Subject: Faceting Academy: Success, the Sultan, and Scoring!


To score or not to score - is a good question.

Lots of "old-timers" talk about "scoring" your polishing laps. Some swear by the practice and others swear at it.

When I was new to faceting, someone described to me by phone what scoring was and how to do it.

And, with that helpful information, I promptly destroyed my tin lap...

The main mistake new faceters make with polish is using too much of it. The same can be said of scoring laps. It's very easily overdone.

However, doing it right can be very useful. It can help alleviate scratching from aggravation (aggregation), and can also make it easier for polish to hang on to the lap, greatly speeding polishing. This is true whether you're using diamond or oxide polishes.

Here's a link to a video I did about scoring laps - and I've just updated the page with some additional information that applies to metal laps like tin or the BA5T.

I hope you enjoy the vid - and the updated information on the page.

Faceting Academy Basic Training,  Edinburgh, is open for registration.


We must provide details for attendees to our host by mid-April, so registration deadline is just three weeks away. If you are serious about taking the brakes off your faceting - and want to do it in the beautiful City of Edinburgh, make your move now.

EVENT DETAILS AND REGISTRATION ARE HERE for the event to be held June 5-13. The exact schedule is posted on the Academy Events page.


There are only a few seats in this special event. Make sure you are in one of them.

If you have any questions about the event that aren't answered on the linked page, just shoot me an e-mail and we'll set up a call or a Skype to answer you fully.

Faceting Academy Basic Training,  in Oregon, USA is open for registration.


EVENT DETAILS AND REGISTRATION ARE HERE for the event to be held September 1-9. The exact schedule is posted on the Academy Events page.

If you are ready to take the brakes off your faceting with us at the International Faceting Academy home base - just a few hours from the Oregon Sunstone mines - grab a seat ... while you still can.


I get this question often.

And, these days I'm answering it this way:

"It's the same as whether to shave or not".

The answer is: "Ask the audience."

Faceted girdles chip easier, and require more work to cut a seat for.

If your jeweler-buyer curses faceted girdles, he probably curses the cutter who does them, too - DON'T offer them to him.

If he appreciates the value-adding point that helps demonstrate the high-quality precision cutting - and that's part of his pitch to his customer - then bring him faceted girdles.

Personally, I "shave" or "roll" the rounds - and any stone that I know is bound for (or assigned to) a goldsmith that is bothered by faceted girdles (or has a tendency to chip them).

Otherwise, I leave them faceted. This is in part because the crowns of most fancy non-round designs are built atop a faceted girdle foundation (from a CAM or OMNI) - and erasing that foundation is extra labor. Why would I expend extra labor to erase something that's actually attractive?

The bottom line is that the customer is right, whichever they want. When I know the customer (or work-flow) I'll do my part accordingly.

How about you? Do you present most of your work with faceted or "rolled" girdles? Drop me a line and let me know.

By now, you probably know the Faceting Academy is as much about being successful as a faceting artist as it is about technical faceting.

That's true however you define "successful" in faceting. No matter what your version of "success" there's one thing that will certainly kill your success - if you let it:

Anxiety (fear) is the most toxic thing to success.

It will kill your progress, partly by killing your motivation, but mainly by killing your courage to take the risks necessary for progress.

And, nothing is better at creating pervasive anxiety than the marketing machine of a politician.

Look at your social media feed - right?

If Scary McCandidate wins, are you really going to move away to Country McFriendly?

Seriously, how will your daily routine really be different if the candidate of your dreams is elected?

Grumbling and cheering aside, most people will do the same thing:

Return to taking risks.

Those who hate the winner may do it out of desperation, while those who love the winner will feel generally safer. And, for most people, it will be a game of catching-up from the time they wasted being paralyzed by fear.

In a 2008 (election year) interview with TIME magazine, a 78-year-old Warren Buffet famously said:

"You want to be greedy when others are fearful. You want to be fearful when others are greedy. It's that simple. … They're pretty fearful. In fact, in my adult lifetime, I don't think I've ever seen people as fearful economically as they are right now."

While the fearful are paralyzed, others prepare tools and build skills and set the stage to prosper from the inevitable break-out after the fear goes.

Will you remain paralyzed, or will you prepare for the boom that comes after the fear?

To help you decide, I want to share a valuable resource - a 3-minute video by Darren Hardy, the publisher of SUCCESS magazine, and someone I think is worth listening to. Check out his advice about:

Let me know what you think.


I am trying to release designs (new or old) with videos to make sequencing and cutting them easier, faster, and more fun.

This time around, I'm revisiting the "Sultan's Seat" in the keel-pavilion version. (I also have a pointed-pavilion-style version).

This design performs great in Quartz or Beryl, and with the nice cushion crown and strong optical performance, it's always a show-stopper.

If you have a nice medium-tone rough that will cut between 12 and 25 millimeters, this is an excellent design for drawing attention.

This design is an intermediate-intermediate design. It's a good one to learn polishing-in pointy meets on nearby indexes and angles.

Here's the link to the page with FREE design download and instructional video.

Please let me know how you enjoy it. And, if you share a photo of your finished stone I may feature it in the newsletter or on the site - with full credit, of course!
That's the Faceting Academy News this time.
Stay tuned for more information on the Edinburgh event, GemEprice - and more designs and videos coming very soon!

All the best,
John Bailey, Faceting Academy
John Bailey, 1010 Main St, Klamath Falls, Oregon 97601, United States
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