My family and I recently went to a couple of gem mines and were able to get a fair amount of gems. I would like to know if anyone knows of a reliable, inexpensive person or company that would turn these rough gems into bracelets, earrings and unmounted polished gems. I live in the Atlanta area.
Melinda, I see 50+ folks have read your post and no one has replied so I'll give you my take on it.
"Reliable" and "Inexpensive" will be hard to find in the same person. Gem cutting (assuming you have really gem quality stones) is a skill that takes a lot of practice and equipment. I suggest you first get your stones to an appraiser that will tell you what you've got. Sometimes rockhounded stones have just enough impurities that they won't sparkle if faceted.
I don't want to sound cruel or cold, but not all gems are cuttable, plain and simple. They are still nice to have and to look at and I can tell a story for every rock in my collection and I enjoy just having them.
The reason for the lack of response is probably because so many who frequent this board do their own lapidary and jewelry. So, rather than look for someone who could do this for you, perhaps you should consider learning how to do it yourself, like many others and I have done. There are many rockhounding clubs with lapidary and jewelry shops where you could learn these skills on their equipment, such as the Georgia Mineral Society based in the Atlanta area. You should join! http://www.gamineral.org/
I facet Gem Stones but it is not cheap. Any thing that is cut cheap is not cut in the USA. Most faceters charge $150.00 to start plus so much a carat. But I must say any gem cut in the USA is a lot better then the ones cut over seas.
To be gem cut-able it has to be clear and should pass the white paper test where you have to hold a light above the gem stone and you can see through it on a piece of white paper. There are some exceptions to this like Emeralds and Ruby's
KOFacting Carl in WI
For faceting there are some viable overseas options, though the turnover is pretty slow. It's not a good idea for high grade stones, but you can still get good results. I have sent everything from quartz I found in my back yard (lots of fun) to smaller sapphires and many things in between to cutters in Thailand; the results have been very decent and made some beautiful jewelry. (Though they were not so great at cutting schiller sunstones, as it turned out--it's important to send a test parcel before you send any large amount).
In short, for overseas cutting:
Long wait time (~6 months)
Not always top-quality cutting
Possibility that your parcel might get lost/never come back/etc. (again, a small test parcel is very helpful to know what you're dealing with; We sent one test parcel over a year ago with a faceter we met at a show, and still haven't gotten it back, so we know not to go with them again.)
$1-$2.50 a carat vs. Gemfacetor's quote (which is typical of American cutting).
Gemfacetor is very right that American cutting is going to get you top quality. And it's definitely worth every penny if you've got a stone to match the quality of cutting. But you probably don't want to spend more on cutting than the finished stone will be worth. If you don't have the time (like me) or the inclination to learn how to cut yourself, overseas is probably your best bet.
I have sent stones to a company called GemXpert in Thailand, and my experience overall was good (with the exception of the aforementioned sunstones). I do suggest you do your own research, though, before you send your stones off anywhere--even if they're not top gem-quality, stones you find yourself have a value all their own.
I agree with was has been said on the board, but let me add my 2 cents worth.
Most of the stones that you find in the sluice gem mines is tumbling quality at best. There are a few cuttable stones and a very few facet grade. The owners convince you to leave them your stones to cut and typically charge $40-$60 per stone, more if faceted. This is how they make their money. Nothing wrong or illegal about it. Most of these will send your stones to you. You may or may not get the stone that you left, but, you will get a polished stone of the type you left. You are happy, they are happy.
Solution the the above situation is to find a reputable cutter in the Georgia area (as Mike mentioned, join the club in your area). They can look at the stones and give a reliable assessment of them and advise you as to how to proceed further, i.e.tumbling, cabbing, faceting.
After that process is com;eted, you can find a reputable wirewrapper or metalsmth to mount your stones. Again, check with club members.
I m from India
Manufacturer of gems stones
what type of stones you have can u r ply me then I can give better advice
you role me at my email I'd
I agree with Mike, find a club in your area and go to the meeting is a great way to meet someone in your area that cuts stones for a hobby.
William Holland lapidary school in Young Harris, Georgia is a wonderful place to go to learn all sorts of lapidary skills. There you can learn how to cab or facet a stone, how to craft and silver setting for your stone or how to wire wrap it, plus many, many other skills.
If you are at all interested in this you can look them up on their website and discover a whole new world of lapidary possibilities. The cost is extremely reasonable as well. When I went a few years ago it cost me around $400 for a weeks worth of training, food and a room. The folks there are wonderful and you will learn so much, not only from the instructors but also from those who attend.
I mean I need someone too Melinda
This is the most informative thread I've read in a while. I too am looking to have several......ok a bunch..... of gemstones cut. Including several large rubies. One weighed in at 8 carats. Thank you all for the info. Now I'll go hunting in my area for what I need. Thanks again!
I'm looking for someone who can carve Jade. Everywhere I've went sends me to someone else. It's only a 15 lb block that I want a scene carved into it. I want it cut in America since I live here, but am willing to send it overseas to have it done. Does anyone know where I can look to find someone or know a place I can contact for info.
i am more than 20 year expearians gem cutter and trainr in sri lanka.last time i work viva gems thailand.now i havent meching but some one give me some sapport i can give my best work.my phone number is +94778887270
Gem Mountain in Philipsburg, MT offers heat treatment of sapphires and gem cutting services. I have been to their location and bought gravel and have found many sapphires through them and utilized their heat treatment services. While I have not used their cutting services, they offer Montana faceting and overseas faceting, obviously the overseas faceting is cheaper. Use the Montana cutting for bigger stones for better quality. Contact them for most current pricing.
On site as well as through mail they will sort through your stones (sapphires, garnets, or otherwise) and determine which ones are cuttable. Recently they have told me they would do this AT NO COST.
You can also ask local jewelers in Montana as some of them are used to having people bring in rough gems such as Montana sapphires. Some may be able to determine cuttable quality stones or have faceting services. So call around and ask... Might hold true for local jewelers in other states that are near rockhounding sites. Good luck!