This is a moonstone I faceted, which won me second prize in the 'Gemmys', last year (2008); the annual competition for lapidary arts held in the USA.
Moonstone is seldom faceted. A piece of great clarity has firstly to be found, and then it has to be cut cautiously because of its lack of great hardness, being only a feldspar...
But the finished effect is truly phenomenal, with both scintillation from the cutting, and the inner blue glow from the adularescence.
I designd this cut with GemCAD, and then cut it by hand on an Imahashi lap, my preferred machine. It only stands 6mm high, and weighs just over a carat, so it's miniscule (big not necessarily better!). Nevertheless, it is bounded by 193 facets, the smallest of which are sort of pinprick size.
I didn't know what to do with this for a year, but ultimately incorporated it into the handle of a piece I had in the BUDA silversmithing awards this year (2009). That piece was chosen to tour, and is currently at the Shepparton Art Gallery. It opens at the National Gallery of Victoria in October, from memory.
I'll put up an image of the piece in the near future.
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