Insight into the CNC-controlled processing of gemstones

Extending the limits of the possible

The material of gemstones places very special demands on both people and machines. At Groh + Ripp every challenge is faced with expertise, experience and modern technology.

Coloured gemstones are highly versatile with regards to their uses. They have long expanded beyond the field of jewellery, with their various characteristics making them also of interest for potential use in technology and laboratories. In addition, many of the major watch manufacturers also use dials made from gemstone and mother of pearl, lending their watches a highly individual appearance and a unique character. Groh + Ripp supplies a wide range of objects to many different companies, including leading research establishments and a large number of watch manufacturers from all around the world. The range extends from thin cover glasses used in microscopy to accessories for watches and movements and on to complex large-scale objects such as sculptures, plinths for statues and cases for large clocks. 

Machines working on the ยต scale open up new possible areas of use for gemstones.

In the technical department objects are realised whose use is only evident at second glance: these are purely components. The dials or case rings made from materials such as turquoise, lapis lazuli, coral, opal, malachite, onyx, mother of pearl, meteorite, hawk's eye, jasper and synthetic sapphire represent just a part of the whole. Their elegance is only truly unfolded when they are processed further. When the dial sits beneath a gently domed sapphire crystal in a metal case, when the hands, powered by a quietly ticking movement, move across the fascinating material in composed elegance, then a completely different side to the beauty of the gemstones is revealed.

Achieving the high technical requirements is often difficult, because each material places its own demands with regard to how it is worked. The thinner the stone is cut, the more intricate the processing required and the more fragile the finished product will be. In addition, different hardness of the stones, irregularities such as cracks or natural inclusions always represent new challenges for the company.