Most of the books on faceting that are available to the beginner are few at best. The author of many books take for granted that the reader understands terms like refractive index, dispersion, cleavage planes, birefringence, pleochroism, Moh’s Hardness, toughness, crystallography, etc. Don’t be discouraged – there are a few books out there that can guide you through the whole process and give you the information you’ll need, including an understanding of all those technical terms listed before. Self-taught or tutored, you’ll need to read every book that you can find on the subject (if nothing else you will be able to talk like a cutter). Here, in the authors humble opinion, are some of the best books on the subject.

FACETING for AMATEURS by Glenn & Martha Vargas: Don’t let the title fool you this book covers almost everything you need to get your self started it’s well written and very easy to understand. Including one heck of a Gem material reference section which gives you the physical and optical characteristics of most of the natural gem minerals (yes all those pretty gemstones are minerals). This section also covers a lot of man-made materials as well! There are…