A Simple Method for Transposing Faceting Angles


topaz ring - transposing faceting angles
“Topaz Ring” by James Petts. Licensed under CC By-SA 2.0.

This article originally appeared in “Stonechat,” the journal of the UK Facet Cutter’s Guild, in December 1999. We’ve reproduced it here with the permission of the Guild. Although computers and faceting apps have changed tremendously since then, Dr. Washington’s nomogram has more than historical interest. This method for transposing faceting angles from published designs uses no calculations (or computers) at all.

Conversion Methods and Their Shortcomings

One of the first problems beginning faceters encounter is converting published faceting designs to forms suitable for materials besides quartz. Virtually all published designs use angles optimized for quartz. Since other materials have different refractive indices and critical angles, they require cutting their facets at different angles. These must differ from the original design in order to optimize optical performance or avoid a “fish eye”

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