Free Lapidary Jewelry Guide: Gemstones
I’ve been a fan of rock-hunting since I was a girl, when I could find quartz, mica, and pyrite just about anywhere. Now there are some interesting mineral specimens and pieces of lapidary rough in my rock and gem collection, and learning to be a lapidary (rock cutting or gem cutting) is on my things-to-learn list. I got excited when I found out about Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist’s free lapidary jewelry eBook, The Complete Lapidary Experience: Hunt, Cut, and Set Gems.
A gemstone is the perfect medium for a jewelry artist to display color and light—not to mention what a fashion statement it can make. But good gemstones do not grow on trees. Most of them start out as minerals that have to be located, carefully dug out of the ground, hauled home, examined for potential as lapidary rough, oriented correctly, and cut by an expert lapidary jewelry maker. And if you want your gem conveniently on your hand or around your neck, then that stone also needs the talent and deft touch of an expert jewelry artist. In this terrific tutorial, you’ll go along for the whole ride.
It’s all about rock hunting, how to find and evaluate lapidary stones, rock cutting, and polishing with various lapidary supplies and tools. There’s even a step-by-step lesson on using gem-cutting tools and lapidary equipment such as a lapidary grinder and trim saw. It’s a great way to see the complete life story of a gemstone, from a lapidary rock in the ground to a jewelry artist’s creation in your jewelry box.
In The Complete Lapidary Jewelry Experience: Hunt, Cut, and Set Gems, you’ll follow lapidary rocks (moonstone, in this case) along their complete adventure from lapidary rough in the ground through the gem cutting and polishing process to the end result of the lapidary journey: a stunning jewelry artist’s scenic silver jewelry.
Lapidary Jewelry Projects You’ll Find Inside:
How to Hunt Gemstones
The floating cloud that dances across a finished moonstone makes for a lovely and intriguing sight. In the start to this lapidary journey, you will learn about moonstone and the process for collecting quality lapidary stones. On a family claim in southwest Montana, Jim Landon and acquaintance Buzz Jones set out on a rock hunting expedition to locate, dig out, and examine potential lapidary rough moonstones. Follow their journey from searching for the blue flash among the ancient metamorphic rocks to extracting the stones.
How to Cut Precious Rocks
Join Jim Landon and his lapidary friend Mike Hahn for the next step in the process: using lapidary equipment and lapidary supplies to transform moonstone lapidary rough into finished cabochons. The first step in cutting moonstone is to orient the selected lapidary rough so the color is centered in the stone. Orienting the rough lapidary stones correctly ensures that you maximize both the color and the potential size of the finished cab after it is cut on the lapidary trim saw and cabbing equipment. Mike Hahn follows a straightforward 7-step process for finding and marking the moonstone for optimal cutting.
How to Polish Precious Rocks
A flat spot is ground on the lapidary stone parallel to the first cut. If you are using a typical slab, this step can be skipped, but in the case of this specimen, the color on the cut side was more intense than that of the rough side.
Grinding proceeds through the standard wheel sequence with a lapidary grinder, with frequent checks with the template to ensure the proper shape is being obtained. Then follow Mike’s instructions for the final polish and for carefully separating the finished cabochon from the dop stick without causing the stone to crack.
A Moonstone and Mixed Metal Pin/Pendant Project
Moonstone has a very magical, mystical quality that attracts many jewelry and lapidary artists. It was only natural for jewelry artist Noël Yovovich to select the subtle glow of moonstone to draw the eye into the nighttime landscape of her “Moonlit Landscape Pin/Pendant” design. Follow her detailed instructions for each of the three layers to create your own wonderfully unique pendant or pin that shows off the true beauty of this unique stone.
The editors and contributors of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist include folks who are experts in all things lapidary jewelry, including some who specialize in lapidary jewelry skills such as rock cutting and polishing, so there’s no better source of lapidary-related information. Download our free lapidary eBook, The Complete Lapidary Experience: Hunt, Cut, and Set Gems and take advantage of their knowledge on lapidary equipment and supplies, rock hunting and evaluating lapidary rough, using a lapidary grinder, trim saw, and other gem-cutting tools to complete your rock-cutting tasks, how to set lapidary stones after you’ve cut and polished them, and more.
So get ready to enjoy the full life story of a gemstone from rough lapidary rocks to gem cutting tools to gleaming cabochon to finished jewelry as you learn to do it yourself.