Beginner’s Information – Learning to Facet

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

Beginner’s Information – Learning to Facet

  • Facetron Faceting Machine
    A Novices View of Learning How to Facet 

    So you want to cut emeralds, eh? This is a novices view of learning how to facet. Introduction Emeralds, Sapphire, Amethyst, Rubies, Garnets I could go on and on. Gemstones fascinate, they are timeless, and they are beautiful. Everyone…

  • A Simple Method For The Transposition Of Faceting Angles. 

    (This article originally appeared in ‘Stonechat’, the journal of the UK Facet Cutter’s Guild, in December 1999, and is reproduced here with the permission of the Guild) One of the first problems encountered by the beginner is the conversion of…

  • 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? 

    While in Tucson, Arizona for the big gem show I went to one of the larger manufacturers to look over their latest model. The machine had so many bells and whistles I suspect it could even make your morning coffee. A lady standing next to me and…

  • image003
    The History of Lapidary

    Where did gem cutting get its start? Gem cutting, or lapidary, most certainly got its start as an offshoot of mundane everyday activities. A stone may have fallen into a fire where the heat caused it to break or flake. Perhaps a sharp edge…

  • Teardrop turquoise - gem cutting terms
    Guide to Gem Cutting Terms

    Lapidary is the art of working in stone. For some reason though, it is only applied to working with small gem materials and is not extended to large objects, like Michelangelo’s statues.

  • Choosing a Faceting Machine 

    Well I am back again fresh from Tucson, with bags of information to distribute but first let’s continue where I left off. THE QUILL A small addition to the subject. When I started some decades ago, most machines were designed for the quill to…

  • Choosing a Faceting Machine by Sumner 

    In many ways buying a faceting machine is like buying a car. You probably would like the fanciest and fastest car on the road but would settle for a second hand one you could buy on time with payments you could afford. Buying a faceting machine…

  • Faceting Machines – Comparison Chart 

      NAME Adjustments easy to read, painted or engraved Variable Speed Splash Pan Protractor precision & reliability Torque & RPM Lap Size 8” 6” or both Size & Weight Price of Accessories Customer Serivce Overall…

  • Facetron Faceting Machine
    Just Ask Jeff: Buying a Faceting Machine? What Machine?

    Buying a Faceting Machine? What Machine? These are my opinions… Other people may have differing ideas. I have cut at one time or another on almost every major faceting machine. Some I liked and some I hated. I know people that are just…

  • Just Ask Jeff: Buying a faceting machine and do not know what else you need?

    Buying a faceting machine and do not know what else you need? Ok, here is a list. You will find that sooner or later you will end up buying most of these things. But I have marked the ones you really need. These Prices are Jan 2009. Prices may…

  • Just Ask Jeff: Buying a used faceting machine? Some things to look for…

    Buying a used faceting machine? Some things to look for… OK, this is a big subject and I am sure that some of my opinions will differ from other peoples out there, but here is what I think. If you can find a good used faceting machine it is…

  • Just Ask Jeff: What is a good faceting machine to start with?

    What is a good faceting machine to start with? There are really several factors that need to be considered before making any decision to buy a faceting machine. First – I think you need to learn how to facet, before spending any money on a…

  • Just Ask Jeff: Questions you need to ask when buying a digital Faceting Machine?

    Questions you need to ask when buying a digital Faceting Machine? As any faceter looking to buy a new faceting machine has learned… There is a new digital world out there. Many old names in the faceting machine business are updating to…

  • Living With Your Faceting Machine 

    Choosing a faceting machine is a daunting task. The money involved is substantial and most people do not have the opportunity to try the equipment before laying down their money. One serious pitfall for the novice is the quality of advice they…

  • Gem Lore – A Resource For Gemcutting Information

    Offering a comprehensive repository of information and assistance intended to advance and enhance skills, knowledge and performance in the various lapidary and related gemcutting disciplines, embracing faceting, cabochon cutting, fantasy cutting and…

  • How to Facet Gems

    The Faceting of a Gemstone Only Appears Complete and Critical Don’t be Fooled: Artistic Talents and Mechanical Skills Aren’t the Critical Factors to Success, Patience Is To the average person, viewing a magnificently faceted diamond or colored…

  • How to Carve, Sculpt Gems

    Modern Gemcutting Techniques, Geometric Shapes, Special Conceits Many Lapidaries Now Push the Creativity Envelope’s Unique Cutting Styles, Effects Once upon a short time ago, all faceted and cabochon cut gemstones displayed atraditional…

  • The Techniques of Rock Artistry

    Not All Lapidary Involves Cutting Gems or Rocks: Imagination Holds Sway Many Creative Uses For Gem Crystals Allow Artistic Expression Absent Reshaping You don’t need to cut or reshape every gemstone in order to produce lovely projectsor to…

  • Frequently Asked Questions About Gem Cutting

    Q.    If lapidary is as easy as you indicate on this site, everyone would be cutting gems,wouldn’t they? A. If everyone knew just how easy it is, yes, there’d be a lot more doing it.  What stops people is the high cost of equipment (at least…

  • So You Wanna Cut Something New… 

    The experience of faceting a material with which you have never worked before usually falls into one of four categories by the time it’s all over: 1. Wonderful!, It’s Beautiful!, I’ve just GOT to get some more of this stuff! 2. That wasn’t so…

  • 9958464316_c4ccd245be_z
    Gemstone Care Guide

    Consult our gemstone care guide to learn the best cleaning methods for many popular gems. Most will respond well to warm water, mild detergent, and a soft brush at home. However, some gems do have sensitivities you should be aware of, particularly…

  • “Rosaline Pearls Necklace” by Mercury Jane is licensed under CC By 2.0
    Care Guide For Pearls And Opals

    Pearl and opal have been valued as gems throughout history and across many cultures. However, these beautiful objects have chemical compositions a bit different than most gems and require special attention before, during, and after cleaning. Our…

  • What type of stone should I cut first?

    What type of stone should I cut first? Quartz is often the stone people recommend as a good place to start, when asked. There are several reasons for this, it is inexpensive, easy to acquire (at least in clear material) and there are a lot of…

  • How do I get started dopping with wax?

    How do I get started dopping with wax? There are several types (colors) of wax which all have different melting temperatures. Which wax you use depends on what you want to cut. I cut mostly commercial types of gems, Tourmaline, Garnets,…

  • Can I start to learn to facet with man-made Quartz? Should I?

    Can I start to learn to facet with man-made Quartz? Should I? Recently I had a new faceter ask me this question. “I stumbled across a facet rough seller that lists a lot of synthetic Quartz. As a beginner I’m supposed to start on Quartz. Is…

  • Just Ask Jeff: Weight and length conversions… What is what?

    Weight and length conversions… What is what? Well you will find in the gemstone world that the Metric and American measuring systems are pretty intermixed. So you will need to know both systems on some occasions. Weight Conversions:…

  • What is a gemstone color wheel and how does it work?

    What’s a color wheel used for in gemology? Color wheels are very common in almost any type of painting and/or artwork, (just plain old paint for your house too, you have probably seen them at your local hardware store) and are used to help the…

  • Just Ask Jeff: What are good books to start with?

    What are good books to start with? There are quite a few books out there about stones and faceting, but to start with I would recommend that you keep it simple. So here is a list of commonly available books and some comments on…

  • Just Ask Jeff: What does L/W mean and what is it used for?

    What does L/W mean and what is it used for? L/W is short for Length/Width. It is a mathematical ratio used in designing and determining the proper pattern(s) for cutting rough. L/W is one of the most important things to understand in almost all…

  • What is Cubic Zirconia (CZ)?

    Man-made Cubic Zirconia Faceting Rough  Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is a man made material and comes from all over the world. There are several methods of making it and there are some variances in both refractive indexes (R.I. 2.14-2.20) and…

  • What is the White Paper Test?

    What is the White Paper Test? The white paper test is something every faceter should know and use, this is particularly true for a new cutter or somebody who does not have a lot of experience buying rough. It is essentially an easy way to get a…

  • Should the Crown or Pavilion of a Gem be Cut First?

    Should the Crown or Pavilion be cut first? To me the answer is the Pavilion should be cut first in almost all cases. Yes, the crown (on some designs) can be cut first successfully, and if you are an experienced faceter and want to cut that…

  • Just Ask Jeff: What Faceting Equipment do I need to get started?

    What Faceting Equipment do I need to get started? This is a question that I get asked frequently, as you might have guessed. What is basics to one persons may be extra to someone else. But I will go over what I think a new cutter should start…

  • The world of gem cutting has a bewildering vocabulary all its own.  Student gemologists and cutters as well as aficionados of jewelry design can benefit from our glossary of faceting terms.  “InterGem Jewelry Show Shopping” by International Gem and Jewelry Show is licensed under CC By-SA 2.0
    Glossary of Faceting Terms and Definitions 

    This compilation of faceting terms and definitions has been generously provided by International Gem Society (IGS) member Tom Mitchell.  He is the author of Faceting 1, Learn The Fine Art of Gem Faceting, it’s Easy. Acetone A solvent that…

  • Best Books to Read When Getting Started in Faceting

    Most of the books on faceting that are available to the beginner are few at best. The author of many books take for granted that the reader understands terms like refractive index, dispersion, cleavage planes, birefringence, pleochroism, Moh’s…

Take your love of gemstones
To a New Level
Search in radius 25 miles

eNews Signup

Skip to toolbar