Issue No.77 - Monday March 03, 2003
Moderated by: Thurmond Moore III
Committed to carrying on the fine works of
Hale Sweeny and Jerry Dewbre


From the Moderator:  The digest mailing is currently
bouncing from all MSN e-mail accounts. Investigation
is underway to determine a cause and solution.

It is a new month so all non permanent ads have been purged
Send your ads in for this month.

Index to Today's Digest

01  RE: Star Stones
02  RE: Soapstone and Seatite
03  NEW: faceting design question
04  RE: Snake Eye
05  RE: Looking for a faceting design
06  NEW: "Optix" faceting


Subject: 5 February 2003
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 17:32:00 -0700
To: <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: <wreisbick@mho.net>

On the 5th of Feb.,  Douglas Turet wrote a long answer to my question
about star sapphires. By following  his advice I was able to get a star
in one of my stones. Because of Douglas and the Lapidary Digest, I have
been able get an inkling of what I was trying to do with my practice
stones. THANK  YOU
Walter Reisbick


Subject: Re: Issue No.76 - Friday February 28, 2003
Date: Sat, 1 Mar 2003 10:34:57 -0500
To: "LapidaryArtsDigest" <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: "Cece" <amethystravyn@cinci.rr.com>

  I am new to the digest, been lurking, though I have rocks in my blood, lol
and recently started classes cutting them. I have been loving looking for
rocks and minerals since I was a child.
  Ok that brings me to the intent of my post. Having grown up in montana,
thought I could save a few steps for the gentleman looking for soapstone,
since Montana was mentioned.
  The mines that have talc/soapstone, that I am aware of are in Three
Forks..... and although I couldn't quite remember the name of it, I did a
quick search and located it.
 http://www.luzenac.com/ Is the mine that is there. This is a direct source
and as such, probably cheaper than a dealer.
   Hope that helps :)
          Cece Bercier

For the gentleman who was looking for a source of seatite, I remember
getting some at a NFMS show in Billings, Montana, that I am pretty sure
was from Montana, and supposed to be extra good for carving because it
had no asbestos in it.  I think if you would e mail someone listed on
the NFMS page that is from Montana you could probably find the source.


Subject: faceting design question
Date: Sat, 01 Mar 2003 13:29:09 -0400
To: faceters@caprock-spur.com
From: "cprgolf" <cprgolf@go-concepts.com>

Is there a formula or a simple method to convert faceting
design instructions from a 96 index to a 64 indexor other
index. Can't find many designs for the 64 index.


Subject: Re: Snake Eye
Date: Sat, 01 Mar 2003 20:47:59 -0700
To: LapidaryArtsDigest <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: John McLaughlin <jemstone@amug.org>

> Well, it has been almost a month since I asked the list if anyone knew what "snake eye"
> might really be called. . . . Briefly, the material supposedly comes from Siberia, and
> can be described as follows: in color it is slightly less lime green than gaspeite; in
> pattern it is mottled a little like lizard stone; in texture it is somewhat jaspery
> except for the eyes. It has variable hardness, so there are areas which are little
> better than semi-polished and others which are brightly polished. Some of the brightly
> polished areas have a chatoyancy almost like fish-scale peristerite feldspar. I only
> saw this material as finished cabs, set in silver jewelry, so I don't even have photos
> to share. I've been reading extensively in the past month, and have a tentative idea as
> to what it may be: some form of skarn rock, with recrystallized garnet blebs in it. If
> anyone knows what it is, I would appreciate having a confirmed identification.
> Jim Small Small Wonders

Hi Jim,

I think it is skarn from Dal'negorsk, Russia (far eastern Russia, north of Vladivostok).
I asked Dr. Raymond Grant, a geology professor and specialist in mineralogy.  Ray has a
mineral specimen side business and spent two summers traveling extensively in Siberia.
He has skarn that is exactly as you describe.  These are slabs, but they are polished and
some of the patterns are orbicular.  The colors match your description.  Quoting from his
information card, provided with skarn purchases, "Skarn is a metamorphic rock formed from
the alteration of limestone.  This skarn from Dal'negorsk, Russia consists mainly of
hedenbergite (green) and wollastonite (white).  It has a hardness of about 6.5 and takes
a good polish.  It is made into spheres, vases, and was used to decorate a subway station
in Moscow."

The white color was not evident to me.  What Ray has appears to be green and either very
dark green or black forming the patterns.  Ray said that some of the areas do appear to
have variable hardness.

Additionally, Ray sets up and sells in Tucson at the Executive Inn, the major February
mineral show.  He visits with virtually all of the Russian dealers of Siberian materials
during the 2+ weeks of the show and said he has never heard of "snake eye" from anyone
and was pretty sure he would have if it came from Siberia.

I'm two days into a three day show in Mesa, Arizona and Ray is also a dealer a the show.
If possible, I'll take a digital photo tomorrow of the skarn.  This may not be possible,
as I work the shows alone, and just getting a bathroom break is difficult if there is a
good crowd.

John McLaughlin
Glendale, Arizona


Subject: RE: Looking for a faceting design
Date: Sun, 02 Mar 2003 17:13:03 -0500
To: faceters@caprock-spur.com
From: "Douglas Turet" <anotherbrightidea@hotmail.com>

Hi Michael,

     I may be able to help, if you'll forward me your "snail mail" address.
I have a design that's very similar to the photos you've offered, and has an
L/W of 1.20. I call it "The Fire Arrow", and would offer it online, if only
I could figure out how to meander around the various commands of GemCAD.
Perhaps, when my new Dell system arrives, a week or so from now, I'll be
better able to finagle a way to do that... until then, I'm afraid it's a
matter of the printed/drawn page, only. Either way, the cut's 'peak' is
nearly identical to that of the large (Blue Sapphires? Tanzanites?) stones
in your attachment, yesterday, it's 'base' is that of a Trilliant, and it
has 57 facets, just like an SRB. Will that suffice for your needs? Let me

My best, as ever,

Douglas Turet, GJ
Lapidary Artist, Designer & Goldsmith.
Turet Design
P. O. Box 162
Arlington, MA 02476, U.S.A.
Tel. (617) 325-5328
Fax: (928) 222-0815
Email: anotherbrightidea@hotmail.com


Subject: "Optix" faceting
Date: Sun, 2 Mar 2003 21:24:01 -0500
To: <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: "Tom Wilkie" <twilkie@mounet.com>

Someone asked me what the optix faceting method is.  I have no

Tom Wilkie
Kingsport Tennessee













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


A pastor, a doctor and an engineer were waiting one
 morning for a particularly slow group of golfers.

Engineer: What's with these guys? We must have
been waiting for 15 minutes!

Doctor: I don't know, but I've never seen such ineptitude!

Pastor: Hey, here comes the greens keeper. Let's
have a word with him. [dramatic pause] Hi George.
Say, what's with that group ahead of us? They're
rather slow, aren't they?

George: Oh, yes, that's a group of blind fire fighters.
They lost their sight saving our clubhouse from a fire
last year, so we always let them play for free anytime.

The group was silent for a moment.

Pastor: That's so sad. I think I will say a special prayer
for them tonight.

Doctor: Good idea. And I'm going to contact my
ophthalmologist buddy and see if there's anything he
can do for them.

Engineer: Why can't these guys play at night?



"It is sad to think that the most dense substance known to man
can many times be found between the left ear and the right ear."

The Moderator



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is produced by Thurmond Moore III

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