Learn to facet. Articles for beginners who are just getting started in lapidary.

Facetron Faceting Machine
A Novices View of Learning How to Facet

Gemstones fascinate. Everyone loves them, but few can craft them. Knowing tips and the equipment can help novices learn how to facet easier.

topaz ring - transposing faceting angles
A Simple Method for Transposing Faceting Angles

Can something akin to a slide rule help faceters today with transposing faceting angles from gem designs? Check out the calculation-free nomogram method.

demantoid Barion cut - faceting styles
Custom Gem Faceting Styles

Gem cutters can choose from many faceting styles. Learn about the most common custom cutting techniques and pick one that suits your needs and skill level.

Which Features are Most Important on a Faceting Machine?

A review of the most important features to consider when evaluating the purchase of a faceting machine?

The History of Lapidary

A full and complete history of the lapidary arts, from 70,000 BC to present day. The origins of faceting, bruting, and carving.

Choosing a Faceting Machine

As you look at the enclosed chart and read about these various machines it's going to seem easy to classify them all as excellent, good or just simply poor.

Choosing a Faceting Machine by Sumner

In many ways buying a faceting machine is like buying a car. You probably would like the fanciest car on the road but would settle for a second hand.

Faceting Machines - Comparison Chart

A comparison chart of faceting machines. Compares the usability and quality of service for specific facet machines. Distinguish which one is best.

Facetron - recutting gems
Choosing the Right Faceting Machine

"Just ask Jeff" gives tips on choosing the right Faceting Machine. Several discounter's will sell anything that they can and do not care about the customer.

Buying a Faceting Machine

Get the insight of Jeff on all your questions and concerns about Gemstones. "Just ask Jeff" tackles faceting machine and a few helpful things you may need.

Faceting Machine Considerations

Buying a used faceting machine is a lot like buying a used car, you can get a good one but you need to know the faceting machine considerations when buying.

A Good Faceting Machine

Jeff R Graham shares his opinions and thoughts on various topics in Just Ask Jeff.See what his answers are to What is a good faceting machine to start with?

Digital Faceting Machine

Jeff R Graham shares his opinions on various topics in Just Ask Jeff. See his answer to Questions you need to ask when buying a digital Faceting Machine?

Living With Your Faceting Machine

One serious pitfall for the novice is the quality of advice they get in choosing what faceting machine to buy. Here are a few tips in choosing the right one

Gem Lore - A Resource For Gemcutting Information

A resource for Gem cutting Information, this is a comprehensive repository of information and assistance intended to advance and enhance skills in Lapidary.

How to Facet Gems

A Detailed information and guide on How to Facet Gems. In faceting, HAI is much more than a casual idiom. HAI meaning, H - Height, A- Angle and I- index.

How to Carve, Sculpt Gems

Successful tips and information on techniques that are used in sculpting or carving a gem. Find helpful information here on How to Carve, Scuplt Gems.

rock artistry - suiseki display
Suiseki, Glyptography, and Other Rock Artistry Techniques

Not all creative lapidary work involves cutting gems. Rock artistry techniques like suiseki and glyptography can offer some imaginative possibilities.

Frequently Asked Questions About Gem Cutting

Frequently Asked Questions or FAQ's about gem cutting. Find the answers to the most frequent questions about gem cutting and be enlightened by the answers!

faceting advice - kunzite and topaz
So You Wanna Cut Something New? Gem Faceting Advice

Cutting gem materials you've never worked before can be exciting but also frustrating. Some faceting advice can help you create beautiful finished stones.

kunzite pendant - gemstone care guide
Gemstone Care Guide

Our gemstone care guide covers many popular gems. Learn how best to maintain your gemstone jewelry and what kinds of stresses and cleaning methods to avoid.

rosaline pearl necklace - opal and pearl care guide
Opal and Pearl Care Guide

Opals and pearls have special setting, cleaning, and storage needs. Our opal and pearl care guide will help you keep your jewelry beautiful.

amethyst quartz - first gemstones
Choosing Your First Gemstones: A Rough Guide for Faceters

How should novice faceters choose their first gemstones? Learn which gem rough materials combine cutting ease, low cost, good size, and profit potential.

Getting Started on Dopping with Wax

Jeff shares his knowledge about dopping with wax. This is an article that gives instruction on how to apply a stone to a dop using wax.

synthetic quartz pendant
Should Beginners Practice Faceting on Natural or Synthetic Quartz?

Natural and synthetic quartz rough are both inexpensive. Nevertheless, learn why novice faceters should practice with the natural material in most cases.

Weight Length Conversions

Jeff R Graham shares his opinions and thoughts on various topics in Just Ask Jeff. See what his answers are to Weight and length conversions...What is what?

How to Use a Color Wheel for Gem Faceting

A color wheel and mixing chart can help novice gem cutters evaluate how well colors will mix in a finished piece. Learn how to utilize these common tools.

Common Books About Stones and Faceting

Jeff R Graham shares his opinions and thoughts on various topics in Just Ask Jeff. See some books about stones in What are good books to start with?

oval-cut yellow sapphire - L/W ratio
What Does the L/W Ratio Mean in Gem Cutting?

Gem cutters use the “length-to-width” or L/W ratio to determine how to cut rough gems. Learn how to choose gem designs based on a stone’s L/W ratio.

Synthetic Material: Cubic Zirconia

Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is a man made material and comes from all over the world. There are several methods of making it, and we explain them.

white paper test - Brazilian tourmalines
The White Paper Test and Rough Gem Buying

How can gem cutters predict the color that gem rough will likely show when cut? Learn how the simple white paper test can help you buy the right material.

Cutting Pavilion First Over Crown

Should you cut the crown or pavilion of a gemstone first? In this article, Jeff Graham discusses his opinion on cutting pavilion first.

Faceting Equipment Essentials

Jeff Graham shares his opinions on various topics in Just Ask Jeff. See what his answers are to What Faceting Equipment Essentials you need to get started?

Glossary of Faceting Terms and Definitions

A glossary of frequently encountered faceting terms for the student gemologist. Our list covers gemology, gem cutting, and equipment.

Best Books to Read When Getting Started in Faceting

We make recommendations about the best books to buy and read when getting started in faceting.

round brilliant sapphire - gemstone properties
Faceting Made Easy, Part 1: Gemstone Properties

In Part 1 of “Faceting Made Easy,” Trevor Hannam reviews gemstone properties in his introduction to faceting and learning to cut a standard brilliant gem.

Halls MKII - faceting machines and equipment
Faceting Made Easy, Part 2: Faceting Machines and Equipment

What equipment do novice gem cutters need? In Part 2 of “Faceting Made Easy,” Trevor Hannam covers faceting machines, their features, and essential tools.

standard brilliant cut terminology
Faceting Made Easy, Part 3: Starting a Standard Brilliant Cut

In Part 3 of “Faceting Made Easy,” Trevor Hannam covers how to select gem rough as well as dopping and rounding techniques for a standard brilliant cut.

pavilion cutting
Faceting Made Easy, Part 4: Pavilion Cutting and Polishing

Part 4 of “Faceting Made Easy” covers pavilion cutting for a standard brilliant. Trevor Hannam discusses main and girdle facet cutting as well as polishing.

round brilliant cut tanzanite - gemstone transferring and crown cutting
Faceting Made Easy, Part 5: Gemstone Transferring and Crown Cutting

In Part 5 of “Faceting Made Easy,” Trevor Hannam gives novice faceters instructions for gemstone transferring and crown cutting a standard brilliant design.

Champagne glass cut - gemstone design
Faceting Made Easy, Part 6: Gemstone Design Cuts

Part 6 of Trevor Hannam's “Faceting Made Easy” features gemstone design cuts, like the Champagne Glass, that novices can try after the standard brilliant.

lapidary health hazards - dust mask
Lapidary Health Hazards and Safety Tips

Whether you’re a gem cutting hobbyist or a professional, new to the business or an old-timer, it’s always good to brush up on safety. This article identifies lapidary health hazards and focuses on ways to keep you from being chronically ill.

toxic and radioactive gems - hyalite opal
Toxic and Radioactive Gems: Safety Tips

Before handing toxic and radioactive gems, learn the basics of toxicity, how to minimize exposure, and the symptoms of toxicity due to heavy metals.

classroom at the IGM, Madagascar - gem faceting classes
A Comprehensive Study of Gem Faceting Classes Around the World

Compare the prices and philosophies of gem faceting classes from around the world. Learn if there’s a local club or a faraway school that’s right for you.