Unraveling the Mysteries of Gemstone Faceting

To unravel the mysteries of gemstone faceting, I’ll describe the cutting process as if you’re actually doing it. The rough isn’t important. The procedures are the same for amethyst, emerald, or any other gem material. There are several steps, but none of them are particularly complicated. Once you see how simple it is, you’ll understand that it’s something you can do.

The Basic Controls

There are three basic elements to arranging the facets on a gemstone:

  • The angle of the cut
  • The rotation of the gem
  • The depth of the cut

These three settings precisely locate every facet on a gem. Although making adjustments varies slightly from one faceting machine to another, all machines work on the same principles.

When cutting a gem, the design instructions tell you the index and angle for each facet. There is no guessing. The depth of the cut will be obvious when cutting. If your facets don’t come together, you need to cut them deeper. If you cut them too deep … well, all beginners need to learn to use a light hand. Correcting over-cut facets requires recutting the previous stages to the new depth. Hence the saying,…