how to cut and polish gemstones

How To Cut and Polish Gemstones

How to cut and polish gemstones? It’s a common question gemstone enthusiasts ask. The answer really depends on the gemstone itself.

Some gemstones are soft and can be easily cut with a knife, while others are very hard and require special diamond-tipped tools.

Ultimately, the goal is to create a smooth, polished surface that brings out the natural beauty of the gemstone.

In this article, we take a look at the best ways to cut and polish gemstones, as well as some of the best tools for the job.

Here at Amazing Crystals, we try to provide useful information for our readers, this may include links to products that can be affiliate links, we may earn a small commission if you use them and we thank you for your kindness if you do.

Creating the perfect gemstones

Many people are fascinated by gemstones and are curious about how they are cut and polished.

The process begins with finding a suitable gemstone.

Next, the gemstone is cut into a rough shape using a saw.

After that, it is ground down into a smoother shape using a grinding wheel.

Finally, it is polished to a shine using a polishing wheel.

The entire process can be quite time-consuming and requires a great deal of patience. However, the results can be stunning, and the finished product can be cherished for many years to come.

The first step is to select the right cutting tool. If you’re working with a soft gemstone, such as turquoise, you can use a simple kitchen knife. For harder gemstones, you’ll need to invest in a diamond-tipped tool.

Depending on the size and shape you are trying to achieve will determine the type of tools required, let’s take a look at some tools that are perfect for DIY gemstone cutting and polishing.

Tools for cutting and polishing gemstones

how to cut and polish gemstones tools required

Circular Saw

If you are lucky enough to find a raw crystal or gemstone in the form of a geode then a circular saw may be required to cut it open. This saw has a large, round blade that rotates at high speed and can easily cut through most materials.

The blade itself needs to be very sharp in order to make clean cuts and prevent the gemstone from shattering. Be sure to use protective gloves, and eyeglasses when operating the saw, as loose material and sparks can fly off the blade.

It is also important that you use the correct type of blade for cutting rocks, most modern saws have a blade that will cut most materials, but it is always worth checking.

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Grinding Wheel

A grinding wheel is perfect for shaping and polishing gemstones of all shapes and sizes. It consists of a rotating disk covered in an abrasive material, such as sandpaper or diamond dust.

The grinding wheel can be used to grind down the gemstone into the desired shape, and then polish it to a high shine. It’s important to use a light touch when grinding and polishing, as too much pressure can cause the gemstone to crack or shatter.

Using this tool will depend on the size of the gemstone you are working with, for larger gemstones a bench grinder will be fine, but for small gemstones, a small handheld tool would be safer and easier to work with.

Belt Sander

A belt sander is perfect for grinding down the edges of a gemstone after it has been cut. It has two rotating drums covered in sandpaper that can quickly remove unwanted material.

Belt sanders can be handheld or bench mountable, the best type for working on gemstones is the bench mountable type.

This type of sander can be used to quickly grind down the gemstone into the desired shape, and then polish it to a high shine.

It’s important to use a light touch when grinding and polishing, as too much pressure can cause the gemstone to crack or shatter.

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Rock Tumbler

A gemstone rock tumbler is a machine that polishes and shapes gemstones. By rotating the gemstone inside the tumbler, the gemstone is gradually polished and shaped into a beautiful gem.

Gemstone tumblers can create many different shapes and sizes of gemstones, from small beads to large gemstones.

The size and shape of the gemstone will depend on the size of the tumbler and the type of gemstone being used.

Gemstone tumblers are a great way to create beautiful, unique gemstones. With a little patience and care, anyone can create stunning gemstones that will last a lifetime.

Gemstone tumblers are machines that polish gemstones to create a beautiful, glossy finish.

The gemstones are placed in the tumbler with a polishing grit, and the tumbler rotates the gemstones against the grit to create a polished surface.

In addition to using gemstone tumblers to create beautiful gemstones, they can also be used to repair damaged gemstones.

The polishing process smooths out any scratches or chips on the gemstone, and it can even remove matted areas of dirt. As a result, gemstone tumblers are an essential tool for anyone who wants to create beautiful gemstones or keep their gemstones looking new.

Faceting Machine

A faceting machine is a specialized tool that is used to cut and polish gemstones and crystals.

The faceting process creates a series of flat facets on the surface of the stone, which can then be further polished to create a brilliant shine.

Faceting machines are typically used by professional jewellers, but they can also be used by hobbyists.

The faceting process can be quite complex, and it takes a considerable amount of time and practice to master. However, the results can be very rewarding, and faceting can add a whole new level of beauty to gemstones and crystals.

There are many different types of faceting machines, but they all have the same basic parts.

The faceting machine consists of a base, arm, head, wheel, and motor.

The base is usually made of metal or plastic, and it houses the motor.

The arm is attached to the base, and it holds the Crystal in place.

The head contains the faceting wheels, which are used to cut the facets on the gemstone.

The motor powers the faceting wheels, and it can be either electric or manual.

Regardless of the type of faceting machine, they all operate in the same basic way.

The faceting machine is set up on a workbench, and the gemstone is placed in the head of the machine. The faceting wheels are then brought down onto the gemstone, and the facets are cut into the surface. The process is repeated until the desired shape and size is achieved.

Diamond Cutting Discs

Diamond cutting discs are diamond-coated circular saw blades that can be used to cut, shape, and polish crystals and gemstones.

The diamond coating on the discs is what makes them so effective at cutting and shaping hard materials.

Diamonds are the hardest natural material on Earth, so diamond cutting discs are able to quickly and easily cut through even the toughest gemstones.

In addition, diamond cutting discs produce a much finer finish than other types of saw blades, making them perfect for creating delicate shapes and polished surfaces.

If you’re looking for a way to quickly and easily cut and shape crystals and gemstones, diamond cutting discs are the perfect tool for the job.

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Polishing Wheel

A polishing wheel is used to give gemstones their final shine. It is usually made from leather, cloth, or rubber and is covered in a polishing compound.

The polishing wheel is used in conjunction with a polishing agent, which is a type of liquid or pastes that contains an abrasive material.

When combined, the two materials help to remove any scratches or blemishes from the surface of the gemstone.

Safety points to remember when cutting and polishing gemstones

  • Always wear safety goggles when cutting or polishing gemstones
  • Make sure the work area is well-lit and clean
  • Keep children and pets away from the work area
  • Be careful when handling sharp blades and tools
  • Never use metal files on gemstones that are to be used in jewellery as this can damage the stone
  • Always use a polishing wheel with caution as it can cause injuries if mishandled

How to inspect gemstones for scratches or blemishes

A jewellery magnifier is a small, handheld tool that helps jewellers and gemologists to see small details on gemstones and crystals.

These magnifiers usually have a lens with a magnification of 10x or more, allowing you to see blemishes and inclusions that might not otherwise be visible to the naked eye.

jewellery magnifiers are an essential tool for anyone who works with gemstones, as they help to ensure that your gemstones are in perfect condition, or if you are making jewellery with your gemstones only the highest quality stones are used.

Whether you are a jeweller or a collector of gemstones, a jewellery magnifier is a valuable tool to have by your side.

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Looking after polished gemstones

A gemstone is a beautiful addition to any collection, or as a piece of jewellery, but it requires some care to keep it looking its best.

After polishing, gemstones should be cleaned with a soft cloth and warm water. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasives, as these can damage the surface of the stone.

Once cleaned, gemstones should be stored in a soft cloth or jewellery box to protect them from scratches.

It is also important to avoid exposing gemstones to extreme heat or cold, as this can cause cracks or other damage.

Gemstones have been used for centuries for their healing properties.

Today, many people display gemstones in their homes as decoration. However, gemstones can lose their efficacy if they are not properly cared for.

To keep gemstones on display in the home effectively, it is important to regularly cleanse and recharge them.

There are several ways to cleanse gemstones.

One method is to place them in a bowl of saltwater overnight.

Another way is to pass them through the smoke of a lit candle. Once gemstones have been cleansed, they can be recharged by placing them in direct sunlight for a few hours or leaving them out under the light of a full moon.

Here is an article all about cleansing gemstones.

With proper care, your gemstone will continue to shine for many years to come.


This article has discussed how to cut and polish gemstones, the tools required, and how to care for them.

It is important to remember that gemstones require regular cleaning and recharging to maintain their efficacy.

With proper care, your gemstones will continue to shine for years to come.

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