Issue No. 86 - Friday March 14, 2003
Moderated by: Thurmond Moore III
Committed to carrying on the fine works of
Hale Sweeny and Jerry Dewbre


From the Moderator: 

Topical Focus for next Week:


HOMEWORK for this weekend:

For next week put on your thinking caps and share your experiences,
pains and pleasures in cutting Deeply colored Garnet and other Deeply
saturated stones.

Consider the following while you compile your responses.

1. Cutting garnet and other stones in the various color saturations

2. Intent:  cutting "bright and lively" stones, from rough that reaches
50% saturation (white paper test limit), or darker.

3. How approaching or exceeding the critical angle, or other parameters, might
help accomplish this.

4. Known cuts that perform well in darker garnet rough.

Phil in Florida submitted this topic for the first of a new series of week
long topical "clinics"  or group "brainstorming sessions".


Well Phil it looks like few are speaking up yet concerning cutting garnet or
other stones in different color saturations. I have only cut one garnet
(Dark rhodolite) when I first started cutting. It is small at about 5 mm
so it is fairly brite. I used pavilion angles a couple of degrees  inside the c
ritical angle for garnet. Isimply cut 16 pavilion facets at that angle and
polished each completing the pavilion. The crown was cut with two rows
of 8 facets each  at 25 and 27 degrees. The table was cut at 75 percent
of the stone width ignoring any meets at the table edge. What started as
a tumble polished piece of rough garnet too dark to tell the color other
than by backlighting or observing in strong sunlight became a medium
bright lively stone that most untrained observers mistake for a ruby of
considerably more value.

It seems to me that for dark saturated material that you need to get maximum
light into the gem so a large table is needed.
The light needs to be returned in a minum number of bounces since each
bounce causes energy loss in dark material. Please correct me if I am in error
with this line of thinking.

Lets get those post in this weekend and kick off the " GARNET and DARK STONE CLINIC "
with a big list. It will be the first of a new weekly topical focus / problem solving, brainstorming
session with a new topic each week. Just remember it has to have your participation to

Index to Today's Digest

01  RE: Raytech Alignment
02  NEW: Off the Dop & On my new WebPage
03  RE: Photography of Gems
04  RE: Refractometer
05  WTB: SYNTHETIC opal dust/crumbs
06  RE: Cactus,opals and doughnuts (was "Opal Dirt")
07  RE: Doping Question
08  RE: Advice needed
09  RE: Refractometer and Rough ID
10  RE: Refractometer
11: RE: Digital Photography of Faceted Gems


Subject: Re:Alignment
Date: Thu, 13 Mar 2003 18:41:31 -0800
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com (LapidaryArtsDigest)

At 07:47 PM 3/13/03 -0600, you wrote:
>Can these links be fixed as I am trying to get my platform and lap
>parallel to each other.

J,  I just put my Lapidary Journal Article on my site.  It should give you
the info you need to initially setup your machine.  I'll apologize now if
it takes a while to down load.  I did the article in MS Word, and tried to
bring it into FrontPage to break it down into smaller bites, but I'm not
making progress on that front(page) pun intended.
Take a look at

Since I wrote the article, I have found out a couple other things about the
Raytech.  I mentioned the index gear clearance problem before, and now I
may have a field fix for a wobbly platform.  If yours looks like mine in
the photos though, it is worn enough to cause you problems.  I don't have a
fix for that yet other than a replacement.  I'll let the list know on the
fix for the wobbly platform it  works out.


Subject: Off the Dop & On my new WebPage
Date: Thu, 13 Mar 2003 22:24:22 -0500
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com
From: Kenda Wright <kendaw@worldnet.att.net>

Just wanted to show one of my latest cuts and finally got a picture to
focus on the crown and pavilion facets.  It's 4.15 carat, 9.8 mm lab
Alexandrite that changes from Purple to midnight blue depending on the
type of light.  Polish was 100K diamond on ceramic lap, with a little
200K used to polish the table.  Picture was shot with an Olympus digital
cameral C2020. Check it out on my home page along with most of my other
cuts. My new web page is located at  http://home.att.net/~GemCutting/wsb

John,  Lexington  KY


Subject: Re: Issue No. 85 - Thursday March 13, 2003
Date: Thu, 13 Mar 2003 23:55:08 -0500
To: LapidaryArtsDigest <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: Kreigh Tomaszewski <Kreigh@Tomaszewski.net>

Check out
or the links on micromounts at my website

for tips on photographing mineral specimens.



Subject: RE: Refractometer
Date: Thu, 13 Mar 2003 22:18:17 -0800
To: <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: "Arnold Schwabe" <ars80@telus.net>

>- Hydrothermal emeralds tend to have lower RI readings; be wary of any
>emerald that doesn't give at least one RI reading approaching 1.69.

>Didn't you mean 1.59?

Yes indeed, I did mean 1.59. Sorry for the typo.
It appears that everyone is echoing the same advice on the subject: there is
no one sure fast and easy way to identify what is natural and what is
synthetic. If there was, the GIA, GAGTL and all the gem labs would be out of

Arnold S.


Subject: SYNTHETIC opal dust/crumbs
Date: Thu, 13 Mar 2003 22:24:27 -0800
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com
From: "Connie" <mollie2dot@qwest.net>

I use this glassblowing, lampworking.  I PREFER to use what
cutters would consider junk - waste, pieces too small to
become a stand a lone cab, too small to use in mosaic or
inlay work.  So, if you, or someone you know is throwing
this away, send me an email.  Let's make a deal. Thanks in
advance, Connie <mollie2dot@qwest.net>


Subject: Cactus,opals and doughnuts
Date: Fri, 14 Mar 2003 17:48:36 +1030
To: <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: "aurimas" <aurimas@chariot.net.au>

G'Day all,

Opals and doughnuts can be grown under favourable conditions, The
conditions required are not too difficult to duplicate, if the ones
provided by the State are overcrowded by unsuccessful growers.  All that
is needed is a small to medium loony bin. A funny farm will also do, but
the quality of the opal may suffer. A nut factory is a large No NO.

GM modified cactus can grow doughnuts in Australia and perhaps donuts in
the US. And as luck will have it, they will be well laced with tequila
and will not require dunking. This allows one to concentrate fully on
the process of growing opals from  dirt and get shikked as well.

The eminent inventor of Slurrping Slurry, Ron Lupton has proposed that I
should get some oil dirt from Texas and plant some oil wells. down
under. Now there is a clever man. Price of fuel will plummet. Hmmmmmm!!

Aurimas in sunny Adelaide, 5hrs S of Andamooka opals


Subject: Re: Doping Question
Date: Fri, 14 Mar 2003 03:40:15 EST
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com
From: Rocksinhed@aol.com

Hi Again Everyone

 I would like to start by thanking Everyone for there Great help (as usual
... What a gang) ...THANK YOU VERY MUCH
 If you would all like another laugh .... I was trying out my new techniques
and my Leeco Brown wax flashed to a flame (my fault I know) ... No sooner
then I could get the breath out of my mouth the smoke alarm went off and now
that I live in an apartment complex .... The whole world came to see what was
on fire .... So I showed them ... I have already started teaching one of my
neighbors how to facet ......... But don't worry ..... I won't teach them how
to dop ...... unless it's with Epoxy (he he ) had to get that one in
 Thanks again for the help ... I have met with the Faceters of the Old Pueblo
Lapidary Club (Thanks to the Digest) I am sure I can learn a lot from them

 Have a great day!  ........ You made mine!

 Jimmy Quigley    Rocksinhed@aol.com  


Subject: Advice needed
Date: Fri, 14 Mar 2003 12:01:07 -0500
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com, arcorp21@hotmail.com
From: "Douglas Turet" <anotherbrightidea@hotmail.com>

Lenard Tan wrote:
"i need some advice
we own two collector stones : tsavorite cabochon ( nice color) of 43 cts and
another one of 30 cts.How can we find a professional marketer who can have
access to the right type of buyer for that kind of stones"

Hi Lenard,

     I believe I know of some people who can help you out. For starters, you
might try contacting either Dana Schorr, who markets some of the world's
finest, higher-end gems (including those I've cut), at 805-966-9966 (or
<gem3@worldnet.att.net), or Simon Watt, president of Mayer & Watt
(606-564-3400, or watagem@maysvilleky.net); if neither of them can help,
perhaps either Andrew Sarosi (213-622-3563, or <asarosi@earthlink.com>) or
James Alger (603-625-6573, or alger@xtdl.com>) will be able to. All four of
these are gem dealers who both specialize in the largest and finest gems
known, and have the moral and ethical standards you're most likely looking
for in a representative. Additionally, all are members of the American Gem
Trade Association. By all means, please use my name as a reference, when you
contact them.

All my best,

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: Re: Refractometer and Rough ID
Date: Fri, 14 Mar 2003 12:15:35 -0500
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com (LapidaryArtsDigest)
From: Dan Clayton <dclayton@speakeasy.org>

On Thursday 13 March 2003 08:47 pm, Phil wrote:
> Dan .. I use my refractometer all the time to ID rough. I also use S.G.,
> hardness, crystal system, and any other diagnostic data available, since
> I never rely on only one parameter to establish an I.D. I usually grind a
> window in the rough at 600 grit, and then polish (hand held is fine for
> this) to 14K to get good RI and birefringence readings.


I was assuming most people did not want to do a destructive test on rough.
If you find rough with a polished surface or can polish a surface you can
easily check RI with a refractometer or a reflectance meter. Good point
about using more than one parameter for ID. Few materials can be identified
confidently with one parameter. Good point about the darkfield scope also.
I find a darkfield loupe or transmitted light loupe is almost essential to
pick natural rough. More to see flaws than ID. Fortunately synthetics seldom
have flaws.



Subject: Refractor Liquid
From: "lidafr" <lidafr@attbi.com>
To: "Lapidary Arts and Faceters Digest" <owner-faceters@caprock-spur.com>
Date: Fri, 14 Mar 2003 12:53:58 -0800


  My good friend Dan, Don Rogers has an exellent discussion of
defractometer maintenance in the same Issue # 83..I however, would like
to add a few suggestions on this subject..
I also prefer the GIA RI liquid ( Methylene Iodide ) for the test. Only
deposit a small bead of liquid in about the center of the
hemisphere...Just enough to sufficiently wet the surface of the test
facet... No big glob of of liquid.....It's not necessary and It's too
darned expensive... I still slide the stone from the metal surface onto
the liquid bead..Osmosis does the rest....I can usually get readings for
a couple of different facets from the same wetting.....Wipe the surface
of the hemisphere off immediately after testing...Also the liquid is
vile smelling and poisonous....So don't lick your fingers and please
wash your hands...My humor......Also, store the liquid in the
dark....Light tends to remove some of the Sulphur from solution, which
in turn, darken tne liquid.....Usually there is a small leaf of Copper (
to remove the freed Sulphur ) in the bottom of the bottle....
For faceting rough, I polish a small flat window in a convenient area
and slide or set it into the liquid...If it is unstable ( won't sit on
the window ) you can hold it with tweezers or fingers lightly on the
PersonaIly I've used my refractometer for lo these many years and have
not had any noticeable scratching or wear to the hemisphere
surface...Using a light touch has its advantages...
As for polishing the hemisphere, if necessary, use a small amount of
cerium oxide on a small piece of wet fine weave cotton cloth or soft
leather using the the pad of your fingertip to apply a wide pressure
area..I agree with Don to generally stroke in a lengthwise
direction....Well, enough's enough.........This should help you to
become an ID savant.......


Dan, I'd like to clarify a point. the methylene iodide used for RI
measurements, is a doped sulphur saturated solution with 18% crystalline
tetraiodoethylene added into the solution.... It's used with most
conventional refractometers. They use, to the best of my knowledge, a
high density leaded glass hemisphere so there a softer glass
surface......Light touch...
When I was younger and more gullible, I bought a refractometer with a CZ
hemisphere ( higher refractive index unit)... It was an absolute
disaster.... The higher refractive index marerial was a brownish pasty
liquid, vile smelling, hand staining, with a dangerous liquid warning
flag. It was harder to get a thin layer between stone and hemisphere.
Reading the scale with a brown overcast was a chore....Needless to say,
I got rid of the unit...
There are also spinel units ( slighty lower upper RI limits ) that use
pure methylene iodide liquid.....
Robert Webster's book " Gems has an extensive discussion on
Remember, methylene iodide is volitile and even in a closed bottle can
evaporate out of solution leaving a crystalline residue (
tetroiodoethylene ??? ).... I've added methylene iodide to a ' dried "
bottle and will try out the results.... It should work... Any comments
I also have to add methylene iodide periodically to my heavy ( specific
gravity ) liquids to get them back to their original SG ranges for the
same evaporation problem.......



Subject: Re: Digital Photography of Faceted Gems
Date: Fri, 14 Mar 2003 22:29:26 -0600
To: LapidaryArtsDigest <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: Thomas Whitlatch <whitlatcht@mchsi.com>

Bill & List,

I have just taken some nice pictures of  a pair of opal earrings.  I
using a Panasonic PV-SD4090 superdisk with a cheap General tools 5X
plastic loop over the lens (this is very close so that it is inside the
focal length of the loop) and used offset lighting to get the fire to
show well and no flash.  I also used  a muted flash with a piece of
typing paper in front of the flash with some iris adjustment on some
other pictures.  I got a very clear picture with little glare from flash
or other light source.  Best to experiment with different angles and
exposures to get what you want in your photo.

I hope that this little bit will help you with your problem, and feel
free to contact me off list for more details or help.

Thomas Whitlatch
MWF Iowa State dir.









PERSONALS: (General Lapidary and Faceting)




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


It was many years ago since the embarrassing
day when a young woman, with a baby in her
arms, entered his butcher shop and confronted
him with the news that the baby was his and
asked what was he going to do about it? Finally
he offered to provide her with free meat
until the boy was 16. She agreed.

He had been counting the years off on his calendar,
and one day the teenager, who had been
collecting the meat each week, came into the
shop and said, "I'll be 16 tomorrow."

"I know," said the butcher with a smile, "I've been
counting too, tell your mother, when  you take this
parcel of meat home, that it is the last free meat she'll
get, and watch the expression on her face."

When the boy arrived home he told his mother. The
woman nodded and said, "Son, go back to the butcher
and tell him I have also had free bread, free milk, and
free groceries for the last 16 years and watch the
expression on his face!"



" In youth we learn.
In age we understand."

--- Marie von Ebner Eschenbach ---



From: "RICHARD P ROSENTHAL" <kenaii@earthlink.net>

I am looking for a primary source for  rough White Nephrite Jade, close
to point of origin, which is the Ho-Tien[ Hotan] or Yarkand area of
China. Contact Kenaii@earthlink.net I do have Carving and Gem grade
Green Nephrite Jade from Siberia for sale.


Get a FREE copy of the 2003 Faceter's Engagement Calendar
with a $100+ rough purchase at http://www.qualitygemrough.com
(see website for details).

We have recently added some new material, including a new African
find of green/yellow diopside (and we are the only people we know
who have it).  Our stock includes things like alexandrite, amethyst,
aquamarine, chrysoberyl, citrine, emerald, garnets (many varieties)
kornerupine, sapphire, spinel, tourmaline, zircon and more.

At http://www.qualitygemrough.com you get more value for your
money and we show our appreciation for your business with superior
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the 5-day inspection period, and the convenience of using your
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Rough to Cut
If you're looking for quality facet rough please check out Rough to Cut,
http://www.roughtocut.com. We offer a wide range of quality facet rough
from Aquamarine to Zircon. Large selections in stock currently of Beryl,
Garnets & Tourmalines. Please check us out & when you do, why not give a
try to our contest, you could win a 5ct + piece of Spessartite garnet
facet rough.

Rough to Cut


Contact b-daw@pacbell.net

Honey, red & brown zircons, 10g parcels @$20/parcel
Red Garnet $8/g, eye clean-slightly included
Spessartine Garnet $7.50/g, slight-moderately included
Malaya Garnet $6/g, good eye clean roughs
Tunduri Garnet $10/g, eye clean-slightly included
Pink Tourmaline $20/g, eye clean-slightly included
Red Tourmaline $10/g, slight-moderately included
Bicolor Tourmaline $15/g, eye clean
Watermelon Tourmaline $20/g eye clean
Green/Green Blue Tourmaline $10/g, eye clean roughs
Blue, Green & Blue/Green Sapphires $35/g, eye clean-slightly included, up to 1g.
Blue Beryl (Aquamarine) $6/g, eye clean-slightly included crystals
Green Beryl (Emerald) $10-$50/g, eye clean-slightly included crystals, zoned green
Cabbing Grade Aquamarine $3/g


Rock Peddler
Complete online discount catalog for cabbing and faceting machines, wheels,
laps, polishes, diamond saws, diamond blades, and general lapidary supplies
at http://www.rockpeddler.com.


Gewelers Gems
e-mail: sales@jewelersgems.com
Solid copper laps 1/4 thick 8" and 6"  you can charge both sides with
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NOW ONLINE!  RRGaetan Gem Rough - Featuring excellent, facet-grade,
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Golden Chrome Tourmaline, Aquamarine, Spess, Mint and Malaya Garnets,
and more! For photos and more information, visit us at rrgaetan.com .



is produced by Thurmond Moore III

Tempie Francis, Attorney at Law / Legal Advisor

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