Easter weekend marked the end of the 2000 Australian International Faceting Challenge, hosted by the Australian Faceting Guild. It was held at the “Gemboree” in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia. This two-year competition included master cutters from all around the world.

The object of the competition is to cut a perfect stone. The cutting designs were extremely demanding, challenging the cutter’s skills to the maximum. The scores show that the faceter’s skills are near that elusive goal of absolute perfection, as judged by ten-power magnification.

In the competition’s early years, US cutters faired poorly. That was the inspiration for the US Faceters Guild. Their goal is to prepare faceters for world-class competition. In spite of the name, the USFG now has members from around the world. All faceters are welcome to join and take advantage of their services. In recent years, the AIFC picked up the nickname, the “Olympics of Faceting.” The level of skill and intense preparation is comparable to other Olympic competitions.

The next AIFC contest will be for 2002. Schedules may be available in the later this year. For more information, go to the USFG website at http://web.archive.org/web/20071214154343/http://members.tripod.com:80/~USFG/ or contact your local coordinator. The Canadian Coordinator is Roscoe Clark.…