Lapidary / Types of Gemstone Cutting

Lapidary is a kind of shaping, working, and cutting of stones. The word is related and referred to small gemstones. Lapidary or gem cutting have been used 1000s years old. It is the way to transform rough gems / crystals into splendid gemstones. It unlocks the luster and shining of the stone.

There are following types of gem cutting styles:-

  1. Faceting
  2. Cabbing
  3. Tumbling
  4. Carving

We are giving brief details of gemstones types of cutting here:-


Faceting style of cutting in gemstones is an outstanding way of giving brilliance to the gemstones. If anyone want any wedding jewelry set made of gemstones like emerald, ruby or Diamond. One would like to go with faceted gemstones. It increases the value of gemstones. It gives beautify to the viewers. In faceting cutting style, gems are shaped in geometrical shapes and flat polished faces. The faceted style of cutting is very popular among people.

The brilliant cut round is an easy way to understand and start to learn faceting.

Gemstone faceting is great art or engineering in fact. In the start, one may feel faceting is difficult but it is not so ambiguous actually. There are different types of facet style gemstones.


Tumbling is a very simple form of gemstone cutting. Rough gemstones are put in a tumbler which is based on revolving barrel with abrasives. Progressively finer abrasive are used till polishing of the gem. One have noticed on the beaches and rivers coming from mountain about rocks. Which are in usually nice shapes and forms. They are naturally tumbled by friction of water and rocks.


Cabochon cutting is very popular among people. Cabbing is very popular for of cutting among people. It is an easy and anyone can master on it.

A cab can be of any form and from any stone precious, semi precious, rocks like ceramic, porcelain or wood.  It does not matter where it come from. Its shapes are flat, domed, or rounded inside. The stone cutter first select the stone for cabbing. Mark it with particular shape or template on the stone. One can select the beautiful patterns for exact finishing shape.

After marking, the shape is cut using trim saw and cooling lubricant to keep the saw blade from becoming too hot. Some machines which are used during cabbing process.

After cutting, they are well grinded with basic outlines. Then comes shapes making and finalizing with polishing work.


The more artistic, challenging part in lapidary is carving. It needs really very aesthetic and artistic sense to carve a stone. It needs further expertise along with cutting. In the past, the old civilizations started to carve a gem. The art is called glyptgraphy. Many thousand years before, gemstones have been carved for the members of past Roman nobility. This art can be found in many other civilizations such as Persian, Assyrians and Egyptians.

There are several types of carving. One of the best known forms is cameo. If the design is cut into the top of a cab, it’s called an intaglio or relief carving. If the design is carved on the back, it’s a reverse intaglio.



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