I publish here some pictures of the faceting process, for a parcel of small trillion cut sphalerites that I cut recently for a very special order! The stones has 6 mm size and faceting design is Signature4 by Jeff Graham. It is nice to see how irregular rough stones are converted step by step to a little shining gems! This transformation is usually hidden behind the scene, only available for the faceter’s joy, but I share it here with you!
Everything starts with the pieces of rough stones, sometimes just fragments of crystals, in other cases roughly preformed stones with some polished surfaces. These windows allow us to see better inside, to know what to expect on clarity and to avoid most included areas.
I use thin permanent marker to draw the center and the outlines of the future gems on each piece and then they are ready for gluing to the dops.
Here the pieces are glued to the dops, small brass cylinders that will be fixed in the faceting machine’s head, to be able to grind and polish them on the horizontal lap. Each facet has its certain location on the stone, defined by the angle and index of rotation, as reflected in the faceting diagram.
The stone is cut and polished manually, but the faceting head allow us to touch the horizontal spinning lap with exact angles of inclinaction and rotation of the dop, first to cut and then to polish each facet, using different laps.
On the photo above, one side of all stones (pavilion) is completely finished. Now I will make the transfer operation – first glue them to another dop from the finished side, totally coaxial with the first dop, using transferring block. After that I unglue the first dop and they are ready to cut and polish the other side (crown).
Here the stones are completely finished, from the crown side too. I only need to unglue them from the dops and clean them!
The dops are heated to melt the special green wax used as a glue and then the faceted gems are cleaned in acetone to avoid any glue residues. Now they are completely finished!
The set of finished trillion-cut sphalerites, 6 mm from side to corner each one!
Final checking and weighting of the finished stones. Now they are ready for a very special jewelry order!