Smoky Quartz Checkerboard Cut

Smoky Quartz checkerboard cut
Top view of checkerboard crown facets cut and polished

This Smoky Quartz checkerboard cut stone was faceted using my Alpha Taurus faceting machine.

Although I cut my first 150 faceted stones with a Graves Mark IV. My first faceting machine performed quite well cutting basic shapes. It was a older, blue. Graves Mark IV. No matter, old or new, Graves Mark IV faceting machines are simple and basic faceting machines. They are straight forward to operate. The controls are quite intuitive. But they are a little clumsy to operate requiring two hands to perform the basic function of rotating the quill to adjust the index setting. One hand is needed to release the index gear lock and one hand to rotate the quill. The index gear is labeled well and makes good sense mimicking the layout of a typical cutting diagram. But a weakness of the Graves Mark IV is cutting shallow angles. They do not perform well cutting angles less then 15 degrees.

Checkerboard facets require cutting shallow angles between 5 and 10 degrees near the top center. These facets are cut to form either an apex (point) or cut next to a tiny top table facet.  So, when I need to cut checkerboards I need to use a higher quality faceting machine. I chose the Alpha Taurus faceting machine which I have used successfully for a dozen years.

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