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

FAQ

How long does it take to cut a gemstone?
How is a gemstone cut?
Why do you do it?
Why are bespoke precision cut gems more expensive then commercial "native" cut gems?
What is the difference between your bespoke precision cut gemstone and a commercial "native" gemstone?
What do I look for when buying a faceted gemstone?
What do I look for when buying a rough gemstone?
Will you look at my rough stone?
Will you cut my rough stone? Do you do custom orders?
How much do you charge to cut a stone?
What's your favorite stone?
Can I pay off my gemstone over a period of time?
What are my postage and shipping options?
Can I return my gemstone if I don't like it?

I have a an old gemstone that is very worn, can you fix it?

How long does it take to cut a gemstone?

I generally work on a stone a day. I don't cut a stone every day, week in week out but I do try to keep up a good pace. It also depends on the size of the stone, the complexity of the design, type of material, etc. Smaller simpler designs maybe four to five hours a stone. Medium sort of stones about five to eight hours while other stones can take 2 or more days. Some stones like sapphires simply take a little longer to do because it is a hard stone. Big stones with big facets can take alot longer to polish. I certainly don't "rush" my cutting. I give each stone the same high level of attention and care. Being in a hurry and rushing one's cutting is a sure way to botch things up. Each and every stone deserves it's full measure of time, appreciation, respect and the best that I can do.



How is a gemstone cut?

With patience and care. I write about how I go about cutting a gemstone here. There are a number of example cuttings that I work through so that you get a good idea.



Why do you do it?

Because I love it, plain and simple. I love the colours of each gem and the light and fire that lives inside them. I've always collected stones, even as a kid I collected quartz crystals, agates, jasper and other stones that were in the area where I lived. The precise geometric designs of faceted gems also appeals to my particular nature and artistic side. Having the sort of mind that programmed computers for 20 years melded perfectly with faceting gemstones, and the ability to sit quietly for long periods of time in a semi trancelike state helps too. :-)



Why are bespoke precision cut gems more expensive then commercial "native" cut gems?

Quality, Quality, Quality! A precision cut bespoke gem is all about quality and uniqueness. I focus only on cutting the best quality gem rough that I am able to source. I simply don't have the time or interest to cut rubbish. High quality rough IS expensive and getting more so day by day. It is also very hard to source for numerous reasons. Also, as an individual gemcutter I find I have to pay a premium on select high quality rough and I'm up against large commercial operations. Remember, there are very large commercial interests in the marketplace that are able to buy large amounts of rough far more cheaply then I ever could, often directly from the source mines. These commercial interests setup cutting factories / houses in Asia and India where they are able to pay their cutters a bowl of rice a day to sit there and cut stones. Logic dictates that someone paid next to nothing and has to produce as many gemstones as possible each day is not going to take great care in the stones they cut.

There is nothing unique about the stones that these factories produce and the quality is generally at the lower end of the scale. They are almost always the same dull ovals, rounds or step rectangles where, if you look closely, you'll see no meet points meeting, poor polishing and finish, unpolished girdles, chips and flaws, wrong angles on the crown and pavilion... especially the pavilion! Just look for the "goldfish belly" which is purely about weight retention and not performance and light return. The designs are all the same, nothing unique or exciting about them at all.

Here's another way of looking at it. Think about wine or scotch for a moment. You can get a bottle of red wine for $5, $50 and even $500 or more. I suspect that to most people its all just red wine. It all looks red and comes in the same size bottle and pretty much tastes the same as well. So why spend more then $5 for a bottle of red? Could it be quality? Sure, you can get some expensive wines that are no good but by and large, those expensive wines are expensive for good reason. Once you start paying attention to the detail and get in close you'll notice that there is all the difference in the world. The same applies to scotch... you have your Johnny Walker "Red" label that you can get nice and cheap from any bottle shop and liquor store, and then there is the "blue" label that you'll pay considerably more for. How about cars? Is there a difference between a bottom end vehicle and top of the line Ferrari or Bentley? Afterall they both have four wheels and will get you from A to B. What about fine hand crafted furniture made by a true craftsman as opposed to say something slapped together at the local pine furniture warehouse? Why would there be a difference in price and quality... afterall, a table is a table, a bookcase is just a bookcase. Its all about
QUALITY!

You are not going to get high quality items cheap regardless of what they are (except perhaps garage sales and other situation where the seller doesn't realise what they are selling). Producing high quality items, be they fine handcrafted cabinets or gemstones, takes time, attention to detail and selecting the best material and design. It takes time to learn the art and craft of producing these fine items... not to mention perseverence. You'll also find that most gemcutters and other fine artisans do it not for the money (believe me, most definitely not for the money), rather they do it because they love it and can immerse themselves into their craft. They love discussing their craft with people and enjoy selling their goods to people who will appreciate them.

What is the difference between your bespoke precision cut gemstone and a commercial gemstone?

Quite a bit. Bespoke precision cutting and commercial or "native" cutting are two quite different things with different objectives and considerations. I talk about it more here.



What do I look for when buying a faceted gemstone?

Thats a question that opens up into a big subject. I give an introduction concerning what to look for when buying a gemstone here. Have a look at that for starters. It can be quite an involved subject but with knowing a few of the basics you can increase your ability to spot a good gemstone considerably. The more gemstones you look at the better you get.



What do I look for when buying a rough gemstone?

Thats another indepth question. I give an introduction here about some of the basics in selecting a good piece of rough to have cut. Selecting your own piece of rough, be it at a gem show, online or even if you dug it yourself can be a great experience, both satisfying and rewarding. Having it professionally faceted and set in a beautiful setting enriches the experience and at the end of the day you'll have something quite special that you made happen from go to whoa.



Will you look at my rough stone?

Absolutely! If you are thinking of purchasing a rough stone, say from an online dealer, I'd be most happy to have a look at it and give an opinion as best I can. This is a good move especially if you are looking for a particular rough stone that will cut a certain shape or size. If you already have some rough and not sure what you can do with it, you can either send me some pics or mail the actual rough to me for a proper inspection. Obviously contact me first if you intend to send me some rough and we can discuss it, but there is no obligation or cost involved (other then postage to and from). Its all part of the service. :-)



What's your favorite stone?

In truth I like them all, but if I was hard pressed to name a favorite I'd have to say natural blue topaz and the clear silver white topaz. Perhaps its because I've cut so much of this material that I've started to really see and appreciate its beauty and bright nature. I particularly love the soft blue colour of the natural blues, its an "elegant" blue, soft and cooling. Topaz is nice and hard so it can take a knock and it is so bright and flashy! It works well in just about every design I've cut it in and each stone has its own personality, especially the blues. Some of the blues have alot of colour while others are quite light but with just enough colour to add lovely bright blue highlights to the flash and fire. The clear silver white topaz really suits nice brilliant styles like my Sunflare design that makes a topaz go absolutely nuts with a full fire of glittering rainbow coloured confetti like flashes and scintillation. Plus I also know where this topaz comes from because the vast majority of my topaz I have personally dug myself at O'Briens Creek.



Will you cut my rough stone? Do you do custom orders?

I certainly do custom orders and I will happily cut your rough stone. I provide more information here about custom orders. Naturally any rough stones that you provide will have to be inspected first to see whether it is suitable for the job. I need to inspect it for any possible flaws and inclusions as well as determine whether a cut gem of the desired size and design can be obtained from it. We discuss this and once we decide on what the plan is and so forth, you can choose whether to proceed or not. You are under no obligations to have your rough cut by me.



How much do you charge to cut a stone?

For information about my cutting rates, click here.



Can I pay off my gemstone over a period of time?
What are my postage and shipping options?
Can I return my gemstone if I don't like it?

Yes, I provide a "layby" or "layaway" option so you can pay off your gemstone over a period of time. I send everything registered via Australia Post and most certainly you can return your gemstone (undamaged!) if you don't like it. Have a look here for more ordering information.



I have a an old gemstone that is very worn, can you fix it?

Yes! I can repair and repolish old worn and damaged gemstones such as grandma's sapphire or pop's ruby.





 

 

 

 

 

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