How Gemstones are Faceted

Craft & Design Science
How Gemstones are Faceted

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Cutting and polishing gemstones seems kind of like machining: Once you have access to the proper tools and understand how to use them, getting good results is more a matter of knowledge, patience, and attention to detail than of developing great manual skill. Accordingly, this six part instructional video series from jeweler John Bailey focuses more on theory and orders of operations than on the physical use of the tools themselves.

The first video, embedded above, explains the general process of “meetpoint faceting,” as it’s known, in terms of the familiar standard round brilliant (SRB) cut. The remaining five in the series go on to discuss more advanced concepts. The program John is using onscreen is called gemcad, which is quite old, at this point (“Windows 95 or later”), but still seems to be highly regarded and widely used in the community. [Thanks, Tara!]

Meetpoint Faceting #1 – the SRB

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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

View more articles by Sean Michael Ragan


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