Initiation. It’s February 2005. I’ve been reading the Tao Te Ching. I’m in a van driving to New England. I’ve sold everything I owned with the intention of starting a new life.

Initiation. It’s August 2015. I’ve been reading the Welsh Merlin Poems. I’m next to a cave on a sacred hill in Scotland. I’ve embarked on a holy pilgrimage in an attempt to interweave the fibers of my heart with the fibers of the Earth.

Initiation. It’s November 2008. I’ve been reading The Invisibles. My perception is outside of space-time while my body lays in a bed next to a spiritual teacher. She’s holding my hand and helping to propel my consciousness to higher levels of awareness. …

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The Pinnacle Photo by Justin K Prim

I spent a lot of time avoiding responsibility because I didn’t want worldly pressures sitting upon my shoulders.

I sought greatness in small things and worked towards personal goals.

When the Tao Te Ching said
“The saint inspires the vitality of all lives, without holding back.
He nurtures all beings with no wish to take possession of.
He devotes all his energy but has no intention to hold on to the merit.
When success is achieved, he seeks no recognition.
Because he does not claim for the credit, hence shall not lose it.”

I listened.

As I grew older, I was content with my small successes but I also sought more complex levels of achievement. …

Transforming Red Cambodian Zircon with the Element of Fire

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Blue Ratanakiri Zircon Photo Courtesy of Alexey Spirit Yakhlakov

Before the advent of modern science, Renaissance-era proto-scientists known as alchemists thought that they could change the fundamental chemistry of lead through an elaborate and semi-mystical process and purify it into gold. These ancient seekers were doing all sorts of experiments with chemicals and rigorously keeping track of their results in order to be able to share their findings with other alchemists. …

An In-Progress Directory

I thought this would be a very useful list.If you have additions please message me on Facebook or email.

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Adamas Facet

American Lapidary Wholesalers

4100 N Powerline Rd Ste I-5 — Pompano Beach, FL 33073


915 Merchant Street, #3, Redding, CA 96002

Arrowhead Lapidary Supply

P.O. Box 247, Wellington, OH 44090

Bernie’s Lapidary Supply

1800 North Broadway, Rochester, MN 55906

Cigar Rock Box

63160 Nels Anderson Rd., Bend, Or 97701

Covington Engineering

715 West Colton Avenue, Redlands, CA 92374

Creative Gems

P.O. Box 852, Crandall, Texas 75114

Ed’s House of Gems

7712 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland, OR 97213

Facet Shoppe

PO Box 534, Burley, WA, 98322

Facetron — Jarvi Tools

780 East Debra Lane, Anaheim, California 92805

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Due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, many talks and shows around the world have been canceled so in the meantime, lets share company with live WEBINARS!

I am currently doing a weekly show with Vincent Pardieu on Wednesday’s at 8pm Bangkok time called Field Gemology Talks

If you missed any of the past webinars they are avaiable on my YouTube Channel!

Main Lecture Title

A Brief History of Colored Gemstone Faceting


Justin K Prim, author and faceting instructor in Bangkok, explores the history of colored gemstone cutting in Europe. Beginning in the 1300’s and taking us on a visual journey through history to modern times, the presentation includes images and videos portraying faceted stones in jewelry at various points throughout history and also discusses the development of techniques and machinery through the ages. We will look at the the evolution of the gem cutting craft as it has been influenced by the artistic and technological trends of the times from Renaissance to Victorian to the Modern Era, from table cut to concave faceting. Along the way, we will follow the journey of the European faceting machine as it migrates and evolves from country to country before heading overseas and changing the jewelry production world in the process. …

World of Faceting machines is a video series that I started in April 2018. The show explores various faceting machine types and techniques from around the world. Each episode is around 5 minutes long and explores a specific machine or technique. Enjoy!

Season 1

The History of Gem Cutting in the Czech Republic

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19th Century Bracelet featuring Bohemian Garnets. Photo by Justin K Prim

The story of Czech gem cutting is deeply connected with the story of Bohemian garnet mining and the localities that provide them. It’s an old story, stretching back to the Renaissance, yet still living and breathing as new cutters are being trained today in the Bohemian faceting style. It’s a story that is linked to the great lapidary dynasties of Italy and the German gem cutting center of Idar-Oberstein. Let us now enter the world of the Bohemian Paradise…

Garnet has been mined in the Bohemian kingdom since the time of Celts. Jewelry with Czech garnets has been found in the settlements of Germans tribes as far back as the 6th century, but this is not where our story begins. Jumping forward about a millennia, during the time of the Renaissance, an eccentric ruler is about to change the history of the Czech garnet forever. …

The Modern History of Gemstone Faceting in Sri Lanka

A version of this article original appeared in The Journal of Gemmology, 36(5), 2019, pp. 298–315


The art of fashioning stones in Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) goes back more than 2,000 years, and gems have been mined on the island for even longer⁶. Gemstones are deeply tied to Sri Lanka’s history and the island is referenced in many historical texts, from Pliny in 77 AD² to Marco Polo in ~1300¹⁰. Polo tells us, ‘You must know that rubies are found in this Island and in no other country in the world but this. They find there also sapphires and topazes and amethysts, and many other stones of price’¹⁰. …

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Despite the fact that gemstones have been an obsession of humankind for at least 100,000 years and movies have been our obsession since their inception in the late 1800’s, there is a surprisingly small overlap in the movie world and gem and jewelry world. After a bit of research and a lot of movie watching, I’ve come up with a nice list for fans of all things sparkly. To make this list reasonable, I’ve included only movies that have gems or jewelry involved in the central plot of the film, listed in order of release.


Justin K Prim

Gemcutter / Travel Adventurer / Lapidary Historian/ Author of The Heart of Merlin /

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