Have you ever gazed in wonder at a faceted gemstone, at the ever-changing interplay of light, colour, and sparkle, and asked yourself how such a thing could come into being? Gemstones have been a source of fascination, mystery, and power for millennia, yet it is only in the last few decades that the tools and knowledge for creating these tiny miracles have been available to the average person.
In this book, amateur faceter Tom Herbst lays out the steps necessary to transform a shapeless lump of rock into a glittering jewel that is unique and valuable. Along the way, he explains not only the "how" but also the "why," and provides helpful tips in dealing with many of the pitfalls that confront the beginning gem cutter.
At a bare minimum, this book should help you appreciate the craftsmanship that gives life to the jewelry you love. Hopefully, however, you will be inspired to attempt your own first gemstone, the initial step in what may be a lifelong involvement in the captivating hobby of amateur gemstone faceting.
Happy cutting, and may you make all your meets.
Amateur Gemstone Faceting Volume 1: The Essentials - Chapter Summaries
A welcome to the wonderful world of amateur gemstone faceting.
Chapter 1 - Gems and Faceting
Explains the nature and types of gemstones and introduces the hobby of faceting.
Chapter 2 - Faceting Machines
Provides an overview of the mechanics of faceting machines, including a section on evaluating and paying the right price for your dream machine or even building your own. Includes a snapshot of the current faceting machine market.
Chapter 3 - Laps
Explains cutting and polishing laps and the relative advantages and disadvantages of each type. An overview of commercial offerings and typical starting lap sets should help you make the best choice.
Chapter 4 - Additional Equipment
Discusses the additional equipment you will need or want, ranging from dop sticks to polishing compounds to lighting.
Chapter 5 - GeM101: Your First Gemstone
A detailed illustrated tutorial to guide you through cutting and polishing your first gem, from selecting the rough stone to showing off your handiwork.
Chapter 6 - Gem Rough
Provides advice on finding gem rough, selecting the right piece, and paying the right price for it. The chapter also discusses synthetic and simulant gemstones and orienting your gem rough for maximum visual impact and yield.
Chapter 7 - Dopping
Explains traditional dopping practice and introduces a hybrid method which simplifies the process substantially. Includes a thorough discussion of dop transfer technique to ensure proper alignment of the pavilion and crown.
Chapter 8 - Cutting and Polishing
Explains the techniques of cutting and polishing, including sections on pre-forming, lap and facet sequencing, meet point faceting, polishing theory, and charging laps with compound. Extensive troubleshooting discussions should help you avoid, or at least correct, common cutting and polishing problems.
Chapter 9 - Further Reading
An expanded reading list on multiple faceting-related topics.
Glossary of Faceting Terms
A reasonably complete explanation of faceting terms, including direct pointers to the chapter and page where you can learn more.
The two volumes of Amateur Gemstone Faceting comprise 20 chapters and almost 900 pages. The merged index helps you quickly find what you need.