develops the first US manufactured sintered metal bond notched rim blades using natural diamonds. Les Kuzmick and Emilio Valenti design and manufactured custom notching machinery and a furnace process for Felker. Process patented by Kuzmick in 1941.

1948-1949
Felker is sold to Dresser Industries.

1949-1950
The Felker notched rim blade using natural diamonds is manufactured on a production scale for industrial and lapidary use.

1960-1970
General Electric Co. develops the first manmade synthetic diamonds. Musto Industries (MK Diamond) under direction of Mr. Paul Mitchell develops a diamond blade manufacturing facility in Hawthorne, California. Emilio Valenti leaves Felker to work for MK Diamond in the development of MK’s notched and segmented synthetic diamond blade manufacturing.

The Congo notched rim blade - first line of manmade synthetic diamond blades for lapidary use - is introduced into the lapidary market. Star Diamond Industries (Craft Tools), under Mr. Webb Morrow's direction develops a notched blade manufacturing process nearly identical to the MK Diamond and Felker process. Similar process is developed by Vanguard Industries (Federal-Mogul Corp). MK Diamond Products (Musto Industries) and Highland Park Manufacturing merge to continue the development and production of quality notched, segmented and continuous rim blades (Congo, Criterion, Gem King and Artisan Professional Blades).

Musto Industries sells MK Diamond to Mr. Robert J. Delahaut, Richard Rice and Bob Messner. Notched rim blade production continues although demand from the lapidary market continues to decline.

1986-1987
Star Diamond Industries acquires the lapidary blade manufacturing business from MK Products. Notched rim blades are marketed as Moonglow and Meteor models. MK continues to market Gemking and Criterion notched rim blades.

1987
MK Diamond sells the HP lapidary equipment division to Contempo Industries.

1988-1990
Felker and Vanguard (Target) terminate notched rim diamond blade manufacturing. This leaves Star Diamond as the single producer of notched rim blades for the lapidary industry.

1997-2005
Star Diamond Industries terminates the production of notched rim blades. Barranca Diamond acquires the manufacturing process and specialized tools and begins a process of redeveloping the notched rim blade. Barranca introduces a newly re-engineered line of lapidary notched rim blades to the marketplace, as well as drag, slab and trim saws, grinders and wet polishing systems.

2005-Present
Barranca Diamond is acquired by MK Diamond Products, a market leader in the manufacturing and distribution of construction products.