We Facet over 12,000 gemstones a year for Customers Just Like You who found Sapphires in our Sapphire Gravel
Faceting is a grinding and polishing process (commonly called “cutting”) that creates a beautifully finished gemstone suitable for jewelry. In addition to heat treating and faceting over 12,000 sapphires per year, we can facet your other precious and semi-precious gems. We regularly facet garnets, topaz, amethyst, citrine
Our most popular option for creating beautifully finished gemstones from your rough stones is our “Overseas” cutting option. We undertake all of the sorting and grading and evaluate each stone individually to select the best cut to maximize the value of the gemstone. Each order is handled and packaged individually. We then ship the stones to Sri Lanka for faceting. Sri Lanka has a long history of producing gemstones and an excellent lapidary industry. Their government regulations and Customs strictly control the import and export of gemstones. Our detailed inventory sheets contain individual stone weights, piece counts, parcel weights and scanned color images of every order and are double checked to ensure you get your exact same gemstone back. Although Sri Lanka is not the least expensive locality to have the gemstones cut, our experience has shown that they offer the best cutting quality, especially the finished polish quality. Overseas cutting is the best option for small and average sized sapphires and other stones such as garnet, amethyst, topaz and sunstone. The cost of overseas faceting is very cost effective, we provide quantity price breaks making it cost effective to facet even small stones. As always, our services come with our full replacement and refund guarantee on our sapphires.
If you have a large, high value, sapphire, we recommend you keep you sapphire local for faceting in “Montana”. We consider any sapphire over three carats in the rough to be a “money” stone. A
Because we have so many options for Montana faceting, we break our billing down into two parts. You pay for heat treating the stone up front based upon its weight. We then re-evaluate the stone after heat treating to come up with ideas for the optimum cut based upon the color saturation, any zoning that may be present and shape of the rough stone. We will frequently mail the stone to one of our cutters for an independent opinion. We then call you to discuss your options and expected cost. The actual cost of faceting the stone is not calculated until the gemstone is finished. You pay based upon the finished weight of the gemstone and the number of facets. It takes much longer to facet a large stone with multiple facets than it does to facet a small 57 facet round brilliant.
There is a big difference between size and weight. Many of our new customers are surprised when their cut gemstones only weigh a fraction of the rough stones they left. That is because there is a big difference between size and weight in relationship to shape. Most of the cut gemstones we return to customers are only one millimeter smaller in diameter than the rough stone, and we seldom lose more than two millimeters in size. However, the shape of a finished gemstone is markedly different than the shape of the rough stone. Most of our rough stones are relatively round and have a weight that can be calculated based upon the shape of a sphere (ball). The volume (or weight) of a sphere is a 4/3rds radius cubed function. However, a cut gemstone has a flat top and a pointed bottom. It is a cone. The volume (or weight) of a cone shape is a 1/3rd radius squared times the height function. Simply because of the change in shape from a sphere to a cone, there is a 4/3 to 1/3 loss in weight ratio which is compounded by a radius cubed loss due to any loss in diameter.
The weight of the finished gemstone verses the weight of the rough stone is referred to as “yield”. The yield of the finished gemstone is totally dependent upon the shape and size of the rough stone. Irregular shapes and smaller sizes have a much lower yield. The average yield of 3 and 3.5
In general, we only lose one to two millimeters in size, but the average weight of our overseas cut stones is only about one-fifth (20%) the weight of the rough stone. The actual finished weight of a gemstone is dictated by the size and shape of the rough stone, and the finished gemstone weight will vary from 6% to 35% of the rough stone weight.