Facet-nating pastime has members hooked
IT TAKES a lot of motivation to sift through half a tonne of dirt, find nothing, and do it all again.
But that’s the kind of effort Australian Facetors Guild president Graham Kinsela is willing to put into finding his favourite gemstone.
“My stone of choice would have to be a yellow sapphire,” he said.
“If you spend eight hours a day, seven days a week, looking for one, you’re doing well if you find one,” he said.
“But they can sell for $300-$400 a carat. Once I found a beautiful blue nine carat one. That’s probably the best I’ve ever got.
“We go camping all around Australia looking for stones, and often spend all day digging and sieving, seeing what comes up,” he said.
When Mr Kinsela and his wife Pam return from their fossicking trips, they launch themselves into faceting their new acquisitions before they can set them into jewellery.
“One-hundredth of a degree can make all the difference when you facet gemstones. It’s important it’s all symmetrical,” he said.
“Sometimes you have to grind ridges to the same heights; that’s one of the most difficult parts.”
Mrs Kinsela worked to facet her first ever almandine garnet at the Gem Show on the weekend, and while she has been working on it for several days, she said her husband could probably do the job in 20 minutes.
“It’s very precise work. I just hope I can make this one good enough to bother putting in a ring,” she said, with a laugh.
CONCENTRATION: Pam Kinsela faceted her first ever almandine garnet at the Central Queensland Gem Show this weekend.