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Re-cut CS?

tammy77

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
1,442
I'd like to have a couple of the stones I just bought recut. I have an email out to Bob Kast, but I've never had anything re-cut so I'd love to have some information about it, if anyone else has had it done (by any cutter, not just Kast).

Things I'm thinking about - what constitutes as a "good candidate" for recut? How much weight typically is lost in "cleaning up" a cut on stones in the 1ct range? What about the 2-2.5 ct range? Is there a fairly standard price range, or is it quite variable?

I'm sure I have other questions, but I'm trying to multi task right now and failing! :tongue:
 

LD

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Jun 29, 2008
Messages
10,261
You're asking a very difficult question because each stone has to be assessed as to whether it's a candidate for a slight recut, a full recut or nothing at all. It depends on what you're trying to achieve! How much weight will be lost? Impossible to say but it could be as much as 2/3rds - depending (again) on what you want to achieve.

For example, I have a 4ct Paraiba Tourmaline with a large window. It's a very shallow stone but one of our lovely lapidaries that visits this forum told me that I'd probably end up with a 1ct stone to achieve a look I'd be happy with! Now, bearing in mind the price difference between a 1ct and 4ct Paraiba Tourmaline it was a no-brainer to leave it as it was!

Also, you need to be aware that recuts can change the colour of a stone. There was a fantastic thread a few years ago on here that showed a before and after and how the colour had been altered dramatically. The owner of the stone really disliked the new colour and wished that the stone hadn't been recut.

So my advice is never buy stones thinking of a recut. If you do want something improved, check it out with a lapidary before buying and also costs can vary dramatically so you need to bear that in mind.

There are of course some stunning examples of recuts BUT not every gemstone is a candidate I'm afraid.
 

deorwine

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
348
LD, I'd love to see that thread!

I actually have a 1.85ct sapphire out to Michael E right now that I asked him about recutting. He said that if it were his stone he would recut it, and the brightness and overall look could be greatly improved, but that it would lose a fair amount of weight, as well as 0.3-0.5 mm in each dimension and that the saturation would lighten very slightly, and that although he recommended a recut he understood if I didn't want to because it was already a nice stone. I didn't really care about the weight so much (I don't remember how much the weight loss was, maybe 1/3?), but the stone is 6.9 by 6.2mm to begin with which is just right on my border of "large enough that I'm not suffering from shrinkage," so I was worried that would end up with a stone that was not large enough for me, and I really love the deep saturation so I didn't want to risk having that lighten any, even if it were slight. So I asked him not to recut it after all. Obviously that was just my personal preferences; a lot of other people here who love the precision cut might have gone ahead with the recut. In any case I really appreciated having the good communication where he told me exactly what to expect, what he would recommend, and what the different risks were. I also asked him how he would recut it and he gave me useful information about that (step cut or partial step cut; full brilliant cut would lose much more weight). That's exactly the information I would want (well, did want, and got) were I to try to recut a stone. I think Michael E is probably more expensive than Bob Kast (on the other hand, I suspect he's better at replying to emails ;-) )

As for "good candidate," I think my stone was a good candidate for recut because it was already a pretty nice stone that just has a flatter crown and a deeper pavilion "belly" than is ideal. But that flat crown was what killed it, I think -- it's because of the flat crown that it would lose so much in each direction. I think it is generally agreed that you can't take a really ugly stone and turn it into a beauty.
 

Michael_E

Brilliant_Rock
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deorwine|1313206519|2989834 said:
I think it is generally agreed that you can't take a really ugly stone and turn it into a beauty.

Thanks for the kind words Deorwine. I had to chuckle at this last comment, since in some cases it is possible to turn a really ugly stone into a beauty, (this of course depends upon your sense of beauty). Many very dark, inky sapphires look the way they do because they have steep pavilions with a large "belly" and a flattish area around the culet. These stones actually are the best for re-cutting as they can be dramatically improved with little loss in face up size and maybe a 20% loss in weight. The end result will often still be dark, but can have a much improved flash and sparkle...making them look quite nice in bright, even light environments, such as most office environments. This sort of stone often looks a bit like a bean with steep sides and a flattish bottom and having at least a 65% depth to width ratio.

The next best shape is one which is very deep and with crown of adequate height. Usually these deep stones are like yours, deorwine, and they have flatter crowns. To recut these requires making the crown taller while making the pavilion shorter and this invariably leads to a bit of face up loss in size. If the stone is large enough it's not too big of a deal, but with stones under 2 carat or so it can reduce the face up size more than the owner would like.

Sometimes you can find stones which are cut well enough, but are really too long for anything but a pendant. Things like aqua and tourmaline can be found which are long enough to cut them in half and recut both halves, giving you a fine matched pair in a size which is more suitable for something like mother and daughter matched rings or earrings.

The worst stones for re-cutting are those which are shaped like a flying saucer. These flat little devils can lose up to 50% or more of both their weight and face up size, so unless they are dirt cheap and of very good color they are best avoided, (unless you know a gem carver, in which case these flat stones can make really good carved pieces at low cost).

Tammy asked about stones in the 1 carat range and my advice, with anything other than really fine material, is to forget about it, as the cost to recut is often more than the stone is worth. This is not true for any really finely colored, clean material which is already close to having good proportions as these sorts of stones can usually be "cleaned up" in under an hour and so cost little for what are often big improvements.
 

blithesome71

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Messages
483
Recut with Bob Kast? Well, here's my experience...
I believe LD you're referring to my peridot hehe. The result was a trade-off bet. brilliance & color... Not really happy w/ the size result & the color. But luckily, I've found two magnificent Peridots and I'd definitely won't have them recut, ever! :bigsmile:

[URL='https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/planning-to-recut-my-fat-a-peridot-this-holiday-suggestions-are-welcome.129101/']https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/planning-to-recut-my-fat-a-peridot-this-holiday-suggestions-are-welcome.129101/[/URL]

I would also suggest Jeremy Newman. He's a nice guy & reasonable cutting fee ;))

See his samples here: http://gemartservices.com/newstuff.htm

Good luck on your decision ::)
 

Indylady

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
5,717
Re-cutting CS's can be tricky, and you may end up sacrificing some color or a large amount of weight for it. There is no hard and fast rule on the topic. Around the 1ct mark, I'd really only do a re-cut for a very special stone and one that wouldn't lose a lot of weight or color.
 

LD

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Jun 29, 2008
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10,261
Hi Blithesome :wavey:

Actually it wasn't your peridot I was thinking of. This was a thread from several years ago. I seem to recall it being a sapphire but I could be well off. It was a blue/green stone to begin with and ended up being a sort of sick coloured green (apologies for the crude colour reference)! If TL sees this thread she may remember as I know we discussed it for a while.
 

deorwine

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
348
Thanks Michael!

Right, I think I must have been thinking mostly of those shallow saucer-like stones... most of my "learner" extremely ugly stones are of that shape :)

I do think it must be common to lose a little saturation for a lot of brilliance. I forgot about this when I first posted, but Jerry Newman once recut a lab sapphire for me -- I can't post pics of it for obvious reasons, but it started out a deep dark quite saturated blue, basically no brilliance, dark hole in the center, and came out a medium saturated blue, medium tone, with sparkles everywhere. It's a much prettier stone now -- Jerry did a fantastic job -- but I do kind of regret the loss in saturation... if I were to do it again I am not sure I would have spent the money, especially for just a lab sapphire. But again when I fall in love with a stone I often fall in love with an exact color, which I suspect makes me a bad candidate for having my stones recut for the most part :)
 

tammy77

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
1,442
I'm so sorry for posting then disappearing for days! We went camping this weekend, no internet! :tongue: You guys have certainly given me a lot to think about. I do wonder about the loss of color issue w/the spess. I would hate for it to lighten up or go yellow!

I'll need to pour over the links and read again after work before saying too much more. Between rushing to fit everything in on a break and missing my morning coffee, I'm sure I haven't absorbed nearly enough of the info that's been shared. :rolleyes:
 

ruffysdad

Shiny_Rock
Trade
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Apr 23, 2010
Messages
127
Hi Tammy,

Recutting can turn out either way depending on the initial shape of the stone. If it's got a large window or fisheye then you'll have larger loss even to the point of equaling the loss you'd get when cutting a badly shaped piece of rough. On the other hand, I cruise the web from time to time looking for stones that show promise or are so dirt cheap that I can buy them at near the price of a rough stone. They're out there. The good part about buying for recut is that the polished surfaces give inclusions no place to hide so a cutter with a decently shaped stone can easily lay out a plan of attack to maximize the recovery and improve the flash of a gemstone.

Yes, the color does change on a recut. It will usually intensify since the light stays in the stone longer and picks up more color before coming out to your eye. Michael_E said it all pretty well about these things.

Personally, I like the heck out of finding a badly cut stone that I can improve on but as the cutting houses overseas move to more modern equipment, they're becoming harder to find. That's not to say that cutting house goods can't be improved on IMHO, just that they're producing a better and more acceptable finished stone these days. Precision cuts always have a place for the knowledgable buyer and that is where you find the difference between precision and production cutters

Pete
 

Roger Dery

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Mar 25, 2009
Messages
298
I concur with the statements from Michael E and Pete Brush. Not all stones cut in developing nations are candidates for recutting. This particular stone was somewhat flat when I started. As a sort of 'roval', it measured 15.6 x 14.9 x 8.6mm weighing 14.39ct. It finished out at as a round weighing 10.14ct and measuring 13.5 x 8.0mm. I was fortunate that the culet was near center (although very flat in the center).
*before

*after


One must remember there can be significant weight loss. The gem shown above incurred a 30% loss in weight. Gems that are already light in tone and/or saturation may appear lighter in color after the recut. As a very general rule, mid-toned to darker gems often receive the most benefit from being re-done.

I hope this is helpful to those looking at recutting their gems.

PeridotRoval14_39ct.jpg

PeridotRd10_14ct.jpg
 
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