A hobby backed by centuries of tradition, amateur gem cutting remains popular today. Once a completely unskilled beginner himself, Captain John Sinkankas never forgot his struggles in learning how to cut and polish gemstones without the benefit of an instructor. With his own experience in mind, he wrote Gem Cutting to make it possible for others to teach themselves how to do every type of lapidary work without having to attend classes. For over half a century, Gem Cutting has served as the go-to guide for beginners and experts alike. Offering a wealth of information for everyone, it starts with the fundamentals and leads logically to techniques and projects that will challenge even the most advanced cutter. Every step is described in detail and illustrated with drawings and photographs. Sinkankas covers common pitfalls and, wherever possible, offers hints on how to take money-saving shortcuts. Incorporating tips on operating equipment for greatest efficiency, he explains how to make or choose equipment for sawing, grinding, sanding, and other basic operations. Special chapters describe how to cut and polish cabochons, faceted gems, spheres and beads; how to tumble gems; and how to make carvings, engravings, inlays, and mosaics. Sinkankas also advises on selecting and buying rough gemstones. A section on the description and treatment of gemstones has been expanded in this second edition to include more species and accommodate recent information on each. With its comprehensive guidance, Gem Cutting is an essential addition to the library of any lapidary. Captain John Sinkankas (1915-2002) dedicated his life to the study of earth sciences after his retirement from the US Navy. Winner of the Desert Magazine Literature Premium Award, Sinkankas authored a number of books on gemstones and published over 100 articles on lapidary subjects. He was a certified gemologist of the American Gem Society with memberships to the Mineralogical Society of America, New York Mineralogical Club, San Diego Mineral & Gem Society, and several other regional gem and mineral groups. Readers interested in related titles from John Sinkankas will also want to see: Field Collecting Gemstones and Minerals (ISBN: 1635610648), Prospecting For Gemstones and Minerals (ISBN: 163561063X) .