Doug Menadue :: Bespoke Gems - Precision Hand Faceted Gemstones Of The Highest Quality

Cutting the stone :
Amethyst, Utopia Pear, #41

Amethyst, Utopia Pear, #41

What I wanted to do here was to give you an idea of how a stone gets cut.

The stone starts off in the "rough" and is attached to a short brass rod called a "dop" using hot wax. The dop is inserted into the "quill" which can be rotated in increments.

The quill can be set at certain angles as determined by the design being cut and in some of the photos you can see the digital angle read out. Precision cutting gems, ie. faceting, is all about correct and accurate angles.

I generally start out cutting the bottom of the gemstone, which is called the "pavilion". The "girdle" comes next which is the middle band around the gemstone. After this, the stone is then "transferred" onto a second dop and the cutting of the top half, the "crown", is done. Finally the "table" which is the top surface of the gem is cut.

To give you an idea of the number of facets on a gemstone, a standard round brilliant has 89 facets. Now, when we cut a stone we are actually grinding it on "laps". These laps have diamond grit impregnated into them and come in different grades, like sandpaper. A typical cutting sequence would be to start with 100 grit (very rough) --> 600 grit --> 1200 grit (fine) --> 3000 pre-polish --> 50,000 polish. This means that we have to touch each facet 5 times which means we are in effect cutting 445 facets!!! And you can get designs that have 150+ facets, so think about that! Cutting a fine gemstones takes time and patience... that's what you're paying for.

Once completed, the finished gemstone is removed from the dop, cleaned to remove all the traces of wax and then its ready to sparkle.

 

Amethyst, Utopia Pear, #41

 

The pavilion of the stone has been cut and polished.

 

Amethyst, Utopia Pear, #41

 

Shot of the faceting "head". The head tilts up
and down and sets the angle of the facet.
There is a round indexed dial that is used to turn the quill.
The entire head attached to the "mast" allowing
it to swing in and out.

 

Amethyst, Utopia Pear, #41

 

The stone has been transferred to another dop
and we are ready to cut the crown. Notice the rough
surface on the top... this will all be cut away.

 

Amethyst, Utopia Pear, #41

 

Cutting the crown.

 

Amethyst, Utopia Pear, #41

 

The crown has been cut and is ready for polishing.

 

Amethyst, Utopia Pear, #41

 

Polishing the crown. Each and every facet has
to be polished individually.

 

Amethyst, Utopia Pear, #41

 

Closeup of the polished crown.

 

Amethyst, Utopia Pear, #41

 

The table has been cut and is now being polished.
A special attachment is used to get a perfectly flat table top.

 

Amethyst, Utopia Pear, #41

 

Perfectly polished table.

 

Amethyst, Utopia Pear, #41

 

All done.

 

Amethyst, Utopia Pear, #41

 

The finished gem.

 

See the finished gem here.

 

 

 

 

 

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