By Jennifer Heebner, Editor in Chief
Oceanside, Calif.–based gemstone cutter Jenna Sloane is new to the industry but well on her way to joining some of the industry greats.
“I have had a few mentors in the past two years, but the most impactful have been Holly Roddenbery, Desmond Chan, and Shawn Maddox,” she says of her business, Sloane Stones, LLC, founded in June 2021.
Sloane’s interest in jewelry reared at age 17 when she started making pinecone pendants. It was a hobby turned profitable pursuit that helped her pay her way through undergraduate studies in industrial design. The move also gave her insights into how to run a business—“From advertising, to production, to shipping and to accounts payable and receivable,” she says.
And since the pendant-making effort was laborious—some took her upwards of 90 days to complete—she turned to gem faceting as a quicker way to find creative satisfaction. Still, the pinecone efforts did pay off. “I was able to purchase my first Facetron [faceting machine] with the money I had saved from my pinecone pendants business and very quickly started with trial and error on my machine,” she says.
In February 2023 she visited the AGTA GemFair Tucson for the first time, and that sealed her fate of making gem cutting her full-time passion and career. Graduate gemology classes from GIA are strengthening her foundation in the business.
Right now, she’s known for cutting unusual and overlooked materials. Among them are Winza Sapphire, Cuprian Chalcedony, Fluorite-included Quartz, Libyan desert glass, and highly silky materials.
“I’ve learned to cut with a 120 index because with the unique nature of the facet patterns I design for my stones, they tend to stand out more,” she says. “I cut from rough as well as recut faceted stones. I enjoy the thought, intention, and challenge of cutting regardless of the state of the gemstone I am starting with. When cutting, I find myself focused on highly or unique custom patterns, brilliance, yield, and interesting orientations. At this moment in time, my stones average at a 40% yield. I also have CAD models of every gemstone I cut for jeweler
clients to utilize should they prefer to produce their settings via CAD.”
While she does offer some gemstone sales direct to consumer via Instagram @sloanestonez and her website jennasloanestones.com—and hopes to exhibit at a trade show—she mainly enjoys cutting for other gemstone dealers, including Gem Arts International.
“I love purchasing and cutting rough into gemstones that I sell to jewelers who use them in their own creations,” she says.
One such gem is a 0.75 ct. silky purple Sapphire from Sri Lanka that she cut from a specimen.
“It is sitting in a jeweler’s collection waiting to be placed into a work of art piece of jewelry,” she says wistfully. “I was captivated by its silky appearance and pink light return that flashed back at me. I have yet to find any more material like it, but when I do, I hope to treasure it for myself.”
More fave gems to cut include natural Alexandrite and Sapphire, and she recently upgraded her Facetron to a Fac-Ette Gem Master II to cut hexagons, shields, and modified cushion shapes.
“I think they really draw people in and help the stones to have a personality of their own,” she notes.
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