The Modern Art of Gemstone Carving

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HomeLearning CenterJewelry MakingGemologyThe Modern Art of Gemstone Carving
By Helena LambertMore from this author

The art of gemstone carving had its absolute heyday during the 19th century in Paris. The main center of the creative craft is now in Idar-Oberstein, where experts still pursue the profession. In a modern interpretation, gemstone engraving has lost nothing of its currency.

Gemstone Carving
Snow crystals sculpted in mountain crystal and zirconium and engraved deeply into beryl

Engraved gemstones as jewelry or a symbolic interpretation of the world and society around us have a long tradition. Until today, the art of gemstone engraving can be seen in many different forms and variations such as deep-cut intaglios or gems with enhanced cameos and reliefs, three-dimensional sculptures and optical illusions. However, modern engraving is by no means exclusively restricted to purely figurine motifs in the style of portraits or heraldic styles, as they have been carved in large numbers of colored layer agate in the past centuries. Instead, shadings, photorealistic motifs, abstract forms, reflective surfaces and even holographic mirroring are in demand in very varied types of gemstone.

Amethyst heart, partially left in its natural state, with grey pearls and faceted smoke quartz, forming an eye catching collier

The ldar Oberstein-based gemstone engraver Hans Ulrich Pauly is a true master of his profession and has worked in the now quite uncommon profession for many generations. The 50-year old gemstone expert proves his crafts skill, his technical perfection and his refined creativeness every day in his studio. Circumspect like - unfortunately - few in his trade, he trains at least one apprentice each year and ensures in this way that the industry stays alive.

Free formed cross in mountain crystal with fleur de lys motif engraved an intaglio
"Genesis" mountain crystal sculpture that symbolizes the "Genesis" in a double helix and the mirroring of male and female images

by Helena Lambert

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Helena Lambert

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