Faceting History Resources

Justin K Prim
Jul 4, 2019 · 7 min read

Video Documentaries

On the trail of the stones in Idar-Oberstein (Gemstone Faceting Documentary)
“Blue” Episode 3: Ingenuity (Gemstone Faceting Documentary)
Michel, Lapidary in Jura France (Gem Faceting Documentary)
Jura France Gem Faceting Documentary
Jack Ogden — Sri Lankan Legacy: History of Sapphires
Mystery Set specialist —Van Cleef & Arpels
Muzo- Journey Into a Unique Art Of Cutting
Diamond Cutting Techniques — A History
The Art Of Invisible Gem Setting
Van Cleef & Arpels- Fée Ondine Automaton

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Highlights from Lapidary Journal Issues 1–50

Lapidary Journal Issue #1

A Short History of Faceting

Japanese Gem Cutting Industry

Pioneers of Amateur Faceting

Web Links — Designs

Facet Diagrams
Gemology Project- Faceting Diagrams
US Faceters Guild — Faceting Diagrams
Bobs Rock Shop — Faceting Diagrams
Tom Herbst Original Designs
IGS Faceting Diagrams

Web Links — Community / Forums

Gemology Online
US Faceters Guild
International Gem Society
Aussie Lapidary Forum
Forum de Lapidaires (in French)
UK Facet Cutters Guild
List of Lapidary Clubs around the World
American Federation of Mineralogical Societies


Physical Properties of Precious Stones, A. H, Church, Proc of the Geological Association, vol v, no 7, 1878
Tabular arrangement of the Distinguishing Characteristics of Precious Stones, L Claremont, The Mining Journal, March 5 1904
The Cutting and Polishing of Precious Stones, L Claremont, The Mineral Industry vol viii, 1900
Homer R.P. (1990)The OMF Facetor. Lapidary journal, Vol. 44, NO.3, pp. 26–41
Koivula J.I., Kammerling R.C. (1988a)Gem news. Gems a) Gemology, Vol. 24, №1, p. 56.
Koivula J.I., Kammerling R.C. (1988b)Gem news. Gems a) Gemology, Vol. 24, №3, p. 181
Brilliance, Windows, and Extinction in Gemstones, Richard W. Hughes

Fantasy/Concave Cutting Articles

And Then Came the Fantasy Cut, GIA
The Magic of the Fantasy Cut Gemstones, GIA
Bernd Munsteiner — Gem Artista , Smithsonian
Benefits of Concave Faceting, Ganoksin

Light Performance Articles

(list compiled by Rex Guo)

Original Thesis on the Ideal Cut Diamond, Marcel Tolkowsky
Diamond Design Revisited, Bruce Harding
Faceting Limits, Bruce Harding
The Optical Design of Gemstones, José M. Sasián, Peter Yantzer and Tom Tivol
Describing Diamond Beauty — Assessing the Optical Performance of a Diamond, Michael D. Cowing, FGA
Evaluation of brilliance, fire, and scintillation in round brilliant gemstones, Jose Sasian, Jason Quick, Jacob Sheffield, James Caudill, Peter Yantzer
Optimizing Face-Up Appearance in Colored Gemstone Faceting, Al Gilbertson

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These are my top 3 recommendations for history books!

Faceting Bibliography

AIGS, Basic Faceting
Bauer, Max, Precious Stones Vol 1
Bauer, Max, Precious Stones Vol 2
Bambauer, Dr Hans, Die Edelsteinmine im Steinkaulenber und die historische Weiterschliefe in Idar-Oberstein
Baxter, William T, Jewelry, Gem Cutting and Metalcraft, 1938,1950
Bergstein, Rachelle, Brilliance and Fire: A Biography of Diamonds Book, 2016
Birdwood, Sir G.C.M., Industrial Arts of India, 1881
Bryne, Oliver, Handbook for the Mechanic, Artisan, and Engineer, 1853
Church, A.H., Discrimination of Precious Stones, Journal of the Society of Arts vol. xxix April 8 1881
Claremont, Leopold, The Gem-Cutters Craft, 1906
Drake, H.C. , The Art of Gem Cutting
Emmanuel, H., Diamonds and Precious Stones, 1865
Feldmesser, Rocks Pebbles and Stones
GIA, Faceting Lab Manual, 1986
Gilbertson, Al, American Cut: The First 100 Years, 2007
Graham, Jeff, Learn How to Facet “The Right Way…
Graves, Fundamental Faceting
Howard, J Harry, Handbook for the Amateur Lapidary, 1935 (First USA lapidary book)
Herbst, Tom, Amateur Gemstone Faceting Volume 1: The Essentials
Herbst, Tom, Amateur Gemstone Faceting Volume 2
Hermann, The Art of Cutting and Polishing Diamonds, 1885
Hoffman, Douglas L, Comprehensive Faceting Instructions
HRD, Cut In Antwerp, 1982
Klein, Glenn, Faceting History
Klein, Glenn, The Evolution of Faceting Machines
Leiper, Hugh, Gem Cutting Shop Help, 1964
Leiper, Huge and Lelande, Gemcraft: How to Cut and Polish Gems
Lenzen, Godehard, The history of diamond production and the diamond trade
Long, Robert and Norman Steele, Introduction to Meetpoint Faceting
Marker, Richard, Die Edelsteinminen in Idar Oberstein
Mawe, J., Familiar Lessons +Practical Description of the Use of the Lapidaries’ Apparatus, 1821
M.D.R., The Book of Gem Cuts, 1952
O’Brien, Dan, How to Cut Gems
Ogden, Jack, Diamonds: An Early History of the King of Gems, 2018
Pannier, Leopold, Les lapidaires Francais, 1882
Perry, Nance and Ron, Practical Gemcutting, 1980
Pogorzelski, Daniel, Manuel de Lapidairerie: la taille des pierres a facettes
Raden, Aja, Stoned: Jewelry, Obsession, and How Desire Shapes the World, 2015
Reed, Margaret, Faceting Handbook
Schumann, Gemstones of the world, 1977
Schuster, A., An introduction to the theory of optics, 1902
Sinkankas, John, Gem Cutting
Sinkanlzas John, A Lapidary’s Manual, 1962
Smith, Edward and April Schromm, Gemcutting
Soukup, EJ, Facet Cutters Handbook, 1986
Sperisen, Francis J, The Art of the Lapidary, 1950
Tavernier, Travels in India, 1889
Tolansky, S, The History and Use of Diamonds
Tolkowsky, Diamond Design, 1919
Vargas, Faceting for Amateurs, 2nd Edition, 1977.
Vargas, Faceting Designs Vol 1
Vargas, Faceting Designs Vol 2
Wainwright, John, discovering Lapidary Work
Walter, Martin, Gen Cutting is Easy
Watermeyer, Basil, Diamond Cutting
Whitlock, Story of the Gems
Wise, Richard, Secrets of the Gem Trade
Wise, Richard, The French Blue
Wykoff, Gerald L, The Techniques of Master Faceting
Younghusband, Sir George, The Jewel House

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History of the Gem Trade Articles

(list compiled by Richard Hughes)
Sydney Ball wrote three terrific papers on the gem trade, as follows:
• Ball, S.H. (1922) The geologic and geographic occurrence of precious stones. Economic Geology, Vol. 17, №7, November, pp. 575–601.

• Ball, S.H. (1931) Historical notes on gem mining. Economic Geology, Vol. 26, pp. 681–738.

• Ball, S.H. (1935) A historical study of precious stone valuation. Economic Geology, Vol. 30, pp. 630–642

A lot of this information is also found in his book on Pliny:
• Ball, S.H. (1950) A Roman Book on Precious Stones. Los Angeles, Gemological Institute of America, 338 pp.

For a broader view of geology and mineralogy and gemology, see also:
• Adams, F.D. (1938) The Birth and Development of the Geological Sciences. Baltimore, Williams & Wilkins, 506 pp.
Serious students will want to have this, which is a priceless reference.

• Sinkankas, J. (1993) Gemology: An Annotated Bibliography. Metuchen, NJ, The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2 Vols., 1179 pp.

For accessible (non-technical) gemology, both of Richard Wise’s books are great:

* Wise, R.M. (2003) Secrets of the Gem Trade. Lenox, MA, Brunswick House Press, 274 pp. Recently updated.
* Wise, R.M. (2010) The French Blue. Lenox, MA, Brunswick House, 580 pp.

As are the Kornitzer books:

* Kornitzer, L. (1937) The Pearl Trader. New York, Sheridan House, 359 pp.
* Kornitzer, L. (1939) Gem Trader. New York, Sheridan House, published in the UK under the title The Bridge of Gems, 265 pp.
* Kornitzer, L. (1941) The Jeweled Trail. New York, Sheridan House, US edition, 280 pp., 16 plates.

A few more:

* Anderton, R. (1953) Tic-Polanga. Garden City, NY, Doubleday, 254 pp.
* Rainier, P.W. (1942) Green Fire. Garden City, NY, Blue Ribbon Books, 1st ed. (also issued in London by John Murray in 1943), 216 pp.
* Rosenthal, L. (1952) The Pearl Hunter. New York, Henry Schuman, 214 pp.

Just published and containing much about the early gem trade:

* Content, D.J. (2016) Ruby, Sapphire & Spinel: An Archaeological, Textual and Cultural Study. Belgium, Brepols Publishers, 2 Vols., viii + 452 pp.

For ancient jewelry:

* Ogden, J. (1982) Jewellery of the Ancient World. New York, Rizzoli, 185 pp.
* Ogden, J. (1992) Interpreting the Past: Ancient Jewelry. Berkeley, CA, University of California Press, 64 pp.

All of George F. Kunz’ books are extremely readable and full of fascinating tales:

* Kunz, G.F. (1913) The Curious Lore of Precious Stones. Philadelphia, J.B. Lippincott, reprinted by Dover, 1971; Bell, New York, 1989, 406 pp.
* Kunz, G.F. (1915) The Magic of Jewels and Charms. Philadelphia, Lippincott, 422 pp.
* Kunz, G.F. (1916) Ivory and the Elephant. Garden City, NY, Doubleday, Page and Co., 1st ed., 527 pp.
* Kunz, G.F. and Stevenson, C.H. (1908) The Book of the Pearl. New York, Century Co., reprinted 1993 by Dover, 548 pp.
* Kunz, G.F. and Ray, M.B. (1927–1928) American travels of a gem collector. Saturday Evening Post, 1927: Nov. 26, pp. 6–7, 85–86, 91; Dec. 10, pp. 22–23, 172–174, 176 ; 1928: Jan. 21, pp. 33–34, 36, 38; March 10, pp. 44, 46, 188–190, 194; May 5, pp. 20–21, 153–154, 156, 161, reprinted in the Lapidary Journal in 1968–1969.

From the same era:

* Ramsay, A. (1925) In Search of the Precious Stone. New York, Albert Ramsay & Co., 50 pp.
* Ramsay, A. and Sparkes, B. (1934) Bright jewels of the mine. Saturday Evening Post, Parts 1–3, 15 Sept.: pp. 10–11, 65–66, 69; 29 Sept.: pp. 26, 28, 34, 36, 39; 20 Oct.: pp. 26–27, 76, 78, 80.

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Justin K Prim

The collected written works of Justin K Prim : Travel…

Justin K Prim

Written by

Gemcutter / Travel Adventurer / Lapidary Historian/ Author of The Heart of Merlin / www.justinkprim.com

Justin K Prim

The collected written works of Justin K Prim : Travel Adventurer / Gemologist / Musician / Author of The Heart of Merlin

Justin K Prim

Written by

Gemcutter / Travel Adventurer / Lapidary Historian/ Author of The Heart of Merlin / www.justinkprim.com

Justin K Prim

The collected written works of Justin K Prim : Travel Adventurer / Gemologist / Musician / Author of The Heart of Merlin

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