Questions You May Have About Faceting
The following are some of the most frequently asked questions that we get about faceting.
What is Custom Faceting?
Custom faceting starts by examining the piece of gem rough and evaluating it to determine the best shape and cut for the finished gem. This step can take a few minutes up to a few days or even weeks in some cases if the gem rough is really expensive. You want to maximize the finished gem size while taking into account the flaws that will have to be cut out rough gem in the faceting process. This is a very important step in custom faceting a gemstone.Next is choosing a faceting design, (which is like a blueprint) that best suites the gem material that you are going to be faceting. Each design has to be chosen for the specific refractive index or RI of the gem to be cut. That maximizes the light return or performance of the gem to achieve the most beauty possible in terms of color and sparkle.
Next the gem rough is epoxied to a brass dop which goes into the faceting machine. The gem is then cut on a diamond impregnated lap following the gem design that was chosen and cut to exacting meet points to maximize its beauty. I usually start by faceting the pavillion or bottom of the gem.
The gem is cut first on a very course lap and then it is cut over again on a finer grit lap before it is polished. The last step is the polishing stage. The polish lap is chosen according to the gem material being cut. Sometimes it's a diamond lap and other times it is an oxide lap (Chromium, Cerium or Aluminum).
Then the stone has to be transferred to another dop to finish faceting the other half of the gem (usually the crown or top of the gem) and then the faceting process starts all over again until it is finished. The dop and gem is then removed from the faceting machine and the finished gem and dop are placed into a small jar of solvent the releases the finished gem from the brass dop. The gem is now finished!
What are the steps involved in faceting a gemstone?
To best answer is that I suggest that you purchase our "Faceting A Gemstone" DVD. The DVD lets you watch the process of a gemstone being faceted (cutting a gemstone). It has many tips for the beginner or even the more experienced facetor.
Is faceting something that my whole family will want to be involved in?
If you or your family members like to create things and work with your hands, then the answer is yes.
In our family Linda is the one that started faceting gemstones on her brand new Ultra Tec V2 faceting machine. I sat and watched her as she faceted some beautiful gems. I asked her if I could try it? She said sure and gave me a few pointers along the way. A few days later Linda came into the studio and said:"This just isn't going to work!".
I asked her what she was talking about. She just stated that I was going to have to buy my own faceting machine so that she could have hers back again. I was totally hooked on faceting so I bought my own Ultra Tec V2 and the rest is history!
Faceting is a very enjoyable, rewarding and I like to say very addicting. (but unlike tobacco, drugs or alcohol, there is no cure needed :-) )
Is faceting something that I will be able to do for a lifetime hobby?
Yes! Unlike many sports and hobbies, where you are going to get to "old" to participate, faceting is something that you should be able to do well into your "golden years".
Does faceting take up a lot of room?
No! A faceting machine won't take up any more space than you would probably use for a desktop computer. We have Ultra Tec V5 faceting machines set up on small 2' x 4' portable tables. You could actually set your faceting machine up in a closet if need be. That is about all of the room that you will need.
What do you do with the waste water that is generated from faceting?
We use ours to water plants, as we have found that they seem to like the extra minerals and nutrients that they're getting.
Should I buy all of the "bells and whistles" at once?
I always tell my customers to start with the basics (the Ultra Tec faceting machine, the basic necessary accessories and some basic laps). As you gain experience you will have a better handle on the things that you need and the things that you want. Plus if you have any questions about what need you can always email us and we can guide you.
Should I buy an Ultra Tec faceting machine?
Yes!! The advantages of buying an Ultra Tec faceting machine are, that it has great accuracy and reliability and in my opinion it is very user friendly. Plus it comes with a lifetime factory warranty and it will have factory support. If your faceting machine is easy and fun to use, you will use it more often, and in my opinion you will get more return for your money because of it.
Some people seem to think that when they are just getting started faceting gemstones that they should start out with a cheap faceting machine. In my opinion, this way of thinking is completely wrong! If you buy a machine that isn't user friendly you probably won't use it, thus it will not be a good investment. How can you think, that if you buy a cheap faceting machine, that you are going to be getting the same quality and reliability and durability of an Ultra Tec faceting machine. It just isn't going to happen.
I am sure everyone has heard the saying of "you get what you pay for", when it comes to faceting machines this is certainly true! Invest in an Ultra Tec faceting machine when you first start faceting gemstones and you will be faceting gemstones on it for life! You save money when you buy quality the first time! Buy an Ultra Tec faceting machine first and you will save the time and money of buying and selling cheap faceting machines.
While other faceting machine companies have been going out of business, Ultra Tec is still very committed to being the leader in the faceting machine industry. They have in just the last few years, been busy updating existing faceting machines as well as developing new faceting machines. Ultra Tec has, introduced a Concave faceting machine, a Fantasy faceting machine, and the V5 faceting machine, which is a beefed up version of the very already very reliable V2 model. They also developed a very accurate and reliable digital angle dial for Ultra Tec faceting machines. Ultra Tec has more faceting machine options for you than any other company that I know of. The choice is clear, buy an Ultra Tec! You won’t be sorry.
I hope these questions and answers have helped you in your decision to purchase a faceting machine.