Want to cut a gemstone the size of a door knob? The Sonoran Snowflake gem design is for you. Suitable for gems 15 mm and over in size, this design is fun and relatively easy to cut.
By Jeff R. Graham 1 minute read

Sonoran Snowflake - diagrams

You can find cutting instructions for Sonoran Snowflake here.

Cutting Remarks

Sonoran Snowflake - quartz and topaz

At left, the prototype Sonoran Snowflake, a 23.5 mm stone cut from rutilated quartz, with no frosted facets. At right, a beautiful 48 mm, 80-ct Sonoran Snowflake cut from light blue topaz. With frosted facets, it really struts its stuff. Gems cut by Jeff Graham.

You need to watch for a few things that are a little different when cutting this design.

The P8s are basically a step cut, and cut in after the P3 and P4 steps are cut. If you want, you can rough in the P8 facets earlier to help get the tier sizes right. However, all of the tiers on the steps can vary somewhat. Your snowflake will look a little different. Then again, aren’t all snowflakes different?

The girdle to crown area is also unusual. The corners wrap around and meet from the pavilion. While not hard to cut, watch the C2 facets. They meet fast. 

The table is very large so that the snowflake shows through it. However, it can be hard to polish.

Frosting the Sonoran Snowflake

frosting the Sonoran Snowflake

There are several ways to frost this pattern. I like it on the P3, P4, and P10 facets. If you’re cutting quartz, raise the angle on the P10 facets to 40.7. Cut everything else as is. This design is very nice and bright in quartz and beryl. Topaz is a little livelier because of its higher refractive index. 

In the gemstone samples in the photo, the quartz is all polished with no frosting. The blue topaz is frosted on the P11, P6, P4, and P10 facets.

Enjoy cutting your “Sonoran Snowflake.”

Sonoran Snowflake - Array

Random – Cosine – ISO.

Detailed faceting instructions by Jeff Graham available at The Rock Peddler