Gemstone Cuts and The Why.

Who does the cutting? What are the different methods of cutting? Ever thought why it is cut that way?
What is a cabochon?  Why a Marquise?  isn’t that a Royal title such as Baron or Earl? ( Actually it is a royal title that is lower than a Duke but higher than an Earl, if you are into Royalty.)

After delving into the history of gemstone cutting I have found some interesting answers.
A gem cutter is called a “Lapidarist” This trade is usually learned on the job, but there are several colleges that do give courses.  How long it takes to learn, depends on the skill of the student.

The different methods of cutting are tumbling, cabbing, faceting and carving.

Tumbling, the simplest method, is done in a revolving barrel with abrasives. Finer and finer abrasives are used until the stones have the expected high sheen. This is closest to nature as the same thing happens to stones in a stream. Of course, man made tumbling creates a much higher polish.

Rock Tumbler

Rock Tumbler

Cabbing is the cutting of cabochons, the most common form of gem cutting.
Cabochons are cut with a highly polished rounded or convex top, no faceting,and a flat or slightly domed base. This cut is used for softer stones to safeguard them from scratching. It is also the main cut for opals, turquoise,onyx, moonstone and star sapphire. Cabochons are not actually cut but shaped and polished. they are much easier to produce than faceted stones witch have many angles. They can be produced in any shape but oval is the most used.

This cut is used for star saphires and tiger’s eye stones to get the most of the design and brilliance.

The faceted cut can be various shapes, where as the cabochon has special limits.
Facet is the cut but not the shape.  It is actually the shaping of many cuts to show the stone at it’s best color and shine.

All natural stones including the rocks you might find along the edge of the road, have prisms or  points of light that enhance their color. ( You might want to study an old rock just for the fun of it.) Faceting was created to take advantage of that fact.

There are simple faceted cuts such as these step cornered aquamarine gems from the Smithsonian gem gallery or the many faceted cuts shown here in this round brilliant cut.

Step Cut Gemstones

Step Cut Gemstones

Round Brilliant Cut

Round Brilliant Cut

This started in the 13th and 14th centuries. At a time when stone cutting machines   were being invented to actually do the job. Before then, one would have to hire an artist to actually carve out a stone by hand, which could take many, many hours. Today there are very few lapidary carvers. One design that has been carved through the ages is the Cameo, which is usually cut from sea shells or agate.

 

The Marquise Cut
The marquise cut is a thin oblong shape with pointed ends and is named after Jean Antoinette Poisson, the Marquise de Pompadour……….. It is said French King, Louis the IV, asked his jewelers to create a cut to capture his mistress’ smile

Madame Pompadour

Madame Pompadour

… For that interesting story go here..http://www.ajsgem.com/articles/history-marquise-cut.html

A marquise has 57 facets.

 

Marquise Cut

Marquise Cut

The Princess Cut
Then there is the Princess cut which is a square version of the round brilliant. It has 76 facets.
With modern computers Lapidarists are creating more and more advanced designs for faceted gemstones.
For a more complete picture go to http://www.e-jewel.co.il/en/gemstonesshapes.aspx?PageID=259   Very interesting.

Hope Diamond, most expensive princess cut valued at two million dollars!

Hope Diamond, most expensive princess cut valued at two million dollars!

 

Now with all the modern computer technology, the Lapidarist can create original cuts never before  seen.  The Lapidarist artist would start with the anatomy of the gemstone, observing the natural prisms in each piece, just as the stone carver would, then proceed to work his magic.

  Note:     If you would like to learn more about the “Hope” diamond check out my blog post  under diamonds  “Famous Diamonds”  It has a fascinating history.   It even has a curse!

 

 

Until next time,

Enjoy your gemstones.

Erma

 

Looking for a gift or a wonderful piece of jewelry for yourself, this company goes above and beyond for their customers.  A family company dealing in gemstone jewelry, created by their own artisans.   Excellent prices as well.

Just click the link below:
We are always adding something new at JeGem.com. Checkout our newest pieces!

For all you jewelry crafts people: Love gemstones? Make jewelry? Click Here.

Resources:  Wikipedia, Gemselect, Gem society, as well as many others  from around the world.

 

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The Atlantis Stone

Recently I was introduced to the “newest” gemstone. A beautiful blue stone I had never seen before. Well it wasn’t new of course, no gemstone is new. The latest gemstone to be found in modern times by modern geologists is “Larimar” the ” Atlantis stone”, also known as the “Dolphin Stone”. It is only found in the Caribbean, natives have been using this stone down through the ages for healing, divination and decoration.

 Larimar stones

Larimar stones

It was first discovered by modern man in 1916, Father Loren of the Barahona Parish in the Dominican Republic requested permission to mine a certain blue rock he had discovered. His request was rejected because “pectolites” were not known in that end of the world.

Larimar is a pectolite which is composed mostly of acid silicate hydrate of calcium and sodium. Pectolite is found in many locations but no others have the distinct blue color of Larimar. That is a result of a copper substitution for calcium in this unique stone.

Next in 1974, Dominican Republic geologist Miquel Mendez rediscovered the stone, naming it after his daughter Larissa. He used the Spanish word for sea “mar”and formed Larimar. The stones he and his partner Norman Rilling found, had been washed into the sea by the Bahoruco River. When they searched up river they soon found the stones source and the Los Chapaderos mine was created.

Larimar

Larimar

The stone did not reach the USA until 1986 and is still fairly rare in gemstone listings.

Healing Qualities

Larimar is said to support and promote emotional strength, releasing stress and cooling tempers. It is also an antidote for hot flashes. Used in meditation it helps one release unhealthy bonds to negative people who do not hold your best interests. When placed throughout your home it creates a pleasant, quiet atmosphere.

In healing it is used for the throat, also to reduce fevers and draw out inflammation. When placed on a painful area it provides soothing relief. It stimulates the heart and higher chakras. A stone of love.

Larimar is called the Atlantis stone due to a declaration by an ancient prophet that Atlantis was once part of the Dominican Republic and what made Atlantis great was a beautiful, blue healing stone. The description of that stone has an uncanny resemblance to Larimar.

After seeing this stone for the first time I can believe it. I have never seen a more beautiful blue.

Polished Larimar

Polished Larimar

An interesting note about “Atlantis”  the lost continent.

Edgar Cayce, (March 18,1877 – January 3,1945)  One of the greatest clairvoyants the world has ever seen, predicted    that a “blue stone” with extraordinary healing attributes would be found on “an island in the Caribbean” where he believed part of Atlantis could be found. In 1974 a volcanic blue pectolite named Larimar was discovered in the Dominican Republic.  Read more about healing crystals and Atlantis here.

Looking for a gift or a wonderful piece of jewelry for yourself, this company goes above and beyond for their customers.  A family company dealing in gemstone jewelry, created by their own artisans.   Excellent prices as well.

Just click the link below:

Rare and exotic Caribbean Larimar at JeGem.com

Resources; “The Pocket Book Of Stones” Robert Simmons
“The Illustrated Directory of Healing Crystals” by Cassandra Eason
http://www.bernardine.com/gemstones/larimar.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larimar

 

Be sure to get your latest Fire Mountain catalog below.

FREE Best Sellers Catalog – 448 Pages of the Best-Selling Jewelry-Making Supplies.

 

Until next time,

Have a great day!

Erma.

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The Many Facets of  Garnets

I have always loved garnets. Once thought “if I can’t have a ruby I’ll have a garnet.” At that time I did not know the different qualities and varieties of gemstones. Now I find I can have both. There are many price brackets in all the gems. In other words something for everyone. Also some garnets are just as expensive as the beautiful ruby.

The other thing I did not know was how many colors of garnets there are. Most of us think of the garnet as dark red or purple, but there are green, orange, red, purple, even black. It was once thought there was no blue garnets until someone found color changing garnets from Madagasgar. They change from grey blue to cornflower blue depending on the light and where they are found.. All are beautiful. Each color has a slightly different chemical makeup and are classed as species.

many colors of garnets

many colors of garnets

Garnets have more species than any other gemstone,The six main ones are:

Almandine
Pyrope
Spessartite
Grossular
Andradite
Uvarovite

All six have varying color ranges from light rose red to black. The andraite being the rarest with colors ranging from a lustrous rose to the very rare black malanite.
– See more at: http://www.minerals.net/gemstone/garnet_gemstone.aspx#sthash.iX6GeqHl.dpuf

It is also one of the very few gemstones hardly ever enhanced so you are getting natural purity.

The garnet is very important to geologists due to it’s chemical and magnetic properties. With each garnet they are able to tell the age of the surrounding rocks where the stone was found. This helps to determine how the earth was and is forming under our feet. We tend to forget rocks are living things made up of minerals and various earth elements made from atoms just like we are. They just take many centuries to grow. (There are many arguments about the life of rocks on the internet. I think if they grow, they must be alive.)
——-
An observation from http://www.livescience.com/32234-can-rocks-grow.html
Rocks don’t eat, drink, or take their vitamins, but they do grow.

Observing the process, though, is less interesting than watching paint dry. Rocks called iron-manganese crusts grow on mountains under the sea. The crusts precipitate material slowly from seawater, growing about 1 millimeter every million years.

Your fingernails grow about the same amount every two weeks.
——–

Our world is such a fascinating place, the older I get the more fascinating it becomes. Maybe because I do not have the restrictions of younger adults, with jobs and families still growing, I am able to open my mind to God’s miracle planet, Earth.

Garnet is the official birthstone for January. It is a stone of protection, of energy, of manifestation and of business. Different colors speak to each of these areas. It is also the stone of Aquarius.

Dark, rich red is the most common garnet. It is the stone of the heart.

Deep Red Garnet

Deep Red Garnet

Offering physical, emotional and spiritual support. It eases sadn or guilt   memories and keeps you in touch with your softer side. The red garnet is a path to spirit guides and guardian angels. The lighter red garnet is a perfect gift for returning soldiers who are having a hard time living with the horrors of war. It offers peace for the soul.

A few more  interesting facts about the healing uses of garnets.

It physically heats cold fingers and toes!  It melts frozen feelings and fears! It can ease the acute pain of gall stones! Use it to strengthen your imune system against a host of infections, especially winter illnesses.  One more thing, I find this amazing,  use it to help a pet who is unhappy when its owners go to work. (  I am going to thread some tiny garnet stones into my paranoid wee dog’s collar, since she hates being left alone.  Will let you all know the outcome.)  Reference for this last bit came from a beautiful book called ” the illustrated directory of Healing Crystals”  by Cassandra Eason.

Garnets are found all over the world. One of the world’s largest garnet deposits is in New York State. Apparently the garnet is “The Gem Of The Adirondacks” The Historic Barton Mines opened in 1878 and are still working today. Gore Mountain garnet deposit is recognized as a world famous geology site. Read about it here http://www.lakegeorgeguide.com/regional-area-info/articles/geology-of-the-gore-mountain-garnet-mine/

Barton mines concentrates on industrial garnets. For gemstone quality mining we go to the “Gem State” Idaho. Here is the stone of the heart from Crystal Creek, Idaho, where,thanks to the National Parks service you can go “rock hounding” and collect your own garnets! What a neat way to spend a family day, you never know you might just find a rare one.

Handful of Raw Garnets

Handful of Raw Garnets

 

(For the moment, I find my gems at “Fire Moutain Gems” a family company that is changing the world ” one bead at a time” It is the go to place for pros and hobbyists as well.  ***See my blog about this family business.

I am in love with this garnet pendant, found in their catologue.  To find it on their site just type in garnet pendant in the search  bar for finished jewelry.  And yes,  I am an affiliate as well as a customer.

garnet pendant from Fire Mountain Gems

garnet pendant from Fire Mountain Gems

Go Here to access their site and order your free catologue or just to shop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This post is a little different.

I have been looking for a company that sells all the gemstones in bead form as well as in a variety of  finished jewelry. One that I would be proud to represent on this blog.  Fire Mountain Gems is that.

Their motto “”Uniting the world, one bead at a time” is something they are proud to put into action.    They have been in business over forty years, starting in their home in the seventies in California,they sold jewelry making supplies and a little handbook on how to bead.    After 13 years in business they moved to Oregon in 1986, where they started a mail order jewelry supply and have kept growing ever since.   The handful of employees that started at Fire Mountain Gems and Beads in Cave Junction, Oregon, quickly turned into hundreds of employees and continues to grow still!

Go here to read the interesting history of this family business

And below for the free catalog and more.

FREE Best Sellers Catalog – 448 Pages of the Best-Selling Jewelry-Making Supplies.

 

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The latest Italian jewellery range showcased by Monde D' Or at the Malaysian International Jewellery Fair 2006 in Kuala Lumpur .http://www.monde-d-or.com

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The latest Italian jewellery range showcased by Monde D' Or at the Malaysian International Jewellery Fair 2006 in Kuala Lumpur .http://www.monde-d-or.com

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The latest Italian jewellery range showcased by Monde D' Or at the Malaysian International Jewellery Fair 2006 in Kuala Lumpur .http://www.monde-d-or.com

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The latest Italian jewellery range showcased by Monde D' Or at the Malaysian International Jewellery Fair 2006 in Kuala Lumpur .http://www.monde-d-or.com

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The latest Italian jewellery range showcased by Monde D' Or at the Malaysian International Jewellery Fair 2006 in Kuala Lumpur .http://www.monde-d-or.com

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The latest Italian jewellery range showcased by Monde D' Or at the Malaysian International Jewellery Fair 2006 in Kuala Lumpur .http://www.monde-d-or.com

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