Background and career
Jan works as a gemstone cutter in the workshop of our partner company HC Arnoldi e.K.
After graduating from the commercial high school in Idar-Oberstein, he joined the company as a trainee in 2012. This is how his career started. During his training period it became clear to him that gemstone cutting was exactly what he wanted to do. As a professional he would be able to express himself technically and artistically. So whilst gaining more and more work experience, he decided to become a gemstone cutter.
During his apprenticeship, Jan learned the traditional gemstone cutting technique by which faceting of the stones is performed on a vertical wooden peg board. When the company started to implement the more modern cutting technique of facetting on a so-called quadrant for part of the team, it was Jan who did all the pioneering labor. Thanks to an index device and angular and radial settings, working on the modern facetting machine allows more precise and accurate facetting. However, at first time use, each angle has to be calculated to then later on allow the operator to exactly repeat any position of any facet. His big contribution to the implementation of this cutting method made him the prime cutter for those stones that have to be particularly accurate and precise.
Here are the questions we have asked him:
If you receive a cutting order, how do you proceed, what are the first steps you take?
First of all, I check the preformed stone. I check whether there are inclusions and determine if the stone is large enough to be cut into the desired size and shape. Then I attach it to a dop stick to have its size and form adjusted. Once this is done, I attach it to a metal dop and start cutting the front side. It is very important that the front side of the stone is perfectly leveled and plain before starting with the back side, otherwise the whole stone can come out lopsided. After finishing the front side facets, the table and the facets around are polished on the copper disc. Now the front side is finished and the stone can be removed from the dop. After that I start with the back side of the stone, keeping the overall height of the stone in mind. I cut and polish the facets of the back side. As a last step, I check the stone again regarding shape and size. Then it is removed from the dop again and cleaned. Now it is finally cut.
What are you favourite
Most, I prefer polishing. With perfect polishing you can bring out the best features of the stone. Cutting the stone is comparatively “rough work”, polishing is fine tuning and perfecting. The better the stone is polished, the more perfect it will come out in the end. When it comes to sanding, the princess-cut and the assher-cut are my favourites. These both are very precise, geometric cuts that require highest concentration and a lot of skill.
How much time does it take to grind and polish a gemstone?
An average size stone of approx. 10 mm length takes about 1.5 to 2 hours, smaller stones less. The most uncomplicated are 2 mm gemstones. From the raw colored stone to the finished cut gemstone it takes about 40 minutes. For example, the most time consuming was an oval aquamarine of approx. 20x18 mm in a very good quality, for which I needed approx. 3 hours.
Which forms are most time consuming?
If a customer does not want a standard shape but an unusual shape and size, every angle for every facet onthe quadrant must be searched and calculated. Of course this is very time consuming and therefore it takes longer. Among the standard forms pearshape is most elaborately. You have to pay even more attention to the individual angels in order to really match them up.
What does cutting gemstones mean to you ?
Personally I really like to see the transformation of an almost raw, pre shaped stone into a finished gemstone. It is just a special feeling to be actively involved in this transformation process and to see what you can get out of a raw stone.
Which gemstone do you particularly like?
My favorite is definitely tourmaline, as it comes in many different colors.
Is there a gemstone from our online shop which you like ?
Yes, I saw it on Instagram recently and it is a trio of grey tourmalines. I believe it concistely three pieces. I really like them.
Tourmaline trio: Product- No. TR99017
A set exist of oval tourmalines in silver grey with a slightly petrol touch. Two stones have the dimensions 11x9 mm, one stone is 12x10 mm. The total weight of the trio is 12.29 cts. The tourmalines originate from Nigeria and are untreated. Some of the stones have small inclusions, which you can see with the bear eye, but have little effect on the appearance of the stone.