Creating quality hand-cut stone cabochons and pendants demands exceptional skill, artistry and attention to detail on every level. It begins literally from the ground up - the mining, grading, selecting, designing, cutting, drilling, polishing all require specialized knowledge and skill.
A talented and experienced stone artisan considers the type of material and existing patterns before the cutting begins. Creating a template helps the artisan to maximize the utility and beauty in each piece of rough material.
planning shapes and cuts, artisans also need to understand how
different stone types are composed on a microscopic or even
submicroscopic level. The composition of the stone, underlying crystal
formations, cleavage, and hardness/softness of the stone dictate how a
stone can (or can’t) be shaped.
Each cabochon, for example,
is cut and shaped by hand to precise dimensions that coincide with
commercially available pre-fabricated bezels and settings. The
consistency is also meant to help designers create continuity within
pieces that need to be sold at a large volume. The stakes are especially high in the finishing process. After the initial cut, it must be perfectly finished, shaped, and polished. Any mistake in these areas can result in an unusable, and therefore worthless, piece. The machine-like precision of lines and curves in many focals & cabs may lead buyers to believe that they have been machine-made. In reality, most Dakota Stones cabs & focals have been cut by hand. The exceptional quality is a testimony to the artisans’ level of skill and attention.