Precision cutting is a specialized craft in North America, and I'm proud to be one of those cutters. When you buy a stone from a precision cutter (we also call ourselves custom cutters), you know that you have a gemstone cut with crisp corners and angles that were chosen specifically for that stone species.
Retail chain stores almost never stock these stones. Why? Because a stone cut in North America, over the course of hours, is not as cheap as a stone cut in an overseas cutting house in minutes. It's that simple. But once you've seen what a stone can be when cut for beauty, rather than for weight retention, you'll never go back.
Whenever possible, I source unheated, untreated rough, as it came out of the earth.
I am happy to cut a stone to meet your desires and specifications, or cut something from your rough, or even recut one of your existing stones. I can also work with you go create a piece of custom jewelry using one of my stones, or one of yours. In silver, I tend to use Argentium™ sterling silver. In gold, especially when casting, I karat my own alloys from pure gold that I have refined myself whenever possible.
Oh, I almost forgot. I'm Eric Hoffman. Pleased to meet you!
I'm active in the Patuxent Lapidary Guild, my local stonecutting & jewelry smithing guild here in Maryland. The PLG is also where I teach both faceting and lost-wax casting. I've held positions on the Executive Board there for over a decade, and am currently the President. Fear my power.
I am certified with the United States Faceters Guild, and have been cutting since 2010.
The Side Quests
Custom cut stones require custom settings--the retail jewelry depends on calibrated stones to fit standardized settings, and as a precision faceter, that's the least of my worries. I cut the best stone I can out of a given piece of rough, and if that means my stone came out as a 10.9 x 9.1 mm pear instead of the industry standard 10x7 or 12x8, that's just too dang bad.
So, that means I do some smithing of my own when I cut a stone that's destined for a loved one, or if I just feel like setting something in a piece of jewelry instead of selling it as a loose stone. So, you'll occasionally see a stone disappear from the loose stones page, only to reappear later on the finished jewelry page.
I also do some precious metal refining, because who doesn't like to play with hazardous chemicals? I also use the output of those processes to make some of my jewelry. Yes, my girlfriend calls me Danger Nerd. If the shoe fits...