So sorry about the lengthy absence from Carats website!
We moved across town, took a while to reconfigure the lab, and then had some health issues that prevented getting right back to work. Anticipating maybe 1 month outage in service, it has turned instead into 3 months....we are working hard to get our Kate back to the business by mid-October. So sorry for the unexpected delays!
GEMOLOGY AND GEM CUTTING SERVICES:
Consider how personal a gift of jewelry can be. You spend time choosing the right color and size for the person you are giving it to. You consider how it is going to be worn, or for what occasion. You factor in their own likes and dislikes. With all of this consideration, do you still want to go to Target to buy your loved one generic, commercially-made jewelry?
You may pay $20 for a faceted gemstone necklace, but are you aware that those commercially cut gemstones are only about 30-60% effective at light return? What does that mean to you? It means that although you spent valuable time choosing color and carat weight, you are sacrificing your choice of a good cut and the result may be a dull and lifeless stone. The readily available stones you buy from home shopping, most retailers, and even most jewelers are cut in this manner because it is cheap, and they pass the savings (and the disappointing stone) on to you.
And note that those $20 gemstones are mostly synthetic (man-made), too.
Carats by Kate has a mission to bring the brilliance back by providing optimal cut.
Kate is a Gemstone Cutter and has been creating gems from "ugly rocks" since 2006. To show how her cutting is far above the commercial-grade, she competed in the 2011 US Faceters Guild competition and scored 97.97% - this blows away the commercial-grade material, which ranks about 30-60% in performance of cut! Kate is also licensed by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) as an Accredited Jewelry Professional and Gemologist (with knowledge of diamonds as well as colored stones).
If you are looking for a truly one-of-a-kind and dazzling gemstone piece for your loved one (or for yourself!), Kate can find the material for you, or cut a stone that you provide. You get to choose the final size, the shape, the design, or let our expert eyes find what works best for that material. We can also complete some gemstone repairs, or re-cut an outdated or worn stone. Cost of cut is based on many factors - and we agree on a cost before we begin any work.
If you're just a rockhound at heart, we also identify stones - no cutting required. There is a charge of $10 (plus round-trip postage) to have material identified without cutting. Testing this material utilizes laboratory equipment and time, which is why there is a charge. If you'd like a recommendation if a stone should be cut, that goes along with identification. If a stone is worthy of cutting, we'll tell you. And if it's simply a good rock specimen, we'll tell you that, too.
* Carats is NOT a retail store. I do not operate with regular hours or a storefront that you can visit - I work out of my home and also have to consider my family's schedule and security. I can provide detailed instruction to mail stones in for examination, or we can coordinate via e-mail/phone to meet and transfer stones. I also can't have folks present in my lab while identifying stones - I use chemicals in some cases which are not harmful to stones, but potentially unsafe for people. After identification, we communicate at every step so you are satisfied with the work. I do no work without communicating to you first and obtaining your permission to do it.
See the "Gemstones - New" page for items that are available for sale, or the "Gemstones - Archive" for items already sold. You can get some ideas from these or just e-mail your ideas to us to create something new.
New stone photos will be added as they are cut; and many pieces still need to be photographed. Basically, if you have an interest in something, contact us and we'll be glad to help while our technical monkeys sort out the website!