Step 3: Finishing and Releasing the Stone

Crown polishing is now complete. You can remove the dop and stone from the machine and examine your handiwork.

The final step is to release the finished stone from the cone dop and clean things up.

Releasing the stone from the cone dop is almost as easy as from the flat dop in Step 2 (arguably easier, since you are no longer concerned about preserving alignment).

Again cut through the thin skin of epoxy using a heated Exacto knife. Careful! Cutting too deep can allow contact between the knife and stone, and possibly chip the pavilion.

With the epoxy layer severed, you can now heat the dop as before and work the stone free.

There will almost certainly be residual wax and epoxy on the gem. A good soak in acetone will allow easy clean-up (this may take a few hours in the worst case). I use my (soft) fingernail to remove residual clumps of wax and epoxy.

Mission accomplished! Congratulations, and enjoy your beautiful gemstone.

At right, you can see the 6.5 mm, 1.4 ct Mali garnet.Tearbuncle used throughout this tutorial. The original rough was a bit over 4 carats and not ideally shaped - accuracy in dopping really helped maximize yield.

This ends the tutorial. Please let me know if it has been helpful, and good luck!