Tumbled gemstones! In today’s post, I am going to try to explain (to the best of my limited knowledge) tumbling, gemstone rough, and the process from rough to polished stones. The first picture is of various gemstone rough that I found at my favorite gem hunting place, Gold ‘n’ Gem Grubbin’, in Cleveland, Georgia.
The gemstone rough shown above (from upper left) three Amethysts (including my favorite – the large one of the left), Aventurine, Emerald (in the middle), and on the bottom row (from left) Sapphire and Rubies. Many of these gemstones will be key elements in The Gemstone Chronicles series.
I use a Lortone 3 lb tumbler (this is not an endorsement of Lortone products!!). The tumbling is a four part process that starts with a coarse grit and ends with a polishing step. Each of the steps takes about a week, so the entire process takes about a month to complete. Below is a picture of the tumbler.
Lastly, here are pictures of the tumbled gemstones, though not necessarily the ones from the rough above.. I think they are gorgeous!
On the top row, four Amethysts (three lighter ones and one very dark). Middle row has three garnets. On the bottom row, three tumbled Topaz (note the slight blue tint to them).
There you have a very quick primer on how I go from rough gemstones to tumbled gemstones. You can research this much more and find that there are volumes written about the subject. It is a relatively inexpensive hobby, but one that can be fascinating! I know I’m hooked and will continue with my tumbling.
What are your favorite gemstones? Do you prefer faceted stones, cabochons, or tumbled? Leave me a comment and let me know!