Vol. 2, Issue No. 152 - Friday October 4, 2002
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Published Monday thru Friday, except holidays
from deep in the heart of rural Texas
The IFA Faceter's Digest is professionally moderated by:
Thurmond Moore III & Fred Ward (Gemology)


"Making the world sparkle, one stone at a time."

Index to Today's Digest

01 Re: Certs
02 Re: Laps!
03 Re: stone certification and valuation
04 appraisals



Subject: Certs
Date: Thu, 03 Oct 2002 16:03:53 -0700
To: faceters@caprock-spur.com
From: "Paul T. Ahlstedt"<paulahlstedt@earthlink.net>

""Fred you have lots experience with certs whats your view?""

Hi Larry,

I have a couple of additional observations about certs. One is that they are
very subjective, and I am aware of at least one lab that heavily "loads" the
certs in favor of the seller.

Another is that I find that when I am dealing in very high end stones, the
buyer usually shows up with a portable lab anyway, so the cert is sort of




Subject: Laps!
Date: Thu, 03 Oct 2002 19:34:32 -0400
To: faceters@caprock-spur.com
From: "Jonathan L. Rolfe" <webmaster@gearloose.com>

At 06:09 PM 10/3/2002 -0500, you wrote:
>I found that it was difficult to find laps
>that were true and very few machine shops capable of carrying out precision
>machining. ..
> I must congratulate Jon Rolfe on his flat BATT laps use them a lot on
>finishing the harder stones.

Thanks! I love hearing this at the end of a post where the writer is
particular about his laps!
This has been a good week for hearing nice things! Tom Herbst got a new
laser interferometer, and did some consumer testing on the claims of a BATT
lap producing flat facets, with one of his stones.
When I saw his mail come in, I had a sinking feeling.."On No..don't tell me
the mail warped a lap or something"...The title was "BATT Flatness
Thanks for Tom for the testing, and allowing me to host the HTML of the
report. See http://www.battlap.info/FlatBATT.html
In this business, you never know what someone's Day Job might be-They may
even have a new interferometer!
One of the things that makes the online lists work so well is the huge
amount of "Other" skills gemcutters collectively have. We are bakers,
septic tank pumpers, electricians, doctors, clergy...anything one can
imagine. So we get answers from every perspective.


Hi Jon, Love the Redwing, It is a thing of beauty. I will be breaking it in this




Subject: Re: stone certification and valuation
Date: Fri, 4 Oct 2002 01:31:49 -0700
To: faceters@caprock-spur.com
From: Tony <lightbender@thegemdoctor.com>

Hello Don,

When I first started cutting I started to wonder what value I
had in cut stones and decided to invest in some paper from an
independent appraiser. I was directed to a gentleman of some
repute that proceeded to inform me that prices of custom cut
stones and therefore their ultimate value are my domain not his.
An appraiser can only compare what is shown them with that which
they know is available and for how much. If I produce a unique
gemstone then I am the only person that knows the real costs and
consequentially the real wholesale value. That amount is quite
simply what I would charge for another stone to match or replace
this one.

Now for the good bit. You provide the provenance and replacement
value certificate for the loose unmounted stone. You do not need
to pass any exams and you are not going to be placed in a
suable position by issuing such a cert. What the cutters
certificate will do is provide an independent appraiser with all
of the details needed to provide insurance replacement
documentation. I like to go overboard here as the more
meticulous the detailing the more credible the cert will be.
Make it as spiffy as you can. Ink jet printer on certificate
paper is quite spiff.

Some suggestions;

Rough vendor and date: (someone to blame)

Material sold to you as : (passing the buck)

Rough description with weights and measurements, Location,
species and variety.

Weights and Measurements and date of finished gem:

Design name, Author and execution time: (how long it took not
when you intend doing away with the designer)

Number of facets on the stone : ( Amazingly people love this one
if the number is big and faceted girdles give big numbers)

Angles used on facets: (Yes you will find appraisers that don't
know the names of all the facets we use)

Name of the stone: (Yes you will feel pretentious, all of us on
the list will think you pretentious, however your customer will
love it and list members don't buy cut stones)

Care and Maintenace; (helpful hints and cleaning tips)

Scientific blah blah: Latin names, chemical names and formulae,
atomic weight, associated varieties, world locations and any
other sciency filler.

Metaphysical blah blah: (Not just the 'healy feely' crowd but
reality addicts also enjoy this stuff)

If you still have any room or have decided to attach a booklet
you could also provide the cutting diagrams and instructions,
The copyright issues on some designs would have to be explored
but I don't have Gemcad or any design software so I don't do

The valuation should include some wording like this;
Replacement value shown includes the industry standard handling
and stocking charges accepted by the majority of the jewellery
trade as applied to the loose stone only and does not include
the value of any metalwork, setting costs or other jewellers

How much? As I said. the amount you want for doing it again and
being happy about it. Not how much you charged this time. Now
double it to cover the jewellers 'handling charges'. That is the
replacement value, simple.

Date and sign your name as the gemcutter and give the expiry
date of the valuation, You may not want to do it for that price
5 years hence but it should be good for 1 or 2. Most important
is clearly showing the certification fee, even if you didn't
charge for the service this time, you need to show the value of
your documenting, cutting and gem knowledge. Nothing below
US.$25 should be considered. Add any disclaimers you feel
necessary, such as; not an offer to purchase, not an offer to
supply, cert cannot be used as a selling tool etc.

Just in case you think this is all rather arrogant consider how
many of the top gemmologists and appraisers in the country have
cut more stones than you have. Not many I'd wager. You are not
selling a commodity you have created an art object and this is
how you sign it. How many jewellery owners know the name of the
person that cut their gems. That knowledge has a cash value,
don't give it away or squander it. No stone should leave your
shop without a cert.




Subject: appraisals
Date: Fri, 4 Oct 2002 06:13:36 -0500
To: <faceters@caprock-spur.com>
From: "David Ault" <fieldweld@surfmore.net>

In regards to Don's opal. Paul Downing wrote a book on opals a few years
back that has been incorporated into the guide as the standard for
appraising opals. Your stone would be a crystal opal for the type of opal.
An unusual pattern to the play of fire can affect value. There is a scale of
values from there that is based on type of play of color [ blue, green,
greenblue, bluegreen etc]and brightness of the play of color. The quality of
the cut and is it calibrated or not is another consideration. The one
problem with this system is that you absolutely must have a set of reference
stones for the brightness levels. I say so and so does the author----
believe it. This system gives you an exact grade that will allow two
competent graders to arrive at the same exact grading and will end confusion
on grading opals. Once you have this system and learn to use it you will
find that your "expert GIA grads" will be calling you to tell them about
what they are trying to appraise. I have told and shown some grads here in
Nashville this system and they love it. The only problem is that to a man
they refuse to get a set of reference stones to grade by so what they do is
subjective and not based on the authors standards. I do not know where the
disconnect is in gia grad minds around here but it exists. As an aside to
this I sometimes like to interpret initials . After dealing with these grads
and the GIA home office I decided for instance that GIA stood for Generally
Incompetent --------. I will let you fill in the blanks. You CAN NOT GRADE
WITHOUT REFERENCE STONES. Did I mention that before? Dave Ault



Bombay Bazaar - (800)678-8450
Facetron: http://www.facetron.com/
Graves: http://www.rockhounds.com/graves/
MDR: http://www.mdr-facet.com/
Polymetric: http://www.polymetricinc.com/
Ultra-tec: info@ultratec-facet.com
Fac-Ette Manufacturing Company: (910)256-9248
http://www.fac-ette.com/ 800-336-9248.
Raytech Industries: http://www.raytech-ind.com
Rock Peddler: 1-800-416-4348 / www.rockpeddler.com



Accredited Gemologists Association, http://aga.polygon.net/
American Gem Society, (AGS) 702-255-6500
American Gem Trade Association, (AGTA) http://www.agta.org
Gemmological Assc. & GTL / Great Britain, http://www.gagtl.ac.uk/gagtl
Gemmological Association of Australia, http://www.gem.org.au
Gemological Institute of America, (GIA) http://www.gia.edu.giagem
International Gem Society (IGS) web site is: http://www.gemsociety.org
International Colored Gemstone Association, http://www.gemstone.org


FACETING GUILDS (Alphabetically, World) ~

*Charleston Faceting Guild, South Carolina, wmcnay@mindspring.com.
*Columbia-Willamette Faceter's Guild, http://www.facetersguild.com/
*Danish Faceters Guild, http://medlem.spray.se/danfacet/
*East/Central Florida:Tomoka Gem and Mineral Society's Faceters Guild,
Don Cameron: ghgemcutter@earthlink.net
*Eastern Mass Faceter's Group, rockpeddler@attbi.com
*Faceter's Forum Society-LaPorte, IN VESteele@aol.com
*Faceter's Guild of N. California, Wayne Meissner, lklomp@cnetech.com
*Faceter's Guild of S. California, Jerry W. Carroll, (818)348-6327
*Intermountain Faceter's Guild, Carl M. Unruh, (360)385-3753
*Midwest Faceter's Guild, E-mail: tgibbs@compuserve.com
*Mid-Williamette Faceters Guild, Albany, Oregon, Michael E. Bumcrot;
E-mail @ MBumcrot@valleyoilco.com
*Moreton Bay is a branch of the Australian Facetors' Guild, Brisbane,
Queensland. http://cwpp.slq.qld.gov.au/afg
*New Mexico Faceter's Guild, Nancy Attaway, attaway@highfiber.com
*North Puget Sound Faceting Guild, Keith Wyman, tfw@fidalgo.net
*Tacoma Faceting Guild, Chuck Bloch chuck_b@prodigy.net
*Texas Faceter's Guild, Jill Rowlands, gemsbyj@aol.com
*Seattle Faceting Club (LeonardBahr@prodigy.net)
*Vancouver Island Faceters' Guild - British Columbia, Canada.

(Add your faceting organization here, US or International - Write to
owner-faceters@caprock-spur.com )



IFA Faceter's Digest Virtual Faceting Class:

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IFA Faceter's Digest Microscope Lab:

IFA Faceter's Digest Home

IFA Faceter's Digest Temporary Discussion Page:




Tomoka Gem and Mineral Society's annual show will be held on Dec. 14 and 15 at
the Volusia County Fairgrounds, located on state route 44 in Deland, Florida.
Fairgrounds are 1 mile east of interstate route 4 at exit 118. We will have at
least one showcase of faceted gems done by our members. Thank you, John Withey


for Prizes!!



Sep 28-29 Downey. 52nd annual Delvers Gem& Mineral Soc. Women's Club
of Downey, 9813 Paramount Blvd. Free admission. Facet rough available
will include Benitoite, sapphires from Montana, Australia and southeast Asia,
blue and colorless topaz, 4Peaks amethyst,several citrines, ametrine,
sunstone, tourmaline and much more. Vargas books and laps also available.


Presented by the Faceter's Guild of Southern California
At the Seaside GEMboree AFMS/CFMS Convention & Show
Ventura, California June 6-7-8, 2003

You are invited to participate in the Faceters
Symposium 2003 which will be held at the Seaside Park
(Ventura Fairgrounds) at Ventura, California during the
AFMS/CFMS Convention & Show. The Faceters Symposium dates
are June 6th, 7th, & 8th. That is Friday, Saturday, &
Sunday. The CFMS GEMboree is on those dates as well as on
Thursday the 5th of June. All of this is at the same
location, just a hundred yards from the beach.

The Faceters Symposium will feature ten speakers, who
will have presentations covering various parts of gemstone
faceting interests. A Hospitality Hour on Friday evening
and a Saturday Awards Luncheon are also part of the
Symposium. There will be competitions at the Novice,
Advanced, & Masters levels. Get started on your
competition entry soon.

The CFMS GEMboree itself will have buildings that have
exhibits on display, dealers with their wares to offer,
demonstrators to show how it is done, and speakers with
presentations covering other lapidary fields of interest.

For information & costs regarding the Faceters
Symposium (including competition information), your contact
is listed below. Ask for one of the Packets. Be sure to
state your snail mailing address so that a Packet can be
mailed to you.

Glenn Klein, Chairman
24001 Muirlands Blvd., Space #79
Lake Forest, CA 92630 email: glennklein@yahoo.com



A Post Office worker at the main sorting office finds an unstamped,
poorly hand-written envelope addressed to God. He opens it and
discovers it is from an elderly lady, distressed because some thief
robbed her of 100 dollars. She will be cold and hungry for the rest
of the month if she doesn't receive some divine intervention.

The worker organizes a collection amongst the other postal workers,
who dig deep and come up with 96 dollars. They get it to her by
special courier the same morning.

A week later, the same postal worker recognizes the same hand on
another envelope. He opens it and reads: "Dear God, Thank you for
the 100 dollars. This month would have been so bleak otherwise.
P.S. It was four dollars short but that was probably those thieves
at the Post Office."



" Most people give up what they want out of life
Because they give in to the moment."

--- Author Unknown ---



Must sell the following rough - no reasonable offer refused -

Rose Malaya Garnet - deep red, eye clean african material - 1 kg available -
$2.00/gram for quantities of 500 grams or more

Red Zircon - eye clean african material - 300g available - $2.00/gram if you
take the entire 300 grams

Spessartite Orange Garnet - slightly to moderately included African
material - Ranges from 1.5 - 3 cts size - $7.50 per gram if you take the
entire 300 grams

I have put pictures of the rough and stones cut from it on the web -
check it out at: http://www.wintershill.com/rough

You can email me (Richard) for more info or ?'s at: wntrhill@somtel.com


RRGaetan GEM BROKERS < "Quality gem rough for discriminating gem-cutters."
We serve hand-select (and bulk/parcels, too!), affordable, quality gem rough
in a variety of materials. Our most recent arrivals: Aug. 2 ­ Aquamarine,
Spessartite and Tourmaline. For details and a colorful, interactive e-flyer
(PDF), email rrgaetan@san.rr.com and ask for "The Rough List."


Hello all, I still have a Xristal-Tek87 for sale. I am reducing the price
because I really have to sell this fine machine. I have cut maybe 15 stones
on it. It is basically brand new and in perfect condition. It has the 8"
adapter ring on it and the dial indicator. It is a very sturdy rugged
machine. I am reducing the price to $900 and will still consider all

Thank you,
David Creviston
Atlanta, Georgia


IFA Faceters Digest Members:

I am now accepting cutting orders for high quality American Facetting
specializing in Barions and Portuguese Cuts as well as repairs. I am
32 have been cutting for 15 years and have been recently laid off from
my company where I was a medical software salesman. So now it's back to
gemcutting and jewelry. I also offer extremely reliable, high quality
overseas cutting to your diagrams and specs with a 4-6 week turn around.
Diamond cutting and repair available two, including recutting of
chipped melee. Please contact Tyler Allen Atlanta GA
770-393-2547 t.allen@mindspring.com



CALIFORNIA (Southern): All persons in the Greater Riverside area (of
Southern California) are invited to attend our faceting classes and "get
togethers" which are held once per month. If you would like to join us and
meet fellow faceters, please contact me anytime at: paulahlstedt@earthlink.net ~
Paul Ahlstedt

KANSAS: If anyone in the central portion of the country from Oklahoma city
to Wichita to Kansas City would be interested in forming something like the
Flatland Facet Guild or some such name give me a line at
Larry W. Davis

ILLINOIS - MISSOURI (Central Area, hubed around St. Louis, Missouri) A
group of 4 faceters have met and we had a great time. We intend to meet
again and would like to have fellow faceters join our group. I received an
email from another Newbie that expressed interest in attending our next get
together. Faceters from any and all areas are welcome... It's swell to meet
personally and exchange tips and hints! COME JOIN OUR GROUP! It's FREE! ;o)
Doug Smith, Alton, IL .at: gembin@spiff.net

INDIANA: I moved to Valparaiso, (Northwest) Indiana, about three years ago.
Are there any clubs in this area? or is there anyone interested in starting
one? I do faceting and some cabbing. Not much here but cornfields. Nice
scenery, but I get sooooooo lonely. LOL Let me know. (Bill) "William
J.Pysnack" <wjpin@home.com>

S.E. LOUISIANA: Anyone in or around the New Orleans, LA area wishing to
form a club or have get togethers for faceting, discussions, cabbing,
procurement, etc. Please contact me via email @ tbird@bayouself.org. (Thom
Bird - Chalmette, LA)

MISSISSIPPI: If anyone is near Meridian Mississippi and would be interested
in forming some kind of club or just get together with faceting and/or
cabbing please e-mail me at jennings@netdoor.com Thanks, Jim

TEXAS: Anyone in the Corpus Christi or Coastal Bend area that is interested
in starting a local faceter's guild contact me at: hankswan@earthlink.net or
gemscc@msn.com or telephone 361-857-2405 (days) or 361-992-1296
(evenings).Hank swan

WASHINGTON DC.(Rockville Md area) Looking for folks to get together
occasionally to facet. I have just started faceting and am also interested
in sphere making (infinate # of facets) Robert Winfield

Lurking is fine, but participation is more fun!! Get involved!!

IFA Faceter's Digest Staff ~

Thurmond Moore III/ Moderator

Fred Ward / Moderator - Gemology

Jill St. Michael / Design & Technical Advisor

Tempie Francis, Attorney at Law / Legal Advisor


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