Sequencing the Crown

by Fred Van Sant

In the most recent issue (82) of FACET TALK is 4-page article by Alexandre Wolkonski for beginners on cutting the round brilliant. After cutting the pavilion he sequences the crown in the order Breaks->Mains->Stars->Table. This article is about a different way to do the crown; it applies to all crowns which have a table facet.

After I’d been cutting about one year, and struggling with meets around the table, I thought there had to be a better way. It came from a scratch on the table. The table had to be cut down a bit, which required going back over all the star facets. In re-polishing the star facets into place I thought: why not do all my crowns in that sequence! And I have ever since.

After you cut the Breaks, Mains, and Stars to meet with the 1200 diamond lap, then do not touch the stars until the very last. Polish the Breaks and Mains, then shift to the 45° dop and cut the table to meet the stars with your semi-rough lap–450 grit or worn 150 grit. Then your 1200 lap will cut slightly into the upper points of the stars. Then you will polish the able, which will cut very slightly more into the star facets. Your crown will now look like Figure 1.

Figure 1Now when you leave the 450 dop and go back to your regular dop and polish the stars, you will bring their lower points down to meet, and their upper points halfway across the gap to meet. This process also cuts away the slight rounding that occurs on the edges of the big table facet, so that the table is flat all across. Also if you do get a scratch on the table you an simply cut the table a hit lower without problems, since you have not committed yourself on the stars.

Some Extra Notes On Sequencing The Crown

After I’d been doing my crowns in the manner described for some time, I found that Vern Johnson and John Alden, both top cutters who were winning awards in competitions, also sequenced their crowns the same way. Vern even undercut the stars a bit so that more of the table edge got cut away, to make sure that he got rid of all the rounding at the table edge. It is attention to little details like this which win competitions. While it may seem like extra work to have to come hack from the 45° dop and readjust the stone in the regular dop, it really isn’t if you want to cut an accurate stone. If the stars are polished before the table, it is extremely difficult to bring a polished table down to exactly meet all the star points simultaneously at the very conclusion of polishing the table. In fact it is a matter of luck if you do it at all, because as often as not you will get a minute scratch somewhere just about the time when you are about to call the table finished. And if you finish polishing the table slightly before it meets all the stars’ upper points, it is a very slow and tedious task to continue polishing that table to make it meet. Leaving the stars to the last, you don’t have to worry about scratches on the table, and the smaller stars are much easier to move around in the polishing process.

This is an article I probably wouldn’t have written had A. Wolkonski not written his. I did not write it sooner because I thought it was something that every faceter already knew. So even if you think that you don’t have anything to contribute, do send in to the editor how you handle the little problems you run into. It is almost certain that one of our members has not tried your technique. Come on, folks, Let’s Share Faceting. That’s what a newsletter is for. FVS.


  1. Asitonka Zack Amangi

    Thanks Fred for shearing, I will try the method. I couldn’t get my trillion cut table meet well. I really struggled with it and ran out of patience. I will try this method of sequencing the crown, I think it will work.