Issue No. 186 - Wednesday August 13, 2003
Moderated by: Thurmond Moore III
Committed to carrying on the fine works of
Hale Sweeny and Jerry Dewbre
Hi all,

Great List today! Keep up those post. We are
now around 1000 members strong and slowly
growing. Get a friend to sign up today.

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Index to Today's Digest

01  NEW: How to learn faceting
02  RE: Comercial posts
03  RE: Tumbling Rutilated Quartz
04  RE: Synthetic Sapphire Pear PICS
05  RE: Synthetic Sapphire Pear.
06  RE: Synthetic Sapphire Pear.
07  RE: moissanite
08  NEW: Small Stone Facets
09  NEW: Mandarin Garnet & Worse Faceting Experience
10  NEW: Off the Dop, Himalaya Mine Tourmaline Pics
11  NEW: Yet another Scam. Beware!


Subject: How to learn faceting
Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2003 16:18:27 -0400
To: <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: "James Taylor" <james.d.taylor@att.net>

I've been lurking here for the last year or so and now I have a question
but first a little about me.  I started to cab in 2000.  I bought a 6
in. trim saw and a horizontal lap and learned to cab on my own.  I love
semi precious stones and cabbing is fun.  I also make and sell wire
jewelry and am a beginning silversmith.  I would like to learn to facet
as I did cabbing, i.e. on my own.  I know nothing so if you were me, how
would you start.  What books to read, what equipment to buy, what stone
to start with, etc.  Any help will be greatly appreciated.
Jim Taylor
P & J Jewelry


Subject: Comercial posts
Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2003 16:35:52 -0400
To: <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: "RICHARD P ROSENTHAL" <kenaii@earthlink.net>

As an occasional Comercial poster I find the idea of a five post minium
for each comercial post a excellant compromise between the differant 
and conflicting ideas exspresses by members on comercial posting. I hope
it will satisfy those who were against comercial posting.If not I feel
it would be better to do away with comercial posting altogether. As a
forum for free flow of information the list is too valuable  a resource
to be threaten by conflicts between members. kenaii@earthlink.net


Subject: Re: Issue No. 185 - Tuesday August 12, 2003
Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2003 13:59:50 -0700
To: LapidaryArtsDigest <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: TA Masters <tam2819@cox.net>

About tumbling, in addition to Thurmond's suggestion, consider this,
first before beginning your next batch be aware if the pits are there.

When you begin with coarse grit, it too breaks down and becomes the next
grade, and so on. Some never change grit from start to finish.

I believe you can test one piece in hand with a Dremel or similar just
to see if the pit will diminish. Sort of like windowing it.


Subject: Synthetic Sapphire Pear Pics
Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2003 15:33:44 -0600
To: <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: "Todd" <td_gunz@yahoo.com>

            Here're the pics I'd sent in with my post.  Hope they come
out okay.  I resized them smaller so they'd be 'internet sized'.  Put up
which ever one you feel is best.  As you can see in the pics; I have a
problem getting the girdles thin enough on stones I cut.  I finally got
a commercial 12X10 oval stone for reference and the girdle is hairline
thin.  I guess that's the norm, and mine are a little too thick.  Next
one will be better... (famous last words)!
Thanx so much for doing this for me, it really means a lot,  

Here are the links to Todd's Pics:



Subject: Re: Issue No. 185 - polishing synthetic corundum
Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2003 14:35:56 -0700
To: LapidaryArtsDigest <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: Noel Rowe <noel@roughtocut.com>

> From: "Todd" <td_gunz@yahoo.com>
>  It was the first stone I'd cut in a while, and the first I'd
> ever worked with synthetic corundum.  It seemed like some of the facets
> cut easier than others, like the material had a defined 'grain' to it.
> That was something I didn't expect in a synthetic material.  I also got
> what I can only call an "orange peel" on several of the facets,

Hi Todd,

I learned to facet on corundum (Montana sapphire to be exact). Natural
sapphire does indeed have different hardness, or grain, when cutting. I
have cut a bit of synthetic over the years also & although not as
pronounced it too seems to have a definite grain. The solution which has
worked very well for me is to skip the 1200 & 3000 laps & go directly
from 600 to either 50k diamond on a ceramic lap or 8000 on a BATT
followed by 50k on a BATT. Doing so eliminates both the overcutting &
the orange peal problem. If you are using a ceramic run it a 200-300
rpm. Use a couple of drops of diamond lube spread well followed by two
spritizes of 50k & wiped off lightly with a paper towel. Use a small
sweeping motion looking for the quietest sounding, smoothest feeling
part of the lap (it will change from stone to stone). I prefer the
ceramic over the BATT for sapphire (it's the only material that I use
ceramic for). Ceramic just brings up a quicker polish with absolutely
the sharpest meets I've seen.

Hope this helps,

Noel Rowe
Rough To Cut


Subject: Syn Corundum.
Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2003 19:16:14 -0500
To: <faceters@caprock-spur.com>
From: "Rich" <richtherm@bluemarble.net>

Hi Todd,

---   It was the first stone I'd cut in a while, and the first I'd
ever worked with synthetic corundum.  It seemed like some of the facets
cut easier than others, like the material had a defined 'grain' to

Yup, works out that way, orange peel and all.  Some facets seem like
butter, and on others, if you're not careful, will have you putting your
entire body weight on them to cut the same speed as the easy ones. 
First, even though it might be hard to do, don't push it.  I still find
myself getting fed up and adding some extra pressure to the stone.

Here's what I try to do....

1.  With most stones (not corundum) I rely heavily on the 1200 and 3K
laps to do my close meet pointing, then finish with the polishing lap. 
With corundum, I try to make my meets as close as possible on the 600

2.  If it's a small stone I go straight to a ceramic with 50K and bring
up the polish/meets.  I have problems with the 1200 lap starting orange
peel, with a 3K lap I almost always run into problems.  I rarely see
problems on the 600, even with cutting speeds (almost all facets cut at
the same rate).  On larger stones I will head to a copper lap charged
with 8K with light pressure.

3.  If I have to meet with a 1200 or 3K lap and orange peel starts, I
will reverse the direction of the lap and polish on the opposite side of
the spindle.  Most of the time this will take care of the problem
without over polishing to get rid of the peel problem.  This sometimes
works to take care of the "Grain" problem you mentioned with the mid
grit laps.

This works most of the time for me, other times it just seems like I
wasn't holding my mouth right and can't find anything that works...... 
My fish tank is full of these.

Rich Ashcraft
Lyons, IN


Subject: moissanite
Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2003 19:06:26 -0700 (PDT)
To: faceters@caprock-spur.com
From: marvin johnson <marvj18@yahoo.com>

I am an 85 year old novice whose eye site limits the faceting. 
My grandaughter asked me about moissanite and never having
heard of it I researched on the net.  It appears that it nearly has
diamond characteristics.  Would some one tell me a little about
it and is there rough available.  I understand that it is synthetic.
Is it just a joke?
Marv Johnson  marvj18@yahoo.com


Hi Marv,  Moissanite is Pure Crystaline Silicon Carbide. See the link below.



Subject: NEW: Small Stone Facets
Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2003 21:10:36 -0500
To: LapidaryArtsDigest <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: gembin <gembin@spiff.net>

Hi All,

I have read that smaller stones should have fewer facets. I also have
read that it makes no sense to waste time cutting smaller stones, that
it's cheaper to by junky faceted smaller stones because you can't see
the cutting quality anyway. I have never seen any cutting diagrams for
smaller stones. Having said that, I do have some small rhodolite garnet
rough that I would like to facet because I'm a glutton for punishment! <

Have any of you faceted small stones (the rough is about 2 carats and
less) with fewer facets that you can offer advice on cutting angles and
the number of facets that will end up being sparklers? Any help would be

Doug "Rhodolite" Smith
Alton, Illinois, USA   (On the North Bank of the Mississippi River where
the "Alton Belle Casino" is... that I lost ten bucks on!)


Hi Doug, I cut small stuff (3 to 4 mm) all the time in garnet, peridot and
fire opal. Very easy to overcut though. I do not use anything coarser than
a 600 lap and usually start with a newer 1200 for the small stuff. ON solid
copper laps I have used 3000 and then straight to 14,000 for a two step
stone. Bob Keller's "Simple Jack" cut makes a very bright small stone although
I prefer to use a SRB crown instead of his crown design.



Subject: Mandarin Garnet & Worse Faceting Experience
Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2003 10:21:22 -0600
To: <faceters@caprock-spur.com>
From: "Todd" <td_gunz@yahoo.com>

            Has anyone cut any of that bright orange Mandarin Garnet
sometimes called "Fanta" colored yet?  I've seen it listed and can't
believe the pictures are accurate.  That's gotta be a really pretty
garnet when cut if it's as bright orange as it looks.
            I don't know about the clarity or not, but from what I've
heard it's got a pretty high R/I and should hopefully mask up small
            A person I've gotten Garnet from in the past has some and
said it's .90 a carat or 4.50 a gram in pieces from 7 to about 25
carats.  I'm a little apprehensive to try it at that low of a price, but
I've got nice material from him before.
            Every one was talking about their worst experience and I
guess I've been blessed until last nite that is.
            I'd been working on a beautiful piece of bubble gum pink
Rhodolite about 16 carats or so.  It was clear, no silk, good shape for
great recovery in an oval.  It was so light as to almost be that
"Umbalite" red color.  I don't particularly like to do ovals, but this
was for me, and I'd intended to set it into a nice gold ring I'd found.
I'd done a great job on the pavilion, no scratches, good meets, and all.
It transferred it well, didn't tilt, and I cheated in the crown, got a
level girdle, and had everything done except cutting in the table. 
            As soon as I touched the stone to the lap to cut the table
it made a loud click, but I kept cutting.  I guess I'd cut about 80% of
the table before lifting the stone off the lap.  As soon as I did the
stone fell right off the dop, bounced on the lap and flew across the
room, scaring a cat asleep on a book case as it hit the wall and bounced
onto the other room. 
            Retrieving the stone I was in a quandary as to what to do.
The table wasn't cut in all the way, but enough to maybe use it as a
level base to try to re-dop it.  As it's the table orientation to the
bevel on the dop for indexing wasn't important, just getting it level
was the main concern.  I tried several ways and times but finally gave
            I ended up holding the stone in my fingers and polishing
what was cut of the table with Alumina on Tin.  Needless to say the
facets bordering the table are a little rounded, hehee.  It did take a
good polish, and I guess goes down as my worst experience so far. 
            That was my first stone just for myself, and a pretty
expensive piece of rough too.  Maybe I should put it into the ring
anyway, as a lesson to myself of the perils and pitfalls of faceting. 
            Like I said, I've never cut a stone yet I've been 100% happy
with, and this one is pretty far down on the "happy with list"..
            Take care all,


Ouch !!! The cat is likely to recover much faster than you will from that
one. LOL



From: "Jerry Newman" <gemartserv@dc.rr.com>
To: <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
Subject: Tourmaline pics
Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2003 16:37:49 -0700

Hi thurmond,    I just saw todays digest and saw that you had already
answered my question I asked a few minutes ago on how to share photos
with the list.    Here is the info on the two stones in the attached two
photos:   The bi-colored tourmaline crystal was mined by Chris Rose, the
owner of the world famous Himalaya mine in San Diego county several
months ago. At the Ventura Show he asked me to cut it for him.  It had a
worrisome transverse crack about a third of the way down from the green
tip. With a little anxiety I was able to remove it without it
propigating by first relieving some of the stresses with a carefully
placed saw cut. Then I ground it clean by hand on a 1200 lap for the
table. The green end did have a few other longitudinal flaws which would
never clean up so I cut off about 10 mm to make a small brilliant stone
from that end.
Results are shown in attached photos.  The Bi-color weighs 19.11 ct and
the small "princess" rectangle is 1.34 ct.  Combined, the yield was
31.6% from the 65 ct crystal. Big one measures 25.1 x 10.5 mm.  Both
appear to be flawless.
Note the princess shows a little more of an olive green from the C-axis
coloration brought about by bringing in the ends to a single point culet
.  On the long bi-color I cut the ends steep ( 70, 75, and 80 deg.) to
have the more pleasing ( in my opinion) green of the A-B axis dominate.
I was proud to have been entrusted to work on such a gem from such a
famous old location.  Thank you Chris for the opportunity.    
PS  Wax dopping all the way.
PPS I did have special dop sticks made to give almost full length
Jerry Newman

Here are the links to Jerrys Pics:



Subject: New Scam from Africa
Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2003 11:29:45 -0700
To: "Lapidary Arts & Faceter's Digest" <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: John McLaughlin <jemstone@amug.org>

Looks like we have a new scam coming from our ever hopeful friends in
Africa.  Just why they would not be able to sell gold dust with a 95%
purity (or even 91.6% "urity" if it is 22 karats) anywhere they choose,
yet are hawking it to unknown folks in the US, is a bit unclear.

However, if anyone on the list feels a need to invest, please send me
your money.  It may not buy gold, but I have mooned a basket of rocks
and can send you "genuine mooned stones" for your wise investment.

John McLaughlin
Glendale, Arizona

DEAR SIR, Regarding our quest to have international market/recogntion,we
spare you our c-operate offer, we intruduce our company  Precious Stones
& Resources Ltd a Ghanain based registered small scale mining company.

In this direction we forward to you our coperate offer  as follows
togther with this our letter of introduction.

PRICE      :US $6,500 PER KILLO

kindly contact us for more details and proceedure . Note :the price is
negotiable. we will be grateful if come come and visit our mining sites
possibly be a shareholder ora broker in this drive Regards,










PERSONALS: (General Lapidary and Faceting)






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


Subject: Senior Moments------Funnys
Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2003 16:54:39 -0400
To: <faceters@caprock-spur.com>
From: "J Wagstaff" <wagstajo@kos.net>


 As a senior citizen was driving down the freeway, his car phone rang.
 Answering, he heard his wife's voice urgently warning him, "Herman, I just
 heard on the news that there's a car going the wrong way on Interstate
 77. Please be careful!"

 "But...," said Herman, "It's not just one car. It's hundreds of them!"


 Two elderly women were out driving in a large car - both could barely see
 over the dashboard. As they were cruising along, they came to an intersection.
 The stoplight was red, but they just went on through. The woman in the
 passenger  seat thought to herself "I must be losing it. I could have
sworn we just went through a red light".
 After a few more minutes, they came to another in tersection and the
light was red again. Again, they went right through. The woman in the
passenger seat was almost sure that the light had been red but was
really concerned that she was losing it. She was getting nervous and
decided to pay very close attention to the road and the next

 At the next intersection, sure enough, the light was red and they went
on through. So, she turned to the other woman and said, "Mildred, did
you know that we just ran through three red lights in a row? You could
have killed us both!"

 Mildred turned to her and said, "Oh, am I driving?"


 One evening a family brings their frail, elderly mother to a nursing
home and leaves her, hoping she will be well cared for.

 The next morning, the nurses bathe her, feed her a tasty breakfast, and
set her in a chair at a window overlooking a lovely flower garden. She
seems OK, but after a while she slowly starts to lean over sideways in
her chair.
Two attentive nurses immediately rush up to catch her and straighten her
 Again she seems OK, but after a while she starts to tilt to the other
side. The nurses rush back and once more bring her back upright. This
goes on all morning.

 Later the family arrives to see how the old woman is adjusting to her
new home.
 "So Ma, how is it here? Are they treating you all right?" they ask.
 "It's pretty nice," she replies. "Except they won't let you pass gas."


 An older couple were lying in bed one night. The husband was falling
asleep but the wife was in a romantic mood and wanted to talk. She said:
"You used to hold my hand when we were courting."
 Wearily he reached across, held her hand for a second and tried to get
back to sleep.
 A few moments later she said: "Then you used to kiss me."
 Mildly irritated, he reached across, gave her a peck on the cheek and
settled down to sleep.
 Thirty seconds later she said: "Then you used to bite my neck."
 Angrily, he threw back the bed clothes and got out of bed.
 "Where are you going?" she asked.
 "To get my teeth!"



"Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it"

---Henry David Thoreau---


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Tempie Francis, Attorney at Law / Legal Advisor


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