What’s the Difference Between Mineral Samples and Gem Rough?
For faceting, the distinction between gems and minerals is usually clarity. However, learn why the decision to cut may be an aesthetic or even a moral one.
If you find a crystal with a large clean area, then you get into aesthetics.
Should You Cut It?
Whole crystals are much rarer than broken pieces. If the crystal (or crystals in a cluster) are in good condition, and especially if it has some of the original matrix attached, then you've found a rare prize. It would be a shame (maybe even immoral) to cut specimens of this quality, as there are so few. Great finds like these are worth more whole.
You'll rarely encounter this situation. Few mineral specimens actually have the clarity needed for faceting. However, gems and minerals don't have to be cut to be appreciated for their beauty.
Donald Clark, CSM IMG
International Gem Society
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