One on one gem cutting tuition : faceting basics / the step cut square facet

Peach topaz step cut square facet


Hello! My name is James Langdon and I will be giving the tuition. I have been a self employed gemcutter since 2008 and have sold gems to gem dealers and jewellers in Hatton Garden as well as internationally through instagram. I cut cabochons, faceted gems and concave cut gems too. This short course covers the basics of faceting: you will either need to have completed one of my two cabochon cutting lessons or have a reasonable amount of experience in cabochon cutting.

Before you arrive I will have selected a rough citrine or amethyst and fixed it to a faceting dop so we can make a start as soon as you arrive. I'll make a start on the pavillion of the gem and I'll guide you through the processes involved in getting the gem symmetrical and centered on the dop, from preshaping to final polish. As we progress through the work on the pavillion you will be doing more and more of the faceting.

Once the pavillion is complete another faceting dop is glued to your gem to allow the faceting of the crown of the gem. The glue takes 25 minutes to cure so at that point there will be a break for tea or coffee and a chat / question and answer session about faceting.

Next up, the crown of the gem. You can take over completely here if you think you've got the hang of it but I will be observing, offering advice and giving instruction where appropriate for the duration of the cutting. I'll take over if you get stuck.

After your gem is finished it needs to be soaked in a solution to dissolve the glue. This can take up to 24 hours so your gem will be ready to collect the next day, or, if that's not convenient it can be posted to you by Royal Mail special delivery at no extra charge.

Please be aware that the stairs to the toilet are very steep and not suitable for anyone with any difficulty walking.
This course is not suitable for someone with no experience in gemcutting. I do have two cabochon cutting lessons advertised here on the craftcourses website, both of which have an introduction to faceting included.
I can teach most afternoons and evenings, please enquire for availability.

My workshop is close to Lewes Road in Brighton and there are several bus routes available which use that road. The closest bus stop is St. Paul's street which is a 3 minute walk away.

The tuition runs for approximately four hours but I'm quite happy to extend the time available until the faceted stone has been properly finished.

Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 2 weeks before the course starts. Start dates may be amended on request.

What's included in the price?

Water, tea or coffee, biscuits
A rough facet grade quartz
Postage of your gem to you by Royal mail special delivery if needed.


James Langdon at Treasureworks


14a Edinburgh Road
East Sussex

Suitable for

  • Adults
  • Advanced/pro level
  • Intermediate level
  • Public transport
  • Seniors
  • Teenagers


5 hours (2:00pm to 7:00pm)

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In-person course
Dana - - #33080

This is such a good course - I did the cabochon class in the morning and then managed to squeeze in the step cut lesson in the afternoon. James is a great teacher who explained everything very clearly, and there was plenty of opportunity throughout the day for me to get hands on with the faceting machine. I was blown away by how my stones turned out - I honestly didn't expect such great results on my very first go, but under James' instruction I was able to come away with some genuinely lovely gems (once they'd been unstuck from the dop!)

Response from Treasureworks:

Thanks again! I was impressed at how quickly you took to faceting, if I remember correctly I only showed you the final polishing technique on two facets on the pavillion of the topaz, you took every single other facet to mirror finish under your own steam. Great work! 👍😊

In-person course
Mo Chudleigh - - #26005

Had this course two days after my cabochon lesson and again it was satisfying and a lot of fun, as well as teaching me a lot about the process. I faceted a clear topaz which James had got started for me - there's a lot more to faceting than cabbing, but James is a fantastic teacher and goes through the whole process step by step. He's full of good advice and it was in a very relaxed environment, working at your own pace which makes it a lot easier to absorb all the information. Would definitely recommend this for anyone who is curious about faceting as it really helps to have an experienced teacher. I may be back for the standard round brilliant in the future!

In-person course
David Lilly - - #24523

Another amazing afternoon spent with James. This was a longer workshop (nearly 5 hours) than the previous one I booked but the time flew by. James began by explaining how and why I'd be working on the gemstone (a Citrine), and off we went. We stopped throughout the afternoon to disucsss how things were going and how I had to got to each stage and what was to come, and knocked back mugs of coffee as we went.

I left the workshop having facetted an amazing little pale Citrine cut in a square (cant' remember the technical term for it's shape) and a smile across my face. As with the previous workshop I had to leave the gemstone with James so that it could be de-glued from the dop. I returned the next day to collect my gem which was presented a little case and I was absolutley delighted with the result.

I would thoroughly recommend this workshop, and whether you do this and the cabochon one or not, they are both superb and worth every penny.

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