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I Carved a new Quartz Daisy Flower for the Cane Handle

This piece was originally made circa. 1900.

It was dropped on a hard surface which caused many of the Quartz flower petals to be broken.

The jeweler who purchased the piece needed a new one carved in order to restore the antique walking cane to its original condition.

I first needed to find a flawless piece of Quartz to do the carving. The original handle was not flawless but I wanted the new one to be of a higher quality than the original considering the amount the jeweler was investing in the piece.

Below, you will see photos and description of the cutting process.

Shows a views of a 4 inch tall Quartz carving in the shape of a daisy flower at the top. It is broken in 2 places. A bottom view of the same piece. A side view of the same cane handle.

Broken Cane Handle

The 3 photos at the left show various photo angles of the Quartz cane handle.

click this photo

You can see a gold ring at the end of the handle which joins the handle to the top of the cane stick.

I am holding a piece of Quartz rough which is the size of a grapefruit.

Rough Quartz Material

I needed to find a flawless piece of Quartz for this carving project.

Quartz is a very common material but it can be very difficult to find a large piece which does not have flaws.

You can see a shiny area near my thumb which is a broken spot. This allows me to see into the crystal to some extent and it looks pretty clean. But there may be flaws which I cannot see.

I am holding the piece of rough Quartz next the broken cane handle to see if it is large enough to used to carve a new cane handle.

Comparing the rough with the broken piece

Here I am holding the rough piece next to the broken piece in order to visually estimate if the rough piece will be large enough.

It is still too early to tell for sure.

Shows a flat spot the size of a nickle I have ground onto the Quartz and a circle I have drawn on the flat spot with a pencil.

The first flat spot

I have ground the first flat spot onto the large crystal. You can see a circle which I have drawn with a pencil on that flat spot.

After studying the shape of the crystal, I have determined that this is the best place for the 'base' of the carving to be located.

Shows my flat lapping machine with a new diamond lap on it.

A new sharp diamond cutting lap

To work on a piece of raw Quarts which is this large, it would take forever if I used a dull cutting lap.

Here you see a new and sharp cutting lap which I purchsed for this project.

It won't be sharp anymore after more than an hour of grinding on this big Quartz crystal.

I am hand grinding the Quartz on my cutting lap.

Grinding on the Quartz

Here you can see me hand-grinding the large Quartz to remove large amounts of excess bulk.

This is a tedious process which also makes one's arm tired with the amount of pressure which needs to be applied.

I am measuring the Quartz with a digital caliper.


Here I am measuring the piece to see how things are progressing.

On a project like this, I will measure many many times to make sure the final dimensions are correct.

I have drawn straight lines with a pencil, like a plus sign, outward from the circle on the flat spot.

Drawing lines for alignment

You can see that I have now drawn lines with a Sharpie along the sides for the purpose of determining the alignment of the carving.

This shows that the alignment is off.

Not aligned properly

My drawing shows me that I am currently not aligned properly.

I will need to adjust my flat spot on the bottom and re-draw my lines to bring the crystal into alignment to position the carving properly.

I have drawn more lines on the Quarts to re-align it.

Re-aligned properly for the carving

You now see new lines drawn on the Quartz. I have re-aligned it so that the new carving will be properly positioned as I continue working on the piece.

I have now cut the top off along one of the horizontal lines I had drawn. The piece that I cut off is sitting next to the large piece.

I sawed the top off

I have cut the top off, which gives me the height for the carving, plus a bit.

I leave just enough height so that my carving will reduce the height by a bit and leave the final carving at the height of the broken sample or maybe a bit more.

Shows where I have put shiny oil on the flat surface which I just finished sawing.

Peering into the crystal

I have put some oil on the sawed surface to enable me to see into the piece.

I can now see that there is a large enough area inside the crystal to carve a flawless piece, after I cut off the outer sides to remove the flaws which do exist.

In this photo, on the right side you will see a couple of bright reflections which are cracks. They will be cut off later.

I have now sawn off pieces from the sides to make it smaller.

Sawing off the excess material

Here you can see where I have sawn off excess bulk.

Grinding it again on my lap to shape it.

More grinding

I am now back to the grinding wheel to remove more of the bulk material and bring the shape in closer to where it needs to be prior to working the piece by hand.

I now have a cone shaped piece which is flawless. Light is passing through the back of it.

Flawless cone shaped preform

I now have a flawless cone-shaped preform.

It looks kind of cool with the light passing through it!

The new preform is now sitting next to the broken sample which I will duplicate.

Preform next to sample

I can now see how my preform matches up to my sample shape.

I meausure to see that my size is on target taking into consideration a certain amount of material still needs to be removed.

I am now hand carving it with a hand tool using a diamond burr.

Hand carving

Now starts the hand carving. I use a very coarse tool at this early stage for removing the bulk in the 'stem' area of the flower carving.

This step creates a BIG MESS in my shop. White Quartz mud flies all over the place.

I have finished shaping the cylinder shaped stem of the carving.

The stem shaping is finished

You can now see the inside contouring in the stem area.

The challenge in this step was to use the necessary hand control to keep the stem area very cylindrical. It needs to look almost machine-made, which is how the sample looks.

I have carved an indest area where a gold collar will fit onto the small end where it joins the handle to the top of the cane.

Inset for gold collar

I next carved an inset step of the correct size for the gold collar to fit onto snugly.

I have also drilled a recessed area into the base which is where the piece will be fitted onto a post at the top of the walking stick.

I have made a finder sanded surface on the stem area.

Pre-polished stem section

I have sanded off the rough grinding texture and have also pre-polished the stem section on a special pad that I use to apply a very finely sanded pre-polished surface.

I am drawing lines on the top to align where to drill a recessed area.

Plotting where to drill the
center recess for the diamonds

I need to accurately measure and plot exactly where to drill the center recess where the pave' diamonds will be mounted.

If this is off by even a little bit, it won't look right.

Shows the recessed area which I just finished drilling.

Recess area for Diamonds is finished

I have finished drilling the recessed area.

I have set a dome shaped gold piece with pave' diamonds into the recessed area to see if it fits properly.

Diamonds in the recess

Here you can see how the Diamond dome sits in the recess area.

I am now using a pencil to draw where the flower petals will be carved onto the top.

Laying out the flower pattern

I use a pencil to draw the basic flower pattern onto the top.

The flower pattern consists of 20 daisy shaped petals.

I am now using a hand grinder to roughly carve the flower petals.

Rough shaping of the flower petals

Here I am roughly shaping out the daisy petals.

Each petal is a bit different. After making one petal, the next one needs to be lower and tilted to the right. Then the next one needs to be higher than the previous one and tilted to the left.

It is almost impossible to make an exact carbon-copy (or in this case a Quarz copy) of a non-geometric form, but I do the best I can.

I am now using a finer tool to add finder detail to the flower petals.

Adding definition to the carving

Here I am starting to use more detailed tools to add more definition and shaping to the flower petals.

Here I am adding more detail yet and also sanding and pre-polishig the petals.

Adding more detail

When you enlarge this photo you will see that I have added long detail lines in the petals.

At this stage the flower has a nice frosted look, which I liked. But the jeweler wanted it polished, like the original.

The next steps remove the frosted surface. I use various hand tools which leave a finer and finer surface until I have what is considered by cutters to be a pre-polished surface.

This shows the finished piece with a polish.


The flower now has a polish on the flower petals and also in the stem area.

The polishing step alone can take several hours.

The underside of the petals also had V shaped contours which needed to be sanded and polished.

I have now set the diamond dome in the top which is in the middle of the petals, and also placed the gold collar onto the bottom of the piece at the bottom of the stem.

Finished flower carving with Diamond
dome and gold collar in place

This photo and the next 2 show the finished carving with the Diamond dome and the gold collar in place.

I think the piece has a very elegant look.

A zoomed in closer look at the top of the carving.

A closer view

Just a closer look


Denton Anderson,
Gemologist & Gem Cutter
click photo for Video

Photo of Denton the gem cutter.

Graduate Gemologist, GIA, GG
Over 20 years of experience.