The traditional gem cutting and polishing process - Part 1
Part 1 - Pre- forming the rough gems
We are regularly producing new cut and polished gems at Rohan Gems & Lapidary, almost on a weekly basis. Seeing the rough gems take their journey from being a sparkle in the mud to undoubtedly being the prettiest creation of mother earth is truly magical.
Fine gems are still cut and polished using traditional methods. Here we have a rough blue sapphire (3.67 ct), spinel (4.87 ct), and a chrysoberyl (4.75 ct).
First, we identify the axis of the gem stone. Sapphires and other double refractive gems give out the best color at different angles or axis. It is preferable to use the axis with the best color as the face of the gem piece. Next step in the procedure is to identify external and internal inclusions. Some external and internal inclusions can be removed through pre-form or sawing off sections.
Here we use an old manual machine called a “Pattalaya” to pre-form the gem. During the pre-formation stage, the gems are held against the turning diamond plate and grinned into the basic shape. We have determined the sapphire and the spinel to be shaped into ovals, and the chrysoberyl to a cushion cut. During this phase, most external inclusions and craters will be grinned off and erased. After the pre-formation is done, the gems lose some of their weight and the final shape can be seen.
Please stay tuned for part 2 and see the finished product.