Welcome to the Texas Cutters Collection. I've been a fine jeweler and gemologist for a long time, and most of that time had no idea there were gem faceters all around me. In their heyday, before computers, there were active groups of hobbyist gem faceters all over the country, including here in Texas. These folks helped develop all of the star cuts that I cut today. However, with other, newer technology out there to stimulate the nimble brain, fewer Texans are going into gem faceting. And the guys that created this subculture are dying off. While American gem cutting is considered some of the best in the world, professional gem cutters are relatively rare. Texas is blessed with some of the best gem cutters in this country.
The Texas Cutters Collection is a way to recognize, document and demonstrate the skills of a group of talented and persistent people. The collection consists of Texas topaz cut or carved by gem faceters from Texas. Some are famous in the world of gem faceting, some not so much. Many are or have been members of the Texas Faceters' Guild, a 40 year old organization dedicated to keeping gem faceting alive in Texas. Texas gem cutters seem to have a love affair going with our state gem. It is traditional for Texas topaz to be faceted in star cuts, and gem cutters will adapt the faceting pattern of others, or develop their own unique star cut over the years. Sometimes I've been lucky enough to acquire examples of their stars.
This yummy Lone Star cut Texas topaz was cut by Diane Eames. The photo does not do justice to the natural blue color. The gem is 5.99ct, and natural blue.
This group of gems are natural fancy colors of Mason County, Texas topaz. They demonstrate the far edges of our natural blue, plus gray, pink, and precious topaz color. All a very rare. The gray is the smallest, at 0.62ct. The pink Lone Star cut is the largest, at 6.62ct.
This whopper was cut by none other than our own Charles Covill of Austin, Texas. It is 42.37ct of pure Mason County natural blue topaz. The gem is a double star Lone Star cut. Charles Covill is famous in our tiny world of gem faceting. He has designed and published hundreds of faceting diagrams, which are the patterns we cutters use to create gems. He has been a member of Texas Faceters' Guild for many years, and has taught many folks to facet gems. He is a living treasure to the gem faceting community.
Dalan Hargrave is one of the most recognized gem artist and jeweler in the United States. Dalan has mentored Brad and Diane for many years now. He has cut or carved a number of gems for the Collection.
The gem below is an example of his trademarked GemStarz cut. Dalan carves the star into the back of the gem instead of creating it with flat facets. He is unique in his technique of putting stars on gems. In addition, the extremely bright ring around the outside edge of the gem is concave facets.
The next gem is the GemStarz cut on the pavilion, with the gem then being carved into the shape of Texas. The gem is 52.5ct. Can you imagine a gem more Texas than this?
The boot was carved from a large, included Mason topaz specimen. It weighs 175ct. The Texas carved into the roughly egg shaped included Texas topaz was carved from the same piece of rough as the boot. It weighs 346ct.
The photo of the natural blue Mason topaz does not do justice to the color of the 32.58ct horse head carving, but sometimes cameras do that. Dalan created this as a teaching piece, something for me to use as a guide. This is an example of the mentor teaching the grasshopper. It is a cherished bit of art carving.
Mr. Larry Woods contribution to the Texas Cutters Collection, a 43.70ct freeform carving in natural blue Mason Country Topaz.
The 2.14ct blue Lone Star cut Texas topaz is saturated for a natural blue topaz, and was cut by one of our notable cutters. Gary Worden, of San Angelo, with his brother Paul, is given credit for designing the Lone Star cut that became our official state cut in 1979. Their names are on the legislation. Now that's a cool way to make Texas history.
This 11.83ct pale pink Texas topaz was cut by Johnny Coultrup of Austin, Texas. This triple star cut is his own design. Johnny has been a member of Texas Faceters' Guild from very early on.
This shiny jewel was cut by Mr. Wayne Barnett of Houston, Texas The 4.54ct clear Mason topaz is cut in Wayne's favorite star brilliant cut. For many years Wayne has been a member of the Houston Gem and Mineral Society and Texas Faceters' Guild.
The 11.26ct star brilliant cut Texas topaz was cut by Chuck McCoy of Georgetown, Texas. While a star brilliant cut is done by a number of Texas cutters, Chuck created the star using concave facets. Chuck is the current (2013) president of Texas Faceters' Guild.
The matched pair of greenish blue Lone Star cut topaz were faceted by Tom Zayko, of Mason, Texas. The gems weigh 6.32 and 6.79ct, and are typical of the color from Comanche Creek, which Tom was known to hunt. An early member of Texas Faceters' Guild, Tom was very active with the Fredericksburg Gem & Mineral Society for many years. You can find Lone Star cut topaz and quartz all over the northern part of the Hill Country, that he donated to groups for gave to friends. Tom was a man that knew how to create a high polish, and I admire that.
John Meyer of Brady, Texas cut this clear fantasy cut Texas topaz. The 6.77ct gem was probably created to get around some inclusion that would have impacted the light in the gem. An eye visible inclusion remains in the gem as a clue. Mr. Meyer has been gone many years, and I never met him, but many people in the northern part of the Hill Country have gems he cut.
This clear 2.83ct Lone Star cut Texas topaz is a classic Texas gem. Rocky Hamilon is from Canyon Lake, Texas. While relatively new to gem cutting, he has a talent for gem cutting.
This is a 10.40 ct pale blue Lone Star cut Mason County topaz cut by a former Mason gem cutter Herbert Goff. Mr. Goff sold topaz in stores on the Mason County square for many years.
The 2.67ct Lone Star cut Texas topaz is another classic example of our local gems. Wibby was a hobbyist gem cutter in Mason, Texas for many years.