Gem cutting and polishing is also known as lapidary it can be done with minimal equipment however very elaborate equipment is available. Most novice lapidary enthusiasts can get along with basic gear. This is enough for high quality results in the faceting and polishing of gems.
Tumbling is the most basic form of the lapidary arts, stones are placed in a cylinder with abrasives, these abrasives are replaced with finer and finer grits until the degree of polish sheen is achieved.
Cabbing or Cabachons
Cabbing or Cutting cabochons is probably the most common form of gem lapidary work. These cabs often have a retail value Cabs are gems with a domed top and a flat bottom. The retail value will depend on the material the cab is cut from. Many gems are cut and then mounted in precious metals for fine jewelry. Learning how to cab a stone requires investment in specialized tools and equipment. The skill one achieves depends on training and time invested in practicing the art form.