Aqua Rough March 2010 News Flash

Hello! March is nearly here and my Thai shop has this aqua crystal (it’s the largest, nice one that I have ever seen), I thought we might talk about how large rough crystals become faceted gemstones.

This crystal came from an alluvial mine at a confidential location in East Africa.  It sold at the mine site for $95,000 (that would buy a lot of beer over there).  Our shop has been pre-forming and cutting it for some two weeks now.

With a crystal like this, the most important job is the sawing and pre-forming.

How clean will the final stone be if I saw through this fracture and that inclusion?  How large?  How do I maximize better shapes of the final cut stones?  Often, the pre-former will make, say a 5mm cut, and then look with intense light for 15 minutes before cutting another 5mm and so on.

Once you have cut (and/or broken) out the larger continuous clean pieces, you then need to decide how to break those pieces into the most desirable sizes and shapes. This may sound easy but to image not only seeing in 3 dimension but simultaneously thinking about market forces is a very complicated task. For example, you might need to think “would 3 clean round stones at 10ct each be worth more than a 50ct emerald cut with 2 small inclusions?”

Once the main task of sawing, knocking, and pre-forming is over, the cutting and polishing of these pre-forms is done.  The cutting and polishing of the pre-forms is a skill in itself.  It takes years of experience before a cutter here is allowed to work on stones of these sizes and quality, but that is another story for another time.

As aqua is the birthstone for March we offer these stones: