January 24, 2014

Nigerian sapphire facet rough added!  The photos were a bit tricky…Cathy tried getting good pictures over several sessions this spring, but the sun was simply not cooperating. It has taken some time to get these listed, but here they are.  We will soon be listing some lighter colored Kenyan sapphire rough, as well as a several spinels.  Stay tuned!


September 01, 2014

We will be adding some new facet rough shortly (finally).  Stay tuned for some new material! 


August 23, 2012

YIKES YIKES YIKES !!!    It has been FAR too long since an update.  But unfortunately life has thrown both Cathy and David some “real world” curve balls.  Fortunately, we’re both committed to playing in “rock world”.  Dave has been working through old faceting commitments at a snail’s pace.  Cathy, after several camera failures, has finally gotten good photos of new rough and cut stones, and she is in the process of listing some of both.  Check out her “newly listed” rough.

Cathy will also soon be posting a new “category” of cut stones.  In light of David’s limited availability to facet on a regular basis, Rough 2 Refined still wanted to be able to offer new precision cut stones to our customers.  To that end, Cathy has commissioned some of her finest rough to be cut by other precision faceters.  These stones will be making an appearance on the website shortly.

We apologize for the lengthy delay in listing of new offerings.  As always, we sincerely appreciate our clients!!

December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!!!  Well Cathy has finally managed to get some new rough listed.  While a bit late for Santa to get it into the stockings, we’re sure that the lapidary in your life would love nothing more than a nugget of New Year goodness!  And for those celebrating other Holidays, what gift could better express the spirit of the season than a sparkling tourmaline or garnet rough?!

Cathy is working on even more to list still, so keep you eye out for additional offerings soon!


November 11, 2011

Good Grief!!  It has been FAR too long since our last update to the site…a classic case of life getting in the way.   David has been chasing his 7 1/2 month old daughter around the house.  Cathy and Dave have both been playing catch up at their “day jobs”.

Regarding the site, we’re excited to announce the release of “Cathy’s Collection”.  These are some fabulous stones that Cathy commissioned to be cut from her rough back before the birth of Rough 2 Refined.  We also have 3 new Dave Dawson custom cut stones listed.

Some might notice a different look to the photos posted on these latest offerings.  Cathy has been hard at work on her gem photography skills.  We welcome your comments on this photography style.

Cathy does have more rough to list, and she will be working diligently to get it listed as quickly as possible.  In the meantime, please enjoy browsing the new gem selections.


July 03, 2011

Too all of our clients in the USA:  Happy 4th Of July!!!

It’s been a while since a news update!   In order to help bring some fresh items up for sale, Cathy and Dave will be making a couple of changes to the site in the near future.

Change #1)  With the recent birth of Dave’s daughter, his cutting time has been scaled back considerably.  Originally Rough 2 Refined intended to feature only American-cut gemstones.  However, before Cathy and Dave teamed up, she had some of her nicer rough cut by a traditional  Master cutter in India.  The cutting, symmetry and the polish on these stones far exceed most “commercial” or “native” cut merchandise.   Cathy will be listing these stones for sale soon, so that she can free up more capital for rough acquisitions.  We’re committed to full disclosure on treatment status and quality, and only stones of the highest caliber will be listed.  In all cases, these stones will be clearly labeled as to whether they were precision cut by Dave or cut abroad.

Change #2) In the near future Dave will be listing some “bench clean-up” rough for sale.  Just about every faceter is, by nature, a rough addict!  We buy rough in bulk when we can.  We buy rough even when we don’t need it–just because we’re at a show or see something pretty.  We buy rough that we know we shouldn’t–hoping that it’s actually lighter, larger or cleaner than we know it probably will end up being!  However, with Dave’s reduced cutting schedule, he has decided to dramatically reduce the facet rough in his inventory.  Basically, he’s getting rid of all rough that is too small, too common, too irregular or too included to make his “Top 20 Future Project” list.  He’s already given away a lot of the rough that is lower grade–to cabbers, to specimen collectors, to some of his clients here!  However he still has a lot on hand.  Rather than sort, measure, clarity grade, weigh and list every piece individually (as Cathy does here for her select rough), Dave will be putting together some nicer parcels.  The highest quality stones will be put into some low-cost parcels that will be perfect for faceters who are just getting started, or even for advanced faceters who don’t mind cutting quartz, feldspars or smaller garnets, spinels, etc.  A few singles may be listed.  The remainder of the material will be bundled into one or several parcels and sold as semi-facet/cab grade at bargain prices.  In truth, a lot of the material will cut cleaner stones with some some work, but Dave’s lack of time can be someone else’s gain!  Watch out for “Bench Clean-up” rough in the near future!

May 15, 2011

Best wishes for a sunny spring!!   Things have been a little quiet here on Rough 2 Refined the last few weeks.

David has been adjusting to life as a first-time father, and therefore faceting time has been limited.  He is still working on catching up a few commission jobs.   Afterwards, he is anxious to cut some very nice rough into gemstones to be sold on the site.  He has a large raspberry Vietnamese spinel that has been dying to be cut into a square cushion.  Also on the horizon are a large egg-shaped aqua, a unique purple tourmaline and a giant blue Tanzanian spinel.

Cathy is in the process of listing some new rough.  She finally had some sun in New York and was able to get some great photographs.  Although incomplete, we have the photos up for some new zircons, some rubellite tourmalines, a couple of imperial malaya garnets, some awesome Umba sapphires and also some new parcels.  Feel free to window shop!!

As always, please email us with any questions.

March 24, 2011

Well, we’ve been a little back-logged this month.  Truthfully, we were a bit overwhelmed by a sudden wave of new clients, who found their way here from PriceScope.  Cathy and I are thrilled to welcome all the newcomers!!

Dave had a run of bad luck, including a flooded basement (where the faceting workshop is located), followed by subsequent carpet removal.  However, his luck turned around on March 16th, when he welcomed his first child into the world!  It’s a GIRL!!  Obviously cutting has taken a back seat to his newest creation!

Cathy, returned from her vacation to a flood of her own–a flood of emails from new clients requesting rough!  She finally has all orders filled, and things have (at last) settled down.

We will hopefully be tidying up the site over the next couple of weeks, with the hope of adding more rough as soon as possible.  Dave will be tied up cutting several new commission jobs–when he can find the time bewteen the day job and the new baby.  As a result, he will not be able to accept additional commission work for the time being.

Meanwhile, please feel free to browse the site and let us know if you have any special needs.  Cathy has quite a bit of rough that she has not been able to photograph and list.

Again, we sincerely appreciate all those who enjoy visiting our site!!

February 11, 2011

Well, we finally managed to get some new rough listed.

Cathy listed several mint/tsavo garnet singles and parcels, as well as some imperial garnet singles and parcels.  She listed some nice zircons, a new spess garnet, some fantastic pinkish-red spinels, two rare tanzanites/zoisites and some amazing “Exceptional Rough”.  There’s still a lot more to post as time permits.  It’s a tough task to receive new parcels, clarity-grade each individual piece, select the top several stones, measure the dimensions, photograph the pieces in natural lighting, format the photos, upload the pics, type up the descriptions…you get the idea!

David just finished a new Vietnamese spinel–in fact it is soaking in the cleaning solution now.  It looks  like it should be very bright, and a lovely purplish-pink color.  A few lines of silk, a small crystal and a small feather remain in the stone–despite this, it should still should be very clean by eye.  Even so, David will be selling the stone at a reduced price–if for nothing else, than to at least introduce someone to his cutting and to the magic of natural spinel!

Watch the cut gemstone pages for this listing in the next few days!

January 29, 2011

Hi Everyone!!  New York has been buried in snow…so without fail, every time Cathy has tried to get natural “sunlight” photos of rough, she has found herself under cloudy (and snowy!) skies.  She did manage to get a handful of pics for about a dozen select pieces, and we have posted a sneak peak “Teaser” of these (link off the “Home” page).  Cathy hopes to get the measurements and pertinent info ready to post soon.

David finally managed to list 3 new garnet gemstones for sale.  They can be found under the Cut Gemstones “Garnet” section.  One is a beautiful Tanga round, another is a Tanga rhodolite “emerald” and the other is a dark rhodolite “lozenge” shaped stone. He also posted some pics of a complex, Portuguese-style, rubellite tourmaline “heart” that was cut on commission.  David has lots of great rough that he hopes to cut into salable stones this year; however, with his first baby due March 14th, he’s likely to be away from the faceting machine for several months.  He does promise some AWESOME stones for sale as time permits–please forgive the delay!

More facet rough to be  posted quite soon!!  Thanks for your patience!!


January 20, 2011

Happy New Year!  We had a very successful launch to our website back in October, and we are excited about the upcoming year.  Cathy has LOTS of rough waiting to be listed, including some truly spectacular pieces which merit special attention.  She will also be listing some nice rough parcels very soon.  There hasn’t been a lot of sunlight in New York, so photography has been limited.

On the gemstone cutting front, David has been preoccupied with commission work and the ever-approaching arrival of his first child.  However, we will soon be listing three additional cut garnet stones:  Two beautiful Tangas and a dark rhodolite.

We sincerely appreciate the interest of everyone who has looked around our site, whether browsing or purchasing.  Our best wishes to all!!

November 29, 2010:

Happy Holidays!  Here at Rough 2 Refined we’re thankful for family, good health and super clean facet rough!  Cathy just listed some nice new offerings.  Newly posted are several bargain-priced hessonite and Tanga garnets, as well as one new Umba rhodolite garnet.  She also listed some nice blue sheen moonstone and kyanite rough.  Cathy is always trying to price her rough as affordably as possible for hand-select material, and as such, she reduced the price of the recently listed indicolite.

David has been busy with commission cutting, so we haven’t listed many new cut stones.  However,  we have made signifcant year-end price reductions on most stones in our inventory.  Please be sure to browse the cut gemstones if you haven’t had a look recently.

Also for those interested in seeing the deisgn which David co-developed with Jeffrey Hunt, the faceting diagram and cutting sequence can be downloaded at the followng link:

We hope that you all have a joyous holiday and a wonderful end of 2010!!

October 26, 2010:

Busy week at Rough 2 Refined!  Cathy just listed her newest acquisition–a parcel of BEAUTIFUL blue and blue-green tourmalines from Afghanistan!!  Rough tourmaline pieces with these colors are very difficult to come by.  All in all, the parcel was quiet clean, and the offerings are awesome!

Over the weekend, David finished up his spessartite garnet gemstone.  The Marco Voltolini design is a great performer, and the stone will make for a great ring or pendant stone.

David also just had an article published in the November edition of Lapidary Journal/Jewelry Artist magazine.  He helped in the development of a new Jeffrey Hunt design.  He will be posting more information on that soon!

October 21, 2010:

Cathy just received a very nice parcel of blue tourmalines from Afghanistan.  She has finished clarity grading the pieces and hopes to have them measured and photographed for listing soon.

David is working on a spessartite garnet in Marco Voltolini’s “Bug Barion Egg” design.  This stone will be listed for sale on the site.  After that, he has a couple of commission projects to complete.

October 01, 2010:

This month we have listed some exciting new rough!  In the “Facet Rough” listings, you will find some very lovely tsavorite garnets, some additional Umba sapphires, some small but beautiful Winza sapphires, and a new selection of tantalyzing Tanzanites!  The Tanzanites are all unheated, and in their natural state.  Unheated gem rough is becoming increasingly popular (and valuable!); however, this rough can be heated to the blues and purples that most people associate with Tanzanite.

In the “Cabbing Rough” listing, we now have featured some beautiful Illusion Sunstone (“Confetti Sunstone”).  This rough features a very clean matrix, and can therefore be faceted as well.

Please have a look around and feel free to contact us with any questions!

September 17, 2010:

Well, it has been a work week since we officially announced the new website and we’ve been thrilled with the response!  Cathy has been busy responding to orders, and she is scrambling to get more rough listed.  We want to keep the rough listings fresh so that everyone keeps coming back.

We realized that some small changes were necessary, and you may now note that item numbers are listed, making it easier to reference specific pieces which may be of interest to you.

To everyone who has made a purchase:  please do let us know what you think of our rough or cut stones.  We look forward to posting some customer comments.

Coming soon will be–of course–more gem rough.  But also we hope to be marketing several of Jim Perkins’ faceting design books and other publications.  Please keep visiting the site for updates!

September 01, 2010   

You have made it to the Rough 2 Refined Gemstones news page!

News as of September 1st , 2010?  It’s pretty much the opening of our new website!  Click on About Us for a brief introduction.

Also, Dave was just recognized by the United States Faceters Guild as the 2010 Premasters Single Stone Competition Gold Medal winner.  Click here for photos:  Gold Medal

Currenltly Cathy is busy adding facet rough to the site.  She has FAR more rough in stock than what she has managed to photograph, measure and list.   So if you have any particular rough needs, please feel free to Contact Us to see if we can help you find what you are looking for.  In the future, we will be listing cabbing rough as well.

Dave is a serious hobbyist cutter, who must find time to facet around his “day job”.   Therefore, cut gemstones will be added, but at a more gradual pace.  Some exciting stones are in the works though, so please check back with us frequently!

We would love to hear from you with any comment or suggestions, so please do send us an email.


Best Wishes to All of Our Visitors!!