October 23, 2022 at 10:39 am #9903
Complete beginner here. I’m in the initial stages of learning and very much in the “don’t know what I don’t know” territory.
My faceting goal is simple. I’m a creative, DIY kind of guy and want to facet a ruby for an engagement ring. I do have some interest in jewelry making in the future, and will likely continue diving into lapidary, but for now I’m happy if anyone could point me in the right direction in a few areas.
1) Does anyone have recommendations on reputable dealers for sourcing gem quality ruby rough, suitable for the final cut size you might expect for an engagement ring?
2) Any recommended beginner setups that are high enough quality for continued periodic amateur work? Looking into Graves Mark IV complete set.
3) Any recommended literature for faceting, given the particular focus on corundum?
I’m sure some of these already have a well discussed thread here. Any help or direction would be very much appreciated. Thanks!!November 1, 2022 at 4:38 am #9942
Politely, just dont. If you want to cut work at it, use quartz, use other inexpensive materials, use your machine, make sure things are right. You aren’t going to sit down and facet corundum in your first go its just not compliant and expensive unless its lab. Your very first facet might very well be a big learning experience that takes a lot more stone than you thought, not only to get to your desired angle but then realize how much more is coming off to complete the step. Back up, if you need a stone faceted now look to someone with experience and ask them to show you as they cut your stone.November 10, 2022 at 8:52 am #10035
Do yourself a favor and cut it from lab-created ruby rough. If you can even find it, gem-quality natural ruby rough is going to be thousands and thousands of dollars, and the odds of you getting ripped off when trying to purchase it are very, very high.
Once you’ve spent your thousands of dollars on alleged ruby rough, just pay someone to cut it for you.
I’ve faceted roughly 100 stones, and am still not in a place where I’m 100% confident on cutting the mid-four-figure piece of sapphire (also corundum) rough that I bought to facet a new wedding ring for my wife.
If you end up getting a machine (I recommend Ultra-Tec), PM me and I’ll send you a chunk of laboratory ruby rough that you can try out. It is chemically identical to natural ruby, except it isn’t full of flaws that are waiting to trip you up.November 21, 2022 at 11:48 am #10095
I agree with everyone above; that being said, do your homework with the synthetics and get through it. One of the main tricks with corundum cutting is the final polish, which is usually the difference between good and superior. I use BATT laps charged with 3000 grit diamond and 100,000 grit diamond. I use WD40 to clean and charge them. If you can envision your engagement ring with multiple 3 or 4 mm natural untreated rubies rather than a ten million dollar stone contact me privately. This type of rough is very difficult to acquire as it requires going to where it is mined and buying a parcel of it at the hole that it comes from (you will also need a master gemstone dealer from the country that you are in), rather than buying it from someone in a some town that is just trying to sell you something and then smuggling it out without paying the export duty on the material. You definitely need the master dealer to certify and validate your parcel and get the export certificates. If you are that far into it, you will find that most items are exported as “samples” and pay only a 6% duty on something that is called samples or roughly 20 dollars. Far easier than getting caught at the airport and spending time in a Tanzanian prison. The fine to get you out would be roughly the retail value of the rubies.
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