1290 - France
A guild of gem cutters is formed in Paris

Early 1300's - Europe
Cabochons are the main decorative feature in the German, Austrian, and Russian crowns.

Late 1300's - Europe
Very simple faceted gems first made their appearance in European jewelry in the late 13th and early 14th century.

Late 1300's - Idar Oberstein
Mining for Amethyst and Agate began, though the first documented history of large-scale mining activity for these materials in the towns of Idar and Oberstein began in the late 14th century.

1380 - France
The practice of cutting gemstones to a specific configuration along with the refinements of development of diamond-cutting techniques, were established in Europe.

1390 - Nuremberg
Diamond cutting and polishing is being carried out in Nuremberg, Germany, though nothing is known about the techniques.

1407 - Nuremberg
Diamond cutting techniques improved under a gem cutter named Hermann.

The Duke of Normandy owned a table cut diamond with large, mirror-like facets


1420 - Italy
Beginning of Italian Renaissance

1476 – Bruges, Belgium
Lodewyk van Bercken is best known for his introduction of absolute symmetry, improvements in the polishing process, and the development of the pendeloque shape. He is also credited with the development of the horizontally mounted metal grinding wheel.

1495 - Italy
A number of Venetian publishing houses released important treatises on gems: Aldus Manutius published the 1st printed edition of On Stones by theophrastus, Johannes and Gregorius de Gregoriis published Albertus Magnus’ On Minerals, and Giovanni Battista Sessa published Camillo Leonardi’s Mirror of Stones.

Mid 1500's
Silk Road starts to disintegrate due to European sea routes for trade instead of land routes

Late 1500's -Turnov
The cutting of precious stones has taken in Turnov since the end of the 16th century, and this exclusive production, together with jewelry-making, distinguishes it from similar small towns throughout Europe.

1540 - England
Henry VIII, king of England wear faceted rings in paintings

1550 - Haut Jura, France
The lapidary activity begins in the 16th century in connection with Geneva watchmakers asking for jewels for their jewels. In Jura, the first lapidaries were present around 1550.

1550 - Rose Cut
Introduced in Antwerp in 1550 With just 24 facets, the subtle beauty of rose cut diamonds is that they impart a soft diffused light rather then the bright light of the modern brilliant cut.

1591 – Italy
In 1591 a group of Venice’s most in influential merchant entrepreneurs entered into a commercial joint venture to nance an expedition to India in search of the spice Galanga as well as stones from the genus carbunculus, including rubies, balas, and spinels.

Early 1600's - Italy
Intarsia, also known as pietre dure or mosaics, in hard stone, reached its highest level in Italy. Individual masterpieces have been traced back to the early 17th Century.

1600's - Bohemia
The history of Prague and the marketing of its garnets dates back to the beginning of the 17th century. Cutting shops were established in the New Town of Prague.

1600’s - Swiss/Jura
The lapidary craft was very popular in the Valserine valley from the 17th century until the first quarter of the 20th century. This activity has developed in line with the needs of Geneva watchmaking and has become a winter activity complementary to summer agricultural work.

1642 - Italy
Cardinal Mazarin, who loved and popularized (invented?) the brilliant cut. The main centers of diamond cutting in his time were Antwerp, Paris, and Lisbon.

1650/85 - Haut Jura, France
The Revocation of the Edict of Nantesand the flight of Parisian jewelers and diamond cutters to Switzerland created a further increase in the number of lapidaries in the Haut Jura.

1665 – India
The famed international traveler and writer on gem lore, Jean Baptiste Tavernier, visited the diamond cutting shops of India in 1665.

Late 1600's – Venice – Round Brilliant
There a diamond cutter apparently named Peruzzi modified the Berguen double row style. Peruzzi’s new 58-facet cut introduced the concept of break and star facets.


1700's - Turnov.
Turnov has been known for stone cutting, engraving and jewelry making for hundreds of years, the most prolific period being the 1700s.

1704 - Haut Jura, France
A patent was filed which advocated the use of rubies for the pivots and counter-pivots in Swiss timepieces. The need for lapidaries exploded.

1700's – Idar Oberstein
Idar-Oberstein is known as a gemstone centre.

1750 - Old Mine Cut
Developed in 18th century Europe old mine cushion cuts were not round but had a slightly curved edge which formed a soft square. .

1760's – Idar-Oberstein
The water powered Agate cutting mill was built. Still exists.

1770 - Jura
The plateau of the Haut-Jura counts up to 600 lapidaries around 1770. Each farm contains a workshop in which men work synthetically for the vast majority.

1789 – French Revolution
Diamond cutting flourished in France until the french revolution when many cutters fled from Paris to Amsterdam, Antwerp, and Lisbon where they continued their trades.

1790's – England/ Germany
Lapidaries in England were unsurpassed in the working of colored gemstones and also Idar-Oberstein became the cutting center of Germany

1800's - Europe
In the 19th Century, more fully rounded diamonds were being produced. These gradually became known as Old European Cuts.

1827 – Idar Oberstein – Brazil
By the eighteenth century, gemstone supplies in the Hunsruck were dwindling, making local life difficult. Some local artists consequently traveled as far as Brazil, where they discovered that huge local agate deposits could be recovered from open-pit mines as well as from local rivers and streams. This discovery led to a new boom in Idar-Oberstein.

1857 - Chanthaburi
About 1857, Shan traders from Mogok (Burma) rediscovered Chanthaburi’s mines, starting a gem rush which still continues.

1870 - Bohemia to Idar
The Bohemian garnet cutter Gustav Postler is the first to teach lapidaries in Idar-Oberstein to cut on horizontal labs.

1884 - Turnov
Local vocational school of stone cutting and goldsmithing was established in 1884.

1885 - Jura
Inventions succeed each other to improve profitability and precision. From 1885 on, lapidaries use the mechanical stick which allows more regularity in size and polishing.

1890 - Old European Cut
The prevailing style from the 1890s to the 1930s. Old European cut diamonds are the grandfathers of the modern round brilliant cut.


1914 – Round Brilliant
Polish engineer, Marcel Tolkowsky, in 1914 published a theoretical treatise on the ideal dimensions of the diamond, the modern round brilliant form finally came into its own.

1920 - Haut Jura, France
It is estimated that there were 8,000 lapidaries in the Jura Mountains in 1920 – mostly farmers seeking employment in the winter.

1930's - USA
In the US, There was little activity in the field of lapidary until the 1930's, when European craftsmen emigrated to New York to serve the jewelry industry. With little info available, some of the earliest American lapidaries persevered in their craft and began a correspondence with each other to exchange information, since few references or tools were available.

1930’s - Jura
With the economic crisis of the 1930s, activity declined. Some French lapidaries are destinedfor the repair and maintenance aspect of the industry

1933 - USA
In 1933, the late HC Drake started the Mineralogist Magazine and Peter Zodac started Rocks and Minerals Magazine.

1935 - USA
J. Harry Howard compiled all the available information into his book entitled Handbook for the Amateur Lapidary.

1945 USA - MDR
MDR Company was established in 1945 by William Mitchell, an amateur gem cutter in Los Angeles. Within two years he had designed the "Master Faceting Machine", the prototype for accurate gemstone faceting.

1946 USA – Graves
Since 1946 the Graves company has been producing faceting machines and accessories

1947 – USA
Lelande Quick founded The Lapidary Journal for the lapidary, jewelry maker, and collectors. The number of lapidaries and collectors of gems and minerals continue to grow, and today many reference books are available on every form of lapidary.

1950's – Idar-Oberstein
After the end of the war, Idar-Oberstein once again had to reinvent itself, this time doing so by moving away from agate, with German gem traders heavily investing in mines in Brazil and Africa which were producing a variety of rough gemstones.

1950's - Switzerland – Bunter
The Bunter machine as we know is today is finalized in design

1958 USA - Prismatic
In the late 1950's his dissatisfaction with the available equipment led to the construction of a machine of his own design. This machine marked the beginning of his first manufacturing business and became known for high quality, and innovative equipment.

1961 USA - Raytech Shaw
Louis Eaton Shaw invented and patented the Scott Faceter in 1961. Originally the J. Scott Company manufactured the equipment. Years later, Raytech Industries was granted manufacturing rights, and the name was changed to the Raytech Shaw.

1965 USA - Ultratec
The Ultra Tec Faceting Machine was invented by an aerospace laboratory technician and amateur faceter, Howard Stanley. Howard Stanley’s love of faceting led him to the development of the first Ultra Tec Faceting Machine.

1969 - Birth of Fantasy Cuts, Idar-Oberstein
Bernd Munsteiner, known by many as the 'Father of the Fantasy Cut' was one of the very first lapidary artists to deviate from the time-tested methodology of faceting gemstones in the classic 'brilliant cut', or with small triangular and kite-shaped facets.  Rather, he was one of a select few that in the 1960's, chose to re-invent gems and jewelry as an art form, using the natural shape, exterior surfaces, interior inclusions and understanding of crystallography as his muse to create geometric expressions of natural beauty.

1979 - USA - Facetron
Betty Jarvi buys a company that makes faceting machines. That “company” consisted of blueprints and two boxes of parts. Her son, Jeff Jarvi, looked them over and said he could build the faceting machinery, so in 1980, Jarvi Tool, LLC added a second division that is now Facetron.

1982 - Australia - VJ Faceting Machine
The VJ Faceting Machine was originally designed in Rockhampton Qld by the late John Carter, an engineer and facetor. The concept of this new design materialised in 1982 with drawings being shown at the Mt. Isa gemboree.


1990 – Polymetric / Curved Facets
Poly-Metric was formed in 1990 to bring new ideas to light. One of these ideas was for a machine that could cut curved facets with the precision of flat facets.

1998 - USA - Facetron SCM
Facetron releases the "Special Cuts Machine" to do Convace Faceting though they discontinued making it in December of 2003.

2009 - USA - Ultratec Concave + Fantasy Machine
In December of 2009 Ultratec released their own version of the concave machine and also a machine for "fantasy cuts"

2010's - Light Response Designs
With the help of computer modelling, gemstone cutting designs can now be optimized to maximize light response and create extremely incredible looking stones