The rough is being assorted and graded as soon as it has been procured or when it arrives from the treatment facilities. We see here that the Swiss Blue Topaz rough will be assorted into different sizes so it can be handed to workers who will be preparing goods of varying dimensions

Here we see the process of preforming is beginning. The worker is slicing the rough accordingly so we achieve the best possible yield on each piece. The slicing is important because it will help determine the thickness of the stone, to ensure no stone is too flat (causing windows) or too thick (making them hard to set).

The worker is preparing the rough into the second stage of developing a preform. The process involves sawing the rough into the required calibrated height, width and depth. This is a gradual process in which after each saw the item is checked again – if the workers rush this stage there would be too much waste of material.

The worker is faceting the preform using their hands, and checking the preform after each facet to see if the shape is appropriate. Any corrections required can be made here. If they are missed, then at Stage 5 or Stage 7, there are further opportunities to fix the stone to reach perfection.

Here the girdle of the stone is being prepared. This is one of the most important steps in the process. The worker is running the machine around the circumference of the stone so the girdle is uniform in thickness and smooth. The balance of the stone is very closely determined with how uniform the girdle is.

Here the final facets are being placed on each of the gemstones before the stone is sent for polishing.

The worker is putting the stones on a dopstick using wax, and prepping the stones for any final faceting / fixing of stones and polishing of the stones.

The stones are being finished here by polishing the stones. Any final faceting that is required can also be done at this point. In most cases this stage is only to polish the stones and the faceting has already been completed.