How to Polish Gems with Compact Discs

Gem faceters are a diverse group of folks. I appreciate those who developed the great cuts I use. Then, there are those who developed new tools and techniques, those who found new sources of rough, and those who have written informatively on these topics. I appreciate them all, even those who run gem societies. ;^)

I know many among these gem cutters perpetually search for better, cheaper, or more convenient approaches. This springs not from laziness but a desire to increase productivity and quality. These efforts frequently include searching for items to make into laps. Perhaps not surprisingly, some gem cutters have used the almost ubiquitous compact disc (CD) for faceting and polishing.

What are Compact Discs Made of?

Compact discs exist as music CDs, computer and game discs (CD-ROMs), and recordable media (CD-R and CD-RW). You can usually acquire CD-ROMs pretty easily. (Still have some AOL discs from the 1990s you haven’t thrown out? Now you finally have a use for them).

CD-ROMs (Compact Disc – Read Only Memory) consist of three to five or more layers, depending on their intended purpose. As far as I know, faceting with compact discs utilizes the shiny “data side,” as opposed to …

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