Choosing The Best Faceting Wax For Your Task


Although commonly called “wax” by gem cutters, faceting wax or dop wax is actually made from pitch-like material and has nothing in common with candle wax. Faceting wax melts at much higher temperatures than normal wax. This museum display shows how gems are attached to a dop with faceting wax. “Melted Wax” by me and the sysop is licensed under CC By-ND 2.0
Although commonly called “wax” by gem cutters, faceting wax or dop wax is actually made from pitch-like material and has nothing in common with candle wax. Faceting wax melts at much higher temperatures than normal wax. This museum display shows how gems are attached to a dop with faceting wax. “Melted Wax” by me and the sysop is licensed under CC By-ND 2.0

Question

I was wondering, which is the best faceting wax? Black, green, or brown? Are specific waxes better for specific types of gemstones or cutting?

Thank you,

David Creviston

Answer

I have used all three. I think the best faceting wax depends on what you are doing and also personal preference. Like most faceters I know, I use the black wax for almost everything. I’ve tried the brown wax and liked it well enough. However, I found the black wax a little easier to work with and less noxious smelling when heated. Nevertheless, you can certainly find faceters that swear by the brown wax.

Green is the best faceting wax for very heat sensitive stones like opal. I only use the green wax for this. It melts at a lower temperature but also has a greater chance of allowing the stone to shift on the dop. I have two very bright, hence warm, incandescent lights that I use while faceting.

Regards,

J. Sean Keane

Faceting wax colors (or types) have different melting points. Consult the instructions for the type you are using. The red/brown variety shown here (also called diamond setters wax or diamond setters cement) has a high melting point. “Faceting Wax Block.” Jeff Graham.
Faceting wax colors (or types) have different melting points. Consult the instructions for the type you are using. The red/brown variety shown here (also called diamond setters wax or diamond setters cement) has a high melting point. “Faceting Wax Block.” Jeff Graham.