If you are expanding your lapidary and faceting business and moving from a home-workshop type of setup to a more industrial configuration, you may benefit from changing your faceting services from just hand-created to laser-cut as well. Whether you buy your own laser-cutting equipment or contract out to a laser-cutting company depends on your budget and time frames, but the switch to laser cutting itself is fairly easy to justify. There will always be a desire for hand-faceted gems, and it's a skill you don't want to lose, but for the larger quantities of gems you hope to produce, laser cutting is the path you want.
One of the risks of hand faceting is that your tool will slip, and you'll have to reconfigure the facets and end up with a smaller gem than planned. This results in waste material that might not have any further use other than in trinkets (such as hourglass necklace pendants with crushed gemstone dust, which don't get you a whole lot of money compared to full gemstones). The smaller the gemstone, the less money you can get for it in general, assuming equal quality, clarity, and so on. Laser cutting reduces the chances of a slip, enabling you to produce larger gems with fewer added flaws.
Better Symmetry and Detail
Symmetry is essential when producing a beautiful faceted gemstone. The laser-cutting equipment can be programmed to achieve perfect symmetry, something that is possible but difficult to do by hand. If you want to expand the number of faceted gemstones you can sell but haven't been able to find or train experts to facet by hand, laser cutting will help you tremendously.
There's no way around it — a machine that's been programmed to produce specific cuts may be faster than even your best hand-faceter. If you're trying to enlarge your business on a grand scale, that speed will be essential.
More Efficient Use of Material
Rough gemstones have to be examined and plotted carefully to ensure you're getting the max number of faceted gems that you can out of that one rough stone. Laser cutting and its efficient, accurate cuts help you use as much of the gemstone as possible for the maximum number of faceted gems possible.
Talk to laser-cutting companies about a few test runs to see how your gemstones turn out compared to what you could have done by hand. Speed, accuracy, efficiency, and more, all from the use of laser-cutting equipment, will help your business grow.
For more information, contact local professionals like J&E Metal Fabricators Inc.