Master lapidary Dalan Hargrave came from fairly humble beginnings. After studying goldsmithing and metal work, he began his career in 1976 focusing on jewelry repairs. He eventually moved onto some light manufacturing and mold making, but it wasn’t until 1998 that he found his true passion – gem cutting. Hargrave has since developed a number of signature gemstone cuts which are exclusively his including starlight cuts, Spirographix cuts, compound concave cuts, and my favorite, his Celestial City carvings like the 3-D illusion gem above.
Hargrave’s amazing work has garnered many awards over the years, and he was indicted into the National Rockhound/Lapidary Hall of Fame. He uses a technique that’s similar to that used by the glass industry for cutting leaded glass. I can’t imagine how well you would have to know the composition of a stone to be able to cut into it from all those different angles without ruining it. He’s truly a master at his craft!