What is Lapidary?

A lapidary (lapidarist, Latin: lapidarius) is an artist or artisan who forms stone, minerals, or gemstones into decorative items such as cabochons, engraved gems, including cameos, and faceted designs.[1][2] The primary techniques employed are cutting, grinding, and polishing.[2][3] Carving is an important, but specialised technique.[3]

Hardstone carving is the term used in art history for objects produced by the specialised carving techniques, and the techniques themselves. While Diamond cutters are generally not referred to as lapidaries, due to the specialized techniques which are required to work diamond. In modern contexts “gemcutter” typically refers to people who specialize in cutting diamonds, but in older historical contexts it refers to artists producing engraved gems such as jade carvings and the like. By extension the term “lapidary” has sometimes been applied to collectors of and dealer in gems, or to anyone who is knowledgeable in precious stones.

Advertisements