A Faceter Beginner's Guide

Tips for Selecting Raw Gemstones for Faceting | Buying Rough Stones for Lapidary

Here we will focus on a faceter beginner's guide to selecting raw gemstones for faceting. Selecting raw gemstones for faceting can be a challenging and a crucial task, when it comes to the art of faceting stones. The process of faceting a raw shape stone into a dazzling faceted gem to set it into a final jewelry settings, one must have relevant skills, patience and right choice of quality gem grade stone.

Wrong selection of wrong stone can make the cutters disappointing as it will give loss of money and efforts too. Therefore, you must have some basic knowledge about selecting raw gemstones before buying and starting a faceting process. The knowledge of right choice in raw gemstones will also help the faceter in negotiating with the gemstone dealers. 

In this article, we will highlight and share some basic tips and guidelines for selecting raw gemstones for faceting which will help the buyer in choosing or making more informed decisions and creating an attractive stone. 

1. Do Some Research, Analyse and Educate Yourself

Before starting purchases of rough stones for cutting,

Research before buying raw stones

educate yourself on raw gemstones' terminologies, qualities, and aspects.

Good knowledge or being well-informed will save you stress, money, and time. Have understanding of multiple factors such as value of a gemstone, its color, carat weight, clarity. This will help you in right selection of raw gemstones.

2. Select a Well Reputable Suppliers

Look for trust worthy gemstone dealers or suppliers. They should have reputable history of offering natural and genuine rough gemstones ethically sourced. You can google online or check social media accounts to see customer's reviews. You can ask recommendations from the well known lapidary artists or gemstone cutters. Seek their opinions.

Selecting Raw Stone Gemstone Dealers

3. Inspect the Rough Gemstones

While receiving the raw stone shipment online

or buying face to face from any raw stone shop near by you, inspect the each piece thoroughly. Check what type of inclusions the gemstone have, their internal external flaws or any visible fractures. When you receive a shipment of rough gemstones, thoroughly inspect each piece. 

4. Consider the Shape and Size

Go for unique natural rough-shaped gemstones incorporated into designs on jewelry pieces without standard faceting.

Note: Do not limit your selections to only traditional shapes.

However while making decision for any specific cut or design, match the raw stone shape with your required designs. The rough stone must have enough material to achieve the desired shape in finished form. Also check the size of the raw stone matching your finished faceted gem. For example, you should have idea what size you want for ring, pendant or earring. 

5. Evaluate the Color and Clarity

Color of the stone play vital role in getting true beauty of the stone and its value. Check if the stone has proper color, hue and smooth color uniformity.? What we see color in raw stone, the facet gems come with either light or more dark color after cutting. 

Inspect color and size of the stone

Another point of selecting raw stone for cutting is its clarity. Clarity matters a lot while cutting. The heavy included stone will have dull finished form. Slight included can have some brilliance. Eye clean or loupe clean is more desired in case of precious stones such as diamonds. Some people like included stones thinking they look more real than loupe clean stones. If your project is to get eye clean finished faceted gemstones, you must select raw stone with minimum inclusions. The more stone will be clean, the more it will be pricy. 

6. Assess and Analyse Potential Yield

Experienced lapidary artists often calculate the potential yield of a raw gemstone before buying. You must have idea of total amount of waste that can come during cutting or faceting gemstone. Choosing a raw stone with minimum waste expectations will ensure you that you are getting good out of your investment. 

Inspect the yield of the stone

7. Have Understanding of Treatments and Enhancements of Raw Stones

A faceter or a stone cutter must have idea of gemstone treatmetns types which the raw stones get. Some treatments of the stones are acceptable and some are not. However treatments can affect the stone value directly. The trust worthy gemstone supplier expose the treatments to their buyers before selling. 

8. Set a Budget

Nothing good is cheap. If you want the best, you must budget high. Consider budgeting before you start shopping. Raw gemstones are available in different rages such as affordable to highly expensive. Increase your budgeting skills, projecting goals and type of stone you want to buy. Having clear mind set about budgeting will help you in narrowing down multiple choices and options. It will also help you in overspending. 

9-Keep your Toolkit Handy

Ensure your toolkits are handy when buying or selecting gemstones. For example, loque, lamp with opaque shade, tweezers, and white paper. You can use these kits to conduct critical tests and evaluations to help you examine them for fractures, inclusions, or other damages that will affect faceting.

Other tips to remember are how durable and less prone to damage the gemstones are and the market demand for the type you want to buy. You must be very patient when planning to buy a gem.

What type of stone should be selected for faceting or cutting? 

As a beginner, it is recommended that you go for quartz because it has a cutting angle already optimized. Although, it all depends on your preference and what you intend to use it for. 

Some recommended stones for cutting are:

  • Diamond, sapphire, topaz, rubies, emeralds, aquamarine, and tourmaline. 
  • Tourmaline: This is recommended because it comes in a variety of colors and their brilliant nature.
  • Aquamarine: Its hardness and greenish-blue color make it the best for cutting.
  • Emeralds: Their green color is often cut into lovely shapes and used for jewelry pieces.
  • Rubies: It is durable and has an intense red color, making them an excellent choice for creating fantastic red gemstones.
  • Topaz: This type is available in many colors (blue and colorless topaz).
  • Sapphire - it is durable and comes in different colors.
  • Diamond - When you hear of hardness, fire, and brilliance, think of diamonds in various colors. It has a colorless variety. 

9. Ask A Question

You should not feel hesitation while asking any type of question about the raw stones from anyone. Do brainstorming before buying. Get knowledge about origin of the stone, history and all type of considerable details. The trustworthy and reputable gemstone dealers or suppliers will be more willing to share any type of information while you make purchase with them. 

10. Trust Your Instincts and Knowledge

It is always important to get advice and information however have trust on your instincts and information. If you are not feeling good with your selection, than go for more options about a specific raw stone. Your intuition mixed with your expertise will lead you towards right selection and towards the best choices. 

In the world of lapidary arts or faceting process, the journey from raw gems to a brilliance faceted gem is definitely exciting one. By following above tips and guidelines and taking time in the selection of raw stones, you are ahead towards creating a gem of art. the journey from rough gemstone to sparkling faceted jewel is an exciting one. 

Lastly, always think outside the box as your choice of stone reflects the story and personal taste your jewelry will tell.

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