Birdseye view of the cuts, tools and techniques involved in lapidary arts, i.e. cutting or forming gemstones.

Rock Hammer - Cutting Rough Stones
Lapidary Fundamentals: Cutting Rough Stones

Learn the best techniques and tools for cutting rough stones. Making small pieces from big pieces is one of the most basic procedures in the lapidary arts.

Agates - gemstone tumbling
Lapidary Fundamentals: Gemstone Tumbling

Gemstone tumbling is the simplest and least expensive lapidary art to learn. These guidelines can help you choose the right equipment and get started.

Rhodochrosite - cabochon cutting
Lapidary Fundamentals: Cabochon Cutting

Cabochon cutting is the most popular lapidary art. With practice, you can master this skill. Learn the tools and techniques, as well as a few tricks, here.

Round Brilliant Opal - gemstone faceting
Lapidary Fundamentals: Gemstone Faceting

Learn the basic procedures of gemstone faceting. This walkthrough for a standard round brilliant cut gem includes cutting instructions and pics.

gem cutting styles - trilliant cut
A Guide to Gem Cutting Styles

Gem cutting styles refer to the shape and arrangement of facets. The three most basic styles are brilliant, step, and mixed. Learn what characterizes these types of cuts and how faceters combine them to create many different gem designs.

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.