Today's bespoke gem I'm cutting is a piece of morganite (pink beryl). The plan is to cut an 8mm round brilliant. Here is the original peice of rough... i'm preforming it by hand to shape it before dopping it. Doing this removes any surface flaws and inclusions and allows me to see exactly what I'm working with. Now I make final decisions on how to best orientate the rough so as to achieve best colour and yield whilst avoiding any internal flaws or inclusions that may be present.
Next step is to affix the morganite rough to the dopstick. For this I use dopping wax heated over a metho burner. Gently heat the wax and the stone, push together and shape the wax. Once cooled I put the dopstick with the stone attached into my faceting machine and off I go. I now begin the actual cutting.
I begin with a fairly course diamond grit lap, usually 260 if there is alot of rough to remove, or 600 grit for finer cutting. You can start to see the shape of the gem now. I cut the pavilion first which is the bottom/underneath part of the gemstone.
Inspecting the stone. It is a constant process of checking to make sure everything is accurate and points meet. It's very easy to over cut a facet if you are not concentrating or in a rush. Patience is required.
Now that the pavilion has been polished we next transfer the stone onto another dopstick so that we can cut the crown and table. For that we use a special little jig. For the second dopstick we use a special adhesive instead of wax.
Next it's time to tackle the crown. The important thing here is to make sure we cut a level girdle. Depending on how well you cut the pavilion and how accurate your machine will determine whether this is easy or incredibly frustrating.
Done! I finished up with an eye clean flawless 8mm round brilliant morganite (pink beryl) gem. I think the client is going to be very happy with this little beauty. And that folks, is how a bespoke gem is cut.
Doug Menadue - Doug is a professional gemcutter who has been faceting bespoke gems since 2004 and cuts gems to order.
DOUG MENADUE :: BESPOKE GEMS :: WWW.BESPOKE-GEMS.COM