Have you ever marveled at the engravings on cameos or the faceting of diamonds and gemstones? Maybe you have wondered who makes them and how it is accomplished. These designs are constructed through the use of lapidary equipment.
These craftsmen use machines, tools, and supplies to cut, polish, and engrave stones, seashells, gems, and more. They skillfully turn rough rocks into shiny rounded cabochons, seashells into delicately carved cameos, and uncut gemstones into presentable designs. Their creations are usually put into jewelry, but are also used in belt buckles and other items. Some lapidaries also create custom cast gold and silver jewelry in which to place their stones.
Diamonds and gems are cut by a gemstone cutting machine into one of the standard cuts or shapes, and are then faceted using specialized lapidary equipment. Faceting makes the stones sparkle and shows off their color. Diamond specialists have processed diamonds that are graded by the clarity, color, and by the quality of the artisans facet cutting.
Cameos, on the other hand, are done with an engraving tool. The artisans select the part of the shell they want to use and cut the shell into the desired shape for the base. They draw an outline of the image. They then spend up to several days carving, using natural light and a hand engraving tool.