Our Earth produces beautiful and sparkling wonders, gemstones being a shining example. They are undoubtedly the most appealing and the most unique creations of the mother Earth. However, these gems found in the ground are in their natural form and raw. Theseuncut gemstones are known as‘Rough gemstones’. To make these stones into beautiful pieces of jewellery, intense procedures are carried out from the time they are mined.
As these stones are in their most natural form, they are much cheaper than the polished and the cut ones. Buying a piece of rough and uncut diamond can be daunting task. One can never be sure of original outcome once they are polished. While buying such stones, they are spotted for any cracks or marks inside with a torch. If there are bigger cracks, they can be broken down into small pieces of gemstones. That’s the fun of gem cutting, the outcome is in our hands.
These rough gemstones are then cut and polished. This process in known as gem cutting or lapidary. Gem cutting is an art which involves finding the quality portion and cutting it into the desired shape thus enhancing its value. Depending upon the hardness of the stone, different cutting techniques are adopted for different precious and semi- precious gemstone. Irony being, as diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material it is used as a tool to cut different materials including diamond itself. . A brief description of the different techniques adopted by a gem cutter are;
A thin circular blade is fixed at the outer edge of the gemstone and rotated at high speed to cut away all the excess and unwanted parts to get a desired shape. Oil or water is used to prevent the stone from overheating.
Either silicon carbide or a coarse diamond is used to cut the gemstone into a desired shape, called a preform.
It polishes and removes the scratches and imperfections left by grinding by using finer abrasives.
As the name suggests is used to flatten one side of the stone by using a machine called as ‘lap’
For mirror like shine, these sawed and grounded stone are then polished. This polishing aids in the smoother reflection of the flight from the stone thus making them shine and sparkle brighter.
Tumbling is performed for extended periods to make them market ready. Tumbling is performed with water to give the stone that smooth and shiny finish which makes is appealing to the buyers.