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

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 machine

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?

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

Faceting Survey Results - Polishing - Topaz

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 - Polishing - Tourmaline

Faceting Survey Results for Polishing Tourmaline: Get polishing methods for Tourmaline. View results for various procedures in polishing Tourmaline gems.

Faceting Survey Results - Polishing - Sunstone

Faceting Survey Results for Polishing Sunstone: Get polishing methods for Sunstone. View results for various procedures in polishing Sunstone gemstones.

quartz polishing - Oro Verde quartz
Quartz Polishing Survey Results

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.

peridot polishing - fancy square brilliant cut
Peridot Polishing Survey Results

Popular jewelry stones, peridots can actually vary in hardness. Our peridot polishing survey results can help you choose the right tools and techniques.

opal polishing - boulder opal bead
Opal Polishing Survey Results

Looking for opal polishing advice? Our survey results can you help you choose the right polishes, laps, and polishing techniques for these popular gems.

spinel - miscellaneous gems
Miscellaneous Gems: Polishing Survey Results

These survey results for polishing miscellaneous gems include recommendations for popular as well as less frequently seen jewelry stones. Learn more here.

gemstone polishing survey - tiger's eye quartz
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 your gem.

Faceting Survey Results - Polishing - Garnet

Faceting Survey Results for Polishing Garnet stones. Know the preferred polishing methods for Garnet. Also, view results for various procedures in polishing.

polishing cubic zirconia - baguette cut gem
Cubic Zirconia Polishing Survey Results

Learn cubic zirconia polishing tips and techniques. Our survey results can help you choose laps and polishes for tackling this popular diamond substitute.

polishing corundum - Barion cut sapphire
Corundum Polishing Survey Results

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.

Spinel - Sri Lanka, 7-8 hardness
How to Polish Gems of 7-8 Hardness: Survey Results

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.

Faceting Survey Results - Polishing - Beryl

Polishing Beryls: Get successful tips, suggestions, and methods to polish a Beryl laptype, synthetic emerald laptype, or any gemstone of the Beryl family.

pectolite - 4-6 hardness
How to Polish Gems of 4-6 Hardness: Survey Results

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.

Imaginative Cabochons - Peridot
Advanced Cutting Techniques For Cabochons

Leftover gemstone rough is a great material for learning to cut cabochons. Learn advanced cabbing techniques and find new inspiration for jewelry designs.

cabochon carving agate cameo
Cabochon Carving Tools And Techniques

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 Merelani Mint Garnet
Angles for Cutting Garnets

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 - tourmaline
How To Correct Faceting Mistakes

Faceting mistakes can cost gem cutters time and money. Learn some techniques for fixing common errors and making your repairs look like intentional designs.

faceting angles - brilliant round diamond
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.

choosing the right cut - round brilliant sunstone
Choosing the Right Cut: A Faceter's Guide

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.

Chrysoberyl - cat's eye gems
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 rough.

Dopping techniques - faceting machine
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.

A Beginner's Guide To Common Gemstone Heat Treatments

Gemstone heat treatments can increase the beauty and value of many rough pieces. Learn how to conduct the most common procedures safely.

Ametrine fantasy gemstone cut
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.

Inclusion Management

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.

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.

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 tested.

Heliodor - optical dish carving
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.

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 laps.

how to polish gems with compact discs
How to Polish Gems with Compact Discs

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.

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.

Trillion cut diopside - odd symmetry designs
Odd Symmetry Designs For Gemstones

Gems with odd symmetry designs include popular trillions and unusual 7-sided stones. Learn the limitations and possibilities of these cuts.

Designs and Designing: Common Questions

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.

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 GemCad.

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.

How to Cut a Heart Squared True Checkerboard Heart

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

Right Girdle Thickness

Jeff R Graham shares his opinions and thoughts on various topics on Just Ask Jeff. Know girdle thickness in Just Ask Jeff: How thick should my girdle be?

Transferring Heat Sensitive Stone to New Dop

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?

How to Dop a Heat Sensitive Stone with Super Glue

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?

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?.

rough orientation - aquamarine rough
Gem Rough Orientation: Looking Beyond the Obvious Cut

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.

Getting the Best Yield from Crystal

Jeff R Graham shares his thoughts on topics in Just Ask Jeff. See what his answer is to How do I get the best yield from a crystal? How do I figure it out?

Right Settings for a Design

Jeff R Graham shares his opinions in various topics. See his opinion on "I need high tilt brightness, BOG, and high ray trace numbers for a good design?"

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.

Learning to Facet Man-made Quartz

You can start on natural or man-made, it does not make a difference from a cutting stand point. There are some standard types of flaws in man-made Quartz.

How to Cut a Classic Portuguese

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.

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 Project...

samurai cut tourmaline - cutting gems for the best color
Cutting Problem Gem Rough for the Best Color

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.

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?

gram wagon wheel gem design - side view
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.

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 opinion?

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?

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 Like?

emerald treatments - ring
A Consumer's Guide to Emerald Treatments

Emerald treatments, such as oiling, are very common. Learn what these techniques do, how emeralds are graded, and what green gems make great alternatives.

How To Identify Synthetic Rough In Gemstone Parcels

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.

Umba Sapphire Parcel Colors

Get the insight of Jeff on all your concerns about Gemstones. "Are all Sapphires blue?". Check out the Umba Sapphire Parcel Colors.

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.

Double Eagle 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.

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.

Princess Cut (Diamond)

Jeff R Graham shares his opinions and thoughts on various topics in Just Ask Jeff. See what his answer is to Just Ask Jeff: What is a Princess cut?

Labradorite Value and Marketing Issues

What is it? Andesine? Labradorite? Well, let us ask Jeff about the Labradorite Value and Marketing issues and get things straight about Labradorite stones.

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 story..?

spodumene - Barion cut designs
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 this cut.

tourmaline crystal - baguette cut
How to Describe a Tourmaline Crystal by its C Axis

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.

Determining C Axis on Topaz

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?.

Gem Stone Certificates

Jeff R Graham shares his opinions and thoughts on various topics. In this article, Jeff shares about gem stone certificates.

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?

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 I use?

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.

Cutting Natural Rough Stones

Stones break, that is just the way life is, it happens. When cutting natural rough stones you can expect stones to break and fracture.

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.

Split Mains and Odd Symmetry Designs

Just Ask Jeff: Do split mains and odd symmetry designs have more performance than other designs? Read Jeff R. Grahams' insights on this topic.

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 here!

round brilliant sapphire - tilt brightness
Can You Cut a Gem Design for Tilt Brightness?

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.

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..

sapphire emerald cut - gemstone brilliance
Retroreflection and Gemstone Brilliance

How is a faceted gem like a retroreflecting prism? Learn to distinguish gemstone brilliance from scintillation and how gem cutters choose pavilion angles.

Turkish Purple Jade Jewelry
What is Turkish Purple Jade and How Can it be Used in Jewelry?

What is Turkish Purple Jade, is it rare, and how is it used in jewelry designs? Mark Oros of Hashnu Stones & Gems answers these questions and more.

Product Review: Hyper Edge Gem Faceting Laps

Mark Oros reviews his favorite lap - the Hyper-Edge gem faceting lap. This is a proprietary composite lap that will save you time and money.

Inclusions in Transparent Gems - Rutilated Quartz
Managing Inclusions In Transparent Gems

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.

Carving Opals - Lightning Ridge Black Opal
Tips For Carving Opals

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.

Freeform Gems - Carved Gold in Quartz
Simple Design Ideas For Freeform Gems

You can learn gem carving by practicing simple designs. Let the native shapes of stones inspire freeform gems you can cut for many purposes.