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LAPIDARY ARTS and FACETERS DIGEST
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Issue No. 152 - Friday June 20, 2003
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Moderated by: Thurmond Moore III
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Committed to carrying on the fine works of
Hale Sweeny and Jerry Dewbre
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POST TO EITHER LINK BELOW:
lapidary@caprock-spur.com
faceters@caprock-spur.com
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Index to Today's Digest

01  RE: Garnets
02  NEW: Unconventional Lapidarist May 2003 Newsletter (Seraphinite)
03  NEW: Unconventional Lapidarist June 2003 Newsletter (Honeycomb Calcite)

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Message:01

Subject: Garnets
Date: Fri, 20 Jun 2003 09:23:32 -0700
To: faceters@caprock-spur.com
From: Bud Schroeder <bshmt@juno.com>

Hi Rhodolite Smith & List,   I am no expert on Garnet , But  I have mined
Garnet in several places in Idaho. If the Garnets are not specimens I
place them in a tumbler with medium grit . Check every hour as some break
up.If they are not transparent after several hours , check them for
stars.
Bud Schroeder ( In the center of So. CA )

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Message:02

Reprinted with Permission From The Unconventional Lapidarist

Seraphinite Newsletter

May 2003



Hello everyone!!
Hope everyone is doing well. James and I had a great time last month in Alpine
and the Big Bend area. We checked out lots of road cuts, creek beds, and other
locations and found beautiful rocks. We had a wonderful time at the Woodward
Ranch just south of Alpine, Texas (head south from Alpine on Hwy 118 approximately
18 miles and then follow the signs to the ranch). This is the location of the prized
Texas red plume agate. There have been rumors that the ranch is no longer
accessible to rockhounds, but we are here to tell you, that is just a rumor. All
rockhounds are more than welcome to come on down and hunt for plume agate,
moss agate, flower garden jasper, and so much more. You might even find carnelian,
dinosaur bone, petrified wood, or even opal. We stumbled on some feldspars and
calcites too. We felt that the $1.00 per pound price was definitely worth it for the
quality of material. We could have left there with the pick up truck full and riding
low if we had wanted too!
. There is a lot to see and do in the area there as well. There is horseback-riding,
camping, hiking, Big Bend National Park, the ghost town of Terlingua (known for its
chili cook-offs), the resort town of Lajitas, river rafting down the Rio Grande, and did
we mention rockhounding?!! I would encourage one and all to put Woodward Ranch
on your must do list of rockhounding locations. Spring and Fall are the best times of the
year but it isn't out of the question for the summer. The ranch is at an elevation of over
5,000 feet (just like Denver), making it a very comfortable place to go in the summer.
Trey Woodward said that the temperatures have not broken 100F in the last 6 years.
In fact, 88F is the average high in July, and that is a dry 88F.

We decided to do this months newsletter on a material, seraphinite, that is still new to
the market but one that we really fell in love with because it is a beautiful stone. This
is one of those stones that I think will take off in popularity in the not to distant future.


What is Seraphinite?
Seraphinite is a variety of clinochlore. Clinochlore forms from the metamorphic and
hydrothermal alterations of other iron and magnesium silicate minerals. The variety
seraphinite has silvery chatoyant fibers much like charoite. It has a vitreous to pearly
luster. The crystalline structure is monoclinic. It is a 2-2.5 on the mohs scale.


Where is it found?
The seraphinite variety comes from only one location, the Bratsk region of Siberia,
Russia which is northeast of Lake Baikal. Clinochlore itself is found all over the world.
The specific deposit is known as the Korshunovskoye deposit, located on the east
side of the Bratsk Reservoir.

Does seraphinite have a history?
This stone is fairly new on the market which means it does not have a known history.
It gained quite a following in the metaphysical world. Clinochlore gets its name from
the Greek words for inclined and green since its structure is monoclinic and its common
color is green. Seraphinite is a very recent stone to the market, therefore it doesn't have
a long enough lifespan for folklore. For a time this stone disappeared off the market,
but happily it has resurfaced.

Is there another stone on the market that it kind of resembles?
yes, it has a similarity to a type of nephrite jade that is coming out of Nevada that is
trade named, "ghost jade". Both of these materials have that chatoyancy to it that
makes it so attractive.

What are the most common uses of seraphinite?
Being a relatively soft material, seraphinite is used for jewelry the most. However, you
do not want to use it for rings which get banged around a lot in living every day life.
The silvery chatoyant fibers contrasting with the dark green background of the material
can attract a persons eye from across the room when worn as a pendant. Despite the
stones softness, those same silvery chatoyant fibers seem to make the stone more
suitable to making jewelry from it compared to other stones of the same softness (or
hardness, whichever way you look at it!). I have also seen very attractive decorative
items such as spheres, eggs, and other display items.

What should I be aware of when cutting seraphinite?
Just like any other chatoyant material, the fibers that cause the chatoyancy tend to
cause the material to undercut when you are working the stone. Because of its softness,
it is an easy stone to slab and preform. That part of the process is very quick. Unfortunately
when that process is so quick and easy, the cutter can get fooled into thinking that the
whole process will be fast and easy. However, the actual shaping of the stone and
working it into a cab can become frustrating when it undercuts. Once you are aware
that it will do that, you will be ahead of the game.




To see examples of the material, and further explanations of the cutting information, go to:

     http://www.unconventionallapidarist.com/gems/seraphinite.html


Cabochons:

     http://www.unconventionallapidarist.com/cabochons/seraphinite/

James and Cindy
http://www.unconventionallapidarist.com

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Message:03

Reprinted with Permission From The Unconventional Lapidarist

Honeycomb Calcite Newsletter

June 2003

Hello everyone!!

Summer hasn't officially started as of yet, but it sure feels like it. Hope everyone is
staying cool and being careful out in the heat. We can't stress enough the importance
of being careful when out in the field rockhounding. We want to remind everyone to
take precautions, such as making sure your vehicle is in working order, and taking a
lot of water with you (for you and your vehicle if either of you should overheat). Also
be aware of other dangers such as stinging insects and venomous reptiles. Find out
about the place that you are going to and learn the hazards that you might encounter.

This month we are highlighting a stone that is absolutely gorgeous. It is an architects,
interior designers, carvers, and jewelers delight.


What is Honeycomb Calcite?
It is a variety of calcite. Calcite is common mineral worldwide, but there are varieties
that stand out from different locations. Calcite is a principal component of limestones
and marbles. In fact, the famous Carrara Marble from Italy that is used for decorative
stone is composed of calcite.

What makes honeycomb calcite different from other calcites?
This variety of calcite is distinguished by the "honeycomb like" cellular pattern of the
stone. This pattern is formed by the growth of long fibrous or tubular crystal cells of
honey yellow calcite that is outlined by white membranes surrounding each cell. The
stone pattern varies according to the point of origin of each cell. They grow in "V"
shaped structures and are individually bundled into groups where beginning cells
appear as small close hexagon shaped cells that are grouped close together (similar
to honey turning to sugar). The coloring of the stone is attributed to iron deposits at
the time of formation.

Where is it found?
Honeycomb calcite is found exclusively in the state of Utah. Other varieties of calcite
are found all over the world.

Does honeycomb calcite have a history?
The discovery of the stone came about completely by accident, while individuals in
eastern Utah were removing topsoil. At the end of their workday, while preparing to
leave the site, they turned to notice the pile of overburden glowing in the afternoon
sun. Even though each stone has a chalky "white skin" covering the exterior of the
stone, the afternoon sunlight refracted through the crystals causing the stone to "glow".
The group, quite taken with the phenomenal happening, removed samples of the stone
to have it tested and classified. The stone tested to be a new form of calcite, differing
from other calcite as a result of its strength, stability, luminous qualities, and color. The
color and consistency of the stone remains reliable after having been mined for two
seasons. The stone is removed from the site in boulders ranging from fist size to an
average boulder size, approximately 5'x 4'x 3'. The largest boulder removed to date
is said to be 7'x6'x5'. The full potential of the quarry is yet to be revealed.

What is honeycomb calcite used for?
Comparable to onyx and marble, Honeycomb Calcite can provide a colorful replacement
or dramatic accent stone for architectural and artistic applications. The stone is transparent
and translucent offering a luminous glow when accentuated by artificial, direct, or indirect
lighting. The transparency and translucency are apparent in thick sections as well as thin
cuts. For instance, there is a church in Texas that has a cross made with honeycomb
calcite that is backlit. The stone has been used for candles, carvings, spheres, light
sconces, jewelry, countertops, table tops, sinks, and entry-way windows just to name
a few. The stone's soft, warm, orange-yellow glow makes it a perfect mood lighting for
a room (by simply putting a light behind a slab or chunk).

What should I be aware of when cutting honeycomb calcite?
Calcite is very soft. It cuts very fast. You don't need to use very aggressive grits with this
material. I usually do my rough grinding with the 280 grit and work up from there. Because
of the translucency of the material you can get the rough wet and hold it up to the light to
get an idea where the patterns are. After cutting your slabs make sure to stress test the
slab (try to break it on lines that you see) to make sure you are seeing nice patterns not
a fracture line. Mark and cut out the shape that you want. After you finish cutting the
cabochon you can polish with most polishes; cerium oxide, Rapid polish, diamond,
and of course my favorite .3 micron sapphire. I use a lap that has canvas or leather
and use a paste of sapphire powder and  water. I put the leather directly on the backing
plate without a sponge back. It seems to work better polishing with a hard surface.

To see examples of the material, and further explanations of the cutting information, go to:

     http://www.unconventionallapidarist.com/gems/honeycombcalcite.html


Cabochons:

     http://www.unconventionallapidarist.com/cabochons/honeycomb/

Carvings:

     http://www.unconventionallapidarist.com/carvings/honeycomb/

Jewelry:

     http://www.unconventionallapidarist.com/jewerly/honeycomb/

Until next month,


James and Cindy
http://www.unconventionallapidarist.com



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TODAY'S FUNNY ~

How many stressed-out mothers does it take to screw in a light bulb?

One.  ONE!!   And do you know WHY it only takes ONE?  Because no one
else in this house knows HOW to change a light bulb.  They don't even
know the bulb is BURNED OUT.  They would sit in this house in the dark
for THREE DAYS before they figured it OUT. And once they figured it out
they wouldn't be able to find the light bulbs despite the fact that
they've been in the SAME CUPBOARD for the past SEVENTEEN YEARS.  But if
they did, by some miracle, find the light bulbs, TWO DAYS LATER the
chair that they dragged from two rooms over to stand on to change the
STUPID light bulb would STILL BE IN THE SAME SPOT!!!!!   AND UNDERNEATH
IT WOULD BE THE CRUMPLED WRAPPER THE STUPID LIGHT BULBS CAME IN.
WHY???   BECAUSE NO ONE IN THIS HOUSE EVER CARRIES OUT THE GARBAGE!!!!
IT'S A WONDER WE HAVEN'T ALL SUFFOCATED FROM THE PILES OF GARBAGE THAT
ARE 12 FEET DEEP THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE HOUSE.  THE HOUSE!!  THE HOUSE!!!
IT WOULD TAKE AN ARMY TO CLEAN THIS.

That's how many.


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REFLECTIONS AND TIDBITS:

Always do right.
This will gratify some --
and astonish the rest.

---Mark Twain---

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