Issue No. 92 - Monday March 24, 2003
Moderated by: Thurmond Moore III
Committed to carrying on the fine works of
Hale Sweeny and Jerry Dewbre


From the Moderator: 


One I would like to suggest is polishing different quartzes.  I think that
most everybody has had polishing problems with quartz at one time or
another.  I certainly have and it currently is driving me up the wall.
Scratches seem to show up no matter what I try.

Paul Davis

HOMEWORK for tonight:

Think about the experiences you have had polishing quartz gems.

What polishing problems occur most frequently?
What type of laps / wheels / pads did you use?
What type of polishing media?
What worked for you?
What did not work?

This discussion is one that all members (cabbers, tumblers and faceters)
of the list should have experience with since so many gem materials
are quartz based.

With that in mind, get those post in for inclusion in
tomorrows digest.

Index to Today's Digest

01  FT:  Quartz Polishing Clinic
02  FT:  Quartz Polishing Clinic
03  FT:  Quartz Polishing Clinic
04  FT:  Quartz Polishing Clinic
05  RE: Garnet and Dark Stones
06  RE: Garnet and Dark Stones


Subject: polishing quartz
Date: Fri, 21 Mar 2003 13:35:30 -0800
To: faceters@caprock-spur.com
From: "P. Miklik" <b-daw@pacbell.net>

greetings thurmond and all,
i have to mention my trials and tribulations about polishing quartz.  i
recently, within the last year, purchased a pol-a-gem lap from mr.
vargas.  it is a lucite lap impregnated with cerium oxide.  after the
1200 lap i go to the pol-a-gem and add a bit of cerium & water and i
finish with really nice sharp facets, well polished.  i think the
pol-a-gem is one of my better investments.

good luck everybody,
so cal


Subject: Polishing Quartz
Date: Fri, 21 Mar 2003 19:55:03 -0500
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com
From: "Frank lavin" <nival42@hotmail.com>

I very seldom have any problem polishing quartz.  I use the dyna system with
cerium oxide.  I find if I clean the disk regularly and spray the cerium it
works like a charm.  If it does scratch (usually something contaminated the
disk) I simply clean it and respray.



Subject: Re:Polishing Quartz
Date: Sat, 22 Mar 2003 17:28:25 -0800
To: faceters@caprock-spur.com
From: Phillip L Stonebrook <plstonebrook@juno.com>

Greetings list...

We got a pretty good response to the dark rough clinic .. thanks to all
that contributed, and to Thurmond for hosting the forum. Sorry I wasn't
able to respond to all the posts directly but, with the war on, normal
family duties, other cutting commitments, etc, I had other considerations
to deal with.

To help start off the "quartz polishing" clinic, I'll contribute the

To me, in my approach, polishing quartz is predictable, trouble free, and
fairly basic. I want flat facets, so my preference (in order) is to
polish on my Batt at 50K, or tin at 50K, after roughing out at 600, and a
3K pre-polish (I cut on self charged solid copper). I polish at fairly
high speed (~400-600rpm) to drift in the meets to perfection (Ha!) using
a slow sweep with medium pressure. Then, I slow the lap down to minimal
speed and use a short, quick back and forth motion with light pressure to
get rid of any fast polishing checks or fine "cat hair" scratches quartz
is infamous for. I inspect at 13X to ensure the polish is right after
wiping ALL the oil off the facet with Windex. That's it .. done. If it's
later inspected at 10X, I'm confident it will be right.

I've tried the other approaches, and nothing works as predictable and
repeatable for me as the above. I know a lot of you will be saying "Is
that all there is" and yes, it's just as simple as that. This approach
eliminates the facet rounding of the ultralaps, the mess of slurry oxide
polishes, the facet rounding/heat generating characteristics of the
lucite lap, and the scratching of the ceramic lap (I have heard that some
are able to use the ceramic on quartz for the ultimate in facet flatness,
but I have not been successful at this, or when I have been, it's not
predictable, nor repeatable). This approach also works well with any
facets that might have "twinning marks-zebra stripes"; whereas the
ultralap, with it's compressibility and flexibility, tends to undercut,
or accentuate them.

The only other approach I've had to use at times (and I've cut a lot of
quartz), is when I had a large table that absolutely WOULDN'T polish any
other way. My ultimate weapon; the lead lap with 14K, which works well
but also leaves some table facet rounding at the edges. Since I always
cut the stars after the table is polished anyway, the stars will cut away
any rounding (even on ovals and emerald cuts).

I also have a story about a piece of citrine, with what appeared to be
small black sand particles which continued to dislodge/separate out of
the rough, that wasn't able to be polished by ANY approach I tried ..
true fish tank gravel!

Works for me ..  best regards..
Phil in Florida


Subject: Polishing Quartz
Date: Sun, 23 Mar 2003 00:18:54 -0700
To: LapidaryArtsDigest <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: John McLaughlin <jemstone@amug.org>

The only problems I occasionally have with quartz is when I'm polishing quartz with large
inclusions, usually black tourmaline.  I suspect I should use diamond for the final polish.

On all other quartz, whether jasper, agate or crystal, I have excellent results with cerium
oxide mixed about 10 parts to one part of 0.3 micron corundum powder (Linde A).  I have
found that using a pure cerium oxide is helpful.  The material with a pink or reddish hue is
contaminated with iron oxide.  The pure cerium oxide is white.

John McLaughlin
Glendale, Arizona


Hi John,  What lap, wheel, pad belt etc. do you prefer with your polish "mix"?
Have you used colloidal solutions (silica, cerium, diamond etc.) in polishing quartz gems?


Subject: RE: Issue No. 91 - Friday March 21, 2003
Date: Fri, 21 Mar 2003 23:46:57 -0500
To: "LapidaryArtsDigest" <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: "Naomi Sarna" <nsarna@earthlink.net>

Hello all, taking a few days from the opal, but doing interesting things
with it.  Re: garnets, I wonder what Jeff Graham has to say about the dark
ones.  I assume that his mirror cuts would enliven anything. Regards to all,
Naomi in New York


Subject: Photos of dark garnet cut in Lighting Hope I
Date: Mon, 24 Mar 2003 10:05:15 -0500
To: Lapidary Arts list <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: Dan Clayton <dclayton@speakeasy.org>

Hi Thurmond et al.

Gustavo Castelblanco finished his Lighting Hope I in dark garnet and I
posted it on my site.


The picture looks very good and I bet the actual stone is outstanding. I
will be posting a photo of my dark garnet cut in Lighting Hope VII when
it is finished. I think the dark garnet clinic was a very good idea but I
still think you should just pick a lighter garnet if you can.

Dan Clayton


Hi Dan,  Gustavo's piece did brighten up nicely. Nice Pics.










PERSONALS: (General Lapidary and Faceting)




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


Subject: RE: more "stupid"
From: "Robert Edgar, Jr" <edgarr@mccc.edu>

Spot him 12 IQ points and he would qualify as a tree.

(Editors Note:  around here we would call it "Dumber than a Stump")


Subject: funny
From: "J Wagstaff" <wagstajo@kos.net>

A man is driving along a highway and sees a rabbit jump out across the
middle of the road. He swerves to avoid hitting it, but unfortunately,
the little rabbit jumps right in front of the car.

  The driver, a sensitive man as well as an animal lover, pulls over and
gets out to see what has become of the rabbit.

  Much to his dismay, the rabbit is dead. The driver feels so awful that
he begins to cry.

  A beautiful blonde woman driving down the highway sees the man
crying on the side of a road and pulls over.

  She steps out of the car and asks him what's wrong. "I feel terrible,"
he explains, "I accidentally hit this rabbit and killed it."

  The blonde says, "Don't worry." She runs to her car and pulls out a
spray can. She walks over to the limp, dead rabbit, bends down, and
sprays the contents onto the rabbit.

  The rabbit jumps up, waves its paw at the two of them and hops off
down the road. Ten feet away the rabbit stops, turns around and
waves again, he hops down the road another 10 feet, turns and waves,
hops another ten feet, turns and waves, and repeats this again and again
and again, until he hops out of sight.

  The man is astonished. He runs over to the woman and demands, "What is
in that can? What did you spray on that rabbit?"

  The woman turns the can around so the man can read the label.      It

(Are you ready for this?)

(Are you sure?)

(This is bad!)

(You know you could just click off and not read the punch line.)

(You know you're gonna be sorry.)

(Last chance.)

(OK, here it is.)

It says, "Hair Spray - Restores life to dead hair, and adds permanent



A careless word may kindle strife.
A cruel word may wreck a life.
A timely word may level stress.
A loving word may heal and bless.



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
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If you're looking for quality facet rough please check out Rough to Cut,
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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


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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.


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e-mail: sales@jewelersgems.com
Solid copper laps 1/4 thick 8" and 6"  you can charge both sides with
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is produced by Thurmond Moore III

Tempie Francis, Attorney at Law / Legal Advisor

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