Our lapidary articles cover gem cutting techniques and tools and include guides for setting popular gem cuts into rings and other jewelry pieces.
Cutting a tsavorite gem from a 13.6 carat rough
Luis Moreno demonstrates how to work with an Abalone
This short video demonstrates how to setup your Ameritool Inc. 4
This short video demonstrates how to setup your Ameritool Inc. Universal Grinder. This short demo covers the basic assembly of the Ameritool Inc. Universal Grinder / Polisher.
First the stone’s diameter is measured at the pavillion and a dent is made in the metal for the pilot drill (about 1mm diameter). Then the metal is drilled through. The metal is drilled again until the hole is about 3/4 the size of the stone’s diameter. Lubricate the drill bit. As long as there is a 0.3 mm seat left there is enough to set with.
The optical characteristics and properties of gemstones often provide the fastest and best methods of identification. A certain amount of theory is necessary as optical principles determine cutting methods, gemstone attributes and the function of gem testing instruments.
Bench Jewelers often use different methods to accomplish the same work. I believe the end results are what is important, not the method used to get there. In jewelry work the ends often justifies the means. This is not more evident than in bead setting. I know jewelers who cut the seat with round, bud, cone, setting, heart, or bearing burs. Then they cut the excess metal away with flat, knife, or onglette gravers, or they use heart, wheel, round, or knife edge burs. Some even use needle files or saw blades.
How does concave faceting create so much more brilliance than regular flat faceting? Imagine a typical flat, square mirror, Now push the top and bottom closer together so that the reflective side curves toward you. Than take the left and right edges and curve them away from you so that the whole thing is slightly cylindrical.
One of the most basic designs in stone setting is Bezel Setting. It is rudimentary in its concept, and it is very pleasing to the eye in its simplicity. This concept blends with the smooth vertical shape of the stone….
Bernhard Schobinger, one of Europes most provocative and influential jewel artists, is the subject of this handsome monograph, originally produced for the first major retrospective of his work at the Museum Bellerive in Zurich , Switzerland . Replete with striking images by photographer and video artist Annelies Strba, Schobingers wife for more than 30 years. The volume is sure to please readers who have seen the works in person as well as those new to his oeuvre.
This slim paperback book is a real addition to the book collections of the working jeweler, the jewelry shop owner, the gemologist and interestingly also to your customer, the general public. Wow! It is a compilation of straightforward information on how to take care of gems and jewelry and covers most of the stones in general trade use. At 32 pages it is modest indeed (as too is the price: $ 9.95) but every page is well laid out, visually interesting, concise, accurate, easy to read and find information and best of all has lovely rich color photographs.
One of the best things about a retrospective book is having a window into the mind of an artist, meandering from idea to idea, watching as obsession evolves into recurring theme. Gijs Bakker is arguably the most famous, and certainly the most prolific, jeweler in Holland. He and Droog Design, the team he created with Rene Remakers, embody the classic postmodern stance — ironic, witty, iconoclastic, fiendishly clever, a little arrogant. Gijs Bakker and Jewelry accompanies a retrospective exhibition at the Stedelijk Museums-Hertogenbosch in 2005.
This book is an expert and concise introduction to the world of carving gem materials. You could actually do it if you studied the book carefully. It offers an insight into this world, tickles you with hints of new techniques and is a solid grounding in the thinking required for working these materials into carved shapes..
In this beautiful and personal volume, readers are invited to visit the sparse market stalls, examine the heirloom tools and meet the craftsmen responsible for the living tradition of jewelry in West Africa. Legacy offers step-by-step investigations into many working processes as well as fascinating anecdotes and biographies of the artists. The book is illustrated with hundreds of beautiful photographs and offers access to a world not often visited by outsiders. Equally relevant as an instructional guide and as a profound glimpse into the artistic heritage of Africa, this book adds something fresh and dynamic to the academic study of African art.
A welcome addition to the literature now coming out for bench jewelers, Making the Most of Your Flex-shaft by Karen Christians is an informative compilation of material for anyone who takes tools seriously. Everyone with a flex-shaft understands what a valuable tool this is. Here is a chance to learn more about it in order to maximize its effectiveness, efficiency and longevity, whether you are a beginner or advanced flex-shaft user.
If you like art jewelry, innovative work, future jewelry directions and opening up new markets for the jewelry industry you need this book.
It is a very solid contribution to the developing world of art jewelry. (Capitalist types look well, the making of new markets and profit.
Do you like sumptuous drawings and colored renderings of gemstones and fine jewelry? Interested in basic design principles for commercial jewelry making? Want to impress customers and colleagues with your jewelry rendering skills? This book could be right for you. As a serious goldsmith who does counter drawing or wants to improve their rendering (and possibly design) skills you should add this one to your collection. It is an excellent reference for professional jewelry drawing skills. A recommended pick for the professional crowd. If you want to learn to render gemstones in a traditional manner this book is it.
This film has been made for the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden, as part of an exhibition about ancient jewelry. This is also the reason that it has no sound.
One of the most basic designs in stone setting is “Bezel Setting”. It is so rudimentary in its concept. It is very pleasing to the eye also in its simplicity. This concept blends with the smooth vertical shape of the stone. There are no sharp corners, only gradual flowing lines to conform to the stone. So now let us delve into this different style of setting. A round bur that is re-shaped to have the same contours of the “Cab” stone will enable you to perform and overcome any difficult bezel setting procedure.
To create a new ring to showcase the beauty of a customer’s sentimental diamonds, Knoxville, Tennesseebased jeweler Ron Litolff of Gemstone Designs blended old-world craftsmanship with 21st-century technology. Hand-engraved finish work augments the precise beauty of CAD design in this two-tone ring embellished with intricate scrollwork. ‘quot;Our client requested a remount for her major diamond,’quot; Litolff says. ‘quot;She was also excited about adding some smaller diamonds from her parents’ rings.’quot; In Litolff’s design, the sentimental diamonds found a home in the side of the setting, accented by small bead- and bright-cut diamonds along the shank, as well as Gemstone Designs’ trademark placement of one stone on the inside of the shank. But it’s the scrollwork that really makes this ring stand out.
The gemstone industry tends, for marketing reasons, to limit the definition of chalcedony somewhat more than mieralolgists. Among gemstone and jewelry sellers, the term chalcedony is usually used to refer specifically to semitransparent to translucent white, blue, pale grayish-blue, purple, pink, yellow, orange, red, or solid-colored materials other than carnelian, sard, or chrysoprase.
My first bracelet inlaid with mother of My pearl, petrified palm, dino bone, agate,lapis,turquoise,abalone, sonoran sunrise, (denver)granite, and tigers eye
Over the past decade, channel setting has grown in popularity. Setting small diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and even emeralds into channels has become commonplace in most shops. Hardly a week goes by without some form of repair being preformed on a channel set piece. The following tips will hopefully make this work a little easier.
Recently, a woman brought in her diamonds and asked to have a ring made with them. Her requirements were very simple. She wanted her I carat princess cut to be prong set as the center stone and her small princess…
Recently a woman brought an old family diamond into our store and asked to have a custom mounting made for it. The diamond was a 3.18 carat round brilliant and a pretty one at that. She looked through our showcases…
A 25 carat Tanzanian Garnet is faceted to replace a broken stone
Orienting a damaged emerald for maximum recovery in recutting
Luis Moreno demonstrates how to work with a horn
This short 2 minute video explains the basics of drilling sea glass with a Dremel drill and drill press. Liliana Designs creates unique sea glass and sterling silver jewelry.
Baguette stones have four corners and a rather deep pavilion. Because of this you must handle these stones with special care at all times. You must make sure that all the bearings being cut are totally in line with the…
How to use a rolling mills
Stylised Harpsichord keyboard Pendant is inlaid with black Onyx and Mother of Pearl keys
This page provides an international ring sizes chart you can view and/or download to be your guide in making or even just to refer to customer’s ring sizes. Click to view a bigger image:
Goldsmiths sometimes do a little rough and ready lapidary work with emery and leather sticks or even polishing compounds on a hard buff. Some goldsmiths, however, are lapidaries as well as jewelers. Lapidary work involves the grinding of gem materials on a series of grinding wheels and belt sanders, usually wet, with water cycling in the system. Polishing compounds and pastes are made of various chemicals and abrasives.
Cutting, fitting and polishing a replacement Lapis Lazuli inlay for a ring repair job
locating the moonstone effect and orienting the crystal for optimising the adularescence in Feldspar Moonstone rough in preparation for cutting.
Platinum casting with gemstones in place has been the latest development before the end of the second millennium. It has been a world first to give fully successful results. The development of this new process required several years of uninterrupted experimentation, and in the spring of 1999 I obtained the first good results that encouraged me to continue the study.
For setting round brilliant gemstones in prongs, many setters and bench jeweler generalists use a 90 degree low speed bearing bur to cut a bearing in one prong at a time. This procedure is made easy by using the Foredom AllSet with the easy cut prong guide covered in this article because it offers systematic controls for cutting prongs at a higher rate of proficiency. For this example a 90 degree low speed bur will be used to bur individual prongs at a controlled height and depth of cut using a Foredom #52 Quick Change Handpiece and the Foredom AllSet #52 Quick Change Adapter Kit..
A sign on the side of a plumbers truck read, In our business a Flush is better than a Full-House. Thankfully this is not the type of flush this article is about. Instead, this article is about a style of setting small stones that has become very popular in recent years.
This paper will describe the process of slabbing, shaping and polishing turquoise cabs using Foredom Handpiece and various grinding discs. Other stone materials require different polishing methods and will not be covered in this paper.
Lasers are one of the hottest new items in the jewelry industry. This relatively unknown technology among jewelers and jewelry manufacturers just a few short years ago is now receiving notoriety in our industry today. One cannot open a trade…
You may never have heard of iolite. It isn’t a household word, but it is an attractive indigo colored gemstone. It has been called a “water sapphire”. Iolite is highly trichroic; in one direction it is totally colorless, this aspect was the origin of the water description. The “blue denim” gemstone is another deserving description. Iolite has a color with its own personality and deserves to be considered on its own merits rather than as a substitute for sapphires or tanzanites. Iolite is often used in jewelry with other colored gemstones such as amethyst, rhodolite, and pink tourmaline.
Have you ever noticed how white gold varies in color? Many folks think white gold is the same color as rhodium because all the white gold they ever saw was plated with rhodium. Others who have bought very inexpensive white gold have seen the “real” color and all too soon due to a very thin plating job. That can be frustrating. Most of us are aware that the white color comes from the alloy used. Manufacturers are very aware of the consequences of the different white alloys. Some of us are allergic to nickel in contact with the skin. In Europe a restriction was imposed in response to the allergy suffered by some people. Even jewelry that complies with the restriction can cause allergic symptoms. As a result non nickel white gold is often the choice there. If you increase your understanding you will make better white gold…
Jewelry artist Michael Boyd fills his cup with newfound forms and shapes. Well known for his contemporary roll-on cuff bracelets of colorful stones and mixed metals, Boyd captured me from the start with his architectural designs. While Boyd remains on the cutting edge of contemporary jewelry design, he has branched out. For the first time, he is introducing to the public his hand-fabricated teapots and vessels made from stone and mixed metals..
The new revolutionary environmentally safe protective barrier for retarding the transfer of heat. This product will adhere to vertical non-absorbent surfaces as well as to stones. You will no longer have to remove the stone. Dab the Thermo Shield on…