Custom Gem Cutting (Commissioning)
If you've spent much time on our site, you've probably noticed that there aren't a tremendous number of gems that are pre-cut and ready for purchase.
The reason for this is that custom gem cutting, sometimes referred to as "commissioning" a gem to be cut, represents the largest segment of our business and is where Jeff spends the vast majority of his time.
Jewelry designers and trade professionals, as well as retail consumers, may have a gem custom cut. Extensive knowledge of gems or the gem cutting process is not required, as we will work with you to ensure you receive the perfect gemstone for your specific needs.
Start With the End In Mind
A finished gemstone can be no better than the rough from which it was created. Over the last two decades of operation, we have developed contacts around the world capable of providing the very best in facet-grade gem rough. As a result, J.L. White Fine Gemstones has an extensive collection of fine rough available for cutting at any given time. Gem types held in inventory range from the common to the exceptionally-rare.
We sometimes have requests for an up-to-date "catalogue" of available rough. However, due to the extensive and quickly-changing nature of our inventory, it is not practical to provide such a list. The best way to see what we have available is to contact us with the specific gem(s) that interest you, along with size, shape, and any other requirements that you may have.
If we do not have what you're looking for in stock, we will be happy to add you to our "Gem Request List" to be notified if/when your desired material becomes available.
At this point in the custom-cutting journey, we've hopefully found a piece of rough that is perfect for the project you have in mind, usually including the shape and sometimes even the specific cut. You will be provided with a firm price and estimated finished size/weight of the completed gem and will have the opportunity to reserve the piece of rough in question for cutting. It is at this time that a non-refundable cutting deposit is made and the work is officially added to the cutting schedule.
Measure (Design) Twice, Cut Once
This old carpenter's axiom is particularly-fitting for the art of gem cutting as well. Believe it or not, more time can be spent selecting and optimizing a design for a piece of rough, as well as preparing the rough itself, than is spent cutting it. Few things are as critical as proper design selection, and once the cuts are made, there is no going back (at least not without permanent loss of gem material).
We have at our disposal a number of tools to assist with the selection and optimization of faceting designs. Some are as old as the profession itself. Others utilize the latest in advanced computer modeling, such as the software pictured at right, which allows us to visualize how particular designs will perform in various gem materials with impressive accuracy.
Throughout his years of cutting, Jeff has accumulated an extensive library of faceting designs spanning decades and numbering into the thousands. Sometimes, however, a unique design is needed (or desired). If that is the case for you, rest-assured that we have the knowledge and expertise to produce that one-of-a-kind design you've been looking for.
Customers may have as much or as little involvement in selection of faceting designs as they would desire. However, in order to have a gem commissioned, there is no requirement to be able to make this decision. If you can communicate the shape and the look you're after and do not want any further involvement, we can take it from there and make a selection for your that will meet your needs.
When it comes to the cutting itself, we utilize the finest equipment available today. Consistently-superior finished gems start with this foundation. However, execution of the cutting and polishing itself is completely in the hands of the lapidary. Award-winning gem cutter Jeff White personally cuts and polishes each stone that we produce, ensuring consistently-high quality.
After completion of the cutting work, we supply our customers with photographs of the finished gem(s) and provide all the vital information regarding size, weight, and other particulars. It is at this time that arrangements for payment of the balance are made, in preparation for shipment. As discussed here, we offer a number of convenient and secure payment options for our customers, and shipping via the USPS is fast and reliable.
The Finished Product
Commissioned gems from J.L. White Fine Gemstones can be found in gem collections, engagement rings, and other fine jewelry all over the world. We are in this business because we're passionate about bringing out the very best in every colored gemstone we touch, and we enjoy working with others who are just as passionate.