Issue No. 103 - Tuesday April 8, 2003
Moderated by: Thurmond Moore III
Committed to carrying on the fine works of
Hale Sweeny and Jerry Dewbre
From the Moderator: 

Topical Focus for This Week: TOURMALINE CUTTING CLINIC

Lets get some comments on cutting of both open and closed "C" axis

Well it's Tuessday and no comments yet concerning tourmaline.
I have a question.  It is a good general rule that if a piece of tourmaline
rough is placed on a piece of white paper in good light and has no
return of color it would be too dark to cut? I have a piece that has great
color when viewed against a bright light but is absolutely black in the situation
described above.

Index to Today's Digest

01  NEW: Star of David Cutting Diagram
02  NEW: Polishing on a garnet.
03  RE:  Cutting Clinics
04  RE:  Faceting crystal opal?
05  RE:  Cutting Fire Agate
06  RE: Gemstone Photography  (Ring light)
07  RE: Faceting crystal opal?

1 new advertisement today. (see the ad section)


Subject: Star of David Cutting Diagram
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 2003 14:51:05 -0400
To: "LapidaryArtsDigest" <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: "Tyler Allen" <t.allen@mindspring.com>

Can someone please send me the recipe for the Star of David Cut out of
the Long and Steele Barion Book.  Would be much appreciated.

Tyler Allen


Subject: Polishing on a garnet.
Date: Mon, 07 Apr 2003 15:05:58 -0400
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com (LapidaryArtsDigest)
From: "Jonathan L. Rolfe" <webmaster@gearloose.com>

At 01:46 PM 4/7/2003 -0500, you wrote:
>My final polishing solution was to use
>50,000 diamond on tin with oil and a very sparse water drip.  I do not know
>why the water drip makes a difference but have found that it has helped in
>other difficult polishing situations.

Tin has an affinity for diamond.  Most silicates have an affinity for
water.  A slow water drip removes swarf particles that can cause scratches,
but does not as rapidly deplete diamond from a tin lap.
Years ago, I blundered on some specialty abrasives, one of which was 5
micron garnet.  I expected it to act as a nice prepolish.  But garnet is
used in abrasive products like sandpaper because it shatters easily and
always stays sharp.  It was a total disaster, never produced a prepolish,
and tore some stones up as if it were a coarser grit!  5 microns should
have been 4,000 mesh.


Subject: RE: Issue No. 102 - Monday April 7, 2003
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 2003 15:32:20 -0400
To: "LapidaryArtsDigest" <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: "Naomi Sarna" <nsarna@earthlink.net>

Hello all, Just a quick note to say that I've especially enjoyed the last
few weeks of focussing on garnets, opal and now tourmaline.  Many thanks to
all. Naomi in New York


Subject: fire agate
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 2003 14:57:27 -0500
To: "LapidaryArtsDigest" <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: "Vernon Matthews" <matthews@bhil.com>

A tip for Pauly Sanders.    First of all, you're going to have to crank
your patience up a couple of notches or else you will be throwing things
all over your shop.   This stuff is tough to work with.   Depending on
the size of your rough,   I would suggest that you first determine the
fire layer and then saw the rough in half paralell to the fire layer so
that you have a top side showing and a bottom side revealed.    You will
notice that the top side will have a convex appearance to the layers.  
When you turn that piece over you will see the concave appearance on the
bottom.  Sometimes the concave surface has a better appearance than the
upper "convex" surface.   If you are really lucky.....the lower half of
the original rough piece may have nice workable fire layers as well.
At any rate....good luck.    This stuff will make you go crazy!!

    Vern Matthews


Subject: Faceting crystal opal?
Date: Mon, 07 Apr 2003 23:02:12 -0400
To: faceters@caprock-spur.com, dclayton@speakeasy.org
From: "Douglas Turet" <anotherbrightidea@hotmail.com>

Dan Clayton wrote:
"Someone pointed out Phil Stonebrook's faceted crystal opal on the
www.qualitygemcutting.com site. The two I saw were beauts. Does
crystal opal cut any differently than fire opal. I would have assumed
fire opal would make a much better faceted stone than crystal opal
but these two are fantastic. I would have thought a tablet with two
opposing tables and a faceted girdle would be great for crystal
opal with it's play of color. It looks to me like you might want a
simple design that didn't overpower the play of color. Any comments
form our gurus?"


     Just call me "Guru-on-the-spot" {;o)... Yes, a tablet cut would do
nicely, indeed, for a fine quality piece of Crystal (especially one with #5
red-green multicolor in her)! The rule I've always followed is as follows:
if the Opal in question has poor play-of-color but good body color and good
transparency (as in many of the Queretaro, Mexican Fire Opals or the
Lightning Ridge Jellies), I'll facet it with a 45* pavilion main and a 38*
crown. If she's a Semi-Crystal or Full Crystal, I'll purposely cut a window
down below, or do a double-Dutch Rose crown, which offers the anglature of a
window, but also offers the extra "romance" of the added facets, above and
below. Finally, if I'm cutting Contra Luz, I'll usually use either the
latter or an intentional window (by cutting the pavilion mains at or below
42*), and will often finish the top with an opposed-bar cut crown.
     Now, Dan, it's time to repeat after me: "Om me lapidary hum..."

(As seriously twisted as ever),

Douglas Turet, GJ
Lapidary Artist, Designer & Goldsmith.
Turet Design
P. O. Box 162
Arlington, MA 02476, U.S.A.
Tel. (617) 325-5328
Fax: (928) 222-0815
Email: anotherbrightidea@hotmail.com


Subject: Ring light
Date: Tue, 08 Apr 2003 08:11:02 +0000
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com
From: "Frank Romano" <romanfj@hotmail.com>

Thanks for the tip on the Nikon SL-1 ring light.  I'm going to look into it.
  Believe it or not, I didn't know this type of light was available.  After
all, I'm a gemcutter, but it seems as though if you aren't also a
photographer, you're a dead duck on the Internet :-)
Frank Romano
"Gemcutters are Multifaceted Individuals"


Subject: Re: Crystal Opal
Date: Tue, 8 Apr 2003 15:10:29 +0200
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com (LapidaryArtsDigest)
From: Tom Herbst <herbst@mpia-hd.mpg.de>

Thus spake Dan Clayton...

 >  It looks to me like you might want a simple design that didn't 
overpower the play of color.

Check out Greg Glenn's opal at:


These images demonstrate your point beautifully. They also highlight 
the importance of ambient lighting.

Incidentally, I would have called this a Contra-Luz Opal, and Dan 
Clayton / Phil Stonebrook refer to "Crystal Opal," while Greg Glenn 
calls his a "Mexican Fire Opal." Anyone else confused?

Tom Herbst
Heidelberg Germany









PERSONALS: (General Lapidary and Faceting)




Lurking is fine, but participation is better for learning !
Post something from your experiences in gemcutting today!


Someone has come up with the following list of "politically correct"
terms for teenagers:

*  No one fails a class anymore, he's merely "passing impaired."
*  You don't have detention, you're just one of the "exit delayed."
*  Your bedroom isn't cluttered, it's just "passage restrictive."
*  These days, a student isn't lazy.  He's "energetically declined."
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*  You're not shy.  You're "conversationally selective."
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    discreet exchange of penned meditations."
*  You're not being sent to the principal's office.  You're "going on a
    mandatory field trip to the administrative building."
*  It's not called gossip anymore.  It's "the speedy transmission of
    near-factual information."
*  The food at the school cafeteria isn't awful.  It's "digestively



Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run
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---Will Rogers---



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is produced by Thurmond Moore III

Tempie Francis, Attorney at Law / Legal Advisor

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