Questions About Lapidary and Jewelry Making
Where do the best rough sapphire stones come from? It depends on the color. Blue may be the most valued color, but these gems pose problems for faceting.
Learn what factors determine the average faceting yield of a single piece of gemstone rough.
Gem faceters must consider factors like brilliance, color, and faceting yield before choosing a cut style. Learn what a Barion cut can bring to a gemstone.
Learn which rough gemstones are ideal for beginning faceting practice. A progression of relatively inexpensive gem species can teach important skills.
Can gemstone pricing formulas help gem merchants and buyers make fair deals? Learn what factors can affect gem prices.
Learn how to cut a labradorite gemstone to showcase its striking color flash most effectively. Spectrolite is one variety that displays multiple colors.
Want to start cutting beautiful star gemstones? Here are some helpful gemological resources for novice lapidaries and jewelers.
How do you start making a living in the jewelry trade? You need to learn gemology and metalsmithing and get serious about sales. Here are some tips.
Gem repair is challenging but can also bring new life to vintage jewelry. Learn how to repair a cracked emerald with Opticon sealer and a small vacuum.
Curved striae or lines are a telltale sign of synthetic ruby and sapphire. If you're having trouble seeing them, here are some helpful tips.
Dark green tourmaline and red rubellite gems can look very black in an emerald cut. Learn how to minimize this effect and show off these rich colors best.
What are the best facet designs for novice gem cutters? Find recommendations for cutting styles, books, resources, and gemstone rough here.
For faceting, the distinction between gems and minerals is usually clarity. However, learn why the decision to cut may be an aesthetic or even a moral one.
Rubies and sapphires can be made in a lab. The process that yields the best synthetic corundum for faceting should give you the best return for your work.
You'll find gem cutting acronyms like L/W in faceting guides. Learn what these frequently used terms mean and how they can save gem cutters time and effort.
Ring sizing is an important part of jewelry making and repair. Learn a few soldering and annealing tricks from the pros to master this skill.
Many factors contribute to gemstone brightness. Learn the role a gem's refractive index plays and the difference between gemology theory and practice.
Cabochon cuts are popular for showcasing opal doublets. Learn a trick for making a bezel setting for doublets that are wider on top than the bottom.
Some gems are seldom faceted because they're rarely found in nature or rarely used for jewelry. Learn a few tricks for faceting seven exotic gemstones.
A gemstone's optic sign may be listed as either + or -. Learn whether impurities in a specific stone or the choice of axes to measure RI cause the change.
What factors determine the light return of faceted gemstones? Facet quality, polish, color, and cut style all play roles. Learn more about these variables.
Gemologists may immerse gems in refraction fluids during examinations. This refractive index list of household liquids offers some common alternatives.
Silk inclusions in sapphires are hard to detect. Learn to pick the best orientation and cut for these gems. You might end up with a prize star sapphire.
Faceted dark colored gemstones can have intense colors but little brilliance. A simple formula can help a gemologist estimate a fair value for these gems.
A quartz wedge can be used with a polariscope to help a gemologist distinguish the + or – optic sign of a gem. Learn how to make and use one.
Cutting tourmaline can be difficult. Some gems seem to shatter easily. Learn faceting techniques to minimize this risk as well as what equipment to avoid.
Working with platinum is actually a little easier than working with gold. If you want to add platinum jewelry repair to your metalworking skills, read on.
Before you turn the alloyed gold you got a great deal on into gold jewelry, carefully consider what gold refining system will work best for you.
Oil treatment is a standard industry practice for enhancing emeralds. However, the treatments are not permanent. Learn how to re-oil emeralds safely.
Deep-cut gems like Barions may not fit in standard ring mountings. Jewelers can try to find special mounts or custom solder a mount from pre-made parts.
Has your sterling silver money clip lost its spring? If you have experience with metalworking, learn these methods for repairing these popular accessories.
What's the best doublet glue for creating assembled stone jewelry? Learn about the choices as well as tips for making the bond between gemstones stick.
To pick the right cut for a gem, you need to figure its maximum potential shape. Preforming gemstone rough is essential for making the design a reality.
Is a flat lap to dop swing really necessary? Learn how a gemstone should contact a faceting machine lap and get some advice for adjusting your equipment.
With study, care, and the right tools, hobbyist gem cutters can add diamond cutting to their repertoire. Get started with these tips from expert cutters.
Wax casting makes it possible to create intricate and unique metal pieces for jewelry. Here are some tips for beginners on a budget.
What's the best gem cutting machine for novices? Read about some popular models and learn the importance of finding the machine that's right for you.
Polishing synthetic corundum without leaving pits requires certain techniques and tools. Get expert lapidary advice here.
Faceting wax or dop wax comes in different colors with different melting points. Learn how to choose the wax best suited for holding your gem for cutting.
Vapor deposition can be used to enhance gemstones like topaz and quartz with a metal coating or sheen. Learn how the process works here.
Polishing sapphire gemstones can be tough on laps. Learn the pros and cons of different laps and some techniques to save time and money.
Choosing the best gemstone orientation for your rough takes skill and experience. Learn what factors you should take into account before cutting.
A ceramic lap is an excellent choice for polishing gemstones. Here is a guide for properly charging ceramic laps and avoiding scratching.
With the right tools and a little drilling know-how, you can create a rock lamp with an agate or jasper base, an oil lamp, and a glass lantern.
The glass used to make refractometer hemicylinders is susceptible to tarnish. Here's a step-by-step guide for re-polishing a refractometer hemicylinder.
What are the best techniques and tools for polishing girdles? Learn how to complete your faceted gems quickly and easily and avoid common errors.
Fuzzy refractometer readings may be the result of poorly faceted gems, the wrong amount of refraction liquid, and even stone size. Learn more here.
Polishing gemstones is difficult to master. Pre-polishing plays a major role in how well a gem can take a polish. Avoid scratches with these techniques.
Finding good diamond rough and the right equipment can be challenging for a non-professional diamond cutter. Learn what to look for here.
Finding your path to success in the gem trade takes introspection, education, and exploration. Learn about your options for entering this tight-knit world.
Bangkok is the center of the colored gem trade. Compare the top four Bangkok gemology schools and see why this city is the ideal place to learn about gems.