As we come up with Frequently Asked Questions, we will post the answers here.
Q: What is "Facet Grade"?
A: OK, you found a crystal and someone told you it is "Facet Grade". Well, it might be, but the term does not really translate to facetable.
First, about anything can be faceted. Even opaque material can be faceted such as this Piertersite.
What really is faceting material is something that has a section in it as clear as crystal stemware like you use for that elegant dinner. You want something water clear.
As a couple examples, here are pieces that might get labeled as facetable. All can be cut, but the success is different for each. The first example is a piece of Jackson Crossroads amethyst. If you were to hold it up, you cannot see through it. If you set it on a piece of newsprint, you could not read the text. This is not what you want. Cutting it will just make it a fancy shape. You would have something more like a milk ice cube.
The next piece is a diamond in the rough, so to speak. This is a huge crystal with a lot of junk. But in a couple corners are really good sections. The hard part is the work it takes to get those out. When you get a piece like this cut, you have to weigh the factors of it being a better specimen. If you decide to have something like this cut, there are extra charges. This requires some work with a diamond saw to get the material out. Circled in red is a very good section. Time to break out the big saw.
This next piece looks like an awesome crystal. But there are some flaws that make the crystal not optimal. There are cracks right in the middle of the crystal. They sometimes can be left in, but they can be seen in the finished stone. Orientation can hide some flaws, but it will not always work. Also, the cracks can cause the stone to break while being cut or later while you are wearing it.
Circled in green is the cuttable section. Circled in red are the cracks inside the crystal. The upper-left of the three red circles is obvious, but if the crystal is cut with the point as the pavilion, it might 'hide'. It still could show up in the reflections in the stone and at a tilt. The bottom-left red circle is not so obvious from this angle, but it runs across the stone. It will not hide like the other and will likely split. The section to the left of the circles is on the surface and would be removed while it was being cut.
Note that some stones get those cracks at the areas of color transition. If you are looking at a rough crystal, the color change areas are the first place to look for cracks.
Last, SWEET! This piece is hard to photo, but it looks like fine crystal.
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