Learning Center

Lapidary and Faceting Guides, Tips and Instructions

How-to articles on a wide variety of faceting techniques.
Gemstone Certificates

Can you rely on gemstone certificates to reveal everything that can affect the value of pricey gems? Learn what to look for when you have a gem certified.…

Turkish Purple Jade Jewelry

What is Turkish purple jade? Learn about the qualities of this rare, beautiful, and versatile gemstone and see it transformed from rock to finished…

What is a Princess Cut Diamond?

What constitutes a princess cut? Jeff Graham examines a variety of diamonds sold as examples of this design and identifies their overall characteristics.…

Gram Wagon Wheel Gem Design

Can an apex crown improve a gem’s tilt brightness? See how a gram wagon wheel gem design will affect your gem and how it compares to a round brilliant.…

Barion Cut Designs

Barion cut designs aren’t just for diamonds. Jeff Graham offers some advice for faceting this style as well as choosing the right gemstones for…

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…

Opal Polishing Survey Results

Take a look at the IGS member survey results for opal polishing. You’ll find recommendations for polishes, laps, and techniques for handling these…

Gemstone Polishing Survey Results

Whether you’re new to faceting or an old pro, these gemstone polishing survey results can help you choose a lap, polish, and lubricant combo for…

Choosing Faceting Angles

With so many recommended faceting angles, new gem cutters can have a hard time choosing. Learn the basic guidelines and some exceptions to the rules.…

How To Correct Faceting Mistakes

We faceters all like to take pride in our work. However, no matter our skill level, we all make errors. However, you can learn a few tricks for correcting…

Optical Dish Carving

What I am going to share with you is what I have learned about optical dish carving. I am self-taught in all aspects of gem carving and jewelry design.…

How To Cut A Fantasy Gemstone

Curious about cutting a fantasy gemstone? This beginner’s guide will walk you through the steps and show you the tools and techniques you’ll need.…

Cutting Star and Cat’s Eye Gems

Learn how to cut star and cat’s eye gems. Once you understand how these light effects work, you’ll find unexpected treasures in overlooked gemstone…

Gemstone Dopping Techniques

A novice gem cutter needs to master various dopping techniques for cabbing and faceting gemstones. Learn how to attach gem rough to a dop stick safely.…

Designs and Designing: Tools

Just Ask Jeff :There are a lot of questions out there about gemstone designs and designing. Here are some common Q&As about designing tools and more.…

Designs and Designing: GemCad

Just Ask Jeff :There seems to be a lot of questions out there about gemstone designs and designing.Here are some common questions and answers about…

Re-dopping a Stone

Jeff R Graham shares his opinions and thoughts on various topics in Just Ask Jeff. See what his answer is to Re-dopping a stone… How do I do it?.

Michael Hing’s Jubilee Project

Jeff R Graham shares his opinions, thoughts and suggestions on various topics in Just Ask Jeff. See what he has to share on Just Ask Jeff:Jubilee…

Red/Brown Wax Dopping

Jeff R Graham shares his opinions and thoughts on various topics in Just Ask Jeff. See Red/Brown Wax dopping in Just Ask Jeff: Wax or Glue?

Tangent Ratioing

Jeff R Graham shares his opinions and thoughts on various topics in Just Ask Jeff. See what his answer is to What is Tangent Ratioing? What is your…

Color Change in Garnet

Jeff R Graham shares his opinions and thoughts on various topics in Just Ask Jeff.See what his answers are to What Does a Top Color Change Garnet Look…

Crystalite Last Lap

Jeff R Graham shares his opinions and thoughts on various topics in Just Ask Jeff. See what his answers are to What is a Last Lap and how do I use it?

Having an Unaligned Machine

Jeff R Graham talks about unaligned machine in Just Ask Jeff. See what his answers are to What do I do if I think my machine is out of alignment?

Out Back Mining Company

Jeff R Graham shares his opinions on various topics on Just Ask Jeff. See what he has to share about Oregon Sunstone Mining – Out Back Mining Company.…

The Questionable Andesine Story

Jeff R Graham shares his opinions and thoughts on various topics in Just Ask Jeff. See what his answers are to the continuing questionable Andesine…

Denatured Alcohol for Stones

Jeff R Graham shares his thoughts on various topics in Just Ask Jeff. See the use of denatured alcohol in Just Ask Jeff: What Kind of alcohol should…

Friable Diamond Polish

Jeff R Graham shares his opinions and thoughts on various topics in Just Ask Jeff. See what his answers are to What are Friable diamonds Polishes?…

Gemray or GemrayX Head Shadow

Jeff R Graham shares his opinions and thoughts on various topics on Just Ask Jeff. See what his two cents are on Gemray or GemrayX head shadow.

Gemray vs GemrayX Image Rendering

Jeff R Graham shares his opinions and thoughts on topics on Just Ask Jeff. See what his answers and thoughts are on Gemray vs GemrayX image rendering..…

THE MILLENIUM CUT

Have you ever heard of a gemstone with one thousand facets? I have never heard of a gemstone with more than three hundred facets, let alone one thousand.…

Video Review

A video review on Title: Faceting a Pin-wheel Pear Shape, With Bill Vance Length: 90 minutes By: Almar Video, Tape #9F. Read the review on this video…

Lap Testing

An overview on lap testing and the results of test. In an attempt to improve faceting, various laps and polishing combinations were performed and…

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…

Polishing Laps and Techniques

Polishing Laps and Techniques. Covers helpful information, tips, suggestions for polishing. A guide on techniques that will be useful for polishing…

Scratches From the Master Lap

This was written for the Lynchburg Gem and Mineral Society. It contains a wealth of information about faceting and especially the Graves faceting…

LAP MATERIALS

A tabel of Lap Materials, Compliments of The International Gem Society. These figures are approximate and are put together for your general reference.…