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

Cutting the stone :
Citrine, Rainbow, #44

Citrine, Rainbow, #44

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.

 

Citrine, Rainbow, #44

 

This is how the gem starts out... as a rough stone

 

Citrine, Rainbow, #44

 

The rough stone has been affixed to the dop using wax
and we're ready to rock. (pun intended :-)

 

Citrine, Rainbow, #44

 

Cutting the pavilion.

 

Citrine, Rainbow, #44

 

Working on the girdle of the stone.

 

Citrine, Rainbow, #44

 

Viewing the stone from the bottom...
you can see the oval shape clearly now.

 

Citrine, Rainbow, #44

 

The pavilion and girdle are nicely polished.

 

Citrine, Rainbow, #44

 

 

Citrine, Rainbow, #44

 

About to transfer the stone onto another dop.
You can see the slight colour zoning from this side angle.

 

Citrine, Rainbow, #44

 

Here you can see the transfer block used
to attach the stone to the second dop.

 

Citrine, Rainbow, #44

 

Note how the first dop held the stone using wax
and the second using an epoxy.

 

Citrine, Rainbow, #44

 

Okay, we're ready to starting cutting the crown.

 

Citrine, Rainbow, #44

 

In progress...

 

Citrine, Rainbow, #44

 

Crown has been cut and is about to be polished.

 

Citrine, Rainbow, #44

 

A beautiful polished crown. It comes up with a mirror like finish.
See also how the girdle (the thin strip or belt that
goes around the middle of the gemstone) is nicely polished...
this is something to always look for when purchasing a stone.

 

Citrine, Rainbow, #44

 

Time to do the table.

 

Citrine, Rainbow, #44

 

All done... very nice stone!

 

See the finished gem here.

 

 

 

 

 

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