Faceting is the process of taking a raw stone, such as sapphire, and turning it into what you and I think of when we think of gems.
IN THE RAW...
|Here is a sample of what large sapphire stones look like in the raw.||Here is a sample of what sapphires look like once they have been cleaned, polished, and faceted.|
There has been some difficulty
discerning quartz from sapphires - which is normal.
But we use the scale,
hardness test, or bounce test to distinguish the subtle differences. The facetor does not grade rocks like
Deb can. Deb can identify the different minerals and as a cutter herself, can tell which gems have a chance
at turning out good. Some fractures can be ground away and a good stone still salvaged. Others are poor to
begin with and not worth the time or effort.
A light table is helpful in
sorting your sapphire gravel. Quartz and agate are very
common. Sapphires can
be sparse and easily overlooked. At times the sapphires can be coated with calcium carbonate or iron that
makes them difficult to see. If you think there are no sapphires left, be sure and look again. Broad sunlight
and water are still the best way to sort through the sapphire gravel. And, this is about the only way to spot