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Gemstone Lamination Technique

Gemstone Lamination Aquamarine and Amethyst 

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Gemstone Lamination Aquamarine and Amethyst

Curves make lamination more complex, than flat surfaces which are easier to match up and join together. So I did this experimental project to push the boundaries. 

This free infotorial follows the same format as all my other free and premium tutorials. This gives you a good insight into the technical teaching methodology.

Gemstone Lamination - Aquamarine & Amethyst Carve

I select the material.

A piece of Brazilian amethyst and a piece of Zimbabwean aquamarine.

Gemstone Lamination - Aquamarine & Amethyst Carve

Then I carve them into two shapes that are mirror images.

I only concentrate on the inner curves at first.

Gemstone Lamination Aquamarine & Amethyst Seat Check

Normally, if I have to set an expensive emerald or some other delicate stone, I use a spray powder called seat check.
It's a green powder that sprays out and coats the seat of the metal and the bottom of the gemstone being set.

So the metal seat is marked and then you know where to remove metal.
With patience and a billion sprays, you can make an unusually shaped stone to sit absolutely where you want it.
It also works well for gem carving because you can see on the left side of the piece, the powder discolours where it touches, so that where you grind material off.

Gemstone Lamination Aquamarine & Amethyst Clamp

High tech clamp.

I use HXTAL resin to laminate the two sides together.

I takes five days to harden.

I put masking tape on the clamp because if the resin comes into direct contact with the stone and the clamp, it breaks the stone before it releases.

Gemstone Lamination Aquamarine & Amethyst bull dog clamp

I also weaken the clamp by annealing the back part so that it holds the two pieces more gently.

Gemstone Lamination Aquamarine & Amethyst Laminated

Once the resin is hard the stone is ready for pre-forming.

Gemstone Lamination Aquamarine & Amethyst Pre-Formed

The resin ground off.

Now I dop the stone and cut it on my Imahashi gem cutting machine.

I was going to cut this stone into an oval, because an oval reflects light in a bow tie shape along a center spine.
I thought that the 'bow tie' would change colour as it ran down the center.

But the amethyst developed a surface crack, so I had to make it's shape round.

With round, there comes a more even reflection of light which is not really what I wanted.

No matter, you go with the flow.

Gemstone Lamination Aquamarine & Amethyst Faceting

This picture was taken under an incandescent light.

I was cutting on copper with 7000 grit.

I clearly shows the different cutting surfaces between quartz and beryl.

The polishing rate is nearly the same, with the quartz lagging a bit behind.

I use a Batt lap with 50,000 diamond grit for polishing.

Gemstone Lamination Aquamarine & Amethyst Back Side

View from the back of the gemstone.

Gemstone Lamination Aquamarine & Amethyst Completed

The stone came out at 10 mm in diameter and 3.6 carats in weight.

Projects where a Lamination Gemstone can be used.

or select other projects from Jewelry Making Tutorials List

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