Issue No. 143 - Monday June 9, 2003
Moderated by: Thurmond Moore III
Committed to carrying on the fine works of
Hale Sweeny and Jerry Dewbre
From The Moderator:

Hi all,  There is an excellent post  today (#6) on Collecting
Areas and Collection methods in Maine. I would like to
see other members worldwide post about their favorite collecting
areas and methods used for collection. Is anyone else

Index to Today's Digest

01  NEW: Identifying Lapis
02  NEW: Saw Lubricants for Transparent materials
03  RE: Worst rockhound locations
04  RE: Worst rockhound locations
05  RE: Gemcutters and Telescope Makers
06  NEW:  Maine Specimen Mining
07  RE: Stars, glass, and diamonds


Date: Mon, 09 Jun 2003 08:43:56 -0700
To: owner-lapidary@caprock-spur.com
From: "J. R. Callahan" <jrc@pe.net>
Subject: Question

A mail-order company sold me a figurine that was advertised as lapis, but I
believe it's really some type of ceramic.  Obviously, I'm not an expert.
The seller swears up and down that the item is made of genuine lapis
lazuli, but he has offered to exchange it if I'm "not happy."

Could you please recommend someone in the San Diego area (perhaps at one of
the museums) who could look at this figurine and tell me whether it's lapis
or not?  I don't believe any testing would be necessary, just a quick
examination.  The seller has apparently been in business for a long time,
and I don't want to risk damaging his reputation if I'm wrong.  But if I'm
right, he has some explaining to do.



Subject: Re: Issue No. 141 - Thursday June 5, 2003
Date: Fri, 06 Jun 2003 17:51:44 -0700
To: LapidaryArtsDigest <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: John Parrott <parrotjd@bellsouth.net>


New in the hobby and have a question.  What is suggested today, as a medium to use
with a 4 or 5 inch gem saw.  Years ago, had a product called Pela Oil.  Don't
remember the manufacturer.  Any suggestion for lubricant for cutting transparent
gem material would be appreciated.

J Parrott


Subject: Dullest minerology.
Date: Fri, 06 Jun 2003 19:00:16 -0400
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com (LapidaryArtsDigest)
From: "Jonathan L. Rolfe" <webmaster@gearloose.com>

> >No,no,no!  Southeastern New England!!!  We have the dullest minerology
> >there is.
>I think the winner is probably South-Eastern England.  Unless you like
(Currently on a laptop!  Excuse typing,ugh)
Nope.  I have some native lead crystals/Galena from near Lulworth Cove in
Dorset,  and also a strange tan  jasper with quartz grains scattered
thoughout.  And don't forget Purbeck Marble.
Hampshire is Flint  heaven.  Some is so transparant it looks facetable,
rather like cairngorm.  At least you have chalk, and limestone, with
fossils, like the big ammonites.
We have sand.


Subject: mineralogical boring area
Date: Fri, 6 Jun 2003 18:34:10 -0700
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com (LapidaryArtsDigest)
From: Tony <lightbender@thegemdoctor.com>

On June 6, 2003 03:24 pm, you wrote:
> I think the winner is probably South-Eastern England.  Unless
> you like clay...

Hello Michael,

As a native of Royal Tunbridge Wells I have to complain, There's
plenty of beautiful chalk as well. Now there's a polishing

Now in sunny Vancouver, Canada, nestled amidst mountains studded
with pegmatite dikes.


Subject: Re: Issue No. 142 - Friday June 6, 2003
Date: Fri, 6 Jun 2003 23:02:55 EDT
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com
From: MyCatWilAtackYou@aol.com

I picked up a little old book at the thriftstore for 50 cents. A very
impressive story of the Hale.
His accounts of the fabrication of the glass by Corning are fraught with
anxiety, the cross country trip of the mirror on rail are sprinkled with details
of the difficulties of moving such an awkward object as the huge glass disk

Woodbury, David (1939) THE GLASS GIANT OF PALOMAR Dodd, Mead & Co., New York,
368 pgs.]


Subject: Maine Specimen Mining
Date: Sat, 7 Jun 2003 10:15:58 -0400
To: "LapidaryArtsDigest" <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: "Peter In Maine" <kulaczp@pivot.net>

I have been asked to relate to everyone  what we do  here in Maine to find
specimens at different sites.....Will try to give you specifics for each
quarry and locality which still produce and are worth going to,,

Most famous is the Mt.Mica , tourmaline mine ( quarry ) at Parishill. Well
this one is off limits to all collecting . It is still an active mine but
privately owned and operated. I can say that not much is being mined out of
there right now.

Newry, Duton  and related mines at this site are being purchased by the
state with help from business and private donations. I believe we are over $
50,000.oo dollars at this time and the purchase price is over $ 250k..Good
information has it that the final ownership will allow future collecting to
everyone . State protected site...Good News for all..

Mt Apatite, Auburn area, is owned by the town of Auburn and collecting is
allowed ..Even though this site has not been mined in years it still
produces good tourmaline and associated minerals for those who like to dig
big holes and aren't afraid to work...We love to still go there and dig and
sift....We bring 1/4 inch and 1/8 inch sifting boxes to use in finding
tourmaline . Basically you dig out old dirt and sift thru it , then wash the
1/8 screen in water to be able to see what you have...A favorite spot is the
Greenlaw Quarry at Mt Apatite. It has a pond which we use to sift and
clean... Our friend and his 4 buddies dug a monster hole last year and came
up with a few hundred carats of gem tourmaline,,,,Hard work....
Our best from this area came in 1999 when my son found a 22.5 carat teal
color crystal and I found a 10.5 carat indicolite . All from one small
area... All cutters. You can sometimes dig a small hole in the adjacent road
area and find cutters...We always find  color here....There are also purple
apatites and last year we found over a dozen zircons , some cutters yellow
in color. It is an easy walk in and anyone coming to Maine would enjoy this
spot.. Two summers ago it was so dry up here that the pond dried up and we
were able to get into the muck and dig up material from many years gone
by...Our best summer for finding dark, almost navy blue, indicolite. Also a
coke bottle fron 1956.  To get there you would take the Auburn exit #12 of
the Maine tournpike. Take your next left onto Rt100 and follow this for 3
miles to  Rt121/11.  Take left and Follow Rt121 for 2 miles and take a right
onto Garfield Rd, then the left into the Army Reserve Property and park in
their lot. Its a 15 minute walk into the woods from there.

On another topic , the beryl crystals and associated minerals are selling
out right now so if anyone is still interested please email me.  I put
together lots of 100 carats of cabbing grade beryl cystals ( tell me what
size you need) , a couple hundred carats of grade A lepidolite from Black Mt
and Georgetown, and a load of different minerals from Maine. All for 10
bucks plus $3.85 shipping. Will pack the flatrate priority envelope full for
you.....Need to make room for more goodies to be found this year. Let me
know, send me your address and out they go...

Off Fishen................Peter and Joey


Thanks very much for the post Peter. We don't have any mining anywhere
nearby so I enjoy "virtual tours" of areas I would like to be. I know others
on the list will as well. 


Subject: Re: Stars, glass, and diamonds
Date: Sun, 8 Jun 2003 17:27:46 +0200
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com (LapidaryArtsDigest)
From: Tom Herbst <herbst@mpia-hd.mpg.de>

Gearloose asked:

  > I notice that quite a few gemcutters are also astronomers, for some
reason!  Two lonely hobbys?

I've wondered the same. I know of a number of amateurs and at least
three professional astronomers in our community. My theory: astronomy
lies at the intersection of physics and philosophy and gemcutting lies
at the intersection of physics and art. Both select for people who are
somewhat, but not hopelessly, nerdy. If they were such lonely hobbies,
who would wear the gems we cut?

Kreigh commented:

 > Our lapidary efforts are adequate for eyeglass lenses, but optical
flats, prisms, and telescope mirrors need to be perfect to
 > roughly a wavelength of light.

The largest ground-based telescope mirrors in the world have surface
accuracies of about 20-30 nanometers, or less than a tenth of the
wavelength of visible light. To put this into a faceting perspective,
such a mirror is a 75 million carat (15 ton) synthetic gemstone
(effectively quartz), 8,400 mm (almost 28 feet) in diameter , with a
concave facet polished to a surface accuracy corresponding to 1,000,000
grit diamond powder. Of course the mirror makers have it easy: they
only have to polish one facet, and there are no meet points. The
setting can be a bear, though.

 > BTW, if anyone has size information on diamond grits I would
appreciate receiving an update with details.

Try here:  http://www.facetingmachines.com/polishes.shtml or here:

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!


Subject: Funny
Date: Sun, 08 Jun 2003 00:45:45 -0300
To: LapidaryArtsDigest <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: Robert <robertplowejr@uol.com.br>

The Sorcerer's Tale - King Arthur's Dilemma

Young King Arthur was ambushed and imprisoned by the monarch of a
neighboring kingdom. The monarch could have killed him, but was moved by
Arthur's youth and ideals. So the monarch offered him freedom, provided
he could answer a very difficult question. Arthur would have a year to
figure out the answer; if, after a year, he had no answer, he would be
put to death.

The question: What do women really want?

Such a question would perplex even the most knowledgeable man, and, to
young Arthur, it seemed an impossible query. But, since it was better
than death, he accepted the monarch's proposition to have an answer by
year's end.

He returned to his kingdom and began to poll everybody: the princess,
the prostitutes, the priests, the wise men, the court jester. He spoke
with everyone, but no one could give him a satisfactory answer. Many
people advised him to consult the old witch -- only she would know the
answer. The price would be high; the witch was famous throughout the
kingdom for the exorbitant prices she charged.

The last day of the year arrived and Arthur had no alternative but to
talk o the witch. She agreed to answer his question, but he'd have to
accept her price first: The old witch wanted to marry Gawain, the most
noble of the Knights of the Round Table and Arthur's closest friend!

Young Arthur was horrified: She was hunchbacked and hideous, had only
one tooth, smelled like sewage and made obscene noises.  He had never
encountered such a repugnant creature.  He refused to force his friend
to marry her.

Gawain, upon learning of the proposal, spoke with Arthur. He told him
that nothing was too big a sacrifice compared to Arthur's life and the
preservation of the Round Table.

Hence, their wedding was proclaimed, and the witch answered Arthur's
question thus:

What a woman really wants is to be in charge of her own life.

Everyone instantly knew that the witch had uttered a great truth and
that Arthur's life would be spared. And so it was. The neighboring
monarch granted Arthur total freedom.

What a wedding Gawain and the witch had! Arthur was torn between relief
and anguish. Gawain was proper as always, gentle and courteous. The old
witch put her worst manners on display, and generally made everyone very

The honeymoon hour approached. Gawain, steeling himself for a horrific
experience, entered the bedroom. But what a sight awaited him! The most
beautiful woman he'd ever seen lay before him!

The astounded Gawain asked what had happened. The beauty replied that
since he had been so kind to her when she'd appeared as a witch, she
would henceforth be her horrible, deformed self half the time, and the
other half, she would be her beautiful maiden self. Which would he want
her to be during the day, and which during the night?

What a cruel question! Gawain pondered his predicament. During the day,
a beautiful woman to show off to his friends, but at night, in the
privacy of his home, an old witch? Or would he prefer having by day a
hideous witch, but by night a beautiful woman with whom to enjoy many
intimate moments?

What would you do?

Noble Gawain replied that he would let her choose for herself. Upon
hearing this, she announced that she would be beautiful all the time,
because he had respected her enough to let her be in charge of her own life.

What is the moral of this story?

The moral of the story is:

If your woman doesn't get her own way, things are going to get ugly!



It is as hard to see one's self
as to look backwards without turning around.



is produced by Thurmond Moore III

Tempie Francis, Attorney at Law / Legal Advisor


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