Cabochon Cutting and Society for Creative Anachronism


I was wondering if anyone could recommend a place for me to send
some stones I have (rough, of course) which I’d like to have cut
into cabs. I would do it myself, but I don’t know how, which
brings me to my next question.

How do I cut cabs? Most of the rough I have is peridot, but I
also have some material that has tigers eye, agate, a bit of
quartz and I think a bit of jade. Would anyone be willing to
either do cutting for me or explain to me how to do it?

In response to someone’s question, SCA is basically a Middle
Ages/Renaissance reenactment group. We have events very similar
to Renaissance Faires, where we dress in period clothes, study
the arts and sciences of those times, and even the military
tactics of the time (although little me certainly doesn’t
fight!) It’s a very friendly group, based in CA, comprised of
folks from all walks of life, including a large number of
artists, computer geeks, and other types of technical fields.
For more info, visit

Anywho, thanks in advance to anyone willing to help with cabs.

-Cortney in Pittsburgh, PA


If you just want a few cabs cut from your stone you might try
your local gem society. Most areas of the country have a
lapidary club and often one of the members would be willing to
either cut them or show you how. You can start looking here
which is the South Central Federation group or you could ask
on the Lapidary Digest and email list. To subscribe to the
Lapidary Digest, send a message to, with
the word SUBSCRIBE DIGEST as the subject of the message. Great
people here and they have a web site at

Nancy Bernardine-Widmer
Bernardine Art Jewelry

Hi, Cortney! My friend, Gerry Galarneau, is a professional
lapidary with 25 years experience. He may be willing to cut your
stones. You can contact him via his website,

I think the most practical way to learn cabbing is to get in
touch with your local lapidary society or club. The May 99
Lapidary Journal contains a listing of clubs, including the
Mineral and Lapidary Society of Pittsburgh, Inc, phone#
1-412-655-4304. They probably have classes available, and may
have a shop available to members as well. Good luck, and I hope
you have as much fun cutting stones as I do.


PS., I have been cabbing for a few years now. Please feel free
to contact me off list any time.

G’day; You really need to be set up for the job if you do it
yourself, and a diamond saw, correct grindstones, laps, etc are
really necessary. However, I reckon your best course is to go to
your local library and tell the librarians you want book(s) on
jewellery making. (I’d give you names, but all mine are probably
out of print.) Only then will you understand what is needed.
But remember that some of the equipment can be made by someone
useful with tools. Cheers

        /\      John Burgess
       / /
      / /    
     / /__|\
    (_______) The basic premise of The Scientific Principle is 
  that everything in the entire Universe is capable of logical 
  explanation by humans.

Hi Cortney,

You might want to contact a local Lapidary club. They could
probably help out with either getting you started on cutting or
point you to someone in your area that would be willing to cut
the stones for you.

If you (or anyone else) want a run down on the basics of cutting
cabs contact me off line - I’m more than willing to help. Of
course if you are a true SCA member you will want to use
authentic techniques ; ). There is a fellow here in town
(Victoria BC Canada) that creates period pieces of jewellery
using the traditional techniques - I will see if he still has a
web page. My brother and his wife were quite involved in the SCA
up here - quite amusing to watch the more knightly types bonk
each other with padded sticks.

You might try May’s edition of Lapidary Journal - all the US
clubs are listed in it plus it is the annual buyer’s guide so
quite useful.

Cameron Speedie
Island Gem and Rock