Small Sapphires/Zircons for Cutting

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Joined
Sep 20, 2023
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Location
Sydney
Hello All, I'm new here having just been on my first fossicking trip with my 9yo to the Queensland Gemfields. We have come home with a number of sapphires and zircons although most of them are small. The ones that aren't tiny have a lot of inclusions and are better suited to polishing. We were given the details for Lamberts in Thailand as we were told they were probably too small to cut in Australia. Has anyone used them before? Given we are new to this, would it be reasonable to send them all our finds and just ask them to do their best with the ones they can? The trip was part of my 40th birthday present and we hope to get a ring made with 1 x bought stone (big enough) plus ones we found as side stones. It is really important to end up with something from our trip that can be used but I'm not sure the best way of going about it. I have emailed two local lapidary clubs without any success (one didn't reply and the other replied to say they've copied someone in on the email but no response from them either yet).
 

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Thank you - I did see these posts but given they were not very recent I wasn't sure if they were still appropriate feedback. I tried the Navneet one also but no reply. I will take a punt and send them off!
 
Hi Hannah,
I’ve used Lambert’s before and can recommend them, however there are a few things you should know. Firstly they will cut everything you send them, including any rubbish stone in your parcel. Sometimes cutting two or more stones from one. Don’t be surprised if you get back more cut stones than you sent rough.They don’t grade your parcel just cut it. When you get them to cut your stones you can ask them to cut the them to standard sizes for easy setting in standard castings (great for shoulder stones in a ring)or they can cut them to get the biggest cut out of the stone. They have always returned the same stones I’ve sent them and they do a good job at a good price. My tips would be, don’t send any rubbish and get them to cut standard sizes. Good luck
 
Hi Hannah,
I’ve used Lambert’s before and can recommend them, however there are a few things you should know. Firstly they will cut everything you send them, including any rubbish stone in your parcel. Sometimes cutting two or more stones from one. Don’t be surprised if you get back more cut stones than you sent rough.They don’t grade your parcel just cut it. When you get them to cut your stones you can ask them to cut the them to standard sizes for easy setting in standard castings (great for shoulder stones in a ring)or they can cut them to get the biggest cut out of the stone. They have always returned the same stones I’ve sent them and they do a good job at a good price. My tips would be, don’t send any rubbish and get them to cut standard sizes. Good luck
This is such excellent, helpful advice. I'm very grateful! The standard size suggestion is very wise and it helps to know we should probably be more specific about stones. We have so many that I'll need to go through them all and take out the no hopers.
 
If you're going to get stones cut, whether here or overseas, it' worth spending some time going through them and selecting the better stones that are worth cutting and will provide a decent result. The quickest way to do this is on a mirror with an overhead light the far side of the mirror from where you are sitting. Wet the stones with a spray bottle and you will quickly see the better, clear stones jump out at you, put these aside for a second closer inspection with a 10X loupe. Anything that is thin discard as you are looking for stones that have good proportions, keep in mind between 70 and 80% of the stone will be lost during cutting, a 33% yield is really good and usually only comes from custom cutting with faceting designs supporting the shape of the rough.

Get some small zip lock bags, 1 stone in each, photograph and label with a number and weight, this ensures that any really good stone doesn't get switched out by the cutter, it happens! Also, there is no point in getting poor quality material cut as you are paying for a worthless result except for its sentimental value.
 
Just an update, the stones are on their way back and currently in transit in Hong Kong. From the ones we sent off, 26 have been cut. They're all very small, but that was always expected (small to begin with) and not a problem as the true value is in the time my 9yo daughter and I spent finding them. They just need to be used in some way shape or form for a ring. Cutting was estimated at 2 to 3 months when they were received by Lamberts and took just over 3 months including the Christmas break. I think the fact I followed up at 2 months helped push things along. Attached is the cutting list. I'm tracking the package like a stalker and will update you again when they arrive.
 

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Just an update, the stones are on their way back and currently in transit in Hong Kong. From the ones we sent off, 26 have been cut. They're all very small, but that was always expected (small to begin with) and not a problem as the true value is in the time my 9yo daughter and I spent finding them. They just need to be used in some way shape or form for a ring. Cutting was estimated at 2 to 3 months when they were received by Lamberts and took just over 3 months including the Christmas break. I think the fact I followed up at 2 months helped push things along. Attached is the cutting list. I'm tracking the package like a stalker and will update you again when they arrive.
The excitement is building, I can feel it! :)
 

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