Issue No. 106 - Friday April 11, 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: AMBER AND COPAL CUTTING

Hi all,
I personally have never cut either material so next week
will definitely be usefull for myself and anyone else who
may not have experience with this material.

If you have cut these materials please share your experience
with the list membership.

Have a Great Weekend and send me some new Topics
at owner-lapidary@caprock-spur.com  

Index to Today's Digest

01  NEW:  Mystery Specimen
02  RE:  amber/copal cutting clinic topic ?
03  RE:  Enchanted Opal
04  RE:  Cold Dopping induced stress
05  RE:  Cold Dopping induced stress

1 new Advertisement today  (Serbian Green Opal)


Subject: Mystery Specimen
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2003 12:30:46 -0700
To: "Lapidary Arts & Faceter's Digest" <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: John McLaughlin <jemstone@amug.org>

Hi All,

I am reposting, with the author's permission, a message that appeared on
usfgfaceterslist@yahoogroups.com.   The specimen in question was going to
be faceted, but the author was fascinated by the crystal formation and
he instantly became a mineral collector.

This specimen does not look anything like amethyst to me.  If this is
quartz I need to get some new books.  I see only four sides to the
crystal with a flat top.  Barite?  Anhydrite?  What do you think it is?

John McLaughlin
Glendale, Arizona

. . . . In usfgfaceterslist@yahoogroups.com, "lookoutforjohnson"
<wrightj@l...> wrote: A few days ago when I was getting some rough ready
to cut, I noticed that one of the "flat" crystal surfaces on a piece of
Brazilian Amethyst was slightly bumpy. As I looked closer positioning
the piece under the lamp, I noticed what looked like a birds-eye view of
a city skyline complete with 30 story buildings. It was one of the most
amazing things I've seen in my short time faceting. Don't think I have
the heart now to facet the stone which is a terrific clear dark purple
color. The stone looks like a hologram of a city on the surface.   The
city is quite fascinating to see - maybe old-hat to some more
experienced rock collectors.  I took about fifty photographs trying to
capture the image and will try to get one posted on the USFG "photos"
directory as soon as I get the rest downloaded from the camera. In the
meanwhile, I did put one picture on my homepage if anyone wants to see
it. URL is (no www in this URL)  http://GemRough.home.att.net .
John, Lexington KY


Subject: RE: Issue No. 105 - Thursday April 10, 2003
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2003 16:20:08 -0400
To: "LapidaryArtsDigest" <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: "Naomi Sarna" <nsarna@earthlink.net>

Hello all, I'd be very interested in an amber/copal cutting clinic.  Also,
has anyone done any pearl faceting?  Naomi in New York


Subject: Enchanted Opal
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2003 16:34:42 -0500
To: "LapidaryArtsDigest" <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: "CHARLES COVILL" <covill@msn.com>

Subject: "Enchanted Opal"
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2003 15:19:04 +0100
To: "LapidaryArtsDigest" <faceters@caprock-spur.com>
From: "Gustavo Castelblanco" <mail@montana78.freeserve.co.uk>

I added three pics. of the Enchanted Opal (I like that name) in my web
site. Just follow the link Enchanted Opal.
I hope this will give you all a better idea about the stone.
 Gusravo: That's Cabing Opal, Its to pretty to facet. Make a  freehand cab
then make a special mounting you wont be sorry ! There will be to much waste
if you facet it.

Charles in Austin


Subject: Opal
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2003 04:55:51 +0000
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com
From: "Frank Romano" <romanfj@hotmail.com>

Charles Coville wrote:
"Hi Dan: Are you using epoxy ? Epoxy changes volume during
curing. As it cools it shrinks. Emerald cut or long tourmalines
will crack do to the stresses involved. "

When I first heard about cold dopping, I thought it'd be a great idea and
proceeded to dop about 30 or 40 precious opal re-cuts I had with epoxy. 
Most of them cracked and the left over pieces were too small to use. 
Frank Romano
"Gemcutters are Multifaceted Individuals"


Subject: Re: Issue No. 104 - Wednesday April 9, 2003
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2003 02:03:05 -0400
To: faceters@caprock-spur.com, dclayton@speakeasy.org, covill@msn.com
From: "Douglas Turet" <anotherbrightidea@hotmail.com>

Dan and Charles wrote:
(Dan: ) "Since we are discussing tourmaline this week what "tricks" do you
use to identify stress in tourmaline. I have had a couple tourmaline
that appeared to be flawless or nearly so develop cracks during

(Charles: ) "Are you using epoxy ? Epoxy changes volume during
curing. As it cools it shrinks. Emerald cut or long tourmalines
will crack do to the stresses involved. Also to much pressure on
tourmaline will cause it to crack. Hope this helps."

Hi guys,

     You're absolutely right that epoxies shrink and cool, Charles, but were
you aware that they also generate a considerable amount of  heat, before
they cool and shrink? (I don't know enough about the thermal dynamics of
cyanoacrylates to comment about them, but I do know that they create
equally-tremendous shrinkage stresses upon curing, too, which is why I've
always preferred wax's elasticity to either of them. ...Except on cold days,
when the waxes can shatter, without much warning...)
     Another trio of often overlooked stressors are temperature,
hand-pressure and orientation relative to the impact of grit. What follows
refers primarily to long emerald and baguette cuts, or other such extended
L/W ratio designs, although the principle are certainly applicable to other
shapes used with this material, as well. Far too often, from what I've
heard, faceters will begin cutting a newly (wax-)dopped stone, only to have
it shatter on them, or, in the case of bicolors, split at the color
boundary. What's going on, when this happens, is two-fold: first, it's
important to remember that Tourmaline is both heat sensitive and strongly
piezoelectric, so any sudden temperature change -- like the one that takes
place when a warm, just-dopped stone comes in contact with a cold steel lap
and a cold water drip, or any change in pressure against the crystal -- is
every bit as shocking to its internal structure as a whack with the tail end
of a pair of tweezers. Second, because these crystals have both a
differential hardness between the sides and ends and a marked tendency to
develop lateral fissures, these physical properties must be taken into
consideration when approaching the crystal as an object for grinding upon.
What this should mean to a faceter is that, if he or she is going to cut a
long, thin Tourmaline "pencil", he or she should, at very least, give
serious thought to orienting that crystal so that it's hardest, toughest
direction (down the crystallographic or "C" axis) faces into the cutting
grain of the oncoming lap. He or she should also take pause to consider
whether the sizes of any of the grit particles he or she intends to hurl
towards their prize crystal will be large enough to open a small chip in it,
especially one whose accompanying subsurface fracturing could possibly lead
to one of those nasty, crystal-length-abbreviating lateral fissures. For me,
there are only two options to consider, when cutting bicolors: evenly-worn
electroplated laps of than 600 or finer mesh, or relatively new resin-bonded
ones of 360 or finer.
     When confronted with a bicolored piece, especially one still in its
primary crystal state (i.e. that has not been modified via alluvial erosion
or cobbed into a rounded nodule), it pays to remember that the chemicals
which act as coloring agents have, by their very presence, imparted
different durabilities and thermoelectric and piezoelectric sensitivities to
to each end of the crystal, and that the single area of the piece that
cutters and jewelers, alike, want most to show to their customers just
happens to be the single weakest part of the crystal structure: the point
where these dissimilars meet! As such, whenever I'm asked to cut bicolors,
my first step is to gently warm the stone, then dop it (using a wax,
preferably a soft one, like the green or black). Next, I remove and soak my
cutting laps in fairly warm water, to get them as close (by touch) to the
temperature of the stone and replace the water in my drip tank with warm
water, as well. The next step is every bit as crucial as the ones before and
after it: I allow a puddle of the warm water to form on the lap and, with
the lap still motionless, let the stone sit in it for 30 seconds, or so, to
acclamate it to its new temperature.
     When I do finally touch the stone to the lap, I do so with the cutting
grain as closely parallel to the direction of crystal growth as possible, so
that there isn't even the slightest chance of a lateral crack getting
started fro a coarse scratch across the crystal. (In other words, the stone
rides on only at right angles to the outer edge of the lap, often on the
outermost 1/2" of the lap's surface; it's as if I were cutting its girdles,
but at a steeper angle.)
     I was first told of these techniques and their underlying rationale
back in the mid-1980's, when I was lucky enough to meet one of the great
master lapidaries of the last century, at a show in New York City. Ever
since learning and putting the above lessons into practice, I have never
lost so much as a single Tourmaline crystal, not even a bi- or tricolor, to
splitting. Before I overheard him talking about those "rules", however, I'd
had only one really good use for most Tourmalines: they were inspirational
in teaching me how to improve my pitching and cursing techniques!

Hope I've now helped others, just as Mr. Miller helped me.

All the best,

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


Hi Doug,  Many thanks for your fine post. I can see where those princples
could apply to many diffrent sensitive stones as well










PERSONALS: (General Lapidary and Faceting)




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


From: Downey <alckytxn@swbell.net>

A Childs Perspective

A Kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while
they drew. She would occasionally walk around to see each child's
work. As she got to one little girl who as working diligently, she
asked what the drawing was.

The girl replied, "I'm drawing God." The teacher paused and said,
"But no one knows what God looks like."

Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing, the girl
 replied, "They will in a minute."



To truly hear you must quiet the mind.

--Author Unknown--



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
(above link).

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".


Unconventional Lapidarist
James Carpenter
Phone: 940.727.1536
Email: info@unconventionallapidarist.com
Web:   http://www.unconventionallapidarist.com


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.

Mike Scanlan
Pebble Designs
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 kenaii@earthlink.net


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
facet rough.

Rough to Cut


Contact b-daw@pacbell.net

Honey, red & brown zircons, 10g parcels @$20/parcel
Red Garnet $8/g, eye clean-slightly included
Spessartine Garnet $7.50/g, slight-moderately included
Malaya Garnet $6/g, good eye clean roughs
Tunduri Garnet $10/g, eye clean-slightly included
Pink Tourmaline $20/g, eye clean-slightly included
Red Tourmaline $10/g, slight-moderately included
Bicolor Tourmaline $15/g, eye clean
Watermelon Tourmaline $20/g eye clean
Green/Green Blue Tourmaline $10/g, eye clean roughs
Blue, Green & Blue/Green Sapphires $35/g, eye clean-slightly included, up to 1g.
Blue Beryl (Aquamarine) $6/g, eye clean-slightly included crystals
Green Beryl (Emerald) $10-$50/g, eye clean-slightly included crystals, zoned green
Cabbing Grade Aquamarine $3/g


Rock Peddler
Complete online discount catalog for cabbing and faceting machines, wheels,
laps, polishes, diamond saws, diamond blades, and general lapidary supplies
at http://www.rockpeddler.com.


Gewelers Gems
e-mail: sales@jewelersgems.com
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 .



is produced by Thurmond Moore III

Tempie Francis, Attorney at Law / Legal Advisor

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