A Few African Garnets

Garnets are generally one of my favorite stones to facet. Usually they cooperate and take a nice polish without fighting back.  Sometimes they end up a bit too dark -- a classic red that won't sparkle.  Sometimes there are fine needle inclusions that make for a sleepy look to the stone.  Often they can contain interesting inclusions that are easily visible while the stone is on the dop and being examined with magnification but when finished, the inclusions are not a detriment to the overall appearance of the stone.  So while I was in Tucson, I could not resist picking up a few parcels of small African garnets.  As a balance to the larger (time consuming) pieces I was cutting using the fantasy machine, I dopped up a few of these for quick positive reinforcement.

This is a 1.30 carat garnet from Malawi which is 5.5 mm. across.  There is quite a color range in the stones coming from this region.  This stone tends towards the orangish side.

Next is another Malawi garnet which is has a purple red color.  It is 7.8 mm. in diameter and is 1.64 carats.

Even more purple this garnet from Umba region of Tanzania is 1.56 carats and 6.7 mm.

Like the Malawi garnets, the Umba garnets also have a wide range of color.  This orangish red one is 1.06 carats and 6.0 mm. across.

 Another parcel was labeled "Ruvu River" which is also in Tanzania.  This slightly purplish garnet is 1.02 carats, 5.8 mm.





Amethyst experiments

So once things were more or less caught up after Tucson, it was time for additional experiments with concave and fantasy variations.  First up is a 12.0 mm., 5.24 carat amethyst pentagon where concave facets were used for every other pavilion facet reaching the culet.

Next is this hexagon shaped amethyst which is 12.31 carats and is 14.5 mm. across. Similar to what was done with the pentagon,  this one has every other culet facet done as concave rather than flat facets.

The third amethyst in this group is 14.0 mm. across and weights 13.47 carats.  The concave facets were placed on the pavilion corners and as the center culet facets.

Then, for fun, a series of four round amethysts ranging in size from the 8.79 carat, 13.6 mm. one pictured above down to an 8.9mm., 2.58 carat version.  The culet facets of the pavilion were done as concave facets.  The diameter of the mandrel used for these was adjusted as the diameter of the stone changed.  Then for the crown, instead of the usual series of flat (or concave) facets, it was done as a single ring .