Gem carving techniques
Exploring one of Sri Lanka's renowned trades
Sri Lanka has earned its name in world renowned gems which have found their way to the crowns and jewels of royals around the globe. Among its most adored and amazing gems is the blue sapphire which also has another variant named the star sapphire. Rubies, garnets, Amethyst and Cat’s eye are also among the treasures hidden in the soil. Carved gems have always been fascinating and since ancient times have adorned jewellery, clothing and ornaments. Sri Lanka has special gem cutting and carving techniques that groom gems into their true potential at places like the Royal Sapphire International, Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka.
While gems are used to signify luxury and social status, the most intriguing fact is how gems are given the right dimensions and curves to bring out the best in them. In Sri Lanka, jewellery carving techniques have been used since ancient times and today the industry uses some of the most advanced techniques available.
It is of importance to choose gems without imperfections such as cracks or pits, which could later on result in the crumbling down of the end work. In the gem industry, professionals mostly use diamond blade slab saws. These saws cut with greater precision and come in a variety of sizes to deal with gems of varying sizes. Of course, the most important is the continuous stream of water used to cool the gem during the cutting process. Water or mineral oil is used in order to stop heat damage to both the gem and equipment. Usually gems of a larger size will be handled with diamond blade saws; for smaller ones either the Dremel rotary tool or the trim saw can be utilized to make fine cuts. Now to make even finer details the lapidary grinder or Dremel jewellery tool can be utilized. Caution is always taken by using the coolant to prevent the stone from overheating. Finally, the sanding method is used to smooth out the scratches that occur during all the afore-mentioned processes. Professional gem cutters, use their own unique style to polish the end result, which is something acquired during one’s career.
Roland Lefevre is a travel writer who specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe. Google+