Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Of Cutting, Carving and Composite Gemstones


I have been hard at work cutting round stones. Anything from 3mm to 6mm.
I like round stones. They easy to make tubes for, they work well with most designs and they don't require lots of real estate....small ones I mean.
But well cut small stones are surprisingly difficult to get. On the Internet or from dealers. And I mean WELL CUT ones. With all the facets and meets correct.
So I went through my small rough and set to work. Major mission stuff.
Sapphire, tourmaline, spinel, garnet.
Lots of sweat, many cricks in the back and pains in the neck, literally and figuratively.


This is a Nigerian Aqua I carved -6.04 ct, a replacement for one sold.
Next week sees me carving a ring in wax for this stone.
This is a tourmaline I cut and carved. 4.04 ct. To replace the one sold on my web front page.
Also going into a ring of some design or other.
Friggin' thing chipped on the top left hand corner at polishing, so I had to be creative in cutting and design.
This is different. .o5ct diamond embedded in an aquamarine. A composite Aqua, actually.
What I did was to drill a semi hole into a piece of aqua and then put a gold ball or small diamond in the polished concave.
Like this , as is in this case of an amethyst.
Half drilled holes all polished. The tops will all still be polished.
Then a clear polished section is glued on.
This is difficult.
In this picture, the top has moved and the resin is visible in the window.
No good. Do again.
I use Hxtal Nyl resin. It takes 5 days to harden.
But when it hardens it is stronger and harder that Hercules' balls, I promise.
And once hardened, I facet the stone.
I put 4 main facets on the crown at 35 degrees and 4 break facets at 50 degrees to the girdle.
Lo and Behold!
Four balls appear. ( Nothing to do with Hercules)
And when the stone is moved, the balls roll around in the half round polished area and do this sort of tremble -stroke- vibrate thing.( this writing sounds seedy, but I promise I am merely describing what happens )
Quite amazing, and I promise, something I never anticipated.
And I facet the pavilion in the normal 24 facets at 42 degrees and 45 degrees, which gives the darker ring around the quadrupled diamonds, in this picture.
This is a picture aligning the center hole to the general stone, prior to faceting.
I used a native cut stone as rough.

And this is a picture of my dog, called Popcorn, because he likes to swim in a bowl of fresh popcorn when Anne makes it. (often)
He is actually an Australian cockatiel, who guides me in my gem cutting endeavours
and is pivotal to my equilibrium, just like Anne is.
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