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Where to get stones cut?

Hello Orchid members,

I've been away for a while and enjoyed catching up on all the posts.

I am a jeweler and lapidary in the US and I am planning on opening a
retail rock shop and jewelry gallery in the next few months. I want
to be able to offer a large variety of cut stones through my store.
Does anyone have any resources for companies that could cut batches
of cabochons from my rough? The material is mostly things like
chrysoprase, chalcedony, jaspers, etc. Possibly some more difficult
material like larimar or charoite. Nothing faceted at this time. I did
find a couple of places in the Lapidary Journal classifieds but I
trust the recommendations and opinions of the Orchid members so I
thought I’d ask here before trying any out.

Thank you for any

Amy O’Connell
Amy O’Connell Jewelry

Hi, for cabbing good roughs I would contact “Luster Lapidary” in Hong
Kong. Their cutting and finish is very good. I haven’t dealt with them
in quite some time but they did do custom work at pretty reasonable


Amy, I tried commercial cabochon cutting for seven years. During that
time frame I cut for about 20 different commercial stone dealers. No
matter what I tried the money was not enough to continue mass
cutting. Our production was 200 cabs per week, hand finished out of
rough stones. My charges were per stone anywhere from $1.50 -
$15.00. We did not cut matched pairs or concaved shapes. Here are
some of the problems we encountered. Make sure that you have a signed
agreement as to what is expected in the finished stones. Without an
agreement many problems arise. Following are a few of the problems. -
How much do you expect to pay to slab your rough? - Do you want hand
finished goods or tumbled finished? - Do you mind fractures in the
stones? - Do you want the backs of the cabs polished? - What shapes
do you want? - What is the minimum and maximum size of the cabs? -
How thick do you want them? - How much of a dome? - Do you want the
backs beveled? - How much yield do you expect to get per rock? - How
do you want to track the production? - What do expect for weekly
production? And the list can go on and on. Most of the firms that
offer mass cutting are shipping the goods to Bangkok to get them cut.
Your stones will look just like all the other stones available on
the Internet and not give you the edge. The best way to work cutting
in the US is to slab your material, mark on the slabs what shapes you
want cut, and get a firm agreement before the material is cut. Work
with whomever you want, but think it out well before hand. You may
contact me off Orchid if I can help you in any way.

Gerry Galarneau, in very hot Phoenix, where the summer just refuses
to end. 110 +

Amy, My dealings with commercial cutters has not been the best. I just
tell you one thing. Be prepared to wait a while before they are
returned. I personally would advise you to buy a second hand cab
machine. The ones that either partially automate or fully automate cab
cutting. They are cheap if you really look around. Good Luck

Intimate Gems