Eye cuts

I have been experimenting with ‘eye-cuts’, there are a plethora of designs to experiment with out there. The stone below was cut from the same crystal as ‘The Eye of the Beholder’. It was loosely based upon the Cleopatra’s Eye design by Bob Keller.

It sold from the Zeehan Rock Shop after only a few days, so others seem to like them too.

Modified Cleopatra’s Eye cut in NE Tasmanian citrine

I have since cut another smaller Eye stone from Tasmanian smoky with a similar, though unique design that is aimed at setting into jewellery.

I cut a great eye-type design called Stargazing that I got from Andrew Brown’s book: A Collection Of My Best Gemstone Faceting Designs Volume 1.

A lot of Andrew’s designs from his first book use a Fusion pavilion. This proven design concept merges odd and even symmetry which gives additional optical interest to the finished stone.

Stargazing front view
Stargazing front view
Stargazing oblique view
Stargazing oblique view

Eye Of Comstock

I have finished a modified Cleopatra’s Eye cut (designed by Bob Keller) in Gladstone smoky quartz. I have called it the Eye Of Comstock after the historic lead-zinc-silver deposit, west of Zeehan Tasmania. The modifications to the cut I made were mostly in the crown of the stone, I left off the top couple of tiers of facets and free-wheeled the pupil in. I also nicked both ends of the stone to reduce the chance of any girdle chipping in this area if the stone is set into jewellery.

pavilion view

The stone is of a suitable size to make a nice cocktail ring or pendant: L x W x D = 25mm x 18mm x 16mm approximately, for a weight of 32.6 ct. It is a very clean stone ~ eye clean, with nice colour saturation – not too dark to affect the optical performance of the stone, but rich enough to add a nice level of complexity to the final effect. The light return in this stone is stunning.

Colour bar from Whisky Magazine

Perhaps a 1.3 – russetmuscat on the whisky chart…. Na zdraví.

side view

For Sale – enquiries via the Zeehan Rock Shop

The cutting equipment

Facetron faceting machine

All stones at Rough Creations are cut on a Facetron machine (pictured above). This USA built machine is very user-friendly with good build quality and ease of use. It has a few irritating quirks, but once one is familiar with these, it is a pleasure to operate.

I use 8″ Gearloose polishing laps where possible – they have been very effective in practice for me, and I highly recommend them.

Pre – polishing the table facet with the Facetron and 45° adapter

It’s worth a mention regarding the gear I should have been using. What I mean by that is I should have been using a desk or bench for my faceting machine that was height adjustable or at a comfortable standing position. I am and have been incapacitated for over a week with a bad back, and I believe at least some of the blame is due to my bad posture when sitting at my machine working, sometimes for hours at a time. So fellow faceters – watch your backs!

Flat on my back with some pain relief at hand.

Indicolite – blue tourmaline

Cutting exercise – blue tourmaline crystal.

Indicolite crystal above and below with its lovely ‘garden’ which will be revealed a little later in this story.

Indicolite is a rare, steely-blue coloured form of tourmaline highly prized as a gemstone. Above are two views of a piece of rough I have at hand weighing around 18ct. You can see in these pictures a bit of the blue-green dichroism typical of tourmaline exhibited by viewing the crystal in different directions.

The tourmaline piece is included, however I feel like using this as a feature – any inclusions present will hopefully provide extra interest to the stone when cut.

This interest is sometimes called the garden, a term often used when describing the rich suite of inclusions typically present in emeralds. Just in this case my garden has blue grass. If you want a stone as clear as glass, go and get a synthetic one I say, they’re real cheap, lol. I am sure the jewellery store at the local shopping mall will be able to help.

I have ground a small flat plane on one crystal edge to provide a base for securely  dopping (affixing) the stone to a small brass holder (dop) using super glue (cyanoacrylate).

Dopped and ready for some cutting action

Think I’ll use this, simple but effective..

The cut is designed to give a nice colour flash when rocked along the long-axis. I like flashes in faceted stones – it’s the light-return happening, its real purty. This cut has 90.7% light return as specified by the designer … nice. What this means in simpler terms is that of all the photons (light rays) incident on the facets of the top crown, around 90% of them are bounced back into your waiting eyes. This is a good thing. Who wants a dull stone? The astute may notice that I have oriented the stone at 90 degrees to the cutting diagram above, so my colour flash should happen when the completed stone is rocked along the short axis.

Cutting the pavilion

Messy work!

Pre-polish in progress

Pre-polish has revealed the insides

Transfer in progress

Transfer complete, let’s start the crown.

Pre-polish in progress

Pre-polish the table facet

Start the final polish

Just about done

Yeah, it’s done

Complete

A stone with some personality!

Yes, the stone is flawed. I think it is still worthwhile, attractive and of value. After all, we are all deeply-flawed human beings I say. It’s up to us to make the most of any strengths to offset any perceived weaknesses.

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