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23/08/2018 - Smoky Quartz - Test Cut

A quicky photo of recent test cut - included smoky quartz (i.e. the marks are internal not on the surface), design 'Smithsonian' Bar by Jeff Graham.

smoky quartz
Faceted smokey quartz, Smithsonian Bar by Jeff Graham


3/06/2018 - Padparadscha Sapphire - 'Alien Outpost'

5.5ct 10mm high, symmetrical. The cut is 'Alien Outpost' by Greg Glenn - a classic gemstone designer. 49 facets optimized for sapphire. This stone was very slowly cut, mostly on 3000 grit, polished on 8000 grit and finished on 100,000 grit using a ceramic lap for maximum sparkle and flatness.

sapphire1 sapphire2 sapphire3
Padparadscha Sapphire - Alien Outpost Design


2/06/2018 - Brazilian Amethyst - 'Cube Illusion'

An unusual and rather difficult cut. Reminds me of an Escher drawing, when moved the central cube appears and disappears. This particular cut is surprisingly tricky and rather time consuming, I went through a number of stones before I got it right. It took so long that I am unlikely to do another for some time. 9-9.1 mm high. A very deep brazilian purple.

cube Illusion 1 cube Illusion 2
Amethyst - Cube Illusion Design


9/5/2018 - More soviet surplus goodies

Postie today delivered a package from Russia. Various Lithium Niobate prisms for me to facet. Like the tantalate probably surplus from the high-tec defense programs of the 80's. A clear opto-electronic ceramic with a high refractive index - close to that of diamond. Rare stuff.

null rifle signature plot
one of a number of lithium niobate pieces for faceting.


6/5/2018 - Chillin with white sapphire

Relaxing with a change of scene. Continuing to cut a white sapphire which I have been neglecting under pressure of work- 'Sweetheart' cut - same size and cut as the one somewhere below.

null rifle signature plot
White sapphire on faceting machine.


2/4/2018 - A sapphire in a novel setting

'Sweetheart Cut' (design by the late Jeff Graham) 5ct sapphire cut by myself. I was going for a minimalist setting with the stone 'floating' above. Beveled sterling silver bar about 4cm tall. Rather pleased with how it turned out. The photo is a bit lousy but looks very tasty in the flesh.
Sapphire in a setting
Minimalist sterling silver bar setting.


3/3/2018 - Exotic Faceting Material

Postie delivered a package from Russia containing three pieces of Lithium Tantalate - LiTaO3. An exotic optoelectronic ceramic, little cut due to scarcity, high refractive index (2.2) and crazy high dispersion (0.128) - three times that of diamond. Given where it was posted from and the date of 1978 I suspect this is old stock from the soviet high-tec defense industry. Rare stuff, I will have to think carefully about suitable cuts.

LiTaO3 prism
Soviet military surplus - Lithium Tantalate