The Art of Gem Carving

The Art of Gem Carving

Narrator: The process of gem carving is the same today as it was in antiquity, although modern tools
are slightly different. It begins with finding the right stone. Here, the carver chips
off a piece of carnelian. He selects the color and layer
of stone that suit the project. After cutting the gem further, he grinds the stone to
the rough shape desired, leaving it slightly larger
to allow room for carving. (machine running)
Water flows continuously to cool the stone to prevent
overheating and fracturing. The carver creates a slurry by mixing olive oil with an abrasive powder. Emery or corundum was used in antiquity, while diamond dust is used today. A metal drill is dipped
in the slurry and holds the abrasive particles as they
cut away tiny amounts of stone. The slurry turns brown from bits
of copper ground off the tool. Using a hollow tip, a whole is drilled through the gem from both ends. The core is broken off
with gentle pressure. Now the gem can be mounted in a ring, or suspended on a cord as a pendant. The color of the gem can be enhanced by soaking it in a
solution of iron compounds. Here, from rusted nails. Heating the gem further
intensifies the color. Using differently shaped tools allows the carver to cut various
shapes into the stone. On the back of the gem the artist sketches the rough form to be carved. In this case, a scarab, or beetle. The modern carver uses an electric drill, while ancient craftsmen
used hand-powered tools. For the final stages, he uses tools made of softer materials,
such as wood or leather, and a slurry made of a finer abrasive. The result is a smooth, polished surface. On the other side of the
stone the carver sketches the image of a young man
adjusting his sandal. The lines are bright enough for the carver to follow through the slurry, although some of the
engraving is done blind. The carver relies on the vibrations of the tool to feel when
it is cutting or not. The carver engraves the forms of the body with a a variety of tools, which decrease in size as he carves the finer details. Lastly, the carver adds a decorative
boarder and signes the gem. This work is a copy of
an ancient Greek gem in the Getty’s collection that was
carved by Epimenes around 500 B.C.

100 thoughts on “The Art of Gem Carving

  1. When you think of the time and effort that went into creating the ancient carved jewel,it makes it all the more impressive.Amazing.

  2. Sad so much of the world's history is being lost as we speak, but it turns out that people in China actually had contacts with the outside world and were influenced by and influenced others: FREE TIBET!!!! LISTEN!!! BE AWARE!!!! IT IS ALL LOST IF YOU DON'T OPEN YOUR EYES!!! For our history, our shared history of the world is being destroyed. FREE TIBET!!!!!!!!!

  3. I cant even do this because im clumsy af, probably drill my fingers given how small that gem is 😂 but i really love watching the whole video. So satisfying 😍

  4. Do anyone know the name of the grinding wheel equipment including the water pump he used at :30-:46 where to buy, or know a video on how to make one.

  5. That is one sexy voice, she should to be reading erotic novels for a living, I couldn't even concentrate on whatever the video was about. . . Ahh! gem carving!. . . did you hear the way she just said tool?
    I came for enlightenment and now I go henceforth to a cold shower.

  6. I would love to know where he got his burr set, and more about the tools. I've been looking around but cannot find one that carves beads like that. So many questions.

  7. Absolutely amazing! I'd love to try my skill at this, I can draw pretty good but I don't know, this dwarfs my skill!

  8. Plot twist: You can now see that gem you just watched being crafted in the Getty Museum's display case. The perfect heist is the one where no one thinks anything is missing. XD

    I jest. Seriously though, don't be a criminal. Impressive work, btw. 🙂

  9. How can the technique be the same as it was in antiquity when they didn't have any power driven tools?

  10. THAT ANCIENT SPIRIT WAS AWESOME ARTIST..!! I wonder how he bullied us "oiii grandchild, you using powertools and cost you alot of money?? i just use knives, stones and a hammer huaahahahahah"

  11. perfect art !! Hello Sir. How to make solution of iron compounds? how much time you put into solution compounds? is make colour darker? what for you burn? thank you

  12. I had rock polishing kit when I was younger.weeks of it going through various tumblers and alot of mess, it had nothing on the skill and results of this but it reminded me of that kit 😀

  13. In the professional lapidary world, what this guy did to the 'gem' could be considered fraudulent. Dyeing and heat treating is considered a BIG no-no !

  14. "Since antiquity, gemstones have been engraved using the same methods. Follow the process from start to finish in this short video from the Getty Museum."
    Oh my god this man is a genius he discovered that electricity was actually harnessed much earlier!!! no.

  15. I always wondered how the Myceneans and Cretans did their fine seals and other carvings in stone. Thank you for this video!

  16. So many moronic Americanised millennial mongoloids commenting on this video. Disheartening to see the idiocracy grow before you.

  17. You know, I hate when I go down to the comments in these videos,showing someone with more skill and patience than most of you probably every have, creating something with techniques almost lost to time and everyone is just griping about 'ohh the original is better', 'ohh they have all these modern tools and yet it doesn't look better than the original' and 'ohh it's less detailed' and all of this other aggravating bull crap. You all sound like pretentious twats.

    These things take.Time. Time we don't have in this day and age and the original was probably made by a MASTER. People that dedicated their entire lives to these things! A lot of people today can't really do that, so of course it will take longer to reach that kind of level! Gosh, there's absolutely nothing wrong with critiquing, but it's absolutely unfair to the artists when you compare them to a MASTER of the craft.

    It honestly comes across like you don't really understand the time, effort, stress, trial and error and passion an artist puts into their pieces and it makes my blood boil. They don't magically make masterpieces overnight. Thought that was freaking common sense🙄🙄🙄

  18. Can this be done to harder gems like Rubies, Sapphires and Emeralds that aren't heat treated? i really want to know.. guess it depends on hardness…

  19. I still want to know how they did this without power tools. It seems much easier when you have something rapidly rotating for you. How one earth did they manage without it? I can see how they might have cut gems or ground them into general shapes, but how did they manage fine work without power tools?

  20. Now make a video where you do it with what our so called archeologists think it was done with and how the ancients were supposed to have done it.

  21. Absolutely fantastic! Just discovered your channel and now your newest supporter. Inviting you to discover our channel too friends x)

  22. I just want to thank everyone who makes this channel possible. You're giving out amazing content. Thank you SO much.

  23. you used electric tools….. you think the greeks used electric tools?? why dont you use hand powered tools?….. can't? yeah maybe the greeks had technology you dont know about

  24. this voice tho, sounds like its about to say

    before the light of the gods entered the world, there was only darkness ruled by titans.

  25. The pending question is how did they do it, and do it so well back then when they supposedly did not have modern tools. Why isn't that being explored?

  26. Does anyone know what type of burrs he is using? They don’t seem to be diamond and I can’t seem to find “copper burrs”

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