LAPIDARY ARTS and FACETERS DIGEST
Issue No. 221 - Tuesday, October 7, 2003
Moderated by: Thurmond Moore III
Committed to carrying on the fine works of
Hale Sweeny and Jerry Dewbre
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Good list again today. Thanks to all who posted.
YOU are the list !!
Index to Today's Digest
01 RE: breweryite!
02 RE: Ultra Sonic Drill
03 RE: What is a Gemstone? / Solid Black Facet Rough
04 RE: Hiddenite HELP!!
05 RE: Response to one of Hale's Forwarded messages.
06 RE: Ultra Sonic Drill
07 FS: Facet Machine for sale.
08 RE: Ultra Sonic Drill
09 NEW: Peridot Polishing?
4 Messages forwarded from the Lapidary Digest Site
(these will be up all week)
Date: Mon, 6 Oct 2003 19:36:00 -0400
To: "faceter's digest" <email@example.com>
From: "Beth & Doug Dover" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I have also cut breweryite in the past in green and brown, BUT I much
prefer Cokeite and 7UPite. One of the finest I have cut is
electricinsulaterite in a pale blue.
Hi Doug, We call the blue Southwest Bell Stone around these parts.
Subject: re: utlrasonic mill
Date: Mon, 6 Oct 2003 20:01:45 EDT
I have some experience with ultrasonic drills. The place to buy them in the
U.S. is through Sonic Mill, which is a division of Rio Grande.
The person you need to talk to Clyde Treadwell, and he can be contacted at:
Ctreadwe@tbg.riogrande.com or 505-345-8376.
If all you want is holes drilled, you might consider contracting it
out--depending of course on how many pieces you're talking about. I believe Steve
at Rough and Ready Gems with do contract ultrasonic drilling. He can be
reached at: email@example.com
Subject: What is a gem, and a black gem?
Date: Mon, 06 Oct 2003 20:49:56 -0400
To: firstname.lastname@example.org (LapidaryArtsDigest)
From: "Jonathan L. Rolfe" <email@example.com>
At 05:53 PM 10/6/2003 -0500, you wrote:
>defined the word, "Gem" as being any
>object which possessed beauty, rarity and durability (the latter of which I
>interpret to mean "sufficient durability to enable frequent wear").
How about adding "Does not fade when worn" so we can finally put the
"Evening Stone" apology for some topazes to bed?
>after all these years, I've yet to read or hear a better definition. The
>neat thing about this definition -- or, at least, my interpretation of it --
>is that it permits me to feel good about applying it to such untraditional,
>yet perfectly wearable goodies as the
>Asteriated-Rose-Quartz-over-Agatized-Pyrite doublets I sometimes assemble,
I do not know if I mentioned it to you but years ago(Decades, actually)
when we had a cab business, we could never make enough rutilated
quartz/black onyx doublets. Cut them as a high dome cab and watch what
happens. People went crazy over them.
As for black faceting rough, this might be a good opportunity for us to go
through the tourmaline drawers and cut all that "Black on the C Axis"
material! Just cut it C axis vertical, and you would have a black stone
with some surprising green flashes once in a while to amaze and astonish
Too bad about hematite being what it is (Jeweller's rouge!) because it is
so '20's retro. Yeah, I got wheedled into faceting some flat-backed
stones from it. The shop has never been the same. The walls are NOT really
painted pink, it just never washed off completely.
Subject: Re: Hiddenite
Date: Mon, 6 Oct 2003 21:27:54 -0400 (EDT)
To: firstname.lastname@example.org (LapidaryArtsDigest)
From: DaveWoolley@webtv.net (Dave Woolley)
If you had a kilo of Hiddenite you would be a very rich man . . .
Hiddenite is a chromium 'contaminated' spodumene with a green color that
will, at its best, rival the best emerald in color. As far as I know it
has only been found in Alexandria County, North Carolina, in the town
that was named after it - Hiddenite.
Other sourced green spodumene is colored by iron.
A major source of green spodumene is Brazil. Green spodumene was
discovered in two pegmatites, in 1962, one at Corrego do Urucum, near
Galileia, in the Doce River region, in Minas Geris. The second deposit,
known as Fazeda Anglo, is near Itambacuri, also in the Minas Geris
state. I suspect that one of these deposits is where your spodumene came
from. Newer deposits may also have been found since then, possibly
Hiddenite as well.
I have seen Kilo parcels of Brazilian stuff and purchased a few nice
light green pieces. Usually, only people from Hiddenite, the town, are
the only ones who are sticklers for the chromium impurity to make, a
green spodumene qualify as Hiddenite.
I have published a series of articles for my local club news letter
entitled, "Scratches from the Master Lap". This can be found by doing an
internet search. I mention this because I came across some cutting tips,
third hand, from a professional spodumene cutter that may be helpful to
First, use ONLY fine grained cutting laps that run very true. Don't cut
with a saw unless it is new, and thin. All cutting to be done with a
very light pressure. Second, tilt the stone so that no facet will likely
parallel a cleavage plane, just like topaz. Make the girdle a little
thick. Third, as suggested in the "Scratches" article, overnight the
trimmed or preformed pieces in kerosene. The cutter thought that this
would allow the crystal structure to relax along the cleavage planes. He
reported that none of his preforms spontaneously cleaved when he did
this relaxing step. Fourth, it is moderately heat sensitive, use glue,
not dop wax. Fifth, orient the prism so that the cleavage panes are near
the girdle; optically the best color usually is when the table is near
parallel to the base of the crystal. Spodumene is of the monoclinic
crystal system, so your material will be trichroic. However, only two
colors will likely be observable in the lighter material. Dark Hiddenite
may show green, blue green and yellow-green.
It takes a lighter than usual touch to cut, but spodumene is easy to
polish. Best of luck. Use thicker cuts for a longer light path through
the gem to darken the color.
Subject: Re: Issue No. 220 - Monday, October 6, 2003
Date: Tue, 07 Oct 2003 00:11:46 -0400
To: LapidaryArtsDigest <email@example.com>
From: Kreigh Tomaszewski <Kreigh@Tomaszewski.net>
> From: "Carol Roush" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Sent: Monday, September 15, 2003 3:31 PM
> Subject: Rock Polisher
> Dear Sir:
> I have been on a quest to find a source to purchase a
> polishing kit to use on a large collection of Petoskey
> stones that I have accumlated over the years. So far,
> I haven't had any luck. Your web site was suggested
> and since you have an e-mail address, I thought I'd
> write to you.
> Can you suggest a catalog, or other source, that might
> have the equipment I would like. My father had a
> small electric tumbler/polisher many years ago and I
> thought finding one would be easy!! Any information
> you may have, would be appreciated. Also, if you
> don't know of any source, or don't believe there is
> one, let me know and I'll discontinue my search.
> Wayne Roush
Contact Lortone (425-493-1600) or Diamond Pacific (800-253-2954) to
purchase a tumbler and supplies, or visit
and learn how to make your own tumbler. I think both vendors are on the
web, but their catalogs were more convenient than their URLs.
Subject: RE: ULTRASONIC DRILL
Date: Tue, 07 Oct 2003 04:25:54 -0500
To: LapidaryArtsDigest <email@example.com>
From: Doug Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"We are looking to acquire/purchase a ultrasonic drill for out Jewelry
and lapidary business. We are having a hard time locating
vendors/manufactures, specifications, maintenance cost,spares, etc.of
these tools. Do any of your readers have knowledge of vendors who sell
these tools and/or had experience using and maintaining a ultrasonic drill."
Jim, I have no experience about an ultrasonic drill, but I searched
Google. It seems there is tons of information that came up. To see the
results of my search, click on:
Perhaps this will help a little.
Doug "Rhodolite" Smith
Alton, Illinois USA
Date: Tue, 7 Oct 2003 06:17:31 EDT
Anyone who is interested, there is a like brand-new GemMaster II, with a few
extras, on eBay. Check it out at
Subject: Ultrasonic drills.
Date: Tue, 07 Oct 2003 12:00:31 -0400
From: "Douglas Turet" <email@example.com>
Hi, Christine & James,
I've just seen your query on the ILA Lapidary List and think I may be
able to offer you some options... First of all, Alpha Supply in Bremerton,
WA, offers two different units, along with a selection of accessories for
each. You might try calling them, toll-free, at 1-(800) 257-4211, ext. 1,
and asking for Tom Orme. He's the owner and is amazingly knowledgeable.
Another option that might work for you is the use of one of the
pneumatically-driven flex-shaft handpieces, which can be had for a little
bit less, and which (if I'm not mistaken) operate in the vicinity of 300,000
rpm. These are used with an extremely delicate touch, and tend to pulverize
the surface layers of the workpiece, rather than "grind" them, in the
traditional sense. I mention this latter option as a possibility because
you've mentioned doing jewelry work as well as lapidary; these handpieces
are used by at least two of my customers, to great advantage. (And they can
be retrofitted into either the Foredom or Dremel drill presses, thus
effectively extending the range of uses for one tool, rather than having to
invest in more than one. Again, ask Tom; I'm not positive, but I wouldn't be
the least bit surprised if he had a line on these, as well. (If not, pick up
the phone and call me, if you'd like; I'll be glad to refer you to someone
who's actually using these, on a daily basis.) Until then,
Douglas Turet, GJ
P. O. Box 162
Arlington, MA 02476, U.S.A.
Tel. (617) 325-5328
Fax: (928) 222-0815
Subject: Thanx & Peridot Polishing?
Date: Tue, 7 Oct 2003 10:21:25 -0600
From: "Todd" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
First; I want to thank everyone who answered my post about
black facet rough material. The suggestions and tips I got, both on the
Digest and to my home email gave me good advice and several options.
On to the next topic.
I'm having a hel* of a time getting a polish on this Peridot
I'm working on. I looked up the gem characteristics and polishing
recommendations on two sites. I looked on Jeff Graham's site;
www.faceters.com <http://www.faceters.com/> and I also looked at Rob
Kulakofsky's site; www.colorwright.com <http://www.colorwright.com/> as
well. Both remarked about the difficulty in polishing Peridot. Alumina
on Tin was recommended as the polishing method and vinegar for some
reason was indicated also. They said that 50,000 on diamond could be
I have 2 BATT laps charged with 3,000 and 50,000, a
Crystalite Last Lap charged with 50,000 and a Redwing BATT I've yet to
charge because of cross contamination fears. I have such a hard time
getting the excess diamond and lube off the stone to look at it while
polishing I've shied away from diamond so far. Then again, I could have
these laps way over charged/lubed too. Can they be washed off in the
sink w/hot water & soap to get the excess diamond off them?
I'm having a problem with the long keel facets on this
design. It's a Jeff Graham design called Long Diamond;
http://www.faceters.com/designs/ad8/check67.shtml, a 1:2-L/W rectangular
design w/a checkerboard top. The pavilion has four long keel facets.
I'm getting a polish on some parts of them and not on others. I can see
no rhyme or reason to it. One part of one facet will polish fine, the
rest of it won't. Just above it the next facet at a slightly different
angle won't take polish at all, and vice versa. The long facets look
spotty; some areas polished some dull.
While trying to 'make' the stone take a polish it over cuts
and I've re-cut the pavilion four or five times so far! The stone which
started out at a nicely sized 14mm x 7mm, is now at 11mm x 5.5mm and
How can you figure out if you've got enough material above
the girdle to cut the crown? I've tried eye-balling it. Several stones
I've cut once they're transferred, don't have enough material to get the
crown cut in at the angles specified. As much time as I put into this
Peridot I don't want it to happen with it.
These measurements are all Greek to me but here they are
mean other than by eyeballing it using the measurements Jeff lists;
L/W=2.001, T/W=0.967, T/L=0.483, P/W=0.420, C/W=0.300,
H/W=(P+C)/W+0.02=0.740, P/H=0.567, C/H=0.405, Vol./W^3=0.896.. I have
no idea what I just wrote but maybe some one does and would explain it
to me. I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but at least I'm in
Any help, advice, or recommendations would as always be
appreciated. This stone has great color. It does have some small "lily
pad" inclusions, but you can't really see them without magnification.
I'm hoping none break thru the surface and the checkerboard top will
help hide them.
As always, thank you Thurmond for the resource you make
available to us all.
MESSAGES FORWARDED FROM HALE SWEENY
Hale receives questions from time to time and I have agreed to
handle them via the list. If any member can help any of these
folks please respond to them directly as they are not yet members.
Remember to copy the list for the information archives.
Sent: Monday, September 01, 2003 2:57 PM
Subject: Message from Website
Am looking for a dig site in the san antonio or south texas area to take my grandson
to. Dont know where to look. He is a budding rockhound and would like to look for
minerals and gemstones. Can you help direct me?
Peggie J. Shinn
From: Rick Harris email@example.com
Subject: Message from Web Site
Hi I have been emailing Ashish Jain one of your advertisers at the address listed in
the ad firstname.lastname@example.org and I always get a failure delivery notice when sending.
Can you please give me a phone number or give my email address to Ashish. I need the
agate dyes being advertised. Thanks Rick
From: "Carol Roush" <email@example.com>
Sent: Monday, September 15, 2003 3:31 PM
Subject: Rock Polisher
I have been on a quest to find a source to purchase a
polishing kit to use on a large collection of Petoskey
stones that I have accumlated over the years. So far,
I haven't had any luck. Your web site was suggested
and since you have an e-mail address, I thought I'd
write to you.
Can you suggest a catalog, or other source, that might
have the equipment I would like. My father had a
small electric tumbler/polisher many years ago and I
thought finding one would be easy!! Any information
you may have, would be appreciated. Also, if you
don't know of any source, or don't believe there is
one, let me know and I'll discontinue my search.
From: yolly lee
Sent: Tuesday, September 16, 2003 2:56 AM
Subject: RE: AGATE DYES
I am looking for suppliers of dyeing chemicals used to color agate stones.
Do you have any source for these coloring material or could you help us
We anticipate your immediate reply.
UNICORN (TAIWAN) CHEMICAL CO., LTD.
1F No.60 Alley 36 Lane 250 Nanking E. Road Sec.5 Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C.
RESOURCES FOR LAPIDARIES:
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Post something from your experiences in gemcutting today!
TODAY'S FUNNY ~
The Boss asked for a letter describing Bob Smith:-
Bob Smith, my assistant programmer, can always be found
hard at work in his cubicle. Bob works independently, without
wasting company time talking to colleagues. Bob never
thinks twice about assisting fellow employees, and he always
finishes given assignments on time. Often Bob takes extended
measures to complete his work, sometimes skipping coffee
breaks. Bob is a dedicated individual who has absolutely no
vanity in spite of his high accomplishments and profound
knowledge in his field. I firmly believe that Bob can be
classed as a high-caliber employee, the type which cannot be
dispensed with. Consequently, I duly recommend that Bob be
promoted to executive management, and a proposal will be
executed as soon as possible.
* Project Leader
A FOLLOW- UP MEMO WAS SOON SENT FOLLOWING THE LETTER (as follows):
...That idiot (Bob) was reading over my shoulder while I wrote the report I sent to
you earlier today. Kindly read ONLY the odd numbered lines (1, 3, 5, etc...) for my
true assessment of him.
TIDBITS AND REFLECTIONS~
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