Questions About Lapidary and Jewelry Making


Advanced questions about jewelry making and lapidary techniques.

Choosing the Best Faceting Wax for Your Task

Choosing the Best Faceting Wax for Your Task

Faceting wax or dop wax comes in different colors with different melting points. Learn how to choose the wax best...
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Gold Refining Advice for Jewelers

Gold Refining Advice for Jewelers

Before you turn the alloyed gold you got a great deal on into gold jewelry, carefully consider what gold refining...
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Properly Charging Ceramic Laps

Properly Charging Ceramic Laps

A ceramic lap is an excellent choice for polishing gemstones. Here is a guide for properly charging ceramic laps and...
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Tips for Polishing Synthetic Corundum

Tips for Polishing Synthetic Corundum

Polishing synthetic corundum without leaving pits requires certain techniques and tools. Get expert lapidary advice here.
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Polishing Gemstones for Beginners: Pre-Polishing Advice

Polishing Gemstones for Beginners: Pre-Polishing Advice

Polishing gemstones is difficult to master. Pre-polishing plays a major role in how well a gem can take a polish....
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Diamond Rough and Equipment for the Occasional Diamond Cutter

Diamond Rough and Equipment for the Occasional Diamond Cutter

Finding good diamond rough and the right equipment can be challenging for a non-professional diamond cutter. Learn what to look...
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Cutting Star Gemstones: Tips for Beginners

Cutting Star Gemstones: Tips for Beginners

Want to start cutting beautiful star gemstones? Here are some helpful gemological resources for novice lapidaries and jewelers.
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How to Orient Sapphires with Silk Inclusions

How to Orient Sapphires with Silk Inclusions

Silk inclusions in sapphires are hard to detect. Learn to pick the best orientation and cut for these gems. You...
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How Can a Gemstone's Optic Sign Change?

How Can a Gemstone's Optic Sign Change?

A gemstone's optic sign may be listed as either + or -. Learn whether impurities in a specific stone or...
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Lapidary Tips for Polishing Girdles

Lapidary Tips for Polishing Girdles

What are the best techniques and tools for polishing girdles? Learn how to complete your faceted gems quickly and easily...
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Best Rough Gemstones for Beginning Faceting

Best Rough Gemstones for Beginning Faceting

Learn which rough gemstones are ideal for beginning faceting practice. A progression of relatively inexpensive gem species can teach important...
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Why Choose a Barion Cut?

Why Choose a Barion Cut?

Gem faceters must consider factors like brilliance, color, and faceting yield before choosing a cut style. Learn what a Barion...
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Diamond Cutting for Hobbyists: Getting Started

Diamond Cutting for Hobbyists: Getting Started

With study, care, and the right tools, hobbyist gem cutters can add diamond cutting to their repertoire. Get started with...
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Are There Any Fair Gemstone Pricing Formulas?

Are There Any Fair Gemstone Pricing Formulas?

Can gemstone pricing formulas help gem merchants and buyers make fair deals? Learn what factors should play a role in...
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What's the Difference Between Mineral Samples and Gem Rough?

What's the Difference Between Mineral Samples and Gem Rough?

For faceting, the distinction between gems and minerals is usually clarity. However, learn why the decision to cut may be...
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Creating Ring Mountings for Deep-Cut Gemstones

Creating Ring Mountings for Deep-Cut Gemstones

Deep-cut gems like Barions may not fit in standard ring mountings. Jewelers can try to find special mounts or custom...
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Aquamarine Setting Advice

Aquamarine Setting Advice

Aquamarines can look great, but what’s the best way to mount them? Novice jewelers should learn the pros and cons...
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Does Refractive Index Affect Gemstone Brightness?

Does Refractive Index Affect Gemstone Brightness?

Many factors contribute to gemstone brightness. Learn the role a gem's refractive index plays and the difference between gemology theory...
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Faceting Tips for Exotic Gemstones

Faceting Tips for Exotic Gemstones

Some gems are seldom faceted because they're rarely found in nature or rarely used for jewelry. Learn a few tricks...
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Some Advice for Cutting Tourmaline Gemstones

Some Advice for Cutting Tourmaline Gemstones

Cutting tourmaline can be difficult. Some gems seem to shatter easily. Learn faceting techniques to minimize this risk as well...
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What Causes Fuzzy Refractometer Readings?

What Causes Fuzzy Refractometer Readings?

Fuzzy refractometer readings may be the result of poorly faceted gems, the wrong amount of refraction liquid, and even stone...
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How Does Vapor Deposition Create Mystic Topaz and Aqua Aura Quartz?

How Does Vapor Deposition Create Mystic Topaz and Aqua Aura Quartz?

Vapor deposition can be used to enhance gemstones like topaz and quartz with a metal coating or sheen. Learn how...
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Refractive Index List of Common Household Liquids

Refractive Index List of Common Household Liquids

Gemologists may immerse gems in refraction fluids during examinations. This refractive index list of household liquids offers some common alternatives....
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Gemstone Orientation for Beginners

Gemstone Orientation for Beginners

Choosing the best gemstone orientation for your rough takes skill and experience. Learn what factors you should take into account...
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How to Re-Oil Emeralds Safely and Easily

How to Re-Oil Emeralds Safely and Easily

Oil treatment is a standard industry practice for enhancing emeralds. However, the treatments are not permanent. Learn how to re-oil...
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How to Find Curved Striae in Synthetic Ruby and Sapphire

How to Find Curved Striae in Synthetic Ruby and Sapphire

Curved striae or lines are a telltale sign of synthetic ruby and sapphire. If you're having trouble seeing them, here...
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What is the Best Synthetic Corundum?

What is the Best Synthetic Corundum?

There are many ways to grow ruby and sapphire in a lab. However, determining the best synthetic corundum for faceting...
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What are the Best Rough Sapphire Stones?

What are the Best Rough Sapphire Stones?

The best rough sapphire stones may come from different sources, depending on the color you want. However, valuable blues may...
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What is the Average Gemstone Faceting Yield?

What is the Average Gemstone Faceting Yield?

What’s the average gemstone faceting yield from a single piece of rough? Learn how to estimate how much material you’ll...
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Gem Cutting Acronyms and Their Meanings

Gem Cutting Acronyms and Their Meanings

You'll find gem cutting acronyms like L/W in faceting guides. Learn what these frequently used terms mean and how they...
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Bangkok: City of Gemology Schools

Bangkok: City of Gemology Schools

Bangkok is the center of the colored gem trade. Compare the top four Bangkok gemology schools and see why this...
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The Path to Success in the Gem Trade

The Path to Success in the Gem Trade

Finding your path to success in the gem trade takes introspection, education, and exploration. Learn about your options for entering...
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How To Make A Rock Lamp

How To Make A Rock Lamp

With the right tools and a little drilling know-how, you can create a rock lamp with an agate or jasper...
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What Is The Best Lap For Polishing Sapphire?

What Is The Best Lap For Polishing Sapphire?

Polishing sapphire gemstones can be tough on laps. Learn the pros and cons of different laps and some techniques to...
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Gem Cutting Machine Recommendations

Gem Cutting Machine Recommendations

What's the best gem cutting machine for novices? Read about some popular models and learn the importance of finding the...
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Beginning Wax Casting: Resources For Jewelry Makers

Beginning Wax Casting: Resources For Jewelry Makers

Wax casting makes it possible to create intricate and unique metal pieces for jewelry. Here are some tips for beginners...
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How Should A Gemstone Contact A Faceting Machine Lap?

How Should A Gemstone Contact A Faceting Machine Lap?

Is a flat lap to dop swing really necessary? Learn how a gemstone should contact a faceting machine lap and...
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Advice for Preforming Gemstone Rough for Maximum Yield

Advice for Preforming Gemstone Rough for Maximum Yield

To pick the right cut for a gem, you need to figure its maximum potential shape. Preforming gemstone rough is...
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Choosing And Applying Doublet Glue For Jewelry

Choosing And Applying Doublet Glue For Jewelry

What's the best doublet glue for creating assembled stone jewelry? Learn about the choices as well as tips for making...
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How To Restore The Spring Of A Sterling Silver Money Clip

How To Restore The Spring Of A Sterling Silver Money Clip

Has your sterling silver money clip lost its spring? If you have experience with metalworking, learn these methods for repairing...
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Repairing Platinum Jewelry: Tips For Getting Started

Repairing Platinum Jewelry: Tips For Getting Started

Working with platinum is actually a little easier than working with gold. If you want to add platinum jewelry repair...
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How To Make A Quartz Wedge For Polariscope Testing

How To Make A Quartz Wedge For Polariscope Testing

A quartz wedge can be used with a polariscope to help a gemologist distinguish the + or – optic sign...
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Advice For Grading Dark Colored Gemstones

Advice For Grading Dark Colored Gemstones

Faceted dark colored gemstones can have intense colors but little brilliance. A simple formula can help a gemologist estimate a...
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Faceted Gemstones And Light Return Measurements

Faceted Gemstones And Light Return Measurements

What factors determine the light return of faceted gemstones? Facet quality, polish, color, and cut style all play roles. Learn...
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A Cabochon Bezel Setting For Unusual Opal Doublets

A Cabochon Bezel Setting For Unusual Opal Doublets

Cabochon cuts are popular for showcasing opal doublets. Learn a trick for making a bezel setting for doublets that are...
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Ring Sizing Advice For Novice Jewelry Makers

Ring Sizing Advice For Novice Jewelry Makers

Ring sizing is an important part of jewelry making and repair. Learn a few soldering and annealing tricks from the...
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Facet Designs For Beginners

Facet Designs For Beginners

What are the best facet designs for novice gem cutters? Find recommendations for cutting styles, books, resources, and gemstone rough...
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Green Tourmaline and Rubellite: Emerald-Cutting Advice

Green Tourmaline and Rubellite: Emerald-Cutting Advice

Dark green tourmaline and red rubellite gems can look very black in an emerald cut. Learn how to minimize this...
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Getting Started in the Jewelry Trade

Getting Started in the Jewelry Trade

How do you start making a living in the jewelry trade? You need to learn gemology and metalsmithing and get...
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Labradorite Gemstone Cutting Advice

Labradorite Gemstone Cutting Advice

Learn how to cut a labradorite gemstone to showcase its striking color flash most effectively. Spectrolite is one variety that...
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