LAPIDARY ARTS and FACETERS DIGEST
Issue No. 190 - Tuesday August 19, 2003
Moderated by: Thurmond Moore III
Committed to carrying on the fine works of
Hale Sweeny and Jerry Dewbre
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Index to Today's Digest
01 AD: New Website
02 NEW: Synthetic Diamonds
03 NEW: Girdle Facet Transfer Alignment Question
04 RE: Facetron Dial
05 NEW: Dark field illumination
06 RE: SMALL STONES
07 RE: SMALL STONES
08 RE: ceramic lap troubles
09 NEW: Polishing cabs in softer stones...Picasso jasper...Help
10 RE: Facetron Dial
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2003 15:49:33 -0700
From: John Kilian <<¤±X*ef="mailto:email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org>
Just a note to let everyone on the list know that we have launched our
gemstone, mineral specimen and jewelery website today at
We still have much to add but it is a start.
I also want to thank again all those who haved helped me with answers to my
questions and my faceting needs over the last several years.
Best regards to all.
The Kilian Collection
Subject: syn diamonds
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2003 17:03:32 -0700
From: "Blaise Harper" <email@example.com>
hello All, I thought it was a joke when references were made to $5 a
carat flawless diamond made in a lab. The september issue of "Wired"
magazine has the article telling all about it and with pictures plus
lots of detail in how they are made plus marketing plans. Reading all
this carefully it's easy to see how this development is like putting a
stake in the heart of the De Beers organization. Plus it may have an
impact on the colored stone and pearl markets. I think it will kind of
create parity or elevate in the public's eye colored stones and pearls.
This will cut the price of diamonds by 50% or maybe more. This will be a
revolution for sure. I can see that eventually some diamond mines will
close down, most probably those that go really deep.
Another interesting observation I have made is that the web site
www.dirtcheapdiamonds.com has for example (many) a one carat diamond
with a GIA cert. that is about $1000 less in price than what you would
expect to pay on the NY wholesale market. Strange huh? It must be the
economy, or blood diamonds or synthetics already coming onto the market
from Russia. Even Walmart has diamonds under one carat in jewelry that
are at the same low price and far lower than Blue Nile, so Blue Nile is
no longer in the game, not even close. So the bottom has fallen out of
the wholesale diamond market and who really knows why? Cutters in India
are already selling these new low cost diamonds and they do not tell
that they are synthetic......blaise harper...
Sounds like the machine that I recall hearing about from Russia was perfected?
Does this mean that diamond abrasives will get cheap as well?
Subject: Girdle Facet Transfer Alignment Question
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2003 21:28:04 -0400
From: David Creviston <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Hello everyone from a long-time lurker and facetor. My question concerns
getting flat on a girdle facet after transferring to work on the crown. I
have been fortunate to own several faceting machines. My last one was an
Ultra-tec and now I have a facetron. I have what you might call a minor
hassel after transferring, to get the girdle facet flat to the lap again. I
use to use wax to hold my stones and just use the transfer jig and hope it
transfered in alignment. Well, it worked most of the tim but not always.
So, I started using devcon 5 min epoxy. Great stuff, even if I do have to
wait a minimum of 1 hr for it to set. Anyway I have to cut girdle facets to
be able to line up the top and bottom breaks. On the Ultra-tec I just set
the machine to 88 deg. and loosened the set screw on the index gear so it
would slip around the spindle. I would feel in the proper girdle facet and
then re-tighten the set screw. Perfect. On the Facetron it's a little more
hassel. I set the machine to 88 deg. again and unscrew the knurled knob
behind the index gear. When I feel for the facet I dont seem to get quite
the smooth feel that I did on the UT so it takes a little more time. When I
finally feel in the facet I hand tghten the knurled knob and then recheck
allignment. It is useually right on. Here is the problem. A hand tight turn
of the knob isn't quite secure enough so I tighten the knob with the hex
wrench to a better torque. This seems to pull the alignment off just a
little, so I useually have to cheat it back in a little. Also, to insert
the hex wrench, I have to crank the angle crank down to a lower angle to
get my fingers in to where the knob is, then back to 88 deg and recheck.
You see this all becomes a little more involved. Does anyone know a better
way of doing this short of going back to wax and hoping the top and bottom
line up during transfer?
Thank you. Great group.
Subject: Facetron dial indicator
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2003 21:34:54 -0700
From: "Neil F. Talcott" <email@example.com>
Has anyone upgraded their Facetron with the new dial indicator. If so
what did you think of it? Was it worth the $300.00 they are asking?
I sent my head in for the dial indicator up grade. You still have to cut and
look but it works 100% better than the old strain gauge needle. I find
myself cutting more on the Facetron and letting the UT collect dust.
73, Neil in Nevada where the thermometer read 100 today.
Subject: Dark field illumination
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2003 22:18:57 -0500
From: Gene Goldsand <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Since I cant recall which list the darkfield thread was on, I will post
this to both. Mention was made of building ones own Darkfield
illuminator. Since it is against my religion to pay GIA s' prices for
things, I have been researching how to build one of these for years. The
best item that I have run across for the reflector is an Ellipsoidal
Reflector lamp, 120watt in an ER40 bulb (40 eigths or 5 inches in diameter)
These are designed to be used in recessed fixtures. You'll all recall from
Analytic Geometry that an ellipse is an oval that has two foci. These
reflectors are the volumes of rotation obtained when an ellipse is rotated
180 degrees. The lamp goes in one focus and the location of the stone (the
microscopes object focal point) is located at the other one. A black
eclipsing disk prevents light from going straight to the stone.
You would need to get one of these lamps, and use it or not depending on
how much of a cheepskate you are. Then using a thin chisel, break the
vacuum by chiseling in from the center of the medium screwbase inwards. Do
this carefully and wrap up the bubb. After you have allowed the vacuum to
escape, use your trim saw or a glass cutter to eliminate the neck and face
of the bubb. If you note the location of the filament prior to destruction
and imagine the opposite focus you will know were the sweet spot should be.
Use a halogen lamp or microscope bulb with a linear filament or point
filament. GIA currently uses a tiny 35 watt halogen bulb and the reflector
is made of plastic that is chrome plated. It does work well. The chrome
plating is very polished. I havent had the front off of one of these bulbs
but I think they are a bit more diffuse. You might need to go up to 50
watts. That would yield alot of light.
These lamps used to be made by all the major bubb manufacturers, but now
only Phillips makes them. They have two different part numbers for
apparently the same lamp 046677-21565-7 and 046677-21562-4 . You will
probably have to find a full line, specialty lamp distributor who was a
standard pack of 24 broken open. GE and Sylvania/Osram no longer make
them. You might be able to do something similar with a narrow spot bulb
that has a halogen capsule in it (Capsylite) but these are parabolic
reflectors not ellipsoidals. Cut the socket off the ER and the reflector
off a capsylite and graft them together. Its Alive. Seriously the filament
orientation and shape from a capsylite would be correct, even if its
reflector was the wrong shape.
I havent had a chance to look at one of the Chinese DF microscopes, but
they are probably a good deal for moment. They are buying market share.
Their products remind me of 1960s vintage Japanese microscopes.
There are also two new darkfield penlight loupes on fleabay. One is a
knockoff of the one GIA sells, priced around $35. (or maybe its the same
one, I dont know, it looks the same) The seller is "coolgemologist".The
other is a very nice arrangement from GEMORO that has two lenses one in
line like the GIA style and the second lens at right angles built into the
support for the main lens. It has a nice gemholder. It is being offered on
fleabay with a Buy It Now price of 80 something and an opening bid price (
the real price) of 69.95. I am tempted. The seller is "findingking" of AZ.
I aint affiliated wid nobody ;o)
Subject: REFER: SMALL STONES
Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2003 00:05:00 -0500
From: "Robert Powell" <email@example.com>
I am looking at two cuts , Single cut , and Swiss cut.
The Single cut has 8 top facets with 8 pavilion facets
Table is 40 % of girdle dia. 17 facets total.
I would add a culet facet just because it makes the stone
less easily damaged. That would make 18 total facets.
Swiss Cut has 8 upper star facets and 8 upper girdle facets.
8 lower star facets and 8 pavilion facets .
The table is 40 % of girdle dia.
The culet facet and table facet making a total of 34 facets.
Of the two, the single cut looks much simpler ,
and could be done in much less time.
From the Jeweler's Resource by Bruce Knuth.
I caught scarlet fever as a child and have been legally blind
without my glasses all my life.
I had purchased at eBay auction a pair of binocular optics.
These are Russian made, but the optics and general fit and
manufacture are pretty good.
They are fitted on a pair of safety glasses and offer individually
focusable eyepieces with a working distance of 14 to 18 "
I would use them if I were watching over someone's shoulder,
but I have 3 pairs of Optivisors in diffiring powers.
The price is not bad, considering that they are mini telescopes
Here is a article I mailed to Ganoksin which contains the information.
" Zenit LB-1M Binocular Magnifier
From: "Robert Powell" <firstname.lastname@example.org
I have one of these binocular magnifiers . It is Russian made . I am
pleased with the quality of manufacture, price and the speed of
delivery. I have purchased this 1 1/2 years ago. I have not had any
For $ 59.95 plus shipping , I consider this item to be a best buy. I
do not consider this to be a replacement for an optivisor or a
binocular zoom microscope. Another post follows on that subject.
This is offered with the standard disclosure I have no economic
involvement, just a pleased customer .
ROBB - Retired Old Baby Boomer
" ZENIT LB-1M BINOCULAR MAGNIFIER BRAND NEW!!! eBay Item # 3006577360
" US $59.00 each Seller maksuta(753)
LB-1M binocular magnifier is designed for stereoscopic viewing in
jeweler's art .
Linear field of view - 124-38 mm,
Magnification - 2.8-3.3x,
Working distance of viewing - 900-350 mm,
Control range of interpupillary distance according to observer's eyes -
Exit pupil relief - 19.6 mm,
Exit pupil diameter - 5.3 mm,
Dimensions - 61x150x253 mm,
Weight (with a spectacle frame) - 140 g.
- Binocular Magnifier, - Case, - Instruction Manual, - Box. "
I hope that this is of some help.
Subject: Facet design with few facets
Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2003 11:45:37 +0000
I have found that the "Hexabril" cut that can be downloaded from Bob's
Rockshop is a good design for small stones. It is really quite brilliant and
has only 30 facets, including the girdle. In a small stone, most people
cannot tell it from a SRB! Good luck.
Denney L. Wilson
Subject: Diamond Spray for laps
Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2003 09:13:13 -0400 (Eastern Standard Time)
From: "Dennis Demerly" <email@example.com>
At the annual seminar held at Mott College in Flint by The Midwest Facetor
Guild we were introduced to a diamond spray made by BOB-A-LOU Rock in
Saginaw, Mich.. Our teachers, some of which do international Competition,
told us that have tried other diamond sprays, by found this spray the best.
They told us that some sprays do not contain all the same micron size. That
some have a mix that will scratch your stone. They also, told us that
sometimes the lap might be contaminated, which can cause a scratch. Each of
our teachers told us of horror stories they had using different diamond
sprays and laps while polishing their competition gem stone.
It is very good to have a lot of input into your problems from various people who
have been there and done it. This is especially true of the people that have
contributed to the Digest. I have received tremendous help.
Subject: Polishing cabs in softer stones...Picasso jasper...Help
Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2003 14:42:24 EDT
I have a piece of Picasso jasper that I m cabbing but not having much
luck on polish. It comes out a nice satin finish but I want to get a glass
finish on some cabs. This material, I think is from Nevada and soft, maybe 5.5 to
6. Anyone have any way to polish this to share? I have tried cerium on
leather and buffing it with zam, just to try it but none has done much to acquire a
Subject: Re Facetron Dial
Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2003 13:43:30 -0700
To: "LapidaryArtsDigest" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: "Paul Newman" <Vet.Surgeon@verizon.net>
Jerry, Paul Newman here. I have been cutting for about two years and
recently had the dial put on my machine. I love it. It acts like a hard stop
to some degree and takes the guesswork out of the old indicator. I would
definately invest the money!
RESOURCES FOR LAPIDARIES:
PERSONALS: (General Lapidary and Faceting)
Lurking is fine, but participation is better for learning !
Post something from your experiences in gemcutting today!
TODAY'S FUNNY ~
Subject: An Old Man and a Marine
Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2003 10:11:14 -0400
From: "Frank lavin" <email@example.com>
An old man approached the White House from the park across Pennsylvania
Avenue where he'd been sitting on a park bench. He spoke to the U.S.
Marine standing guard and said, "I would like to go in and meet with
The Marine looked at the man and said, "Sir, Mr. Clinton is no longer
president and no longer resides here." The old man said, "Okay." and
The following day, the same man approached the White House and said to
the same Marine, "I would like to go in and meet with President Clinton."
The Marine again told the man, "Sir, Mr. Clinton is no longer president
and no longer resides here." The man thanked him and, again, just
The third day, the same man approached the White House and spoke to the
very same U.S. Marine, saying "I would like to go in and meet with
The Marine, understandably agitated at this point, looked at the man
and said, "Sir, this is the third day in a row you have been here asking to
speak to Mr. Clinton. I've told you already that Mr. Clinton is no
longer the president and no longer resides here. Don't you understand?"
The old man looked at the Marine and said, "Oh, I understand. I just
love hearing it."
The Marine snapped to attention, saluted and said, "See you tomorrow,Sir!"
REFLECTIONS AND TIDBITS:
"Distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes."
---Henry David Thoreau---
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