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

Cutting the stone :
Topaz, Mt Surprise, O'Briens Creek, Trouble With Tribble, #42

Topaz, Trouble With Tribble, O'Briens Creek, Mt Surprise, Australia, #42

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.

 

Topaz, Mt Surprise, Trouble With Tribble, #42

 

The rough stone is affixed to the dop.

 

Topaz, Mt Surprise, Trouble With Tribble, #42

 

That's a big piece of rock!!!

 

Topaz, Mt Surprise, Trouble With Tribble, #42

 

Cutting the pavilion... there's a lot of grinding to be done.

 

Topaz, Mt Surprise, Trouble With Tribble, #42

 

grinding, grinding, grinding...

 

Topaz, Mt Surprise, Trouble With Tribble, #42

 

Okay, we can start to see the pavilion taking shape.

 

Topaz, Mt Surprise, Trouble With Tribble, #42

 

View of the pavilion with the girdle cut as well.

 

Topaz, Mt Surprise, Trouble With Tribble, #42

 

Side shot of the stone.

 

Topaz, Mt Surprise, Trouble With Tribble, #42

 

Pavilion and girdle nicely polished.

 

Topaz, Mt Surprise, Trouble With Tribble, #42

 

I was cutting the crown at night and took this
photo with the lamp shining onto the topaz.
Look at how it lit up!!!!

 

Topaz, Mt Surprise, Trouble With Tribble, #42

 

It positively glows!!!

 

Topaz, Mt Surprise, Trouble With Tribble, #42

 

I couldn't stop moving the topaz around under
the light and taking photos.

 

Topaz, Mt Surprise, Trouble With Tribble, #42

 

Okay, getting sensible again... a view of the crown.

 

Topaz, Mt Surprise, Trouble With Tribble, #42

 

Side shot showing the profile of the stone with
the crown polished.

 

Topaz, Mt Surprise, Trouble With Tribble, #42

 

Cutting the table.

 

Topaz, Mt Surprise, Trouble With Tribble, #42

 

Table has been polished.

 

Topaz, Mt Surprise, Trouble With Tribble, #42

 

Another shot of the table.

 

Topaz, Mt Surprise, Trouble With Tribble, #42

 

Looking good. We've finished cutting and polishing.

 

Topaz, Mt Surprise, Trouble With Tribble, #42

 

Just have to take the stone off the dop.

 

Topaz, Mt Surprise, Trouble With Tribble, #42

 

All done, straight off the dop and about to be cleaned.
She certainly's a big stone!

 

See the finished gem here.

 

 

 

 

 

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