Tribute to Ernie Hawes

Ernie Hawes was originally from Indiana but lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico since 1971. He was a founding member of the New Mexico Faceters Guild. Ernie’s working career was spent mostly in education at both the high school and university levels. He retired in 2000 after twenty-two years spent as a high school administrator in the Albuquerque Public Schools.

Ernie’s interest in minerals began as a child picking up calcite and pyrite in a crushed limestone parking lot near his home in Indiana. His lapidary interests started while living in Las. Vegas, Nevada in the sixties. Faceting eventually became an interest and starting with an old used machine in 1974, Ernie self-taught himself the basics of faceting.

Ernie was a Facetron representative for many years and also purchased his first Ultra Tec in 1975. Ernie began teaching faceting in 1981 at the time of the founding of the New Mexico Faceters Guild. He served several terms as president, vice president, and newsletter editor. We all have had great interactions with Ernie. He was always willing to render assistance on faceting problems.

Ernie developed an interest in designing gems in about 1990 and used GemCad® to share designs with other Faceters. Ernie had numerous designs published in various guild newsletters and in Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist. Several years ago, Ernie published a design book of some of his faceting designs, Revealing the Light Within, Faceting Designs by Ernie Hawes, with all profits going to the instruction programs of the New Mexico Faceters Guild and the United States Faceters Guild.

To promote faceting, Ernie gave many demonstrations at gem and mineral shows, at museums, and at the Tucson gem shows. Over the years, Ernie gave a number of presentations at our guild meetings and for other gem and mineral organizations. He regularly taught faceting workshops for the New Mexico Faceters Guild. In addition to membership in his home guild, Ernie was a member of the Texas Faceters Guild, the United Kingdom Facet Cutters Guild, and the United States Faceters Guild. Ernie passed away on March 10, 2023. The world has lost a valuable asset.