Lapidary Services - Stone Treasures by the Lake

Lapidary Services - Stone Treasures by the Lake


A lapidary is an artist or artisan who forms stone, minerals, or gemstones into decorative items such as cabochons, engraved gems and faceted designs. A lapidarist uses the lapidary techniques of cutting, grinding, and polishing. 

Diamond cutters are generally not referred to as lapidaries, due to the specialized techniques which are required to work diamonds. In modern contexts, a gemcutter is a person who specializes in cutting diamonds, but in older historical contexts it refers to artists producing engraved gems such as jade carvings. The term lapidary has sometimes been applied to collectors of and dealers in gems, or to anyone who is knowledgeable in precious stones.

The earliest known lapidary work likely occurred during the Stone Age. As people created tools from stone, they inevitably realized that some geological materials were harder than others. The next earliest documented examples of what one may consider being lapidary arts came in the form of drilling stone and rock. The earliest roots of drilling rocks date back to approximately one million years ago.

The early Egyptians developed cutting and jewelry fashioning methods for lapis lazuli, turquoise, and amethyst.

The lapidary arts were quite well-developed in the Indian subcontinent by early-1st millennium CE. The surviving manuscripts of the 3rd-century Buddhist text Rathanpariksha by Buddha Bhatta and several Hindu texts of mid-1st millennium CE such as Agni Purana and Agastimata, are Sanskrit treatises on lapidary arts. They discuss sources of gems and diamonds, their origins, qualities, testing, cutting and polishing, and making jewelry from them. Several other Sanskrit texts on gems and lapidary arts have been dated to post-10th century, suggesting a continuous lapidary practice.

Lapidary was also a significant tradition in early Mesoamerica. The lapidary products were used as status symbols, for offerings, and during burials. They were made from shell, jade, turquoise, and greenstones. Aztec lapidaries used string saws and drills made of reed and bone as their lapidary tools.

There are three broad categories of lapidary arts: tumbling, cabochon cutting, and faceting.

Most modern lapidary work is done using motorized equipment. Polishing is done with resin- or metal-bonded emery, silicon carbide (carborundum), aluminium oxide (corundum), or diamond dust in successively decreasing particle sizes until a polish is achieved. In older systems, the grinding and polishing powders were applied separately to the grinding or buffing wheel. Often, the final polish will use a different medium such as tin oxide or cerium(IV) oxide. Cutting of harder stones is done with a diamond-edged saw. For softer materials, a medium other than diamonds can be used, such as silicon carbide, garnet, emery, or corundum. Diamond cutting requires the use of diamond tools because of the extreme hardness of diamonds. The cutting, grinding, and polishing operations are usually lubricated with water, oil, or other liquids. Beyond these broader categories, there are other specialized forms of lapidary techniques, such as casting, carving, jewelry, and mosaics.

Stone Treasures by the Lake custom cuts cabochons and offers them for sale online.  See my creations below.

Not everyone shares my enthusiasm for rough stones, so I became a lapidary  artist and jewelry designer.  I taught myself lapidary and silversmithing skills so others could see the beauty of my little treasures too.  This is my unique way of contributing to the creative forces of the Universe and I hope you can appreciate my stones and jewelry and love them as much as I do!

Stone Treasures by the Lake offers a variety of unique, handcrafted cabochons and stone jewelry.  My online jewelry shop offers Petoskey Stone cabochons and Petoskey Stone jewelry as well as diverse assortment of stones from Michigan and around the world.  All of the cabochons on my website are cut and shaped by me. 

The stone cabochons I create are for wire wrap, jewelry artists, jewelry designer, silversmiths or anyone who just loves stones.  Since not everyone is a jewelry artist, I have created handcrafted stone jewelry to display my treasures. I am a self-taught silversmith and have placed my designer stones in custom silver, brass, copper and bronze settings.  Commercially available settings with and without handcrafted cabochons are also available.  

Custom crafting of stone cabochons and jewelry is available upon request.  Provide your own rough stones or request stones that you would like to have made into cabochons. 

Please contact me if you have any questions or requests.

- Jackie

Moose Bubblegum and Me - Stone Treasures by the Lake

"Moose Bubblegum Bubble" and Me

Found this work of art in the Fall of 2015 after visiting the Art Institute in Chicago.

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The Rock - Stone Treasures by the Lake

The Rock by Peter Blume

My favorite painting from the Art Institute in Chicago.

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Chichen Itza

View from the base of El Castillo on the Winter Solstice of 2012.

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Bay Furnace

Located in Christmas, Michigan, this was a view of the Furnace back in 1994.

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