Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Custom-made gemstone cutting order

I’m making jewelry as same as everybody here does also handle 3DCAD.
I’ve got interests gem stone design recently and faceting technique as well
but no experience about grinding/polishing gem stone.
I’ve got some idea as many ditch concave pattern cutting gem stone design
something like many strait ditches on it.
My questions are just two.
1.If I start gem faceting as self-teaching, is it really difficult to
achieve that complex cutting successfully?
2.If I give up self-teaching are there any gem stone cutter accept my
design cutting in cheaper price?

I really hope someone has nice idea about this.


Mike - you may want to talk to @Wayne_Emery3, a longtime Orchidian.

Hi Mike,

I think you are referring to polished grooves, primarily on the pavilion, which reflect light in a unique way. These are made on a special type of lapidary machine designed for this purpose. The machine plus accessories can easily cost into the mid four figures, so it’s not something to take lightly unless you are independently wealthy.
Basically, the stone is faceted in the traditional way first, then transferred to the machine where the grooving takes place. Each facet had to be created by a rough grinding, a smooth grinding, one ot two pre-polish steps and finally a polishing step for each facet. Top quality cuitting is very time consuming and requires a good familiarity with the type of stone you are working with, each stones requiring different pre-polish and polish methods…which, of course, requires an investment in more laps and abrasives, plus learning the proper lap speed, pressure, dampness, etc for each species of stone. That’s for the faceting part.
next, you’ll have to learn how to make the grooves properly (yes, they each require the same steps as in faceting). Im think you can see where I am going with this.
I have been faceting for 50 plus years and can assure you you can learn to do anything by self-teaching, if you have enough years and money to burn on ruined stones. It’s a craft, and like most serious crafts will require some long and intensive training to do well.
As far as someone doing it cheaply, no, I don’t know anyone who would spend twice as long on a stone as it does to facet it then offer it cheaply. You can get lots of this stuff pre-cut from China, just don’t be expecting good quality work.

1 Like


Amen to what Wayne has said. To elaborate a bit, EVERY stone surface that

is intended to be polished has to go through all the stages of what Don
Depue from Diamond Pacific referred to as “the lapidary process”. That’s a
useful term. It applies whether you are carving, cutting a cabochon, or
facet-cutting. In a standard round brilliant there are 57 individual
surfaces that ALL go through the stages:

First, there’s rough cutting. That’s done with a coarse aggressive grit
which removes a lot of material fast. This leaves deep scratches and is not
remarkably accurate. So it’s followed by…

Stage 2, fine cutting with a fine grit abrasive. This takes out the coarse
scratches from the previous stage and leaves a finer and more precise
surface but one that is still too rough to take a polish. This is followed
in turn by…

Stage 3, surface conditioning - or pre-conditioning with a very fine
abrasive, often also known as “sanding” or “pre-polish.” Leaves a fine
precise surface; sometimes it is possible to go directly to polish from a
one-stage surface conditioning, usually this is followed by a still finer
pre-polish stage.

Stage 4 - polish.

In all cases the usual trade-off applies - you can do it faster, but not
accurately; you can do it accurately, but not fast. And that’s just the
mechanics of the process. It doesn’t take into account the fact that
different stones behave quite differently, different speeds have differing
effects, different abrasives and polishing agents work better for some
stones than for others, and a whole host of similar variables that take
years of experience to anticipate.

Hans Durstling
Moncton Canada
Ecclesiastes 10:19