Lapidary and Faceting Guides, Tips and Instructions
How-to articles on a wide variety of faceting techniques.
This was written for the Lynchburg Gem and Mineral Society. It contains a wealth of information about faceting and especially the Graves faceting 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?
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
Faceting Survey Results for Polishing Topaz: Get ideas and methods on polishing Topaz. View results for various procedures in polishing Topaz gemstones.
Faceting Survey Results for Polishing Tourmaline: Get polishing methods for Tourmaline. View results for various procedures in polishing Tourmaline gems.
Faceting Survey Results for Polishing Sunstone: Get polishing methods for Sunstone. View results for various procedures in polishing Sunstone gemstones.
Whether you're new to faceting or an old pro, these quartz polishing survey results can help you choose a lap, polish, and lubricant combo for your gem.
Popular jewelry stones, peridots can actually vary in hardness. Our peridot polishing survey results can help you choose the right tools and techniques.
Looking for opal polishing advice? Our survey results can you help you choose the right polishes, laps, and polishing techniques for these popular gems.
These survey results for polishing miscellaneous gems include recommendations for popular as well as less frequently seen jewelry stones. Learn more here.
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 your gem.
Faceting Survey Results for Polishing Garnet stones. Know the preferred polishing methods for Garnet. Also, view results for various procedures in polishing.
Learn cubic zirconia polishing tips and techniques. Our survey results can help you choose laps and polishes for tackling this popular diamond substitute.
The corundum gem family includes ruby and sapphire. Our corundum polishing survey results can help you choose the right polishes and laps for these gems.
Gems of 7-8 hardness include popular jewelry stones, like emerald and topaz. Our survey results can help you pick the right polishing tools and techniques.
Polishing Beryls: Get successful tips, suggestions, and methods to polish a Beryl laptype, synthetic emerald laptype, or any gemstone of the Beryl family.
Polishing gemstones with 4-6 hardness can be challenging. Our polishing survey results can help you choose a lap, polish, and lubricant combo for your gem.
Leftover gemstone rough is a great material for learning to cut cabochons. Learn advanced cabbing techniques and find new inspiration for jewelry designs.
Whether you're creating a simple gem accent or an exquisite cameo, the tools and techniques of cabochon carving are the same. Get started with this guide.
Cutting garnets and other color saturated gems for brilliance can be challenging. Here's some advice for choosing the best angles for color and brilliance.
Faceting mistakes can cost gem cutters time and money. Learn some techniques for fixing common errors and making your repairs look like intentional designs.
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.
Choosing the right cut for a piece of gem rough is an art. Learn how to balance brilliance with color and other factors before cutting.
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 rough.
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.
Gemstone heat treatments can increase the beauty and value of many rough pieces. Learn how to conduct the most common procedures safely.
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.
Inclusion management is one of the last elements of faceting to be learned and also the most difficult aspects of faceting. Some faceters never learn it.
A tabel of Lap Materials, Compliments of The International Gem Society. These figures are approximate and are put together for your general reference.
An overview on lap testing and the results of test. In an attempt to improve faceting, various laps and polishing combinations were performed and tested.
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.
Polishing Laps and Techniques. Covers helpful information, tips, suggestions for polishing. A guide on techniques that will be useful for polishing laps.
Similar to plastic Lexan laps, compact discs can be used to experiment with polishing gems. Learn some useful techniques and start doing your own tests.
Cutting gem materials you've never worked before can be exciting but also frustrating. Some faceting advice can help you create beautiful finished stones.
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.
Gems with odd symmetry designs include popular trillions and unusual 7-sided stones. Learn the limitations and possibilities of these cuts.
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 to them.
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 GemCad.
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.
Just Ask Jeff:Cutting Heart Squared-A true checkerboard heart. He not only answers the questions to a true checker board heart but shows you how he cut it
Cutting the right size girdle for a gem can be difficult. Learn how girdles and jewelry settings affect each other and how best to measure girdle thickness.
Jeff R Graham shares his opinion on gem topics in Just Ask Jeff.See his answers to How do I transfer a heat sensitive stone with super glue to a new dop?
Jeff R Graham shares what his thoughts are on various topics in Just Ask Jeff.See what his answer is to How do I dop a heat sensitive stone with super glue?
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?.
Gem rough orientation isn't always simple. Sometimes the obvious cut may not be the best choice. Learn how orienting rough can affect gem yields and prices.
Cutting crystals for the best gem yield is a critical skill for faceters. This walkthrough can help novices learn how to visualize the gems before cutting.
All gem designs balance multiple factors that affect the stone’s appearance. Before tweaking a design, consider the overall goal for the finished piece.
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.
Natural and synthetic quartz rough are both inexpensive. Nevertheless, learn why novice faceters should practice with the natural material in most cases.
The classic Portuguese (Vargas) cut has a very deep stone design. Read on as Jeff Graham shares how to cut a classic or simple Portuguese.
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 Project...
Problem gem rough can challenge novice faceters. Learn how to judge colors so you can orient such a stone and cut for the best color in the finished gem.
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?
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.
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 opinion?
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?
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 Like?
Emerald treatments, such as oiling, are very common. Learn what these techniques do, how emeralds are graded, and what green gems make great alternatives.
Telling synthetic rough from natural stones in a gem parcel can be challenging. These tips can help you find some telltale signs of lab-created material.
Get the insight of Jeff on all your concerns about Gemstones. "Are all Sapphires blue?". Check out the Umba Sapphire Parcel Colors.
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.
Jeff R Graham shares his opinions on various topics on Just Ask Jeff. See what his thoughts are on Oregon Sunstone Mining - Double Eagle Mining Company.
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.
What constitutes a princess cut? Jeff Graham examines a variety of diamonds sold as examples of this design and identifies their overall characteristics.
What is it? Andesine? Labradorite? Well, let us ask Jeff about the Labradorite Value and Marketing issues and get things straight about Labradorite stones.
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 story..?
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 this cut.
Tourmaline crystal can show many interesting but hard to specify color combos. This system for grading the C axis of gem rough can help describe the stones.
Jeff R Graham shares determining c axis on topaz. See his answers to How do I tell where the "c" axis on Topaz is and orientate it?.
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.
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?
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 I use?
Should you cut the crown or pavilion of a gemstone first? In this article, Jeff Graham discusses his opinion on cutting pavilion first.
If you’re cutting natural rough gems, learn to expect fractures. Stress from an unknown flaw can break out during roughing, faceting, or even polishing.
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.
Just Ask Jeff: Do split mains and odd symmetry designs have more performance than other designs? Read Jeff R. Grahams' insights on this topic.
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.
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 here!
Can you create and cut a gem design to make the most of a stone's tilt brilliance? Learn whether your gem will benefit from this consideration.
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..
How is a faceted gem like a retroreflecting prism? Learn to distinguish gemstone brilliance from scintillation and how gem cutters choose pavilion angles.
What is Turkish purple jade? Learn about the qualities of this rare, beautiful, and versatile gemstone and see it transformed from rock to finished jewelry.
Hyper-Edge gem faceting laps will save you time and money. In particular, learn how the 1,500-grit lap compares with other types of laps.
Inclusions don't have to result in a loss of mass or value when cutting transparent gems. Learn how to manage inclusions with basic gem carving techniques.
Opals can fetch high prices but may be difficult to cut. These tips for carving opals can help gem cutters make the most of these beautiful stones.
You can learn gem carving by practicing simple designs. Let the native shapes of stones inspire freeform gems you can cut for many purposes.