The formation of all colored stone minerals, each individual crystal, is always a miracle of nature and tells of its origin story in a time without humans.
Have you already read our post on the origin story of gemstones? Click here to go to the blog post.
However, a gemstone in its natural and uncut form is often indistinguishable from an ordinary stone to an untrained eye. It is only through proper cutting and subsequent polishing that the unique beauty of a gemstone is revealed.
At GEMHYPE, we are proud to have our gemstones manufactured at our parent company HC Arnoldi's in-house traditional gemstone cutting facility.
A team of more than 15 highly skilled, trained employees complete what nature has created over millions of years at the gemstone cutting facility in Kirschweiler, Germany.
Each stone is examined individually and cut in filigree manual work to the optimal result. Special emphasis is placed on the highest quality craftsmanship in the processing of the gemstones and the final inspection.
On average, 6 trained specialists need a total of 3 hours and 42 minutes to create a sparkling masterpiece from an inconspicuous rough stone. The delicate handwork makes each gemstone unique and one of a kind.
We take you behind the scenes of the precise and traditional craftsmanship of the gemstone cutter at HC Arnoldi and explain exactly which steps it takes.
PURCHASING OF RAWSTONES
We purchase our gemstones mainly from HC Arnoldi and furthermore only from business partners with whom our parent company maintains very trusting, almost friendly relationships. The rough stones are mostly accompanied directly from the mine to the point of sale, which allows us to control the working conditions on site. We inspect the rough stones for their characteristics such as color, flaws and cracks. We also examine which shapes could later be carved out of the stones. Afterwards, we go into a price negotiation. We pay special attention to fair conditions for all parties involved.
APPRAISAL & EXPERTISE
After the purchase, every single stone will be professionally examined and appraised in the workshop of HC Arnoldi. This is also where initial decisions are made as to which cuts should be applied in order to extract the optimum values from the individual stones. In the end, one wants to extract as much as possible from the rough stone and "lose" as little of it as possible.
THE FIRST CUT
Depending on the type of stone, different axes are selected and the first cut is made with the diamond saw in order to achieve the optimum color expression of the stone in the later final result. Particular care must be taken in this process to avoid causing unwanted damage to the stone.
EBOUCHING THE STONES
The first basic shape, e.g. round, oval or even triangular, is given to the stone by the gemstone designer through ebouching. Hubert Arnoldi (Manager HC Arnoldi) is usually personally responsible for this, as little material as possible should be lost during ebouching.
The ebouched basic shape is perfected in the following steps.
CEMENTING THE STONES ON THE PUTTY STICK
In gemstone cutting, the individual stones are fixed with wax on a wooden stick called a "putty stick".
With the help of this putty stick, the gemstone cutter has a more stable grip to face the gemstone on the diamond dust coated grinding wheel. The stone can later be removed from the putty stick without leaving any residue. The stones are "puttied" several times for the different work steps here.
THE PERFECT FACET CUT
In traditional and professional manual work, the surface of the stone is now divided into many small areas, the so-called facets. The fine facets of the stone are repeatedly ground from different sides on the diamond grinding stone. For this purpose, the putty stick is placed on a perforated board in order to guarantee a constant angle and a constantly high precision of the cut. The goal of facet cutting is to reflect as much light as possible from the stone to the human eye.
Which cut to choose for the stone depends on the characteristics of the stone. Attention must be paid to particular characteristics, such as transparency, the number of inclusions and fractures. Finding the right cut for the gemstone requires a trained eye.
FINAL POLISHING OF THE GEMSTONES
If the gemstone was still quite dull until then, the polishing now lets it shine in all its beauty and brilliance. The facets of the stone are polished to perfection.
In order to avoid streaks, a very well-trained eye is needed to bring out the optimal brilliance of the gemstone. Finally, the gemstone is released from the putty by cooling and then placed in an essence to remove the remaining putty residue.
TECHNIQUE-ASSISTED CUTTING ON THE QUADRANT
For serial productions, where it is important to have exactly calibrated dimensions of the colored stones, the cutting process is carried out with the help of technology on the quadrant.
In this case, the traditional perforated board is replaced by a mechanical wheel, on which the angle for cutting the gemstones can be precisely set using a digital display. Instead of putty, a UV glue is applied, which is fixed and hardened under UV light.
CUT VARIANT - THE CABOCHON CUT
In the cabochon cut, the gemstone is not facetted, but cut into a round or oval shape that curves outward.
The cabochon cut, named after the French cabochon for "nail head", is often used, for example, with opals or cat's eye quartz to bring out the natural shimmer of the stones optimally and to set the scene.
In our online store, you will find a colorful selection of gemstone variations with a cabochon cut. Click here to go to our cabochon gemstones.
As you can see, it takes many steps to create a jewelry gemstone. By the way, the stone is quality controlled between each step. Also, it is constantly checked whether the stone meets the required dimensions. Only when the result is satisfactory, the next step is started.
You are interested in the process of gemstone cutting and want to learn more about the profession of a gemstone cutter? Click here and go to our blog "Jan E. - Gemstone cutter at HC Arnoldi in interview".