GEMS WITH AN AMERICAN PEDIGREE Smaller retailers on the lookout for something unique to give them an edge over the cookie-cutter gemstones featured by mass-market competition might well examine the artistry of some of America’s foremost cutters and carvers. American gem cutting combines rough-hewn knowledge with self-made mastery. As a group, American cutters are not terribly organized, particularly in contrast to Old World cutting centers such as Idar-Oberstein, where cutting secrets have been passed down from parent to child for generations. As a result, American cutters have rarely paid rigid attention to the actual formalities of cutting. Before John Sinkankas’ classic book Gem Cutting, first published in 1955, little written information existed about the art of cutting gemstones. Consequently, cutters on this continent set out to develop skills on their own. These maverick a

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