After all the decisions have been made about what stones to cut and prepare for completion, they need to be worked on. Every stone is closely examined to find special coloring or designs that want to be emphasized. Sometimes when doing this, surprises await us that were not seen before. So we are careful in how we slice each rock so that we do not miss a special feature each rock might have. All work is done in water and that is one reason the special features now begin to show up. Sometimes there are multiple fantastic features and now the decision has to be made of which one to pursue. Hopefully we make the right one. If a special shape can be cut featuring the special colors or designs, we will try to do that, but mostly the stones have their own personalities they want followed, and of course, we must follow their directions.
Polishing the Stones
After a rock has been cut into smaller slabs, they must be polished. This is another time consuming project, but well worth the time it takes. This is all done by hand. Polishing the raw stones is also done in water. There are 6 diamond wheels to do the job, each with a different grit. This can be very tedious and frustrating work as some stones just do not like cooperating when being worked on, but when things go right, a beautiful gemstone is the result. We do not even own a tumbler as that is an entirely different way to polish only certain types of stones. There is one final step to completing the stones and that is a final polish that really brings out the shine of each stone. Again, some stones really love to shine and others require even more attention to get the great shine. As a note, if a stone needs to have help in getting a good shine for the colors to stand out more, or if it is a more fragile stone, we will often put a resin coating on top to protect the stone from damage as it is being worn. Now these stones are ready for the next stage of preparation to becoming fine quality jewelry.