Fine gemcutting by John Miller,
Gemcutter/Graduate Gemologist

Repolishing cabochons.
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Faceting by John Miller, GG

I facet most materials other than diamond (diamonds require special equipment and techniques due to their extreme hardness). I can work with rough material or recut poorly cut or damaged stones.

Firm prices for cutting are given only after examining the material and discussing the required work. However, here are some sample prices in US dollars for cutting material supplied by you (prices do not include shipping):

  • Partial recut, 1-5 carats, most materials, $50-$100. Corundum, $50-$150.
  • Full recut, 1-5 carats, most materials, $70-$120. Corundum, $80-$175.
  • Cut from rough, 1-5 carat finished, most materials, $60-$120. Corundum, $80-$200.
  • Special designs and larger stones will cost more, depending on the time required. Particularly fragile stones, such as opal, kunzite, emerald, apatite, and many collector stones, and those posing special problems (due to cleavage, heat sensitivity, softness, etc.) will cost more.


  • No work on diamonds, as they require much heavier, much more expensive equipment and special techniques (I can recommend a great diamondcutter, though).
  • Please don't ask me to cut stones less than 4 mm in diameter. Small stones get away too easily, and then I spend too much time crawling around on the floor, searching for them.
  • No repetitive, bulk cutting. If I do something once or twice, it's fun. If I do it five times, it's work. If I do it ten times, it's drudgery. 100 times -- you've got to be kidding!
  • All work is done at customer's risk. This is standard operating procedure throughout the industry, as many stones do have some internal stresses that sometimes cause unforeseen problems, and one cannot always tell beforehand how a stone will react to the pressures of cutting and polishing. That said, I have an excellent track record in this regard, and I will not undertake a questionable stone without thoroughly discussing it with the customer beforehand.
  • Most stones must be unset to be repolished or repaired. In some cases, it might be possible to repolish the table only of a faceted stone (the stone must weigh at least a couple of carats, the table must rise above any surrounding metalwork, and the stone must be relatively soft -- i.e., not ruby or sapphire). Cabochons can often be repolished in the setting, as long as they rise above the metal. Removing and resetting of stones is subject to an additional charge.
  • No concave faceting. It requires additional special equipment, and at the moment I don't have the space or inclination for it.

If you are interested in having some work done, please see my contact page to give us your correct email address and a description of the work desired. I will then give you a preliminary price quote and mailing instructions. After examining the work to be done, I will give you a firm price quote before doing any work. There is no charge for my examination of the stone involved.

Due to the inherent risks in gemcutting (primarily internal stress and hidden fractures), all work is undertaken only at the customer's risk; however, I have an excellent track record and have successfully cut gems valued in the tens of thousands of dollars. I can provide you with impeccable references if you so desire.

One of my recent projects was cutting a multifacet Portuguese round in a big blue topaz. The rough weighed 587 carats. The finished stone measures 31 mm in diameter and weighs 164 carats. This one took quite a bit of time, of course.

Here's another example of my faceting. This first photo shows a 69+ carat honey zircon in the rough. It's a nice clean stone that's pretty well shaped for a round, except for one small protuberance that just begged to be sawed off for a small second stone.

The small protuberance yielded a 2 carat round, and the larger piece a 24 1/2 carat fancy round. The color on the larger stone seems fairly accurate, while that of the smaller looks a little pale and washed out compared to the actual stone. Of course, the larger stone is a bit darker just because of its size.

Here are a couple of examples of recuts. First, we have a green Mozambique Paraiba tourmaline weighing a little over 4 carats and a bluish green Mozambique Paraiba tourmaline weighing almost 13 carats. Both were very "lumpy" and fairly lifeless native cuts showing large windows, as the pavilion facets near the culet were cut below the critical angle.

After recutting to better angles, the green became a much livelier 2 3/4 carats, and the blue-green almost 9 carats. Both windows disappeared, and the stones show much more brilliance and more even coloration.

For more examples of my past cutting, see this page.

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