Precision Faceting a “Story Gemstone”
Every individual that asks me to precision facet a gemstone has their own wonderful and personal story. Their journey and desire for a distinct faceted gemstone has led them to my lapidary studio. As a precision facetor, it is my commitment to make sure that their desires and vision converge into the perfect gemstone that complements their individual story. In this is a five-part series I will explain the process and benefits of working directly with a precision facetor when having a faceted gemstone becomes part of your story.
Each of the five parts of the series will have three sections. The first section, “The Story,” will introduce a new customer along with their story and gemstone. Understanding a client’s story is the introductory step of working with a precision facetor in achieving the client’s vision for their individual gemstone. The stones faceted for this series were chosen to be examples of my precision faceting work and are only representational of the original and unique client’s gemstone. At Hashnu Stones & Gems, it is our goal to never make the same gemstone twice (unless requested), allowing each gemstone to be as unique as the personal story.
The second section, “Steps,” will describe the process I go through with each individual client during the process of creating a gemstone for their individual story stone.
The third section will have photos of designs, equipment, and the different story stones as they follow the process of becoming a precision faceted gemstone.
This first article will be about the client’s preferred gemstone and the search and selection for top quality gemstone material to precision facet.
Tom wanted to do something very special for his wife for their forty-fifth anniversary. A friend informed him that garnet was the traditional gemstone for such an occasion and suggested that a garnet piece of jewelry would be an excellent gift for his wife, Lilly. After visiting several jewelry stores, Tom had become overwhelmed by the great varieties of garnet and their jewelry settings. Luckily, one custom jeweler offered to create a uniquely designed piece of jewelry and asked Tom what he was looking for. “Something grand,” was Tom’s reply. At this point, the jeweler called me into the process and inquired about a garnet that would be “grand”. Fortunately, I had a very large Rhodolite Garnet weighing 70 plus carats. We all decided that faceting a Rhodolite Garnet this size would truly be grand. Tom, the jeweler, and I met on three separate occasions to create a design for a gemstone and pendant that would give Tom and Lilly a “grand” anniversary.
After understanding the initial and basic client’s desires, selecting top-quality rough stones to be faceted by a precision facetor is the first step in making a gemstone part of their story. It is here that the client begins or extends their education regarding select facet-grade gemstone rough and the complex, yet fascinating, world of gemstones. The color of the stone is one of the most important factors and has to be the choice of the client. Another deciding factor can be a specific gemstone based on an anniversary, birth month, or favorite gemstone. The facetor can present a variety of beautiful stones, but it is the client who will be drawn to a particular color, shape, phenomenal effect, a long-time desire, or just a feeling that this is what they wanted when they see it. Once the client decides on a colored (or clear) gemstone, they can select from a vast arena of gemstone rough from all over the world. The conversation then goes to the attributes of the desired material; color, saturation, clarity, size, location, and ethical concerns. These choices will set the stage and the cost for the finished gemstone. Here on the International Gem Society (IGS) website, and with IGS classes, you can read and learn about all types of gemstones and their attributes.
After the gemstone and its desired attributes have been decided upon, the next step is a discussion of the finished gemstone size and the fees entailed in buying the rough stone and faceting it. Some clients provide their own rough stones in which they have developed a special bond. If the precision facetor does not have the requested rough stone in their inventory, either the client or the facetor will need to locate and purchase the rough stone. This is handled differently depending on the facetor. I prefer to locate and purchase the stone for my client. This is because I am an international broker in rough gemstones and can be sure of its source, stability, and provide it at a reasonable cost.
Once the stone has been selected, an invoice/contract is provided by the facetor and a down payment (usually the cost of the rough gemstone) is made by the client. It is also wise for the facetor and client to agree on a delivery time and the final shipping destination of the gemstone.
At this point, you now have a detailed knowledge of the selected stone along with its desired attributes and understanding of its unique quality. This is critical to the beauty and design of the final gemstone. Starting with an exquisite hand-selected natural gemstone rough will set you far apart from the mass produced gemstone market. Your rough gemstone, design, and faceting will be a cut above the gemstones in retail chain stores. This, along with the fact that you have gone through an educated process to choose exactly what you desire, puts your story in motion.
The following pictures are a selection of Hashnu Stones & Gems rough inventory from which the six story stones were selected for this series. Each one will have its own individual story.