New Gem Faceting: Easy Pear for Topaz by Jim Perkins

A new approach to faceting design makes cutting easy and fun.

By Jim Perkins

When I teach people to facet, I teach them to cut a standard round brilliant, where all the pavilion breaks and mains meet at the same center point. I think most faceters learn that way. Once they’ve completed their round brilliant, beginners often ask to learn a fancy cut. So I developed an oval and emerald cut specifically for teaching–and I let the students pick a fourth design from any of my books. Most students have done a great job with all of these designs.

Recently, I’ve received many requests for easier fancy designs to cut, and while developing new designs for a book called Easy and Fun Faceting, I noticed that many fancy cuts begin with a couple of facets that establish a center point. Then, you have to establish a different center point here and there, which can be very confusing. I decided to create designs which use one center point regardless of the shape—oval, emerald, trillion, pear, or heart—just like a round brilliant. Pear shapes make beautiful gems and are interesting to cut.


Basic faceting


Brazilian blue topaz


Faceting machine of choice, dop, grinding and polishing laps

Jim Perkins began to cut stone at age 12 in his father’s rock shop. He studied art and design at Cuyahoga Valley Art Center and at the University of Akron and faceting at William Holland School of Lapidary Arts. He has published several books, including Learning to Facet in the 21st Century Using the Fac-ette and Learning to Facet in the 21st Century Using the Facetron. Jim’s books can be found at Contact him at


See this project and more in the July/August issue of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist!


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