Seeley Swan Pathfinder -


By Colleen Kesterson

Yates Transforms Rough Stones Into Gems

With Time and Patience


Colleen Kesterson, Pathfinder

Yates cuts and polishes his gemstones on his Ultra Tech brand faceting machine. He uses the magnifying headband visor to clearly see the faceting progress and any inclusions, or flaws, that become visible. The facets are formed by applying the gem to the lap, a disk on the machine coated with diamond dust. Yates chooses the lap he needs depending on how much grinding and pre polishing the gem requires to perfect the facet. He chooses another specific lap to apply oxide for the final polish. Water is constantly dripped onto the lap so the gem is not damaged by overheating. The arm called a quill lifts, turns and rotates. Yates sets and resets the angle of the quill to create facets on the gemstones.

SWAN VALLEY - Swan Valley resident Ray Yates said he applies patience and time to transform rough gemstones into polished, multi-sided or faceted, light-catching creations worthy to be set in jewelry. He cuts and polishes semi-precious and precious gemstones including garnets, amethysts and sapphires with the aid of a faceting machine.

Since he was a young boy, Yates said has been interested in geology, the study of the earth, and how gemstones are formed underground. Yates has found sapphires in Philipsburg, Mont. and garnets in Virginia City. He now purchases them from sources online and...

For access to this article please sign in or subscribe.


Reader Comments


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2019

Rendered 02/23/2020 12:38