Last ot 2019

The holidays did not leave much time for faceting. Got only a handful of additional gems cut in the last month from the material purchased last February in Tucson. Hopefully now that the Christmas decorations are all put away for another year there will be more time in the next month to catch up a bit. Since there are about three dozen left from the 2019 material it is unlikely all of it will be cut before the end of January and I head off to Tucson again.

Meanwhile, here are three from a parcel of nice, dark orange citrine. Initially the parcel was purchased to try out concave facets on some smaller sizes (8 to 10 mm.) After trying for a few, at least in the lighter colored material, it does not seem to be worth the extra effort. They are a bit too small for the optical effects of concave facets to make a significant difference.

The first is a 2.58 carat, 9.0 mm round which has some concave facets on the pavilion. As usual, it looks a lot better in real life than is this photo.


Next is a 2.58 carat, 7.8 mm square.


And last, a 2.03 carat octagon which is 8.2 mm. across.


While there is still a lot more to do before February 2020, I have been making some progress faceting the 2019 Tucson acquired rough. Green colored rough was among some of the first purchased and is towards the head of the list being cut. Green is my favorite color, so of course it is working that way.

Here are a two of Arizona peridots. (The photos do not do them justice. They are bright and sparkling.) The first is 9.0 mm., 2.89 carat round.

The second, also round, is 9.3 mm. and 3.29 carats.

Continuing on the green theme is this 9.3 mm., 3.30 carat chrome diopside.

There is something about that really dark shade of green...

Last off the dop

It feels even longer than it probably has been, but at last I finally finished the baker's dozen stones that were dopped in preparation for the faceting demonstration the first weekend of August. Now that fall is just about here and the shows are over for a while, I hope to get back to a routine which has a lot more faceting time included.

Here is pictured one of the last off the dop - a 5.08 ct. lemon citrine which is 18.7 x 7.0 mm. and was another experiment with the fantasy machine tools I am still learning to use.

More From Faceting Demonstrations

Pictured below are a few more stones started at a local club show as part of a faceting demonstration, and then eventually finished at home later.  The previous set was from the show by the club to our north, so these are from the show put on by the club to the south.

The first is a 9.81 cts. lemon citrine that is 12.4 mm. across.

Next is a 6.12 cts. prasiolite quartz 11.6 mm. round.  For this one, the crown was shaped into a dome before a few flat facets were placed on it.

And of course, I had to include hexagons.  This lemon quartz gem is 12.2 mm. wide and weighs 7.16 cts.

This is another citrine at the other end of the color range. It is 2.39 cts. and 8.6 mm. across. 

All of these gems have concave facets on the pavilion so really sparkle.  And they are all from rough material obtained in February during my Tucson adventures.


Did I mention that I liked hexagon shaped gems?

Did I mention that I liked hexagon shaped gems?

These were started as part of the faceting demonstration at a local rock show and then provided a base for learning more about using some other tools on the fantasy machine.

4.48 ct. smoky quartz, 10.2 mm. concave facets on pavilion and apex crown.


lemon citrine, 6.69 cts., 12.1 mm, compound concaves on pavilion with the slitter tool


5.13 cts., smoky quartz, 10.8 mm., similar to previous using slitter tool to make small compound concaves on pavilion


Crown Variation

Instead of the typical step cut crown, this 12.39 ct. smoky quartz has a series of steps across the entire upper side of the stone. With the concaves on the pavilion, the result has a stone that looks like it has rows of tiny LEDs hiding inside.

Finishing 2018 rough

This 4.58 ct. Amethyst is among the last stones cut from rough purchased in 2018. The stone is 11.0 mm in diameter and has concave facets on the pavilion. Now it is time to start working on the new rough purchased during my 2019 Tucson adventures.

Further Experimenting with the fantasy machine tools

Here is another result of initial experiments with the fantasy tools. This 12.98 ct. smoky quartz was cut with v-groves on the pavilion instead of the rounded concaves that have been used for previous stones.

Beginning Attempt with the Fantasy tools

After a number of failed exercises trying to get up to speed with the V-groove tools that came with the ULTRA TEC Faceting fantasy machine, this stone was a step in the right direction.

The grooves were more curves rather than straight sided and my attempts to polish were only partially successful.

The stone is smoky quartz, 6.68 carats, 11.4 mm across


Other Tucson Rough Purchases

The Tucson rough I bought wasn't all green. Here are a couple other parcels that followed me home.

This is a parcel of garnets from Malawi brought to the USFG event by Dan Lynch. The purchase price was going to finish a children's library in one of the mining communities. When these are cut, sales will go to a UNICEF sponsored program for high school scholarships for Malawi girls.

This is a handful of lovely amethyst obtained from Farooq Hashmi. His handful was a few more than this.

The madera citrine from Steve Ulatowski is incredibly clear. Maybe I should have taken a handful of those as well.

Oregon sunstone. I'm still not sure about sunstone. Probably will know a lot more by the time these are cut.