cutting kunzite - cushion cut
cutting kunzite - cushion cut

Tips for Cutting Kunzite


Cutting kunzite and other gemstones with easy cleavage is challenging. These tips can help you facet this beautiful and valuable gem.

1 Minute Read

Proper Orientation for Cutting Kunzite

The most important part of cutting any delicate gem is proper orientation. Kunzite has cleavage planes that run up and down the C-axis. For the best color, you'll need to place the table on the C-axis. That will put the cleavage plane right on the girdle, which is a particular source of trouble. However, there is an easy way to minimize it.

For the sake of illustration, let''s assume you have a rectangular piece of rough. You want to put it in the faceting machine so the cleavage is oriented to the 0 index. An emerald-cut shape with this orientation would be impossible. Every time you'd try to cut a girdle facet it would splinter on you. I point this out primarily so you know what to avoid.

cleavage plane

The trick here is to cut an oval or cushion, where the girdle facets are a couple of teeth off the cleavage plane. If you work this slowly, you can easily cut it without breakage. (It's helpful to pre-polish and polish the girdle while the facets are still thick, before moving on to the pavilion facets).

orientation

Lap Recommendations for Cutting Kunzite

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Donald Clark, CSM IMG

The late Donald Clark, CSM founded the International Gem Society in 1998. Donald started in the gem and jewelry industry in 1976. He received his formal gemology training from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the American Society of Gemcutters (ASG). The letters “CSM” after his name stood for Certified Supreme Master Gemcutter, a designation of Wykoff’s ASG which has often been referred to as the doctorate of gem cutting. The American Society of Gemcutters only had 54 people reach this level. Along with dozens of articles for leading trade magazines, Donald authored the book “Modern Faceting, the Easy Way.”

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