Issue No. 187 - Thursday August 14, 2003
Moderated by: Thurmond Moore III
Committed to carrying on the fine works of
Hale Sweeny and Jerry Dewbre
Hi all,

Great List again today! Keep up those post.

Send your PICS for posting to:


Index to Today's Digest

01  RE: moissanite
02  RE: Off the Dop, Himalaya Mine Tourmaline Pics
03  RE: How to learn faceting
04  RE: Tumbling Rutilated Quartz
05  RE: How to learn faceting
06  RE: How to learn faceting
07  RE: Tumbling
08  RE: Small Stone Facets
09  RE: Off the Dop, Himalaya Mine Tourmaline Pics
10  RE: How to learn faceting
11  RE: Mandarin Garnet
12  RE: Todd's Stone prematurely off the dop!
13  NEW: Gemcad web site down
14  RE: How to learn faceting
15  RE: Best of Both Worlds
16  RE: Scams


Subject: Moissanite.
Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2003 20:16:48 -0400
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com (LapidaryArtsDigest)
From: "Jonathan L. Rolfe" <webmaster@gearloose.com>

At 06:41 PM 8/13/2003 -0500, you wrote:
>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?

For years, the blue Light Emitting Diode was kind of a "holy grail"  Many
companies wanted to make them but were unsuccessful.  If only someone could
make one, with the red and green LEDs so available, it would be possible to
make giant displays for use at concerts, games, and Disney World.- Because
if you take a loupe and look at your monitor, you will see an arrangement
of red, green,and blue dots.
Cree Research was the first to be successful at making blue LEDS..and the
semiconductor that had the appropriate bandgap for a blue LED was silicon
So when Cree was able to grow 99.999 pure Silicon Carbide, it was an easy
matter to spin off a subsidiary to grow 'Rough" silicon carbide.  It has
diamond-like optical properties, and is very hard.  Since the silicon
carbide  mineral Moissanite was found in Nature once in a while, it sounded
better than calling it an "optically pure grindstone"-the most common use
for silicon carbide!


Subject: Tourmaline pics.
Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2003 20:24:09 -0400
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com (LapidaryArtsDigest)
From: "Jonathan L. Rolfe" <webmaster@gearloose.com>

At 06:41 PM 8/13/2003 -0500, you wrote:
>Here are the links to Jerrys Pics:

Holy $***, those are nice!  Tourmaline is so amazing with its colors. One
would never guess the little princess came form the same stone as that
regal 19.11 carat boulder.


Subject: How to learn faceting
Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2003 19:41:15 -0500
To: "LapidaryArtsDigest" <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: "Carl Mauritz" <gemhunte@frontiernet.net>

Hi Jim,

I to had taught my self to facet. The first thing you need to do is get -
Learn How To Facet "The right Way"  from Gram Faceting at www.faceters.com.
then get Faceting For Amateurs By Vergas. These are both great books on
Faceting. Then read and reread them both and use them as you cut your gems.
If you still need help just ask us all here and you will get it.
I to started by cabing first. Have fun faceting.

Warm regards
Carl Mauritz


Subject: Tumbling Rutilated Quartz
Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2003 17:58:26 -0700
To: <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: "Galarneau's" <gggemswcr@cox.net>

  Rutilated quartz can have a couple of problems when tumbling.  If the
rutile crystals are coarse they usually penetrate the surface of the
quartz.  Where the rutile exits the quartz is an area that usually
contains fractures or a hole.  When you run the polish cycle polish
lodges in the hole or fractures and causes a very unsightly mess.  I
have tried many hours in an ultrasonic to dislodge the polish and was
unsuccessful.  When I am cutting a rutilated quartz by hand I usually
fill the openings with "Hot Stuff" and let it solidify right after the
600 grind.  Then I regrind the polish off and polish the stone.  An
overnight sit in acetone dissolves the glue and I have a nice clean
looking stone with natural fractures.  I have not tried this in a
tumbler, but I bet it would work there also.
  A second problem with rutilated quartz in a vibrator is getting all
the rough areas to grind smooth.  My best results were to use mixed size
stones.  Run a batch in 40/60 grit for three days.  Pull the stones and
check the smoothness.  Separate the stones that look good and rerun the
rest in a new batch with added stones.  You can run any quartz or agate
with rutilated without problems.
  The most fun I had with my tumblers was to spend a day preforming  my
cut offs from cabbing on a 100 grit wheel.  Then I tumbled them.  It was
fun and very enjoyable.  I still have them and occasionally find myself
pawing through them just to see what they look like again.

  Gerry Galarneau


Subject: learning lapidary
Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2003 21:09:56 -0400
To: <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: "RICHARD P ROSENTHAL" <kenaii@earthlink.net>

Dear James, Short of an actual mentor to sit with you while you work the
best resource I can recomend for the begining lapidary would be the
works of the late John Sinkankis, The complete guide to Lapidary ,
written by him his one of the most inclusive and accurate books on the
subject I have come across. I am not sure if it is in print but try your
library or Amazon .  I understand Mr. Sinkankis operated a bookstore in
Los Angeles up until his demise I do not have the address but you may be
able to track it down and get copies of his work there. He wrote many
books besides the one I mentioned but I believe this is the best for
your purposes. I recomend patiance and do not be discouraged if your
initial efforts do not live up to your expectations any physical skill
takes time to develope but after a while muscle memory will take over
and your eye will learn to discern what yu are doing properly. I
recomend absorbing as much theory as possible and begining or less
exspensive material.


Subject: Re: How to learn faceting
Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2003 21:06:57 -0400
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com (LapidaryArtsDigest)
From: mskelly <mskelly@gte.net>

Hello the List:
James Taylor inquired about how to start faceting and what to do first.
Buy three books.
        The first
should be "Faceting for Amateurs" by Glenn and Martha Vargas.
It is a hardback. Unfortunately, it seems to be out of print, but maybe
it can be found as a used book. It has errors in some of the cutting
instructions, but it teaches concepts of faceting, and it provides hard
data regarding the characteristics of stones. And it has at least one
superb cut, in my opinion, the Square Barion.
        The second
book would be "Introduction to Meetpoint Faceting" published by
Seattle Faceting Books. It is often available from the various dealers in
faceting rough such as http://www.creativegems.com/

The book walks a person through each step of cutting five of the basic stone shapes
-- the standard round brilliant, an oval, a pear, an emerald, and, I believe, a
marquis. With drawings of what is happening with each step. It is a soft cover with a
comb binding.
        The third book would be Jeff Graham's "Learn to Facet the Right Way." This
comes in notebook form. To quote from Jeff's description, "5 step by step designs
with plenty of pictures and what you need to know to get started faceting
gemstones... " The book is similar to the "Introduction to Meetpoint Faceting" but 
contains Jeff Graham's personal viewpoint and his valuable pointers. It can be
ordered through his web site,
Each of the three books offers something that the others do not, and I personally
found all three to be of much value. Other books are available and are good, but I
feel that these three are "must haves" for any beginning faceter.<br>
What is my opinion worth? Well, I am still relatively new to faceting, having done
maybe a hundred stones in my 2-3 years of cutting, so I still remember what I as a
newbie found helpful. For whatever's that's worth.

mike from sunny/rainy Florida


Subject: Tumbling
Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2003 21:22:04 -0400
To: <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: "RICHARD P ROSENTHAL" <kenaii@earthlink.net>

In regard to tumbling I would like to point out that certain hard to
polish materials like nephrite seem to polish up much easier after
having spent a week or two in the tumbler. It is my expierance that
although this appears to raise the grain initially pieces of nephrite
that have been tumbled if thourghly cleaned polish up by hand much more
uniformly if tumbled after shaping. I use a relatively low grit , around
a hundred silicon carbide for this purpose then polish on diamond. I get
a better more uniform polish this way especially when dealing with the
larger flats which sometimes tend to varnish in spots in some areas
while others defy polish altogether. Having to go back to spsend special
attention on one troublesome area that refuses to polish creates a dip
in that area which ineviatablly results in having to start over and
reduce the entire piece to that level. Tumbling first seems to reduce
the chances of this happening. I would love to know the teory behind
this from other members I just know it works for me.


Subject: Small stone faceting
Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2003 20:17:16 -0600
To: <faceters@caprock-spur.com>
From: <wreisbick@mho.net>

I am reasonably new to the faceting art but for practice I tried using a
number of different facet diagrams. Overcutting was a big problem so I
tried something  that seems to work with very small stones that are used
to accent the main stone. I cut 8 main pavillion facets and 8 matching
crown facets with about a 60% table. This works for stone of 3mm or less
but on anything larger it appears that something was forgotten. I have
only tried this with very dark stones since I have an abundance dark red
garnets, 2ct. or less.
If you can cut stones this size you should be able to cut most any other
Walter Reisbick


Subject: bi colored tourmaline
Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2003 20:14:14 -0700
To: LapidaryArtsDigest <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: TA Masters <tam2819@cox.net>

They are lovely. I'd sure love to have one like that to wear. Wish I'd
known Chris Rose was there in Ventura. I completely missed him

Looking forward to the visit to Glen Vargas,


Subject: RE: Starting Faceting...
Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2003 22:26:37 -0500
To: <faceters@caprock-spur.com>
From: "Rich" <richtherm@bluemarble.net>

---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.---

Hi Jim,

First thing about faceting.....  RUN, RUN FAST.....  It gets under your
skin, becomes a passion, and you'll find yourself up until 3am working
on a stone because there is no way you will let it win......  You will
start trying to align mini blinds to get the steps even, you will be
escorted out of most chain jewelry stores.  You will learn patience,
arrogance and belittlement all at the same time.....  All in all, it's a
great venture.

First I would suggest finding a local (if you have any) lapidary/rock
hound clubs.  Draw on every person in that club for information.  They
should be able to explain a lot of stuff that is hard to learn on your
own...  Trust me on this one, I did it and am still trying to forget bad
habits I taught myself.

For me, my first and second machine depended on my (or lack there of)
budget.  Use several if you can to find out what meets your style the

Then there is this list.  These folks have been nothing but a miracle
for me...  Every single person on here has lifted me through my
problems.  Count on 'em.  They won't let you down.

Have a good un,

Rich Ashcraft
Lyons, IN


Subject: Mandarin Garnet
Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2003 18:02:27 -0700
To: <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: "Galarneau's" <gggemswcr@cox.net>

  Mandarin garnet is indeed as beautiful as you can imagine.  Mandarin
garnet is an orange spessartine garnet from only one area of Africa. 
Beware there are several other bright orange garnets being passed as
Mandarin  that are actually grossular or hessonite.  Mandarin is very
expensive with clean stones over 3 carats being very rare and in the
thousands of dollars.

 Gerry Galarneau


Subject: Stone off dop
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2003 06:38:54 +0100
To: <faceters@caprock-spur.com>
From: "Daniel Hargreaves" <danny@blueyonder.co.uk>

In reference to Todds problem of trying to re-orientate a stone. A small
piece of mirror held to the lap will let you see how the facet is lying
in relation to the lap. I was taught this by my tutor when recutting a
damaged stone. Works well when the stone has originally been faceted in
the third world and must go back into the original setting. Hope this


Subject: Gemcad web site down
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2003 01:46:24 -0500
To: <faceters@caprock-spur.com>
From: "Larry" <ldavis32@cox.net>

As many of you may know the Gemcad web site is not working at this time.
I have been in a war with the hosting company and they still can't see the
I pay one time and they still want my credit card again for the same period
of time that I have already paid.  Nuff said.  I am intending to have the
site back up before years end.

Larry Davis
Editor of The Gemcad Web Page


Hi Larry,  Space is available on my Raq4 Web Server if you are interested. It
has a DS3 connection (28 T1's) to the internet backbone. Contact
me off list if you are interested.


Subject: Learning to facet
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2003 08:53:09 -0400
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com
From: "Frank lavin" <nival42@hotmail.com>


where do you live as there are faceting schools available.  I know of two,
one in Tennessee and one in northern Illinois.



Subject: Re: Best of Both Worlds?
Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2003 02:14:43 +1000
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com
From: Reg Hodges <rghodges@bigpond.com>

Tom Herbst wrote:


"I came across an interesting machine that may represent the best of

both mast and platform worlds. I have posted some pictures..."

The machine pictured looks very much like a Lee machine.  I used to have a
machine very similar to the one shown but mine was about 30 yrs old.  I sold
it recently to a friend who is just starting faceting and she cut her first
two stones on it that were better than anything I had done on that machine!
(Beginners luck!!!)

 I have just purchased a brand new VeeJay Faceting Machine and, oh boy, what
a luxury!  This machine is neither mast type nor platform type and just has
to be seen to be believed.  I took it out of the packing crate, plugged it
in and started cutting.  Everything was spot on!

 The VeeJay is locally made here in Australia by Sapphire Engineering in
Sapphire, Queensland and there are two models.  One has a single speed motor
and the Pro model (like mine) has a variable speed, bi-directional motor
(eerily silent!).

 If anyone would like further details please contact me off list.  Mal and
Jenny Johnston would love the business and, yes, they do export to the


Reg Hodges

Subject: Scams
Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2003 21:40:28 -0400
To: <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: "RICHARD P ROSENTHAL" <kenaii@earthlink.net>

A short note about scams, I recieve about five a day from the "West
African Ring" as they are calledby Scotland Yard. Recently I repled to
one which seemed atypical in that they were not asking for either bank
account numbersor seed money as most do. I was asked to come to London
to assist the alleged refugee retrieve funds. Puzzled I kept up the
correspondance waiting for the hook which never apeared finally I
consulted a friend more knowledgable in the ways of the world . To my
horror I was informed that my new American passport would be worth about
a hundred thousand dollars if I dissapeared and was unable to report the
theft and that even more bizzare that my kidney liver and other organs
could be harvested in about ten minutes and shipped to Germany for
illeagal transplants where they would be worth a half million. Well
maybe not my liver which has seen hard use. However a word to the wise
there are some very hard people out there travel outside the the US
under such auspices is likely to be more painful then just a simple loss
of cash. Beware. By the way Scotland Yard has a entire West African Ring
division just for dealing with these scams, I recomend forwarding
information about such contacts to them.









PERSONALS: (General Lapidary and Faceting)






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


Subject: humor
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2003 00:40:32 -0500
From: Downey <alckytxn@swbell.net>

"The Rural Census Taker"

A census taker in a rural area went up to a farmhouse and
knocked. When a woman came to the door, he asked her how
many children she had and their ages.

She said, "Les' see now, there's the twins, Sally and Billy, they're
eighteen. And the twins, Seth & Beth, they're sixteen. And the twins,
Penny and Jenny, they're fourteen."

"Hold on!" said the census taker, "Did you get twins every time?"

The woman answered, "Heck no, there were hundreds of times
we didn't get nothin'."



"Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler."

---Albert Einstein---


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