Some people spend countless hours in the outdoors looking for beautiful rocks and minerals to use in their jewelry making, but if you want to transform these rough materials into glorious creations, it is important that you have the skills necessary to choose the right materials. As well as choosing the right rocks and semi-precious gemstones to work with, you will also need to make sure that you have the right kinds of equipment to allow you to make the most of nature’s harvest.
What machines do I need to make great cabochons?
If you search for precious minerals in the earth near your home, then you will need to have the finest tools to process them with. Because these minerals and semi-precious stones may have different levels of hardness, it is important that you have the toughest tools, or else you may not be able to cut some of the harder ones. A diamond lapidary saw is the best tool for cutting with. You should also have grinders, polishing machines, tumblers and buffers at your disposal. If you cannot afford to buy all of these machines for yourself, or if you do not have space to store all of these machines in your home, then you should talk to your local gemstone and mineral collectors club. These clubs often either run their own machines, or have great connections within the local community, who will be able to offer you the usage of these machines at a great price.
Choosing the right gemstones and minerals to work with
If you are choosing a material to work with, you will need to pick one that is relatively hard. Although softer minerals can be made into cabochons too, they may not stand up to the full cutting, buffering and polishing process. You should also inspect the stone under a magnifying glass to see whether you can spot any cracks or imperfections. Although imperfections may seem small to the naked eye, they can easily propagate when the material is subjected to extreme heat or temperature. It is possible that the gemstone or mineral could crack during the process, or could easily crack just after you have finished working with it, after the pressure has been removed. This would obviously be very frustrating if you had just spent hours working to create an amazing cabochon. Even if the material stands up to the cutting and polishing process, any visible cracks inside the gem will reduce the value and will make the cabochons looks less appealing.
An easier way?
If you do not want to hunt for your own materials, or if you do not have the skills to cut and shape your own cabochons, it is possible to buy pre-made gemstone cabochons from many different retailers. From these places, you can choose pieces in many different colors, shapes, sizes and designs, which will give you a huge degree of freedom in your jewelry making. It also means that you are able to leave your fantastic mineral finds in exactly the way that nature intended!