Editor’s Note: Back in 2000, The US Faceters Guild (USFG) sent the following note to its members regarding mailing gems for competition. Since this information may also benefit the members of the International Gem Society (IGS), they gave us permission to reprint it.

In the March 2000 USFG newsletter, five of the USA’s top cutters participating in the Australian International Faceting Challenge, the “Olympics of Faceting,” wrote personal reports. They included their procedures for safely packaging and mailing gems for competition. You should read these experience-based procedures very carefully. If possible, follow them accordingly.

Use Pressurized Air to Clean Containers

With a can of pressurized air, blow out that plastic container bottom, foam insert, and, above all, the inside of the lid. While in transit, one microscopic piece of quartz dust can raise havoc with a perfectly polished table. One simple “cat hair” scratch could cost you the competition.

Use Clean Foam to Protect the Table

For additional protection for the table during transit, place a very thin, super clean piece of foam between the table and container lid. That will help prevent vibrations.

Protect the Culet

With a leather punch or a similar center punch,…