Question

I love star gemstones and want to know more about them. I don’t cut, but if I thought it was something I could learn (and afford) without too much trouble, I’d like to start. Are star gemstones difficult to cut? How long does it take? What equipment do I need? Where can you buy the raw goods to cut?

 Sincerely,

 Joyce Barham

Answer

You can read about asterism, or the “star effect,” and the inclusions that cause this optical phenomenon in gems in the International Gem Society (IGS) article on phenomenal gems.

I’ve cut several star gemstones. There are three books I’d recommend that will tell you how to cut and polish star stones and what equipment you’ll need: Advanced Cabochon Cutting by Jack R. Cox, Star Gems by Douglas L. Hoffman, and Gem Cutting by John Sinkankas. Any of these will help you understand how to work with star gemstones. You can also review the IGS guide to cutting star and cat’s eye gems.

When you’re ready to purchase stones and equipment, check out the IGS recommended suppliers list.

I hope this helps.

Leon Reeder