Jeff Graham’s CheckMate gem design works well with materials like beryl and quartz, especially large stones in medium to light colors. It’s a great choice for earrings, too.
By Jeff R. Graham 1 minute read
CheckMate - Reflector gem design by Jeff Graham © 1999.

CheckMate – Reflector gem design by Jeff Graham © 1999.

You can find cutting instructions for the CheckMate here.

Cutting Remarks

CheckMate, amethyst by Jeff Graham

A 13 mm, 7.72-ct CheckMate, cut from flawless Marabá amethyst (Marabá, Pará, Brazil) by Jeff Graham.

This is a neat one. The flashes are a true check, or square, something a brilliant bottom won’t do. You won’t find this design any harder to cut than a standard checker. As the stone gets large, the flats on the bottom take some time and caution when polishing.

I think the CheckMate performs well with low refractive index (RI) gems, like beryl and quartz. With medium to light-colored stones, you can really see the check squares as the material gets towards the light side. I also think it works best in a larger stone. I recommend at least 8 mm but prefer it in 14 mm. The CheckMate makes great earrings and reminds me of the old hand-cut buttons coats used to have.

A Real Reflector

Take a look at the photo of the CheckMate below. This Marabá amethyst isn’t as pink as the photo might suggest. Although this stone does have quite a bit of magenta shot through it, what you see here is the reflected colors from the surroundings when the photograph was taken. (We were in just a normal room with white walls).

CheckMate amethyst reflecting colors

The CheckMate design will reflect strongly the colors of its surroundings.

This design seems to reflect and mirror everything around it, which makes it hard to photograph. Nevertheless, it’s a very pretty design.

Have fun cutting your own CheckMate.

Random - Cosine - ISO - Checkmate array

Random – Cosine – ISO

Detailed faceting instructions by Jeff Graham available at The Rock Peddler