LAPIDARY ARTS and FACETERS DIGEST
Issue No. 116 - Friday April 25, 2003
Moderated by: Thurmond Moore III
Committed to carrying on the fine works of
Hale Sweeny and Jerry Dewbre
POST TO EITHER LINK BELOW:
VISIT OUR WEBSITE TODAY
From the Moderator:
Great list today group. Thanks for all the fine post.
I might have lost a post during todays list build.
If you posted today and do not see it in the digest
please forgive my error and repost your message for
Index to Today's Digest
01 RE: Beginners
02 RE: Drill +
03 RE: Bob's Rockshop
04 RE: Getting rid of those pesky stones (Beginners)
05 RE: Faceting machine comparisons (Beginners)
06 NEW: 50K on copper or brass for polishing
07 RE: Faceting Machines (Beginners)
08 RE: Beginners
09 NEW: Gem Master II for Sale
Caution: Todays Funny and reflections and tidbits
are VERY long.
Date: Thu, 24 Apr 2003 18:38:59 -0700
From: "Galarneau's" <email@example.com>
Your insight into the dilemma of facetors is quite good for a
beginner. I am a person who makes my living facetting, cabbing, and
carving gemstones. In 25 years in the business, it is my opinion that
99% of people that start out as hobbyists end up trying to sell stones
they produce. Of the 99% most are unsuccessful in business, so they go
around trying to sell wherever they can. I run into these people at
every gem and mineral show as they try to sell their stones and compare
their cutting prices, selling prices, and designs to mine. My advice is
to make up your mind early whether to cut for fun or for profit and
stick to your decision.
As for the best machine. In my experience there are only two machines
that can withstand the mistakes of a beginner and the constant abuse of
a professional. The are Ultra Tec and Facetron. I have used both for
many years. Of the two I now am outfitted with two Facetron equipment
facetors and two Facetron special cut machines (SCM). My choice was
made because the machines can really take a beating. I misuse my
machines all the time, cutting large stones, small stones. cabs, and
carvings on the facetor and SCM. The facetron keeps on going. I have
only sent one facetting head back to be repaired. After ten years of
abuse the needle broke off in the indicator. For $25 USD including
shipping, they replaced the needle, cleaned the head, and realigned the
machine. Total turn around time was one week.
My experience with Ultra Tec started in 1985 when I bought a used left
hand machine. After a couple of years of use the machine developed
quill alignment problems and cheater accuracy problems. I sent the
machine back to the factory. One month latter I got the machine back.
I tried cutting a stone with it and it was worse than when I sent it in
to be repaired. I called the factory to complain and was told that the
machine was too old to be repaired properly and that I should buy a new
machine. .I put the Ultra Tec in storage and bought a Facetron.
Facetron repairs what they make.
Subject: Drill +
Date: Thu, 24 Apr 2003 20:59:37 -0500
As an alternative, I advised him that ultrasonic drills were a
bit pricey and would take a while to recover costs and that rock
drills were slow but will work unattended but I don't know where
to get one. Any help or ideas are appreciated.
Tony, I have an old gear drill that i would let your e mail buddy use.
It works quite well. I can cut up to a 3/4" hole using a heavy brass tube
and 220 grit with 30w oil.
Eh Bob hi...drop me a line will you... i had a crash and lost you ..... and
a lot of other stuff ...
Thurmond, sorry for lurking as i have been. I do read the posts as i can. I
just work way to meany hrs.
I hear you concerning the long hours. I usually do not eat lunch so that
is when I do the list. I have the luxury of working a block and a half from home
so travel time by bicycle is nil.
Subject: Bob's Rockshop
Date: Thu, 24 Apr 2003 22:27:49 -0400
To: LapidaryArtsDigest <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: Walter Greenwood <email@example.com>
Does anyone know what has happened to the Bob's Rockshop website?
Hi Walter, I have heard that Bob has new interest that are taking his time.
That's all I know for sure. I guess we have to wait and see. It is a shame
to loose all the information that that site contained but it is archived at
Subject: Getting rid of those pesky stones
Date: Fri, 25 Apr 2003 00:31:18 -0500
From: "Pauly Sanders" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Hi Russell and all,
>>>>>>>>>Do we then start looking for a profit and sell to the public?
Maybe it will be thought that I am trying to run before having learnt to walk
(having cut only 2 3/4 stones) but I need to have a feel as to where it
is taking me.<<<<<
Do it for your own enjoyment ahead of anything else. If you stick with
it you will improve. At first you will think that your stones are worth
more that they probably are. Cut a lot of different designs in a lot of
different materials. I guarantee that you will learn something from each
one. If you get to the point you would like to try and sell them you
need to let people know about you and what you have to offer. This
includes joining clubs/guilds, exhibiting at shows and talking to people
you know. I was fortunate on having a regional newspaper with a fairly
large readership do a full page article complete with photos. Print up
fliers and put them up. Visit local jewelers and introduce yourself.
List on websites,(most ISP's provide free space for a homepage). If you
get really lucky like I did recently you can hook up with an independent
silver/goldsmith artist that keeps me busy cutting stones for him on a =
>>>>> Is it not a problem that to compete with the mass
production market (apart from those of you that have established
reputations) you have to value your time at next to nothing? You know
that your stone is probably better quality and has been cut to a more
exacting finish than 'similar' stones in the high street jewelers (or
through auctions such as Ebay) but the public usually does not have the
same knowledge base to make this distinction. <<<<<<<
The secret is to offer something better/different than folks can buy
from QVC,( cable TV network), or other sellers of mass produced cheap
stones. Find discriminating customers who do know the difference. One
of my best customers works for a jewelry store. People are willing to
pay more for a quality stone from someone they know has cut it and is
unique. I cut all types/prices of stones, but you realize more profit
from the higher end stuff. You can spend the same amount of time
cutting that 14mm citrine you might sell for $50 as a same size Russian
Lab Alex that I just sold for $300,(you can see this stone on my
Of course the rough for that stone cost $187, but that's still a nice
profit. It's usually more difficult to sell a loose stone than one set,
so learn how to set stones in simple settings, (it's a lot easier than
faceting). Price your stones so that you can offer free or very
inexpensive mounting in silver. You do have one important advantage,
you can sell your stones for much less that the jeweler that has all the
overhead. BUT, don't underprice your work. Even a lowly 8mm SRB amethyst
should fetch $20/25. Be patient someone will want it. I cut very little
without having a order now, but to start you need to have a nice
selection for people to look at. I do cut proof stones in the cheaper
materials to test a new design. These look good, and you can also sell
them at a very reasonable price.
Just my two cents worth,
Sanders Gemology Labs
Hi Pauly, Great Lab Alex. Is that a Portuguese cut?
Subject: Faceting machine comparisons
Date: Fri, 25 Apr 2003 12:15:18 +0000
For anyone just starting with faceting and looking to buy a new machine, I
would strongly recommend looking at:
I have no connection to this site, of course. They offer good comparisons
give an idea of relative costs and advantages of each type. Give it a try.
Denney L. Wilson
Subject: 50K laps
Date: Fri, 25 Apr 2003 08:31:22 EDT
I would be most interested in hearing about the experiences of anyone who
have used either copper or brass laps for 50k polishing.
PO Box 1014
Hixson TN 37343
Hi Mike, I have not yet bought a copper lap for polish but I do use one
with 8K for prepolish with good results on everything I have cut on it so far.
I have another I use for rough work at 320 grit. It doesn't do the subsurface
damage that a nickel bonded lap of the same grit would. I suspect that this
is the result of the softness of the metal. When a diamond becomes dislodged
from a copper lap it will most likely imbed itself back into the lap almost immediately
unlike a nickel bonded lap where it will roll along the lap and never be imbedded
back into the lap.
Subject: faceting machines
Date: Fri, 25 Apr 2003 08:43:08 -0400
From: "Frank lavin" <email@example.com>
To answer Russell's question on which machine to buy, I suggest the same
applies as buying rough: get the best you can afford. I personally use two
machines. I started out with the Raytech Shaw and added the dial for more
precision. I have cut a lot of beautiful stones with this machine and it is
quite affordable (comparatively speaking). I will continue to cut with this
machine as I am very comfortable with it. I am moving to northern Illinois
in a few weeks and will be teaching faceting out of my home. For this I will
be using the Gemmaster II Facette machine. This is the "Rolls Royce" of
machines. I have learned from Mr Jerry Call who runs a faceting school in
Sevierville Tn and only uses the Gemmaster II. I have talked to several
others who have used the Ultra-tech and Facetron machines. Most of them
seem to be happy with their choice. Get catalogs with various descriptions of
the different machines (Rockpeddler's catalog is a good start) and ask a lot
of questions to the members of this forum. Hope this helps.
Date: Sat, 26 Apr 2003 01:08:06 +1000
From: "Reg Hodges" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
After considerable research I have finally decided on the VeeJay
Faceting Machine as sold by Sapphire Engineering here in Australia.
They have two models, the cheaper one selling for Aus$4000 and the
dearer (with reversible motor) sells for about Aus$4500. If you are
interested I can provide you with their details. It goes without saying
I have no commercial interest with this company.
Subject: RE: Gem Master II for Sale
Date: Fri, 25 Apr 2003 10:01:39 -0700
From: "Lenora Salandi" <email@example.com>
I have a Gem Master II for sale that has had very little use. It is in
perfect condition and comes with many laps, and extra indexes and supples
including some rough. Has directions and manual and is easy to use. I
bought this used from a gentleman who barely used it and had bought it new.
I lost my job shortly after purchasing the unit and after faceting 2
gemstones I started selling rocks on eBay so the unit has been in storage,
in its original box, for 4 years. Total price is $3,500 and includes
shipping to anywhere USA and I do take paypal. If interested, please
me at: firstname.lastname@example.org Lenny Salandi - chada32 (on eBay)
Hi Lenny, Sure wish I had $3500. : )
RESOURCES FOR LAPIDARIES:
PERSONALS: (General Lapidary and Faceting)
Lurking is fine, but participation is better for learning !
Post something from your experiences in gemcutting today!
TODAY'S FUNNY ~
Terrible world history
The following is a "history" collected by teachers throughout
the United States, from eighth grade through college level.
Read carefully, and you will learn a lot of incorrect information.
The inhabitants of ancient Egypt were called mummies.
They lived in the Sarah Dessert and traveled by Camelot.
The climate of the Sarah is such that the inhabitants have to
live elsewhere, so areas of the dessert are cultivated by irritation.
The Egyptians built the Pyramids in the shape of a huge triangular
cube. The Pyramids are a range of mountains between France
The Bible is full of interesting caricatures. In the first book of the
Bible, Guinesses, Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree.
On of their children, Cain, once asked, "Am I my brother's son?"
God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac on Mount Montezuma.
Jacob, son of Isaac, stole his brother's birth mark. Jacob was a
patriarch who brought up his twelve sons to be patriarchs, but
they did not take it. One of Jacob's sons, Joseph, gave refuse
to the Israelites.
Pharaoh forced the Hebrew slaves to make bread without straw.
Moses led them to the Red Sea, where they made unleavened bread,
which is bread made without any ingredients. Afterwards, Moses went
up on Mount Cyanide to get the ten commandments. David was a
Hebrew king skilled at playing the liar. He fought with the Philatelists,
a race of people who lived in the Biblical times. Soloman, one of
David's sons, had 500 wives and 500 porcupines.
Without the Greeks we wouldn't have history. The Greeks invented
three kinds of columns - Corinthian, Doric, and Ironic. They also had
myths. A myth is a female moth. One myth says that the mother of Achilles
dipped him in the River Stynx until he became intollerable. Achilles
appears in The Iliad, by Homer. Homer also wrote The Oddity, in which
Penelope was the last hardship that Ulysses endured on his journey. Actually,
Homer was not written by Homer but by another man of that name.
Socrates was a famous Greek teacher who went around giving people
advice. They killed him. Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock.
In the Olympic games, Greeks ran races, jumped, hurled the biscuits,
the threw the java. The reward to the victor was a coral wreath.
The government of Athens was democratic because people took the
law into their own hands. There were no wars in Greece, as the mountains
were so high that they couldn't climb over to see what their neighbors
were doing. When they fought with the Persians, the Greeks were
outnumbered because the Persians had more men.
Eventually, the Ramons conquered the Greeks. History calls people
Romans because they never stayed in one place for very long. At Roman
banquets, the guests wore garlic in their hair. Julius Caesar extinguished
himself on the battlefields of Gaul. The Ides of March murdered him because
they thought he was going to be made king. Nero was a cruel tyranny who
would turture his poor subjects by playing the fiddle to them.
Then came the Middle Ages. King Alfred conquered the Dames. King Arthur
lived in the Age of Shivery, King Harold mustarded his troops before the Battle
of Hastings, Joan of Arc was canonized by Bernard Shaw, and victims of the
Black Death grew boobs on their necks. Finally, Magna Carta provided that
no free man should be hanged twice for the same offense.
In medevil time most of the people were alliterate. The greatest writer of the
time was Chaucer, who wrote many poems and versus and also wrote
literature. Another tale tells of William Tell, who shot an arrow through an apple
while standing on his son's head.
The Renaissance was an age in which more individuals felt the value of their
human being. Martin Luther was nailed to the church door at Wittenberg for
selling papal indulgences. He died a horrible death, being excommunicated
by a bull. It was the painter Donatello's interes in the female nude that made
him the father of the Renaissance. It was an age of great inventions and
discoveries. Gutenberg invented the Bible. Sir Walter Raleigh is a historical
figure because he invented cigarettes. Another important invention was the
circulation of blood. Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100 foot
The government of England was a limited mockery. Henry VIII found walking
difficult because he had an abbess on his knee. Queen Elizabeth was the
"Virgin Queen." As a queen she was a success. When Elizabeth exposed
herself before her troops, they all shouted, "hurrah." Then her navy went
out and defeated the Spanish Armadillo.
The greatest write of the Renaissance was William Shakespear. Shakespear
never made much money and is only famous because of his plays. He lived
at Windsor with his merry wives, writing tragedies, comedies and errors. In
one of Shakespear's famous plays, Hamlet rations out his situation by
relieving himself in a long soliloquy. In another, Lady Macbeth tried to convince
Macbeth to kill the Kind by attack his manhood. Romeo and Juliet are an
example of a heroic couplet. Writing at the same time as Shakespear was
Miguel Cervantes. He wrote Donkey Hote. The next great author was John
Milton. Milton wrote Paradise Lost. Then his wife died and he wrote Paradise
During the Renaissance America began. Christopher Columbus was a great
navigator who discovered America while cursing about the Atlantic. His ships
were called the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Fe. Later, the Pilgrims crossed
the Ocean, and this was known as Pilgrims Progress. When they landed at
Plymouth Rock, they were greeted by the Indians, who came down the hill
rolling their war hoops before them. The Indian squabs carried porpoises on
their back. Many of the Indian heroes were killed, along with their cabooses,
which proved very fatal for them. The winter of 1620 was a hard one for the
settlers. Many people died and many babies were born. Captain John Smith
was responsible for all this.
One of the causes of the Revolutionary Wars was the English put tacks in
their tea. Also, the colonists would send their parcels through the post
without stamps. During the War, the Red Coats and Paul Revere was
throwing balls over stone walls. The dogs were barking and the peacocks
crowing. Finally, the colonists won the War and no longer had to pay for taxis.
Delegates from the original thirteen states formed the Contented Congress.
Thomas Jefferson, a Virgin, and Benjamin Franklin were two singers of the
Declaration of Independence. Franklin had gone to Boston carrying all his
clothes in his pocket and a loaf of bread under each arm. He invented
electricity by rubbing two cats backwards and declared, "A horse devided
against itself cannot stand." Franklin died in 1790 and is still dead.
George Washington married Martha Curtis and in due time became the
Father of Our Country. Then the Constitution of the United States was
adopted to secure domestic hostility. Under the Constitution the people
enjoyed the right to keep bare arms.
Abraham Lincoln became America's greatest president. Lincoln's mother
died in infancy, and he was born in a log cabin which he built with his
own hands. When Lincoln was President, he wore only a tall silk hat.
He said, "In onion there is strength." Abraham Lincoln wrote the
Gettysburg address while traveling from Washington to Gettysburg on
the back of an envelope. He also freed the slaves by signing the
Emasculation Proclamation, and the Fourteenth Amendment gave the
ex-Negroes citizenship. But the Clue Clux Clan would torcher and lynch
the ex-Negroes and other innocent victims. It claimed it represented law
and odor. On the night of April 14, 1865, Lincoln went to the theater
and got shot in his seat by one of the actors in a moving picture show.
The believed assinator was John Wilkes Booth, a supposingly insane
actor. This ruined Booth's career.
Meanwhile in Europe, the enlightenment was a reasonable time.
Voltare invented electricity and also wrote a book called Candy.
Graity was invented by Isaac Walton. It is chiefly noticeable in the
Autumn, when the apples are falling off trees.
Bach was the most famous composer in the world, and so was Handel.
Handel was half German, half Italian, and half English. He was very
large. Bach died from 1750 to the present. Beethoven wrote music
even though he was deaf. He was so deaf he wrote loud music.
He took long walks in the forest even when everyone was calling
for him. Beethoven expired in 1827 and later died for this.
France was in a very serious state. The French Revolution was
accomplished before it happened. The Marseillaise was the theme
song of the French Revolution, and it catapulted into Napoleon.
During the Napoleonic Wars, the crowned heads of Europe were
trembling in their shoes. The the Spanish gorillas came down from
the hills and nipped at Napoleon's flanks. Napoleon became ill with
bladder problems and was very tense and unrestrained. He wanted
an heir to inherit his power, but since Josephine was a baroness,
she couldn't bear children.
The sun never set on the British Empire because the British Empire
is in the East and the sun sets in the West. Queen Victoria was the
longest queen. She sat on a thorn for 63 years. Her reclining years
and finally the end of her life were exemplary of a great personality.
Her death was the final event which ended her reign.
The nineteenth century was a time of many great inventions and
thoughts. The invention of the steamboat caused a network of rivers
to spring up. Cyrus McCormick invented the McCormick raper, which
did the work of hundred men. Samuel Morse invented a code of
telepathy. Louis Pasteur discovered a cure for rabbis. Charles
Darwin was a naturalist who wrote the Organ of the Species.
REFLECTIONS AND TIDBITS:
Subject: Words of Wisdom
Date: Fri, 25 Apr 2003 11:21:08 -0400
From: "J Wagstaff" <email@example.com>
ZEN UPDATED FOR 2003
1. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead.
Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow.
Do not walk beside me for the path is narrow.
In fact, just sod off and leave me alone.
2. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and a
3. The darkest hour is just before dawn. So if you're going to steal
your neighbour's milk, that's the time to do it.
4. Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be
5. No one is listening until you fart.
6. Always remember you're unique. Just like everyone else.
7. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.
8. If you think nobody cares whether you're alive or dead, try missing a
couple of mortgage payments.
9. Before you criticise someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes.
That way, when you criticise them, you're a mile away and you have their
10. If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.
11. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish,
and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.
12. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was
probably worth it.
13. If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.
14. Some days you are the bug; some days you are the windscreen.
15. Don't worry; it only seems kinky the first time.
16. Good judgment comes from bad experience, and a lot of that comes
from bad judgment.
17. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put
it back in your pocket.
18. A closed mouth gathers no foot.
19. Duct tape is like the Force. It has a light side and a dark side,
and it holds the universe together.
20. There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works.
21. Generally speaking, you aren't learning much when your lips are
22. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
23. Never miss a good chance to shut up.
24. We are born naked, wet, and hungry, and get slapped on the rear ...
then things get worse!
We at L&M gems are making some changes to our business. As part of these
changes, we will be closing out most of the material we have on our
website at huge savings. If you want anything, now is the time to get it
while it's on sale because a lot of what doesn't sell at sale prices will
This sale includes a minimum of 40% off most items. Some items more - and
sometimes much more, like 75% off some items How about 50% off on
amethyst, 50% off most rhodolite garnets, 60% off green/yellow diopside,
50% off kornerupine, 60% off a zircon parcel, 55% off that huge
actinolite, 55% off all alexandrite, 55% off all bulk malaya color garnet,
60% off mixed yellow scapolite. The few exceptions that are that less
than 40% are 25% off red spinel and all sapphire rough, and 20% off all
select tourmaline. We will be adding some items to the website as we are
able, so please check back for new items being added to the website, and
immediately put on sale.
Please note that our normal 5-day inspection period does not apply to this
inventory liquidation sale. All sale merchandise will be sold "as is" and
we will not accept returns. Additionally, all sales must be by credit
card, money order or cashier's check. We will not be accepting personal
or business checks for this sale. This change is temporary, and is only
going to apply to this liquidation sale.
I have some Afrcian Tourmaline Rough for sale. Assorted bi-color pieces
red-white, green-white, green-blue, pink-blue, and pink-blue pieces that
will cut matched pairs and suites. There are pieces 1-15 carats so call
and tell me what you are looking for. I also have large pieces of red
and pink Tourmaline from Africa as well as orange so please email with
your request. I also have three small Diamond Crystals for sale gem
grade. Tyler Allen firstname.lastname@example.org
We recently received a 100+kg parcel of the Serbian Green Opal. This is a
new material coming out of southern Serbia near the border of Macedonia. It
is an awesome material for cabbing as we well as excellent material for
We are putting some individual pieces on our website at:
Information about Serbian Green Opal can be found on our website at:
A example picture of the bulk rough can be seen on the information page
But, we are offering bulk prices on 'A' grade material as follows:
< 500 gram $.75 per gram
500 gram - 1kg $.50 per gram
1kg - 5kg $275 per kg
5kg - $25kg $200 per kg
25kg+ $175 per kg
The minimum order on the bulk pricing is 100 grams.
Pieces range from 3/4" to 6".
Incredible CZ rough available in all colors of the rainbow. Most available
at 6 cents per ct. Pic's available at www.pebbledesignbymolly.com Click on
the CZ button from the home page. We accept paypal, checks, MO, Visa, MC.
$25 order minimum.
PO Box 1014
Hixson TN 37343
Killer Fire Agate, from new Discovery , Deer Creek, Slaughter Mt.
quality at reasonable price. Write Azinterco@aol,com for pictures and
prices. Or email@example.com
Get a FREE copy of the 2003 Faceter's Engagement Calendar
with a $100+ rough purchase at http://www.qualitygemrough.com
(see website for details).
We have recently added some new material, including a new African
find of green/yellow diopside (and we are the only people we know
who have it). Our stock includes things like alexandrite, amethyst,
aquamarine, chrysoberyl, citrine, emerald, garnets (many varieties)
kornerupine, sapphire, spinel, tourmaline, zircon and more.
At http://www.qualitygemrough.com you get more value for your
money and we show our appreciation for your business with superior
customer service. You always have a money back guarantee with
the 5-day inspection period, and the convenience of using your
Visa or Mastercard.
Rough to Cut
If you're looking for quality facet rough please check out Rough to Cut,
http://www.roughtocut.com. We offer a wide range of quality facet rough
from Aquamarine to Zircon. Large selections in stock currently of Beryl,
Garnets & Tourmalines. Please check us out & when you do, why not give a
try to our contest, you could win a 5ct + piece of Spessartite garnet
Rough to Cut
AVAILABLE FOR SALE
Complete online discount catalog for cabbing and faceting machines, wheels,
laps, polishes, diamond saws, diamond blades, and general lapidary supplies
Solid copper laps 1/4 thick 8" and 6" you can charge both sides with
diamond. Other laps too !! http://www.jewelersgems.com
NOW ONLINE! RRGaetan Gem Rough - Featuring excellent, facet-grade,
Colombian Emerald rough! PLUS, Chrome Tourmaline, Achroite Tourmaline,
Golden Chrome Tourmaline, Aquamarine, Spess, Mint and Malaya Garnets,
and more! For photos and more information, visit us at rrgaetan.com .
LIST and WEBSITE INFO~
LAPIDARY ARTS and FACETERS DIGEST
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Tempie Francis, Attorney at Law / Legal Advisor
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