The cutting of gemstones is a very fine and precise process. It requires many years of experience, as well as specific knowledge that only comes from working alongside an experienced cutter who can teach the necessary skills.
The use of costly tools also becomes vital to make sure the cut is perfect and uniform. As with any profession, there are different levels of quality involved in stone cutting – so who cuts gemstones for you?
When we see dazzling diamonds and brilliant jewellery on display, how do they come to be?
Gem cutting or lapidary is the term used to describe the process of cutting and polishing gems, while the person who does it is referred to as a gem cutter or lapidary (sometimes lapidarist).
As a general rule, rough gemstone material is considered to be uncut and unpolished. To remove brittle, fragmented material from the surface of a piece of raw material, the material is referred to as being cobbed.
Progressive abrasion with finer and finer grits of tougher substances is used to cut and polish all diamonds.
To cut and polish a wide range of materials, including diamond itself, diamond is employed as an abrasive with a Mohs hardness of 10.
Mohs hardness 9.5 silicon carbide, a synthetic silicon-carbon combination, is also commonly used to cut weaker gemstones.
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For polishing gemstones, other materials including cerium oxide, tin oxide, chrome oxide, and aluminium oxide may also be employed.
Who Are These People?
This is the most perplexing element of the process. Lapidary is the term for the process of cutting gems. A gem cutter or “lapidary” is a person who cuts gemstones. A Lapidary is indeed a Lapidary. I appreciate your help.
Most gemstones are cut in the US by highly trained professionals. There are different levels of quality in stone cutting. Therefore, it would be best to find a reputable company that can provide you with the level of quality that you are looking for.
Fortunately, the term “lapidarist” is also available in English, making it easier to recall. Or, as the majority of the public does, just refer to them as “gem cutters.” Gem cutters, on the other hand, specialise on diamonds, whilst lapidarists are used as a broad term.
Tumbling, cabochon cutting, and faceting are all forms of lapidary arts. These are just some of the current gem cutter’s duties.
It is done by placing rough stones in holders and holding the stones against the edge of a rotating saw or slitter impregnated with diamond dust.
Remove the cut stone from the lapidary stick and store it there. The shaping wheel is then selected and abrasive compound is applied by a gem cutter.
To further shape the stone and grind the facets, they use a lapidary stick against the rotating shaping wheel and lapidary disc.
Grinding and polishing stones by vibrating or rotating the barrel with water and a grinding/polishing material inside of it, over time.
Using a magnifying glass, one examines a stone’s cut for correctness. They use a felt or canvas-covered wheel, as well as chemicals like tripoli or jeweler’s rouge, to buff stones.
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Mechanical facet-cutting equipment may be used. Industrial-Diamond Polishers are gem cutters and polishers who work with industrial diamonds (jewelry-silver).
Mineral hardness can be assessed using the Mohs Hardness Scale, a standard lapidary instrument. The Mohs hardness scale is used to determine how easy a mineral can be scratched and what other minerals can scratch it. Indicating which lapidary processes should be employed on the material, this tool is useful.
Gemstones techniques of cutting
To put it another way, they’re in the business of chopping, grinding, and polishing. As may be expected, the majority of their work involves diamonds, but in the past, they also worked extensively with other gemstones like jade.
Motorized machinery now does the majority of the labour previously performed by gem cutters. A diamond saw (circular blade) is used to cut diamonds, and the diamond is dropped on top of the blade before being examined under a microscope, as we explained previously.
Professional gem cutters are well-versed in the art of inspecting stones for faults and determining which way to cut a diamond.
An important part of the method is locating the diamond’s seams, and if you hit a fissure in the wrong place, you run the risk of cracking the diamond completely.
How can you be a gemstone cutter?
Gem cutting is one of many possible college majors for jewellers and metalworkers. To get started in the field, you’ll need to conduct some research on reading machines, but if you’d rather practise on a cheap gemstone like quartz, do so. For the United States Faceter’s Guild, you’ll need to be familiar with the art of faceting.
Lapidary clubs can be found all around the world. There are various gem displays in Australia, including the GEMBOREE, a national lapidary competition held annually. Tucson, Arizona, hosts an annual gem and mineral show around the beginning of February.
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The Tucson Gem and Mineral Society Show was the first show, but it has since grown to include hundreds of smaller exhibits. For the first time ever, the world’s largest gem and mineral expo was held simultaneously in 2012.
The concluding notes
It is the job of a gem cutter or lapidary to cut gems. Uncut and unpolished gemstone material is what it’s all about.
Diamond is used as an abrasive to cut and polish a variety of materials, including diamond. Cutters and polishers are in the stone-cutting and polishing sector.
Chemicals such as tripoli and jeweler’s rouge are used to polish stones on a felt or canvas-covered wheel.
Using the Mohs hardness scale, mineral scratchability can be determined. Before a diamond can be studied under a microscope, it is cut with a diamond saw (a circular blade).
When it comes to analysing stones for flaws and deciding on the best technique to cut a diamond, professional gem cutters are well-versed.
Gemstone cutting is an art that needs years of study and practice. The process can take up to a year or more, depending on the type of gemstone.
For example, it can take up to six months to cut a large sapphire into diamonds facets, so that they reflect light in different directions for its brilliance.
Cutting gems is one way people make their living from this natural resource and ancient craftsmanship passed down through generations.