Refinement. The word sounds lovely and even stately when used as the adjective refined. Even the presence of the word implies luxury. If it’s describing something you want to buy, it means you’re going to pay a higher cost. That is the defining piece to the process of refinement. It costs.
Refinement could actually be considered gruesome or harsh. When it comes to precious metals, extreme heat is required. The metals are melted down until the dross is separated, and all that’s left is pure gold or silver. For diamonds to develop, carbon has to undergo extreme pressure and heat over an extended period of time. Even for wood carvings or sculptures to take form, the artist has to remove, to cut away, to whittle and to shape the medium to uncover beauty and significance from it.