Before the shaping process takes place, a gemstone material is referred to as rough because it has not been shaped or polished yet. A rough is the piece of crystal, rock, or gem that broken off during the mining process—it’s the piece you’ll use during lapping. As you being the practice of preparing a stone to become a piece of jewelry, it’s crucial that you know how to cut gemstones the right way to prevent mistakes or injury.
Start With a Plan
Ensure you understand the material your gemstone is made from, as different stones have varying degrees of hardness; moreover, knowing this before diving in lowers the chances of a mishap. Once you’ve begun cutting the stone, there is no going back, so it’s essential you also decide the shape early on.
The form you decide to cut your stone in depends on multiple factors, such as the natural shape of the rough and the design you’ve envisioned. Additionally, the way you cut the stone affects how much it will sparkle, thus affecting the price it’ll sell for. As the artist, the way you cut the stone is entirely up to you, but you should keep current fashion trends in mind or go with something timeless if you hope to make a profit off your design!
Have the Right Tools
Once you’ve decided how you’re going to cut the rough, gather your tools and make sure you have the right instruments. For this process, you’ll need carving machinery such as drills, grinders, and saws. Understanding the tools you will use is as important as knowing the stones; this knowledge is to prevent mistakes and keep you safe.
One of the most important aspects of this process is keeping safety in mind. So, as you gather your lapping tools, gather safety materials as well. This should include eye and ear protection, a filtration mask, and gloves. These items will protect you from loose material, loud sounds emitted from machinery, and loose particles that will be airborne during the process.
End With Polishing
After you’ve cut your gem into the desired shape, the last step on how to cut gemstones the right way is to begin the polishing process. During this step, you’ll need a polishing lap, diamond compound, and sanding tools to create facets in the stone, as it’s these small cuts that give a gem its sparkle.
Keep in mind that there are various ways to polish material, and the hardness of your stone will affect the method you utilize. This final step requires precision and practice, as you want each facet to be symmetrical to create a perfect piece. While this is challenging, with practice comes knowledge!