Custom Faceting Services

CLICK HERE for custom faceting services FAQ and SAQ.

CLICK HERE for the forms to send your gems for evaluation now.

The Gemstone Artist offers high-quality custom gem cutting and one-of-a-kind faceted gems and carved gemstone art. I create designer jewelry and can create custom gem designs for your special person, occasion, or group. Click here to see the gem-cutting process.

custom faceting

Some people feel a great emptiness – maybe the empty spot in your setting is crying out for the right stone – or it may be the idea you have for a unique gem that you haven’t found. In either case, I’ll help you fill those empty places with a unique gem that will dazzle. Tell me about your emptiness and let me fill it with color!

Services & Rates:

Rough or Repair Evaluation


Custom Design Work

$200 / hour

Faceting & Repair Time John Bailey

$200 / hour

Faceting & Repair Time Apprentice

$100 / hour

CUSTOM FACETING (your rough)

Some people have a treasure that’s not polished, yet. If you already know about gem rough and cutting then I’ll evaluate your stones (no charge – you pay the shipping, both ways). If you’re not an expert on gem rough or cutting issues, you may want to read my page on evaluating gem rough and the one on gemstone geometry before you commit the postage to send me your rough gemstones.

I won’t recommend cutting a stone unless I think the cutting fees are a wise investment in the rough material. Otherwise, I’ll recommend having it commercially cut or perhaps just keeping it as a mineral specimen – unless you just want it cut for sentimental reasons, as many people do. Here are some stones I’ve custom-cut for clients:

custom cut spinel

This stunner is a 2.54 carat natural Badakshan Spinel custom cut in the “Juicy Heart” design I created just for this piece of rough.

custom cut sunstone

Here’s a before-and-after photo of a nice Oregon Sunstone with schiller. I used a free-form step cut to capture the size and color of this piece.

kaleidoscope cut sunstone

I faceted this great Oregon Sunstone with copper schiller to reflect in a mirror image pattern. This is one of my favorite presentations of this decorative inclusion.

faceted sphalerite

I cut this beautiful 19.55 carat Sphalerite in a free-form step design to maximize the beauty of the color and to accent the unusually fine clarity of this special piece.

sphalerite gemstone

I cut this outstanding 22.69 carat Sphalerite in a free-form step design to show-off the extraordinary dispersion of this material.

faceted oregon sunstone

This extraordinary 10.52 carat Oregon Sunstone is registered in the Certificate of Design program as the first rendition of my Omni Oval 1.33 pattern, and so the design was named “The Indigo Oval” – for the Production Company that owns it. This very special gem, appraised at over $5,000.00, will soon appear on the Travel Channel.

The fantastic Red Labradorite (TM) Sunstone rough above came from the Spectrum Mine Free Dig. Check it out and get some for yourself!

faceted tourmaline gemstone

This pretty 3.64 carat Tourmaline was treated to custom design, and is registered in the Certificate of Design program as the first rendition of my Houseki II pattern, which was created explicitly for this gem.

faceted kunzite gemstone

This Spodumene from Afghanistan is a 13.64 carat gem cut in my own Sexy Native design. It measures 16 x 12 mm and displays extra fine color.

faceted oregon sunstone gem

Dichroic Oregon Sunstone from the Dust Devil Mine. This 4.35 carat finished stone displays a nice array of color under incandescent light, and a nice color-change to green when sunlight washes out the red tones and intensifies the green ones. This project required custom design and an upside-down cutting sequence to keep colors separate and to retain saturation.

custom faceted sapphire gemstone

6 millimeter 1.31 carat natural, untreated Australian Sapphire cut in an unusual “twisted triangle” design. This stone was produced to-order for a custom engagement ring.

custom faceted sapphire

Here’s another cut-to-order Sapphire for a custom engagement ring. This African Sapphire is faceted in a fancy apex design that really throws the light around. It measures 6.3 mm and weighs 1.12 carats.

faceted oregon sunstone dichroic

15.6 x 10.4 millimeter 8.50 carat dichroic Oregon Sunstone cut in a barion oval. This incredible stone is intensely multi-colored, showing deep Kelly Green, a strong metallic peach, champagne, and flashes of red. Look carefully and you’ll find a rainbow halo in the pavilion faces of this stone. That visual effect is due to careful orientation of polysynthetic twinning present in the original crystal. Here’s a closer look.

faceted dichroic oregon sunstone

13 x 8.5 millimeter 4.90 carat dichroic Oregon Sunstone cut in a Barion oval. This stone shows the dichroic effect so well that it is repeatedly mistaken for Andalusite!



concave faceting gemstones

Some people have lost a sparkle from their lives – That which used to dazzle has become scarred from life’s trials. Often a stone with scratches and rounded faces can be “repaired” (actually re-polished or slightly re-cut) to give the gem a complete face-lift, restoring (or sometimes even surpassing) its former beauty.

Be aware that repair work can never add material to a stone – and will always involve removing material. A loss of weight (sometimes significant weight) will occur, and the stone may no longer fit into the setting it came out of. If these are critical issues, you want to make sure I am aware of them – and you may want to send the setting along with the stone for me to evaluate the viability of the repair job. Feel free to contact me with any questions you have about gem repair cutting. Here are some stones that I’ve repaired:

repairing rhodolite garnets

The “before” photo on the left shows the badly-chipped original. The “after” photo on the right shows use of three concave facets – to erase the chip; adjust the girdle; and blend the pavilion to match the style of the original.

repair faceting

The “before” photo on the left shows the beat-up and broken original. The “after” photo on the right shows the new stone I designed and cut to fit the custom gold work the original came out of.

Next is an example of a beautiful 4.99-carat Spinel that had showed crown damage, including furrows in the table, abraded facet junctions, and scratched crown facets. This native-cut stone also had a razor-thin girdle, exposing it to potential breakage during setting. The before and after images speak for themselves, and show just what a nice change be had for a few hours cutting and a loss of only one-third of a carat.

repair spinel gemstone

Sometimes, the crown is just fine, and the pavilion has damage from mishandling or from natural flaws, poor cutting, etc. This following bubblegum pink Spinel has an internal fracture that evidenced itself in the pavilion where chips had been broken away. This injury reflected throughout the stone and severely impacted beauty, value, and marketability. This stone also had a knife-edge girdle.

The native-cut stone had a lopsided culet and too-shallow angles to begin with, so the solution was to repair the girdle, and then remove the deep gashes by carefully laying-in strategically-placed concave facets. The result is a striking gemstone that is quite marketable, for a loss of only 0.42 carat:

concave faceted spinel gemstone

Here’s another example of a nice Tourmaline with a native-cut, lopsided culet and shallow angles. I placed concave faces and the stone came to life:

concave faceted tourmaline gem

Click here for one high-res image of the concaves or click here for another high-res image of the concaves to see the finish left by my Voodoo Polish.

Finally, sometimes a stone is so severely damaged that we can only “start over”, using the gem as a piece of rough. Under these circumstances, the original is often a badly-proportioned native-cut with a thin girdle and insufficient depth to optically support the width (see my article on gem geometry). In these cases, the yield is often poor, but the results are generally quite pretty. Note the fascinating inclusions in this piece:

spinel gem repair cutting


Natural crystals may have hidden flaws or cleavages or stresses that can succumb to the rigors of cutting (or re-cutting). I am very careful and do my best, and so far I have never damaged or destroyed a stone entrusted to me. While I can guarantee the quality of my workmanship, I cannot guarantee nature’s cooperation. Therefore, I am not responsible (and accept no liability) for losses due to the precipitous disintegration of any natural stone.

If you are considering a custom gem or gem repair cutting project, contact me.


You are as unique as the gems you wear, and every jewel deserves the right wardrobe to show their best features. I’m always anxious to create new presentations, whether flowing lines or striking angles – to catch the eye of admiration. Here are a few of my recent creations:

emerald designer pendant

10 x 8 millimeter 3.43 carat Emerald, set in white gold.
Goldsmithing by Don Tamplin.

amethyst designer custom pendant

One of my flower-cut Amethyst
in custom-designed Yellow Gold.
Goldsmithing by Don Tamplin.

sapphire designer pendant

A natural (unheated) Blue Sapphire from
the mine of our friends Maureen and Stephen,
set in Yellow Gold by Don Tamplin.
The pendulum is active, and displays craftsmanship
that would make a watch-maker jealous.

oregon sunstone designer pendant

Oregon Sunstone with schiller bars set
in Yellow Gold – again, by Don Tamplin.

sapphire designer pendant

Untreated Yellow Sapphire from our Australian friends,
Stephen and Maureen. Goldsmithing by Don Tamplin.

For detailed information about custom faceting services policies and terms, check out my polices page.

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