“What do I do with dark saturated rough gems?”

Most faceters have asked themselves this. Here’s a piece of advice: avoid rough that doesn’t pass the white paper test. This test will give you an approximation of the color and saturation the material will have when cut. It’ll help keep you from dealing with rough that’s too dark in the first place.

Why Buy Dark Saturated Rough Gems?

Simple advice, right? You’d be surprised how many people buy dark rough. In my opinion, the primary reason people buy this material is inexperience. Novice faceters just don’t realize what they’re purchasing.

Nevertheless, people do buy dark saturated rough gems for other reasons.

  • Dark saturated rough gems are often inexpensive. Dealers generally know what’s too dark and price accordingly. (Not always, though. I’ve seen people at gem shows pay big money for rough I knew beyond a doubt would cut an over-saturated dark finished stone. Buyer beware).
  • When buying parcels of rough, you have to take a few dark pieces in the mix to get a good price on the parcel. (This is how I generally wind up with them).
  • Sometimes, it’s just optimism or plain wishful thinking. Cutters know the