General Faceting

What Are The Basic Tools Neaded For Faceting

The subject of faceting and related lapidary arts is a huge one. This will be guided information for a beginner who is willing to enter in to the faceting world.I would like to go through basic tools which commonly used in faceting industry. Also I like to give some clues where the best tools you can find for your special requirements.

10x Loupe

Used through the faceting process for inspecting the rough, facets, meet points and polish. I recommended good quality loupe. This is something you will use a lot and the cheap ones are hard on the eyes. A jeweler’s loupe that fits on a pair of eye glass is also good choice.

Choosing 10x Loupe & How to use

“6” Dial Caliper

Used to measure a piece of rough or cut stone (usually in milometers) before and during cutting. It helps you estimate yield and size, and to cut the stone size if you are trying to match stones. I preferred plastic/fiberglass type because there is a lot less chance of chipping an edge are scratching a polish facet. They came in all sizes, types and prices. Have a look and does some research choose what it fit for you.

Alcohol Lamp blog what are the basic tools nead for faceting 01It is used for doping stones. A mini torch is often used also, but I prefer the lamp because it does not get hot as fast as a torch does. You can buy one in most hobby stores or chemistry supply houses.

Denatured Alcohol

Denatured Alcohol is flammable; do not work around an open flame! It is used for cleaning stones and dops before and after doping. Also denatured alcohol is used in an alcohol lamp as fuel. It will also clean wax off of lamps (metal laps only).


Torch (optional) blog what are the basic tools nead for faceting 02A mini torch “Blazer” that burns butane gas is ideal for doping stones (melting wax and gently heating the dops and stone). I listed it as optional because the good ones can be a little expensive and an alcohol lamp can be used instead. I prefer an alcohol lamp for the initial doping process because it’s easiest to control the heat with, but I do use a mini torch for when I transfer the stone because it gives me pinpoint heat and is much faster. The best way to go is to have both, but either one will get the job done.

Carat Scale blog what are the basic tools nead for faceting 03

A caret is 1/5 th of a gram (5 caret = 1g) and is the standard weight measure for stones. Electric scales are now inexpensive can find easily. But all the scales at the market not accurate. So when you are going to buy scale take with you piece of cast iron Test weight. Then you can check how accurate your scale. It’s really important before you purchase the scale, because stones are sold by the weight.


Dops blog what are the basic tools nead for faceting 04Usually dops are supplying with the cutting machine. However they are not supply all the sizes for your faceting requirements so you need to buy separately. The basic dops that are a good to start. Manufacturers use various kinds of metals to make dops such as Brass, Aluminum and steel also sizes vary by manufacture (usually 1/4 x 2 inches). I preferred to buy brass dops because its heats and cools predictably.

Doping Wax blog what are the basic tools nead for faceting 05Doping is a very impotent for faceting. Because it will give much headache for a gem cutter. The most impotent thing is choosing correct doping wax for a correct job. So like jewelry industry having three types of solders  “low, Medium, high”  in faceting industry also have three types of waxes which are categories according to melting points such as Low – light green colour,Medium – black/dark green colour & High – red/brown colour. I recommend if something heat sensitive like Opal would use the low temperature doping wax. On the other hand medium and high wax recommend for all the stones.


Laps- Cutting blog what are the basic tools nead for faceting 06

Normally having two types of laps in diameter which are “6” and “8” inch. These sizes are fairly standard. Laps are impregnated/plated metal disks used for cutting
stones, available in many grit sizes. The basic grits you will need are: 100 or 260 grit (rough), 600 or 1200 grit (medium/fine), 3000 grit (extra fine). From all this laps at the beginning I would recommend to have 100, 260 and 1200 grit laps.

There are lots of types of laps around, and they do vary in price quite a bit, with the steel (Crystallite) being near the high end cap/topper disks (thin aluminum disk plated by diamonds) on the low end. Cap topper disks look promising because of price, but they will not last long.So it depend on how much cutting you do and the budget that you have when you buy laps.

Laps- Polishing blog what are the basic tools nead for faceting 07Polishing is the most impotent component in the gem cutting industry. So it have different kind of polishing laps such as tin,ceramic,copper,plastic,zinc and all those laps used with various types of diamond compounds (8000 – 50000 mesh commonly used).

I recommended to start with pre-polishing lap of 

Cast Zinc:( or Bat Lap:(

Those two laps produce best result with diamond powder between   (8000 – 50000 mesh).

Tweezers blog what are the basic tools nead for faceting 08They have various kind of tweezers in the market slide locking is best. They should be fine enough to hold small pieces of rough. But also larger pieces too. I like with them long handle. Look at different ones and see what is comfortable for you. Remember you will heat when you are doping the stones. So I recommend having two tweezers one for doping and one for regular use.

Transfer Block blog what are the basic tools nead for faceting 09

Used to transfer a stone (with exact element) from one dop to another so that the other side of the stone can be cut. Most of the faceting machines come with one as slandered equipment. It is very important that transfer block being good shape and square with exact alignment of the two blocks to each other. Each block holds a dop during transfers (one with the stone, the other to transfer it to).



Office Address: 750/A,Pelawattha,10120,Battaramulla,   Sri Lanka


Contact Info

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view

Phone: +94 (117) 905 380

Hot Line: +94 (77) 444 5585