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precision vs native cuts

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Arkteia

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This post should be illustrated with photographs, but settings for my stones are not yet finished. I bought a spessartine from Pala, a spessartine from Marc Sarosi and two spessartines from my jeweller. Pala''s one is definitely the best color and quality-wise but it looks bleak in comparison with the other ones. Why? Native cut spoils everything, and it not a bad cut! Sarosi''s is the worst color-wise, but I give him credit for finding a stone that would fit into a very unusual mounting and not look shallow. However, it sparkles like crazy. The cut makes all the difference!

So I think it is time to invest into precision cuts, or even recut good but poorly cut stones. I have a feeling that days of native cuts are over.
 

T L

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Date: 12/19/2009 1:17:21 AM
Author:crasru
This post should be illustrated with photographs, but settings for my stones are not yet finished. I bought a spessartine from Pala, a spessartine from Marc Sarosi and two spessartines from my jeweller. Pala''s one is definitely the best color and quality-wise but it looks bleak in comparison with the other ones. Why? Native cut spoils everything, and it not a bad cut! Sarosi''s is the worst color-wise, but I give him credit for finding a stone that would fit into a very unusual mounting and not look shallow. However, it sparkles like crazy. The cut makes all the difference!

So I think it is time to invest into precision cuts, or even recut good but poorly cut stones. I have a feeling that days of native cuts are over.
I disagree. While I do think that it''s great to have a precision cut gem that is also fine color, it''s also difficult to find some color gems in precision cuts. I recently acquired two native cut stones that I really enjoy the color on, and they have decent native cuts. For me, I rather have that over a poorly colored precision cut gem. My pear spessartite is a decent native cut, and it sparkles like mad as well, since we''re on the topics of spessartites. I did have one cuprian that was a nice color, but the native cut was so completely awful, it was beyond words how bad it was. I had it precision cut, and now it''s lovely. However, not all native cuts are awful, and not all precision cuts are great. I had one precision cut gem go extinct on me because it had table faceting, which was not the right thing to do with that material.
 

Arcadian

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Ever so often this particular debate comes around. I''m of a mind that if I''m purchasing for color, thats what I''m going to get, precision or not.

Ok so lets break this down as far as a definition:

For me, the definition of native cut is a stone that is mined and cut in its origin country.

That would mean if a spessartite from africa was cut in thailand, its not native cut. It may or may not be precision cut but is not considered native cut. However, if that stone was mined in africa and cut in africa its native cut.

Personally I am all about the color. I won''t poo poo on any way of cutting as long as its speaks to me. We''re not all the same thankfully, so for some precision is the way to go. I don''t mind precision as long as it speaks to me, but sometimes it just does not.



-A
 

morecarats

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Date: 12/19/2009 1:41:18 AM
Author: Arcadian
Ever so often this particular debate comes around. I''m of a mind that if I''m purchasing for color, thats what I''m going to get, precision or not.

Ok so lets break this down as far as a definition:

For me, the definition of native cut is a stone that is mined and cut in its origin country.

That would mean if a spessartite from africa was cut in thailand, its not native cut. It may or may not be precision cut but is not considered native cut. However, if that stone was mined in africa and cut in africa its native cut.

Personally I am all about the color. I won''t poo poo on any way of cutting as long as its speaks to me. We''re not all the same thankfully, so for some precision is the way to go. I don''t mind precision as long as it speaks to me, but sometimes it just does not.



-A
Arcadian, you are certainly welcome to use the term "native cut" according to your own meaning. But with all due respect, I don''t think your definition is what the gem industry means by native cut. A Montana sapphire cut in the USA on a modern faceting machine would never be called a native cut, nor would a Kenyan tsavorite cut in India on a jam peg device be called a precision cut.

The term "native cut" is less than ideal, but it certainly refers to the technology used to cut a gem, not the physical location where it is cut. Of course those with experience of so-called native cuts know that there are better and worse native cuts, just as there are better and worse precision cuts. But the more primitive technology typically used in places like Thailand, Sri Lanka and India requires a great deal of skill to produce good results, where any of us could learn to produce good quality results on a sophisticated faceting machine.

It is true that the traditional cutting of colored stones in countries like Thailand tends to emphasize color rather than brilliance.
 

Kim Bruun

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I think there's a certain charm to the mixed cut where the top is diamond cut and the bottom is step cut. I have a tsavorite cut like this, and it really sparkles. On the other hand, I have a large, mixed cut bluish purple spinel, and it's a lovely stone with no visible inclusion, but the window is so big the you can almost read text through it.

In general, gorgeous color is more important to me than a gorgeous cut, but gorgeous color and a lousy cut is still no good.
 

Arcadian

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Date: 12/19/2009 3:08:25 AM
Author: morecarats

Date: 12/19/2009 1:41:18 AM
Author: Arcadian
Ever so often this particular debate comes around. I''m of a mind that if I''m purchasing for color, thats what I''m going to get, precision or not.

Ok so lets break this down as far as a definition:

For me, the definition of native cut is a stone that is mined and cut in its origin country.

That would mean if a spessartite from africa was cut in thailand, its not native cut. It may or may not be precision cut but is not considered native cut. However, if that stone was mined in africa and cut in africa its native cut.

Personally I am all about the color. I won''t poo poo on any way of cutting as long as its speaks to me. We''re not all the same thankfully, so for some precision is the way to go. I don''t mind precision as long as it speaks to me, but sometimes it just does not.



-A
Arcadian, you are certainly welcome to use the term ''native cut'' according to your own meaning. But with all due respect, I don''t think your definition is what the gem industry means by native cut. A Montana sapphire cut in the USA on a modern faceting machine would never be called a native cut, nor would a Kenyan tsavorite cut in India on a jam peg device be called a precision cut.

The term ''native cut'' is less than ideal, but it certainly refers to the technology used to cut a gem, not the physical location where it is cut. Of course those with experience of so-called native cuts know that there are better and worse native cuts, just as there are better and worse precision cuts. But the more primitive technology typically used in places like Thailand, Sri Lanka and India requires a great deal of skill to produce good results, where any of us could learn to produce good quality results on a sophisticated faceting machine.

It is true that the traditional cutting of colored stones in countries like Thailand tends to emphasize color rather than brilliance.
Totally understood morecats, I think of it in more of the literal tense, my bad.

Its my belief that the term "native cut" gets thrown around without a lot of thought as to what that really means and I''d like to put a solid face on that term.

I have precision cuts that are quite adorable and I do love them, and I had some that I thought sucked eggs, the same with some native cut stones.

Each type of cutting has its place, I would never slam one over the other because I can see the beauty in both.

BTW, I''d likely be that one person to cut off a finger trynna cut a stone. *lol* I think I''ll refrain.

Kim, we all have our limits as to what we find acceptable or not in any type of cutting.

A color that is close to my personal ideal is a stone that will always capture my attention. Once I check for color I check for cutting. If the cutting is so bad that it kills the color, or has a window large enough to yodel in, thats a stone that I don''t get, and certainly won''t set if I go for a test spend. (which usually means it was a cheapie). If it was an expensive stone that I have problems with, I send it back.

If the window is small and closable in a setting, to me its worth consideration as long as its priced accordingly.




-A
 

Porridge

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Date: 12/19/2009 3:08:25 AM
Author: morecarats
any of us could learn to produce good quality results on a sophisticated faceting machine
We could??

*runs out to buy a machine*

 

morecarats

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Date: 12/19/2009 6:35:29 AM
Author: Porridge
Date: 12/19/2009 3:08:25 AM

Author: morecarats

any of us could learn to produce good quality results on a sophisticated faceting machine

We could??


*runs out to buy a machine*



Visit a gem or mineral club that has a faceting machine and talk to the hobbyists who''ve learned to use it and have a look at the stones they''ve cut. The machines are marvelously precise.
 

LD

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I buy both. A "native" or poorly cut gemstone can be just as beautiful as a precision cut one. Some precision cut gemstones look so perfect that actually they can look almost false. There are degrees of being poorly cut and some (to me) are acceptable, others detract too much from the gemstone''s beauty and so are a no-no.

Interestingly, and to the original poster''s comment, it''s not worth buying a poorly cut gemstone with the thought of having it recut unless you honestly know what you''re doing. I have a 4ct Paraiba Tourmaline that is the most wonderful colour. It has a window like a patio door and I''ve asked about a recut but because of it''s lack of depth, I would lose so much of the gemstone that it would be cut back to about 6mm. I just couldn''t do that because it''s gorgeous now - just a bit see-through - so I''m going to find a setting that will hopefully hide it''s flaws (TL I can hear you breathing a sigh of relief)!

I would say to buy gemstones for the beauty that you see. If a poorly cut gemstone stops it from being beautiful then pass it by. If a precision cut looks too perfect for you then pass it by.
 

T L

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Date: 12/19/2009 8:54:02 AM
Author: LovingDiamonds
I buy both. A ''native'' or poorly cut gemstone can be just as beautiful as a precision cut one. Some precision cut gemstones look so perfect that actually they can look almost false. There are degrees of being poorly cut and some (to me) are acceptable, others detract too much from the gemstone''s beauty and so are a no-no.

Interestingly, and to the original poster''s comment, it''s not worth buying a poorly cut gemstone with the thought of having it recut unless you honestly know what you''re doing. I have a 4ct Paraiba Tourmaline that is the most wonderful colour. It has a window like a patio door and I''ve asked about a recut but because of it''s lack of depth, I would lose so much of the gemstone that it would be cut back to about 6mm. I just couldn''t do that because it''s gorgeous now - just a bit see-through - so I''m going to find a setting that will hopefully hide it''s flaws (TL I can hear you breathing a sigh of relief)!

I would say to buy gemstones for the beauty that you see. If a poorly cut gemstone stops it from being beautiful then pass it by. If a precision cut looks too perfect for you then pass it by.


LD,
Thank goodness you''ve decided not to cut that stone. To me, that would be like cutting off an arm!! In that particular stone''s case, the color speaks much louder than any fine cutting could!!
 

Porridge

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Date: 12/19/2009 6:47:20 AM
Author: morecarats
Date: 12/19/2009 6:35:29 AM

Author: Porridge

Date: 12/19/2009 3:08:25 AM


Author: morecarats


any of us could learn to produce good quality results on a sophisticated faceting machine


We could??



*runs out to buy a machine*





Visit a gem or mineral club that has a faceting machine and talk to the hobbyists who''ve learned to use it and have a look at the stones they''ve cut. The machines are marvelously precise.
Not one mineral or gem club on the island of Ireland
I''ve searched, because I would really love to start faceting as a hobby. It really appeals to my geeky physics side. I''m thinking of moving to the the UK for a masters next year, so it will happen! I''m glad to hear that it is so doable. Thanks!
 

Arkteia

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I do not have much experience with colored stones, although I know why it became a hobby for me and I think it will last. I, too, would choose color over cut but this trend in cutting to retain maximum weight is, to say mildly, irritating. My jeweller thinks that precision cuts are a passing phase, but I wonder what people were saying when modern diamond cuts were first introduced into practice. I do not know what to do with this nice spessartine from Pala that has such a delicate mandarin color but doesn''t sparkle as well as my other spessartines. It is 4+ carats and the window is not like a patio door (LD, I love your gems and your sense of humor!). It is deep and that is what saves it but I suspect it is still somewhat windowed otherwise it would surpass my other spess. It sits well in my pendant and I can leave it there till better times and then upgrade it with Pala. Or I can recut it and then it will be gorgeous. With 4+ (almost 4.5) carats and a cushion cut you are not looking into much weight loss, are you.
 

chrono

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Crasu,
With recutting, there are many considerations too:
1. Weight loss = smaller stone = worth less
2. Smaller stone = less rare
3. Risk of damage = even smaller stone = even less rare = worth even less
4. Recutting fee
5. Loss of depth of colour due to weight loss
5. Issues like zoning might be more prominent after recut

For a cuprian, each 0.5 ct weight loss is worth a LOT of money.
 

Edward Bristol

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If you are really into colors, like seriously addicted to those rare intense colors found only in the very best gems, and if you know how hard they are to come by, you are happy to see them, no matter what the cut.

Yes, a perfect super cut is a nice thing in itself, but the very best gem material does rarely leave a mining country in the rough. So you either have to recut a ''native'' or go with lower quality.

A good enough cut and a great color is a lot to ask from one gem. There are not many out there.
 

T L

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Date: 12/19/2009 3:07:24 PM
Author: Edward Bristol
If you are really into colors, like seriously addicted to those rare intense colors found only in the very best gems, and if you know how hard they are to come by, you are happy to see them, no matter what the cut.

Yes, a perfect super cut is a nice thing in itself, but the very best gem material does rarely leave a mining country in the rough. So you either have to recut a ''native'' or go with lower quality.

A good enough cut and a great color is a lot to ask from one gem. There are not many out there.
That would be me!! LOL!!
 

LD

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Date: 12/19/2009 3:07:24 PM
Author: Edward Bristol
If you are really into colors, like seriously addicted to those rare intense colors found only in the very best gems, and if you know how hard they are to come by, you are happy to see them, no matter what the cut.

Yes, a perfect super cut is a nice thing in itself, but the very best gem material does rarely leave a mining country in the rough. So you either have to recut a 'native' or go with lower quality.

A good enough cut and a great color is a lot to ask from one gem. There are not many out there.
Amen to that from me too!

Crasru - do you have a photo with all of the gemstones side by side? I'm not sure it's a cut issue per se. I wonder if it's simply the saturation/tone? Of course, it could be facet placement but as you've described it, I'm wondering if it just isn't as appealing because of the overall body colour? I once bought a precision cut Spess - beautifully cut - but the colour just didn't rock my world.
 

PrecisionGem

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Date: 12/19/2009 3:07:24 PM
Author: Edward Bristol
If you are really into colors, like seriously addicted to those rare intense colors found only in the very best gems, and if you know how hard they are to come by, you are happy to see them, no matter what the cut.


Yes, a perfect super cut is a nice thing in itself, but the very best gem material does rarely leave a mining country in the rough. So you either have to recut a ''native'' or go with lower quality.


A good enough cut and a great color is a lot to ask from one gem. There are not many out there.

Ed, I think this is true if you are talking about sapphire, ruby, and emerald, but not with many of the other types of stones. The big 4 (diamonds, ruby, sapphire, emerald) are what are sold in most jewelry stores. The less seldom seen stones it''s possible to buy top quality rough, if you go to the right places. (eBay is NOT the right place).

I think often good cutting is associated with inferior color, only because so many hobby cutters in the US are also selling stones. But these guys don''t buy good rough, they shop for cheap material. They do a great job of cutting but they are cutting cheap material.
 

T L

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I bought a precision cut gem with the most beautiful cutting I ever saw - it reminded me of a snowflake and the cutting was just exceptional. I returned the stone becuase it was the color of a corpse
.

I kept many "Frankencuts" (as I like to call super bad cut stones), and why??? Because they had great color.

You can always recut a stone, but the color is there forever.
 

T L

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Date: 12/19/2009 5:21:39 PM
Author: PrecisionGem



Ed, I think this is true if you are talking about sapphire, ruby, and emerald, but not with many of the other types of stones. The big 4 (diamonds, ruby, sapphire, emerald) are what are sold in most jewelry stores. The less seldom seen stones it's possible to buy top quality rough, if you go to the right places. (eBay is NOT the right place).

I think often good cutting is associated with inferior color, only because so many hobby cutters in the US are also selling stones. But these guys don't buy good rough, they shop for cheap material. They do a great job of cutting but they are cutting cheap material.
I respectfully disagree about ebay as far as buying rough. Amethystguy and Seriouslygemented have ebay stores where I've heard from lapidaries, that they have good rough. Seriouslygemented occassionally has some awesome stuff, you should check them out. Occassionally, he'll have stuff not listed on his site that you can ask about. Freakingcat has a wide variety too.

It's not just hobby cutters that sell inferior color stones. It's difficult for many people not close to the source to get fine rough these days it seems.

ETA: I bought my 14 carat Afghan scope green tourmaline from an ebay seller. I did send to a lapidary for evaluation and he said it would cut at least a 4 carat stone, and it would sell for $300/ct in that color. He never got around to cutting it, but he did think it was a fine facet grade piece. You really cannot taint all of ebay by stating that they are not the right place to buy rough, but if you do some investigation, you might be surprised at a good find.
 

MakingTheGrade

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For me it depends on the stone in question.

I would probably not buy a native cut rhodolite no matter what the color, just because I am confident that if I am patient, I can find a precision cut one in the color I''m seeking.

I would (and have) bought a native cut padparadscha because of the rarity of that specific color. I''ve also bought native cuts for price purposes if it''s more for collection purpose and less for wearing.
 

lelser

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Date: 12/19/2009 5:21:39 PM
Author: PrecisionGem
Date: 12/19/2009 3:07:24 PM


I think often good cutting is associated with inferior color, only because so many hobby cutters in the US are also selling stones. But these guys don''t buy good rough, they shop for cheap material. They do a great job of cutting but they are cutting cheap material.

I''m with Gene on this bit. Good rough is expensive, and unless you''re traveling to buy AND buying in larger parcels it''s unaffordable to cut large, top colour stones. Cutting gems is an expensive hobby anyway - the equipment doesn''t come cheap, and it takes a long time to start getting good yield so you get less from the rough for your first 100 stones or so than you do on your next few hundred. Most small scale gem cutters can''t buy the way Gene or Roger or I do.

When I was in Madagascar, I saw beautifully cut quartz and indifferently cut almost everything else. The precision cutters who''ve been trained there in the past few years just can''t afford to work in top material, and the guys with top material want acceptable cuts with the highest weight.

I also sell rough to faceters, and Gene''s comment about buying cheap goods is dead on. The people buying for themselves to keep will often buy excellent rough and pay for it. The hobbyists cutting to sell want a $30 chunk of stone :)

Getting top colour rough at a price that allows me to sell my stones requires a major investment for time, money and skill. I''ll head back to Tanzania in early January, and stock up on rough. Figure it''s going to cost me 5k to get there, pay my expenses, pay the visa fee, duty and other misc fees. Also figure I''m neither cutting stones nor calling on clients, so I''m losing time as well. If I weren''t spending enough to amortize my costs it just wouldn''t make sense to go there.

Cheers,

Lisa
 

PrecisionGem

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Well, TL, I looked at what''s on offer right now on eBay, the first 5 pages of rough. There''s nothing there I would consider buying. When I first started cutting, I did make some purchases from eBay. Most of it I still have an never cut. For the most part it was junk. I think I''m a pretty good judge of rough, and have bought quite a bit of it. Right now I''d estimate I have about $250,000 worth of rough here, plus the junk I have from eBay that I will never cut. I''m sure you can find a piece here or there that would work out, but I think for the most part it''s material that a cutter wouldn''t cut, and is therefore selling it.

It''s not that hard for people not close to the mines to get the rough, depending on what you are shopping for, you just need to know who to talk to, and be willing to pay for it, or travel for it. Also, one typically doesn''t buy fine rough by buying one or two stones at a time. You aren''t going to sit down with a rough dealer and spend a few hours going through stones, and then spend $50.

There are no deals out there, even if you go to Africa, you just are not going to get that 10 ct tsavorite rough for a deal. If a price looks too good to be true, there is something wrong with the stone. You don''t find a $1000 stone for $200. Not on eBay, not in Africa, China, Thailand, it just doesn''t exist. People in this business know what they have, and know what it''s worth.
 

T L

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Date: 12/19/2009 8:30:38 PM
Author: PrecisionGem
Well, TL, I looked at what's on offer right now on eBay, the first 5 pages of rough. There's nothing there I would consider buying. When I first started cutting, I did make some purchases from eBay. Most of it I still have an never cut. For the most part it was junk. I think I'm a pretty good judge of rough, and have bought quite a bit of it. Right now I'd estimate I have about $250,000 worth of rough here, plus the junk I have from eBay that I will never cut. I'm sure you can find a piece here or there that would work out, but I think for the most part it's material that a cutter wouldn't cut, and is therefore selling it.

It's not that hard for people not close to the mines to get the rough, depending on what you are shopping for, you just need to know who to talk to, and be willing to pay for it, or travel for it. Also, one typically doesn't buy fine rough by buying one or two stones at a time. You aren't going to sit down with a rough dealer and spend a few hours going through stones, and then spend $50.

There are no deals out there, even if you go to Africa, you just are not going to get that 10 ct tsavorite rough for a deal. If a price looks too good to be true, there is something wrong with the stone. You don't find a $1000 stone for $200. Not on eBay, not in Africa, China, Thailand, it just doesn't exist. People in this business know what they have, and know what it's worth.
Okay Gene, I'll concede to you on the rough, but I do think you can find a $1000 stone (retail pricing) for wholesale pricing on ebay (half price or less). I know a lot of dealers that buy from ebay and resell for a lot more, and they're highly respected. Gene, we both know these people.
What about recutting badly cut stones that are on ebay, with good color? I know a girl that bought a beautiful 10+ carat cuprian a few years back, and had it recut by Richard Homer. The original stone had beautiful color, it was GIT certed, and she paid a very good price for it. Unfortunately, it had an enormous window. She paid a great price, and after he cut it, there would be no way she could buy it for that price again. The stone just glowed. I also bought a badly windowed, but GIT certed cuprian from ebay, had it precision cut, and there's no way I would be able to buy it for what I paid after the recut. The lapidary even told me he wanted the stone, and he had gemological equipment to evaluate it to see it was a natural non-clarity enhanced specimen. Instead of rough, if I were a lapidary as talented as you and some others, I would recut some gems from reputable ebay sellers that have bad native cuts. Sometimes they're discounted because of the horrible cutting.

While I think most of ebay gem dealers are sharks and crooks, I do think there are some very respectable dealers on ebay that do their best to give great value. In a retail setting, their material would cost a great deal more. I'm not talking about buying a 99 cent stone and finding it's worth 9K, but there are deals to be had if you know who to buy from, are tuned into all the latest treatments, and you can find reputable certs with these stones that match the stone. Many of these sellers buy rough in bulk, and have great values to pass on to the customer because they do so. How do you know your rough dealers aren't cheating you? It does happen when you don't get the quality you thought you paid for, or a synthetic from time to time.

I know defending ebay is kind of frowned upon, but I'm grateful for ebay. I find that I can obtain material there that I can't get from the precision facetors because #1) the PS'ers scoop it up too quickly
(you guys are too fast for me!!) and #2) some material is really decent and is priced well.

I do not suggest novice collectors to go start buying on ebay this minute, they'll definitely get ripped off. However, I think for someone like me, who has been ebaying colored gems for 15 years, you do know how to spot a lot of the red flags.

Sorry to the OP if this got slightly off topic.
 

chrono

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I have both precision cut stones and very good native cut stones. No matter which style, colour always comes first for me. I''d never buy a poorly coloured native cut or poorly coloured precision cut stone. Sometimes, the material is so rare and difficult to find that I don''t have much of a choice and have to get the nicest native cut offered without scrimping on colour.
 

Harriet

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Date: 12/19/2009 3:07:24 PM
Author: Edward Bristol
If you are really into colors, like seriously addicted to those rare intense colors found only in the very best gems, and if you know how hard they are to come by, you are happy to see them, no matter what the cut.

Yes, a perfect super cut is a nice thing in itself, but the very best gem material does rarely leave a mining country in the rough. So you either have to recut a ''native'' or go with lower quality.

A good enough cut and a great color is a lot to ask from one gem. There are not many out there.
Ed,
Well said.

Crasru,
In my avatar, there is a ''native cut'' spessartite. I''ll venture to say that there are no problems with its cutting. I also recently bought a demantoid that was re-cut. Its'' pavilion facets are not symmetrical. But, I can live with it because the cutting is good enough. In fact, if you looked at it face-up, you wouldn''t see the two extra pavilion facets. More importantly, a demantoid of that colour and size doesn''t appear very often. With due respect, it might be premature to announce the death of precision cuts.
 

PrecisionGem

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TL, I was talking about a $1000 rough stone. I doubt you will find a rough on ebay that''s worth $1000, especially for less than half of that.

As far as precision cutting being dead, the jeweler who said that certainly doesn''t sell well cut stones, or he wouldn''t say it. It''s like going into a Chevy dealer, the dealer will you tell you that the days of BMW''s are over, so buy a Chevy. People will try to sell what ever they have.

Almost every time I walk into a jeweler with a few trays of stones, the reaction is the same. " WOW... Look at those stones sparkle, what cutting "... etc.

To me it''s similar to painting a room. The color is what you notice first, and of course is important, but do you really want a lousy paint job? Paint on the ceiling, on the woodwork, some spots that are thin, and you see the previous color, others where the paint is running?
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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23,343
Date: 12/19/2009 10:11:18 PM
Author: PrecisionGem
TL, I was talking about a $1000 rough stone. I doubt you will find a rough on ebay that's worth $1000, especially for less than half of that.

As far as precision cutting being dead, the jeweler who said that certainly doesn't sell well cut stones, or he wouldn't say it. It's like going into a Chevy dealer, the dealer will you tell you that the days of BMW's are over, so buy a Chevy. People will try to sell what ever they have.

Almost every time I walk into a jeweler with a few trays of stones, the reaction is the same. ' WOW... Look at those stones sparkle, what cutting '... etc.

To me it's similar to painting a room. The color is what you notice first, and of course is important, but do you really want a lousy paint job? Paint on the ceiling, on the woodwork, some spots that are thin, and you see the previous color, others where the paint is running?
I do think some people are really fine tuned to precision cutting and require it. I don't think precision cutting is dead based on just what I see on PS.

However, your analogy is a bit strange because rare intense vivid color is always desirable, no matter what the cut. I lost out on a heart cut stone recently, and most people do not care much for hearts, but the color was awesome. I was a bit bummed.
I could live with a native cut heart with THAT color!!


No one is going to change your mind on this though.
You remind me of my husband - LOL!!
 

Arkteia

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
7,565
Date: 12/19/2009 8:27:35 PM
Author: lelser

Date: 12/19/2009 5:21:39 PM
Author: PrecisionGem
Date: 12/19/2009 3:07:24 PM


I think often good cutting is associated with inferior color, only because so many hobby cutters in the US are also selling stones. But these guys don''t buy good rough, they shop for cheap material. They do a great job of cutting but they are cutting cheap material.

I''m with Gene on this bit. Good rough is expensive, and unless you''re traveling to buy AND buying in larger parcels it''s unaffordable to cut large, top colour stones. Cutting gems is an expensive hobby anyway - the equipment doesn''t come cheap, and it takes a long time to start getting good yield so you get less from the rough for your first 100 stones or so than you do on your next few hundred. Most small scale gem cutters can''t buy the way Gene or Roger or I do.

When I was in Madagascar, I saw beautifully cut quartz and indifferently cut almost everything else. The precision cutters who''ve been trained there in the past few years just can''t afford to work in top material, and the guys with top material want acceptable cuts with the highest weight.

I also sell rough to faceters, and Gene''s comment about buying cheap goods is dead on. The people buying for themselves to keep will often buy excellent rough and pay for it. The hobbyists cutting to sell want a $30 chunk of stone :)

Getting top colour rough at a price that allows me to sell my stones requires a major investment for time, money and skill. I''ll head back to Tanzania in early January, and stock up on rough. Figure it''s going to cost me 5k to get there, pay my expenses, pay the visa fee, duty and other misc fees. Also figure I''m neither cutting stones nor calling on clients, so I''m losing time as well. If I weren''t spending enough to amortize my costs it just wouldn''t make sense to go there.

Cheers,

Lisa
And there is even more scary thing - local diseases. People have to get shots, take antimalarial and antiparasitic drugs. You are right, it is not safe. I tried to figure out how much it would cost me to fly to Tucson, book a hotel, plus food. Even this is expensive, but not unsafe. So I''d rather buy from a good dealer here, and you are right to charge whatever you feel necessary because what you are doing is not cheap, nor is it safe.

Personally, I am quite happy that I accidentally stumbled upon this forum and now have a chance to enjoy PS-ers wonderful stones and learn from their wisdom and experience. And, hopefully, to buy more online.

As to addiction to color...I always lived in northern places with gloomier light and uninspiring skies. It makes one depressed. Color is my personal weapon against depression, especially at the end of the day. I love looking at my bright stones, I physically feel better when I do it. Such a strange effect. I wonder how many people here use bright colors as antidepressans.
 

lelser

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 13, 2009
Messages
261
Date: 12/19/2009 11:29:55 PM
Author: crasru
Date: 12/19/2009 8:27:35 PM

And there is even more scary thing - local diseases. People have to get shots, take antimalarial and antiparasitic drugs.

I donated blood for years - no fear of needles and O neg bloodtype made me an ideal candidate. It always upset my husband because I''m right at the weight and hemo borders so I''d be sick for a day or two afterwards but I figured if you''re a universal donor you should frigging well donate.

With the travel I do for work, I can''t donate at all anymore. I''m always getting vaccinated for something, or on anti-malarials, or returning from some place that the Red Cross frowns on.


It''s an unexpected side effect, and one that does NOT make me happy although Tom''s pleased.
 

PrecisionGem

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 27, 2004
Messages
1,746
But TL, you always act as if you can not have both good color and a good cut. It''s not one or the other. I think many of the top cutters are also offering top color. Certainly if you are talking about sapphires, then they will be recuts, but not in tourmaline, garnet and many others. The value of a gem is all about rarity, and top color is rare, but top color well cut is even more rare. EBay is full of step cut ovals with windows, that brownish pink tourmaline you sent me a year ago was a classic example. Not only was the color bad, but the cut was was pretty bad. Proper cutting could have made the stone at least interesting, and give it some flash. I know you didn''t pay much for it, but I bet the same stone with good cutting could have sold for 2 or 3 times as much.
 
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