NE1 Faceters are a group of professional and amateur faceters who meet regularly to discuss and learn more about the wonderful world of gemstone cutting. The group was founded in 2012 and has seen much growth over the past decade. We would like to thank all old and new members alike for your support and involvement over the years, long may this continue!
A major enjoyment for our group is running several faceting workshops in the Newcastle area each year, allowing people to cut their first gemstone or improve their faceting skills. Please see our Tuition page for more information.
We hold monthly meetings at the John Willie Sams Centre (Dudley, Cramlington, NE23 7HS), on the first Monday of every month (excepting Bank Holidays when we move to the second Monday of the month) for our Full Members. Meetings can include discussions/talks, demonstrations, problem-solving, quizzes and raffles and we occasionally organise group trips.
We hold a virtual meeting each month using Zoom which is open to all members to attend. This meeting is usually the third Monday of every month, the first half is 6-6:40pm with a short 5 minute break (for those who want to make a cuppa) followed by second half 6:45-7:25pm. The Zoom links are sent to all our members via email on the day so please keep a look out for them in your inbox.
Dates remaining for 2022:
We aim to demonstrate at number of shows each year. This year (2022) we have started up our demonstrations again by attending the Rock, Gem and Bead show on the 6th/7th August at Newcastle Racecourse. It was lovely to be back in action, chatting about our group, gaining new members and seeing familiar faces. Thank you to all who came and visited our table!
What is faceting?
Faceting is the art and craft of cutting gemstones. A facet is a flat surface that is cut onto the surface of a gemstone, the facets are usually a triangle, diamond or a bar shape. There are over 4000 different cutting designs and each design has the instructions to cut and achieve a finished gemstone.
Different gem materials such as Sapphire, Emerald, Amethyst and Topaz affect light differently, so the facets need to be cut at different angles to get the best sparkle from the finished stone. If you want a fascinating and fun hobby, why not give faceting a try. You will be pleasantly surprised by the result - a beautiful sparkling gemstone that you have cut yourself.
Mast type - this type of machine has a faceting head (which holds the stone) fixed to a vertical post (mast). This is the main type of machine the NE1 group teaches on.
Floating head type - holds the gemstone in a hand held unit that can be lifted completely off the platform that it sits on.
There are other, more simplified ways of faceting gemstones (sometimes referred to as ‘native cut’), but these methods can lack the accuracy that can be achieved with a precision faceting machine like those above.
There are many manufacturers of new machines in the USA, Australia and Europe. Prices will range and some may be more easily accessibly than others. Second hand machines occasionally come up for sale in the UK and abroad. Once purchased these machines can last for many years, even decades.