I generally work on a stone a day. It also depends on the size of the stone, the complexity of the design, type of material, etc. Smaller simpler designs maybe four to five hours a stone. Medium sort of stones about five to eight hours while other stones can take 2 or more days. Some stones like sapphires simply take a little longer to do because it is a hard stone. Big stones with big facets can take alot longer to polish. I certainly don't "rush" my cutting. I give each stone the same high level of attention and care. Being in a hurry and rushing one's cutting is a sure way to botch things up. Each and every stone deserves it's full measure of time, appreciation, respect and the best that I can do.
Absolutely! If you are thinking of purchasing a rough stone, say from an online dealer, I'd be most happy to have a look at it and give an opinion as best I can. This is a good move especially if you are looking for a particular rough stone that will cut a certain shape or size. If you already have some rough and not sure what you can do with it, you can either send me some pics or mail the actual rough to me for a proper inspection. Obviously contact me first if you intend to send me some rough and we can discuss it, but there is no obligation or cost involved (other then postage to and from).
I certainly do custom orders and I will happily cut your rough stone. Naturally any rough stones that you provide will have to be inspected first to see whether it is suitable for the job. I need to inspect it for any possible flaws and inclusions as well as determine whether a cut gem of the desired size and design can be obtained from it. We discuss this and once we decide on what the plan is and so forth, you can choose whether to proceed or not. You are under no obligations to have your rough cut by me.
Thats a question that opens up into a big subject. I give an introduction concerning what to look for when buying a gemstone here. Have a look at that for starters. It can be quite an involved subject but with knowing a few of the basics you can increase your ability to spot a good gemstone considerably. The more gemstones you look at the better you get.
Cabochon is a type of cut or shape of a where in gemstone will have a convex top with flat bottom. Typically a cabochon cut is applied to opaque gemstones and has one flat surface. It could be round or oval shaped.
Faceted is a type of cut for gemstones where gemstones have multiple flat surfaces called 'Facets'. This type of cut also has a larger flat surface on top which is called 'Table'. Typically faceted stones have 58 Facets, but it could be more or less. The purpose of having multiple facets is to reflect most of the light falling on it from different angles to give it its brilliance. Faceted cuts are mostly applied to transparent gemstones.