Editor’s Note: Some years ago, the International Gem Society (IGS) conducted a survey of members’ polishing techniques. Whether you’re just starting to learn the art of gem cutting or just looking for a new way to tackle a problematic gem material, we hope these results provide some useful suggestions.
Welcome to the results of our International Gem Society gemstone polishing survey!
Below, you’ll find links to the results organized by groups of stones with similar hardness (4-6 and 7-8). We also posted separately the information we received on specific gemstones.
If we received detailed comments from members for particular gem types, we posted them after the results as well. However, as it turns out, many people use the same methods for polishing the same stone types. Therefore, we pared some material to avoid duplication.
We’ve also added a page of general comments, instructions, and hints. Be sure to check it out. It makes for some interesting reading.
Formats and Terminology
If you find polishing agents divided with a “/”, like “cerium/diamond,” that means either/or. So, for example, the responders used either cerium or diamond with the listed lap.
If you find polishing agents divided with a “,”, like…