Precision Gem Work Shop

Here is a look into my work shop. Since I cut flat faceted stones, concave and fantasy cuts, I have a few machines. Most of the flat faceting is done on the GemMaster II as I really like working with this machine. The first image with the blue machine is the GemMaster II. The meter on the left is a strain gage that allows very precise repeatability of each facet. This accuracy improves on speed and precision of cutting. All the various dops can be seen in about the center of the photo. Sadly, the GemMaster machines are no longer produced.

This next machine is an Ultra Tec V5. This currently is the top faceting machine being produced. Each one is hand made in California. When ever I do a concave stone it always starts out on this machine, before the entire mast is moved to the Ultra Tec Fantasy machine. There are a few cutting laps to be seen on the table around the machine. These are steel disks that have a layer of diamond bonded to the surface. The black device directly in front of the faceting machine is the transfer fixture. Once the pavilion of the stone is cut, it is placed in this fixture alone with another dop, to make a perfect transfer so the the crown of the gemstone can be cut.

This last machine is an Ultra Tec Fantasy machine. Here facets other than flat facets are cut. The stone, still mounted in the mast from the previous machine is moved to this machine for these curved or special facets to be placed. All these types of facets take a lot longer to cut in and polish.

Here is shown some of the equipment I have in my Gem Lab. Shown from left to right are: Polariscope, Spectroscope, Refractometer and a Gemological Microscope. These tools, along with a few others ensure that the gems you receive from Precision Gem are properly identified.

Sometimes you may hear me say that a stone is in the transfer fixture. The picture below shows this.

The pavilion is cut first with the stone attached to a flap dop. The cut the crown, the stone must be moved from the initial dop to another one. Normally the gem will go into a cone shapped dop. To keep the stone aligned perfectly, a transfer fixture is used.

I fill the cone dop with epoxy and then the stone is lowered into the cone. Once the glue is hardened, the stone with both dops are removed from the fixture, and heat is applied to the first dop to soften the wax and remove it. Now the crown can be cut.

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