Cutting and dry polishing pads is mainly done by people experienced in this work in and around the gem mining areas of Sri Lanka. A gem cutter known as a lapidary converts a rough stone into a beautiful gemstone by completing three specific steps of the work, namely preforming, cutting and polishing. Preforming include sewing, grinding and cementing the rough stone on a dop stick before the next stages of cutting and polishing. This work has in the past generally being performed by the Muslim community of the country. Traditionally the skill and technique of this very specialized field have been passed from father to a son. But today, this system has changed dramatically. In recent years, lapidary work has been undertaken on a large scale by the Sinhalese community. The diamond flexible sheets charges vary according to the quality and variety of the gemstone.


When sawing a rough stone, the lapidary always aims to obtain a piece of material without cracks, flaws, inclusions, etc. The importance placed on the proper preforming of a gemstone cannot be over emphasised.